Monday, 21 January 2019

British Blood (1986) C90

The above image isn't the cover, because there never was a cover. Instead it's some photocopy of a collage knocked up presumably by Trev upon the back of which one page of a letter was written, because we used to write to each other quite a lot. Trev, as you probably know, is best known as half of the Grey Wolves, and I knew him because I released Hopscotch by Opera for Infantry - a previous incarnation of the Grey Wolves - on Do Easy, my tape label. I gather that at some point in 1986 Trev had said he was going to send me a new tape for release on Do Easy by Nails ov Christ, the name under which he had taken to performing at the time, but, as he explains in the salient letter...

What I have done instead, and which I think is better than a tape with the two tracks by Nails ov Christ, is send you a C90 that features recordings and excerpts from the very first Opera for Infantry session through to the present with Nails ov Christ and Irritant. as you were the very first label ever to release a tape by OFI, I think it's very suitable that Do Easy release this tape. Please call this historical document, second annual report, or however you would describe it, British Blood. I've enclosed a sheet with the details of tracks featured. It's entirely up to you if you want to include the names of the people who recorded each track. If you'd rather leave them out, that's okay. Hope you like it. You can charge £1.50 (or more if you want) and keep any profits towards running costs of Do easy. Please design a cover with any artwork or writing you think is suitable. There is nothing I want added to the cover except for the cross on the other page - on the front or on the inside, it's up to you. Please send me a copy when you've done the cover as you have the only copy.

Anyway, the tape never came out, reasons being that 1) I was thoroughly fed up of the whole weirdy tape scene at that point, and 2) it bothered me that Trev had asked me to issue a tape called British Blood with a symbol associated with the British Movement on the cover. I'd already released an Apostles tape with a swastika on the cover against my better judgement, and I wasn't keen to establish a pattern of this particular kind. I understood where Trev was coming from, and I understood the Grey Wolves' two-man mission to scare the living shit out of the rest of us, and I had no objection to the tape existing under either that name or with that imagery, but I didn't want to be the one flogging it to people. So, no-one has heard this thing in three decades, apart from me. This is probably a shame because it's actually a pretty decent collection, and certainly would have been one of the better things on my label had I stuck it out. Here Opera for Infantry sounded more like a primitive Throbbing Gristle than the power electronics tour de force into which they eventually transmogrified - and honorary mentions to Jess Hopkins who also appeared on a couple of these tracks.

By the way, just in case you missed the final sentence of the quote from Trev's letter, I had the only copy. This means that when you see some tosspot selling one of these for sixty fucking quid on eBay bleating about how he taped it off a radio station back in the eighties, don't buy it or anything else he's selling, grass the cunt up, get him chucked off eBay, then go around to his house and do a poo in his pond*.

1 - [introduction]

     Opera for Infantry
2 - [excerpt from first recording session]
3 - Hopscotch [excerpt]
4 - Self Discipline Not Self Oppression
5 - Io Pan
6 - Anne Bonny
7 - Genocide
8 - War of the Roses [live excerpt]
9 - Feedback

10 - Destroyer
11 - Shorty

      Grey Wolves
12 - Pursuer
13 - Sands
14 - Golgotha Requiem [live]
15 - Programmed to Kill [live excerpt]

16 - Dissection Fuck Up
17 - British Blood [excerpt]

      Nails ov Christ
18 - Vatican Victims
19 - Smash the Sinners [excerpt]
20 - Attack to Caress

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*: This inducement to harassment is entirely rhetorical and is made exclusively for the purpose of entertainment. I strongly advise all who read this blog against taking this course of action, apart from the bit about getting the twat responsible chucked off eBay.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Cassette Music 4 (1994) C60

This is the fourth in the series from Personal Soundtracks, hence the numerical component of the title, and one which initially seemed underwhelming compared to previous volumes; but it gets its hooks into you with just a couple of plays, and it should be noted that nobody could ever have accused Personal Soundtracks of being predictable.
Typically, my knowledge is patchy where these folks are concerned, but for what it's worth: fairly sure Dave, the man behind the Personal Soundtracks label, was drummer for the Pranksters, and if I'm getting my wires crossed I'll just have to edit this later, but never mind; I'm not sure what Costes is, but he's been at it for a while and some regard him as a genius. He once sent me a letter which included a photocopy of a nude picture of himself with an erection as apparent illustration to some lyrics which, as I recall, went see the sad boy with the hard cock, don't be sad, boy - you can come in my bum. I didn't write back because I was scared, quite frankly; apparently there's a Vietnamese TV repair guy living in Ho Chi Minh who hasn't heard of factor X, but word on the street is that he's the last one. I'll believe it when and if I ever meet him; and NKVD is of course Glenn of Konstruktivists heard here in his lesser known role of beloved early evening entertainer; Vinci and the Conspiracy appeared on previous volumes of this series but I'm still none the wiser.

1 - Vinci - Philosophie Papale
2 -
In Sensorium - Pandemonium
3 -
The Pranksters - Celery Lettuce Cucumber
4 -
Ampzilla's Delight - My Japanese Drummer is HOT
5 -
Costes - Rock 'n' Roll Rip Off
6 -
Costes - Aging Punks
7 -
The Conspiracy - The Fears of Janet Frame
8 -
Teknohedfuk - So Good
9 -
factor X - 15 Souls of Flowers
10 -
factor X - Settee Boy
11 -
The Pranksters - Radio Active TV Repair Man
12 -
NKVD - A Riddle
13 -
Tone Deaf - Armed
14 -
The Conspiracy - Brain Surfing
15 -
Terropin - Destruction of Fashion
16 -
Vinci - Je T'Aimerais Toujours

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Friday, 4 January 2019

Onomatopoeia - Anal Almond (1996) C30

It's difficult to shake off the notion that power electronics must by definition be about the joys of a violent and unpleasant sexual deed or how Adolf Hitler was probably amazing in real life, but of course there's no real reason why it shouldn't explore controversial ideas and imagery associated with less obviously contentious subjects, a food allergy for example. This is where Onomatopoeia went with Anal Almond, limited to an edition of one-hundred, issued by a Japanese label in a fancy box physically including an actual almond as part of the artwork. The idea struck me as initially peculiar, but in Onomatopoeia's defence, what you hear on this cassette is probably of an intensity equivalent to what goes through my wife's head when she comes into contact with almonds. She's allergic too and has very strong feelings on the subject.

Anyway, regardless of anything else, this is a very substantial and satisfying slab of noise. I don't know much about Onomatopoeia beyond that it was the organ of Steve Fricker who ran Cheeses International - both a label and distribution - and occasionally worked with the mighty Smell & Quim. So there you go.

1 - Pink Sugared Almonds
2 - Marzipan
3 - An Acrid Amygdalaceous Aroma

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Monday, 31 December 2018

Adventures of Twizzle - Krafty Whank (1985) C60

Here's the last of my AOT tapes, potentially meaning their entire recorded works can be downloaded from this blog - unless they put out some tape I've never heard of, which I suppose is possible. I know about as much as you do where Kraft Whank is concerned as I believe we were no longer in touch by this point so I got the tape direct from Trev Ward. Jude of AOT later re-established contact, specifically writing a letter to Glenn Wallis to inform him that in allowing me to join Konstruktivists (as reported in the Empty Quarter) he had allowed an actual Nazi and former NF member into his band, for Jude didst know of my jackbooted ways from old. I was neither a Nazi nor ever a member of the NF - not even just a little bit - but it was all a PRANK you see, like in that Re/Search book. Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho - oh how we didn't fucking laugh. He was very apologetic once he realised that neither Glenn nor myself had spent any time rolling around on the floor, pounding our fists against the ground with the hilarity of it all, but I found it difficult to think of Jude as anything but a massive knob after that particular jolly jape. Anyway, I believe AOT split due to Paul and Jude falling out a little while after this was recorded. Can't imagine why.

Side-splitting accusations of Nazism aside, this is probably AOT's most accomplished tape, as you will hear - mostly instrumental but quite nice and moody, and it sounds like it might have been done on a four track or something, so that's nice.

1 - Flour and Eggs (cake mix)
2 - Hoopdemidymode Cremedepritch Boogie
3 - Haunted Swing Illusion
4 - Manna (Mini)
5 - Yov Kokosh
6 - Break
7 - Twonk


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Friday, 21 December 2018

Sunken Chambers (1995) C90

I recently came across an Anschluss track on YouTube, which was interesting because that was me for about five minutes. It was a track taken from this compilation, and yet when I played the clip it turned out to be one of the other tracks from the tape. Now, having edited this thing, I can see how the confusion arose regarding where one track ends and another begins.

I know. Cool story, yeah? Feel free to retell it at dinner parties and claim it as your own.

Anyway, clearly this has already been digitised by someone else, but nevertheless here it is again with the correct titles, unless I too have fucked up, which is admittedly a possibility.

Anschluss was supposed to be a postal collaboration with the bloke who did Hoax! magazine, partially so as to focus all of his attempts to involve himself in everything I did in one place in the hope he'd leave everything else alone. The idea was that I'd build it all up from samples of his demos, but he started to send stuff which sounded like Nik Kershaw and lo, my enthusiasm didst wane; so that was the end of that, apart from the tracks on Sunken Chambers plus an unreleased tape elsewhere on this blog if you can be arsed to look for it. Apparently I was going to send it to Mindscan to see if he wanted to put it out, but I guess I never got around to it.

Sunken Chambers was the work of the excellent Kyran Lynn, CEO of Racing Room Tapes, whom I vaguely recall as having sent me a few good ones when I was reviewing stuff for Sound Projector magazine. Curiously, I also vaguely recall having been sent a Dachise CD for review in the same, although I can't remember what I made of it. Ed Pinsent was of course the editor of the Sound Projector - and still is come to think of it. Himself and Harley Richardson were in Pestrepeller with jovial, light-hearted raconteur Edwin Pouncey. I used to know Harley but fell out with him after he started posting links to climate change denial articles on my facebook page and chanting the people have spoken whenever anyone mentioned Brexit. Sigh. Another one bites the dust.

I don't know anything about the rest, except everyone has heard of Expose Your Eyes, obviously; and Ozone Bandits was Dave Hopwood. Sunken Chambers is mostly weirdy noise music, but is very good of its type and really takes hold of you after a couple of plays.

1 - Educational Resources - Start in Her Hands to Grovel at Her Feet
2 -
Expose Your Eyes - Bastard
3 -
Tim Baker - Blame the Kingdom of God
4 -
Messy - Fall Out
5 -
WYRM - Three Minutes I
6 -
Carsick - Social Club Revert
7 -
Sean Reynard - Tijuana Bastard
8 -
Anschluss - Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Shit to Live
9 -
WYRM - Three Minutes II
10 -
Tim Baker - Do You Want to be Killed or Murdered?
11 -
Expose Your Eyes - Solan
12 -
Educational Resources - Smirk at the Sitting in the Temple
13 -
Dachise - Futile Rebellious Teen Shite
14 -
Paddy Collins - Tech'no'ise
15 -
WYRM - Three Minutes III
16 -
Amy Love - Fisherman's Thread
17 -
The PamelA Mind B.and - 11-TV
18 -
Amy Love - Sonic Attack
19 -
Ed Pinsent & Harley Richardson - The Volcano
20 -
Carsick - Morning Shift
21 -
Messy - All These Colours
22 -
Ozone Bandits - Ozone Ballad
23 -
Forecastle - Norwaves
24 -
Anschluss - Reward
25 -
Mark Hadley - Evil 95 Version
26 -
Ozone Bandits - Mo'Pro re-hash : i
27 -
Messy - To-she
28 -
Expose Your Eyes - Small Masks Made Out of Spit and Paper
29 -
The PamelA Mind B.and - Okwinox
30 -
Educational Resources - Proper Grade Prolix
31 -
Noise Gate - Musique Cemente

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Friday, 14 December 2018

Network 10 (1982) C60

No proper tape cover so er... that's my artist's impression of Phil Beesley, the man behind Network 10. I haven't been able to find anything on the internet either.

Back in May 1985 I was sharing a student rabbit hutch in Leeds village, near Maidstone in Kent with a poet called Steve. Steve was hard work at times, but we sort of got on, and he let me release his Lead Shoes tape on Do Easy, my tape label. Phil Beesley was his pal from back home, possibly from school, who came to visit and stayed over the weekend. Typically, everybody liked Phil a whole lot more than they liked Steve. He was a big bloke, like a Rugby player, but fairly quiet, almost to the point of seeming shy. It also turned out that he played a shitload of instruments and recorded his own music, and this is the tape he lent me.

Anyone who saw the name Network 10 and started pulling on their army boots and camouflage pants in fevered anticipation of a good old EBM stomp and a frown whilst thinking about how Mussolini had actually had some good ideas will probably have stopped reading by this point, saving me the effort of suggesting they fuck off. Network 10 actually sound like the Dead Hedgehog band that got away, and they even have a song about a hedgehog - influence of Cabaret Voltaire and Wire conspicuously absent, softly psychedelic pub rock with a touch of early Quo, and no apparent fear of novelty records. It was the sort of thing I shouldn't really have liked, but there was something infectious about it, and Phil clearly had an ear for a tune. I know some of it skates close to the edge, notably the chorus of oh no don't do it, Percy, but fuck it - rather listen to this than whatever boring shite the Wire is banging on about this week.

Not sure about the last three tracks. I get the impression they may have been from some other demo which I simply taped on the end. Phil had initially started off recording under the name Army Sergeant (which thankfully didn't last because it sounds like Frank Sidebottom's take on industrial techno), and I have a feeling the last three tracks may actually be an Army Sergeant demo.

There were a couple of years back there where Henrietta Blues I turned up on every single here, you have to listen to this tape I did for anyone.

Wherever you are, Mr. Beesley, thanks. This was some good stuff.

1 - Invitation
2 - Henrietta Blues I
3 - Percy
4 - Jigorama
5 - 25 Too Much
6 - A Day in the Life of the Suburban Hedgehog
7 - Mediterranean Holiday
8 - Come Tomorrow
9 - Henrietta Blues II
10 - Killing Me Softly
11 - Don't Talk About Fashion
12 - Delirious

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Real Time 7 (1983) C90

I posted a previous volume of this series back in January, and here's another picture (as found on Discogs) of Robert Cox, the handsome fellow who compiled these tapes and recorded as Rimarimba.

Everything I said about Real Time 5 seems to apply here, pretty much, particularly regarding stonewashed jeans bands; and yet like Real Time 5, this is nevertheless a mostly decent compilation with not much fast forwarding required. Robotghost was John Grimaldi, formerly of Argent whom older boys and girls will recall had a hit with God Gave Rock and Roll to You; Len Liggins you should recall from both Real Time 5 and International Sound Communication 10; Gambit of Shame and Mex should be known to you if you've been following these blogs, and No Bounds and 18 out of 20 seem to be variant mixes of those which appeared on their classic 7" - still one of my favourite singles from that era; I've posted about Adventures of Twizzle before as I put out a tape by them on my Do Easy label, although this track was originally on Hitler's Trousers after the Blast which I'll digitise at some point within the next couple of months; I'm drawing blanks on Magnificent Everything, If All Else Fails, John Ralph, Terry Crocodile, Nine Dangerous Fish Inc., Personal Effect, Martin Barbour, and Three Damn Cheers, although for what it may be worth, If All Else Fails' Sand is probably my favourite track on this tape after the Gambit of Shame numbers; Stress you really should have heard of, being the vehicle of Alan who used to edit Adventures in Reality and Phil Clarke who produced (I think) Damn Latin zine and was (possibly) in the Stick Insects.; leaving just Rimarimba which was Robert Cox's own material, possibly occasionally involving either Smell or Quim of Smell & Quim, according to Discogs.

Dream Syndicate sounds a bit Chris Morris to me.

1 - Robotghost - Museum of Fakes
2 - Robotghost - Studio 54
3 - Len Liggins - Boxes (All I Want is a Womb with a View)
4 - Len Liggins - I Know You Know
5 - Gambit of Shame - To Hell with the Carnival
6 - Gambit of Shame - No Bounds
7 - Gambit of Shame - 18 out of 20
8 - Mex - Born to be Killed
9 - Adventures of Twizzle - On and On and On
10 - Magnificent Everything - Blue Sky North Street
11 - Magnificent Everything - Big Casino
12 - If All Else Fails - Sand
13 - If All Else Fails - Blood on Her Produce
14 - John Ralph - Star
15 - Terry Crocodile - Velvet
16 - Terry Crocodile - Dream Syndicate
17 - Nine Dangerous Fish Inc. - Shake
18 - Nine Dangerous Fish Inc. - Lobsters on the Boil
19 - Personal Effect - Tired and Emotional
20 - Martin Barbour - The Other Way
21 - Martin Barbour - Attarine Street
22 - Three Damn Cheers - Peur
23 - Stress - Nothing New
24 - Rimarimba - Steady State
25 - Rimarimba - The Melting

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