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Birl of Unmap

by Kinbrae & Clare Archibald

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Pro-dubbed cassette with roll-fold J-card featuring lyrics and images by Clare Archibald.
    UK edition available through The Dark Outside

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Undersouls 04:07
Carbide Fizz 02:24
Peer 05:28


Full Spectrum and The Dark Outside are pleased to present ‘Birl of Unmap,’ the first collaborative album from writer / artist Clare Archibald and Kinbrae – the project of twin brothers Mike and Andy Truscott. Hailing from the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland, the trio has forged a new practice in creative dialogue and sonic experimentation, exploring abstract notions of ‘place’ and deconstructing its innate rhythms and sonic totems.

For the unfamiliar, a bit of vocabulary context may be required – “birl” is a Scots word that means to spin or whirl.

To wit, ‘Birl of Unmap’ is an attempt to unravel the dynamic layers that make Fife an area of both artistic and physical interest, as well as interpreting something of the perceived language of the place. Sitting across the water from the cities of both Edinburgh and Dundee, yet also adjacent to the open North Sea, the Kingdom of Fife is both connected to the greater world and resolutely of itself. It can be reached from all directions by iconic bridges and yet is not an island, but such a landscape permits the existence of half-seen truths and spaces. ‘Birl of Unmap’ is a response to one such place – a place of several pasts and many names in West Fife that has existed as an open cast mine, the long gone pit village of Lassodie, and most recently as a not-quite-fully realised land art vision of the post-modern architect Charles Jencks.

Currently known as St. Ninians, the area in question has existed in a strange limbo between purpose and public access for many years, though it was sold in 2021 for redevelopment as an eco-wellness centre. ‘Birl of Unmap’ is the telling of a place from different times and perspectives, of the land, of the art that Jencks installed there using decommissioned mining machinery, of the idea of the Final Void in both mining and cosmic terms and of what it means to know, to share a place and pass on bits of it with space allowed for retelling. Infused with field recordings from the earth, water, air, and industrial installations on-site, the album seeks to give space to the energies of a place and the landscape legacies of human and more than human interactions with it.

Drawing on academic research, oral histories, and the experiences of other Fife-based artists, as well as former miners and residents of the site, ‘Birl of Unmap’ stands as more than the sum total of aesthetic tropes, embodying an ambitious call to consider how we balance our own experiences and understandings with those of others. This is an invitation to wander through the layers and perhaps find something more of ourselves within them.

Cassette edition of 'Birl of Unmap' will be available through Full Spectrum in the US, cassette and CD editions of Birl of Unmap will be available through The Dark Outside in the UK.


released February 11, 2022

Birl of Unmap is a fully collaborative project in which the 3 of us are present in many ways throughout

Music composed and arranged by Andy and Mike Truscott
Additional arranging by Clare Archibald

Words written and/or arranged by Clare Archibald
Album and track titles and concepts by Clare Archibald

Andy Truscott - synthesizers / piano / electronics / percussion / ableton live / field recordings / electromagnetic recordings

Mike Truscott - cornet / tenor horn / bass guitar / metallophone

Clare Archibald - words / vocals / harmonium / spinning top / field recordings / oral history recordings / research

Sebastian Selke - Cello

Additional words, directed by Clare Archibald:

Excavate of Other (the Unknowing) - Words written and spoken by Murdo Eason
Undersouls - Words spoken by Alex Black from the poem "The Dead Pit" by Duncan Gillespie (1962)
Carbide Fizz - Words spoken by Peggy Crawford
Half Seen Truths of the M90 - Words written and spoken by Agnieszka Jadowska

Produced by Ben Chatwin & Andy Truscott
Recorded by Ben Chatwin & Andy Truscott in Ceres, Fife
Mixed by Ben Chatwin at The Vennel Studio in Ceres
Artwork by Niall McCormack
Layout & design by Gretchen Korsmo
Mastered by Andrew Weathers

Thanks to:
Murdo Eason, Alex Black, Peggy Crawford, Agnieszka Jadowska, Andrew Demetrius, Gavin McGregor, Tahra Duncan Clark, Claire Baker, Janet Buist, Ian Moir, Billy Kay, Sara Ann Kelly at Carnegie library, Dunfermline, Lesley Botten, Fife Cultural Trust, Douglas Speirs, Kathryn Malcolm.

Wee girl playing at the site who agreed to being recorded for Carbide Fizz (with parental permission).

Our families

This album was made possible by a Fusion Fund Award from Help Musicians UK.



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