Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jack-Knife: I Wish You Would (John Wetton)

Jack-Knife was a 1979 one-off recording project of John Wetton (lead vocals, bass, keyboards), Richard Palmer-James (guitars), John Hutcheson (Hammond organ, piano, backing vocals), and Curt Cress (drums and percussion). About the project, Wetton says:

Really, what it was, Jack Knife was an excuse, because I had a record deal, it was an excuse for me to indulge myself and a few friends who had been at school with me, and to do an album of the songs that we used to play when we were at school together. It was never meant to be a serious career move. But in fact it still sells okay, it's not a bad seller. And people I speak to say, oh I hated it when it came out, but I kinda like it now (laughs). I went straight from UK to Jack Knife, and then back to UK again, it was coming out of the sauna getting into an ice bath and then getting back into the sauna again, that's what it was like for me. It was an indulgence to do that record. [Full interview here.]
It's half blues covers and half originals, with some energetic bass playing by Wetton (especially on the title track), some tasty solos by Palmer-James, and several great drum breaks for the groove miners. Additional credits go to Peter Bischof (extra voices), Michael Lohmann (saxophone), and Christian Schultz (Mini Moog).

Vinyl rip, mp3@128, 33.9M.
Get it here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Growing Up Different: A+B=C

After the (first) breakup of Maryland AOR faves Face Dancer, Billy Trainor and Scott McGinn teamed up with D.J. Long to form the synth-based new wave band Growing Up Different. They recorded one EP, A+B=C; there's no date on it but I think it's 1983. Here it is.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pretty Poison: Laced

Philadelphia band Pretty Poison were solidly "new wave" before they went mainstream with "Nighttime" and "Catch Me I'm Falling." Here is their 1983 4-song EP, Laced, on their own Svengali label. I've added a bonus track, "Secrets," from the Philly sampler LP I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia on Burn Potential Records, also from 1983. (I'll have that whole album up eventually, with bands including Book of Love, Bunnydrums, and Executive Slacks. Watch this space!)

Jade Starling on MySpace

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Brilliant: indie label singles and LP tracks

Here are a bunch of tracks from Brilliant, Youth/Martin Glover's band between his first and second stint with Killing Joke. They started out as a ten-piece with a biting gothic funk sound; by the time they were signed to WEA (by Bill Drummond, soon to be half of the KLF) they were down to a three-piece: Youth, singer June Montana, and guitarist Jimi Cauty (soon to be the other half of the KLF). Their sound had also been whittled down to rather generic synth-funk, a rather pale imitation of Colour Box. Their disastrous album for WEA was produced by dance schlockmeisters Stock Aitken Waterman; talk about a long way down! But the early singles remain as some of the best beat-oriented gothic music of the time. Included here are:
That's What Good Friends Are For (the first single plus B-side, Push)
Colours (two mixes)
Scream Like an Angel (from The Whip LP)
Coming Up for the Downstroke (from the Bat Cave Young Limbs and Numb Hymns LP)
Soul Murder (two mixes plus B-side, The Growler)
Subtle Manoevres (from the Imminent One Food Records sampler LP)
Wait For It (two mixes plus B-side, Cut Price) (I know this is not technically an indie release, as it's after WEA took a stake in Food Ltd., but so what)
13 tracks, mp3@128, cover art in ID3 tags.

Get it here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chakk indie label singles

This blog is going to be harder than I thought. I planned on sharing many of the vinyl rips that I've made for myself over the years, but as I get ready to upload an album I keep finding that another blogger has already done it. Eric Random's fantastic Ishmael mini-LP? No Longer Forgotten Music posted it last August. Mekanik Kommando's It would be quiet in the woods...? Mutant Sounds posted it last May. Belfegore's A Dog Is Born? Mutant Sounds again. Phoenix Hairpins and New Romantic Rules likewise cover a lot of material I have. Still, I have a few rips that I haven't seen elsewhere, and I have some more in the pipeline. Here's a collection of Chakk's independent-label 12" singles, i.e. before and after their one-album association with MCA. Chakk was the funkiest of the 80s Sheffield bands and should have made it big. Included here are:

Out of the Flesh 12" (Doublevision, three mixes)
You 12" (the first release on FON, two mixes of "You" and two of "They Say"),
Chakk Theme from Abstract Magazine 6 (Audio/Visual) on Sweatbox

Timebomb 12" (FON, three mixes)
Bloodsport 12" (FON, three mixes, as backing band for South African band the Swanhunters; sounds just like Chakk, though)

14 tracks in all, mp3@128, 70.2 M.

According to, Chakk put out an album-length cassette in 1982 called Clocks and Babies. If anyone could hook me up with a copy (or a rip) of that, I would be eternally grateful!

New links: Get zip file here or here.
Chakk on MySpace.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Naúx: Light, Traps and Exploding Wires

Here is Light, Traps and Exploding Wires, the only solo album by "Naúx" (Juan Maciel). Naúx is pronounced "nah-ooj," apparently based on a reversed spelling of his first name. Naúx was a guitarist for Richard Hell during the Destiny Street sessions, and was a member of the core duo (with bassist Steve Cohen) of China Shop. China Shop has enjoyed a retrospective digital download release from Anthology Recordings, but Naúx's solo album remains a vinyl-only rarity. Light, Traps... was the second release on the Noise New York label (NNY 002, no year listed but probably 1983), recorded at Noise New York studio by Eddie Ciletti "when it was located on 34th Street above La Polpetta (the Meatball) and owned by Frank and Dwight Eaton (pre-Kramer)" (per Ciletti). It has all the hallmarks of the No Wave catchall: jagged guitar lines, funky basslines, lyrics of alienation, and an all-around artiness; you know, the style introduced by Talking Heads on Fear of Music and Remain in Light. Other musicians on the album include Fred Maher, Robert Quine, Sussan Deihim, Richard Horowitz, and Frank Eaton. Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deihim would go on to release exquisite albums of synth-heavy Western/Middle Eastern fusion; Fred Maher was the original drummer in Material; and Robert Quine is well-known as Richard Hell's main guitarist, and for his guitar work on Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend". Come to think of it, Maher was a guitarist as well as a drummer, and he and Quine released an album together called Guitar Men. Steve Cohen may play bass on at least one track, as he shares a songwriting credit too. So whatever happened to Naúx? I can't find any evidence that he continued in music after the mid-80s. He was still alive as of 2006, when he supplied some China Shop history to Anthology Recordings. I would have liked to hear more music from him. In closing, I will direct you to WMA files of four more Naúx songs on this page of Eddie Ciletti's website.

Get it here.