Earl Grey Whistle Test

by Robin The Fog & Hills Have Riffs

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about

Although recorded in the same basement studio where I spent many nights creating 'The Ghosts Of Bush', this album is not the official follow-up - it's actually something of a prequel. All of the music here was recorded in the few months before the 'Ghosts...' sessions began, as Dave 'Hills Have Riffs' Briggs and I started to improvise and experiment with tape loops while drinking copious amounts of tea (hence the title). It was the first time I had gone anywhere near music making for several years. Some might argue it wasn't near enough. Still, you have to start somewhere.

After a few of these late night sessions we had amassed a collection of brief, improvised sketches, largely recorded in mono and in a single take. We had tremendous fun and learned an awful lot about working with tape (such as 'will blow up as soon as back is turned'), but at the end I wasn't entirely sure what to do with them, and It wasn't until almost a year later that I got the idea of extracting some of my favourite moments from the gigantic pile of tapes marked 'Robin and Dave' and editing them together into a mixtape of sorts. So I did. And here it is.

It's perhaps a little wonky in places, but I like to think 'Earl Grey Whistle Test' is the sound of two people on their way to a discovery, a sort of sketchbook where the tape manipulation techniques that would eventually go on to haunt the corridors upstairs gradually took shape.

Thanks to DCWB for letting me sponge off his endless talent and I implore you to check out his solo Hills Have Riffs work, which will probably take the best part of a weekend, there's so damn much of it. Thanks also to Hannah for more amazing photographs; and finally thanks to Cari for endless Radiophonic conversations and equally endless enthusiasm. Hope you're still oscillating out there somewhere...

Robin The Fog, February. 2013

PS There is supposedly going to be a limited cassette release of this album at some point, if the lady at the tape manufacturing plant ever manages to get her s*** together...

credits

released February 2, 2013

recorded in Studio S6, Bush House, Aldwych at various points in 2011 and the early part of 2012 by Robin The Fog and Hills Have Riffs, remixed, edited and knocked into shape by Robin The Fog, January 2013.

drawing by DCW Briggs,
photos by Hannah Brown.
design by Robin The Fog

in memory of Cari Wilkins: 'Old school, like us'.

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The Fog Signals UK

There are those who howl with derision at the thought of
anyone being hare-brained enough to set up a label specialising in obscure sound art in the midst of a massive recession. Then there are those who record such howlings onto old reel-to-reel tape machines, play them backwards and press the results onto limited edition vinyl. The Fog Signals falls squarely into the latter categroy. ... more

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