Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Various Artists ‎– "Subterranean Modern" (Ralph Records ‎– SM7908) 1979

"Subterranean Modern was Ralph Records' first album involving music from anyone other than The Residents or Snakefinger. The idea was to widen Ralph's appeal by bringing a greater variety of styles into the label. To this end Ralph had four band submit contributions on the theme of "San Francisco". Each was required to include a version of <a href="/artist/Tony+Bennett">Tony Bennett</a>'s I Left My Heart In San Francisco. The four bands chosen were The Residents (of course), Chrome, Tuxedomoon, and MX-80 Sound..." (notes from The Residents website)

Another fantastic compilation with The Residents on it is the near perfect “Subterranean Modern”, which was the first release on Ralph to feature 'other' bands other than The Residents. What a magnificent quartet of examples from the crusty edge of the pop-pie we have here.
The proto-industrial punk of the beyond great Chrome, the proto alt-rock pre-post punk of MX80 Sound, the unclassifiable Residents (sigh!), and Tuxedomoon from when they were good,if not great!
This is the format that best showcases The Residents, like side one of 'Fingerprince; like 'Duck Stab',like 'The Commercial Album',like 'The Tunes of Two Cities'; amongst too few other examples from the eyeball headed ones vast back catalogue, that,quite frankly, after 1984 sucked bad! They were always better,touching on genius with the shorter avant-pop format than the stretched out concepts of, for example, Eskimo.Maybe 'The Big Bubble(part Four of the Mole Trilogy)' was their last good album.Also the over embracing of the 'latest' technology also fucked up the it does with everyone. Here we have The Residents at their absolute peak of strangeness.


A1 Chrome Anti-Fade 3:52
A2 Chrome I Left My Heart In San Francisco 0:27
A3 Chrome Meet You In The Subway 5:15
A4 MX-80 Sound Lady In Pain 2:49
A5 MX-80 Sound I Left My Heart In San Francisco 1:52
A6 MX-80 Sound Possessed 4:54
B1 The Residents I Left My Heart In San Francisco 2:02
B2 The Residents Dumbo, The Clown (Who Loved Christmas) 2:07
B3 The Residents Is He Really Bringing Roses? (The Replacement) 2:34
B4 The Residents Time's Up 2:54
B5 Tuxedomoon I Left My Heart In San Francisco 1:03
B6 Tuxedomoon Everything You Want 4:14
B7 Tuxedomoon Waterfront Seat 4:28

DOWNLOAD from a modern subterranean paradise from the past HERE!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Various Artists ‎– "Miniatures (A Sequence Of Fifty-One Tiny Masterpieces Edited By Morgan-Fisher)" (Pipe ‎– PIPE 2) 1980

"From the sleevenotes:
In 1979: Morgan-Fisher heard "The Goofing Off Suite"(by Pete Seeger), and got an idea...
In 1980: Invitations were sent out to a highly personal selection of creative artists, asking them to contribute
pieces of not more than one minute's duration, to what has turned out to be this extraordinarily eclectic album. "

This is sort of an 'Avant garde' kind of a compilation. Its full of strange bedfellows, like Kevin Coyne and Steve Miller;Half Japanese, and Michael Nyman;Pete Seeger and Ron Geesin? All squeezed together in several small boxes until they all become One. A conceptualised microcosm of the modern globalised world on one LP; except that 'Minatures' works and globalisation is killing the very thing that it is supposed to be 'helping'; eradicating culture, and creating an homogeneous cash grasping bland out, to benefit the Hyper-Rich uber class that will eventually wipe 'us' out and claim this rock for themselves.....if there's anything left of it?

The concept is that a diaspora of various muso's,from the full rainbow of musiciandom, and beyond. Through the visible spectrum,the infra red and Ultraviolet,into the microwave background. Provide a short tune, or composition, of around a minute in length. Then the compiler edits them together in chunks of approximately five minutes.Making a maxiture from the miniture.Then after the expansion from the minuscule, we get the contraction, after a short spell of silence, of the whole universe into a one minute summary of the whole record.
Any record that starts with a track called “Bum Love” simply has to be great? That ,and appearences from many luminaries of the DIY culture of 1980; David Cuningham,MarkPerry, Metabolist,Half Japanese. Rubbing Shoulders with serious muso's like Gavin Bryers, Nyman, Lol Coxhill,and Fred Frith.George Melly does a Dada sound poem(he was always a pretentious old cunt!),its got the great Andy Partridge on it, and isn't that Martin Chambers,the drummer from The Vacants? All this plus TheResidents,never ones to turn down a healthy concept, playing the best cover version of a Ramones tune ever!This was, after all, a less disciplined version of The Resident's “Commercial Album”,where every song finished at exactly 1.00 minutes on the dot.


A1 Ollie Halsall & John Halsey Bum Love
A2 the Residents We're A Happy Family / Bali Ha'i
A3 Roger McGough The Wreck Of The Hesperus
A4 Morgan-Fisher Green And Pleasant
A5 John Otway Mine Tonight

A6 Pete Challis & Phil Diplock My Way
A7 Robert Wyatt Rangers In The Night
A8 Stinky Winkles Opus
A9 Mary Longford Body Language
A10 Andy Newman Andy The Dentist
A11 David Bedford Wagner's Ring In One Minute

A12 Fred Frith The Entire Works Of Henry Cow
A13 Maggie Nicols Look Beneath The Surface
A14 Joseph Racaille Week-End
A15 The Work With Wings Pressed Back
A16 Neil Innes & Son Cum On Feel The Noize

A17 Herbert Distel Toscany In Blue (Last Minute)
A18 Lol Coxhill An End To The Matter
A19 Ken Ellis One Minute In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich
A20 Steve Miller Alice

A21 Norman Lovett John Peel Sings The Blues Badly
A22 Patrick Portella Serrons Nous Les Coudes
A23 George Melly Sounds That Saved My Life (Homage To K.S.)
A24 Robert Fripp Miniature
A25 Andy Partridge The History Of Rock 'N' Roll
A26 Phantom Captain Breather


B1 Ron Geesin Enterbrain Exit
B2 Alejandro Viñao An Imaginary Orchestrina
B3 Quentin Crisp Stop The Music For A Minute
B4 Simon Desorgher Tetrad
B5 Ralph Steadman Sweetest Love (Lament After A Broken Sashcord On A Theme Of John Donne)
B6 R.D. Laing & Son Tipperary

B7 Trevor Wishart Beach Double
B8 John White Scene De Ballet
B9 Ivor Cutler Brooch Boat
B10 Hector Zazou Do Tell Us
B11 Michael Bass & Ellen Tenenbaum A Miniaturisation Of Bartok's Sonata For 2 Pianos & Percussion (3rd Movement)

B12 Martin Chambers A Swift One
B13 Bob Cobbing & Henri Chopin Refreshment Break
B14 Dave Vanian Night Touch
B15 Metabolist Raging Poodles

B16 Gavin Bryars After Mendelssohn (137 Years)
B17 1/2 Japanese Paint It Black
B18 Simon Jeffes Arthur's Treat
B19 Mark Perry Talking World War III Blues
B20 Michael Nyman 89-90-91-92

B21 David Cunningham Index Of Ends
B22 Kevin Coyne James, Mark & Me (In The Manner Of Tom Waits)
B23 Etron Fou Leloublan Hep!
B24 Neil Oram & Ken Campbell  & Science Fiction Theatre Of Liverpool The Minute Warp
B25 Pete Seeger Chorale From Beethoven's 9th Symphony

DOWNLOAD a maximum number of miniatures HERE!

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Chefs - "Sweetie" and "24 Hours" E.P.'s (Attrix Records ‎– RB 10/13) 1980/81

To bring us to an end of the cream of the Brighton Scene around the turn of the eighties, here's a couple of E.P.'s by the proto-inde combo, The Chefs, featuring Helen McCookerybook; now there's a post-feminist ironic nom de plume if ever there was such a thing?
Yeah it's all fairly entertaining and intelligent stuff. The stuff made by students, for students,ex-students who can't let it go,and people who wished they were students. Now ,for bitter ex-grammer school types, comme moi(french eh?); who hate the rich,the poor,and anyone who got a degree because they were too dumb to make their own way in the world. This group is mildy irritating.
But, after the annoying intro to “Thrush”, any song that has the lines,” I was just a bunk up, so you could get your spunk* up”, and, “little did I know that, I would get a sore twat”, is worthy of any back slapping award in any alternate reality.

* for any Americans reading this. Spunk is NOT 'get up and go energy for real go getters/winners! It's English slang for Semen.....I assume you know that semen is the fluid that contains spermatozoa for the sexual union process, and not the 'guys' who work on ships?

America just doesn't make groups like this do they?

24 Hours EP (1981) Track Listing:

24 Hours
Let's Make Up
Someone I Know

Sweetie EP (1980) Track Listing:

A1 Sweetie
A2 Thrush
B1 Records And Tea
B2 Boasting

Friday, 15 August 2014

Various Artists - "Vaultage 79 - Another Two Sides Of Brighton" (Attrix Records ‎– RB/08/LP)

The follow up to Vaultage 78 was … yeah, Vaultage 79! Released in 1979! And even less surprisingly, it ain't as good as its predecessor.
Its has plenty of ordinary well drilled power pop,with a distinct 'Mod Revival' flavour. There's a couple of obligatory faux reggae, cosmopolitan university drop out band, numbers; that cropped up everywhere in 1979. Two new wavey numbers by a band named after a 'feminine area' absorbent product.
The best group on here were The Chefs, with a couple of proto-indie tunes, that suggest Student band;a bit too clever by 'arf, but went on after this to release a couple of decent E.P's.
Vaultage 80 was even worse,so I won't post that one.

Track listing:

  • A1 The Vandells - Bank Holiday
  • A2 The Vandells - Another Girl
  • A3 The Chefs - You Get Everywhere
  • A4 The Chefs - Food
  • A5 Golinski Brothers - Bloody
  • A6 Golinski Brothers - Too Scared
  • B1 The Lillettes - Hey Operator
  • B2 The Lillettes - Nervous Wreck
  • B3 Ijax All Stars - Sounchek
  • B4 Ijak All Stars - Reggaed Rumble
  • B5 Woody & the Splinters - I Want You to Be My Girl
  • B6 Woody & the Splinters - I Must Be Mad

The Pirahnas - "Complete Peel Sessions" (1978-80)

To finish reflecting on the bands from Vaultage 78, we have the complete Peel sessions from the very good Pirahnas group. They even had a 'Hit', the terminally catchy 'Tom Hark'.
Don't let that put you off, because they wrote an Amazonian river full of intelligent ska tinged pop tunes in a new wave stylee.
Like The dodgems, they sound as if they've been around a while,displaying some seasoned musicianship, and some distinctly non-university sullied working classness.
They're “Cheap and Nasty, but not as cheap and nasty as you”.

Track Listing:

1 Peel Introduces.....
2 Boyfriend
3 Getting Beaten Up
4 Yap yap Yap
5 Happy Families
6 Anything
7 Final Straw
8 Something
9 Green Don't Suit Me
10 Cheap'n'Nasty
11 Jilly
12 Coloured Music
13 Saxophone.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Dodgems - "The Dodgems Anthology 1978-80"

Most Die or DIY? readers know that I can't stand 'Clever Clever' groups.
This is true, but there's Clever, and there's 'Clever Clever'.
The double Clever types, tend to try too hard to show off their witty double entendre's and jeux du mots (that's French, ain't I clever, clever?), tricky time signatures and eccentric herky jerky melody lines. Some even extend this to video's like The Cardiacs,who desperately gurn and spazz-dance to hammer home the point with a jackhammer,even when we simpletons got the idea after ten seconds.
The Dodgems, are the right kind of Clever. Subtly ironic and genuinely funny lyrics,delivered with a laconically sarcastic tone ,atop a simple spacey pop tune that doesn't overstay its welcome.
Everyone should know “Lord Lucan is Missing” by heart,and be singing “I Don't Care” at karaoke nights down the pub.
The scandal is that they only released two or three singles in their lifetime; so the time is right to make available all studio recordings,demos and peel session tracks in one convenient handy package. Ladies and non-ladies, we present “The Dodgems Anthology 1978-80”.


1 Lord Lucan (newscast version)
2 Science Fiction (Peel session)
3 Muscle Beach (Peel Session)
4 Gotta Give It Up(Peel session)
5 My First Divorce
6 Burgess, Philby, and Maclean
7 Throw a Wobbly
8 Hard Shoulder
9 Science Friction (Single version)
10 Acid Test
11 Lord lucan (Single Version)
12 Just like The Photo
13 Lord Lucan (Vaultage 78 version)
14 Gotta Give It Up (Criminal Records version)
15 National front
16 We're Just A Habit
17 I Don't Care (unedited version)
18 Armchair Fascists
19 I Watch my TV
20 Will you be my Co-habitee?
21 Lord Lucan (Demo)
22 Lord Lucan (Peel session)
23 Peel Dodgems Waffle.