Heavy Water (UK 2017-19)
Heavy Water is the brainchild of Pk Chown (aka Julius Vanderbilt, Mr Liquorice) a musician, producer and collagist from the UK who has been making music in the shadows since the early 1970’s. From early prog-rock and bedroom experimentalism to post nu-wave bands, he was part of an audacious scene that brought together writers, filmmakers, punk rock and experimental theatre in the melting pot of small-town Northampton.
Often working behind the scenes with names like writer Alan Moore and David J (Bauhaus) he has remained in a self-imposed obscurity, firmly believing that it is in the shadows that an artist is truly free of all restraints.
In 2015 he teamed up with life-long pal and fellow musician Glyn Bush to form the Dandelion Set, a short lived but well received project that tipped it’s hat to bands like Soft Machine, Stereolab, Broadcast and Faust. Using music from an early Alan Moore/Jamie Delano play they had co-written in the mid 70’s as a starting point, the Dandelion Set attempted to connect the dots between the raw experimentalism of that time and the more studied retro-futurism of now, stopping off at all points in between. Very soon, they piqued the interest of Buried Treasure Records who released the album A Thousand Strands 1975-2015 featuring Alan Moore.
Following on from his work with the Dandelion Set, Julius Vanderbilt has conjured up another hybrid of 70’s prog, experimental library music and jazzy psychedelia with his new Heavy Water project and the eponymous first album. Sounding like the lost soundtrack
to a vintage sci-fi/horror movie, the 11 tracks reflect the dystopian atmosphere of our currently fragmented world, as viewed through the wrong end of a telescope by a 70’s rockband. It’s a similar dark journey to that taken by the French Zeuhl bands, or even post nu-wave groups like This Heat. Dark brooding organ, echoey guitars, haunting harpsichord and coded political metaphor make this release the perfect reflection of our anguished times.
Limited to 200 copies on vinyl.
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