The Tenant: Sixty Miles Bad Faith
11 track CDR LP, 30 minutes, 2010.
1. The Bloch
2. The Genocist
3. Surfer’s Deception
4. Tape Machine Death pt 88
5. Your Foaming Curse
6. Bruges Cleft
7. Voice of the Wivenhoe Pylon
8. The Last Extra Mature Cheddar Before Christmas
9. By a Crow in Shacklewell
10. Song for Tarmac
11. Theme for The Tenant
All songs written and recorded by The Tenant between July 1997 and February 2010, with these guests:—
S.J.B. composed and played rhythm guitar thirteen years ago on the basic track for ‘Surfer’s Deception’.
A.J.P. composed and played acoustic guitar on Christmas Day 2002 for ‘Song for Tarmac’.
Ismene Plankton is the voice of ‘Your Foaming Curse’.
All contributions released without permission.
‘Theme for The Tenant’ is an interpretation of Philippe Sarde’s score.
The story of ‘The Bloch’ is a cautionary tale. It partially concerns the time capsule we buried at school after watching Blue Peter: our neatest handwriting, our most colourful drawings, and three years later they built an outhouse over the spot where we buried it. Twenty years on from that, what endures? Well we all worry about this, what could be more dull? A lucky escape for you then, when we missed each other by mere seconds on the corner of Gray’s Inn Road and Elm Street: I was going to tell you all about it.
‘The Genocist’s mangled title is not half as mangled as the animals that were harmed in the making of it. The audible tape wobble is their souls trying to get out. ‘Surfer’s Deception’ was written in 1997; the original words were exposed as the biggest lie of adolescence and had to be drowned. ‘Your Foaming Curse’ wrote itself: the synthesizer was left to make its own noise, this dictated the guitar part and allowed Ismene Plankton to breeze in and improvise a vocal. The failed 80s teen road movie of ‘Bruges Cleft’ is designed to immerse you completely in the snakebite of Camden via Bruges circa your teens. Part 88 of the ongoing ‘Tape Machine Death’ series, ‘Voice of the Wivenhoe Pylon’, and ‘The Last Extra Mature Cheddar Before Christmas’ are old found sounds representing early skirmishes in the war between Man and Machine. Who won? Why, you did, listener!
‘By a Crow in Shacklewell’ is the poignant story of 6 years’ tenancy near this small parish. An overdose of Alice’s medication results in a disturbing loss of scale and perspective: my most terrifying nightmare. An attempt to walk it off only summons disgruntled ghosts, crying incessantly about their lot. It’s a tired cliché that the principal advantage cassette recording has over digital is precisely its restriction: serendipitous decisions are forced by deteriorating tape and limited tracks. But at its worst, the ultimatums delivered by the cassette can induce crippling, decade-long indecision when so little is at stake. This song and ‘The Bloch’ are the thematic links to the album’s title.
‘Song for Tarmac’ straddles the Lea Valley like the pylons on the marshes.
‘Theme for The Tenant’ did some serious time on myspace back in 2006/7. Poor thing. It remains my favourite song by The Tenant. And doesn’t that party sound like a blast?
Where the first Tenant CD, Sick Cure for Bomber’s Scapegoat, was a political record disguised as low-fi arty narcissism, Sixty Miles Bad Faith is unapologetically introspective; indeed it is low-fi arty narcissism disguised as mid-fi arty narcissism.