The Black Polyvinyl Chloride Cult


Running Time: 4:33

Released On: "Des Études Sous La Surface D'Enregistrements Sonores Circulaires De Densités Variables" - Various Artists (15 tracks)

Label: Institute For Alien Research

Release Date: 8th February 2020

Format: Download

Buy Link: Bandcamp - Name Your Price




Our second on the theme of vinyl records for Shaun Robert's IFAR series. Following the flexi inspired Ostracism On Principal Thoroughfare we did the first time out, our focus for the sequel went on to the humble single. To get our samples, we placed said 7" black vinyl disc on to the turntable of my now ancient Technics deck, then microphones a few inches either side of where the stylus would make contact. I then spent about two minutes dropping the stylus at the beginning of the disc, lifting it off when it got to the music, then putting it back at the beginning again. All of this while  Skit stood there rather annoyingly  pretending to be

looking at his watch, which is immensely stupid as he doesn't wear one. "Time soft option abstract concept for tiny minds not cope with uncertain quantum reality." He would say, then walking through a door and emerging in two different places, as if to prove his point. But I digress, which is most unlike me. From the recording, we cut three brief samples, ranging from 1-3 seconds long, et voila. From those, and a reasonable amount of digital processing, we created this lasting tribute to the beauty of polyvinyl chloride.


"Any colour, so long as it's black." (Henry Ford, 1909)


S H A U N   R O B E R T   - Atavist / Envelop

(7" single, Institute For Alien Research)


Seeing as how we're on the subject of single records, I thought it might be nice to add a write up on Shaun's own most recent piece of nice shiny black stuff. Atavist is taken from his 2014 album, Vague, but don't think of this in terms of the conventional single, the most radio-friendly track on the album it is not! This is, after all, Shaun Robert, and he doth practise what he doth preach; musique concrète. Consequently, the rhythm is constructed from sounds you may struggle to identify, because anything can be music. This is both minimalist and a full sound, which is quite something of an achievement, and beautiful use of crackles and pops. Shaun displays a depth of understanding for the genre that would seem to elude many of his fellow experimentalists, who else would combine a host of conventional instruments with a drunken old sot at kicking out time, blowing raspberries at the copper telling him to get his arse home?

Envelop comes from another of his 2104 albums, Mindstrope, and like its counterpart on the A side, runs exactly at 5:30. This is something that not only suits my own autistic spectrum sense of order, but is also just about the perfect length for these particular works. This second track offers a combination of birdsong and instrument abuse that builds into pulsating electronica. What it doesn't do is verse - chorus - verse - chorus - repeat chorus - fade, no, don't expect that, but then why would you? This is not instantly accessible quick reward music in the way the modern attention span so often demands, it's diligent and engaged and demands no less of its listener. Nice sudden ending too, so I shall do the same.