STM 265 - Alexander Tucker

Alexander Tucker

Original photo from artist's personal archive.

Alexander Tucker of Grumbling Fur and Imbogodom weaves a trippy and adventurous mix, combining experimental composition and inventive songwriting


Alexander Tucker is a musician from Kent, UK, known not only for his brilliant solo material, but also for his involvement in the elegant psych/pop duo Grumbling Fur (with Daniel O’Sullivan) and Imbogodom (with Daniel Beban). Alexander’s output dwells on the thin line between the English psychedelic folk tradition, lush ambient pastoralia, UK hauntology, and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The latter is most explicitly felt in Imbogodom’s BBC Bush House album trilogy recorded in this legendary former BBC World Service building (now occupied by King’s College London). Fusing sounds obtained from the building with some truly immersive and hypnotic songcraft, the duo shape a unique world evoking the ghosts of the radio and the building’s rich history. Alexander’s solo albums present a wide array of narratives embedded in a delicate fusion of hazy experimental chamber pop, spacious harmonies, sensitive melodicism and folk psychedelia. His 2011 Dorwytch LP released by Thrill Jockey investigated mundanity and otherworldliness, and with its blissful moods brought to mind the gorgeous vastness of the British landscape. Just a few weeks ago, Tucker released Don’t Look Away, an excellent record, which immediately goes to this year’s list of favorites. By further polishing his songwriting he created an album bristling with cosmic lyrical narratives, sonic warmth and, again, a good dose of otherworldliness.

Secret Thirteen Mix 265 is called “Origin Synthesis Mix” and showcases some of the aspects that make the music of Alexander Tucker so magical. It moves between abstract acoustic compositions (the beautiful 4th world wanderings of Richard Horowitz), blissed-out tunes (the dream pop melancholia of Clear Horizon), or more rugged sound textures (the heavyweight piece by The Bug vs. Earth). However, the selection never loses a trippy feel and maintains a wide range of adventurous sonic techniques with which this feel is created, be it organic walls of sound or the minimal analog playfulness of Zomes. The mix travels with wave-like dynamics and every twist surprises the listener with a distinct pattern, as if he or she travelled in a mesmeric green maze of sounds or some gorgeous if alien landscape. Most of the artists included in this mix operate on genric fringes and some of them are a bit underrated (e.g. the before mentioned Clear Horizon duo) or rediscovered recently (e.g. Richard Horowitz with the excellent Freedom to Spend re-release). Thus the mix will not only provide you with an interesting array of emotions, but will also serve as a source of discoveries.

Alexander on the mix:

“I’ve chosen artists who take their music through a process and journey of manipulation, be it analogue or digital. They transform their original source material, decaying and regrowing sound, where ideas and words are moulded into new shapes and forms. I wanted the mix to bring together elements of modern deconstructive and constructive music whilst combining mangled electronics, processed acoustic elements, warped songwriting, and contemporary outsider composition.”


01. Bardo Pond - 2018 EU Tour CD
02. The Fuck Chairs - Black Panther Scream [Bandcamp, 2014]
03. Oren Ambarchi - Part 1 [Editions Mego, 2016]
04. Fountainsun - Garden Gate 1 [Gnome Life, 2016]
05. Richard Horowitz - Eros Never Stops Dreaming [Freedom to Spend, 2017]
06. Stars of the Lid - Fucked Up (3:57 AM) [Kranky, 1997]
07. Ashtray Navigations - The Banian Tree [VHF, 2017]
08. Roy Montgomery - Land Fall (feat. Liz Harris) [Ba Da Bing records, 2018]
09. Omit - Echo Dot Framework: Two (Side Fall) [Pica Disk/End of the Alphabet, 2018]
10. Spectrum - I Know They Say [Silverstone, 1994]
11. Cardiacs - Wireless [The Alphabet Business Concern, 1996]
12. Mun Sing - An Illusion [Infinite Machines, 2017]
13. Renaldo and the Loaf - Optimism [Klang Galerie, 2016]
14. Bridget Hayden - Lost Chart [Kraak, 2011]
15. Zomes - Pilgrim Traveler [Thrill Jockey, 2010]
16. The Bug vs Earth - Don’t Walk These Streets [Ninja Tune, 2017]
17. Clear Horizon - Open Road [Kranky, 2003]
18. Astral Social Club - Erotic Meditation [VHF, 2014]
19. The Fuck Chairs - Dissect Royalty [Bandcamp, 2014]
20. Black Lodge - Do Not Go Gently [Disciples, 2018]
21. Cardiacs - Wireless [The Alphabet Business Concern, 1996]

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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