‘Lend an ear, leave a word’ – New LP on Kye out now

September 21st, 2016


kye-spread-003Mark Vernon – Lend An Ear, Leave A Word (Kye records – Kye 44)

Audio Archaeology series Vol.1: Lisbon

Available from: Kye (U.S.), Penultimate Press (UK), Infinite Limits (UK).

The pieces composed for this album combine field recordings of contemporary Lisbon with found tape recordings from the past; reel-to-reel tapes, micro-cassettes and Dictaphones collected from the Feira de Ladra market, a popular and lively flea market in the Alfama district.

Each tape recording is an audio snapshot of a specific time; a family album in sound, a musical performance, a compilation of treasured music or even just the fun of playing around with a tape recorder captured for posterity. Every thoughtless edit or push of the record button teleports us to a different time and place. The musical material extracted from the tapes is also an evocative signifier that locates it within a specific era. All of the pieces that make up the album explore one particular environment – the city of Lisbon. Field recordings by their very nature are time-based but the introduction of found tapes into the mix expands the timescale of these studies from just the short period spent in the city making recordings, backwards to possibly forty or more years in the past. It is a portrait in time and place, an archaeology of sound. The result of the audio flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shores of low commerce in the flea markets of Lisbon.

Artwork: A Sense of Someplace / www.asenseofsomeplace.org

‘Lend an ear, leave a word’ arrives in a full color matte stock sleeve with insert and download card that features additional pieces left off the LP due to time constraints.

Mastered by Jason Lescalleet in an edition of 400.

Reviewed in ‘The Wire’ – p.63, Issue 393 November, 2016

The varied strands of DIY music in Glasgow, from improv to minimal electronics, signal a new grassroots movement. By Stewart Smith.

“… Sound artist and radio producer Mark Vernon is the brains behind experimental broadcast project Radiophrenia (see The Wire 374). A former member of Hassle Hound, alongside Ela Orleans and Tony Swain, Vernon has also released a number of solo albums on his own Meagre Resource label. Lend An Ear, Leave A Word is his first for Graham Lambkin’s Kye, and it’s a beautiful work of sonic archaeology, piecing together fragments from reel-to-reel tapes and microcassettes found in a Lisbon flea market. The results are uncanny and often moving. Vernon leaves in the sounds of microphone flubs and record buttons being pressed, underlining the intimate, home-recorded nature of his source material. Not being a speaker of Portuguese, I have no idea what the man at the start of the album is saying into his dictaphone. Some kind of audio note? Ideas for a novel or artwork? And what of the answer machine messages at the start of the B side? One can only speculate, while appreciating the different voices for their texture and cadence. Other fragments capture household chatter and domestic chores, the possible result of children playing with tape recorders. And then there are the musical snippets, which range from home recordings, to raw dubs of classical music, disco and folk. Vernon weaves this all together with the amplified sounds of the machines themselves, the touches of distortion, feedback and hum enhancing the album’s curious sense of disembodied materiality”.

 

 

 

 

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