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A Bad Diana  'The Lights Are On But No-One's Home'  LP

A Bad Diana 'The Lights Are On But No-One's Home' LP


January 2024

A limited edition pressing of 300 copies, in full colour sleeve re-creating the original CD artwork, with insert and comes in a poly-lined black inner sleeve.

Released on CD back in 2007 & out of print for some time, Glasgow's Optimo Records have reissued this enigmatic album on vinyl. Recorded & mixed at IC Studio when it was at the Water Tower, with Diana, Steven Stapleton & Colin Potter and additional material from Matt Waldron & Stan Reed.

J D Twitch, Optimo : A Bad Diana is a project from Diana Rogerson, someone I first became aware of aged 12 when I read about Nurse With Wound and their United Dairies label in Smash Hits magazine. I was confused, mystified and intrigued in equal measure, and a couple of years later as a result I bought my first Nurse With Wound album. This led to an interest in all things NWW related. I guess Diana could be described as the matriarch of the Nurse With Wound world but she also had her own very distinguished pre-history with Fistfuck, an early-80s extreme noise outfit.

She then made two mid 80s cult classic albums as Chrystal Belle Scrodd, both far out there rollercoaster rides of audio wildness, highly recommended to anyone with wide open ears. She then moved to rural Ireland and raised a family. There was the odd collaboration and then in 2007 A Bad Diana's "The Lights Are On But No-One's Home" was released on CD. I feel this is her meisterwerk and it has become something of a cult favourite over the years. Now for the first time, almost two decades later it is available on vinyl on Optimo Music Archiv.

Produced in association with Steven Stapleton and Colin Potter from Nurse With Wound and irr. app. (ext.)'s Matt Waldron this is some seriously beautiful and strange listening. Next level sound design means this is an incredible headphone record but it is also a deeply warm and engaging home listening gem. Beautiful, magical, ultra hypno, soulful reverberations with the deep emotion of Diana's voice tones and bio-vibrations.

Review from Avantgade Metal : Much more sedately ambient in nature, yet also touching upon post-swing and quasi jazz rumblings at times, The Lights Are On But No-One’s Home obviously is more akin to the slowing down contemplation of something both strange and beautiful. First song Behind The Curtain of the Sun starts things off with a slightly broken spoken word ambient introduction, somehow effortlessly striving for some sort of unsaid malaise or tension, in that it is not what she says, but whe she doesn’t say, which turns out to be uneasy at first. The tone is set – much atmosphere too. Cupboardie Re-Nude keeps things morphing and each time I listen to its bass minimal groove, it feels deep and out of this world. Then we have Asphalt Kiss, an Ash Ra Temple unique reworking, which revolves around the angelic, humming “flowers must die” words pronounced by a candy sweet singing Bad Diana over a most cinematic, darkly blossomed soundtrack.

It’s hard to say wether this was Rogerson’s intention or not, but this record is so much more cohesive and flowing through than everything she’s done before. Nothing feels out of place, nothing is forced into the equation; all the songs are related and growing out of each others, as there’s this feeling of continuity throughout. Remember that both Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound) and Matt Waldron (irr. app. (ext.)), two extremely talented experimental artists, are backing her up on each of the songs. Having Colin Potter behind the engineering board also probably shows off in the sound deepness and the professional production in general: everything is contextualized, every detail can be heard, and an headphone experience of the music is a must in this case, not only music-wise, but also to feel Diana Rogerson’s voice tones, overtones, undercurrents and bio-vibrations. She’s all over the place, but in a most hidden, esoteric way. For now, let me call her Miss Golden Throat.

Mother, another short exo-tribal excursion into drifting percussions, unconsciously moving forth, brings us to the melancholia-cloudy epic Chant d’Amour/De Mort, the longest cut on here. Using what sounds like overly stretched guitar notes orbiting into endless aether, this last song slowly builds up to a massive chanting drone, where it comes back to the delicate guitars into which Diana wonders out loud her very own face-to-face speeches poetry. Very touching stuff so to speak. It clearly is a perfect way to take the album to an endless end per se, as it leaves you in a reflexive and contemplative mood by the time it reaches its last seconds. Beautiful, magick, hair-rising, visually poetic and reverberating, welcome to Bad Diana’s thousands worlds of wonders.

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