Dale Cornish
Fleshpile Sister
CD (E156)

Fleshpile Thematic, released by The Tapeworm earlier
this year, reconsidered as an album of dub versions.
Smooth edges roughed out. Re-engineered space.
All human vocals erased.

Fleshpile Sister on Vimeo


See also
Dale Cornish (E240)
Dale Cornish (E215)
Dale Cornish (E190)
Dale Cornish (E171)
Dale Cornish (E141)
Out of print

Edition of 200 copies
Mastered by Jacques Beloeil

Portrait by David Keen


Fleshpile Sister is the sibling of Dale Cornish’s Fleshpile
Thematic, a cassette release from earlier this year that
centred around words — specifically, Cornish’s own dryly
recorded, London accented prose/ poetry and monotone
singing over sparse and itchy electronics and processed
sounds. “This... specific... habitat”, he intones slowly on
Canopy, and it’s this innocuous line that sticks in the mind
when describing that album, which evokes the tedium,
isolation and intimacy of domestic space both verbally and,
in an often microscopic and subtle way, sonically. Sister
takes away the vocals and presents re-engineered versions
of almost every track on Thematic; understandably these
have been described as dubs, but that implies a certain
dynamic relationship between vocal and instrumental that
isn’t quite what's going on here. While this is, inevitably,
a smoother, more ambient listen than its predecessor,
with none of the intrusiveness of the spoken word,
Cornish’s decision to absent his voice feels provocative —
Sister offers a somewhat easier experience, but is it now
too easy, too immersive, too tastefully within the dis-
course of psychogeographic, ghostly processed sound?
Not always: the five minutes of Lowlight are opened out
into a brooding piece of twice the length (and subtitled
SW8) on Sister, the better to allow its room-hum bass,
carefully placed chimes and struck strings to drift across
the mix, but other tracks such as Weathermud, in which
gentle rainfall is compressed into a staticky scree, are
more aggressive than their originals. Sister is at its most
impressive when the spirit of Thematic seeps into a track
in a way that hints at a new presence rather than
revelling in absence: on the version of Canopy Cornish’s
words are nowhere to be heard, but there is the hint of
a different vocal, a couple of notes made by what sounds
like a voice, almost imperceptible, sung (if indeed it is
sung) in the way you might find yourself humming along
to a dial tone, remembering the exact sound of an alarm,
suddenly tuning in to the pitched world.

Frances Morgan in The Wire