Who's Most Lost?

Who's Most Lost?


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David Prior
Dugal McKinnon

Perhaps more than any other New Zealand record label, Rattle has a reputation for releasing albums that eschew easy categorisation, albums that are frequently genre-crossing if not genre defying. The subverted 'pop sensibility' of Arcades sits perfectly with Rattle's penchant for music that follows its own compass. The pieces on Who’s Most Lost? have their own distinct magnetisms, and the musical map being charted by the group has a very welcome home at Rattle.

One might be tempted to use terms like ‘post-pop’, ‘art-pop’, ‘avant-pop’, ‘alt-pop’, ‘ambient-pop’, ‘experimental’ or ‘alternative’, and to cite the influence of artists such as Laurie Anderson, David Sylvian, and (particularly) late period Talk Talk (Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock), but Arcades have created their own moving and quietly unsettling sonic world. Trained as composers and having played in bands, David and Dugal are inquisitive, sonically omnivorous musical artists, ever-fond of crossing borders between music and sound art.

The compositions for Who’s Most Lost? were primarily inspired by the duo’s ongoing infatuation with pop music. While the pieces were composed relatively quickly, the production process evolved slowly, emerging largely out of countless emails, ftp exchanges, and multiple performances recorded in numerous physical locations. While there was no overarching concept at work behind the album, a recurring theme of dislocation emerged: psychological, cultural, social, spiritual, lost and sometimes found, “Lost and Safe” as The Books have it, and particularly lost in the blinkered comforts of 21st Century life, with its multitude of dark forces just beyond the living room door.

The duo are currently talking with Lunapark (an ensemble based in Holland of which Arnold Marinissen, who played percussion and drum kit on much of the album, is a member) about arranging the Who’s Most Lost? material to performance live. They also plan to work on a second album on which the ensemble will be involved in the production process from the outset.

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RAT-D026 (November, 2011)

This recording was made possible with support from the New Zealand School of Music, New Zealand

  Who's Most Lost


  four letters (4:03)
  crusoe in hampstead mews (2:50)
  emotional gold (4:46)
  you were born into this (3:18)
  such cold hands (1:36)
  who's most lost? (5:18)
  loaves are wishes (5:21)
  instant (5:27)
  deep space (5:30)
  once (5:41)
  four letters – reprise (3:02)
  cure for vertigo (2:42)
  such cold hands – reprise (2:08)


All tracks recorded, arranged and mixed by David Prior, except: track 2 recorded and arranged by Dugal McKinnon, main vocal recorded by David Prior, mixed by Dugal McKinnon and David Prior; main vocals on tracks 4, 6 & 7 recorded by Dugal McKinnon; track 12 recorded and arranged by Dugal McKinnon, mixed by Dugal McKinnon and David Prior

Mastered by Jon Astley at Close to the Edge Mastering, Twickenham, UK
Photography by David Prior
Cover Design by Arcades & UnkleFranc
Special thanks to Arcades’ home ground: Katrin, Leo and Matthis, Frances, Isaac and Lubin.

Music by David Prior (tracks 1, 3-8, 10-13)
and Dugal McKinnon (tracks 2 & 9)
Lyrics by Dugal McKinnon

Main vocals by David Prior (tracks 2, 3-8) and Dugal McKinnon (tracks 2, 9 & 10)
Instruments and programming by David Prior except:
Dugal McKinnon – programming (2, 12), guitar (12), drunken strings (9), backing vocal (4)
Arnold Marinissen – drums / percussion (3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), saw (5, 9)
Urs Signer – clarinet & bass clarinet (6, 7)
Ella Turk-Richards – backing vocal (1, 4, 7, 8)
Portia Winters – backing vocal (1, 7, 8)
Aimee Page – backing vocal (8)
Mick Green – tenor sax (3)
John Matthias – ‘banjo’ guitar (3), violin (6)
Norman Meehan – piano (2)
Paul Swoger-Ruston – electric guitar (9)