Black Ribbon to release debut album Strobe on 28th September


Black Ribbon releases his debut album Strobe on 28th September on CD and digital formats. The album is available to pre-order now from us here. The CD will also be available from Jumbo and Crash Records in Leeds, Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield and Wah Wah Records in Wakefield. Downloads and streams will be available at all the usual places you find those.

Black Ribbon is the latest project from Philophobia mainstay Tim Metcalfe (St Gregory Orange, Yard Wars and more). Recorded in his Leeds home studio, ‘Strobe’ combines the DNA of a multitude of genres; from Post-Punk to Dub, Noise to Disco with an aim to create a singular miasma of sound.

Influenced by the nightmarish cinematic universes of David Lynch and David Cronenberg’s detached surrealism, as well as William Burroughs’ scissor-ed sci-fi narratives and JG Ballard’s cold pathologist-like depictions of violence; ‘Strobe’ trades in clipped lyrical and musical motifs: A dark soundtrack evoking the peculiar glamour of some non-existent narcotic underworld.

“It’s easy to create something totally freeform and leftfield” say Metcalfe, “granted it’s not easy to do it well. Not everyone’s gonna come up with Trout Mask Replica by hammering on a piano. But what’s infinitely more interesting to me is when you inter-pollinate that with elements of pop music; create some mutant form that exists between the two extremes. That midpoint between two seemingly incompatible worlds is where it gets interesting. Think about Timbaland’s late 90s / early 2000s productions. They’re totally non-elitist, populist collages of sound that are so seamlessly constructed they don’t even register as ‘weird’. Nobody’s quietly pontificating over the musical “meaning” of this stuff. But seriously, take out the vocals; those beats consist of a really interesting, minimalist combination of sounds. I mean, everyone knows this, it’s not some huge revelation, but it’s still an under-used vocabulary in a world that’s so musically fragmented”.

Thus, angular guitars and discordant synthesizers are (mis)treated through vocoders and electronics as time-stretched jazz horns buckle and blare, yet the familiar thud of an 808 kick or a funk-infused bass line remains present to ground the enterprise.

“This is body music. It’s not music to scratch your chin to. I mean, fine; there’s hopefully enough there lyrically to pique interest. There’s some sort of surreal, ultra-violent crime narrative running through it, populated by grotesque characters and cut up into stray phrases. But that’s really not what this album is about. It’s about everything working in tandem to create a world. And hopefully you can dance in it”.

Listen to the songs that inspired the album on our Black Ribbon curated playlist.

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