Somewhere between an audiobook collection and a spoken-word compilation, "On Vanishing Land" pulls together a number of artists working in a new space where speaking voices intersect with music.
This record will be considered a defining moment in the development of a new genre.
It is not all great, but all of it is interesting, and as a total work it is mysterious, inviting, and inspiring.
Hyperdub launch new sub-label, Flatlines, for the vinyl and digital release of On Vanishing Land, an audio-essay by Justin Barton and the late Mark Fisher. OVL evokes a walk along the Suffolk coastline in 2006, from Felixstowe container port ("a nerve ganglion of capitalism") to the Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo. A walk under immense skies, through zones of deep time and within sunlit, liminal terrains, into the eerie.
Everywhere there are charged atmospheres, shadowy incursions, enigmatic departures. A derelict radar base, coastal heathland, drifting thistledown, towers of overgrown shipping containers - music haunted by wider levels of reality, narrations about rarely visited zones and potentials, voices of dreams and stories. Newly composed tracks by John Foxx, Gazelle Twin, Baron Mordant, Raime, Pete Wiseman, Farmers of Vega, Skjolbrot, Eerie Anglia, Ekoplekz and Dolly Dolly; and, alongside these, views toward M.R. James’s Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad (1904), Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967), and Brian Eno’s On Land (1982). Beyond the surface of the day something becomes visible, a way forward, an escape-path from capitalist reality. On Vanishing Land is about following the lines of terrains and dreams. It is about a micropolitics of escape, of disappearance. A micropolitics of waking the faculties.
“It is April, but it feels like summer. They turn left onto the seafront […]”
On Vanishing Land was initially part of an exhibition commissioned by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom in London, and after londonunderlondon (2005) it was the second audio-work collaboration by Justin Barton and Mark Fisher. The LP cover features photos taken by Mark Fisher and a short essay by Justin Barton.
released July 26, 2019
JUSTIN BARTON (b.1962) is a philosopher, sound artist, and the author of Hidden Valleys: Haunted by the Future (2015).
MARK FISHER (1968-2017) was a teacher, cultural theorist, and the author of Capitalist Realism (2009), Ghosts Of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (2014) and The Weird and the Eerie (2017). An anthology, k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016), was published by Repeater Books in November 2018.
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How hard it is to find the right words to describe this EP. The layers of daily sounds in every song, the free-form of raw emotion and pure vulnerability “Antidawn” and “New Love” give creates such nostalgic feelings which somehow give life to active memories. But then glitchy, strange disorientated noises make you feel as if you are fever dreaming. It comforts me and embraces me in ways no other music has done before. I have been so mesmerized by Burial’s music, this one I hold dearly. sul1i