Thursday, 1 October 2009

Matt Wand : Blowdown : Inside & Out

Having stood for thirty-five years, twenty-two-storey, 66 metre Liverpool building Kenley Close (in the city's Shiel Park area) was demolished at midday on 12th May 2002. Matt Wand, formerly of Stock, Hausen & Walkman, managed to place a stereo microphone inside the condemned structure two days earlier, as well as installing a telephone conversation tape recorder on the building's roof. Blowdown (Work & Leisure International W&LI-BWJ 701), a three-hundred-edition single (one of three commissioned for the Band Wagon Jumping exhibition of seven-inch vinyl (, is a documentation of Kenley Close's last five minutes. On one side we hear the evacuated building's interior, silent save for a warning siren partway through the recording. The second side is a simultaneous recording made by Laurence Lane of the expectant crowd gathered to witness the change in their familiar skyline : we hear conversations, laughter, traffic sound, kids, a motor horn, whistles, coughing - and shrieks as the explosion occurs; an exclamation : "Look at the birds !", and more laughter as the startled and displaced pigeons defecate.
The b&w cover photograph shows the structure with Controlled Demolition Group Ltd.'s banner hanging at the top : "Now you see it, now you don't" :

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