Strange Ululations

by Big Block 454

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    Extra artwork
    The Big Block 454 film "Tyres"
    The Les Howarth animation "Chairs"
    The expedition log

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about

Songs from the film "Fistula !"

Big Block 454 are:
Colin Robinson, Pete Scullion, Alex Stone and Mark Joell.

Strange Ululations - Being an Account of the Strange and Wondrous Big Block 454 expedition in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Eight

I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why. The hitherto withheld photographs, both ordinary and aerial, will count in my favour, for they are damnably vivid and graphic. Still, they will be doubted because of the great lengths to which clever fakery can be carried. The ink drawings of course, will be jeered at as obvious impostures, notwithstanding a strangeness of technique which art experts ought to remark and puzzle over.

Our expedition set off to secure deep-level specimens of the stranger forms of sound. We were accompanied by meteorologists, biologists, and nine skilled mechanics. Two were competent wireless operators, and eight understood navigation with compass and sextant.

At last, we encountered an outpost of the great unknown continent and its cryptic world of frozen death. Through the desolate summits swept raging, intermittent gusts of the terrible Antarctic wind; whose cadences sometimes held vague suggestions of a wild and half-sentient musical piping, with notes extending over a wide range, and which for some subconscious mnemonic reason seemed to me disquieting and even dimly terrible. Something about the scene reminded me of the strange and disturbing descriptions of the evilly fabled plateau of Leng which occur in the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. I was rather sorry, later on, that I had ever looked into that monstrous book at the university library.

We established a base camp, then flew further into the unknown. Our Dornier flying boat was forced down by inclement weather, and we determined to carry on on foot, following the faint tracks of those who had passed before us.

We sifted through the remains left by the German pioneers of the '70s, their valves still warm, off-cuts of tape spooling out across the frozen white wasteland.

We stumbled across the shack where the Dutch explorer Van Vliet had imprisoned his erstwhile companions, force-feeding them on his own unsane brain pan.

We heard the Piper at the Gates of Dawn; we saw the Dwarf Nebula Processional March; we felt the Mascara Snake.

In the detritus of discarded aeroplane drop tanks we found the Mazda Marimba, with its tuned light bulbs that had been severed at the sockets and then eviscerated.

We discovered the writings whereby the residents of this place had tried to establish their own language, in this far outpost of anonymity. Eskeymow ! Eskeymow ! Eskeymow !

Back at the flying boat, Flight Engineer Howarth had managed to record the events using magnetic media, adding dialogue by judicious use of the Morse key.

Working underground, we eventually uncovered the Great Seal of Big Block 454, its Osiris eye gazing without blinking into the faint glimmer of the sun's new rays. A chrysalis formed around our party, as we began the metamorphosis into a new life form.

Finally, the chrysalis shattered, and Big Block 454 sprung fully-formed into view, striding across the firmament like colossi. The being once known as Captain Scullion stumbled and fell, stridulating obscenely, whilst the being once known as Captain Robinson, now a many-tentacled rugose cone, moved off toward the dawn.

The above account was dictated by Captain Robinson, Royal Naval Air Service, to an observer in the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane, December 1998

credits

released January 1, 1999

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Big Block 454 Hebden Bridge, UK

Since the late 80s, Big Block 454 has been making exploratory, highly individual music that encompasses rock, funk, electronica, folk music, Dadaist collage and much more besides.
Each band member is a multi-instrumentalist, but Big Block 454’s approach also encompasses the creation of sound on instruments they don’t know how to play, and those that hadn’t been invented before the band made them.
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Track Name: Insect with Sinister Dental Work
Teeth moved like insects,
searching for food,
weasels were par-boiled, beetles were stewed.
Porcine confectionary, Battenberg hog,
a preacher was dressed up in the guise of a dog

Don't you talk to me like that

Stained black dentures, chitin-encased,
Tapes of Roy Harper, slightly erased.
Bedlam was burning, like Newton Heath.
Life was a building without any teeth.

Don’t you talk to me like that.
Track Name: Longest Escalator in the World
The longest escalator in the world
Track Name: Dead Man's Handle
Dean Man's Handle
Dean Man's Handle
Dean Man's Handle
Dean Man's Handle
(You're a dead man)
Track Name: There was silence...
We were sitting, we were talking
We were thinking of the day to come
We were eating, we were sleeping
We were drinking Wray & Nephew rum

We were laughing, we were joking
We were smoking, we were writing
We were washing, we were reading
We were drowning, we were dreaming

Dreaming, we were dreaming
Reminiscing
There was silence…

Oh, by the way…
Track Name: Orthoptera / Cephalopod Coffee Bar Scenario
Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!
Track Name: Remarkable Suburban Journeys
Driving iron far below the sea
Driving iron far below the sea
Driving iron far below the sea
Do you still remember me?
Track Name: Orbiting Very Fast
The light seems dark, the dark seems light
The light seems dark, the dark seems light
They’re all coming back, they never died
Track Name: Nova Zembla
Zembla, Velasquez, Zembla
Zembla, Velasquez, Zembla
Zembla, Velasquez, Nova Zembla
Track Name: The Big Analgesic
Laryngitis, lancinating, Lassar’s Paste, inoculating,
Locomotor ataxia, litmus paper, panacea,
Pancarditis, panchromatic, panic state of a fanatic,
In the panleucopenia of a fatal photalgia

Ho Ho Ho Ho !
The Big Analgesic

Plague of boils and boiling plastic, putrefying and elastic,
Pyorrhoea, pyosalpinx, rhinoscope and Twenty Small Drinks,
Twenty pairs of bones in thorax, all united by some Borax,
From the spine and from the sternum, let us slice them up and burn ‘em.

Artificial crown on tooth root, artificial form of breadfruit,
Fructose / lactose / lactoflavin, take your filling out and cave in,
Lactic acid / lactiferous, your secreted milk will scare us,
Nasal duct and lacrimation, shed your tears for animation.

Ho Ho Ho Ho !
The Big Analgesic
Track Name: Fistula !
Fistula !