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Thursday 12 March 2020

From Fort Beulah To Facility 4

Fort Beulah N.U. project was a secretive Andrew Weatherall project that started in 2017, a series of five one sided 12" singles, with hand stamped centres and numbered and signed sleeves. Yes, I bought all five. Cottage industry dub, detours into ambient and semi- techno areas, weird meditative tunes with strange vocal samples. I'm not sure exactly who the players and contributors are but the wonderful Nina Walsh was involved and various other people in the Woodleigh Research Facility orbit. I'm not usually one for copying and pasting press releases but in the absence of much else to go off will do so this time. This was issued prior to the release of 001 by Mr Weatherall:

''Fort Beulah N.U. is a collective of singers, players, sonic research operatives and Gnostic adventurers affiliated to the Woodleigh Research Facility. Fort Beulah N.U. would like to thank Heidi Barker for her vocals on F.B. 001…… Peace and unity is easier to achieve than those that profit from the lack of it would have you believe….”
Andrew Weatherall. June 2017.

The five Fort Beulah tracks are sequenced in order below by a kindly Mixcloud uploader and are a fine way to spend forty minutes.

Back in September 2017 this short video came out to promote 002 which seems to have been called Alain.

Another piece of the jigsaw (maybe)... Fort Beulah is a place in Vermont, the town at the centre of Sinclair Lewis' 1936 novel It Can't Happen Here, a satirical account of a demagogic politician taking the Presidency by storm in the 1930s with promises of American values, patriotism and a return to traditional values (written against a  backdrop of actual fascist dictators being in power in Europe). Whether this shadowy musical collective is named after the Fort Beulah of Sinclair Lewis' novel and is therefore a sideways comment on Trump I don't know. But it seems plausible.

Today is the day of Andrew's funeral. In the words he'd use to sign off some of his messages and missives Jah bless to all his family and friends and all those attending. Rest in peace Lord Sabre.


Tom W said...

RIP Mr Weatherall. There's an extra pain to losing somebody who wasn't just an icon of a formative time but who remained productive for so long. I glibly compared AW to Alan Moore back when the news first hit, but when the latter announced he was done with comics last year I felt a loss I hadn't anticipated, because the last 36 years of my life had been lived in the expectation that there'd be something new coming from Alan pretty soon and it'd probably be great. It's the same here: even if I didn't like every Weatherall remix or project there was always more in the pipeline, always a new remix to stumble across or a secret little project and some seemingly minor thing could be an absolute gem. The loss of that anticipation is almost like a second grief because those decades of idly wondering what would be next are over. You weren't just great, you never stopped. We'll miss you.

drew said...

Hit me all over again. Have been reappraising my influences while refiling all the records and looking at the twists and turns of my music buying he has had a bigger influence than anyone.

keepingitpeel said...

I've decided to retire the usual response. So for the final time then, in respect and in memory of Mr Andrew Weatherall:

"Swiss Adam - Who is this particular individual ?!"

Good rest Guv'nor.

Michael Doherty said...

I'm still hoping to my end of days that I'll be able to say "I've never heard that Weatherall track before," such was the abundance. Sail on, Dear Sir!

Swiss Adam said...

It's not just his music either or his remixes, its the masses of music that came out of his Music's Not For Everyone shows, music I don't think I'd have heard otherwise.