Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Monday, 30 January 2012


The London Punk Tapes #2

"Vagina Dentata Organ Presents:The London Punk Tapes" by Jordi Valls is a great companion to John Savage's "England's Dreaming" and "England's Dreaming Tapes" books as well as the Mark Perry tome "Sniffin' Glue & Other Rock n' Roll Habits", which I read over the Christmas holidays. 94 pages of the collected thoughts, experience and artwork of the Spanish artist Jordi Valls. I think the book was published to accompany an exhibition by Jordi where the tapes he made of punk bands performing in London during 1976 and accompanying live films were played. I could be wrong, I could be right (as John Lydon once said).
The book contains interviews of The Clash, Generation X, The Damned, Slits and Subway Sect culled from various fanzines of the time. "Sniffin' Glue", "48 Thrills" and "Jolt". There are some excellent Kodachrome photo's of The Clash and Sex Pistols as well as paper cuttings, tickets and zerox's made into collages. The emphasis is on the Sex Pistols, with lyrics reprinted and a full list of Pistols live gigs. It is a great document for reference.
The book finishes with a report on Spanish punk band D'Ultimo Resorte, their live gigs in Spain and a chance meeting with Sid Vicious at a Johnny Moped gig. Excellent stuff.

Despite being a notoriously slow reader I read the book in a couple of hours. It's unputdownable and I could skip the "'Glue" interviews as I'd just bloody read them. The book is essential as the above mentioned and captures the sight and attitude of youth at the birth of punk beautifully. It is written in both Spanish and English and published by Actar Books. (I found my copy through Amazon).

1: Cover.
2: Reverse.
3: Inner Sleeve.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Notes From The "Popside"

"Sport, Sport, I like Sport. Running and Jumping I'm The Physical Sort" as mighty Stukas once sang.....
Number two son (Oscar M) has just started football training at his school and he's quite taken to the sport so I decided to take him to watch the local team in action. When I was six years old my father (I know that will surprise a few people...I actually do have one) used to take me to watch Lincoln City FC a couple of times a month, so I suppose it only correct that Oscar gets the same opportunity - to watch lower league football that is!
Torquay United play their home matches at Plainmoor, a ten minute walk from Hartop Towers, and yesterday they were hosts to bottom of the league Northampton Town. I paid the £23 entrance and we stood amongst the home fans in (what is known as...but I have no idea why) The Popside. Oscar was delighted that he could drink Coca-Cola and eat chocolate whilst watching football!
This was the first football match I have been to since watching Notts County take on Lincoln City at Meadow Lane in 1997. Not exactly a regular! Torquay United are doing well, heading for an automatic promotion place whereas Northampton Town are heading for the Conference league and football oblivion. They both played like it too. The ball seemed to spend a lot of time in the air, and the times it was on the ground it was being kicked up into the air. Torquay have one of those centre forwards (Rene Howe) who holds up the ball before passing it to the oncoming midfielders, but (in this game) the midfielders didn't seem to want to come. Eunan O'Kane and Ian Morris tried a couple of times to run with the ball, take on Northampton's defence but they just weren't too good at it. Northampton Town had an awful player called Lewis Young. He kept making shitty passes and losing headers and then staring at other players as if it was their fault and not his. He'll probably go far! Torquay won by the single goal, a header from a set piece by Mark (Man o' the Match) Ellis.
It was bloody cold stood in The Popside, and I felt sorry for the linesman who was getting stick from the "Yellow Army" every time he made a decision against Torquay United. He was slightly red haired so was getting the "Ginger Cunt", "Blind Bastard" and "Scottish Twat" (?) comments shouted at him. Luckily the shouting went (literally) over Oscar's head!

Next time we go - and we will go again because both Oscar and I had a great time - I'll buy a ticket for a seat in the family stand.

1: Oscar and his booty from the pie shop! (Didn't quite cater for vegetarians on a low cholesterol diet).
2: Kick Off.
3: Goal mouth action.

"Yellow Army".

Friday, 27 January 2012


Just spent a pleasant while listening to Nottingham based trio Kogumaza (Japanese for the "Little Bear" constellation). I was exploring the list of the artistes lined up for the Rammel Club/Harbinger Sound weekend and came across the sound of Kogumaza. They have their own label called Low Point Records, based in Crossman Street, Sherwood, Nottingham - same street where Harbinger Sound began all those years ago. (File that last sentence under "useless information").
I was intrigued by the sound samples on the Low Point and Lancashire & Somerset web sites links that I went and bought an LP and 7" package for £13. Bargain.
At the moment I am trapped on the 7". "Sevens" was released in March last year. The title track is playable at all speeds - I love at 45 as much as the recommended 33 rpm. It has a glistening guitar sound, all very similar to / or evocative of the twenty years ago sound of Splintered or Ramleh. Fuzztone guitar cranked up to such a high level that they sound like someone is breathing over the pick ups whilst running their fingers up and down the fret board. There is a set of cardboard drums and a second guitar playing the fill-ins throughout and it all adds up to a motherfuckin' classic. The flipside is called "Mara" and (again) has that Ramleh sound from the early 1990's (only better)...but a hint of Glenn Branca and Jimmy Page floating across.

The single is essential. No picture sleeve, but glorious blood red vinyl and a must bloody see at the Rammel/Harbinger Sound weekend. I shall be playing the eponymous LP over the next few days.

1 & 2: "Sevens".
3: Kogumaza Live at the Rammel Club, Nottingham.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Dieter Muh #47

Segerhuva & Fetish 23 presents:


DUSA [swe]
+ more to be announced

At Fylkingen (Stockholm, Sweden)
Saturday the 28th of April 2012
Admission 100 SEK / Open hours 19-01

More information coming soon.
Any questions etc. can be forwarded to segerhuva@yahoo.com

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Colin Potter

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release of Colin Potter by Hong Kong based label Ultra Mail Productions. "Ancient History" is a 5xCD compilation box set limited to 200 copies. The box contains remasterings of old cassette releases from Colin's Integrated Circuit Records back catalogue, as well as a bonus CD ("Deja Vu") of odds and sods.
Six years ago the excellent Vinyl On Demand label put out a Colin Potter LP of old 1980's recordings called "A Skeleton/Cupboard Situation", it is an essential album...recommended, so I bought this release hoping for more of the same, although a high percentage of stuff contained here is top drawer a lot of it does hit the mediocre button and 5 CD's could have been brought down to two, but the package is superb, excellent liner notes and a signed postcard to boot makes this release essential as a document if not ear witness.

"A Gain" was originally released in 1982 and the tracks do wear its influences on its sleeve a bit. Colin has always been an electronic wizard, building synthesizers, using old synths, building loop machines and recording devices. Here the tracks sound like Tangerine Dream, Terry Riley and Ian Boddy, in parts they sound like really early Throbbing Gristle. 1975 and all that stuff. It all has a 1980's DIY feel to it, and in the case of "All Reel" a great 1970's proggy feel with fuzz tone guitar playing a medieval guitar riff - "harlequin rock"!
"Two Nights" was released a year earlier in 1981 and still has a Tangerine Dream feel to it. guitar improv. over sequencer/synth patterns. It brought to mind the work of Astral Social Club. The CD contains a bonus piece called "One Million Blades Of Grass". An excellent electronic wall of patterned sonics that builds and de-constructs. Amazing for a piece that is over 30 years old and still sounds fresh and relevant.
"Recent History Volume One" plays like a soundtrack to the unmade film. Large, desolate, visual synthesized vignettes. The titles sound like they belong on a soundtrack album too; "Nine Months", "Ships That Pass In the Night", "Marsh Fog" etc. Despite being recorded over a three year period the CD does play like a cognitive album with Tangerine Dream (again) being a reference point. "The Sorcerer" and "The Keep" being Colin's favourites?
"Recent History Volume Two" is compiled of more "sketches" from the 1980's and plays like a disjointed compilation. A lot of the stuff sounds like Lincoln's synth pop-meister Kev Kettle and his Cacophony '3.3' project. If you are familiar with (and like) "The Elephant Table" album and/or the "Rising From The Red Sand" series of tapes then this CD is essential.
And so the box set finishes with the bonus CD "Deja Vu" - tracks from the mid 1980's through to the mid 1990's. Whilst playing the CD ( a couple of times) I was reminded of Coil, especially the Coil Vs. Eskaton 12" "Nasa-Arab" with its' electro-techno-dancefloor-12" remix type beat. I remember buying "Nasa-Arab" when it was released and thinking "If King Crimson were alive today, this is the kind of record they would be releasing". I wrote it down in my diary! By the time I reached "Lost" (track #4) I was thinking of my old friend Dave Uden and his pre-Dieter Muh projects such as The Matrix and Eighth Circuit. Exploring the possibilities of new technology, but with rhythms and in a 12" remix stylee. Track six is "Drone for JC", a beautiful piece of music. Layered EBow guitars and didgeridoo. The stand out track of the CD. There is an awful track that is a collaboration with Colin's brother-in-law, Jon Cafferey - he used to run Breton Records and manage Einsturzende Neubauten, and then it moves into Psychic TV territory. PTV circa The Magickal Mystery D Tour era.
The release sounds dated which the "Skeleton/Cupboard Situation" LP didn't.

I would not go as far as to say I know Colin, but in the mid 1990's I got to know Colin and record at his Integrated Circuit Studio when it was based in Tollerton, North Yorkshire. At the very first Dieter Muh gig Colin introduced himself to me and complimented the sound - he was also the only paying customer on the night! Over the next two / three years I met up with Colin in York, and arranged to record the first "proper" Dieter Muh album at his studio with him producing. The result being the 1997 CD "Black Square". Alongside Tim Bayes & Dave Uden I interviewed Colin for ND magazine...our paths have crossed a few times since. Muh have supported Colin as a solo artist and as a member of Ora, and I have also spun discs at a Colin Potter gig! The last time our paths crossed was at the Current 93 / Nurse With Wound bash in Kentish Town, 2010 - either he was drunk or I was....I forget.
This package is good because the cassettes don't exist anymore, but if you want to experience Colin outside of Nurse With Wound or Ora...then go for the Vinyl On demand LP.

1&2: "Ancinet History" CD Box Set.
3: Colin & Steve Stapleton 2010.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Music In Dreamland

I have just finished reading the excellent Bill Nelson biography "Music In Dreamland" by Paul Sutton Reeves, published by Helter Skelter books. As far as (music) biographies go this one is unputdownable. A page turner. Mainly due to the subject but also in part to the fine penmanship and research of Paul Sutton Reeves. No stone unturned, no collaborator left unmentioned type of research. Fascinating from page one onwards.
Bill Nelson, the musician's musician. I first became aware of Bill Nelson through his work in Be Bop Deluxe. My (elder) sister used to like Be Bop Deluxe (I think she even went to see them in 1977/78 in Liecester)....she had a couple of albums, they were a little bit too complicated for me, like, at the time, Uriah Heep, Grateful Dead or Caravan but I knew they were good. I preferred the short, sharp, snappy tunes like "Maid In Heaven", "Fair Exchange" and "Ships in the Night". I saw Be Bop Deluxe on ITV's "So It Goes" back in August 1976 - I know it was August because this book tells me so, also on the programme were The Animals, Allan Stivell and Soft Machine but I remember nothing of them just Bill Nelson looking like the Australian actor James Laurenson (anyone remember "Boney"?) and me wanting a pair of blue suede brothel creepers to look like a member of Be Bop Deluxe. (I was 15)! I got the shoes.
The onset of punk saw alot of art/prog bands fall by the road-side injured (No Dice, Lone Star, Widowmaker) and a lot of prog rock dinosaurs simply lay down and die...but Bill was cool, it was still OK to like Bill because he liked the up and coming groups too, and he cut his cloth accordingly.

The book begins in Wakefield (Yorkshire) 1948 and the birth of William and his developing love for guitar music at the turn of the 1960's. Hank Marvin, Duane Eddy etc. Then his rise through 60's beat combo's like The Teenagers, The Midnight Creepers and The Untouchables through the working men's clubs of the North with Global Village, and becoming part of a Pentecostal Church band called Gentle Revolution. Excellent reading with recollections and soundbites from all those involved in this period. Research is par none. Gentle Revolution break into the "prog rock" scene and slowly become Be Bop Deluxe.
The story of Be Bop Deluxe is one of great misunderstanding between artist and label. Rather like fellow EMI sufferers Wire, Be Bop Deluxe were always one album ahead, so touring to promote the latest LP didn't really work, and EMI (well, the subsidiary Harvest records...which I always thought was the "prog" arm of EMI set up to promote Barclay James Harvest...but I could be wrong) wanting to sell Be Bop Deluxe as some Glam-Pop group. Their biggest "hit" "Ships In the Night" does sound rather like 10cc to me. Attention to detail is (again) spot on here with times and dates of releases, TV appearances and supports. It was great to see Burlesque get a mention!

The story becomes more relevant to me when Bill disassembles Be Bop Deluxe and forms Red Noise. I bought the Be Bop Deluxe LP "Live In The Air Age" in 1977, and decided to keep it when 99% of my record collection was purged. Out went Judas Priest, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Frank Zappa, Greenslade, Colosseum 2 etc..and I started year zero with The Damned and Be Bop Deluxe! In February 1979 Bill Nelson's Red Noise released "Sound On Sound" - fast New Wave "rock" a la XTC, Talking Heads, Television, Wire etc. Excellent stuff...and image wise spot on. Red Noise all dressed in Chinese (Communist) jackets, like the Gang Of Four but with a burning red circle on the left breast pocket. Powerful stuff back in 1979. The same year I saw Com-Sat Angels at Lincoln Art College (supporting The Piranhas, X-S Energy & Collide) and they dressed exactly the same. Chicken and the egg? Poor album sales and the refusal of the American arm of EMI to distribute the album (too communist?) saw Bill being thrown out of the EMI doors and setting up his own label Cocteau Records.
On the 25th of May 1981 I went to see Bill Nelson & The Practical Dreamers live at Retford Porterhouse. I know it was the 25th of May, not because of the book but because I have a bootleg of the gig. Cracking gig...a full and rowdy audience and Bill on stage for over an hour. I had forgotten that Don Snow played keyboards. Don was the keyboard player on The Vibrators "Judy Says" single. He was also in The Sinceros who I may or may not have seen at Lincoln AJ's in 1978. It could have been The Dodgems or Comic Romance...long story but the support was definitely Whizz Kids! Support at the Porterhouse was The Yorkshire Actors performing "Das Kabinett", Bill Nelson released the soundtrack LP in the same year and that was the last Bill Nelson album I bought. A friend at the time became a huge Nelson fan and bought anything and everything so I just got everything given to me on TDK AD cassettes, but that stopped by request after 1983's "Chimera" Mini-LP.
By now Bill is truly a solo artist working out of his home studio in North Yorkshire, collaborating with a variety of artists. A surprise collaboration with author, radio personality and ex-Skrewdriver drummer Mark Radcliffe is mentioned. (I do fully recommend Mark's first book "That's Showbusiness" an excellent and funny read). In the 1980's the book concentrates on Bill's relationships with his wives and lovers as well as his practices with magick and interest in Rosicrucianism. The book speeds up somewhat, it remains in depth in its research and stories but just gets lighter in time passages. Bill's work is largely of instrumental sketches a la Durutti Column (I imagine) releasing album after album on his own Cocteau label.
In 1990 I went to see Bill Nelson live at York Arts Centre, he was performing a piece called "Altar Pieces" with his brother Ian on saxophone. Also on the bill was Harold Budd, and together they performed an improvised piece. It was a beautiful evening, highly sophisticated music. I managed to grab a chat with Bill and Ian (I was interested in the whereabouts of Ada Wilson and ex members of Fiat Lux, I managed to get a copy of the cassette "Altar Pieces" on the night, which I gave to a friend as a birthday present - I would love to have that cassette again...so if anyone reading this knows the whereabouts etc).
The book enters the 1990's with the awfully named project Channel Light Vessel and failed Be Bop Deluxe reunion attempts, and again Bill releasing album after album of instrumental sketches. I must admit to not hearing anything of Bills work after the "Altar Pieces" release. The book mentions Bill dabbling with Drum n' Bass. Oh dear.

The book ends with a great "Where Are they Now" chapter..a nice touch to a great book.
I watched Bill being interviewed on Cherry Red TV the other day, it tells the same story (naturally), so if you can't be bothered to read the book - watch the "film" instead. I am now on a hunt for some old Be Bop Deluxe vinyl and Bill Nelson/Red Noise singles. I found an old 80's compilation "Bop To The Red Noise" for £1 not so long back and I've just got hold of the 7" Box Set "Permanent Flame". I bought this years ago for 50 pence in York...now I have parted with a tenner.

1: "Music In Dreamland" Cover.
2: Bop To the Red Noise Cover.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sleaford Mods Double Diamond (Spectre 2011)

Thanks to Steve for tuning me into this....

"And I Like Puddin's"

Kinit Her

The start of the year and another great release from Kinit Her. OK, I know this cassette came out during the autumn of 2011...but it takes time to catch up in Devon!
"Mosaic Of the Hyacinths" is a limited (100 copies) cassette release on UK based Paradigms Recordings label. Packaged neatly in a "Brad Pack" sleeve. A kind of brown card envelope..the same Small Doses used for their Trepaneringsritualen cassette release.
Since "discovering" the sound of Kinit Her about three years ago their sound has drifted into the neo-folk arena, a drifting away for conventional instruments and sound into the experimentation with acoustic sound and "folk" (pagan/Wicca) music. Their interest into the occult deepens. Their CD/CDEP release last year (co-incidentally on Small Doses) "Gratitudes" paved the way for this cassette.
Side A begins with "His Traces In Us". An incantation/invocation that has drawn chanting vocals over lute, bellowed organ and percussion. "A Nightingale Crosses Our path" is an instrumental piece. Incredibly haunting and moribund. Bowed strings, acoustic 12-string guitar and rudimentary drums create a dark, nocturnal fanfare - cinematic sound...excellent stuff.
Side B has a very large presence of Dave Tibet about it - with a touch of Laibach. The Laibach is in the vocal presentation and militaristic snare patterns used, the Tibet (also) in vocal style and violins. The final track "Storm Of Radiance" is music for a dark ritual with its' drawn out vocals and staccato strings building up to a swirling dervish cacophony. A whorle of sound which ends up looped and crescendoing before decay. Excellent piece.

US neo-folk in its' ascendancy.

If unfamiliar with Kinit Her this is a good tape to start at. It is available for £5.99 post paid (worldwide) from paradigms direct - www.paradigms-recordings.com. Surprisingly there are still copies available. Also a note to the folk at Strange Rules, who mailed two cheap tapes recently for £11 - this tape came with stickers, fliers and a little tract explaining the motive and releases of the label. Just a little hint there.....Value For Money!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The London Punk Tapes

Big thanks to Mr. Aaron Dilloway for alerting me about this publication; "Vagina Dentata Organ Presents...The London Punk Tapes". I am still reading the excellent "Music In Dreamland" at the moment, but as soon as that is finished I am in to this! A quick skim through - it looks the business.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Dieter Muh #46

Dieter Muh will be making a live outing at the Harbinger Sound / Rammel Club "weekend of deranged sound blah..." happening between Friday March 9th and Sunday March 11th in Nottingham.

Also playing at the weekend are; Patrik Fitzgerald, Astral Social Club, John Wiese, Cheapmachines, Stormbugs, Sleaford Mods, Con-Dom, Bong, Mark Durgan & John Wall, Spoils And Relics, Blood Stereo. Heatsick, Bill Kouligas, Ekoplekz, Kogumaza...with a few more TBC. DJ'ing sets throughout the weekend from Harbinger Sound, Feral Debris & Idwal Fisher.

I will post more details when I get them, but check out www.rammelclub.org for more information & tickets etc.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Strange Rules

Trawling the Internet the other week, follow link upon link etc I found the UK based cassette label Strange Rules. A new name on me. (I'll just say that whilst doing this trawling I also found a picture of my "bedroom" in Hulme 1984...just the room with a 400 Blows poster...why on earth any one would want to post that I have no idea...still - strange world). Anyway, back to Strange Rules. They have a couple of cassette releases for sale and the name Royal Tropical Institute intrigued me. Good name, don't know why, but...good name. The "blurb" mentions "archival club industrial, a dreary look at European minimalism". My ears were twitching as fast as my finger over the paypal button so I bought a copy, and went for the Curative Measures cassette as well. This cassette offered death industrial and power electronics (for which some times I am a sucker for). Again Curative Measures are a new name on me.
Slightly feel short-changed. The cassettes were four pound each and an additional three pounds p+p. £11 all in. The Royal Tropical Institute is a C10 - a poorly duplicated C10 too. The sound is interesting - a rhythmic loop accompanied by "flute" sounding keyboards and a bit of "synthing", but it is too damn short. The tracks (one a side) have a beginning but no end - the tape runs out after five minutes. No where on the Strange Days site does it mention that the £4 tape is a C10. I would like to hear more Royal Tropical Institute, but more than this cassette can offer.
Curative Measures offer a slice of HNW, Power Electronics and (I suppose) Death Industrial. They have a sound that doesn't really do anything for me. It is badly duplicated..very murky. Slightly longer than a C10 - "An Unconventional Method Of Circumcision" is a C30! Again a track a side where the tape runs out before the noise does. Poor, very poor.

Two tapes certainly not worth the money. To make up for this I played Soldergeist's "Terror" CD (on Pure) very loud!

1: Royal Tropical Institute.
2: Curative Measures.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


It is great when you re-discover great slabs of vinyl again, bring them out of the vaults (so to speak) and give them a spin and realise what a gem that record is. Happened to me today with Culver. Earlier in the day I was continually playing the Culver cassette release "They Killed Suzie Carter". This album was released by Hyster Tapes in 2008 but only found its' way to Hartop Towers at the weekend. The album is comprised of two long (twenty minuteish) drones. "Girl In The Mirror" is lo-fi rumbling drone with guitar fiddling and found sound stuff, whereas "Girl On The Floor" is more prominent guitar/ampnoise with some keyboard sound drone. Both sides are a great listen and sound fresh even when repeatedly (just) turning the tape over for a few hours. I have no idea who Suzie Carter is or (indeed) was. Any clues?
When I got home I wanted to hear more Culver...I've a few releases littered across a variety of formats, the 2008 7" release on UK label Turgid Animal "Cherry Blossom Girls" more often than not makes it on to the turntable, but tonight I went for the 8" lathe cut single that Harbinger Sound put out a few years back. Two pieces that are very similar to the "Suzie Carter" album. No titles, just track lengths (33rpm). The shortest of the two pieces is a rumbling lo-fi recording of guitar strings being fidgeted with....it sounds like half a dozen copies of Organum's "In Extremis" 12" being played through cheap Tandy 1970's car speakers...a bloody clever sound if you ask me! The longer piece has a more bowed stringed effect and a clearer sound. Meditative stuff. It is a fantastic release limited to only 20 copies and cut onto transparent vinyl. Beauty.

Culver is the solo project of Lee Stokoe. Lee is an extremely busy fellow, running the incredibly hip cassette label Matching Head Recordings and appearing as second guitar to Matthew Bower in Skullflower, as well as being part of Mazuraan and Culver. Culver's discography is immense and I would like to know if anyone has (apart from Lee) every Culver release out there? Like I mentioned earlier, I have a handful and there's not a bad release in there.
I met Lee once, when Dieter Muh played with Skullflower in London in 2009. Quiet chap but busy with Skullflower on the night.....
"They Killed Suzie Carter" is available for 1.5 euro from Hyster Tapes, and if you see a copy of the Harbinger Sound 8" lathe for sale - well done! BUY IT.

1: Culver 8" Lathe Cut Single on Harbinger Sound.
2: Culver "They Killed Suzie Carter" cassette on Hyster Tapes.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Suomi Sounds

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the split cassette from Kanttoripoika and Re-Clip on the Finnish Tarjous-Edits label. It was released in 2009 and copies are still available from the Hyster Tapes distro' page. (www.pcuf.fi/~plaa/hyster.html).
One of the highlights of last year was getting the Kanttoripoika/Re-Clip split 7" on the Finnish Record Deals label - a classic from 2010. (I'm behind the beat, I know.....). The single is best described as "Mutant Disco".
Now, I maybe wrong but I am to believe that Kanttoripoika is a solo project from a member of a "rock" band called Witch Christ, and their name is actually Kapo. But, I could be wrong. Kanttoripoika present five instrumental tracks all with Suomi titles, so I have no idea how to pronounce them never mind knowing what they mean. All five pieces are different. Electro-noise opens the tape which blends into "Majesteetti (Hidas)" a sub Martin Denny lounge jazz style piece with electronic marimbas and vibes. Excellent listening. "Sulkapallo" sounds like Aavikko in their "Derek" / Bad Vugum stage. Think of the club band in "Phoenix Nights" if it was set in Turku and the band were on speed! I love Aavikko so Kanttoripoika can do no wrong here. The side ends on sub psychedelic-jam style piece called "Vasten Auringon Siltaa". 20 minutes or so of excellent listening....with this cassette came the Kanttoripoika and Deva Planeta split cassette on Planet City, tomorrows listening...looking forward.
Re-Clip is a member of Grey Park, who for the past twelve / thirteen years have been putting out some of the best sounds around. FACT. Here Re-Clip presents seven sketches, short pieces - like a work in progress piece. Re-Clip's sound is one of spaces and fitting electronic noises and beats around them. The closest description I can think of is "glitch-musik". Like Raster-Noton stuff, or Oval and even fellow countrymen Pan Sonic, but a little bit more lo-fi and analogue. Make sense? It's a great sound and I'd love to hear more, but I'm finding Re-Clip stuff sells out pretty damn quick!
Anyway, this beauty is still available and costs 4 euro - the split 7" is only 3.5 euro and both from the Hyster Tapes distro.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Grey Park #3

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Grey Park. "Three Notes On Stockholm Palindrome" released by Finland's finest - 267 Lattajjaa.
The packaging remains true to the "Secret Agent" series that 267 and Grey Park have been putting out over the past five years...this could be part of that series? I could be wrong though...usually am.
I have been listening to Grey Park for nearly twelve years now, after a chance meeting at a Dieter Muh gig in the outbacks of East Finland in 2000 I have become a friend and correspondent to members of Grey Park. They will be one of those great "unrecognised" bands of the 21st Century - I don't think that this will concern them...in fact I am damn sure it won't but their sound, their aural / sonic experimentation is a necessity - at Hartop Towers anyway.
"Three Notes On Stockholm Palindrome" is about half an hour of enjoyable listening. It starts with "M.T.T2010". A track compromising of; Industrial hum. synthesizer bursts, shortwave radio, found sound, field recordings, amp noise and what sounds like someone walking around Helsinki market on a very windy day. It's very involving stuff and a times very reminiscent of This Heat. Track 2; "2.2.T.P.A." is a short four minute piece of tonality. A drone that could have done without the pitch shifting. Strangely enough listening to this track reminded me of old I.B.F. tracks where Tim and I were "jamming / improv'ing" along and everything was just right and for some reason I'd modulate the speed button on the Korg Synth' and that would be it (for me)....track ruined. "2.2.T.P.A." has one of those moments. The third and final track is called "F.A.F.O.D." and begins like a Mariachi Band descending into madness - it crumbles into a sound-piece of multi-layered radio broadcasts...spoken word...a new face in hell. Before over complicating itself, verges on breakdown and unlistenability and decays into a noise that can only be described as "interference". Absolutely brilliant and why I listen to Grey Park.
Their last CD "Wet Amen" was a tad of a let down. Grey Park are a collective with a constant of Plaa, Tommi and Nosfe. "Wet Amen" had a few more collaborators on board. Perhaps Grey park work best when they are down to their bare bones?

Re-Clip has become an addition to the Grey Park line up and I have just been listening to a track of his called "Easy Dub" from the split cassette release with Kanttoripoika on the Tarjous-Edits label and my god it sounds like "Small Black Paris" - an early track by Grey Park.

CD is available from 267 Lattajjaa at : www.dlc.fi/~hhaahti/267 lattajjaa/ worth getting!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Sniffin' Glue + Other Rock 'N' Roll Habits

I love music biogs. Be it about a genre, an artist, a movement, a town or whatever - I just love a good music biog. I could quite happily read an autobiography by David Cassidy or Gary Glitter or the excess stories of Lemmy or Led Zeppelin...and have, but it is the books on punk, post-punk, new wave noise (call it what you must) I like the best.
At this moment in time I am devouring the Bill Nelson/Be Bop Deluxe biography "Music In Dreamland", it really is an unputdownable page turner...but I digress. This Christmas holiday I read "Sniffin' Glue + Other Rock 'N' Roll Habits" by Mark Perry. I have mentioned earlier how much I admire the musical/lyrical work of Mark Perry - be it with Alternative TV, The Reflections, The Door + The Window or simply as a solo artist - so I thought it was time I sat and read one of the "things" he is most famous for; "Sniffin' Glue" fanzine.
The story of "Sniffin' Glue" is known by all (surely)? The summer of 1976, Mark Perry a London based music fan is bored of the music weekly so decides to start his own little "'zine" about the London music scene and report on his favourite records (mainly US imports) and gigs that he goes and sees. "Issue 1" sells well, and Mark enjoys the experience so carries on .... Punk Rock explodes in London and Mark is there to report on it all. The bands, the music, the clothes, the venues etc....stuff that the weekly music papers just did not want to know.
In 2009, 31 years after the last "Sniffin' Glue" Mark decides to put all 12 issues together in a big A4 sized book...and write the introduction. Good stuff. The cover claims the book to be "The essential punk accessory", a fair claim but I don't think the book is any more essential as (say) Bob George's "International Discography Of The New Wave" or "No More Heroes" by Alex Ogg. The "The" is a bit strong.
Before starting this book I had never read a copy of "Sniffin' Glue" (or "Ripped & Torn" or "Kill Your Pet Puppy" come to think of it). 1976/1977 fanzines never made it North to Lincoln. I think buying "Chainsaw" through the classifieds in "Sounds" was my first foray into the fanzine. I read this book in the voice of Mark Perry. I read it with a Sarf' Lahndan drawl. I read Bill Burrough's books in his voice too - can't help it. The first few issues deal with Mark's admiration of The Ramones and The Flamin' Groovies and MC5 and The Stooges....East Coast US rock, Issue 2 and Mark is catching onto Eddie & The Hot Rods and The Damned and starting to enjoy live gigs. The Stranglers, Sex Pistols etc. The writing is blunt - say what you see style writing, no waxing romantic or lyrical like the journo's on the "Melody Maker" or (worse still) "NME" payroll. Fun to read.
As the 'zine starts selling Mark gets a writer called Steve Mick to assist in interviews and reviews, and Harry Murlowski becomes the "Glue" photographer, and bands like The Clash and Models and Buzzcocks appear on the circuit and they all get interviewed and reviewed and the "Sniffin' Glue" offices move from Mark's house in Deptford to the Rough Trade Record shop, then Mark gets asked to run a record label by Miles Copeland and the offices move again to Soho and Miles Copeland's office and the magazine takes on full page adverts from Mile's record labels such as Step Forward, and Illegal and Phonogram get adverts in there and Mark hands the editorship to Danny "Pets Win Prizes" Baker and unfortunately within twelve months the 'zine has run out of spunk...still it's a fast and furious story and (as I keep on bloody saying) a good read.
I did think that there would be more information on Alternative TV...I thought Mark Perry would have used the 'zine to forward his musical project...but no..and fair play to that. I also thought that there would be some Throbbing Gristle live reviews or news but apart from a one-page advert for the "2nd Annual Report" album there's nowt. Never mind.
Also I would like to say that I have nothing against Danny Baker, I like him and I never missed an episode of "Win, Lose Or Draw" when he was the host. (Didn't Bob Mills take over from Danny)? and I still listen to his Radio 5 Saturday morning show when I can - the guy invented "6-0-6" - unmissable radio! Anyway to save going off on a tangent - if you want to know the history of punk rock in the UK then this book is a necessity and it cheered up my Christmas.

Spurred on by the 'zine scene I did attempt my own back in 1981. It was called "Hamburger Lady" (pause for laughter). I cannot remember much about the content. There would have been a lot of record reviews - perhaps a Retford Porterhouse of Nottingham Rock City live report. Myself and a friend (Drew Cormack) did go and interview some women, some CND women, who were camped outside RAF Waddington because it was the kind of thing that was done back in '81. Greenham Common and all that. Looking back at it I think we were after booze, drugs and maybe a free CND badge! For some reason I typed the thing up on some A3 sized "Gestetner" paper that cost alot of money from Ruddocks (Lincoln's answer to Ryman's or Megson's in its' day - they sold vinyl too), I think my father (who was a solicitor) had a "Gestetner" printer in his office...but because I could not include photo's or free hand graphics I kind of gave up and "Hamburger Lady" died.

Monday, 2 January 2012

2011 - Has It Been A Good Year?

Seems that this is becoming a regular item at the start of the year...I thought I'd go with it this year. "Has it been a good year"? Well, re-united with some old gems and found some new exciting sounds can't be all that bad....
A great highlight of 2011 was travelling to Finland with Tamsin and the kids, as well as Simon Kane and his partner Lidya and playing live alongside Grey Park in Helsinki and re-visiting Jyvaskyla with Juri Joensuu (of Mnem).
The AAVE Festival in Helsinki was perhaps one of the most enjoyable live outings I have ever had. The setting (a small studio cinema), the film (Tim Bayes' "Burning Dogs Teeth") and the sound...the seated and appreciative audience. It all just left me with a great sense of awe and belief. A wondrous and magickal night...and like I mentioned I got to see Grey Park live too. The second Dieter Muh performance of the year was a little disappointing, sound and visual wise, but I had prepared the wrong sound for the venue. Great to meet Z'ev though.
Looking at other folks' output through 2011 has made me realise I've been a little slack! Being part of the compilation "Your Playing Like A Fucking Pub Band" to celebrate Independent Record Store Day was fun, as was taking part in Lucas Abela's "Mix Tape" project. Hopefully 2012 will see more releases, the live in 2010 tape should be soon via Hanson Records.

Anyway - Here is a list (I love lists) of what came through the doors of Hartop Towers in 2011.

Alfarmania "Halogd Insikt" (Autarkeia Vinyl) 10"
Animals & Men "The Terraplane Fixation" (Strange Days) 7"
Animals & Men "Revel In The Static" (Hyped 2 Death) CD
Animals & Men "Never Bought Never Sold" (Mississippi Records) LP
Appliance "Reconditioned" (RROOPP) 3xCD
Appliance "Reconditioned Promo" (RROOPP) CDrEP
Aqua Dentata " 7th Past the Umbrella" (Beartown Records) Tape
Aqua Dentata "Lesbian Semiotics At A Jewellery Table" (Echo Tango) CDr
The Armoury Show "New York City" (Parlophone) 7"
Ashtray Navigations "3 Rockets Thicken" (Trensmat) 7"EP
Ashtray Navigations "Human Wrecktronics" (Not On Label) Tape
Astral Social Club "Smashed Tractor" (Journal Of Belgae Folk Club) 3" CDr
Astral Social Club "Two Slabs" (Beartown Records) Tape
Astral Social Club "Ach/Och" (Astral Social Club) Tape
Astral Social Club "Wheezy Paradise" (Sonic Oystre Cassettes) Tape
Astral Social Club "Snaefell" (Trensmat) 7"
Astral Social Club "Scudding" (Astral Social Club) CDr
Astral Social Club "V.E.N.U.S" (Astral Social Club) CDr
Astral Social Club "Generator" (Dekorder) LP
Astral Social Club/Tomutonttu "Split" (Tippee Bowler Tapes) 12"EP
B Movie "The Dead Good Tapes" (Wax Records) LP
BBBlood "Destroy,Shatter,Stun,Intoxicate" (Void Seance) Tape
BBBlood/Rank Sinatra "Split" (Mourning Glory) 7"EP
Andreas Brandal "Autumn Drama" (Lighten Up Sounds) Tape
Andreas Brandal "Eight Secret Messages" (Ilse) CDr
Gunter Brus "Bodyanalysis Actions 1964-1970" (Edition Krothenhayn) DVD/Book
Burial Hex "MaHa Bone" (Skulls Of Heaven) 2xCDr
Burial Hex "In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni" (Skulls Of Heaven) CDr
Burial Hex "Blood Between Her Lakes" (Turgid Animal) Tape
Burial Hex "A Night With Two Moons" (Aurora Borealis) Tape
Burial Hex "Eschatology 1" (Brave Mysteries) Tape
Burial Hex "Hunger" (Holidays Records) 12"
Burial Hex "Book Of Delusions" (Brave Mysteries) LP+CD
Burial Hex/Kinit Her "Vedic Hymns" (Altvinyl) LP
William Burroughs "Three Allusive Tracks From Breakthrough In Grey Room" (Sub Rosa) 7"
Burzum "Burzum/Aske" (Misanthropy Records/Cymophane Records) CD
Joshua Norton Cabal "Inner Light" (Chimera Records) CD
Cathar Tech "Apis" (Sonic Mutations) 3"CDr
Cheapmachines "Cast" (Beartown Records) Tape
Cheapmachines "Debris" (CMX) 7" Test Pressing
Cheapmachines "Accessory" (CMX) Tape
Cheapmachines "Kept" (Second Layer Records) Tape
Cheapmachines "Fulcrum" (Void Seance) CDr
Cheer "Singing Sand" (At War With False Noise) Tape
Clew Of Theseus "Oran" (Cathartic Process) 2xTape/8" Lathe Cut EP/Book
Clew Of Theseus "The Death Urge" (Verlautbarung) LP
Cloama "Municipality Of Marionettes" (Freak Animal) LP
Club Moral "Instruments Of Attraction 2" (No Basement Is Deep Enough) 10"EP
Club Moral "1981-1986" (Vinyl On Demand) 5xLP/DVD Box Set
Craig Colorusso "Sun Boxes" (Not On Label) 7"
Column One "W. Transmission 1" (A.N.Column Release) Tape/Booklet
Column One "Prasident Der Sonne" (Moloko +) CD
Column One "No One" (90% Wasser) 3xLP/3xCD/Book Box Set
Compass Hour "Compass Hour" (Brave Mysteries) Tape
Coum Transmissions "Sugarmorphoses" (Dais Records) LP
Alistair Crosbie "Music For Lighthouses" (Quinquaginta) Tape
Current 93 "Baalstorm, Sing Omega" (Coptic Cat Records) CD
Dead Wood/Phantom Heron Seas "Sunshine Daily Commercial" (Dirty Demos) 7" Flexi
Dead Wood/Phantom Heron Seas "Microbes 1&2" (Dead Sea Liner) 3"CDr
Death In June "Burial" (Leprosy Discs) CD
Demons Dilloway "Live At The Magic Stick" (AA Records) Tape
Aaron Dilloway "Mousetrap" (Monorail Trespassing) Tape
Aaron Dilloway "Lip Syncing To Verme" (Hunderbiss) LP
Aaron Dilloway "The Rope And The Dogs" (777 Was 666) CD
Aaron Dilloway/John Wiese "Live At The Chiselhurst Caves" (Hanson Records) 7"
Dome "1&2" (Mute Records) CD
Dome "3&4" (Mute Records) CD
John Duncan/Z'ev/Michael Esposito "There Must Be A Way Across This River" (Fragment Factory) LP
E.S.P Kinetic "Want Some Of This?" (Harbinger Sound) LP
Ekca Liena "Slow Music For Rapid Eye Movement" (Dead Pilot Records) DCD
Emaciator "Appease" (Monorail Trespassing) Tape
Emaciator "Defeat" (Monorail Trespassing) Tape
Emeralds "Solar Bridge" (Hanson Records) CD
Erdlicht "Urlicht/Erster Kreis (UFA Muzak) CDr
Michael Esposito/Kevin Drumm "The Icey Echoer" (Fragment Factory) 7"EP
Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim "s/t" (Not On Label) Tape
Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim "Der Legende Vom Heiligen Trinker" (Silken Tofu) CD
Fiat Lux "Aqua Vitae" (Polydor Records) 12"
Patrik Fitzgerald "The Paranoid Ward" (Small Wonder Records) 12"EP
Mick Flowers & Neil Campbell "Live" (Not On Label) CDr
Flutwacht "Veroffentlicht Durcht" (Licht Und Stahl) Tape
Stephane Garin/Sylvestre Gobart "Gurs/Drancy.... (Gruenrekorder) DCD
Gary War "Reality Protest" (Holidays Records/Sacred Bones) 7"
Genocide Organ "Under-Kontrakt" (Tesco Organisation) LP
Carlos Giffoni/Cornucopia "Split" (Sonora) Tape
The Gist "Love At First Sight" (Rough Trade Records) 7"
Glue Pour/Preslav Literary School "Split" (Razzle Dazzle) LP
Duncan Harrison "80 Ghosts" (Soundholes) Tape
Duncan Harrison/BBBlood "Split" (Not On Label) Tape
Duncan Harrison/Hobo Sonn "Split" (Not On Label) Tape
Russell Haswell "Recorded While It Actually Happened" (Tochnit Aleph) Tape
Charles Hayward "Recorded" (1968 Film Group) DVD
Haxan Cloak "Observatory" (Aurora Borealis) 12"
Haxan Cloak "Observatory" (Aurora Borealis) Tape
Haxan Cloak "Haxan Cloak" (Aurora Borealis) CD
Helm "Impasse" (Low-Point) 3"CDr
Helm "Cryptography" (Kye Records) LP
Here & Now "Dog In Hell" (Charly Records) 7"EP
Here & Now "Give And Take" (Esoteric Recordings) CD
Hum Of The Druid "Hum Of The Druid" (Abisko) Tape
Human Larvae "Home Is Where The Hurt Is" (Existence Establishment) CD
I. Corax "Spectral Metabolism" (Kaos Kontrol) CD
Inade "The Flood Of White Light" (Malignant Records) 10"EP
Inade "Antimimon Pneumatos" (LOKI Foundation) CD
Inanna "Signal/Or/Minimal" (Crowd Control Activities) CD
Irgun Z'Wai Leumi "Klirr Faktor" (Verlautbarung) LP
The Joy Of Living/The Apostles "Death To Wacky Pop" (Fight Back Records) 7"EP
Philip Julian "Location" (Entr'acte) Tape
GX Jupitter-Larsen/Muennich "Der Arbeiter Von Wien" (Fragment Factory) 7"
GX Jupitter-Larsen/John Wiese/The New Blockaders "Rip Off" (Helicopter Records) 7"
GX Jupitter-Larsen/Cheapmachines "Continuous Tunnel Clock" (Anarchymoon Recordings) 7"
Kallabris "Music For Very Simple Objects" (Substantia Innominata) 10"EP
Kanttoripoika/Re-Clip "Split" (Record Deals) 7"
Kinit Her "Living Midnight At The Harvest Abbey" (Brave Mysteries) Tape
Kinit Her "The Lord Of Power" (Alt Vinyl) 8" Lathe
Kinit Her "Gratitudes" (Small Doses) CD+3"CDEP
Land Observations "Roman Roads EP" (Enraptured) 7"EP
Lithops "Uni Umit" (Sonig Records) 12"
Magazine "About the Weather" (Virgin Records) 12"EP
Magnetic North Duo/Grey Park "Split" (Ikuisuus) Tape
Martial God Mask "Death's Head" (Dead Wood Recordings) Tape
Max & Malcolm "Max & Malcolm" (Dangerous Rhythm) LP
Megaptera "Staring Back At You" (Malignant Records) CD
Minimal Self "Formula Of Reversal" (Wavetrap) CD
Minimalistic Sweden "Standard Klickmusik" (Mitek) CD
Muennich "Rugged" (Fragment Factory) Tape
Musiikkivyory "Musiikkivyoryn B-Osa" (Ektro Records) 2xTape
N. Strahl. N. "Heroischer Realismus/Amor Fati" (Verato Project) 2xCDr
Neon Sea "Fading Light" (Lighten Up Sounds) Tape
Nicole 12 "First Dance Of The Spring" (Freak Animal Records) 7"EP
Nicole 12 "Black Line" (Freak Animal Records) LP
Not Sensibles "Instant Classics" (Bent Records) LP
Wavis O'Shave "Anna Ford's Bum" (Anti-Pop Entertainment) LP
Olympic Shitman "Supercharge" (Harbinger Sound) 2xLP Test Pressing
Ophibre And Dry Valleys "Split" (Sacred Phrases) Tape
Paavi "Paavi" (Lal Lal Lal) 12"EP
Pestdemon "Helvetesljuset" (Unrest Productions) LP
Plurals "Imagining Perpetual Tower" (Dead Pilot Records) LP
Praying For Oblivion/N. Strahl. N. "Aktion T4" (Phage Tapes) Tape
Preslav Literary School "In Fractals" (Glosses Fur Die Masses) CDr
Preslav Literary School "Le Reflexion Du Tir" (Fall Of Nothing) Tape
Preslav Literary School "Beautiful Was The Time" (Elephant & Castle) CDr
Psychic TV "Stockholm/Jarman Themes/Live (Vinyl On Demand) 4xLP
Psychic TV "Themes" (Cold Spring Records) 7xCD Box Set
Psychogeographical Commission "Widdershins" (Acrobiotic) 3"CDr
Rabbit Girls "Dental Record" (Roil Noise) CDr
Raionbashi & Kutzkelina "Aktion 091216 Berlin" (Harbinger Sound) 12"
Red Electric Rainbow "Oh, What Tangled Web We Weave" (Community College) Tape
The Rita "Predators" (Second Layer Records) 7"
Sabbath Assembly "Restored To One" (The Ajna Offensive) CD
Scars "All About You" (Pre Records) 7"
Schuster "Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon" (Adeptsound) CDr
Schuster "Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon" (Licht Und Stahl) Tape
The Secret "The Young Ones" (Arista Records) 7"
Section 25 "The Beast" (Factory Records) 12"EP
Shiver "They Will Feed On Us" (Diazepam) Tape
Sissy Spacek "Epistasis" (A Dear Girl Called Wendy) 7"EP
Slump "Malpas Way" (Beartown Records) Tape
The Sons Of God "The Object" (Firework Edition Records) CD
Mark Stewart "On/Off" (Monitorpop) DVD
Stiff Little Fingers "Alternative Ulster" (Rough Trade Records/Rigid Digits) 7"
Stockholm Monsters "All At Once" (Factory Records) 7"
Storm Bugs "A Safe Substitute" (Harbinger Sound) LP
Stratvm Terror "This Is My Own Hell" (Reverse Allignment/Existence Establishment) CD
Tears Of Ochre "An Eternity In An Infinity Flash Of Grey" (Not On Label) CDr
Tears Of Ochre "Solipstic Apocalypse" (Not On Label) CDr
Textured Bird Transmission "Recycled" (RRRecords) tape
Throbbing Gristle "Journey Through A Body" (Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien) LP
Throbbing Gristle "United-The 7" Singles" (Not On Label) LP
Tidal "Echo Dawn" (Rotifer Cassettes) Tape
Trepaneringsritualen "Matyrium" (Small Doses) Tape
Treriksroset "Venal" (Chefsideologens Bolag) Tape
Troum "Saiws" (Equation Records) 7"
Various Artists "Agdam" (Agdam) CD
Various Artists "East" (Dead Good Records) LP
Various Artists "Feral Debris 5" (Feral Debris) CDr/Magazine
Various Artists "Galactic Hits" (Consart/Vibrations) CD
Various Artists "Incendium 3" (LOKI Foundation) CD
Various Artists "Record Store Record" (RRRecords) LP
Various Artists "Second One" (Hyster) Tape
Various Artists "This Is Our Generation" (Retro Records) CD+Book
Various Artists "You Are Playing Like A Fucking Pub Band" (The 7:17 From West Wittering Is Late Again) 6xTape
Various Artists "Your Song My Foot" (WFMU) CD
Voice Of Eye "Anthology Two 1992-1996" (Transgredient Records) DCD
Chris Watson "The Sea Ice Border" (Corridor8) CDr+Book
Wyrm + Nocturnal Emissions "Symmetrical Ecstacy" (Roil Noise Offensive) CDr+3"CDr
Xiphod Dementia "Might Is Blight" (Existence Extablishment) CD

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year...!!! .

A Happy New Year card from GX Jupitter-Larsen.