Jumble Hole Clough - Two Days In April

Two Days In April (in my imagination it is called Flip-Flop, Despot & Omnibus) is the third album from Hebden Bridge obscure minimalist improv ambient project Jumble Hole Clough, named after a local beauty spot near the Yorkshire town. Colin Robinson is the man behind the madness, and he is slightly better known to the world at large as one half of alt-pop duo Churn Milk Joan, fawned over in these very pages not so long ago.

The sandal of A solitary sandal, seen floating on the Rochdale Canal near Mytholmroyd gives rise to all manner of post-industrial ambience and spookiness, sprawled over a quarter of an hour's worth of dredging the dark nooks and crannies of Colin's imagination.

Synthetic echoed bleeps over looped feedback bubble and wail like Dik Mik arising from Dr Frankenstein's operating slab. A simple and strung out early Gilmour-like slide guitar is looped and struggles but ultimately fails to escape the sludge at bottom of the canal but still sounds heavenly. Some wah and fuzz enter the sonic painting, and this canal must be a dangerous place. And yes, there is an actual place called Mytholmroyd, a name Tolkien would have been proud of!




Onward through to the next long-undisturbed portal in Colin's mind, and we enter a world where a justified and acerbic noise should be made in "honour" of the despot. But nay, for A eulogy for M H Thatcher on the occasion of her funeral is not like that at all. Ephemeral looped bells and synthesiser create a ghost story out of thin air, the sonic ether remaining strangely calm, cut short to low-end rumblings. A questioning and keening guitar dances the high tension line that by now is thrumming with expectancy. I am reminded of Bill Nelson's forays into the world of guitar ambience.

Everything is now looped and guitar and synth combine in a complex web of mantra like sound, all quite delicate, and given the subject matter of the title of this piece, not at all what I was expecting, but eerie nonetheless. A looped picked guitar refrain raises the tempo considerably for a moment before falling back to the main theme, if it can be called that. Suddenly at around 15 minutes in things start to get more agitated with some shoegazey flanged chords swooping down on the cortege, but again things fall back on the minimalist mantra, the looped synth sounding like a cuckoo with OCD. Then; silence, before a discordant cacophony heralds the arrival of the despot in Hell...or summat.

You can hear it all for yourself on the Bandcamp page, anyway, but that's my take on it.

A Royal Tiger Worldmaster was a slow but largely reliable single decker bus built not far from Hebden Bridge in Farington by Leyland Motors, and is the sort of thing you'll see in every 50s/60s period drama set in the North of England. I'll let you discover Colin's audio translation for yourself without ruining it with my garbled syntax...'appen.

Jumble Hole Clough is essentially ambient music for folk who fall asleep at the very idea, as it will keep prodding you should you be in danger of nodding off. Different from the average, for sure, and not at all bad.

Tracklist:

1. A solitary sandal, seen floating on the Rochdale Canal near Mytholmroyd (15:48)
2. A eulogy for M H Thatcher on the occasion of her funeral (21:15)
3. Royal Tiger Worldmaster (15:43)

Line up:

Colin Robinson - "using one guitar (with live looping), one synthesiser, one silent Buddha Machine and a little bit of fretless bass"

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