A subset of what, exactly?

typed for your pleasure on 23 May 2009, at 10.00 am

Sdtrk: ‘Cries and whispers’ by New order

About a week ago, the Missus had to stay in bed, so she could recuperate from a minor tear she somehow received behind her knee. As she was bored — apparently she’s read every book and magazine in the flat several times over — I suggested she occupy herself with something constructive. As Shi-chan pondered the idea for a couple of minutes (and I surreptitiously hid her Hello Kitty vibrator), she snapped her fingers, and asked me to retrieve a box of C90s that were on a shelf in our closet, as well as a pen & notepad, my four-track recorder, and my headphones. ‘I think I’ll finally have a go at mastering those Inorganiksubset tracks,’ she said with a smile. ‘Ah!’ I replied, and wandered off to the livingroom to play some more Warriors Orochi 2.

Back during the mid-Nineties, when she lived in the north of England, Sidore was the bass player and backing vocalist in a band called Inorganiksubset. Well, they were technically a band, but they weren’t pursuing it professionally or anything. The other three members were Sabrina (guitar, samples), Gia (drums), and Emma (lead vocals, synthesisers, rhythm guitar): Sabrina was a friend, Gia was a fellow student from Maitland College of Fine Arts in Leeds, and Emma was Shi-chan’s girlfriend at the time. As they each had a metric ton of effect pedals, they were pretty much a shoegazer group, but they were leaning towards the more discernible-vocals end where Slowdive and Lush reside.
They had fun when playing and whatnot — they even managed to score two successful live performances at a Goth night at their local club — but Inorganiksubset dissolved under the combined pressure of Gia having to return home to Florida, and Sabrina’s increased workload at her office job effectively forcing her to quit. Over the course of nine months, though, they managed to finalise a handful of songs, and committed them to tape. Yes, tape; remember, these were the heady days before .mp3s.

Now, Shi-chan had been holding onto the masters for years, as she just hadn’t gotten round to mixing them down, but her newfound spare time gave her the opportunity to finish the lot up. So she did! She’s signed out with a website called Figment, which caters specifically to music groups like hers, and you can check out the profile she created for Inorganiksubset here, which also showcases their one and only release, ‘Die Sonne im Nebel’. It should go without saying that if you have an account there, she’d love a review from you!

The first time I’d heard those tapes was maybe a year into our relationship. I was really impressed, and I have to say that their sound was familiar, yet like nothing I’d ever heard before. I asked Sidore if she thought that, provided there was a chance the four of them ever got back together, that they’d reform the band; she shook her head resignedly. ‘It’s not like it was an accrimonious split or anything, but the way things are these days, we barely even keep in touch with each other. I’ve really not heard from Gia or Sabrina since the middle of the decade, and it’s been even longer since any of us have heard from Emma.’ She smiled though, pulled her headphones back on, and pressed the Play button. ‘It’s alright, though, cos it’s like these songs trap everything in amber. Now I have a proper soundtrack to my memories’

Technorati tags: metafiction

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4 have spoken to “A subset of what, exactly?”

  1. DarthSatanus writes:

    I’m sorry to hear of poor Shi-chan’s knee tear. I hope she is doing much better now. Any chance we will get to hear the tracks in the near future? I did not know she played bass… I do too!

  2. PBShelley writes:

    Brilliant! As you (kinda) say, it’s familiar yet like nothing I’ve (n)ever heard! Perhaps after we move I’ll join (Lily is shy, y’know, but enthusiastic) and will leave a review 🙂

    Oh… and probably not even close to being up your alley (or even in your neighborhood), there’s a little anime currently airing about a fledgling girl-band called K-ON! that might at least bear a look (especially at the cute bass-player Mio)! Actually, the bass-playing in this ED isn’t all that bad, as if you could hear it through the crappy YouTube “quality” *cough* here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPeG27F_vok

    Naturally it isn’t of the same Sound as Sidore-chan’s ouvre, but what is?

    And best wishes for the swift healing of the Missus’ wound; sad to hear about it. But at least she’s in good hands 😉

    PBS et al

  3. charlottesometimes writes:

    I too would love to hear these four-track tracks. I too had a four-track, Sidore, but I just had fun with it, we definitely were not a band with what you may call a “shoe-gazer” effect. We were a threesome, two girls up front, a big burly drummer in back. My “Christian”(rolls-eyes)name is Keri and I played bass. My dear friend Jenn, a guitarist and vocalist with a degree from CSUSF in music, was my bandmate. We combined our names and in homage to Barbie, we named ourselves Ken. We too never released, although we had the financing, Jenn’s boyfriend never digitally mastered them until Jenn had moved to France. I love girl power! As sad as it is that your band disolved, as did mine, I still remember those heady days as the time of my life “SO FAR” the mid-90s. Glad you are at home here in the States and you have a lovely husband. Let us hope one day you do share your music, and perhaps I will too! Love and all- Charlottesometimes=charlotteaveces=MissAndyWarhol=ThisisAnfield_9=Keri the Anglophile! 🙂

  4. Davecat writes:

    Sidore approves! (She doesn’t say anything on ‘Shouting etc etc’; that’s what her Formspring‘s for. :-))

    It’s interesting to consider back in the early days of the Inert Net, and before that as well, of how many bands that got zero exposure outside their hometowns, and were born, lived, and died in obscurity. I mean, I’m going through my library on Google Music right now, and seeing some entirely rareified groups that were obscure back when they were performing. But dedicated music preservationists/relentless crate-diggers do manage to bring back some of those bands fairly regularly, so it’s really just a matter of time…

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