Monday, 20 January 2020

Craptones - The Tenderest Touch From a Loving Heart (1992) C60

The previous Craptones tape seems to have gone down fairly well with a few of you, so here's the one that came after. It's the same sort of deal as the first one with sarcasm and chuckles aplenty, and beautifully recorded, this time tearing through all sorts of musical styles including death metal (or deaf metal, I suppose), synthpop, house music, acid jazz, and whatever the hell they felt like on the day. Extra points are awarded here for the live track which is actually just the boys at some karaoke evening, a move requiring the sort of balls that the likes of Bono and that bloke from Coldplay could only dream of; and there's Funky Monkey, which is just fucking brilliant.
If you didn't like Hi, I'm Geoff, you probably aren't going to like this one much either.
In this age of downloads, stuff recorded direct to your telephone, arsewave, and moonpunk, I'm not sure acts equivalent to the Craptones are still a thing, so if that's the case - screw you, younger generation. You're doing it all wrong.

1 - Funky Monkey
2 - War Ha Mmm Yeah
3 - (Get Down and) Die Sucker
4 - The King is on His Throne
5 - Green Tuesday
6 - Nu Nu Nu Stu Studio Line
7 - Funky Vietnam
8 - Craptone Karaoke
9 - The New System
10 - To the Batmobile
11 - Sunshine on a Rainy Day
12 - American Girl
13 - A Wild Western Tale
14 - A Towny's Song
15 - My Love is Shining
16 - Jonny Skoda
17 - Teenager with Problems
18 - In the Jungle with Geoff

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Craptones - Hi, I'm Geoff (1990) C60

The Craptones were something to do with the Stepping Stones, who released one wonderful garage rock 7" before vanishing back to the cave from which they came. I'd say I don't know much about the Craptones but that isn't strictly true. I actually know plenty but their spokesperson, the one whom I asked if I could gives this tape away for free to online strangers, said he would prefer to keep it anonymous, so if you want to think of this as obscure, early material by the band which would eventually become Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, or Pharmakon, then be my guest.

What I will say is that the Craptones came as a breath of fresh air at the time, but for the suggestion of slightly beery farts. It was nice to hear something with a bit of a tune, which had been fairly well recorded despite being an exercise in taking the piss, and which actually made me laugh, and still makes me laugh, not least the deeply moving, come on, baby, light my flame, I'm so glad you're not on the game. If that ain't some seriously romantical shit right there then I don't fucking know what is. Some of this stuff is kind of offensive, as you might expect of a band who recorded a tape as Dr. Buttfuck & the Anal Intruders (which I stupidly gave away at some point), but I nevertheless find it funny because I'm five years old.

More Craptones magic next week, kids. Sorry.

1 - Acid Flat
2 - Perestroika Potato
3 - I Saw You Standing
4 - Down SyndRumania
5 - I Know You're Mine
6 - Sound of Silence
7 - Love is Lovely
8 - I Want You [disco]
9 - Craptones Play Thrash
10 - Sit On My Face
11 - Sunny Day
12 - I Gotta Woman
13 - Craptones Rap I
14 - Darlings
15 - Craptones Rap II
16 - Craptones Chrimble
17 - Jon & Geoff's Groove
18 - The Talisman
19 - Num Num Girl

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Friday, 3 January 2020

Unkommuniti - Brutality of Fact (1984) 7"

I wasn't going to bother but I already had the gramophone plugged in so as to digitise the Larry Peterson 7", plus I've otherwise digitised nearly everything I can be bothered to digitise, plus there's probably about three of you who either don't have this or still haven't heard it. I'm sure these tracks turn up on that boxed set thing, so consider this free advertising for the same or summink.

The Unkommuniti were what Tim Gane (and others) did before Stereolab, back when we were mates and we all used to go around in a big gang dreaming of fame and fortune, so he'll always be Timbo to me. That was back when you thought the Alarm were the dog's bollocks. Remember that? Thought not.

Technically speaking, the Unkommuniti were actually what Tim Gane (and others) did before McCarthy, except I've never actually heard McCarthy so tend to forget they existed. I also have a couple of the Unkommuniti tapes but I'm keeping those to myself so as to avoid getting told off, plus I'm sure you can find them out there somewhere if you look hard enough.

The Unkommuniti were early Nocturnal Emissions with a Lovecraft obsession, if that helps, although krautrock traces can be heard even in this early stuff.


1 - Brutality of Fact
2 - Wall of Sleep
3 - The Price of Your Entry is Sin

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Monday, 30 December 2019

Stuff The Neighbours Play It Loud (1984) 7"

It's not a tape, but same difference. Larry put this out towards the end of Cause for Concern, excepting a couple of vinyl albums. It came in an A4 plastic bag with a stack of loose sheets of photocopied artwork from the artists, so I've scanned that and it's all included here. I could have spent hours getting rid of the occasional pop or click but I couldn't be arsed, and you're getting the fucker for free anyway. You edit the sound files if you care that much. Or maybe your mom could edit them.

Band of Holy Joy shouldn't really require much of an introduction, and nor should We Be Echo (and for what it's worth I suspect Kevin probably designed the cover or at least the front page, as seen above). The Unkommuniti eventually turned into Stereolab, as you know. I don't know nuffink about the other three bands, and Larry never mentioned them in any of his letters, and nor did they appear on any other CFC tapes from what I can tell. My guess is that at least one of them made it onto the EP by virtue of stumping up some money for pressing as they don't quite sound like Larry's usual fare. That said, there's nothing wrong with them either, and the Nightmare track is pretty great. The other two sound like the Police and Hawkwind respectively, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I used to have about thirty copies of this thing but, having failed to shift any through the mail - having added them to the Runciter Corporation catalogue - I ended up giving them all away to Martin Pike of Stereolab and Duophonic, explaining 'Tim used to be in one of these bands so I figured you could give them away to Stereolab fans or something.' I was able to do this because, by fucking stupid coincidence, I was not only his regular postman at the time, but we lived in the same street - he was about ten doors down the hill from me. I got the impression he thought I was a bit weird, so I don't know what he did with the records, but I sort of wish I'd hung onto them and flogged them on eBay. Never mind.

1 - Band of Holy Joy - Snow White
2 -
We Be Echo - Housewive's Choice
3 -
Some Other Year - Nice and Safe
4 -
Psy - Sickle and the Hourglass
5 -
Nightmare - Mask (of Normality)
6 -
Unkommuniti - Yog Sothoth
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Friday, 20 December 2019

A Couple of Andy Fraser Demos

To start at the end, there's Unlucky Fried Kitten whom I wrote about here. Rage Against Florence + the Machine can be acquired for a mere fiver here, and I think the first album, which is similarly great, can be had for the same price from the same blog, except I can't find the Paypal button so you may have to root around for a bit, or just ask Andy or something. Unlucky Fried Kitten is mostly Andy Fraser, occasionally known as Andy Export, of Maidstone, Kent - not to be confused with the late Man's Hate bloke (who has also turned up on this blog). Prior to Unlucky Fried Kitten there have been about a million other names under which he's bashed the triangle, and here are two.
I don't even remember how I came by these tapes. I've a feeling they were given to some student union bloke at Maidstone College of Art in the hope of getting a gig, and were eventually passed on to me as the sort of thing I might like, except I finished at Maidstone Art College in 1987 and at least one of these didn't happen until 1988, so as I say I don't know how they found their way onto my shelves. Also, I'd already seen Andy singing with the Martini Slutz by this point and immediately recognised Revenge and Underground Worker as tracks they had played live (Churchill's in Chatham, I think)...
Also, both tapes were single sided, missing the tracks listed as being on side two on the covers, so I don't know what went on there either.
What do I actually know?
Trooping of the Squalor seems to have been a very early version of what became the title track of, and God I wish there had been a tape of the Martini Slutz, but never mind - these are still pretty great, in my view.

1 - Pop Group
2 - Lazy Love

1 - Revenge
2 - Weather Permitting
3 - Trooping of the Squalor   
4 - Underground Worker

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Monday, 16 December 2019

Pandemic - Third Spacing (1998) C90

Viewers born during the late 1500s may recall Steve Trodd from this Soul Providers tape, along with the two which followed soon after (which should be easy enough to find on this blog unless you're a simpleton). Anyway, this was his own stuff recorded as Pandemic with an assortment of gas-powered synths and, so far as I recall, not much else in the way of equipment. Nevertheless, I've always found it a thoroughly convincing effort and powerfully atmospheric - like a much scarier Cluster or even how Lustmord would sound if any of the reviews reflected what his music actually sounded like. 'Wack up the volume and just feel those textures,' as was I believe Jamie Oliver's verdict, and quite right too.

Also included is my own efforts at remixing one of Steve's tracks, specifcally one which was called Harm at the time, but since appears to have turned into something else. With hindsight, I'm not sure I really added anything because most of this stuff sounded great as it was.

Interested parties might also like to pop over to Steve's Soundcloud page.

1 - Crashed and Bled Out
2 - Transmission
3 - Host
4 - Marburg
5 - Decon
6 - Virus
7 - Sentinel-Animal
8 - Harm [rmx]

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Friday, 6 December 2019

Regular - Psychedelic, Dub, Soul Hits, Loops and Sketches (2002) C90

This week I'm FFWDing to my most recent tape by John Jasper, relatively speaking, having noticed that a couple of those between this and the last one I shared seem to be mixes of stuff by John alongside albums by Singers & Players, and I was in a hurry to mow the lawn so I plugged in the computer and set up a tape which looked like it was all John, judging by the cover. As mentioned in previous posts, I have sometimes found it difficult to tell which tapes denoted as being by the Regulars are actually the work of the same and which are John cheekily taping an entire Matt Monro album and passing it off as his own work, and you will notice that the material on this one seems to be of suspiciously high quality - but fuck it, frankly I'm past caring. Whoever recorded this stuff, it's a masterpiece. Anyway, I vaguely recall John telling me he had bought a truly luxurious sampling thingie when he gave me this tape, so I assume these to be the fruits of the same.
To recap for anyone who wants to know but is too stupid to work out how one might go about referring to previous blog entries detailing the work of John Jasper, I met John in Chatham about 1987 and we lost touch when I moved a couple of years later, since which our respective orbits have only seldom resulted in our temporarily occupying the same boozer. This one dates from 2002, as you may have noticed. John was staying with his mum in Peckham prior to, if memory serves, moving to Northampton, or north-somewhere. We met for a pint in the pub at 90, Crystal Palace Road back when it actually was a fucking pub. I can't remember what it was called, but Geoff and Don always used to drink in there. Now it's called the Actress, serves pizzas, and Geoff is no longer with us. What a fucking world.

Anyway, that's where I last saw John. He gave me this tape and then once again vanished off the face of the earth, much like the town in Brigadoon. Actually he briefly resurfaced a few years later with a series of truly peculiar video compositions posted on YouTube. One of them was an ultra-rare Sex Pistols song called Romany Arse, which was pretty damn great, but which then vanished again along with its mysterious patron.

Just download the tape and give it a listen. It will make a lot more sense than any of this.

Once again there seem to be a lot more tracks on the tape than are listed on the cover, so make of that what you will.

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