Monday, 31 October 2016

Asepisis - The Glory of Punishment (1984) C60

Asepisis was Jez, actually my oldest friend on the grounds of my being told to sit next to him on my first day in Mrs. Daglish's infants class. We both ended up at the same comprehensive school and discovered Throbbing Gristle and related weirdy music artistes around the same time. Once I'd worked out how to layer sound on the twin tape deck of the family music center, it made sense to invite Jez over to see what he could come up with. We had already collaborated to some extent when he played guitar at a Do Easy performance which ended up on Death in a Milan Square, but this was to be his own thing seeing as he already seemed to have plenty of ideas. He came over to my place a few times and vanished into the spare room at the top of the house where we kept the music center, and I left him to it. At one point he had me shout Mishima into the drum of an old washing machine he'd brought over, but that was otherwise the full extent of my involvement.

Annoyingly, given that I actually knew how to play an instrument and everything, The Glory of Punishment sounded significantly better than anything I had myself recorded on the same equipment, and listening to the thing now, I'm still not sure how he achieved some of those sounds given our limited resources. When I recently got back in touch with Jez to ask him about this tape, he described it with typical humility as low rent, fourth grade power electronics, but I think he's doing himself a disservice. The tape is certainly of its time, as they say, but let he among us who hasn't contrasted a tape of Charles Manson talking with a wall of screeching noise cast the first stone. I've heard a lot of power electronics over the years, and quite frankly this tape still sounds better than the great majority - at least to me. It's inventive and demonstrates some sort of understanding of composition, of what works, when to turn it up full, when to cut back, and so on.

Anyway, it would have been a tape on my Do Easy label, but first I got a bit freaked out by the artwork which Jez came up with - which neither of us seem to have a copy of any longer - and then we fell out due to my being a massive arsehole, or at least carrying off a convincing impersonation of one, for shameful reasons I won't go into here. We're back in touch again, after all this time, and on good terms at last, although we still need to properly thrash it all out over a few beers. Anyway, the upshot was that the tape was released on the label run by Trev Ward of the Grey Wolves, whatever it was called that year.

It makes me very happy to be able to share this tape, and to once again be on good terms with its creator. Enjoy! I'd add play loud but I think that's probably a given. 

1 - Highland Park
2 - The Glory of Punishment
3 - The Presence
4 - Mishima
5 - Firezone
6 - Before the Temptation
7 - We Swallow Our Pride
8 - Atomage III
9 - Theatre of Violence
10 - New Patriotism

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Monday, 24 October 2016

F*** F******* - For Our Real Fans Only! (1992) C60+

The story so far is to be found here and here, should it be necessary. This album was produced in a limited edition of two copies, which is perhaps why you've never heard of it. It was a compilation mostly of stuff I had laying around and which hadn't been recorded with any particular destination in mind (with a few exceptions), and it was compiled for my friend Carl's birthday seeing as he seemed to get something out of this shit. Hence I recorded a special birthday song (see if you can tell which one it is), and a song which could be transferred to Carl's telephone answering machine, should he feel inclined to do so (and I seem to remember that he did) as a sort of additional birthday present.

Tribute to factor X was originally sent to the sound-artist-bloke-project-entity of the same name for possible inclusion on one of his Radio Dada tapes, although I don't know if he ever used it; probably not, the miserable cunt. My droning DJ impersonation was based heavily on the bloke you may have heard on We Be Echo's Psychick Kontakt Specials a couple of months ago; and (in case anyone really cares) the Green Men actually existed and featured my friend Jez's dad along with other members of the village bowling team. They had the song pressed as a 7" single and I expect they sold it in the local pub or something. The test tone you hear at the beginning of Tribute to factor X was on the other side for some reason.

You Don't Have to Say Please was my improvement on an inferior Whitehouse song recorded for Still Going Strong - Impulse fanzine's collection of sarcastic Whitehouse covers, presently available from [aufnahme + wiedergabe].

...and the rest were mostly just me pissing about, except I Know What I Like which featured the late, great Andrew Cox on guitar, and Let the Bad Times Roll on which harmonica is played by my fellow Catford postman, the multi-talented Billy Playle. He carried a harmonica with him most of the time and would whip it out and give us a few mournful bars during tough mornings in the sorting office to underscore that plantation vibe. The last three tracks are covers of songs by the Leather Nun, Death in June, and Led Zeppelin. Behind the Rose and In My Time of Dying weren't actually on the original tape, but I've added them here for the sake of tidiness. I recorded the Leather Nun song partially because that's where the band's name came from, and the Death in June song is recorded in the club style because why the fuck not, and In My Time of Dying happened because someone had to bring together the majesty of Led Zeppelin and the mighty force of the Casio VL Tone, and it turned out that this person was me.

1 - Happy Birthday to Carl
2 - Please Leave a Message
3 - Tribute to factor X (WKXK radio session)
4 - This Old Man
5 - When We've Had a Couple of Beers
6 - Invokation
7 - You Don't Have to Say Please
8 - Stupid (instrumental)
9 - I Know What I Like
10 - Bad Time Blues (live)
11 - Sniff Your Ass
12 - You Don't Have to Say Please (live)
13 - Let the Bad Times Roll
14 - F*** F****** of America
15 - Behind the Rose (Fields of Rape)
16 - In My Time of Dying

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Dovers - Hammersmith and Chatham (1988) C90

The Blue Lagoon was a popular Chatham venue in the basement of an American style diner owned by Mr and Mrs. Amin and run by their son Prez, bassist for the Martini Slutz and a later incarnation of Envy, and all around great guy. The above photo, taken by Andy Fraser of the Martini Slutz and - more recently - Unlucky Fried Kitten, clearly shows Prez undertaking some guest vocals with the Dovers, who were Carl Glover and myself. This gig was at the Blue Lagoon, although I don't think it's the one on this tape which was in March, and those look suspiciously like Christmas decorations up on the wall behind Carl. Someone other than Carl performs guest yelping on the final track of the Blue Lagoon set on this tape, but I've a feeling it may have been me. The above photograph might not have anything to do with this tape beyond it showing the same venue and people. I have no idea. Regarding the bands and venue, this is still more information than you'll find in this history of music in the Medway towns which somehow manages to mention Tim Webster just once, despite being over five-hundred pages in length.

Anyway, both of these gigs were supporting Envy and the Uninvited Guests, so I suppose you could call it a tour if you really felt like it. Collectively, we (not necessarily including the Dovers) had enough of a following to van a load of fans up to London in a minibus, so this tape comprises the mid-week warm up and then our collective attempt to crack the capital. It's probably not the greatest live recording ever, but it's not like I'm expecting payment for it, so whatever. Carl attempted to liven up the Blue Lagoon gig by staging a competition with whoever managed to cheer the loudest winning an album autographed by not only the Dovers but also Prez. The album was Tiffany's debut featuring the hits Danny and I Think We're Alone Now. I recall Sarah Cook winning the album, but it doesn't sound like she did on the tape, so I've no idea.

You can also hear Eleanor Ronchi talking to Prez at the beginning of the Hammersmith gig, which is nice, at least for me. I fancied Eleanor something rotten, but it just wasn't to be. Oh well.

I should write a book about this shit. 


Blue Lagoon, Chatham 20/3/88
1 - He Believes
2 - A.I.D.X.
3 - The Insect
4 - Louie Louie
5 - Beat Me Black & Blue
6 - Misery List

The Clarendon, Hammersmith 24/3/88
7 - He Believes
8 - A.I.D.X.
9 - The Insect
10 - Louie Louie
11 - B.L.A.C.Clowns
12 - Are You My Mother?
13 - Beat Me Black & Blue
14 - Hail Fellow Well Met

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Friday, 7 October 2016

Do Easy - The 35th Release (1985) C60

So I'd started at Maidstone College of Art and had already been insulted by Traci Emin. I'd successfully gained entrance to a nude female lady of the opposite sex, at the same time pissing off my oldest friend who had been labouring under the illusion of her being his bird - as described in more detail here; and then in a display of irony so massive that interstellar travellers could have settled on it and started a new life, she'd dumped me for some fanzine bloke. I wasn't a happy bunny by any description of the term. Worse still I seemed to have mislaid what I regarded as my musical mojo. The tapes had dried up. I'd recorded a few things but the complete change of surroundings combined with my discovering pubs had proven confusing. Additionally, I think I may have begun to realise that my Do Easy material wasn't as amazing as I had originally thought, so I had grown frustrated with my inability to produce anything which still sounded all right the next day. Partially this was because since The Fourteenth Metal Tape and the er... singles, I'd put out a compilation, was working on a follow-up, and had also released tapes by Opera For Infantry, Trilogy, Sin, Acrobatic Champions, and Adventures of Twizzle, all of which even I could tell made my own stuff sound amateurish and poorly realised.

Anyway, by 1985 I had vaguely enough new material for a full C60, and this was it. The live recording from 1984 was mostly improvised by myself with Henry Probert and Dave Browning of the Shining, and improves substantially once I've got the pound-shop William Bennett out of my system. Dave and Henry came over to my house in Shipston the week before and we'd worked something out together, and it ended up sounding like this. The remaining tracks are a mix of things recorded as soundtrack material - a fuller account of which can be found here - and generally disappointing attempts to recapture the Do Easy magic of yesteryear. I was miserable, but not very good at articulating it without sounding ridiculous - although I still quite like What's the Fucking point?

This ended up being the last Do Easy tape I released, the last for which I did a (presently missing) cover and which I sold to anyone through the post. I continued to record music as Do Easy, particularly when in the second year of the course I was granted access to the college sound studio, and although I always intended to sell tapes of that stuff, I'd stopped caring about the tape label by that point and never bothered.

This one's some way short of a masterpiece, so download at your peril. The one thing in its favour is that it almost certainly sounds worse to me than it will to anyone else. 

1 - Green Dragon, Stratford-upon-Avon 6/8/84
2 - Nowhere Nuthin' Fuck Up '86
3 - Project
4 - Pagan Filth
5 - All in the Mind
6 - Within These Walls
7 - What's the Fucking Point?

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