OST [SLP017], the staggering solo debut from British musician Caroline Haines, AKA Chaines, gathers studio realisations of three commissions completed since 2013’s SPLIT, with Tom Rose. Though written for specific occasions, the pieces are united by a sense of uneasy melodrama, and hallucinogenic flow.
Lead cut ‘OST’ is a 20-minute epic written in collaboration with visual artist Mary Stark where cartoonish, Rammstein-style aggression, plaintive guitar lines, and clunking glitch form an impish portrait of the UK’s north-eastern industry. But ‘OST’ is also a sincere love-letter to analogue film, with plush orchestral samples, and Stark’s disembodied voice tenderly blooming from the rubble.
OST’s remaining works frame its centrepiece. ‘Here’ – written for Laurie Tompkins’ 2013 Handy tour – is a whistled ode to twilight inebriation, accompanied by faint keys, revving cars, and Badalamenti synths. On ‘I Found This’, Chaines’ warbled melodies merge with Oliver Coates’ muted cello, offset by tickling percussion and recorder chorales. Though OST operates in a place entirely its own, it is perhaps best compared with the work of similarly iconoclastic contemporaries such as Elysia Crampton, Mica Levi, and Dean Blunt.
OST is presented as a bumper package including the full digital audio files, mastered by Rupert Clervaux, an A3 recycled poster featuring selected 16mm film stills from Mary Stark, designed by Tom Rose, and a foam-encased talk tape designed by Susie Whaites.
Chaines video for ‘Here’.
“…parts of “OST” may not be for wusses … but those of stronger constitution will find much to enjoy here…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
Oliver Coates performances of ‘I Found This’ at LCO events at the Roundhouse (BBC R3 broadcast) and the Barbican, London.