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Artist: CAMBERWELL NOW
Title: The EP Collection
Format: LP
Label: Modern Classics
Country: USA
Price: $26.00
"Taking inspiration from seafaring and imperialism, and the fact that the music was created within close proximity to the meridian line in Greenwich, the Meridian EP was originally intended to be a project for This Heat. The groups departing member Charles Bullen plays on the opening track, Cutty Sark, named for the famed British clipper ship. The second EP, 1987s Greenfingers, was their final recorded work and, according to Hayward, its possible to hear the group atomizing and preparing to go its separate ways within its grooves. The only This Heat or Camberwell Now recording not to have been produced at Brixtons Cold Storage studios, it was recorded as a DIY exercise and -- unusually for either of the groups -- was not pored over laboriously for a great deal of time. The EP also saw the addition of a new member, Maria Lamburn, primarily on sax, whose Element Unknown was inspired by her experiences in the nuclear protest camp at Greenham Common. Comprising tracks that overlapped between This Heat and Camberwell Now, the EPs concerned themselves with information technology, surveillance, propaganda and what Hayward describes as day-to-day, hand-to-mouth survival -- all pertinent concerns in a fractured Britain under the rule of right-wing Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, and perhaps still as pertinent today in fractured, recession-hit, isolationist Britain. The group dispersed after a final European tour, amicably, quietly, and differently, the latter their MO throughout a unique career. Goronwy, Hayward and Rickard all share their experiences and thoughts on The Camberwell Now in liner notes accompanying this landmark release: young and old, birth and death captured on two sides of vinyl. Official vinyl re-issue in collaboration with original members. 24 bit/96 kHz re-master from original analog tapes. Restored art, expanded to a gatefold tip-on jacket. Includes download card with two bonus tracks. 8 page booklet with track notes by the artists, lyrics and archival photos." - Modern Classics.

Artist: CAMBERWELL NOW
Title: The Ghost Trade
Format: LP
Label: Modern Classics
Country: USA
Price: $26.00
"Camberwell, in South London, pops up infrequently in pop culture. Perhaps you know it from the Camberwell Carrot, the heroically sized joint smoked in cult movie Withnail & I, or perhaps -- if youre attuned to experimental music -- you know of Camberwell Now. The group formed from the ashes of This Heat, the art-noise group whose catalog was reissued on Modern Classics Recordings in early 2016. Not so much a supersession as a continuation of that group, Camberwell Now featured This Heats vocalist / drummer Charles Hayward, who assembled an unusual line-up comprising Stephen Rickard, a former BBC sound engineer, on field recordings and tape manipulation and Trefor Goronwy on bass, vocals and ukulele. We had a very specific set of skills, says Hayward, in new liner notes compiled for this long overdue reissue, and it wasnt immediately clear to us how best to bring them together so that we could play live. Arriving in 1986, The Ghost Trade, the groups sole full-length LP, was what existed at the confluence of live performance and studio experimentation. Similar to This Heats process, the group spent two years in Cold Storage experimenting with the studio and assembling finished songs from vast quantities of tapes. Their two EPs, re-issued as The EP Collection, were borne of a similar process but each with unique yields. The tracks that eventually formed The Ghost Trade were songs forged in the bleak beauty of Thatchers London. To me, the sounds invoked humanity trapped behind and inside a world constructed of glass, steel, and concrete, frozen inside the textures like prisoners of the twilight zone, humanity haunting a landscape it had made for itself, says Hayward. First vinyl re-issue, includes bonus track Daddy Needs A Throne. Official re-issue in collaboration with original members. 24 bit/96 kHz re-master from original analog tapes. Restored art, expanded to a gatefold tip-on jacket. Includes download card, 8 page booklet with track notes by the artists, lyrics and archival photos."

Artist: CAMBERWELL NOW
Title: Alls Well
Format: CD
Label: Recommended
Country: UK
Price: $17.50
The complete works of this post-This Heat band featuring Charles Hayward, recorded 1982-1986. Featuring these original releases: Meridian, The Ghost Trade & Greenfingers LP/EPs. "This definitive edition collects the entire released output of Camberwell Now (two EPs and an LP), newly re-mastered by the band and repackaged with full notes, lyrics, additional photographs and artwork. Chronologically, Camberwell Now immediately succeeded This Heat, Charles Hayward continuing to work with This Heats last bassist Trefor Goronwy, and the two of them joining forces with Stephen Rickard who, for the new band, designed his unique cassette switchboard, a kind of proto-sampler -- though thats not the half of it (Steves article fully explaining the device is reprinted in the new, expanded booklet that comes with the CD). Musically, Camberwell both followed and departed from the style of This Heat. Formally and gesturally there are common elements, but there is far greater transparency and the sound palette is quite different: the music is more placed than grown, as the slow accumulation and evolution of material in This Heat gives way to a more immediate and orderly development of the material in Camberwell Now. The songs -- nostalgic, scary, and quietly desperate -- peer into the future to find harbour but confront only fragments of ruin. Debris and disturbance eat away at the root and corrode each shiny surface (mostly the musical work of the cassette switchboard). The juxtaposition of powerful, virtuosic playing and the eerie, often unidentifiable keenings, chords and constant motion of the cassettes is one of the things that make Camberwell Now so expressive of its time -- when the whole social and political fabric of a no-longer-great Britain was unravelling. Camberwell Now worked and recorded in Cold Storage, and toured intermittently through Europe between 1983 and 1986, when they disbanded." - Recommended

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