Sunday, 26 February 2012


It is a weekend full of Blancmange here at Hartop Towers, I know I should be "rehearsing" for the upcoming live gigs in Nottingham & Stockholm, but I've just bought the excellent CD "Platinum Collection" by Blancmange and I can't stop playing it...and the kids love it too! The CD set me back the princely sum of £2.99 and is (probably) available at all good supermarkets.

1982. Bizarre year (for me) 1982. It was the year I shared a flat with Drew Cormack, the year I gave up milk and sugar after overdosing on paracetamol tablets and the year I became friends with Tim Bayes. It was also the year I started buying records by Blancmange. There was a record shop in Lincoln called "Prides". Sanctuary Records (the best record shop in the world) had closed, as had Tracks and Rod's Records and Lincoln was left with "Prides" - the only place to buy punk/new wave stuff in Lincoln, so 1982...the year I discovered "Selectadisc" in Nottingham (not true, I bought The Pop Group "We Are All Prostitutes" from there in 1979, so let's say 1982..the year I became a regular customer of "Selectadisc" in Nottingham). "Prides" had come in to the area from Newark and had incredibly unfriendly and unknowledgable staff, it was no Sanctuary. But what "Prides" did have was a bargain singles box, either stuff that was floating around the arse end of the top 100 or singles that were cheap because the record companies wanted them in the charts. So I found myself buying 7" singles by the likes of Blancmange, Thomas Dolby (he was in The Fallout Club), Yazoo, The Thompson Twins, Tears For Fears and Our Daughters Wedding. Blancmange stood out, excellent synth rhythms and catchy (surreal) lyrics...good stuff. I never went as far as buying the first album - it would never have fitted in with the Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Pere Ubu, Public Image Limited records I was carrying around at the time...but a poppy 7" could always be hidden at the back of the pile (I still have a copy of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" hidden in a desk drawer for those special "solo" occasions), or disposed of because it was bought for 49 pence.

Blancmange began life as a three-piece in 1979, before slimming down in to a duo and self-releasing the 7" EP "Irene & Mavis". I have never heard this EP, but I remember at the time Blancmange being a kind of electro-experimental group to be mentioned in the same breath as The Human League, Lemon Kittens and Cabaret Voltaire. Then the new romantics and futurists moved in and Blancmange appeared on Some Bizarre Records and I sort of lost intrigue, but the name gave me enough interest to buy their bargain bin vinyl singles.
I also had a dislike for Richard Strange around this time too. I saw him live and thought he was (musically) a joke with his self-publicizing "phenomenal rise" and "International language" - now of course I love the stuff and declare the guy some kind of genius!
I have seen Blancmange live a couple of times. Early doors they played live in Lincoln. Live at Lyndsey's Disco Bar (I saw The Cigarettes there). Unfortunately I was barred from the venue for either pogoing to PigBag on the dance floor or worrying ladies with my wasn't explained to me (or Dave who was with me on that particular evening) at the time, but I was never allowed back in unlike The Cornhill Vaults, a pub in Lincoln I have been barred from twice! The first time I saw Blancmange was at Futurama 4 - Deeside, North Wales in 1982. They headlined on the first night - I don't think they were supposed to, I think that was New Order's role but Blancmange showed up late! It was strange (as I remember) because after New Order - a band that at the time I had gone off...a lot - most people went to their tents or to the main hall where we were all kipping, so Blancmange performed to a very thin audience but bloody hell...they were good and made me proud that I had a single or two by them. They had some backing films of graph patterns and mathematical was excellent stuff, and (for me) along with Punching Holes and The Wake were the hit of the festival. A couple of years later I was living in Manchester and Blancmange were playing the Apollo. Probably called the 02 or something similar now, but in 1984 it was the Ardwick Apollo. I probably wouldn't have gone if it weren't for the fact that Portion Control were supporting. It is because it was 1984 and I was living in Manchester that I don't remember much about the gig, Blancmange had a full "Indian style" back-line...lots of tabla players sat on cushions...but I was there to see Portion Control - whom I'd seen live before and was glad to see that they still used their slideshow of death, destruction and pornography as a backdrop despite the audience being (mainly) pre teen girls and their parents. "We Are Control". I don't think it was long after this that Blancmange folded.

It was whilst trawling the net for Bill Nelson information I came across a clip of Blancmange live at The Hacienda in Manchester. Cherry Red TV...recommended website. It was that footage that put Blancmange back in to my consciousness. The superb lyrics of "Living On The Ceiling" and "God's Kitchen", the sitar and tablas around the hard (yes hard!) electronic rhythms. Classic. I once sat at a table opposite Stephen Luscombe in an Indian restaurant in Rusholme, Manchester (late 1980's)....should have got my napkin signed! And now I find Blancmange have reformed - like all 1980's synth groups. If they play Exeter I might go and have a look. The CD now sits unashamedly alongside Blasterkorps and Bodychoke.

The Blancmange weekend continues.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


For those that used to browse my photo uploads on the flickr site, just to let you know that I have deleted my account. I know I didn't use it that much - I think the last picture I uploaded was me playing golf in Teignmouth! - but I have come to fall out with the site and its' increasing non-user friendly attitudes.
I shall (of course) post pictures of all my golfing triumphs on this site!

Iibiis Rooge #2

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Iibiis Rooge. Iibiis Rooge are the collaborational project of Astral Social Club and French musique-maestro High Wolf.
"Life In A Bloodcell" is a C30 cassette released on High Wolf's own Winged Sun Records imprint. Side A begins with the excellently titled "Tall Venusians", a classic slice of dance trance material. Psy-Trance I think they called it in the clubs back in the 1990's. there's bongos, sliding gizmo guitar and drifting keys all in the mix. "Small Tunisians" follows - this is the longer of the two pieces, and after the cool trance like rhythms of "Tall Venusians" it kind of drifts aimlessly out of the speakers. Too many sounds, too much complication, overdose of does end like a Tangerine Dream soundtrack though.....
Too me Side B is one long track, although two titles are given. Churning motors give an industrial rhythmic feel...and the madness of a toy glockenspiel in the mix takes me on a great journey. Head nods, neck moves, mind wanders, pictures form etc.....then a great dub style bass-line enters the fray with techno madness taking over - I'm back to late 80's ON-U Sound. Neil & The House Of Dread. Excellent track(s).
It has been a two year wait for these 30 minutes of electronic madness, and well worth it. The tape is probably limited and avaiable for £4 + P&P from Astral Social Club direct - - bloody worth it.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Special Interests #7

Just to let you know that the excellent magazine "Special Interests Issue #7" is now available, featuring Dave Phillips, Con-Dom, Jason Crumer, Phage Tapes amongst other interesting names. A great review section and a small piece by myself. Available from Freak Animal Records direct, try: or Second Layer and Cold Spring Records in the UK - well worth the euros.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Philip Julian #2

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Phil Julian. And I mean that too, "Transcript" (a C30 tape on the American Obsolete Units label) has not been out of my tape player since it arrived on Friday. OK, I have spun a little John Wiese stuff - preparing for his live set in Nottingham in a couple of weeks and after hearing something about a European Genocidal Anniversary (E.G.A) happening in the Balkans on the radio the other day I thought I would give the Grunt album "Europe After Storm" a play...Mikko's concept album on the "Balkan Crisis". Great album. (Very British to call "genocide" some sort of "crisis").
But back to "Transcript". In the past I have moaned about the lack of information on some small run releases, no need here, the sleeve is a list of credits - of sound sources used, of recording devices used and of timing + personnel. All that is needed to keep an old fart like me happy! The tape features 4 soundscapes using the cassette (used & blank) and the cassette player as "instruments". Side A starts off with a lovely warm hiss...the comforting tape hiss I know and love. Minutiae brought to the fore, the sound builds in to a sound not too dis-similar to This Heat's "Horizontal Hold". Distortion and interference. The sound builds to a climax before leaving on a rhythmic loop. The second piece sounds like the internal workings of cassette machine mic'ed up, lots of fast spooling and pause button noises. Side B carries on in this vein, more experimental than entertainment. The sound becomes more non-cognitive dipping in to the realm of Dada and/or Musique Concret. The works of Small Cruel Party, Mark Durgan and M:S:B: R are all invoked here. Spooling sounds, cutting staccato, magnetic reverberations. Interesting stuff, but I have found myself returning to Side A more than Side B.

A fascinating artefact from an artist I am begining to enjoy more and more with each release. This tape is limited to 100 copies and available from $7 postage paid. Bargain!

1: "Transcript" cover.
2: "Transcript" inner sleeve art.
3: Phil Julian live in Brighton 2012.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Andrew Perry / Dead Wood

I was trawling around the internet the other day and I came across the name Andrew Perry. He was doing (or is doing) a Mainland European tour with Sindre Bjerga and that brought back the memory of the day I met Andrew...we were both playing the Transient Constellations All-Dayer at the Windmill in Brixton last November. A tall chap with a chain smokers beard..we chatted about this and that and probably the weather. Andrew was first act on and I was keen to hear his stuff but his stage time coincided with me meeting Messrs. Underwood & Kane in a Brixton boozer. (Sounds like a bad Channel 5 cop show "Underwood & Kane")! I had to meet the guys as one of them was housing me for the evening and arrangements had to be made.
Anyway, my trawl also brought about the fact that Andrew had released a split single with Dead Wood. Dead Wood were one of my favourite aural discoveries from last year with their split 3" CDr with Phantom Heron Seas and a record pressed on a plate (again with Phantom Heron Seas). The plate release was on Dirty Demos (the label with the terrible name and even worse logo but a great sound) and so was this single.
"The Victory EP" is a ten minute soundscape lathe cut on to transparent vinyl. It is hard to tell which side is which artist - there is no information. (Always a downside with me....a little bit of paper with a hint of track title, or instrumentation wouldn't have been too much...would it?). There is the inevitable lathe cut snap crackle and pop to the sound, one side sounds like an electric guitar hum with someone picking up and putting down the said guitar, whilst the other side sounds like someone walking round a room with a synthesizer droning and a contact mic nestling in a cardiganed armpit. It is an interesting single, one that I imagine will alter on each listening, it has also whetted my appetite for more Dead Wood and to discover the sound of Andrew Perry.
The single was released last December and limited to only 25 copies, it comes wrapped in thick "Japanese style" paper. Go to and see if there are any copies left.

1: The Victory EP Sleeve.
2: The Victory EP Vinyl.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

BBBlood #4

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest BBBlood release, a split cassette release with Tinnitustimulus. As with most BBBlood releases information is at a minimum, but I can tell you that this is a C30 tape on the "not on label" label. What is it with folk not wanting to put stuff out on a label...with a catalogue number! BBBlood has his own label, Trans-Dimensional Sushi. I know next to nothing (good song) about Tinnitustimulus but a look on the Discogs site shows that he has released a lot of stuff on Deaf Culture Music. Couldn't the two labels have combined, even if this was just a one-off project? Would it have been that difficult? Then us cataloguers and anal retentives would be happier.
Side A starts with BBBlood and "Crippled". A piece of phazed sonic electronics that (I think) fits in with the HNW movement. It sounded like Cheapmachines to me...which is not a bad thing. The second track is called "Reduced Sentence". A more experimental and acoustic side to the BBBlood sound. Intricate sounds and clever looping and delay effects of metal scraping, doors slamming, objects thrown and general shifting move around the speakers constructing in to a final build and ultimate confusion. Good stuff, the way some of the sounds are looped and repeated to build and fade is listening pleasure. Hopefully the impending BBBlood vinyl LP will be an extension of "Reduced Sentence".
Like I mentioned earlier, I know next to nothing (good song) about Tinnitustimulus. There is a MySpace page, but I can't be arsed with that site anymore. Can anyone? I used to have a page up there, but I went to it one day and found that I was advertising a fucking Tinchy Stryder album as well as the latest Dieter Muh news...I was off there straight away! Anyway. Back to Tinnitustimulus. A guy called Tom from New York State. Here he provides three tracks. "Winter Night Barefoot" opens with radio dial static. Dead air space through a multitude of effects. "Ahnighito" follows. A long piece named after the largest iron meteorite to fall to Earth ... Greenland to be precise. This is a classic slice of mid 1980's power electronica - it is in to you like a train. A noise that at times reaches celestial levels...voices of angels can be heard through the madness. I shall play "Ahnighito" once in a while just to remind myself why I like listening to noise. Put "Reduced Sentence" and "Ahnighito" on a 7" piece of vinyl (and a bloody label) and you've got a classic single of the noise genre.
Tinnitustimulus ends with the brief "High Tension Lines". High frequency synth noodles and amp-noise, not a cover of The Fall classic.

So great release from both projects concerned. It is limited to only 100 copies, professionally duplicated and necessary. I got my copy for £4 from

1: Tape Cover.
2: Tape.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Infernal Proteus:A Musical He'rbal

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the four CD compilation album "Infernal Proteus" on the Ajna Offensive label. OK, so it is ten years old, but I knew nothing about the release until I read a review (of sorts) recently on the excellent Thee Intergalatik Beard Dropout blog and even if the album is ten years old, alot of the bands/projects involved are new to me.
The four CD's are housed in a book, a hardback book full of colour plates depicting different plants and herbs.
The concept of the album is one of the power of plants, their use in everyday life, for food, clothing, magickal purpose, healing properties etc and each of the 40 projects involved are given a plant/herb to represent. The book is a beautiful item - the sounds accompany the book beautifully, I am mightily impressed with this release.

Rather than go through the album track by track let me just say that the album features a broad scope of musical genre from some of the best in their field.
The first CD is mainly neofolk and neo-classical music. It has a very medieval feel to it with excellent tracks from Allerseelen, Alio Die, In Gowan Ring and Endvra. New names to me and bands with sounds worth discovering are Alraune and Circe. The second CD has a more drone, dark ambient feel to it, and I was thinking...ahh they have split the CD's in to genres...very good. Apoptose start the CD with the excellent "Eichensiechtum". I saw Apoptose live in their native Leipzig in 2006, superb sound. Ultra follow with "Yohimbe". Ultra's participation was a major factor in buying this album. From the first time I heard "Spray/Death/Ultra" album twenty years ago I have liked Ultra. A beautiful drone from Jonathan Coleclough & Tim Hill follows leading in to a fairly dark and eerie number from Troum ( another leading factor in to the purchase of this beauty). Inade end the CD with one of their best tracks, "Dues Aderit". A great Teutonic voice over stretched electrics. A joy.
CD three begins with The Red King and "Opium Poppy". The Red King sound like Laibach. Now the idea of each CD representing a different genre hits the fan as what follows is Gothic darkwave and musique concret along with neo-classical tracks. "Her Inaccessible Reaches" by MNortham sticks out, a great irritable sound - insectual. Mania start CD number 4 with their Whitehouse sounding power electronics, a strange choice for the project but the former Taint man keeps it short and simple. Igor 18 follows - a very weak piece that doesn't really know what it wants to be, and a shame because every track up until now has been exemplary. Who are Igor 18? Aube really starts CD#4 with the excellent minimal shuffle of "Ki-Ku". I love Aube, like Ultra, Troum, and Inade the fact that Aube is on here made the album a must have.

The most enjoyable CD is the first with its' great poetry and song. It does border on folk, but then sometimes I want to listen to some good (sing-a-long) folk tunes. I bought an Albion Dance Band album in 1976 y'know! CD#2 and the dark ambient/drone pieces is a great listen too, but CD's #3&#4 are a little "all over the shop" for my liking....but there are some great sounds held within which make the release a must.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Inner City Sound

(Finally I have my scanner/printer back in good health)!

A few weeks ago I found myself listening to a couple of early Severed Heads albums, "Clean" and "Blubberknife" and I sat there amazed at the quality of sound and sheer brilliance of rhythms and sampling. Amazed because these albums are over 30 years old, but still sound relevant and fresh today. A mark of genius. Then I began to wonder if there had been any books written about Severed Heads and/or the underground electronic scene in Australia. Severed Heads have been a far too important outfit in electronic music over the past 30 years for there not to be a book about them. And what about the surrounding sound? Harbinger Sound released a double CD of Slugfuckers a few years back, and I have cassettes of bands such as Scattered Order, Bleeding Arseholes, Voigt/465 and Negative Reaction ...there must be some documentation about all of this?
I began to realise I know little and nowt about Australian experimental electronic/independent music. Certainly I have read the Nick Cave autobiography (who hasn't)? and I know a little bit about SPK in the late 1970's-early 1980's and have a copy of Trevor Blake's "Krankheit Im Recht" book, but what about the others? I posted a query on some forum boards and the names of Harry Butler and his magazine "DNA" and the writings of Clinton Walker kept being mentioned, then I found (on Amazon of all places) the book "Inner City Sound" by Clinton Walker, published by Voice Chorus Press. "Inner City Sound" is a collection of writings, reviews, overviews and interviews culled from fanzines/magazines written about punk and post-punk in Australia from 1976-1985. Clinton is the books editor as well as main contributor. The book first came out in the early 1980's, what is available now is the 2006 re-press.

The book is 190 pages thick and is full of excellent pictures. It all begins in 1976 and the story of Radio Birdman and The Saints. I must admit to not having heard Radio Birdman and I could never quite get The Saints. Others raved about them at the time (1977), with their "I'm Stranded" single, but to me they were just Pub Rock, ah well. Another big Australian band at this time were Last Words. Last Words released the excellent single "Animal World" on Rough Trade Records in 1977. A cross between Metal Urbain and Generation X. I never knew they were Australian!
The book does concentrate on the more "popular" bands of the time like Boys Next Door, The Hitmen, Jab, The Thought Criminals, Crime & City Solution, Scientists in the 1970's through to bands such as The Birthday Party, Laughing Clowns, Go Betweens and The Models in the early 1980's before ending with writings on The Triffids, Hunter & Collectors, The Moodists and The Sunnyboys. Again, bands that (on the whole) I know nothing about but found their interviews and reviews fascinating. By now most groups were heading off to post-punk Britain, having a modicum of success and returning back to Australia to split and carry on their newly found drug addiction! I remember seeing Laughing Clowns support Sisters Of Mercy at the Boat Club in Nottingham. I think it was 1982. They were bland, as bland as brown corduroy curtains.

There are small chapters on experimental Australia, a really good piece written about Terse Tapes - the label set up by Tom Ellard of Severed Heads, and interviews with Pel Mel - but the bands I really wanted to read about are only in this book in picture form. Great pictures though, and loads of gig flyers and posters that make the book worth is a great read.
Strange in their absence are SPK. Only mentioned in a couple of sentences and one picture - a publicity shot of Graeme and Sinan in their "Machine Age Voodoo" days. Another band I was interested in finding out about; Sekret Sekret are only there in picture form too. Members of this group were original members of SPK, but next to nothing is mentioned about them. There's a couple of nice pictures of John Murphy (with hair) playing with Whirlywirld that made me smile.

So. Now I need to find a book written about the "real" Australian underground, about bands like Scattered Order, Severed Heads, Bleeding Arseholes and Slugfuckers (who are not mentioned in this book). Is there one out there? Can anyone help? Is there no book on Extreme Music label and/or John Watermann?

1: "Inner City Sound" Book Cover.
2: Danny Virgin of SPK/Sekret Sekret.
3: Severed Heads in the studio,
4: Voigt/465 with Ne/H/il of SPK.
5: Tom Ellard of Severed Heads live at Sheffield Leadmill 1985. (personal collection)

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest album from Japanese outfit Kufuki - seriously, it has not been out of the CD player for the last three days. It is infectious.
It came to me via Sir Idwal of Fisher, who frequently mails me stuff to run past my ears, and I am eternally grateful because I don't think I would have ventured out and bought this one blind...despite the involvement of Astral Social Club.
The album is entitled "Kufuki" and is on the Japanese (naturally) label Wonderyou. The sound is pure Japanese psychedelic-prog-pop-rock. There is no noise, no wild experimentalisations, just pure Japanese style psychedelic-prog-pop-rock. I think (I don't speak or understand Japanese so I can only think) the album tells of an adventure - the songs feature many voices (characters) and there are spoken word pieces in between tracks (the voices are more Richard Burton "War Of The Worlds" than Jordi Valls and "Psychopathia Sexualis") which keep the story flowing.
The sound varies too, beginning with the most "noncommercial" piece; "Dai-Haku-Ryoku". This is all fast spliced rhythms and cut up instrumentation before the album kicks off with "Traveller In Asia". The sound reminds me of Flaming Lips along with Circle and the Hyperdelic Psychedelic period of Psychic TV. There is the sound associated with Japanese TV commercials in there, as well as a great guitar riff that lasts over three tracks evoking Link Wray or even Hank Marvin.
I think the closest album I have to this at Hartop Towers is Smell & Quim's "Spaceshit" album from 2000. And that is canny because the album finishes with a bonus piece - a remix of "Dai-Haky-Ryoku" by Astral Social Club. And it is a bonus track too, it has no place on the album sounds slightly out of place, that's not to say it is a bad track just slightly unnecessary on the CD.

I remember hearing the Smell & Quim CDr "Spaceshit" for the first time. I was stopping over at Daniel Lowenbruck's flat in Berlin and he put the album on...and it simply blew my socks off. I HAVE TO HAVE THIS ALBUM! At first I found it hard to believe that it was Smell & Quim. I had almost kind of given up on them (for a while) after years of Tit Wanking and Stinky Horse Fucking I was giving the Quim sound a sabbatical and then they come out with "Spaceshit". Classic! Here was a non-noise album constructed of clever rhythms, loops, hooks and voice samples to die for. It is an album that requires a Hawaiian shirt for listening.
Anyway - back to Kufuki. Recommended. The CD comes in a gatefold poster, a colourful design with dragons and insignia..and Idwal - if you get any more Kufuki through your letterbox, please send it my way!

1: "Kufuki" sleeve.
2: Kufuki - the band.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


I have been on a little bit of a Tesco tip today, preparing for the arrival of the latest Genocide Organ LP - the "Live In Tokyo 2007" LP, OK I already have the DVD and CD but I am a bit of a GO nut!
A Tesco Org release that I hadn't heard in a long time was the 1991 Anenzephalia 7"EP "Lyse". Catalogue number Tesco 003. I remember buying it in Leeds many years ago - probably 20 years ago (great song). I was living in the very small Yorkshire village of Thorganby at the time (in between Selby & York) and the Red Rhino Records shop in York had closed, then someone recommended a trip to Leeds to look at Bad Records.
Finally I made it to Leeds and the Bad Records shop...not far from Leeds train station. It was a little basement beneath a clothes shop, a clothes shop designed for Goths, Punks and leather fetishists. Bad Records was full of stuff I wanted to buy, stuff I had seen at Red Rhino, stuff that I had read about in "Music From The Empty Quarter" magazine and stuff that just looked down right bloody interesting. Problem was that I had arrived when Bad Records was closing down. Bad news! On the "up-side" they were having a "closing down sale" so I managed to pick up some great stuff at a very cheap price. Some Smell & Quim, Intrinsic Action, Merzbow, Con-Dom, Illusion Of Safety and "Lyse" by Anenzephalia.
I had never heard of Anenzephalia before. The idea that there was an industrial label called Tesco Org intrigued. Welcome to the Tesco Disco. The guy behind the counter pointed the record out by saying something along the lines of - if you like Con-Dom you'll love this - god bless him! I think it cost £3, and he said that it had a razor blade attached to the sleeve that if you pulled out the vinyl you would cut yourself so they removed it before a customer cut themselves and filed suit!
I play the EP at 45 RPM, except for the first track "Infarkt" which (obviously) sounds better at 33 RPM. At a slower speed it becomes more atmospheric, the sequencer pattern works better - more depth. "Mechanical Rape" is pure power electronics with its' distorted Bennettesque vocals over an electronic pulsing drone. In 1992 this could have been my first exposure to the genre?
Side 2 has more clarity in sound, less distortion effect. "Mindcancer" has a rhythm that wouldn't be amiss on Soviet France's "Mohonomische" album. It's the 1980's analog equipment - I hear the Korg MS sound. "Induratio Penis Plastica" has a sequencer rhythm pattern going through flange and phase effects similar to early Club Moral except here the vocals are distorted, moving in and out with various other electric signals.
Anenzephalia is the project of B. Moloch. Also on this EP are Fri Von B. Und D. (Undoubtedly Klaus and another member of Genocide Organ). B. Moloch is now a member of Genocide Organ and since then Anenzephalia releases have become less experimental than this 7". Perhaps B. Moloch (or Michael to his friends)! has found his sound?
I still listen to and buy Anenzephalia stuff - I like it, I like it a lot but non have pleasured me more than the "Lyse" 7"EP.

As a member of Dieter Muh I have supported Anenzephalia a couple of times in the UK and played with Genocide Organ in Germany. It has been an honour and a privilege to get to meet and know Anenzephalia.

If you see a copy of "Lyse" floating about - BUY!

1+2: "Lyse" Sleeve.
3: "Lyse" vinyl.
4: Anenzephalia Live at The Red Rose, London. (I forget the year)!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Dave Phillips #2

Over the last few days (great band) I have been ill. Very ill. No idea what the illness was but it made me shit and vomit a lot - violently, then it made me shiver and shake and come out in strange lumps and rashes, like my upper body was a braille map of the Polynesian Isles. It wasn't pleasant. Trouble is that here in the UK when you are ill and have a hint, a hue, a whisper of diarrhoea and/or vomiting the local GP will not entertain you at the local practice nor will the hospital admit you - can't have a hospital full of sick people for fucks sake...they might spread something! So I've been indoors catching up on some recently arrived sounds, reading the excellent "Inner City Sounds" book by Clinton Walker and catching up on some DVD's. I can recommend "Buried" but leave the new "Inbetweeners" movie alone.

So, through the door at the start of the week came the latest release from Dave Phillips. "Video Action 100901" on the German based Scrotum Records label. (Catalogue No:Hode 156). "Video Action 100901" is a 17 minute 3"CDr packaged in a slimline case with a sleeve art by Muennich.
I have said it before - so I'll say it again, releasing recordings of live performance art is a very hit or miss affair. Sometimes the releases are only relevant to those involved and not really necessary. I mentioned this about the last Dave Phillips LP I heard, the excellent "They Live" on RRRecords. Here the action is short, extremely punchy. Recorded live by Coelacanth member Jim Haynes at The Lab in San Francisco on September 1st, we have a collage of sounds made from the human body, from animals from acoustic paraphernalia and electronics. A fascinating picture / pattern evolves in the mind whilst listening (I suggest loud and headphones), I would have loved to have been there. It does remind me of Sudden Infant, but seeing that Dave Phillips is part of the Schimpfluch-Gruppe that can't be helped. The Raionbashi sound is also not too far away.

A great release, a fine document and necessary. Available from Scrotum Records direct for only 5 Euro's...paypal have no excuse!!

Friday, 3 February 2012


Just spent a pleasant while listening to the 2011 compilation "Utmarken" on the Swedish based Utmarken label. The compilation is packaged in an over sized video case with 3xC20 cassettes and a glossy (black & white) 24 page tract. Ten out of ten for packaging.
Released towards the end of last year this release marked the end of the Utmarken label, although limited to only 200 there are a few copies floating about available for a reasonable price. I was drawn to the tracks by Attestupa. rather like Burial Hex, Cheapmachines and Re-Clip (amongst others) Attestupa are a sound I have heard in the last couple years and I now need to hear their entire catalogue. Attestupa start the compilation with two pieces that sound like one. An opening sound of guitar over noise sounding like a film theme builds to a song, yes song! with lyrics, that has a sound similar to what was being released by 4AD records at the start of the 1980's. Sort Sol, Mass & My Captains are all in there with a psychedelic organ and swirling guitars. Beautiful, and a far better quality recording than their vinyl LP "Begraven Mot Norr". Arv & Miljo bring us crunching static noise leading to ambient feedback with some analog knob crunching. It's a pleasant listen without leaping out of the speakers and grabbing my ears. Arv & Miljo are based in Gothenburg, I would love to hear more. Same goes for Lust For Youth (the wanting to hear more bit...not the from Gothenburg bit...although they maybe, I don't know...but Sweden is a big country). Lust For Youth is an awful name but they provide a great slice of aural moribundia. Heavy droning electronics over a dull thudding (heart)beat. It builds, swirls and then collapses ending with some pointless synth noodles - but it is an excellent track. The Lust For Youth track is coupled with "En Foglig Slav" by Blodvite. (Bloodshed to us English speakers). It is 10 minutes of experimental noise. My notes (I make notes!) whilst listening read: Nothing to sing along with but plenty to listen to. The final cassette starts with Skuggor. Skuggor is the project of David Eng. His track is ultimate lo-fi sampler looping - excellent and (again) more is needed.
Another lure of the compilation was the inclusion of Sewer Election. Sewer Election is Dan Johansson, the man behind the Utmarken label and also a member of Attestupa. Over the past couple of years the name Sewer Election has been mentioned by friends and colleagues, and reading reviews and interviews in various magazines and forum board links I have thought of Sewer Election to be in the same camp as (say) The Rita and The Cherry Point spearheading this new movement in electronic sound called HNW. What I have heard by The Rita has disappointed and Sewer Election is not what I expected. (great song)! "Lamslagen" sounds like The Gerogerigegege morphing into early 90's Smell & Quim and finishing on a sample from "Total Sex". Whereas I don't care if I hear another track by The Rita, I think I'll give Sewer Election another listen - any one recommend a release?

This is a great sounding compilation from a now defunct label, so get it whilst it is still available. Try the Swedish label and distro outlet.

1: "Utmarken" Box Cover.
2: "Utmarken" Box Spine and magazine page.
3: "Utmarken" magazine cover.
4: Sewer Election page from magazine.