Tropic of Cancer‘s debut 10″, ‘The Dull Age’/’Victims’, has been reissued on Downwards.

Released in 2009, its two tracks represented the first fruits of collaboration between Camella Lobo and her husband Juan Mendez (aka Silent Servant, of Sandwell District) and sold out of its limited run quickly. Mendez and Lobo took familiar influences – shoegaze, industrial, minimal wave, dubwise post-punk – and fashioned a uniquely haunting, sighing sound out of them, heavily reverbed vocal textures buffeting against Suicide-ish drums and plangent guitar chimes.

A modern classic in our estimation, the single was made available digitally earlier this year but vinyl copies have been near-impossible to find for the best part of two years, so it’s great news that it’s been reissued, this time in one of the plain Downwards-branded sleeves that have housed the label’s last few singles. FACT is particularly pleased, as our original copy was lost – or pilfered – when DJing last year.

‘The Dull Age’/’Victims’ marked a new chapter in the history of Downwards, the label founded by Karl O’Connor (Regis) in Birmingham in the early 90s. Currently co-curated by O’Connor and Mendez, its recent 7″ and 10″ releases have tended towards shoegaze, drone-pop, noise and ragged rock ‘n roll, with the focus on relative unknowns like The KVB, Colin Gorman Weiland, Six Six Seconds and Pink Playground.

Tropic of Cancer meanwhile have enjoyed much acclaim for their two 2011 releases, the ‘Be Brave’ single on Downwards (which featured a ferocious remix from Cabaret Voltaire‘s Richard H. Kirk) and The Sorrow Of Two Blooms EP on Blackest Ever Black, the latter foregrounding Lobo’s exquisitely plaintive vocals for the first time in TOC’s career. The duo have a new single coming later in the year, and hope to commence work on an album and soon after.

The 10″ reissue of ‘The Dull Age’/’Victims’ is available here.





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