Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Haxan Cloak

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest 12" by The Haxan Cloak. "Observatory", released by London based Aurora Borealis Records. (Catalogue ABX053). In true 12" tradition this piece of vinyl plays at 45rpm....nice. The sleeve carries a picture of Joseph Beuys - full marks at Hartop Towers for that!
2 instrumental tracks, side A ("Observatory") reminds me of construct of sound not too far from the works of Bruce Gilbert. A modern Dome. A building of loops and patterns that have a sense of urgency...a really great sound to get lost in. Side B ("Hounfour (Temple)") I remain uncertain about. The track carries an air of "new-ageism", this track could have been released on a 12" format by some Scandinavians in the early 1990's....I'm thinking Biosphere and that ilk. Pretty much nothing floating on vinyl...muzak for the Chillax Room....a shame, as "Observatory" is one of the best tracks I've heard all year - would love to hear it live.
Aurora Borealis are about to release a full CD and the B-Side hasn't put me off buying it.
The 12" is limited to 100 copies so get one quick at

1: 12" Sleeve.
2: Bobby Krlic. (The Haxan Cloak).

Dieter Muh #44

"...And I look at the free festivals, they're like cinemas with no films..." (M.E.Smith)

The first live performance of Dieter Muh this year took me to Helsinki and an appearance at the AAVE Festival at the Malmitalo. AAVE standing for "Alternative Audio Visual Event". I like playing festivals because as a rule they are well organised with strict time frames and extra care is taken for the artists. Venn Festival in Bristol, Equinox Festival in London and the WGT Festival in Leipzig and now the AAVE Festival in Helsinki, all no exceptions to the rule.
The Malmitalo is a Kulturhaus built in Malmi, a district on the outskirts of Helsinki. The whole district had a "Soviet" feel (especially on a cold April night). Dieter Muh were to perform in a small (studio) cinema under the heading of "Live Cinema". I was to perform a live soundtrack to the films "Burning Dogs Teeth" by Tim Bayes and "Dream-Machine" by Simon Kane. Both films were edited by Tim to run for 42 minutes.
For the sound, I began with the sound of vinyl run out grooves building to a level of chaos ( mainly using sound samples supplied by Schuster) before reaching a plateau and introducing multi-layered gourds and bowed cymbals then bringing to birth the track "Everything Stops" from the "Tertium Organum" LP. I first tried this build (using different samples) in London last December and enjoyed it, I thought I would try it again. For the "Dream-Machine" I used two separate rhythms and by 40 minutes I was letting my machines play themselves, so I walked off backstage for a swig of beer.
The sound (orchestrated by Simon Kane) was crystal clear, although I did think it could have been louder, I am not used to playing to seated audience in small cinema situation, and Tamsin was glad she didn't have to wear earplugs! The evening may or may not have been filmed or recorded, I have yet to hear back from the people concerned. A shame, but the whole experience will stay with me, so recorded or not it was one hell of a night. It was good to see Tommi from STROM e.c., Mikko Aspa and Sebastian ("now you play arty-farty music") Sarekallio show for support.

Also playing were Grey Park. GP performed a live improvised set to a film of them going in to the Suomi outback to make a cup of coffee. Whilst this was being shown two camera guys mixed in images of their performance. Complicated and fascinating stuff that made the images almost three-dimensional. The sound moved along with the film - it troughed at times but never too deeply, and in parts peaked to electronic bliss. I am partial to shortwave radio transmissions...
This was the first time I had seen Grey Park live, hopefully they'll play the UK soon, an ideal band for ILL FM and The Others!

Interesting weekend for Dieter Muh with a gig in Helsinki and an appearance on the "You Are Playin' Like A Fuckin' Pub Band" compilation series.

1: AAVE Art.
2: The Malmitalo, Helsinki.
3: Four Koff (not the rider...unfortunately).
4: Grey Park soundcheck.
5: Grey Park in Performance.
6 & 7: Dieter Muh & Burning Dogs Teeth.
8: Dieter Muh & Dream-Machine.
9: Plaa + Nosfe (GP) with myself and Simon Kane outside the Malmitalo.

Friday, 29 April 2011

You Are Playin' Like A Fuckin' Pub Band

I don't like to use this site for selling my wares or advertising my goods etc, hopefully there will be a fully blown Haemoccult Recordings Web Site to take care of all that later in the year, but just a quick mention of one of the more obscure / limited Dieter Muh releases.
Saturday April 16 was "International Record Shop Day" and to mark such an occasion London based label The 7.17 From West Wittering Is Late Again released a series of cassettes called "You Are Playin' Like A Fuckin' Pub Band". The cassettes were on sale (only) at Second Layer Records in North London. Each cassette is limited to 30 copies and each featured an artist / project from the UK and an overseas artist / project.
The line up is such:
1: Cheapmachines / Concrete Violin
2: BBBlood / Emil Beaulieau
3: Onomatopoeia / Sudden Infant
4: Dieter Muh / Balinese Beast
5: Smell & Quim / Family Battle Snake
6: Dylan Nyoukis / Ryan Jewell
The Dieter Muh track is a 15 minute extract from the soundtrack "Burning Dogs Teeth" recorded earlier in the month with Michael Parker and using samples of the work of Schuster and Muhviertel. The Onomatopoeia track has the beautiful title "LSD Trip In A Police Cell", and my favourite of the collection (at the moment) is Sudden Infant's "Giving Trash Ritual?".

If interested then check out Second Layer Records website, there may be some copies left.

1: International Record Shop Day Flyer.
2: "You Are Playin' Like A Fuckin' Pub Band" Volume 1 - 6.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!!

One of the troops of tomorrow (allegedly)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fragment Factory

I have spent a pleasant while listening to three of the latest releases from Hamburg (Germany) based label Fragment Factory. The label is operated by a chap called Michael Muennich who also records and releases under the name of Muennich. FRAG 18 is a C22 cassette by Muennich called "Rugged", and of the three releases is certainly the strongest and my favourite.
Presented in a glossy monochrome sleeve with a small piece of stone stuck to the inside (?) the cassette is strangely limited to 57 copies. It certainly is a cassette of two halves with side A being both cognitive and abstract. A steady tonal drone keeps the sound glued whilst contact mic's run over stone (rugged) surfaces the introduction of radio static raises the sound to a plateau and the piece ends with dripping water on a vinyl "run-out" groove. Interesting journey. Side B contains one of the best 11 minute tracks I have heard for a long time, it is pure industrial noise in an old school style. The sound hooks in to inter-twining loops with imagery of "See-Saw" by S.P.K. or "Out Out Out" by Non with a bit of Esplendor Geometrico thrown in. Beautiful stuff making Muennich a project to discover. FRAG 19 is (apparently) a Muennich / Juppiter Castrol GTX collaboration. (Can't wait).
The Krube cassette was a slight disappointment after Muennich. A C34 cassette of audio performance art action. Too abstract for me. R&G, Schimpfluch type sounds. Limited to 63 copies.
Michael Esposito and Kevin Drumm are both new names to me. (OK, I've heard of Kevin Drumm but I own none of his output). Michael is a film-maker and researcher in to EVP. Electronic Voice Phenomena, the recording of (dead) static or stray radio waves. Interesting stuff first brought to my awareness through reading about the works of Konstantins Raudive many years ago. I think Dave Uden had a flexi disc that came with some magazine in the 1970's that had EVP recordings on it....sampled to death of course! Anyway, back to the vinyl. The EP is called "The Icy Echoer" FRAG 16. Esposito and Drumm are both Chicago based and the recordings on this EP are manipulations of EVP recordings made in a local Illinois cemetery. The single is highly listenable and both sides end on tracks that sound like The Haters. Good stuff. Beautifully sleeved and on crystal clear vinyl and limited to 300 copies. Essential. (I have hurry)!!

Fragment Factory (like fellow German label Licht Und Stahl) is building a catalogue of great sounds that needs investigation and support. Contact Michael at

1: Fragment Factory Logo.
2: Muennich Sleeve.
3: Krube Sleeve.
4: Michael Esposito & Kevin Drumm Sleeve.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Dieter Muh #14

Eleven years ago Dieter Muh played their second ever gig on foreign soil at the Ilokivi in Jyvaskyla, Finland. I mention this because I returned there last week making a journey I never thought I would make again. The sight of the venue doors (it was locked when I got there), and the surrounding area (it is part of the University) made the memories flood back.
June the 1st 2000 and Dave and I arrive after a three hour flight and four hour train journey to be met by the gig organisers; Juri, Jari and Weno. Juri and Weno were then recording as Mnem but were not playing live, Jari was part of Sefahat who were. Juri showed us to our sleeping accommodation (to drop off the equipment), a tomato and then virtually every drinking hole in Jyvaskyla. At this time of year the sun does not set in Finland and the bars stayed open until about 4 a.m.
June the 2nd 2000 and the day of the gig Dave and I are atrociously hungover. Weno has vodka for a midday breakfast, we share a tomato.
The venue is a small studio theatre built inside the University grounds, a nice walk through tall trees and woodland. The other "act" on the bill was Putrefier. Mark Durgan and Steve Underwood took the flight and train journey on the same day and arrived around two hours before the doors opened. The gig was the first of "Harbinger Sound Travelling Circus & Freak Show Tour 2000".
The crowd was modest, around 30 people sat watching whilst Sefahat performed 40 minutes of improvised scratching and skronking. At the time they reminded me of AMM or suchlike. I have a recording of the gig, played it a couple of weeks ago - there's a lot of guitar plucking and shortwave radio going on. I remember the guitar being played with socks and Tommi Keranen having his electronics set up on an ironing board. (Irony board)?
Mark's set I have unfortunately forgotten but I do know that on the tour he played blinding sets, so it can't of been a bad one.
Dave and I had prepared three different sets for the tour, by that I mean we had three "openings" and three "endings" and whatever happened in between happened. This was the usual (at the time) set up for a Dieter Muh live performance. We began with small voices, Klaus Kinski orating, children playing, minutiae cracks and a voice declaring "Jesus Loves You". I have a recording and the first 15 minutes are bloody good, some of the best Dieter Muh live to date. After this the gig went a little downhill - we decided to do an old "song" from the early 1980's, an old track that Dave and I wrote called "A Mouthful Of Sand". It went downhill as it required me to do some vocals and the trouble was...I could not remember the bloody words. It seemed such a good idea at the time and I had gone through the lyrics earlier, but under the heat of the lights my mind went blank and I just kept repeating the line "A Mouthful Of Sand", not only that, for some unknown reason I was shouting in a Southern American accent! At this moment in time all I could think of was Cliff Richard.....When Cliff Richard was given an O.B.E. sometime in the 1970's I remember him being asked if the knighthood would change his style of music and his reply was that he would stop singing in an American accent and sing in his true voice, that is all I could think of whilst onstage in Jyvaskyla with a microphone in my hand. I think the rest of the set just fizzled to an end. I do remember Steve Underwood making paper aeroplanes and writing Cabaret Voltaire on them and throwing them towards the stage and Weno slept throughout.
So, April 18th 2011 and I returned like a pilgrim to the Ilokivi. A touching moment.

1: Poster for the gig.
2 & 3: Dieter Muh live at Ilokivi 2000.
4: On Returning: (Oscar at the door, Juri Karpov and myself holding Isabel F.).

Secondhand Record Shops: #10. Helsinki

Sorry if April seems to be a little Suomicentric...but I've been on (a working) holiday.
Vinyl shopping in Helsinki was a joy. Helsinki is a wonderful city to go shopping in because it is so small, nothing is no more than a 15-20 minute walk away. The trams are cheap and I did use them to get out to the 'burbs of Arabia, but I claim Helsinki a walkabout city.
Most of the vinyl shops can be found by walking down Fredrikinkatu. Head East out of the main train station towards Mannerheimintie, cross the road to walk up Simonkatu and on the corner with the huge Hesburger (who do a great veggie Falafel burger + chips) you are at the start of Fredrikinkatu. On the way you will pass Kiasma, Helsinki's gallery of contemporary art, they have a small shop that is worth a browse...they sell CD's, tapes and vinyl too....I managed to buy a copy of "Musiikkivyoryn B-Osa" by Musiikkivyory in ultra limited C132 format.
Fredrikinkatu runs parallel to Albertinkatu where there is a secondhand vinyl shop called Fennica. (There's also a comic shop with the same name on the same street). Fennica specializes in "Rock", I could not find a punk/new wave/experimental section. There was strangely enough an "Australian Indie Vinyl" section and a large selection of Suomi Rock, but nowt for me. A large shop that may hold some bargains but Rock Orientated. Back on Fredrikinkatu and walking South towards the Baltic you will cross Uudenmannkatu, turn left and there is the Myymala2 Gallery. A lovely small boutique style gallery with a few racks of secondhand vinyl, tapes and CD's. Standard punk/new wave fare but a lovely browse nonetheless. It sells comics and graphic novels too, so the wife & kids were happy.... Carry on and turn left at Iso Roobertinkatu and there is Stupido Shop. A kind of Sister Ray-cum-HMV-cum-Selectadisc type of chainstore. They were playing The Saints when I walked in, always a bonus. At the end of Fredrikinkatu is where I found the beef of the vinyl shops in a small area known as "Fiveways" - a place where all roads meet...well five of them anyway.
Popparienkeli is a large shop full of secondhand vinyl. A large selection of new wave LP's in boxes on the floor - large red chair available to sit and browse, friendly guy behind the counter who wanted to reminisce about early 1980's UK DIY Tapes and told me he had every Bad Vugum release, but not for sale. Foetus LP's on the wall going for about £30 each. Across the road is Digelius. This shop (mainly new CD's and Vinyl) is a Wire subscribers dream, lots of modern classical, jazz, experimental electronica etc. I managed to buy a Paavi 12"EP on Lal Lal Lal Records and the guy behind the counter tried to put me off buying it! "It's just abstract piano" ... "OK" ..... "Why are you buying it"? .... "I have other Lal Lal Lal releases and I like the label" ... "You have heard of Lal Lal Lal"!!!! etc. The 12" EP cost 10 Euro. Not bad.
Around the corner from Digelius on Laivurinrinne is Eronin. Again, modern jazz, hippity-hoppity and an Augustus Pablo section.
By far the best and finest secondhand vinyl shop in Helsinki that I found was A.H.Records. It's on the right hand side if walking towards the sea and just before Popparienkeli. A huge selection of vinyl..both LP and 7". I saw stuff there I hadn't seen in years and some I desperately need, but a tad too much....Sort Sol "Marble Station" 7" was 35 Euro and not really mint condition. There were some Essential Logic records and a couple of compilations I would have loved to of bought - and an old Skrewdriver LP I should have bought for Mr. Underwood - but I found the shop on my last day in Helsinki and the euros were looking thin. I did leave with a copy of "All About You" by Scars on pristine 7" vinyl. Ahhhh.

I am certain I did not find all the secondhand vinyl shops in Helsinki, and I would have loved to of chanced upon some old Bad Vugum, Hyster Tapes or Freak Animal stuff, but no.

1: Myymala 2 Gallery.
2: Stupido-Shop.
3: Oscar outside Fennica Records.
4: Digelius.
5: Popparienkeli.
6: Eronen.
7: A.H. Records.
8: A.H. Records business card! (Go There).

Helsinki. AAVE Festival 2011 #3 (Review)

The following review comes from the "Special Interests" Forum and was written by Mikko Aspa.

"Grey Park, was both good and bad things. Good thing was that there came some interesting sounds and textures, the not so good thing was that there was nothing really out of ordinary. Bad thing, was non-musical qualities. If you got 2 guys doing live visuals on huge screen and 4 guys doing sound, how can it look like this? I guess it's the "academic" approach. Guys sitting in row, pretty much doing nothing, for 40 minutes? When you close eyes, its slowly shifting from thing to another, occasionally sounding very nice, kind of stuff multilayered droning noisy electronics, what I'd enjoy.. perhaps not so perfect transitions, and most of all, appearing to be "jam"? But as soon as you open eyes, there are these 4 guys, sitting, with their table lights. Perhaps without lap-top, but with the Merzbow'ish (e?)motionless style. One great moment is like these two imperfect "whistle" type of sounds, what actually makes members suddenly react in a way that "who was that?", checking out eachothers and giving gestures of disapproval or uncertainty. I think mr. Pilvari was using short wave radio. Kind of cheaper bulk radio, though. But already that alone was nice. Simple radio static and someone adding little nuances. Perhaps kicking out videocrew and 2-3 members, someone could do solo of similar material, but knowing better what exactly to do.
Unfortunately for such a long set, simply fall under category where it's quite enjoyable if you just throw together whatever 4 sounds and see what comes up. But to be actually TALENTED doing it, making it exceptional, would perhaps require some defined ideas and something executed with more precision than "lets jam".
However, I'm curious to check out some of their recent releases if there are some. I think the ltd 100 copies 7" was the last thing I've heard.

Dieter Muh was perhaps different that they have been? Shrunk into solo project. He was doing soundtrack for video made by ex-member of the band. Video started nicely, but went into quite dull abstraction. Sound material DM came up with, was far more defined and advanced from GP approach. He would actually focus on some important basic elements, and allow them to shift and modulate quite extensively, building slowly layers of sounds behind it, but always having the red line what actually is the lead sound of the piece. It would have this rhythmical industrial feel to it, which slowly mutated into noisier soundscapes. And I could have applauded for idea to actually play more than just one piece. He would stop.. or lets say let the song fade down to almost silence, before starting entirely new song. No bullshit transitions of artists not really knowing what's going on, but sharp well executed compositional skill. Middle of DM set was rhythmic electronics. One could perhaps even say malformed beats being constantly adjusted, and new details thrown in mix. It wouldn't be any clean drum machine dance, but most certainly closest to such direction what I ever heard from Dieter Muh. The end of set became moodier, with rhythmic metal percussion sample, with strange dysfunctional sounding loop rotation, covered with extensive effects. Distant drone humming... and at some point when I opened my eyes, artist had left the stage and minimal sound going on was simply result of equipment playing itself for last few minutes.
Nice gig. Perhaps lack of heavy-duty PA power, it wasn't as noisy and fierce as Mäntsälä many years ago, but auditorium without any need of earplugs was fine too!

Only thing not that great, was the abundance of art fags. Not that I would care who comes to watch the shows, but when they don't. People just hanging out and the cunts talking loud over the music about most retarded mundane things. It's different in a bar. When you pay in, to have fun. And within loud music, it's fine. In quiet auditorium, where you didn't spend any money, why not leave if you rather be elsewhere? I rarely bitch about things, but had to ask these two cunts to keep their mouths shut. Was thinking should I be civilized or not. I chose the first option and actually regretted next time. So, lets wait the next opportunity to see how performances in the audience are welcomed, heh... "

Kiitos Mikko.

1: Mikko outside the Malmitalo, Helsinki.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Secondhand Record Shops: #9. Jyvaskyla.

Rather like most towns in the UK, Jyvaskyla only has the one independent record shop with a small secondhand section. Jyvaskyla is situated on the banks of Finland's second biggest lake in the area known locally as "The Lake District".
Head to the Sokos department store and hang a right towards the Wankkuri Bar and you will find Levykauppa, a chain store similar to HMV or Fopp but with a sizeable secondhand section. There's a huge selection of Rock vinyl LP's and 1980's chart fodder as well as Suomi rock + pop and "standard" punky new wave. (Clash, Stranglers, UK Subs, Exploited). The secondhand singles brought up the The Joy Of Living/The Apostles 7"EP for only 5 Euros (£4.50 in Gods money) so I left a happy man. There was a tempting Anal Thunder tape, but I left that behind. LP's were priced between 10 and 15 euros.
If for any reason you are in JKL - visiting the Alvar Aalto museum for example - the Levykauppa is worth a browse......and then enjoy a sip in the Wankkuri!

1: Outside the Wankkuri.
2: Levykauppa Store.
2: Levykauppa Store Bag.

Friday, 22 April 2011

From Hel(sinki)

Just back from playing in Helsinki, seeing the delights of Finland and experiencing its wonderful public transport!
Will write more soon, but the bags still need unpacking....
Thank you Heikke, Juri, Sala, Villpu, Lidya, Simon and Koff for making the week happen!

Monday, 11 April 2011


In a time when archives are being plundered and released in the name of entertainment comes a CD from new (to me) Azerbaijan based label Agdam Records. They have put together and put out an album of old recordings (previously unreleased) from old members of The A Band.
I can't quite fathom the reasons for them doing this....but they have and a copy has found its way to Hartop Towers, so I thought I'd give it a mention.
I have old tapes, old recordings of my material from the 1970's and 1980's, bands / projects I was involved in as well as the odd "solo" experiment with bath chain and biscuit tin but I sure as hell wouldn't have it put out for the public ear. It is well documented that myself and Dave Uden started recording and releasing tapes in the 1970's...and I am bloody glad only a handful of folk have ever heard those tapes. Why didn't I release anything in the 1980's apart from ultra limited cassettes...because (in the majority) it was crap, (I.B.F. & Muhviertel are exceptions) and it is still crap to this day.

So why have Agdam Records put out "Agdam"? Is there so much interest in The A Band members that a compilation of their early efforts warrants a release? Do Agdam Records of Azerbaijan really exist?
Stewart Walden kicks off the album with some home tapery poetry, the terribly named Gay Animal Women follow with an embarrassing track called "Children On Fire". Recorded live in 1989 at The Old Vic in Nottingham, this is a 20 odd minutes long track (an excerpt of an hour long performance) of folk wailing into microphone trying desperately to sound like Genesis P-Orridge over an awful rhythm. Poor beyond forward to a project called Well Crucial and Martin Walden playing with a tape/radio recorder mixing OMD with Radio Devon. Unlistenable. The only thing that holds an interest here is that it was recorded in Paignton, Devon....and that town is 5 miles from Hartop Towers!
Walden/Campbell/Plaistow follow with a slight comedy piece called "Morons". Sepopeplel follow with a live track that sounds like bad cafe. A short (all too short) solo Neil Campbell live track follows before the icing on the cake is provided by Afterclap. At this point of listening I did not think that the album could have a worse track than Gay Animal Women but Afterclap proved me wrong. Recorded live in Warrington in 2007, it starts with an annoyingly voiced chap introducing members of Afterclap, and they all begin to play, strum, blow, pluck and hit their given instruments...then I pressed STOP.

I am all for folk releasing treasures from their past. Everyone loves a history as the saying goes, but this album can only hold interest and provide entertainment to those involved - those who were there at the time (and I feel sorry for the folk who had to endure Gay Animal Women and Afterclap) and their partners. It is like an "in-joke".
When I played this album I couldn't get the Georgina Spelvin quote out of my head: "if you do it, you do it for life". Don't know why.
The album hasn't put me off listening to Neil Campbell and his plethora of projects I am just surprised by the poor quality of material on this release, shame.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Violent Onsen Geisha

Spent some time today listening to the cassette "Shocking Early Works 83-85 Volume 1" by Violent Onsen Geisha. This is the only release I have from the project run by Japanese artist Masaya Nakahara. Interesting stuff, tape splices cut with cheap synth effects cut with "pop" records of the 1980's (Paul Hardcastle & Art Of Noise very recognisable), Japanese spoken word and 1950's Z-Movie incidental music. I like the tape. Quite a lot of it (especially Side A) reminds me of what I was doing back in the late 1970's with cutting up radio / TV and teenage lyrics. There's plenty of tape hiss but no heavy nasal breathing into the microphone. (Makers of tapes back in the 1970's might know what I am getting at here)?
Anyway - great tape - early plunderphonics or as I described the work of DK720 + Grace earlier "Audio DaDa". Before playing this cassette I listened to a live Sefahat CDr from 2000 and there are similarities.

A year or more ago I contributed to a VOG topic on the Troniks forum board and mentioned I had this cassette and that I hadn't given it my full attention but I saw it wasn't listed on the Discogs site. The tape came in a package of stuff from Steve Underwood (vinyl, tapes, CD's etc) a few years back. Messages came in asking if I was interested in selling, swapping, trading etc.....I was open to suggestions but then I played the tape (in full) and really I like. the tape stays in Hartop Towers!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Squeezing Being Issue 2

I dug out a treasured tape earlier in the week and gave it a play - probably for the first time this century: "Live Demos" by The Implicit Order (AKA Anthony Washburn). Chances are this is the only copy of this cassette. Back in 1999 I made an attempt to start a credible label. Alongside Mick McDaid (who operated as Outsider Records) we formed Mouth Recordings. (Quite clever wording I thought - Out from Outsider + Muh from Dieter Muh being in there). The M.O. of the label was to release quality live recordings on ultra limited CDr and sold at a reasonable price. Our first three (and only) releases were "Feeling A Little Horse" by Dieter Muh, "Breaked Live Wires" by Government Alpha and "Live Im Hybidraum" by Column One. We were then struggling as Ora and The Haters declined releases, so we decided to knock the project on the head. Then we received this tape with a letter from Anthony ( we were in correspondence throughout the late 1990's) asking us to consider the tape for a Mouth Recordings release, which we had to decline as we had folded the project. A shame, as I really liked the tape.
This put me in mind of a compilation album Dieter Muh contributed to back in 1999: "Squeezing Being - Issue 2" on Wholeness Recordings. The album took 11 years to be released. Anthony Washburn is the boss of Wholeness Recordings. 11 years is not bad going, I have recorded stuff for compilation projects that have yet to be released, Joel St. Germain's Spite Records non release of Dieter Muh's original recording of "We're Not Happy.........Until You're Not Happy" for a non existence tape compilation still sticks in the throat.
Anyway. 11 years is not bad going, and at least the album has seen the light albeit as a free download and not a CDr. I am not a fan of the download - free or not - I am not interested. I prefer the "physical" format and a piece of art/work that folk have taken the time / space / money to produce for my pleasure / interest / research. Is that fair?

Luckily I have friends who were willing to put the album on a CDr and download the sleeve for my pleasure. Does the sound of 1998/99 still stand up when freshly released in 2010? Has the sound "dated"? .... slightly.

The album contains familiar names alongside total unknowns and perhaps one-offs created only for "Squeezing Being Issue 2". It all kicks off with the lo-fi tape rumblings of Big City Orchestra, a project of whom I have never been a "fan", they had a single out on Drone Records which was OK but other than that I can easily leave them alone. Sveen follow. Sveen being the recording project of EE Tapes operators Sven & Eriek. Sveen offer us a sonambulistic track of crashing waves and violins. Like listening to Radio 3. Beautiful stuff that draws you right in before BLAM and A:M:K enter with a loud offering of turntablism.
Grace follow with his own brand of audio Dada. To my knowledge this is the only release by Grace aka Mark Wharton the man behind Just Glittering, Idwal Fisher and the goalposts of Batley R.C. It has a nod of the cap towards Deepkiss 720, but it is a fascinating listen. Then follows Doc War Mirren and Hjalmer Geiger. Two projects who sound like they have just bought a Roland SH101 and are wondering how it works. This offering of non-constructual sound dates the album. Enter Turkey Makes Me Sleepy with "Syphilitic Aortic Regurgitation". Good track built of tape samples (mainly spoken word). I have a feeling that Turkey Makes Me Sleepy is a pseudonym of Anthony Washburn, the track sounds alot like The American Tract Society. They were another one of Anthony's aliases. Fine stuff and I think the word 'Turkey' is meant as 'Cold' rather than 'Thanksgiving'.
Richard Ramirez & AMDF follow with "A Guy Like You". I've never liked the work of Black Leather Jesus or followed the career of Richard, I understand he has some kind of "cult status" in the HNW world, just sounds like a barrage of cheap noise to me. The Implicit Order follow with a short ambient piece and out of place as the Post Prandials follow and for the first time I press the FFW/Next Track button on the CD Player. On to The Haters with "Clici-Clic 40". The sound of a hole puncher through a multitude of effects. Nice. Always good to get The Haters on a compilation as they have "collectors", folk who want everything that GX Juppiter has released. This is a great track and followed by Dieter Muh with "Wood Land" ( a title given by Mick McDaid, a strange pleasure park where all the rides are male erection themed, and now even funnier as I live near Dartmouth and the theme park "Woodlands")! The track is Dieter Muh still trying to find their sound. At the time we wanted to release an album called "Back Garden Birds" and were using samples of birdsong, distorted and manipulated beyond recognition. "Wood Land" features said sampling alongside guitar, percussion (Tibetan Bowl + Roto-Toms) and reversed vocals. Around the same time we recorded the track "Pensile" for the Harbinger Sound compilation LP "Stand Still Like The Hummingbird" (Harbinger 006), this has yet to see release.
The album ends with Stream Angel and some amateur psychedelics. A track I would have FFW'ed but it was the last track. Two FFW's a compilation CDr ain't bad.
The album does sound dated in parts, and in other parts is highly unlistenable. I was reminded of compilation tapes from the early / mid 1990's especially the "Elegy" & "Notre Dame" series that EE Tapes put out where you knew you were going to get some shite but the gems were worth their weight in gold.

This album is downloadable (for free) from Wholeness Recordings who have a MySpace site. I was going to put up a link but after clicking on the page and waiting for adverts to download before I could get to the beef (Legal & General have got an offer on Anthony) I gave up .. if you have better patience than I go to the site and enjoy. It has rare Dieter Muh and Grace tracks and a couple of classics by The Haters and Sveen.

1: The Implicit Order "Live July 1999".
2: "Squeezing Being Issue 2" Sleeve.
3: The Implicit Order.
4: Sveen. (Sven at the forefront & Eriek on the far right. Picture taken in London 1999).

Monday, 4 April 2011

Schuster #2

I have been pleasantly listening (over the past few weeks) to the latest release by Australian based artist Schuster. "Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon". It has been released as an ultra limited cassette (in an attractive tin case) by the German Licht Und Stahl label, and in fairly limited CDr form on Schusters' own Adeptsound imprint. Digipack sleeve, postcard and probably badge will come in the jiffy if you order direct! I got a promo copy a few weeks back.
Over the past year or so Schuster has been releasing material as if he was some member of an "end of days" cult, with limited CDr's and compilation appearances and all pretty damn good stuff. "Blac Flies" ( as shortened title, I have no idea what the full title means.....) is Schuster's strongest release this century. Certainly his most personal.
The CDr plays as one long track (with 11 parts), whereas the cassette has gaps between tracks, that is the only difference in sound. The cassette is not an alternative mix, just a massive carrot to us ass like collectors.
"Blac Flies" opens with "Bellerophon", the slayer of monsters. The sound creates a mystical feel and sounds like something that should be running over the opening credits to a sci-fi movie. Cinema sound / mystical drones, a great opening and we are left with the sound of a trapped fly in a gass-jar. "Sulk" follows. A strange track with Schuster vocals. Words from a suicide note over reversed loops...very down and depressing and the feel of melancholia continues throughout the next two tracks. "Stubborn" is a high energy heavily rhythmic piece that comes in out of the shadows. There is a track called "Flag" on the first ever Schuster release: "Assumption" (Silencer Tapes 1986. Cat No: Silcass 01) and "Stubborn" takes me back to that track. "Stubborn just to silence her" - a great lyric. Schuster mailed me the rhythm track last year to work with in the hope we'd use it for an I.B.F. (Ideas Beyond Filth) track (after the success of the Harbinger Sound released 12"EP there was talk of a new LP for Hanson Records) but I used it for a Dieter Muh live performance, and Schuster has included his interpretation on the album. The track comes out of nowhere and would have been a great ending to side one of the tape, except we have "Submerge (Drawing Down The Moon)", and back to the meloncholic sound. The sound of a hibernating beast in the sewers.
Side two (of the cassette, or track 7 on the CDr) carries on the melancholia with "Blakk Bile" and a sound of dark ambience and static / radio interference that isn't too far from Lustmord's "To Arecibo" album. Schizophrenic chaos ensues with ""The Last Breath Of The Matriarch", an angry poema of high quality, chaos continues through "Material Fire" which sounds like mass sample of old 1980's Schuster recordings thrown onto the fire before everything calms into "Giving"... the jewel of the album. Crystal clear recording of sensibility over the sound of insect rain. I can say no more, you have to hear this track!
Certainly Schuster's best album since "Assumption". Lustmord, Nurse With Wound, Wolfgang Press, Portion Control, Mark is all in there and like I mentioned at the start - a very personal album.
For the releases in 2011 this one will become essential.

1: Schuster cassette on Licht Und Stahl.
2: The digipack resplendent on my turntable.
3: Schuster postcard.
4: Schuster postcard reverse.

AAVE Festival live visuals trailer 2011

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Grey Wolves

Just found a couple of pictures of The Grey Wolves live in Manchester, 2004. Dieter Muh were support. Pictures were taken by Gary Warmington.


Just been spending a pleasant while listening to Flutwacht (translates to Flood Watch in English). I have been listening to / collect the works of Flutwacht for about a year and a half now, and March saw the release of his album "Nebel" on German label Licht Und Stahl. It was the excellent CD "Mit Nichts" on Licht Und Stahl that first "got me into" Flutwacht.
In 2009 I picked up a copy of the 7" single "Fiebertentakel" on Tourette Tapes (TT#6) from Nuit Et Broulliard. Originally released in 2007 this single has quickly become an all time favourite. Two untitled pieces of art crafted noise. Side One is a symphony of distorted guitar chords slowly grinding out a mesmeric plate of noise (think Glenn Branca) whereas Side Two is the more comforting sound of analog sequencer patterns. A cracking 7" and a must buy!
"Nebel" is an ultra limited cassette release. 20 copies in a metal tin. Mario Lohr (of Licht Und Stahl) has released two albums on the same day - both limited to 20 copies and both packaged in small metal tins. Schusters' "Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon" and "Nebel" by Flutwacht. Essential collectors items both. For both releases it is a shame they are so ultrally limited as they both deserve a larger ear. (I do know that Schuster is releasing "Blac Flies" on CDr format through Adeptsound later this month).
Flutwacht is working in a similar area to what I am at the moment. Maybe over the last few months his output has "influenced" me somewhat, in a same way that Aaron Dilloway & Neil Campbell have over the past couple of years. "Nebel" is the sound of decay, industrial decay looped into chaos. Starting with simple sound source the tracks (there are 11 of them on this 70 minute cassette) build into an amazing journey that I love to hook onto and take the ride. There are parts which take me back to hearing S.P.K.'s "Leichenschrei" LP for the first time. "Nebel" is instantly likable.

The Flutwacht release list is impressive,especially as it is the work of one man (Daniel Simon) and he also has side projects such as Fieberflug, Shadow Theatre, Amputation Desire and Flesh Crawler. Fieberflug (translates to Fly Fever in English) have also released on Licht Und Stahl.

Visit and purchase from; or

1: Photo from Mario Lohr that came with "Nebel".
2: "Fiebertentakel" 7" Cover. (Tourette Tapes) 2007.
3: "Nebel" tin. (Licht Und Stahl) 2011.
4: Daniel Simon Live.