Monday, 25 March 2019

Apostles - Christ! It's the Apostles! (1983) C30

We're now entering the era during which new Apostles tapes tended to comprise remixes of the stuff they were recording and releasing as 7" EPs, which are still available in original form here - at least I assume they're in original form. I have the records so I've never bothered to download the MP3 versions, or whatever format they're in, so if these are all eighties style disco megamixes which Andy did without telling anyone (which I wouldn't put past him), it ain't my fault, guvnor.

This was one of a couple of tapes put out by Protect & Survive as run by a bloke called Christ, Crystal or possibly Chris, depending on what week it was. I think this was Andy helping the guy out by giving him some Apostles material with which to kick off his label. These are mostly variations on tracks from the second EP - which was fucking brilliant by the way - supposedly remixed, although I can't tell with a couple of them; but you're getting this for free and it's still cracking stuff regardless of how it relates to what was on the record, so nyer.

1 - The Cripple's Radio Show
2 - After the Fact
3 - Skin Deep
4 - Swimmers in the Sea of Life
5 - Class War I
6 - Class War II
7 - The Phoenix

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Friday, 15 March 2019

Apostles - Topics for Discussion (1983) C90

More Apostles, and with others still to come. This one seems a bit more patchy than the first two, but still rates a listen, I'd say, and is distinguished by a proliferation of what I suppose we'll have to call jams or presumably improvised numbers which never got re-recorded or recycled as anything else - pretty unusual for one of Andy's groups. Talking of which, I was a bit disappointed to find The Island, which I quite liked and took me fucking ages to learn to play and which I thought was an original UNIT track back in 1997, was actually recycled from the thing at the end of side one of this tape; therefore bah. This tape also sees the apparent arrival of the bluesy influence in the band's music, for what that may be worth; and We Buy a Hammer for Daddy acknowledges Andy's love of the Lemon Kittens, but isn't actually one of their tracks, so far as I'm aware.
Since last week I've discovered that the excellent Mr. Zchivago of Die or DIY? has a ton of Apostles freebies on his blog, including a few I don't have, and even the first one. I'd say I've no idea how I failed to notice this, but then I've only just realised the blog is called Die or DIY? rather than DIY or Die! so clearly I'm not very observant. Anyway, have a look here, then please do yourself a massive favour and have a nose around the rest of the blog because he has some real treasures on there.

1 - Skin Deep
2 - After the Fact (NW3)
3 - The Scream
4 - Red Vote Poll etc. (LBW)
5 - We Buy a Hammer for Daddy
6 - Rediffusion Refugee
7 - Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Plug In Your Synthesiser
8 - Untitled I
9 - Hello John
10 - Nai Zindagi Naya Jeevan
11 - Chalet en Colere
12 - 1980s
13 - Untitled II
14 - Untitled III
15 - Fucking Queer

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Monday, 11 March 2019

Apostles - Libertarian Propaganda (1982) C90

The Apostles demos had slipped way down my list of digitisation priorities, partially due to a bad taste left in my mouth by certain stuff Andy had taken to posting on YouTube. I still maintain that he's actually one of the most right on Ben Eltons I've ever met, but he really lets his love of offending anyone to the left of Hitler get the better of him, and after a while you get a bit fed up of making excuses for people only for their next outing to be an operatic version of Mein Kampf or whatever. Anyway, it's been a while since I last sighed and shook my head at Andy's latest brainfart, and I've now digitised about 95% of my collection, so fuck it - let's convert those Apostles tapes. I know a few of you have been waiting to hear them.

I had 2nd Dark Age back in the day and it's long been a favourite, and yet somehow I came to their other demo tapes quite late. It seemed to be a different person selling them every month, and then the vinyl records began to appear, so I didn't catch up until the nineties when someone gave me a bag of old tapes they didn't want - possibly Larry Peterson - including the first, third and fourth demos. The first was unplayable and unlistenable - a crap WHSmith C120 which unravelled inside the player, plus it sounded like a cheapo mono tape recorder left running in the same room as the world's worst heavy metal band, a very basic rehearsal tape complete with screw ups, false starts, and no-one being able to remember any of the songs. For some reason I had the third and fourth demos confused with those later tapes which were mostly just alternate mixes of the stuff they had released on their EPs, so I was slightly blown away when I came to digitise this one. I had no memory of it sounding this good, possibly in part due to it being a cassette which has hardly been played. Andy seems to take a dim view of these early tapes, but I think he's being picky, and I actually think they're amongst the Apostles' greatest work. Maybe the mix isn't perfect, but the power and feeling of these songs has really been captured. To be honest, I like this stuff a lot better than the records.

I should probably point out that the Apostles vinyl material can be downloaded from the UNIT page on Bandcamp, and as for some of the more suspicious titles to be found elsewhere on the same page, see the first paragraph or take it up with Andy himself. In his defense, I notice some of the more horrendous material from Equinox Screams seems to be thankfully absent from the downloads, and before you ask - no, I won't be digitising Rights for Whites or others of its kind "recorded when I wasn't feeling very well" (as Andy told me), regardless of whether or not such werks should be considered ironic.

1 - The Apostles
2 - Kill Your Pet Prole
3 - Kings Cross Etc.
4 - Thalidomide
5 - Fear of Freedom
6 - Eric's Detachables
7 - Fucking Queer
8 - Proletarian Autonomy
9 - Burn the Witch
10 - Libertarian Youth
11 - The Innocent Bystander
12 - Etc. Etc.
13 - Mister Missed Her
14 - The Death Factory
15 - New Face in N16
16 - After the Fact
17 - Alien Asian
18 - 1985

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Friday, 1 March 2019

Cassette Music 5 (1994) C60

Here's the last of my compilations from Dave Hopwood's excellent Personal Soundtracks label - not sure if it's the best of the bunch but it's probably a contender. As for the individual tracks - was never entirely convinced by Brume, although I can no longer even remember why, but this one is excellent and seems to foreshadow a lot of that glitchy laptop stuff by a good couple of years; and talking of foreshadowing, Cacophony '33' were apparently recording vapourwave roughly two decades before anyone else - vapourwave here distinguished as the sort of repurposing done so well by Blank Banshee and others, as distinct from, you know, Africa by Toto and other stuff from which it borrows. I never got around to nabbing any Cacophony '33' material at the time, and I should have done because they had some great stuff on a couple of other compilations too; Ice Pedestal is presumably factor X again, collaborating with - at a guess - maybe Tom Cox, but I could be wrong; Westland seems to be Parisian noise dude Franck Canorel; Konstruktivists are Konstruktivists, obviously; and Cathedra was Mark who published Impulse and ended up in Konstruktivists, possibly as the longest serving member aside from Glenn himself; Ozone Bandits was Dave Hopwood, and I'm not sure about the rest - apart from factor X, whom I'm sure you will have heard about, and M. Nomized whom you will definitely have heard about unless you've only recently emerged from thirty or forty years spent living in the Amazon basin. Chris Brett's track is also particularly fine and worth singling out as such while I'm here.

1 - Brume - Le Chemin Duciel
2 -
Cacophony '33' - Chill Up A Rising
3 -
TAK/fX - Ice Pedestal
4 -
The Rorschach Garden - Night Journey
5 -
Westland - Hidden in Argentina
6 -
Konstruktivists - Alien Blues
7 -
Cathedra - Prima Luce
8 -
Ozone Bandits - 12/3/94
9 -
Chris Brett - Napalm Gtr 2
10 -
M. Nomized - Russolo Music
11 -
MMATT - Song X
12 -
factor X - She's Mine
13 -
Ars Moriend - Lack of Light
14 -
Manatisa - No Title

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