Storm Bugs - A Safe Substitute

Side 1

Mesh of Wire


Car Situations


Side 2


Solely From

Blackheath Episode



Format: Cassette, 80 copies

Release Date: 1980

Label: Snatch Tapes

Catalogue Number: TCH110

Sleeve Design: Steven Ball. Photocopy onto red card. The image on the cover is from the Storm Bugs Super 8 film Table Matters



Re-issued on red vinyl in 2011 by Harbinger records. Side 1 of the tape is a long collaged piece, mixed by Philip Sanderson in one take with several Revox reel to reel and VCS3's running simultaneously and much on the fly remixing, filtering and application of treatments. Side 2 features three VCS3 sequencer tracks by Sanderson. The following notes were added to the 2011 LP re-issue.


Side One


Mesh of Wire


Philip Sanderson: Vocals, tape delay, VCS3

The tape delay system employed two Revox tape recorders placed about 4 feet apart. The first machine recorded the signal onto the tape, which then stretched across the room to a second playbackmachine. By routing the signal back tothe first machine a long delay or feedback loop was set up. The lyrics describe a lysergic-fuelled evening in suburbia.




Sarah Pomeroy: Guitar/VCS3

Philip Sanderson: VCS3, tape loops, tape delay

Objective features a slow VCS3 sequence overlaid with ring modulated vocal loops (extolling the merits of good quality beans) and a warped woodwind and brass duet. The woodwind part was found on an old tape in the studio cupboard whilst the second part was created by feeding a guitar played by Sarah Pomeroy into an EMS pitch to voltage converter and using the signal to control the sine wave on theVCS3.

Car Situations


Steven Ball: Vocals, percussion, ring modulator


PS: VCS3, tape loops, tape delay

Sanderson and Ball had recorded a track called 'Car Situations' in Sanderson's Paddington flat. The vocal part was fed through the VCS3 ring modulator and combined with a sequencer pattern. The pace of the rhythm is upset by a low frequencyoscillator, which causes the pitch to drop at unexpected moments. As the track progresses percussion sections from the 'Nein Nein Nein' recording are gradually mixed in until they obliterate everything else.

Mesh of Wire (reprise)


Philip Sanderson: VCS3, vocals, tape delay



Side Two



Philip Sanderson: VCS3, short wave radio

Hodge features a short wave jamming signal which was being broadcast from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain to block Radio Free Europe transmissions.The radio sound was fed through the VCS3 with the low frequency oscillator chopping the signal up into chunks.

Solely From


Philip Sanderson:VCS3, sequencer

A straightforward contest between the sequencer and one VCS3 using all three oscillators and pushing the spring reverb into distortion.

Blackheath Episode


Philip Sanderson: VCS3, sequencer

The last track used all three of the studio's EMS synthesizers. The Synthi A is driven by the sequencer to provide the main rhythm track whilst the other two VCS3s play the background drones.