A really "precise", spot on album, hitting you like a concrete balcony that breaks apart from a skyscraper and falls on your head from high above. In a good way, that is...seriously, a really fine album.
Drawing on influences from the books ‘War Plan UK’ and ‘Beneath the City Streets’, this album features music inspired by Britain’s Cold War infrastructure and state continuity preparations for nuclear emergencies - both real and imagined. The album takes us on a sonically adventurous journey through microwave tower networks, hardened telephone exchanges and devolved regional governments.
The wonderful artwork is by Richard Littler (“Scarfolk”) and features an adapted image of a “radome” located at Field Station 8613, a secret base located about nine miles west of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. These massive white golf ball-like domes protrude from the earth, protected behind a perimeter fence topped with piercing razor wire. Here, in the heart of the tranquil English countryside, these sinister radomes were used to monitor Soviet communications throughout the height of the Cold War.
Chris Sharp, the talent behind the Concretism project, takes inspiration from this not too distant world of nuclear and cold war paranoia, resulting in an album of unsettling electronics which perfectly invokes the pervasive cultural disquiet of intrusive surveillance, the red menace and the bomb. Fears which the recent drift of events confirm are still very much with us, remaining part of our societal DNA.