Another absolute gem from the Outer Reaches label – who gave us that ‘Prol’ tape by Omen – here comes this special 10 track piece of ‘disembodied dub, radiophonic interference, and revelatory DIY poetics’ from Natalie Williams & Mark Courtney as Leyden Jars –

Leyden Jars are a discreet London duo who’ve been releasing their wares since ‘15, primarily via the sorely missed Mordant Music imprint.
However for their latest & greatest they’ve signed up with the promising Outer Reaches label. Their tidy backcat ranges from reissues of 80s DIY synth-pop/punk outliers to errr…contemporary DIY synth-pop/punk outliers.
And props to them for doing just that. Far too many reissue labels are simply resting on the laurels of yesteryear, without ever putting a foot forward into the constant NOW, cowards!

Leyden Jars hold an uncanny position in this sense; inherently indebted to what’s come before whilst staunchly marching forward into unchartered territory. It would be simply unseemly to not draw a direct line from the Radiophonic Workshop through to Broadcast before finally arriving with Leyden Jars, though nothing is ever that simple…

So yeah, we’re back in Hauntology territory again. Though this concept of ‘lost futures’ surely reached a saturation point a few years back, has it ever been more apt than right now? I sure don’t know where those last 9 months have Gone.

[Noted: At the time of writing this, Trish Keenan has been gone almost exactly a decade now, R.I.P. maestra].

All those hallmarks established with the aforementioned are here; static hum & analogue warmth, the warbling of a decrepit organ, a sumptuous English voice amongst the sonic debris, an unplaceable tape-spliced snippet, the clitter-clatter of mic’d clutter.

But then, we could only dream of Delia D. dropping a bassline like that on dub-concréte zoner ‘Farfisaline’. Numbers like ‘Abstract Armour’ and ‘Cable Complex’ are far more stoned than anything The Focus Group put their name too, with all the twee British whimsy and space-race ephemera redacted. Not a French diskoteque in sight…

Highlights generally occur when Williams’ voice is brought to the front; on ‘Arthur’ she is ravishingly hypnotic, a snakecharmer with the backmasked accordion. The single ‘London Gone’ is instantaneously effective and unnerving. Waves of hiss slither across the room as Natalie is submerged beneath sub-bass throb, her voice acting as a beacon in the smog. There’s a masterful use of negative space at play here, paired with her fragile quaver to wring up a delicate interplay of tension and release. The song seems to share the shape or silhouette as White Noise’s ‘69 avant-pop opus ‘Love Without Sound’, which is about the highest praise one can hope for.

Mastered by Carim Clasmann at The Fish Tank
Artwork & Design by Leyden Jars

Edition of 50, Tangerine Orange cassette.
Each one comes with hand stencilled artwork in Maltese Cross Folding
Card Case.
Four panelled printed card Insert w/ artwork & lyric Extracts

1. Gillett Circle 02:37
2. London Gone 03:50 video
3. Farfisaline 05:49
4. Morskie Oko 04:39
5. Abstract Armour 07:03
6. Feverfew 06:48
7. Cable Complex 03:21
8. Arthur 03:36
9. Attenzione! 04:37
10. The End for The Grey 05:13

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