First View: Thomas Ragsdale – Pick Up Sticks


Yorkshire-based composer Thomas Ragsdale (who also records as one half of worriedaboutsatan) has a new album out tomorrow on Soundtracking The Void, an imprint that accompanies his radio show of the same name. The first instalment in a series based around nature, old Yorkshire and modern folk horror, Honley Civic Archives Volume 1 marks a move away from Ragsdale's usual electronic instrumentation.

Drawing influence from the likes of Olafur Arnalds, William Basinski and The Haxan Cloak, the album sets about deconstructing an archive of improvised string ensembles, guided by intimate field recordings and distant piano. Ragsdale ran these tracks multiple times through a reel-to-reel tape machine, leaving much of the process to pure chance. "This unpredictable method of making music yielded certain results I couldn’t control, but took full advantage of", he explains. "I allowed sounds to manipulate themselves by driving them through a space echo unit over and over until it began to escape me.”

Honley Civic Archives Volume 1 is out tomorrow digitally, followed later by a limited reel-to-reel tape edition. Watch the video for 'Pick Up Sticks' below:

Honley Civic Archives Volume 1 is out 5th October via Soundtracking The Void, pre-order it here.