Saturday, May 31, 2008

Richard Toro and John Orsi - Music for Bass and Drumset

This may be the most obscure album I've put up so far: a 1985 live-in-the-studio set by Boston musicians Richard Toro (bass) and John Orsi (drumset), released on Lilith Records. From the press release:

Richard Toro and John Orsi have seen service together in two Providence quartets: 'Tightrope' and 'The Parents'. From there, Richard went onto co-charter the adventurous 'Ante M' who recorded an excellent cassette sampler for Lilith before disbanding last year.

John Orsi, upon relocating to Boston, teamed up with Ann Arbor's 'It Play' who had also recently switched locales. John took leave of absence after eighteen months to develop this lp with Richard and to begin recording his first solo disc. John maintains an active catalog of solo releases on the Lilith label which have garnered him critical acclaim from both print and radio media. The double single 'Can You Draw Attention' is widely considered his finest effort to date.
I really liked Orsi's "Noisy Data" single, but I haven't heard it in over twenty years; if you have it, would you kindly rip it and send it along? Music for Bass and Drumset should not be mistaken for improvisatory noodling, as there are definite song structures in place, with progressions and dynamics that were obviously thought out beforehand. It's rare for bass and drums to take center stage, and Toro and Orsi take advantage of the setup to present a surprising range of styles and textures. Don't worry, there are some funky beats lurking within the album's nine tracks. Get the vinly rip here or here.

Pigbag live

Pigbag (full band history here) was a fantastic melting pot of rock, funk, jazz, and Latin styles; unfortunately they were only together for three years, 1980-83. After the breakup, Y Records released this album of odds and ends, containing seven live tracks from five shows and a remix of "Jump the Line." Most notable are the live versions of "Sunny Day" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag," and a cover of the Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong classic "Smiling Faces (Sometimes)" which did not appear on any of Pigbag's studio albums. The full track listing is:
A1 Shack of Scraps Live - Berlin Latin Quarter - 5th April 1983
A2 Smiling Faces Live - Berlin Latin Quarter - 5th April 1983
A3 Sunny Day Live - Birmingham Locarno - 17th March 1982
A4 Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag Live - Hammersmith Palais - 16th March 1982
B1 Jump The Line Remix - Jacobs Studio - December 1982
B2 Global Terrain Live - Berlin Latin Quarter - 5th April 1983
B3 End of Ubud Live - Munich Alabama Hall - 6th April 1983
B4 Can't See for Looking Live - Tokyo Sun Plaza - July 1982

Get the vinyl rip here or here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vital Excursions - Give!

From the "If you like Pigbag" department, here is the only album by Vital Excursions, Give! (1982). Vital Excursions was led by saxophonist/flautist Tony Wrafter, and had a Pigbag-style lineup of:
  • Voice: Angela Stewart
  • Kit: Dan Sheals
  • Bass: Moen Parera
  • Viola: Sara Sarahandi
  • Bass Violin (isn't that a cello?): Pete Brandt
  • Piano: Fiona Fleck
  • Congas: Steve Lewis
  • Trombone: John Fairbrother
  • Percussion: Paul (Nellie) Hooper
There is a real, albeit circuitous, relationship to Pigbag as well: Wrafter had been a member of Maximum Joy, which included former members of The Pop Group (John Waddington and Dan Catsis), while Pigbag also included a former Pop Group member (Simon Underwood). Wrafter and Catsis were also both members of the Glaxo Babies, as was fellow Maximum Joy member Charlie Llewellin. Clear as mud. Give! is sometimes listed as a mini-LP because it contains just six songs. It's actually a full-length album, though, because the track that takes up all of side two, "Going to the Give", is over eighteen minutes long. It combines rock and Eastern musical styles, prefiguring Eric Random's Ishmael LP which came out three years later. The five songs on side one sound like Pigbag for the most part, with the exception of the mellow jazz "In the Swim." So if you like Pigbag, get the Vital Excursions vinyl rip here or here.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Out of all the British blue-eyed funk bands from the early 80s, Funkapolitan was definitely one of them. They had an eight-man lineup, produced stiff but passable pop-funk, and released three singles and one album (produced by August Darnell, a.k.a. Kid Creole, with a cover design by Factory's Peter Savile) which was generally well reviewed. They tried a little Sugarhill-style rap on "There it is again," even mentioning "wheels of steel." The back cover of the album has a band member/song matrix with an instrument key that shows exactly who (Kadir Guirey, Simon Ollivierre, Nick Jones, Sagat Guirey, Toby Andersen, Terry President, Tom Dixon, Gregory Craig, and guests Larry Greenberg and Annise Hadeed) played what (drums, claves, congas, tambourine, bongos, shakere, agogo, caxixi, cowbell, guiro, timbali, cabasa, steel drums, marimbas, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, Clavinet, Rhodes, Synclavier, grand piano, Arp strings, Farfisa organ, Hammond organ, acoustic piano, Vox organ, synthesizer solo, statement, lead vocals, vocal, backing vocal, rap, handclaps, jawbone) on each song. As you can see from the list, the arrangements are interesting and make for good listening, even if the songs are not particularly memorable. Their Top of the Pops rendition of "As the time goes by" has turned up on YouTube:

Get the LP rip here or here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

David Harrow twelve-inches

As a supplement to the previous post of David Harrow's 1983 solo album, The Succession, here are a couple 12-inch singles from his 80s solo career. "Our Little Girl" is taken from The Succession and extended by about a minute via the rather abrupt insertion of a drums-and-slap-bass break; the B-side is the non-LP "Reflections." From 1984, on Ink Records, we have the "No Easy Targets" 12-inch. On "Targets" Harrow adopts Stephen Mallinder's recitative vocal style and adds a snarl to it which makes for his most effective vocal performance, in my opinion. Pinkie Maclure contributes backing vocals. The B-side, "Complete Control (Night-Time Sleaze)" is a long instrumental with samples of movie dialog, and bass played by Mik Corr. Get both vinyl rips zipped together here or here. (Links removed at artist's request: look for reissues!)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

David Harrow - The Succession

Before coming up with his James Hardway and Technova aliases in the mid-90s, David Harrow had already been recording under his given name for about 15 years. According to
His first recordings were created in Berlin in 1981/1982 when he was working with a woman called Anne Clark. The sound they created was soon termed new beat or industrial and along with DAF they kick started the European electronic dance scene. When Harrow visits Germany today, he is still hailed "The Godfather Of Techno".
Later in the 80s and into the 90s, Harrow would collaborate heavily with Genesis P-Orridge, Jah Wobble, and Adrian Sherwood. He also recorded an EP with singer Peter Hope of Sheffield band The Box in 1985, posted here. Often overlooked, though, is the solo album he recorded in 1983 for release on Red Flame/10 Records , The Succession. Harrow assembled quite a band for the occasion: John White, a.k.a. U.V. Pop (!), on guitar and saxophone, Roger Quail (of The Box and the original ClockDVA lineup) on drums and percussion, Gary Malkin on bass (who? can't find any more info on him), and Janice Chaplin (?) on backing vocals. Harrow is credited with vocals, keyboards, guitar, and percussion. He is obviously not very comfortable as a singer: he tries out several different singing styles throughout the course of the album, but none quite fit. His compositional and instrumental skills, on the other hand, are already fully developed even on this early record. The track listing is:
  • A1 Introduction
  • A2 Without Sin
  • A3 Driving Force
  • A4 Our Little Girl
  • A5 Here
  • B1 Kick
  • B2 Still Optimistic
  • B3 Civilised
  • B4 Belief
Get the vinyl rip here or here. (Links removed at artist's request: look for reissues!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cosmetic - Get Ready

I had a more substantial post planned--the sole album by 80s funk band Cosmetic--but as luck would have it, EduFunKY just posted it to the Boogie Grooves blog yesterday. At least I checked before I ripped this time! So I'll just offer up this addendum, their 1982 12" single (non-LP) of "Get Ready," the 1966 Temptations song written by Smokey Robinson and recharted by Rare Earth in 1970. Cosmetic's was more or less a pop vehicle for Philadelphia-born electric bassist (and Ornette Coleman protege) Jamaaladeen Tacuma, so if you like kinetic basslines, this is a must have. The lead vocals are by Veronica Johnson, about whom I have no information whatsoever. The B-side, "Put It On," is a ska instrumental with some unusual guitar chords, as if Andy Summers sat in with the (English) Beat. The full band line-up is:
  • Jamaaladeen Tacuma: electrical bass guitar
  • Timothy Murphy: electrical guitar/effects
  • Rick McClary: drums/percussion
  • James Watkins: guest saxophonist
  • Veronica Johnson: lead vocal on Get Ready
  • Greg Allen: Trumpet on Get Ready
  • Bill Brecker: Korg synthesizer on Put It On lists this as a Gramavision (US) release, but this rip is taken from the UK Rough Trade pressing. Get it here or here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Men - Matrix of Compassion

Here is the followup to my post of The Men's first record, Herminutics. Its six songs were all very inspired funk-leaning postpunk. To repeat the basic information from the first post:
Men were a Chicago punk/industrial band from the early 80s, sharing or featuring
ex-members of the more popular band The Mentally Ill. Founded by Snat 5 Records head Art MacQuilkin, they released a 12" in 1981. (The Chicago Punk Database)
That 12" would be Herminutics; they followed it up in 1982 with a full-length album, Matrix of Compassion, which finds them either stretching out or dicking around; it seems to be a little bit of both. About half the songs retain the weird, ACR-ish funk groove from the first record, but in between there is the noir jazz narrative "Sorry," the long blues piss-take "Dead Blue," the straight-up punk rocker "Nutron Baby," and a few slabs of pure weirdness. The band lineup on this record is essentially the same as on the first, but with more details:
Sven Herman: guitars, melodies, and piano
Reggie Mars McFadden: guitars, melodies, and synthesizer
Arthur E. MacQuilkin III: guitar, melodies, and vocals
John Sterling Santee: sax, melodies, percussion

Amy Fischer: vocals on "Remain"
Steve George: drums

The album packaging is interesting in itself: instead of a sleeve it's a cardstock envelope (like Section 25's Always Now) with a square hole cut in the front to expose the record label. All in all it's a great relic of the creative side of the early 80s; get the vinyl rip here or here (new links 1/3/2010). (If you have any information on later musical projects of The Men or its members, please let me know in the comments.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Surprize - Complete Discography

It's easy to post a complete discography for a band when they only released eight songs on two records! Italian band Surprize released the four-song The Secret Lies In Rhythm EP on Italian label Base Records in 1982, and another four-song EP, In Movimento, on Factory Benelux in 1984. In Movimento is known primarily for its Manchester connections: it was a "Dojo-BeMusic production," or Donald Johnson of A Certain Ratio (who also contributes bass, Simmons, and backing vocals) and Bernard Sumner of New Order (credited with DMX programming). The main credits are as follows:
  • Mirko Virdo Pellati: drums, simmons, backing vocals
  • Wud: voice, synthesizer, guiro, cow bells
  • Luca Patini: guitars, wood block
  • Francisco Garau: vibraphone, balafon, bongos, cow bells, cabasa, talking floor drum, kokiriko, backing vocalsLuciano Graffi: bass, click bass, fretless bass
  • Frank Nemola: trumpet, trombone

With an instrumental lineup like that, and an ACR member at the desk, there is a definite ACR feel to the record, most like their To Each... and Sextet period. On the earlier EP, the back cover shows Surprize as a seven-piece band, though the members are not listed. While there is an arty gloss to In Movimento, the The Secret Lies In Rhythm is more lively, with the horns and varied percussion more prominent in the mix; it's more in the vein of Pigbag than ACR, and it's a lot of fun. Unfortunately it's also very short, clocking in at just over 16 minutes. But put it together with the second EP and you've got a whole album's worth of above-average, occasionally brilliant postpunk art-funk. Get them here or here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Flex 13 - Paint My Legs

Peter Hope and Charlie Collins of Sheffield no-wave band The Box (and Clock DVA, in Collins' case), who broke up in 1985, resurfaced in 1998 as Flex 13. They released a CD on Liquid Records called Paint My Legs, which is described on the back cover as "A recording of sonically degraded cinemorphic sidewinder blues... (Flex) 13 uneasy listenings for the escalator down." (Because there are 13 tracks.) Hope is credited with "voice/instruments/theft," Collins with "instruments/boxes/wires." It's a much lower-key affair than The Box; the joyous, frenetic cacophony is gone, replaced by slow to mid-tempo blues and dub beats, often sampled and looped (I assume that's the "theft"). Hope's vocals rarely rise above a murmured growl, with none of the yelping and bursting energy of his 80s work. It's not bad; it seems to have come out of the whole chill-out craze of the 90s, but it has more character than most music in that genre, as you can see from the song titles:
  1. Blind
  2. Trip To The Root
  3. Schizophrenic Lover
  4. Give Me Wings
  5. Ghost Run
  6. Nuthin'
  7. Burning Arms
  8. (conscious withdrawal)
  9. Lucky
  10. Black Air
  11. Wheelhouse
  12. 5:53 Madness
  13. (broken)
The variety of instrumental sounds is also interesting; in that respect it bears some similarity to Dry Hip Rotation. No Peter Hope collection can be complete without it. Get it here or here.

(This is the most recent recording of Peter Hope I've been able to find. If you know of any newer material, please let me know in the comments.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Royal Family and the Poor - Live 1983-1985

Royal Family and the Poor is the musical vehicle of Michael Keane of Liverpool. Keane is steeped in mystical and occult traditions, and his best work (which is most of it) conveys all the attendant beauty, joy, fear, and mystery of his spiritual endeavors, by turns gentle and powerful. After two albums for Factory Records, Keane left the label and signed up with Bourbonese Qualk's Recloose Organization. The vinyl fruit of that alliance is a single album, Live 1983-1985. The performances capture the gentle side of Keane's musical vision as he sings over a drum machine and backing synths. The tracks and recording dates are as follows:
  1. Restrained in a Moment (which Keane introduces by its alternate title, "I Love You") - London, 24.1.85
  2. Dawn Song - Edinburgh, 5.2.85
  3. Visions - Glasgow, 6.2.85
  4. Transparent - Liverpool, 2.4.85
  5. Something Someone - Stafford, 6.5.83
  6. Destiny - Stafford, 6.5.83
  7. Heartbeat - Edinbugh, 5.2.85

Live 1983-1985 was issued in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. It was not reissued on CD by LTM's Boutique label along with the rest of the Royal Family and the Poor catalog. Get the vinyl rip here or here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Beautiful Pea Green Boat - Obsessions

Here's some pretty music for a change of pace. Beautiful Pea Green Boat took their name from Edward Lear's poem "The Owl and the Pussycat" and recorded for Gary Levermore's Third Mind label, where they fit in perfectly. If I had to categorize their music I would call it "electronic shoegaze"; their sound occupies the middle ground somewhere between Cocteau Twins and Curve, I think. They had a female vocalist, of course: Heather Wright on these recordings. The instrumental backing was the work of Ian Williams. If you look at a discography of Beautiful Pea Green Boat it looks like they released four albums; while that is true, they are all just permutations of the first album, Obsessions (1987), and accretions of a few additional tracks recorded in the subsequent years. Presented here are all eight songs from Obsessions plus the two tracks from the Third Mind sampler LP Future Tense ("The Vase" and a longer version of "Paper House") (all vinyl rips). Or here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Box - Great Moments In Big Slam

This post is made possible by a generous gentleman from Sheffield, who donated his copies of two records by The Box to fill in the gaps of the blog's Box discography. In 1983 Go! Discs released "Old Style Drop Down" from the Secrets Out album as a single; presented here is the 12" version, with an extended mix on the A-side and the original mix on the B-side, plus the non-LP track "Momentum." Then in 1984 The Box recorded the 8-song mini-album Great Moments In Big Slam and came as close to success as they ever would: their label Go! Discs had struck a distribution deal with Chrysalis. Unfortunately the increased marketing muscle could not sell the general public on The Box, who (thankfully) had not made any concessions to the mainstream in their recordings; on Great Moments In Big Slam Peter Hope and the crew are as skronky as ever. The Box were subsequently dropped from Go! Discs and went on to make just one more studio record (the Muscle In EP) before disbanding. Their final release was the live album Muscle Out, which is my only remaining hole in the discography. When I get ahold of it, and it's just a matter of time, be assured that I will post it here. Until then, thanks to our donor, here are Great Moments In Big Slam and Old Style Drop Down. (Or here.) The Box's reedman, Charlie Collins, is still active in the Sheffield free jazz scene, though he plays mostly percussion instruments now. See here for more info.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Flowerpot Men (Part 2 of 2)

For their third release, 1986's Alligator Bait EP, The Flowerpot Men expanded to a four-piece.... maybe. Drummer Mark Irving is undoubtedly a real person, but the "Mr. Delmardes" credited with keyboards and programming has never shown up anywhere else. The "foursome" are joined by singers Sam Brown and Margo Buchanan on backing vocals. The two songs on side one, "Alligator Bait" and "Django", fall into the Flowerpots' established formula, but they widen their horizons on the B-side. "Watching the Pharoahs" (sic) has light, boppy verses divided by a rocking chorus, and "Sharpen My Heart" is a slow, creepy ballad. Also recorded in 1986 was The Janice Long Session, a four-song live performance for Radio One. On this record (recorded March 9, 1986, broadcast April 24, 1986, and produced by Barry Andrews) the band consists of the core duo of Ben Watkins and Adam Peters plus the two backup singers from Alligator Bait. What's notable is how close the performances sound to the studio recordings (most of it is programmed), but also how distinctive Peters' electric cello sounds. So that's what those deep whooshing sounds are. The session also introduced a new Flowerpot Men song, the bouncy "Beat City." That song would appear on the Ferris Bueller's Day Off soundtrack, but no soundtrack album was ever released. Does anyone know if that was a studio version, or this live-in-the-studio session? The Janice Long Session was their last record before they signed to Polydor and became Sunsonic, so this concludes my Flowerpot Men posts. Get both 4-song EPs here or here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Flowerpot Men (Part 1 of 2)

Ben Watkins and Adam Peters first recorded together on the sessions for Watkins' first album with Martin "Youth" Glover, The Empty Quarter, in 1983. Thereafter they began recording together as The Flowerpot Men, releasing their first single (on 12" only), "Jo's So Mean (to Josephine)", in 1984 on their own Compost Records label. It's an odd song, carrying over the sequencer from The Empty Quarter, adding lyrics and a drum machine with an undanceable beat and a general goth feel. The B-side contains two songs, "Rapids," which mostly duplicates the A-side's formula but with a slightly more conventional beat, and the odd atmospheric instrumental "UG", which is built around a repeating guttural growl. For their follow-up single in 1985 they recorded an epic cover of Dr. John's "Walk On Gilded Splinters," with a guest vocal from Dr. John himself! The Flowerpot Men's high-octane synth-based version is a far cry from Dr. John's spooky original (check it out here), but its energy is irresistible and there are some striking beat changes sprinkled throughout. The B-side, "Melting Down On Motor Angel" (later to be the title of their Polydor album as Sunsonic, although not actually on the album) returns to the style of their first record, which now that I think about it is pretty close to early Nitzer Ebb, but more arty than aggressive. Get both records here or here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Hitmen - Torn Together

The Hitmen's second album, Torn Together (1981), is a big step forward from the first. The songwriting is more distinctive, the arrangements are more imaginative, and the production is a lot punchier (courtesy of Rhett Davies this time). The album's best song, the opener "Bates Motel," was actually written by the drummer, Mike Gaffey, one of three songs that he wrote or co-wrote. There's an excellent fan review of Torn Together here. This would be the last release from The Hitmen; get it here or here. Ben Watkins would appear as a guest vocalist on guitarist Pete Glenister's next project, Gates by the studio concoction "New Asia" (1982). That postpunk masterpiece is available on Mutant Sounds.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Hitmen - Aim for the Feet

From way back in 1980, here are the first released recordings of Ben Watkins, as far as I know, as the lead singer and secondary guitarist of The Hitmen (not the Australian band). This first album, Aim for the Feet, was released on Urgent Records, a division of Columbia (in the U.S., at least, where my copy of the album comes from). Let's first take a look at the promo sheet for the album (click image for full size and readable text):

Sounds great, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to listen to an album produced by Rocky Burnett's producer? They needn't have worried about being buried in platinum: unfortunately it's rather generic-sounding New Wave, and barely New Wave at that. There are a few hummable tunes, but overall it's pretty ho-hum. Still, it's essential listening for the Ben Watkins completist. Get it here or here. The second Hitmen album, coming soon, is a great improvement.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Peter Hope & the Jonathan S. Podmore Method - Dry Hip Rotation

Here is another of Peter Hope's one-off collaborations after the breakup of The Box in 1985. 1986's Dry Hip Rotation, recorded with Jonathan "Jono" Podmore (who would later become known as Kumo) has Hope's trademark growl/howl and off-the-wall lyrics over decidedly unconventional backing tracks (even for Hope). Podmore supplies most of the instrumentation, which includes: half-pound baking tin, cutlery, Parkinson Cowan oven, Robot Chef, plates, Hoover Junior, Creda Tumble Drier 400, C. Z. Gate, stone, tapes, EMS Synthi AKS, stairs, harmonica, ceramics, four pound sledgehammer, prepared piano, violin, rhythm box, two foot scaffolding section, EMS VCS 3, drills, screams, and masonry chisel. Cabaret Voltaire fellow-traveler Alan Fish provides percussion on a few tracks, and there are also guest spots by Sheffield noise mavens John Janosch and Charlie Collins. All this came six years before Tom Waits would impress everyone and reignite his career with a similar approach on Bone Machine. Coincidence? Get Dry Hip Rotation here or here. (Links removed: album reissued!) Hope and Podmore recorded one more song together, "Toilet", which appears only on the 12" single of "Kitchenette." I don't have that one; if anyone can supply a rip of "Toilet" I'll add it to the DRH archive; please leave a note in the comments.

Youth & Ben Watkins - The Empty Quarter

As referenced in my previous post, here is the first collaborative album by Martin "Youth" Glover and Ben "Juno Reactor" Watkins, The Empty Quarter. Released in 1983, it is an all-instrumental affair, and a more abstract album than their next one, Delirium, as befits its status as a soundtrack (for the play Street Captives by Jonathan Moore). It does have some of the more "foreground" musical elements that would play a greater part on Delirium, though. "Incompressible Megalasaurians" highlight's Youth's funk bass playing (which was also a staple of Brilliant's sound at the time), and "Repulsion" sounds more than a little like a Goblin soundtrack piece. Playing cello on the album is Adam Peters, who would subsequently team up with Watkins as The Flowerpot Men (later Sunsonic); "Three Go Down To Brighton" sounds like an early draft of the Flowerpots' B-side track "UG". Full performance credits are:
Youth: bass, percussion, keyboard
Ben Watkins: keyboards, drums, guitars
Adam Peters: cello
Kate St. John: oboe
Steve Irwin: percussion

Get it here or here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Empty Quarter - Delirium

This was almost a "someone beat me to it" post; Rho-Xs did indeed post it last June, but his download link has expired, so I can offer up my own rip, inferior though it probably is. Youth (ex-Killing Joke, represented on this blog so far by his recordings with Brilliant) and Ben Watkins (Juno Reactor) first teamed up to record an album called The Empty Quarter (soon here) in 1983 as the official soundtrack from the play Street Captives by Jonathan Moore. For their second collaboration, 1986's Delirium, they adopted The Empty Quarter as their band name. Like their first album it's all instrumental, but with a greater focus on rhythms. The beats run from tribal to industrial to gothic funk a la Brilliant (unsurprisingly) with several guest musicians filling out the sound. The full performing credits are:
Ben Watkins: keyboards, guitars, programming
Youth: keyboards, bass programming
Dave Heath: flute
Kate St. John: oboe, sax
Jake Le Mesurier: percussion, drums
Chris Bell: drums
'Mainframe'-John and Murray: Greengate programming
'Ranking Seymour': voice
Guy 'Thumb' Pratt: bass
This is one of several "techno-worldbeat" albums that came out in the late 80s/early 90s that in my opinion are classics. More albums in that category that other bloggers have posted are:

Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman: Songs from the Victorious City
Eric Random and the Bedlamites: Ishmael
Saqqara Dogs: Thirst and World Crunch

But the point of this post is The Empty Quarter's Delirium: get it here or here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sunsonic - Melting Down On Motor Angel

As The Flowerpot Men, Ben Watkins and Adam Peters brought a dark edge to 80s synthpop. Upon signing to Polydor they changed their name to Sunsonic (presumably because there had already been a band called the Flowerpot Men in the 60s) and released a single album, Melting Down On Motor Angel (a Flowerpot Men track that did not appear on the album, oddly enough) in 1990, before they split up and Ben Watkins went on to become Juno Reactor. Melting Down marks the middle ground between the rock-influenced synthpop of the 80s and the full-fledged techno of the 90s. Here is that album, the first of several projected Ben Watkins Before Juno Reactor posts. (Or here.)