the assistant / british experimental rocket group

Cast your minds back to last year’s Record Store Day and you might well recall a very special release put out in conjunction with the esteemed horror pop sounds and polytechnic youth sound houses made exclusively available for Norman records featuring a track apiece from the Au Fait and XAM Duo. The release much sought after, sold out after 8 minutes with no repress. For this year, the same deal, a super limited lathe 7-inch split pairing together the talents the Assistant and the British Experimental Rocket Group each in attendance here revisiting forgotten scares from a classic horror / sci-fi past, namely ‘Deathline’ and ‘Quatermass 2’. Featuring Pleasance and Lee, the gore fest that was ‘Deathline’ is a tale of cannibalistic ne’er do welling amid the subterranean arteries of the London Underground, those unfamiliar should be easily able to source it on you tube. Its theme however, left in the hands of the mercurial Assistant is transformed from the originals decadently sleazy and murky slow step throb into a tasty back glancing slab of loosely cooled funk frisk vintage that snakes with the kind of smoking lounge jazz twisting that finds its mark somewhere between a classic Mancini and Schifrin, easily filed incidentally, alongside Mike Vickers ‘Dracula AD 1972’. Over on the flip lurks ‘Quatermass 2’ by British Experimental Rocket Group, this re-reading of the Kneale penned sci-fi scare, which incidentally, if memory serves well, the film version featured a small role for a young Sid James. Taking its cue from the ostensibly darker and far superior original BBC TV adaption of the 50’s, BERG superbly mimic and utilise the alien sounding mediums and primitive electronic techniques of the day as were, to craft a deeply chilling and claustrophobic three-part aural labyrinth of proto Radiophonic edginess with the tensely scratched ‘the bolts’ channelling a superbly sinewy Autechre like disconnection, while for those of you well versed in the ways of Human League mark one might do well to seek out the terra-phonic brooding of ‘the frenzy’. Essential, in case you needed a prompt.  

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