Friday, 11 August 2017

Regular - Regulation Issue (1988) C60

Regular was the work of John Jasper, the man behind the Joneses and with whom I worked on the Illyana Rasputin tape. I already wrote plenty about him on the blog entries for those two, so please feel free to have a quick look at them so as to avoid my having to repeat myself. I can wait.

John recorded a ton of this stuff, and due to the general indeterminacy of his character, it wasn't always easy to tell when he'd run me off a copy of his new shit, or whether he'd just nicked a few bits and pieces from obscure On-U label records and failed to mention that they weren't actually by him. Anyway, the point is that he was very prolific, and this was definitely all his own work, and presumably the stuff of which he was most proud judging by the fact that he went down to that place on Rochester High Street which had a colour photocopier, ran off a load of covers, and decided it was an album. As you can probably tell, he was significantly influenced by On-U, Sherwood, Tackhead, Scientist, all of those guys, and for my money he definitely brought something new to the table.

The credits found on the insert were mostly pulled out of John's head, although let's face it, we've all been there with our own imaginary bands. I'm not credited but that's my voice you can hear on A Voice in the East, and also my cheapo Casio sampler which lived around at John's house for about a year. Glenn Wallis of Konstruktivists lived just up the road from John around this time, and I definitely remember them attempting to record something together. The voice on Naked They Go does actually sound a little like Glenn doing one of his characters, but I suspect it's something John took off the radio or another record. Janine, John's girlfriend of the time, can be clearly heard vocalising on Punjabi, but beyond that I've no idea where to draw the line between fantasy and reality. I'm not sure why Regular either - knowing John it was probably some esoteric nod to Reg Varney.

John was the most violently unreliable man on earth, but also a lovely guy and very funny, and I still sort of miss him. More than anything I wish he'd spread a few more of these tapes around, or that someone had chucked a load of money at him and forced him to put out a record; but never mind.

1 - Mission Impossible (Martial)
2 - Come into the Room
3 - Ghetto Swinger
4 - Touch (dub)
5 - Echo Bass (dub)
6 - A Voice in the East (a Memory)
7 - Naked They Come...
8 - Naked They Go
9 - Touch (Seikh Massacre)
10 - Touchdown
11 - Punjabi (Vaca-Dabi)
12 - Powder Room
13 - Bone Rattle
14 - Swing Low
15 - Likrish Tash
16 - Massacre

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Lead Shoes - Lead Up the Garden Path (1985) C46

Unlikely Records - whom I suppose might be best remembered for an early release of those Milovan Srdenovic numbers which were eventually reissued as Songs from West of the Pelvic Girdle - sent out a request for material. Put your best stuff on a C50, suggested Robert Cox - I think his name was - and if I like it we'll release it on Unlikely Records. I put together a Do Easy tape, which was rejected for obvious reasons, but I also mentioned the proposal to Steve Coots, with whom I shared a house. Like myself, Steve was on the Time Based Media course at Maidstone College of Art. To be honest, he could be fucking hard work at times, but he was often funny and I really liked the music which he recorded in the college sound studio under the name Lead Shoes.
Unfortunately, Unlikely Records didn't seem to like Lead Shoes any more than they had liked Do Easy, so I offered to put the thing out on my own label. Lead Up the Garden Path, was Steve's best of tape. There's a potted history of the band on the cover, included with the download, which I can't be arsed to type out here, but for what it's worth I recall Eat Your Peas as being fucking great, and I really wish I'd kept a copy, or that Steve had included it here, but never mind. Steve was into a lot of music which I couldn't stand and still can't - Pink Floyd and Genesis, but also Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and those guys, the influences of which you can probably hear on this collection. Neither the Cockney Rejects nor Sham 69 had established much of a presence in his record collection. I'm not even sure he owned a copy of Machine Gun Etiquette. Mental.
Lead Shoes were named after a pseudo-surrealist film by Sidney Peterson which Steve loved, although I wasn't that impressed when I saw it as part of our film course. Steve later ended up in a somewhat laboured wacky folk band with Charles Thompson called Heads on Springs. They were a sort of trying too hard hey kids, poetry isn't just for squares type operation which I prefer not to remember in detail, just as I prefer not to remember sharing a house with Steve in detail, but even with such unpleasantries in mind, it has to be said that the guy recorded some fucking great music. It also has to be said that Steve McGarrigle's wonderful trumpet playing on a few of these tracks didn't hurt.
This tape makes use of Brian Eno's old EMS synthesiser and the poorly quantified involvement of someone from And the Native Hipsters. There were two covers because the first one didn't photocopy very well, featuring a photograph of the head of a tailor's dummy called Norman. Steve had Norman placed at an upper floor window of an earlier house in which he'd lived so as to cause innocent passers by to shit themselves when they caught sight of him.

1 - Sniffing Glue
2 - My Street
3 - Baseball on Sunday
4 - Beautiful Dreamer
5 - Drowning in a Coffee Pot
6 - Submerged
7 - Blink
8 - Night Soiler
9 - Holding My Nose
10 - Four Legged Friend
11 - Waltz
12 - Happy Feet

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Monday, 31 July 2017

Family Patrol Group - Fear Death by Water (1983) C60

Back when I was just a schoolboy in short trousers, I went to see Whitehouse play live at a pub in Birmingham. I'm not sure if it was the first gig I ever attended, and I can't be bothered to check, but it was probably one of them. I went with my friend Grez, and possibly also Jez, although I have a feeling he may not have been able to make it - it was a long time ago. Anyway, despite being a youthful bag of nerves I made a new friend just by standing outside the venue with a Come Org badge proudly sported upon the lapel of my school blazer. His name was Colin Fisher and I think he'd helped organise the event. He was a member of Family Patrol Group, one of the two support bands, the other lot being D.Mag 52 / SHC standing for Death Magazine 52 and Spontaneous Human Combustion because they had two names, not yet having decided which they preferred. We went in and my eyes boggled at what the inside of a pub looked like. I noticed a bloke resembling the Shend from the Cravats stood on the other side of the room fighting off a massive crowd of fans, and David Tibet was perched at the next table reading out the lyrics to Whitehouse's Rock and Roll to his pals and making them laugh. It was exciting, and also kind of scary.

Family Patrol Group were first on with a fifteen minute wall of noise, followed by D.Mag 52 / SHC, who were good, but not as good, finishing with Whitehouse, who were terrifying. A glass casually lobbed into the audience by one of the Whitehousers hit Grez squarely on the top of the head. I turned to him so as to opine something along the lines of fuck this - let's go home and found my question answered in dramatic fashion by blood gushing down his face from where the glass had hit. This incident has somewhat coloured my view of Whitehouse since, but to get to the point, Family Patrol Group really stole the evening for me. There was something about the pure force of their noise, like standing before the business end of a jet engine, and a jet engine which caught our attention without turning the event into the pre-title sequence of an episode of Casualty.

I kept in touch with Colin and bought a few tapes off him, then saw Family Patrol Group again later that same year supporting a couple of bands I don't even remember - Seduction and Baptism with Fire. One of them was a Bauhaus tribute act or something along those lines. This second gig is captured on Fear Death by Water, or at least on my copy. I've a feeling the original tape may have been just the four studio tracks, and I added the recording of the gig in support of Whitehouse myself seeing as there was plenty of room on the tape. I had the impression that Fear Death by Water wasn't so much an official thing as just a tape they might slip you if they could be arsed. The cover doesn't give much away, certainly no titles, and some of this stuff turned up on compilation tapes with titles which may have come from the group, or may have come from whoever was putting out the compilation. I get the impression they were more interested in the live setting, and to be fair, they were fucking amazing live on the two occasions I saw them.

I still don't know much about Family Patrol Group, although their internet presence seems to have increased since the last time I looked, and there's even a website with a list of gigs performed. Their commitment to power electronics conventions of the time seemed tongue-in-cheek bordering on sarcastic, at least going by what Colin said about their Beyond Nilsen stickers. They clearly figured somewhere in that whole Birmingham noise thing which also bequeathed us Final, Smear Campaign, Con-Dom, Godlfesh and so on, and the two who weren't Colin Fisher had also been involved with D. Mag 52 / SHC, concerning which, please feel free to interpret whatever else you may feel you need to know from this excerpt from one of Colin's letters:

I'm not in D. Mag 52 / SHC, but the other two are. I'll give you the D. Mag 52 / SHC potted history if you like. Originally a large band of around nine members, fluctuating line up depending on who could attend, no rehearsals, just found instruments before gigs usually. Mainly metal bashing, drums, and other percussion, like Test Dept at times. Slimmed to five, four, or six piece - then mainly metal, tapes and vocals. Then down to two hardcore members - others thrown out or dissuaded. No gigs, but still fluctuating as people replace one another. At the Mermaid, Simon was helped out by a friend. The other hardcore member - Paul - was on 'holiday'. Truth is he was a bit embarrassed at supporting Whitehouse. I think he felt it was pointless trying to compete with them, as we all did, but nevertheless we didn't bottle out. After Family Patrol Group degenerated to nothing, mainly because of my absence at Sunday afternoon jamming sessions, Mike Grant, Family Patrol Group vocalist, was looking for gigs to play as D. Mag 52 / SHC, playing alongside Simon and Paul with Greg, our tape person. They got two, one at a pub which has a regular free spot on Monday evenings, and the second was at an all day festival where Nick Lowe was the main artist. They got ₤100 to play this, but I was told they used ₤80 in preparation by going into the recording studio to record backing tapes. I think it may have been Mike Grant's idea as he had not been into a studio before and was quite keen to do so. Anyhow, I didn't go to either of the above two, mainly due to Mike Grant falling out with me. Nothing serious, just once when we were in a pub he ignored me and he's never spoken since.

I'm therefore assuming that Family Patrol Group were Colin Fisher, Mike Grant, and some dude called Greg, but I'd be very happy to be corrected on any of this - always happy to revisit this little corner of noise history, given that you probably won't get to read about it in books written by tossers for whom it all started with comedy acts such as Ministry.

1 - Fighting Cocks, Moseley 17/12/83
2 - Fear Death by Water I
3 - Fear Death by Water II
4 - Fear Death by Water III
5 - Fear Death by Water IV
6 - The Mermaid, Sparkbrook 27/8/83

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Monday, 24 July 2017

v/a - Paranoia is Awareness (1982) C90

Regardless of accusations I may or may not have made last week, it really has to be said that Larry Peterson knew how to put a compilation together. A Sudden Surge of Power, which he released on his own Cause for Concern label, remains pretty much my favourite of its kind, and frankly it still pisses over better publicised tapes from the same era, notably the undoubtedly decent but somewhat overrated Red Sand. I'll put A Sudden Surge of Power up here at some point in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, here's Paranoia is Awareness - Larry's first compilation, maybe not the classic that was the later collection, but a fucking good showing nevertheless.

Because I'm a generous old fucker, I've scanned the A4 booklet which came with the tape, so that's included as a series of JPEG files in the folder which comes with the download. My copy was customised by various members of the Apostles and the Assassins of Hope, adding sarcastic commentary to their own respective pages before Larry got the thing to the safety of an envelope with my name and address written on it, so although I've cleaned up all the scans as much as I could so as to get rid of yellowing, coffee stains and so on, I left the thoughts of Chairman Martin as they were because it seemed right to do so.

The inclusion of the booklet also means I don't need to spend too much time telling you about these artists. You should be familiar with the Apostles, Matfield & the Pond and We Be Echo if you've been following this blog, and Third Door from the Left were the group of which Kevin Thorne was a part before he started recording as We Be Echo. The track here is actually an excerpt from a Third Door from the Left live tape released by Cause for Concern, one which I might put up here providing it hasn't been reissued by Vinyl on Demand (I still haven't got around to checking, although I know Frank did Face the Firing Squad on vinyl). You will no doubt recognise the Nocturnal Emissions tracks which first appeared on their classic Fruiting Body album which you own, or you should own, and if you don't, get the fuck away from me. I think Plastic Bag were pals of Nigel from Nocturnal Emissions as they had a mailing address around the corner in Camberwell and used to put out a zine called Apocalypso a Go Go, of which one issue was full of extremely naughty pictures and another was a special on Nocturnal Emissions. They also recorded some great harsh electronics as Brides of Christ II. Finally, I seem to recall seeing Nervous Legion mentioned in the cassette column in Sounds a good year before Dave Henderson started the whole Wild Planet thing, so I have the impression they were something significant which vanished off the radar just as I was becoming aware of this sort of stuff. I'm sure Larry told me that the guy behind Nervous Legion committed suicide, but I could be getting my wires crossed. Terrorist, as it appears on the tape, seems to end with the sort of repetitive scratches which suggest it may have been taped from a 7" single (can't be heard here due to my cleaning up process), which is intriguing; so if anyone knows anything about Nervous Legion, I'd love to know more. I've always thought those two Nervous Legion tracks were the bollocks.

1 - The Apostles - Redifusion Refugee
2 - The Apostles - Escaping Again
3 - Matfield & the Pond - Toxteth
4 - Matfield & the Pond - Paem Wyrd (theme)
5 - Matfield & the Pond - All My Toys
6 - Nervous Legion - Terrorist
7 - Nervous Legion - Gas
8 - NCP - Wild Thing / Johnny B. Goode / Standard Punk Song
9 - Assassins of Hope - Prisoner of Law
10 - Assassins of Hope - Rejection
11 - The Cause for Concern - Some Suffer
12 - Tom Castle - Adric
13 - Red Herring - Newman's New Trees I (advertisement)
14 - Red Herring - EZ Chew (advertisement)
15 - Tom Castle - This Place is So Rewarding
16 - Red Herring - Extranose (advertisement)
17 - Red Herring - Newman's New Trees II (advertisement)
18 - Tom Castle - You Stop Me (Doing What I Want)
19 - Red Herring - Newman's New Trees III (advertisement)
20 - APF Brigade - Dreaming
21 - APF Brigade - Burnt Offering
22 - APF Brigade - 1805-1945
23 - Third Door from the Left - Live at the Ship
24 - Nocturnal Emissions - LD50
25 - Nocturnal Emissions - Routine Surveillance Exercise
26 - The Event Group - Seward Rap
27 - Michael Jones - Uncle & Auntie Bastard
28 - Michael Jones - Delicious Enemy
29 - Michael Jones - Dance of the Wild Brains
30 - Michael Jones - Drinking Like Mad
31 - Plastic Bag - In the Corridors of a Train
32 - Swinging 3-Man Junta - Untitled
33 - Swinging 3-Man Junta - Larry is a Rock Star
34 - Alien Kulture - The Burden
35 - Tom Castle - Doors of the Mind

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Monday, 17 July 2017

The Omelettes (1984) C30

Andy and Larry with Ian Slaughter.

Here's another one by special request, and the last which will be by special request. I have a couple of hundred of these old tapes to get through, and I plan to digitise most of them and leave them here for free upload. That's a lot of work right there, but I get through it by doing two tapes a week, every Sunday morning, usually one which you lot will never get to hear because it just wouldn't be of interest to anyone but myself, and one of the kind of which a few people may have heard of, the sort of thing I've been adding to this blog over the last couple of years. It's a lot of work, and what makes it fun is getting up on Sunday, going to the shelf, and thinking what the fuck am I going to digitise today?, then picking something I probably haven't heard in two decades and firing up the computer, already burning with curiosity as to what's going to come out of those speakers and whether it will still sound as good as it once did. Therefore, when I get up on Sunday morning and I already have a list of requests because some bloke just can't live another two months without hearing a tape made by someone who used to collect Genesis P. Orridge's pools coupon back in 1978, it sort of sucks the fun out of it for me. So leave requests, by all means, but keep in mind that if I have the tape, you'll get to hear it when I feel like digitising it; and it will still be free; and it will still be something you probably wouldn't have had otherwise, so be happy.

This week's masterpiece is Larry Peterson of Cause for Concern tapes mucking about with Dave and Andy of the Apostles. These tracks were on one side of a tape Larry sent me and which he described as this group I was in called the Omelettes, although I've a feeling it may have been just Larry who regarded it as having been a group rather than just the three of them pissing about one afternoon. If you're familiar with the Apostles, you'll probably recognise these tracks, some with original lyrics, some with new lyrics improvised by Larry - and I came up with the titles, obviously. Larry was later vocalist in some sort of rock group called Many Happy Returns, and he sang backing vocals on Revolution Baby from the Nocturnal Emissions album, Songs of Love & Revolution. I met him a couple of times and he was a wonderful and very, very funny guy, but I really got the feeling he resented his own failure to have become either rich or famous as a result of having been involved with tapes, and he wouldn't fucking shut up about money. He showed me a stack of obscure records and tapes, the kind of stuff I've been posting here, and told me he was getting rid of it all. 'None of this lot will ever be worth anything,' he said. 'If any of these bands were going to make it big, it would have happened by now.'

...and that's why you probably shouldn't meet your heroes.

There'll be something less disappointing next week, readers.

1 - Asking For It
2 - The Money Song
3 - What Would We Do Without the Alien Asian?
4 - Hello Deutschmark I
5 - If There Was Anarchy, What Would We Use for Money?
6 - Hello Deutschmark II
7 - You Can Make Good Money Playing the Blues

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Acrobatic Champions (1985) C15

This was a solo tape by Paul of Die Brücke, Apricot Brigade, Envy, and a million other musical identities. You may remember he had a couple of tracks on Moraals, possibly. I asked him if I could put some of his stuff out on my crappy label, and he said yes, picking the name Acrobatic Champions from either a TV documentary or a kid's book about bats, which are apparently quite acrobatic in their own way, and which appealed to Paul's sense of humour.

A full sixty-minute tape was to come, but first there was this because I liked the idea of putting out C15s for fifty pee (inc. P&P) on the grounds that it was cheap, no-one else seemed to be doing it, and it seemed like a good way to get the music out there. Flowers and Skylight were both composed as soundtrack material to a film and a video piece of the same names made by Paul as part of his degree at Maidstone College of Art, both recorded in the sound studio associated with our course. The third track was just something he came up with to bring the whole up to fifteen minutes. I watched him record it then asked what it was to be called, and he said, I'll name it Piranha, after the tape, because the C15 master copy was a brand of cassette manufactured by a company called Piranha. Crazy times.

For what it's worth, the distortion you can hear on Flowers is part of the music rather than the result of a knackered old cassette. Paul was somewhat ahead of the curve in his use of deliberately distressed sounds, at least in a blatantly composed and musical context. He really should have been disgustingly famous.

1 - Flowers
2 - Skylight
3 - Piranha After the Tape

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Friday, 30 June 2017

Enhoenta Bödlar - William Bennett in the Sky with Diamonds (1985) C60

I don't know much about this one, at least not beyond what I've already said about Enhoenta Bödlar in previous blog entries - and before anyone gets snippy, the name seemed to get a different spelling every time it appeared, so I just stick with the one I like best. This came out on Trev Ward's Anal Probe - a tape label which seemed to switch identity every year. By 1987 they were probably Zeal SS or something else I'm slightly wary of naming here for fear of attracting undesirables, and this tape was listed as the work of Bomb the Day Nursery. Actually, as my copy came with what appears to be the original artwork for the sleeve - letraset and bits of paper glued on rather than a photocopy, it seems likely I had the last copy sent out before gender reassignment.

For a period it seemed that the duo of Uddah-Buddah and Roger Karmanik recorded and released material as both Enhoenta Bödlar and Bomb the Day Nursery, and a few tracks from Enhoenta Bödlar's first album appeared here and there credited to Bomb the Day Nursery. That said, I always assumed that Bomb the Day Nursery was more Roger's thing given his enduring fascination with those initials in Bodies Drowned Natural, Brighter Death Now, and possibly others I've never heard of. William Bennett in the Sky with Diamonds may be just Roger for all I know.

There's no track list below because there isn't one on the cassette, just two lengthy pieces, each taking up one side of a C60, and probably released through Anal Probe because of Trev's interest in ritual and atmospheric music, that being as good a description for this as any. If you want to know what you're possibly about to download, it's mostly layered loops with a heavily tribal feel, something in the direction of Muslimgauze or even that stuff David Byrne did with Brian Eno. I wouldn't absolutely swear that it dates from 1985, but it can't have been much later, and whenever it was, it was some way ahead of its time when you consider what else was around. I've never quite worked out the significance of the reference to the Whitehouse dude, and assume that was just someone pissing about and having a laugh, but it seems coincidentally and peculiarly prescient considering how much this shares with the stuff he ended up doing as Cut Hands.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

v/a - Reflections of a Past Age (1984) C60

I'm Dead was Keith Goldhanger, later of Headbutt, and IVE released a very fine full length tape through Refill (which will probably turn up here when I get around to it), but otherwise I'm in the dark about most of this lot, at least beyond what was written in the booklet that came with the cassette. Refill were a small operation based in Devizes, Wiltshire whom I knew through Trev Ward and Anal Probe, or possibly the other way around. I say small in reference to the extent of their legend and how little it seems to loom here in 2017, which is a shame, because Refill was actually run by three people (as opposed to the usual one bloke in his bedroom, like me) who used to write nice letters, full of enthusiasm despite a somewhat dour outlook when it came to the possibility of anyone ever buying their tapes, presumably outside of Trev and myself. They didn't make much of a dent in the polls at that year's design awards, but they released three decent tapes - two compilations and the aforementioned That Infernal Chemistry by IVE; and technical considerations aside, they did a pretty good job.

I've edited the tape, as is my custom, so as to remove bewilderingly lengthy fifteen second gaps between songs and to round off some of the harsher edits and clicks, but some of this is kind of low-fi so there was a limit to what I could set straight - notably the wow and flutter you may notice on Haircut Off, which I've a feeling may have been on the master tape, possibly even on the original.

There - that's about all I can tell you, which by happy coincidence is probably about all you need to know. I played this one a lot back in the day and there's not a duff track on there - even the token helping of cod reggae is good. Turn this one up until it rattles the windows.

1 - IVE - Haircut Off
2 - I'm Dead - With Memories Gone
3 - Synchronization - Strange Travel
4 - Plan-Net Werk - You're So Pretty
5 - Mike Moore - On My Way Home
6 - Mike Moore - Into the Distance
7 - IVE - I Must
8 - IVE - Rain
9 - Synchronization - Recreation Reggae
10 - Dross - Ill Repute
11 - Plan-Net Werk - Moondrift Daughter
12 - I'm Dead - Iceland
13 - I'm Dead - Stay
14 - Dross - No Words
15 - Mike Moore - In the End

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Artwork Update #1

Remember-member-member what a Womble-womble-womble you are...

A month or so back I returned from England with another suitcase full of old tapes of lawnmowers, washing machines, and kids farting into microphones, the fruits of which have begun to appear here on this blog as freely downloadabubble sound files; but in addition to the suitcase of old tapes, I also had a stack of artwork I had believed lost. Some of this artwork constituted tape covers and related material pertaining to releases I've already posted here, but posted without the scans which should have accompanied them, obviously. Anyway, I've tarted all this stuff up, and added it to the pertinent downloads so that anyone downloading any of that stuff from this point forwards will at least have the full set or sets. However, in the unlikely event that any of you have already downloaded any of this material, here's a handy download of just the newly scanned stuff so as to save you hunting back through all those previous posts for whatever you missed.

Okay, so here's what you have: 

1) A cover I made for the Anschluss cassette even though I never actually got around to making copies or selling the thing.
2) Prize-winningly shite covers for a stack of old Do Easy cassettes, including the two C15s I released (if you're looking at the list and wondering what they were), the tracks from which appear on Purifier.
3) Like Fall Apart, the Dada X tape never got released either, but I found these notes which would have been used had Carl or myself ever got around to designing a cover, so at least now I know who actually appeared on the fucking thing.
4) An important essay I wrote explaining the philosophy of 621 Monosodium 621.
5) A page of Asepisis artwork which Jez did for the track Terminal Beach, which would have been on the Moraals compilation but for us falling out.
6) A limited edition booklet of We Be Echo artwork by Kevin Thorne which came with the first version of Ceza Evi, taking the form of thirteen loose A4 pages in a plastic wallet.

The names of the individual files are indicated by italics in the list below.

Anschluss - Fall Apart (1992) C60 ANS01 (cover)
Do Easy - The Metal Tape (1982) C60 DE01d
Do Easy - The Second Metal Tape (1982) C60 DE02 (cover)
Do Easy - The Fourth Metal Tape (1982) C90 DE04 (cover)
Do Easy - The Fourteenth Metal Tape (1983) C60 DE14a (cover)
Do Easy - Five Track Compact Cassette (1984) C15 DE17 (cover)
Do Easy - Exquisite Torment (1984) C15 DE20 (cover)
Do Easy - The 35th Release (1985) C60 DE21 (cover)
Dada X (1992) C90  Eph1992-0715-01 / Eph1992-0715-02 (notes)
621 Monosodium 621 - Torn from the Earth... (1992) C15+ Eph1993-0319-00 (essay)
various - Moraals (1985) 2C90 Moraals28 (unused Asepisis artwork)
We Be Echo - Ceza Evi (1983) C60 WBE Ceza Evi (thirteen page booklet)

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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Khmer Rouge - Year Zero Disco (1981) C46

I asked Mex if it would be okay to slap this one up here as a freebie (along with a couple of other Dead Hedgehog releases) and not only did he say yes, but he very kindly sent me his own digitised file of the tape, meaning 1) I didn't have to do nuffink, and 2) being closer to the source, the quality may be marginally better than it would have been taken from my copy.

Anyway, I don't really know much about Khmer Rouge beyond what can be gleaned from the artwork, all scanned and included with the download. The late Robert Dellar apparently plays some keyboard on this one, for what it may be worth, and of course Mex was involved and should require no introduction, but in the event of your having missed all the memos, please refer to this website and don't be afraid to buy an ice cream while you're there. One of the things I always appreciated about Dead Hedgehog Enterprises was their obvious love of disco in an era and culture in which it had become more or less a dirty word. There were plenty of tapes with the circled A of anarchy doing the rounds, but only Dead Hedgehog slapped DISCO! on the cover of their tapes in that font you otherwise only ever saw used on the signs of newsagents.

Year Zero Disco is punky and low-fi by the standards of your regular disco artist, but it rewards repeat listening, and begins to sound like something in the general direction of Public Image Limited, LCD Soundsystem, Shriekback and those guys, once you're accustomed to it.

The tape came in a plastic sleeve of the kind you would buy so as to protect the cover of a 7" single, so the artwork - two sheets of A4, were folded over so as to fit into the package. This annoyed the hell out of me at the time, so I made my own cover from photocopies of the original so as to fit a cassette in a jewel case neatly filed away under K, between my tapes of David James and Killing Joke as nature intended. I've also included a scan of my reconfigured cover in with the download just in case anyone gives a shit.

1 - Boogie 'Til You Drop
2 - Come Dance With Me
3 - Love Like Dynamite
4 - Take Me (Across the Floor Tonight)
5 - Tuesday Relay
6 - Disco Suicide

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Clench - In the Garden (1984) C46

I'm afraid I don't have much of a clue about this one, and even the year of its appearance is guesswork based on where the catalogue number should appear amongst other Black Dwarf releases listed on Discogs, which this one isn't, for some reason. Black Dwarf was the label run by Tim Gane of the Unkommuniti (and yes - Stereolab blah blah blah), so I have a vague hunch this may have been a couple of other Unkommuniti peeps branching out so as to experience the novelty of recording an entire cassette without H.P. Lovecraft references; but it's a hunch, so I'm not sure. It could be Jonathan King for all I know. I vaguely recall being sent this copy by some Clench person, asking if I would consider releasing it on Do Easy, which confused me because it sort of looked like it was already available through Black Dwarf what with the cover and everything. Maybe that was just some provisional thing and it never received formal release, hence the absence from Discogs. Maybe they just wanted it to appear on a few labels. Anyway, I thought the tape was great but Do Easy had more or less bitten the dust by that point, as I recall. There's a chance I still have the letter from the guy somewhere in one of the six lever arch box files in which I have kept all of my antique correspondence from Cosey Fanni Tutti, Neil Campbell, the Grey Wolves, and other famous people, but it could take a couple of days to find even if I still have the thing, so - well, y'know...

In the Garden stands out as one of the stranger, more interesting weirdy cassettes I've heard over the years - drum machines deployed as sonic effects rather than for the sake of rhythm in the traditional sense, and those weird, dark titles - more like lines of poetry than a list of tracks. Maybe if Michael Gira had been hanging around with Portion Control rather than New York art gallery wankers...

1 - Child - Man, a Summer's Day
2 - One Result of Courage
3 - He Was Pushed
4 - Don't Touch... Mine!
5 - Grab Me
6 - Insanity Begins (at Home)
7 - Kata'ib
8 - Why Choose Her, That Poor Little Girl?
9 - Lenny
10 - Instinctuality
11 - Indoctrination Starts Young
12 - Only an Attack Can Do These Things

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Monday, 5 June 2017

v/a - Ars Magna et Ultima (1983) C60

Here we go - the Black Dwarf label compilation Ultimate Arse Magnets by popular request. Black Dwarf, as you probably know, was the H.P. Lovecraft-fixated home of the Unkommuniti and therefore the work of Tim Gane, more recently and better known for McCarthy and Stereolab. A few of those featured here should be familiar to you if you've been following this blog, and shouldn't need much of an introduction, but just for the sake of argument: Trilogy were here just last week, and still known as the Complete Trilogy when this tape went out. These tracks were taken from Tapestry, although Our Patience Will End / Clean Recording is actually a single track made from the two originals edited together, presumably by Tim; the Cause for Concern piece seems to be yet another offering culled from that same afternoon when Larry got to play with a ring modulator around his mate's house; I know nothing about Ashenden except that I really wish I'd got hold of the bloke's tape back then - I have a couple of the fanzines he produced and he was clearly an interesting guy; Opera for Infantry eventually became the Grey Wolves; Smear Campaign - tellingly named after the Nocturnal Emissions hit single - eventually became Godflesh, or at least one of them did; and Mass of Black were a Bolton based punk band who released a few things through Bluurg Tapes as run by Dick of the Subhumans. As for the Kallous Boys, Last Breath, VVH, Spinebender and Assailer, they all seem so closely associated with Black Dwarf as to make me wonder whether they might not simply be Unkommuniti solo-projects, given how the Unkommuniti were more than just Tim, from what I gather.

I had to take a slightly different approach to editing the digitised file of this tape, given Tim's propensity for punctuating the track listing with bits of what sounds like Edgar Allen Poe, not to mention his tendency to segue certain tracks into one another leaving it ambiguous as to where Smear Campaign end and Crusade begins, for one example. I've inserted my standard two second gaps where appropriate, but otherwise tried to preserve the flow of the cassette, as was. I've rendered Larry Peterson's amazing contribution in proper mono, as opposed to stereo but only playing in one channel - as appears on the original tape for no good reason I can think of aside from that something probably got unplugged by accident and Tim was too busy reading At the Mountains of Madness to notice. Also included in this download are a couple of Black Dwarf catalogues from the time, plus some sort of manifesto.

More Black Dwarf chortles next week, readers...

1 - Yogge Sothotha
2 - Kallous Boys - Tranquilise
3 - Trilogy - Our Patience Will End / Clean Recording
4 - The Cause for Concern - Hey Juden
5 - Unkommuniti - Pit
6 - Last Breath - Down in the Drains
7 - VVH - Blackfire
8 - Spinebender - Step on Your Backbone
9 - Assailer - I Did It Mi-go
10 - Trilogy - The Dark Night
11 - Ashenden - Jesus Ipsation
12 - The Cause for Concern - Last Doomsday Reprisal
13 - Opera for Infantry - Self-Discipline Not Self-Oppression
14 - Smear Campaign - Processor
15 - Unkommuniti - Crusade
16 - Mass of Black - I Feel

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Friday, 26 May 2017

Trilogy - Tapestry (1984) C60

The first full length cassette released on my Do Easy label by someone other than myself was Hopscotch by Opera for Industry (February 1984 I think), and the second - about four months later - was Tapestry by the Complete Trilogy. The Complete Trilogy, whom I seem to recall having been named after some book I'd never heard of, was the work of one Thomas Docherty, whom I suspect got fairly tired of having to explain that no, he wasn't the former manager of Manchester United. He wrote following Larry Peterson having given me the big up in Scum #6 fanzine. He had pretty much the same limited set up as myself, with everything being recorded onto a home stereo, but he seemed to achieve quite a lot with very little, as can be heard on Tapestry - from which I nicked his technique of playing several copies of the same recording out of sync so as to create a sort of budget echo effect. Anyway, I liked the tape so I released it, once I was certain TD - as he signed his letters - understood that I probably wasn't going to make him famous.

The tape sold quite well by my standards, more than thirty, probably not in excess of fifty copies from what I can recall. A couple of the tracks appeared on Black Dwarf's Ars Magna et Ultima compilation, so maybe that was something to do with it. Actually, I seem to recall TD being quite good friends with Tim Gane and the possibility of a Trilogy / Unkommuniti split album was discussed at one point.

Due to his parents' trade, TD lived on a building site in Hatfield and had one of the most amusingly industrial addresses ever, and myself and my friend Grez drove down there to meet him during the summer of 1984. We all bonded instantly over our shared obsession with Laurel & Hardy and TD played us a new track he'd recorded called Words Cannot Describe, elements of which apparently derived from recordings made inside some giant metal pipeline he'd found. To this day Words Cannot Describe remains, at least for me, one of the scariest pieces of mutter mumble industrial music I've heard outside of Heathen Earth or Psykho Genetika - turn off the lights, wack up the volume, and maybe you'll see what I mean.

A few months later, TD decided to shorten the name to Trilogy and revise the tape, replacing Metallic Grey with Words Cannot Describe. Personally I wasn't too sure about this, believing that music albums should be left as products of their time, but I did it anyway. Words Cannot Describe is probably the better track, although oddly I find that Metallic Grey - despite the obvious Throbbing Gristle influence - seems to foreshadow the twisted cabaret sound of TD's later material recorded as Frenzied Encounters. Anyway, I've digitised both versions of the tape, so once you've downloaded I suppose you could shuffle either track six or seven to see which version of the album you prefer; or just keep them both because they seem to work together just fine, I'd say. I should probably point out that the recording volume on the original tape varies wildly, presumably so as to give greater dramatic impact to the really noisy stuff such as Our Patience Will End. I've done what I can, but you may want to fiddle with the volume a bit, and you'll definitely need to wack Words Cannot Describe right up for full impact.

TD is still in existence today and can be found here on YouTube, along with some of the stuff he's worked on over the years since Tapestry.

1 - Tropical
2 - Non-Malignant Breakthrough
3 - Our Patience Will End
4 - Clean Recording
5 - The Dark Night
6 - Metallic Grey
7 - Words Cannot Describe
8 - Tapestry
9 - Orchestral

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Monday, 22 May 2017

Matfield & the Pond - Paem Wyrd (1982) C90

I didn't think I was going to have much to say about this one - the work of Matfield & the Pond, a duo comprising David Luery and David Andrews - but in the booklet accompanying the Cause for Concern label's Paranoia is Awareness C90 compilation, I find:

Matfield & the Pond were formed way back in 1975 completely by accident in Dave's bedroom one night. This historic occasion was actually captured on tape for posterity. The initial flood of creativity brought forth songs such as Klingon Jumper and Supergirl, culminating in the legendary Rough Acres tapes recorded in Borough Green. For reasons known only to the Davids, the Pond then split up. One David left after the band had recorded the Pond's Christmas single, and the other David went on to form the excellent band Infants' School.

During this first period the Pond played their only gig at a party in Matfield. General comment among punters was that they had pre-empted the punks' attitude to concerts by some eighteen months. The band deny this and that it merely confirmed their suspicions that concerts were boring to do, and that songs should be written and recorded - full stop.

In late 1979 the Daves reformed. One David actually bought a bass guitar at this period. Later Casio, Harmonium, and Waddingtons' Computone were added. Contrary to popular opinion, the Pond have never used a synthesiser or a studio. Both are unnecessary - studios especially are the death of many good bands. Without them all you have left is your initiative and your own creativity.

Regarding Paem Wyrd, the David with the typewriter describes it as one side songs, the other side based on the Middle English epic Beowulf, all songs recorded at Pond Studio 3 in Matfield, Christmas '81 to Easter '82. I'm therefore assuming Paem Wyrd to be the cassette referred to but otherwise unidentified by Music Emporium's Phillipe Collignon on this Discogs page referring to a later Matfield & the Pond vinyl compilation which I'd never heard of until I checked just last week, and which now regrettably costs a fucking fortune.

Matfield & the Pond were formed by accident in the attic of a small cottage in Matfield. It was a direct response to the punk revolution in that it entered the spirit of anyone can do it. A musician and a non-musician exploring the idea of write, record, forget. It was an entirely non-profit making collective that released three cassettes on the alternative home recording circuit. No promotion, entirely word of mouth.

Pondsongs and Beowulf was the first double release in about 1980. It sold about three-hundred copies. The price was the cost of the cassette plus nine pence to cover the cost of the Revox it was recorded on. It sold a lot in Europe, noticeably in Italy and Holland. (A video recently surfaced on YouTube constructed by an Italian fan). This cassette was the culmination of their appliance of non-musicianship combined with musicianship plus strongly written songs. [some other cassette, the account seems a bit vague here] sold 787 copies worldwide purely on word of mouth and prior to the internet. It was released in 1982. It has been compared to Syd Barrett, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Comus. It doesn't sound like any of them. They also appeared on the compilation Paranoia Is Awareness along with Throbbing Gristle and The Apostles.

Not Quite ‘It’ was a compilation put out by a record company in Bexhill. The band refused to accept any money. All of their material is currently unavailable although it has been digitised and remastered.

Well, I suppose that roughly squares with the first version. I bought this from Larry Peterson who released it on Cause for Concern with the catalogue number CFC024, and I bought it because Toxteth had been one of the best tracks on Paranoia is Awareness. That said, I've never quite been sure what to make of the full length tape. I'm assuming the name might be some sort of pun on Canterbury progsters Hatfield & the North, and certainly Paem Wyrd betrays certain proggy tendencies, not least a few slightly wearying attitudes about what counts as proper music; but on the other hand, it's tuneful, generally nicely done, and with a few belly laughs here and there.


1 - Talons So Finch
2 - Toxteth
3 - St. Francis of Assisi
4 - Calculator Zombie
5 - The Pond Go Jazz
6 - Fanfart / I Give You... Cod
7 - En Ni Wun Kan B
8 - Les Bleus
9 - Spaced Out Laid Back West Coast Hippy's Lament
10 - Earwigo
11 - Tenderly
12 - Paem Wyrd

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Monday, 15 May 2017

The Anarchist Angels - As the Innocent Suffer... (1983) C30+

I first heard the Anarchist Angels on the Anal Probe compilation tape, Political Piggies. They immediately stood out, and with hindsight I'd say because they resembled a slightly low-fi version of how one of those bands on the Crass label might have sounded if they'd been listening to nothing but Wire. I realise that no two bands on the Crass label actually sounded particularly alike, but I'm generalising. Anyway, I immediately wrote off for a tape and got this, and played it to death. I gather the Anarchist Angels were two, maybe three people with a drum machine - Steve whom I wrote to at his home address in Sunbury-on-Thames, Gail who is mentioned on the cover, and I guess maybe someone else. I also gather they became the Anarchist Angels at some point, having simply been the Angels when they recorded As the Innocent Suffer... They seemed to be the Anarchist Angels on compilation tapes and in fanzines, so that's the name I'm sticking with.

When compiling the Moraals tape for my own Do Easy label, I asked Steve if he wanted to be on it and he sent me another copy of As the Innocent Suffer... with five new tracks recorded on the second side - being a C30, copies were sent out on one side of a C60 - so that's what you have here.

Weirdly I ran into Steve yet again more recently, around 2010 I think. He was selling stuff on eBay and I think I may have bought some old Adam & the Ants material from him - going by my remembering him having been quite a fan of that early, more expressionist incarnation of the Ants. Amazingly he remembered me, because he's clearly a nice guy, and mumbled something about not being too sure about his old band. It seems like there's a reasonable chance he might end up reading this seeing as he's probably still out there somewhere; so Steve, if you are, you're wrong - this was some fucking great music and you should be proud!

1 - I Cry with Despair
2 - You've Created Something You Can't Control
3 - Prepare to Die
4 - Sub-System
5 - Plastic People
6 - I Give, You Take
7 - Flowers in Full Bloom
8 - Man Does Not Create, Man Destroys
9 - Squat for Peace, Squat for Freedom, Squat to Preserve Your Life
10 - Force His Mind
11 - One in a Million
12 - No Freedom
13 - Sick But a Shepherd
14 - Don't Care

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Friday, 5 May 2017

v/a - From Down Yondah (1984) C120

Here's another relatively obscure compilation, another one on which I had a track, and rooting around on the internet I realise there were some genuine unsung weirdy music pioneers here, quite aside from those we all already know about; so my ego is a little larger than it was just before I digitised this tape.

From Down Yondah came as a C120 selotaped to a knackered charity shop record with a vague stack of associated A4 photocopies - vague, because it was sort of difficult to tell where the compilation artwork ended and Lennart Eilersen's manic accompanying letter began. Lennart Eilersen, also known as Uddah Buddah, was the man behind Selbstmord Organisation - one of my favourite things to emerge from the whole noisy tape scene of the early 1980s; and From Down Yondah was the label's international assemblage of friends and sympathetic parties. Cloister Crime, We Be Echo, Asepisis, and Do Easy are already fairly well represented on this blog, so please refer to the index and make sure you download the Cloister Crime tape if you haven't already done so because it's a fucking cracker. Opera for Infantry turned into the Grey Wolves, Unkommuniti turned into Stereolab, and Swedish Nature eventually became Brighter Death Now. Club Moral, FâLX çèrêbRi and Die Form surely require no introduction. The Cause for Concern was Larry Peterson who used to run the tape label of that name and who is now some sort of Thunderbirds puppet mogul or summink. Yttersta Tagghudingen was something to do with Lennart Eilersen, as referred to above, some kind of outgrowth of his magnificent Enhoenta Bödlar - which also featured Roger from Brighter Death Now and whose Ogreish Guttural Wounds is probably the greatest album ever recorded. The rest can be looked up on Discogs, probably.

While we're here, here's another masterpiece from the same label just in case you missed it. Someone really needs to write a book about the Swedish weirdy music scene. Those guys really had their shit together. Maybe it was something in the water.

I've always been a bit wary of C120s so have probably only played this thing a couple of times at most. Unfortunately for the sake of enduring quality this probably hasn't made a lot of difference as the tape appears to have been copied at an unusually low sound level. I've done what I can to restore the thing. Also, my own track was split between the end of side one and the beginning of side two for some stupid reason, so I've replaced it with the original uninterrupted version from The Fourteenth Metal Tape.

Also, I've scanned the Selbstmord catalogue, so that's included in the download for the sake of curiosity. I'd love to know how much of that stuff actually saw the light of day. I still have the first issue of Pok-a-Tok (which is, by the way, possibly the greatest fanzine I've ever read) but I have no idea if the promised From Down Yondah issue ever came out.

Finally, is it my imagination or does this version of The Witches Burn sound different to those posted previously on this blog? 

1 - (introduction)
2 -
Club Moral - Tegen Het Ik   
3 -
IMCP - Day of Stunts   
4 -
Asod Dvi - Det Synkende Synkende Skip   
5 -
Live Loop - Breathings   
6 -
Caspar Hausers - Slow Albanian Stucco   
7 -
Cloister Crime - Sacrum Sacrifice   
8 -
The Audience - We Need Fast Paint   
9 -
We Be Echo - The Witches Burn   
10 -
Asepisis - Genetik Product Control   
11 -
Family Patrol Group - Bottle Fuck   
12 -
Autentisk Film - Svarte Fugler   
13 -
Opera for Infantry - Black Christmas   
14 -
Do Easy - United States of America   
15 -
The Cause for Concern - To Life + Death   
16 -
Laxative Souls - Bryseri Half Anticipation
17 - Unkommuniti - Fry Day 2   
18 -
The Rimbaud Brothers - Bite the Bullet   
19 -
FâLX çèrêbRi - Olympic Games   
20 -
Comando Bruno - Racaille   
21 -
Interaccion - X y E   
22 -
Die Form - Il Coltello nell Acqua   
23 -
Swedish Nature - Suck It   
24 -
Diseño Corbusier - Escuadra Popular   
25 -
Yttersta Tagghudingen - Amschaspand Abrasax   

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