PRJ021 - Medicine and Duty Sunken Carnival

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  1. Neutral history
  2. The golden age of cartoons
  3. Baton charge
  4. Dredging eastwards
  5. 234 at window 17
  6. Old country practise
  7. Deep sea heat haze
  8. My castle on my mountain

Format: 12" Vinyl LP
Price: £12.00
Released: January 2011
275 Copies

Reviews for Sunken Carnival

R.A.D. Vinyl, October 2011

'Foolproof Projects have done a limited 250 copy pressing of Medicine and Duty’s 6th album and very first on vinyl. Entering the world of Medicine and Duty is to be immersed with sounds altogether familiar and foreign. Sunken Carnival at its peak is a fever pitch of dense analog madness with thick low end and clattering percussion freely improvising. When Medicine and Duty tighten things up on “Dredging Eastward” they reach for the krautrock rhythms of Can and This Heat using propulsive repetition as their guide. Andy Payne provides first rate drumming that is innovative and attention grabbing while Matt Colegate and Jack Cooper create wierdo synth madness that travels from futuristic robot noises to organic waves of sound and back again. This is first rate imrov. for a new generation of analog lovers.'

Foxy Digitalis, June 2011

'This U.K. trio have six albums to their name, but this is the first I’ve heard of ‘em. Nothing wrong with that, though. Matt Colegate, Andy Pyne and Jack Cooper utilize a drums/synth/samples/vocals attack formation, unleashing salvos of post-punk and kraut-rock delight. Here’s the run-down: Pyne lays down a solid bedrock of percussive rhythm, upon which the other two lads duel it out with endless streams of skronk, shimmer and squeal. Rinse, repeat.
To be honest, the results are pretty damn good – especially the drumming, which is high-energy and precise. I’m not going to go so far as to compare Pyne’s staccato stabs to the always spot-on grooves of Jaki Liebezeit, but you can imagine the direction he’s taking on this record. When the synthetic meat from Colegate and Cooper is draped across these lovely percussive bones, songs spring to life. Bleak songs in that dark, post-punk way of being – but songs nonetheless. One final thought: the cover art is pretty cool – either a hand-drawn replica of a sea anemone or a pile of erect penises. Just sayin’… (Bryon Hayes)'

Still Single, May 2011

'British trio of drums, synths, and samples that provides a stern and vivid counterpoint to the G-funk/stoner electro music I was exposed to earlier. The drummer lays down an engaging, sometimes treated, sometimes syncopated beat, while the synth players jump all around the beat with staccato fuzz bursts, ring mod abuse, sharp and forceful execution, and the sort of breathless, anxious vibe that This Heat so carefully perfected. Some tracks work better than others (the dub-facing “Dredging Eastwards” seems to have great potential in the comedown part of a DJ set before things get really strange) but there’s enough solid ideas and believability in what they do to bolster their musically ambitious agenda. Bright and immediate, and worthy of greater attention. (Doug Mosurock)'

Losing Today, February 2011

'Medicine and Duty ‘sunken carnival’ (foolproof projects). Oh my oh my - quite a funky little thing this, ooh those slinky melodic phrases, those silken beats and pure pop coronas. Of course we tease you for the day Medicine and Duty greet us with something so duly apt of such description will be the day when the rest of the melodic fraternity have caught up with them and in true copy cat style seized upon their box avoiding skewed art / jazz / no wave focal and cued it as their own. Medicine and Duty are the original sore thumbs, its been nigh on 10 years now since Andy (Pyne) started sending over his limited run sonic scalps and with them each parading a pop persona so off centre, so often alien and ahead of the curve that its strictly off radar. No longer a case of expect the unexpected, Pyne and Co still confound, confuse and cook a snook at what passes for trends and fashion seemingly content and intent on warping your listening space. Sixth outing for Medicine and Duty (a trio featuring Pyne, Colegate and Cooper), ’sunken carnival’ is the first to appear on wax as opposed to previously trademark limited run CD variants. As per usual strictly limited in issue - 275 of these aural orphans are currently kicking around looking for loving and caring homes and why not. Uttered in secret circles as their finest to date - and who are we to argue - ’sunken carnival’ pitches the trio still occupying a lonesome watch upon pop’s barely visible outpost, less erratic and punishing than previous outings this eight track set welds and wields a fancifully fraught and tamed tapestry whose pattern abridges a finite line trimmed upon a mutant brew of kraut / space grooved art pop derived no wave. This Heat (try the ominous disjointed industrial funk mantra of ‘deep sea heat haze’ for size) loom large in Medicine and Duty’s aural vocabulary as do Public Image LTD, Cabaret Voltaire and Henry Cow - all ever more so now for ’sunken carnival’ adopts a less is more objective, the sounds pared down to just synths, drums and vocals resonate with a sparsely minimalist and monochromatic chill, gone are the previous forays into spazzed out contortions if anything this set provides evidence indeed that Medicine and Duty are growing into their sonic skin the tentative steps made on 2008’s ’flags and cannons’ seemingly matured, nailed and realised on this head expanding opus. As to the actual album itself - well it starts off quietly as it happens, with a shuffle here, a tap there, a wheeze, a punctuated yawn, the emergence of a rhythmic manta - you get the impression that ’neutral history’ is in essence a briefly despatched loose limbed warm up, a vague mutated jazz ramble aligns into earshot then passes into the improv huddle and disappears gluing itself to a subterranean conscious that steadily assumes mass and definition which if we didn’t know any better we’d be jotting down and chasing down the Volcano the Bear meets Sunburned Hand of the Man echoes. Somewhere amid this off centred sprawl ‘the golden age of cartoons’ emerges from the primordial swamp, obtuse, awkward and impishly out there and to its persona brandishing a drone mirage casing equipped with kraut rhythmic pulsars. Casting a sense of mischievousness matters finally veer into focus with the scatter brained meltdown of the mind decaying ‘baton charge’ - a fried and wired loosening of sense and reason amid a dissipating collage of nonsensical chattering helium dinked communiqués and chuckling synths which collude to preside over a near calamitous conclusion is rest assured the safest way to describe the goofish goings on unravelling between the grooves. ’dredging eastwards’ brings side 1 to a close something which unless my ears are failing me had us recalling or at least imagining in another age that is a youthful Cabaret Voltaire calibrated, lassoed and reframed in a spartan monotone futuristic glaze pierced to the overtly oppressive drudge existence of an eerie automotive disquiet. An altogether different beasts lurks over on side 2, the chilling edginess encountered on ’old country practice’ is attuned with a chill forming bleak sparseness more suited to a John Carpenter score albeit spiked by momentary lapses into acid psyche broodiness and savage squalls impressed by the occasional sonic spike while the curiously obliquely titled ’234 at window 17’ is a head damaged slab of Dadaist dub nurturing a want for a frenzied albeit abstractly playful PIL pinging Goblin. All said the Goblin and John Carpenter reference markers are clearly present for the sets epic finale ’my castle on my mountain’ - a gloriously panoramic monolith steeped in equal parts dread finality and storm baiting ritual, dark, determined and doused with a psych scribed epitaph scarring desolation of such bleak majesty that you might be subliminally encouraged to root through Suicide and UK Decay back catalogues of old.'

Norman Records, January 2011

'Medicine and Duty are a new name to me but they feature characters I've come across before, In fact these lot are practically a super group with members of Teeth Of The Sea (Matt Colegate), Shrag, Black Neck Band of the Common Loon (Andy Pyne) and Guillotines' (Jack Cooper) all getting involved. This is their 6th studio album and the first to make it onto a slab of wax, so that's cause for celebration in itself. Medicine And Duty subscribe to a no-wave, post-punk way of thinking but apply it as if they we're a krautrock outfit. 'Sunken Carnival' takes its time to get going but once things kick off I'm treated to some excellently abstract synth and drum treats accompanied by totally bizarre digitally manipulated vocal chattering's. These vocal contributions essentially act as an extra instrument but they also provide the listener with comedic pleasure too. Much like say A Middle Sex - they enjoy building compositions into a frenzy of activity before dispersing and starting over again. The drums are propulsive, wild tub thumping affairs which helps maintain the momentum for the rest of the lads to their thing; which they do with reckless abandon.'