Hey there, Robin the Fog who done amazing remix skills on Chips for the Poor‘s Fistula single and Live from downtown transmissions album has been putting in some overtime and not just for extra dough like the rest of us lousy money grabbers, he’s only gone and done made a right proper beauty of an album.
The Ghosts of Bush was recorded at the BBC’s Bush House, in the lead-up to the building’s closure earlier this year, Robin sampled the sounds of the very building (including creaking door handles) onto loops of tape, very much inspired by those funky cats at the BBC’s late, lamented Radiophonic Workshop. Everything you hear is acoustic, found sound manipulated only on tape, with no digital effects, only the natural room reverb or echo from the tape loops.
It’s in part a tribute to Bush House, the home of the BBC World Service since a bomb damaged Broadcasting House in World War II, and also to the origins of electronic music, the forgotten methods of creating these sounds, now we can all bang out a techno track in 2 minutes on our mobile phone (see the title’s pleasing play on Eno and Byrne’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts). And when you literally hear the tape machines creaking on the record, it’s unbelievably poignant.
And don’t just take our word for it, all kinds of people who know what they’re talking about have been going crazy for it – Simon Reynolds, Jim Jupp (of Ghost Box), DJ Food, Gideon Coe, BBC Radio Nottingham. Or also, click on the video that I did post above, cos that got music on it, you can know for yourself.
Amazingly, all the proceeds from the digital sales are going to BBC Media Action, formerly the World Service Trust, which uses media to help some of the poorest people in the world take part in community life and hold those in power to account. A vinyl edition will be out next week. Limited to 200 copies, this is going to be a sought after item for anyone who is a Radiophonic/classic electronic/beautiful music freak, and I think I can count all of us in that.