Vanishing: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
An exclusive mixtape from Vanishing aka Gareth Smith following the release of his latest record.
Earlier this year marked the release of an interesting and intriguing album from Gareth Smith, a producer who has released sporadic material on the likes of Tesla Tapes and Tombed Visions.
His latest album beneath the guise of Vanishing emerged in October via Ransom Note affiliated record label Outer Reaches. It was titled “55°N, 5°E” and featured seven tracks which weave and wander between abstract soundscapes, noise driven experiments and spoken word.
The story behind the album is remarkable and fascinating, the music inspired by a disaster which took place over a hundred years before.
“On the night of 21st October 1904, out in the Dogger Bank area of the North Sea, Russian warships mistook a fleet of British fishing trawlers for enemy Japanese warships, and opened fire. One of the fishermen killed that night was George Henry Smith, great-grandfather of Gareth Smith, the lyricist & artist behind Vanishing.”
The music featured on the release was previously performed in the outdoor amphitheatre of Stage@TheDock, Hull back in October 2017 on the anniversary of the disaster.
“Scored for electronics, saxophone, violin and spoken word, three musicians and three dancers shift through five movements in a cycle. The music is part Throbbing Gristle soundscape, part Vaughan Williams folksong, part John Cale drone. Febrile noise, enveloping sub-bass, fusillading drum machines, resplendent strings, and expressive intonations surge and subside, capturing the brutality and havoc of the Dogger Bank incident, and the untold loss endured.”
This mixtape accompanies the release.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
Gareth, male, Manchester. I like to read about politics, go on urban walks and make art / music under the name Vanishing. Looking for someone interested in buying the new Vanishing LP ‘55ºN, 5ºE’
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Vanishing; atmospheres that move around a spoken word centre. Different collaborators on strings, electronics, woodwind, brass. Inspired by place and identity, often conceived without instruments, and written mostly in my head in public places. I can’t draw.
Where was the mix recorded?
Manchester from the seventh floor, overlooking the changing skyline of the city. Exciting and fearful, oppressive, and accelerated.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I would probably at least eat something beforehand
What should we be wearing?
All the cool kids wear caps, so maybe wear a cap.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
1982 / using someone else’s set up which they were able to supervise and broadly do most of the technical work for / reel to reel
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
I love that Gas track. Just listening to it again reminds me of moments of breathlessness and wonder in summer 2018. Panoramic and insular at the same time.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Domes FM 9th September 2020. The first time I had watched someone play records and dance for 8 months.
If you could go back-to-back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Herc, or any of those other NY lot running their decks out of lampposts, robbing electricity from the authorities to give free culture to the community.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
To say I have a set up might be stretching the truth. I can listen to a record and then listen to a CD or to something I’ve downloaded and then go back.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Very good question, I would always say the last track, but given how increasingly bored people get, probably the first one is more important. Saying that, the last track on this mix is beautiful.
What were the first and last records you bought?
Queen, Anna Homler. Can’t remember the order.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Some type of menthol sweet; broadly an enjoyable experience but reminding you that you’re a bit ill.
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Any track from Bish Bosch (Scott Walker)
Upcoming in the world of Vanishing
‘55ºN, 5ºE’ out now on Outer Reaches. Live shows in February / March. New studio album finished in 2022. Working on new exploratory pieces throughout 2022.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Buy ‘55ºN, 5ºE’ and join a union. It’s gonna get rough out there…