Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Various Artists- "Bits" ( X-Cassettes X005) 1981

For Track listing double click on the picture below:

 Below are the scans of the Bits fanzine,which came with the cassette.Click on the pix for more info about the bands mentioned above.

Another Compilation from the reading area of the lovely UK. This time one called "Bits", which was issued with an accompanying Fanzine of the same name in a clear zip top bag. Like "Anything Could Happen in the Next Half Hour" from the previous post, we have Chris Green and Richard Griffin's X-Cassettes to thank for this C-60 of forgotten fav's from the Berk's area.(that's Berk as in Berkshire,not Burk as in.....Burk....or if you're French,not Berk as in Beurk!).....but no...wait...there are groups from all over the country on this one! Even a punk rock group from Gateshead!
Basically it's more of the same, scratchy post punk, bedroom poetry, and angular lo-fidelity,that will tickle your damaged ear drums until they heal themselves from within.
The fantastic Dig! Dig! Dig! appear once more, with another classic exploration of the sawtooth wave, via the valve-less printed circuit boards of late seventies guitar combo amp's. These chaps make dance music for white's who can't, and DON'T, want to dance. (#note from the Political department of Die or DIY?......"Remember that Dance music is a form of cultural fascism boys and girls.")
English Subtitles sound like a missing Ron Johnson Records band, but five years too early! They released several records on Glass records around this time,so therfore they are probably the most successful band on this tape.(Check 'em out here! and their singles here!)
The Customer Service track is classic cheap synth noodling, with the waveform selector set to random. The hushed vocals is usually a sign that a track was recorded at home, so as not to annoy mum and dad,who were downstairs enjoying another edition of the Generation Game.Also there appears a saxophone (recorded when mum and dad were out at bingo), that sounds suspiciously like the saxophone from the Oxford Dictionaries tracks on "Anything Could Happen in the Next Half Hour"! Can anyone confirm if this is true,or just a beautiful Dream? And,as it states in the fanzine,did they really open for the Gang Of Four in....Seattle?...or was that Settle,just down the railway from Carlisle?(They also shared members with Tiny Holes).
The Electrablips go for the portamento setting option on their Teisco synth, as they charmingly try to Depeche Mode-ize the famed John Lennon sound bite and trivial pursuit question; "Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans".
Dogma Cats, are also too famous, due to their inclusion on a Hyped2Death compilation; so 'nuff said about them cats.(ed-we apologise for shite quip)
Controls treat us to a very live sounding(at the Fox and Hounds apparently) "Late Night Love in a Launderette". Imagine you have placed a large tin can over one's head,and inserted a cassette player on full volume,with the bass turned to minus eleven. Then played an enthusiastically performed New wave tune until your ears bleed. This would not adequately convey the no-fi joy that our pals in Controls chuck indiscriminately towards our fried synapses. A Joyful racket indeed.
Between Pictures(?) give us some very enjoyable spacious post-punk stylings,driven by a drummer who could obviously play his instrument to a high standard.Although very admirable, one does not condone such behaviour on this website, although i'm not saying that it shouldn't happen!
The Influence,thrash out a very entertaining post-punk ditty called "Killing Time",that can't be faulted.
Attrition whip out the mono-synth again, replacing the much maligned electric guitar.(Blame halfwits like Jimmy "Turn the" Page and Eric "Slowhand" Clap).Backed up by the standard high tempo drums and dub disco bassline,and monotone lady vocals.Good stuff indeed.
Classic cassette DIY is Laurence Shorthouse, very Instant Automatons. Resynchronized Fifth generation cassette tape loops whirl out of syncopation behind Laurence's sixth form miserablist poetry. Homemade claustrophobia,for people who like putting cotton wool in their ears.
The Lines must have listened to too many Pig Bag out-takes for their own good.
I didn't like Judy Nylon at all!
The Sleepers sound very dated,very 1981 production values, very Classix Noveaux,very syn-drum on whip setting.
The Stills were obviously a very good contemporary alternative pop group,who should have had an indie hit. very dated,and could not exist out of their time.
Sub-Active and Total Chaos represent the groups who still thought the Sex Pistols were still touring in 1981,and 'Flogging a Dead Horse' was a new album.
Whereas Tiny Holes and 3-Way Dance represented the groups who thought the Pistols were the final Rock band,and retained very little of that popular music format in their sparse but inventive compositions. A brave attempt at substance over ability, and that is what DIY is all about.
And finally this brings us to bedroom poet, Sonderkommando. Listening to this is like hearing the final testament of a suicide bomber, or some depressed teenage rambo wannabe who was too nervous to slaughter his neighbours or fellow six form students. He recites his semi-literate school boy poem ,"Movement", as if through a full face balaclava, just before he grabs his AK-47 and exits his mum and dad's house to 'off' those who have shunned him in society.You can read his actual scribblings on the last page of the Bits fanzine as scanned below. Almost disturbing.

Dig! Dig! Dig! - "5.4" (mp3)
Customer Service - "Call me Dynamic" (mp3)
The Influence - "Killing Time" (mp3)

To Download the tape Click Here !

1 comment:

sweet-hooligan said...

The sound of ... er.. young Reading. That's "Redding" not what you do to a book fact fans! :-)