Hey! Manchester presents Waterless Hills
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Waterless Hills began as a recording project pulled together by drummer Andrew Cheetham (Richard Dawson, Irma Vep, Kiran Leonard, Yerba Mansa, ex-Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura etc). The line-up features himself plus two further members of the Manchester Underground wrecking crew – dbh (Kiran Leonard, Irma Vep, Jim Ghedi, his own bad self) on violin; Gavin Clarke (briefly of DSDV) on bass – augmented by Cambridge-based avant-folk musician C Joynes on electric guitar.
Their debut LP, The Great Mountain, is released on 29 February through Cardinal Fuzz (UK) and Feeding Tube (US). It was recorded in one day – direct to 1/4-inch tape – at Hallé St Michael’s church, Manchester. All tracks were wholly improvised, with the tapes documenting a slowly evolving interplay and, at times, ‘on-the-edge’ exchange between the players. The results were eventually shaped into an imaginary soundtrack for an orientalist western loosely themed around Freya Stark’s 1934 travelogue The Valleys of the Assassins, and the surrealist occult art of Ithell Colquhoun.
The album itself is closely paired with Waterless Hills’ debut offering, an 8-inch lathe cut featuring two tracks from the same recording session and released in an edition of 99 copies on All Saints’ Day 2019 by Sonido Polifonico. This release garnered spins on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone (on BBC 6 Music) and Jeff Conklin’s Avant Ghetto on WFMU, together with favourable reviews from, among others, Byron Coley in The Wire magazine.
These gigs will see the band playing live together for the first time before branching out further over the course of 2020.