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HAFLER TRIO & B.C.GILBERT - Idiots

Format: do-LP
Label & Cat.Number: Nihilist - 101
Release Year: 2023
Note: finally in stock (US-import), the return of THE HAFLER TRIO, this album took many years to realize and is partially based on source material provided by BRUCE GILBERT (WIRE, DOME, etc.) => 23 tracks forming "a journey through parts of your mind you didn't have access to before" [BW, Vital Weekly] - lim. 500 copies, high gloss, embossed art-cover w. metallic pantone print, NO digital versions exists !! "This album was thought of. Therefore, it had to be made. And it's a journey through parts of your mind you didn't have access to before. Have a glass of wine, or pour yourself a nice absynthe and enjoy the journey. Through space or time." [BW/Vital Weekly]
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €66.00


More Info

https://nihilistrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/idiots

IDIOTS: Laughing Matter

"Whoever has contact with reality is an Idiot, the word having two meanings:

A) to be oneself;

B) being so, to those in illusion, such a one behaves like an idiot."

Into which hole one falls is never a question of luck or happenstance; the magnetism of our own particular variety (or even 'brand') of stupidity dictates the body of water we shall flow into. An effort of will is not enough to change course; and what, we might ask, could possibly be beyond that?

"Stupid" here, if we care to examine it, means to be insensitive, and the aids to insensitivity are legion. Not only this, but officially sanctioned. Can it be possible (to posit yet another righteous confabulation) to use any medium at all—especially that designed to deaden—to circumvent the flow into dissolution, and move upstream?

To be blunt: the culture of deadening the person (leaving the question of "self" for another time, place and manifestation) being endemic, to look askance at it means to incite distrust, and even the most eloquent of minds will sneer at the fool that seeks to point out even the faintest refection in the dustiest of mirrors.

Conceived in such an environment, "IDIOTS: Laughing Matter" has taken years to finally complete for a variety of reasons, some of which might have come to pass without divine intervention. At the beginning, Mr. B.C. Gilbert supplied some material which related to it all, in all. After an ocean of time traversed, he bowed gracefully out, but the traces of those fingers are still left in the pie. The imprinted crumbs we are thankful for, indeed.

To complete is to offer up to three possibilities, and this one is the most honorable available. Initially promised to another, now suffused with the delights of release, it enters the realm of the tangible with little fanfare, but a succinct and pervasive impetus that is informed with intention of an exceptionally high quality.

Remember: the higher climbs the monkey, the more he shows his ass.

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"Sometimes, it's challenging to start with a review simply because of the complexity of the release. This
release has precisely that complexity, so if the words leave my pen a bit incomprehensible, I hope you will forgive me.
A double vinyl by The Hafler Trio with the Partial Assistance of B.C. Gilbert. Raise your hands, who is NOT intrigued. See? You all are; you wouldn't still be reading. The Hafler Trio is easily one of my go-to projects when I need to be inspired or want to think differently. I've had the pleasure of attending a quadrophonic performance once in Antwerp, and it was gorgeous in all its bouncing frequencies all over the place. So I dove into the back catalogue, read up on Dadaism and art, studied the technical of production stories and became, well, a fan?
This double vinyl has been in the making for a long time. Not months, but years. Initially a subscription thing, and now availably through Bandcamp. And please realize that when the subscription opened, there was not even a sign of life of Bandcamp. And because it took so long, things changed in what initially was planned and what it has become. This probably is a good thing because - analysis mode on - the music on this album has had the time to fully chrystalise. It sounds mature and complete. Maybe the wine I'm drinking is also talking a bit, but it's a 10-year Rioja with loads of finesses. And the same maturity and complexity I hear in "Idiots".
It started as a collaboration between H3O and Bruce Gilbert (a.o. Wire and Dome), and in the beginning, Mr. Gilbert gave sounds and input to H3O to work with/from. But time... Stuff happened, and Mr. Gilbert stepped back from the project, but as the fundaments were already created, the collaboration became The Hafler Trio with the Partial Assistance of B.C. Gilbert.
Each side of the vinyl has a few tracks, totalling 23. There are a few moments where the change between the tracks is pronounced, but from a distance on low volume, there are moments where the unity is strong, and it feels like the tracks are flowing into each other. But: 23 tracks divided over four tracks of approximately 23 minutes each. For those of you who don't know, that is, of course, not a coincidence. Because there is no such thing as coincidences. Maybe some happy accidents or events have a different output than expected. Or should we approach things differently? Space is time because it takes time to travel a distance.
This album was thought of. Therefore, it had to be made. And it's a journey through parts of your mind you didn't have access to before. Have a glass of wine, or pour yourself a nice absynthe and enjoy the journey. Through space or time." [BW/Vital Weekly]

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"As one of the most radical, distinct, and enduring projects to have emerged from the early '80s British post-punk scene, The Hafler Trio need little introduction. Founded by the duo of Andrew McKenzie and Chris Watson - the third part of the 'trio' was a fictional scientist named Dr. Edward Moolenbeek - The Hafler Trio quickly evolved into a McKenzie’s solo project, that often engaged with collaborations with other artists. While often associated with the early years of the industrial and noise movements, McKenzie’s efforts under the moniker have constantly proved to be far more nuanced, delicate, and sophisticated. Utilising field recording, musique concrète, electronics, and other tactics, The Hafler Trio’s output over the decades has found far more sympathy within the context of experimental music, leading to a significant amount of its discography being housed on imprints like Important Records, Sub Rosa, Ash International, and Touch.

For anyone well versed in the most experimental trajectories to have emerged from punk, that McKenzie, under the guise of The Hafler Trio, would find himself in collaboration with Bruce Gilbert should come as no surprise. A founding member of Wire - among the most groundbreaking, ambitious, and forward thinking bands in English post-punk - Gilbert almost immediately dove straight into the fully experimental realm following the band’s initial dissolution in 1979, developing and working in projects like Dome, Cupol, and Duet Emmo, celebrated duos with his Wire collaborator Graham Lewis, and a striking body of rigorous solo work that has been issued on Mute, Table of the Elements, Editions Mego, and Touch, that continues to this day.

For some time, rumours and anticipation have been brewing around a collaboration between The Hafler Trio and Gilbert. At long last, this brilliant meeting of minds appears as the stunning 2LP “Idiots”, comprising a four side long composition that journey into the twilight gloom at the borders of natural and industrial worlds, subtitled “A Laughing Matter”.

Slowly sculpted over a number of years into a series of rigorously experimental, flowing expanses, “Idiots” was conceived from a basic premise: “"Whoever has contact with reality is an Idiot, the word having two meanings: A) to be oneself; B) being so, to those in illusion, such a one behaves like an idiot.” From this departure point, pluming notions of isolation and society in decline, Gilbert began to introduce elements of sonic materiality into the conversation, before stepping away and allowing McKenzie to take the lead and weave his magic, wherever it might go. The outcome, masterfully rendered, is a brooding universe of texture and tonality at the borders of ambient music, Industrial, and drone, shifting between more aggressively forward moments and enveloping passages within which delicate layers of bristling sound intertwine and continuously dart and descend into alternate pathways and arrangements.

An unquestionably masterstroke from two of the great figures to have originally emerged from the ashes of punk, not only offering a remarkable proof of that movement’s continued relevance within the contemporary landscape of music, but equally of McKenzie and Gilbert’s remarkable prowess as artists, continuous driving forward and searching over the decades, “Idiots: A Laughing Matter” is a record not to be missed. Issued by Nihilist as a beautifully produced 2LP set, housed in heavyweight high-gloss embossed jackets and printed inner sleeves, it’s an absolute must." [Soundohm]