Nice Mind Records are proud to release the psychogeographic soundscape from WhiteVan Peril, Kings Meadow.
Label scribe VH Monks assesses the label's latest release below:
Kings Meadow (Nice Mind Records, NICE022)
The spiritual follow-up to The Black Middens, which started a series of soundscapes and
organic recordings telling the stories of historic geographical black holes in the North
East. wvp welcomes you to Dunstan in the 19th century with a 2-hour experimentalist
odyssey sound balm. 2 tracks, 2 sides. An action, a consequence. 25 years. 30 acres of
grassland. An island, a landmass in the Tyne. An interruption for the Industrial
The Dredging of Kings Meadow brings the sound of the machines, the monotony of
destruction, taken from the live recordings of the industrial factories sounds
surrounding the area from whence Kings Meadow rose. There are chimes, pitched to an
eternal grind. And then glacial choirs glean from the blades, a somewhat heavenly
dissolution. Through the mist you can feel it pushing away, a single synthesised chord
hardened and cheapened by the progress of capitalism. Are you in the river? Can you
feel it? Are those voices? A call of last orders from The Countess? Be gone. Believe.
Between. Betrayed. This aural magnitude is not confused, it’s distilled and focused,
audible history transcribed and brought back to life, to matter. It’s a happy swoon of
dissident prayer. It’s a heaving calm decimation. There are sighs where there were
screams. The slurry of water lapping against the buzz of treachery and disappointment.
There was heartache in their contentment. No platitude of serenity in the bog, the
degradation and rapid erosion of community. Burying into time, digging tunnels of
doom into the past, the sludge through dark eternity. Styx for Tyne. An orderly
bombardment of excavational tutorage. Inhuman escape from an infinity of ghostly
entanglement. Can you see those arms reaching out? To hold you? To grab you? To
reason with you? To ask you why? It is a cruel indictment of progress that while the
future looks to send people away from the Earth, into space, away from lives that need
us, burrowing into the heart of our past leads us to the centre of the Earth, to the
darkness of turning our backs. The bells of distress ring out in fractious rhyme to the
bedevilment of ineptitude. The sounds are a siphon to excruciating exorcistic creative
chaos, crescendos of explicit clarifications to insanity, the embalmment of an island, the
entrapment of a crushing and tireless monster. Man. Pushing, pushing. Marginalised
as ground disappears, as territory degrades, as the pathos dims and humanity is poked
to a residual slurry. Sinking, thinking. A grinding mirage cocoons and loops, forcing
back nature until it squeals at its slaughter. No barricades, just a trundling, evocation of
distress and vulgar destruction. By the final quarter of the opening hour’s foray, it’s like
a million rats are devouring, scurrying; bats nibbling and entwined in hair. The screech
of feedback and worry claws back through years and exacerbates an infection to
malignancy. It starts hypnotic, it ends repellent. The causeway malnutrition and the
mind in turmoil. Then the pressure drops. The floor falls away, freefall, water rushing
around you, filling your ears, stinging your eyes. Is it over? Is it gone? Is it safe? The
spirits haven’t left. But they have shown you. You have heard. The dredging. An
expedition of omission. And so another crate and another you keep moving keep
coming. A belligerent manifestation of a Northumberland cascade, its sheer aural cliffs,
in culmination a jagged clash of discordant chords and sequences and squall molasses,
congealing in retrospect to a mass of hypnotic steel sound walls. The last is a twisting,
atrophied triage of carnage, looming over and within. Taking over the space created,
punishing and rejecting like an asylum of reverberating panic, the looped echo to a fuzz
fade of consequence……
Then a delicate delusion, a continuing tone dropped and hanging, tinkling spattering
diamonds falling to the uplift, cowbells haunting. Organic notes spilt and spreading,
lighter and spatial, clean air, clean notes, holding gently until the next overlay. There is a
magical intensity to the ambient decay, an unexpected relaxation drone dome. The
rotting lament previously endured rests, Echoes Flowing is the aura-physical
aftermath. The stars are bright and clear above an expanse of freely moving water, the
land now lost, not recoverable, non-existent, a shining shimmer of gold, of never was.
The stars reflect on a space it has never seen before, 15 football pitches of moving ennui.
You could float here, you can hear the cattle, in the calm and susceptible motion.
Crystals grow on the banks, glowing ember hues in a tremulous reaction to the days of
the heartless barges. It is a cheerless heart-warming lament. The layers of story in
industrial monochrome that went, now replaced by the sedent marches of fireflies and
steamboats. Missed are the cannons and regatta, the church bells and horses.
Stretching and stretched the release from the daggers and island’s culling, in its own
relief. The notes that hold, flex and wave, and magnetic conditioning, a buoyant
hollowed out tenure. It’s the River Tone. There are lilting messages sent downstream,
flowing intrusions that radiate from stalactites with glitter foundations, a poignant
reprieve to the disquiet displaced. The pith, the essence, the hauntings, arriving in the
closing 10. Desolate banshees squeal in the distance, spiralling from the depths beneath
the waves, calling up to those reflections on the surface of those stars that exploded so
many years ago. Two senses colliding over elements that no longer exist. Those bats
nibbling at the toes of extinction. To the depths. Into space. Forever harrying mankind,
livelihoods, communities, with self-inflicted wounds.
This isn’t ABBA’s voyage. But it is a journey. You discover. You itch. You scratch. Your
ears bleed. You learn.
VH Monks – September 2021
WhiteVanPeril talks with NARC Magazine on the inspiration behind Kings Meadow here.