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Bastard Island

by Steven Ball

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Thermal gloss printed CD in flexible transparent case with wraparound two sides full colour cover and insert designed by Steven Ball.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Bastard Island via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Bastard Island via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      £7 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes pdf booklet of lyrics and images.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £5 GBP  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 18 Steven Ball releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of In the Dark, Standard Definition, HOMECONOMICS, All Living Can Anyone Be Here, Abstract Vectoral Landscapes, Sketches for a Decaying Island, Bastard Island, subsongs., and 10 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £46.15 GBP or more (35% OFF)


the weather is routinely unseasonable no reliable reports unpredictable set up the microphone time enough to prepare wireless reports the bay the sunset the gale wind chimes watching makes time enough to prepare to set the levels deep height of day reports wireless booster trees ticking web signal transmission long distance thunder supercell updraft trees ticking web microphone knitting attenuating talking ticking scattering of light the bay makes weather test the limits scattering of light antenna system two hours of night the bay makes weather the bright blinding light reports wireless booster on the cumulus bay to make more time time enough to prepare calm wind of day hailstones prepare away from the land and away from the land the trees move enough watching makes time wireless reports incoherent supercell updraft on the cumulus bay two hours to sunset cable delivery time and the weather storm clouds blow in band unpredictable two hours to sunset some incoherent deep height of day blizzard against window antenna system weather routine trees move enough longer transmission accumulate report hailstones prepare signal transmission portable trees accumulating nimbus watching makes time unseasonable watch the trees move watch enough time test the limits west, north, south, east move across microphone unpredictable thunder wave band dusk came quickly calm wind of day rough wind of storm two hours to sunset thunder spins level and spirals around away from the land
moving across the bay song of cicada crackle hissing from trees electric night moving in from the bay anticyclonic rain in hanging dark cloud static through misty haze into the light in the darkness of day and now without moment the storm that blows in tonight is riding the crest of the bay and then without movement in the cold morning light was rounding the west of this day dragonflies, ants, and moths locusts, termites, and beetles firefly night deep in the light warm afternoon autumn silver light water steel grab and hold swell kite ripples morning glows red frost, snow, and drought moving across the bay and soon short and long waves will cross the beach some night riding the north of a day and when the long dusk short twilight in warm evening sun the white full moon will rise again
Small Sounds 05:58
printed on the wind the material of space atmosphere of the planet wave and radiation a built-in speaker’s tinny sound struggles to be heard and speaks of distance category one network cryptoworms double pulsar tool killed the operation surfing the short wave now straight line of sight for distance communication reflected and refracted across the ionosphere skywave propagation stratas of air and gas electromagnetism beyond the shores of this bastard island small sounds
percentage clear clouds 1705UTC sea level pressure 17,850 kHz, June 25 10:48UTC the signal is weak 13,710kHz 12,035 UTC 20:52 clouds percent broken clear few overcast scattered Russian channel marker precipitation level pressure snowfall diurnal temperature range 20:33 UTC The Voice of Vietnam in Russian announcing number & letter groups snow depth Mean Wind Vector Magnitude wind chill 15,435kHz dewpoint temperature 7,260kHz quarter diurnal reading April 22 military parade style music 11,735 kHz USB E07 “The Englishman” Russian numbers station a lot of fading and noise December 11 UTC 20:52 heat index Voice of Indonesia with Arabic language speech and music few overcast scattered The Voice of Mongolia Radio Thailand, a regular visitor daily minimum temperature North Korean Broadcasting Service Jul-16 17:15UTC Korean weather broadcast Asian drift net fishing beacon, on five minute cycle 9,730kHz 9,665kHz cooling, clouds, snowfall jamming signal in background 15,435 signal had men talking, like a news or interview UTC 1643 Fair to good signal with low modulation and some noise/fading 11:48 UTE 1.762MHz CW “2AFVW 2AFVW 2AFVW” heating degree days 17:05UTC Radio Vanuatu China with male & female chatting in Chinese, sounds informal. 16:45UTC Christian music national anthem
Brownout 05:41
waiting for the brownout the lapse occurred at breakfast the dropped cup overturned on the table again absent seconds began and ended suddenly then time came together again flat screen horizon eating sleeping tracing a line on a page super eight and video tape kept us young waiting for the brownout after the crash 1979 going nowhere fast speed flattening everything we were man and woman one hundred brownouts daily but time came together again middle distant flat screen horizon eating sleeping tracing a line on a page super eight and video tape kept us young waiting for the brownout we were woman and man we were both and neither nothing seemed to exist or couldn’t be described or communicated when time came together again twilight brownout middle distant flat screen horizon eating sleeping tracing a line on a page super eight and video tape kept us young
In Dixon 04:27
straight streets colony neatly gridded plot boarded up windows abandoned infill housing pothole cracked pavements canal floating garbage topsoil runoff arid alleyway laneway beach abandoned cycles distant ticking high-hat nineties Berlin techno warm diurnal breeze brown-out days black-out nights esplanade speeding traffic plantation reclamation scrubby undergrowth landscaped foreshore bush strange lizard mutant rodent triangulation midden lone cyclist dog walker horizon swelling waves wind blown beach bushes single lone windsurfer eighteen hours of daylight brown-out days black-out nights unexpected dusk ship on the horizon city tower skyline distant highway bridge dockyard static cranes breakwater black rocks cold dark twilight seconds midnight deep black hour shuttered supermarket little stock remains unharvested crops brown-out days black-out nights —————————— nostalgia out of place location out of time ——————————
mainland ferry twice a week roll through township witness behavior conversation social order face to face situations test the limits conversation interaction no offence taken stave off boredom performance etiquette self presentation self to the other self to the self conscious experience phenomenal self model someone socially an ideal real everything green super gassed trapfit math get bun soul food step flex restaurants cinemas theatres living rooms shopping centres streets and stations bored young bored old heat and cold hotbox takeaway Protein Bar food prescription sterilised tinned food hygienic and tasteless parasitic worms scurvy ticks lice deserted township after sunset consensual curfew back to the island back on the island sound of the blizzard from the west distant neighbours from a distance keep the distance experience of reality keeps a body going in relation to this wind in relation to the sun the days which lasts for weeks the week that lasts a minute this invented person this one that you constructed right here on this island step off from the island if this is an island if there is free movement to another island another bastard island can’t take your eyes off what you can’t understand words out of context hang in mid-air random connections defy explanation this story, for example that I’m about to tell that I’m going to try to tell to tell you…


"the weather is routinely
no reliable reports
set up the microphone
time enough to prepare..."

Bastard Island arrives as a collection of speculative fiction dispatches from spatio-temporally ambiguous elsewheres and elsewhens. These descriptive songs are fragmented and episodic crypto-narrative participant observations. They evoke disrupted temporal, meteorological, geographical, and seasonal conditions, and local and global social inertia. The songs inhabit ambient soundbeds redolent with spatial diffraction, signal refraction, small sounds, and distance communication.

"Like a director of some impressionistic unscripted film, Steven Ball has created what I can only describe as field poetry, with a soundscape that blurs the lines between the conscious waking world and the mystical world beyond the veil. The instrumentation is never intrusive, hinting at possibilities rather than finalities. The songs are pieced together as happenstance, yet there is a disciplined compositional method at work here. This is a textured and intriguing work that draws you in and no, you’re not waiting for the chorus or hook. I played this album for a good week solid on the way to work and I found it had a calming effect on me.
So this is a recording that has a functional purpose too. To call this music something clichéd like ‘left field ambient’ would be doing it a gross injustice. This is an album that is a prime reason to explore music that is outside the peripheries of the mainstream and everything you are familiar with. I enjoy the unfamiliar journey of music like this. Stick with it and return to it; you will find it richly rewarding."
Alan Savage - Punk Noir


released January 11, 2019

written and performed by Steven Ball

recorded summer 2018 in New Cross, South East London
location recordings Melbourne Australia 1994 and 2017, London and Shetland 2018.
shortwave radio recordings Melbourne 1991 and London 2018

originally released on Linear Obsessional LOR120


all rights reserved



Steven Ball London, UK

Steven Ball has been working as an artist since the early 1980s, in film, video, sound, installation, and performance, and has been a member of the post-punk DIY group Storm Bugs. In 2014 he started writing and recording songs as a solo project, being particularly concerned with experimenting with which kinds of texts might constitute a song lyric. ... more

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