Monday, January 26, 2009


A seminal artifact of the L.A. Free Music Society's salad days and one that, unlike most extant L.A.F.M.S. compilations, spends most of it's time highlighting the less well recognized quirk pop perfection dimension of the L.A.F.M.S.' collective praxis; to wit, it's a compendium essential enough for me to be willing to bear the karmic burden of sharing a recording containing work by a certain Boyd Rice. All that aside though, what self respecting freaky fringe music acolyte could be without this watershed document? From The Rick Potts Band's suavely ludicrous bontempi pop to BPeople's angular art fracture and from 45 Grave's delightfully dejected sounding novelty song kitsch to Human Hands' ferocious post punk juggernaut (one of their finest moments ever), it's a testament to the sundry modes of ass-backward brilliance collectively deployed by this genre disrupting (and genre defining) art geek mafia.

P.S.-I think I must have initially done a google search for this to see if it had been posted elsewhere and spelled Skratcher with a c instead of a k as I just now noticed that it's been upped elsewhere. If ever there was an album that deserved to be displayed in the Mutant Sounds vitrine though, this is it, the hell...

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CASSIX-LIVE-19.10.83 + WORKSHOP 18.10.83, UNRELEASED, 1983, VAR.

Fascinating and, 'til now largely unavailable (save for a small portion of this material showing up on one side of a Re Records Quarterly), this R.I.O. supergroup comprised the entirety of Cassiber (ex-Henry Cow/Art Bears drummer Chris Cutler, ex-Toto Lotto NDW vocalist Christoph Anders plus German improv eccentrics Heiner Goebbels and Alfred Harth) alongside three members of Italian folk-prog-into-R.I.O. movers Stormy Six and proposed a sound with a distinct akin to the work Cutler would latterly get up to about 10 years on alongside fellow Italian R.I.O-er's La 1919. Iterating the particulars of this project and it's subsequent realization is however a task that I will leave in Cutler's able hands. Quote:

"I was in Henry Cow when we met Stormy Six and joined their co-operative 'L'Orchestra' in 1975. They became one of the 5 original RIO members in 1978. Soon after, Stormy Six were playing at the Festival of Political Songs in East Berlin where they met the Goebbels/Harth duo (who were presenting their Eisler programme there at the Academy of Art). In 1982, Cassiber was formed (comprising Heiner Geobbels, Alfred Harth, Christoph Anders and myself). And two years later, Franco Fabbri invited three of us (Heiner, Alfred and myself) to join three of Stormy Six (Umberto Fiori, Pino Martini and himself) to present a public workshop and recording project as part of Hans Werner Henze's 1984 Montepulciano Cantiere Internazionale D'Arte (the following year, as a direct result of this project, I was invited back to co-ordinate a young musicians project there). The idea was that the six musicians would divide into all possible pairs (15) and each duo would prepare or improvise a 3 or 4 minute piece which would then be recorded to 8 track tape. These recordings were subsequently to be treated as raw material for the whole ensemble to work on, using overdubs, editing, composing and processing, the goal being to produce from each beginning a fully fashioned recorded composition. On the last day, we had to perform these compositions, and others, in the town square. The workshop took place in the open courtyard of an old Castello where we worked for a week on the fifteen pieces. The process and the final pieces were all recorded for subsequent broadcast by RAI 3, Italian Radio. 7 of the pieces later appeared on the Re Records Quarterly Vol No.3. and 5 were reissued on the ReR Quarterly Collection, Volume 1 CD collection (ReR QCD1). "

Many thanks to an anonymous blog friend for contributing these...

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This very obscure French acid-folk-into-prog curio frames Victor Hugo's text The Last Day of a Condemned Man with plangent and finespun latticeworks of acid folky filigree over which roil fervent beseechings (frequently delay-dappled) with distinct overtones of Christian Decamps' poignant histrionics in Ange. The peculiar tension and release patterns and periodic right-angle eruptions of rock and/or improv strategies makes their equally obscure countrymen in Sonorhc just about the only viable reference point I can manage to muster here; the aforesaid eruptions capping with the unhinged "La Mort", whose wisps of organ drift and tendrils of shrill electronics fall away to reveal a delirious mesh of ethno rhythmic tumble, Alpes-like percussive string percolation, low-lying Fripp-ian sustained guitar sear and mouthy melodrama.

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Continuing on from my posts of this Swedish R.I.O. stalwart's extraordinary first two missives, here's his thoroughly relentless fourth studio outing (following a collaboration with Sten Sandell that I'm missing), one on which the blistering and claustrophobic dimensions of Steensland's muse are ratcheted up, but so too are the occasionally alienating ones, the airless density and murkier mix here sometimes subsuming the proceedings or clotting them into indigestibility. It's still fascinating, furious and cantankerous work and continues to extend the legacy of R.I.O.'s more forbidding dimensions (Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, Present, Shub Niggurath even if it's monomaniacal zeal for malevolent pummel makes you want to cry uncle from time to time.

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On the heels of my post of their Pallcast CDR, here's an excellent live outing from this exploratory Ukrainian unit, issued in minute editions for sale on their European tour alongside Jackie-O Motherfucker and rare enough that even the artists themselves (whom we can thank for generously providing this material here) are no longer in possession of a copy that includes the cover art (anyone out there have it/want to offer it up?). The overarching air of desolation cut by swaths of abstracted string motion periodically give the proceedings something of a Hwyl Nofio quality, but the hectic way that these cat's tunnel and suck you through these dimensions and the cascades of wet electroacoustic splatter they garland it with (escalating as the album progresses), ultimately point this more toward the Kluster-like and coldly kosmiche rather than the merely ominous and purgatorial.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Suki Suki Switch-You May Forget It,1983/1990,5 flexidisk set/CD,Japan

Great Japanese post punkish no wave band from the early 80s.Suki Suki Switch is a great techno punk band in Tokyo. Their only work is 5 flex-discs set album (later it became a CD). Its cover art used Yu-ichi Jibiki. Soichiro Suzuki, a drummer in the latter period was formerly in World Standard which is recently famous about mondo music from Non-Standard label, and Everything Play.Music is primitive DIY synth punk, reminding the great UK acts of Deleted/Fuck Off records(Door and the Window, Instant Automatons,etc) and with hints of Young Marble Giantesque calmness in some parts. A great Jap act in the tradition of Aunt Sally, Normal Brain and the whole early 80s Jap DIY scene.

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Freaks Amour - Regressive Music For Mind And Body ,LP,1989,USA

To be honest i came across this gem just 2 months ago and really got amazed. A record released in 1989 privately on Nart label, defines the cross sound between Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle and Velvet Underground! Amazing improvised psych music of guitar,found objects and some electronics. An incredible use of sound, mind numbing weirdness, but not in your face, kinda like Third Ear Band freaks out!!!!!They came from Connecticut ,same city as Cro Magnon ,so, they are to young to have interconnections but surely been ifluenced !Sounding a bit like early Smegma -LAFMS scene acts .....A primitive approach to music sounding better when improvised,this is what we call NART:NotART!
Don't miss it!Hope more of their recordings appear here soon. Stuart Werner , was contacted and promised some stuff. Visit their website.
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Yapoos -Keikaku,LP,1987,Japan

Here's another excellent Japanese weird record. Yapoos was a project of Jun Togawa.At first glance, it's pleasant but unchallenging, Art Of Noise sounding synthpop with Togawa's powerful, acrobatic vocals on top. Bouncy if occasionally dark, not too far removed from many of the band's equally synth crazed Western peers.This is one of those albums that gets more impressive the deeper you go, revealing textures and atmospheres that are virtually impossible to catch in a casual, put-it-on-while-doing-housework listen. While it's obvious non-Japanese speakers can't get the full impact, the music accentuates and carries the narrative arc with enough drama that a vague idea is more than enough. Well worth seeking out.( parts of this review taken from Jrawk website, read the whole review here).

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Eardance - Seek Opposites ,LP,1982,USA

Amazing psych/prog from 1982 with many jazzy edges. Released in ultra limited edition (i think only as promo) through Torso label. Music is very Zappa-influenced while guitar parts reminding those stunning Fripp-tronics. A wonderfull record that it's a big pity that it remains unknown and underrated till now.
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Logic System-Logic+Venus,LPs,1981,Japan

Logic System is a musical project of Hideki Matsutake. Hideki started as an assistant for Isao Tomita in the 70's and is well-known as the sequencer programmer and modular synthesizer operator for the Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), but he wasn't a member of YMO. He worked on several of their albums and toured with his huge collection of synths. He also did sequencing work for numerous technopop albums for other artists, particularily in the early 80's. In 1996 he performed in a big concert event organized by Isao Tomita and was also guest on Towa Tei albums.
From Discogs
Great first 2 LPs by this influential and much important Japanese band. Amazing computer generated synth sounds creating excellent synth popish songs. Logic was posted ages ago elsewhere but link is dead ,so here it is.
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Machinic Indices- Untitled Kompositions,tape,1983,USA

Here's a rare and almost unknown tape of these early 80s experimentalists. Electronic experiments wit streched out vocals,noises and plinky plonky sounds, much reminding early Psyclones ,Schlafengarten,etc.

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Lefdup & Lefdup -(S)Abordable,tape,1986,France

Here's one of the very first efforts of Lefdup bros ,better known fr their soundtrack works. Here we got pure minimal synth weirdness mixed with experimental parts reminding much in parts a Ptose with DDAA mix. Residents should be very proud for their students!Visit their website here.
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Korpus Kristi - 1000 Augen ,LP,1981,Germany

Great and very rare NDW record here.Pseudo agressive vocals, claustrophobic atmospheres, angst, and much post punk weirdness. Reminds in parts Belfegore's "A dog is born" LP.No much info about the band though.This was produced by Tom Dokupil(Wirtschaftswunde, Siluetes 61, Radierer,Die Partei) on the same label (1000 Augen) as Siluetes 61 first 7" . They have also released a 7" on Zick Zack label.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009


Described by Mason Jones of Charnel Music/Subarachnoid Space (who released it) as sounding like a "tribal carnival lounge party", "Sweat Your Cheeses, But Not In My Salad" continues my program of shares of albums from VDO's back catalog, this being one of our more truly fucked and sui generis offerings (along with our most notorious, containing as it does our "reply" to the Nurse With Wound list within the CD's booklet, which WFMU have kindly reprinted Here ), an anomaly in our discography for the novelty of it's central conceit, with all the tracks being built atop/around the tribal poundings of a four-man drum corps; a quartet who occupied the rhythm section of a band that Matt and I were contemporaneously producing at the time, one Primitivecho. Condensing the sorry saga of that aborted project down to a bite sized morsel, we essentially blew a year of our lives helping this local nu-metal by way of Crash Worship outfit completely recontextualize their sound into a face melting avant prog monster in the spirit of stuff like Present (and which would have easily given Yeti a run for their money, had it come out as planned), only to have them take the masters to another studio after it was completed and entirely shitcan our parts, pump up all the guitars and generally demolish the entire album. On the periphery of Primitivecho during that year was one Brian Artwick (on his own, a fabricator of Vidma Obmana cum Robert Rich-like subdued ambient wash), who, by dint of his spiffy new Groove Box toy (employed extensively on the album, albeit in dissected form) and the array of mind altering substances he came equipped with, wound up being the de facto third member of VDO for this one album. All that backstory aside though, the album that resulted from this mid-session VDO offshoot project is the silk purse hewn from this sow’s ear and one which, with eleven years hindsight now sounds to me a bit like dragging Tipsy through a Lard Free time tunnel en route to a Crash Worship gig.

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Drop dead staggering and completely unacknowledged genius from one of the principal madmen behind Severed Heads' early era, who's latter-day doings have mysteriously been off the radar of most everyone except the obsessively dedicated. Garry Bradbury's tenure in Severed Heads lasted from 1981-1985 and the exquisitely fucked and surrealistically penetrating sensibility he lent to the classic era of this epochal unit's work is writ large across every moment of this monster, his second solo outing (his first and other related work soon to be shared). Indeed, it's only Bradbury nowadays who's seen fit to continue elaborating on the (rottingly) fruitful exploits and tactics explored during Severed Heads' salad days; the signature mindwarping techniques of their artillery (cyclically decaying choral vocal loops, dissected punch press rhythms, precision tooled applications of sound byte irony etc) here being reluctantly sucked through the maw of some very severe and nerve rattling DSP computer malarky to ends both rapturous and teeth grinding.

Corpuscle Plus was a simultaneously released grab bag of alternate versions, remixes and otherwise unavailable work from the same sessions that was briefly on offer from both (the version on hand here) and from the artist himself and delightfully extends Bradbury's aesthetic remit into more zonated and washed out dimensions of electronic weirdity in a way not dissimilar to Die Trip Computer Die off their more abstract tip.


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Roughshod dadaist emissions (housed in an equally scrappy cover) from this long forgotten mob of Neue Deutsche Welle genial dilettantes that suspends the listener in a protracted backwash of tape fucked gargling and gooning, befuddling extended passages of low level radio interference, snatches of vivisected song structure, pots 'n' pans percussion workouts and cockamamie vocal loops constructs, all yoked together with that intangible x-factor that separates untutored brilliance from rank amateurism. Note: I did the best I could with my transcription of the song titles, but the scribbled German text didn't make it easy, so I'm sure there are errors to be found...

***************NEW LINK POSTED OCTOBER 2012***************

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