Friday, 17 May 2019

Impulse 8 (1996) C30


Here's my final Impulse compilation. For some reason I don't have the magazine that came with this one, yet I have issue seven but no tape, so issue seven is included with the download for the sake of tying up a loose end. You should know most of these names, but for the record: Splintered were something to do with Richo Johnson of Grim Humour and Adverse Effect zines, and as such probably qualify as the best band ever to involve a bloke who writes a fanzine, possibly excepting Alternative TV. Discogs seems to think the Richard Johnson of Aphasia is a different person, but personally I'm sceptical. Even my wife's 93-year old Texan grandmother has a couple of tapes by Illusion of Safety, so there's no excuse for ignorance regarding the same. Cathedra was Mark who wrote Impulse (and as such is exempt from any statements about bands formed by blokes who write fanzines), later of Konstruktivists, and whose Codex Empire have just put out a double vinyl album about which I've heard only good things. Day of the Moon was in Evil Twin with Karl Blake, and Band of Pain was something to do with Steve Pittis of Dirter Promotions.
 
Had to apply an unusual amount of noise reduction to this one - the silences were filled with this sort of low-level digital susurrus suggesting a virtual rather than physical master copy, but I think it's come out sounding okay.


Tracks:
1 - Splintered - Smokescreen (Impulse mix)
2 -
Illusion of Safety - Altered Locations
3 -
Aphasia - Based on a Disturbed Glance (edit)
4 -
Cathedra - Relegatio
5 -
Day of the Moon - Night of Knives
6 -
Band of Pain - Fake Shit (Drone Mood)
7 -
Konstruktivists - Midnight Mass (short mix)

 
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Friday, 10 May 2019

Apostles - Live at the Academy 108 (1989) C90


Here's my last Apostles tape, which is a bit of a relief. Weirdly, I have no memory of having acquired this one, or listening to it up until about a week ago - not sure why. This fact seems additionally mysterious given that it may even be their best, or their best which isn't Second Dark Age if you prefer.

'But Loz,' I hear you cry, 'how can that be? The Apostles were notoriously ropey live, and this is surely a recording of some gig.'

Well, yes, but as Andy explains on the cover, it was recorded direct from the microphones and is therefore good quality because there's no audience sound - which I'm sure will make sense to our technically minded subscribers. I haven't read the rest of the cover because I've spent quite enough time squinting at microscopic type over the last month, but I expect there will be some account of how our man did such a good job playing the guitar whilst singing at the same time, something he used to have trouble with. Actually, he seems to be playing a couple of guitars at the same time on a few of these tracks, which must have taken some practice, and was surely a treat for everyone who attended this event which was definitely a genuine live gig with an audience and probably a bloke selling pies at the back.

My guess is that this was some sort of Apostles bowing out thing, hence all the old favourites - and definitive recordings too - plus covers of tracks by Chelsea, the Pop Group, and er... whatever that last track was. Certainly it seems like a precursor to Academy 23, not least with thee spellings which I've ignored because I'm a grown man; and Pagga in Pilrig was relocated to Pilton and became an Academy 23 standard.

If anyone doesn't get the Apostles, this is probably the one to listen to.


Tracks:
1 - We Are All Prostitutes
2 - High Rise Living
3 - Urban Kids
4 - After the Fact
5 - Pigs for Slaughter
6 - Mister Missed Her
7 - Kings Cross Etc.
8 - Thalidomide
9 - The Sword
10 - Daze of the Weak
11 - New Face in N16
12 - Pagga in Pilrig
13 - Mistreated
14 - Our Mother, the Earth
15 - The Hunt
16 - 5.975MHz
17 - The Visitors
18 - Fucking Queer
19 - A Case History
20 - Pig Violence
21 - Walking Away
22 - The Witness
23 - For You

 
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Monday, 6 May 2019

Mlehst - Occasional Stimulation / She Made Me a Sadist (1995) C60


Only now has it occurred to me that the name seems to be a phonetic spelling of the word molest. Anyway, I don't know a massive amount about this guy, although I met him once and found him very personable - according to my diary. I'm told he made a point of destroying his master tapes so as to preserve the preciousness of the artefacts, or something, so hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes by sharing this. No track list with this one as it comprises one long piece of reassuringly expensive sounding noise per side, and was actually a reissue of a couple of C30s previously issued by labels other than Bandaged Hand. Needless to say I can't find mention of any of them on Discogs so I assume he was simply more prolific than anyone could keep track of.



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Friday, 26 April 2019

Apostles - Cartography (1987) C90


Cartography was consistently billed as an Apostles album, as distinct from a tape, although it doesn't appear to have been included amongst those reissued on the UNIT Bandcamp page, so er... whatever. The idea was that the tape came with a folder of artwork - all separate sheets rather than a booklet - and the art was part of the whole package and as integral as the music; so I suppose Cartography could also be seen as a dry run for Academy 23's Europe Awake! I'm not sure if this was the last Apostles thing, but it was pretty late and the experimentation seems to suggest them getting a bit weary of tried and tested formats, hence two long pieces of continuous music, each taking up a side of the tape. As you will hear, there didn't seem to be much point breaking them up into the individual tracks listed on the information sheet, so I haven't - excepting the final number at the close of side two which is clearly its own thing and has been edited as such. It isn't listed on the information sheet so I've assumed it's called Forbidden Love.

Side one is mostly just Dave noodling away, and is fairly proggy. It's a fairly understated piece as a whole presumably thanks to the absence of Andy, and prefigures the HAVE tapes Dave later gave away with issues of Harlequin, so it's actually pretty great. Side two is some performance art thing undertaken by the Demolition Company with Dave and Andy somehow involved. It's a live recording and a bit of a racket. I guess maybe you had to be there.



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Monday, 22 April 2019

Apostles - Will I Ever Be Free? (1985) C90


This probably wasn't the Apostles tape you were waiting for, but it's the one I'm posting. Sorry. I finally finished editing Fire in The Sky, deducing that my copy - bewilderingly recorded on a C180 and lasting three fucking hours - included side two twice, plus Visions of the End - the twenty-four minute industrial opera from the Strength Through Purity C60, which I also digitised just for the sake of checking it was the same version. I won't be sharing either publically because although they're otherwise decent tapes, both include material composed when Andy wasn't feeling very well, as he once put it, these being (for the record, seeing as the shitstorm is puzzlingly still pending regarding this material, and we might as well get it out of the way):

The Master Race - See, this was the first of these songs I actually heard, and it's very obviously taking the piss out of the bonehead community - kill your parents until they're dead, pogo on their fucking heads etc. etc. This was on Strength Through Purity which Andy gave me to put out on my own tape label, Do Easy, and with a big old swastika as the front cover. This made me feel massively uneasy about the undertaking but, given the sarcastic tone of The Master Race, I assumed it was simply Andy indulging in his characteristic leftie-baiting, or just trying to piss people off, or even testing me or something.

Rock Against Communism - Whilst I have no actual problem with the idea of presenting opposition to Communism, it probably depends on what you consider Communism to be, and if you consider Communism to be, for example, lesbian wholefood collectives and other things which annoy readers of the Daily Mail - notably socialism, then you can fuck off, quite frankly. I strongly suspect this one was named after the National Front's answer to Rock Against Racism, and I tell myself that this was Andy's sense of humour (a judgement I'm approximately qualified to make because I know the guy), more leftie-baiting, and an attempt to alienate fans of his own group (which has itself been a common theme over the years) even before we get onto the apparently Marxist, even Maoist tracks recorded by UNIT, Rock in Opposition etc., but even so, being as it's impossible to tell the difference between this song and the sort of shite once peddled by the likes of No Remorse (apart from being more tuneful), it isn't even an argument really worth having.

Stop the Rot - His nibs once told me that the title was originally a chant by a far right paper seller (probably National Front) he encountered in Brick Lane, I think it was - very obviously upper class, waving copies of his shitty rag around whilst trilling stop the rot! in the style of William Joyce. The thrust of Andy telling me this story was not how cool and awesome he thought the guy seemed, and so I've always assumed this one to be - as with the above - another horribly misjudged parody. The cover of Fire in the Sky contains all of the usual impassioned denouncements of racism, homophobia, and so on, but, you know...

Kill or Cure - Yeah, the homophobia - given that Andy is himself gay, and that only a complete fucking idiot could mistake Fucking Queer for anything homophobic, this one is a real dilly of a pickle tangled up with self-loathing and all manner of bipolar shit. I wouldn't even know where to start.

Too Much Confusion - Fire in the Sky's actual Skrewdriver cover version...

As I say, I've known Andy a long, long time, and I don't recall one single instance of him ever having cracked a racist joke, making a racist observation, or anything of the sort, and yet see above. All I can say in his defense is that he's a very complicated man too often let down by his own urge to piss people off, and regardless of the potential for any of these tracks to be no more than innocent parodies of something awful, I have no wish to be complicit in distributing them, so I won't be sharing either Fire in the Sky or Strength Through Purity. I ummed and ahhed over it, maybe figuring full-disclosure might be the best way to go, let people decide for themselves, free speech blah blah blah, but I've decided against it because I don't need the headache when I don't even like these shitty tracks (possibly excepting Master Race because it's funny), and there's already quite enough rightie toss in the world right now and I'd rather not add to it. If the term libtard or anything invoking political correctness as a pejorative crossed your thoughts whilst reading the above, please discontinue your existence. Thanks in advance.

Anyway...

This tape seems to come from the era during which the Apostles were getting quite popular, relatively speaking, and had taken to furnishing interested labels with what were essentially greatest hits collections, being unable to generate enough new material to give everyone their own original tape to release. Will I Ever Be Free? was the one that ended up on Trev Ward's label (and yet somehow I'm the bloke who gets the fucking swastika on the cover) and seems to be mostly material, or variations on material from the first couple of 7" EPs. Presumably superior quality versions of these tracks appear on the Apostles singles collection download which you should buy from the UNIT bandcamp page, but I figured I'd share this tape here because it seems to feature a couple of curiosities of mysterious origin which may not even be on the official download seeing as I don't know where they're from (Larry Peterson singing on Hello You Bastard for example) and because it doesn't seem to include any Jim Davidson covers, so far as I can tell...

Word of warning: the quality is a bit ropey, sounding something like a copy of a copy (nothing to do with me, I swear), but it sort of works as a record of its time. If, after reading the above, you're beginning to wonder what anyone ever saw in the Apostles, then give this a listen.


Tracks:
1 - After the Fact I
2 - After the Fact II
3 - After the Fact III
4 - The Curse
5 - Class War
6 - Proletarian Autonomy
7 - Hello Black Flag
8 - Alien Asian
9 - Skin Deep
10 - Blind Discrimination
11 - Kings Cross Etc.
12 - The Cripple's Radio Story
13 - 1985
14 - Pale Blue Eyes
15 - Hello You Bastard
16 - The Island
17 - Mob Violence
18 - Stumped
19 - The Innocent Bystander
20 - The Phoenix
21 - Mob Violence (part two)
22 - Swimming in the Sea of Life
23 - Libertarian Youth

 
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Monday, 15 April 2019

Impulse 6 (1996) C40


Still wading through the longest ever Apostles tape, I'm afraid, so here's another Impulse compilation in the meantime. This one features, amongst other things, a pretty great Muslimgauze track. The Fragment Collage is an assemblage of material from the label of the same name featuring Moisten Before Use, Erixma, and others - didn't seem to be much point in breaking it all up into individual snippets, so you'll just have to refer to the cover in order to work out what's what; or you could look at the mag, because one thing I finally found time to do was to scan all of my back issues of Impulse, and scans of Impulse 6 are included as a separate folder within this download. Keeping in mind that I'm inexplicably missing issue four, scans of the rest have now been added to the download folders of their respective tapes, which you can find in the index at the foot of this blog post. Impulse issue one, for which I never had the tape, has been added to the download for the Impulse 2 tape and I've even chucked in the issue with the Death in June stuff because if you really need to read Mr. Forbes amazing thoughts on pleasuring oneself over grainy photos of dead Nazi stormtroopers, then that's your tough titty.


Tracks:
1 - The Fragment Collage
2 -
Thieves of Impressions - Savennenland
3 -
Hex Minora - Embrace of Evil
4 -
Muslimgauze - Thief Severed Hand
5 -
M. Nomized - Untitled
 
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Monday, 8 April 2019

Impulse 4 (1992) C40


There would have been another Apostles tape this week, but the one I digitised was - so it turns out - copied onto a C180, amounting to three fucking hours on a single cassette, and most of that being extras that Andy stuck on there which aren't officially on the cassette, and hence aren't listed on the track list - so it's going to take me some time working out what the fuck is what with that one. I didn't even realise there had ever been such a thing as a C180 until this week.

While we're waiting, here's Impulse 4, which I apparently misfiled between Impulse 5 and Impulse 6 rather than Impulse 3 and Impulse 5 like some crazy ketamine fuelled anarchist mental case, hence my not having posted it before. As you will be aware, this was a cassette given away with Impulse mag, although I don't have the magazine, for some reason. Seems a bit weird my having mislaid this one seeing as I'm actually on it, but never mind.

Attrition you will surely know by reputation, and same with most of the others if you've regularly been following this blog. Michael Mantra, one of the two names with which I was not familiar, is some big cheese in American improv circles, or possibly was; and as for Sexus - even at the time their contributing seemed like a bit of a scoop being as they were famous and had been lumped in with that whole Romo thing which Melody Maker was desperately trying to get happening, and ended up releasing a single on ZTT. Shame it never really took off. Even if the hype was pure wank, the music pissed over all that other Thousand Shed Present toss which everyone except me and a select band of my fellow cool kids* were listening to.

*: This term is utilised with a certain quota of irony in mockery of anyone attempting to use it as a serious criticism, as has happened on occasion, because yes, we were soooo fucking cool hunched over a pile of envelopes and a stack of photocopies in our freezing bedsits in nowheresville - which is nice because being perceived as cool was obviously a big deal for us.



Tracks:
1 - Attrition - The Next Day (Revisited)
2 -
Another Headache - Go Slow
3 -
Antonym - Xchne Arcae
4 -
Ozone Bandits - Empty Lizard (Slight Return)
5 -
Sexus - How Can You Live Without Me?
6 -
Michael Mantra - Glistening Air
7 -
Family of Noise - Don't Look Back
8 -
Aerschot - Chuckle
 
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