Compilation LP released by Vinyl on Demand featuring an assortment of tracks from the first three Snatch Tape compilations.
1. David Jackman - Blues
2. Storm Bugs - Dull Sound of Breath Inside a Tin
3. Mannequin Moves - The Girls You Left Behind
4. Philip Sanderson - Under Press of Sail
5. Tony Clough - Untitled
1. The N4s - N4
2. Alien Brains - Song
3. Karl's Empty Body - 1464
4. Oroir - Call
5. Claire Thomas & Susan Vezey - Diamonds & Ashes
Format: LP, 500 numbered copies
Release Date: 2006
Label: Vinyl on Demand
Catalogue Number: VOD32
Sleeve Design: Philip Sanderson
LP compiled and mastered by Philip Sanderson
The LP sleeve is in matt reverse card but there also exists 5 copies (hand numbered) with a glossy cover instead of matt.
A4, A5, B1, B3 origianlly released on Snatch 1.
A3 origianlly released on Snatch 2.
A1, B2, B4 origianlly released on Snatch 3.
A2, origianlly released on the Storm Bugs Gift cassette.
A5, previously unreleased.
From: the Sound Projector 16th Issue by Ed Pinsent
We've been hearing a fair bit from Storm Bugs over the years, so here's this welcome and timely survey of Philip Sanderson's Snatch Tapes imprint that operated in the UK in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He issued three compilation tapes (called Snatch 1-3), and some of the best contributions tothat series are now reissued here on vinyl via a selection made by Sanderson and representing the years 1979-1981.
Outside of David Jackman (who opens the comp with an exceptionally strong piece) and Sanderson's projects, all the names here are new to me. The thing that struck me was how unique and distinctive everything sounds here, yet all recognisably part of a very English cassette band scene that seems totally bound to that time and that place. I don't just mean the home-made feel, the use of primitive drum machines and basic synth programming, but the overall polite, cold and strained feelings that seem to emanate from almost all of this music. Every cut is slow and sad, melancholic with a bleached beauty. I'm already starting to get nostalgic for the harsh winter of 1981.
Three of the ten cuts are devoted to Sanderson-related projects Storm Bugs, the Claire Thomas and Susan Vezey hoax, and a solo recording. All are excellent in ways that we have already remarked on in previous issues, with the unreleased version of 'Diamond and Ashes' being particularly stunning (true to its title, it has a crystalline beauty). And Storm Bugs' 'Dull Sound of Breath Inside a Tin' exhibits some spectacular inventions in terms of the arrangement of its simple elements, as though the creators were pushing blocks of noise around like playing cards. Jackman's 'Blues' from 1980, heard here in a two-track tape version, is a rugged experiment of cymbals and tape loops generating an embryonic form of the heavy droning that he would later mastermind as Organum.
That's pretty much it as far as 'experimental' goes on this LP, however. The remaining cuts are equally attractive, and they are in the main examples of very good UK post-punk bleakness, expressed as instrumental or song; plenty of alienation, mystery and edginess, but nothing radically innovative in the arrangements or playing, which remain grounded in rock music. I think this is true of the tracks by The N4s and Karl's Empty Body, much as I love their wayward gnarly-rock capabilities. Mannequin Moves do a great song 'The Girls You Left Behind', wherein feelings of love have never seemed so futile; their use of cold synth and plodding drum machine is inspired. Orior manages a similar chill on the instrumental 'Call', but it's an oddly pointless exercise. Only Alien Brains, with his 'Song', returns us to slightly more dangerous turf; in just two minutes, he effortlessly combines raw electronics with radio samples to create a real sense of paranoia. The riots in Brixton and Toxteth have left a ghostly but discernible imprint on this track.
A perfect 'autumnal' listen for UK music fans, although I am certain this quality music is being lapped up with relish by the fans who subscribe to label owner Frank Maier's aesthetic and enjoy music of this vintage. The rush to explore this cassette era is somehow symbolised by the cryptic cover, but the disembodied hands so eagerly reaching for the tape box appear to be made of wax, or dummy's hands. It's slightly disconcerting.
Needless to say, this will appeal to fans of the modern field of limited cd-r label free noise ambient sound makers, Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, PseudoArcana, Digitalis, if you've been loving all that stuff, this will absolutely hit the spot.