06.20

June has been a pretty confusing month – I felt like I would end up slowing down creatively compared to May but I think I ended up keeping a steady course somehow – and I also magically turned a year older.

The D.E.S.T.T.C.C.O.L.V. collaboration I only mentioned in my May post came to the surface a touch earlier than expected and dropped on the very first of the month – alongside a very limited edition of ten tapes that managed to sell out within a day and a half of going up. The enthusiasm I’ve felt off the back of this has pushed me into a number of plans to continue in this vein. I plan to announce an inaugural batch of similarly limited physical editions for the label soon (much behind the scenes work has already begun but sadly most of it I can’t, or won’t, spill the beans on here).

Since then, I have announced the inaugural double-release for ambient noise wall hum-and-crackle worship project A Ghost’s Ghost – Spectral Voices and Formless Veils – as well as welcoming Nicholas Maloney, of Warm Milk Recordings, with a bit of slow-fade sensation on S/S and Bedworm with yet another double-feature, the neighbours are doing DIY and computer keyboard. So the good ol’ Worm has been pretty productive writhing in the meantime as well – and this is not to even mention the upcoming Remix Party release that will see many old worm-bits return for a rework. Below is a gallery of the illustrative work I’ve been doing for the aforementioned releases.

I also drank a bit too much coffee one morning (actually that’s most mornings) and quietly shuffled this out of my body and onto my Bandcamp – Touch Typed was a very spur the moment (re)interpretation of lowercase meeting with wall noise (or noise in general, for that matter), with some automatic writing in a notepad application being recorded – the release presents the raw sounds alongside a processed (harshened) counterpart.

Some two weeks into the month I hit a bit of a productive streak and began work on a new series of texture-focused wall noise, largely the ambient kind, beginning with Mask of Architectural Excavation which I hosted at my own page. I had the pleasure of hosting the next two at labels who had expressed an interest in having something from me shortly before I began the series – Mask of Hypnos at Gates of Hypnos and Mask of Warming Tendrils at Warm Milk Recordings. The idea of a ‘mask’ here is meant more as an abstract symbol than a specific reference to masks – as the somewhat surreal ‘nature’ of the ‘masks’ might have suggested to the puzzled listener. The nature and purpose of the titles is intentionally enigmatic, I wanted something to mirror the visual style I was developing for this series which involves digitally framed photographs of skies and clouds. I often like to cloud-gaze (especially while listening to HNW) and it often feels to me as though it’s a naturally occurring Rorschach I’m looking at – I wanted both the thematic and the visual elements of this series to evoke this same quality.

I have also been quietly working on a few things that haven’t ended up being totally finished in June but are right around the corner in varying degrees – one of these things is finding it’s home at Kenneth Wood’s label Isolationist Recordings and another is going to take hold of the Stoned Demon From Outer Space, a third thing is the fourth in the Mask series which is going to be back at my own page again when it does arrive.

This month also saw the long-overdue return of Jåshlýkk with The Ancient Stone Golem of Adrimelch, a comparatively small album compared to previous works from the project, it felt really good to finally be back in the dungeon synth seat so I’m going to try and make the wait a bit shorter for the next. I also got to use an unearthed and incredibly old illustration I did for it.

05.20

May has been and gone and, just as I said I would in my last post, I tried to slow down a lot from the pace of April. I have been incrementally moving towards having new sections to this site to host poetry and illustration work of mine – this is coming along well and I’m excited to publish both. I have also been recording, dubbing and posting for ‘Staticism III – International HNW Tape Swap 2020’, organised by none other than Petar of Fall Into Void Recs.

My offering was called ‘HNW: Rage 158’ and was made with my usual set-up but run through a Peavey Rage 158 amplifier and recorded in my room with a Tascam digital recorder. Below is an image I supplied the participants with of some finished results. I’m quite happy with the sounds contained and I was glad to feel myself getting less rusty with the mechanics and processes of dubbing as I went on with it. It has been a great force of forward momentum and inspiration to encourage me to do more home-dubbing.

At some point in either April or May I re-re-unearthed the ancient relics that were the finished recordings from D.E.S.T.T.C.C.O.L.L.V. – this was a very old collaboration between myself and Erika Leaman, between my Echoes throughout the caverns of Leytonstone alias for ‘dronegaze’ and her now-long-defunct alias for HNW, Distorted Souls Within A Corrupt Vision. A combination of these long-winded aliases create the monstrous amalgam you see in the acronym above – and the collaboration attempted to converge the sounds of the projects as well. The album features guitar drones and static noise from myself and a combination of wall noise, vocal chanting, strings and horns from Erika. Originally conceived in October 2014 and finally wrapped up in August 2016 – I was always really excited to work on this and I have always felt these recordings deserve to be unleashed onto the world. I have begun working on a limited run of tapes to self-release this on when I finally get the artwork ready.

Early in the month, on May 7th, I was happy to rejuvenate the SSN Technologies platform with a new release from an old alias – ENZYME_DYNASTY was in the original five-release batch that kickstarted the platform and it brings me immense pleasure to host this remix/re-working of the timeless Soichi Terada track ‘Time Station’ from the Ape Escape OST – one of the all-time best games to ever come out on the Playstation 1. The artwork is by yours truly.

Later on by the 13th I was happy to introduce Barry C Douglas and Wormhole to HNW alongside the long-awaited return of Hana Haruna. Sadly the only batch-release for the month as I took some time to step back and work on other things – I did receive one further submission in May but as many have now realised I have become supremely obsessed with the three-release batch for this netlabel specifically.

A few days later on the 15th I created a somewhat spur of the moment release that somehow found its way to my actual main Bandcamp page rather than Small Worm. ‘A Night in at the Races’ captures heady and grinding radio abuse (through none other than that same Rage 158) with some experimental digital collage artwork (that I intend to pursue further) – off the back of using similar process in my live-streamed performances on Twitch (and now catalogued on my Youtube) and my creation of the petite ‘Worst Case Scenario’ track for the Quagga Curious Sounds compilation – a true beast of a collection – QCS Loves the NHS. I cannot thank label-head Michael Ridge enough for inviting me to participate – and I’m happy I just so happened to be experiencing some inspiration when the invitation came so I could sneak in to the track-list early before the total avalanche of contribution really began.

Additionally, some things you can expect in early June: the long-delayed resurgence of the biosphere that is Terrarium – thanks to a truly cataclysmic (and very sadly long-delayed) offering from the mighty .birdeater. – and along with the plans for physical release of the above-mentioned collaboration I intend to create some ultra-limited artefacts for Small Worm – thereby ruining every chance it ever had of being considered my fourth netlabel.

I was very happy to introduce smolgost to the worm-fold – the luscious work of Jacob Mahlon of oath&oblation (who has blessed us with such enigmatic and interesting projects as (w)resting place, woundfont, Keen Orator and others still) – as well as to see May in on the very first of the month with a new addition from Rosie King to the bulking Dog Milk roster, Sea Lions.

Finally – I have a sure feeling I’ve forgotten to include something from the past month and I feel bad already for the omission. I will try my best to correct any mistakes in my June post.

04.20

My supreme confusion as to how all of April managed to pass by so quickly would appear to be a broad consensus – and when I say broad I mean it appears to know no borders whatsoever. With that said, I’ve hardly got little to show for my time spent this month. In fact I’m not sure ‘leaving some things out in case there’s little to talk about next month’ is a viable option for me moving forward – it would appear this month along with the next few are going to be typified by the realisation of a number of artistic projects that would have usually sat on the shelf forever and ever.

Firstly, I’ve founded a new platform entitled Small Worm. Small Worm has an incredibly broad criteria when it comes to sound – if you make music, anti-music or some kind of sound-based art that is somewhat experimental there is a strong chance I’d like to have it on the platform. The narrowness comes in full effect when it comes to the visual side – all artwork is high contrast, black and white doodling of my own – often I intend to make the artwork as a response to the sounds. As with my previous netlabels – SSN Technologies and Terrarium (which I am trying to continue slowly ambling onward too) – a key facet and impetus for making the platform has been to take on new aliases myself, either publicly or anonymously, and in doing so explore new territory artistically.

Small Worm uses the Bandcamp ‘shell’ of a previous project I began in 2014, and had long abandoned, called The Imaginary Archive. The six releases that make up it’s canon remain but are essentially a ‘living corpse’ at the bottom of the pile. All releases are intentionally enforced ‘free download’. Although, I will of course suggest to visiting artists that they plug other avenues of support if they would like to. So far I have had the pleasure of receiving four such ‘outside hands’ to participate but I am eagerly tying to net a few more. In it’s fetal stage I was not shy to refer to the platform as a netlabel but I have been strongly considering creating some physical gunk for it in the near future (read: next two months). I was especially pleased to welcome Territorial Gobbing of Leeds and Daniel J. Gregory of Aylsebury as they make up a small portion of the kind of audio/visual identity that I would like Small Worm to inhabit. Below is the (main) artwork I created for the former’s Ear Lydre Amex It release.

Secondly, the [SSN] Technologian trilogy I mentioned in my last post was finally birthed on the 14th. You can listen to 𝙸𝙽𝚃𝙴𝚁, 𝙳𝙸𝚂𝙸𝙽𝚃𝙴𝚁, and 𝙳𝙸𝚂𝙸𝙽𝚃𝙴𝙶𝚁𝙰𝚃𝙸𝙾𝙽 at the respective links. I cannot thank Creamy Deluxe enough – it was a nice change of pace to have three ready-made visual aids to the creative process and it was nice to finally step back into the [SSN] seat. Below is the artwork they created for the last in the three-part series.

Thirdly, the Roadside Dead revival continued on the 6th with a blackened noise wall re-imagining of Thou’s Changeling – a track which recently had the stems offered up by the band themselves as part of the ISOLATE/CREATE initiative. It is my intention to use the resources provided therein to make a series of other reworks as well, as it’s just too good an opportunity to turn down. I am particularly eager to work with the sounds from Xiu Xiu, Youth Code, Oathbreaker, Hirs, Deafheaven and Daughters. Besides an ‘under wraps’ and ongoing collaborative effort, the project is also set to release a new release entitled ‘Bottomless Depths’, offering more bleak noise wall and shrieking into the void. Below is the somewhat meagre cover artwork I made for it.

Fourthly, the HNW netlabel put out two three-release batches on the 9th and 26th of the month. The first batch contained releases from Ashtabula, Clive Henry and ソーラー菊 (Solar Chrysanthemum). The second batch had releases from Milky Cloud, a split between Körperlich and Godzilla and finally Wormb. I was incredibly pleased to notice that all six are label debuts for the artists involved – with only Clive having appeared on the netlabel before, but only ever on compilations until now. While it may feel like welcoming new faces, I’m coming to realise many artists who submit have been an audience to the netlabel for some time before doing so. I also recently discovered there are 312 people following the Bandcamp, surely my highest count for any of the hoard that I run. I cannot thank everyone who shows support enough nor Luke for founding the platform and choosing myself to act as ‘successor’. The next batch is already two-thirds complete!

Fifthly, I began my experiments with livestreaming noise/performance – I trialled Instagram Live briefly but put a pin in it as I was interested in the high audio quality only possible with direct input which is not a possibility for that medium. Soon after that trial I made a trial of Twitch, the foot-finding for which I also archived here. I settled on Twitch – the first audio archive of recordings from past streams exists here while the videos themselves have been archived on my personal Youtube channel, which also features some very old live performances from a number of my old shows taken by the divine being Elyssa Iona (I seriously cannot thank her enough for all of her time and energy).

I am still very much in the ‘teething’ of realising what it is exactly I want to do with livestreaming as a ‘vessel’ for what I’m already doing. My unending thanks go out to Paolo (PGR) of CyberSOTU for inviting me to take part in that international programme and to Theo of Heinous Whining (every Sat’ 19:00 BST – next has an event here) for inviting me to take part in the fifth edition of his hugely successful livestream series showcasing some of the best and weirdest in the UK and beyond right now. Besides the above the TOPH Housebound series and the Experimental Sound Studio ‘Quarantine Concerts’ have been hugely inspirational in this time and have introduced me to so many amazing artists – there is also a real sense of community in the chatrooms and it has made me feel fairly vindicated in settling with Twitch over Youtube and Instagram (Facebook was OBVIOUSLY never an option).

I have also recently been invited by Giblet Gusset to take part in Isolated Mass #6 – which will be taking place on the seemingly unlikely platform of the Telegram app. As yet this is my only upcoming thing and I intend to slow down considerably as we approach May to take some time to step back, reflect and continue unearthing things on my hard drive and working on things that are impossible ‘live’.

Sixthly (yes, sixthly), a brief note should go to some other April activity – said hard drive unearthing resulted in the publishing of a large body of sounds that serve much more as an archive than they do as an intended listening experience, Perpetual – Unearthed Archival Audio, which digs up audio from 2017 and actually collates it chronologically, taking in sixty-six tracks and likely hours and hours of listening – it’s not something I would recommend attempting in one sitting but it was an interesting and enlightening exercise nonetheless. In that same token, I also produced something supremely unlistenable – Playing Some Tapes On A Broken PYE Vintage Cassette Recorder Model 9103 And Then Trying To Sleep To A Buddhist Lecture And Failing. Perhaps as a direct result of finally diving into more of the catalogue from Bristol label Every Contact Leaves A Trace – albeit a half-baked and overly-ridiculous tribute. I was particularly happy with my photograph for the album’s artwork, though.

Lastly, seventhly, but by no means leastly – on the 3rd of the month I completed a small and nostalgic release entitled ‘The Next Station Is Holborn‘ which focuses on a single train journey I took in February on the London Underground’s Central Line which began around Holborn station and ended around Leyton and Leytonstone. The original recording is levelled and presented as is and is then reworked and reconstituted in the following tracks.

03.20

Unsurprisingly, March has turned into a super-productive month for me – where it was shaping up to be that way already, it was also given the added push of a global pandemic causing enforced lock-down and social seclusion. That is the kind of environment my noise has always thrived under and this has been no exception. The increased creative productivity of people in general at this time has been a boon of inspiration – as has the emergence of livestream performance being much more widely taken up. I’ve been toying with the idea of my own livestream for noise/sound but as yet it’s one among many in the nebulous-planning stage.

The end of February and beginning of March saw a resurrection of Dog Milk – a collective formed at its core by myself and Rosie King. Dog Milk is both our alias dedicated exclusively to our collaborations as a duo and the umbrella under which all ‘collective activities’ take place. We take on multiple aliases as solo projects under this umbrella as well as inviting friends to do the same. One such new solo alias of mine has been Metal Machine Rodent – which saw me tackle amplified metal and harsh noise areas I’d been meaning to approach for a while now. Rosie King has recently resurrected the Melodramatic Piss Baby alias as well as breathing new life to Hand Reared Lambs and Fruit Baby. All of this amalgamates around the central resurgence of Dog Milk itself, with its fourth incarnation “A New Dog”.

My blackened noise alias Roadside Dead has not only undergone it’s overhaul but has also proven to be prolific off the bat – with its resurrection release “A Hymn to the Abyssal Plains” being shortly followed by a split release with the amazing A Dying Hermit in the Woods entitled “Beyond Stygian Darkness” – in which the blackened noise meets walled noise sound-palette of the former release is expanded into drone and dark ambient realms. I intend to expand this even further still to encompass field recording and dungeon synth as time progresses. I have a third release entitled “Bottomless Depths” almost ready as well – and the project has been invited to appear on a very special label – I cannot say more than that for the time being but needless to say it is something to seriously look forward to!

I have also had the pleasure of welcoming a great new addition to the SSN Technologies platform – FATAL DREAM ERROR with their vaporwall release Yellow Diamond Codes. I have also commissioned three new artworks from Creamy Deluxe to use for an upcoming three-part series on the netlabel – you can view these artworks already at the artist’s Instagram. The series is entirely a solo project of mine, using a new one-off alias, [SSN] Technologian, a somewhat indirect response to the [SSN] Technologist alias of 2016 that brought longform “crackle studies” to the platform. (Artwork pictured below by Atari Seagrave-Blood).

I have also had a new batch of releases for the HNW netlabel as well as it’s fourth themed compilation – Unseen, Unheard – the first in many years and a welcome return to the format! I have been considering drafting an open call for a fifth edition, themed around isolation and seclusion – this time the open call will be a tad more rigorous and actually use the Facebook platform and so you might expect more than thirteen tracks for that one.

Much more has been happening behind the scenes as well! But I won’t give too much away here as I need to keep some things under wraps if I’m going to have enough material to keep monthly posting a reality.

02.20

Being a leap year, I had my eyes set on making the second post of the year on the 29th February but unfortunately I’ve totally messed up and am now making two posts in March – this is the first.

First update is on the new 1/1 tape series I mentioned in my previous post. As I mentioned, these will all be hand-drawn, hand-dubbed, recorded straight to tape in real-time with no edits, no mastering, no nothing! They will each be dedicated to different friends and artists whose work has been an inspiration and influence to me. The first two tapes in this series were for Sven K. and Harrison P. – Sven is responsible for the Void Worship and Absent Erratum labels as well as the projects Panic, Opaque and a whole host of others I could hardly list off. Harrison is responsible for the former-project We Also Let Blood and the current Lost Graves – as well as a few others, and also drums in the great black metal band Everlasting Light.

Below is a scan that Sven kindly supplied me with upon request (I can’t thank him enough nor apologise enough for my oversight in not documenting before sending out!)

‘Late Night Excurion’ stradles the void between wall noise and harsh noise – it also takes the use of amplified metal and tries to weld together ‘junk noise’ and ‘cut up noise’, although the ‘cuts’ are unconventional as they are ‘blind’ – created entirely by forwarding the tape and starting recording again slightly ahead. Personally, I think the release may lose some of its charm knowing this much about the process (and I’m sorry if it does, Sven).

Second update concerns my netlabel activity – I had a great new batch fly in to me for HNW featuring wall noise releases from Seth Cooke, HOMExINVASION and a split between myself and Sado Rituals. And since, I’ve had tons more flying in towards a new compilation (it’s fourth ‘themed’ one, alongside a milestone for the 100th release) as well as new releases in varying degrees of readiness – keep the eyes peeled.

I’ve also recently had a new Mycotoxicosis album in from the amazing Petar (responsible not only for this project but the Fall Into Void label, the Bruising Pattern project and ‘Staticism III’ the International HNW Tape Swap of 2020 – which I will be posting about when it comes around to my month in May) to finally introduce some new culture into the biosphere that is Terrarium.

In further great news – serious headway has been made in a new huge release from my collaboration with Paul K. of vide médian and Runway – ᴶ ᴾ ˢ ᴷ. The new album takes in three ‘tapes’ worth of material and was originally intended to go towards the mammoth catalogue of the now-defunct Altar of Waste label. Future-current plans for release are for it to appear on the HNW netlabel I’m running with one third (or some partial form) of it seeking physical release elsewhere. Beyond the 1/1 tape series I mention above I am strongly considering a new micro-label of super limited editions focusing on HNW, much in the vein of the amazing label Paul founded, Static Dreams. I am beyond honoured to have kicked off that catalogue with the Violence & Lethargy album and it remains one of my favourites from my own work to this day (which is a sigh of relief). Like his, my label would also be entirely hand-made and most likely stick to 10-15 tape runs.

I have also begun work on so many other great collaborations – including one with Animal Machine following our live collaboration for the last Harsh Noise London event. I’ve also recorded new Kamex for the first time in a very long time – and I also had the newest Kamex drop on the BEST Pokénoise netlabel this side of Hoenn (including an image of the artwork I made for it below to spice this post up a bit).

01.20

Being well aware of a lack of flowing movement here on the site, I’ve decided to commit myself to a monthly post for this year – with this month’s coming in somewhat last minute. I’m going to hopefully have enough happening month to month to cover, explain and promote numerous projects and events.

Firstly and most importantly – I have been making amplified metal noises and low gurgling growls (amidst spells of doom to abusers/rapists/men) with London doom-noise queerdos Dead Men Don’t Rape for a while now and I really cannot express how much I love these people and the powerful energy and friendship they have bestowed upon me – when our drummer Zak asked me to come on board I was so taken aback and so excited and relieved to finally be invited into a band dynamic after a significant sojourn away. Our live shows so far have entirely lived up to my high expectations and they are all just lovely beings to be around and make great, hideous noises with (and construct interesting performances with too)!

We have two shows coming up in London fairly soon. The first is the weekend after this one, Saturday 8th Feb, at DIY Space for London, supporting the amazing F. Emasculata.

The next is on Friday 14th Feb for Not Your Galentines Day at the Amersham Arms. The event will not just be for live bands performing but also for an art exhibition, here’s some more information about that:

💖 I’m With Her (Gallery Invitation) 💖

Open from 6 o’clock, KNM will be exploring the metoo movement through the lens of reactions to sexual assault.

The photographic gallery will be comprised of outtakes from the Brazen Hussy ‘Not All Men’ EP release accompanied by quotations from sexual assault survivors denoting adverse reactions & responses they’ve had to their assault, how it made them feel & how they wish others around them had supported them.

To submit an entry for the gallery (pls pls pls do 🙏) or to help us by sharing out the link for submissions – http://knmpresents.com/as-if-promotions/events/im-with-her-gallery/im-with-her-gallery-entry/

Secondly – I have been working on a new collaboration with my friend Maxwell Reynish. We have a prospective title, some artwork drafts and a lot of recordings done at this point – I’m really excited to get this announced, the earliest recording session goes back to July last year – with our newest just gone by last weekend (in which we also went over the old recordings, cemented some final changes and laid out plans for digital and physical release which is imminent).
Until then, I can refer you to the Anatum’s Abode Sessions we created some time ago now for an idea of our past trajectory – an improvised session between myself, Maxwell and Charlie Wheatley created at the now-extinct Anatum’s Abode of Limehouse. While ultimately very different, the new project with Maxwell is similarly focused on drone-based and ambient sounds and involves a lot of improvisation and textural exploration.

Thirdly and finally – I’ve become a bit lacklustre in the efforts of cultivating three netlabels but I aim to step up activity on all of them in 2020, ░░ HNW ░░ has already had its first three releases of the year touch down and I’m currently working on a promising second batch as well – things are going a bit slower for Terrarium and SSN Technologies but there are nebulous plans for both – as always, if you’re an artist and you’re reading this and you dig in to these platforms and find something you think your project will feel at home in, please don’t hesitate to email me at jpjshearman@gmail.com

PS: as a small addendum, I should mention that I’ve begun home-dubbing once again and will be posting about a DIY tape series I’m creating on here next month (the series will be a sequence of 1/1 special edition tapes, recorded in real time straight to tape with no edits, using recycled tapes and creating hand-drawn artworks, with each copy dedicated to a single individual in the noise crowd who has been an immense inspiration to me)

PPS: as an even smaller addendum, I have begun a major overhaul of my ‘blackened noise’ project Roadside Dead – I have left only the split release material available to stream as I really feel so happy with this in particular, but I want a considerably different and new direction for the project in the future, I have been putting a lot of work into this very slowly and incrementally but hopefully the fruits will be worth it all – I have already introduced a sneak preview of these developments (on instagram at @_shearman) in the form of a new logo I made whilst listening over some in-progress sounds ;

Inaugural Post ; ‘A Place Among Pebbles’ CDr + zine on Perpetual Abjection [PA005]

… what better way to begin posting to my new website than with an announcement as enthusing as this. I was invited by labelhead (and amazing HNW artist in his own right – responsible for Unsignified Death and arboreal as well as being half of Chamber of Tapeworms) Polwach Beokhaimook to contribute a HNW release to Perpetual Abjection. A stunning little ‘microlabel’ – based in Bangkok, Thailand, founded in May 2017 and focusing strictly on limited-run HNW with elaborate and always beautiful handmade packaging. When I was invited to participate I lept at the chance and I was finally able to flesh out a desire to pair up a noise release with that of a zine – something I’d been contemplating for a while now.

[taken from my FB;]

There are not enough THANKS in my inventory for Polwach – just look at how beautiful the packaging, printing, painting & presentation is for this release! I am truly in awe. Of course, this is to be expected when you take a glance at the labels existing catalogue. I’m so happy to be able to be a part of that and I really cannot wait to see what further strengths the label moves towards in the coming year.

This album is the first in a [hopefully long] line I’m going to be making that tries to tie in several media – especially DIY zine publications and physical [/found] objects – to serve one cohesive purpose.

[taken from the label;]

Spray and acrylic painted jewel case. Acrylic painted CDr. Comes with crushed potpourri, 10-page home-printed book written by the artist, semi-transparent sheet, and insert. Limited hand-numbered to 20 copies.

Purchase this through https://perpetualabjection.bandcamp.com/…/a-place-among-peb…