DUIN THA' WHITEHOUSE
duration: 73'36" compilation
Impressions On The New Electronic Media 17'45"
in Leicester (Autumn 1981-November 1982).
Alan & Steve Freeman: electronics, string thing,
motors, metal, turntable, tapes, radio, voice, keys, percussion.
"Duin Tha' Whitehouse" was originally conceived as Holy Atheist's fourth album (the band name before Vrije), hence the double meaning to the album title and the references to "the atheist walks.." and the likes in the lyrics. However, a new start was envisaged with a new name, although it was only a technical step forward. It's a potpourri of weird experiments all sewn together, with tape loops, home made electronics, motors, and the "string thing" made from a dressing table drawer, a broom handle and string! Much of this is not for those with mellow tastes, as it gets pretty extreme at times, with walls of electronic gabble verging on the almost painful, and especially so the electric motors grinding harshly against cooking pans! But, as with Nurse With Wound, Whitehouse or Throbbing Gristle, the idea was to both shock and innovate. Some of the ideas here have never been repeated, like the Dadaist work for kitchen utensils, and it ranges from the distantly twisted and extremely low-fi to the amazingly "musical" - well, considering there are no actual instruments in use!
"Azazel Eblis" still continued with the sacrilegious theme, but was much less coherent and haphazard. The montage heard here stems from all four tacks on that release: "Eblis", "Eldrich", "Azazel" and "Tarpeian Rock", and includes some fascinating use of loops and blatant abuse of gramophone records, all mixed-in with some really strange electronics.
Under the guise of (Q.S.O.) experiments with turntables were the key focus, and thus (using lots of records borrowed from the local Record Library) these recordings are full of distortions and crackles, as layers of sound rumble over each other, sometimes quite incoherently, sometimes amazingly focused. Why the bracketed name (meaning "Quasi Stellar Object") was chosen, and what the idea behind it all was (except for the obvious "dedicated to Roger Doyle and Trevor Wishart"), has long been forgotten, yet these works sit comfortably alongside the early ones made as Vrije and it seemed apt to put the best work from this lost tape on this historic CD.
So, there you have it, the early raw experiments of proto Alto Stratus, the days of creating sound art without any real instruments, learning the unique vocabulary that has carried on to this day. As Alto Stratus celebrate 20 years of recording, there's the release of "Catharsis" a new c90 cassette album that finds many of the techniques first discovered at this time (variable turntables, cassette loops, abused percussives) being revisited, but in a new context. So, the Alto Stratus story lives on!
DUIN THA' WHITEHOUSE
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