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Imagine Something Yesterday

A 15 track electronic album (57m 41s) — released April 3rd 2020 on The Tapeworm

Recorded by The Pathfinders – Roger Cleghorn and Malcolm Garrett – "Imagine Something Yesterday" is a compendium of playful explorations with analogue synthesisers and distorted found sounds, made without an actual release in mind.

Former art and design students at Manchester Polytechnic, The Pathfinders were sharing a flat together in London when Malcolm was establishing his graphic design studio, Assorted iMaGes, on Tottenham Court Road and Roger was studying for a Fine Art MA at Chelsea.

These experiments from the 15th floor of a tower block in the Isle of Dogs, London were captured directly on a reel-to-reel tape recorder over a period of a few months at the tail end of 1980 and the beginning of 1981. Further embellishments were made at Chelsea School of Art. The equipment used included Yamaha CS-10, ARP Axxe, EMS VCS3, TEAC A-3340, Bang & Olufsen Beogram 1202 and Beolab 1700.

Listeners may identify the aural influence of electronic pioneers such as Cluster, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, Cabaret Voltaire or Throbbing Gristle and they would not be wrong as these were indeed some of the musicians whose records were frequently played at home by The Pathfinders around that time.

With almost 40 years having elapsed since recording, memories are sketchy with regard to who made what noise where – The Pathfinders could hardly be described as being musicians who jammed together – but everything ended up compiled onto a couple of cassette tapes, where they have languished ever since – the 'master' reel-to-reel tapes seemingly lost forever. Only one track from these sessions, "Long Shadows", was previously published, on Touch's 1983 "Meridians 1" compilation. "Imagine Something Yesterday" features almost all of the other surviving recordings. A tantalising additional 14 minutes of sound remains unreleased, the full running time being just too long for comfortable release on one cassette.

The Pathfinders remain Roger Cleghorn and Malcolm Garrett.

Roger Cleghorn bought his first synthesiser in 1978 after having seen The Human League at the Russell Club in Manchester. He moved to London to study for his Master's degree in 1979 and began experimenting with sound painting – using synthesisers to generate wave forms that were then combined, colourised and edited together. This work naturally led to the creation of The Pathfinders and the subsequent recordings which became "Imagine Something Yesterday". An award-winning designer and account director, Roger continues to work in the design industry having been taught his trade by Malcolm while working at the nascent Assorted iMaGes.

By 1980 Malcolm Garrett was already making a mark in a rapidly evolving music industry. He was one of a number of innovative new graphic designers coming to prominence, having designed ground-breaking record sleeves for Buzzcocks, Magazine, The Members, John Foxx and many others. In the following year he was commissioned by Kasper de Graaf (later to become his creative partner at Assorted iMaGes) to be the Art Director of youth culture magazine New Sounds New Styles. 1981 would prove to be a pivotal year for Malcolm as his Assorted iMaGes design studio expanded to accommodate working with an increasing number of emerging bands such as Duran Duran, Simple Minds and The Human League.

Malcolm has since enjoyed a successful career at the cutting-edge of communication design, delivering pioneering work for digital and interactive platforms. In 2000 he was honoured to become the first Royal Designer (RDI) in multimedia design. Working to this day as Images&Co with partner Kasper, and with a small Manchester-based team, he is founder and Artistic Director of the annual Design Manchester festival.

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