Monday, 31 December 2012

Failing Lights

I have just spent a pleasant while listening to Failing Lights latest LP "Dawn Undefeated" on the German Dekorder label. (Dekorder 063). This LP does have a sense of sadness ~ of melancholy. Firstly in the sleeve, the peeled back 1950's wallpaper showing cracks in the plastering and old photographs. Derelict building deep in the woods, a blond haired girl looking lost by a tractor tyre(?). The track titles; "(We Don't Want A) Death In The Home", "Clear Body At Dawn", "First Made Laws" also carry a question of sadness. The sound is complimentary to all of this. Lonely piano played through a myriad of effects and moribundia, a randomly strummed bass guitar, insects eating away in "To Spring" and the reverse piano treatment in "Mirror Beneath" are as compelling  sounds as they are works of genius.
Not what I was expecting (as the great Crispy Ambulance once said). Failing Lights is a new name to me, I didn't realise they had been releasing stuff since 2005. I don't get out much. Failing Lights is the solo project of Wolf Eyes and Hair Police main man Mike Connelly. I don't know what I was expecting. I bought the LP after reading about it in an "end of the year" review just before Christmas. I bought the LP out of one part curiosity and one part necessity. Whilst having a Harbinger Sound night here at Hartop Towers (that's nothing grand...just me, a six pack of Grolsch and a pile of records) I "re-discovered" the excellency of Hair Police (and Family Battle Snake for that matter), and I remain blinded by the brilliance of this LP.
"Dawn Undefeated" ends with the epic "Our Wild Flight"...a paranoid and ghostly affair, with fast distorto guitar chase sequence style sounds leading into plucked violin a la Throbbing Gristle's "Weeping" from "D.O.A.", and then the whole album being buried beneath the soil ...

Failing Lights "Dawn Undefeated" on Dekorder Records, one of the finest releases of 2012. Apparently the LP was cut at 45rpm but playable at any speed...this "review" is coming to you at 33 and a third....(traditionalist)!

1: "Dawn Undefeated" LP cover.
2: Mike Connelly.
3: Mike Connelly live at Zephyr Bar in Exeter w/Hair Police  2006.
4: Me hanging out with Hair Police at the Zephyr Bar, Exeter. 2006.    

Sunday, 30 December 2012


One of the finest labels to emerge during 2012 has been Belaten, a small cassette label based in Gutenberg, Sweden and operated by Th. Ekelund. 2012 has been a busy year for Thomas, with his Trepeneringsritualen project releasing a number of fine tapes, EP's and album and playing live across Scandinavia and the U.S. he still manages to deliver the goods with Belaten.
December sees a brace of releases. Terence Hannum (of Locrain fame) and Poena. Poena is a Swedish project formed by Kristian Olsson and Christian Godin. Poena provide the cassette "Likboden". A one sided 30 minute live recording from earlier this year. "Likboden" was recorded in a derelict morgue on the outskirts of Sundsvall. Likboden translates into English as Mortuary. Poena use material found within the walls to create a ritual piece, a sort of banishing with metal and chains, with wood and the human voice. It is a dark and (to these ears) a deeply pleasurable listen. It is only natural to compare the sound to early albums released by Nekrophile Tapes, and the 1983 LP "Ligeliahorn" by Metgumbnerbone...also whilst listening I was reminded of the sound of early Hunting Lodge. File under Occult or Ritualistic.
The nature of location gives the sound a booming, echoing "lost in space" atmosphere. The recording is crystal clear. A classic release from a project I am keen to hear more from.
Kristian Olsson is also part of Alfarmania, Kadaver, Survival Unit and Ghoulbog to name but a few - he also produces some fine solo work...directly after playing Poena I played the excellent 2003 CDr "Laudanum". He also operates the Styggelse label. I recommend visiting his website -

Poena "Likboden" can be bought direct from Belaten.  

1: "Likboden" Cover.
2: Kristian Olsson live at The Fylkingen, April 2012.
3: Belaten stamp.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Small Things On Sundays

It seems to be this time of year that folk are writing up their top ten / twenty lists of 2012. But there's still a couple of weeks to go...steady on chaps. I was reading one list that mentioned Mike Connelly's project Failing Lights and the LP "Dawn Undefeated" on Dekorder Records, I never knew that existed...ordered straight away, it probably won't arrive until 2013 so I am not going to be hurrying with my top twenty..isn't there a Trepaneringsritualen LP out on New Years Eve?
An album that has been hogging the turntable over the last few days (great band) will not be in the 2012 top twenty isn't out until next month. Danish duo Small Things On Sundays have finally made it onto vinyl and produced a cracking album called "Searching For". (Skrat Records:skr~011). "Searching For" is the third part of a trilogy that began in 2010 with the CDr "4 AM" on Moving Furniture and followed by "More" released by Striate Cortex in the same year.
The album starts with "Enceladus" (an Earth like moon that orbits Saturn). A very atmospheric piece, layered and drifting drones giving the soundtrack of deep space with echoed guitar. I am immediately drawn to compare Small Things On Sundays to Origami Galaktika and Manipura both who released similar sounding albums back in the late 1990's. (And both on the Speeding Through My Hemisphere label. Whatever became of them)? "Enceladus" could be called Inade Light. The Cocteauesque titled "Liquid Mirror" follows with its sound of floating ethereal drone and guitar echoed to the max. This kind of guitar strumming is always going to make me drift off into Durutti Column territory. "Isthmus To Oblivion" ends side A in a peaceful manner. Viola and toy piano and a Soviet France style chopping guitar. (Think "Mohonomische").
Side B starts with "Echo Lake At Night", a sad piece that just floats...hangs in the air, low like an Autumn mist...distant discordant keys of a broken piano is haunting and beautiful. "Terracotta Fragment" breaks the ambiance of the first four pieces with its' loud piercing drone. It operates at a different tempo and in a different time. A shame, it sounds like a "filler". The final piece is one of the finest pieces I have heard for a long time. "Two Instruments". Fast strings meet slow strings. Very clever. It builds like a jigsaw...a soundtrack to an awakening, a shamanistic ritual, realisation. A track that makes me want to turn the record over and start all over again. Brilliant.

Small Things On Sundays are from Copenhagen, comprising of Claus Poulsen and Henrik Bagnar. They have a website as does this albums label I strongly advise folk to pay a visit, get in touch and put your name down for one of these LP's        

1: "Searching For" Cover.
2: "Searching For" Reverse.

Thursday, 20 December 2012


Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest 7" release by Arkhe. Much anticipated. Over the past three or four years or so I have been listening to the work of Swedish artist Pestdemon. Industrial occult like releases, I have mentioned the name before on previous blog entries, but now Pestdemon are no more. Laid to rest. Out of Pestdemon comes Arkhe and this 7" single on the Swedish Solformorkelse label. Two tracks that don't veer to much from the sound of Pestdemon. The A side: "Kryptakravlarn" is a slow building piece that creeps out of the mire to create a swirling vortex of lo-fi sludge with Demonesque voices and guitar feedback. B Side: "Hungertornet" is a more ambient piece, or at least a piece that carries less urgency and more calm. Both sides are around the six / seven minute mark and a great introduction to Arkhe. I suppose time will tell why there was a project name change. 
Limited to 150 copies only and available direct from the label.

Friday, 14 December 2012

MuhMur (SoundArt Radio Broadcast 13/12/2012)

Last night was the sixth and final broadcast (of 2012) for MuhMur on SoundArt Radio (102.5 FM), no exclusives or "sessions", just me and a bag of records and tapes (and the odd CD). The show had an extra 30 minutes tagged onto the end due to the 11 0' Clock show turning up late to the studio .. it was awful weather out there! 
The playlist for the show:

1: Thorsten Soltau : "Grun Wie Milch" (Corvo Records) 2011.
2: Neil Campbell : "Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love?" : (Fusetron / Giardia) 1997.
3: Metgumbnerbone : "Death" : (Not On Label) 1984.
4: Stephen Meixner : "Texture/Montage/Sequence" (Black Rose Recordings) 2007.
5: Aaron Dilloway : "Infinite Lucifer" ( Hanson Records) 2007.
6: Muennich/Esposito/Jupitter-Larsen : "The Green Room" (Firework Editions) 2012.
7: Double Nelson : "Der Mussolini" (WFMU) 2011.
8: Trepaneringsritualen : "Edifice Of The Nine Sauvastikas" (Belaten) 2012.
9: Psychic TV : "White Nights" (CBS Records) 1983.
10: Za Siodma Gora : "This Is My Dream" (OBUH Records) 1999.
11: Ultra : "And....Forgotten" (The Anja Offensive) 1999.
12: Sinking Ships : "Dream" (Recession Records) 1980.
13: Lust For Youth : "Behind Curtains" (Sacred Bones Records) 2012.
14: The Wake : "Something Outside" (Factory Benelux) 1983.
15: Crispy Ambulance : "Black Death (Life Is Knife)" (Factory Benelux) 1984.
16: Ultra Red : "Ladies Who Loop (Dub)" (Not On Label) 2012.
17: Ashtray Navigations : "Ride A White Swan" (WFMU) 2011.
18: Column One : "Dream-Box" (A.N.Column Release) 1994.

Big up and thanks again to all who have listened in over the past few weeks and have been tuning in to the programme via MixCloud...Much appreciated. I will leave a note/link at the bottom of this post when I have uploaded this broadcast. Thanks again to engineer / photographer Dave Mutch who this time kept me out of the pub for two hours before the show ... yeah, thanks Dave! The next MuhMur broadcast will be on January 10 2013 at 9pm and will be a "special" on the sound of Sweden. "Let Me Tell You About Sweden" ...

  ***** *****

LINK FIXED!!! (cheers Richard)....

1: Ready to rock DJ!
2: Mirror Ball in the studio.  

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Ultra Red Soviet Duck In A Tree

Since starting the MuhMur Radio programme on SoundArt FM Radio and subsequently uploading my broadcasts onto the Mixcloud site I have discovered a world of sound and music that I did not know existed. There are loads of radio shows out there and one of my favourites is Zoviet*France's "A Duck In A Tree" on Basic FM. ( It is broadcast three times a week, best caught (in my opinion) on a Sunday afternoon at 14.00 GMT and listenable via mixcloud or The programme lasts sixty minutes and Ben (Ponton of Zoviet*France) mixes / collages sound from a variety of artists and sources. It is all explained here: "60 minute continuous mix of some of the best genre-refining, zero BPM, hypnotronic and maximinalist recordings that have grabbed our attention". Each programme has a title and/or theme and this week we have "Still The Surface, Captured". It features; Aeronaut, Dieter Muh, Voice Of Eye, Chris Watson, Zoviet*France, Boxhead Ensemble, Sigur Ros and Ultra Red in the mix amongst others. The Dieter Muh piece is an extract from "Bacteria 2 Live" from the "Bacterium" CD on Adeptsound. Even though the speakers on my computer are pants this radio programme sounds good to these ears.
A strange coincidence that Ultra Red were played in the same mix as Dieter Muh. Ultra Red are a co-operative, an umbrella for a group of sound artists based in America and the UK. One of the UK artists lives in Torquay. Saint Marychurch, Torquay. Just across the way from me. Elliot Perkins. A couple of weeks ago Elliot gave me a white label copy of the latest Ultra Red LP and 7" single. "Collected Spaces (First Listen)" is a collaboration with Dundee based art collectives Tin Roof and Art Angel. Recordings made by a group of volunteers of the surrounds of Dundee. The enviroment, the architecture, the spaces. The recordings were then listened to and the volunteers were asked what the sounds and spaces meant to them. (This is a poorly written description by the way). The construction and editing on this LP is as fantastic as it is fascinating. Elliot and fellow Ultra Red member Chris Jones have built this LP by bringing out the mundane (be it voice or field recording) and manipulated it into a masterpiece. It's like listening to a jigsaw being built. Inspirational. The LP is being released (I think) by Ultra Red's own label Public Record, but looking at their website there's no release information yet...but I do very strongly recommend all to get this LP. My copy came with a 7" called "Ladies Who Loop", not certain if this comes with the LP or not, but the B-Side features a dub version just to remind us that Elliot has recorded and released some fine techno dub glitch once in a while under his pseudonym Phonem.

1: A Duck In A Tree.
2: Ben Ponton. (Exeter Nov. 2012).
3: Ultra Red "Collected Spaces (First Listen)" LP (gatefold sleeve)!
4: Elliot Perkins. 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Births, Deaths & Marriages #4. 2012

I have reached an age I never thought I would be. Today is the day I turned fifty, and the kids bought me a Lust For Youth CD album ... The humour is not lost on me! Bloody good album too. I also got a John Peel Sessions double CD "1977-1979" and some bits and bobs, a lovely lunch at the Venus Cafe on Blackpool Sands (just South of Dartmouth), if you are down this way I thoroughly recommend - they do veggie and vegan meals. Here's to the next fifty.....

Friday, 7 December 2012

Feral Tapes

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the debut release from Feral Tapes. Feral Tapes are an off-shoot from Feral Debris magazine. They have started with a brace of releases, a double CDr by Aqua Dentata and a split cassette from Ekoplekz and Ensemble Skalectrik. (Catalogue number Feral 001). 
Ekoplekz is the project of Bristol based electronic composer Nick Edwards. His style for Ekoplekz is Electro-Dub (for the want of a better description), not deep bass dub...more in the area of recent Nocturnal Emissions releases or old Zenopede tracks..involved and intricate. Ekoplekz present five pieces that range from complete item "Ekonomikal-G" to tracks that sound like work in progress / sketch pieces, "Militant Tendency". It is a C40 tape and the 20 minutes presented here make me want to hear more Ekoplekz.
Research tells me that Ensemble Skalectrik is also the work of Nick Edwards. "The Bianchi Code" is a twenty minute soundscape, a homage to the work of Mr. Bianchi. Maurizio not Kenneth. It does play and sound like how I remember the sound of MB ~ all I have at the moment is an old copy of the "Industrial Murder/Menstrual Bleeding" LP that Banned Production put out twenty years ago (great song). Drifting alien soundtracks colliding with white noise and feedback. It has made me feel like digging out that old LP!
This is an excellent tape, and a great debut release from a UK label that has to be watched. I have the Aqua Dentata release too ... The tape is limited to 75 copies only, it is pro-dubbed with nice thick J-Card designed by Daniel Ward. (He does the posters for The Rammel Club events in Nottingham). Go to and get a copy for around £6 all in.
Looking at the blog, there are upcoming releases from Cheapmachines, BBBlood and Dale Cornish so it is well worth a browse.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Extreme Rituals:Arnolfini, Bristol. Nov 30-Dec 2. 2012.

"I am neither competent nor qualified to speak of such things"........
Well, it happened. It happened over a cold and wet weekend in Bristol. It happened and I was there. One of the, if not the event (to happen in the UK) of the year. A festival of extreme music and performance celebrating the work and legacy of the Schimpfluch-Gruppe art collective. I had been looking forward for months...waiting....and it was all very much worth the wait.
My role in the event took a turn over the weeks of first buying the weekend ticket then becoming part of the Vagina Dentata Organ performance, then having the idea of making a 60 minute radio piece from sound recorded in and around the event and being given the thumbs up by Richard Whitelaw to do so.

There will be words written by scribes that are far more eloquent and wordily wise than me. Other blogs, magazines, forum boards, flickr pages, YouTube clips'll all start kicking into action soon. I am still slowly coming to terms with what I heard and by what I saw and with whom I met. It was one of those events...artists asked questions, gave us meaning and a variety of choice answers.
With making recordings over the weekend I missed alot of what was happening. Concentration on recording rather than performance. An inept train service forced me to miss the opening six hours...the discussions and talks and Wolfinge performance. Phurpa "opened" the first evening with a brief guttural drone-in. Daniel Lowenbruck (from Raionbashi) assisted Leif Elggren in some performance that featured poetry and noise. I am not too certain what was going on here - I unfortunately entered a third of a way into the performance - but the breakneck speed of the pulsating noise coupled with Leif writhing in agony around a 1970's leather chair whilst Daniel poured ever decreasing amounts of milk into bottles formed into a clock face was stunning. I watched stunned. (i did say I was neither competent nor qualified)! The New Blockaders teamed with GX Jupitter-Larsen to give a blistering performance of nihilism. The fourth time I have seen TNB live this year, not quite as stunning as Berlin...but still - classic. In approach, construction, action and destruction. Some idiot threw an empty plastic pint pot at the hooded figures, TNB threw a metal dustbin lid back into the audience. Excellent. Dave Philips opening performance ... darkness, back-lighting, manipulated voice, strobe-lighting, screams, darkness, chaos, balloons bursting, figures running around the blackout. When all was finished I stood and shouted out; "For Fuck's Sake".
I only managed to see two performances on the following day. Rehearsals for Vagina Dentata Organ started at 10am. Intense drumming....followed by a record fair at The Colston Hall. M Vanci Stirnemann had set up a frame of intravenous drips and created rhythmic patterns by letting them drip onto microphoned metal plates. With VDO I was given the instruction to "go to war" and we did. Alongside Vicky Langan, Michael Gilham, Mark Durgan, Tommy Keranen, Robin Dickinson and a few others we drummed as if we were entering battle. Personally this was one of the finest moments of my adult life. I am still in some state of disbelief that I actually was part of it all....but I there y'go.
Joke Lanz and Christian Weber performed as Sudden Infant and told the story of a child who wanted to become "a crane driver" before Rudolf gave a magickal performance, some shamanistic ritual and filling the auditorium with the acrid smell of burning vinegar. 
The final day was more low key, after a second night drinking until the wee hours - after show drinkies at a lovely little Italian bistro called Renate's on King Street - the audience were still weary and battle scarred. Dave Philips presented a soundscape of insect sounds performed in complete darkness. G*Park created a sound sculpture of sonic magnitude. Joke Lanz performed with Ute Waldhausen and Alice Kemp presented a study in static discipline.
The event closed with GX Jupitter-Larsen, Mike Dando, Rudolf and Joke Lanz seated but with microphones attached to their skulls creating sound from deep within thier brains.
By six thirty it was all over and time to retire for a curry and a pint...and an early night!

I missed a few performers, missed the discussions and didn't even find the films...but this was (for me) such a necessary event. It was a very social weekend and was great to catch up with Mark Wharton - check out the Idwal Fisher blog spot...he's bound to spill his words of wonder and wisdom on the weekend soon, Duncan Harrison, Phil Taylor, Adrian Smith, Anke, Michael Muennich, John Eden, Daniel Lowenbruck, Paul Watson, Phil Julian, Chris Bostock, Chris and Wendy Sienko and .......ahh fuck it........too many to mention...  

1: The Arnolfini. Bristol.
2: Leif Elggren.
3: The New Blockaders.
4: GX Jupitter-Larsen.
5: M. Vanci Stirnemann set up in the foyer.
6: Part of the display of Schimpfluch-Gruppe releases. (Not For Sale).
7: In the "Green Room" after the VDO performance.
8: Alice Kemp.
9: (L-R): GX Jupitter-Larsen, Joke Lanz, Rudolf, Mike Dando.
10: Meeting with Michael Muennich. (Rudolf in background).
11: Duncan Harrison finds the show is over (and the bar is closed).

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

MuhMur (SoundArt Radio Broadcast 29/11/2012)

The playlist for the show :

1: Hive Mind : "Untitled" (RRRecords/Hanson Records) 2009.
2: Coil Vs. The Eskalator : "Nasa Arab" (T&B Vinyl) 1994
3: Astral Social Club : "Stig Fucking Anderson" (Neon Blossom) 2011.
4: Cosmonauts Hail Satan : "Satan, Yuri & You (Part Two) (Shock Records) 1992.
5: Filthy Turd : "#1" (Exclusive piece for "MuhMur") 2012
6: Volcano & The Bear : "Vienna" (WFMU) 2011.
7: Diagram Brothers : "Discordo" (New Hormones) 1982.
8: Thossian Process : "Slum Hymn" (Striate Cortex) 2012.
9: Filthy Turd : "#2" (Exclusive piece for "MuhMur") 2012.
10: Lemon Kittens : "Shakin' All Over" (Step Forward Records) 1979.
11: Journey Of Mind : "Sea Sore" (Sound Holes) 2012.
12: Cosmonauts Hail Satan : Hellraiser 1 (Fourth Dimension Records) 1993.
13: Filthy Turd : "#3" (Exclusive piece for "MuhMur") 2012.
14: Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words : "I Am Hermetic" (Ideal Recordings) 2012.
15: Grey Park : "Carpenter" (Planned Confusion) 2008.
16: Dennis Burns & Mark Perry : "You Cry Your Tears" (NB Records) 1980.
17: Filthy Turd : "#4" (Exclusive piece for "MuhMur") 2012.
18: William S. Burroughs & Gus Van Sant : "The Hipster Be-Bop Junkie" (SOL) 1990.
19: The Hafler Trio : "La Chanson DaDa" (Raft Records) 2002.

Thanks go again to Dave Mutch, the engineer who held the show together with a screwdriver and a roll of electrical tape....honestly...and sang along to the Mark Perry song. Also a big thumbs up to Filthy Turd for providing four excellent pieces. The next programme will be at 9pm on December 13 and will be the final programme of 2012. (I'll be back in the new year).
The programme is up on mixcloud for your listening pleasure:

***** ***** 

Friday, 30 November 2012

MuhMur Radio Broadcast 29/11/2012

Thank you for listening - I will give a full playlist & report and "Mixcloud" upload details when I return from the Schimpfluch-Gruppe weekend in Bristol .... if I ever get there! How does the song go?...."Outside the trains don't run on time" ... 


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Turbulent Times

Just received the latest edition of the fanzine "Turbulent Times". This is issue #9, issue #8 came out fifteen years ago! Good job I didn't get a 5 issue subscription, eh?
The 'zine is essential reading. It has a kind of "Idwal Fisher" attitude and a "toilet reading" air. Not irreverent and not snooty - "I know more than you do" - like some 'zines I could name just a damn good read. Easy, informative and not that serious as "Eraciator's History Of Harsh Noise" proves. That piece made me laugh. There's a recent interview with Nigel Ayers and Libbe Matz Gang...I've seen their name pop up a few times now in various 'zines and internet boards, might be time to dip the toe so to speak. There's a piece by Jupitter-Castrol GTX on revolutionary noise anthems and the obligatory record reviews .. also some live reviews, which is coming uncommon in the printed 'zine....good to see. The cover did promise knitting, but I have scoured the 'zine from cover to cover and there's no mention of knitting! As a subscriber to "The Knitter" and "Yarn Wise" I was very disappointed. 
I am saving some of this fanzine to read on the train to Bristol this coming weekend ...
"Turbulent Times" is A5 sized (pocket porn) and about 50 pages..and like I said at the start...essential. It costs £2.50 postage paid in the UK from

The back cover features an excellent picture of a guy trying to shove his shirt in his ears at a Rehberg & Schmickler gig at Cafe OTO.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

John Court At Spacex #2

Plans to spend time at the John Court eight performance were ruined by the weather today. Public transport between Torquay and Exeter was not good so I had to ask Tamsin to drive me through storm conditions to get to the Spacex Gallery. I experienced around thirty minutes of an eight hour performance. The performance marked the end of John's first UK exhibition; "The Work Between The Lines" which I reported on in September. Silence filled the Spacex as John slowly rotated clockwise supporting an absurdly and surreal sized table with his right ear, occasionally writing on his arms. Compelling.
Another triumph for the Spacex and I just wished I could have spent longer in the atmosphere.....

Friday, 23 November 2012

Psychic TV "Live At Thee Ritz" 1983

This release is a great "album as memory" for me. The full and complete recording of Psychic TV live at The Ritz in Manchester, 6th of November 1983. There is (of course) a vinyl version of the gig...the first Psychic TV live gig EVER! came out as part of the live series of albums, but this is the full gig spread out over two compact discs. I have the live vinyl (of course) and it is a great album - not as good as the "NY Scum Haters" of "Gottingen" LP's from the same series ... but still a great album. I don't play it as much as I should - perhaps because it is edited? I don't know..but now Northampton based Cold Spring Records have put it out in a warts and all stylee and Thank E for that.
"It was a rainy day in Manchester". Probably was, I can't remember...I can remember a lot about this night, this unforgettable night. I travelled from Lincoln via Hulme to get to The Ritz. Sean (my Dark Companion) and I were first there. The demonstrators were just setting up, getting their chants and placards ready .. probably waiting for the coaches from London, but Sean and I just flashed our tickets to the lady on the door and walked in. Members of Psychic TV were sat across two tables drinking cans of Carling Black Label (white tins with a black stripe back then ... always reminded me of the Crystal Palace away strip, but I digress). A passing smile and nod and we headed straight to the bar.
Originally the first ever Psychic TV live gig should have been at Prestwich Mental Hospital with Nico as support, but local council complaints meant it was hastily moved to a nightclub just off the Oxford Road. With my warm pint of lager in a plastic pint pot in hand I spent the evening front centre. The stage makes a good table and the monitors a great place to throw the coat. No Nico at The Ritz. Looped footage of Jim Jones in action on a makeshift screen stage right. The place slowly filled, the coaches from London arrived. Members of Test Department came to check the on stage equipment. Anticipation. There was a strange climbing frame on the stage, Genesis used it during the performance.
"Don't Forget Ken, Make It Hurt". I have never forgotten those words. The sound quality on the CD's is crystal clear. The performance is magnificent. It hits a lull in the middle, and if I remember rightly this was down to failing equipment. Gen's bass guitar and Sleazy's Emulator...but the power of the performance of the material is still quite stunning. "Roman P" and "Oi You Skinhead" shine on CD1. During "Oi You Skinhead" Gen leapt from the stage and started accosting the audience. Frightening moment. Do you remember going to gigs and being scared, scared of the performance and the unknown? Great days.....There are Genesis's stream of conscience poetry bits that are a little cringeworthy. Moments where he tries to embarrass John Gosling for wearing a leather skirt and rambling on about straining "for a poo"....Alex Fergusson's sub Velvets guitar meanderings in the background...but these moments pass and the power builds. CD2 ends with a cracking "Unclean" into "In The Nursery".
A great release for us old T.O.P.Y. heads and fits in nicely with the recent Psychic TV four album release by Vinyl On Demand. Would have been nice to have this as a double LP (vinyl) but cheggars can't be boozers.
Once again there is no mention of Paula P-Orridge who on the night played vibes, percussion and flashed her breasts to those lucky enough to be stood front centre even though there is a small stamp sized picture of her in the accompanying booklet. Forget about the shite ramblings from a guy called Simon, just look at the pictures. Cover by Val Denham is poor too - reminds me of an old Splintered record for some reason. But do not let that put you this CD.

After The Ritz I must have seen Psychic TV a dozen or more times (not quite 23 though) and they always did great / powerful performances in Manchester. I would love to hear (crystal clear) recordings of the Guy Fawkes gig at The Hacienda in 1984 and when they appeared at The Royal Northern College Of Music a year later.

Thank You Dad

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Suomi Sounds #2

Have just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release from Finnish independents Record Deals. After their excellent Kanttoripoika / Re-Clip split from 2010 comes this three way split seven inch EP from Kanttoripoika, Nesa & The Nestikles and Iltasyntsa. The latter two being completely new names to me.
Nesa & The Nestikles provide "Salamanteri"  ("Salamander"), a quite little laid back number with sluggish cocktail lounge drums and a melancholy (lazy) casio tune and space invader type electro bleeps. A lovely intro to the EP and to the sound of Nesa & The Nestikles. Kanttoripoika bring us "Menestystarina" ("Success Story"). A deep Finnish newscaster's voice is spliced in with randon percussion that suddenly makes complete sense as the last beat is the final piece of the (audio) jigsaw and the piece moves into a sound that is somewhere between Aavikko and Renaldo & The Loaf. It is fantastic - oddball motorik electronica (OME). Iltasyntsa is a name new to me but they've already released material on Finnish labels cdrl and Tajours-Edit. Their track "Totti" is a style, a genre called Chip Tune. Bleep and Booster electronics. A spastic with a stylophone. A style that I have heard before and always reminds me of very early acid house - around the time 808 State started (1987/8) and were producing stuff like the "Newbuild" LP, back then the sound left me in disbelief. "Totti" has an annoyance and just doesn't "go anywhere" and ends on a lock-groove. It is a shame as after repeated plays of Nesa & the Nestikles and Kanttoripoika this EP was becoming the finest 45 of the year (only it plays at 33rpm).
A single that is worth having for side A alone. Limited to just 200 copies the single is available via Discogs or by contacting Plaa at Hyster Tapes.  

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Notes From The "Popside" #2

Back at Plainmoor, home of Torquay United FC to see them get thumped 4-1 by Southend United. My son Oscar was invited by the club's Community Football coaches to spend a day with Torquay United .. he plays football for his school. It was a great day out, especially for me the football mad dad. It may surprise some to know that I did use to play a bit back in the day (that day being the 1970's) and that I even made it to play at county level. But this was Oscar's day and he fully enjoyed the trip round the ground, the meeting the players and coaches, watching TV on the big screen in the VIP bar etc.
Last time we visited Plainmoor we stood in the freezing cold of a January afternoon, this time we were granted a seat (near the bar)! Joy. The match itself was entertaining for the neutral (me). Southend United were in the lead within ten minutes, an impressive goal by ex-Torquay United striker Gavin Tomlin. For Torquay it was downhill from thereon in, they were in all honesty bloody awful and quite appropriately playing "schoolboy" football. Kick n' rush. Southend United on the other hand were a well organised unit who seemed to have a game plan. It was easy to tell that they were managed by a top (and seasoned) coach in Paul Sturrock. Although (and indeed despite) losing heavily two of the best players on the pitch were Torquay United defenders; Brian Saah and John Osatler, but the Torquay United right back Kevin Nicholson had a 'mare of a match.
Oscar and I shall return again when the weather gets a little warmer ... it's great fun!

1: Oscar with Brian Saah and Damon Lathrope. (Pre match team talk)!
2: Torquay United warm-up.
3: The Mascot - it's a seagull...not a chicken.
4: Oscar has a half time read.     

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Dieter Muh Live In Berlin. Feb 15. 2013.

I have just discovered that the Dieter Muh / Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim live performance has its' own Facebook events page. Link:
Looking forward to the evening ...

Friday, 16 November 2012

MuhMur (SoundArt Broadcast 15/11/2012)

Tonight's Muhmur broadcast featured sounds and noise from the performers taking part in the Schimpfluch - Gruppe Carnival that is taking place at The Arnolfini in Bristol later this month .. see elsewhere on this blog for details. I did slip in a couple of folk who are not performing per se at the event, but they are artists whose work is heavily influenced by Schimpfluch Art. (and I think it is Jordi Vall's voice on the Psychic TV track). Murder The Disturbed slipped in as "Classic from the new-wave era" - I hope you enjoyed. Next programme is on the 29th and will feature a session from Filthy Turd (amongst other things). here is a playlist for tonight's programme;

1: The New Blockaders : "Manifesto (1982)" (Vinyl On Demand) 2006.
2 : Germseed : "Angelcode:Two" (Omcore Recordings).
3 : Con-Dom : "Calldown" (Noisopoly) 1996.
4 : Sudden Infant : "Giving Trash Ritual" (The 7.17 From West Wittering Is Late Again) 2011.
5: Dave Phillips : "They Live" LP (side b) (RRRecords) 2008.
6: Vagina Dentata Organ : "NK Projekt Performance, March 2012" (Tochnit Aleph) 2012.
7: Aaron Dilloway : "Final Play (For GX Jupitter-Larsen)" (Helicopter Records) 2012.
8: The Haters : "Clic-Clic #19" (Helicopter Records).
9: Henrik Rylander & Leif Elggren : "Gottesdienst #2" (Ideal Recordings) 2006.
10: Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock : "Those Necrophile Birds" (Vinyl On Demand) 2006.
11: Raionbashi : "Tar" (Hanson Records).
12: Germseed : "Black Bright" (Not On Label) 2012. 
13: Sudden Infant : "Untitled Piece From Sidewalk Social Scientist" LP (Tochnit Aleph)
14: GX Jupitter-Larsen : "Norge Om Polybolge" (Old Europa Cafe).
15: Philip Julian : "B 3" (Entr'Acte) 2011.
16: Murder The Disturbed : "Ultimate System" (Small Wonder Records) 1979.
17: Psychic TV : "Catalan" (Some Bizarre/CBS Records) 1983.

I hope you enjoyed the listen. Big thanks again to Dave the Engineer, always there to press a button and help when needed. We listened to his "Oima" programme on the way back from Dartington to sounded really good...worth a listen. Anyway, I will upload the programme onto Mixcloud as soon as possible and put the link underneath.
goodnight ...

         *** ***

1: SoundArt on the radio!
2: Being prepared.
3: I am a DJ!!  

Monday, 12 November 2012

Sound Holes #2

Just spent a pleasant while listening to a couple of new releases from Scottish independents Sound Holes.
A Snake In The Garden is the solo project of Einfgall member Matt Mayer, who is based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Sound Holes bring us a C23 cassette called "The Shepherds Are Lost, The Sheep Are Scattered". Side A is the sound of rusty wheels rolling back and forth - little toy car wheels whilst an oil drum is beaten methodically, recorded from the inside and catching rusty resonance. An interesting sound that unfortunately changes into all out noise, a harsh wall of grinding noise with beaten pots and pans and it sounds like a poor New Blockaders copy. The New Blockaders (when they get it right) sound as if they are on the edge of collapse. Rupenus is a master at editing noise. A Snake In The Garden is a slight step back from the edge and the sound becomes less urgent. It is a pity as the beginning of the track is interesting. Side B with its Whitehouse microphone to amplifier and junkyard noise is awful. Unlistenable. The tape is limited to 79 copies.
Journey Of Mind is a project from Tidal member Jimmy Billingham. A contrasting barrel of fish to the A Snake In The Garden. "Salt Rubber" is a C20 cassette. Two pieces of fascinating undulating / drifting gentle drone work. "Sea Soar" (ha) is a floating piece to calm to, very akin to the Andreas Brandal cassette "Shipwrecks" that Licht Und Stahl released last year. "Sun Spot" is simply a beautiful piece of music with clever voice manipulation .... this tape is unique and essential, and limited to 71 copies only. Both tapes can be bought from Sound Holes.

1: A Snake In the Garden.
2: Journey Of Mind.

Thossian Process

With the release of "Impurities" by Thossian Process, Striate Cortex finds itself in the top three of all time great labels from Lincolnshire. Company Records (Fort Barnes, Rookery Lane, Lincoln) will always hold number one spot for re-issuing "A.C.C." by Robert Rental - probably the greatest single ever released as well as putting out Thomas Leer's "Private Plane" and "Red Planet" by Com-Sat Angels. Half Wombat Records of Gainsborough are in there too. The label run by Horrible Nurds. I was once fortunate to see Horrible Nurds live. They "ambushed" the 1981 Lincoln "Arbo' Fest", claiming the Arboretum Bandstand as their own and creating a sound somewhere between Gong and The Not Sensibles. Great stuff, I played the festival too as drummer for proto-politico-power-pop trio Total Strangers. Other great Lincolnshire labels include Dead Good Records, Don't Dance...Collide Tapes and Cathedral Records. I can't include Deleted Records or Stark because they were (at the time) in South Humberside.
Anyway. I digress. For the past few days I have been listening to Thossian Process and their 28 minute CDr "Impurities". Seven short pieces (sketches) that have the essence of early tape works by Glenn Wallis & NKVD, of Nekrophile Records, of O Yuki Conjugate and in some sounds of Throbbing Gristle and The Anti Group. That is not to say that the sound here is dated. Au Contraire - the sound is "fresh", complex and exciting. The pieces sound as if they are edited down from longer (maybe improvisational) sessions. Perhaps what Thossian Process wanted to get across is contained within the short three - four minutes pieces? It would have been an idea to patch the pieces together to create one 28 minute pieces (with seven sections) ... but that's just me! Because it is on Striate Cortex this release is immaculately packaged. Fuck Off downloaders! The CDr lies encased in a blood red folded piece of card wrapped in black mesh. There is a small booklet with photographs of decay. Information is in black type on black and grey background so I have no idea of track titles or recording history ...
From a letter from head Straite Cortex honcho Andy Robinson I know that Thossian Process is the solo project of Tim Mitchell. Tim was formerly a member of  Crimson Rainbow Facility...of whom I know nowt about, but with a name like that I am not too surprised. "Impurities" was mastered by James Moore of Sapir Whorf so Tim maybe American. Just a guess.
"Impurities" is a compelling listen, a great release to have and one of the best releases of 2012. Within the sound I heard Tibetan bowls, resonating ampnoise, violins, trumpets, analog synthesizers, tape manipulation, tone generators and rudimentary rhythms. Hopefully there will be a follow up release soon.
"Impurities" is limited to 60 copies and is available direct for £6 UK/£6.50 Europe/£7.50 ROW from No Excuses!

1: "Impurities" Cover.
2: "Impurities" Card Insert.
3: Centrefold from booklet.
4: "Impurities" CDr.
5: Horrible Nurds "Consuming Passion" 7" on Half Wombat Records. 1980. I would stick up a picture of the Robert Rental 7" but my copy is on Regular Records!