On the Radar: Ingleton Falls – Champagne in Mozambique

Ingleton Falls’ Champagne in Mozambique received a second airing this month as Isle of Jura give it a reissue. The Waveform Transmitter’s Andy Weights gets into some early 90s genre-spanning electronic fayre.

I love it when a label like Isle of Jura reissues albums like Ingleton falls’ long player Champagne in Mozambique. Originally released in 1991 as a limited 100 self-distributed cassette tapes, the album moves through Ambient, weird vibe Dub, House and Balearic styles, effortlessly blending the previous decades sonic textures with the impending 90s sounds.

Ingleton Falls are two blokes from Newcastle, Andy Hannam Seymour and Andy Eardley, thrust together from the more traditional band background which saw them splinter into this electronic incarnation. Their sounds are inspired by the love of acts such as Dub Syndicate, African Headcharge, Gary Clail, The Orb and The KLF.

Andy Hannam Seymour remembers “It was a very creative time musically, there was a lot going on around us that used new technology. I was excited by the possibilities. Up until then I’d been playing guitar with a more traditional drums/bass/guitar/vocal band with all the ‘musical differences’ that entailed (the two bands ran side by side for a while). I also liked the idea that you could write and record a piece of music that was ready to release yourself, rather than it being a demo or having to pay a lot of cash for studio time. That DIY aspect was a lot of fun.”

Champagne in Mozambique is split into two sides of aware and unaware, the division is based on the idea of being enlightened and unenlightened, using christian samples and themes like necrophilia on the unware side, set against more expansive mindful themes on the flip side.

Musically, the album shows off a tonne of interesting vocal samples, both spoken and chanted, one minute 90s house piano riffs, the next, dub drenched synth melodies flow, as lo-fi rhythms surround the precise, drum machine snares. Clave clicks tickle the senses, as reverb laden, cymbal sounds, spit dubbed out ambient moments. The range of audio sensations on offer here are a real treat for the ears, as track after track changes moods with aplomb.

As unaware side A closes, I felt I had been transported through serene, aha moments before the album turns to the aware side. Here, the guitar begins to resonate and strum its way into our consciousness, continuing the dub vibes. As accompanying angelic chants create a more transcendental feeling to the end of the journey that finishes with the sample “inside your head, exercise the muscles of your mind and imagination, listen to it, listen to it”.

What makes reissues so intriguing, is the retrospective look at the equipment used the make the albums. Here, Champagne in Mozambique uses a Cheetah SX16 sampler, Alesis HR16 Drum Machine, Yamaha FG440 Acoustic Guitar, Tokai Stratocaster Guitar and an Atari ST computer running a Steinberg Pro 24 sequencing program from a floppy disk. Due to a lack of sampling memory, sounds were added live from cassette into the final mixes.

25 years later these songs deservedly reach a wider audience, and remind us again where a lot of our own inspirations come from.

Released by Isle of Jura, initially via a limited cassette release, you will find the album digitally or on 180g Vinyl LP from any good stock-piler. Remember Ingleton Falls  Champagne in Mozambique it deserves your attention…

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