Friday, 22 December 2017

Godless Pinkoes - Waiter, There's a Communist in My Soup (1982) C46

If you regularly follow this blog, you should have heard of Paul Mex's Dead Hedgehog Enterprises, and this was one of his, or maybe their's. You also should know the name of Robert Dellar, possibly. If not, he now has his own, admittedly brief, Wikipedia page, and me and a few others put together this book in memorial of him, his life and work - which is touching, funny, inspiring, and all proceeds go to Mental Health Resistance Network.

I've a feeling Robert might have been slightly bewidered by this unearthing of material he recorded with the Godless Pinkoes, at least going by the look of long-suffering patience on his face when I first met him, greeting him with the exclamation, 'you're that bloke from Cult of the Supreme Being!', that being another band of which Robert was a member. Anyway, this one was recorded with Adam Penwarden and Flash Butler, and I expect Paul Mex was in there somewhere (can't really tell from the artwork, which is a bit of a dog's dinner once you're past the track titles). I'm not sure what Robert's role would have been, but most of the vocals sound like him to me.
Waiter, There's a Communist in My Soup is pretty basic and will probably just sound like a tape of three young lads pissing about with instruments upon first hearing, but the more you listen to it, the more it sinks in as a winning combination of punky enthusiasm and surprisingly infectious tunes. Actually, some of it reminds me of New Order, except that it's better.
Rest in peace, Robert. We still miss you.

1 - Communists
2 - Hell is Other People
3 - Within You, Without You
4 - Dictator
5 - Hiroshima Day
6 - Virgil's Breakfast
7 - Action Man
8 - Camouflage
9 - Acid Drops
10 - Virgil's Breakfast (dub)
11 - Sanctuary

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Friday, 15 December 2017

Opera for Infantry - Scumworld (1984) C60

Here's the second tape I put out by Opera for Infantry, and God only knows why they gave me such free reign with their covers. I think I'd just bought Meet the Residents that week, and that's where the phenomenal pop combo gag comes from.

It's okay. If you need to roll around a little longer, pounding one fist on the floor and crying with laughter, I can wait.

As you will be able to hear, this is essentially a live tape but with the backing track used for the performance taking up the first side on the grounds that it sort of works as a bit of music in its own right, or works as a bit of noise in its own right if you prefer. The gig itself comprises a set of several numbers, but I've digitised them all as a single track, as I suspect that's how it was intended.

As you may well know, Opera for Infantry eventually became the Grey Wolves, so for the benefit of anyone who has a problem with that, or who still suspects the Grey Wolves to have been some sort of covert British Movement recruitment drive, Scumworld is probably as revealing an insight into both their founding and actual political sympathies as you're likely to need - Crass meets Throbbing Gristle if you'd rather get it in primary colours: just listen to the words of the live performance (and the tape is pretty decent quality, all things considered, so they're fairly clear), then reacquaint yourself with Reality Asylum if the penny still hasn't quite dropped. Of course the images were horrible, because they were supposed to be horrible, because it was supposed to get you thinking rather than just nodding your head and agreeing that vivisection was a bad trip. I sort of wonder if it wasn't the frustration of Opera for Infantry actually having to explain that they weren't hoping to bring about some totalitarian state (when their stance was fucking obvious if you bothered to listen), which ultimately drove them to greater extremes as the Grey Wolves. I still have a ton of correspondence from Trev from around this time, and it's obvious that he was frustrated by a certain complacency which he saw as having overtaken the anarchopunk scene. So there you have it, I suppose. 

Thirty years later, I'm surprised at how good this one is - not at all the racket I remember. It sort of makes me wish some enterprising sugar daddy had whisked them off to IPS studios and got some of this material recorded with some kind of sound quality.

1 - Before Scumworld
2 - Scumworld (Amesbury Sports Centre 2/8/84)

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Monday, 11 December 2017

v/a - Meridians 1 (1983) C60

It was going to be Vittore Baroni's TRAX 0682 compilation this week, but at last minute I noticed someone had already stuck it on CD, so you should probably buy it if you want to hear it, mkay? Anyway, Larry Peterson sent me Meridians 1 as a swap for something I'd sent him which I remember thinking was quite a lot better, so I was briefly miffed, not least because it seemed obvious that someone had given him the tape as a freebie and he'd thought it was shit and so passed it on to me. So that wasn't a great start, and there was something I didn't like about the cover (and I'm usually a fan of Malcolm Garrett too), and the whole enterprise felt like the Hayward Gallery getting involved in the tape scene and showing us uncultured fucks how we should have done it instead of all those tacky pictures of Hitler adorning our shit Woolworths cassettes of short-wave radio noise. There was something a bit up itself about Touch, or so it seemed to me.

So imagine my surprise when I pluck this from the shelf as a last minute replacement for TRAX 0682, digitise the thing, and discover that it's actually pretty decent, as I would have realised had I listened to it more than once. The contributors were mostly established artists with record contracts, or close friends of established artists with record contracts, but the music is mostly decent, or the very least, interesting. Most of this lot shouldn't really require an introduction, although for what it's worth, NOTi is also Andrew McKenzie, and the Ludus track seems to feature SPK's Graeme Revell on saxomaphone and Dave Formula from Magazine tickling the ivories. You may notice that the track list given on the sleeve does that fucking annoying thing of featuring mysterious interludes identified in predictable lower case but with no artist, as though they was done by a fucking ghost or summink! This is a pain in the arse for a digitiser such as myself given that I have to divide everything into proper tracks, regardless of stray snatches of speech scattered hither and thither in the name of art. Anyway, I've followed the track list given on Discogs which blows the whistle on himself of the Hafler Trio as author of all the scrappy bits of art challenging the listener's preconceptions about something or other. I should probably also mention that I'm not entirely sure I've correctly labelled tracks 14 through to 17, or whether one of those is actually another one of Andrew McKenzie's medium questioning excerpts from an episode of Nationwide.

1 - Matador - Nowever, Ornever
2 -
AC Marias - The Whispered Year
3 -
Andrew McKenzie - sigil one
4 -
Pascal Gabriel - Machu Pichu
5 -
Matador - Mother Earth Film Music
6 -
Touch 33° - Oral Tradition
7 -
Graham Lewis - He Said "Argh..."
8 -
John Foxx - The Quiet Man IV
9 -
Simon F. Turner - Wash
10 -
Andrew McKenzie - sigil two
11 -
Current 93 - Salt
12 -
Touch 33° - The Crucible
13 -
Test Department - Efficiency
14 -
S/Z - Text
15 -
The Pathfinders - Long Shadows
16 -
NOTi - Diagnosis
17 -
Andrew McKenzie - sigil three
18 -
Ludus - Corpse Candle

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Monday, 4 December 2017

factor X - Weird (1992) C90

As I may have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, Shaun Robert and I fell out (for reasons which I may have already mentioned and can't be arsed to go over again because who cares?), but hopefully he won't object to my sharing this one, because it's worth sharing. My dating it to 1992 is guesswork based on vague memories of where I was living when it popped through my letterbox. Weird was supposedly to be released by Fool's Paradise, who also put out material by Maeror Tri, for whatever that's worth, although I don't know if that ever happened, or even if Weird ever achieved a formal release.

I seem to recall Shaun being quite a fan of the Severed Heads, which really shows on a couple of these tracks - and I mean that as a good thing. The Frog & the Raven and MT (Parted to Meet Again) number amongst the greatest tape only songs I've ever heard. The rest steers a little closer to more familiar factor X territory, although this tape still sounds fairly unique amongst his body of work to me, and I have quite a few others so I'm not just saying that.

I think it was recorded with his girlfriend of the time, whose name was Francesca something or other, although I have a feeling they separated shortly after this one. I can't think of anything more to say about it, so I've also scanned a four page factor X manifesto-cum-statement type thing called Sciolism which comes with the download, so that should give you something to think about, should you require it.

1 - The Frog & the Raven
2 - The Light that Shines
3 - MT (Parted to Meet Again)
4 - minim
5 - Tautologize
6 - Denkzeichen
7 - Smelt
8 - Silverspoons
9 - ènôrm'ous irrělêvance
10 - Seal
11 - Headaway
12 - Lulla
13 - Butterfly Existence
14 - Everyone is Fine
15 - OUT

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