Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Ghosts of Bush

Some of you may be familiar with Robin the Fog from Jonny Trunk's wonderful OST show on Resonance FM, but Robin (Warren)'s day or more usually night time job was as a studio manager at the BBC's World Service in Bush House, in London.

Before the BBC finally left Bush House in July, Robin put in some long and late hours haunting its massive Portland stone corridors to capture the sounds of the building and produced a Radiophonic sound collage of the results in one of the basement studios. I use the word "Radiophonic" in its strictest sense here, given that the album was produced entirely on tape using found sound sources and hand edited and produced in a BBC studio. Although not an official BBC recording, I think its fair to say that this may be the very last piece of true Radiophonics that will ever be produced. There's an interview with Robin at The Quietus here , and below is a clip from a World Service programme about the making of the album.

"The Ghosts of Bush" is a beautiful monument to the work of the World Service during its 70 year tenure here and more importantly perhaps to this awe inspiring building. Declared the most expensive building in the world when it was built in 1929 and said to be the inspiration for Orwell's Ministry of Truth.  The soundscape is more mournful than ghostly to my ears, really capturing a sense of loss - with beautiful moments when mechanical and ambient sounds swell out with an almost choral or orchestral feel. All the more impressive when you consider no artificial reverbs or other digital effects were used. I get the sense that this love letter to a building has been recorded and presented with great humility by Robin - light on concepts, ego,  mission statements and artifice (unlike a GB project )  and topped off with a pleasingly daft tip of the hat to Eno and Byrne in the title.

You can listen to the project below and also download here on Robin's blog where you can  pre-order a very limited edition vinyl copy of the album. Please pay generously for this as all proceeds will be donated to BBC Media Action (formerly The World Service Trust), helping  to 'harness the power of media and communication to help reduce poverty and assist women, children and men to claim their rights'.