Monday, 12 November 2018

Adventures of Twizzle - Hitler's Trousers after the Blast (1983) C60

I've already explained Adventures of Twizzle at length, and several times over in the course of previous blog posts here, here, and here. If you can't be arsed to follow the links and do a bit of homework, well all right - Adventures of Twizzle were formed by Margaret Thatcher, an ex-Bay City Roller (but I'm not going to tell you which one) and the man who held the land speed record between the years 1979 to 1985. They had a massive hit with Dancing in the Dark, a song which is usually erroneously credited to Bruce Springsteen. Neither of them ever learned how to ride bikes.

This was their second tape and the first one I heard. It's quite different to most of their other stuff, comprising short tuneful pieces rather than howling noise, and the dates given on the sleeve seem to suggest it was compiled rather than specifically recorded as an album, although I could be wrong there. Also, it came in weird packaging - a Sony C60 loose inside the box of a child's wooden jigsaw - one of those cheapo ones about the size of a fag packet - with their artwork glued to the reverse of the box. Unfortunately at the time I was getting a bit tired of tapes in weird packages which you had to leave in a pile next to your regular cassettes, so I made my own sleeve from photocopies of the artwork and kept it in a regular jewel case; and annoyingly I seem to have lost the kid's jigsaw version, so that's a lesson learned. the scans included in the download are my version of the cover, plus the flyer which first inspired me to write to them - I think it fell out of an envelope full of stuff from Larry Peterson.

I know I haven't said much about the music, but for what it's worth, regardless of the low level of technology involved, I'd still say this is one of the best tapes I ever bought. Sometimes a tape recorder and a good idea is really all you need.

1 - Demolition I
2 - Before All That
3 - Cuddly Linda Girl
4 - Flag Miles Short
5 - The Education of a Rat
6 - Adventures
7 - Jude Moan / Silence
8 - Umbah Oombah
9 - Demolition II
10 - Just Listen
11 - Cherry Cake
12 - On and On and On
13 - Bang-Utot
14 - The Deep Love
15 - Don't Look Now
16 - What For?

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Monday, 5 November 2018

ESP Kinetic - Mission (1985) C90

This was ESP Kinetic's live album. I get the impression they performed quite a bit, and whilst rummaging around in the reliquary in which I store Neil's correspondence - along with mail from Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Bagge, Chris Claremont, Billy Childish and my other famous pals* from this crazy world of showbiz - I found a poster for one of ESP Kinetic's gigs, and not even one which is represented on this tape; so I've scanned that and you'll find it in the download.

This one was a bit awkward when it came to digitisation, seeing as the track list given on the cover refers only to the venues and dates at which these performances were recorded, which were as follows:

1 - Corby Youth Centre 24/3/84
2 - Wellingborough United Reformed Church 25/8/84
3 - Kettering Rec. Centre 15/9/84
4 - Cranford Village Hall 17/11/84
5 - Kettering Rec. Centre 18/12/84
6 - Northampton Black Lion 16/3/85

The problem for me was that I couldn't work out where one section ended and another started, so instead I've divided it up into the actual songs, where I've been able to recognise them.

Additionally, Mission was originally a C45, from what I can tell. Neil sent it to me on a C90 with a load of other stuff on the b-side, apparently from a Finnish release called Fleck- Nor, but again with no actual list of what the tracks were called. Some I already knew, and some I was able to work out by comparison with a 2008 CDR issue of Fleck-Nor; but I gather the 2008 Fleck-Nor may have been different to the one Neil mentioned as I was still left with three tracks I couldn't identify. So tracks one to fourteen are Mission, and the rest are seemingly from a version of Fleck-Nor other than the Music Mundane release, a few of which still seem to be relatively cheap on Discogs if anyone is interested.

By the way, as a point of interest, the Black Lion, at which some of the live tracks were performed, features in Alan Moore's fifty-million page novel Jerusalem, which unfortunately isn't very good in case you were wondering.

*: You probably haven't heard of some of these people, but I have.

1 - Under the Bed
2 - Saturday Nite Church
3 - Hinterland
4 - Two Faces Collide I
5 - Cannibal Chant
6 - In Our Afterglow
7 - Two Faces Collide II
8 - Dance as Hallucination
9 - Untitled I
10 - Waltzing on Air
11 - Silence...
12 - God in a Leather Box
13 - Ambition Realised
14 - Anarchy in the UK
15 - Storekeeper Reward
16 - Metropoline
17 - Scared Out
18 - Untitled II
19 - Ambition Realised
20 - Untitled III
21 - Hole in the Ground
22 - Pretine World
23 - Frank S
24 - Untitled IV

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Friday, 26 October 2018

Cassette Music 3 (1994) C60

Here's another hour of strange sounds from the excellent Personal Soundtracks series. Once again my information on those contributing is patchy to nonexistant, but I'm sure some of you will at least be familiar with Hex Minora, Mlehst, factor X, and Expose Your Eyes who seemed to be everywhere at one point. In fact I'm fairly sure I remember them, or possibly him, filling in for Jimmy Hill on Match of the Day.
Anyway, regardless of who you've already heard of, the thing you'll probably notice about this tape is the exceptional quality and high production values with a track list that genuinely keeps you guessing from one minute to the next - which is really what it's all about for me.
Very glad Mr. Hopwood conceded to my digitising these things - it's been great digging them out and hearing them again. Surprised no-one has yet done a boutique CD reissue of this series of compilations.

1 - Ozone Bandits - Sergio Leone
2 -
Phenomena - Skitzpphenomena
3 -
Majorana - Grateri Dentro
4 -
Hex Minora - Heresy
5 -
Mlehst - Bitter Oranges
6 -
Clitoral - Pussyshaver
7 -
Phenomena - Paramilitary
8 -
factor X - In Love w/ You
9 -
Vinci - Tribal Night
10 -
Expose Your Eyes - &#0149 &#0149 &#0149
11 -
Telepherique - Marked Faces
12 -
Ozone Bandits - Pliers in My Heart

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Monday, 22 October 2018

ESP Kinetic (1985) C15

Neil Campbell sent me Mission, the ESP Kinetic live album on one side of a C90 with a whole load of other stuff on the other side. I've digitised it, but I'm still engaged in the detective work of trying to deduce what the extra tracks are called, so while we're all waiting, here's something else from the same stable. This was a C15 Neil sent me featuring tracks for what would have been my third Do Easy compilation tape. I was going to use Metropoline and the tape would have been called Avanti!, but it never happened and I don't even remember why. I've a feeling I may have given the master to one of the contributors - possibly John Jasper - so he could record his thing directly onto the tape, and I never got it back.

Anyway, this is quite a nice little tape in itself, dating from what I imagine must have been near the end of ESP Kinetic's existence as a band, and which I still think would have made a great 12", but for the fact that no-one would have bought it because they'd spunked away all their pocket money on another unlistenable live Psychic TV album. There's nought so conservative as the avant-garde. Speaking of which, in case I never mentioned it before, I saw ESP Kinetic as one of those bands who sounded how Psychic TV should have sounded but didn't due to the Porridge effect - sharing certain interests with the noise weirdies but not scared of a tune or occasionally sounding happy.

...and finally, Cyril?

Finally, Esther - I should probably mention that this is a tape Neil sent directly to me, presumably a one off with a handmade sleeve - bits of photocopies glued to the front and the track list written in biro. Therefore if you see this tape for sale on eBay, sold by some bloke in Bulgaria mumbling something about how he recorded it off the radio, and if he's selling it for forty bucks, and if you buy it for forty bucks, then that's your tough shit. I mention this only as the fucking clown in question is flogging an old Opera for Infantry tape for about the same, having downloaded it from this blog; and I know this because when I digitised the tape, it came with no track listing so I had to listen to the thing and come up with names for the tracks based on Trev's vocal - and those same titles appear on his expensive collector's item, hopeless wanker.

If this is yourself reading this, oh eBay retailer of my downloads, get a fucking job.

1 - Metropoline
2 - Integrity
3 - Storekeeper Reward
4 - Absolute Relaxation
5 - Sieve

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Friday, 12 October 2018

Impulse 2 (1992) C40

Impulse was an A5 mag produced by Mark of Konstruktivists, Binary, Codex Empire, and others I probably never heard of. Each issue came with a compilation cassette of (what I'm pretty sure was) all new material by many of your weirdy faves, which is why it's here. I missed the first issue, in case anyone was wondering, but here's the second with forty minutes of very listenable stuff.
You should have heard of Nagamatzu, I would think, so I doubt they require introduction, although for what it's worth this is one of my favourite tracks by them. Antonym have already turned up on this blog. Nova State Conspiracy were something to do with Alex Novak of Venus Fly Trap, Attrition, and others. I don't know much about any of the others, and I wish I knew more about Whiteslug as their track is fucking great. The collection has a bit of a whiff of combat boots about it, but mostly it's done well, and certainly better than a lot of those village hall scout hut versions of Front 242 which were around at the time.
I've scanned the mag, so that's also included in the download as a series of jpegs in a separate folder. Where tapes came with booklets, I usually include them as scans, and this is sort of the same deal, I guess. You can see who features in the mag by looking at the picture above. I haven't had time to re-read the thing so take no responsibility for any claims of simply exploring controversial ideas and imagery made therein, but it is, if nothing else, a labour of love and really well put together.

More of these to come when I get around to it.

1 - Nagamatzu - Firewalker [remix]
2 -
IAV - You Make the Groove
3 -
Nova State Conspiracy - Definitive Item
4 -
Antonym - Prime Mover
5 -
Red Sekta - Torture
6 -
German Shepherds - I Adore You
7 -
Whiteslug - Motherfucker
8 -
Trance - By the Pound
9 -
Shinkansen - Ishikari
10 -
Momento Mori - Excerpt

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Monday, 8 October 2018

Tryouts - On the Outside Bog (1983) C30+

I'm not sure why it's taken me a full year to post this second Tryouts tape, but better late than never. You'll possibly remember them from last September when I posted the first tape, except as I've found Jon Sykes' letters in the meantime, I realise the first tape I heard was actually their third, and this is their fourth.

Tryouts' fifteen seconds of fame came when The Look on Their Faces was mentioned in Sounds, wherein it was written...

At a time when Cassette Pets seems full of either grim dabblers or brainless would-be pop stars it comes as almost refreshing to be confronted by the Tryouts' complete daftness (and they don't even try to turn this natural trait into a selling point). On their new tape, The Look on Their Faces, they occasionally slip into vulgarity - He Wears Underpants (titter) and Sitting on the Bog (giggles) - but are able to redeem themselves with the splendid minimalist pop of Damn Her.

Anyway, what I can piece together of the whole story is that Tryouts comprised Jon Sykes, Rob Blackburn, Grant Hodgson, and Chris Hugill - although I believe this last guy left before they recorded On the Outside Bog. The Look on Their Faces was their first cassette to feature real musical instruments. Previously we used pots and pans and all that stuff, as Jon wrote in one of his letters, in which we also find...


Jon Sykes' Brain is in the Lost Property Office (April 1981) C90 - 29 copies sold as of February 1984. No musical ability, all pots and pans and stuff. Nothing like the next cassette.
Rigamortis - never released. It was that rubbish, we put it in the bin!
The Look on Their Faces (1982) C30 - 20 copies sold as of February 1984.
On the Outside Bog (December 1983) C30 - 18 copies sold as of February 1984.
In Front of a Crowd (August 1984) C30 - a proposed recording of our first ever live performance at Staxton Village Hall in the not too distant future. All the songs except one will not have been released before. Jon gives the date 20/8/84 for the performance. The next letter states Tryouts have had an up and down career since I last wrote. We did a successful gig at a place near Whitby and at the Totley site of the Sheffield City Polytechnic. The Whitby gig was released as our fourth cassette album. It's quite good. However at Easter we played at the same place near Whitby again. This time the crowd was awful. Only a handful of people enjoyed our set, but the rest sat there with depressed faces longing for us to get off. Anyhow they got some abuse thrown at them by yours truly. The thing that really annoyed me was that those people never even gave us a chance. They had already made their minds up that we were shit.

So there you go. They sent me this C30 on side one of a C60 with a couple of extra tracks on the other side, both of which I used on a Do Easy compilation, and those are also included here. Funnily enough, I've only just now noticed that the album version of Superior Human Beings omits some disgruntled mumbling utilising the F-word. This stuff still surprises me. A lot of it is like the most awful teenage poetry set to music, and yet it has a sort of disarmingly awkward honesty which you just never got with the likes of Morrissey or any of those other studiously dispossessed types, habitually moaning about loneliness whilst posing on the front cover of some shitty music rag, week after week after week.

Wherever you are now, Tryouts, I raise my glass to you.

1 - The Outside Bog
2 - In the Cage
3 - You're Turning Into Someone I Hate
4 - Those Bloody Questions
5 - Those People
6 - Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
7 - One Short Word
8 - End of Side One
9 - We Must Always Help
10 - Drink My Blood
11 - Ignored
12 - Superior Human Beings
13 - Walls of Queniboro
14 - Pornographic John
15 - If You Take Advantage of Me
16 - Superior Human Beings [uncensored version]

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Friday, 28 September 2018

Total Big - Rehearsals 19 & 20 (1986) C90

Carl played the guitar group instead of Total Big.

I know what you think, but this is my blog, so it's tough. No one can force you to do such a download. And I'm sure Grey Wolves C90 is pushing and recording next week. In any case, this is the last Total Big belt. I believe these songs ended shortly after recording. Both attempts took place at the Hollytree House in Ottawa, Kent. The first eighteen songs were Saturday, November the 8th, 1986. The rest of the day was two weeks on the 22nd day of the same month. Then on Tuesday, December the 9th, we went to a night work event to protest the suggestion to reduce the art education fund at Maidstone Art College. Carl, Chris and I attended the Mark Smith's saxophone, our kit is He Believes, Are You My Mother (Or Just A Hole In The Ground?), Rock Sandwich, Louie Louie, Sister Ray, Hey Joe, You're Okay, Keep Your Dreams A'Burning, Do The Frug, and All Day And All Of The Night. For some reason, we did not record it. As you may have noticed, we've done everything.

I believe that, shortly after this article, Chris moved to Dover, or perhaps already moved, but temporarily lifted. In any case, this is the last Total Big belt. My diary does not have any details about Carl's rock music, and I went to June 1987.

This text from Google is translated from Google, English, Japanese, Latvian, Latvian Latvian.

1 - Catch the Pigeon
2 - Rock Sandwich
3 - Carry On Sid
4 - He Writes the Songs
5 - He Believes
6 - Keep Your Dreams A'Burnin'
7 - Louie Louie
8 - Sister Ray
9 - Hey Joe
10 - Armchair Maniac
11 - Are You My Mother?
12 - Hail Fellow Well Met
13 - Love to You
14 - Check Out Your Pants
15 - Cold Sore Herpes B
16 - Moses
17 - Badtime Baby
18 - He Believes
19 - Catch the Pigeon
20 - Check Out Your Pants
21 - Born in the Woods
22 - He Writes the Songs
23 - I'm Not Losing Sleep
24 - Louie Louie
25 - Sister Ray
26 - Hey Joe
27 - Precinct
28 - Do the Frug I
29 - He Believes
30 - Are You My Mother?
31 - Keep Your Dreams A'Burnin'
32 - Check Out Your Pants
33 - Do the Frug II
34 - Do the Frug III
35 - Do the Frug IV

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