EWR5–Acolytes Action Squad – Winkle Time – Reviews


Everett True – Plan B Magazine

Remember Effi Briest? Remember Nista Nije Nista? Remember the idea of experimentation being fun? Murky, meticulously deconstructed, angelic, zoological rock that’s 50 times even better…um. It’s not a competition, you know.


Daniel Spicer – Plan B Magazine

There is another route to freshness, though: be so downright strange that your listener tries to run screaming from the room, only to find doors locked and the couple in the matching cumstained macs advancing with trembling, filthtoothed glee. Sheffield’s Acolytes Action Squad plug into a few recognisable forms of current hipster improv on Winkle Time – the murky tape episodes and chiming tone experiments of psychedelic noise, coupled with the mosstrousered tinkle-scrape of Finnish free-folk – but it’s all decorated with several layers of wrongness that make it entirely their own creation: odd, imbecile-uncle nursery rhyme

chants; farmyard field recordings, the air thick with turkey feathers as the dance of the pig’sbladder troubadours reaches its climax; and fingerpicked ditties are played in sepia windows while Bagpuss bites the heads off the Mouse Organ parasites. It’s the indigenous folk music of a neo-medieval England in which the only shared cultural artefacts left over from before ‘The Big Trouble’ are the first Comus album on scratched vinyl and a VHS copy

of The Wicker Man taped from Tyne Tees TV. It’s also pretty much perfect. So, go on then, do something to surprise me. Just make it new, is all.


Norman Records

This has got to be the weirdest thing I've had to review today, out on the aptly titled label run by former Big Eyes man James Green. Compared to Grouper up here at the Towers, it's made up of the kind of left of field experimentalism that leaves one grappling around where to pitch its intended fanbase. Containing the strummed innards of a broken down piano, mad drum breaks, off the wall vocal acrobatics full of chorused harmonics, shortwave radio crackle, tribal beats and percussion. If you like Can, Dadaist sound poetry, playground mischief and farm yard/madhouse antics then this is for you. If I told you it's from Sheffield...



Tokafi/Vital Weekly

It might be of course a matter of concentration, but sometimes there are these releases which I don't get around and the one by Acolytes Action Squad is one of those. They have been around since 1997 and released a cassette, a piece of vinyl and a piece of CD. Now there is a new release from this duo, consisting of The Essence and Ditchus from Sheffield. Now what about the music? I hear elements of improvised music, of drone music, of electronic sound manipulation. Noise, real songs, krautrock, totally fucked up hip hop. There is so much. But there's also female singing here, and everytime I hear that I kept thinking of Nurse With Wound. And that's perhaps the best thing to compare it with. The sheer combination of styles that still work as a whole, the collated elements of various kinds of music, be it a bit cruder that the wounded nurse, makes sense however. You'd be expecting an amalgam of music but it's a curious homogeneity that is presented here. Strong stuff that made curious about their earlier recordings.