Spectralate - Unit 21
Limited edition vinyl LP (with CD)
released 2nd October 2017
Spectralate's third LP is a darker record than its predecessors, being a meditation on loss, both of deceased friends and of the optimistic community spirit of the European Union. It is certainly more angry than previous releases, and although the duo never resort to polemic, there is a tangible pent up political anger here.
The presence of the Anglesey coast is less prevelant than on previous Spectralate LPs, and this too reflects a kind of loss, Annie having moved away after finishing her studies in Bangor. The key to the album lies in the closing song 'Saudade', that Portuguese concept of a love for something or someone that has physically gone but whose presence lingers. It has been said that the only other language the word can be translated into is Welsh, as 'hiraeth'. Saudade permeates most of the songs on Unit 21, and the song of that name could equally have been a title track. It was also coincidentally the first song that Annie and Alan collaborated on four years ago - well before the release of the first Spectralate album, and having gone through several incarnations since, it is only now that it is deemed 'finished' (if anything is indeed ever finished)...
The title 'Unit 21' references a shop in Bangor which sold second hand records and books during the mid '70s and whose demolition is depicted on the front cover. The teenage Alan used to meet up with his late school friend and long-time collaborator Maeyc there every Saturday morning where the proprietor would introduce them to all manner of wonderful sounds and reading material each week - more often than not originating in other European countries. These discoveries were totally life-changing. It's fair to say that this LP would have been quite different without Unit 21. The LP is released on the 2nd anniversary of Maeyc's death and is dedicated to him.
Unit 21 is released as a limited edition vinyl LP on October 2nd 2017 and is available from our shop.
The LP also includes a CD version of the album.
Side A: Barmicide / Attic Salt / The Death of an Ordinary Man / Parthian Shot / Viridescent / The Torrid Zone
Side B: Zigzag as Lightning / Ananias / Halcyon Days / House Badgers / Who Will Bell the Cat? / Saudade
All songs written, performed and produced by Annie Muriel and Alan Holmes at The Palace of Culture, Menai Bridge, north Wales
Annie: Vocals, Classical guitar, Fender Telecaster, Moog Rogue, Classical piano, Drums, Bass guitar, Radiator, Welson President organ, Cello, Viola, Whistling
Alan: Vocals, Fender Jaguar, Cello, Viola, Bass guitar, Korg MS-20, Electric piano, Mellotron, Ondes Martenot, Trumpet, Trombone, Korg Monotron