Unearthing Other, Experimental Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins Each night for the last two months I have come home from work and listened to this mammoth release in it's entirety. At over two hours in length, sprawled across two formats, Unearthing has become quite a substantial presence within my rather compact studio apartment. To my knowledge, this is the first time Moore has crafted a work of non-fiction and even though it is a study of his good friend Steve Moore (no relation) there are plenty of surrealistic tendencies to it. Moore begins his tale with a simple admonishment to understand how his subject has evolved over the years. Disappearing, don't move, stand still. For nearly sixty years, just stand still. We are shown into this liminal space and ushered to our seats with disarming courtesy, keep your wits about you because if you blink you'll miss quite a lot in this densely composed tome of intensity. Upon setting the stage, a history of Shooter's Hill is then proffered and Moore's unearthly linguistics paint the scenes of development so vividly you will feel like you yourself have grown up in this region of England. It becomes your city, your set of familiar terrain characteristics. Shooter's Hill is dreaming, dreaming London up... and so it is that with this establishment of the locale that Moore dives into his next segment. Steve's familial background is brought into focus and then slowly, the pieces are moved upon the chessboard until a checkmate is achieved and the chronicling of the lead character's immersion into the world of small press publication and eventual introduction to the expansive universe of comics is discussed. There are myriad details of counter cultural reminiscences, many of the comic legends of the 1960s and 70s are name checked; if you were collecting any of the titles of that era you will recognize how this all connects easily. Steve Moore's background in this field I hadn't really been all that aware of but Alan Moore is a man I read years and years ago when he carved out his own style in more than a few legendary titles, one of which he doesn't even keep a copy of in his home. I preferred his work on Swamp Thing or the hilariously incisive and more than likely cynical endeavor, Future Shocks. But to return to Unearthing... if you fancy your prose crammed to the gills with referential detail and luminous depictions of strangely familiar, oddly mundane settings you will become ensnared by this release. I've read that performances of this entire essay were staged around the time of it's release in a couple locations in London. One of which was a deserted railway station and the others were of a similar, derelict nature. There are echoes of the four decades these two have known one another which ricochet throughout it's entirety. Bah! There is no mystery... its just a boy's imagination. The lines between reality and fantasy are blurred many many times as Alan collects the life of his friend in the lines of this incredibly honed story and even gives you a print out so you can read along. Just lock into the lines and let the language pull you along; in stark black and white dot matrix clarity, I was witness to how extraordinary one person's existence can become when you read between the lines and allow that which is common to reveal it's full form. The packaging of Unearthing is something you don't come across often, either. Three cds, the aforementioned libretto and also the entire set pressed on lusciously thick vinyl (one face of it is colored even). A nicely executed poster from Mitch Jenkins graces one envelope and strewn all across the horizon there are images of the goddess whom Steve Moore has been living with for some years now. It isn't just Moore's commanding voice which anchors Unearthing, a collective of wildly diverse musicians were drafted to create an auditory background... the third disc gives you just this music to sift through. Jarringly disorienting, wistfully melancholic, sparsely majestic. These three phases of composition serve as counter points to the daunting lexicon of literary deconstruction which Moore employs like a glistening Lister blade to cut through the thick, fattening distraction we call everyday life. What sounds are contained herein pull me out of just being a passive observer and thrust me into a bewildering land of hypnotically disturbed creative exorcisms. Unearthing is more of an artifact than album, it's labyrinth is one you get lost in and then realize you have actually found yourself through. The dark mirror we stare into which reveals our innermost thoughts and desires, you won't come away from hearing this release the same as you were going into it. Some would call it indulgent, it could be seen as whimsical; I happen to think Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins have bequeathed us with sprawling, spiraling subconscious architecture to explore which Moore graciously guides us through. Listen to the sound of his voice, focus on it. Do not drift away or you will become lost; we become the beam of light which connects stars, galaxies and the entire universe. Our souls are become divining rods through which Unearthing enters terrestrial space and tells the tale. 550
Brutal Resonance

Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins - Unearthing

10
"Legendary"
Released 2010 by Lex Records
Each night for the last two months I have come home from work and listened to this mammoth release in it's entirety. At over two hours in length, sprawled across two formats, Unearthing has become quite a substantial presence within my rather compact studio apartment. To my knowledge, this is the first time Moore has crafted a work of non-fiction and even though it is a study of his good friend Steve Moore (no relation) there are plenty of surrealistic tendencies to it. Moore begins his tale with a simple admonishment to understand how his subject has evolved over the years. Disappearing, don't move, stand still. For nearly sixty years, just stand still. We are shown into this liminal space and ushered to our seats with disarming courtesy, keep your wits about you because if you blink you'll miss quite a lot in this densely composed tome of intensity. Upon setting the stage, a history of Shooter's Hill is then proffered and Moore's unearthly linguistics paint the scenes of development so vividly you will feel like you yourself have grown up in this region of England. It becomes your city, your set of familiar terrain characteristics. Shooter's Hill is dreaming, dreaming London up... and so it is that with this establishment of the locale that Moore dives into his next segment.

Steve's familial background is brought into focus and then slowly, the pieces are moved upon the chessboard until a checkmate is achieved and the chronicling of the lead character's immersion into the world of small press publication and eventual introduction to the expansive universe of comics is discussed. There are myriad details of counter cultural reminiscences, many of the comic legends of the 1960s and 70s are name checked; if you were collecting any of the titles of that era you will recognize how this all connects easily. Steve Moore's background in this field I hadn't really been all that aware of but Alan Moore is a man I read years and years ago when he carved out his own style in more than a few legendary titles, one of which he doesn't even keep a copy of in his home. I preferred his work on Swamp Thing or the hilariously incisive and more than likely cynical endeavor, Future Shocks.

But to return to Unearthing... if you fancy your prose crammed to the gills with referential detail and luminous depictions of strangely familiar, oddly mundane settings you will become ensnared by this release. I've read that performances of this entire essay were staged around the time of it's release in a couple locations in London. One of which was a deserted railway station and the others were of a similar, derelict nature. There are echoes of the four decades these two have known one another which ricochet throughout it's entirety. Bah! There is no mystery... its just a boy's imagination. The lines between reality and fantasy are blurred many many times as Alan collects the life of his friend in the lines of this incredibly honed story and even gives you a print out so you can read along. Just lock into the lines and let the language pull you along; in stark black and white dot matrix clarity, I was witness to how extraordinary one person's existence can become when you read between the lines and allow that which is common to reveal it's full form.

The packaging of Unearthing is something you don't come across often, either. Three cds, the aforementioned libretto and also the entire set pressed on lusciously thick vinyl (one face of it is colored even). A nicely executed poster from Mitch Jenkins graces one envelope and strewn all across the horizon there are images of the goddess whom Steve Moore has been living with for some years now. It isn't just Moore's commanding voice which anchors Unearthing, a collective of wildly diverse musicians were drafted to create an auditory background... the third disc gives you just this music to sift through. Jarringly disorienting, wistfully melancholic, sparsely majestic. These three phases of composition serve as counter points to the daunting lexicon of literary deconstruction which Moore employs like a glistening Lister blade to cut through the thick, fattening distraction we call everyday life. What sounds are contained herein pull me out of just being a passive observer and thrust me into a bewildering land of hypnotically disturbed creative exorcisms.

Unearthing is more of an artifact than album, it's labyrinth is one you get lost in and then realize you have actually found yourself through. The dark mirror we stare into which reveals our innermost thoughts and desires, you won't come away from hearing this release the same as you were going into it. Some would call it indulgent, it could be seen as whimsical; I happen to think Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins have bequeathed us with sprawling, spiraling subconscious architecture to explore which Moore graciously guides us through. Listen to the sound of his voice, focus on it. Do not drift away or you will become lost; we become the beam of light which connects stars, galaxies and the entire universe. Our souls are become divining rods through which Unearthing enters terrestrial space and tells the tale.
May 01 2012

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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