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Back in 2014, especially for Cassette Store Day, Colin Potter reissued his first six cassettes spanning 1980-1982. They were originally released on Mirage and his own ICR label. These new editions sold out in an instant, and reignited interest in his long out of print and fairly difficult to obtain early work. Gradually some of those tapes have been vinylized - Deep Distance pressed up ‘The ...

LP £12.99 JNR275-10

Joyful Noise White Label Series reissue LP. Edition of 500 copies, packaged with a letterpressed overwrap in a clear sleeve with a double-sided insert.

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A Gain by Colin Potter
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8/10 Ant Staff review, 14 November 2018

Back in 2014, especially for Cassette Store Day, Colin Potter reissued his first six cassettes spanning 1980-1982. They were originally released on Mirage and his own ICR label. These new editions sold out in an instant, and reignited interest in his long out of print and fairly difficult to obtain early work. Gradually some of those tapes have been vinylized - Deep Distance pressed up ‘The Ghost Office’, ‘Two Nights’ and ‘The Scythe’, while Dark Entries did the business with ‘The Where House?’. So that left ‘Here’ and ‘A Gain’ still to go. I’m fairly sure ‘Here’ will manifest at some point, but in the meantime we now finally have ‘A Gain’ which is part of an artist curated subscription series from Joyful Noise. The series involves artists selecting  an album they love to get the vinyl treatment. In this case, Benjamin John Power AKA Blanck Mass selected ‘A Gain’ which comes in an edition of 500 numbered copies, packaged with a letterpressed overwrap in a clear sleeve with a double-sided insert. This seems to be a generic house style for the series, which looks pretty sweet, and even incorporates Jonathan Coleclough’s cool illustration of the gain pots from the original tape cover. Oh, there’s also a most amusing photo of Colin in the studio in his Yeti getup.

The album was recorded at his Integrated Circuit studio in York between 1979-82. The first track ‘On Entering York Minster’ (a different version to the one on Reflections Vol. 1) utilizes synth layers, sequencers and chiming glockenspiel to create a sort of sonification of the majestic architecture and craftsmanship of the beautiful Minster. It literally feels like walking into this vast sacred space with the sunlight beaming through stained glass, creating a radiant, psychedelic kaleidoscope like glistening soundscape. During this DIY era of electronic music, a lot of artists seeked to shed the conventions of rock and roll and the excess of prog rock, but in ‘Rooftoops’, Potter proves that neither had to be mutually exclusive. You could make DIY prog electronic music without the baggage of a band and take acid guitar and make it work in harmony with synths - and it works a treat. I guess it’s a sort of mutant electronic post-punk kosmische/krautrock hybrid.

The second side of the LP consists of three tracks which are all remixes of cuts from his first album ‘The Ghost Office’. On ‘You Tell Me’ his guitar meanders wonderfully as if it’s emitting laser beams over a skeletal rhythm - imagine something like Yes and Klaus Schulze jamming in a bedroom, straight to 4-track. ‘Mainland’ is my personal fave on the album with its fizzing and phazing synth, foreboding industrial mechanical clank, and a simple bassline somewhere between creepy dub and whacked out sluggish NYC punk funk. The icing on the cake is the icy, morphing and warping futuristic/sci fi lead synth that recalls very early Human League/The Future. Closing track ‘All Reel’ is proper one man band stuff, cannily layering lead, bass and rhythm guitar over sparse drum machine for a real psychedelic, cosmic post-punk freak out.

We are very fortunate to have scored copies from the gentleman Colin himself. The record is already sold out at source so don’t dither if you wanna snag a copy.


VIDEO

Colin Potter - A Gain (full album) 1982 - YouTube

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