Staying with Roadside Picnic, did you really think that was the end of it for another missive or two, surely by now you realise that like buses you wait a while and three trundle along in quick succession. You may recall us making mention of an ongoing project by Roadside Picnic in collaboration with the cassette label Jehu and Chinaman going by the name of plastik tonez the remit or study moreover of the brains want for absorbing, storing, retuning and reassembling sound memories or as Mr Wiggan puts it more succinctly – the phonic reflective process of understanding the power of nostalgia, memory and influence. The premise of the project being to dig deep into the pop archive and select various keynote albums remove them from their comfort zone and housing and then reconstructing them in a supposed ‘what if’ alternative history / universe. The series – an ongoing examination of 10 such exploratory aural odysseys has so far found Queen’s ‘sheer heart attack’ disturbingly chilled and re-examined with plans afoot for joy division’s ‘unknown pleasures’ to come and the emergence at long last of Kate Bush’s ‘hounds of love’ – here dragged back and lost amid the darkness of Ms Bush’s inner psych – each release incidentally strictly limited to just 10 cassette copies.
All said now comes ‘the blackest pepper’ – a truly disorientating and harrowing slab of haunting hallucinogenic terrorphonia compiled from cut ups and macabre montages echoing deep into the farthest and darkest reaches of the Beatles’ secretive netherworld. Here conspiracy theories re-emerge as to supposed death of Paul McCartney, his lookalike doppelganger replacement and the beginning of the Fab 4’s descent in cryptologist realms, subterfuge and the slow death of the optimism of the 60’s dream culminating in Altamont and Manson. This 49 minute nightmarish collage is no easy listening experience, a morbid epitaph wherein the hallowed Beatles mythology fast unravels and realities skewer amid disembodied news reports of the passing of (McCartney), Lennon and Harrison all littered in skree debris and white noise transmissions, it provides for a brutal and often hostile sound spectacle, twixt the pillars of extreme musique concrete, moments of bliss bathed lightness emerge shimmered in the bitter sweet tones of tearful reflection shepherded along on fragmenting ghostly apertures to craft an almost bad tripping requiem like texture. Disturbing stuff.