WDT/VSTM Archive


Without Dead Time Records* was something set up in or around my final year of University and involved, at various times and to varying levels, Lee Broughall, Tom West, Chris Stokes, Liam Butler, Daniel Lippard, Mark Burton, Robin Van Rijn, Ceri Jovicich (sic) as well as numerous others. The reason we started it, I think, was to try and collect together and expose (ha!) our interests to a wider world. That, and also the fact I was jealous and copying a LJ friend who started Oh Map! Records, which also seems to have given up the ghost, though Jordaan is still doing well with The Horse Museum – jeez…this whole thing seems so old and confused…I don’t even remember how I am associated with people any more. I believe I know Jordaan through Meg, who I haven’t spoken to in an age…I catalogued all my Livejournal posts earlier this year as well…it made me realise how different things are with me now. Anyway. We started out by releasing a series of records that no-one really bought (first year sales was a momentous £20), before moving on to downloads and such, before finally giving up at the end of May this year**. The whole thing was underwritten by a series of exciting, often ridiculous, live shows from artists on the rosta, and others from further afield. Personally, the highlights of this undertaking were both the Dislocation festivals we put on in Luton and the gigs we played in York during that brief spell in 2006 when we were especially proactive.

The whole experience, the limited success, bureaucracy, creative dead ends and dubious finished products, has been a very important part of my life for the last 5 years. It gave me focus in my own musical endeavours, forced me to wander down avenues I would otherwise have avoided, and, ultimately, allowed me to spend a lot of time with my friends fucking about and trying to get somewhere. On top of this, it led me away from my original topic of study (inter-regional peasant migration in Anhui and Shanghai) towards my current one, which marries together my personal pursuits and my academic endeavours. The years spend working on WDT/VSTM/TSOU were frustrating, exciting, rambling and farcical; in many ways I’m glad we didn’t get wherever it was we thought we were going.

Over the next year or so I am hoping to gather together various elements of the label in an attempt to archive it all for the sake of posterity. As I said, I am very proud of all the work created and want to make sure I have some way of looking back on it all without relying too much on my brain. This page will gather together WDT Releases, VSTM Release, Album Art Work, Posters as well as comprehensive lists of performances and musicians involved in the label over its 5 years. I will be attempting to gather personal stories from everyone involved as well, but this depends on how happy people are to share their reminiscences with the public in this sort of way. Also, people will be able to angrily email me to tell me I’ve gotten their information wrong

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Bands

  • Heroines of the U.S.S.R – 10 records and ongoing
  • Badgerwood Commission – 2 records
  • Rory – 2 records and ongoing
  • Horselover Fat – 1 record, 1 live recording
  • Uncle Mum – 4 records
  • Silk and Dogs – 2 records and ongoing
  • Creeping Jaw Society – 4 records, 2 live sets and ongoing
  • Liam Butler – 1 record
  • Garcia Dances The Jttrbg – 3 records and ongoing
  • Kid In A Drawer – 2 records
  • Canidae – 1 record
  • Ptolemy Pegram’s Big Noise Band – 1 record, 1 live set
  • Cataahn – 3 records
  • The Fucking Fulfords – 2 records
  • Tomfire – 2 records, 2 live recordings
  • oblio – 1 record
  • Euhedral – 2 records
  • Skarabee – 1 record
  • Flying Blackbird Ensemble – a live recording
  • The Ben Nicholsons – a few tracks
  • Caves = Daisies – 1 track
  • The Sluts – 1 track

Audio:

WDT Records:

The specific codes for many of the records are apparently lost to the mist of time (owing to hard drive failure following a fire in 2006) so the ones listed here are incorrect, except where specified otherwise.

As far as documentary evidence proves, this was the first record on the label, and the second thing I had ever recorded (the first being 6 tracks from 2002, made with my KStation and Kaoss Pad, recorded and sequenced in fruity loops and called 7778MrtnRvr). The name was suggested by Lee as I remember it, using random word association over MSN, who helped with numerous early records, designing covers for three Heroines releases, as well as contributing material for the odd song on Eiote Zwn. This particular record features my first really long track, ‘Dawn of Dogs’, which was made entirely on the KStation. ‘A Whole Half Moon’ and ‘Plane Over Water’ contain samples from William Basinski and Godspeed You! Black Emperor – I think this ably demonstrates how derivative my early output is. My favourite track is the final one, recorded on gooseneck mic and minidisc recorder as myself and Chris wandered over Lothair Park following his return from a holiday to Newquay. The build up at then end was made from recordings of Liz and Zoe laughing and yelling in The Regal pub in Cambridge.

Tracklist:

1 – Dawn of Dogs
2 – The Other Evening
3 – Planes over Water
4 – Two Planes over Water
5 – The Year You Were Born
6 – A Whole Half Moon
7 – Me, Chris, Microphone

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Winter was recorded, unsurprisingly, during the winter of 2003-2004 in Leicester Street in Norwich, where I lived with four people, two of which were peculiar, two of which were ultra religious and peculiar. The winter was punctuated by snowfall, ice and the occasional power outage. It was also the first time I had experimented with a programme called Plogue. Plogue, which has now fallen out of favour with me (MaxMSP is the current darling of my affections), allowed me to create 20th December, by pulling apart a series of four second Gorecki samples; these formed almost every sound on the release, with the exception of the field recordings, the occasional stretched drum and the ending of 17th January (which sounds a little too much like something from the American Beauty OST). 20th December, until very recently, was the first piece of music I had composed that not only turned out the way I envisioned it, but also the first piece I was genuinely proud of having made. Winter also marked the point at which I started deleting my working files, so that I was not tempted to go back and fiddle and refine infinitely the songs I had created. This policy has been hit and miss, but is a principle I choose to stick with.

Tracklist:

1 – 20th December
2 – January 16th
3 – 17th January
4 – 13th February

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Remixemedial was and is an appalling name for a record. I thought, for some reason, that combining the word remedial and remix was a good idea – though it does sort of hint at the level of competency displayed. Obviously I am allowed to be extremely self critical. When Creeping Jaw started, it was primarily as an outlet for Heroines offshots and experiments which didn’t accurately fall within the bracket of ‘Heroines’ as I saw it then. This subsequently mutated in to more beat driven music, but at this point it was solely a collection of remixes I had done on songs, with a few tracks of more original work that used elements of other sampled material, as is the case today. The original tracks are; ‘Third Try’, made painstakingly in Cubase from Frog Pocket and Radiohead fragments (nothing is more painful than individually lining up each drum hit – even genuine torture); ‘Typical Values’ which is made up of Notwist and Farben samples as well as William Burroughs ramblings; ‘Howler’ which is Funkstorung, Allen Ginsberg and Sylvain Chauveau; ‘Corner’ which is Kate Bush, Julian Fane and Terrestre; and Hexagons which is all original but made to sound a bit like BOC. The remixes are; ‘A New House’, a reworking of part of the soundtrack to Zatoichi; ‘Whirling Hair’ which is Radiohead’s Spinning Plaits made ultra slow; ‘Shiiiiiiiiiiit’ is the theme tune to The Wire and ‘Crunky Pop Joy!’ is Daft Punk’s Aerodynamik. All of these tracks, with the exception of ‘Corner’ where composed 2004/2005 if memory serves – ‘Corner’ was done as a remix for the Filmstock night WDT/VSTM did a few years ago, but merits inclusion as a bonus track of sorts as I feel its the most straight up remix I have done in the last 5 years.

Tracklist:

1 – Third Try
2 – Typical Values
3 – Howler
4 – A New House
5 – Whirling Hair
6 – Shiiiiiiiiiit
7 – Corner
8 – Crunky Pop Joy!
9 – Hexagons

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είστε ζωή was recorded in 2005, during my last year at University. It was, I considered at the time, to be a grand gesture of love, an album entirely dedicated to ζωή, whose name is originally Greek, hence the choice of awkward-to-code titles. By the third year of University, the time we had spent apart was starting to have implications on our relationship. I remember it as if the chronology was compacted, and a lot of events ran together, where I wrote writing Sunshine and Power Lines and ignored all else, which sort of explains why she might have been somewhat pissed off at my lack of attention. In the third year I roamed about parties, sometimes dressed as a pirate detective, generally being drunk and a bit of an arse. I’m not 100% sure why I did this, but I have numerous fond memories from the period, despite my prickishness – the pirate detective even ended up becoming a character in Shinje and The Last Night Tree, which I will actually finish this year.

The album was made entirely in Plogue, using a combination of sine waves, LFOs and brief samples. Aside from Nine Works for Piano, this is my only extensive usage of Plogue, which is a shame, because it’s great fun and a good compositional tool. The initial starting point came from Lee, and ‘Got me a lemon, got me a lemon and a gun’, which became με καθοδηγείτε, a sort of centre piece for the album. I believe it was initially supposed to be a collab, but I failed to make the required effort. The overloading of several tracks was due to buffer and CPU issues, but I liked the distortion (in the same way that Ben Frost favours severe compression) and kept it in. αυτές τις μέρες comes across as a little bit dancey, which I’m impressed with considering it was originally 5 seconds of John Cage. The overall aim of the album was sort of an anti-Wind Up Bird, whose 2003 album Whips catalogued the collapse of his relationship via a message left on his answer phone. My inspiration for the names of the tracks was lifted directly from here. Lee is also credited with the cover art, I believe taken on/at Ellis Island.

The original Greek titles of the song are listed below should you want to change them.

Tracklist:

1 – τα μάτια μου βλέπουνε
2 – τίποτα
3 – αλλά ο Μαύρος
4 – αυτές τις μέρες
5 – με καθοδηγείτε
6 – μετά από τα σπασμένα κτήρια
7 – μέχρι
8 – βρίσκουμε μια θέση
9 – όπου είμαστε στην ειρήνη

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This release featured, as far as memory serves, myself, Tom and Chris. It was recorded at Liz’s house (where’s she gone off to now?) which was along a road which lends it’s name to the title – except her road was called The Finches and I am unable to recall that, and so give the record the wrong title. Chris vomited mead and chips up nearby once. There are two samples that play throughout the piece, at varying intervals; the first is a sine wave, or rather three sine waves, that pulsate in and out of one another, though this is largely inaudible on the recording, and the second is great sample that Tom recorded and fed through the kaoss pad. Whilst me and Stokes set up – basically putting out all the electronic gumpf we have, on the dinner table, while other party guests (only Mick and Sammy as I recall, and they both leave mid way through) look on perplexed – Liz asks Tom ‘How’s the set up, is it going well?’ to which Tom responds ‘I have no idea’. The entire record is improvised, which explains the bog standard demo running off the drum machine which I’m sure I complained about at the time. I also recall walking off to get some food whilst the ‘performance’ was still going on. More than anything though, this marks the time when we began to work on more experimental, less onanistic pieces. Less solo more cooperative – though the quality of such collaborations is still questionable.

Tracklist:

1 – Live at The Firs

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The personnel for the second, and last, Fulford’s release appears to be myself, Daniel Lippard, Tom West and Lee Broughall, though I imagine this was bolstered by others over the course of the recording (info gleaned from the ever informative ID3 tag). The record was recorded, unsurprisingly, at Whitethorn Way, home of Liam Butler, who graciously allowed us to set up out stuff at the top of his stairs as far as I remember. And it was supposed to be a house party. The records one track, named after the date of the recording, features three sine waves phasing in and out of each other (as mentioned elsewhere), some ramblings captured on the good old kaoss pad, some church bells and some crows which I believe I have recently used again. Ever the recycler. It’s not massively different from the first recording, though I think the inclusion of other people was a big help. An additional idea floated around the time that I first moved to York in 2006 was to soundtrack an episode of Neighbours under the ‘Fulfords’ banner, but this never materialised. Maybe in another universe it made us a million.

Tracklist:

1 – 21/8/04

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The Properties of Song was apparently made in 2006, according to me pretty scant records. This sounds like it could be right, as I recall making the tracks in Luton, and it was definitely before I moved to York for the first time. The album was an attempt to try and make some sort of dance type music, but without drifting too far away from the supposed ‘experimental’ edge I was fostering at the time. As a result, a lot of the tracks have pretty tacked-on sounding drum parts, or bits that are so ridiculous they make no sense e.g. The Magic. Some of the tracks were put together in Plogue with sample triggers (Shot Twice, But No More) and others were just a series of snatched drum/melody bits I cobbled together (Your Favourite Singer). The production values aren’t great, with little or no stereo or compression etc. though Unbalanced Beach Landing, despite the title, is probably the best mixed thing on the record. It comes from an old Tomfire recording. Also, I have no idea how I came up with such terrible titles. Mark Rothko is perhaps the best thing on here, using reverse reverb with a serious long pre-delay on the ‘drums’ which came out pretty well. It was a little song I played on piano with Lee a few times in college when Tomfire had slimmed down to the pair of us and Russell Welch who we hoped would add much needed cello to everything. And then Thom came along and we started making songs with bankrupt pick and mix shops for titles.

Tracklist:

  1. The Magic
  2. Awkwardness
  3. Shot Twice, But No More
  4. To Make A Dedication
  5. Wednesday Evening
  6. Your Favourite Singer
  7. Man Covered With Tits
  8. Mark Rothko
  9. Unbalance Beach Landing
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Cataahn were a short lived guitar/improv duo comprising Lee Broughall and Chris Stokes. They recorded three records for WDT (two EPs and one ‘album’…the EPs, where I do not feature, are infinitely better), with Twinkle being the first. Lee describes it as follows: ‘I guess it was recorded at the Stokes residence – I think they all were – and involved the ‘stunning’ debut (if you’ll pardon the pilfering) of the ‘Trans Cock’ combined with a little wind-up music box that played a song from Pinnochio and me yelling down an empty toilet roll tube. A red guitar and a green box were also in attendance. It was recorded via the built in microphone of Christopher’s state-of-the-art television-esque turquoise Apple Macintosh. The song is ended, but my memory lingers on.’

Chris describes it further: I’m not sure what to say about Cataahn. The name derives from the word ‘cotton’ although I can’t recall the conversation that spawned it. Cataahn were born in the slow disintegration of Tomfire and formed just one of the plentiful Tomfire offshoots. Founded by guitarist Lee B and ‘bassist’ Chris S, neither guitar nor bass were particularly used in Cataahn. As a duo we sought to make noise in ways we had not previously. If I recall correctly, the Twinkle EP was recorded in my bedroom back in Luton using various bits and bobs, including the Transcock an instrument that only Lee possibly understands. Other elements included field recordings taken on an old dictaphone, a dismantled music box played over a guitar pickup, an occasional ebow, DL4, a mixing desk and most likely my old eMac. Vocals were a mix of effected mic and again, a guitar pickup.

Tracklist:

  1. Twinkle
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Garcia started as I pointlessly thought about adding an offshot to the label that would be made up of more improvised music including; Caves Equals Daisies (a name with one song attached to it), The Ben Nicholsons (a short collaborative duo featuring me and some guy from Italy…I’ll add the three songs we made another time perhaps) and Eyes Like Hillsides (I loved the name for some reason). Garcia was the only one that actually came to anything, making three recordings – two on WDT/VSTM and one unreleased – and performing live on a handful of occasions. This particular recording was made in Chris’s old Telscombe Way house, in the small upstairs room, using a midi keyboard, a toy trumpet, some microphones and a lot of effects. If I recall correctly, this was before the guitar and e-bow were introduced.I think perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, after numerous years playing together, me and Chris have a pretty good feel for where a piece of music should go, and we at the very least try to steer it in that direction. The Garcia recordings, along with tomfire and some of my solo work, are perhaps the pieces I am most proud of – this record has some really nice passages in it (the second track from 6mins through 16mins). Additionally, the old art work for the record was woeful, so I used a cover I made a long while back but never used.

Tracklist:

  1. Untitled
  2. Untitled

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This recording was improvised, I think, using no input mixing desks (or at least the feedback loops associated with them), effects and, counter to the accepted approach, keyboards and the Buddha Machine. Later KIAD recordings would slim down considerably (Kaiyuan Road is just mixing desk and 30 seconds of guitar), but this is the recording where we were first seeing how things would work. There is a clear progression I think on the 3 KIAD recordings as we become more assured and capable with our feedback work and we welcome the addition of Uncle Mum as a band member. Essentially the act was a misappropriated Toshimaru Nakamura tribute that improved exponentially – he has a much better desk than the two mini ones we used, and he seems to understand what does what, whereas we had no idea to start off with. In mastering this track a month or so after making it, the recording acquired some kind of infrequent beat, whose origin I am at a loss to explain, but I quite like it. I believe the cover art comes from the Lee Broughall collection.

Tracklist:

  1. WNDW

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Untitled is the second EP Cataahn recorded. As such, the techniques and technology used mimics the description found above for Twinkle; music box, Trans cock, DL4, guitar, vocals. I like this recording because it doesn’t so much show a progression in sound, but a continuing exploration of the limitations of the equipment that is being used, and what they can get out of it. As I mentioned in the original post on the front page, there’s a nice passage between 4mins and 10mins where vocals routed through the Trans cock and DL4 (I think) collapse in on themselves, accompanied at first by an off kilter American National Anthem and then by some plaintive guitar…before the record moves on to a distorted ramble through differing methods of amplification – I may be wrong, but that is what it sounds like to me…perhaps Stokes/Broughall can illuminate if necessary.

Tracklist:

  1. Untitled
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So my personal memories of Best Of extends to mashing a Dick Tracy tape and several other recording by poking things whilst trying to record on to Cubase. I also recall how incredibly annoying the recording of Boon Ding was. This involved the recording of several drum tracks, including one where I just hit the ride cymbal, owing to a lack of microphones, and literally hours spent attempting to effectively EQ the bass drum on Pipe, which was subsequently not used until the Lincoln EP. Oh well. From the cover art, we only ever made 15 CDs. Shame.

What does Lee remember? ‘As far as reminiscences go, the Dick Tracy tape was one that Chris and I were in the process of recording over when my dad walked in and requested that we play him a tune… and so on. I believe the text on the back cover read something like ‘Dick Tracy appears without permission’. I also kind of remember the day that we sat in Chris’s room sticking the stickers on a making the covers. It was on the cusp of that gig at Hitchin Football Club where we managed to fit an entire drum kit, three guitars, two amps, a keyboard, assorted cables and effects, and the three of us in a Fiesta.’

Tracklist:

1. Jam Sept 12
2. Let’s Play
3. Accidental Theme
4. Treading On A Penny
5. Dreamface
6. Monged Drums
7. The Loneliest Number
8. Pipes introduce Tracy
9. Matt Makes Mistake
10. Boon Dings
11. Old Eleven
12. Cornmeal
13. In Charge
14. Dancing Fish Mess
15. Anthony Cowburn Concorde
16. Last Road Home
17. Eat Your Grapes and Ignore It
18. SuperMegaBoy (Fragment)
19. The Story Continues
20. One of Ours
21. Noise Left Noise Right
22. 1.11
23. Cancer (Thankyou)
24. John Major 7
25. mid 111
26. buffalo june
27. Darts and Finch
28. Why’s Mum Snippet
29. What Made Feather Pillows 4982-74
30. Swingtime
31. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
32. Delayed Beginning
33. Quiet Piece
34. NoteCable
35. Summary
36. Chris Plays Ding
37. Hmm Cashback

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‘Our Chemical Dream is a mix of field recordings, loops, reverse chords and distant voices. It was the first body of work I recorded and was done so largely at home during university, back in the days when I couldn’t afford the internet and found my time being used far more productively than now. For me, the album feels very visual – a mixture between a natural dream state and a bulky dystopian skyline, which I tried to reflect in the album art. Although my style has moved on and my techniques improved, Our Chemical Dream remains the most complete musical work I have made to date.’

Tracklist:

  1. Hiding In The Leaves
  2. Copper Wires and Satellites
  3. Our Time of Peace
  4. Keep The Fires Burning (The Trees Are Made Of Steel
  5. Don’t Forget Our Forgotten Voices
  6. You Can’t Think Of It Now

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This record was recorded live, and not re-edited afterwards as far as I’m aware (I would assume it went straight on to Lee’s digital four track, but it is also possible it went on to a portable recorder). The record was made from two guitars, Chris’ bedstead, an unplugged bass, voices, mobile phones (both ring tones and signal interference), the DL4 and, of course, Lee’s homemade reverb unit The Transcock. The tracks originally had ridiculous off-the-cuff names that I came up with to fill a gap in having ‘Untitled’ on everything, but these have subsequently been rolled back to their original place-holders which sound marginally better/ambiguous.

Tracklist:

  1. Metal I
  2. Tonal I
  3. Metal II
  4. We Can Play With Metal
  5. And Then Hillbilly Rock & Roll
  6. Tonal II
  7. Call and Response

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Flame Preparation EP was, perhaps, recorded in my home before it caught fire in early 2006 (due to stupidity on my fault). As such it was the last recording to be made with the makeshift studio of equipment I accrued in my parents house – many previous records were recorded and mastered their, including the gargantuan task of The Best Of tomfire. All subsequent records were made elsewhere, and some in York. The tracks involve a number of experiments with guitars, vocals and effects, augmented by the FM3 Buddha machine. I think the most successful, and my favourite, is track 2, which features a sort of chanting that would feature prominently in all further recordings including a 19 minute track recorded in May of last year.

Tracklist:

  1. Untitled
  2. Untitled
  3. Untitled
  4. Untitled
  5. Untitled
  6. Untitled
  7. Untitled

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The Dawn of Dogs EP was recorded seven years ago, although the opening track was actually made in 2003; this track was composed on the Novation K-Station with relatively little post-production and was the first long track I had ever made. The other two tracks used reworked sound from the original files, again using Cubase to change tone, pitch, duration and sustain – as well as applying a variety of effects – to create the final pieces.

The idea behind the release was a sort of mundane invasion, with potential links back to the Pink Floyd album Animals. At the time I was working on a book called Sunshine and Power Lines which featured a long story in the centre involving the disappearance of animals; this was a sort of response to that, an aural explanation of where they might have gone.

The excellent art work is by long-time collaborator Lee Broughall (tomfire, Badgerwood Commission amongst others)

Tracklist:

  1. The Dawn of Dogs
  2. Day of The Dogs
  3. Dusk

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The seventeenth release for the archive is uncle-mum’s Make Your Own Hole (the entry on the archive page will be updated shortly – awaiting art work and a blurb better that my forthcoming ruminations). Ceri was the first signing to WDT from outside of the usual suspects. My memory of initial involvement came first from the name (uncle-mum felt like a relation to uncle dad, a term we used to describe the strange and ambiguous familial relations of a friend of ours), and then from a meeting at the fountain in Parliament Street, where I accompanied Ceri to a gig at the Art Space next to the pool club opposite Clifford’s Tower. We collaborated on a number of bits of music – and possibly will again – but I shall hold back on offering too much information as some of this is catalogued in later releases. More info on this release will be added by Ceri soon.

Tracklist:

  1. Untitled

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So in addition to the original post on this record it is worth mentioning that the band name came from a conflation of TV historian/architect Ptolemy Dean and former Look East presenter, now Sunday Politics presenter Etholle Pegram (now George). I think I liked how awful they sounded together. Additionally, other instruments used in the recording of these tracks are the tango megaphone, whose batteries have been running out for 10 years, half a recorder and a home made contact mic which never really worked properly. I also made no effort with the track names.

Tracklist:

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. Four
  5. Five
  6. Six
  7. Seven
  8. Eight

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VSTM Records:

Coming post-WDT

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Album Covers:

Absorbent Kid

WDT001: Heroines of the U.S.S.R – Absorbent Kid, Pasture, Winner

Winter
WDT002: Heroines of the U.S.S.R – Winter

Remixemedial

WDT003: Creeping Jaw Society – Remixemedial

Eiote Zwn

WDT004: Heroines of the U.S.S.R – Eiote Zwn

Fulfords

WDT005: The Fucking Fulfords – Live at The Firs

Fulfords

WDT006: The Fucking Fulfords – Live at Whitethorn

WDT007: Creeping Jaw Society – The Properties of Song

Twinkle

WDT008: Cataahn – Twinkle EP 

Garcia
WDT009: Garcia Dances The Jttrbg – Millionaire

KIAD

WDT010: Kid In A Drawer – Wndw

Untitled

WDT011: Cataahn – Untitled EP

tomfire best of

WDT012: tomfire – Best Of 1997 – 2004

Rory

WDT013: Rory – Our Chemical Dream

Cataahn

WDT014: Cataahn feat. MJ Stones – An Upstairs Room

Flame Prep
WDT015: Garcia Dances The Jttrbg – Flame Preparation EP

WDT016: Heroines of the U.S.S.R – Dawn of Dogs EP

Hole

WDT017: uncle-mum – Make Your Own Hole

Pram

WDT018: Ptolemy Pegram’s Big Noise Band – Pram Noise

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Posters:

Gigs:

Collaborations:

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*also VSTM Records, which had the following as a sort of mission statement:

We Want...

Later, last year some time or maybe before (first mention appears to be 5/2/2009), we became The School of Unthink, an umbrella term for our varying pursuits, and an attempt to re-conceptualize again towards the eventual end of becoming less exclusory towards people from outside our little group. It didn’t really work. Here is part of a conversation that led towards ‘The School’ – it nicely encapsulated how we went about things generally, and why we were so successful as a result:

Robin: awesome
do we have to be a collective
Tom: we are not using the word ‘collective’
Robin: can’t we be just something nicely insulting
Tom: i will stop associating with all of you
me: that’s hardly a threat thomas
Robin: and shocking / appalling
Tom: you hurt me, matt
hew
matt hew
me: i hurt myself
Robin: heh
nu metal band asked vstm for a gig
i said politely your not really the gnre we put on
genre
me: why politely?
Chris: unthink selfharmers
me: sold
Tom: the unthink gaggle, troupe, shoal, school, herd
‘the unthink’
sounds far too pretentious
me: unthink school
Chris: nearly has the word “farmers” in it, that should please all
Robin: not school
Tom: how about ‘the unthink cockharmers’, chris
Robin: awesome

** My departure from the group was explained via email:

‘Hey chaps
As I’m sure some of you may have guessed, I have become increasingly unfulfilled and disillusioned by the current concept and application of Unthink. As it has been succinctly put elsewhere recently, ‘it’s essentially just a bunch of people doing their own thing with nothing tying them together.’ I pretty much bypass Unthink in favour of T.I.S.A.R, because it marries together my work in a way I prefer and have more control over, and as the Unthink site is largely fallow unless I add things to it (or indeed, unless a random unrelated blog is fed in to it), I see little reason to continue pursuing the idea as a collective when almost all of my work is collected somewhere where I feel I have more of a stake. Projects get started and go nowhere, and although I can understand the emphasis on finished product and dislike the idea expressed in Danny’s earlier example (‘What does this riff MEAN to you,’) I think that the original point that was made has been missed slightly; sadly, this misunderstanding typifies my reasons for increasingly distancing myself from the concept…we’re all just on a different page. It wasn’t that we’d be talking about ‘why we were doing things’ in such a reductive manner, but offering some sort of marker as to where we are, as much for our own use as for the interest of others. I personally like to see how I get to a finished piece of work, and having somewhere to share that with like minded (or not) musicians could have proved fruitful in terms of working out when I’m in a creative rut, following the same old patterns to composition. As the vast majority of our projects don’t make it past the pipe-dream stage, having no ‘Work in Progress’ or half finished examples essentially means there’s nothing full stop.
There seems little point in maintaining a site, or an idea of a collective that demonstrates its ability to do nothing. In terms of collaboration, I have only ever really worked with Chris on pieces in the past (and will continue to do so), and we have developed an understanding of how each of us works over a number of years, which makes the partnership productive and useful in terms of developing our styles and playing techniques (both as soloists and as a duo). The directions/avenues people want to explore independently within Unthink don’t really match my approach and I cannot see room where I can manoeuvre or add anything constructive with my own methods of working.
As I gather people have realised from the email to and fro of the past few weeks, we’re all approaching things from a multitude of angles that don’t sync up, and result in little more than confusion and a continuation of plans that either come to naught, or half a page of scribbled lines (apologies for the Floyd there…sort of buggers the tone slightly…). For me, all these reasons conspire to the ultimate result that it makes more sense to pull out of Unthink entirely than to continue in such a fruitless manner. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll work together on music again, when we’ve had an opportunity to develop and understand how we can compliment and contrast each other effectively, but it makes more sense to me to do this in an ad hoc way, rather than maintaining a presence which achieves no aim.

I hope you can understand my reasoning behind the decision, and won’t take any of it personally as I obviously still value you all outside of this niche we tried to carve. It (WDT, VSTM, Unthink) was (largely) fun while it lasted.
Until next time
matt’

Postscript – Just wanted to share a final thought of Simon Reynolds, from his new book Retromania:

There’s a delirious quality to the archive fever raging across the web…It’s like some kind of blind data-swarming drive, as if we are ants or bees building a vast construction whose ultimate purpose is beyond our ken. Which is perhaps why techno-utopians are so tempted to talk mystically about the noosphere as an emerging macro-intelligence. But another way of seeing it would be as a gigantic data dump, the collective archive as landfill.

9 Responses to “WDT/VSTM Archive”

  1. A Dazzling World of New Media Delights « T.I.S.A.R's blog Says:

    […] first contribution on the new page is some back story, and the first release on the label, a CD by me (as Heroines) called Absorbent […]

  2. Chris Stokes Says:

    I recentlyish moved and categorised the majority of old files on my mac, I probably have some stuff to contribute to this if you like

  3. February WDT/VSTM Archive Update « T.I.S.A.R's blog Says:

    […] Creeping Jaw Society – Remixemedial. More information on the release can be found on the archive page. The next update, which will be around the end of March, will be WDT004: Heroines of the U.S.S.R […]

  4. March WDT/VSTM Archive Update « T.I.S.A.R's blog Says:

    […] Due to FTP servers disliking certain non-Latin based languages, the original Greek titles of this release have been replaced by their English translations, which are of poor comparison. They give you an idea though. The original track titles of the record are available in the zip file. More information, as ever, is available on the archive page. […]

  5. WDT/VSTM April Update « T.I.S.A.R's blog Says:

    […] the first of two Fulford’s releases. More information on this release can be found on the archive page. The May release will be WDT006: The Fucking Fulfords – Live at Whitethorn, which featured […]

  6. Ceri Nicholls Says:

    I was in a retrospective mood and having a trawl through the internet when I came across this and I’m glad I did; I thought there was some interesting stuff kicked up during this time and I’m please to see there’s still a record of what happened.

  7. WDT/VSTM Archive June Update « T.I.S.A.R's blog Says:

    […] made, perhaps six or so years ago. My feelings on the quality of the release are documented on the archive page. Let’s just say Election Special or the live performance recordings have been better. […]

  8. WDT/VSTM Archive Update – April « T.I.S.A.R's blog Says:

    […] on WDT, but my reformed list has it as 12th. And the reformed list is now gospel. So, head to the Archive page for more information, or see below to download all 37 […]

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