Ceramics – Volume 1

We’ve known Hamish Trevis, aka Kinlaw, aka the man behind ‘Ceramics’, one of Bristol’s most honest and down-to-earth DIY operations, for some time now. That’s mainly from various visits to our local spot for film development, where he spends his time behind the counter, getting a sneak peek at upcoming Tape-Echo artwork projects. The Ceramics imprint is hard to pin down, perhaps best described as one of those Bristol projects that can’t be tagged in the lazy ‘sound system culture’ bracket, but it does fit in with the more humble happenings in the DIY electronic scene here. No big fuss or hype, Ceramics have released an LP from Joane Skyler and an excellently scuzzy tape from Mhah Mos, and are now presenting their long-in-the-planning ‘VOL 1’ compilation. That features 10 tracks from 10 artists who are held dearly by the label, having presented them with mixes in the past and walking a similar (non) path to the Ceramics crew. On ‘Volume 1’ - as the title suggests - Ceramics’ first completion tape, f*cked up bangers from the likes of Filter Dread, OMAAR, 1127 and Presente go head-to-head with a strange, but totally wild 8-bit acid contribution from Joane Skyler, schizophrenic computer music from Preston/Read, Hype Williams-esque house from Mhah Mos, saturated Steel Pan stillness from GramRcy and paranoid, gloomy use of cow-bell by rkss, who is followed by a cleansing, yet slightly unnerving, finisher string section from Infinity Frequencies. Surfing the varied waves that the compilation format enables the compiler to lay bare, Ceramics have done a great job in finding some serious border-crossing, boundary-pushing music on this cassette – from high-energy ambience and vertigo rhythms through to that smokey goodness: it’s all in here. Real underground business, straight from round the corner, manifested on those trusty tape reels.