Behind The Sins: Situationist Soundscapes and the Politics of Sound

We've spent December working on something a little bit different. The end result is an hour long adventure in sounds and spaces: an audio collage of unreleased material, some brand new songs, interviews in unusual locations, found sounds and some curious home-grown sci-fi sound effects...

Through the gentle ambience of The NASA Tearooms, Imercia's strangest shopping malls and slow-motion x-ray shores, listen to us clarify and cloud our take on the politics of sound and gender, Humanitarian Anarchism, and Alternative / Goth / Post-Punk sensibilities... soundtracked by some Situationist Soundscapes, new songs and exclusive mixes:


We like to experiment and we're never satisfied with conventional song structures. As a kid I had almost no interest in music at all, but I would sit in my room and tune the radio on an old Boombox, recording Short Wave radio signals from what seemed like other worlds. I liked the idea of writing things like radio plays and found the occasional experimental radio piece I stumbled across really intriguing.  

So this has turned into something I'm really excited about, and it also gave the band an opportunity to clarify our stance in terms of politics, gender and beyond (or Things Beyond). It also gave our occasional P.R. / P.A.  S.W. Tucker the opportunity to spread the wings of her Pop Journalist pretentions and voice some questions / concerns. There are tentative plans to do more along these lines. 

The finished piece is available for download along with all of the featured songs (19 tracks in total) as separate files. There will also be a limited edition CD with sleeve artwork designed by Lee. If you want to reserve yourself a copy send an email to mekanoset@gmail.com

What else? Well seeing as it's the season of giving, here is a special wintery soundscape mix of Tidehouse, re-titled Yuletide House: http://yuletidehousetidehouse.viinyl.com/ 

And some recent highlights up for grabs:

Hahaharem, our latest, most exotic ep to date. A mix of grimy bass and beats, swirly electric 12 string and fuzzed-up baritone guitars: http://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/hahaharem 

A new song currently in the works: http://scarreddemo.viinyl.com/

Our dirty-groovy cover of Bonnie and Clyde by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot:  http://bonnieandclydeveryrough.viinyl.com/

A version of our Post-Punk anthem, Sweets http://donteatallofthesweets.viinyl.com/

Anyway, I'll be spending Christmoose Day watching Punk documentaries and catching up on emails. 

Season's great things to you!

The Mekano Set



November casts us in its crisp, autumnal light. The Autumn, as we often claim, is our season...

I've been in Brighton for November. The autumn sun keeps the cold at bay.

Tonight - Friday 30th November - we are putting on a deep, sugar-glazed, strawberries and cream evening of beautiful amorphous noises.

Join us at The Hope and Anchor, Islington, North London, where we will have live sets from the lush, dirty-dreampop of grimy Shoegaze / Trip-hoppers SPC-ECO, atomized electro-punk noise-scapes from Valeska Valcav and our own unpredictable set of angsty beats / bass riffs and guitar plugged-into-the-TARDIS adventures. Plus some ace eclectic DJ sets, smoke machines and all manner of magic lantern devices. https://www.facebook.com/events/210380279084680/

In the meantime, if you haven't already, you can download a new edition of our eZine, which features some reviews of recent gigs and the last ep, plus some lush hi-fi photo fun:http://www.mekanoset.net/visuals/2012/TheMekanoSet_NoiseLetter_HahaharemEdition.pdf


Mekanical Faults

Right, first off - we've fixed our email troubles. Apologies if you've messaged us lately and we haven't got back to you. Troubles with receiving and sending have now been fixed.

So, Email, you think you can defeat us?

Right, and now for news regarding noises of a Mekanical nature:

The Nineteen Eighty-Four themed Slu-T-Disko Cowley gig was a typically riotous affair. A group of young (male) fans took to chanting footy-lad style between songs which was almost as annoying and uncomfortable as the over-excited metal dude that lobbed his empty pint glass without looking where it would land.

The Bandcamp edition of the new EP now contains a high quality edition of the Hahaharem eZine, with 26 pages filled with lush photography, news, some live reviews and tales of our adventures.

You can download a slightly less juicy but equally informative version for free: TheMekanoSet_NoiseLetter_HahaharemEdition.pdf
Hahaharem eZine

And here's a glimpse of a new song we've been working on recently: 

We're also assembling a nicely eclectic collection of T-shirts at our SpreadShirt store:

And sorting things out for our night at the legendary Hope and Anchor...




We have a whole page devoted to the new ep: Hahaharem. And there will be a new edition of The Mekano Set NoiseLetter coming out in the next few days. So, what next? Well, amongst other things we've been working on a range of T-shirts that we think you'll find suitably fun / offensive: 

Go get it on yourself

Stray Recordings on the new EP: Beautifully crafted doesn't come close to describing the latest EP from The Mekano Set. But that's hardly out of the ordinary for the Meks. Abstract guitars and post-punk basslines swirl around massive, sound system crushing beats. Noise and foundsounds tickle the ears while the listener is brow-beaten with hook after hook. And it all sounds so beautiful too. Slick as fuck, with substance.

The Bandcamp release includes five bonus tracks. Splendid.

Look, even Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be enjoying himself:


Shoegrime versus Soulgaze versus Clouding the Issue

"Are there really no good films set on Mars? Is it because the sand gets in the camera lenses? #mars #bars" S.W. Tucker

So, here's a little bit of info about the new EP, and a bit of a rant too:

Hahaharem comes out at the end of August via Stray Recordings (although you can buy an advance copy with additional tracks and art, at higher quality than most online stores, via our Bandcamp). We also have another EP in the pipeline with Elementary Recordings, and a proposed release of the tracks we recorded in collaboration with Mutate. Stray Recordings is the home of deep soundscapers Mutate and the dirty drone dub beats of Stray Dog City.

Hahaharem is our Shoegrime / Soulgaze EP. These songs have all the grit and griminess we've been working towards, combined with the swirly shimmery 'smashed to splinters... in space' guitar sounds, the chiming baritone and deep bass riffs... bass you can feel...

We want to tug at heart strings. We want to rattle rib cages. Give it a blast and you'll see what we mean: http://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/hahaharem 

Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/1I79OwWOGYflVu6C3O5ErK

Grooveshark: http://grooveshark.com/album/Hahaharem/6238698 

iTunes US link for Hahaharem:

iTunes France link for Hahaharem:

iTunes Germany link for Hahaharem:

iTunes El Salvador link for Hahaharem:

iTunes Italy link for Hahaharem:

iTunes Brazil link for Hahaharem::


UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008TTSKMO

Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B008TX1FUE

France: http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B008TVEE6I

Electric 12-string guitar: taking a well-earned rest.

"Went to my first NeoFolk gig. There was a 15 minute broad-sword solo. And woman in wedding dress spent the entire time apparently trying to decide on what tune to sing, to a cheap keyboard demo of 'opera'. " S.W.T.

I have to say a massive thank you to Lee and Justine for sticking with me over what's been a pretty tough couple of years for all of us (you'll have to read the book for more about our recent misadventures). It wouldn't have been worth it without you: 

Justine + Lee: they love it really.

I also have to say thanks to my fiends Jo, Al, Beth, Ade, Chucky, Nigel, Sin, Lisa, Andy, Rory Poppins and Kev Kilter for being there whenever I wasn't hiding away or just needed an ear, an eye or a pint of weak lemon drink:

Devious Jo Staples

Angsty Al Neilson

Beth's patent 'Getting a Round In' solo
"Fabreeze! For your jeans!"

That Nigel...

P'Orridge + Ade + Photobooth

Chucky: colouring-in is the new sound-check

Although this is our first release with Stray, me Ade and the Stray crew go way back. I've got pictures somewhere of teenaged Milk and Ade roaming the backstreets of West Brom in search of scraps of wood to make speaker cabs and flight cases for what would become the infamous Stray Dog City Soup Kitchen Sound System.

Stray have an archive of hours and hours of tapes and piles of hard drives of our late-night recording sessions and radio broadcasts (some nights we managed a broadcast range of almost the entire street), exploring 'grooves with the lights out'. Mapping our territory.

We'll take that ride.

It was an education. It made me realize that you can totally forget about the restrictions of conventional (safe, established, boring) song structures and let the song go where it needs to go, or groove.

While all the bands we gigged with were doing shameless and awful impressions of their one favourite band, we were grooving on heavy bass riffs, distorted / echoey hip-hop / minimal beats, drone and location sounds; playing home-made samplers, tape loops, doctored turn-tables and tape machines.

Our peers - not that we really had any - have clung to the backboards of one bandwagon after another, constantly one step behind, and always suddenly deciding to champion things we were doing years before (and were met with confusion and hostility for doing so). You forget that sometimes Alternative sometimes just means Imitating Heroes. Fuck that. We have ideas. Energy.

Now of course, they've all got Kaoss pads, loop stations, laptops, syn-drums... we never used those toys in the first place. We couldn't fucking afford them. Nowadays these things are cheaper, but they're no longer mysterious or even innovative:

Any faker with rich parents and an urge to masturbate in public can jizz into a looper with no regard for dynamics, narrative, timbre, tone, imagination. They seem to think those things are... beneath them? Seriously people... this isn't maths. It's not engineering. It's not a fucking crossword puzzle. It's not sport. What's the point if you can't dance to it, or get entirely lost in it? Keep it to your bedroom.

Like us, Ade's been doing his thing, sticking to his guns. A lot of what we've been doing all this time has become fairly mainstream, and no longer enough: torturing guitars, turning up the bass, emptying out the arrangement, messing with song structures... but as we always said "what goes around comes around, and then falls on its face, on the pavement."

Given the nature of Hahaharem it makes a lot of sense to be putting this out with Stray.

Pocket-Trumpet. It's a trumpet. It fits in your pocket.

Like Stray Dog City and Mutate, The Mekano Set has been an attempt to combine - in the most honourable and natural way possible - interests, influences and energies from both dance / bass / beats music and Post-Punk / New Wave sounds. And like them, we don't give a flying fuck if you don't like it.

If you really have to sit on your hands and wait for some condescending posh journo to tell you when they think it's OK for YOU to like something, you can fuck off. Get away from us. There's just no helping you.

The sardonic, misanthropic k-hole hipsters at Vice; the dumb-it-down racist toffs at NME: you can all fuck off. Get away from us. We've got nothing for you.

Leeching on working class / queer / black culture like an inbred dog crashing through a fence, ploughing through flowerbeds to get a sniff at another dog's arse, the career opinionists for these no-style no-content fontwanks are a bunch of inbred simpletons doing more damage than their trustafarian brains care to comprehend. Cue the blank, land-shark glare of the career hipster... #vice #etc

The Meks: Bating Bigots is our Business.

Stray Records Hahaharem page: http://vamp.lart.me/~ade/music/sr/catalogue.html#STRAY048

Stray Dog City: http://strayrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/stray-dog-city-spitemask

Mutate: http://www.mutate.org.uk/

Elementary Recordings: http://www.elementaryrecordings.co.uk/

The Mekano Set

Hahaharem Hands photography © BeatnikSoup
Live shot: Ian Dunn
Group snapshot: S.W. Tucker.
All other snaps by the band.


Soulgaze / Shoegrime

So we spent the last few days out in the wilds of Staffordshire, doing a little location recording, filming and celebrating the fact that we've finished the next EP.

It's called Hahaharem.  It's available now via our Bandcamp page and it'll be on Spotify, iTunes, Grooveshark etc. at the end of August (more details of that soon). http://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/hahaharem

It's got a vibe to it that reminds me of what we were doing when we first started making noise. It's mostly grimy, groovy and down-tempo. With lots of swirl and soil.

Just received a recording of our last gig in Brum. The amount of bass end basically renders it unusable but we might make use of the bits between songs as they're quite fun. The sound of the Industrial Midlands... Speaking which:

We managed to have a night off and pay a visit to the wonderful Dark Room (no, it's not called The Red Room and it's not in Twin Peaks, but it certainly could be)  at The Giffard Arms in Wolverhampton and have a good old rant with DJ Wild Bill Buttock about the general state of the alternative scenes in this country. Given the opportunity he'd spin nothing but Post Punk and Goth the entire night.

We also unintentionally made this while gathering some video footage:


And intentionally helped to make a video, set on the surface of Imercia:

In other news, it's our ol' partner in-noise crimes / drinkies Beth's birthday today. Happy birthday to you Garfield, hopefully catch up with you soon xx

The Mekano Set


Bass, Beats, Guitars, Food and Drink

Next week we're heading out into the country to spend a few days finalizing tracks for the next EP.

We're actually planning on releasing two EPs, one of which will be going out via Stray Recordings as a thankyou for all their help over the past year.

Ade and the Stray crew have done everything from sorting out some of our dodgier equipment to offering invaluable advice in terms of production and bass, and generally joining us for a few boozy nights putting the world of sound, art, politics, sex and religion to rights.

So we hopefully have Hahaharem, a collection of our more downbeat tracks, but still drenched in atomized guitar noise and enough bass end to drown your sorrows in and shake your booty to.

And Hand in Hand will be equally pounding and filthy and will feature at least one new tune that is actually longer than 3 minutes...

Tracks picked out so far include Offender, Reaching Out (the one with the guitars that sound like something from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop / Doctor Who) and two mixes of Dirty Hand Job (one slightly dirtier and underhanded than the other).

If anyone is interested in getting hold of a pre-release set of tracks for review purposes you can drop Sin a line at mysteriouspackages@mekanoset.net and she'll provide you with linkages and informations.

We've also started an online competition where you can win some groovy Mek-based prizes, including an all-expenses paid "day out with The Mekano Set" in London. To enter you need to come up with a poster design for our forthcoming "Anticlockwise Club" night: https://www.facebook.com/events/420684981305892/421400134567710/

We've already had some great (and ridiculous) entries.

The Mekano Set



Imercian Fine Dining - The Mekano Set Menu

Hello kids. Sin here. Welcome to a very special release – a mekalicous Imercian dining festival of informations that I hope you will all enjoy.

For those who don’t know me – as The Mekano Set Press and PR officer I have been supporting The Meks with their Social Media and general Interwebbing presence since about a month ago. I’ll explain later.

Today we want to bring the essence of Imercian Dining into your hearts, heads, and most
importantly, bellies. 

Many have asked: what do they eat in Imercia, if anything? To some it may seem they subsist entirely on booze and fags. But no! To defy this ever-glowing rumour, The Mekano Set press office has collated a menu highlighting some typical Imercian dishes. 

While this may tickle your appetite and/or gag reflexes, please remember that it is not just about dishes. Imercians take great care to uphold their own particular dining traditions, such as extended mulling over what to order (even when dining in private), indulging the sudden disappearance of their appetite and eating at peculiar day- and night-times.

Imercian outdoor wine-cooler

Dining can be a complicated matter at times: in very traditional restaurants, waiters will
purposefully ignore guests for up to 23 minutes before taking an order. Even in the more modern establishment, the scowl is a must-have accessory on any waiter’s face. Tips will only be accepted when secretly hidden on or within your server’s person – though they will usually politely distract themselves for a little while after the meal, thus giving you the opportunity to hide your gratitude and appreciation. 

The Meks demonstrating some examples of acceptable Imercian dining attire and manners.

I'm hoping that the menu may form part of a unique compilation of Traditional Imercian Fine Dining Musics that The Meks are compiling. So that you can all really "imerce" yourselves in the full Mekanistic dining experience ; )

We hope that we have managed to make Imercian Dining a little more accessible for those interested in its intricacies. The Mekano Set Menu is available as a pdf file via Bandcamp, iTunes store, Spotify and Grooveshark - and as a limited edition fine-art print on special request.

Until next time
- Sin xxx

While occasionally practiced, the use of fresh vegetables is not key to Imercian cuisine.

P.S. A couple of weeks ago The Mekano Set confirmed that they are planning a pan-European tour in 2013. They mentioned lots of details, but we will save them for another post! 



So we had a seriously great time up in Birmingham last week. Look, even Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be enjoying himself:

Wicked venue. Great to catch up with CARTHAGE again. Scorn / Napalm Death legend Nick Bullen in the crowd, and great to see our friends from Leeds, Staffs and The Black Country!

Check out a review and some snaps from the gig:

"A grizzly baguette of barbed-wire oozing delicious Dubstep bass feeding off a Gary Gilmore’s Eyes riff... Sigur Rós verses the Chemical Brothers on Diazepam."

We managed to explore a few of these abandoned buildings (or 'songs' as they are also known as) at the gig: http://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/hand-in-hand #dark #electro #bass #beer #beats #idontknowwhattocallit #niceshoes

And how about the groovy shots that Belle took at the Camden gig:

What else have we got for you?

Our press / propaganda / disinformation grrrl now has an entertaining (if uninformative) twitter account: http://twitter.com/MekanoSetPress

There is also a page on our website with previews and a link to a 20 page newsletter filled with hi-fi pics, news and reviews: http://www.mekanoset.net/noiseletter.html

Link to NoiseLetter pdf

OK, time to kick back and not move about very much for a bit...