We loved them last time, and we love them this. Mercy Podcast, the 2012 edition, is helmed by Vanessa Bartlett – formerly of this parish (Bluecoat programmer/producer, to be precise), Bartlett’s back to chair the Mercy crew’s freewheeling discussions on the Electronic Voice Phenomenon Strand of this year’s Biennial.

It’s smart, well edited and offers a “sideways and highly subjective” view of the ten week arts fest. Think of it, Bartlett says, as “a weird auditory hallucination following you around the Biennial.”

Spiritualists, and the realm of the otherworldly, are the focus of the first outing – something currently exercising (or should that be exorcising) Mercy’s thoughts, as the collective prepares for their EVP weekend, midway through the Biennial’s run (5-7 October – more on this soon). It makes no difference what your stance is on this arcane phenomena – truly terrifying or traumatically manipulative – its charged static soundtrack is something destined to raise those hairs on the back of your neck.

There’s a sideways jaunt into Daft Punk sampling, and of machines writing poetry for other machines – a new kind of language, manifesting out of the ether. Hey, we thought that was 50 Shades of Grey?

This week’s podcast is out Friday – download and subscribe in iTunes. “It’s a wider look at the themes of hospitality,” Bartlett tells SevenStreets. “Britain’s played host to the world this year, so it’s fascinating to see how people, artists, Londoners and those outside the city have responded.”

As you can imagine, there’s a healthy dose of dissent and confusion to go with the talk of cultural regeneration. “It’s important that the podcast is interesting enough in its own right, for people who can’t visit the Biennial. I want it to offer a way for everyone to access, and respond to what’s happening here.”

With mixes by Scanner, and talks with artist Tamarin Norwood and experimental writer Daniel Rourke scheduled, we think this could well be our late summer soundtrack. That the music’s supplied by Samizdat doesn’t harm, either.

The Mercy Podcast

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