Dust of Shadows

Dust of Shadows

Adas Butler, June 1st 2017

Looped 16mm film with optical sound – Numerous species of mushroom spore print onto clear film. (Audio features a poem read by Sylvia Plath)

A rarity of wonder over at Bleep – only 23 copies of David Chatton Barker’s ‘Dust of Shadows’ will be available. A co-founder of the unique Folklore Tapes label, who have worked with the wonderful Paper Dollhouse and on the striking, anagogic ‘Two Witches‘, this is an objet d’art issued on his own Hood Faire, who themselves have worked on dazzling releases from Dean McPhee and the insect-sampling Racker & Orphan. Out-there peculiar art made with passion and precision – read on below and grab a copy while you can:

Bundle Lathe Cut – Buy Now
– Nature seven-inch lathe featuring audio on A-side
– Hand pyrography etching of spore print on B-side
– A3 double sided B&W cut and paste zine
– Unique glass spore print slide with each edition
– Made in an edition of 23 copies worldwide


Following on from his sleeve designs for the recent Radiophonic Workshop album and the Lost Tapes Record Club’s final Exquisite Corpses reissue, Folklore Tapes’ David Chatton Barker turns in another elegantly produced limited artifact in the form of Dust of Shadows, a rural conjuring lathe cut made in a one-time edition of 23 copies and released via David’s Hood Faire, an imprint he oversees with Sam McLoughlin (Sam and the Plants/N. Racker) and Dean McPhee.

Made from an array of recordings that range from “indeterminate water drops falling from rocks and tree roots on to homemade water drums and clock chimes” to “scratchy sounds which are the optical sound from a 16mm film made by directly applying spore prints to the surface of the film strip”, David has combined these with the vocal elements of “Maria Sabina from the Mazatec Indians of Mexico” who can be found “singing a mushroom ceremony, with a recording from Sylvia Plath reading her poem ‘Mushrooms” complimenting the background ambience. Dust of Shadows exists as a record release of an exhibition of a live performance based on a personal investigation into the world of fungi. The text on the reverse is written in the the ink produced by Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus) and the glass slide is a unique spore print in itself.

Sure to dissipate into the undergrowth before long, Hood Fair have included a Dust of Shadows hand carved etching on the b-side by David, completing another fascinating entry into this most singular of labels.