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.


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…


Hear more from Two Ragged Soldiers on their Soundcloud.

Order vinyl and digital copies here.

Correlations – Before The Heat

“Before The Heat”, the fabulous debut album from Correlations experienced some delays at the pressing plant, but has now arrived in all it’s glory. Released 17th June, the LP and digital are now available to order from the Castles in Space bandcamp site. It’s a limited and numbered edition of 300 copies pressed up on beautiful “full moon” wax. A digital download card is included with the record.

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Correlations are Neil Hale and Stuart Cullen (aka Pilote). Based in Brighton and Frome they have made a wonderful record which is a genre defining mix of electronics, acid, psyche, krautrock and acoustic folk. With vocoders.

Neil and Stuart have been releasing music under various guises for several years. Stuart’s last Pilote LP “The Slowdown” gathered a lot of acclaim and radio play particularly across BBC Radio 6 Music shows including Lauren Laverne.

“Before The Heat” draws on electronic influences from artists such as Cluster/Harmonia/Ashra to other favourites such as Felt, Nick Drake and classic psych-folk loner, Gary Higgins. The record was mixed with the assistance of old friend Simon James from The Simon Sound and Black Channels who have previously released a massively successful 10” EP on Dealth Waltz records.

Listen to tracks from “Before The Heat at:

The LP and Digital versions can be pre-ordered at the Castles in Space bandcamp page:

Immediately forthcoming 2016 releases on Castles In Space include a new LP of wonderful urban hauntology from Concretism and a beautiful electronic LP from Australian Berlin School synth classicists, Kl(aüs).

Leaning Forward: A Castles In Space Christmas Present.

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Available for two weeks only, CiS have pulled together a wonderful array of past, present and future artists for a free download album, “Leaning Forward”.  It sounds amazing and I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the lovely people who have helped to build the label in it’s first year.

People who have subscribed to the mailing list will get a handmade super limited edition CDr as a thank you for their support.

We have some amazing things coming in 2016, so please stay tuned.

Free download available from the bandcamp site here:

Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year,

colin @ castlesinspace. com

The Fabulous World Of Gary Cook

The Fabulous World Of Gary Cook. Vinyl LP and Digital Download.

Released by Castles in Space: Midnight 27/11/2015.

Available from the Castles in Space bandcamp site:



Barrow-in-Furness is a small insular working class Northern town situated at the end of the longest cul- de-sac in Britain. To go South, you need to head North. You don’t travel through Barrow, your journey ends there. That’s what makes the town and it’s people so unique.

During the mid 80’s, if you had been in a pub in Barrow and a guy with a mop of raven black hair was playing guitar with some backing tapes, that would have been Gary Cook. The thriving Barrow music scene during this period was a remote outstop of weird indie, electronic, psyche, alt-pop, post punk, indie and rock. Gary Cook was at the very heart of all of it. He was Jade Angel, Tripwire, Barbiehead. He was always hiding behind a new name to catch people out.

Gary was a catalyst and a key member of many Barrow bands in a highly inventive and competitive scene. All of these endlessly rotating bands and their swapping-in-and-out musicians had one thing in common, everyone loved and respected Gary. He was talented. He drew, painted, sang, played guitar, bass and keyboards. He worked primitive drumboxes, wrote fantastic, observational lyrics and created a lot of wonderful, bittersweet music. He was sampling and recycling on the most threadbare, begged and borrowed equipment at the dawn of the technology becoming available.

This record has been compiled from an archive of cassettes left behind by Gary. Unheard outside of one of the remotest places in England and even then, not by many people and not for 30 years. A year in the making, putting together the record has been a joy, a headache and a heartbreak. There were many versions of some songs in various states of completion and sometimes just one, single, fleeting version of others. A haphazard jumble of multitudinous sketches and riffs. A constant, continuous tumble of output. He was prolific. This is what he did. Trying to pick the best versions and highest quality recordings has been tough and there’s more than enough material for another, alternative LP.

What we are left with is a brilliant set of lo-fi analogue electronic, guitar indie-goth-pop. Gary writes and plays everything and it’s a joy to hear his brilliant, observational songs. Sometimes camp, sometimes funny, often devastatingly honest and confessional. Always fabulous.

Gary died in Barrow, May 2006 from complications relating to a burst ulcer. He was 41 years old.

The record has been wonderfully restored and remastered by Thomas P. Heckmann at Trope, who is responsible for a lot of the Vinyl On Demand remastering.

The LP is released in a never to be repressed edition of 300 on red wax with black and white splatter. It includes a hand numbered insert with extensive sleeve notes, a download code and a signed and numbered fine art print of Gary painted in oils by artist John Duffin.

Digital copies are also available.

Listen to tracks from The Fabulous World Of Gary Cook at: space-954241171/sets/the-fabulous-world-of-gary

Buy from the Castles in Space bandcamp site:

Antoni Maiovvi – Seasons In Hell EP

Antoni Maiovvi. Seasons In Hell EP.

Double Gatefold Vinyl 7” and Digital Download.

Released by Castles in Space: 20/11/2015.

Available from Castles In Space at

AM7-sleeveAntoni Maiovvi will need no introduction. An originator and innovative leading light in the phenomenal resurgence of interest in Italio, Giallo and dark, sinister disco. He has amassed a huge fanbase and has a fantastic discography stretching back to his first releases in 2008. Currently back in Berlin, Bristolian Anton Maiof makes music that is beautifully dark, yet wonderfully uplifting.

For his final release of 2015. Anton has delivered a beautiful sequence of frosty electronic tracks on the double 7” E.P. release, Seasons In Hell.


The track listing is:

A1: British Summer

B1: Missing

C1:Russian Winter


IMG_0165Seasons In Hell is pressed up on half green/ half white wax for British Summer and half red/ half white wax for Russian Winter. It comes housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve designed by Graeme Swinton featuring artwork from Danish abstract fine artist Susanne Butcher.

The record has been mastered by Alek Stark at Fundamental Audio and sounds incredibly punchy and detailed.

The EP is released in an edition of 300 with a hand numbered insert. Digital copies are also available.

Listen to tracks and buy direct from Castles In Space at label bandcamp page:

You can hear much more of Antoni Maiovvi’s fantastic work, including a wonderful preview from his next album “Will To Powder” at his own Soundcloud page:

Black Channels – Two Knocks For Yes

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black channels – Two Knocks For Yes

Cassette and digital download. Released 09.10.2015

“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 a hand numbered Ghost Spotting Report Form. There’s also an additional stickered form, enabling those working in the field to report their own ghost sightings and visitations.

Keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you.

The artwork is by Nick Taylor.

Two Knocks For Yes will be released on cassette/download by Castles in Space on the 9th October in time for All Hallows’ Eve. Be quick though, as these are almost sold out at source. Try the Castles in Space bandcamp for the last copies and digital downloads.

Copies may also still be available here:



Rough Trade:

Simon from black channels will be performing Two Knocks For Yes live in a haunted Church in Brighton on the 23rd October. Check the black channels Facebook for more info.