Saturday, 31 December 2011

Aqua Dentata

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Aqua Dentata; "Lesbian Semiotics At A Jewellery Table", a CDr on the new Echo Tango label. This 34 minute album is not too dissimilar from the cassette album "7th Past The Umbrella" that Beartown Records put out earlier this year. And not at all dissimilar from the sound I heard Aqua Dentata produce live at the ILLFM December bash last year. A continuation. Good stuff.
For those who do not know, Aqua Dentata is the solo project of Baraclough member Eddie Nuttall.
"Lesbian Semiotics At A Jewellery Table" ( a very tantalizing title) is 34 minutes of drifting waves of glistening tones and frequencies balancing on the rim of aural comfort. It is a very meditative album with the sounds drifting around from ear to ear, small minutiae synthesis weave across the cranium, sometimes building to a mass organ sound...but not for long. It is very clever stuff and highly infectious. Think of Nurse With Wound's 1988 classic "Soliloquy For Lilith" and you are not far from what Aqua Dentata achieves here.
This release is limited to 50 copies only and available for around a fiver from Eddie at Hurry while stocks last.....

1: Aqua Dentata CDr Cover.
2: "Lesbian Semiotics On Top Of My Bookshelf".

Monday, 26 December 2011

Alternative TV

First of all I would like to apologise for not mailing out Christmas cards this year. I have all my details / contacts etc listed in my "Orange Web Mail" address book but two weeks ago Orange Web Mail decided to "crash" and all my contacts were "lost"...hence addresses be them snail mail or E Mither were gone. Christmas Eve and Orange Web Mail restores the address book - but too late to "wish folk" a happy Christmas etc. I apologise. I know I could use an address book - I did have one but Isabel (our youngest) decided to rip it to shreds, I got an address book for Christmas, I shall keep it hidden from prying fingers!
So, I wish you all a belated seasons greetings and hope that Santa brought you all that you wished for..he did me! Amongst the boxer shorts and copious amounts of port came the Mark Perry book "Sniffin' Glue" a collection of all 12 issues of the punk fanzine. I started reading it today. For reading soundtrack I decided to put on some old Alternative TV records. My favourite ATV single is "The Force Is Blind" released on Deptford Fun City Records in 1979. I am very very partial to the 1981 7" "Communicate" (on IRS), but "The Force Is Blind" is special. There is no other single that sounds like this one. The eponymous A-Side tells of the trials and tribulations of touring with Here & Now and the free festival "circuit". The three members of ATV swap instruments and present a sound not too dissimilar of Gong and/or The Mothers Of Invention. Mark Perry bows a violin whilst Dennis "Side" Burns wanders around a synthesizer and Dave George hits the chime bars. Anno of Here & Now warbles and wails before the sound effect of a police raid comes in and the track wanders off with a plodding bass line courtesy of Dennis and tries to enter a "free-jazz" phase but fortunately the track ends before it all happens.
The B-Side is "Lost In Room". A (post) punk classic. It has one of the best intro's ever! It is up there with the Mekons "Where Were You". Yep! It is that good. Mark Perry drums like Genesis P-Orridge - clumpy and plodding but it fits the guitar riff so well. (Like St James Park will always be St James Park, Genesis P-Orridge will always be Genesis P-Orridge). "Lost In Room" is a tightly built punk anthem with Mark Perry spitting out classic Perryisms such as :
"Spittin' On The Guvnors Carpet" + "I'm Already Numb....Not Any Movement"+ "DJ Mandy played records all night whilst I sat in the corner shivering from fright". It is pure poetry. "The exhibition stopped the moment I entered, the artist refused to talk about their work". Genius.
Mark spits out the saying "A Spent Force". I remember loving this saying at the time and wanting to call my first band this name...but So Commercial was the name pulled out of the hat ( mentioned elsewhere on this blog). Then Skullflower had a single called "Spent Force" and I decided it sounded more like a Norwegian test pilot than a vicious riposte.
The single has a hidden track, a strange version of "Vibing Up The Senile Man" that sounds more like The Pop Group or Rip Rig & Panic than ATV. Jazz blurts on the trumpet and saxophone whilst voices claim that they are vibing up the senile man a la Last Poets....does anyone know who is on this track?
The single is produced by Wally Brill. In 1979 Wally produced this single as well as another great 7"; "Them Or Me" by Medium Medium. Apparently in 1997 Wally released an ambient album as The to hear it.

If you ever get chance to buy this record...please do!

1: "The Force Is Blind" Cover.
2: "The Force Is Blind" Reverse Cover.
3: "The Force Is Blind" Label.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


One of my all time favourite groups from the past 30 + years are Metabolist. I was playing the recent Storm Bugs re-issue LP "A Safe Substitute" on Harbinger Sound and it put me in mind of Metabolist.
In the past ten years I have managed to pick up the Metabolist 1980 LP "Hansten Klork" and the 7" classic "Identify" both quite cheaply. I am still on the look out for the rest! "Identify" is a classic post-punk period single, independent, catchy, left field and has a great picture sleeve. All of Metabolist's vinyl sleeves look like Rothko paintings.
"Identify" was released in 1980 on their own Dromm Records label. Catalogued DRO-3. "Identify" starts off with bass guitar and drums, sparse/angular - very live...agitated vocals join the mix blurting the chorus "I can't, I can't, I can't identify - I can't identify". Catchy. The verse has a "pub vocal" type lyric. (If you know what I mean)?? Then it all goes off at a tangent. It has a middle eight that sounds all improv. and Recommended Records. All Plain Characters, Transmitters and The Homosexuals before it catches up with itself for one last chant at the chorus. A beauty. I first heard it in 1980 and the delight has never worn away. the B-Side is an instrumental called "Tiz Hoz Nam" must mean something? This track is dark, sinister and weird. Imposing guitar notes plucked over a rumbling synth. Think very very early Throbbing Gristle or a 1960's soundtrack to a Hungarian puppet show and you'll be close.
If listing top twenty singles from 1980 then "Identify" would be in there.

At the time I never knew much about Metabolist, In fact I knew nothing! I thought they were Welsh but don't ask me why. I had no idea Metabolist was a style of architecture. They weren't featured much in the NME or Sounds. They did (however) fit in with what I was listening to at the time. Experimental, post-punk, industrial, electronic music like all the comparisons I have made above...and throw in This Heat, Scritti Politti and The Lemon Kittens and we have my 1980 in a nutshell. The joy of the Internet has brought some information. Metabolist band member Mark Rowlett was a member of Camera 3 and went on to be in Shock Headed Peters. I never knew that! I could never "get into" The Shock Headed Peters at the time...they were too rock orientated for me - I am prepared to give them a new ear. And then Malcolm Lane made an LP called Max & Malcolm in 1982 that I have just bought! It just looks like I'll like it.

Anyway. Metabolist (hopefully) will probably get some re-issue treatment soon, their sound deserves it. If you see any Metabolist for sale - buy it!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sabbath Assembly

Years ago, I mean years ago, fucking years ago I was at a sleep over with a couple of friends in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. Andy was looking after his younger brother Richard whilst his folks went abroad so myself and Gary took the trek from Manchester to Lincolnshire to help him out - and to ship in supplies. One night we took to watching the Frank Howard movie "The Other Side Of Madness", the low budget 1970 docu/drama explaining the Manson Family. It was here that the three of us were hearing (for the first time) a couple of original Manson songs. "Mechanical Man" stood out as a classic and we (stoned) decided to learn all the Manson Family songs and do a live gig as "The Family" or "Family Entertainment". Like all great stoned ideas nothing became of it...although a couple of years later Andy, Gary and myself morphed into the three-piece Rise.
(As it happened, in the 1990's folk were covering Manson songs willy-nilly, I used to own the various artist compilation 10" LP "Comin' Down Fast" before I discovered E Bay).

I am reminded of this (babysitting) weekend (fucking) years ago whilst I am listening to the album "Restored To One" by American band Sabbath Assembly.
I love this album. It came with the recently published book "Propaganda Of The Holy Writ Of The Process Church Of The Final Judgement". A sort of follow on from 2009's "Love Sex Fear Death:The Inside Story Of The Process Church Of The Final Judgement". Both published by Feral House. I have yet to find the time to read "Propaganda" - it is a glossy repress of the Process Church magazines from the late 1960's - but "The Inside Story" was a fascinating read and an unputdownable book. Undoubtedly The Process Church were a cult, and like The Manson Family, David Berg, Jim Jones, Aum Shinrikyo and David Koresh; I find cults and the operation of cults fascinating. So, with the book came a signed postcard from Timothy Wyllie and this CD by Sabbath Assembly, a group I know nothing about. It is on the Ajna Offensive label. The only other release I own on this label is the Ultra 7" "Dedicated To Hans Bellmer", I think I need to discover this label more.
Sabbath Assembly have got hold of some original Process Church songs and arrangements and recorded them as if it was 1969. On the whole the songs sound like The Partridge Family mixed in with The Young Generation / The 2nd Generation and maybe The Swingle Singers. It is fantastic sing-a-long stuff with the touch of cult madness, and of course there are some great lyrics in there. "Come Children Arise".
"And The Phoenix Is Reborn" sounds like a Gloria Mundi song recorded in 1970 by Merrliee Rush whereas "Judge Of Mankind" has a full psychedelic rock-out section that would not be out of place on a live Doors bootleg. The album ends on "The Time Of Abaddon". Not (unfortunately) a paean to the drummer Tony Bray of Venom but a warning about a journey into the pit of hell! It has a great 60's Spaghetti western feeling to it.

I own Charles Manson's "Lie" album as well as the soundtrack to "The Wicker Man" and love and play them both (regularly). I own/have nothing else like these albums in my collection. Sabbath Assembly's "Restored To One" joins this list. I love it. I can imagine myself, Gary and Andy attempting and playing these songs back in the mid 1980's. It's a classic and a welcome addition at Hartop Towers.

1: Sabbath Assembly CD.
2: Process Church paper cutting.
3: "Propaganda" Book.
4: Signed card from Timothy Wyllie.
5: "Love Sex Fear Death" book.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Patrick Simons

Always a sad day when you hear about a loss of a friend and today is a sad day. Today I learnt of the passing of Patrick Simons.
In 1986, after a year away, I moved back into Hulme Manchester and met Patrick. He was the bass player with Swivel Hips. Patrick was always funny, the sort of chap for which nowt was too much trouble. He leant Muhviertel equipment and got us rehearsal space. (Metal Monkey Machine's squat in Robert Adam Crescent).
Patrick lived in Whalley Range, by Victoria Park and always looked cool in his beret and long dreads - Patrick was a cool guy! It was Patrick that introduced me to the sound of Hijack (the terrorist group) with the 12" "Hold No Hostage" in 1988, back then it was all Hip-Hop/On-U Sound and Dub Reggae. I still have a copy of "The Horns Of Jericho" LP...the only "rap" record I own. I last saw Patrick in the early 1990's, probably in some swanky bar on Whitworth Street or the Dry Bar in Manchester, I can't remember which or when.
Anyway, Patrick has left the studio, and like when I heard about the murder of "Mad" Dave Hughes a couple of years back I am saddened.

R.I.P. Patrick Simons.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Haxan Cloak #3

In the past seven days (great band, classic 7" "Raindance" on the 4AD label) I have been reminded that as a record and cassette buyer I am bit of an outsider...or at best a relic. A fellow sufferer (that's what I call folk who work at Torbay Hospital) asked me "where do you buy records from"? A strange question. I had to ask what kind of record he was after and he said that he wanted a copy of Deep Purple's "Machine Head" album, but it had to be on vinyl as his Dad was getting back into records again. Records are (apparently) "so retro". It just seemed strange that someone would not know where to buy records from - I told him about Torre Records, Torquays' only secondhand vinyl emporium.
A couple of days earlier a fellow sufferer was telling me about Feeder and how they are releasing their new single on cassette format. Limited edition cassette! "How 80's" he exclaimed! Seems about right for the bastard sons of The Alarm who have played "Slade In Flame" too many times, but there y'go. It is good that a stadium rock troupe are putting stuff out on cassette, but I fear it has a novelty / gimmick value, as the Feeder fan said - he doesn't own a cassette player anymore but he's going to buy the cassette anyway. It just seemed strange that a "music fan" would not know that folk still release on cassettes - there are cassette labels...ah well.

I don't have a turntable set up at the hospital. It's straightforward CD's and cassettes. I would love to have a couple of decks set up, rock the Pathology Department as were but I don't think I'd get away with it. So, thank you to Aurora Borealis label for re-releasing the excellent Haxan Cloak "Observatory" single on cassette. This is the second cassette release by Aurora Borealis this year. 2011 started with the release of "A Night With Two Moons" by Burial Hex, and ends with "The Observatory" by The Haxan Cloak. It is a cracking single. Hypnotic looping electronics and rhythms playing and dancing through the ears. I have mentioned the single a couple of times before in earlier blogs so I won't bore...I just love the fact that the tracks are out on cassette, beautifully packaged with the Joseph Beuys sleeve. The cassette is limited to 50 copies and available by googling Aurora Borealis.

1: Oscar and The Haxan Cloak.

Friday, 9 December 2011


At the start of the month I read about the Italian project Shiver on the (excellent) Dead Formats blog. Damien of Dead Formats was writing about the cassette "They Will Feed On Us." This is what he wrote:
"Pretty creepy stuff. Starts out very minimal with a sparse, lo fi loop. It then builds up with the sounds of crashing and possibly human wails. It has this vintage sound i have been loving that is similar to Pregnant Spore. Where the sound almost feels like it was created in the 1960s but this was recorded this year. The tape continues with grinding concrete, tuned down guitars and short burst of feedback. It's pretty awesome and very hypnotic. I am already impressed with this Italian label, Diazepam. I believe they are related to the great Ur from Italy. They have just started releasing tapes so I would recommend picking these up right away. This cassette comes in a burlap pouch with some actual bones inside. Eerie".
The cassette has to be heard.
"They Will Feed On Us" is a C-30, and comes in two parts. "Parts 1 & 2". "1" starts off with a sound that makes me think that the tape is chewing up inside the machine, or my tapeheads are fucked...slipping and chewing...the effect is looped into a dark wall of noise (DWN), a cacophony of evil before it cuts to silence, and then the sound of a single be joined by a sonic rumble and the voices of the dead. It all ends with beautifully panned ampnoise - the amp sounding like a Roland Jazz Chorus 50. "2" has temple bells and saxophone blurts weaving in and out of a mesmering bass guitar pattern. Riff, for the want of a better word! The piece slows to the point of scratching and blowing of various metals and bone until it builds into a(nother) cacophony of bass and screaming vocals. The whole finale is not too far from the sound of "early" Bodychoke....think "Mindshaft".

Damien was correct. The sound harks back to the early 1980's (not 1960's...unless .... ), the sound of Nekrophile Records and Ain Soph and Metgumbnerbone and also the recent Mazuraan project of Lee Stokoe. It is all in there.
Available from Diazepam, or direct from Shiver - visit it costs roughly 5 euro and my copy came faster than a Christmas card from Hartlepool!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Aaron Dilloway #5

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to "The Rope And The Dogs" by Aaron Dilloway. Originally released as an 8-Track cassette in a limited edition of 8 copies back in 2008 and now re-released by Osaka (Japan) based label "777 Was 666" on CD format and in an edition of 100. 9 tracks and 40 or so minutes of prime Dilloway, the reason why I like to listen to and experience the sound of Aaron Dilloway are all here on this album. Fascinating and hypnotic.
"White Hair" is a great opener. The ideal curtain lifter. It has a submarine "blip" (depth charge) sound going through it - voyage to the bottom of the sea - there's treated voice and keyboard thrown into the mix. "A Spell List" is a master of tape loopery, synth noise and masked vocal. A very powerful piece. "Collapse" is a small two minute piece with delicately built loops, made with the care of surgeons. "Prayer Flush:Scum Black Edit" follows. This track sounds like work in progress, or maybe I'm not used to a track shifting on so many levels from Aaron Dilloway? The title track is another short work of tape manipulations and looping before "The Casket Sinker". This excellent 6 minute track is layer upon layer of electronic junk loops and crazy edited saxophone blurts. It takes me beyond pleasure.
"Return To Xanex: Final Days Of Marshall" (any clues to what this title is referring to?) is the albums magnum opus, lasting a whole twelve and a half minutes. It has a Bruce Gilbert feel to it with ampnoise and tape loops, it kind of self disassembles itself before going off on a tangent - I feel it is a conceptual piece but I have no idea what the concept is. "Modern Demonologist" has echoed loops acting in a question / response way. Experiments with a Roland Space Echo. The album finishes on the excellently titled "A Funeral With Music". Putrefier-esque synth destruction and noise. The album ends with a breakdown. Classic.

This is easily the finest Dilloway I have heard since......well since I last played some Aaron Dilloway - but not the "Door With No Handle" CDr on Chocolate Monk...I didn't like this album so much. As mentioned the CD is limited to 100 and available from Hitomi Arimoto via

The 49th Parallel

Thanks for all the cards and birthday wishes! Much appreciated. Got a few nice surpises too ... a copy of the Paul McCarthy "Tidebox/Tidebook" from Tamsin and a Homer Simpson Mug Set from the kids...excellent, and the Shiver cassette came through to post too.
I knew it was going to be a good day thanks to F.C.Basle.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Here & Now Experiment

I love live albums. Ever since I started listening to and collecting records I have loved the live album. Before year zero I had live albums by the likes of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep ("I've got chewing gum on my boot"), Kiss ("Alive 2"...with stickers) and even Lynyrd Skynyrd - and loved them all, then along came Throbbing Gristle and took the live album into another arena. Alongside This Heat and then Nocturnal Emissions these groups were mixing live recordings with studio recordings. Not first track studio/second track live/third & fourth studio etc but mixing them all together into one big whorl of sound.
Then there was the split live LP and none better is 1978's "What You See...Is What You Are", a split LP by Alternative TV and Here & Now on Deptford Fun City Records.
I love the work of Mark Perry. Mark P. From his life after life through to his strange kicks his body of work is genious. I even love his rant at Miles Copeland that is on the (strange) "Mission Is Terminated" double LP. You guessed it - I'm a fan. (I must point out here that I have not seen or heard any ATV or Mark Perry after the 1981 "Strange Kicks" LP). On "What You See....." ATV offer "Action Time Lemon", a bitter lemon, the furious "Going Round In Circles" and the epic "Fellow Sufferer" - classics to a man each and every one of them.
Back in 1978 the LP introduced me to the sound of Here & Now. Here & Now were a strange beast, a carry on from the free festival era of the mid 1970' Nik Turner's Inner City Unit and The Pink Fairies - bands that us newbie punk types should be "into" and pay respect. Spawners of Crass and The 012, and yes I did like the Here & Now tracks. They were/are kind of "punky" and sing-a-long and had a touch of humour but (in 1978) I could never bring myself to buy a full studio LP by Here & Now. "What You See.....Is What You Are" cost £1.75, Here & Now LP's were selling for £3.00 plus! And they were filed in the "prog" section in Sanctuary Records (Lincoln's finest) and "prog" was a section that was OK for browsing but not for buying. (Unless it was a Christmas present for a friend).
Earlier this year I found the Here & Now "Floating Anarchy" 7"EP secondhand on a Market Stall in Cambridge. It was unpriced. I already had the B Movie picture disc album "The Dead Good Tapes" in my hand (priced at £7) when I asked the chap "how much"? He said "tenner the both" and I said "sold"! It is a brilliant EP with two studio tracks from the "What You See...." album. Great versions of "Addicted" and "Dog In Hell". I found myself playing "Dog In Hell" repeatedly when I came home from work...I was singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...What You See Is What You Are" to the kids at bedtime. I decided to experiment was it time to buy the album from whence the tracks came?
The album is called "Give & Take" and I remember the sleeve so well from flicking through vinyl in the 1970's. The names associated with the LP were familiar too, Dave Anderson from Rough Trade (Red Crayola/The Pop Group) on the mix with Kif Kif who had worked with The Instant Automatons, 23 Skidoo and The Androids Of Mu. So I bought the CD version on the Cherry Red Records subsidiary Esoteric Recordings because it included the three tracks from the "Floating Anarchy" 7"EP as well as a studio version of "What You See....Is What You Are".

The CD kicks off with a cracking studio version of "What You See...Is What You Are", guitar riff and drumming is superb, and then what follows is 5 tracks of pure self indulgent hippy-trippy sub Barrett era Floyd mixed with the worst Steve Hillage album you can imagine. In my days I have been to many a house/flat/squat (delete as applicable) to score some draw, and there was always one place that was the last resort, the grin and bear it, the bite the fucking bullet we're off to Rainbow Pete's, or Itchy Dave's or Mick Man's pad. You knew you were going to be there a while and you were going to have to listen to endless Gong, Hillage, Hot Tuna and Velvet Underground and say that you love it, just to score the eighth on tick and pray you never see the guy again (even though you owe him a tenner)! This CD is the soundtrack to my early/mid 1980's nightmares. But it contains studio versions of three tracks from one of my all time favourite live albums.
Tracks 1, 7 & 9. Ignore the rest, the experiment was an interesting one.

1: Here & Now "Give & Take" CD Cover.
2: Alternative TV + Here & Now relax, 1978.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Preslav Literary School #3

Live at Wysing Festival, Cambridgeshire. September 2011.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Dead Wood / Phantom Heron Seas #2

A couple of weeks ago I went to The Great Hall in Dartington to watch Annie Gosfield perform the world premiere of "Floating Messages And Fading Memories". It was a very enjoyable evening in a great venue (the place where 23 Skidoo recorded "The Culling Is Coming") but the sound produced did not live up to the sound promised. "Floating Messages" was to feature the sound of clandestine radio transmissions of European resistance groups alongside radio static, shortwave oscillations and Morse code. And yes the sounds were all there but they were superseded by strings and wind from the Athelas Sinfonietta the minimal guitar work of Roger Kleier and the drums of Chris Cutler. It was a rich and rewarding performance, and to have Chris Cutler play in your back yard so to speak is nowt to complain about...but the sound I was looking for was lost amongst the instruments. "Microbes:Parts 1&2" by Dead Wood and Phantom Heron Seas delivers the goods where Annie Gosfield failed. No masking, no pretensions, the release could easily be called "Floating Messages & Fading Memories".
"Microbes:Part 1&2" is a 3"CDr released by the Dead Sea Liner label in an edition of 45. The major part is "Part One" with its' radio static and crackle and visions of messages lost in the ether. To Arecibo by Brian Williams came to mind as did a track Dieter Muh produced back in the 1990's called "S.O.L.A.S." (Safety Of Life At Sea). With the sounds of the static coming in waves the piece(s) have a very nautical feel. If you like the "Shipwrecks" cassette by Andreas Brandal then you will like this CDr.
"Part One" ends on a great loop, rhythmic, hypnotic before developing into "Part Two" and its' building static / dead air space sound. At times it has an underwater feel about it, the creaking and the oscillations/undulations. Excellent stuff.

"An Underwater Experience Would Come In Handy" (I have had this on the brain since Wednesday night)!

This is the future sound of Dorset and great follow on from the "Sunshine Daily Commercial" 7" flexi-plate release that came out in the autumn on Dirty Demos. Both need to be heard.
Contact straight away, at 45 copies (mine was #42) this beauty will be gone fast.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Wire: Exeter Phoenix Centre. 30 November 2011

Last night Wire brought their "Red Barked Tree" tour to Exeter. Needless to say it was an excellent gig with Wire (on form) mixing the old with the new. Excellent version of "5/10". Support was from New York duo Talk Normal and Dave Myers DJ'ed in the lounge.
And Ross, if you are reading this......hello!

1,2+3. Wire.
4. Dave Myers and friend.
5. Chatting with Colin. (Thanks Michael).

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Eden Pure Ale

In the interests of bringing you information on new and exotic beers I ventured to the Eden Project in Bodleva, Cornwall and bought some Eden Pure Ale. Eden Pure Ale is brewed at Sharp's Brewery in Rock, Cornwall and I'm not too certain on its' availability outside the Eden Project but it probably isn't worth paying the £22 entrance fee to try it - go to the Sharp's Brewery web site and buy some online. (
A 500ml bottle set me back £2.50, so it's not a cheap tipple and runs at only 4.5% Vol. It is however quite tasty - refreshing almost, very light and fruity. Sharps brew another ale called "Doom Bar" and Eden Pure Ale is very similar. There is a new ale by Sharp's called "D.W." brewed for the Xmas drinkers market (hello)! and proceeds go to a Cornish Hospice so I'll try and hunt some down. Drinking for Cancer.

1: Sharp's Eden Pure Ale.
2: Myself entering the Eden Project.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Forced Womanhood

I had an E Mail the other day from a friend who had been to the "Colours Out Of Space" weekender in Brighton and his comment on some of the festival was "Everybody thinks they can be a sound artist / poet these days".
"It's not easy, to make you feel uncomfortable, it's not's not just £1.30" to quote Throbbing Gristle's "Wolverhampton £1.30". I get that feeling whilst playing the compilation release "Forced Womanhood" on 23 Productions. A 2xC60 package put out a few years back. A lot of tracks on this release are bland one dimensional noise efforts, pleasing to neither man nor ear....but there are a few gems. I remember getting it on release and playing it and liking some of the tracks and with this in mind I have been revisiting the release over the past couple of days.
Side A begins with Cleanse. Cleanse are are early incarnation of US "dronesters" Hive Mind. Here they present "Angel's Trumpet" a great slice of Industrial pulse and grind. Clew Of Theseus offer a slice of American Power Electronics with distorted shouting and chaotic electronics. Early doors for Clew here. Prurient follow with "Tailor". Well presented stuff with amplifier feedback and metal percussion. Prurient giving an isolated sparse vibe. Prosexist follow. I remember a few years back reviewing the cassette release "Krimkall" on the Krimljud label for "Idwal Fisher" magazine. On the compilation is a project called Assdestroyer - it was some young chap in his bedroom knocking out "naughty" tracks whilst his mother was downstairs doing the ironing...anyway, I did say then that you should never name yourself after a Whitehouse "song". It is too obvious and Whitehouse stand alone in the field of power is pointless. Sure, I've just been talking about Animals & Men and myself naming a band I was in after a This Heat track title but This Heat and Adam & The Ants are not Whitehouse. Anyhow...Prosexist offer amp' feedback (yawn) and shouty shouty vocals. Karlheinz follows with a noise track. Side A ends with "Penal Exile" by Ga-Ne-Tli-Yv-S-Di. (A new name to me). It is layered synth with effects pedals and hidden (subliminal) vocals and probably the best track so far.
Side B starts with Immaculate Grotesque. This is noise that I don't quite understand. I don't understand why anyone would make it or want to listen to it. Eugenics Council follow with two pieces both called "Taint". The first track is horrible noise, the second feature an American voice shouting insults before it all fits around a rhythmic beat and it all seems to fit. Black Leather Jesus hits like a train. Chaos and noise at 125 miles per hour. V.D. give us the excellently titled "No Love For A Bottom". V.D. is a side project of Keith Brewer - he of Taint fame. It begins (again) with insults, and therefore boring...yes I am a motherfucking dicksucker who'll burn in hell...thank you very much...and it is a shame as what follows is a slice of excellent powerful electronics, just a shame it begins all cliched. Loop Retard give a Smegma style tape collage before Sweden's Survival Unit end the side with the best track "Let Me Die A Woman", a dark brooding atmospheric instrumental.
Side C starts with Prosexist (not again!!) with Raquel De Grimstone. "Paint You Up" has a good old industrial noise feel to it, it's not that good, just a pleasant surprise. Moribund offer nothing new with two tracks of slowed down sluggish vocals over distorted noise and The Viodre finish the side with an epic piece of directionless tat called "Phalcam Mancunt".
Side D kicks off with "Slut Torture" by Panicsville. Where do they get these titles from? The sound is forced and poor. A poor de force. Two pieces by Karmanjakan Intonarumori follow and these two slices of innovative, cleverly constructed masterpieces is what makes the compilation worth having. No comparisons to any other artiste / sound can be made here. Slow staggering electronics and spoken madness. K.I. is an early project of Bestializer, and one of Sweden's finest noise makers. Human Is Filth offer up "Penectomic Scission Vivisection", an insane onslaught of pounding electronics and feedback. Concrete Violin follow. It is a strand of thought amongst "noisefolk" that when recording a "noise" track that sticking everything "in the red" sounds good. Misguided fools. A track of tiresome tape splicing tomfoolery ends the compilation. "Bitch Me In" by the strangely titled project Mansfield Deathtrap. Are they from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire?
The release is finely packaged in a DVD type slim case with a booklet of "naughty schoolboy" pictures. Anal penetration, castration, open vagina collage stuff. The tracks were compiled by Clay Ruby and Karen Eliot (the Alan Smithee of noise albums)!
If seen - buy - if just for Karmanjakan Intonarumori, Survival Unit and Prurient.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Animals & Men

Have spent a pleasant while listening to the 2008 LP "Never Bought, Never Sold" by Animals & Men on US label Mississippi Records. Animals & Men first existed in 1979 and were based in Frome, Somerset (When in Frome....). They named themselves after the Adam & The Ants song. A lot of that kind of thing went on in the late 1970's. I remember 1979 and trying to chose a name for my first band (band!!...duo more like), we wrote some names on a bit of paper and tossed them into a (bowler) hat, on one piece I had written "Whips & Furs" a favourite track from the first Vibrators LP. I was thinking "well if it works for Stiff Little Fingers then I'll give it a go", luckily it never got pulled from the hat. (The Attempted Rape Of Dave Kirten and The Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat Station were both drawn before we plumped for So Commercial). In 1982 we (the "we" is Dave Uden & I) did the same again and became Diet Of Worms. A love of the track from the first This Heat LP rather than any Lutherian leanings.
Anyway, back to Animals & Men.
In the summer I was told of a "drummer who used to be in a punk band in the 70's" working in the bowels of Torbay Hospital and lo and behold I met Geoff the guy who tampers with Medical Devices and somesuch. Geoff is the drummer in Animals & Men and he kindly gave me the vinyl LP and CD re-issues to listen to.
The CD is OK. "Revel In The Static" on the Hyped2Death label. I do feel it is the case of the unnecessary CD. A lot of unnecessary CD's have been released of late - by this I mean full over the hour albums by old bands that only released one or two singles in their brief "career" 4 or 5 songs that last under 15 minutes...and now there's a bloody hour of their stuff - unreleased demos, live tracks, alternative versions etc. In some cases the power and mystique is lost. For some reason I am thinking Steve Treatment, Pseudo Existors and Cyanide here...has anyone released a Gaffa CD?? Anyway, "Revel In The Static" falls into that category for me. The early stuff is great but there are too many "fillers" with stuff that sounds like music that could have been heard on a Sunday night in the back room of The White Horse....If you know what I mean? (great song). So, luckily, there is a vinyl LP available that delivers the goods.
"Never Bought, Never Sold" contains the two Animals & Men 7"'s as well as the 7" "Evil Going On" which they released under the moniker of The Terraplanes. Infact The Terraplanes tracks run at 8, whilst there are only 5 Animals & Men tracks.
The LP starts with the instant classic "Don't Misbehave In the New Age", a highly infectious sing-along from 1979. "Waiting For My Stranger" follows, a John Peel favourite which, again, has an infectious rhythm. Two tracks in and we switch to the Terraplanes and a demo version of "I Never Worry". This is from a cassette that Adam Ant heard and wanted to get involved. I can hear has an Amazulu or The Belle Stars feel about it. 1982 and everything was foppish hair, Bananarama and the Funboy 3 on the cover of "The Face", African chic and music like "I Never Worry". A song that hit the zeitgeist rather than charts. "Terraplane Fixation" follows. Back to Animals & Men and the song I remember them for. I used to have the song on a cassette of Peel favourites - along with Bunnydrums, Pere Ubu and Last fitted beautifully. The next couple of numbers we are back to the Terraplanes sounding like Bow Wow Wow before a Terraplanes version of an old Animals & Men song called "Treasure Of The Damned", a great proto-goth tracks where the bass guitar leads esoteric vocals around a heavy (double) drum beat.
Side two kicks off with sides A and B from the only Terraplanes single "Evil Going On" and "It's Hip". To quote lead Animal Ralph Mitchard's sleeve notes: "(It) was an attempt to create a new genre entirely, fusing blues and punk-we thought we could inspire a movement of blues beatniks digging obscure films but it flopped big time...Even Peeley didn't like it..." It (now) sounds like a strange hybrid of Joy Division jamming with 9 Below Zero and The Young Marble Giants. The B-Side to "Don't Misbehave In The New Age" follows, the excellent teen angst song "We Are Machines". Back in the punk days everyone had their "We Are Machines" song. Factory life, nine to five, white collar working..not for me type of stance. A couple of bluesy pub rock numbers follow before the LP finishes with a demo recording of the Animals & Men track "Headphones" which contains an "Antsian" guitar riff (sounds like "Friends") and then the excellent "Shell Shock", the B-Side to "Terraplane Fixation". Here they sound like Repetition - the band not the Fall song. Beautiful stuff.
The LP is recommended, the CD not so - unless seen for a fiver or less.

One of the joys of both releases are the sleeve notes. Funny detail and the story of what it was like to be in a punk/post-punk band in a small town in the late 1970's is hit on the head beautifully by Ralph. Their lack of ambition, their not wanting to move out of Frome, or to London. "Think Art, Act Local" as Grey Park once said. Animals & Men didn't play many gigs but when they supported Toyah and didn't like what they heard or saw they knew the "big time" wasn't for them. They had name changes and dalliances with Adam Ant before packing it all in and deciding to start families and play music to amuse themselves and friends.
And then the Internet happened and interest arose in old punk and post punk bands. I even had an e-mail from Chuck Warner asking if I had any old recordings of ESP Disk-rd (the band I was in after So Commercial that was named after an old Fall song title which got changed to "Psychick Dancehall"...the song title not the band) because I released a cassette back in 1979 and it got a mention in "ZigZag" magazine and "The International Discography Of The New Wave" book. And so, Animals & Men reformed in 2008. They still don't gig much (Paris on December 1) but I would love to see them live, I'd love just to sit around a pub table and share a few pints and chat with them.
The LP is available from Mississippi Records direct (just google it), or via Discogs.

1: Animals & Men, 1979.
2: "Never Bought, Never Sold" Sleeve.
3: "Revel In The Static" Sleeve.
4: Geoff Norcott 2011.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Nigel Ayers: Compost: Live at Tate St Ives

Nigel Ayers: Compost: Live at Tate St Ives: Field Club & Friends - late at the Tate St Ives Friday 25 November: FREE ADMISSION Multimedia artist Nigel Ayers, will perform a live psyc...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mauthausen Orchestra #3

Today I resumed my playing through the 12xcassette album "Gravitational Arch Of Sex" (Slaughter Productions) by Mauthausen Orchestra, I have reached #5 : "Bloodyminded". (Good name for a band). Originally released in 1984 on the Italian Aquilifer Sodality label.
With its' beginnings, the sound of microphones being left on a deserted beach to record the lapping of the waves and the winds across the sands to the intermittent bursts of powerful synth to a track that sounds like a project called Mauthausen Orchestra should sound like. Harsh tones that cut through the air with manic male agonising screams morphing into a lyrical attack. No idea what is being communicated here (I speak no Italian) but it does sound like The Sodality track "They Never Learn" and Ultra's "I Can't Stand A Bitchy Chick" rolled into one. Excellent track.
By 1984 Mauthausen Orchestra had released on the UK Broken Flag label and maybe the influence of Gary Mundy's work along with that of Whitehouse is starting to show on "Bloodyminded"?
Side two has two instrumental pieces. It starts with industrial grind and rising and lowering oscillations before the chaos sets in. "Carcrash Electronics" is the best way to describe the sound. Manic/chaotic, all over the bloody shop! Radio space and pink noise calm the side down before a chaotic reprise and fade out.
"Bloodyminded" is a bloody good cassette and well recorded too. I suppose it is pretty daft to say that if you ever see a copy - buy! But you never know....there was an unofficial re-issue on the Australian Zero Cabal label that might be easier to find.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Craig Colorusso

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest 7" by Craig Colorusso. "Sun Boxes", which may or may not be on the MUUD label. The single is beautifully packaged in a colourful open out picture sleeve and is on slightly camouflage coloured vinyl. I discovered this release whilst reading the excellent "Dead Formats" blog spot.
Sun Boxes are small boxed speakers generated by solar power. The speakers each contain a different guitar note loop in each box, the guitar notes collectively make a b flat chord. The boxes are then placed in different environs and experienced. Craig Colorusso builds these boxes and installs them across America.
Over the past few days Hartop Towers has been hit by the drone. Firstly with the latest Andreas Brandal album "Eight Secret Messages" on the American Ilse label and then Preslav Literary School's "La Reflexion Du Tir" cassette, this single fits in beautifully. I am playing it at 33rpm. Two pieces recorded at two different locations. "Frozen Pond" in Plymouth Massachusetts and a "Grassy Field" in Newburyport Massachusetts. The sound on both pieces is meditative, calming and all inspiring. Beautiful.
Please go to to find out more about Craig and his sound, the single is available there as well as (gulp) downloads for those who don't like vinyl!

1: "Sun Boxes" Sleeve.
2: "Sun Boxes" Vinyl.
3: Postcard.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Preslav Literary School #2

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Preslav Literary School. "La Reflexion Du Tir", a cassette (C40) limited to 75 copies on the Russian Full Of Nothing label ( and worth the 7 Euros.
The cassette is inspired by the artwork of Benjamin Laurant Aman and Mathias Enard's novel "Zone". The novel centres around a spy/soldier called Francis Servain Mirkovic and his attempt to escape his past and live a "regular" life as Yuan Deroy. The two pieces on this cassette are named after the character(s). Benjamin is the man behind the excellent German label Razzle Dazzle.
"Francis Servain Mirkovic" starts very quietly and builds into a sixteen minute celestial, harmonious drone. "Yuan Deroy" also has a slow fade in, begining its' fourteen minute journey with a choral feel, the atomosphere of Gregorian Monks before adopting (again) a harmonious drone but this time more meloncholic and inward looking. It plays like an old wax cylinder of pumped organ music. Deep and beautiful stuff.

I am glad that the Preslav School Of Industry that appear on the latest "Feral Debris" compilation CDr are nothing to do with Preslav Literary School. The 'Industry track is so poor. It is hard to believe that someone/persons could name themselves such - they must know of the Literary School's existence? Still, I played the Venn Festival in Bristol a few years back and on the bill were a band from Bristol called Hunting Lodge! Anyway, I wholly recommend this release, get in touch with Full Of Nothing or Preslav Literary School at buy and enjoy...I even think there is a (gulp) download version!

1: Preslav Literary Scool "La Reflexion Du Tir" Cassette.

Sorry about the poor picture....Scanner is still not working.


As those who know me know - I am no fan of the download. It is an alien concept to me. I don't have the equipment to support such a device. Well yes, I have a computer but it is not hooked up through a hi-fi system or the TV, just two little speakers on the monitor...that'll do. I don't watch films or TV channels on the computer either nor do I own an Mp3 Player or an i-pod, I am not keen on headphones or ear-phones either. Another alien concept is the wearing of ear-phones whilst walking, or travelling. I like to have the full scope of hearing. Three hundred and sixty degrees. "It is not only the deaf who cannot hear" to misquote Mark E. Smith.
I was never big on MySpace, I listened to a few tunes but I never downloaded. I uploaded but withdrew quite quickly, although I think my A:A:K page is still up there because I have forgotten the password I used and quite frankly can't be arsed....I have never been on soundcloud or bandcamp. I cannot see reason. I have friends (that may surprise you) that live off the downloads. They have no record collection or tape collection...nowt to play the things on either. Their collection is a list on a computer screen available at a click. Like I said at the start; alien concept.
So far (to my knowledge) there has been one Dieter Muh track available as a download only, a track on the compilation "Squeezing Being Issue 2", put out by Wholeness Recordings. Although where you go to download a copy I do not know. Probably MySpace.
I am not that keen on blog sites that put up old releases for downloading. There was one site (I forget the name) that had the complete catalogue of The Homosexuals and their related off shoots. These releases exist as actual artifacts, as pieces of work / art, OK in 2011 they are pretty hard to come by and probably cost a days wage...but that's not the point. Before I end up infuriating myself and going on a tirade of senseless reiteration - there was a VW advert on TV today whilst I was watching the football (FC Halifax Town did OK, I thought) that stated something along the lines of; Why have something that sounds like a Golf when you can have a Golf , and that is quite similar to my line of thought.

Saying that though, last week I was told of a blog site called "nostalgie-de-le-boue" that had uploaded Metgumbnerbone's "For The Raven" for download. "For The Raven" was Metgumbnerbone's 1984 follow up to the excellent "Ligelahorn" LP on A:Mission Records and was to be released in cassette format on Nekrophile Records, but the release never came about.
Swedish label Styggelse have some how obtained a copy and put it on the site. I put a call out to my good friend Tim and now have a copy on CDr, and a great listen it is too....mind you I would love to have the "bootleg" cassette.
Metgumbnerbone were the Rupenus brothers Richard and Phillip who later created The New Blockaders along with John Mylotte and Sean Breadin who also (with the Rupenus brothers) recorded under the name of Masstishaddu. Although recorded in 1984 "For The Raven" is still highly listenable, probably because I listen to a lot of stuff recorded in the early 1980's? It sounds a lot like Soviet France...the Soviet France of "Garista" and "Mohonomische". There is a lot of rhythm, drums and metal percussion mixing with flutes, gourds, and (probably) trumpets. Large industrial warehouse sounds of scraping and obsolete machinery mixed with wailing and screaming...and at times what sounds like Geordie "Speaking In Tongues". It would have been a perfect release on the Austrian Nekrophile Records label, it fits in ideally with Korpses Katatonik, LasHtaL, Zero Kama etc. It is very 1984. There were a slew of bands/artists around at this time producing "dark industrial", "ritual" and experimental noises. Hunting Lodge, Current 93, Zos-Kia, Coup De Grace, The Anti Group, Seven Horns Da Ho, Devation Social, The Brides Of Christ all spring to mind whilst writing this. I too took inspiration from these and other projects (as well as other sources) and created Muhviertel with Sean Rorke. "For The Raven" brings this all back.
I think it is a shame that Styggelese didn't contact Metgumbnerbone and offer to put it out on CD or cassette with original artwork etc instead of being a download...but I am glad they did, at least, make it available to my ears and alien (conceptual) brain.

On a similar train. I have decided to book a flight and hotel and go and witness what may be a "gig" of a lifetime. The New Blockaders and Vagina Dentata Organ (another one of 1984's great projects) in Berlin. March 2012. I am quite excited about this one.

1: "For The Raven" sleeve (according to Discogs)
2: TNB/VDO Live In Berlin 2012.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Ekca Liena

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Ekca Liena: "Slow Music For Rapid Eye Movement" a double CDr on Dead Pilot Records. It was after I had played the latest and excellent Plurals LP a few times I thought I'd see what else is out there by Plurals and/or their label (I assume it is their label) Dead Pilot Records and the name Ekca Liena kept appearing. A solo project from Plural member Daniel Mackenzie with a few releases to his name and one on the excellent Small Doses label. I had to explore.
"Slow Music For Rapid Eye Movement" is just that. A concept album. I was pretty uncertain as to what sound Ekca Liena produced as solo releases by another Plurals member; Duncan Harrison sound nothing like Plurals. The album starts with "Unfolding" acting like the introduction round before "Fire Emerging From Mist" comes in all acoustic guitar and drone. Wow, I was not expecting this! "Post Altitude" follows with reverse electric guitar that melds into acoustic...excellent stuff and crystal clear production. I am three tracks in thinking I have discovered a classic. "Reverse Erasing" has a choppy pulse with a Chinese thumb-piano rhythm and bowed strings, it is all beginning to sound rather Eno. "Post Altitude" has an Equatorial feel, as does the following track "Missing Weeks" a slow trek through the Amazonian Rain forests, now the sound has become "pleasant". Pleasant music. "Music For A Dream-Catcher" I thought, and then I was put in mind of Horizon 222.
Horizon 222 was an off-shoot from Soviet France (or Zoviet*France for late comers). Back in the early 1990's (1992/93) Andy Eardley of Soviet France put out a couple of LP's and an EP of New Age trip-hop psychedelia. It wasn't cutting edge experimental and raw like Soviet France, it was nice coffee table Guardian reader stuff. I still have the "Spirit Level" 2x12" but it hardly gets a listen.....
Anyway, "Missing Weeks" brought them to mind before it went off on a tangent with some keyboard sound that brought to mind CBeebies and "Waybaloo". Having very young children at Hartop Towers means I see alot of Kiddies TV and I can spot that dreamy keyboard sound anywhere! "We Are Dying Flames" is a cinematic piece of ethereal glistening, it brings to mind fast-frame editing and time span footage which is clever stuff seeing that the concept is "Slow Music For Rapid Eye Movement". Full marks. "Into The Wind" is pleasant with dulcimer tones and an electric guitar through chorus pedals. "Further Longer" is too long by far working on about five different levels - nice looped guitar effect a la Vini Reilly...but it does change too much and seems never-ending. The final piece "Missing Ending/Unfolding Revisited" has an end credit feel with its' "old 45" crackle and ghostly drone.
"Slow Music For Rapid Eye Movement" was originally released as a single CDr on Dead Pilot Records in 2008, this 2011 edition includes a CDr of covers and remixes. Very Fjernlys I thought. Nick Hudson provides a couple of covers of the same song: "Reverse Erasing", where he adds a placid lounge jazz organ and awful vocals to the choppy pulsating rhythm. Clem Leek & Kixotex make tracks sound like The Orb whereas Pupilar complete the 1990's feel with a bit of Meat Beat meets The Orb type remix. I was looking forward to the Duncan Harrison cover of "Into The Wind" but the track just went on for too long and Aidan Baker's remix of "Fire Emerging From Mist" with 1970's prog style guitar had me searching for the skip button. Shame.

The album has its' moments but they are too far between to grab full attention, and for some of us (very old) folk it does sound like stuff I have heard before.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Feral Debris

I used to like reading "Just Glittering" then it changed its' name to "Idwal Fisher" and I used to like reading "Idwal Fisher" and then it stopped. Well it stopped being an ink and paper publication and returned as a blog. and it is still a damn good read it's just that you can't take it to the toilet with you to read...unless I printed it off (but the printer/scanner ain't working at the moment) or sat a laptop on my knee (but I don't own a laptop). "Idwal Fisher" (the magazine) used to give the lowdown on all things; reviews of fags that sat on the shelves of tobacconists in Moscow, 30 pence albums bought at the Bingley Mare & Foal Charity Shop, beers from around the Greek Islands sat amongst the pages of reviews of the latest Merzbow CD or Terry Riley reissue or Smell & Quim gig. It was (the magazine) classic reading. I used to smile when I came home from a hard days slog at Torbay Hospital and found an "Idwal" sitting on the mat..the BD19 postcode reassuring me that what lay inside the plain brown paper envelope was the evenings entertainment...slip into something comfortable. A Neil Campbell or maybe an early Nurse With Wound album and spend the next few hours wallowing in the world of Idwal. Then it would sit on a pile of back issues in the crapper until it needed drying on the bathroom radiator and be filed in a box in the gimp room.
I shall never forget sitting on Daniel Lowenbruck's toilet in old East Berlin feeling like a stunned heifer with a hangover of twenty men reading a copy of "Just Glittering" laughing and shitting and quickly feeling like taking on the day. A great hangover cure!
Since the demise of "Idwal Fisher" there has been very little to take its' place. Sure, there are "noise" / "experimental music" based magazines but they are pretty serious stuff. Nothing wrong with that...nothing at all...but nothing to follow Idwal in printed form. "Niche Homo" is pretty good, excellent Bruno Wizard interview in the last issue I saw and coming up to "essential" is the Nottingham based magazine "Feral Debris".
"Feral Debris #5" is out now! There are no reviews in "Feral Debris" just essays, insights and interviews. A big big selling point for me was an interview with Gerry & The Holograms..I thought this may be a rehash of an old Manchester Fanzine interview...but no...this interview with C.P.Lee by an unknown journo brings us up to date with all things Gerry and Absurd. Excellent. There is also an interview with Nate Young and John Olson talking about their new band Stare Case (awful name) and with Graham Lambkin of Kye Records and Shadow Ring. Also featured is an superbly written overview of filmmaker Jose Ramon Larraz and pieces on artists Steve Swarek and Scott Treleaven. There are no CD/LP/gig reviews. The feel of the mag reminds me of when I started reading "Headpress" at the turn of the 1990's. Remember "Headpress"? Is it still going? Will have to do some research.
I originally found out about "Feral Debris" a couple of years ago because one of their issues came with a CDr featuring Astral Social Club. All copies of "Feral Debris" come with a free compilation CDr. Issue 5 is no different. A downside to this is that the magazine neither features or mentions any of the bands/artists/projects on the CDr. I have to find out about these artists myself! And I hate going on MySpace! At least "Impulse" magazine used to write articles or interview the bands they featured on their giveaway cassettes. Issue #5 starts with Nacht Und Nebel and a track called "The Thousand Young". It all begins with looping and locked grooving before drifting off into some lo-fi drone and feedback and then drifting back into a locked loop. Usurper follow with a short attempt at musique-concret and a frequency that would make a dog laugh at fifty yards. Preslav School Of Industry follow. I am at this point uncertain whether or not this project is aligned with Preslav Literary School but I think coincidence would be too strong if not. The track is called "Fever Triangle" and is not very well constructed which did make me think that the world has two Preslav Schools. There's shortwave crackle, slowed down voice, amp hum, radio voices, meandering drone all put to no use. The next three groups / projects are all new to me. Brittle Foundries bring "Homecoming" to the CDr. It is a slow melancholic piece with sounds of escaping gas and piano notes. The whine of an engine brake floats across the speakers like an incoming tide, the track could have been called "Dancing With Robert Haigh". ABYSSES (Their capitals not mine) track is called "Violent Trust" - it is a moribund song (with lyrics) that made me write down (I make notes y'know) that this person/these people own Throbbing Gristle albums, but then again so do I, which is why I have fallen quite partial to this track. I have since found out that half of ABYSSES is Johnny Scarr of Mantile/Spoils & Relics. The track is far too long. Inner City end the CDr with "Space Forest". I thought it a bit of a coup if "Feral Debris" had got an exclusive track from the infamous 1980's Detroit techno crew. (I do remember dancing...yes their Big Fun and Good Life tunes in various nightclubs and strip joints in Salford & Manchester in the late 1980's). But no.....this track is awful new age keyboardery that even Dave Greenslade would have been too embarrassed to release! Might be Belgian.
Anyway. "Feral Debris" is worth £3.50 inc P+P (or exchange equivilent anywhere in the world). Get in touch with them at: . The folk also run the Rammel Club in Nottingham so if you're in the East Midlands go along and support.

1: Feral Debris #5 Magazine.
2: Feral Debris #5 Cdr.

Apologies for the poor quality of picture...but like I said, the scanner isn't working so i had to take photographs.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Cheapmachines #2

Last weekend I received a copy of "Debris" a 7" test pressing by Cheapmachines. Due to the test pressing being unsatisfactory the 7" never was released, a shame because I really like what Cheapmachines were doing here. As a rule, and as far as I understand although let it be known I am no expert, I thought that if one test pressing was unsatisfactory the pressing plant would then run off a few more copies with the problem (hopefully) solved but in the case of "Debris" the single was never released. The project was never realised. A real shame.
I have another "faulty" test pressing, that of Defektro's "Hard Luck Heart" EP...after many moons the single was finally released, maybe that's be the story with "Debris". Anyway, I contacted Phil Julian (AKA Cheapmachines) to a: thank him for the vinyl & b: probe him on the test pressing.

I am playing the single loud and at 33rpm. Is that correct?

It's cut at 45rpm both sides, but I'm not precious about it if you prefer the slowed version :)

You are not happy with the pressing. There are moments when (on side A) it sounds like a pause button is being held in for a micro-second, also there is a massive drop and rise in volume towards the end....was this the problem?

Yes, those are the main problems, along with the mobile phone blips on side 2 from the guy doing the cutting, evidently texting someone while he should have been concentrating...

Side A has some great "old industrial" style sounds and textures, making me think of 1975-76 Throbbing Gristle (the Giftgas CD on Dossier for Eg), what was the instrument line-up for this track?

Thanks, that's a big compliment. Both sides are semi-improvised computer pieces recorded at the same time as the tracks for "Secede":

No "instruments" as such - real-time computer synthesis, granular samples, some pulsar generation, sinewaves, internal feedback...

The two tracks sounded better side-by-side than crow barred into the album so the intention was to make it a 7". Never happened as a proper release, only these test pressings exist. I might come back to it at some point... using a different pressing plant of course.

I like Side 2, it sounds like there are three different levels happening here all at the same time. Abstract textures, drone pieces and contact mic' recordings. HNJW! (Harsh Noise Jazz Wall) - it also sounds like a live to comment?

Both tracks were improvised, then some layering and then editing mainly for length. Don't recall any direct contact micing but there are a number of samples being yanked about in there which could well have been derived from a contacted mic-ed object or two. Jazzed-up Punk Shit Wall ;)

If you could respond to one or all of these questions, I'll put them on my blog - if you can't be arsed, fair do's.
Thanks (again) for the package.

No problem.

Also with the 7" came a new C20 cassette release "Accessory". This was made to support Cheapmachines live events in October. Left over copies are available directly from Phil at I've enjoyed a couple of plays but I'm slowly letting it into my psyche....

1&2: Cheapmachines test pressing.
3: Defektro test pressing sleeve.