Barry Lamb: Analogue & Digital synthesizers, Wind synth, Mellotron, Saxaphone, Electronic percussion, Guitar, Descant Recorder.
11th album from this celebrated avant-garde / experimental pioneer. This is his most haunting and engaging album to date. Whilst his most recent albums have provided us with rhythmic Eastern influences ("Observations of Istanbul") and pulsating Germanic industrial soundscapes ("It''s all about purpose"). "...This is" brings everything back home to England. It''s minimalist but melodic, humble but uncompromising, slightly cynical but polite! It''s a difficult album to make comparisons there''s a slight hint of krautrock and some vague van der graaf generator influences but otherwise this is quite a unique album with an evocative atmosphere.
Barry Lamb was established as an experimental artist in the midst of the emerging cassette culture of the late 70''s / early 80''s, alongside his contemporaries Paul Kelday, Bryn Jones (E.G. Oblique Graph & later Muslimgauze), Pierre Peret, Attrition, Legendary Pink Dots and countless others did much to propagate a broader expression of what was termed as "industrial music" at the time. Whilst the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Nocturnal Emissions, Severed Heads, Test Dept & SPK were off leading the front line of this intriguing new genre, the likes of Lamb, Kelday and Jones were exploring the roots in the back garden and were tipping their proverbial hats to more ethnic and natural sounds as well as exploring rather "Heath Robinson" forms of sampling. Lamb very sneakily and cunningly sampled and chopped about the Kraftwerk album "Autobahn" for his 1980 "Untitled" offering and many of his other recordings featured snippets from undisclosed sources. A rising network of fanzines and space devoted to cassette culture in all three of the mainstream music papers of the period (NME, Melody Maker & Sounds) all provided initial exposure for what eventually became a highly succesful and influential cottage industry niche in the midst of the vibrant independent music scene.
It is worth noting that Barry Lamb along with Peter Ashby were founder members of Frenzid Melon, essentially a new wave / experimental duo who''s early cassette albums are highly sought after to this day and after several line up additions that included among many others Chris Chisnall (Spasmodic Caress), John Horrocks (Black Dog, The Amazing Orange, BVX, Sharon Stylo & the Dolly Boys, The Rest), Phil Fast (Blank Screens, Instant People) they evolved into the insane picnic (named after Lamb''s most recent album at the time) with the addition of Owen Turley (now plying his trade as General Kustard). The insane picnic thrived in the post punk, winter of discontent environment and were critically acclaimed in the fanzines and mainstream music press. Ian Pye (Melody Maker) wrote of their debut e.p. Four days in April in 1982; "A twisted cross between Echo & the bunnymen and The Fall, the Insane Picnic succeed where most others fail by creating an atmosphere that may not be totally unique but is at least threateningly distanced from the obvious possibilities."
Having pretty much taken a break from music for most of the 1990''s, Barry was invited to contribute a track to a Martin Newell tribute project in 2001. Although pretty much retired from music at this point, he jumped at the chance to pay tribute to the king of jangly pop and genius behind "the Cleaners from Venus" (oft labeled as the diy Beatles). Newell had recorded for Ashby & Lamb''s "Falling A" label and they had distributed his early cassette releases. Lamb recruited former insane picnic & Frenzid Melon colleague Peter Ashby and they recorded a stunning psychedelic version of "the world strikes one" from the Brotherhood of Lizards album. Ironically the track was not put on the tribute album but was available as a bonus download for a short while. Shortly afterwards Ashby & Lamb reconvened on an album they had started some 10 years earlier which at this point remains unfinished but work continues. It''s a progressive rock project sounding somewhere in the realms of King Crimson, Egg, Van der Graaf Generator, Soft Machine and perhaps Pink Floyd (post Syd Barrett but pre- Dark side of the moon). It is scheduled for completion in 2007 and will be released under the band name Ermin Grud and the album has the working title of "the narrow path". During work on this album, Ashby & Lamb were approached to provide some music for Jasun Martz'' sequel album to his mid 70''s holy grail of mellotron recordings "The Pillory". Jasun is known for his work with Frank Zappa, Eddie Jobson, Ruth Underwood and even played keyboards on Michael Jackson''s "Dangerous" album including the massive hit "Black or White" and co arranged "We built this City on rock ''n'' roll" by Starship. The resultant two CD set "The Pillory / The Battle" was released to critical acclaim in avant-garde, progressive and even classical music circles.
Since 2005, Barry Lamb has been consistently releasing one album a year and contributing to other projects. He is about to start work on his 12th album which will be an updated collection of his early cassette releases, remastered, resequenced and developed in ways he could have only imagined back in the halcyon days of cassette culture. Meanwhile his primitive sampling exploits have turned full circle as some of his work is now being sampled by up and coming British urban hip hop artist Tor.
1977 Dusk (c.60) 1978 Keys (c.90) 1979 Ludi Funebres(C.45) 1979 telephone call at the edge of the universe (C.30) 1980 Untitled (C. 45) 1980 Charlie Bildgewinder''s experimental bus service (C.45) 1981 the insane picnic volume 1 (c.45) 1990 Seven Secrets (2 x C.60) 2005 It''s all about purpose (CD) 2006 Observations of Istanbul (CD) 2007 ...This is (CD)
1977 - 1981 Vocalist & Multi Instrumentalist for Frenzid Melon
1977 Frenzid Melon (c.60) 1978 Graffiti Spastic Plastic (c.60) 1978 Frenzid Melon II (C.45) 1978 Cosmic Peanut & other secret identities (C.90) 1979 Stop acting like babies (C.60) 1979 I don''t wanna work in the wimpy bar (cassette single) 1979 The great roll & butter swindle (C.90) 1979 Crazy fog warning (c.45, unreleased) 1980 Frenzid Melon (Mel 1) (C.45) 1982 Provisional Music (C.45, posthumous release)
1981 - 1989 Vocalist & Multi instrumentalist for the insane picnic
1982 Four days in April (ep) 1983 Romance / Politicians Promise (single) 1985 This is the winter darkness (LP, unreleased but released on CD 2004) 1986 Magistrates and saints (12" single) 1987 Dog bones & cradle ghosts / Slick death operator (unreleased double A side 7" single that received radio airplay)
Also appeared on the following releases:
1985 "Show me a sane man" by Omming for Woks (obscure sleeve credit)
1985 "You''re lost little girl" by The Acid Slothe (Vocal performance)
1993 "Pale Saint" by WMTID (co-writing credit and vocal narrative appearance)
1994 "The concubine harvester" by Braintree (Vocals & various instruments)
2005 "The Pillory / The Battle" by Jasun Martz (Wind synth & Mellotron)
2005 Incidentals (Six Armed Man) (Mellotron, wind synth)
2005 Small Packages (Six Armed Man) (Mellotron, wind synth)
2006 With Arms Extended (Six Armed Man) (Mellotron, wind synth)
2007 "Disturbances in the ether" by Peter Ashby (Alto Saxaphone)
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