Busy times


2014 has been busy so far. Two releases on hXe per month continues with the latest, Ascension through apathy by Kevin Sanders (which is me, so I’m kind of talking in the third person, which is always odd; At least with the ‘petals’ moniker, you can kind of justify it, but here, I’m not so sure). Also this month, alongside the ‘petals’ cassette on Beartown Records mentioned before, the Eyes in glass cassette, as ‘Kevin J Sanders’, comes out on KIKS / GFR 28/03/2014 (although I have two copies one copy no copies left with me now… get in touch via kevinjsanders@gmail.com if you’re interested in getting one from me).

I was gifted a guitar last weekend by my father-in-law. When he visited over Christmas, he seemed to enjoy, or rather he was able to at least hear some tonal inferences into some of the ukulele stuff I had been been doing towards the end of 2013. As such, he enquired whether I wanted a guitar. Of course I did. I’m 30 and have never had a guitar; How could I refuse? Rock ‘n’ roll superstardom, here we come…

So, having brought it back home last weekend, I plugged it it into ol’ Daphon RG-140 amp (the one with the random 3/4 minute recording function built in to it)… at this particular moment, it dawned on me that I had very little idea about how to use these guitar things.

“Do you sing at it to receive warm, harmonic melodies in response?” (That doesn’t work, or at least it hasn’t yet.)

Given the questionable success of using the guitar, I played the reed organ for a bit and hit some metal. I started rolling a few tape loops, then a dictaphone, and like a snake charmer to the snake, the guitar started to get brighter. It was a charming scene. Ethereal bliss swelled through the room. I could even hear the neighbours enthusiasm at the feedback. Marvellous stuff in the spare room. Magical stuff.

‘Stuff’, at least.

Captured forever through the virtue of the record button, here we have been left with a document of I, Kevin Sanders, using a guitar for the first time.

Ascension through apathy


Maurice’s Hotel Death / petals cdr


Following the spectacularly brilliant annual Crater Lake Festival, I have a had a busy week of: catching up on sleep; reading up on the surveillance motivations and quantitative data ‘harvesting’ (they do like a nice organic metaphor for such things) methodologies of neoliberalism;  the colonialist discourse that ‘evidence-based’ policy extends into contemporary discourse; walking to work in what could be midwinter Norway.

However, I have managed to get the Maurice’s Hotel Death / petals split cdr sorted. “Phew!” I hear ye hark, and right you are tight, too.

Monochrome packaging belie a highly textured work: Maurice’s Hotel Death (aka Larry Crywater from yonder Snottingham way) delivers up a platter of oddness. Acousmatic oceans of entropy or distortions of space and time, who am I to say? The electricity certainly pumps through the heart of this  20+ minute creation. Squawks of neighbours arguing in the summer heat over a tin of Special Brew can faintly be heard beyond the primordial dirge of stasis. Absolutely brilliant!

petals opts for a less nuanced take on things in two parts: first up 10 minutes of LFO bounce and filter wrangling which seeps away into an ocean of filtered drone crackle. Then the tapes start to spin and all gets a bit calmer, but the sea swells and takes the final lick off paint of the black lighthouse. Mixed like a bad metaphor for erosion…

25 copies (half are with Maurice’s Hotel Death, hXe has the other half and one more is currently in purgatory- we’ll keep you posted on the fate of that lonesome disc) in the real world black bottom, white top cdr format , and also available via Bandcamp digitally. So modern. You’re so modern, mate.


New ‘petals’ cassette out on Beartown Records


Just a quick heads up: The mercurial Beartown Records have released a new petals cassette. ‘I’ve never been very good at retorting narrative tales as I always get lost along the way. So I lie’ features two side-long shifting drone tracks, totalling some 40 minutes.

Expect the alphabet to be simplified, the comradeship of a cutlery factory in Sheffield and the presence of a something approaching rhythm to all collapse at the sight of one another. In your ears.

Just £4 from the Bears. I may have some copies in the future.


Secondary tracts


The early-year crop continues to yield bountiful harvests. Following January’s delivery of two discs from Petals, February has brought forth two more small-scale releases with the usual unlimited digital access. These two discs are presented by Kevin Sanders and tj cuckoo respectively…

The former provides absurd, sustained post-Coptic grunts alongside a veritable smorgasbord of metallic chimes, rattles and collapses. Ghostly transitions between future and past seem to coalesce around the warbling throats that sing untoward your brain-spaces. Just eight copies have been made on double-sided black and white photocopied paper.

Rather more illustriously, tj cuckoo (aka Rob Hayler of Midwich, fencing flatworm recordings, Radio Free Midwich and famed for coining the ‘no-audience underground’ phrase which hXe wholeheartedly co-opts) performs a rendition of a text score by Hull’s finest contemporary squalor in vocal-and-rat-a-tat-tatlling-object-throwing disorder. It is wonder to behold. (The score was recently issued in the latest copy of The Barrel Nut.)

vox-object features three tracks of pre-linguistic attempts at communication with a longer, more caustic track to boot. The guttural numbers are invariably more successful, communicatively speaking, then any hitherto fully formed words (or sentences), images or semaphore that have been used to communicate…er…erm… anything. Seriously. I have no ‘idea’, but a very deep understanding of why.

Fired in the kiln alongside the shorter throatings is a wonderous track featuring Hayler’s deft droning abilities. Detailed, grainy, dark drones crackle through thine ears until thee be burned out and ready to tackle one more explication of being. Prepare to have your skull seriously bent around this beast.

A mere fifteen copies exist on 3″ cdr with simple black and white photocopies of Yol’s score and the usual hXe stamps and typewritten accoutrement. Rob will have eight copies by Wednesday, of if you’re reading this next week, Rob’s traded, swapped and sold his copies, but I’ve still got seven to deal with.)


Welcome to 2014


Here is the first part of a two-part series of analogue synthesiser gristle.

An appropriate 20 copies of each to be available via cdr.

‘Magnates agus drochthoradh’ is now available to order/steam, and the following as yet will be available in the coming days/weeks.



Swefn ‘Varieties of anomalous experience’


The ever dexterous Ian Watson has unleashed his latest creation here at hXe under his ‘Swefn’ moniker.

Five tracks of exquisite electronics deftly balance the tensions of life. Ian’s challenging home-made electronics are pushed to new heights as duplicitous worlds invade a cosmos of uncertainty and rattle the speaker cones with uncertainty as the ultimate destination. Totally ace stuff and highly recommended listening!

Available as a high quality download or in physical format as a hand-stamped white cdr with some typically “hXe” handmade packaging: stamps , photocopies , typewriters, abstract silver ink creations adorn the sounds.


Other grasses


Well, I didn’t really see this coming. You see, following a recent jaunt to the south west, I’ll be moving there. I’ll be upping sticks and moving from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire to an as yet unidentified part of Bristol in just over a month. Having lived in Yorkshire since 2001, when I moved to sunny Sheffield to study English, geographically (as much as anything else) this is quite a change for me.

My tenure of Sheffield’s pastures, of which I dwelled yonder Sharrow, Banner Cross, Crookes and more in between, ended for similar reasons as I realised I needed to get a job that wasn’t in retail. This eventually led to a move over the county border line in 2008, to Leeds for a full-time post in an academic library. After a few years, there was then another move from the urbane life of Sheepscar to the plains of Greenhead Park in Huddersfield for a different position in yet another institution.

So, all of this meandering through Yorkshire has, broadly speaking, largely occurred to facilitate work. “Work” dominates much of life in contemporary society in an incredibly multifaceted and subtle manner. We don’t seem to be able to tacitly identify what is and isn’t part of our labour as the intra-subjective dependencies cross lines and blur, but the technologies of self and their relationships with organisations are not something I want to raise at this point; I’m trying to keep it light. However, working within academic libraries as both an assistant and as a librarian, which is something that I have done for a while now, has given me some incredible experiences and insights into institutional and organisational structures, their purposes and efficacies.

The multiple and contradictory subjectivities that these dynamics have presented have caused a range of of tensions from my perspective, and ultimately, they have contributed to my seeking to a full-time position to do more of the sorts of things that I am ‘qualified’ to do and to be more actively involved with more projects (like the recent Radical Library Camp!)

And so it occurred. An interesting opportunity arose at the University of Bath, I applied, I was interviewed and was fortunate enough to be offered the post. With no hesitation, I accepted it, and now I’ll be moving to the south west in a few weeks. Exciting times indeed, although there are of course plenty of things that I will miss: Excellent colleagues at my current employer to whom I am eternally grateful for their inspiration, knowledge and support (and all the beers!), the broad range of weirdo yocal waifs-n-strays that I’ve met, watched, played with and annoyed with half-cut realisations of drones and zoundz, Radio Free Midwich, the cats of Yorkshire, the pals, the neighbours that have dealt with me, the beards of fine men, the bus trips to ikea, rhubarb, Henderson’s Relish, the social centres, TPE, the beers and an awful lot more.

Once the stresses of moving have been endured, hXe will continue as normal, but with a new home. A home where cider is the default beverage of choice and where I can’t navigate home an autopilot from wherever I happen to be. This is going to be troublesome, I expect.


Redacted enunciations

Big Uke

Big Uke

With summer’s bleach poured, some bluer hues were found tied off and adrift somewhere near the border line between South and West Yorkshire, possibly between Penistone and Denby Dale.

They followed me home, and I looked after them for forty minutes before they suddenly expired. They showed signs of life, briefly (twice more) thereafter, but ultimately petered out shortly after.


Recent thyme, forward thinking

So, following the success of The compass points NorthDan and I have begun work on a further collaboration. Fingers crossed it won’t take too long to put together. I’m working on editing a few Petals things up for release throughout the summer along with a new Swefn release and a new Maurice’s Hotel Death in the pipeline too. Boom!

Aside from such revelries, I’ll also be heading back over to sunny Nottingham August 3rd 2013 to play with Cremation Lily, Content Nullity, knifedoutofexistence and W>a>s>p>s before returning to the celestial land of Shipley to play with Drunk in Hell in September. Moreover, I’m buggering of to France for a week to go and lie down, eat some baguette blanc and get funky and fresh on a bicycle between chain-drinking small bottles of beer and large glasses of wine.


Circumnavigating the soul

Near here

“Yoghurt in houmous? Seriously? Weird.” That was my response last night when ordering some food in a Mediterranean restaurant. It worked out well though, as they gave us loads of extra stuff for free. Even still, why would you do that to houmous? Madness.

Anyhow, today is the day where we commemorate the North. To be less partisan, SLI have even encouraged some southern people to come and entertain us with their sounds, so everyone can come and enjoy a diverse range of accents and sounds. Marvellous.

Here is something I recorded this week. God knows what was going through my mind, but I seem to have been overcome by the  devotional residential estates surrounding me, from Springwood to Blackley. Or something. There’s also some electronic sheep floating up to heaven in the background, I swear. They took ages to ascend. I don’t know whether they had a lot of questions to answer at the gates, or whether their cud levels were higher than desirable for the standard metaphysical escalation.

All eight physical copies are shoddily made, constructed from leftovers, with the discs having been sprayed a thematic blue and they’re not strictly real.