Monday, 28 December 2015

Do Easy - The Sixth Metal Tape (1983) C60

This one wasn't excessively amazing either, so please keep that in mind when downloading it. This means you, Ian. Even I'm baffled by some of this shit and why I ever thought it was a good idea.

Anyway, Santa furnished me with a polyphonic organ during Christmas, 1982. I'd been nagging my parents for a Wasp synth. They had a go on one in a shop in Stratford-on-Avon and decided I'd be better off with a Yamaha PS-2 on the grounds that it sounded nicer, had an inbuilt rhythm section, and you could play more than one note at a time. With hindsight, it was probably a reasonable choice given that I wouldn't have done anything interesting with a Wasp either, but it took me a couple of days to work out how to get something which didn't sound like pure cheese out of the PS-2, or at least that didn't sound like pure cheese to me at the time - bed-wettingly self-conscious Gary Numan impersonations being something other than pure cheese, so I believed. I was an awkward kid with no clue as to quite how or where I was supposed to fit in, and so I tried hard to view myself as worldly, sophisticated and above the concerns of the common herd so as to explain why no-one wanted to shag me. I was above such things, hence:

Dancing, drinking, acting the fool,
I'd better keep quiet until I learn to keep my cool.

Take that, Bowie, you amateur.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I was at least aware of how easy it would be to just fill this, the fourth Do Easy album, with dinky little keyboard numbers, and surprisingly I managed to avoid the temptation - partially due to an uncomfortable suspicion that my efforts might one day sound less amazing than they seemed at the time. Thus I continued to experiment, to muck about with tape loops, and to name tracks after Futurist paintings, and I ended up with this. It's tempting to regard The Sixth Metal Tape as being some sort of comment on the media - tracks six and nine being inspired by newspaper articles, the title of five being some random bit of a headline, and my granny wondering if I could buy her a copy of the Daily Star - but I'm pretty sure the theme is coincidental.

It's still better than fucking Radiohead, mind.

1 - The City Rises
2 - New Vision

3 - The Worried Expression
4 - If You Could Get Me a Star
5 - Career is Finished
6 - Demonic Sisters
7 - Therapy
8 - The Dream Itself
9 - Contact Sections
10 - Zero Gravity
11 - Special Hospital
12 - Surveillance

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Friday, 25 December 2015

William Scanlan Murphy - Spreading the Cream Cheese Gospel (1990) C15

I don't know much about this or its author and presenter, but I taped it from the radio back in 1990, specifically from BBC Radio 4. According to stuff on the internet it was first broadcast on the 7th of May in that year, then repeated on the 13th of November. It's a fifteen minute documentary about a cult which took over a small German town in the 1930s. The cult was based upon the notion of cheese as having supernatural healing powers, and if I still need to sell you on the idea, then you probably have something wrong with your brain. Just listen to the thing, okay? You won't regret it.

This is doubtless copyrighted material, and I am obviously not the owner of that copyright; but really I just want to spread the goodness, this being more or less the greatest thing which has ever been broadcast on Radio 4, and no-one has yet put it on a CD or whatever so far as I am aware. Anyway, there's no point in suing me because I live in Texas and I don't have any money.

By the way, the tape was terrible quality so I had to clean it up on the computer, which worked but has left it with a sort of mildly autotuned sound, but at least you can now hear the thing without it sounding like you live next door to the Grey Wolves.

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Andrew Cox - Methods (1980) C46

Andrew Cox was my friend and he's now dead. I wrote about him at some length on my other blog here, so there's not much point my writing it all out again. Methods was one of my favourite home-produced cassettes even before I met the guy, and here it is in full. It's not that it does anything exactly unique, any noise never before originated by some bloke with a synth and a few tape recorders, but what it does, it does exceptionally well, in fact better than most other works I've heard of this kind. Andrew was a genuine talent and I still miss him. Anyone interested should note that further material by both Andrew and MFH, the group of which he was one half, is available from the good people of Forced Nostalgia.

Whilst we're here, Andrew was also on Nurse With Wound's Sylvie & Babs album in some capacity in case that makes you more likely to bother.

Photograph: I think that was where Andrew grew up, and where this tape was recorded.

1 - The Bridge at Evening
2 - M├ęduse

3 - Rachael's Favourite Song

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Monday, 14 December 2015

My Catholic Enemy (1996) C90+

It was Jim MacDougall's idea. Every other week he came over to stay on my sofa for the weekend. He was good company and very funny. He was also mad, and mad not in the sense of wearing keraaaazy t-shirts and opening up a cafe selling kid's breakfast cereal in fucking Hoxton, but mad meaning he'd made a lifetime commitment to a course of prescription drugs on the grounds that when he didn't take them, he thought he could fly and would head for the nearest tower block, usually ending up sectioned under the mental health act. We both liked noisy, offensive music, and someone had offered Jim a slot at a Mad Pride related live event to be held at Chat's Palace in Hackney, so we formed a band. I programmed all of my boxes and worked out something which could be performed live and not sound too pitiful, Jim would sing, and Smike of Earth Creature - a friend of Jim - would turn up to augment our sound with his weird abrasive guitar stylings. Jim had been recording stuff at the CORE Arts Studio - possibly something to do with Homerton Hospital - and he'd been recording using the name Aural Guerilla. I guessed he decided our thing was to be something separate, and he told me we were to be known as My Catholic Enemy. I had no strong objection. It was Jim's deal, and he was the vocalist. I recorded a live instrumental run-through of what I had, everything plugged into my stereo, then made a copy of the tape for Jim so he could work out some lyrics, or at least vocal material. Then we had another run-through in my living room with Jim doing his thing for what it was worth, some of which certain listeners will find offensive, which was presumably Jim's intention. The day of the gig came - Friday the 3rd of May, 1996 - and so I went along to the venue and met Smike who told me that Jim had been sectioned only that morning. We performed an instrumental set, just Smike and myself. It seemed to go down fairly well from what I can recall, and I'm sure I taped it, although I have no idea where the tape is.

...and that was that. We never discussed it again. There didn't seem much point.

This cassette features two versions of the same proposed live set, one instrumental, the other featuring Jim making shocking and offensive observations; plus some Casiotone crap filling up the tape, just me screwing about. Jihad was originally a song - and a great song - by All Flags Burn, here reduced to something you might hear over the closing credits of an episode of Crackerjack. Additionally, I've found a second take of the instrumental set on another tape, one using a compression pedal to beef up the TR606 a bit. It sounds better to me so I've included it here, hence the plus in the title, because it wasn't on the original cassette and this is one long-ass download. Just delete the one you enjoy less.

1 - MCE No. 1 instrumental demo
2 - MCE No. 1 vocal

3 - Jihad
4 - Noise
5 - MCE No. 1 inst. compression

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Monday, 7 December 2015

The Dovers - Rehearsals 1 & 2.1 (1987) C60

The Dovers were Carl and myself, which you will know if you've been following this blog. If you don't know, I refer you to the search function somewhere near the top of the screen, or the links to previous tapes on the left. Have a look around. It's not that difficult. This cassette is, as you may deduce, simply a tape of our first rehearsal, and some of our second - the rest of that one being on a different cassette. Sadly it doesn't really have a cover which is worth the effort of my bothering to scan the fucker, just the usual inlay card with song titles, so this week's vaguely related visual is a photograph of myself in sunglasses and Carl with dyed red hair accompanied by our friend Martin at some party or other. Martin and Carl were previously in a band called To The Max, and Martin was in the original line-up of the Cravats.

This tape was never released in any form, as is probably obvious, and will doubtless be of extremely limited interest to anyone who wasn't in the above photograph (except Martin), and if that's a problem, screw you - nobody's forcing you to download this stuff. It's my blog and I'll post what I want to post.

A brief history of the Dovers is to be found here, in the event that you couldn't be arsed to look for it during the first paragraph. The material on this tape is essentially Carl and myself seeing what we could come up with between us, having given up on the idea of recruiting new members following the Spinning Pygmies thing. Some of these songs were Total Big numbers. Others we came up with more or less on the spot. Both rehearsals were at Hollytree House in the village of Otham, Kent during the summer of 1987, and between the first and second session (which was specifically on Saturday the 22nd of August) Carl bought a Roland DR220E drum machine, so that isn't a live drummer you can hear on the final six tracks of the tape. It's minimal and pretty rough, being spawned by just the two of us with a fuzzbox and a crap tape recorder, but it still sounds good to me, particularly Counting Song - which is a work of genius by my reckoning and I have no idea why we never took it further.

Listen to me - I can count to ten!
Listen to me - I can count to ten!
If you don't believe me...


1 - Callin' My Boots Dave
2 - Wanna Buy Me Some Boots

3 - Are You My Mother?
4 - Counting Song
5 - The South Bank Show
6 - Lessons in Glam
7 - Keep Your Dreams A'Burning
8 - He Believes
9 - Batman
10 - Do the Frug
11 - Here He Comes Again
12 - Baby Bankrupt
13 - Beat Me Black & Blue
14 - Do the Frug
15 - He Writes the Songs
16 - B.L.A.C.Clowns

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