Bark Psychosis: C or D

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As long as the Beatles are under fire, I thought I'd bring up another much-discussed group that ILM has never properly rated. Personally I don't know how Hex can be a non-classic, but I gather from a.m.a. that Tom Ewing and maybe others consider it a full-on dud?

E. Redfern, Monday, 5 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Put it this way: When my body is cremated, my ashes will be poured inside the sleeve of a copy of Hex.

Q: "Couldn't you have afforded to put Andy in an urn?"

A: "Yes but he insisted..."

Andy K, Monday, 5 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Andy speaks from my heart there. Then again, I might not go that far, but a world with those early singles and Hex in it is a much improved world, so I think.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 5 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

If only for that first Cheree CD single (collecting the first two 12"s), then totally classic. "I Know" is one of my top songs ever and manages to use whale-song convincingly (and don't forget the creepy chuckle at the end!). I've still not properly listened to 'Hex', but since I've had it for many years and have tried several times, I'm starting to suspect dud-ness. However, Andy K's unique recommendation has me breaking it out again.

Spencer Chow, Monday, 5 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't like it quite as much as Independency, but that's kind of like saying I don't like MRI quite as much as Luomo or something. It's a little more lovely and soft, unlike my favorite BP tracks ("Manman," "By Blow" - visceral and dense; "Scum" - menacing and ambient). That said, the piano climax in "Absent Friend" can make me well up in a second.

Clarke B., Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I was just about to buy Hex the yesterday, but I only had enough money for one cd, So I got Associates' Sulk instead. (was that the right choice?)

A Nairn, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Whew, talk about a hard choice to make! Suffice to say you need them both, so getting one (rather than none) is a fine thing. :-)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The first cd I ever bought was the single with "i know" on it. I've hardly topped it since. Brad Mehldau's version of "River Man" has a similar effect, in terms of wistful loveliness.

Conor, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Anything I wrote on a.m.a. I wrote 3-5 years ago! So I've probably changed my mind.

But not on this one - ponderous atmospherics adding up to very little: dud.

Tom, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I would probably "keep" better in a copy of Metal Box, so maybe I went overboard a little.

Andy K, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
Is their new album coming out or what? I'm dying here! Judging by "Miss Abuse," the only track I've been able to procure, it's going to be stunning.

Clarke B. (stolenbus), Saturday, 28 June 2003 22:27 (eighteen years ago) link

bookmark this webpage: [hopefully something will be announced soon]

Bark Psychosis
http://gd.times.lv/bark.htm

DJ Martian (djmartian), Saturday, 28 June 2003 22:33 (eighteen years ago) link

the link reviewing the chinese drone band doing all bark psychosis covers to a 'puzzled' audience is great.

keith (keithmcl), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:21 (eighteen years ago) link

This fills me with excitement even though there's nothing there.

PS; Got bored of waiting for Independancy and have ordered an Amazon Marketplace copy of Game Over.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Thursday, 3 July 2003 13:27 (eighteen years ago) link

it's only there - because of Andy K !

DJ Martian (djmartian), Thursday, 3 July 2003 13:31 (eighteen years ago) link

Cool! I want one so much.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Thursday, 3 July 2003 13:44 (eighteen years ago) link

it's not released [yet]! it's not on promo ! it's only there because Andy knows like the rest of us - it's on the horizon !

DJ Martian (djmartian), Thursday, 3 July 2003 13:51 (eighteen years ago) link

I know but I still want one so much!

Excuse me; I had a pint at lunchtime.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Thursday, 3 July 2003 13:54 (eighteen years ago) link

my goodness, such enthusiasm for an album i've passed up in sale bins (cause it didn't sell), cut-out bins and so many second hand bins

yes, i hope they haven't quite all been snapped up and i'm too late

(any pointers along the lines of, "if you like this then you'll like Bark Psychosis" -- oh, i know such comparisons are a bit shaky, but help !)

george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 3 July 2003 14:04 (eighteen years ago) link

if you like...
extraordinary, life-changing and affirming music?
Perfect albums?
Timeless art?

Hex is easy enough to triangulate. A.R. Kane, Laughing Stock, Astral Weeks. but it's so much more than the sum of its influences.

summerslastsound, Thursday, 3 July 2003 14:16 (eighteen years ago) link

if it means another copy of Hex being rung up and enriching an existence, this is no time to be succinct. so here's what i wrote for Muze, back in the day...

Of all the bands branded with the nebulous "post-rock" tag, England's Bark Psychosis achieved the rarest balance between group musicality and post-production programming. Recorded with a large ensemble of musicians but pieced together with a computer and a sampler, Hex is a seamless tapestry—-a miraculous album that never forfeits its supernatural aura to the sterility of digital design. Principals Graham Sutton and Daniel Gish elaborate on such timeless models as A.R. Kane's 69, The Blue Nile's A Walk Across the Rooftops and especially Talk Talk's Laughing Stock, filling Hex's wide-screen canvas with emotional song-craft and technological refinement. Hex favors the elegant and the understated, presenting an extraordinarily filmic backdrop against which piano, guitar and vocal phrases, wisps of instrumentation and Mark Simnett's percussive cascades fall like December snow. The secret tensions that underscore Bark Psychosis' shimmering quiescence first manifest themselves in John Ling's sinuous, dub-modulated basslines, occasionally erupting in such rapturous displays of bittersweet beauty as "A Street Scene" and "Eyes & Smiles." Other breathtaking flourishes include ribbon-fine feedback, quenching showers of vibes and Del Crabtree's electrifying Miles-style trumpet. Alas, even Bark Psychosis couldn't top Hex. The group disbanded, with Sutton finding minor fame in the drum n' bass arena as Boymerang.


i hope to be proved oh-so-wrong on this last point. will be able to let you know very soon. (-;

summerslastsound, Thursday, 3 July 2003 14:27 (eighteen years ago) link

as an aside, i should mention that a deal for codename:dustsucker is coming fast, perhaps within the week. rumour has it there is a london-based label that is very interested and negotiations are occurring as we speak. i can only hope they're big enough to be swift with the pressing and distribution.

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Thursday, 3 July 2003 14:38 (eighteen years ago) link

What's all that shit scratched all over the blank side of 'scum' all about then? Anyone ever tried playing it?

Jacob (Jacob), Thursday, 3 July 2003 15:15 (eighteen years ago) link

interesting...

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 3 July 2003 17:33 (eighteen years ago) link

indeed ...

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Thursday, 3 July 2003 17:53 (eighteen years ago) link

don't you dare turn this into an inquisition!
you don't know Lance (count your blessings).
you don't know me (your loss).

grrr.

summerslastsound, Thursday, 3 July 2003 18:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Fuck off, scumbag.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 3 July 2003 18:20 (eighteen years ago) link

what the fuck?!

summerslastsound, Thursday, 3 July 2003 18:22 (eighteen years ago) link

and here i was thinking it was ONLY a thread abt bark psychosis but what do you know.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 4 July 2003 09:22 (eighteen years ago) link

huh????

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Friday, 4 July 2003 16:34 (eighteen years ago) link

The stuff on Game Over is extraodrinarily good.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Friday, 4 July 2003 21:18 (eighteen years ago) link

it is? i liked 'murder city', that was about it. well and the stuff from independency too.

keith (keithmcl), Friday, 4 July 2003 21:29 (eighteen years ago) link

I think most of game over is from independency and hex, aren't there only one or two songs that are only available on game over? I sold it back because it didn't flow well, and it seemed inessential with the other two and I just never listened to it.

Nick I can burn you Independency if you want, it's next to impossible to find now (check musicstack.com or gemm, I guess).

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Friday, 4 July 2003 22:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Aye, only two tracks on it aren't on Hex or Independancy. Someone should be sending me a burnt copy of Independancy any time now though, so I should be OK anthony, but thanks anyway. I've also got both Amazon and HMV hassling suppliers so maybe some day they'll even re-press it.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Friday, 4 July 2003 22:37 (eighteen years ago) link

so has anyone else heard the 4 tracks from dustsucker that
are floating around slsk? i've just heard them for the first time
and this could be the best comeback evah!

joni, Tuesday, 15 July 2003 11:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Tell tell tell!

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 15 July 2003 12:16 (eighteen years ago) link

Positive I linked to this on another BP-related thread. I describe each of the four tracks in the 03.06.03 entry -- you have to scroll down quite a bit to get to it.

Andy K (Andy K), Tuesday, 15 July 2003 12:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Interesting you should point out the lack of bass guitar, as Sutton produced and played bass on Coldharbourstores' debut album, which is conspicuously lacking in bottom-end.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 15 July 2003 12:35 (eighteen years ago) link

all i gotta say about this is fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

i miss john ling though. *crying over loss of dub*

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Thursday, 17 July 2003 00:14 (eighteen years ago) link

three months pass...
just posted this on my blog:

Bark Psychosis: NEW ALBUM: MARCH 2004

The release of the much delayed: CODENAME: dustsucker album by Bark Psychosis has been set for March 2004.

It will be released on Fire Records

From the Bark Psychosis forum:

Personnel on the new album consists of:

Pete Beresford - Vibraphone
Anja Buechele – Vocals
Rachel Dreyer – Piano, Vocals, Wood Flute
Shaun Hyder – Sindhi Tamboura
Lee Harris – Drums
Alice Kemp – Bowed Guitar
T.J. Mackenzie – Trumpet
David Panos – Bass
Graham Sutton– Guitar,Piano, Melodica, Bass, Emulator,Vocals

The record was engineered and produced by Graham Sutton at DustSuckerSound, Hackney, London.

DJ Martian (djmartian), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 17:52 (eighteen years ago) link

Good lord, that took forever.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 18:13 (eighteen years ago) link

ah ..but not as long as MBV or The Blue Nile, Ned !

DJ Martian (djmartian), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 18:17 (eighteen years ago) link

LEE HARRIS??

Like, THE Lee Harris??? Of Talk Talk???

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 19:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, yeah. That's not that surprising.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 20:05 (eighteen years ago) link

This is all true and good! I emailed Graham again the other re; a potential interview for Stylus, and he said March 2004 on Fire. It is Lee Harris and from the tracks I've heard it's going to be very good.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 21:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Uh, HELLO?? This is a Bark Psychosis album! Just "very good"? This will not do...

Hmmm... March 2004. So, I should expect to hear it around February or so?? heh heh heh.

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:25 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, I've only heard 4 tracks, the rest of course could be rubbish... But I doubt it.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Thursday, 30 October 2003 09:56 (eighteen years ago) link

was told by someone who heard the whole thing and is a big fan that they "didn't think much of it"... alas!

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Thursday, 30 October 2003 19:09 (eighteen years ago) link

is it a bark psychosis record or a bark psychosis/boymerang record? are the two entirely separate? is boymerang over?

keith (keithmcl), Friday, 31 October 2003 03:52 (eighteen years ago) link

It's definitely a Bark Psychosis record -- and a damn good one at that.

Andy K (Andy K), Friday, 31 October 2003 04:06 (eighteen years ago) link

That's what Graham meant when he wrote, "Great pains / time / money have been used to do this properly". Decent sleeve notes!! ;-)

Duke, Tuesday, 27 June 2017 20:11 (four years ago) link

I still don't know the order of events -- ie, whether they already knew each other before she started writing the book, or whether they met because she started writing the book and interviewing people -- but it's fun that Jeanette and Graham ended up getting married. Power couple right there!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 June 2017 04:08 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

revisiting codename dustsucker and i've gotta say (and someone probably did) that track one basically invented grizzly bear

plp will eat itself (NickB), Saturday, 22 July 2017 22:37 (four years ago) link

Nice try, but I'm still not going to listen to Grizzly Bear

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 22 July 2017 22:42 (four years ago) link

shapeshifting sounds like movietone with a michio kurihara guest guitar solo

plp will eat itself (NickB), Saturday, 22 July 2017 22:57 (four years ago) link

I was in London for this talk at Rough Trade. It was fairly interesting and a happy accident that I ended up in the shop just before the talk began. Wish they had played some examples of the music that influenced the sound.

brotherlovesdub, Saturday, 22 July 2017 23:00 (four years ago) link

Oh cool, do you remember much about what was said?

plp will eat itself (NickB), Saturday, 22 July 2017 23:03 (four years ago) link

In parts. Talked about the influences of the sound. The differences in the U.K. and US post rock principals / sound. The research & writing process. A couple anecdotes. Some other known musicians were in the audience but I forgot who they are now.

brotherlovesdub, Saturday, 22 July 2017 23:39 (four years ago) link

revisiting codename dustsucker and i've gotta say (and someone probably did) that track one basically invented grizzly bear

??? That's a favorite track of mine but it's hardly unique in the continuum of post rock. Grizzly Bear certainly take some influence from post rock but I think their style is quite a bit different.

yesca, Sunday, 23 July 2017 04:24 (four years ago) link

it's the vocal harmonies as much as the music. i don't think i'm insane, i can't actually unhear it now

plp will eat itself (NickB), Sunday, 23 July 2017 05:58 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

hex double vinyl remaster?

https://boomkat.com/products/hex-2fe2e77f-2575-4820-88f4-b763cf63e88d

koogs, Sunday, 17 September 2017 14:15 (four years ago) link

Cd's supposed to be remastered too and finally got the mix it should have done if the band weren't falling apart at the time or something. So have wondered if it sounds much different to the original release which i think I still have.

Also wondering if Sutton might remaster the Che era stuff and recompile it.

Stevolende, Sunday, 17 September 2017 14:20 (four years ago) link

that would be nice. I'll be buying this, more to support the band and Sutton and show interest than anything else; I do wish it wasn't a double 45 release, I hate those. But still.

akm, Sunday, 17 September 2017 15:44 (four years ago) link

They have a Bandcamp page if you want to go direct. I'm assuming the FLAC is 24bit.

Hard to tell how different the new master is but the previews sound nice enough.

Noel Emits, Sunday, 17 September 2017 16:03 (four years ago) link

XXP - The album is remixed??

MaresNest, Sunday, 17 September 2017 18:44 (four years ago) link

Has anyone established whether it actually sounds any different/better? (It always sounded close to perfect to me).

djh, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 21:25 (four years ago) link

From one faintly distracted listen last night, not A-B tested (though I did listen to the original, via a different method, the day before), I feel like some of the guitar is slightly more prominent, and some of the background/ambient sounds. Specifically Graham's spooky, scratchy, mood/rhythm guitar bits (not the sparkly, beatific, weary lead melodies). The whole effect of which is to feel a little less smooth. And closer, ever so slightly, to Dustsucker.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 05:29 (four years ago) link

That's funny because the impression I had from the clips on BK was that the overall 'texture' was a bit smoother (than the origin CD.) Like, slightly more controlled compression, more bass and a more 'open' midrange. Which certainly might make for a better listen, if not dramatically so. A tasteful modern mastering job in other words.

Low bitrate preview clips are of course useless for evaluating this kind of thing, but Sutton says it's better and I'll give him the benefit if the doubt on that.

The original has always sounded pretty good but also for some reason I've never wanted to play it that much and I am intrigued by the prospect of a refreshed version.

It's not been remixed AFAIK.

I make no apologies for the hi-fi mag / Hoffman forums tone of some of the above. My embarrasment should suffice. ;-)

Noel Emits, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:12 (four years ago) link

Sleevenotes don't mention remixing, just remastering.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 12:11 (four years ago) link

More open midrange would explain the increased prominence of Graham's spooky scratch guitar, actually.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 12:12 (four years ago) link

Feel sure that this must have been posted somewhere but just in case:

http://thequietus.com/articles/15990-bark-psychosis-hex-graham-sutton-interview

djh, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 20:41 (four years ago) link

I thought i read something from Sutton somewhere about it finally getting the mix it deserved, or would have got if he wasn't feeling the effect of teh band falling apart at the time of release. Can't think where out of several magazines though.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 20:49 (four years ago) link

It's a fine sounding record anyway imho, remaster or otherwise

MaresNest, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 21:27 (four years ago) link

five months pass...

Codename: Dustsucker reissue on the way:

https://barkpsychosis.bandcamp.com/album/codename-dustsucker

i'm surprised to see your screwface at the door (NickB), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 19:08 (four years ago) link

things i've never heard til today: bark psychosis (heard of them round here over 16 years but i'm either first or last it seems).i been playing through fire records stuff thanks to learning about and playing lots of virginia wing.

enjoying the hell out of codename dustsucker. i guess just in time for reissue! still not heard hex yet tho. ~anticipation~

Hunt3r, Thursday, 8 March 2018 17:43 (four years ago) link

I'm jealous! They are one of the best bands ever, ever, ever...

MaresNest, Thursday, 8 March 2018 19:39 (four years ago) link

Che material needs a new one disc comprehensive home.

Stevolende, Thursday, 8 March 2018 20:01 (four years ago) link

the two cheree eps were collected on one cd. it's over there (points 5ft to his left). discogs doesn't list anything else.

https://www.discogs.com/Bark-Psychosis-Nothing-Feels-I-Know/release/690188

koogs, Thursday, 8 March 2018 21:20 (four years ago) link

ah, there was a track on the flexi

B1 –Bark Psychosis Clawhammer

koogs, Thursday, 8 March 2018 21:21 (four years ago) link

Never much cared for Codename: Dustsucker. Hex and Independency are mostly classic, though.

pomenitul, Thursday, 8 March 2018 21:26 (four years ago) link

dustsucker was the first one i heard (courtesy of a nick southall review, i think!), and i still love it and connect to it a bit more than their earlier albums (which i also like)

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Thursday, 8 March 2018 21:39 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

This is a rather random little essay but has a few tidbits about early BP.

https://christopherothen.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/the-bark-psychosis-stanley-kubrick-connection/

MaresNest, Sunday, 27 May 2018 12:51 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j09xsVXSuUk

MaresNest, Wednesday, 30 January 2019 22:32 (three years ago) link

JUst reading that bark psychosis/kubrick thing and the writer's wrong, they didn't go to Bancrofts which was the other local public school in the area. they went to Forest School. Certainly from the age of about 11 to when they left school.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 30 January 2019 23:00 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Piece in stereogum on hex’s 25th birthday:
https://www.stereogum.com/2031861/bark-psychosis-hex-turns-25/franchises/sounding-board/

goats eat grandma (NickB), Thursday, 14 February 2019 20:54 (three years ago) link

i never understood the fuss about hex. nothing special really, nice to listen to but quite boring. codename dustsucker on the other hand totally knocked me out. they reached another level on that album.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 14 February 2019 22:22 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

BUYER BEWARE: RSD issue of Bark Psychosis “Independency” is unapproved and made despite being asked not to.
No approval of tracklisting.
No approval of artwork.
No approval of mastering.
No approval of pressings.
Can't vouch for veracity of masters used.
You get the picture.

— Graham • Sutton (@GPSutton) March 1, 2019

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 8 March 2019 21:03 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Did anyone pick this up despite it not being legit? I saw a copy yesterday that had somehow not been purchased on RSD, but given Graham's tweet above and the $40 price tag, I ultimately decided to pass it up. I hope this wasn't a mistake. Hopefully there will be a proper reissue at some point?

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 15 April 2019 17:20 (three years ago) link

I did. Listened to it last night and it actually sounds pretty great!!

Guessing, despite Graham’s comments, that they must’ve had some sort of decent masters to work with.

Internet Alan, Monday, 15 April 2019 17:29 (three years ago) link

Picked it up but not listened to it yet. Also sent me off to finally order the “Blue” and “A Street Scene” CD singles which have now arrived.

michaellambert, Monday, 15 April 2019 17:45 (three years ago) link

I was so conflicted about this one. As well as your comment about the quality of the sound Alan, a few people on Discogs have said it sounds excellent. As soon as it was announced it was at the top of my list, but Graham's comments stopped me from getting it. We have one copy left at work and it's calling my name.

kitchen person, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 04:03 (three years ago) link

I asked Graham if he’d ever remaster Independency and he suggested there were significant legal issues with doing so, iirc. No idea what.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 16 April 2019 05:59 (three years ago) link

The legal issue will be Gerald Palmer’s ownership of the masters.

michaellambert, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 11:34 (three years ago) link

I ended up picking up this reissue and have to say, it sounds really great. Just as good as the recent Hex and Codename vinyl reissues.

kitchen person, Saturday, 20 April 2019 15:29 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

So Independency, Game Over and Replay have now hit streaming services? Really didn't expect this at all.

kommafeil, Monday, 19 April 2021 14:30 (one year ago) link

nice!

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 19 April 2021 17:54 (one year ago) link

Files were upped on Boomkat a couple of months ago but Graham asked them to take them down and they complied almost immediately, so I guess Third Stone were responsible.

Maresn3st, Monday, 19 April 2021 18:34 (one year ago) link

well, i'm happy to hear independency again.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 19 April 2021 18:43 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Is there any plans to reissue the non-album stuff?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 6 May 2022 20:55 (two weeks ago) link


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