Suffocating In Whitby

Iain Walker

Cemental Health Records EEG08

All tracks written by Iain Walker, © control Mad Arab Music, except:
Removal By Night, Plit, The Ornamental Scream Walker/Shuttleworth, © Mad Arab Music/Anal Memoranda; A Forest Gallup/Hartley/Smith/Tolhurst, APB Music; Anthropological Data Harder/Oriel/Yeats, © Mad Arab Music/Anal Memoranda; Tenebrio Plastics/Catherwood, © control Mad Arab Music.

Recorded October 1982–January 1984 at the Winter Headquarters.
Produced and engineered by Iain Walker.
Mastered at the Winter Headquarters December 1983–January 1984 
by Iain Walker and Ian Shuttleworth, with the assistance of Patrick Young.
Digitally remastered November 2004.

Thanks to Ian S., Eoin, Patrick and Steve for services rendered, Rob, Lem and others for encouragement (wait until they actually hear it, ha ha) and to certain archetypal entities for inspiration.

Click-click drone...

Cover by D.N.I., © control.

This title (P) 1984, 2004 Cemental Health Records.

A collection of aural landscapes, some conventional, some not, designed to evoke moods and images (and in some cases deep coma) rather than to be sung along to.  This album is an experimental one in the literal sense of the word: most of it was recorded on a “try it and see” basis, and anything I liked at the time stayed in.  Consequently the result is rather uneven – some tracks work while others don’t.
However, this approach at least has the advantage of leaving room for improvement.  (Where to now? He wondered, as the tunnel forked and the unholy, eldritch ululations behind him grew louder.)  Bear this in mind as the second album coalesces.
Have fun.

Iain Walker: synthesizers, vocals, piano, rhythm programming, radios, tapes and vinyl, all treatments and processing • Ian Shuttleworth: guitar and bass guitar,  vocals, synthesizer and backing vocals • Eoin Patterson: treated percussion,  clarinet, percussion • John Catherwood: bass synth and devices • Steve Magowan: tapes


  • The Slope Of The Normal (3:00): my first instrumental, still surprisingly effective.  Think of afternoons in late summer, the warmth, the aromas, relaxing, letting everything go as your wrists bleed into the garden pond... Ahh...
  • The Damned Thing (0:48): musique concrète for beginners – not recommended listening for overimaginative animal lovers.
  • Removal By Night (5:30): surrealist sound sculpture the first.  Words are “pure psychic automatism” as Andrée Breton would say.  No doubt he had a term for the music as well.  Oh, and keep off the grass too.
  • Lapidescence/Suffocating In Whitby (7:14): ethereal droning time.  The title track is about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, fossilisation, beaches and other Ballardisms.  Works so well that it even has the aesthetic appeal of sitting and watching a cliff erode.  Ho hum.  Roll on the Heat Death of the Universe.
  • Plit (4:14): the track for which the term “electronic doodling” was invented.  The title is a rather strange spelling mistake I once came across.  What more can I say?
  • A Forest (6:26): vocals are flat and doleful rather than painful and melancholy, but includes all twenty-one “and again”s (count them).  Otherwise quite a competent cover.
  • The Ornamental Scream (7:31): sparse fragile soundtrack music for sunsets, neon-lit skylines, deserted motorways and blurred girls.  Overlong in places.  Best appreciated when concentrating on something else (sunsets, neon-lit skylines etc.).
  • Strange Joy (4:02): rhythmic, frenetic, disintegrating... Would probably go down a storm in a German disco... (Collapsing New Dancefloors?)
  • The Pond Of Eyes (3:54): aleatoric atmospherics for lovesick lycanthropes.
  • The Leaker (This Is Moscow) (4:47): rather quirky surrealist tape montage, although it contais a few rather engaging non-sequiturs, owing to the unnatural slime on the floor.
  • Inside Nowhere (7:51): in which many influences are betrayed and none acknowledged.  The song itself (that’s the bit in the middle) is terribly personal, i.e. it consists of the usual angst-rock clichés, albeit arranged in a new order (what?).  There are no mirrors in the tower.
  • The Ornamental Scream [original version] (5:39)
  • Anthropological Data [originally credited to Oaths In French] (3:41)
  • Tenebrio [originally credited to Young Men In Spats] (3:46)