Hospital / Cyclone Fence
Release date: February 17th 2014
Following the instantly sold out release of The Duke St Workshops debut album "Lexicon of Paragon Pines" comes Hospital/Cyclone Fence.
Released as a limited 7” single on clear vinyl the single was recorded early 2013 by the Group in their home studio and mixed/mastered by Benge at Memetune Studios in London.
The A side is essentially about the safety of a Hospital environment (or any seemingly safe environment) being breached by some external force. The piece seeks to convey how a place of sanctuary can be transformed into an austere and threatening setting by some ideological faction or interloper.
The track is skeletal, light on production techniques and imbued with a dark cinematic atmosphere. The piece is an organic extension of The Duke St Workshop's previous work taking in influences from the likes of Final Program, Conrad Schnitzler, Bruton Library Music and Michael Small as well as sombre, melancholic films like Coma and Rabid.
The B side Cyclone Fence is an old track that has been reworked from its origins into a minimal piece that blends the percussive ideas of Gil Melle and John Carpenter with a dark piano sound. The title is a reference to the case of Mary Quigley who was found one morning by a school janitor, murdered and hung from the songs title.
300 edition 7” clear vinyl pressing
If you've been paying close attention you may remember The Duke St Workshop from that superb CD they brought out last year and sold out almost instantly. The press release says that the A side is "about the safety of a Hospital environment (or any seemingly safe environment) being breached by some external force". It starts out with some barely-audible life support beeps (which quietly continue throughout, so they're the last song you hear in the piece too) under some very John Carpenter-ish synth drones and paranoid flourishes. So far so 'Halloween II', but then a pulsating melody joins the fray along with some minimal giallo-disco programmed drums, and then the strident melodic theme comes in, with a soft-edged synth and a harder twinkly one playing in unison. It's quite understated and minimal but very effective.
On the other side is 'Cyclone Fence', a reworked old track apparently, whose title references a notorious child murder. It's a much more minimal track with a weird squelchy echoed beat alongside a patient repeated chord sequence and a bold melodic theme at the forefront. It's pretty strong but as with so many 7"s the A side is the real tour de force here.
Also noteworthy is that the inner sleeve is a Static Caravanised riff on the Harvest Records generic sleeves, which is a risky move after that Matt Berry 7" got recalled because of Acid Jazz doing pretty much the same thing...
[Norman Records 9/10]
"Lots of nice, old analogue synth sounds, a great melody, ticking rhythm machine and sequences. Pianos like sound on 'Cyclone Fence'. Both pieces have this fine soundtrack quality over them. Nice electronic ditties. Perfect soundtracks." [Vital Weekly]