following on from the mysteries of extremophilic folk, his limited lathe lp for knotwilg records, comes end of the alphabet records boss noel meek’s the lothian tapes. recorded straight to tape during a six week stint helping with fellow new zealander olivia webb’s sound installation for the edinburgh art festival, this c36 is a kaleidoscopic swirl of lofi, overdriven noise and beats. it may be the most improvised piece meek has committed to tape, but it nonetheless captures, and emits, his trademark feel for complete and utter fun - something that is sorely lacking - and needed! - in a genre that has a tendency of taking itself far, far too seriously.
"The Lothian Tapes is named as much because Noel Meek recorded this music straight to tape during a six week stint at the Edinburgh festival, helping out fellow Kiwi Olivia Webb with a sound installation at the Fringe. Previous releases have seen Meek head from Earthy drones through to chaotically playful noise music - pedals, synths, and drum machines snapping away at each other like kids in a playground. These two sidelength suites see Meek’s noise sounding heftier and more zonked out than ever before. Side A (delineated into four parts including one titled ‘wit's the cyst next door’ and finally ‘granite feathers don't fly’) has the curtains open on to recordings of twangs and vocal snippets fuzzed into monstrosities which Meek yanks hither and thither via some manic knob twiddling. The piece rides repeated waves of 9V battery-power through to some needle-burying thumping beats, a bit of Merzbow-ian factory screeching, and a climactic comedown of squealing rusty wheel tones. Side B (a two part suite of ‘evan further’ and ‘psalm of the gneiss’) sees Meek overlap some nature sounds and fold in a synth drone until the noise is unbearably dissonant, around the six minute mark a more blissful note weaves its way in, and slowly overtakes the piece for a gnarly blowout which cycles on for a ten minutes of serene entropy.
If anything can be described as a "symphony of noise", this tape is surely it." - Tristan Bath, Spool's Out, The Quietus