- U. Violets - Gade (actually Ultra-Violets, must have been a legal issue that prevented them using the name on this CD)
- All Mighty Senators - Wink (band still active)
- Lambs Eat Ivy - Serpentine
- Bazooka Joe - Insomnia
- Dark Carnival - Back to the Factory
- Monkeyspank - Dr. Omar
- Jade - Line
- Lungfish - Return Descender
- The Pearl Fishers - Black Box (not the David Scott band)
- The Unknown - Empty House of Night
- Rise - God Bless the Creeps
- Elements of Design - I Love a Man with Rhythm
- The Last Picture Show - Destination (led by writer Louis Maistros as Lu Maestro)
- Braver Noise - The Smiths Have Gone to Heaven
- Seesaw - Rochelle Bridges
- Motor Morons - Another Girl (may still be active, though no shows since 2007; imagine Devo songs played by Einstürzende Neubauten)
- Mark Harp - The Drill (guitarist for Null Set/Cabal, also of the Beatoes, Motor Morons, Chelsea Graveyard, the Diamondheads, etc.)
- Infant Lunch - Cut the Cord
- Grey March - Beneath the Sea
- Reptile House - Turning Disease
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
smalltime Sheffield combo Surface Mutants only managed one standalone EP, but nonetheless warrant special mention as one of the better obscure bands to record at Cabaret Voltaire’s legendary Western Works studio.it’s hard to resist confirming that ‘You Take Me Somewhere Strange (and you leave me there)’ does anything else than just that. the Cabs’ tinny, scratchy production gives the EP a quite pleasant, if decidedly dissonant, ambiance. the simple bass lines, frequent drum fills and taught guitars of ‘Train’ and ‘Help Below’ rely heavily on varying degrees of phaser, delay and reverb, with additional electronics hissing randomly in and out of the mix. the creepy title track, by contrast, abandons the undanceable funk for something that sounds nothing short of the early Cabs attempting to cover ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, complete with anguished, largely indecipherable, vocals. complete with ill-fitting goth cover art to (somewhat) mislead you, this record is certainly far from superficial.The year of release was 1982. "You Take Me Somewhere Strange" has always reminded me of "Bela Lugosi's Dead," so I'm glad to see someone else feels the same way about it. Band member Pete Mutant replied to the blog entry:
Blimey. Just for verification, Kent had left to join the Chant, Nort [later of Hula] was with us on Drums and noises, Jules had left, Christine Parker was on sax, Angie Birkett on keyboards (and very good too). Richard [Kirk] was responsible for many of the indecipherable vocals.
Another reader found that Angie Birkett (now Holmes) is now active in the band Siiiii. Get the Surface Mutants vinyl rip here or here.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Isolation Ward is a New Wave/Experimental band from Brussels, Belgium. Founding members are Jean Pierre Everaerts (Bass), Stephane Willocq (Guitar), Thierry Heyndericks (Keyboards, Vocals, Trumpet), and Etienne Vernaeve (Drums). Contributing vocals/guitar included, Nathalie Bourlard (Vocals), Anne Kinna(Nanou) (Vocals: Lamina Christus), Sylvie Honnay (Vocals: Absent Heart, A Request), Niki Mono (Vocals: only for the last concert), Eric Vanhoutte(Guitar), and Jerry WX (Guitar). Formed in 1980, the band released Lamina Christus on 7" Vinyl in 1982(Issued through Radical Records, France Crepuscule Section Francaise/Radical RAD 008 ) and Absent Heart on 12 " Vinyl in 1983 on the Les Disques du Crepuscule label. Both of these releases were produced by Gilles Martin and Peter Principle. The band disbanded in 1983. Isolation Ward's final recordings, Point De Départ and Point Final were released on the Présence label in 1984."Lamina Christus" reappears as the third track (of three) on the Absent Heart 12", and it's no wonder they re-used it as it is their strongest song. Like many Crepuscule releases, the sound falls somewhere between Factory gloom and 4A.D. gothicism. Get the Absent Heart vinyl rip here or here.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Richard Hawley is currently riding a wave of popularity in the UK as the "Sheffield Sinatra," but in 1987 he played guitar behind velvet-voiced ex-Chakk singer John Stuart on Stuart's only solo single, a cover of Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze." You will never hear a lusher version. (There's that unmistakable Designers Republic graphic style again.) Rounding out the backing band, billed as The Heavenly Music Corporation, are Dee Boyle (drums, also from Chakk), Darrell de Silva (sax), Jon Quarmby (keyboards), Justin Bennett (percussion), and Heather Allen (backing vocals), with production by Rob Gordon. Alas, that was all from The Heavenly Music Corporation as such. Stuart would go on to be a member of the Lovebirds (with Hawley) and Magic Bullets. He now lives in Barcelona and continues making lovely music as one-half of Forgetting, and on his own as, once again, The Heavenly Music Corporation.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Slab!'s final recording before a 19-year hiatus was 1989's "Death's Head Soup" single, which I will once again let currybet describe:
The final flurry of the band was 1989’s Cameo ‘Word Up - Sucker DJ’ sampling anti-Thatcher rant of knuckle down and eat your “Death’s Head Soup”. With a sole writing credit to Stephen Dray I have no idea whether it was a solo record or not, but it certainly was a long way from “Mars On Ice”...
I've been listening to "Soup" for nearly 20 years without realizing that was a Cameo sample, but now that I read that it's so bleeding obvious! How could I have missed that?! No, it wasn't a Dray solo record, the full lineup was:
Stephen Dray - Vocals
Paul Jarvis - Guitar / Samples
Nick Page - Guitar
Boleslaw Usarzewski - Bass Guitar
With : Dave Bryant - Drums
Kevin Sanderson - Percussion
Corrie Josias - Backing Vocals
Lynne Gerald - Backing Vocals
Simon Walker - Keyboards / Violin
They sure went out on a high note; I could listen to this driving beat and insistent fuzz-bass riff for hours, shouting along "Knuckle down, drink your death's head soup!" all the while. The B-side is the Descension album track "Switchback Ride"; the 12" single added a club mix of "Death's Head Soup." Get the 12" vinyl rip here or here.
Monday, November 17, 2008
“Smoke Rings”Slab!’s third single, “Smoke Rings”, a love song for nuclear missiles from the point of view the military, was a disaster. Later, when I met Stephen Dray, Slab!’s singer, he said that it had been led on by the record company asking for a ‘hit single’ - and it was the first time that Slab! had released an edited 7” single to accompany the 12” release. Mind you he also said that he thought the vocals on their debut single “Mars On Ice” sounded like they had been recorded in a toilet, and it is one of my favourite records ever, so what does he know?I find it odd to see "Smoke Rings" described as a "disaster", as I recall reading several positive reviews of it at the time, and it seemed to be popular in the cutting-edge dance clubs. Perhaps Mr. Dray can give us a little more of the story?
In addition to "Smoke Rings", the 12-inch also includes a dub version, "Cruise Missile Smoke Rings", and the instrumental "Abbasloth", which has a similar monster beat but substitutes free-jazz horn freakouts for vocals. It is a MUST HAVE. Get the vinyl rip here or here. Check out the new Slab! website here. Check the comments here for occasional updates from Steve Dray (the mosesman) on the progress of the new Slab! album! See here for Slab!'s Music from the Iron Lung mini-LP. Click here for all my Slab! and Slab!-related offerings.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
- K. LEIMER: SYNTHESIZERS, TAPES, VOICE, GUITAR.
- DAVID KELLER: FRETLESS BASS, GUITARS, PERCUSSION.
- JAMES KELLER DRUMKIT, GUITARS, PERCUSSION.
- MARC BARRECA: SYNTHESIZERS, TAPES.
- ROBERT CARLBERG: PERCUSSION, ENGINEERING.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
As for the other two blokes in the band, I still don't know who they are; backing vocals (female) are credited to Alex & Julia. Make Hell... was released on Immaculate Records, which also put out some of Pete Shelley's solo singles. The three songs are "Make Hell (For the Beautiful People)", "William Brel", and the instrumental "The Persuaders". Get the vinyl rip here or here.
James Gardner: Founder member, in 1990, of the pioneering Apollo 440 together with his school friends Noko and Howard Gray, and Howard's brother Trevor Gray. He had previously played keyboards with The Umbrella and a variety of well known artists, including Pete Shelley's band and Luxuria. He left Apollo 440 in 1993 to concentrate on composition, and in 1994 moved to New Zealand where he formed the contemporary music ensemble 175 East. He is an active broadcaster on music for the eclectic Radio New Zealand Concert.
Norman Fisher-Jones: Multi-instrumentalist and sonic visionary Norman Fisher-Jones, aka Noko, had already gigged with The Cure, and The Buzzcock's Pete Shelley before he released his first 12" with his own band The Umbrella. He formed Luxuria with Magazine's Howard Devoto in 1987 and released two albums with Beggars Banquet. Together with original Umbrella member, James E. Gardner, their school friend Howard Gray, and Howard's brother Trevor, he formed Apollo 440 in 1990. An original member, he'd be at The Hacienda if it was still open.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The first is the sole recording by UK band Lethal Poor, from 1985. The two tracks, "Trancefloor" and "Honour", are both in the "gothic funk" style I love so much. Fans of 23 Skidoo, 400 Blows, A Certain Ratio, or The Men should find this right up their alley. The song credits are to "North, Winter, Musker", and I have ascertained that Musker is keyboardist David Musker (now a patent agent), but I don't know who North and Winter are. Please leave a note in the comments section if you know more. Regardless of their identity, this is one ill slab of vinyl; get the rip here or here.
Monday, November 3, 2008
A MOSQUE IN THE ETHIOPIAN OUTBACK beams a message clear to the Pomona Freeway...
A BASS-PLAYING VAMPIRE stalks his prey in the heart of the Carpathians...
BOSNIAN YOUTHS BENT ON REVENGE besiege the ancient bathing houses of Dubrovnik...
BELEAGUERED TEEN-AGERS pursue masochistic sports... while
A ROVING MINISTER puts aside the cloth for matters of the heart!
So reads the copy on the back cover of this batch of six amusing songs from singer, keyboardist, and accordionist Billy Sheets and his band, produced by Devo's Bob Mothersbaugh and released in 1982 on Big Clock Records. The joke is played out in full on the first track, "Skanking in the Trailerpark," a hybrid of ska and eastern European folk styles. The European vein continues with "Gypsy Camp," and then comes the highlight of the record, the superb faux-spy-movie instrumental "Weekend In Dubrovnik." Side two's three songs ("Skating On Thin Ice," "Love That Lasts," "Downtown B.B.Q. (Shakin' It)") are in a more conventional party-rock mode, a la Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns. The full band line-up is:
- Billy Sheets: lead vocal, accordion, keyboards, harmonica
- Kent State: guitar, tambourine, vocals
- Ricardo de Mayo: bass, keyboards, accordion, vocals
- Sammy "Vic" Flores: drums (side A), vocals
- Gajate: percussion
- Alan Lyle: drums (side B)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The track list for Casting Shadows is:
From 1984 until 1991 Stranger To Stranger produced seven recordings. Stranger To Stranger's music was alternative in its flavor, borrowing from the early Cure and Echo and the Bunneymen. They played clubs and venues from Boston to Virginia, but experienced their greatest success at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. The title song from 1985's The Child in Me experienced particularly heavy airplay on college and commercial stations in that area. Subsequently, record sales in the area were very good and the shows at the 9:30 Club drew a good audience. Recently, an amalgam of The Darkest Dreams and Shatter the Night was produced as a CD by drummer Eric Carlson. That was the impetus for creating this page... I hadn't listened to the material in a very long time. I felt compelled to put up this page so some of our friends could get their hands on some vintage STS in MP3 format. We hope to come up with a good copy of The Child in Me in the not-too-distant future.
Stranger To Stranger was:
- Gary Eshbaugh - Vocals/Guitar/Keyboards
- Sean Hopkins - Bass/Vocals (1983-1987)
- Rand Hanson - Guitar
- Eric Carlson - Drums/Percussion
- Steph Lentz - Bass (1988-1992)
01 Easter Night
02 Crowded Room
03 In Your Eyes
04 Voices Calling
06 Cry To Dream
07 Evening Opus (Pts 1, 2 & 3)
08 Lonely Winter
09 Wind On Skin
The aforementioned "The Child In Me" came after this album, but I have included it in the archive file as a bonus track because it's simply exquisite. (It's a copy of the file offered on the band website.) In the words of one of my favorite song blogs, it should have been a hit. Get the vinyl rip here or here.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
01 Bunnydrums - Sleeping
02 Pretty Poison - Secrets
03 Sensory Fix - Last Match
04 Impossible Years - Flower Girl
05 Mother May I - When Children Play
06 Book of Love - Henna
07 Red Buckets - Something Else Again
07 Stickmen - Duraflame Dog
09 Girls Downstairs - Steam Rises Off the Jungle Floor
10 Executive Slacks - Sexual Witchcraft
A note on the recordings: this has to be the worst pressing I have ever heard. Usually I don't do wholesale click removal for fear of losing actual music; I just do spot removals of egregious clicks and pops. But this record has a substrate of clicks and pops all the way through; the record itself has tiny bumps all over it. So in this case I did run the whole thing through Audacity's click remover, and it sounds much better, but still far from perfect. I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has this album whether theirs is as noisy as mine. Don't let the pops and clicks keep you from checking out this trove of rare regional new wave, though: get the vinyl rip here or here. Update 2/11/2012: My DF link is still up, but there's a better rip available at Systems of Romance.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- Bob Harding: vocals
- Tony Bowers: guitar & sax
- Charlie Griffiths: synth
- Ronnie Hardman: bass
- Chris Joyce: drums
Thursday, October 9, 2008
- World Spread
- Gentle As A Fawn Is Warm
"Clamp" is a 40-second sound collage, so Beehead is essentially a three-song EP. But they're good songs, especially "World Spread," which after an excessively long intro settles into an energetic breakbeat groove with a popping bassline. The other two songs are the same kind of noisy, off-kilter funk that made Purge so great. Get the vinyl rip here or here. That does it for my Perennial Divide collection. There was another 12", "Burndown", in 1986, which was packaged together with a repressing of Purge; I didn't buy that one, as I already had Purge and didn't want to buy a second copy just to get a new 12". Then in 1988 there was an unofficial release of "Leathernecks," but I never found a copy. If you come across rips of either 12", please let me know in the comments.
Monday, October 6, 2008
03 Word of the Lord
04 Captain Swing
06 The Fall
08 Tuna Hell
09 Burning Dogs
10 End of the Line
Thursday, October 2, 2008
- Foday Musa Suso: kora, dousongonni, guitar, percussion, vocal
- Bill Laswell: bass
- Bernie Worrell: piano, Hammond organ, Clavinet, synthesizer
- Nicky Skopelitis: 6 & 12 string guitars
- Aiyb Dieng: chatan, congas, talking drum, percussion
- Ginger Baker: drums
The All Music Guide doesn't think much of this one:
It's a great lineup, and one that should have delivered much more musical interest than it does on this album. "Leaving Earth" is a six-and-a-half minute meditation on a one-chord riff; more than just boring, it's also badly recorded. "Desert Star" is an improvement, with a nice interplay of fretless bass and a bowed African instrument in a much improved mix. And "Out of Dreamtime" affords more dynamic variety, but it leads into an eleven-minute percussion solo which is well executed but drags on forever. Overall, this is a disappointing disc that could and should have been much better.
Hey, if you like good drumming, a long, well-executed percussion solo is fantastic! And something that gets lost in the plethora of Laswell productions is that he is an awesome bass player, but that aspect comes through throughout this album. And it's a generous 69 minutes long. What's not to like? Track list:
04-Out of the Dreamtime.mp3
06-Into the Seventh House.mp3
09-The Creator Has a Master Plan.mp3
10-The Image of the One.mp3
Monday, September 29, 2008
New York-based Ballistic Kisses released two albums: Total Access in 1982 (available at Mutant Sounds), and Wet Moment in 1983, both on the quirkily-named UK label Don't Fall Off The Mountain. Trouser Press doesn't think much of this one:
Wet Moment is a tedious cross between the B-52's and Gang of Four: minimal melodies, propulsive rhythms and bleak vocals. It's easy to believe freaked-out tunes like "Emotional Ice" and "Everything Leaks," but how alienated do you really want to feel?
But it's really better than that. True, there are not many melodies to speak of, and no real hooks to linger in your mind, but if you just like the sound of 80s minimal synthpop then there's plenty here to enjoy. There's so much, in fact, that it wouldn't all fit on a single record: the 54 minutes of music was spread out over a 33rpm 8-song LP and a 45rpm 3-song 12". The band lineup is:
- Michael Hrynyk: keyboards, vocals
- Richard McClusky: percussions, vocals
- Michael Parker: vocals
- Jeff Freund: guitars, vocals
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
- Cry Boy Cry*
- John's Lost
- Far Cry*
- (You Can) Count On Me*
- Love Moves In Strange Ways
- (I Just Can't) Forgive and Forget*
- I'm Your Man*
- Open Up
- Can't Hold Me Down*
- Something Familiar
Sunday, September 21, 2008
- Andrew Jarman: vocals, bass, keyboards, drum programs
- Lindsey Smith: guitar, keyboards, drum programs
- Paul Patient: percussion, pixie phones (?)
- Christeen Isherwood: vocals, ideology
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
- Ashton Liburd: voice
- Boy: guitar synthesizer
- Tony Doyle: lead guitar
- Paul Gold: bass guitars and voice
- Ed Butler: drums and heavy percussion
None of these fellows seem to have many credits after Exposure; any info on their later careers is welcome. "Edge" on side 2 (track 8) could have been a hit, I think, but for the most part Exposure was stuck between genres, neither traditional enough nor quirky enough to really break through. Maybe not distinctive enough, either, although still pleasant enough to listen to. Get the vinyl rip here or here.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
As mentioned previously, here is the massive 1987 Third Mind compilation album For Your Ears Only: 25 songs over two LPs, some tracks previously unreleased, some rerecorded, and some taken straight from already-issued albums. It is the most comprehensive overview of the Third Mind label in existence. In fact it's so much music I wasn't able to fit a complete 192kbps rip into a single archive file, so each LP is a separate download. The track list is:
01 Bushido - Introduction (previously unreleased)
02 Bill Pritchard - Pas De Plaisanterie (previously unreleased)
03 Beautiful Pea Green Boat - And She Laughed Too (previously unreleased)
04 Attrition - Fusillade III (Both Barrels) (rerecorded version)
05 All Singing All Dancing - The Rising Tide (previously unreleased)
06 Bushido - Recalled To Life (rerecorded version)
07 CRedit - Almost Virgin (previously unreleased)
08 Beautiful Pea Green Boat - Paper House (from Future Tense)
09 Bushido - Time And Time Again (from "Voices"/"Time And Time Again" EP)
10 Attrition - Into The Waves (from In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts)
11 Bill Pritchard - Greek Street (previously unreleased)
12 All Singing All Dancing - The Grains Of Time (previously unreleased)
Get it here or here.
01 Badland - Til the Stars Fall (previously unreleased)
02 Intimate Obsessions - Why Can't I (rerecorded version)
03 Tragic Venus - Paintbox (previously unreleased)
04 Frontline Assembly - Aggression (previously unreleased)
05 Konstruktivits - Nostalgia (from Black December)
06 Bill Pritchard - Déjeuner Sur L'Herbe (previously unreleased)
07 Bushido - Question Of Time (from Deliverance)
08 Simon Fisher Turner - I Love Your Suit (previously unreleased)
09 Jung Analysts - Entrails (previously unreleased)
10 Edward Ka-Spel - And The Lord Said RISE (previously unreleased)
11 CRedit - What Are These Words (previously unreleased)
12 Attrition - Day I Was Born (from The Attrition of Reason)
13 Intimate Obsessions - Erebus To Hades (from Erebus to Hades)
Get it here or here.
I always liked the Jung Analysts song, but I never found any records by them. I've just found their (or his, Terry Burrows) 1985 album Sprockendidootch over on Mutant Sounds, and it's great! I love how the Internet has given me a chance to hear the records I missed the first time around.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Here's another album from Gary Levermore's Third Mind label, which you may have already realized is a Fantod Favorite. Portion Control, longtime purveyors of "hard, rhythmic electronics", greatly expanded their pallette on their 1987 album Psycho-Bod Saves the World (even recording a ballad, "H.O.T. Matter"), and then disappeared. They regrouped in 1990 as Solar Enemy, a "side project" that just happened to contain only members of Portion Control and sound just like Portion Control. Solar Enemy released an EP in 1990 (Techno Divinity), an album in 1991 (Dirty vs Universe), and one more in 1993 (Proceed to Beyond--Rape of Europa). Offered here is Dirty vs Universe, unfortunately just the 10-track US version and not the German version with several extra tracks. Still, if you like the danceable Portion Control of "The Great Divide" (let's hear it for punchy sequencers!), then these ten tracks will be sure to please you. They are:
- Welcome To Hell
- Inca Pisco
- Dark Angel
- Massive Radiation
Get the CD rip here or here. Portion Control reactivated and began releasing new material, and new packages of old material, in 2004. Their latest album, Slug, was released earlier this year; you can sample it (and buy it!) here.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Following SLab Paul [Jarvis] and I wrote a lot of stuff together largely based on the slab third album ( never released or even properly recorded but very diverse and way ahead of its time.... again!) At the same time I was writing with Sherman [a member of the last, unrecorded Slab lineup] who had basically single handedly got the NME to write about dance music and championed the Orb and Andrew Weatherall etc in his guise of Sherman at the Controls. He basically introduced electronic music to the NME audience. He was djing a lot and he and I wrote some tracks around 1990 one of which was released on Guerilla Records which was just about the leading dance label at the time. we chose the somewhat dubious name of Euphoria and the track was called Mercurial. It sold bucketloads and is on about 20 compilations....Anyway Euphoria sold and is still coming out on compilations... and me and Sherman got the princely sum of £150 each and a t shirt....After that I became Killer Moses and released 4 eps on Shermans own label called CLoak and Dagger. again it got lots of good press and reviews but the label went bust before an album came out. There are various Moses tracks on compilations... not sure how you categorise it really but the albumm was heroically dark.... a very narcotic Slab....
I would categorise it as instrumental dub/breakbeat, and "heroically dark" definitely fits; something like a cleaner Scorn or Ice. Offered here are three of the EPs:
Seizure EP (1995)
- Drive In
- Big Wheel
Unseen EP (1995)
- Killer Moses
- The Hanging Garden
Succubus EP (1996)
- Sea of Fear
With tracks ranging from six-and-a-half to nearly twelve minutes, there's plenty to listen to. The A-sides are especially seductive: they gain intensity as they wear on, and you might find yourself headbanging without realizing you'd started. Get the vinyl rips here or here.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
- Last Detail
- Fourth Warning
- Station KY
- Son of Sloth
- Born in a Wreck
- Sanity Allergy
- Cancer Beach
- Switchback Ride
- Land of the Midnight Sun
- Visiting Hour
These are some of the heaviest grooves ever committed to vinyl; the beats and scraping guitars and menacing vocals really do hit like slabs of granite, and I mean that in a good way! The uptempo instrumental "Son of Sloth" has the sheer animal vigor that more modern "action music" groups like The Crystal Method can only aspire to. The other uptempo track, "Cancer Beach," is catchy as hell with a killer bridge; don't listen to the people who slag it off! Get a vinyl rip of Sanity Allergy here or here, and keep an eye out for a new Slab album (which will not be posted here--support the band and buy it!).
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Robert Pereno is the frontman, looking and acting uncannily like Will Arnett as G.O.B. Bluth, and one of those women is L.A. Richards. (Also seen are robotic mime duo Tim Dry and Sean Crawford, who became Tik & Tok after Shock disbanded, and went on to record several records of prime minimal synthpop on the Survival label.) Pleasure and the Beast recorded only two singles during their short career. The first, "Dr Sex", was released in 1983 and was produced by Jimme O'Neill of Fingerprintz (and later Silencers) fame. The 12" release, offered here, has an extended version of "Dr Sex" and four additional songs. The title track is upbeat synthpop with lecherous overtones; Pereno and Richards seem to be positioning themselves as a raunchy, new-wave Captain and Tennille. The next two tracks, "Snake" and "Creep", hit a gothic funk groove not unlike early Brilliant; "Rock the House" has a glam-rock shout-along chorus that echoes Shock's glam influences; and the record closes with the pseudo-liturgical "Hymn". The band is listed as Pereno and Richards only, though there are two women with Pereno in the back cover photo; no musicians are credited. For their second release, 1984's "Gods Empty Chair", Pleasure and the Beast expanded to a real band: in addition to singers Pereno and Richards, there are Marty Williamson (guitars), Cheyne (bass), Simon Ellis (keyboards), and Martin Hanlin (drums). This record, produced by Rusty Egan (Visage) marks a turn away from sleaze and toward more "serious" pop. "Gods Empty Chair" sounds like a second-generation copy of New Order (or a copy of Secession), while the B-side, "Sometimes", has a more intense sound in the vein of Killing Joke. Not bad! It's a shame they never made any more records. Robert Pereno went on to have some success as a DJ, but I don't know enough about that to expand on it; I don't know whatever happened to L.A. Richards. I don't have the 7" releases with the single edits, but you can get rips of both 12-inch records here or here.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
The Beautiful Pea Green Boat (Obsessions LP posted here)
- Paper House
- The Vase
- Grey Parade
- The Invisible State
- Springtime in Prague
- Which Hand?
- A Forgotten Dream
- A'dam & Eva
The Legendary Pink Dots
- Premonition 5 (previously released on the Rising From The Red Sand cassette on Third Mind)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
- The Fastest Instrumental Alive (vocal-less version of the title track)
- Alone She Cries
- Like Thunder
- The Fastest Man Alive (I'm calling this the title track even though it has "Man" where the album title has "Men")
- Bring On The Rain
- The Fairest Of Them All
- Bomb Generation
Sunday, August 24, 2008
As promised, here is a new rip of the Abstract No. 5 LP from 1985 to replace the one that is no longer downloadable from Waves of Champaign. Rob Deacon started Abstract as a music magazine, then beginning with No. 4 a companion LP was released to accompany each issue, and from this project the great Sweatbox label was born. The cover touts "10 unreleased recordings," and at the time the album came out that was true, though most of the songs were eventually released by the respective bands. What is not true is that there are only 10 songs; there are actually 11, with the last track, "Sentient" by In the Nursery, omitted from all the packaging. The full track listing is:
- TEST DEPT. Fuel Foundation Of The Nation
- THE WOLFGANG PRESS Fire Eater
- 400 BLOWS Fire And Water
- SWANS Sealed In Skin
- CINDYTALK Playtime
- COLOURBOX Manic
- GENE LOVES JEZEBEL Flame
- AND ALSO THE TREES Maps In Her Wrists And Arms
- NYAM NYAM This Is The Place
- THE JAZZ BUTCHER Leaving It Up To You (live)
- IN THE NURSERY Sentient
A couple are quite experimental; the Test Dept. track is a political speech on the Welsh miners' strike followed by Test Dept. accompanying the bagpipe-heavy miners' band; the 400 Blows track is a sound collage not easily recognizable as "music" but with some structure and rhythm that is revealed through attentive listening. The Colourbox track features a great guitar solo by guest William Orbit; if only he had turned toward rock instead of Madonna, then I'm sure I would have listened to more of him in the 90s. The Jazz Butcher track is a John Cale cover, which if I recall correctly was banned from the radio for its mention of Manson Family murder victim Sharon Tate. Abstract No. 5 is another great selection of cutting-edge 80s rock; ripped from oddly mottled vinyl @192kbps, it is available here or here.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
- Quiet Village
- Uptown Downtown
- Hard Core Hawaiian
- Hawaiian Break
- Time Enough For Love
- Somewhere Faraway
- Pleasure Before Your Breakfast
- The Gate of Japonesia
Also notable is the electro vibe that Gota brings to Melon's sound (which was state-of-the-art back then), with "Pleasure" and "Funkasia" being real dancefloor contenders. Get the vinyl rip here or here.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Makaton Chat were a four-piece band from Stockton, UK, who released one single (Federal State Chance, 1982) and one album (Strange Beach, 1983) on Trans Records. Band members were:
- Anthony Lindo: lead vocal, keyboards
- John Hodgson: keyboards, vocal
- Paul Fowler: drums
- Richard Holmes: bass
On Strange Beach they are joined by:
- Sally Jones: saxophones
- Roy Neave: guitars
- Steve Graham: guitars
These performances show the band as a five-piece; does anyone know who the guitarist was for that gig (Dovecot Arts Centre, 1986)?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Spirit in the Dark A piano chord, a tentative statement by Urbie, and before you know it, everybody is swinging: "funk" style! Urbie wanted to come as close as possible to the feeling established by Aretha Franklin on this tune, while imparting his own interpretation to it. Notice how subtly Urbie leads the rhythm section in and out of double time feelings. The "mysterious" tape-reverb sections were conceived by Urbie, who also had a hand in its execution, along with engineer Don Hahn.
A Time for Love Don Heitler on electric piano (left) and Dick Hyman on organ (right) provide an intimate setting for Urbie's very personal and beautiful rendition of this Johnny Mandel masterpiece. Urbie's control of the instrument and his superb phrasing combine to make this an unforgettable performance. The tune fades out in a mist of delicate tones from the two keyboards.
Green Power This is Urbie's own composition, and it takes someone of Urbie's abilities to play it! Urbie uses the specially amplified trombone on this tune, which electronically duplicates each of his notes one octave lower. As usual, Urbie is "all over the horn", and his exciting performance here includes some remarkable "triple-tonguing" sections. The electric piano solo is by Dick Hyman, and the unusual musical and percussive effects emanating from your left channel are from Vinnie Bells' guitar.
Easy Come, Easy Go Dick Hyman's Lowrey organ, recorded in stereo, together with Jule Ruggiero's driving fender bass line and Grady Tate's "shuffling" drums pave the way for Urbie's commanding trombone. Solo work is shared by Urbie and Dick Hyman. As the tune closes, listen to Urbie hit a series of high "B♭'s" (almost two octaves above middle "C") and then effortlessly jump down three octaves for the final note!
Comin' Home Baby Urbie uses a larger ensemble on this tune and on "Lumps." Adding to the power here is Marion Milam on trumpet, George Opalisky on soprano sax, Jay Leonhart on fender bass, Tony Mottola and Howie Collins on guitar and Kathy Preston vocalist. After the first rocking chorus of this tune, Urbie switches to amplified trombone for an incredible display of the technique of articulation. Dick Hyman's organ solo is followed by a free for all jazz chorus. As the tune draws to a close, Urbie plays a masterful cadenza. Some additional ensemble "wailing" is climaxed by a long unison "fall-off".
Secret Love A Latin flavored rhythmic feeling (bossa-rock) is established in the introduction and forms the background for Urbie's handling of the tune. Urbie plays this tune with a mute, which gives a new sound "color" to the album. Notice the marvelous counterpoint of Russell George's repeated bass notes in the first chorus. A brief drum break by Grady Tate announces Urbie's jazz chorus. Dick Hyman is featured on the organ and his jazz work is wonderfully compatible with Urbie's.
This Is All I Ask Urbie's mellow trombone sings out the introduction of this Gordon Jenkins standard. As the first chorus begins, Dick Hyman's piano interlude tastefully embellishes Urbie's phrasing. A subtle but insistent rhythmic pulse (established by Julie Ruggiero on fender bass, Grady Tate on drums and Don Heitler on organ) carries through both choruses until Urbie's cadenza brings the tune to a close.
Sidewinder The combination of Russell George's fender bass, Grady Tate's drums and Dick Hyman's electric piano establishes the perfect feeling for this tour-de-force by Urbie. Urbie is playing the specially amplified trombone, which magnifies the power of his unique playing. Also featured in this arrangement are Dick Hyman on electric piano and Vinnie Bell, whose guitar solo is punctuated by Urbie's insistent rhythmic accompaniment.
Isn't It Odd This lilting bossa nova (in waltz time!) is the product of the creative mind of composer, Dick Hyman, whose piano playing begins the arrangement. Urbie glides his golden sound through the melody with supreme control. Also "gliding" (or is it "sliding"?) is the rhythm section as it wends its way through an ingenious structure of chords and rhythmic accents. Vinnie Bell's guitar provides the sitar-like sounds in the second chorus, as well as the "waterfall" effect of the introduction.
Lumps Dick Hyman, composer of this tune, starts off on the electric piano (right) and is answered on the left by Howie Collins' guitar. Urbie's melodic phrases are answered by the ensemble in like manner. The addition of Phil Bodner on baritone sax adds to the power. Urbie plays an incredible three and one half octave fall off at the end of the chorus. Solo work is again shared by Urbie and Dick Hyman throughout the tune which rocks its way into the fade ending.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Very few drummers are also bandleaders, but the bands that Ronald Shannon Jackson has put together (as The Decoding Society) are smokin', and none moreso than the lineup of 1982's Mandance:
Henry Scott, trumpet and flugelhorn (tracks 3-7)
Zane Massey, saxophones (tenor, alto, soprano)
Vernon Reid, guitars and banjo
Melvin Gibbs, electric bass
Reverend Bruce Johnson, electric bass
David Gordon, trumpet (tracks 1, 2, and 8)
Lee Rozie, saxophone (tracks 1, 2, and 8)
And of course Jackson on drums throughout. As someone who grew up listening mostly to rock music, when I ventured into jazz I naturally gravitated toward jazz with a rock edge, and this is one of the rockingest jazz albums I've ever heard. They just don't let up! The list of musicians that Jackson has collaborated with is a veritable Who's Who of free jazz and its modern variants: Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer, Albert Ayler, Bill Frisell, Peter Brötzmann, Bill Laswell, and Albert Mangelsdorff, to name a few, not to mention the players on this spectacular disc. The tracks are:
05-The Art of Levitation
08-When Souls Speak
09-Alice in the Congo
Originally released on vinyl by Island's Antilles imprint, this rip is from the Japanese CD release on Polystar @192kbps; get it here or here.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
For their second album, Bees Knees & Chickens Elbows, Blue Rondo a la Turk dropped the "a la Turk" from their name, several band members, and everything that made their sound distinctive, i.e. the postpunk edge and the retro big-band sound. What's left sounds like countless other mildly funky British blue-eyed soul bands of the day. The original concept shines through a bit in "Masked Moods" with its smoky lounge vibe, and the rest of the songs are pleasant enough to listen to, but the spark is gone. The band had already broken up anyway by the time the album came out in 1984, so Bees Knees stands more as a last gasp than a document of an evolving band. I wish I could sound more positive about it, but I can still feel the disappointment I felt in 1984 when I got the record home and put it on the turntable. Maybe you will like it, though; get the vinyl rip here or here.
I had a request for Blue Rondo's Too Soon to Come album: that is simply a compilation of tracks from their two original albums with no new material, so if you grab the two album rips here, you've got everything that's on Too Soon to Come.
02 I Spy for the FBI
04 The Heavens Are Crying
05 The Method
06 They Really Don't
08 Klacto Vee Sedstein
10 Me and Mr Sanchez
Get the Chewing the Fat vinyl rip here or here.