Dateline Saturday 15th of January, 2022, 8:30am. Clawing my way to consciousness and coffee I received a message from CS with a link to some parts he had added to a new track for the next GOB/CS collaboration. I DL’ed this and had a listen, replying shortly after “that’s excellent, link me up with the stems and I’ll mash it up”.
Next message “Also, how about doing a Silas & Bones sampler for the Emporium?”
Perfect I thought. The next album will be a while due to my over ambitious plan for the artwork. So why not introduce the kids to the past glories with ‘A Brief History Of’. So, long story short we decided on a track list and I made some cover art. By dusk on Sunday it was sitting in draft on Bandcamp awaiting release.
So here we are. Two and half or so of our collaborations from the last 5+ years.
I do have to thank CS for lending some legitimacy to my early explorations. I first came in contact with him via an old friend Mark Ward, now sadly in the fields Elysium, red Strat in hand. Over the last couple of days I’ve tried to recall the first contact that lead to our very first track together ‘Crow Dub’. I think it was related to something DigitalDIZZY, but honestly that’s some time ago and the dog ate my homework diary.
‘Crow Dub’ morphed into the ridiculous idea of doing a dawn to dawn song cycle through the medium of dub and ornithology. I am more familiar with dub than bird watching, but detail was never an essential.
Ornithology (2016) was originally released on DigitalDIZZY but when they disappeared, Thomas at WAAG put the album out for us. As with most past work, listening to it now I have no idea how I made my parts. I do know I reordered the crows in the park across from where I live. This record also features ‘Welcome To Owl Cave’ which remains one of my favourite things. CS added the screeching tyres, they still give me joy.
The next thing we did, ‘Mabinogi’ (2017) doesn’t fit the otherwise persistent ‘dubby’ model. Whilst spending some time in South Wales I made 3 long pieces of almost ambient music with the intention of making an abstract film. The versions on the ‘History’ are edited down but the full album is here, also on WAAG.
Next up is ‘New Dub Manifesto’ (2017), dipping back into the ambidubverse. I can’t lay any blame for the themes of these releases with CS. It was around this time that I started playing more with samples and ‘other voices’. This idea entered around the work of half dozen Surrealist artists that I have love for, both their visual work and ideas. Each track is referential to them in either voice sample or other to the artist. I’ve not played any of this for a while, again little or no idea where some of the sounds or ideas bubbled up from. As with all of these albums, CS really made the songs fly even when I was messing with odd / broken rhythms. A couple on this are sublime, and the Dali track is ludicrous in complexity. Unlike Belew turning guitar sounds into animal calls, I attempted turning animal calls into guitar sounds. Don’t ask……
Following the Manifesto was ‘Spirits of Afrodubism’. This in late 2018 and on Submarine Broadcasting Company.
“The third hybrid dub set from ambient master Cousin Silas and chancer the Glove of Bones.
This time round we are exploring the power of positive thinking with input from some of the past centuries great thinkers. With particular interest in ethnography, animism and the archetypal unconsciousness, there are hopefully some guiding spirits that may help navigate our turbulent present. With dub.”
We did a beautiful limited edition cassette with this one. There maybe a few left. Hit up the BC page on the link below. Again, listening in retrospect I really don’t know how these things came together. There is probably a word for seeing narrative images when listening to music (other than tripping).
The most recent release was ‘Kafou In Avalonia.’. A product of the (truly FU’ed) times, this took a while to get together. There was this ‘blip’ in reality early 2020 so the final release was in June, marginally later than intended.
“Avalonia developed as a volcanic arc on the northern margin of Gondwana. It eventually rifted off, becoming a drifting microcontinent. The Rheic Ocean formed behind it, and the Iapetus Ocean shrank in front. It collided with the continents Baltica, then Laurentia, and finally with Gondwana, ending up in the interior of Pangea. When Pangea broke up, Avalonia’s remains were divided by the rift which became the Atlantic Ocean.
Kafou in Avalonia imagines a world where the landmass remained connected and civilisation took a more integrated path.”
“If The Future Sound Of London and Ash Ra Tempel recorded an album at Lee Scratch Perry’s black ark studio it might very well have sounded something like this. ”
— Monolith Cocktail
In terms of conversation from concept to end point this did the business. One of the delays was in finishing this was producing the Gris-Gris Bag editions. On the plus side, with every obtuse barrier put in place (mainly by this author) we sold all the cassettes and shipped Gris-Gris Bags across the globe. People are wonderful.
The album turns from chill to kill on a cowrie shell. Massively proud of this project. CS kills it on Ezili and Mambo Marie.
All of the albums are available to download in full from the respective Bandcamp labels. I can’t thank Thomas (WAAG) and Rob (SBC) enough for supporting these insane flights of fancy and promoting us through their respective connections. The Bandcamp community of artists and labels is easily the best thing that has happened to ‘the industry’ in decades. Whilst the content might be voluminous, putting the control into the hands of creators and music lovers is a worthy endeavour.
The next GOB/CS (plus friends) endeavour is in the works. Stand by.