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Friday, 19 September 2014

Art Bears ‎– "Winter Songs" (Rē Records ‎– Re 0618) 1979







On a sad day when Scotland voted NO for independence,and YES to the New World Order; I couldn't think of a Scottish band to post;but you can recheck The Prats and He's Dead Jim, 'cus they're good.
So here's another Chris Cutler group on Recommended Records instead( with Fred Frith, and Dagmar Krause). 
I was first drawn to them because they were on Ralph Records. Don't really have anything to say about this, except that it is the ambient reflection of the minds of the chin stroking types in 'Art' galleries; elitist, soul-less, cold, humourless, and intellectually intimidating. Pop this on when you want to appear 'Intellectual' to stupid people. Yes, a tad pretentious, but a cracking piece of work that wouldn't be out of place given an airing in some damp fusty crypt, or as a soundtrack to a funeral full of people the departed participant didn't like.

Tracklist:

A1 The Bath Of Stars
A2 First Things First
A3 Gold
A4 The Summer Wheel
A5 The Slave
A6 The Hermit
A7 Rats And Monkeys
B1 The Skeleton
B2 The Winter Wheel
B3 Man And Boy
B4 Winter / War
B5 Force
B6 3 Figures
B7 3 Wheels
 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cassiber ‎– "Beauty & The Beast" (Rē Records ‎– Re 0110) 1984


  Cassiber's best album,which doesn't sound like an improv Bow Wow Wow, and sounds better than any Heiner Goebbels album. It does have a more “out” version of Robert Wyatt's cover version of Chic's “At Last I am Free”; which is another of my funeral songs (the Wyatt version). I do however like the concept of doing covers of covers,of covers; kinda like musical chinese whispers,where the end version sound nothing at all like the original.
The album, as a whole, is more prog stained avant jazz filtered through Faust and Zappa than is considered healthy for any open mind 'that ain't so open that anything can fall right in'(Magazine 1978).

Tracklist :


A1 Six Rays 4:04
A2 Robert 4:52
A3 Last Call 3:01
A4 Ach Heile Mich 6:26
A5 Haruspices 1:56
B1 Under New Management 5:23
B2 Vengeance Is Dancing 2:14
B3 In Einer Minute 4:56
B4 Und Ich Werde Nicht Mehr Sehen 2:53
B5 Prendre La Lune Avec Les Dents 4:29
B6 At Last I Am Free 3:29

DOWNLOAD this beautiful beast HERE!

Bow Wow Wow ‎– "Your Cassette Pet" (EMI ‎– WOW 1) 1980



Did someone say Bow Wow Wow?I bet you didn't expect anything on EMI on Die or DIY ?;yes? well here's that art terrorist Maclaren's pre-fabbed band that made bootlegging fashionable. Anabella Lwin's awful ear piercing squeal, the terrible overplayed basslines, the paedophile pandering under-ageness. This is here because someone bought me this for christmas in 1980,”C30 C60 C90 Go!” made a pop hit of what was happening in the cassette underground, and Cassiber(in the previous post) reminded me of Dave Barbarossa's Burundi drumming. Still its pretty indicative of the shift from new wave into the New Pop of 1982; intelligent, cynical, and attractively hideous. Just like Pop Music should be.
(Interesting to see if I get a DCMA complaint about this?)

Tracklist:

A1 Louis Quatorze
A2 Gold He Said
A3 Uomo Sex Al Apache
A4 I Want My Baby On Mars
B1 Sexy Eiffel Towers
B2 Giant Sized Baby Thing
B3 Fools Rush In
B4 Radio G String

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Cassiber ‎– "Man Or Monkey" (riskant ‎– 76.28640-1) 1982

Another from the Recommended Records stable,is Cassiber, a sort of Rock in Opposition supergroup, Chris Cutler (Henry Cow, and loads of other groups), Heiner Goebbels (no relation to Josef), and Free Jazzer/composer (Alfred Harth). This is the kind of music that those with low self-esteem play to impress people more intelligent than themselves.
Drummy improv jazz rock, with bursts of Picasso playing the trumpet, or sax, or look how many instruments I can play (Alfred Harth). There are a couple of tracks that accidentally sound like Bow Wow Wow(?); maybe they had top forty radio on before these improv sessions?
Am I impressing you?
I sincerely hope not; but this is a rather good tuneful semi-improvised LP that should appeal to a wide spectrum of prog rockers and euro prog fans across the northern hemisphere,and quite a bit of the southern one too.
Bow Wow Wow anyone?

Tracklist:


A1 Not Me 3:38
A2 Red Shadow 3:49
A3 Chor Der Gefangenen (The Prisoner Chorus) 4:51
B1 Our Colourful Culture 3:04
B2 O Cure Me 5:53
B3 This Core 4:20
C Man Or Monkey 16:38
D1 Django Vergibt 3:09
D2 Die Verunreinigung Des Flusses Ist Gerade Noch Erträglich 6:38
D3 Sag Mir Wo Die Blumen Sind (Where Have All Flowers Gone) 2:41

DOWNLOAD man, monkey or lp HERE!

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Homosexuals ‎– "The Homosexuals' Record" (Recommended Records ‎– RR 18) 1984


From the same fertile London Squats as This Heat, here's a band name to rival the Bathroom Renovations and Danny and the Dressmakers as 'best band name' ever. I wish i'd thought of it. The Homosexuals (and they were beaten up for it too), existed in London squatland from 1972, and recorded mostly to mono cassettes for themselves and friends. Hardly releasing anything in their lifetime, except a couple of singles and an e.p. between 1978 and 1982; this record collects the releases and selected highlights from the bucketload of cassettes they recorded. I prefer this collection to the 3cd astral Glamour set on Hyped2Death, as it cuts out the boring chaff and leaves the quality that this band were more than capable of, if they cared.Their angular guitars, complex melodies, and experimental leanings distanced them somewhat from the punk rock being created by their contemporaries, and has now cemented them as uk DIY legends. So much so that they(Bruno Wizard and backing band!) have now reformed and are touring.
Also the group members released various other records as various alias (which have be posted earlier on this blog), like L.Voag, Just Measurers , Amos and Sara, etc.
A reissue of the first single, 3 tracks from The Homosexuals EP, 6 songs* from the live-to-tape session at Surrey Sound that was one of the first things recorded there (You can tell which songs those are because of the awful distortion), 3 alternate mixes ** and Jim's wonderful "False Sentiments." Remastered by Bob Drake. Bruno's handsome mug appears on the cover courtesy of one of Suzy's videos... 

(Before any sad fucker mentions it, Yes, it's the CD version from 2003....yawn).

Track Listing:

1) My Night Out *
2) Technique Street *
3) Vociferous Slam (a different mix from the EP with some tape-wobble but many more effects) **
4) Soft South Africans "#1" (a previously-unreleased rough-mix) **
5) Neutron Lover *
6) A Million Keys *
7) Naming of Parts *
8) Kiss With Venom *
9) Divorce from Reality
10) Hearts in Exile (45 version)
11) All About Cheap
12) Soft South Africans (45 version)
13) False Sentiments
14) Mecho Madness (a radically different mix from the EP) **
15) Astral Glamour
16) The Birds Have Risen
17) Collapsible You (a longer, more dub-stye mix that turned up in Chris Cutler's unused tapes: the 3:45 original is on George Harrasment and AG)
18) Snapshots of Nairobi (instrumental: never released: there's also a live vocal version on Astral Glamour)
19) "Soft South Africans (raw)" Actually this is the original rough mix of "Hearts in Exile" with all the vocals and the three guitar-parts that Bruno faded out (in response to which Anton faded Bruno's vocals up-and-down, dub-style. This is the pre-mixing counterpart to the rough mix of "SSA" from the LP and it's an incredibly major "find" (It'll be on Astral Glamour, too, of course.)
20) Walk Before Imitate (from the Recommended 2LP sampler)
21) Still Living in My Car (from Venceremos)


DOWNLOAD the homosexuals' mp3 zip file HERE!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Lifetones ‎– "For A Reason" (Tone Of Life Records ‎– LTM 001) 1983


After This Heat, Charles Bullen, as Lifetones, went in the inexplicable, and safe direction , of White Reggae!? He didn't though, to my knowledge grow dreads, wear over sized wooly hats, and start talking like a native Jamaican; “Ev'ry t'ing Irie mon?” No, 'ev'ry t'ing is not fucking Irie' , especially in the unbelievably depressing cult of the white Rasta. One of the worst examples of the human flocking instinct,aka 'the Hive Mind'.
Having not heard this record for nigh on 30 years, I was expecting to hate its 'right on' guts, but, astonishingly, I worryingly found myself enjoying it?
It's a strange thing indeed, an amalgam of Elevator reggae-lite, sterile dub effects, and Bullen's multi-tracked nasal whine. Its reggae, but not as we know it; I can see this providing background muzak for some bourgeois fondue soirée, as much as a small gathering of white dreads, passing the funny cigarettes from the left hand side in a south London squat. It's lowest common denominator Reggae.
Charles, can I call you Charles? Has only just released another solo project,some thirty years after the first. I wager it ain't white reggae-lite, thank Christ. He does however have a guest appearance list as long as your arm,alongside many production credits; bordering on the prolific even?
This record couldn't be further away from This Heat, who were innovative and ferocious experimentalists. Lifetones just follows the rules inside the musical strait jacket of Reggae's limited scope; but sometimes we just want an unchallenging listen,and relax......'No Problem mon'.......jesus, see w'happen to I'n'I?
Normal service will resume on the next post......and I promise.....No fucking Reggae!

Tracklist:

A1 For A Reason 6:37
A2 Good Side 3:55
A3 Decide 5:24
B1 Travelling 5:08
B2 Distance No Object 6:39
B3 Patience 5:19

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Gareth Williams & Mary Currie ‎– "Flaming Tunes" (self-released cassette) 1985



Gareth Williams only made one solo album after the Heat,and it's a good one;in fact the best of any ex-This Heater. Collaborating with Mary Currie, its an understated post-electronic type of lo-fi urban folk. Thankfully only a few Indian Music influences appear,a couple of Tablas and some twangy sounds, but largely an eclectic mix of upright piano's, violins, and nursery rhyme-like songs.
I can imagine Looby Lou (how did you spell that?) dancing to these songs while Andy Pandy and Teddy are playing with their hobby Horse in the woods. Some of them would not have been out of place sung by Gabriel the Toad and Madeleine the Ragdoll in Bagpuss. There is a knowing innocence about these tunes that make them sort of …..creepy? This is a very desirable quality in music, that can only be achieved by the 'Non-Musician', which Gareth W certainly was. A great work of misty, unsentimental,childhood invoking art,by a greatly missed artist.
“Come and play with us;.....forever;..........and ever;........... and EVER!” (The Shining Twins)

Tracklist:


Another Flaming Tune 2:23
Beguiling The Hours 4:11
The Best Weapon 3:28
A To B 3:48
Breast Stroke 3:29
Raindrops From Heavens 7:31
Restless Mind 4:07
B To A 3:52
Golden Age 6:29
It's Madness 4:50
Generous Moon 3:56


Charles Hayward ‎– "Survive The Gesture" (Ink Records ‎– INK 31) 1987


Charles Hayward,drummer and voice of This Heat and Camberwell Now, makes solo album that sounds not unlike his previous groups,except Quiet Sun of course! Mainly because they were built around his idiosyncratic drumming style,his identifiable vocals,unless you mistake him for a more in yer face Robert Wyatt, and his unimpeachable politics.
I especially like the damning critique of humanity of the first track “Make Believe”,which is full of profound couplets concerning the short sighted stupidity of human 'progress'; a “We're Burning our houses to keep ourselves warm”, kind of thing.
The rest of the album keeps on with the same style, a minimalist This Heat with everyone except Charles Hayward faded out kind of sound. All that’s left are the drums and the voice,with a few accompanying keyboards,and the odd session bassist joining in,in an understated way naturally.
I've heard a few Charles Hayward LP's,and this is the best one in my humbles.

Tracklist :

A1 Make Believe 4:31
A2 Lets Pretend 3:01
A3 North Southwark 3:18
A4 Pretend To Believe 3:43
A5 Crystal Palace 7:38
B1 This Misunderstanding 2:44
B2 You And Me 3:37
B3 Time And Motion 3:18
B4 That Distant Light 4:19
B5 Australia 4:45

Friday, 12 September 2014

This Heat / Albert Marcœur ‎– "Untitled" (split C-35, Tago Mago 4753) 1982





More early Heat from 1977/8, as This Heat do Can's ethnological forgery series with some bloke from Ghana, called Mario Boyer Diekuuroh. Do I detect Gamelan instruments,and various ethnic percussion devices jamming with our heroes? World music crossover is one of the worst ideas since the Sinclair C5. Never understood the appeal it has to the white middle classes of the west. Probably so they can say “I'm not Racist I like World Music”!? I'm pretty open minded (yes!?)musically,as you likely guessed, but World music/afro beat goes in the 'just don't get it' dustbin of my mind,along with: Soul music, Hip Hop ,white reggae(which Charles Bullen inexplicably stooped to after This Heat!?), and whatever category Mumford and sons are in! And I have tried to like this shit believe me! (except Mumford and Son who I could quite easily beat to death with their fucking banjo!).

At least on this cassette we are saved by the presence of This Heat to bring some sanity to the situation, and no banjo's! There are a few good moments,but don't expect it to sound like Deceit, just like some ethno jam sessions,with some passing traveller hippie they met in a pub when drunk.

The other side of this cassette has some fairly interesting modern composition avant rock crossover symphony film soundtrack, called “Deux lions au Soliel”, by some French ex-progger Albert Marcoeur. Good stuff,especially the last part which I mistook for an unknown This Heat number.

Tracklist: 


A Albert Marcœur- Deux Lions Au Soleil
B This Heat with Mario Boyer Diekuuroh- Various Cassette Recordings, 1977-78

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Camberwell Now ‎– "Dejaunost V Studentskem" (Nikad Robom ‎– 004) 1987



Camberwell Now were a different proposition in a live situation, where Steve Rickard's innovative analogue sampling method,"The Tape Switchboard", could be used to the max. Strangely subtle on the studio recordings,but less so on this live cassette recorded in  Ljubljana in former Yugoslavia(Now Slovenia).
The acoustics of this venue has the ambient qualities of a large steel drum,so the sound is pretty harsh,like its being played over one of those awful public announcement systems at a railway station.Very noisy.
Nevertheless, this is a rare document of live Camberwell Now,and is therefore of great interest to those with a This Heat OCD.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Camberwell Now ‎– "Greenfingers" (INK Records ‎– INK 1224) 1987


Another This Heat rehash, gives this EP it's title,and opening track. This again suffers from losing Charles Bullen's guitar melody,as best heard on the 1982 European tour bootlegs,like “live in Amsterdam”. There is one original on this record that I absolutely love,and is strangely one of my favourite songs ever!?....”Know How”,is a profound reflection on the bizarre stand off that exists between this planets (not so) secret rulers and the controlled masses. We all know whats going on,and we know that they know,and they know that we know!? Hidden in plain sight like a gorilla on a basketball court ,nobody notices he's there because they are so distracted by the game. But we know he's out there puncturing the ball,and selling it back to the referee. Just because they're out to get you,doesn't mean you're paranoid.

The simple melody harmonises perfectly with the truth of the text,to make a sad indictment of the human character....”If you knew how, you'd do it too”. Its the same trait that turns pop stars from great and talented people into Arseholes. Of course we all like to think that we wouldn't turn into the worst kind of meglamaniac given a smidgen of power;but the sad fact is 99% of us do.History has shown endless examples,from traffic wardens/extermination camp guards,to Local Politicians/Genocidal Dictators. You total fucking Arseholes! Love Jonny Zchivarsehole.
  
Tracklist:


A Greenfingers 5:40
B1 Mystery Of The Fence 3:10
B2 Know How 3:42
B3 Element Unknown 1:32
 

Camberwell Now – "The Ghost Trade" (Ink Records ‎– INK 19) 1986


An definite improvement on “Meridian” was Camberwell Now's debut LP, “The Ghost Trade”. Starting off with old This Heat number, “Working Nights” it begins to sound less like solo Wyatt, and more like Camberwell Now; although far inferior to This Heats version,as heard on The “Live in Amsterdam” bootleg, it misses the lead guitar melody provided by the absent Charles Bullen.
“Sitcom” sustains the standard sufficiently,to excuse the blatant disco of “Speculative Fiction”.
This fine album finishes off with the classic “Green Lantern”,and the title track, which marks some kind of a return to form.

Tracklist:

Working Nights 7:41
Sitcom 4:40
Wheat Futures 6:11
Speculative Fiction 6:09
Green Lantern 3:11
The Ghost Trade 11:11

Camberwell Now ‎– "Meridian" (Duplicate Records ‎– 0011) 1983


Camberwell Now was basically the line up of This Heat's 1982 European Tour,minus Charles Bullen. A sort of This Heat-lite,much missing Bullens guitar, and sounding more like a Robert Wyatt tribute band rather than the vicious angular unit of 1977-81. Also missed are Gareth Williams' non-musicianly contributions.He left This Heat in 81,and that was effectively the end.
Basically Charles Hayward and backing band, Camberwell released their debut recording quickly after the 'split', the maritime themed “Meridian”. A fairly staid affair, with only 'Daddy Needs a Throne' touching on the intensity of Hayward's previous groups work; but interesting nonetheless, especially if you like Robert Wyatt's solo work.
  
Tracklist :

A1 Cutty Sark
A2 Trade Winds
A3 Pearl Divers
B1 Spirit Of Dunkirk
B2 Splash
 

This Heat - "Nivelles" (This Is ‎– This Is 7) 1981




Interesting live improvisation recorded at Nivelles france,in 1981. featuring Gareth Williams on instant rewind Cassette player, Charles Hayward on percussion, and Charles Bullen on very understated guitar.
You can do stuff with tape that you could never imagine any digital apparatus getting anywhere near. Digital sound comes in blocks and steps, whereas analogue sound is a smooth sine wave;both have their charms and uses,and both are essential parts of sounds' future.
This first appeared on the Recommended Records quarterly in 1987,and in this form, as a bonus mini CD with the 'Out of Cold Storage' box set from 2006.
For all you completists out there,you know who you are?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

This Heat - "Reference (Demo Recordings 1976/77)" 1977


The first stuff This Heat recorded in their Cold Storage studios,in a disused meat factory, was their Demo tape, “Reference”. In late 1976 and early 1977, the first versions of those familiar classics came into fruition. Some parts of these tunes can even be identified as parts of the finished tracks on the first album,notably the opening section of 'Horizontal Hold'; but after that it takes some very different routes to the tune we know and love.
There's the only studio version of 'Aerial Photography', a very raw 'Rimp ramp Romp', and a tune that appears nowhere else in This Heat recorded history; “The Rough and the Smooth”,which is pretty horrible! Even This Heat weren't perfect,but wise enough to bin this song off, yet unwise enough to send 'Rimp Ramp Romp' with it, which I think is one of their best tunes!?
Only “The Fall of Saigon” seems to be fully formed,well maybe 'A Diet of Worms' too I suppose?
This is the demo tape that got them a slot on the John Peel show in'77.
Not the best quality,but an interesting insight into the early Heat.

Track Listing: 

1 -
Test Card
2 Horizontal Hold
3 Not Waving
4 A Diet Of Worms
5 Aerial Photography
6 The Rough And The Smooth
7 Rimp Ramp Romp
8 The Fall Of Saigon