Hand of Stabs: Asemic Approach

LOCATION: On a road between town and country, wakefulness and dreaming

MUSIC: Hand of Stabs

FILM: Giles Whitehead

WORDS: Gareth E. Rees

This is the new work by Hand of Stabs, a progressive bone-age pagan skiffle band previously featured on Unofficial Britain. The video is by Kent-based artist Giles Whitehead.

The music is an undulating tribal shuffle, with heartbeat bass, swirls of analogue synth and a plethora of percussion instruments (made from what sound like old bits of farming equipment.)

The accompanying film is an impressionistic portrait of the landscape as experienced when moving through it. The focus (and lack-of) switches between town and country, industrial and rural using motorways and A-roads at night as conduits.

Pylons in a raw sunset, frazzled tees, piles of chopped logs, wind turbines, the ceilings of industrial buildings, metal grills and mesh. These alternating visions are fused by bleeding colour and fucked-up textures, until everything rolls past in a dazzle of synthetic and real, imagined and actual. The moon becomes a headlamp. The headlamp becomes a human eye. The music beats faster as the car accelerates.

At times all we see is an abstract blaze of light, utterly divorced from the source material. A world seen in the eye’s mind.

In this acid trip, the only coda you can cling to is the illuminated road at night to which the film repeatedly returns.

Wonderful stuff. Before you watch it, turn the lights off and the volume up.

 

 

More Articles for You

Unofficial Britain’s Weird and Wonderful Reads 2022

WORDS: Gareth E. Rees I’ve had an insanely busy year. It began with me finalising my debut short story collection, …

Climate Change, Ecological Breakdown & Neoliberal Anxiety in the English Edgelands

LOCATION: Southern England WORDS: Gareth E. Rees, author of Unofficial Britain “Global warming had gone past the tipping point, the …

Newcastle’s Haunted Alley: The Mysterious Origins of The White Lady of the Quayside.

Joe Barton and Jack Gardner search for the true life origins of a dockside spectre

Edgeland Visions: Heraldic Relics from an Imaginary Time

In advance of his exhibition in Margate, Matt James Healy shares his abstract visions of a world on the edge

Beer Cans, Wildflowers and a Dead Dog’s Ashes – A Dream Life Beneath the Pylon of Hackney Marsh

With the remains of his dead dog in a cardboard tube, Gareth E. Rees returns to the pylon that sparked his edgeland obsession

A Murdered Cyclist on the Pevensey Levels

In this film, Gareth E. Rees revisits the site of the strange murder in his new book, Terminal Zones