Always on the search for the weird and wonderful, Getintothis’ Del Pike uncovers The Lost Tapes Record Club and finds very strange goings on in the Crosby area.
Crosby indie psychotics Clinic have been rather quiet of late, and despite numerous festival appearances both home and abroad over the summer, they have not released any new material since their 2012 album Free Reign. Don’t be fooled though, drummer Carl Turney and bassist Brian Campbell have been working on a side project that is both enthralling and mysterious.
The Lost Tapes Record Club seems less of a band and more of an exercise in curating. Brian told us the story recently of how they had magically uncovered a box of tapes that turned out to contain some of the most brilliantly unearthly sounds you can wave a stick at. Sounds too good to be true? A bit Jack and the Beanstalk? Well take a listen.
The duo claim that the tapes can be traced back to a small outpost in Devon and when you hear the music the jigsaw falls into place. Sounding not unlike soundtracks to those eerie rural kids TV shows from the 70s that were actually creepier than stuff for grown-ups and redolent of The Wicker Man, Fingerbobs and The Stone Tape, this is music that deserves to be heard.
What is very much as intriguing, particularly for those who have not bought into the download revolution is the packaging that The LTRC have provided for their releases, offering a series of beautifully boxed cassettes and 7” singles that contain assorted artefacts including hand printed photographs, scorched transparencies, jigsaw pieces and nettles (remnants of an apocalypse?).
It is a project that both curators are incredibly excited about and leading up to the first release were vehemently secretive. When Brian revealed to us the artwork of their current 7” Songs For The Secret Apocalypse Vol 2, he was clearly incredibly proud, and rightly so, these are wonderful pieces of art, recalling the work of Fluxus and Factory Records, particularly the attractive cardboard cassette packaging. Finders Keepers records who are distributing the cassettes are equally as committed to releasing artefacts as much as the music within.
The music itself does vary, while retaining the pervasive air of rural enigma, for example their first 7”, Remember Happier Times, allegedly traced back to a 1985 mix tape is described as a high school vanity project by Sefton band, Foreign Policy, and is a shimmering summery groove that should only be played lying in a meadow on a hazy late summer afternoon. B side Blue Skies is even dreamier.
A skip through their releases so far via Soundcloud reveal the diversity of the collection; tracks such as Jurby Scar from the second single verge on the psychedelic, while SY4493 12/4/2013 is merely an atmospheric field recording. Punky Night accredited to Carl and Brian is just plain terrifying. Once Punky Night moves on from creepy Freddy Kruger child chanting, we move into much more Clinical, psychedelic garage territory. The project is not a million miles away from Ghost Box’s numerous projects and Jonny Trunk’s Trunk releases that included the eerily essential Fuzzy Felt Folk (2006), but in some ways is even slightly more leftfield.
The spirit of Clinic is omnipresent through all of these recordings and anyone familiar with their work will immediately understand why these mysteriously unearthed gems reflect the mindset of the band members. Clinic fans and enthusiasts of 70s oddities should explore this burgeoning collection of treasures. While you’re at it check out Carl and Brian’s killer remix of Poltergeist’s Lune Deeps on their mini remix album, a frighteningly brilliant side project with The Bunnymen’s Will Sergant and Les Pattinson, given the full LTRC treatment.
The cassettes are available through Finders Keepers/Folklore tapes. Songs For The Secret Apocalypse 7″s were released through Carl and Brian’s own Exquisite Corpses label, while we can exclusively reveal that all cassette EP content will be released on vinyl through Exquisite Corpses in 2016.
All available via Bandcamp (“and all good car boot sales” says Brian)