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DREW MULHOLLAND

A HAUNTING STRIP OF MARSHLAND: NESS OST

CASTLES IN SPACE


Format: LP
Cata No: CIS043LP
Barcode:
Drew Mulholland’s evocative
soundtrack to Adam Scovell and
Robert MacFarlane’s file film “NESS”.
The film is an adaptation of Robert
Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood’s
book, detailing a strange, folkloric
vision of the Orford Ness nuclear
testing facility on the Suffolk coast.
“Because of its isolation, for seventy years (1913–83) Orford Ness was used by the Ministry of Defence for
secret weapons-testing; from air-gunnery and bombing during World War One, to the environmental testing
of British nuclear weapons in the 1950s and 1960s. It is, therefore, a landscape produced by a collision of
the human death-drive and natural liveliness. Now it is a conservation site unlike any other, unnerving in its
juxtapositions, where decaying ferro-concrete test laboratories are re-colonised by moss, bracken and elder,
black-backed gulls build their nests in broken control panels, brown hares big as deer lope across shingle
expanses cratered by explosions –– and the wind sings in the wires of abandoned perimeter fences. If you
were to imagine a landscape co-designed by Andrei Tarkovsky, JG Ballard and Tacita Dean, well, you might
begin to come close to The Ness.
“Drew Mulholland knows how to listen to a place. How to lay ears to a landscape and catch the voices and
utterances that surface into the skull. But fidelity is not his aim here ––and nor should it be with such a
deceiving, treacherous site as The Ness. The tracks you hear are––in their distortions and manipulations––
truerto The Ness’s unsettlements and resonances than any others I know. They hover somewhere between
field-recording and haunting. Acoustic elements have been worked over until they are scarcely recognisable,
surviving scantly as hyper-mutated catalysts. Mulholland even used the place itself as the distortive force; he
gathered lichen species found on The Ness, ground them nearly into dust, glued the resulting powder onto a
length of cassette tape, played and recorded the lichened tape, then stretched the recording to ten times its
original length– before splicing it and adding reverb and echo.
“The resulting tracks are fabulously unfaithful to their origins on the untrue island. They bleep, shiver, rattle,
quiver, shudder, detonate. There are footsteps, drips, the clatters of doors and minds being closed, as well
as the warping cries of the Mellotron. Interference of several kinds
crackles. Throughout, this remarkable soundscape echoes in its
unsettling patterns the ‘environmental testing’ of nuclear weapons
(stress testing, vibration testing, temperature testing that occurred on
The Ness under the Veil Of The Official Secrets Act.”
Rob MacFarlane. Author of Ness, taken from the sleeve notes
of “A Haunting Strip Of Marshland”.

Tracks:

Press:

Ltd 500 on BLACK vinyl for maximum sonic reproduction.

 

Audio & Video:


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DREW MULHOLLAND - A HAUNTING STRIP OF MARSHLAND: NESS OST DREW MULHOLLAND
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GUIDED BY VOICES - VAMPIRE ON TITUS GUIDED BY VOICES
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ALL CORPSES SMELL THE SAME

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VARIOUS - CLEVELAND CONFIDENTIAL VARIOUS
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