Released on Loscann Records 2009
Gathering together Dubin maverick Stano’s work from his first recording, ‘Room’ in 1982, to the title track, recorded this year, Reverse Presence is an absolute gem of a collection and a must-have for alternative muso lovers. That Stano has dedicated this compilation to the memory of the late Bill Graham – with whom he did his first-ever HOTPRESS interview in the early 1980s – will be an added appeal to the readers out there who knew and admired bill’s impeccable taste in music.
With their apocalyptic, day-of-judgement type names – like ‘When Life Slips Away’, ‘Ascendancy’, ‘Fire Caught in Rain’ and ‘Out of the Dark, Into the Dawn’ – these recordings, both with and without vocals, can truly carry the listener away on waves of experimental rock. Relentlessly superb drumming, top quality industrial guitar damage and sublime melody, are all wonderfully enmeshed with studio tricks, white noise, tape loops, electronica and house, hop-hop and other warped dance beats.
Lyrically and philosophically, if Sam Beckett was around today, I’d say he’d fancya spell in the studio doing spoken word with Stano, who collaborates rather like an Irish, hard-edged version of Brian Eno – with large numbers of talented avant-garde musicians on Reverse Presence, including Agnes Bernelle, My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O’Ciosoig and composer / pianist Roger Doyle.
Stano’s two new tracks, ‘Reverse Presence’ and ‘Eleven Small Birds’ show that this arch-demon of the underground is still well ahead of the game in terms of music that can really put your head through the experimental tumble-dryer.
The converted won’t need convincing, but for those of you who are still virgins when it comes to Stano, think of Young Gods, Nine Inch Nails, Cabaret Voltaire , My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Therapy?, Big Black, the best of trip–hop and what The Chemical brothers have done to Paul Weller’s guitar, and you’ll have an idea of what you’re getting with Reverse Presence – a groundbreaking, 18 track retrospective from a truly groundbreaking and revolutionary Irish artist.
Adrienne Murphy, Jan. ‘07