Herd – ARTEATER
Herd is back with his new dark IDM LP release Arteater.
A self-confessed fan for The Future Sound of London’s more electronic and industrial moments, Herd has produced something that pitches between ISDN, Dead Cities and We Have Explosive. But this is no retro outing. Take this clip as an example of that:
Before we turn properly to the record (for it is available on vinyl for only £12), let’s catch up with Jason Thomson to find out a bit more, including FSOL’s influence on him:
1. How the devil are you?
I’m good thanks, busy but good.
2. It’s been a while since we had your Tangents stuff, what have you been up to?
I’ve been making tracks pretty much constantly from when i released Tangents 41 – 47, but my quality control has become a bit of a problem. As soon as Darkfloor mentioned releasing something I started getting hyper critical of everything I was making – hence the massive gap between releases.
There has been a few batches of tracks which I have finished but decided not to release – one of which became part of one of the Terminal Radio transmissions. It feels good to finally get this batch out there so I can move onto other bits. I’ve also been doing the cover art for the Terminal Radio shows.
3. It’s always been clear that FSOL are a massive influence but why?
I’m not sure if I can totally put it into words. They are the only band that I continually return to and can listen to all the time without getting bored of them. Its the whole package that i like with them – the music obviously but also the cover art – the way they work, the ISDN transmissions – the whole deal. Its a cliché but I listen to some of their early mixes like the Essential mixes and I still hear new things in them after all these years.
4. Any other influences? Recommend us a couple of ambient albums from the last 5 years.
Akkya and Five Minutes Alone are both massively underrated artists. Both of them are regulars on the FSOL forum which puts together the Terminal Radio stuff. They both come as close to anyone I’ve heard to sounding like Lifeforms era FSOL.
5. You’re releasing the album on vinyl. Why do that – surely not because it’s the vogue thing to do?
To be honest it was the label’s decision. I wasn’t sure about it to start off with but apparently its making a comeback. I was excited about having the opportunity of doing a vinyl size piece of cover art though. As I said earlier the FSOL cover art on their vinyl was a massive influence so it was nice to do one of mine on the same format.
6. What can we expect next from you?
I’m still working on new tracks. I’d like to have another release on FSOLdigital, another release on Darkfloor at some point too. I’ve been doing some video bits for the Terminal Radio group so I might consider doing a Herd Audio / Visual release sometime.
And so to the album properly. There is something of the night to Arteater. It’s an urban, concrete, dystopian soundscape, strangely devoid of people. Opener Headfilm is the sound of the fourteenth floor of a tower block at night. All dark corners, shadows and namelessly menacing ambient.
Motpack doesn’t offer anything more cheerful. A neo-classical set of groaning strings accompany a crush of dead insects. A jazz nightmare. Gazelle lurches between the deep bass of 50s brutalist concrete architecture (think London’s South Bank) and the rustling of windswept empty crisp packets and other city detritus.
Fallenang offers a smattering of voices. But don’t look to them for reassurance, for they are as lost as you. Only you can find your own way out. Follow the sounds of the tones amidst the creaking aches of cooling buildings. The final track is the title track Arteater. An eleven minute epic tour of the depopulated city. The deep bass is always there with dub echoes of sound. There are occasional flashes of ambient hope but they are soon lost in the darkness. Dawn will arrive but perhaps too late.
A great album of darkness. Buy now, then turn off the lights and scare yourself witless.
Blurb: Ambitious and captivating; expansive, textured and unique, this is Herd’s ‘Arteater’.
Since we began our record label, like the radio show and blog from which it spawned, we’ve never been just one style, one sound. And this, this record, clearly makes that apparent.
Jason Thomson has since 2007, through several net based labels, worked on a multi-part series of abstract experimental electro, ambient electronica and drone soundscape material, collectively titled ‘Tangents’. ‘Arteater’ continues that vein of sonic tapestry, yet stands out on its own.
Thomson’s influence is drawn from many places, most obviously that of Future Sound of London. Impressed enough were they, the duo have released material of his via their own FSOLdigital imprint.
Pushing the limits of vinyl recording length we have cut close to 20 minutes a side of sound without comprising on quality. We work closely with our mastering and cutting engineers, none more so than here.
We could continue writing fancy, descriptive words, but as with all our releases, we let our music do the talking, and there’s a lot to hear in this one.