Two Ragged Soldiers – /Asulya//Water

/Asulya//Water by Two Ragged Soldiers is  available to order from the Castles in Space bandcamp page.

A two track vinyl 7″, beautifully pressed on red and blue splatter wax.   It is a limited edition, one time only pressing of 300 hand numbered copies and includes a download card and an insert.

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Two Ragged Soldiers are Ian Glover and Samuel Ward.  /Asulya//Water is their first release.

Q. Who are Two Ragged Soldiers?

Ian – Old friends who met at college, didn’t see each other for a few years, then reunited. After a few more years of keeping in touch and a few false starts, we finally started making some music together and laughing at each other’s kids.  I’ve made four other albums whilst my wife waits patiently rolling her eyes.

Sam –  Two Dads with a rare gap in their schedules. After years of talking about it, Ian and I finally had the chance to work together last year and when the initial ideas took hold, it simply snowballed from there.

We first met whilst attending the creative hotbed of Burslem Music College back in 1993. Heads full of dreams. Full heads of hair. Bloodstream full of stolen gin.

Q. How, where and when do you work together?

Ian – There’s a lot of individual work in our own homes, exchanging files over the internet and making comments. Now and again we’ll hook up, try and out-do each others coffee making abilities and occasionally doing some work.

Sam – As Ian says, the core of each piece was developed in isolation and progressed through a series of phone calls, emails, Soundcloud links and Dropbox swaps. Once this necessary 21st century stuff was out of the way, we drank coffee, ate too much and got the families together at Hanley Museum (check it out. They’ve got a ceramic owl).

Q. /Asulya//Water?

Ian – I think of /Asulya/ as seeming to appear quite simple but it actually being quite complex and satisfying underneath. We were trying to make something that teases the listener into thinking the crescendo is about to happen this time around….but then it sneaks off and lies in wait.  /Water/ started with one of those happy accidents whilst casually noodling. For me it became a challenge to see how far we could push an arrangement without stuffing it full of changes.

Sam – Yes, /Water/ is certainly the most minimal piece we’ve produced and as such, it’s probably my favourite. Ian’s restraint with the arrangement here is one my personal highlights of the entire Two Ragged Soldiers project.  /Asulya/ is one of the more cross genre pieces that arose from the sessions. Both electronic and traditional instrumentation push together and I’m still not really sure who wins.

Working in isolation on a project like this can bring on occasional self doubt (questions such as “Is this just mental?” were pretty frequent), but realising now that we were on the right track is a great confirmation of what we are trying to achieve.

Q.  I believe that /Asulya//Water are extracts from a larger work entitled “The Mass”?

Ian – Yes, we are putting the finishing touches to ‘The Mass’ in order to complete and mix it. Then we need to figure out what to do with it. The album itself was made purely for the sake of working together and doing something without any set parameters. We threw a couple of ideas in tried to grow them naturally.

Sam – There’s still a little way to go before its polished off but ‘The Mass’ expands upon the themes visited in this record and encompasses a wide range of approaches. We’ve a few options with what to do with the eventual album but for the moment, we’re focused on finishing it over the coming month and finally realising the work we’ve both put in during the past year.

Q. Influences?

Ian – All the usual; music, films, books, life. Philip Glass, Morricone, Low, Neil Young are people I frequently find myself returning to, amongst others. Collaborating with people is probably the biggest motivator.

Sam – The influences feeding into Two Ragged Soldiers have been pretty wide ranging from my side. Obviously there’s a musical debt to the early work of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop but I’d certainly look to also include Traditional English folk, the conceptual composition of Cage and aspects of Steve Reich in there.

Q. The artwork for the single is brilliant, utilising an image sent back from comet lander Rosetta/Philae. How did it come about?

Ian – This was Sam’s baby. The Rosetta / Philae craft was – and still is – all over the news. Landing a craft on a comet – thats definitely inspiring.

Sam – The Rosetta mission was very much in mind during the production of the work and once the incredible images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko came back from the craft, I simply had to work them in somehow. Reports sent back to us through space is just a wonderful concept.

Q. The music is a hard to determine mix between traditional and electronic instrumentation. What’s your set up?  What instruments do you use? How do you record?

Ian – I have a small home set up; a couple of guitars, some software, a nasty midi controller keyboard…

Sam – My studio’s a little haphazard and I do find myself spending a lot of time fixing things. It’s primarily based around a Macbook, an old desk and a variety of old kit picked up from eBay, Cash Converters, charity shops and car boot sales. Seems to fit with how I work though…

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Hear more from Two Ragged Soldiers on their Soundcloud.

Order vinyl and digital copies here.

Tauchsieder – Herd The Shadows EP

Tauchsieder’s “Herd The Shadows” EP is still available to order from the Castles in Space bandcamp page. We are approaching the end of the run of this beautiful record, which once again garnered much interest and attention at the recent Independent Label Market on the 23rd July.

The 3 track vinyl 7″ is beautifully pressed on “shadow splatter” wax. It’s a limited edition, one time only pressing of 300 hand numbered copies.

It includes a download card and numbered insert.

https://castlesinspace.bandcamp.com/

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Tauchsieder are Stuart McLean, Ben Hayes and Innes Smith. 

Herd The Shadows features vocals and additional production from Colin Newman.

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Here’s a brief Q&A with the reluctant superstars.

Q1: Who are Tauschsieder?

Ben: Three people who should be old enough to know better by now.

Innes: Whoever Stuart & Ben let into their shack in the woods.  I’m just meat for their sound grinders. They’re terribly clever, but also very shy. Like Sentient Badgers.

Q2: How and when do you work together?

Stuart: After I made the “Instant Eno” plug in chain for Ableton in 2004/5 it led to the recording of (first album) “Quiet”. Everything is done on-line with us only ever meeting at The Dark Outside radio broadcasts.

Ben: How? By leaving things until the last second and then exchanging a flurry of sound files over the internet.  When? Not often.

Innes: That’s a really good question. I don’t know. I think of them as a Fertility Clinic and I occasionally deposit something with them. And then, I have no idea what happens next. The finished product appears and it’s still probably the milkman. Or the postman. I don’t think anybody knows. That’s the magic of Tauchsieder.

Q3: How did Colin Newman become involved?

Innes: Like the clergy, he got ‘the call’.

Stuart: Colin agreed after he challenged me to combine two Wire tracks to make a third.

Ben: Somehow he heard and liked our initial experiments back in 2005 or 2006 or whenever it was.  One thing led to another, as things very occasionally do.

Q4: Tell us about “Herd The Shadows”.

Stuart: It’s original title was “the length of a song by the band called Wire” at just over two minutes-ish – the title was terrible and Colin changed it accordingly.  It has no set tempo with the main noise being altered by changing from one resonator bank to another – the bass being played live over it.  It’s been remastered for vinyl especially for this Castles in Space release.

Ben: It’s a lost/forgotten/ignored/never heard of it classic from 2006.  Stuart did the noise.  I did the bass.  Colin did the vocal and lyrics.  Innes approved.  Konx-Om-Pax (Tom Scholefield) made a fantastic video clip for it.  The title is a cryptic clue to the lyric’s origins.

Q5: Tell us about (AA Side) “Moves Left”.

Ben: It’s a 2015 reworking of a lost/forgotten/ignored/never heard of it classic from 2006.  Stuart did the noise.  I re-did the bass, added the sequences, rhythm box and strange tape sounds.  Stuart added some radio FX and other fiddly bits.  Innes approved.  We might make a video clip for it, but no promises.  The title was an anagrammed cryptic clue to the lyric’s origins, but we removed one of the words from it, so it isn’t anymore.  And the lyric isn’t in it, anyway.

Q6: There’s more stuff already recorded.  What are the future plans for Tauschieder?

Ben: No future they say, but must it be that way?

Innes: Well, this I do know. We’re very probably going to probably do more. There’s been lots of talk about doing probably more, and we’re probably going to do that. I mean, I’ve got a guitar and everything. I might plug it in one day. And I can sing. But, well, we’ve got another few decades worth of procrastination left in us yet. There’s no need to rush things.

Stuart: There might be another FiniTribe Remix if we can finish it. Other than that we have no idea.

Black Channels – Two Knocks For Yes

Two Knocks For Yes by black channels was released on cassette and digital on 09.10.2015

Although the cassettes are long sold out, the digital is still available here:

https://blackchannels-cis.bandcamp.com/

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“In every story of things that go bump in the night, there are two possibilities. One, that it’s a hoax. Two, that there is something going on beyond the grasp of the human mind”.

And so begins ‘Two Knocks for Yes’, black channels’ radiophonic exploration into the poltergeist phenomenon. Mixing real life stories of paranormal activity with otherworldly vibrations and oscillations conjured up on the Buchla Electric Music Box. Following on from their brilliant and well received debut single on Death Waltz Originals, this limited edition cassette continues their preoccupation with other worlds, parallel dimensions and the dark tapestry of the imagination. Chilling accounts of nocturnal visitations and strange activity in the most mundane of suburban surroundings echo in and out of focus alongside electronic manifestations and tape manipulations in this 26 minute experimental radio collage.

Side two features wonderful incidental instrumentals soundtracking true ghost stories which provide essential tools for all paranormal investigators and otherside travellers.

Each tape comes with a free download, and two hand numbered Ghost Spotting Report Forms, enabling those working in the field to report their own ghost sightings and visitations.

Keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you.