Galloway – Hallogalloway

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

With a garbled transmission, we’re off on Galloway’s debut album, one which has been a while in coming but has been worth the wait. Before I get too far into the auditory wasteland this one chronicles I’d just like to say that his half of the ‘White Peak/Dark Peak’ cassette a couple years back makes a lot more sense, almost to the point of being coherent; compared to that outing, what has been channeled onto ‘Hallogalloway’ is the the stuff of pop music’s nightmares. Many has been the time when I’ve heard bits of what Galloway compose in full seep out into the mainstream… I think not.

He’s not afraid to be confrontational in what he does here, “Mohs Scale” handily throttles the expectations one might have of a pastoral, droning landscape; it’s feedback loops cascade over the border before brutishly melding into a caustic brew of digital effects whipping about like so many venomous tendrils bent on poisoning whatever they can reach. This entire record really does seem sentient, sneeringly discarding patches and rhythm in equal shares, never letting that unease abate long enough for the listener to find their bearings.

That’s not to say there aren’t calmer points to be sought out in this unending cataclysm of discord, like the eye of a hurricane you can indeed take solace to some degree. Yet even then, you know, you just know that more of that unclassifiable, gut churning dread is ready to appear, in much the same way a solid wall of dark grey, blackish clouds roll on towards their destination utterly contemptuous of whatever is in their path.

True, this material is not very accessible but somehow the longer you listen to it, the more consoling it becomes; no one’s holding your hand saying it’s going to be alright, there’s just an understanding: before long this charade will all be over. Much like the cover of this album, the viewpoint espoused is one of cold, analytical inquiry. The fact is, a precise musical study on species disintegration and technological decay had not been executed prior to what this little cassette contains. For Galloway, observation is all with detachment being the prominent modus operandi but even he cannot help but look at the comings and goings of the hive in fascinated horror.

Galloway – Hallogalloway
Bloxham Tapes, BT05
MC/Digital 2018

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