Ghostwriter’s (Mark Brend) The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association has finally been made available via digital download. This was initially released on CD by Second Language in 2010 and was limited to 200 copies. It sold-out within a few weeks.
Partially based upon archive voice recordings, fragmentary texts and ‘imagined works’ by literary figures eminent (Arthur Conan Doyle, John Steinbeck), cult (Colin Wilson, John Cowper Powys) and arcane (Arthur Machen, Ivor Gurney), The Continuing Adventures… weaves ethereal atmosphere, wistful song and playful soundscape from a battery of instruments and sound sources, including dulcitone, persephone, harpsichord, autoharp, toy piano, modular synthesizer, recorder, banjo, accordion, bass, drums, sampler, miscellaneous voices and something called the brendonium.
Divided into three distinct ‘Chapters’: Music For Men Of Letters, Music For Imagined Technologies and Music For Flotsam and Jetsam, these mysteriously beguiling compositions run the gamut from frisky, jazz-flavoured vignettes to garden shed electronica and contemplative sound collages via Wicker Man folk and bygone soundtrack esoterica. Beyond easy categorisation, this is music informed as much by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the British Sound Archive as it is various currents in leftfield pop, electronica, folk and plunderphonics.
Brend is assisted in his endeavours by a number of additional musicians and collaborators, including multi-instrumentalists Tim Conway and Matt Gale (Farina), singer Suzy Mangion (Piano Magic, George) and analogue synth collector Darren Hayman (Hefner), among several others. Ghostwriter’s debut album is very much a product of Brend’s own unique imagination and compositional vision, however.
Buy the album here.
There are also a couple of previously unreleased tracks from the sessions available for free at Soundcloud.