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BEEQUEEN - Aughton

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Beta-Lactam Ring Records mt084
Release Year: 2004
Note: nice vinyl-only release with older recordings by the Dutch experimental ambience project with FRANS DE WAARD; organic & dark drone/musique concrete at its best ! lim. ed. 300, full colour inner sleeve, last copies available
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €17.00

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The queen of all honeys nourishes its hive with a sweet sustenance of archival sweetness. Aughton represents a cadre of organic drone/concrete pieces. Softly cavernous and compact compositions that occasionally become musical by suggestion only. It's a bit like being underwater while someone is playing loud church music out a car window as a train screeches by. It's that fugue state induced by the ever more apparent overtones of a nearby engine. It is quiet and disquieting. The several pieces together add up to something of a subtonal symphony, though the parts are quite distinct. A great, steely and dark space-out, whose horse runs happily astride 80's Zoviet France or in some respects, Harry Bertoia." [press release]


"This new LP on Beta-Lactam makes an interesting companion piece to Beequeen's recent Important Records album. Where The Bodyshop was a milestone for the work of Freek Kinkelaar and Frans de Waard with its unexpected emphasis on melody, structure and songcraft, AughtonThe Patient Books is much more familiar Beequeen territoryorganic drones, submerged loops and moody atmospherics. This seemed like an unexpected return to form until I checked the liner notes and discovered that these pieces were, in fact, recorded from 1993 to 1995. To anyone familiar with the work of the duo from this period, the sounds on this LP will be very familiar. Beequeen have always been extraordinarily good at creating dusty, low-fidelity machine drones that have a grainy, organic resonance in which one can hear all manner of buried and obscured melodies. Their textures have a distinctly antiquated feel to them, like the penetrating buzz of a sodium streetlamp on an Amsterdam street corner in the late-1800s. On many of these pieces, Freek and Frans take advantage of the substance of tape itself, building pieces from the rhythms produced by a slowly queuing cassette tape, or using the fundamental technical limitations of magnetic tape to intensify the lived-in, archival feel of much of this material. Even the name of the album conjured images of a long-neglected psychiatric hospital archive, full of disintegrating reel-to-reel tapes of long-forgotten significance. "I'm Searching For Field Character" is the perfect soundtrack to an Orwellian Room 101: a distorted voice with the weighty tone of a Soviet social engineer reads aloud a block of text meant to reprogram us with revolutionary propaganda. All the while the clock ticks loudly and distant air raid sirens blare. It has the effect of a frightening Cold War radio drama pulled into near-total abstraction. With interest I've tuned into the current wave of heavily hyped New Weird American drone artists like Double Leopards and Dredd Foole, but this brief LP by Beequeen comprised of material more than a decade old seems fresher and more adventurous by far. Beequeen are careful not to stray too far from theme, mood and substance, so their work is always enriched by the myriad symbolic associations that each listener brings to the experience. The same cannot be said of the aforementioned artists, who often prefer to just play the same tone as loud as they can for over an hour, as if endurance alone could prove the merit of their work. Aughton is a refreshing antidote to this kind of amateurish noodling, and I highly recommend it to any who have found themselves disappointed by this sort of thing in the past." [Jonathan Dean / Brainwashed]