Farmer Glitch/Gloria Gloucestershire – Split

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[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

Like a perpetually regenerative onion skin I find myself listening to another pair of artists from England which I had not previously heard. The story behind this release is a simple one: a stash of blank 90 minute cassettes were located and it was decided that each individual would take up one side. The results are as you’d expect, unusual but they are also difficult to tear yourself away from. Oh I know, what’s he on about now? More diddling of knobs and arranging effects pedals; to some it may sound and appear as though this is all that’s going on but these pieces have a pathos to them that defies any attempt at smug categorization. In much the same way paleontologists sift through the wreckage and remains to assemble a narrative our good Farmer and his friend Gloria are similarly attuned to the details.

Sometimes, those are all you ever get in life and what an odd predicament it must be to find oneself in such a situation; Farmer Glitch directs his side to a colder, more mechanical set of compositions. His stylized work has all the sheen and polish to it of a clean room, albeit one in which the vials have been knocked off the tables. Their smoldering contents wafting this way and that but the focus (and this is something many of these sorts of releases sorely lack) is never lost on what the prime directives are: get inside your head, expand the boundaries and then see how long this delicate balance can be maintained. Now that I have spent some time getting to know him here, I’ll be paying close attention to see where he proceeds next. First, however, I have some catching up to do as he has several previous releases out which naturally slipped by me.

I only have two ears!

Ms. Gloucestershire also plays around with perceptions and paranoia in a most pleasant manner. Two mammoth tracks which are sometimes ambient(?) and sometimes chaotic dissonance are unleashed without any thought given as to where they might end up. People no doubt had been waiting for some kind of debut from this one, she’s teased on compilations and mixes but never gotten down to the brass tacks; careful what you wish for is all I’ll say about these monstrosities because they contrast side one magnificently. It even sounds as though the gain was cranked up to achieve additional distortion, a move which does her compositions credit as they lurch and swerve through the sound field almost shattering it. How much giggling was there when these were being written, they absolutely have a mad scientist feel to them and if you’re looking for resolution in such a place you won’t find it. One second there is sound and the next the line has gone dead.

It is truly a wild, untamed world out there and this continues to be hammered home each and every time auditory renegades such as these pop up out of the ether and flash their wares. Relaxation is not an option and neither is complacency; let that maxim be your guide when listening.

Farmer Glitch/Gloria GloucestershireSplit
self-released
MC/Digital 2015

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