Friday, 24 August 2018

Antonym - Native Dystopean (1990) C46

Antonym was the work of Anthony G. Burnham, the living dynamo behind Soft Watch, which was, roughly speaking, the Yellow Pages of weirdy tapes, zines and noisy buggers from all over the world. The comparison to Yellow Pages isn't arbitrary because the thing was A4 and about an inch thick, maybe thicker - alphabetically arranged entries on fucking everybody and all written by the man himself, then later supplemented with shorter updates every few months. I drew the cover for the main edition so vaguely knew the guy and spoke to him on the phone on one occasion. I seem to recall that he said he worked a night shift in some hospital and actually spent some of that time sneakily printing off and collating Soft Watch. I was impressed, and yeah - I know there was CLEM and a few other things, but this one was made in Nuneaton, which is quite near where I'm from, and I'm not talking about a tape recorded by the dude who wrote frigging CLEM, mkay?

Ordinarily I might have raised eyebrows and muttered something about people who can't get anyone to listen to their stupid tapes and so start doing fanzines by which they can mention them in passing like it ain't no thing, and mainly because it's exactly the sort of thing I did and continue to do (buy my book, by the way) and it always felt a bit devious; but, Anthony gets special dispensation on the grounds that Soft Watch was such a mammoth and impressive undertaking, and that actually his music is pretty decent, as you will hear.

This was his first tape, I think. I'm not sure what he recorded it on, but the quality suggests a reasonably fancy four track, with influences maybe somewhere between (hazarding a guess) Muslimgauze, early SPK, possibly Severed Heads before they went all Howard Jones; and it's good stuff too.

1 - The Human, Conditioned
2 - Man Infesto
3 - fragment °1
4 - A Debt to Asclepius
5 - fragment °2
6 - Pangloss in Reflection
7 - fragment °3
8 - A Gift for Ix Tab
9 - fragment °4
10 - Malengine Abstract
11 - Party in Dystopia
12 - Saint of Sorrow
13 - fragment °5
14 - Western Culture (petri)
15 - Fragment °6
16 - Grand Guignol
17 - fragment °7
18 - A Human, Deconditioned

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