Single Gun Theory Information

In late 1994 I used to shop at Colin Morris Records [1] and whilst trawling there one of the staff suggested that I might like to try the album 'Flow, River of my Soul' - which had just wandered in as a new release. As it turns out that album was more a taster for their better album Like Stars In My Hands which is, for me, the groups current crowning work.

However the album is special in that it was one of the first I had seen to feature an email address of one of the artists. Curious to see whether they had been overloaded or not I emailed the group and was fortunate enough to be among the first to do so. Which meant I managed to get the band's attention and responses before they got completely swamped. Nowdays, although they still maintain email addresses, they prefer to communicate via the website simply due to the volume of email being sent. [2]

The groups' music varies somewhat but the fundamentals are beautiful vocals by Jacqui Hunt underscored with a drum based rhythm into which are mixed other instruments and sample snippets of text. Exactly which genre their album get placed into varies a lot depending on the whim of the store owner and staff. I have seen their Flow, River of my Soul album put into World Music, New Age, Electronic, Drum'n'Bass and (quite incredibly) Ambient. So some hunting may be required to find their albums. [3]


Related link(s)

Go to navigation links

Burning Bright But Unseen

Image of CD cover (27k jpeg)

Label: Nettwerk
Number: 067003-63172-3
Year: 1993

  1. From a Million Miles (Extended version)
  2. Surrender (Extended version)
  3. I am What I See (Technodelhia Edit)
  4. Open the Skies (Remix)
  5. Exorcise This Wasteland (Remix)
Running Time: 27:52

Not a full album this is a collection of remixed tracks, all remixed by the band itself. As such it's quite interesting to see the other directions the album tracks could have gone in. A particularly good remix is the Exorcise This Wasteland one that takes an initially fairly raw track and improves it considerably. If you already have their first album, of the same name, then it is well worth getting this CD to see what could have been done had the group had a few years more experience before releasing 'Exorcise This Wasteland'.

Back to the albums

Exorcise This Wasteland

Image of CD cover (33k jpeg)

Label: Nettwerk
Number: 790051-32392-9
Year: 1993 (Originally released 1987)

  1. I Close my Eyes
  2. Open the Skies
  3. The Silver Cord
  4. Exorcise This Wasteland
  5. This Septic Vein
  6. Halo, Halo
  7. Open Grave
  8. 4x10 Cell (for Craig)
  9. Singing Machines
  10. Raise my Soul
  11. The Red Sunshine
  12. Can't Say That
  13. Exorcise This Wasteland (Remix) [*]
  14. Open the Skies (Remix) [*]
Running Time: 52:00

[*] Not listed on the cover, but present on the CD. No doubt added as part of the re-release of this album. These two tracks are also featured on Burning Bright But Unseen, so if you have the first release of this album you can buy Burning Bright instead and save yourself having to re-buy all the other tracks.

The first album of the group and as such noticably rough. It isn't a bad album per se, but it does suffer from a few flaws. For starters the instrumental work tends to drown out the vocals and secondly the tunes themselves carry a slight air of hesitancy and uncertainty. It isn't really an album that can be reccomended to anyone but the completist fan of the band. It's biggest asset is the potential it shows, the raw ingredients are there - they merely need time to be developed.

The best track, and one included on Burning Bright But Unseen, is the Remix of 'Exorcise This Wasteland'. Here the groups potential begins to shine through. Unfortunately this track is only on the newer re-release of the CD, so care must be taken when ordering this. If you really are just hunting after that track, get Burning Bright But Unseen instead.

Back to the albums

Flow, River of my Soul

Image of CD cover (31k jpeg)

Label: Nettwerk
Number: 9399700-01002-2
Year: 1994

  1. Transmission
  2. Fall
  3. The Sea of Core Experience
  4. I've Been Dying
  5. Decimated
  6. My Estranged Wife
  7. Phenomena
  8. Metaphysical
  9. The Point Beyond Which Something Will Happen
  10. Thetan
  11. Motherland
  12. Still Closest to my Heart...
Running Time: 39:29

The third full album to be released this one has the most developed sound and it has progressed again from Like Stars In My Hands. Here the sound is much more textured and lush, still without overwhelming the vocals. The tempo is much more upbeat as well, giving a bouncy cheerful feel to the album. The overall effect is a nice but slightly too popular feel. Some of the songs lose lyrical impact because of this.

That said this is a solid, and very polished, piece of work. The album flows as whole with the tracks merging and following into each other. The net result is a very enjoyable album with three particularly stand out tracks on it. These are 'I've Been Dying', 'Motherland' and 'Fall'. It was these three tracks that sold the album to me and hopefully they will be the kind of track that gets developed more for the next album. If you see the album around, do give it a try - but I prefer Like Stars In My Hands over it.

Back to the albums

Like Stars in my Hands

Image of CD cover (40k jpeg)

Label: Nettwerk
Number: 02207-13113-2
Year: 1991

  1. Closest to my Heart
  2. From a Million Miles
  3. Take me Back
  4. Words Written Backwards
  5. Man of Straw
  6. Angels over Teheran
  7. Wild Blue Seas
  8. I am What I See
  9. Great Palaces of Immortal Splendour
  10. Satellite
  11. Surrender
  12. Words Written Backwards (Radio Baghdad edit)
Running Time: 42:21

The second album to be released and, in my opinion, their best album. It's a minimalist, almost drum and bass, work with the vocals floating gracefully (and more importantly, clearly) over the tune. The result is an almost ethereal mix that accentuates the lovely vocal work of Jacqui Hunt. It's a powerful mix one that almost hides the fact that some of the lyrics are about fairly disturbing actions. It is incongruous to be happily singing along to, and quite enjoying, a song about someone regretting having killed their partner with a knife. See what you think :-

'I followed my eternal one,
She was my lover,
She was my life,
Until I went crazy,
And I killed her with a knife...'
, from 'Take Me Back'.

And yet that tune is extremely catchy. Perhaps it is just that I am sick puppy. :) Stand out tracks include 'Take Me Back', 'Man of Straw', 'Words Written Backwards' (both versions), 'Surrender', 'I am What I See' and 'Great Palaces of Immortal Splendour'. If you don't mind a little sickness in the lyrics and have a taste for a more minimalist sound, then this album is the one to get first.

Back to the albums

[1] Unfortunately, for any ex-Wellingtonians out there reading this, the store is no more. From my perspective it seems that he over-extended himself by opening too many stores too soon and then compounded the problem with some poor choices of staff. Shame really as Colin had a good ear for Jazz and tended to have one of the more varied selections of the records stores in town.

Nowdays the main stores are bulk chain ones like 'Sounds' which tend to specialise in main-stream bulk sale stuff. However a few smaller operators are around still. My current picks are 'Troubador Records' and 'Tandys' for when you are looking for British label imports and 'The Soul Mine' for more general material and American distribution stuff. Strictly speaking 'Tandys' isn't a smaller operator, being a chain of stores, but the store down near what was the Regent Centre has good staff and a good selection. 'Troubador' is good, but tends to be slightly more pricey than other stores so I prefer them as a last resort.

And 'The Soul Mine'? Well I like shopping there because the owner/operator has a good attitude and the store has that personal touch frequently missing from the larger stores. Of course this is all subject to change as records stores are very volatile animals.

[2]Of course when I did it, all this was something of a novelty. Now it is extremely common to find groups have email addresses and websites, indeed it seems to have become part of the standard promotional procedures used by record companies. So it isn't such a big deal anymore. However I still fondly remember being able to use email to reach out and make contact with the people who make the music I like, in a way that wasn't previously possible. It's been events like this that have really made the promise of a communications revolution personal and worthwhile to me.

[3]Of course you could always just ask the staff directly, but that is cheating really. Half the fun of music is the 'hunt' itself so that you let a degree of serendipity factor into things. After all while looking for one album you more often than not come across a completely different one you were vaguely looking for...

Philip R. Banks
Send Email

Return to the Studio
Return to the Fortress Entrance