Thursday, 18 November 2010

proto-hauntologists (an irregular series), #1

I've always wanted to like the Mount Vernon Arts Lab records more than I actually do. So while it was supercool of Ghost Box to pay tribute by reissuing Séance at Hobs Lane, listening to it I couldn't help thinking the pupils had surpassed the master. Still, judging by this September 1998 mini-profile of Drew Mulholland, you have to give props for his being way ahead of the game. Unless I'm grasping the wrong end of the stick, it sounds like he was on this path back in postpunk days (his 1996 release "The Sound of Pre-Punk" drew largely on material he'd done circa 1979-1980) and he actually first started messing with tape loops back in 1975. Nods to Joe Meek and "Tomorrow Never Knows"/Sgt. Pepper's era Beatles (as well as Radiophonic Workshop) confirm my sense that dub isn't really a major strand of British hauntology's DNA; the indigenous sources are more than sufficient.


  1. Demdike Stare are verily drenched in dub and still manage to sound all colours of Hauntological..

  2. i didn't say it was impossible to have a dub element

    just that if you look at the key figures (ghost box, mordant music, moon wiring club et al) there isn't really a discernible dub influence - -the echoey-reverby uncanny-spatiality stuff in their music seems to have much more to do with the Radiophonic/UK psychedlia/Joe Meek lineage, which - incidentally- predates dub a good ways...

    industrial music is a bigger part of the H-ological DNA than dub really

    (anyways Demdike Stare insist with a frown and a scowl that they've got nothing to do with the H-word, absolutely nothing, not one bit. in which case, naming yourself after a witch was a bit of a mis-step, probably)

  3. Oh yus. Totally agree. Returning humbly to one's hobbit hole.