LEPORINE PLEASURE GARDENS envelopes you within a kaleidoscopic attraction of charming fancy and consummate variety. For the patient botanical connoisseur here is the LP version ~ Two intricately crafted long-form compositions baked full of impressively smudged and misty effects that will have you endlessly revisiting a slow-drift dream-tour of intangible garden realms: one by day, and one by night. Both are smothered in a rich, ethereal and satisfying syrup of narcoleptic blur.
AN EDWARDIAN TRANCE
Literature of the Edwardian era has convinced us that the dominant note was extravagance; an extravagance of dress, of food, of theatre, of all manner of pleasurable entertainments. It could be said that pleasure was pursued with an almost fanatical desperation, and that society arts were valued as never before. It was the age of elegance, and most accounts (in so far as they correspond with any degree of reality) are perfumed with an aura of charmed delight, where shadows are few and far between.
It is therefore with great interest that we reprint the unusual reminiscences of Viscount Apodemus ‘Orange’ Treves, recently unearthed inside an arcanely padlocked biscuit tin after 37 years of premature burial within the freshly flooded Treves family vault. Whilst often irrational, frequently rambling and occasionally displaying a syntax unbecoming a member of the aristocracy, the legible moments provide fresh evidence to support the existence of a peculiar type of Pleasure, the elaborate nature of which is far in excess of those previously documented.
Elizabeth Echoing-Ides, Perpetual Bouquet Magazine, 1947
I had long since grown accustomed to the amusing ways of my Northern relations, and it was just after our third pre-breakfast lobster that cousin Penthalicon suggested a degree of jollity could be obtained if we leapt into the wagonette and proceed to a large Clinkskell estate and manor house attraction curiously named Leporine Pleasure Gardens. Penthy had recently obtained tickets to this enticing location after an unorthodox guest had lost a wager whilst being distracted by an over-exuberant tomcat at Lady Cartstockings' bridge tournament. Not wishing to flag upon the way, we brought with us a simple picnic of cold grouse and hot lemonade, along with a reduced selection of pressed beef and grouped hams. Of course, a few devilled kidneys with omelette and a small sandwich tray would also accompany us. As it transpired we took both the wagonette and the brougham to accommodate our modest requisites.
It was a pleasing journey as we ambled along by-lanes so picturesque they could have been upon the lid of a chocolate box. The enchanting countryside air gave us both a healthy appetite, so we felt obliged to stop off several times to sample the local tea-room delicacies of scones with honey and marmalade. And then a little porridge with a cocoa biscuit or two, a pot of coffee and just a handful of those peculiar syrup sweets that everyone is talking about.
It was not till midday that we arrived at our destination. Penthy knew the quirks of the landscape well, but helpful signposts were in short supply and an expansive dry-stone wall of imposing size and oddly labyrinthine dimensions prevented us from gaining an early impression of our destination. Despite repeated predictions of rain it was warm and bright as we eventually trundled through decidedly dilapidated gates and across the slightly unwelcoming threshold. The distant, echoing cry of a peacock gave one the distinct feeling that a children’s fable was about to begin.
Leporine Pleasure Gardens suddenly leapt into view. Structures of bold and unearthly design dominated the horizon, expansive domes glittered in the sunlight, whilst some baffling trick of perspective allowed the manor house to be seemingly next to us and also far away. Out of eyeshot, I felt it was there directly behind me, but the moment I turned it seemed to have ballooned away with a jellyfish motion, the very motion Aunt Scribner amply demonstrated after I offered to drive her to Regatta upon Tuesday last. Whilst this sort of thing would have normally induced a hissing fit from Penthy, in Leporine Pleasure Gardens it simply seemed the proper course of things. I do not recall making my way onto the lawns, they gradually billowed and formed around us; the all too-real afternoon mirage of an exceedingly humid, sunny day.
We could see that guests, already abundant in number, were playing a variety of unfamiliar games. There were large summer-houses scattered around the gardens with one side open to the air, and others had ornate glasswork more fitting to a cathedral, but with a curiously melted quality. Some of these were furnished with expensive chairs and amusing tables that were completely out of proportion with each other, whilst others contained a strange collection of elaborate stalactites, glowing with gas-produced heat in a myriad of turquoise and orange hues. One harboured a black lead sarcophagus that overflowed with a seething mass of vulcanite snakes and a funnel of polished metal which carried groans and vibrations of bewildering origin and purpose.
But these were mere aperitifs when compared to the scale and edifice of the main attractions; gigantic honeycomb castles built from slabs of off-colour fruit and gaudy horizontal landships, intricate half-sane spongehouse creations that resembled the demented offspring of an ill-minded architect and rogue continental chef, high-domed structures that hot-housed a pulsating vortex of feather-oil screams and sugar-cloud sighs.
The overly-abundant sensorial stimuli was beginning to induce a healthy appetite. But while Penthy made languidly obscene groans as he ponderously deliberated over our dining selection from the elaborate variety of appetising consumables on offer, I felt unusually distracted. In the hazy distance, a little to the right of a bizarrely magnetised hillside structure of ostentatious ingenuity that echoed with joyous screaming, towered the ornate marble statue of a figure immaculately attired in vermillion clothes, a grey silk tie, a neat turquoise pin, a white cambric handkerchief and with the elongated features of a hare. Despite, or perhaps because of its size, the statue was unusually lifelike, and I instinctively knew that it was positioned at the very centre of the estate.
Penthy deftly manoeuvred towards me brandishing a robust silver trolley of steaming fancies, but I was so disorientated by the statue that I could only manage a few rounds of sandwiches and a small pitcher of pink champagne. The sound of the gardens was all around me; the merry-manic laughter of garden guests, the diverting clack-and-tap of lawn games, the hiss and fizzle of excessively-elaborate mechanical equipment, the dervish wail and fabricated pandemonium of moving attractions mixing with the merry cry of their temporary inhabitants. Through all of this I could hear something else, something that resembled a voice, unnatural, too high, elongated, quicksilver and strangely familiar. I felt as if instructions were being given, information that would be exceedingly useful, however I had been given the wrong ears with which to listen.
Offering a Sullivans from his Faberge case, Penthy languidly snapped my reverie and suggested we take a stroll down the less frenetic scenery of Leporaria Promenade. He could see I was slightly out of sorts and our perambulations did much to improve my mildly-frayed mood. The gentle twirl of parasols and swish of capes had a calming effect, and as I exhaled miniature cumulonimbus that charmingly loitered in the heavily sweet air, I began to feel I was drifting upon my own cloud no.9 this immortal day.
After a restorative repast of roast Ptarmigan followed by peach blancmange, we chanced upon the decorative entrance to a curious attraction charmingly entitled Compressed Elyzium. Fuelled by the swan pate and toast nibbled upon post-repast, I removed my cockaded topper and went into the waiting area which resembled nothing more than a dimly lit yellow saloon. I took a lavishly upholstered seat upon a chintz settee and watched several men play a local variation of billiards at an extremely relaxed pace. After a few minutes, one by one, a number of women entered the room slowly, showing off their expensive tea-gowns. They all had puffs and puffs of auburn hair and oddly false eyebrows that curved slyly upon their overly powdered faces. A large glowing sign that read Ascend slowly flickered into life and illuminated the opposite wall. Everyone then swept, with backward glances, from the room through a circular doorway that partially resembled the dial of an enormous clock.
No other instructions were given, and none was necessary. I followed them through the doorway. It all felt very natural, almost preordained. And so distractingly tranquil that I had not even noticed that Penthy had neglected to accompany me into the saloon. I caught a final glimpse of him leaning by the entrance in the fading sunlight, biscuit tin tucked under one arm, neatly folding a newspaper that read ‘Adventurous Englishmen Missing’ whilst sucking upon a sugar mouse.
released December 12, 2014
All audio captured in the Curtain Draped Studio by Mr Paris Green and Dr Lettow-Vorbeck 1796-3480
Written and Produced by the Moon Wiring Club, at the Blank Workshop, Clinkskell, Northern England.
Mastered by Jon Brooks @ Newyattsounds
Sleeve design by Kynaston Mass
all rights reserved