Friday, 24 April 2020

Cyclic Amp - Concrete Island (1989) C90

Now that COVID-19 has been defeated and no-one has it and we're all back to normal, kissing strangers in public and openly touching the faces of restaurant staff as we sip our Dettol mixers because 'Murica has this lil' thing we like to call the Constitution, buddy, we're likewise back to normal service here at Ferric Archaeology Towers and thus picking back up where we left off with Cyclic Amp. This is the last tape I have, and as with A Certain Sacrifice, I'm not entirely sure how I got it, beyond that it almost certainly turned up on my shelves at the same time. It's actually a tape of their vinyl releases - two albums and an EP - but without the sound of anyone dropping a needle on a record (when the drum beat goes like this) and so, I assume, almost certainly some promotional thing direct from either Probe Plus or the band themselves.
So here you go. If you enjoyed the last two, you'll definitely appreciate this one. I know I listened to these tapes but it had been a while and all I could remember was that they were noisy with maybe a bit of a Killing Joke vibe; but the more I listen to this stuff, now that I've dug it out, the more it becomes clear that they very much had their own sound, and it's surprising that they aren't better remembered. Maybe Probe Plus sunk all the promo money into Half Man Half Biscuit or something.

1 - Dance
2 - Carrion
3 - Him
4 - Kill
5 - Caress
6 - Turkey Shop
7 - Dead Cop
8 - Slave
9 - Power
10 - Gun
11 - Human God
12 - Ugly Thoughts
13 - Christians
14 - Meat Slab / Holiest Image
15 - Concrete Island
16 - Slope
17 - The River
18 - Eat


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Monday, 20 April 2020

Philip K. Dick

Week four of the end of the world (at least here in Texas), and week two of me sharing digitised spoken word or dialogue tapes in the vague hope of helping someone, somewhere get through the lock in. This time it's Philip K. Dick, and I'm sure you will have heard of him seeing as the media is busily turning every last note he ever left out for the milkman into blue and orange action thrillers wherein various chiselled men resembling Tom Cruise stand in the rain and wonder if they are themselves real. One or two of you may also recall that he wrote novels, and a lot of novels, and novels which were mostly great. It's the novels I'm interested in, probably because I'm a snob and I think I'm summink special but I ain't all that, or I be a hater, or something along those lines. If you're a massive fan of Blade Runner or some associated bingetastic Netflix crap but haven't read any of the guy's books, this probably won't be of much interest.

I have a couple of Mr. Dick's interview tapes, one dating from 1974, one from 1981, plus a recording of some spoken notes he made for a work in progress, elements of which you may recognise. The 1974 interview (with Paul Williams) is pretty lucid, occurring at the end of the year in which Dick famously encountered the pink beam of light. The 1981 interview (with Gregg Rickman) dates from shortly before he died, and is kind of wild, but somehow works better on tape than in print, which fails to carry some of the tone. Both appear in the excellent The Last Interview published by Melville House. If you've read much Dick, and particularly if you've had a go at the Exegesis, you should find this stuff pretty interesting.

The stuff appears in reverse order because a) that's how it was digitised and I couldn't be bothered to copy/paste the 1974 interview to the beginning of the file or b) because, as Phil discusses in the Exegesis, time is running backwards, which we know from the contradiction of how evolutionary forces bring form from disorder, and universal entropy which seems to resemble this same process in reverse. Therefore time is running backwards and 1981 comes before 1974.

This material derives from tapes sent to me by a Welsh bloke back in the nineties, although I'm not sure where he came by the material. I seem to recall seeing bootleg cassettes of Dick interviewed on the counter at Compendium in Camden right next to the Bukowski stuff, but who knows? I can't seem to find any officially released version of this material, so hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here, and no attempt is made to supercede established copyright etc. etc., although if my sharing these is somehow keeping money from finding its way to anyone's wallet, I'm pretty sure it isn't Phil's. If you enjoy these recordings, maybe buy a few of his books, because as I say they're mostly great; or maybe buy a few of Tessa's books because I'm sure she would appreciate it, and I can strongly recommend her The Darkening of the Light as a powerful and compelling novel in its own right.

Anyway, click on this link and bag yourself a heapin' helpin' of Phil.

Normal noisy service will probably be resumed next week.

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Friday, 10 April 2020


This week features a slight detour from the normal programme and its associated steady flow of recordings of someone's fridge as it sounded in 1987, because everyone in the universe is presently confined to quarters and thus in need of light relief. The ever wonderful Die or D.I.Y.? recently did their bit to help us all power through the end of civilisation as we know it with a generous helping of Ivor Cutler; so in the same spirit, at least based on the idea that spoken material is good for coping with periods of solitary confinement, particularly if it's funny, and because even music you love will usually get on your tits after a while under certain circumstances, here's all I have of Smilin' Charles Bukowski.
If you're not sure who Bukowski was, I'm sure you have it within you to look him up. I've seen it opined that he's one of those authors whom no-one actually reads but instead simply claims to read because they think they're all fancy and like really lush but really they ain't and they don't know nuffink, but in my experience this has mostly been opined by aging babymen still reading children's exciting adventures at fucking forty and is therefore horse shit. Bukowski wrote about his life, which was mostly screwing, gambling, and alcoholism, but he wrote with a sharp eye and an astonishing wit, and I would honestly rate him as one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. His readings were pretty powerful, often very funny, even touching, and I have four tapes - three live, and one of Bukowski at home reading into a tape recorder back in 1970. These were lent to me by the late Andrew Cox, who actually properly introduced me to the guy's work by lending me Ham on Rye. The four tapes were sold from the counter of Compendium Books in Camden, if that's still even there - photocopied covers, presumably bootlegs of things which were either out of print or never officially available, so I don't own the copyright, and nor do I claim otherwise, and hopefully my sharing these isn't injurious to anyone's cash cow, although as Chuck himself is no longer with us in any case...
I bought a Bukowski album on piss coloured vinyl about a year ago, one of those 180gsm reissues, which turned out to be one of these readings - not sure if it's the same recording but whatever. If you enjoy this stuff, please seek out more...
...and hang in there. We can do this, unless it actually is the end of civilisation.

Sod it - on an unrelated note (aside from being speech rather than music), here's the Sex Pistol's Heyday cassette while we're here - something to do with Fred and Judy Vermorel and originally issued by Factory.
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Friday, 3 April 2020

Cyclic Amp - A Certain Sacrifice (1988) C30

Here's some more Cyclic Amp, and a little weirder than last week's tape. This stuff was recorded for a Radio Merseyside session, or some of it was, but you can read about that on the cover. It seems that by this point Cyclic Amp had replaced their guitar with what sounds to me very much like a Casio SK1, the first really cheap (and admittedly rough as fuck) sampler, resulting in this thoroughly screwy shit we have here. It's a bit rough but I remember being in bands which sounded like this, so it works for me.

Not actually sure how I came by this tape, by the way. It doesn't seem to be on Discogs so maybe it was something one of the band put together which somehow ended up in my hands.

Oh - and you'll notice from the cover that track four was originally split in half on the tape, with its hindquarters on side two. Anyway, I've spliced the two halves together so as to restore it to what was presumably its original form .

1 - Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town)
2 - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
3 - Born in the USA
4 - Girls Just Want to Have Fun (mix)
5 - The Dead Hand
6 - Torture
7 - Caress
8 - Heaven

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