Monday, 17 December 2018

Jandek ‎– "Dallas Thursday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0824) 2017


Its Jandek Monday in Dallas Thursday.So......
Who needs Miles Davis when we got Jandek playing bass behind a musical picket fence on the grassy knoll of outsider garde Jazz in Dallas?
I'll try and fit in as many JFK assasination references as possible in this short review of yet another Jandek curveball to the head from the Texas Book Depository of improvisation.
Like the Zapruder film, crucial footage was shot of this performance,on May 19th 2016 at the infamous Texas Theatre(Where LHO got arrested), and released on a DVD, which you can pour through in slow motion to prove that this really happened.
Just like any epoch-defining moment in Dallas, the main protagonists sport triple barreled names. Rather than Lee Harvey Oswald, we get get Sterling Richard Smith (the Corwood representative)on Bass, and keyboardist ,Andrew Jordan Miller, with Jazzer Chris Curiel, on Trumpet and normal name.Again we have Sheila Smith with those slightly deranged,almost channeled, assasins vocals.
Another key date at this venue was November 22, 1963 at approximately 1:45 p.m.,when nearly 15 Dallas police officers converged on the Texas Theatre in search of a man who had entered without paying......no not Sterling Richard Smith......I hope.....but none other than Lee Harvey Oswald, who arrived 53 years too early for the Jandek gig.
I think I would have tried to duck in without paying if i knew i was going to see a jazz workout rather than some classic jandek miserablism.....if I wanted to see a cheap rate Miles Davis clone, I'd have gone to another venue.The representative doesn't even sing on this one!
Perhaps this record is the missing link in the conspiracy? Did Jandek fire that fatal bullet from the Grassy knoll and pin it on Oswald? He's certainly old enough, he'd have been 18 in 1963.I reckon he offed JFK for the CIA, and they placed him on an identity reassignment program to hide him, and that new ID was as a musician, even though he had no musical ability whatsoever.
This would explain a lot! Would also explain as to why he was so keen to hide his identity,and less than forthcoming about his life history.
I think I'm onto something here!
Basically It was Jandek wot dunnit!

He probably killed Miles Davis too....he certainly did on may 19th 2016 in the Texas Theatre.
No, i'm only joking, it's rather good actually....even if it is by a suspected murderer.

Tracklisting:

1 Special One 6:53
2 Vacancy 6:19
3 Despair 7:13
4 Sorrow 6:59
5 Calm My Heart 6:28
6 Love Denied 5:48
7 Plans 5:32
8 Numb 5:34
9 Certainty 5:23
10 A Dream 6:17
11 Heartless 5:42
12 Substitute For Love 8:25


Sunday, 16 December 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Mad In Belgium 5" (Mad Tapes & Records ‎– MATR 888) 1986


Here you go,a fifth volume of mad Belgian post punk and wave.
This time with an added Flexi-disc from camp UK minimal fun-synth duo (with emphasis on the 'minimal' in regards to the 'fun' aspect), Jesus Couldn't Drum.


Tracklisting:

A1 –The Electric Entropy Band - Las Vegas Blues (Live In Las Vegas)
A2 –Tröckener Kecks - Betaalde Liefde (Live In Den Haag)
A3 –The Mudgang - Disappearing World
A4 –Rhinoes - Characters
A5 –The Voners - I Want To Be An Angella (Live In Kontich)
A6 –The Office - How Can I
B1 –Jean-Marie Aerts & Dani Klein - Flamenco
B2 –Fred A.- Katanga
B3 –Zorkas - Get Off My Echo
B4 –Recu Racine - Waiting For Your Call
B5 –Poppi UK - Becquerel
B6 –Metal Guru - Leather Me
flexi A1 –Jesus Couldn't Drum - Beat The Dog
flexi A2 –Jesus Couldn't Drum - Suzie


Various Artists ‎– "Mad In Belgium 4" (Mad Tapes & Records) 1986


You noticed didn't you?.....I ain't got Volume 3!
So you will have to make do with volume four of the free 'Mad In Belgium' magazine cassette.
A smorgasbord of various post-punk phlegm,or Flem(ish)syle on offer here for your education and, if you're that way inclined...entertainment.

Tracklisting:

A1 –Bedtime For Bonzo - Shut Up 4:09
A2 –Kloot Per W - Pain 3:41
A3 –Bene Gesserit - Syanoq 2:50
A4 –à;Grumh... - S-B 4:14
A5 –Dole - The Fall 4:29
A6 –Passion Of A Primitif - (Hot Pool Of) Womanhate 3:27
B1 –Nicky Ricci - Holidays In Hell 4:04
B2 –Ressurection - Night Of The Hunter 3:33
B3 –The Boy Wonders - Bells Of Fortune 6:09
B4 –4 Bahs - Swimming Pool 4:13
B5 –Executive Slacks - Our Lady (Live) 3:32
B6 –Het Gezin Van Paemel - Mad-Rap 1:44


Saturday, 15 December 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Mad In Belgium 2" (Mad Tapes & Records) 1985


If you think they're all 'Mad' in your country,well, they're Mad in Belgium TOO......perhaps even madder?
Further proof is given in this second volume of mad Belgians from the magazine of the same name.
Plenty of Cold Wave, minimal Wave, New Wave, and any variations on the theme  you can think of, on one convienient cassette. You're mad you are!But madder if you don't.



DOWNLOAD or are you too mad HERE!

Various ‎Artists – "Mad In Belgium 1" (Mad Tapes & Records) 1985


They're all mad in Belgium y'know?
And to prove it,here's the compilation cassette of the same name that came free with the magazine of the same name....in Belgium. Featuring,of course, a load of Belgian bands from 1985.
This copy has its chewed up moments, but most of it is perfectly playable;in fact the chewed up bits add to its undoubtable mystique.


DOWNLOAD this madness HERE!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Various ‎Artists – "B9" (Sandwich Records ‎– SR07) 1981


Yes, here's another Belgian Cold Wave compilation from the height of said wave, from 1981. The year after Ian Curtis hung himself for our sins.The ripples that catalysed in the black oceans of despair spread far and wide, but nowhere tapped into that wave energy more than Belgium. Triggering a tsunami of dreary emotionally bankrupt misery.I'd slash my wrists but the doom-laden self-pity makes me feel so gaddamn alive!As Cold Wave christ,IC said, as he breathed his last during his asphyxiation: "Forgive me father for I didn't know what I started"..

Tracklisting:

A1 –Kid Montana - Cabs Ambush 3:31
A2 –Tristes Tropiques - Untitled 1 1:40
A3 –Prothese - Tumeurs 6:05
A4 –Rel Rex - Program 5:54
A5 –Digital Dance - Human Zoo 5:00
B1 –Polyphonic Size - Kyoto 4:57
B2 –Satin Wall - Dans Les Profondeurs 4:01
B3 –Tristes Tropiques - Untitled 2 1:33
B4 –Pseudo Code - Around Midnight 8:51
B5 –Slim Jack & H.F.C. - So Sah Gelleck Tissah 5:33
C1 –The Names - Spectators Of Life 2:57
C2 –Siglo XX - Individuality 4:33
C3 –Marine - Life In Reverse 2:44
C4 –The Neon Judgement - Factory Walk 3:55
C5 –Nausea - Vocal Expression 3:27
D1 –Isolation Ward - Lamina Christus 2:52
D2 –Front 242 - Principles (Instrumental) 3:33
D3 –Allez Allez - Allez Allez 5:34
D4 –Berntholer - Emotions 2:23
D5 –Jung - The Real Thing 4:02

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Pseudo Code ‎– "Potlatch Music Vol. 2" (Sandwich Records ‎– SR15) 1981


Alan Neffe's more abstract offshoot, was Pseudo Code, spanning the genres, Industrial, minimal Synth, ambient, avant garde,.....file under 'Other'.
If you want Potlatch Music Volume One......click HERE


DOWNLOAD the pseudo code HERE!

Monday, 10 December 2018

Jandek ‎– "San Francisco Friday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0826) 2018


"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some earplugs in your ears.
If you're going to San Francisco, you're gonna meet some marginalised weirdo's and pretentious people there"(Scott Mckenzie's smarter brother 1967).

If the Hippies wore pretty flowers in their hair, then Jandek fans wear harsh scrubland berry laden twigs as in the cover shot that graces this double CD.
Jandek's 'music',if thats what you wanna call it,without doubt, resembles a thorny sapling in the last remanents of the treeline, bearing a sparse cargo of poisonous berries.Lethal to those woodland creatures with little or no experience of such dangerous fruits.
Modern era Jandek, bears little resemblance to the Jandek of the eighties, but this stuff has a similar power.This one is another improvised workout with electric guitars and drums,again adorned by Sheila Smith on stream of consciousness vocals.Its a good one.....but ain't they all?

Tracklisting:

1-1 Obstruct Me 12:52
1-2 Love Tug Of War 8:53
1-3 We Got Waves 18:02
1-4 The Sounds 6:49
2-1 What You've Been Missing 7:24
2-2 The Pharmacy 6:01
2-3 The Way It Is 4:13
2-4 Social 5:33
2-5 I Forgot The Phone 8:41
2-6 Desecrate Me 11:23


Sunday, 9 December 2018

Bene Gesserit ‎– "Postcards From Arrakis" (Ding Dong Records And Tapes ‎– DDC 006)



We can't leave this long trip in Belgium without any Alain Neffe projects.....there are plenty other works that involve himself earlier in this blogs tenure....click here and see?
This C-30 is suitably Neffe-style eccentric Avant-electronica, packaged with two postcards and a couple of colouring pens. Its usually TV pension schemes that include a 'free' pen just for inquiring isn't it? If all releases included a pen, i'd certainly buy more of them, and this one had TWO, hold me back!!!.

Tracklisting:

A1 N.O.T.H.I.N.G
A2 Dedicated To Friends
A3 Words
A4 She Sells Sea Shells On The Sea Show
B1 Moki-Toki Oka-Owa
B2 Do What You Have To Do
B3 Gloria
B4 Be Happy


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Linear Movement ‎– "Pulse Music" (Micrart ‎– MCD 8304) 1983 / 2003


Another CD-r reissue of a cassette in the Micrart style.This one by ignored Belgian synth-pop trio, Linear Movement.Pulse Music was originally released in 1983 and is certainly a fine collection of  melodic electronic pop songs that emit a cold warmth,but lacking that 'Hard' Electronic style that most of Belgiums synth hoardes preferred.
The understated music could have been made by a pop orientated Vangelis had he eschewed his soundtrack work.......that's a back-handed compliment by the way?

Tracklisting:

1 To Another Soul 4:23
2 Cytogenetic Movement 5:23
3 Five Faces 5:09
4 Due To You 5:36
5 Don't Try To Trick Me 10:12
6 Way Out Of Living 5:25
7 You Won 5:05
8 The Linear Way 5:26
9 Magical Melody 3:06
10 The Other Way Round 4:26


Friday, 7 December 2018

Buzzcocks ‎– "Spiral Scratch" (New Hormones ‎– ORG-1) 1977


Whoops!...."Times UP"????...Apparently Pete Shelley left our troubled planet yesterday!?
As he was a driving force behind the the first self-finaced DIY record of the modern era (Spiral Scratch), one feels it's ones duty to post a short tribute to one of the  finest pop writers of this epoch; up there in the pantheon alongside Ray Davies, and ...cough,splutter...Macca!?
Probably OTT, but we do these things when we write death tributes don't we;but those first half dozen Buzzcocks singles will still be listened to and studied by students hundreds of years in the future.....if the Earth isn't a smoking shard by then of course.
Someone should put the Buzzcocks singles in a time capsule and bolt them to the next deep space probe to civilise some alien races of the outer spiral arm,or outer spiral scratch (see what I did?), of the Milky way Galaxy.

Tracklisting:
A1 Breakdown 1:54
A2 Time's Up 3:02
B1 Boredom 2:52
B2 Friends Of Mine 2:13


Autumn ‎– "I Invite" (Micrart ‎– MCD 8011) 1980 / 2003


More mellow ,inoffensive minimal beatless synth tunes agogo, from the very unbelgian Belgians in Autumn.
This one was a cassette release in 1980, but re-released by the reanimated Micrart label on CD-r in 2003.I'dhave used the original artwork if I could find it anywhere,instead of the awful turn of the millenium computer graphics that adorns this cd-r.This is also the ers from which Cd-r's started to disintegrate after a few years.CDs/Cd-r's really were the worst medium for music storage ever unleashed on the unsuspecting record re-buying public!
CD gripes aside,this really does sound like it could have been made today by some Serbian kids obsessed with the Minimal Wave era of 79-84........but,with the vital ingredient of 'the Drum Machine' very missing, crucially.
Can't really call it Ambient New Beat, well I can.......it's Ambient New Beat.
Maybe they just couldn't afford a drum machine, which is a better reason than any artistic/creative reason any day of the week!

Tracklisting:

1 Behind You 4:58
2 HB Invitation 5:01
3 Inexistential Ocean Voyage (Sitting On Trainbanks) 7:48
4 Striking Terror 2:48
5 A Message To The End 10:00
6 Valium Babies 7:25
7 Dropping Gutter (The End Of An Ice Age) 10:53
8 Rasha 5:05
9 My Liquid Eyes 3:55
10 Pictures Theme 2:43


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Autumn ‎– "Experiments With Environments" (Micrart ‎– MC 8207) 1982


Another understated Belgian dark-synth outing for the Micrart label from 1982. There are many murkily mellow moments lurking among a dusky mixture of Vangelis, Soft Cell, without Almond, and Yazoo, without Alf.Mostly it sounds like autumn,as in trees without leaves...the season,not the band.One for relaxing in the bath in candlelight.

Tracklisting:

A1 Ocilado Q
A2 Memories
A3 Twilight World Part 1
A4 Towards Tokio Part 1
A5 Reach You From Behind My Walls
A6 I Still Care
A7 Gardens
A8 Friday
A9 Mystery Screen
A10 Twilight World Part 2
B1 My New Friend
B2 PSI, A Destiny Experience
B3 Metal Dream
B4 The Possession L.
B5 7.49
B6 Towards Tokio Part 2
B7 Experiments With Environments
B8 Pale Mist Meditation
B9 Delayed Mind Creation


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Twilight Ritual ‎– "The Ritual" (Micrart ‎– MC 8210) 1982



A dark minimal wave C-60 on the short-lived Belgian Micrart cassette label. Which revived itself around the turn of the millenium as a CD-r label.Unlike most Belgian labels, this one concentrated on mellow electronics rather than putting the boot in,in the traditional Belgian Style.
Twilight Ritual, were,as you may have guessed ,an electronic duo,with Micrart supremo Geert Coppens on the microphone and lyrics. Its uncharicteristically slow, somber, and subtle for a Belgian electronic duo,and all the better for it.
They even reformed and began releasing records again around the year 2000,presumably after the resurgence of interest in pre-midi synth wave stuff.


DOWNLOAD ritually HERE!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Jandek ‎– "New Orleans Monday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0822) 2016


It's monday again, so it must be 2009, New Orleans,Jandek,with Piano, in a live setting?
Not much music is as perfect for a Monday than Jandek improvising on a piano for one hour? Ably backed up on,what sounds like a steel guitar,Theremin or some kind of effected electronics by Sheila.
If I turned up for a Jandek gig, and they wheeled out the Piano, I'm sure I would leave the auditorium immeadiately, probably without asking for my twenty dollars back.
The bonus is, we get another photo of Jandek as child,with that classic off-center kodak instamatic effect that dogged everyones photo album in the 60's and seventies. Another piece to force into the Jandek jigsaw puzzle?
Maybe he's a real life replicant (from "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep"),and these photo's were part of the personality implants that gave the androids their feelings of 'self'? That would explain a whole lot, except his longevity.
One things for sure, this fellow certainly enhances ones own existential crisis to an uncomfortable level.

Tracklisting:

1. The Fantasy (59:12)

DOWNLOAD the fantasy that jandek is a pianist HERE!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Nuit Blanche" (K.P. Records ‎– K.P. 700) 1984


Another collection of chart aiming Belgian new romantics that proves not everything that came out of Belgium between 1980 and 1984 was utterly perfect.
I always use the showbiz atrocity that was Classix Nouveaux as my plimsol line of BAD, and this one is nearly sinking under its listing cargo of sub-Duran Durany pretentions. 
Its accidentally weird stuff as in 'How did anyone exposed to these golden times, when genius pop music was everywhere in abundance, totally miss the good bits and just cherry pick the worst parts,slap them all together and become....well.....Classix Nouveaux?'
Its this paradox that makes this dartboard missing rubbish so interesting,and...dare I say...perversely enjoyable? Its not even what i like to call, 'Good-Bad', like Wesley Willis or The Shaggs, its just plain awful...but strangely alluring? 
Is there something wrong with me?...nah!...Now where's that Classix Nouveaux album,medication and some headphones?

Tracklisting:

A1 –Design - Sunset Boulevard
A2 –Halloween - Tomorrow
A3 –The Ashes - Delay
A4 –Chrome 17 - Etcetera
A5 –Diseño Corbusier - Chiquillo
B1 –Faits Divers - This Is A Romance
B2 –Duty Free - Burning Passion
B3 –Paris-Brule-T-Il? - La Logeuse
B4 –Croth - Daily News
B5 –Central Park - Anas De Lin


Saturday, 1 December 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Topless Game" (K.P. Records ‎– KP 600) 1980

The cover should get the punters in anyway....phwoooor!
An early compilation of rather uninspired Belgian New Wave pop,all with terrible throat straining vocalists comitting the cardinal sin of trying to sing 'proper'.
Some fairly cringeworthy nonsense on this one, from a time before the Belgian Underground had found its mojo.
The opening track and the last four of side B hint at the future direction for Belgian youth,with some proto-cold wave and minimal synth numbers,but the filling in this sandwich has hints of cluelessness rather than toplessness.

Tracklisting:

A1 –Bitoks À La Russe - Tu Dois Partir
A2 –The Ashes - Desire You
A3 –Flowers By Throe - Give Us
A4 –Duty Free - The Warrior
A5 –Subject - Italian Summer
B1 –Darkness - When I Saw You
B2 –Nosy Parker - The Earth
B3 –Anonym - Bad Dreams
B4 –Cristal Swallow - Dying Alive
B5 –Bene Gesserit - From Brussels With Love For Our Japanese Friends
B6 –Design - Premoniton


Friday, 30 November 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Close Circuit Connection II" (Minimal Maximal ‎– MM012) 2013


Of course theres's always gonna be a volume two isn't there?
This one expands beyond the borders of Belgium and includes some electronic acts from North America to the mix.namely Front Line assembly and Numb from Vancouver. Crash Course In science from Philadelphia. Die Form plus Trisomie 21 from France, and Die Krupps from Germany.Then we got Click Clack from the UK, Borghesia from Yugoslavia,Twice A Man of Sweden. Of course there has to be an obligatory Swiss act, from the classically swiss named Carlos Peron.
In fact there are zero Belgians on here, so that kind of defeats the object of this exercise in exploring the Belgian fascination for synth duo's and general cold wave stuff in the early to mid-eighties.
None the less, this is an excellent compilation in the classsic hard electronic Belgian EBM stylee.

Tracklisting:

A1 –Click Click - Nube
A2 –Die Form - Tecknoslaves
A3 –Crash Course In Science - In Your Own Backyard
A4 –Numb - Push It
A5 –Borghesia - Secret Affair No.4
B1 –Front Line Assembly - Resuraction
B2 –Twice A Man - Cloud Sky Damage Version One
B3 –Die Krupps - Tod & Teufel (Live)
B4 –Carlos Perón - A Dirty Song - Long Version
B5 –Trisomie 21 - Youth Called To Edge Remix


Thursday, 29 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Close Circuit Connection" (Minimal Maximal ‎– MM004) 2011



That should be the end of all the Belgian posts you would think?
No,no, nooooo....there's more, lots more!??
If you can stand it, here's some more Belgian New Beat compilations. This one spans the years 1982-86, and is choc-a-bloc with lots of hard electronics from the pre-EBM era, by quite a few of the guilty parties who invented said medium.

Tracklisting:

A1 –Insekt - Subway89
A2 –Parade Ground - Entertain Me
A3 –à;GRUMH... - S-B
A4 –Vita Noctis - My Favorite Waste Of Time
A5 –Suicide Commando - Batman's Crime
A6 –A Split-Second - Hunger V2
B1 –The Klinik - Belfast
B2 –The Arch - Do It On Friday
B3 –Luc Van Acker - When The Good Turns To Bad
B4 –Liquid G. - Regression
B5 –The Neon Judgement - Sweet Revenge (Live)


Less Dance / The N.U.E. ‎– "Two Gether" (Broken Records ‎– BR 1001) 1982


Ahhh, its nice to share innit?
Even Belgian Cold Wavers have that Darwinian trait to share for mutual benefit.As with this shared mini-album from 1982. 
The trouble for side 'A's 'Less Dance' is that The N.U.E. (New Underground Entertainment), are obviously vastly superior to their chilly,but popier cousins on side one.
Less Dance could have been one of those early eighties bands who hovered around number 40 in the charts and then sank without trace, like 'B-Movie' or ,yes them again, Classix Nouveaux.There's a fine line between classic Cold Wave and failed chart dross.
The N.U.E. could have been on Factory Records, giving Section 25 or The Wake a run for their money,or rather lack of money. Possibly good, one must say.

Tracklisting:

A1 –Less Dance - There's A Will
A2 –Less Dance - Lonely In A Woman
A3 –Less Dance - She Wished

B1 –The N.U.E. - A Funeral Birthday
B2 –The N.U.E. - Broken Window
B3 –The N.U.E. - The Days Arrive

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Suicide ‎– "Live 1977-1978" (Blast First Petite ‎– PTYT 011) 2008



I dunno what you lot have done to deserve this, but Here's a six cd box set of Suicide live performances from 1977 to 1978!?
Starting off in their native New York City, where they experienced no riots, to Europe where they seemed to invoke a need in the european audience to smash things up and try to kill our favourite minimal synth-punk duo?
Like the non-interference directive in Star Trek, to avoid influencing primitive alien cultures.Sometimes it was necessary for Kirk,Bones and Spock to intervene and stear the locals away from bad habits and towards a more progressive way of life. This is what Suicide did in Belgium,appearing like aliens themselves,beaming down to civilise the 'Rock' world by ditching all rock paraphernalia .As soon as Vega and Rev interfered in Belgian affairs,that country never looked backwards.Emulating a solid state Helen of Troy, Suicide were the faces that launched a thousand minimal electronic duo's, especially in the low countries,and especially in Belgium.
Dunno how many versions of 'Rocket USA' you can stand, but it tends to take on another form the more you listen to it.....and I should know, I've listened to the whole of The Stooges Funhouse Sessions, and this is an equally surreal experience. 
The previous post had a version of the Brussels riot show on it, but here its been 'remastered' back into Mono, and seems to include an inferior version of the "21½ Minutes In Berlin" concert from 30th july(it says june here) 1978, including bleeped out naughty words.....so click here to complete your instant Suicide live collection.

Tracklisting:

DISC 1 - 1977 NYC 46:52
CBGB Sep 29 1977 24:43

1-1.1 96 Tears Intro
1-1.2 Ghostrider
1-1.3 Rocket USA
1-1.4 Cheree
1-1.5 Jonny
1-1.6 Frankie Teardrop
CBGB Dec 3 1977 Set 2 22:09
1-2.1 Ghostrider
1-2.2 Jesus Vega
1-2.3 Frankie Teardrop
1-2.4 Put A Little Love In Your Heart
DISC 2 - 1978 NYC 71:21
The Palladium Jan 7 1978 21:45
2-1.1 Rocket USA
2-1.2 Cheree
2-1.3 Dance
2-1.4 Frankie Teardrop
Max's Jan 13 1978 22:55
2-2.1 Ghostrider
2-2.2 Rocket USA
2-2.3 Cheree
2-2.4 Dance
2-2.5 96 Tears
2-2.6 Frankie
CBGB Feb 3 1978 26:41
2-3.1 Harlem
2-3.2 Ghostrider
2-3.3 Keep Your Dreams
2-3.4 Dance
2-3.5 Frankie Teardrop
DISC 3 - 1978 Belgium/France 70:42
Brussels June 16 1978 23:44
3-1.1 Ghost Rider
3-1.2 Rocket USA
3-1.3 Cheree
3-1.4 Dance
3-1.5 Frankie Teardrop
Paris Olympia June 18 1978 46:58
3-2.1 Ghostrider
3-2.2 Rocket USA
3-2.3 Cheree
3-2.4 Dance
3-2.5 Frankie Teardrop
3-2.6 Backstage
DISC 4 - 1978 Germany 68:29
Hamburg Audiomax June 28 1978 21:26
4-1.1 Rocket USA
4-1.2 Cheree
4-1.3 Harlem
Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 22:42
4-2.1 Ghostrider
4-2.2 Rocket USA
4-2.3 Cheree
4-2.4 Harlem
4-2.5 96 Tears
Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 Set 2 24:21
4-3.1 Ghostrider
4-3.2 Rocket USA
4-3.3 96 Tears
4-3.4 Dance
4-3.5 Harlem
DISC 5 - 1978 UK 64:17
London Music Machine July 24 1978 25:37
5-1.1 Rocket USA
5-1.2 Dance
5-1.3 Harlem
5-1.4 Cheree
5-1.5 Mr. Ray
"Our Price" Radio Ad 1978 1:09
5-2 Our Price Radio Ad
Erics Liverpool July 29 1978 31:12
5-3.1 Rocket USA
5-3.2 Cheree
5-3.3 Ghostrider
5-3.4 96 Tears
Erics Pt. 2 July 29 1978 6:19
5-4 Cum Ahead Frankie Teardrop
DISC 6 - 1978 NYC 43:35
Maxs August 25 1978 43:35
6-1.1 Ghostrider
6-1.2 Rocket USA
6-1.3 Cheree
6-1.4 Mr. Ray
6-1.5 Jonny
6-1.6 Harlem

Monday, 26 November 2018

Suicide ‎– "21½ Minutes In Berlin / 23 Minutes In Brussels" (Red Star Records ‎– FRANKIE 1) 1978


As Snowy Red namechecked Suicide on his first album, its fair to point out the enormous influence Suicide had on certain members of the Belgian audience from that night in 1978 that prodiced the '23 Minutes over Brussels' bootleg,which ended in a Riot.Headliner Elvis Costello,was apparently none too pleased at the treatment of his support act,so played a very short and bad tempered set,causing the infamous riot.
This is how Vega and Rev were treated at most of their concert appearances,including your scribes first concert experience in Leicester 1978, supporting the Clash,and The Specials(Then called the Coventry Specials).They barely lasted twenty minutes under the shower of missles,but I thought this is what Punk is all about isn't it? Facing up to and rallying against the accepted norms,forcing change by confrontation.And Suicide put their lives on the line for their art.
The format of two blokes with a synth and a drum machine fronted by a vocalist, became normal in Belgium.The seeds Suicide sowed that night, eventually grew into New Beat, and EBM.
The Brussels gig is the most famous, but the recording made in Berlin a month later is the most listenable,with plenty of analogue echo feedback enhancing Vega's Elvis impressions and screams.
A classic act captured at their height.

A side recorded live at Neue Welt, Berlin 30 July 1978.
B side recorded live at the Ancienne Belgique, Brussels 16.6.78. 

Tracklisting:

21½ Minutes In Berlin

A1 Ghost Rider
A2 Rocket USA
A3 Cheree
A4 Harlem
A5 96 Tears

23 Minutes In Brussels
B1 Ghost Rider
B2 Rocket USA
B3 Cheree
B4 Dance
B5 Frankie Teardrop


Jandek ‎– "Houston Friday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0825) 2017


Still in Houston for Jandek Monday, this one was on a friday.
Jandek croons over an improvised medley of iron curtain arthouse animation music. Lots of minimal tinkling on a keyboards 'vibes' setting, probably by Sheila Smith methinks.The music is hardly there in fact. I can just imagine a leading contemporary dance coreographer salivating at the prospects of squandering their arts council grant on creating a modern ballet for this,and it being devoured by an audience of bespectacled ,shaven headed, art critics,nodding knowingly to each other......if only they really knew?

Tracklisting:

1-1 These Things 13:45
1-2 Cure For The Toolbox 8:22
1-3 Turn To This 7:51
1-4 Wild Places 12:37
2-1 Next Monday 7:35
2-2 One And Only 6:57
2-3 Where I Came 6:13
2-4 Black Cotton Chair 8:40
2-5 It Burned Down Nice 4:42
2-6 My Body 5:06
2-7 Edge Of Time 5:56


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Snowy Red ‎– "Vision" (Soundwork ‎– 12003) 1984


I'm not one for an artist repeating itself (yes,i said 'It'), but rather than moving 'forwards' while moving 'backwards', isn't it better to just stop, or change your name.
This album has all the horrific hallmarks of mid-eighties pop, the slack simmons drums, slap bass, soul inflicted vocals, DX-7 style digital chord play, backing singers, brass sections,over used TR808 handclaps, funky guitar....the list goes on. Its like Snowy drafted in Classix Nouveaux as his backing band. 
In the desperate search for that international 'Hit', it seems that Mikey Mike threw the baby out with the bathwater and refilled the tub with syrup,and sump oil. Its so far down the scale of bad that his previous work,which was so far up the scale of 'good', is almost cancelled out. No wonder our Mikey disappeared for a decade or so.
But, perversely, I do enjoy this kind of clueless cheese in the same way as I enjoy easy listening; there's something incredibly strange about it,and it is forever stuck in a time and space that can never, could never, be repeated. 
I told y'all that i dig A Flock Of Seagulls yeah? I frighteningly even like Classix Nouveaux!? My exceedingly guilty secret is well and truly out!

Tracklisting:

A1 The Long Run 5:13
A2 Reputation 2:52
A3 Breakdown 4:06
A4 Sayonara 4:55
A5 Back To Reputation 0:48
B1 Torn Curtain 4:19
B2 Frail Memories 4:41
B3 Torpedo Good Luck 3:49
B4 Vision In Cairo 6:35

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Snowy Red - "1982 - 84 B-Sides Unreleased & Demos" (2012)

It all went wrong for Snowy,as it did for most of us, around 1984, through the combination of shite new technology and recruiting a band of 'other people'???
The first half of this disc is fine, like normal classic Snowy Red minimalism.Then ,after Megadeath,we get all those pregnant spaces filled up with some funky synth chords,and awful 80's style sampling!!? He starts trying to sing properly like he wanted to be Howard Jones or something worse...if thats possible!?
Obviously, commercial pressures had leeched in from some lurking capitalist in the camp. It was at this moment that the ice caps started to melt and the temperature rose beyond the critical point of no return. Its happening to the Earth, and it happened to Snowy red.
Consequently, the third album, is chart orientated dross packed full of things like digital FM synthesis and slap bass; worse still, he recruited a Band!?
Nevertheless, the first five tracks on here are great! Everyone burns out at some stage, then we fade away.....hopefully in some cases.You gotta know when to quit, and Snowy should have quit round about track 5.

1982 - 84 / B-Sides / Unreleased / & / Demos:


1 Breakdown
2 So Low
3 Red Skies
4 Lies In Your Eyes
5 Megadeath
6 Psychoscratch
7 Back In My Room
8 Reputation
9 The Long Run
10 Torpedo Good Luck

Friday, 23 November 2018

Snowy Red - "The Demo Tape" (1981)

As with most demo tapes, they are usually the best thing any artist ever does,and they should just stop right there and get a proper job.
I wouldn't say this demo is the best thing Snowy Red ever did, but its very close to it.Just when you thought it couldn't get anymore minimal, it does. The gaps of existential angst have become crevasses in the glacier, opening out into a dead ocean below the collapsing ice cliffs of frigid electronic beauty.Its chilling allure only rivaled by Suicides haunting 'First rehearsal Tapes'.

1981 The Demo Tape:

1 Sinkin' Down
2 Blood Blood Blood
3 Maud Is Dead
4 Movin' In Twilight
5 Wait For Me
6 Don't Loose Control
7 The Wild Boys

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Snowy Red ‎– "The Right To Die" (Dirty Dance ‎– 12002) 1982


Snowy Red aka Marcel Thiel aka Mikey Mike from Belg-Punkers Chainsaw, tells us about the 'Right to Die'. Which is ironic because our Snowy has ,in fact, exercised this very right in 2009, and left this mortal coil to sing with the choir invisible. He is an ex-synthesist, or is he just resting?(Parrot Sketch reference).
Snowy/Marcel/Mikey is, however, Immortal, mainly due to this LP of cold wave electronic minimalism.
We are all biological machines,so it makes sense that to accurately convey the Human condition in the medium of music,machines are the natural tool;in this case the machines being synthesizers.
If i'm allowed to quote Wolfgang from the comments section of Snowy's first album,in reference to track 7 "lies in your Eyes": "Is this the perfect translation of existential angst into music?"(he thought to himself in his native german)......well I reckon it is anyway. Cold electronics have a ruthlessness that emulates natures pitiless path to ensure that nothing gets out of here alive.Our souls appear from nothingness, alone, and we all make the return journey equally alone.Together with our fellow machines,we flesh out this loneliness as best we can to avert malfunction,trapped inside our meat cages.Struggling to make sense of our brief tenure on this lonely rock.Like those super computers/robots in Star Trek that Captain Kirk destroys by arguing simple logic loops.....what is our purpose?...but we have no purpose but to discover our purpose,therefore we do have a purpose. this is purposelessness....does not compute...error ERROR!
This is why we invented GOD.Simple answers to complex questions....just like this simple music is some of the most complex ever produced.Mozart really did use too many notes.

Tracklisting:

A1 Euroshima (Wardance) 4:22
A2 Nowhere 3:40
A3 I'm Hurt 2:40
A4 Never Alive 3:12
A5 Relax 4:51
B1 Opium 4:07
B2 Lies In Your Eyes 7:45
B3 Madman 3:58
B4 The Right To Die 4:35


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Snowy Red ‎– "Snowy Red" (Dirty Dance ‎– 12 001) 1981


An absolute classic of the proto-Belgian New Beat era is former Chainsaw bassist's first foray into minimal synth Coldwave, with this eponymously titled debut from 1981.
This is the Belgians equivalent of John Foxx's seminal Metamatic album from the previous year,but slightly less Pop orientated.
The wide snowy spaces between the sparce instrumentation and emotionless voice serve this as a dish colder than well prepared revenge.This glacial functionality (apologies for the dreadful americanism) holds the key to the frightening horror of our existence,like your last thoughts floating in the overwhelming vastness of an empty oblivion.
"Baby Tonight" is dedicated to 'Suicide'(the influential synth duo not the self-destructive act), who were clearly a major influence in Belgium.Especially after the infamous "23 minutes Over Brussels" gig supporting Elvis Costello,which ended in the traditional riot.
Talking about suicide(the self-destructive act not the influential synth duo), track one offers an answer to defeat terrorism forever?......see the funny side of suicide bombers and the pointlessness of their absurb career paths would become clearly apparent to even the stupidist of the morons who want do it.Unless, they are even stupider than we think,which they undoubtedly are;controversial but worth a try surely?

Tracklisting:

A1 How Funny Are Those Explosions
A2 Don't Lose Control
A3 Still Human ?
A4 Maud Is Dead
A5 Deep Desire
B1 The Wild Boys
B2 Sinkin' Down
B3 Baby Tonight
B4 Blood Blood Blood
B5 Come On Dance

DOWNLOAD a small avalanche of snowy red HERE!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

à;GRUMH... ‎– "By The Phone" (Titicaca Records ‎– TTKK 001) 1982


Try asking for a record by à;GRUMH in yer local record store and see the blank faces of the staff before they ask you to leave the premises.
Band names like this are the kiss of death commercially, so that immeadiately makes this couple of Belgian experimentalists 'kool'?.....well maybe not......Kool is for Fools,and these chaps definitely ain't fools.
This cassette is their first recorded appearence,and is nothing like the stuff they went onto produce in the rest of the eighties. Rather than the aggressive electronic body music  they went on to make, this is a kind of Industrial mash up of material reorded over the phone....hence the title. Don't put your leather bikers cap and pvc shorts to dance to this one.....although I'm sure the members of  à;GRUMH did, judging by the rest of their works' themes of agressive Homosexuality,which in itself was quite innovative for its day, pre-AIDS'n'all.

Tracklisting:

Side A - "Oreille"
Side B - "Ecouter"

DOWNLOAD by the internet HERE!

A Split-Second ‎– "Stained Impressions"(A Split - Second Self-released) 1985


What? Another Belgian minimal electronic Duo?
The beats are hard,the synths are phat, and the vocals are a curious combination of machismo and the self-conscious. Holding back as if not to disturb mum and dad downstairs.
A Split-Second went on to have something of a career in the EBM epoch,and are still at it today!?

Tracklisting:

1 Resignation
2 Night Closes In (I)
3 Hunger
4 Fade To Black (III)
5 Teargas And Champagne
6 Neurobeat
7 Short Cut
8 Stained Impressions (II)
9 Eargasm
10 Cold Life In The Brainbox
11 The Strip

Monday, 19 November 2018

Jandek ‎– "Houston Thursday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0818) 2016


Jandek Monday stays in Mr Smiths home town of Houston for Jandek Thursday, where we find our hero playing some short improvised Avant Rock numbers for his public.
Well,I think Jandek is good, even if he seems to have sported a Donald Trump hair do and beard combination at some stage in his long life.
One of my bestest favourite groups of all time are 'God Is My Co-Pilot', and Jandek in Houston on Thrsday July 12th 2012 reminds one very much of said group. Short improvised songs that fall apart, both in rehearsal and in the actual concert. With Sterling the  'Representative' on discordant,distorted electric guitar partnered by Sheilas stream of consciousness singing which largely inspires above a largely uninspiring rhythm section of a couple of uncredited found musicians ;who plod along in a standard alt-rock style,juxtaposing the generic with the unclassifiable.
This could be my favourite 21st century Jandek album?......until next week at least.

Tracklisting:

Rehearsal
1 You're Here 2:01
2 Louder 1:53
3 Take It Off 1:38
4 Garage Apartment 2:57
5 Oh Yeah 1:44
6 My Problem 1:20
7 My Heart Beats 1:37
8 Insane Is Too Much 1:32
9 Just A Rehearsal 1:23


Concert
10 My Letters 2:41
11 Emergency 2:28
12 Your Designs 1:45
13 Dallas Bitches 2:01
14 On The Metro 2:23
15 Walk Talk Leave 2:53
16 Asked For A Refund 3:20
17 Can't Hear You 2:24
18 Floor 2:32
19 Chit Chat 2:24
20 Sit On Your Feet 2:25
21 Not Think 2:51
22 Books That I Read 3:03
23 Beholden To You 3:32
24 People Will Talk 3:40
25 Galveston 2:48
26 Glass Boxes 10:00

Sunday, 18 November 2018

De Brassers ‎– "Levend" (Bras Tapes ‎– 001) 1981

More Factory/Benelux style Joy Division forgery from De Brassers. Sounding not unlike a JD live bootleg recording,minus Ian Curtis's desperate baritone naturally.Also its sung in Flemish,which I can't recall Curtis ever stooping to.
Joy Division ain't gonna record anymore records ,so this stuff and their cohorts are the nearest thing we're all gonna get to the real thing. Kinda like a Joy Division Nuggets series......Now there's an idea?
It says on Discogs:"De Brassers are one of the most notorious bands in Belgian new wave/punk history".....really? What on earth did these chaps get up to then? Naughty boys.Shocking.
They still exist apparently?? Dad rocking for post-nostalgic kids who missed out on rocks golden era.

Tracklisting:

A1 Neo 2
A2 Twijfels
A3 Eruit
A4 Kontrole
A5 Neo 5 (Sick In Your Mind)
A6 De Grote Vergissing
A7 Neo 4 (Murder)
A8 Neo 1 (Rise And Fall)
B1 Neo 3
B2 Pijn
B3 Neo 6 (Instrumental)
B4 En Toen Was Er Niets Meer
B5 Neo 7
B6 Gesprek
B7 Interview
B8 Experiment

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Secret Life ‎– "Secret Life" (Secret Life Self-Released) 1984



They looked like the Belgian Duran Duran, but sound like 1st Album Modern English crossed with B-league Factory Records also-rans like The Wake.
The chanteuse sings in a strange ,but dramatic,,throaty pseudo operatic female baritone; which is at once laughable, yet compelling. I imagine she took herself very very seriously, which is almost obligatory for any Goth wave group worth their salt.
The flaccid Martin Hannett facimile production is perfect.Largely cymbal-less drums emulate a drum machine wrapped in several yards of loft insulation. Acoustically sterile basslines hang in the dank air, only to be scythed through by spidery guitar melodies to shed some dull light into the echo free claustrophobia........ooooooh! I could write like this all day.
Yep I love production values like this.Throw that bloody reverb in the garbage can.
Fear not, Secret Life are not New Romantics,or futurists...I think.....but I can imagine them all owning a Classix Nouveaux LP, or two?.....and rhetorically speaking, what's wrong with that!!?

DOWNLOAD secretly HERE!

Friday, 16 November 2018

Siglo XX ‎– "Siglo XX" (Straatlawaai Prod.) 1981



Siglo XX was a Belgian cold wave band from Genk, who remained active somehow, from 1978-1990.
Like the Mick Green (Pirates), Wilko Johnson(Dr Feelgood),Andy Gill (Gang of Four) progression for fractured lead/rhythm guitar*; here we have a fine example of the Jean Jacques Burnel (Stranglers), Peter Hook (Warsaw etc) and millions of doomladen youths all over the planet who wanted to the lead bass player in Joy Division,or at the very least Section 25..(inhale)...progression?
I dunno who the bass player was, but a couple of the group managed to acquire the very same army surplus raincoat (see photo below) that Ian Curtis wore in several of his iconic photographs from back in the day.
Siglo XX with raincoats,and what seems like a couple of members who wouldn't let punk rock go....too much personell in this band or wot?

Lead Bass aside,we have two dueling Bernard Albrechts,and some atmospheric synthesizers.Which adds up to some charming amateur post-punk dark wave.

The vocalist is no Ian Curtis however, and sounds rather self-conscious...something one couldn't accuse Curtis himself of in the slightest.
They went on to record several LP's, none of which I have heard...but I like this post Joy Division effort a lot.In fact, I like any of these adorable JD Clones, of which Siglo XX were just one of a cast of thousands.

(* unfortunately the Mick Green progression led ultimately to the supremely awful Red Hot Chilli Peppers......be careful what you start with your genius kids!)

Tracklisting:
A1 Whispers
A2 Fall
A3 Obsession
A4 Future
A5 Factory
A6 Calculated Mistakes
A7 Good News
B1 Progress
B2 Caraïbian Nightmares


Thursday, 15 November 2018

Vita Noctis ‎– "Much Money Good Boy No Money Good-Bye" ( Camera Obscura ‎– K012) 1985


What was that?!....a sense of humour on open display????...laugh laugh cuckle chuckle.....several black stars on the Goth naughty list for these ,usually, suitably miserable Belgians.
Amusing,tee-hee-Hee, but socially accurate title aside.Vita Noctis deliver the same acoustically, and emotionally, dead dark wave as featured on their debut cassette from the previous year. I say acoustically dead, but I do sense a touch of amp spring reverb on the vocals this time around. It still sounds like the same entry level drum machine, which the concensus of opinion suggests to be a Boss Dr.Rhythm DR110(?)......a fine piece of equipment that sounds like a drum machine instead of trying to emulate a real drum kit(turns out it was a TR808 after all!). Of course, later this same year entry level Digital models started penetrating the basement level of bedroom musicians everywhere, and electronic instruments started to try and sound like the stuff they were designed to replace. A keyboard sounding like a crap trumpet is not my idea of technological advancement.Why not just get a trumpet, and have your synth sound like a synth?.....which of course we now do in the 21st century.

Tracklisting:

A1 Hade
A2 These Lies
A3 On A Day Like This
A4 Once In A Lifetime
B1 The Last Delay
B2 Against The Rule
B3 Expose
B4 New Image
B5 Execution


Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Vita Noctis ‎– "In The Face Of ... Death" (Vita Noctis Self-released) 1984



Classic bedroom Dark Wave from Belgium on the cusp of 1985.
That drum machine is a classic sound that will live forever.
I'll hazard a guess at it being a later version of a boss Dr Rhythm;the one that came with its own padded silver case.At least, I hopeit is, but i suspect its just a TR808.
It says,'Recorded at the Noctis studio with 2amps and a cassettedeck'......in other words in the Noctis/Kips brothers bedroom, with girlfriend Martine reporting for duty.
The total lack of reverb, echo or any ambiance at all is impressive to say the least.All wet noise absorbed by the duvets and soft furnishings.The vocals,delivered in a strong Belgian accent, sound at times as if some drunk demon is on lead vocals, enunciating the slurred words backwards, like some hidden message on a Queen album.At times it even sounds like they had forgotten their lines but couldn't be arsed to do it again.....my kind of stuff.
This is the sound of acoustically dead teenage depression from the Belgian suburbs......wouldn't you be depressed too?

Tracklisting:

A1 Intro
A2 Pitch-Dark
A3 Introductary Works
A4 Hade
B1 Civilisation
B2 Hearing Noises
B3 These Lies
B4 Cleaning Day