Philip Sanderson - Seal Pool Sounds

Oil on Troubled Daughters
Feeding Time
Big Glass
Sea Swell
Seal Pool Sounds
Pilot Light
March of the Bugs
Radium Lab
Nude Nights
Left then Down

All tracks by Philip Sanderson

Format: CD. 500 copies
Release Date:
Label: Seal Pool
Catalogue Number:
Spool 02
Sleeve Design: Philip Sanderson and John Podeszwa, all CD booklet photographs taken in Japan by John Podeszwa except the photograph on the back of CD whcih is a found image of an original 1930s Seal Pool

There is also a limited edition box set version of the Seal Pool CD in an edition of 25 copies. As well as the main CD, it includes an additional CD-R with two long drone tracks. All the boxes are hand made in Japan by John Podeszwa and feature various found photographs and ephemera. More information here.


From Mimaroglu
The return of philip sanderson... I’m an unabashed mega-fan of the storm bugs as well as philip’s various projects over the years (remember the claire thomas & susan vesey track on the cherry red comp “perspectives and distortions?” i do...) so it’s great to listen to this mish-mash of different approaches to electronic music, all constructed with various synthesizers (software, hardware, and otherwise...) over the last few years.

The blurb is fairly spot on... there’s a bit of raymond scott’s “soothing sounds for babies” sound-world, inasfar as there are child-like melodies mixed with more abstract sounds & processing... on top of that there’s a bit of a-grade electro-acoustic collagery, all kinds of crazy location recordings of animals (echoing basil kirchin’s zonked “worlds within worlds” series)... all dripping with a certain nod towards surrealism & a woozy diy home-recorded aesthetic that made sanderson’s early 80s music so... unique (check the recent “reprint” disc on anomalous for a taste.)

Some of the tones are occasionally off-putting (the intital 20 seconds had me checking the cd player to make sure i hadn’t put the wrong disc in!) but the unorthodox sound assembly/construction methods of the disc taken as a whole leave no doubt in my mind that the same brain that conjured up the snatch tapes universe 25 years back is still coursing, full of great ideas and the means to realize them... an excellent disc.

From Aquarius Records
It's been a very, very long time that Philip Sanderson has released anything new. Up until Seal Pool Sounds, the last recordings for Sanderson date back to 1982! During the late '70s and early '80s, Sanderson had been very active in the Britian's DIY cassette culture, producing music as the Storm Bugs (with Steven Ball) and as Susan Thomas & Clare Vesay (whose fictional femininity caused a minor bout of controversy between Sanderson and Cherry Red records). He also collaborated frequently with David Jackman who at that time had yet to form his seminal drone-scrape project Organum. Many of these recordings emerged on Sanderson's own Snatch Tapes; and some of those original cassettes have slowly been reissued in recent years. In the mid-'80s, Sanderson made a stylistic jump to film and installation, offering an explanation as to his whereabouts during all those years.

Within the murk, hiss, and Frankensteinian electric constructions of his early work on Snatch, there was a peculiar and perverse sense of humor in Sanderson's work. On Seal Pool Sounds, he allows the playful aspects of that sense of humor to occasionally emerge with these much cleaner squiggles, jolts, and drones of electronic sounds. Alternately, a plaintive melancholia hangs upon other abstracted tones and broken rhythms, ending up sounding like more primitive constructions from Mika Vainio's solo work, those Microstoria albums, and even Manhatten Research era Raymond Scott.

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