Skip to main content
A Magazine for

The Manchester edition of Now Then is no longer publishing content. Visit the Sheffield edition.

Anonymous Bash

Artist residency. What do the words mean to you? To me they conjure up images of wiry people wielding paintbrushes and decorating the walls of an ex-industrial space with blasts of colour from a purpose-built paint bazooka, who later write an accompanying brief explaining how it represents the cruelty of late capitalism. Perhaps I’m stereotyping, or perhaps I’m wrong, but I can assure you that I’m not wrong in saying that Anonymous Bash, kindly presented by Charles Hayward, is the most exciting album to drop into my inbox in a long time.

Straight out of Salford’s Islington Mill, this is the product of a new type of artist residency, one where the wiry people wield equally wiry guitar necks and not-so-wiry drum kits. This is an artist residency for musicians. Created by Rivca Burns (Sounds From The Other City) and Emma Thompson (Fat Out Till You Pass Out), the Samarbeta label intends to address the UK’s lack of residency programmes for musicians, so Anonymous Bash comprises Charles Hayward and the 20 or so musicians he worked with on a month-long stint at the venue. The entire album was recorded and mixed in around two weeks and the whole process, from conception to printing, was completed on site, meaning this is one of the truest ‘local’ albums produced in a long time.

The sound is eclectic, jumping from hints of tribal drumming on the introductory ‘Title Track’ to trip hop beats on ‘Postcode Sam’ and leftfield techno on ‘Wrong Again’, showing the variety of influences within the Anonymous Bash crew.

Listen to it, love it and look out for more. This won’t be the last we hear of Anonymous Bash or Samarbeta.