Friday, 14 December 2018

Network 10 (1982) C60

No proper tape cover so er... that's my artist's impression of Phil Beesley, the man behind Network 10. I haven't been able to find anything on the internet either.

Back in May 1985 I was sharing a student rabbit hutch in Leeds village, near Maidstone in Kent with a poet called Steve. Steve was hard work at times, but we sort of got on, and he let me release his Lead Shoes tape on Do Easy, my tape label. Phil Beesley was his pal from back home, possibly from school, who came to visit and stayed over the weekend. Typically, everybody liked Phil a whole lot more than they liked Steve. He was a big bloke, like a Rugby player, but fairly quiet, almost to the point of seeming shy. It also turned out that he played a shitload of instruments and recorded his own music, and this is the tape he lent me.

Anyone who saw the name Network 10 and started pulling on their army boots and camouflage pants in fevered anticipation of a good old EBM stomp and a frown whilst thinking about how Mussolini had actually had some good ideas will probably have stopped reading by this point, saving me the effort of suggesting they fuck off. Network 10 actually sound like the Dead Hedgehog band that got away, and they even have a song about a hedgehog - influence of Cabaret Voltaire and Wire conspicuously absent, softly psychedelic pub rock with a touch of early Quo, and no apparent fear of novelty records. It was the sort of thing I shouldn't really have liked, but there was something infectious about it, and Phil clearly had an ear for a tune. I know some of it skates close to the edge, notably the chorus of oh no don't do it, Percy, but fuck it - rather listen to this than whatever boring shite the Wire is banging on about this week.

Not sure about the last three tracks. I get the impression they may have been from some other demo which I simply taped on the end. Phil had initially started off recording under the name Army Sergeant (which thankfully didn't last because it sounds like Frank Sidebottom's take on industrial techno), and I have a feeling the last three tracks may actually be an Army Sergeant demo.

There were a couple of years back there where Henrietta Blues I turned up on every single here, you have to listen to this tape I did for anyone.

Wherever you are, Mr. Beesley, thanks. This was some good stuff.

1 - Invitation
2 - Henrietta Blues I
3 - Percy
4 - Jigorama
5 - 25 Too Much
6 - A Day in the Life of the Suburban Hedgehog
7 - Mediterranean Holiday
8 - Come Tomorrow
9 - Henrietta Blues II
10 - Killing Me Softly
11 - Don't Talk About Fashion
12 - Delirious

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Real Time 7 (1983) C90

I posted a previous volume of this series back in January, and here's another picture (as found on Discogs) of Robert Cox, the handsome fellow who compiled these tapes and recorded as Rimarimba.

Everything I said about Real Time 5 seems to apply here, pretty much, particularly regarding stonewashed jeans bands; and yet like Real Time 5, this is nevertheless a mostly decent compilation with not much fast forwarding required. Robotghost was John Grimaldi, formerly of Argent whom older boys and girls will recall had a hit with God Gave Rock and Roll to You; Len Liggins you should recall from both Real Time 5 and International Sound Communication 10; Gambit of Shame and Mex should be known to you if you've been following these blogs, and No Bounds and 18 out of 20 seem to be variant mixes of those which appeared on their classic 7" - still one of my favourite singles from that era; I've posted about Adventures of Twizzle before as I put out a tape by them on my Do Easy label, although this track was originally on Hitler's Trousers after the Blast which I'll digitise at some point within the next couple of months; I'm drawing blanks on Magnificent Everything, If All Else Fails, John Ralph, Terry Crocodile, Nine Dangerous Fish Inc., Personal Effect, Martin Barbour, and Three Damn Cheers, although for what it may be worth, If All Else Fails' Sand is probably my favourite track on this tape after the Gambit of Shame numbers; Stress you really should have heard of, being the vehicle of Alan who used to edit Adventures in Reality and Phil Clarke who produced (I think) Damn Latin zine and was (possibly) in the Stick Insects.; leaving just Rimarimba which was Robert Cox's own material, possibly occasionally involving either Smell or Quim of Smell & Quim, according to Discogs.

Dream Syndicate sounds a bit Chris Morris to me.

1 - Robotghost - Museum of Fakes
2 - Robotghost - Studio 54
3 - Len Liggins - Boxes (All I Want is a Womb with a View)
4 - Len Liggins - I Know You Know
5 - Gambit of Shame - To Hell with the Carnival
6 - Gambit of Shame - No Bounds
7 - Gambit of Shame - 18 out of 20
8 - Mex - Born to be Killed
9 - Adventures of Twizzle - On and On and On
10 - Magnificent Everything - Blue Sky North Street
11 - Magnificent Everything - Big Casino
12 - If All Else Fails - Sand
13 - If All Else Fails - Blood on Her Produce
14 - John Ralph - Star
15 - Terry Crocodile - Velvet
16 - Terry Crocodile - Dream Syndicate
17 - Nine Dangerous Fish Inc. - Shake
18 - Nine Dangerous Fish Inc. - Lobsters on the Boil
19 - Personal Effect - Tired and Emotional
20 - Martin Barbour - The Other Way
21 - Martin Barbour - Attarine Street
22 - Three Damn Cheers - Peur
23 - Stress - Nothing New
24 - Rimarimba - Steady State
25 - Rimarimba - The Melting

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Monday, 10 December 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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Friday, 7 December 2018

Chris Duncan - The Broken Crucifix II (1981) C60

While it's generally true that I've hung onto more or less everything over the years - tapes, letters, whatever - there have been occasional clear outs, possibly just for the sake of proving to myself that I could do it, and thus I no longer have cassettes by Two Daughters, Storm Bugs, or La Otra Cara De Un Jardín. I gave them a listen and apparently found them underwhelming, so I gave them away (probably to Jim MacDougall) which I would now regret were there any point in regretting that sort of thing. Amazingly though, I somehow kept hold of two tapes by Chris Duncan, both passed onto me by Glenn Wallis, so I was briefly the Jim MacDougall of Glenn Wallis. I think I kept hold of them for sarcastic reasons, because they seemed rudimentary beyond belief, and maybe there was a little bit of guilt in knowing that someone had put some effort into this work, by some definition, and yet here I was regarding it as crap. I think this general sense of disdain may have developed following a conversation in the pub with Andrew Cox, talking about the good old days of ten years earlier and the DIY tape scene. We realised that we both had tapes by Chris Duncan, and I vaguely recall Andrew suggesting that Duncan had been sending his stuff out to a lot of zines or weirdy DIY artists at one point, and it was all a bit too basic for its own good. Andrew even had some vague memory of Duncan coming up with some amusing sounding name - Duncophonics or similar - for some recording technique he had "invented" which involved something at the technological level of selotaping a toilet roll tube to the microphone. Oh how we laughed.

Nearly thirty years have passed since Andrew and I got pissed and spent an evening laughing at silly simple Chris and his crap tapes, and approaching forty since those same tapes were produced; and amazingly they still play okay, or this one does, despite the unimpressive condition of the Boots CRXII cassette on which my copy was recorded.

To briefly digress, last week I checked my Twitter feed for the first time in ages and there found a response to my sharing the link to a previous tape posted on this blog. It came from a contributor to said tape and the thrust of his argument was what the fuck have you done to our track? - it sounds shit, or words to that effect. What I'd done to his track was digitised it and shared it on this blog, pausing only to clean the cunt up a bit so as to reduce the hiss. Otherwise it sounded more or less as it had done on the tape, the tape from thirty long fucking years ago, or slightly less shit if anything. I got in touch with our man to point this out. I don't recall whether I actually suggested he travel back in time and take the issue of quality up with the person who put out the offending tape in the first place, but I feel I would have been justified in doing so. He rephrased his objection saying that there was no point giving the thing away for free because it was such terrible quality. I still don't know who I was supposedly hurting (apart from His Royal Highness, apparently), and actually, but for some wow and flutter, the track sounds fine to me; and objecting to something from an ancient tape on the grounds of it not sounding like it was taken from a CD recorded at Abbey Road and produced by Trevor fucking Horn seems overly precious to a degree suggesting that our search for the industrial Elton John is finally over, given that I'm retroactively promoting the existence of his generic hasn't been Joy Division tribute act out of the goodness of my own fucking heart and at no actual charge.

Anyway, this unpleasantness has inspired me to a greater degree of sympathy for the under-represented likes of Mr. Duncan, those of us who did what we could without a massive budget, expensive technology, or the patronage of some more famous weirdy music superstar of the day. I say us because this time around I've noticed that there's not a whole lot of difference between Chris Duncan's work and my first few dozen Do Easy tapes; and given the titles and content, I sort of suspect he and I had roughly the same influences - Throbbing Gristle and a bit of Whitehouse, but based on reading about them without actually having heard the records. Chris falls on his arse a few times on this tape, but at least he was trying, and with not a generic Joy Division bass line to be heard; and with hindsight, providing all techno-snobbery is checked at the door, I've heard much worse than The Broken Crucifix, and worse on a better budget. I still don't know anything about Chris Duncan, what happened to the first Broken Crucifix, who he is or was - not beyond this tape and The Vanishing Mother. This tape was seemingly issued as being by Congress of Paris, and by the time he recorded The Vanishing Mother he was Kris Duncan with an industrial K, and that really is all I've got.

In light of previous accusations, I'd like to point out that the wow and flutter on Sputnik seems to be a deliberate effect on Chris Duncan's part, given that the track on the other side of the tape in the same place is unaffected, and the effect is itself entirely limited to Sputnik. Aside from that, I've done nothing to this except clean it up because there was, unsurprisingly, a ton of hiss; and I did that because it's the sort of thing I do, because I give a shit. You're most welcome.

1 - Introduction
2 - Hungarian Wedding
3 - Working Brain
4 - Locked Up I
5 - Locked Up II
6 - Military Tattoo
7 - Sputnik
8 - Child Sex I
9 - Child Sex II
10 - The Broken Crucifix
11 - Pedestrian
12 - Final Program
13 - Dark Blues
14 - Lonely
15 - Hello Hello (Is There Anybody There?)

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Monday, 3 December 2018

Ceramic Hobs - Station Bar 17/6/03 (2003) C40

The photo is actually from a Mad Pride gig at the Garage in London a couple of days later, in case anyone was wondering, and I think it was probably taken by my friend Rob Colson who now writes dinosaur books for kids. The Ceramic Hobs are from Blackpool, were formed back in the eighties, and are still in existence today, albeit as a sort of tribute to themselves (well, that's how Simon made it sound to me). Someone or other - possibly the late, great Robert Dellar - described them as the last real punk band, which sort of works.

This is a live tape, obviously, but one which seemed to warrant digitisation because it's a fucking good tape, and the quality is such that it could quite easily be pressed up on vinyl without it seeming too wilful an act. I've taken the liberty of tarting it up a bit, repairing a couple of drop outs and sewing the end of side one onto the beginning of side two etc.

 There have been a million line-ups of the Ceramic Hobs, so I'm not sure which this one was beyond that Stan Batcow was a member. The songs mostly appeared on their first three studio albums, and many reappear on the excellent Black Pool Legacy compilation, which you need if you don't already have it. I think there are a few of them still knocking around. Also, seeing as Christmas is coming up and I'm sure we're all looking for something for that difficult aunt or uncle, Simon has written a couple of novellas or chapbooks or whatever you would call them, which are available from Amphetamine Sulphate and come with my sturdiest recommendation, as does the rest of the AS catalogue for what it may be worth.

1 - Knight's Move
2 - Native American Healing Chant
3 - Would You Like to Kiss Me?
4 - Atomic Clock
5 - Xanadu in Veins
6 - Amateur Cops
7 - Lone Twister
8 - Rainbow Self-Realisation Therapy
9 - Pirate Night
10 - Raven
11 - M61
12 - When I Was a Little Boy
13 - Shaolin Master

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Impulse 3 (1992) C40

You will recall Impulse, the magazine which came with a compilation tape, either from Impulse 2 which I posted here, or perhaps even from reality (and in case anyone is wondering - no, I never saw the first issue). Well, here's another volume, short and sweet but with some great tracks. You will be familiar with some of the artists, perhaps not all, in which case, Google is your friend, as snidey forum dwelling internet wankers used to say and probably still do. Out of this lot, the big surprise for me was just now finding out that Cathedra was actually Mark who edited the mag and eventually joined Konstruktivists. Maybe I did know that, but in any case I had obviously forgotten it, despite actually having known the bloke since roughly the time when he was doing this mag. Good stuff anyway.
Last time I posted one of these, I scanned the magazine and included it with the download. I couldn't be bothered this time, having noticed that issue three includes a big fat helping of Misery and Purity, a thoroughly clownish treatise on Death in June by Robert Forbes, also author of The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement: UK & USA, 1979 - 1993, and For Europe: The French Volunteers of the Waffen-SS, although obviously those are entirely different books sharing no thematic common ground with the aforementioned ode to Dougie, so I'm not even sure why I mentioned them. For Europe: The French Volunteers of the Waffen-SS is apparently great according to all the five star reviews on Amazon. It's a well written history of the people who tried to help stop communism according to one bloke, so that's nice. Going back to Impulse 3, there's also an interview with Somewhere in Europe about whom I've never been entirely convinced, plus they have a crap name; so sorry - better things to do with my scanner. If it's any consolation, by not scanning and sharing the thing I am at least helping to preserve the current value of the mag for those investors and shareholders lucky enough to have secured a copy as part of their portfolio. Long live the market.

1 - Patternclear - Waiting in the Wings
2 -
Cacophony '33' - Slander Upon My Head
3 - Doubling Riders - Suite Veritas
4 - Moisten Before Use - Thud Pt. 1 [excerpt]   
5 -
Voltoid - Black Mass   
6 -
factor X - Happy Birthday   
7 -
Konstruktivists - Klub Zodiac '84   
8 -
Cathedra - Neolith  

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Friday, 16 November 2018

Hole - Mr. Bojangles 28/9/90 (1990) C30

This came on one side of a C60, one of about a million random tapes which fell out of a Jiffy bag sent by the gentleman behind Hoax! magazine back in the nineties. I knew nothing of Hole, and still don't, beyond that this version was nothing to do with Courtney Love and may even have predated her use of the name, and that it was something to do with John Everall.
I don't actually know much about John Everall beyond that he used to write for Empty Quarter, recorded Mesmeric Enabling Device with Nigel Ayers and Mick Harris, and is sadly no longer with us. Discogs describes him as a techno artist*, and I suppose this sort of qualifies, although the first thought I had when I first heard it was that it reminded me of Viral Shedding era Nocturnal Emissions - which is a good thing because that's one of my favourite records of all time. Given Everall's later association with Nigel I would be surprised if Nocturnal Emissions hadn't been something of an influence.
Anyway, it's a live tape complete with hiss, crowd noise, and even a bit of wow and flutter at the beginning, and yet the quality of the music somehow shines through the limitations of how it was recorded; which is why this one at least didn't just get taped over.
No idea what the individual tracks were called so I've listed them numerically, I-V. He had a couple of records out as Hole, but with different tracks to whatever we have here so far as I can tell (this conclusion based on seeing what's on YouTube rather than actual ownership of the aforementioned records).

*: It doesn't although I'm sure I read that somewhere.

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