“this mix joins excerpts from the four performances in autumn 2013 which constituted our Month of Sundays tour of historic Kentish sites which remain under threat either from commercial development or environmental factors. the sites visited were Grain Fort, Cooling Radio Station, Oare Gunpowder Works & Harty Church on the Isle of Sheppey.
the tour was made possible with the assistance of Medway Swale Estuary Partnership and the backing of Creative People & Places Swale & Medway.” – Hand Of Stabs
The above is what Hand Of Stabs have to say about this piece on their Bandcamp. Released on 5 January 2015, this twenty four minute, one track album sees Hand Od Stabs create a Leviathan of a track. Based on the evolving dynamo of the Kentish countryside – and, some would say it’s decline – this album is perplexing yet merry in the face of ruin. At the end of 2013, Hand Of Stabs began a musical exploration of the landmarks around the Medway Swale Estuary – this album is the result.
There is a video to accompany this venture in sound. Hosted on Hand Of Stab’s percussionist’s Youtube channel.
What can you expect from the album. I was lulled in to a deep sense of calm. Taking the English countryside as your muse is no mean feat, yet it is one that Hand Of Stabs have accomplished in spades. The subtlety of the album is a testiment to the patience of the musicians. Embracing complete improvisation in unconventional spaces, Hand of Stabs consist of –
“Capt. Rex Standish – signal
James Worse – pulse
Jocelyn Von Bergdorff – interference” – Hand Of Stabs
Past performances have taken place in; an RSPB Bird Reserve, a Bronze-Age burial site, a library, a lightship, a museum, an 11th century church and in a waste water pumping station. I have had the pleasure of seeing Hand Of Stabs perform live – I loved it! Complete improvisation – as in they have not got a clue how the performance will pan out when they step up on stage.
Now then, as this was a site specific recording (Hand Of Stabs went to the landmark to record their music) there is a bit of ‘interference’ on the album – plane noises and such – but this adds to the listening pleasure. It almost turns the album in to a musical Field Recording. What with the chirp of the birds and the buzz of the insects (and that plane!) it is a really soothing album. Marked as an album where the customer sets the price, it should be in your collection.