Sunday, August 24, 2008

Various Artists - Abstract No. 5

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:

  1. TEST DEPT. Fuel Foundation Of The Nation
  3. 400 BLOWS Fire And Water
  4. SWANS Sealed In Skin
  5. CINDYTALK Playtime
  6. COLOURBOX Manic
  8. AND ALSO THE TREES Maps In Her Wrists And Arms
  9. NYAM NYAM This Is The Place
  10. THE JAZZ BUTCHER Leaving It Up To You (live)
  11. 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.


Salty Miss Jill said...

This sounds like the soundtrack from my art school days!

Fantod said...

I should hope so; I would have to question your art-school cred if it weren't. ;^)

Anonymous said...

Infinite thanks. I haven't seen/heard this since around 1985. I sought this post because of the SWANS track, which is an early sketch of a track later released on the "Time is Money (Bastard)" 12-inch, and more in line with material found on the "Body to Body" SWANS anthology. I'll take a listen to the rest of the tracks - a good time-capsule of what I'd hear "now playing" at the local indie/undie record store in '85.

siys said...

Your Blog is FUCKING INCREDIBLE!! Thank you for all of these awesome shares!! You are a GEM!

Fantod said...

Thanks, Stevo! That is a fab site you've got there too, I can see that I will be spending a lot of time going through your archives. Cheers!