Sunday, 5 October 2014

Metamorphosis - "Conception 1982" (Flowmotion FM 004) 1982

Being a native of the East Midlands in the UK, namely Leicester, I was guilty of missing some pretty essential gigs at the turn of the eighties; like Joy Division, The Pop Group,The Fuck Off Records tour, The Good Missionaries, Pere Ubu,The Disco Zombies, to name but a few. Not listed among these was Nottingham's own Metamorphosis, of whom I was unaware ever played a gig at all?Where they appeared in my place of birth I don't have a clue;but the evidence is here. An all encompassing tour of the East Midlands, taking in Nottingham and Derby too, such heights,only missing out Peterborough!
One was only previously aware of a single recorded outing on the "Elephant Table" compilation; but no, there's more!? A live compilation of the “high points” of this tour is preserved for a finite eternity on this Flowmotion C-45, “Conception 1982”.
They played a passable version of that funky Industrial stuff, with funky drumming and echo laden trumpets, patented by such higher profile luminaries as 23 Skidoo, 400 Blows and Bourbonese Quark. It has a limited danceable effect,but one can imagine several of the sparse audience in attendance dancing to it. The drummer is no Alex Turnbull and fails to play within his limitations,frequently struggling with the funky snare fills that 23 Skidoo could do with ease.
I've never really dug this direction of the funkier strains of Industrial music,or Industrial Disco. Living in an Industrial Environment is not funky or about dancing; unless its about recreating the pounding rhythms of factory machines, and dancing is reflecting the repetitive movements of the workers on the production line in this prison without walls ? I prefer the title “Dark Funk”, aligning it more with Miles Davis's early seventies period rather than William S. Burroughs. Even if the clichéd mantra of “Pay it all Back” is chanted at some moment during the performance, it still sounds too A Certain Ratio at times for me(Flesh trade is Sextet or what?).
But, i'd still sooner see Metamorphosis than Showaddywaddy(famous Leicester pop atrocity) any day,.....terrible drumming though!

Track Listing:

A1_Searching For A Secret (Leicester 18.6.82)
A2_Improvisation (Leicester 18.6.82)
A3_Canal Music (Leicester 18.6.82)
A4_We Better Pray (Nottingham 26.01.82)
B1_Fertile Ground (Derby 3.6.82)
B2_391 (Derby 3.6.82)
B3_Flesh Trade (Leicester 18.6.82)
B4_Intense (Nottingham 26.01.82)
B5_Cactus Land (Nottingham 26.01.82)


Robert said...

In my humble opinion, their best work is "Great Babel Gives Birth" LP released on Flowmotion (Flowmotion 003) in 1983 and in 1984 re-released on Third Mind records (TMLP 04) with a different front cover. Completely different from the music of this cassette that is similar to early 23 Skidoo or early Clock DVA (the last track, Cactus Land, seems taken directly from "White Souls In Black Suits"). You can find their LP here:
Thank you.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Never heard it,but surely will now. More impossibly obscure Metamorphosis tomorrow. ie a complete gig from Nottingham 1982.

Anonymous said...

Hey Zchivago:Absolutely agree w/ Robert. Great Babel is stunning. One of my all time favorites. Cosmic psych mystical enchantment. A bit rough in spots but really puts you into an alternate space/time. looking forward to that Nottingham work. regards, steveD

Jonny Zchivago said...

Having now heard Great babel,i can say that you lot are right. Its a fine piece,even the crap drumming works fine with the unsyncopated rhythms herein.
Thankfully, nothing at all like 23 Skidoo.

Nick Cope said...

Dear All, I was parping the trumpet and shouting/singing on the cassette, but left before the transition to Great Babel Gives Birth. I finally got around to documenting some of my involvement a year or two back and posted here:

The gigs in Derby and Leicester were supporting 23 Skidoo who we knew at the time ( and still do.. and love their stuff!)

Anonymous said...
^Great Babel...^