Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Secret

In the last few days (great band) there has been some great releases arriving at Hartop Towers. The Column One "No One" Box Set on 90% Wasser, ESP Kinetic & Storm Bugs LP's on Harbinger Sound and the Club Moral "1981-1986" Box Set on Vinyl On Demand label to name a couple but the piece of vinyl that will not leave the turntable at the moment is "The Young Ones" by The Secret.
I originally bought the single back in 1977, lost it in the "burglary that dare not speak its name" in 1983 and have been after a copy ever since...I found a copy at "Wax Factor" in Brighton last weekend, in picture sleeve too which is a bonus as I never had it in picture sleeve originally.
The Secret hold a special place in my (h)ear(t) because they were the first "punk" band I ever saw live. It was either late 1977 or January 1978 that I witnessed The Secret support XTC at Nottingham Polytechnic. The first gig I ever went to was Judas Priest (supported by a then unknown and unsigned Magnum) at Lincoln Drill Hall. I am not counting watching Tab Street Gas play Lincoln Odeon in between cartoons at "The Saturday Club" when I was pre-teen and in love with Scooby Doo & The Partridge Family! XTC/The Secret was my second live gig. I struck a deal with a couple of my friends, Mick Campion and Dave Risebrow that if they came with me to see XTC I would go and watch Judas Priest live in Sheffield in 1978 (I think the "Stained Class" dates had been announced). We travelled by train from Lincoln to Nottingham and caught a bus to the venue - I think I better state I was 15 at the time. It was soon found that both I and Mick could get served watered down lager in plastic pint pots we continued to get drunk. Three 14/15 year old drunks amongst 50/60 odd polytechnic students.
The Secret were all drainpipe trousers, short hair and fast punk songs. The singer was called Benny Leopard and was dressed in leopard skin trousers whereas the guitarist, Shrink, was dressed in a silver foil suit with green and red hair and Elton John style glasses. He played a flying "V" guitar. I loved it. I joined a small pogoing crowd at the front of the stage. Mick and Dave kept their reserve and stayed at the back of the crowd. At some point in the set The Secret played "Handel A Vandal". The song included a chorus where Benny lunged his microphone into the unexpected faces of the front row to reply to his question "You Can't Handle A"? Of course the unexpected voice replied "Vandal"! Benny worked his way along the front row until the mic' was shoved into the face of the guy stood next to me and his response to "You Can't Handel A Vandal" was "FUCK OFF" and Benny retreated to the back of the stage thus curtailing my chance of entering punk rock show business and shouting down the microphone of Benny Leopard. Gutted.
By the time XTC came on stage it was time for us to leave to catch the last train to Lincoln. Whilst Dave went to the loo for one last desperate piss I watched XTC play "Science Friction" then left......we missed the last train and I had to phone my mother to come and collect us in the early hours of the A.M. in her old battered Austin A40.

The B Side of "The Young Ones" is "Handel A Vandal". It is a brilliant single. Really fast, really "tinny" and .... pub rock. It's like when I have re-purchased stuff by The Stukas, The Lurkers, The Depressions and The Flys what I am hearing is speeded up 8 or 12 bar blues a.k.a. pub rock! I am never disappointed.
I'll get the 45 out of my system and carry on with Club Moral.

Plurals #3

I have just spent a pleasant while listening to "Imagining Perpetual Tower" the debut vinyl album from Plurals, released earlier this month by Dead Pilot Records (not to be confused with Dead Sea Liner Records or the crap dub/rock band Black Star Liner..a band with whom I once had a huge argument with backstage at York Arts Centre in the late 1990's...but that's another story) catalogue number DPRLP01. The album was released to support the recent UK tour with Nadja (Aiden Baker).
I like Plurals, one of the best live sets I have witnessed in a long time was by Plurals, at Wattsfest in Devon last summer. Side one of the album reminds me of this set. "Exorcist's Limbo" is drone music, it sounds like a live studio recording with no overdubs, it has a raw edge to it all - not comfortable somnambulistic drone like Lull or owt like that, no, Plurals supply the real deal. The sounds heard in the exorcist's limbo are of scraped and bowed strings, keyboards, gourds, oscillators and voices. A journey is created and a trip begins...marvellous stuff. Side two is a track called "Legs Like Apparitions". It has a similar structure to "Exorcist's Limbo" but whereas no one singular sound is heard throughout side one, side two is electric guitar and delay effects. There is a pulse, a throb, and a drone in the swirl but the electric guitar is prominent.
Guitars are like marmite to me in this situation, especially when it is played "raw" like on "Legs Like Apparitions", it can work or .... It's not as off putting as some Nurse With Wound or Karl Blake when he played guitar with Tactile but I do prefer the guitar (in drone) to be used as a sound source rather than an instrument - does this make sense? There are great moments in this piece, the use of a cassette Walkmans is genius and it ends with a beautiful wall of bowed electric strings and looped acoustics.
The artwork (uncredited) is superb.
The LP is limited to 200 copies (I think) and available from and (I should expect Second Layer Records in London). I bought my copy from Edge World in Brighton. An essential piece of vinyl.

1: Plurals LP Cover.
2: Section from the reverse sleeve artwork.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Astral Social Navigations

A package arrived last weekend from Chez Campbell with a couple of fine releases, and I have spent the last couple of days getting my ears accustomed to them.
"V.E.N.U.S." is a CDr single, the second this year from Astral Social Club. A couple of weeks ago Astral Social Club played at the "Galvanised Event" at Cafe OTO in London. The theme to the evening was "Music Vs Universe: Music Inspired By The 5 Chaldean Pre-Telescopic Planets". The preamble on the festival website sounded interesting, but the evening was too soon (for me) after the Astral Social Club live set in Cambridgeshire. Fortunately for those of us who could not make it to the event Astral Social Club (the label) have released the Astral Social Club (the project) "rehearsal" set, and pretty essential it is too.
The sound begins with a harmonious symphony of chaos, electronic tones, samples (that could be anything from Hot Chocolate to The Who) and sequencer patterns. Holding the sound together is an all droning distortoed echoey guitar....after a time this all drifts into a chugging motorik beat .... the wall of noise remains busy building itself in the background getting higher and higher until it all collapses to a sequential rhythm and a fading guitar. The piece ends (it is all one long track) with the sound of a church organ. Images of Burial Hex for me here. It is a beautiful track full of intrigues and energy and here's the good bit - it's only £4.00 in the UK. Available from Astral Social Club at:
Also in the package came a summer 2011 release from Ashtray Navigations, the humorously titled "Human Wrecktronics". Released on a C40 cassette by US label Medusa Tapes.
I have recently reacquainted myself with the sound of Ashtray Navigations after giving them a slightly wide berth since I saw them live in 1998, but a live show last month kind of "blew me" a little (well, as much as a 48 year old man can be blown) so now I am after "stuff". Side one of the tape is the title track and features Phil Todd (head Ashtray) and Neil Campbell indulging themselves in a cosmic 70's fantasy. The piece has a "live studio" improvised feel to it (OK I'll say it..."jam") with the sound built around an undulation, a cosmic wave of spaced out guitar and synthesized keys that float around and out of the speakers. It's a good listen if a tad too long and very somnambulistic. For side two Phil is joined by Mel D and Phil Legers. I think it is Mel that runs the Leeds based label and promotion outfit "The Termite Club". I could be wrong - usually am. Anyway; "Too Few Notes" is a full-on 1970's Kosmiche jam with drone tone, tweaked synthesized oscillations and filigreed piano. It is a little too Gong-a-long and spacey for my taste, but it was an enjoyable listen. I'm still going to discover more Ashtray Navigations before the year is out! I am uncertain about the availability of the tape, but try googling Medusa Tapes and see what turns up.

1: Astral Social Club "V.E.N.U.S." CDr single sleeve.
2: Astral Social Club performing "V.E.N.U.S." at the Cafe OTO, London. 11/10/11.
3: Ashtray Navigations "Human Wrecktronics" sleeve.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Secondhand Records Shops #15: Brighton

Just spent a few days in East Sussex and spent time to discover the secondhand record emporiums of Brighton. I managed to pick up a couple of choice slices o' vinyl so left happy, but for a first time visitor to the town...I think next time I'll make the next visit a day one.
There are lots of secondhand record shops in Brighton. A gamut. The area to be in is North Laine. It lies between the train station and the Brighton Dome. I was staying in an area known as Kemptown and a trip to North Laine led me down St Jame's Street where there is a small secondhand vinyl shop, a shop that has no name (it's opposite "Superdrug"). The guy had a small table outside full of the usual 70's and 80's bargain stuff - Supertramp, Billy Joel, Haircut 100, Barbara Dickson, that kind of stuff..not really tempting but the proprietor got chatty and so I went in and found a box of "punk" LP's and found a Patrik Fitzgerald 12"EP for a fiver - inside no records seemed to be priced. The shop is very small (compact and bijou), certainly no more than 2 people at the same time. The walk to North Laine took me through an area called The Lanes - all jewellery and antiques but in Brighton Square there is Rounder Records. Rounder Records is more Modern Rock biased (Emo, Coldplay, Muse...I suppose) but has a very small secondhand section. Their "Experimental" section was three Chris & Cosey LP's.
North Laine is Brighton's BoHo Quarter, secondhand clothes, designer clothes, secondhand books, graphic novel shops, mod clothes and be-bop millinery. Fortunately a few secondhand record shops too otherwise it would have been "avoid like the plague"!
Edge World Records on Kensington Gardens is not a secondhand record shop, it is a bloody good shop non the less. I had a chat with the owner - nice chap - he advised me on where to shop for vinyl in Brighton and sold me the latest Plurals LP. Edge World also stocks Astral Social Club and Aaron Dilloway. Full marks and worth a visit.
Take a right at the end of Kensington Gardens and on the corner of Gloucester Road and Sydney Street is Across The Tracks. Shit loads of stuff here to suit all tastes and about an hours worth of browsing. Similar to a Record & Tape Exchange. I didn't see any 7" singles, but I am sure they were there...I just didn't have the time at this point. (Never go secondhand record shopping at lunchtime with a hungry 5 year old). A couple more shops lie on Sydney Street. Punker Bunker who sell 1980's/90's and beyond leather, studs and acne type punk and Wolf & Gypsy. Downstairs Wolf & Gypsy is vintage clothing, upstairs the vinyl. Nice selection of electronica, experimental , new wave, dub and reggae..but a tad expensive. £10 for a non-mint copy of Slits "Earthbeat" 12"? Really?
At the end of Sydney Street is Trafalgar Street and the jewel that is Wax Factor. Two huge rooms dedicated to secondhand books, cd's and vinyl. All fairly priced it must be said. Like Across The Tracks time needs to be put aside to browse in this shop. I found a copy of Section 25's "The Beast" and a picture sleeve copy of The Secret's "The Young Ones" on Arista Records. I have been after both of these since 1983. The Secret 7" holds a special place as they were the first "punk" band I ever saw live, supporting XTC at Nottingham Polytechnic, I think it was December 1977. They had a live showstopper and crowd singalong song called "Handel A Vandal" and I loved it. Benny Leopard on vocals and a guy dressed as an alien called Shrink on guitar. Anyway..."Handel A Vandal" is on the B-Side and the 7" is one I shall be buried with. I could have easily spent a week's wages in Wax Factor. Rare Kind Records is on the corner of Trafalgar Street and York Place. Mainly dub and techno vinyl with a few 1970's/80's new wave rock. Worth a browse.
Finally, by the train station on Surrey Street there is The Record Album. The shop's speciality is classical and film & TV soundtracks but there's a couple of hundred "punk" LP's to look at. Chart punk mainly but like all the secondhand vinyl shops in Brighton it has a lot of Blitz albums. I was hoping to find a copy of local band The DP's "Television Romeo" 7" going for a couple of quid...but no!

I recommend a trip to the secondhand record shops of Brighton, it's just a shame they're in Brighton.

1: The shop with no name.
2: Rounder Records.
3: Edge World Records (Upstairs).
4: Across The Tracks.
5: Punker Bunker.
6: Wolf & Gypsy (Upstairs).
7: Wax Factor.
8: Rare Kind Records.
9: The Record Album.
10: Happy punter at the Pavilion.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Total Strangers

On the 28th of October there is a Lincoln Band Retrospective happening at The Jolly Brewer pub on Broadgate in Lincoln. At this moment in time I am uncertain as to what this entails but I have been asked by John Stafford if I had any old pictures of the band we were in together back in 1981 / 82. I was the drummer in the "Radical Band For Social Reform" : Total Strangers.
The band compromised of John Stafford (ex-Collide) on vocals & guitar, myself on drums and John Loonam (ex-Pseudo Existors) on bass & vocals.
If you are in or around Lincoln on the 28th, pop into The Brewer and let me know what it's like!

1: Total Strangers live at the Pywipe Inn, Saxilby, Lincolnshire. 1982.
2+3: Total Strangers live at The Swiss Cottage, Newland, Lincoln. 1981.

Land Observations

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the 7" EP "Roman Roads" the debut single by Land Observations. Land Observations is the latest moniker of former Appliance member James Brooks. The EP is made of three instrumental pieces that have been inspired by Roman Roads. All the pieces are of James and his 6-String electric guitar. Like his work with Appliance the sound has a krautarian air about it, the chugging "motorik" rhythm evoking Can and Neu!...but now solo James has a sound not too dissimilar of Robert Fripp and his work in the League Of Gentlemen. The sound is incidental, almost soundtrack and very relaxing...this could quite easily sit alongside a Neil Campbell LP as much as "Exposure" or a Freddie Phillips CD. Great stuff and a great taster for the forthcoming album.
The single is on London based Enraptured Records an limited to 300 copies (I think), initial copies are on clear vinyl with an insert.

Track three on the EP is called "Fosse Way", the old Roman road that linked Lincoln to Exeter. I used to live just off the Fosse Way when I lived in Lincoln and in 1978 travelled the length of the road on my way to Newquay in Cornwall. I'll give time to any track honouring the great Fosse Way!

1: Land Observations sleeve.
2: EP Insert.
3: Enraptured Records logo.
4: James Brooks.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Mauthausen Orchestra #2

I have been working my way through the Mauthausen Orchestra 12xCassette set this week, and so far made it to number 4.
"From Homicide To Slaughter" is compiled of six tracks..three on each side. From now on we are seeing / hearing a more structured Mauthausen Orchestra sound than to what appeared on "2nd Movement". There is a lot of shortwave radio "crackle" and pink noise / white noise oscillations. Side one contains voice tapes (US Military) and high-pitched tonal frequencies. Side two (along with the shortwave radio static) contains high energy forceful electronics, fast paced stuff with Pierpaolo taking his foot off the pedal so to speak - the final track is crashing power electronics with the sound of repetitive machinery surrounded by howling electronics. Making notes whilst listening I just wrote "Grinder".
"Conflict" was originally released in 1983 on Aquilifer Sodality and re-released in the UK on Broken Flag Records. Side one is a strange play as it has Non littered throughout, probably a live tape or the Mute Records "Rise" 12"EP from 1982. Strange but true. Side two starts off slowly with a 5 note sequencer pattern surrounded by lovely tones. Ten years after and this would be classed as "Illbient", this leads into random synth noodlings before a section from a live performance - I am guessing the "live performance" bit by the loud amp buzz and murky sound. Side two finishes with the sound of a plague of locusts altering the dial of a shortwave radio set. Excellent stuff - sudden end, but highly enjoyable and a sound more suited the the name.
"Murderfuck" was also released in 1983. I can tell now that Pierpaolo is listening to a lot more electronic material as the sound becomes harsher and more direct. "Murderfuck" reminded me of Ramleh from the same period and "Lustmordekay" album. Good stuff, but not as grabbing as "Conflict" side two.

I shall carry on my playing after my short sojourn to Brighton & Lewes.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mauthausen Orchestra

With the forthcoming Broken Flag festival just a few months away I thought it about time to reacquaint myself with some early 1980's Power Electronics and industrial music. I don't have the Vinyl-On-Demand Broken Flag Box Set so I have to make do with old tapes that haven't seen the light or a cassette machine for many a year. Sometime in the late 1990's Steve Underwood (of Harbinger Sound) kindly gave me a copy of Mauthausen Orchestra's 12 tape release "Gravitational Arch Of Sex" originally released in 1995 by Italian label Slaughter Productions. Slaughter Productions being the label run by the Atrax Morgue folk. Although not yet listed as a participant in the festival it would be a great shame if Mauthausen Orchestra didn't appear, they did do a couple of excellent tracks for Broken Flag compilations in 1983/84. "Gravitational Arch Of Sex" is a collection of early 1980's cassette releases.

For those who do not know, Mauthausen Orchestra is the moniker of Pierpaolo Zoppo who began making tapes of electronic noise in 1982 releasing cassettes on his own Aquilifer Sodality label. Whether or not he has anything to do with Italian power electronics band The Sodality I do not know...perhaps someone can tell me?
"2nd Movement" is the first cassette in the box set. Two long untitled pieces cover each side. The sound is not harsh, vicious or that powerful. The sound fluctuates between shortwave radio interference and various synthesizer sounds. Bubbling sounds and helicopter rotors litter the pieces. A lot of the sound is improvised and structureless. Pierpaolo experimenting with sound. Interesting enough to make me want to carry on and play all the tapes and dig out the "Kiss The Carpet" 10" I've got but have only played the once in 12 years! (I remember being non-plussed).
With Mauthausen Orchestra I think it is a case of the name and accompanying art work being stronger than the sound at the time.

1: Second Movement Sleeve.
2: Mauthausen Orchestra advert from "Material" fanzine. 1986.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Metal Postcard

Last week a new fanzine hit the streets; "Metal Postcard : Art, Music, Writing; Notes From The Exeter Underground". It features an interview I did with Dave Goodchild of The Cavern Club last summer (2010). Also in the pages are Deadmen, Sketch, Shaky Kane and Pippa Wragg (MC of Freakscene Records & manager of The Computers). It's A5 sized, 40 pages thick and costs £1.00. Available from hip and trendy shops around Exeter and The Cavern Club or by E Mailing It's not a bad read!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Peter & Me

Last week I found the book "Voices From An Evil God" by Barbara Jones in the hospital charity shop for a pound. Hardback copy, first edition. I pondered over it for a while and then thought.... mine. It has been a while since I have bought a book like this but the selling point (apart from the price) was the fact that this was Sonia's Story, and the book included interviews with Peter Sutcliffe from inside Broadmoor.
Back in my youth I collected and devoured books on serial killers, mass murderers and social misfits. My interest was in the dark side of the human condition. It is hard to sit here and say why or how this was the case but the stories of The Moors Murderers and Charles Manson came to my attention (probably) via Throbbing Gristle lyrics and their "Industrial News" tract and fascinated me from then on.
The story of the Yorkshire Ripper became part of my life because at his time I was living in the North of England and his crimes saturated the local news bulletins. For a short while I thought it was my (then) next door neighbour Mr. Evans, well they did keep going on about how The Yorkshire Ripper could be the man next door!
Shortly after the arrest and trial of Peter Sutcliffe for the crimes of The Yorkshire Ripper" out came the paperbacks written by a group of Red-Top tabloid journalists. I bought them all "The Yorkshire Ripper" by Roger Cross, "The Yorkshire Ripper Story" by John Beattie. Again, I found reading about this man the same time (1982 onwards) I was reading books by Colin Wilson about sociopaths and killers, "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote and whatever I could find on The Moors Murderers and Charles Manson. When I moved to Manchester in 1983 I made a visit to Southern Cemetery and by 1985 I was living in Sheffield and I tried to find the spot where The Yorkshire Ripper was arrested. I used to visit a dealer called "Stuttering Matt" (he neither stuttered or was called Matt but loose talk costs dealers) and he told me where the spot was...but it looked nothing like the picture in the books. 1985 and I bought David A. Yallop's "Deliver Us From Evil". A masterpiece of writing. I was still in Sheffield at the time and I remember sitting on my bed for a weekend and reading it from cover to cover. Now the story of The Yorkshire Ripper became my "Mastermind" specialist subject. It was in the summer of 1985 that I wrote a couple of songs based on the murders of Peter Sutcliffe. "Halifax" appeared on "Dead Meat Packaging Korps"; a cassette album I released under the pseudonym of The Streetcleaner, and "On Mission" which I.B.F. performed live and released a "disco-mix" version on the cassette album "Hammers Used As Hearts". (Both released by Carnifex Rekordings....note the Special K). It was also around this time that the crimes of Donald Neilson came to the fore through the excellent book by Brian Masters; "Killing For Company".

By 1986 I was back living in Hulme, Manchester and I found a strange cassette book in a corner newsagents in a back street of Moss-Side. Packaged in a video box were two cassettes and the cover proclaimed that "Inside find the truth about the Real Yorkshire Ripper". Ahhhh a conspiracy theory, a police cover up....I had to buy. "The Real Yorkshire Ripper" by Noel O'Gara named an Irish lorry driver as the real ripper and that Peter Sutcliffe only committed 4 of the crimes. Classic conspiracy stuff, and I love conspiracy theories!
By the trail end of the 1980's my interest in serial killers, sociopaths, outsiders etc had wained a little. The floor of my squat was littered with back issues of "True Detective" I'd bought cheap from Paramount Books in Shudehill. I stopped buying the books.

So. For a pound I bought "Voices From An Evil God" by Barbara Jones. Hardback copy, first edition (1992). The book itself stinks of old tobacco. Each page is nicotine stained and reading a chapter is like smoking 10 Park Drive and having a chug on a pipe of St. Bruno. I had to wash my hands after each reading! I read the book in six days, which for me means it must be a good read. (I am a notoriously slow reader). It was great to go over his story once again, relive the crimes and become reacquainted with the names again as it were. The author struck up a friendship with Sonia Sutcliffe so she could get an "exclusive" for her paper (The "Mail On Sunday") or a book deal and then fell out with her as she found out A: She didn't really like Sonia, and B: She was being manipulated by The Sutcliffes.
From what I can surmise Peter is a nice honest kind of bloke who was under the spell of voices that made him kill, the voice of God told him to kill prostitutes-and he did, and that person was the Yorkshire Ripper (a non-de-plume that Sutcliffe hates) not Peter Sutcliffe, Peter is a kind, warm, do anything for anybody person - the person that Sonia married.
There's stories of escape attempts, Sonia's Greek holidays and her court trials...but in the back of my mind is the knowledge that he is "probably" not The Yorkshire Ripper, rather like Al Qaeda didn't bring down the Twin Towers and Osama Bin Laden was killed earlier this year in his Pakistan apartment.

I have brought Peter Sutcliffe back into my world after 20 or so years, and unless there is some great revelation in the foreseeable future it will be longer before he does so again - don't expect a Sutcliffe paean on the next Dieter Muh album.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

This Made Me Smile....

This made me smile.....

Monday, 10 October 2011

Anthony More

Been playing a bit of Anthony lately....thought I would share this track...perhaps the best single of 1979?

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Burial Hex #5

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to "Hunger" a single sided 12" single from Burial Hex released by Italian label Holidays Records in 2010. After witnessing Clay Ruby (AKA Burial Hex) perform a blistering live set in London in 2009 I have spent the time collecting his releases. Some disappoint, some don't - this one doesn't. The 12" is also a good case for being "anti-download". The actual physical beauty of this release is enough to go out and buy a fucking turntable and have the sleeve in your hands whilst the record spins on the deck, this is what the sound / the art deserves and not just to be a line on a list on a computer screen. Holidays Records - - are selling it at a very reasonable it! The sleeve is a picture of a sculptured piece by Haitian artist Andre Eugene, whilst the etching on the blank side of the vinyl is taken from a screenshot of Maya Deren's 16mm film "Divine Horsemen:The Living Gods Of Haiti".
As mentioned before, Burial Hex releases are varied...from out and out noise to church organ symphony. "Hunger" provides (partly) an area of Clay's work I have never heard before. "Hunger 1" sounds like an out-take from the split LP he did with Kinit Her; "Vedic Hymns". Nat Ritter of Kinit Her is credited on this LP..along with Shane Verway. It is based around a poem from Arthur Rimbaud but to my ears Clay could be reading the menu from Pizza Hut, it is read in this slow "black metal" like drawl that means nothing to me. (Vienna). Guttural diphthong (which is a good name for a black metal can have that one on me)! The sound is OK, dark and menacing but the voice is totally unnecessary. "Hunger 1" leads into "Hunger 2". The introduction of a slap bass, studio 54 type disco rhythm and electric drums. takes part one and leads it to a higher place. Musically it reminds me of Psychic TV during their "Mouth Of The Night" period, it also brought Shriekback and 400 Blows to mind...but mainly Psychic TV. It is brilliance and why you need to hear this record. (It is a record and not a download).
Research leads me to find that Burial Hex play a one-off show in London in November this year. I doubt that I can make it and hopefully there will be other dates in the UK.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Past Present Future Space-Time Festival, Cambridgeshire. 10/09/2011. #2

Disinformation at the Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn. Cambridgeshire.

Philip Julian

I have just spent a pleasant while listening to "Location +", the latest release by Philip Julian (AKA Cheapmachines). "Location +" is a cassette release by London based label Entr'acte and like most Entr'acte releases it comes vacuum wrapped in tin foil. I am not a big fan of this style of packaging, it has a certain beauty that has to be (somewhat) destroyed to appreciate the goods and I can see the thought behind this, but I'm still not a big fan. Bruce Gilbert's 1995 7" "Instant Shed Volume 1" released by Sub Pop Records was my first vacuum packed record - I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now. Strangely enough the work of Bruce Gilbert is evoked in this release. Side A plays like an installation accompaniment. A sound for a MOMA. "Computer Algorithms Processed Using Natural Phenomena" is textural tones, the sort of sound that accompanies film of ascending and descending objects, of coloured film and random gesture, the sort of sound that follows you around an installation or exhibition of Scandinavian Art. Again, back to Bruce Gilbert and the sound has a very "Sahko Recordings" feel. The B Side is more cut-up. The same textures but this time they are coming thick and fast and jumping across the spaces.
I am uncertain as to whether or not Philip is keeping his minimalistic glitch textural tones type work for his own moniker whilst saving his "noisier" stuff as Mark Durgan does with his solo and Putrefier projects....or whether Entr'acte approached Philip for a solo release, but it is an idea that I have been toying with for some time - to drop the Dieter Muh moniker and carry on as Steve Cammack or split the releases/performances depending on what is required.

"Location +" is available at and limited to 50 copies only, so hurry up!!

Terror #2

Magazine with Muh interview out soon....will update when I know the magazine is available.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

GX Jupitter-Larsen

The work of GX Jupitter-Larsen (or Castrol Jupitter-GTX as he is known at Hartop Towers) has been part of my aural consciousness since the early 1980's. It was most likely to have been Dan Plunkett of ND Magazine mailing me over tapes from Texas that I first heard The Haters. In 1986 I appeared on a compilation album with The Haters (amongst others) and ever since I have kept an ear out for their (his) work. I haven't bought everything, that would border on stupidity! but I have a few choice releases, the stuff I have heard and liked and subsequently bought and random stuff I have chanced upon. I managed to get the limited Flexi-Disc "Fuchait" from a shop closing down sale.
2011 has been a prolific year so far for GX. and has seen the release of three mighty collaboration singles. The collaboration 7" with Muennich I have mentioned earlier, but shortly after the release of this single came "Rip Off", a 7" on the American Helicopter Records label. "Rip Off" is a collaboration between GX, The New Blockaders and John Wiese. "Rip Off" is the sound of tearing paper. Open microphones, contact microphones record the sound of paper. It is hard to say whether or not the sound is treated in any way or just multi-layered. There is the sound of kerfuffle and some off-mic' grunting...but it is a great artifact and slice of entertainment. A couple of years back I bought a CD by The Hafler Trio called "Where Are You"? The pitch of this release was that it includes sounds originated from the voice and blown instruments of David Tibet recorded in 1982. Sounds I bought. The album sounds like a microphone picking up wind, or one of those plastic tubes that you swing about to make a whooshing sound. It is not a bad is very listenable but just doesn't do what it says on the tin (so to speak), "Rip Off" does.
September saw the release of the collaboration with Phil Julian (AKA Cheapmachines). "Continuous Tunnel Clock" on Anarchymoon Recordings. This 7" sounds more like a Haters single of old. No hint as to what speed I should be playing this slab o' beauty so I have been mix and matching. "Continuous Tunnel Clock" sounds better at 33rpm, it becomes a great sonic bass wall of noise, a full 360 degree sound. "Self Propelled Wrinkle" is best at 45rpm. High speed wreckage, sonic collapse. Exquisite noise. An error at the pressing plant limited this 7" to 100 copies only - on yellowy/orange vinyl.

All three GX Juppiter-Larsen 2011 singles are essential.

1: "Rip Off".
2: "Continuous Tunnel Clock". 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Salvatore Arancio At The Spacex. Autumn 2011

Sicilian born artist Salvatore Arancio has his first solo exhibition in the UK at The Spacex Gallery in Exeter. The exhibition; "An Arrangement Of The Materials Ejected" is featuring a newly commissioned piece "Everything Keeps Dissolving". This is a three metre high drawing inspired by the geological phenomenon known as Folded Strata. A lot of Salvatore's work is inspired by geological phenomena, mainly volcanoes. Salvatore's childhood was spent close to Mount Etna. "Everything Keeps Dissolving" is accompanied by a sound loop by Coil. (A section from the 1998 album "Time Machines"). Salvatore draws alien landscapes beautifully, small detailed monochrome photo etchings on paper. The picture "View Of Cabin Partly Buried By Lava And A Parasitic Cone" is fascinating. Also in the exhibition is the split screen film "Shasta", a film inspired by Mount Shasta in California, and a small animation piece called "Nuee Ardente", as well as a dozen or so drawings and a sculpture piece.
It was the lure of an installation featuring the sound of Coil that drew me to this exhibition, and I was not disappointed. Salvatore's work, which included some photographic art inspired by stones on Dartmoor, deals with myth and magick merging with science and nature and deserves to be seen and heard, so, if in Devon I recommend a visit to the Spacex Gallery. The exhibition runs until the 26th November.

1: The Spacex Gallery, Preston Street, Exeter.
2: Exhibition Booklet featuring "Bowerman's Nose".
3: Salvatore Arancio.
4: "Everything Keeps Dissolving".
5: "Shasta" Screening.
6: "View Of Cabin Partly Buried By Lava And A Parasitic Cone".

Dead Wood / Phantom Heron Seas

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Dorset based label Dirty Demos: "Sunshine Daily Commercial" by Dead Wood and Phantom Heron Seas. "Sunshine Daily Commercial" is a five (or so) minute track of oscillation and drone, it is (on this sunny day) a great listen. The record is a lathe-cut ocean blue flexi disc that started life out as a Safeway picnic plate. It is the first record that once was a plate I have, I do have a few that would be better off as plates, but this is my first plate/record...and it plays, for a lathe-cut and flexi the sound is very good. There's a split CDr on Dead Pilot Records that I will now have to hunt down as this record tells me something very listenable is happening between Dead Wood and Phantom Heron Seas. *Do not get Dead Wood mixed up with Deadwood. Deadwood are an awful band who release on Cold Spring Records* The record is limited to 26 copies only and costs £5.50 in the UK - I have checked the website and it is still listed, so there is no excuse.

1: Dead Wood / Phantom Heron Seas 7" Cover.
2: Dead Wood / Phantom Heron Seas 7" Reverse.
3: Dirty Demos Logo.