Saturday, 30 June 2018

Asphixiation ‎– "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?" (Innocent ‎– ONO-001) 1981

This is basically an conceptual satire of the Disco cult by → ↑ →  and Essendon Airport, as a fictional group called 'Asphixiation'.
The LP was made as a backing track for the group members to mime to during a few performances at the George Paton Gallery in july 1980, where they pranced and mimed, badly, to an openly displayed reel-to-reel tape machine.

As it says on the official promo blurb from Innocent Records: 
"Ten arse-kicking tracks that encompass the wide dissemination of the most recent and prolific enigma yet to seduce the mass-market and tickle the art-cult: DISCO." 
It was quite popular around 1980 to do a tongue in cheek version of Disco by the more serious minded among the experimental pop community, of which there are many examples; notably The Residents disco version of their critically acclaimed album 'Eskimo', as 'Diskomo'.
This satirical experiment predates a lot of the 'Mutant Disco' stuff from downtown Manhatten in the early 80's, but this usurps all that by being a strictly one-off joke on both the Disco and Art worlds.
The provocative cover of an under-endowed male augmented with lit cigarette only serves to emphasise the subversivness of penetrating the ordinary home with subjects real Disco kept hidden behind the scenes.The music had the ability to lure children away from their parents like a piped piper to a taboo world of decadence and sexual discovery.Ohhhh La Laaa!!?
A similar swindle was attempted by Throbbing Gristle with their "20 Jazz Funk Greats" album. The idea being that any unsuspecting member of the public, when leafing through the record racks in Woolworths would happen upon this fake Jazz-Funk compilation,take it home and play it, but instead of the smooth danceable sounds of Level 42, they had Genesis P-Orridge groaning about 'Persuasion' and other dodgy sadistic topics. However on that album there did appear a couple of psuedo-disco tracks that did indeed presage House music by almost a decade......shame on you TG!!!!
Asphixiation, also touched on these same taboo's(I mean look at the cover and the groups S&M moniker?),but with far more humour involved than the largely humourless Throbbing Gristle.
Well....I could almost dance to this and think it was proper Disco.....dunno about you?


Long Player Album:

A1 The Beat Aesthetic
A2 Feelings
A3 Asphixiation
A4 Blurred Movement
A5 Hunger-Food-Nausea
B1 Innocent Rhythms
B2 Aural Risk
B3 Traditional Europe
B4 Self Denial (Is A Beautiful Thing)
B5 African Disco Queen 

Twelve Inch Single (for A.M. Radio)
A L'Acrostique D'Amour

Twelve Inch Single (for Discotheques)
B The Crush


Grego Blank said...

Their rallying cry was FUCK DANCE....LETS ART. Even this would piss off the average black clad Birthday Party album clutching art student. And for that reason I'd call it a success.

Vaykorus said...