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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Monday, 1 April 2019

Apostles - Live at the Recession Club 21/9/83 (1983) C30


This is my second Apostles tape from the Protect & Survive label, and a bit of an oddity, I suppose. The performance was live at the Recession Club in Hackney which was organised and run by the Apostles, Larry Peterson, and probably some others too - and a lot of your industrial faves played there before you had even heard of them because you were still into Depeche Toad and Howard Jones. I'd heard of them though, but then I was there, mate - well, not actually there at the Recession Club as I was still in short trousers and too likely to get bummed flat if I went down to that London on my own, but I was there in spirit, or at least in the form of a little pile of letters and badges in Andy's house.

I never saw the Apostles live but the legend has it that they could have used a few more rehearsals (which was arguably true by the time I joined, after one name change or another), but on the other hand, this one sounds like it was recorded through the PA - hence lack of audience sound, unless they had all been driven away by Bourbonese Qualk or whoever. Additionally, they lacked a drummer, so instead played as a duo with tapes, but not actual tapes of drums, just tapes, such as a recording of Larry Peterson and Dave having a chat as you can hear during Rediffusion Refugee. I remember finding this a bit underwhelming when I first heard the tape, but now I think it works quite well, particularly whatever the hell that sound is on The Scream. Oh - and I know there's drumming on the first and last tracks, which would be Kev of Three Heads Nodding, sadly no longer with us according to Chris Low, another former Apostle from this era, due to a certain fondness for the old arm candy. Shame - didn't know the guy but he wrote nice letters.

...and the only other thing I have to say is to point out that Splitting in Two is obviously the ATV song, and is chuffin' fab.


Tracks:
1 - The Innocent Bystander
2 - Rediffusion Refugee
3 - The Scream
4 - The Patient
5 - I am a Rock
6 - Splitting in Two


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