Back in September 2012 I penned a piece extolling the virtues of poet Kate Tempest’s seismic performance of her self-penned ‘Brand New Ancients’. It was a co-production with Battersea Arts Centre and seeing it released 18 months later as a classy slice of hi-end cultural vinyl is indeed a treat.
Brand New Ancients is a gripping the tale of two families, lives intertwined and set against the background of the inner city and braided with classical myth. Onstage with the aid of her chosen musicans Tempest storms through modern day scenarios to illuminate how the ancient myths live on in our everyday acts of violence, bravery, sacrifice and love – and that our lives conjure up tales no less dramatic and powerful than those of the Gods.
‘Brand New Ancients’ has toured to sold out venues around the UK and in New York and it was following one Kate’s performances that Gearbox Records’ Founder/Producer Darrel Sheinman was convinced that it needed be recorded and transferred onto wax. And that’s exactly what’s come to pass. Operating under lisence from Picador, they got Kate together with Neil Catchpole, who composed the score, along with Kwake Bass (percussion + electronica), Raven Bush (violin), Jo Gibson (tuba) and Natasha Zielazinski (cello), in the Angel studios and recorded the entire piece. They then sent it off to NYC to be mixed in by Frank Verderosa (a legend no doubt!). Once back in London it was mastered for vinyl as only the Gearbox crew know how!*
Back on Record Store day in 2013 Gearbox Records released Michael Horowitz’s ‘Bankbusted Nuclear Detergent Blues’ – an LP of performance poetry accompanied by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Paul Weller and as Record Store Day 2014 nears we can celebrate ‘Brand New Ancients’ as another unique and valuable addition to the canon of spoken word on vinyl.
* Easy now! Tech-Info: The record was mastered for vinyl at Gearbox Records and cut on a Haeco Scully lathe with Westrex RA1700 series amps, Westrex 3DIIA cutting head and Telefunken U73B tube limiter; Maselec master control and equalisation.
More info: http://www.gearboxrecords.com
STOP PRESS: Watch this space for further news on a baaad new project between Kate and Will Ashon’s Big Dada imprint… comin’ like a Ninja!