abandon reason cover

This is one of the more intriguing releases I’ve been sent in recent months. It’s a compilation album from a new record label that’s based in Galway called Abandon Reason, which “began as a radio programme that showcased recordings made in a disused underground car park in Galway made by various musicians and sound artists. It has since evolved into an independent label dealing in sound and visual art inspired by those underground experiments.” OK sirs, you have my attention. The compilation, entitled I’m in the Abyss, clocks in at a healthy 16 songs, ranging in length from 60 seconds to 11 minutes. In the opening track, which sets the stage/carpark for what’s to come, you hear a phone go off followed by laughter. Later on you hear sellotape being pulled. This isn’t a Mumford & Sons album. It’s experimental in every sense of the word. And I haven’t even mentioned the artwork yet. Declan Kelly, the person behind Abandon Reason, said: “It’s sold in a slightly less straightforward manner (though it’s by no means unique) – you buy a really nicely printed A3 piece of artwork with a download code attached. The pieces come in an edition of 100 with artwork by Brigid Power Ryce (a new ink drawing), Kaiser Caimo (an oil painting of the space itself and a photograph of work she’s been doing on the walls there), a medium format photograph of the space by Aaron Coyne of Yawning Chasm and a digital image of my own. The compilation is €5 on launch day, €7 in the Wingnuts thereafter and €7 from the Bandcamp (+p&p). For those that buy the print it also comes with a bonus track; a new recording of a very old Yawning Chasm song.” It took me a few reads to wrap my head around that information. The download code comes on a piece of art – amazing. Here’s the image that Kelly has created:

Declan Kelly - Level B3 (Large)

As he mentions, there is a launch gig taking place this Sunday. The poster for the gig is at the end of this post. I love that you don’t know where it is – you have to email reasonabandon@gmail.com for directions. More conventionally, the album is already streaming over at Bandcamp. I don’t recognise a lot of the artists: I know Yawning Chasm, I’ve heard of Gavin Prior and I know Vicky Langan (she doesn’t feature on the compilation but has recorded in the carpark in the past. Cork people might have heard of her Black Sun Cork project).

But as Kelly told me, he doesn’t expect people to know a lot either: “Yeah there’s a lot of people in there that I think don’t get enough attention in Ireland, you certainly wouldn’t be alone in not recognising a lot of names (I only met/heard of practically all of them in the last 3 years or so myself). I mean people like David Colohan (Raising Holy Sparks, he used to go under Agitated Radio Pilot) and Gavin Prior have toured pretty extensively around Ireland and the world, mostly with their band United Bible Studies, and have released huge amounts of stuff to great acclaim elsewhere, but at home it’s a different story. Of course then there’s bands like Darugaries who are Japanese and wouldn’t be known here but for having done a small (but excellent) tour last year. Their song is right at the end of the comp, it’s there to kind of leave things on a catchy note cos it’s just such a great tune!”

While writing up this post I was thinking of the LCD Soundsystem song ‘You Wanted A Hit’. You won’t find one hear but you’ll certainly want to find out more. Stream it below, go to the launch gig if you can, and support Irish independent releases and art. You can buy it from Bandcamp from next week, after the launch gig.

I'm in the abyss