Friday, 26 May 2017

Trilogy - Tapestry (1984) C60

The first full length cassette released on my Do Easy label by someone other than myself was Hopscotch by Opera for Industry (February 1984 I think), and the second - about four months later - was Tapestry by the Complete Trilogy. The Complete Trilogy, whom I seem to recall having been named after some book I'd never heard of, was the work of one Thomas Docherty, whom I suspect got fairly tired of having to explain that no, he wasn't the former manager of Manchester United. He wrote following Larry Peterson having given me the big up in Scum #6 fanzine. He had pretty much the same limited set up as myself, with everything being recorded onto a home stereo, but he seemed to achieve quite a lot with very little, as can be heard on Tapestry - from which I nicked his technique of playing several copies of the same recording out of sync so as to create a sort of budget echo effect. Anyway, I liked the tape so I released it, once I was certain TD - as he signed his letters - understood that I probably wasn't going to make him famous.

The tape sold quite well by my standards, more than thirty, probably not in excess of fifty copies from what I can recall. A couple of the tracks appeared on Black Dwarf's Ars Magna et Ultima compilation, so maybe that was something to do with it. Actually, I seem to recall TD being quite good friends with Tim Gane and the possibility of a Trilogy / Unkommuniti split album was discussed at one point.

Due to his parents' trade, TD lived on a building site in Hatfield and had one of the most amusingly industrial addresses ever, and myself and my friend Grez drove down there to meet him during the summer of 1984. We all bonded instantly over our shared obsession with Laurel & Hardy and TD played us a new track he'd recorded called Words Cannot Describe, elements of which apparently derived from recordings made inside some giant metal pipeline he'd found. To this day Words Cannot Describe remains, at least for me, one of the scariest pieces of mutter mumble industrial music I've heard outside of Heathen Earth or Psykho Genetika - turn off the lights, wack up the volume, and maybe you'll see what I mean.

A few months later, TD decided to shorten the name to Trilogy and revise the tape, replacing Metallic Grey with Words Cannot Describe. Personally I wasn't too sure about this, believing that music albums should be left as products of their time, but I did it anyway. Words Cannot Describe is probably the better track, although oddly I find that Metallic Grey - despite the obvious Throbbing Gristle influence - seems to foreshadow the twisted cabaret sound of TD's later material recorded as Frenzied Encounters. Anyway, I've digitised both versions of the tape, so once you've downloaded I suppose you could shuffle either track six or seven to see which version of the album you prefer; or just keep them both because they seem to work together just fine, I'd say. I should probably point out that the recording volume on the original tape varies wildly, presumably so as to give greater dramatic impact to the really noisy stuff such as Our Patience Will End. I've done what I can, but you may want to fiddle with the volume a bit, and you'll definitely need to wack Words Cannot Describe right up for full impact.

TD is still in existence today and can be found here on YouTube, along with some of the stuff he's worked on over the years since Tapestry.

1 - Tropical
2 - Non-Malignant Breakthrough
3 - Our Patience Will End
4 - Clean Recording
5 - The Dark Night
6 - Metallic Grey
7 - Words Cannot Describe
8 - Tapestry
9 - Orchestral

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