Madcap spoken word electronica
His name is Mark. And he is jangly. He’s from Swansea, and his new ‘TV EP’ is a collection of wonderfully deadpan Ivor Cutler-esque monologues, focusing largely on the tribulations of trying to get English language programmes on his portable telly in the early 1980s. “I’ve always been a bit of an indoor type,” he confesses. “I also have a curious mind and, especially as a kid, would experiment to try to find out how things worked. Or, as would often be the case at that age, break things…”
Why Jangly Mark?
“As my moniker suggests, my first love is indie-pop,” he admits, describing the fuzzy, analogue electronica of the new EP as “something of a departure”. But it’s marvellously evocative of the era, combining drifting, radiophonic soundscapes with engineering test tones and blasts of white noise. “I could get a weak signal from the Mendip transmitter,” he drawls pithily on ‘DX’, the EP’s opening track proper. “One morning, I woke up to find channels appearing that hadn’t been there before…” Rod Serling, eat your heart out.
Tell us more…
Elsewhere, there are ruminations on being traumatised by both ‘Threads’, and the blanket news coverage of 9/11. Meanwhile ‘The Morning After The Party’ is a glorious (and true) memory of navigating his way home from a drunken soirée in an unfamiliar house by noting the angles at which nearby rooftop TV aerials were pointing at the local transmitters. And the whole wonderfully strange kaboosh has an ultra-limited release on microcassette, the diddy tapes once ubiquitously used for office dictaphones. “I like things that are a bit unusual,” he comments, perhaps unsurprisingly.
‘TV EP’ is out on Lavender Sweep