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All The Rays! Grumbling Fur's New LP Coming From The Quietus
Luke Turner , June 9th, 2014 12:10

The Quietus Phonographic Corporation label will be releasing interplanetary psych-pop duo Grumbling Fur's third album, Preternaturals, in August. Altogether now, "All the rays are falling forwards..."

Photo by Lucy Barriball

About a year ago - keeping track of time is never our speciality - we set up a record label to release HOSTEL, the debut EP from East India Youth, who with his TOTAL STRIFE FOREVER album has gone on to great things. Remarkably enough in these straitened times of recession and thieving bastards on the internet, the record was a financial success, but we've never wanted to get into the business of being A.N. Other label, churning out releases like a pork sausage production line. Only the music that we love the most will see the light of day...

Which is why we're now thrilled to announce that The Quietus Phonographic Corporation's second release will be the third album from Grumbling Fur, the duo of Daniel O'Sullivan and Alexander Tucker, and one of our very favourite groups. Preternaturals was mastered at Abbey Road, features a collaboration with Tim Burgess, artwork by Turner Prize-nominated artist Mark Titchner, and is released on heavyweight vinyl, CD and digital on August 11th 2014 via a new manufacturing and distribution deal with PIAS. Preternaturals is preceded by the summertime smash hit pop single (it starts with the chorus, don't you know) 'All The Rays', featuring a remix by East India Youth. You can listen to 'All The Rays' via the Soundcloud embed below:

We first pondered putting out some music from Grumbling Fur after we'd declared their Thrill Jockey-released album Glynnaestra to be our favourite album of 2013. One idea we'd had for tQPC was for a series of 12" singles, where artists could release work of a completely different aesthetic or genre from what they'd normally do. Grumbling Fur were initially keen to do this, but their workrate is such that they invited us to their mysterious place of residence and recording to listen to some more song-based material, with a view to releasing an EP - which swiftly expanded to become a nine track album of glowing pop songs and abstract interludes.

With rhythms that clack and clatter like windmills blown by interplanetary solar winds, the songs on Preternaturals are tunes for a milkman to whistle as he steps down from his hoverfloat with a pint of something glowing, in a time and place unspecified and unknown. Their influences include the consumption of psychotropics, Spacemen 3, Faust, Ram-era Paul McCartney, dub, New Zealand musician Alastair Galbraith, reading Philip K Dick, and what Daniel O'Sullivan describes as the Preternaturals idea of "fear that human beings are outside of nature... everything can be elucidated by nature but that we don’t have access to that".

"This is our pop record, but really every record for us is the same, it’s about encapsulating the time during which it was made," says Alexander Tucker. It's about the place where it was made, too, at that point where Tottenham starts to become the suburbs, in a 1930s house owned by the artist Ian Johnstone. With a dense woodland garden planted with healing perennials and walls hung with art by visionary occult painter and illustrator Austin Osman Spare, O'Sullivan describes the place as "an island - it's difficult for me to leave once I'm there. It belongs to Ian, who has always been on the look out for me. The house is imbued with magickal energy. Its walls and the contents within are the materials which record the fibres of time."

Drawing on that energy, the duo describe Grumbling Fur - which emerges from shared, semi-improvised writing and recording sessions within the house - as process music. "Process music, and whatever we're obsessing over at the time," reflects Tucker. "But it never seems to enter the music in an obvious way. [For example], the beginning of [Glynnaestra track] 'The Ballad Of Roy Batty' was just us shaking these Chinese bells, and that was it, the most abstract thing. It was very much like working backwards. I feel like I come at it from working backwards - by starting something that is very much a mistake, and structuring that somehow, and then that becoming the thing itself. Quite often we’ll be working on something else entirely, fucking about, trying to work something in. Then we’ll both start improvising, and then when we’ve removed ourselves from the process, removed ourselves from the expectation of the song, then suddenly this thing blossoms."

The Quietus Phonographic Corporation will be releasing Grumbling Fur's Preternaturals on heavy vinyl, CD and digital download on August 11th. To pre-order the album on iTunes, click here, physical pre-order links to follow shortly.

Grumbling Fur play the following live dates this summer and autumn

Fri 20 - Lock Tavern/405 stage at the Camden Crawl festival, London
Sat 21 - Koko/Last FM stage at the Camden Crawl festival, London

Sat 5 - Third Rail Festival, Reading

Tue 12 - Corsica Studios, London (LP launch, supported by Tim Burgess) - get hold of tickets here
Sat 23 - Doune The Rabbit Hole festival, Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Fri 5 - Oslo Psych Fest, Oslo, Norway
Sat 6 - Festival Number 6, Portmeirion, Wales

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