The Lothian Tapes

by Noel Meek

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Released on limited edition c35 cassette by Bunkland.

bunkland.bandcamp.com/album/the-lothian-tapes-blr19

The Quietus: "The Lothian Tapes is named as much because Noel Meek recorded this music straight to tape during a six week stint at the Edinburgh festival, helping out fellow Kiwi Olivia Webb with a sound installation at the Fringe. Previous releases have seen Meek head from Earthy drones through to chaotically playful noise music - pedals, synths, and drum machines snapping away at each other like kids in a playground. These two sidelength suites see Meek’s noise sounding heftier and more zonked out than ever before. Side A (delineated into four parts including one titled ‘wit's the cyst next door’ and finally ‘granite feathers don't fly’) has the curtains open on to recordings of twangs and vocal snippets fuzzed into monstrosities which Meek yanks hither and thither via some manic knob twiddling. The piece rides repeated waves of 9V battery-power through to some needle-burying thumping beats, a bit of Merzbow-ian factory screeching, and a climactic comedown of squealing rusty wheel tones. Side B (a two part suite of ‘evan further’ and ‘psalm of the gneiss’) sees Meek overlap some nature sounds and fold in a synth drone until the noise is unbearably dissonant, around the six minute mark a more blissful note weaves its way in, and slowly overtakes the piece for a gnarly blowout which cycles on for ten minutes of serene entropy.

If anything can be described as a "symphony of noise", this tape is surely it."

Byron Coley in The Wire: "While Meek is a New Zealander, the music here was recorded when he was helping out a friend at the Edinburgh Festival. Taped in snatches, this is another example of Meek's work at the noisier end of the spectrum. The sides have rather different hefts, but both are bustles of sound. The first is a compressed collage of voices and squirrely electronics, a little claustrophobic, but not unattractive. The other side stars with ADHD cut-ups and eventually begins overloading your brain with the sort of signals aluminum foil hats are supposed to keep out. I may have played this one too loud. Seems someone in the store has just passed out."

credits

released September 9, 2016

All sounds Noel Meek.

Artwork by Karen Constance.

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Noel Meek Wellington, New Zealand

Noel Meek is a Wellington, New Zealand based weird sound maker. He runs End of the Alphabet Records (endofthealphabetrecords.bandcamp.com) and organises gigs and festivals in New Zealand. Feel free to get in touch.

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