We welcome a new writer to the site, Ian Smith - a lover of anything psych, from the '60s to present day and a music maker in his own right with his band Vanishinglines. To open his account with the blog, Ian met with Halo Noose, who have recently released their 'Magical Flight' EP.
Maybe I’m biased but this sound has found favour with me since 1989. Lou Reed once said ‘One chord is fine. Two is pushing it. Three chords and you are into Jazz’. Halo Noose, hailing from the garden of England, have grasped this concept and this is their first offering. This EP sounds like a very personal concern and is all the better for it.
Opener ‘Magical Flight’ sets out the EP’s stall with treble-heavy power chords, fuzz, reverb and repetition. ‘Cinnamon Garden’ takes up the baton and runs with it while ‘Fire’ adds melody to the mix. Loop would appear to be the most obvious influence but this is not pastiche. There is an Eastern feel to the vocals of The ‘Noose and each track flows nicely from one to the next.
‘Kaleidoscopica’, ‘Rollercoasting Your Mind’ and ‘Slow Motion’ are the final three tracks and the best to this writers’ ears, loose tremolo grooves based around simple structures. It takes balls to try and plant your flag in this genre and this EP is a fascinating start.
I caught up with the driving force behind the band, Stuart Moorish, to find out more about the EP and the background to the band.
Your name will be a new name to a lot of people. Please tell us a little about the history of the project.
A couple of years ago, I converted my attic for a 32-track Home recording studio and started writing and recording when I found the time. I wrote a dozen or so songs and things started to take shape. Halo Noose emerged. ‘Magical Flight’ EP is my debut release.
I feel an affinity with the sound and I’m hearing a late ‘80’s influence. Let's get the ‘impossible to answer’ question out of the way: How would you describe your music?
I’m a big fan of the late 80s independent music scene and late 60s psychedelia. Heavy Psych Rock would possibly be the genre, but there are so many sub-genres these days so I'm not too sure.The sounds of Halo Noose has a downtuned unique blend of hypnotic grooves throughout with fuzzed out progressive rhythm sections,psychedelic vocals and flowing lead guitar.
How and where is the music recorded?
As a solo musician, you have to have a plan and stick to it. A lot of time is spent on trial and error as I have to work out all the parts. Intro, verse, chorus, bridge, turnarounds, breaks, lead sections etc etc. When the song begins to emerge, I work on blending the rhythm, lead and vocal sections together.
Sometimes I listen to the track the next day and throw it out as it doesn’t seem to feel right. I have a 32 track studio in my converted attic and that is where I do my recording. I also mixed and mastered ‘Magical Flight’ as I wanted to learn each stage of music production. ‘Magical Flight’ was recorded on a low budget allowing my own total control.
This release is available on Bandcamp and people are allowed to name their price. How has this been going for you?
Very good thanks, Ian. I’ve had quite a lot of donations and feedback since the release. I've been asked for physical copies, but I need more requests before I can remaster the EP for CD or vinyl. I’ve met some really good people on the way so far. A big thank you to them. Unconditional.
There is also a lot of support from all major social media platforms and YouTube sites promoting the EP. .All the feedback has been positive so far so that’s a good thing. I'm not a big social media user and I'm not in it for the money.I just want to write music and connect to peoples lives with my sound. It’s a music thing, man. It feels good as a listener when you put a song on that feels the same in you.
Do you have plans to play live (Lockdown permitting)?
I would like to take Halo Noose on the road if there is a need for it.That would be a great time for sure. I've been in bands and studios, so I know what it takes to play live. I’ve had offers to play gigs. Right now the project is in its early stages but it would be fun to see how playing live pans out.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to do a record company-funded full on studio recording. An album or two maybe with my own engineer. I reckon it could work out fine. Due to having a lot of time on my hands right now, I’ve started recording a new 6 track EP, which hopefully will be released later this year.
The obligatory coronavirus question. How is it for you?
Not very good, is it. Good and bad days for me and mine, Ian. Things will never be the same. Hopefully we all go back to what we are REALLY here for. Only time will tell. I remember the good old days of being under constant threat of worldwide nuclear annihilation. Now we have Covid19. Everyone will find it strange to adapt as I believe we all have a personal situation to harbour during and after the lockdown.