At The First Sign Of Frost
by Agitated Radio Pilot
DeadSlackString : Truenote?? : 2003
Recorded in Ballymahon, Co. Longford, directly to four-track in 1997. Rereleased as a limited CDR on Deadslackstring years later.
Review by Keith Wallace
Having already achieved legendary status on the cassette underground, Agitated Radio Pilot’s limited-edition long-playing record is the debut release by Northern Irish label Dead Slack String. This seventeen song cycle was recorded on a four-track in the midlands in 1997 by David Colohan, a well known figure on Dublin’s improvised music scene, but this album finds the pilot navigating a path through eerie, melancholic space-age folk. And some damn fine lyrics: “I’m in car with three complete strangers driving from Aachen to Berlin, but is any distance to great to travel when you need to find out how old friends have been?” All too often “lo-fidelity” is a byword for musical anemia and reckless recording, but the ’Pilot uses his primitive technology to its full potential, crafting battery-powered gems like the Can-on-caffeine groove of “A history of faked moon landings”, the sci-fi Satie wistfulness of “Silent movie star” and the fragile musings of “Cut Adrift”. Orbiting a different world to that of the static singer-songwriter scene, Agitated Radio Pilot may be a voice in the wilderness but outsider music has rarely sounded so warm.