Tuesday, 28 January 2014
On last weeks MuhMur SoundArt Radio Broadcast I played The Vincent Units' "Carnival Song" as a "classic from the new wave era". Engineer Dave was ecstatic as it was a song he remembered from 30 odd years ago but had forgotten all about and never knew who it was by … he had it on a compilation cassette (I believe the youngsters call them mix tapes nowadays) given to him by Nigel Jacklin.
It was at this point that I had to declare my ignorance of who The Vincent Units were. I had / have always associated them with The Pop Group. Slits, Ilya Volkswagens, Maximum Joy etc - The Y Records connection and the dub, jangling ska type of sound … all very 1981 and CND badges.
Internet research. The Vincent Units were a spin-off project from The Tesco Bombers - a musical collective that also featured some members of The Homosexuals and future Sheriff Of Nottingham Keith Allen. (I like Keith Allen, I remember The Atoms, The Bullshitters and his alter ego Trawler Bates). The Tesco Bombers also released a single on Y Records. It was at this point I discovered there was a Vincent Units cassette released with different versions of their 7" along with live recordings, interviews and demo/rehearsal "jams". I found a copy floating around the world wide web for only a fiver .. bargain. The cassette is on the label Pro-Star Recordings (catalogue PRO 1). The inner sleeve also claims there is a release by The Tesco Bombers and a further cassette by The Vincent Units - is this true? Were they ever released? Can anyone help me here - I would love to know. I would love to hear too (again) if anybody can help out?
The cassette is excellent to listen to, a lovely trip down memory lane (great song). OK - it is dated in parts and some of the live recordings are crude and lo-fi - but it is of its' time and still sounds "fresh" in parts. Head Unit was a chap called Neal Brown who went onto become an author having biographies on Tracey Emin and Billy Childish published as well as writing the forward for Bill Drummond's book "45".
Friday, 24 January 2014
After the five hour festive programme and the Column One special comes the first "play what I bloody well like" broadcast of the year … slightly hexed. Must be the 23rd and all that. About twenty minutes or so into the programme and the transmission went down - FM and Internet. Studio engineer and technician supreme Dave Mutch had to go out in the freezing and driving rain that was coming off the moors, climb halfway up the transmission mast and fix the problem - with only blu-tac and half a bottle of industrial strength cider!
This was also my last "dry" programme. Giving up alcohol (for charity) in January has not been a pleasure. (Note can of disgusting 0.0% Bavaria on the console desk - doesn't mind if I spill it … it's non-alcoholic). I am back on Feb 20 murmuring and slobbering like a good 'un. There is a programme listed for February 6 but I am going to see Alex Horne in Exeter that night, hopefully I'll get time to pre-record a show … if not … they'll probably just play a repeat - I'll keep you updated.
01: Wolf Eyes : "Untitled" (Hanson Records/Chondritc Sound/RRRecords) 2009
02: Dome : "Madmen" (Dome Records) 1980
03: The Cold Once Turning Dust : "Tri@baal" (Demonosound/Powerwave Unlimited) 1996
04: Gerechtigkeits Liga : "Controlled Europe" (Old Europa Café) 2008
05: W>A>S>P>S : "Gong Air" (Smell The Stench) 2013
06: b∘tong : "Stasis Field" (Greytone) 2014
07: b∘tong : "Processed" (Greytone) 2014
08: Inade : "Nomina Nuda Tenemus" (Loki Foundation) 2012
09: Inade : "The Engine Of Inferno" (Loki Foundation) 2012
10: Inade : "Metaspheres" (Loki Foundation) 2012
11: Inade : "Divine Hybrid" (Loki Foundation) 2012
12: Benito Mussolini : "Archive Recording" (90% Wasser) 2005
13: Cabaret Voltaire : "Do The Mussolini (Headkick)" (Rough Trade Records) 1978
14: Clock DVA : "Moments" (Fetish Records) 1981
15: Daniel Thomas & Kevin Sanders : "Cosmic Jam #1" (Cherry Row Recordings) 2013
16: Con-Dom : "Fuck With Faith" (Self Abuse Records) 1996
17: Sleaford Mods : "McFlurry" (Harbinger Sound) 2013
18: The Vincent Units : "Carnival Song" (Y Records) 1981
19: Hirsute Puruit (feat Boyd Rice) : "Boys Keep Swinging" (Cold Spring Records) 2012
20: NON : "Out Out Out" (Mute Records) 1997
21: Michael Esposito/Kevin Drumm : "Echoic Memory" (Fragment Factory) 2010
The programme is available for listening. Please copy & paste :
Monday, 20 January 2014
Book of the year, so far. An unputdownable addictive and great read. This book came recommended, recommended by a chap who likes Zounds. I have no idea what Zounds sound like … chances are that I have heard them in my dim and distant past, I have spent my time in anarchist squats and dens of iniquity listening to the sounds of anarchy and revolution .. but it all blurs and I wasn't a big fan of nigh on all of it. I am not a big admirer of the Crass Records discography. Crass (of course) up to and including "Christ, The Album", The Mob, D.I.R.T., KUKL, Omega Tribe (were they on Crass)? They are all OK but I could not abide Conflict, Rudimentary Peni, Poison Girls, D&V and Flux Of Pink Indians .. but I am uncertain about Zounds, this book has their discography listed…the sleeves look familiar but I couldn't recognise a song. And that is one of Zounds's problems…they were classed as a "Crass" band.
The book is written by Zounds founder and main songwriter Steve Lake. It charts his time as a student attending free festivals in the early-mid 1970's to forming a band and playing the festivals. Steve leaves the 'shires and settles in London and falls in with the Fuck Off Records crowd - The Mob, Androids Of Mu, Here & Now etc … setting up the "Weird Tales" free gig tours of the late 1970's by word of mouth and other peoples telephones. Steve is a great storyteller, and I didn't know the early history of Zounds was entwined with The Mob.
1984 - I loved The Mob. Living in a squat in Hulme, Manchester and their "Let The Tribe Increase" became the ideal hot knife and magic mushroom soundtrack. We would play "Witch Hunt" fucking loud and off our (collective) tits before hitting the pool tables at the PSV Club. A bizarre ritual but then again strange days.
It was whilst touring with The Mob some one told Steve that he should check out Crass and their label, so he did and Penny Rimbaud liked what he heard so they agreed a 7" single release - their first release "Can't Cheat Karma". Recorded at Southern and featuring a session drummer - Crass took control and told them their drummer was useless so they put in a session drummer - at this point I would have told them "thanks but no thanks"..but Zounds carried on - much to Steve's regret. This reminds me of a time when (as part of IBF) I was recording at the Recloose Org studios in Malt Street (New Cross) for the "Songs Of The New International" compilation LP. The track we were recording used a Dr Rhythm drum machine which Simon Crabtree (who was "producing") didn't like, so it was suggested the sound was given extra "oomph" with live drums, so I sat behind the kit and bashed away. I was told I was out of time so Simon suggested that Steve Tanza (of Bourbonese Qualk) should sit behind the kit! We (of course) said no and the sound of the rhythm was left to the machine.
Zounds only released the one single on Crass Records but they will always be known as a "Crass" band. The book goes on to tell the stories of their time on Rough Trade Records and playing Germany for the first time….The time they were in Berlin the same time as The Clash (1980 - "London Calling" tour) so they decide to pop in and see the boys have a few beers and chat about punk & London etc. They show up at the venue to hear The Clash soundchecking and then finding out that it was the roadies playing. The Clash don't soundcheck, they stay in the hotel getting coke'd. The Clash - didn't like 'em then…don't like 'em now! Being on Rough Trade Records in the early 1980's meant higher profile gigs…and a tour with Theatre Of Hate. Needless to say Steve and Kirk didn't see eye to eye! Inter-band squabbling, wanting to write songs of love and (personal) revolution and always being drawn into the politics of being a "Crass band" clutching at straws that finally break the camels back, stories told with energy and great humour make this book a great read. I ending up empathising with Steve, wanting to just cut the crap (sorry about The Clash reference there) and just play his music live. Play gigs and then sleeping in a warm bed not having to sleep on cold floors or in the back of a van.
The late 1980's and Steve has a rest - a break and then re-energises to bring Zounds back. The punk market is profitable at last! CD reissues, Blackpool rocks etc. Fresh ears, new audience and Steve deserves it. A little like TV Smith of The Adverts whose tour diaries volume 3 + 4 I am now reading.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I don't know Zounds but I do like "musical" autobiographies and this one sits at the top of the pile. Will I go out and buy some Zounds? If I see the 7" secondhand then maybe …
The book is 160 pages, and only £5 from Active Distribution.
Monday, 13 January 2014
This lovely tape came through the letter box the other day. It is by Finnish project Rynda. I know little about this group other than it contains Toni Kopi of Kattoripoika fame. Some of my favourite sounds over the past few years have come from Kattoripoika. The split releases with Re-Clip and Deva Planeta being amongst the finest ..
Rynda have a fresh sound. The instrument "line-up" from what i can gather is drums, analog synthesisers and sequencers and keyboards. As with most of the sounds that is produced by the Suomi Underground Rynda are very hard to pin down … The cassette is built of live improvisations. There are quirky moments, cognitive moments and a few times where the drums and keys "do battle". Lots of para diddles and doodles. It has a sound that could quite easily be filed under Post-Prog Kraut Jazz Fusion Rock. (Although maybe not the rock). At times it could sound like Aavikko, and there's a moment on Side A when it all sounds close to Section 25 when they were looking from a hilltop. (Section 25 being the masters of "improv" - citing "Key Of Dreams" LP as exhibit A).
10-12 years ago I used to buy / collect releases on the Finnish Verdura label. Ektroverde, Can Can Heads, Hinageshi Bondage and Kroku. Kroku were Finnish Avant-Garde free improvisational jazz rock. Listening to this tape made me play the Kroku CD "Furia" for the first time in bloody years.
I don't think this hour long cassette is an "official" release, just a demo of sorts but I don't think it will be long before Rynda have something out - is a release on Hyster Tapes likely?
If you like Avant-Garde Free Improvisational Jazz Electro then get in touch with Rynda! There's a n E Mail address on the sleeve: firstname.lastname@example.org Recommended.
Sunday, 12 January 2014
Saturday, 11 January 2014
Firstly, apologies for the delay in uploading this broadcast. It has been a busy few days … The first two hour programme of 2014 and a Column One special. Two hours of sound from a band / project who have never disappointed since I first heard them back in 1997. Robert Schalinski (of Column One) kindly mailed over two hours of "exclusive" material, an hour of which featured in the five hour programme last weekend. Thank you Robert …
01: Column One : "The Last One Is Dead Part 4" (Methods To Survive) 1997
02: Column One : "The Last One Is Dead Part 5" (Methods To Survive) 1997
(both tracks from the LP "The Last One Is Dead")
03: Column One (featuring Woszec Czern) : "Love Is In The Air" (Not On Label) 2010.
(Live track exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
04: Column One : "100 Märsche" (Not On Label) 2013
(Record label records version exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
05: Column One : "Two Flowers For The Travel" (Obuh Records) 1993.
(B-Side of the "Labyrinth" 7" single)
06: Column One : "Odysee" (Nefryt) 2011.
(From the compilation CD "Early Tapes 1992-1994)
07: Column One : "Bicycles" (Not On Label) 2011
(Unreleased track exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
08: Column One : "Cindy, Loraine & Hank" (Adeptsound) 2010.
(From the compilation CD "Bacterium")
09: Column One : "Feldnahmen 1" (Not On Label) 2013.
(Unreleased recording exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
10: Column One : "Fluss In Der Truhe" (Not On Label) 2013.
(Unreleased version exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
11: Column One : "Numbers" (Not On Label) 2013.
12: Column One : "Reverend Black" (Not On Label) 2011
(Both tracks unreleased and exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
13: Column One : "Unreleased Fragment" (Not On Label) 2011.
(Unreleased piece exclusive for MuhMur Radio)
14: Column One : "Queen Of Alley" (Iron Flame Records) 2008.
(From the compilation LP "Berlin Bruit")
The programme is uploaded and archived on MixCloud. Please copy + paste.
Tuesday, 7 January 2014
Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest releasee by b⋄tong. The CD album "Hostile Environments" on Italian label Greytone.
I was fortunate to play a couple of shows last year in Germany with b∘tong, aka Chris Sigdell, this was my introduction to his sound, although I did know his past work as a member of NiD and Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim Spending a couple of days with Chris I found out that the name is derived from Betong, the Norwegian for concrete (Chris is part Norwegian) but there was a heavy metal band from Sweden already called Betong so Chris dropped an "e" and added the "degree symbol".
Chris is a soundscape artist, his sounds are gathered from field recordings, the sampling of non-musical devices and passing them through a multitude of sins (and effects boxes), radio voices and battered old synthesisers. (This was live anyway) … Fascinating to watch, mind blowing to listen to.
"Hostile Environments" is a very dark album. It has a vibration a certain drone of deep space. Track one "Stasis Field" with a wide static sound, disembodied voices and grand piano blending into "Processed" and post-apocalyptic rumblings. "Thepsis" has a feel of despair and abandonment with a voice questioning "what in blazes are you doing?". "Interference" is a gothic masterpiece - a house of dark shadows with a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde awakening the beast within feel.
The album is a post-industrial dark ambient classic. For me it is there with Inade's "Aldebaran", Lustmord's "The Place Where The Black Stars Hang" and "Digitaria" by T.A.G.c. The final piece "Hemihypopiasia" is almost new age Kosmiche Elektronika with dolphins calling across space before ending with the wise words; "would you mind taking my sweater off?"
Chris has a b∘tong facebook page (he was forever checking his blackberry/smartphone or whatever) where there is a link to buy this beauty or go to www.greytone.bandcamp.com where it is available for download. Best album of 2014 so far!
Monday, 6 January 2014
On the last day of Christmas it was decided that I should present the MuhMur Xmas Special. Five hours of continuous sound! The programme featured exclusive material from Column One and Neil Campbell. As ever the programme will be uploaded and archived on Mixcloud but at the moment I need the programme split into two parts so Mixcloud will accept it!
Apart from the exclusive material I decided to play material that I have bought / received during 2013, not necessarily released last year but what has come through the door at Hartop Towers. (Apart from The Adverts single … that was played because I am currently reading TV Smith's Punk Rock Tour Diaries).
I shall put a link to the programme once it is uploaded.
Next programme is this Thursday, and will be a two hour Column One special with over an hour of exclusive material and remixes….. (SoundArt radio 102.5FM / www.soundartradio.org.uk).
01: Column One : "Radio Mutations: (Not On Label) 2012.
(Exclusive for MuhMur Radio).
02: (Ad)vance(d) : "1806" (Substantia Innominata) 2011.
03: Mother Spit : "Carve" (Aetheric Records) 2013.
04: Aaron Dilloway : "The Beauty Bath #2" (Rockatansky Records) 2013.
05: G*Park/Mark Zeier : "LH" (SONM) 2012.
06: Dave Phillips : "In The Dust" (Second Sleep) 2012.
07: Anemone Tube : "Accumulations" (Peripheral/The Epicurean/Silken Tofu Records) 2013.
08: Brume : "Glazuuk, The Dreamer" (Substantia Innominata) 2013.
09: K11 : "White" (Old Europa Cafe) 2010.
10: All Sides : "The Idea" (Make Mine Music) 2007.
11: Lust For Youth : "Denial, Veronica" (Posh Isolation Records) 2011.
12: Troum : "Sigqan Part Three" (Transgredient Records) 2009.
13: Neil Campbell : "2013 Live Mix" (Not On Label) 2013.
(Exclusive for MuhMur Radio).
14: Trepaneringsritualen : "Belaten" (Silken Tofu Records) 2013.
15: Blow By Blow : "Blow By Blow" (Slip Records) 1985.
16: Hunting Lodge w/ Apetechnology : "Enter The Storm" (Destroy) 2012.
17: Aaron Dilloway : "White Hair" (Bloodlust!) 2007.
18: Aube : "Ki-Ku" (The Anja Offensive) 2002.
19: Will Gresson : "The Last Tram" (Hell Is Now Records) 2012.
20: Horrible Nurds : "Personal Relationship" (Half Wombat Records) 1980.
21: The Adverts : "Television's Over" (RCA Victor) 1978.
Thank you for listening … (Copy & Paste)
01: With Ad(vance)d 10"
02: NC CDR.
Saturday, 4 January 2014
I have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest album by Flutwacht & Le Fensch Industrial Orkestra. If I made lists for "best album of 2013" and such like then this 53 minute CDR would be in the top five.
I have been listening to and loving the sound of Flutwacht (aka German artist Daniel Simon) for about five years now, he is rather prolific and hard to keep up with with releases sometimes being so limited that they have sold out before I have chance to hit the paypal button .. when I saw this release advertised on the SI Forum I dived straight in.
Limited to 45 copies and on the French "Les Forges Alliees" label, the CDR comes bolted in a metal mesh envelope. Very hard to get out - but worth the struggle and a damned bastard to get back in. It reminded me a little of the wire wrapped CDR by Government Alpha "Breaked Live Wires" that the Mouth Label released in 2000.
53 minutes entitled "1966". I have no idea why. The sound of grinding stone whilst an orchestra warms up in the background starts the journey, the sounds working themselves into a grand drone and the introduction of conversation on a French radio. The sound of a radio tuning into French broadcasts and de-tuning into frequencies and test tones is continuous throughout "1966". The first twenty minutes or so is the sound of the electric drone / hum moving through to a pulse and throbbing crunching moving to a pace of "proper P.E." - the sound of Soldnergeist, Einleitungszeit and Anenzephalia. Powerful stuff which then breaks down to French radio and the journey starts again with electronic noise akin to "Psychopathia Sexualis" Whitehouse and early Non. Voices converse in French and the noises loop into a great mechanical rhythm. This all ends in a murky swill as the radio is de-tuned once more and it all ends on a sound that took me back to the 1980's when I used to play Space Invaders on acid.
It takes a lot for me to sit and listen to a 53 minute piece these days. Three young kids, other noises to play etc .. but this has been on repeat for the last few days (great band).
If you ever see a Flutwacht release - buy!
2 + 3: Stickers that came with package.
4: "Breaked Live Wires" by Government Alpha.