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WOO - Xylophonics/Robot X black vinyl double LP

FIRST TIME ON VINYL!  Double album package of both Robot X and Xylophonics IPR reissues in one black vinyl set. Packaged in a hand-letterpress printed die cut LP jacket complete with letterpress-printed stamp sheet in a folding booklet insert. 


It was the mid-1980s when Independent Project Records first made contact with brothers Mark and Clive Ives, the remarkably prolific purveyors of exquisite shapeshifting electronic music under the moniker of Woo, making cult favorites such as Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong and It’s Cosy Inside available for the first time in the US at the end of the decade. Almost forty years later, the brothers have been remarkably prolific and Independent Project Records is in the fourth year of its relaunch. Time to join forces again.

More than a simple reissue, the new team-up of Woo and IPR debuts with a special selection of two works, Robot X and Xylophonics: the albums were first self-released digitally on their Bandcamp page in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and have now been reshaped, expanded, and newly conceived as companion pieces. Listening to Robot X and Xylophonics side by side makes for a fascinating, and ever surprising, journey into experimental retro-futuristic electronica.

There are more than 1000 tracks in Mark and Clive Ives’ archives (which collect material from the 1970s through 2005); over the last decade the brothers have been busy creating albums from these old recordings, sometimes overdubbing the existing tracks, sometimes adding newer contemporary music. To briefly describe their process: the two create short lists of the archives with sounds they feel complement each other (for instance, they can be melodic, or optimistic, or surreal…). Then begins the process of creating a track listing. Once they get something down to an album duration, they start listening… and there comes a concept, a title and the artwork for a new release.

That’s how Robot X was conceived, utilizing snippets of recordings made on a 4-track tape machine in the late 1980s. “One of our most abstract and surreal albums”, Clive Ives calls it. When the record was compiled in 2016, the brothers felt that the reality of humanoid robots being made and being used was immanent. This concept became the main inspiration for the album, fueled by the influence of Terry Gilliam’s 1985 masterpiece Brazil, with its blend of sci-fi and dark comedy. The story, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines, proved influential for Robot X’s artwork, too: Clive Ives
collaged together various old industrial machinery etchings from the British Museum archives to create robots, coming up with something that is obviously not as practical and functional as modern (real world) robots are.

Xylophonics was birthed through a similar process, reworking tracks found in the ‘90s section of the brothers’ spacious archive. Back then, they had just begun recording onto computers, and the album proved their first opportunity to properly link drum machines with keyboards, and create loops and multitrack more layers without the need of sound on sound on a tape deck. These recordings also find the brothers working on melodic pattern loops made with the tuned percussion instruments they’ve always had a special interest in (such as marimba, kalimba and xylophone), weaving those with drums, and creating a feel that is at once futuristic and optimistic in the process.

Robot X and Xylophonics together tell a story of retro-futuristic visions from different angles: both proudly experimental, they combine a deluge of musical influences to offer something that is, quite remarkably, deeply layered and minimalist at the same time. The unpredictable instrumentals they unleash invite listeners to attach their own fantasies to what they hear, whether those fantasies belong to the past, the present or, more likely, a robotic future.

Released for the first time on vinyl and CD as double-disc sets encased in IPR label founder Bruce Licher’s singular letterpress packaging, complete with a handcrafted stamp booklet insert, these exquisite artifacts are a must for any serious collector of compelling contemporary musical endeavor.  


 Woo - Xylophonics


1 Xylophonics 

2 Refer To The Manual 

3 The Spark 

4 Supernaturals 

5 The Typewriter 

6 Temperamental Circus 

7 Xylophonics 2 

8 Memory Oscillator 

9 Peak Harmonics 

10 Whistling Home 

11 Space Patrol 

12 Sound Corridor 



Woo – Robot X


1 The One That Got Away 

2 Harmonic Drive 

3 Nanobots 

4 Edmondo 

5 Repeatability 

6 The Three Laws of Robotics 

7 Awareness Signals 

8 Multi-Minimal Malfunctions 

9 Resolution Sensory Feedback 

10 X Robot 

11 Resista Reggae 

12 Robot X  

WOO - Xylophonics/Robot X black vinyl double LP

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