Friday, 23 February 2018

Fiery Bliss (1996) C60

Something of a change of pace this week, namely a mix crafted by my friend Paul back when he was a DJ, a master of the two record players if you will, and I suppose there's a slim chance you may remember him from this thing. He put a lot of time into perfecting his mixing and got pretty good at it, and this was the first sample tape he put together, or at least the first one to come my way. He was DJing as Blackcurrant 93 at the time, and I seem to recall that he played at quite a few parties and clubs around London and built up a bit of a following, but never quite seemed to get either the success or billing for which he strove and probably deserved, possibly due to the London club scene being as much about who you know as whether or not you can move a crowd. My guess was that this set dated from around the tail end of 1995, for various not particularly interesting reasons, to which Paul says I finished it around March '96, I think, but it took nine months to put it together and there may well have been an earlier version knocking about at some point.

As to what it actually is, and what you'll hear if you download the thing - house or possibly techno music, bit faster than you probably remember it being, and I'd call it trance except I've a feeling trance was mostly a bit more airy-fairy and synonymous with long-haired persons playing digeridoos on Mediterranean beaches; whereas this is quite hard-edged and a bit sweaty, or summink. I asked Paul about the genre, and he said I don't know either. I used to take some pride in finding not-that-well-known tunes that were hard to pin down genre-wise...

So there you have it - no individual titles because it's a mix of about a million records seamlessly blended into one. I've taken the liberty of welding the end of side one to the beginning of side two, thus eliminating the stop and start of the tape changing sides.

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Friday, 16 February 2018

Acrobatic Champions - Strange Days (1986) C60

Here's another one from the former bestie who no longer talks to me because I think I'm cool. Oh well. This was to be a tape on my Do Easy label, but never came out because I'd lost enthusiasm for the whole enterprise, and crap and inferior though my tape covers were, I wasn't sure how I felt about Paul going against my Rotring pen minimalist aesthetic with his admittedly superior cover art. Also he'd taken to changing the name under which he recorded about every three months, and by this point was apparently calling himself Pröl, derived from his spelling his name Porl, which I find a slightly irritating affectation; so it's still Acrobatic Champions, so far as I'm concerned, just as it was with the first two tapes.

Not sure what to make of this one. It's not as amazing as I remember it being, possibly because I'd forgot about the inclusion of live tracks, material he'd been trotting out since Die Brücke - and I wouldn't be surprised if he's still playing some of that stuff in pubs even now. On the positive side, I still genuinely love most of this material, and think they were great songs, and that Paul could have been fucking enormous but for his tendency to keep shooting himself in the foot, time after time after time, ultimately alienating even hardcore sad sack fanboys such as myself. In his defence, he was - shall we say - unwell at the time of recording some of this, a combination of certain unfortunate recreational habits and circumstances described on Nightshift - actually the soundtrack of a video he shot about working nights in a plastics factory, which apparently wasn't as much fun as it may sound.

If only Situation Two or one of those labels had chucked a bunch of money at the poor fucker and got him started with No Heart and Tin Men as a single. We'd still all be talking about what a great record it was now, but never mind.

1 - Not This Time
2 - No Heart
3 - Tin Men
4 - Compression
5 - Watching from Outside (live)
6 - The Audience (live)
7 - You Fill Me (live)
8 - Hallo Hallo Hallo
9 - Tabbs
10 - Nightshift
11 - Heart Like Glass (live)
12 - The Car
13 - Secret Architecture

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Monday, 12 February 2018

v/a - The Best of Italian Opera (1982) C60

Runaway Rhinoceros was a generally wonderful fanzine done by a bloke in Kenilworth, Warwickshire - and was thus representative of the local scene for me seeing as that's where my grandparents lived and I spent a lot of time there as a kid - although actually now I think on I've a feeling it may have been some bloke and his brother who did it. Anyway, the amusingly and misleadingly named Best of Italian Opera was their compilation tape. The cover is a bit underwhelming so I've used a picture of the mag instead - one of many which I flogged whilst raising funds for my relocation to America. I wish I still had a copy but never mind, I suppose at least it went to a good cause.

The tape is mostly punky new wave with some representative anarchopunk and a couple of tracks from local avant garde heroes Attrition - just a mile down the road in Coventry. APF Brigade, as I've only just realised, featured the late Andi Xport of Man's Hate. You may recall Andy T from a million anarchopunk gigs and should probably note that he's still in existence today, and I Still Hate Thatcher is a fucking great title. Attrition you most likely already know about. Shrinkwrap was on Onslaught, their Third Mind tape, and if it's a remix, I can't tell the difference. I've a sneaky feeling that The Shadow Dance is actually Vigil from the same tape, but I can't be arsed to check. I don't know anything about Steve Ainsworth except that Warrior is fucking amazing, and I love it so much that I covered it on one of Stan Batcow's Godspunk compilations (volume two if you can be bothered). The remainder of what little I know about these artists can be gleaned by reading the information sheet which came with the tape, and which I've scanned for this download.

1982 is just a guess by the way. My gut tells me this came out in 1981, but the presence of these Attrition tracks suggests it may have been a little later.

Finally, by way of advanced warning, my copy of this came on a slightly shitty tape, so although most of it digitised okay, there's some serious wow and flutter on the last two Kevin Akitt tracks, plus some kind of weird intermittent distortion on Death of a Nation and at the start of Warrior - which I'm pretty sure is the tape rather than my digitisation, from what I can tell. Sorry. I did my best.

1 - APF Brigade - Syndrome 
2 - APF Brigade - El Dorado
3 - APF Brigade - The Crow Lives Nowhere
4 - Andy T - Frozen North
5 - Andy T - Man's Life
6 -
Andy T - Vivisection
7 -
Andy T - Exploitation
8 -
Andy T - Big Boys
9 -
Andy T - Progressive Destruction
10 -
Kevin Akitt - No Music
11 -
Kevin Akitt - Transmission
12 -
Kevin Akitt - American Dreams
13 -
Kevin Akitt - Soldier Soldier
14 -
No Label - The Truth Is
15 -
No Label - Oh Well - It's Over
16 -
No Label - Something's Gotta Be Done
17 -
Attrition - Shrinkwrap
18 -
Attrition - The Shadow Dance
19 -
Tears of Destruction - Death of a Nation
20 -
Steve Ainsworth - Warrior
21 -
Steve Ainsworth - Twilight Zone

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