I had the luck of seeing this one-man band last night, who was one of, if not the first, acts of the night. Opening acts, for obvious reasons usually suck, but this guy certainly didn't. He was probably the best band of the night. It was very quiet in the club, with few people in the audience - mostly the usual bearded hipsters. Mole Harness was some lone guy, James Brewster, armed with nothing but a guitar and a little box of sampling gubbins in front of him.
Sounding like a cross between Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Fridge, Brian Eno and the output of the arty electronic indie record label Leaf, he produces a sound of layered guitar, cut up and backwards sounding pianos, found sounds and little bits of drum machines here and there. Rather fittingly, a projectionist friend of his shone pictures of dandelion, beaches, walls, woodland and other images behind him.
Mole Harness began as a project of James in 2001 in the town of Bristol. Three months after acquiring and experimenting with a sampler, he performed his debut gig at an event '"Don't Tell Me To Chill Out" - An Evening Of Uptight Music'.
He has released a sole EP, 'Problems With Perspective', on the small but interesting indie label Silent Age Records which seems to specialise in unique sounding bands exemplified by the like Mole Harness. He's had radio airplay on BBC Radio 3's program "Mixing It", and has also got a track, "The Nights Are Drawing Blood" on a label compilation on Bristol's Clean Cut Records.
If you like atmospheric and hypnotically emotive music, then I really recommend this guy's work. The EP is well worth getting, and each is individually hand made from black cloth painted with bleach, and using real leaves for the cover. It's this kind of attention to detail that is a sign of quality.
Individual releases: HUSH007 - "Problems With Perspective" EP on Silent Age Records
Tracks on compilations: CCTCD001 - "The Nights Are Drawing Blood" on "Cut Your Teeth" on Clean Cut Records
Information found at www.silentagerecords.co.uk and at www.cleancutrecords.co.uk, where you can also listen to and buy the music.