Stone Tape Shuffle: Iain on vinyl

Test Centre have begun taking pre-orders for Iain’s LP Stone Tape Shuffle, available as a vinyl-only edition of 400, 26 of which form a special edition. Copies can be purchased via


Featuring readings from some of Iain’s best poetry and fiction – Lud Heat, Suicide Bridge, White Chappell Scarlet Tracings, and Dowrniver – the album was recorded in situ at locations featured in the books. They have been edited together with field recordings and material from Iain’s archives, including a lost tape concerning Lud Heat and the launch of White Chappell Scarlet Tracings. The sleeve is handsomely illustrated with a selection of new photos, taken on the day of recording across East London and the City, plus photos from Iain’s collection spanning his career. Iain has also provided a new text for the sleeve notes.


Taking its inspiration from Giorno Poetry Systems, the records and recordings of William S. Burroughs, and the French tradition of spoken word, Stone Tape Shuffle marks the first part in a series of LPs from Test Centre, with records to follow from Chris Petit, Stewart Home, Tom McCarthy, and more.


Iain comments: ‘The invitation to time-travel through heavily compromised terrain was very attractive to me. The form of the LP worked as a goad, stimulating a search through boxes of lost recordings and never-sampled cassettes.’

STONE TAPE SHUFFLE (updated 16/12/2011)

About the LP: I have now discovered that the pressing with be 400 copies, 26 of which in a special edition will come with additional handwritten material and other extras. It won’t be available until March. (I think the number of copies echoes the original Albion Village Press edition of ‘Lud Heat’.)


The Test Centre Publications is a youthful group who have decided to launch an LP (vinyl) series, in all its retro glory.

An accurate reflection of present day Hackney.

The LPs will come out in limited editions of – what? – a couple of hundred (just like the Albion Village Press books when I started).

I’ve been working on the first of these LPs, walking over old traces, St Anne’s Limehouse, Shadwell, Wapping, Whitechapel, Bunhill Fields. Familiar territories with readings, in situ, from my old books: Lud Heat, Suicide Bridge, Downriver, White Chappell Scarlet Tracings. The LP will be called ‘Stone Tape Shuffle‘. And may be available by Christmas. With copious sleeve notes & photos.

Other LPs, it is hoped, from Chris Petit, Stewart Home, Tom McCarthy.


Iain has kindly provided a preview of the LP sleeve.


Dansette delirium. Blunt needle trenching grooves in the curve of an eye. Locked gates. Leathery interior of padded limousine. Mercenaries in crypt. Vegetal voices fed through reel-to-reel recorder. Templar bandages. Saffron. Herbal Hill.

Archaeologist of morning. Bookdealers at stall. Butchers in boozer. Medics in travesty. Manson is innocent. Sardonic glitter below the lintel. Access denied. So re-record the retrospective. Eavesdrop on entropy. Posthumous postcards.

You dip into Heraclitus. Identity dissolves in river’s chains. Midge helmet. Pulling legs from crabs. Sheppey. Limehouse. Ratcliffe. Marmosets in abandoned graveyard. Cinnamon from blind warehouse. Junkies herbing Shadwell bunkers.

Trawling for spooks. Tapping obelisks. Suicide Bridge. Parchment confession in corneal graft. Scarlet Tracings.

Streams of silver from infant coffin. Bare feet ridged on cobbles she understands the talk of the tide. Abney Park.

Tower Hamlets. Chingford Mount. A moment of intense disorder and counter-purpose embedded in narrative as a foreign body encysted and then expelled. We pass over vicars and vagrants. Ripped stockings muffle the mic. Red Eye suppressed. Fear of burial absolutely must be so. As we walked out that one and ever morning. No ley lines said the parson chewing candles in his attic. The evidence is all there is of what there is. Of this. And that. And before. His noise.

Your irritation. For a while. Foreign. Intimate. Unheard.