Wednesday, 7 October 2009

"Norfolk & Surrey Estuarial Slurry"

Now this is what you call hauntology. Back in 2002/2003 Baron Mordant expressed a wish to scatter his squalid East London environs with a spraycan Mordant 'M', and I fashioned the requisite stencil. He duly issued his nozzle, but alas the flimsy card frame didn't last too many repeat brandings owing to the font's linear properties (Cressida Swash Caps, initially taken from an old 1970's transfer where it was called Triline, and familiar to many via the Brown Watson publisher's logo seen on numerous kids tv/film tie-in annuals from the same era). Its deterioration thus led to a cessation of said guerrilla activity.

I'd not seen any evidence of MM's peppered urban ligatures until this summer, when out of nowhere a Mordant fan, one Graham Brown, snapped the following on the Hackney Road near a rehearsal studio called The Premises.


This week seems an apt time to mention it, as it sees the release of the brand new Mordant album, SyMptoMs. It's a curved through-ball of a record, classic MM in its singular gait yet a markedly more song-based departure from previous despatches, with smearings of pixelated folk, Krautrock & lunar synth hums gluing together the Baron's soaring 'Guildford Borough Council Planning Enforcement Team' vocal style.

Another surviving remnant from Mordant's past has continued to surprise and confound of late. This particular ghost being me. MM is still referred to as a duo, despite my having left the fold a full year ago; I've not had anything to do with any of the releases since the MM024 split Shackleton 10", and I'm beginning to wonder exactly how long this comedic misnomer will go on. Not that I'm complaining, in fact I quite enjoy it. The Baron has been expertly and seamlessly steering the ship alone through a glut of mercurial, mesmerising releases, and it's just odd that journalists and retailers alike can't seem to display the same agility by correctly defining who exactly is involved. A little unfair too to the Baron, the nebulous, skewed outfit of occasional Mordant artists (Shackleton, Vindicatrix, Dennis Greenidge among them), and a touch derisory in view of the lovely farewell MM site news page entry written by the Baron on the 9th October last year, which plainly hasn't been read by enough of those in the business.

So, slack yet amusing as it is, hauntology has its first true phantom artist. As the Baron rather chillingly told me last week, "you'll never leave".

Should anyone find an 'M' on their property (or indeed on their person) and is now considering pressing charges having read this, please note that Baron Mordant "doesn't remember doing it". Ok?

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