Philip Sanderson is a veteran of the UK homemade music/cassette culture underground, his Snatch Tapes label having formed in the heady DIY days of the late 70s. My last run in with Sanderson was his 2012 released Hollow Gravity LP, brought to the world by the Puer Gravy label, run by those creative wild men Eric and Matt of Vas Deferens Organization (VDO).
Back Projection is a 9 track set of 3 instrumentals and 6 songs, apparently the first songs Sanderson has recorded in a long time. As Sanderson explains, “The tracks all started as free-form analogue synthesizer & sequencer improvisations using a long delay to build up polymorphous patterns. With the addition of vocals and some judicious editing these tracks morphed into songs.”
Among the instrumentals is Industral Shadows, which is like VDO or the Residents playing to the rhythmic riff of Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days. Lost In A Brut Smog is an alien symphonic piece, with avant-concert piano accompanied by whizzing and whirring effects and surrounded by a heavenly cosmic aura. Wind Up goes deep into early 70s Kosmiche, but with an experimental twist, in a way not unlike VDOs Saturation and Zyzzybalubah albums did. I love the planetarium image inducing atmospherics and effects combined with merrily rhythmic pulsations, bleeps and tones.
The songs kick off with Down A Denny Lane, a delightfully odd and dark, yet slightly whimsical song, like Paul Roland with Goblin as his backing band. It’s got a ghostly feel, and a touch of early 70s German Kosmiche, yet there’s also a melange of cool and strange electronics creating off-kilter rhythms and effects. Back Projection is like a twisted cross between Peter Hammill and Anthony Phillips as the song tiddles along at a jagged but gently rolling pace. Kite (we thought it would be OK but the wind changed) is a hauntingly lulling Psychedelic song with a Pagan-Folk feel, yet includes spaced out atmospherics and is peppered with a plodding electronic melody that sounds interesting alongside the plucking medieval stringed instrument. Two songs that approach a gnarled brand of Pop are Ghost Of Substance and Manchmall. The former is a nifty bit of spacey electro Prog-Pop, and Manchmall is a merrily whimsical and melodic Space-Pop tune. Finally, Wonder Where You Wander is a vocal number, but covers much of the territory that the instrumentals have, being a darkly haunting yet cosmically uplifting song.
In summary, this is a fun set, the magic of the music being the variety of creatively strange elements that Sanderson incorporates throughout. Sanderson has a flair for a good melodic song, and these tunes are both catchy and cosmically eccentric.
To stream and download Back Projection and other Philip Sanderson releases you can visit: http://philipsanderson.bandcamp.com
Visit the Philip Sanderson web site at: http://www.psouper.co.uk
Visit the Snatch Tapes web site at: http://www.snatchtapes.co.uk
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz