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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Sigmarsson, Haynes Faulhaber, Waldron, Stapleton website  Sigmarsson, Haynes Faulhaber, Waldron, Stapleton - The Sleeping Moustache [Helen Scarsdale - 2006]

You would probably expect the music from a group that includes Nurse with wounds Steven Stapleton, Matt Waldron from Irr.App.(Ext) and object rusting avant-gardist Jim Haynes to be something of a mass of surrealist, drone, ambient, sound collage lunacy. Well you would be right.

Helen Scarsdale has brought together these five odd balls and the result is The Sleeping Moustache, a creeping slimy beast of a record that gets under you skin and stays there.
This creeping sensation begins from the outset with Sprawled naked across a piano. A suitably dada like titles that complements the tracks mass of drones, contact mic generated rustles and scrapes and odd mixes of unknown sound debris. It’s slow building and is made up of many layers and has a complexity that suggests a number of hands in the pot. The over-night sister begins with a collage of odd warped foreign voices in time honoured NWW tradition. This is a very musique concrete orientated track that has a heavy dose of both Stapleton and Waldron.

Look out that ones dangerous has Jim Haynes creaking bending and mutating his rusted metallic to generate textures from the bottom of the Ocean. Stretched out thumps and grinding tones warble and waver as a voice interrupts leading into A bottomless Black Eye.
There’s a great multitude of sound sources applied on each track, not surprising considering the contributions of five individuals all known for collecting sonic detritus. A bottomless Black eye is minimal compared to most of the other tracks. An ominous vibrating tone slowly creeps up on writhing objects at the front of the mix. Rustling, rubbing and exploring the surface of whatever objects they have to hand the microphone becomes a polar exploring diving into crevasses before sliding down slopes.  Synthetic drones from Waldron are also deployed on this track like the first. His throbbing alien textures adding depth to the more abstract sounds.

A little act of familiar Daily routine is probably the strangest of all. Most of the piece is made up chopped up gibberish and warped voices saying nothing. However near the end a slow moving and quite stately brass band pipes up, just floating like in deep space, passing nebulae of drones and crunching  things we cannot imagine. Candlelight Ceremonies For Killing Time is the final track. This begins with dripping water and a low groaning voice. Electronic touches fly from side to side. High-pitched tones, little squiggles and burps. Distant  heavily reverbed ambient spheres and the sounds of speeding tape mix together before it all suddenly stops.

The Sleeping Moustache is a highly varied and interesting mix of material. Clearly lots of cross pollination has occurred between all involved party’s. It sometimes vanishes into total abstract weirdness however for the most part

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Duncan Simpson
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