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Four Station DeLongii dissolved some time in early 1996. Caroline and I moved into our own flat a little further back along Green Lanes. It was too large and too expensive and didn’t last long, but it was a very nice flat. Again it was above a shop and on several levels, and on the top floor in a smallish room I set up Boccioni Parkway as my new studio. Recording continued seamlessly from Monorail although things had changed for me in several important ways: I was no longer a student; before I had completed my final exam I was working at a Bloomsbury based examination board full time.
The daily commute into London, the monotony of the nine to five, the noise of the traffic outside; all of these lurk beneath the surface of this album. I wanted to discover another city immanent within the quotidian; a more fundamentally real city. It could be glimpsed tangentially in the liminal states. Falling out of sleep, a dream voice metamorphoses into the snarl of a car accelerating up Green Lanes.
My time was more precious and at the time it felt that becoming part of the workaday city was hardening and brutalising my playing. There are fewer conceptual jokes on Embroiderystitchaircraftwing. Things drift and merge but are more clearly conceived: many of the conventionally musical pieces are tightly structured and composed. There are also several tracks that are almost songs.
On the first part of the Interlude section, which is actually over nine minutes long, a snippet of a recording session with Kanchi Wichmann begins and falters before the riff itself comes in and she joins the harmony with a wordless ullulation. Kanchi had been one of the key players in the Platform Five(5) sessions that were still going on, on a fairly regular basis. We were also attempting to write some songs together as Doner und Blitzen. On An Alternative Accident we duet in a spoken word narrative about boredom, fake accents and car accidents over a tightly rhythmic composition. The song ends with a repeated refrain of “don’t talk: eat!” which was the slogan from a Buitoni ravioli advertisment in the 70s.
Also in the early parts of the VL Town there is a song comprised mostly of “doo-doo” and “doo-dah” over a descending major ostinato but it is definitely intended as a sung vocal line. I remember recording my voice in a built-in cupboard in the corner of the room, which had become my defacto vocal booth. There is still however a lot of back-masking, shortwave radio, feedback and other noise over the surface of the material. As with Monorail, many of the mixes were jammed together with multiples tape decks and other devices played into the DCC machine in real time.
The longest track, External Realtime, strongly resembles slower Neu! tracks; hissy white noise blows across it like seaspray in the wind. The Blakean yearning for a transfigured city is at its strongest here. It breaks into another faster, more melodic and exotic rhythm midway, amidst radio noise; new heaven and new earth arriving in the firmament, before dissolving back into the original theme. The whole situation is fragile and flawed.
The cover design for Embroiderystichaircraftwing was possibly the most high maintenance of this period. The background layer was printed onto heavy coloured paper, and four windows, containing three segments from an Amiga animation resembling a Futurist cityscape and another with an Entropy Circus yantra, were printed into different coloured papers; these were glued to the background in a mix and match fashion to make each copy unique. The word “Entropy Circus” reappears here for the first time since v5.0. I don’t remember specifically why I decided to allow it to return.
Boccioni Parkway could not last. It was too expensive to maintain, and we sublet and flat in Tottenham from a friend of a friend for a time, which was a disaster. This amongst other factors brought things to a crisis, and things ended between Caroline and I. The next album would take two years to finish.
Embroiderystitchaircraftwing can be streamed or downloaded from archive.org.
Next: The Goats & the Peacock.