Gareth JS Thomas is a London based musician and composer, a guitarist in USA Nails and Mayors of Miyazaki, and drummer for Silent Front (and previously Sly & The Family Drone). Cruising Hits is his latest solo release, a churning, crushing slab of minimalism, unnerving ambience and cracked pop music. It's a record rooted in cold, hard reality; evoking the faded greys and sharp edges of post-industrial Britain.
As much as anything, Cruising Hits was shaped by Gareth's interest in photography. "I take a lot of photographs, I have a bit of a thing for old cameras and crapped out underexposed images. The photowork on the cover is my work, I work in black and white a lot, and kind of thought of this project as being in black and white. I don't have synæsthesia though."
Opening track ‘Sons, Love Your Mothers’ twists and contorts Gareth's voice over muffled percussive loops and metallic drones. An epic piece of minimal composition designed to viciously confront rather than serenely lull. It's the start of an album that twists, bends and evolves in unexpected ways.
"All the vocals apart from those on ‘Pekeng Pagkain’ are me. That track is an edit of a set of found recordings that are (allegedly) from a factory in China, where counterfeit rice is manufactured from plastic. I got interested in the story after hearing one of my (Filipino) aunts talk about it, and found a bunch of rushes on the internet that were said to be recordings from said factory (‘Pekeng Pagkain’ is Filipino for ‘Fake Food’)."
Cruising Hits is the culmination of a decade collecting field recordings and sonic detritus, composition and collage mixed with the "why not" attitude of DIY hardcore shows. "I've been collecting samples and field recordings for over a decade. A bunch of stuff was sourced when I lived in Cardiff, some from a factory in China, a bunch done in my living room. Some moments were carefully calculated, others were experiments that just came off."