Skip to main content

Sound of Yell – Light the Currents (Infinite Greyscale)

Music and art are hardly strange bed-fellows, and indeed the liaison has been an ever-fertile breeding ground for cross-artform collaborations. As releasing records has become a more bespoke affair, editionising what’s effectively several works of art in one has made for creations of rare beauty. So it goes with the Glasgow/Berlin-based Infinite Greyscale label. This new release ticks all the above boxes as part of their exquisitely realised 10” singles club, which has previously hosted work by German electronic duo Mouse on Mars and composer Holly Herndon.

This latest opus from Glasgow's Sound of Yell compounds and emboldens the label's aesthetic at every level. Released in a numbered edition of 300 on single sided aqua-blue vinyl with a screen-printed B-side visualised by Ulrich Schmidt-Novak, and with handmade artwork by label bosses/ curators Paul McDevitt and Cornelius Quabeck.

Sound of Yell is the chameleon-like project of Stevie Jones, whose peripatetic musical adventure began in the 1990s with recently reignited post-rock instrumentalists El Hombre Trajeado, before playing with the likes of Arab Strap and Alasdair Roberts. As Sound of Yell, Jones' ever-expanding ensemble has at various points included former Nalle viola player Aby Vulliamy and vocalist and electronicist Kim Moore, aka WOLF. Jones joins the musical dots with this low-key musical community as and when required.

Following the full length Brocken Spectre in 2014 and the Fortunate Fume single the year after, both on Chemikal Underground, a second collection remains pending. This two-part composition is a fully rounded entity in its own right.

Part 1 of Light the Currents was written for a performance at Dundee Contemporary Arts in October 2016 as part of an event to coincide with the major exhibition of work by the late Katy Dove. For the occasion, Jones enlisted flautist Georgie McGeown, Trembling Bells drummer Alex Neilson and vocalist, artist and fellow member with Dove of Muscles of Joy, Vikki Morton.

The result is a bright and jaunty affair, which buzzes in as Jones' busy picked guitar lays down its rhythmic steps that are driven by Neilson, over which McGeown's flute melodies waft in and out. Morton's vocal, augmented by McGeown's harmonies, serves up a pastoral meditation which, all wrapped up in pitter-patting skitters, blossoms into a creation cluttered with an intense sense of life which off-sets the circumstances surrounding its origin.

There's nothing whimsical at play here. A muscularity is at the heart of the song's concentrated insularity, giving it confidence to burst into the open and flower into a fleet-footed dancing bird. At the end, the little flourish that finishes the song seems to take a bow.

Part 2 was written in immediate response to both the exhibition and the experience of playing at it. Wordless, it sounds more reflective, instruments tip-toe around each other, circling woozily until flute, recorder and guitar find common ground on a record produced and presented with every ounce of love it deserves.

www.infinitegreyscale.com
www.soundofyell.co.uk

 
Product, July 2017

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Futureproof 2017

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow until February 4th 2018
Four stars

Now in its ninth year, Futureproof's showcase of recent graduate photographers from seven Scottish art schools and universities returns to its spiritual home at Street Level, with nineteen artists embracing photo essays, abstraction and constructed narratives. It is Karlyn Marshall's Willies, Beuys and Me that grabs you first. Tucked in a corner, this depiction of a woman impersonating iconic artist Joseph Beuys says much about gender stereotyping, and recalls Manfred Karge's play, Man to Man, in which a German woman took on her dead husband's identity.

The personal and the political converge throughout. Ben Soedera's Foreign Sands contrasts natural resources and the constructed world. Gareth and Gavin Bragdon's The Bragdon Brothers moves onto the carnivalesque streets of Edinburgh. Kieran Delaney's Moments also looks at the apparently ordinary. Matthew Buick goes further afield, as tourists…

James Ley - Love Song to Lavender Menace

James Ley had never heard of Lavender Menace when he won an LGBT History Month Scotland Cultural Commission award to write a new play. While Edinburgh's pioneering gay book shop that existed between 1982 and 1987 before reinventing itself in new premises as West and Wilde wasn't on Ley's radar, he had vaguely heard of the Gentlemen's Head Quarters, the nickname for the public toilet that existed at the east end of Princes Street outside Register House. He was also half aware of Fire Island, the legendary gay nightclub that existed at the west end of Princes Street in a space that now forms the top floor of Waterstone's book shop.

As he discovered, Fire Island was a central focal point for what was then a still largely underground gay scene in Edinburgh's capital. Alongside the likes of the Laughing Duck pub on Howe Street, Fire Island was one of the few places where HI-NRG music could be heard in what would these days be dubbed a safe space for gay men and wo…