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Baker's Dozen

Let It Happen: Paddy Shine's Baker's Dozen
Harry Sword , April 27th, 2022 10:30

Paddy Shine is one of the most relentless instigators in the underground, both as part of Gnod and in myriad other projects. Ahead of the release of the debut album by his weird folk group Moundabout alongside Phil Masterson on Rocket this summer, he guides Harry Sword through 13 vital slabs

Imbued with cosmic magnificence and chaos energy, the music of Paddy Shine – both his work in Gnod, solo recordings and countless collaborations – simultaneously taps multiple facets of the modern underground and an ancient, palpably mossy bearing.

Since 2007, Gnod have operated not so much as band but more free wheeling audio hydra, encompassing a welter of collaborators and channelling sounds that roam from hypnotic dronewerks (Infinity Machines; Mirror) to raging politicised noise rock (JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT​-​WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE; La Mort Du Sens) and roiling, dense psychedelia firmly planted in specific time and place (Hexen Valley).

Based for many years at a housing cooperative/arts centre in Islington Mill in Salford, Gnod (who now revolve around a tighter nucleas of Paddy Shine, Jesse Webb and Chris Haslam from a Hebden Valley base) hone in on a hypnotic, distorted but frequently propulsive sweet spot shared by bands on labels like God Unknown, Rocket and Wrong Speed – the weirder, wonkier side of heavy, essentially – while their Tesla Tapes imprint has also served as a vital underground hub for the wider Gnod family, with an eclectic release schedule encompassing lo-fi electronics, industrial, field recordings and all manner else.

However, this is only a part of Paddy Shine’s sonic story. Aside from Gnod he’s traversed free improvisation (A split release with Worship My Panther), home spun techno (Dwellings & Druss) and, in 2020, an album of beautiful lysergic folk music (The Craic In The Cosmic Egg). The latter – drawing on Shine’s Irish roots and deep love for the traditional music and ancient spaces of the country – pivoted around Shine’s acoustic guitar, subtle electronic drones and vocals. It was a beautiful, often stark record and offers some clue as to where Shine was headed on the forthcoming Moundabout LP Flowers Rot, Bring Me Stones released next month on Rocket. A folk project from Shine alongside Phil Masterson of Los Langeros/ Damp Howl/ Bisect, Flowers Rot is intimately connected to the ancient geography and geology of the hills, bogs, stones and cairns of Ireland, offering a portrait of a foreboding and beautiful landscape perfectly suited to late night headphone session. It was – explains Shine – born of the the immediate joy of jamming and recording after long walks into countryside around Cork.

“The Moundabout thing came about back in Ireland, hanging out with my good friend Phil,” he says. “It was really from jamming with him, that’s where this record came from. We’d go out on these big walks and then jam acoustically, which is something that I love to do. I love to sing songs and write nice melodies – but I don’t often get the opportunity to do that with Gnod, as Gnod isn’t really that kind of project. So it was a very enjoyable record to do. Phil would come out to my place in the countryside and record out there, either that or we’d go out to Phil’s place just outside Cork city and the album came together over the course of two sessions there. Go for a walk, drink a bit of wine and just let it happen. We just wrote everything on the spot. Phil has got a kind of take on music that I really dig and we seem to have something going – it’s a buzz!’

For his Baker’s Dozen, Shine was adamant that he didn’t want to “go on some nostalgia trip. Rather, these are records that soothe my soul and take me to a place where I’m completely immersed.”

Gnod's new album Hexen Valley is out now. Moundabout's debut album Flowers Rot, Bring Me Stones will be released on July 29 via Rocket Recordings.

To begin reading Paddy Shine's Baker's Dozen, click the image of him below