Sunday, July 15, 2007


Exceedingly obscure and consummately damaged sounding U.K. DIY lunacy operating in a rarified strata of sonic mutation that takes a leaf from the spare but nerve rattling songform disfigurations of The Lemon Kittens and yokes it to a chassis that moves in a specific and elliptical post punk fashion that I previously thought was the sole reserve of Aussie underground outfits like Laughing Hands or The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast. Devastating!

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

Get it here  


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Can't find any info about this anywhere but it'd appear to be a solo album by a Swell Map (Richard Earl = Biggles Books)? Can you clarify? Thanks.

vdoandsound said...

Anonymous-thanks for the info! I like Swell Maps a lot but never followed them closely enough to know
Biggles' real name was Richard Earl. I've no idea if this Richard Earl is one and the same, but it seems likely given that this was published and distributed by Rough Trade, also home to Swell Maps at the time.

spacefreak said...

Yes, Richard Earl is indeed SWELL MAP's Biggles Books. An excellent avant-wave album issued by Pilot records and a big thanks to Eric for reminding me this one. I had forgotten how FRESH it sounds nowadays!

Anonymous said...

I always have time for another Swell Maps-related album!

Anonymous said...

Ta Spacefreak! Finally got Mass Mirror to work for this one - worth the hasssle as well, it's a very strange (& great) listen...

Anonymous said...

Have you managed to actually read the title tracks?
Got my own copy of the original LP, but it's impossible to read them.
It would be great if you can post them.

Anonymous said...

Got a copy of my own. Wicked stuff indeed.
I was wandering if you've managed to figure out the title tracks (I can't)?
If so, it would be great if you can post them.

Mirand'a said...

many coincidences. I just remet Jowe Head of the Swell maps (and others) in a gig in a small town in the Catskills in NY state. We used to be neighbours in London 1980-82.
I shared a house with two of the Swell maps - Epic and Richard, and as a young filmmaker, shared the Swell maps' TEAC 4-track for my sound work. Jowe was recording his first solo album 'Pincer Movement' and Richard was building bikes and recording - or building - his first solo album - the Egg Store Ilk
It took several months while he learnt the sax and handmade several percussion instruments. The film myself and girlfriend were working on was called 'A Sense of Waiting' and originally the last song on Richard's album was to be used as the title song (a Big sense of waiting) others related to our common film fetishes (Werner Herzog's 'Heart of Glass' inspired Hypnotism of a Film Cast)
the title was bounced off a weird shop on Stamford Hill called The Egg Store (we lived in Stoke Newington) and Richard's family name is NOT Earl, but I'll leavce him his privacy. Yes, he was Biggles and he HATED the nickname. He was a very decent bloke and now - apparently - constructs classic racecars for pleasure somewhere in the Cotswolds. I haven't seen him since 84??? and I have been looking for any sight of this album for decades, so thanks for that.
The cover was hand printed from woodciuts Richard did and one of the percussion implements was a series of beer tops strung together at the end of a broom handle. the whole was banged on the floor. I know this because Richard's floor was my bedroom ceiling! Though The Egg Store Ilk had nothing to do with me, I felt unreasonably proud of it. In a sense we were all part of a community without realising and everyone's ideas and enthusiasms filtered into everyone else's work. I still make videos which owe a lot to the d-i-y ethos and I'm pleased to see me old mates are still awarded some kind of kudos by younger generations.
Nice to see this blog so appreciative of Richard's winter work at a time I know he was finally getting back into playing after what he considered an unpleasant chore (live concerts left him sick to the stomach with nerves) and, ultimately, musically unrewarding.
best regards
Russell from Woodstock, NY

Unknown said...

at last
found out something on this great lp
its one of those every few years i have a clear out !
and i play this one then some
every time i think
"wow its too good" = keep it

i always feel its more `cracked [this heat] than a lemon kittens thing` done at home of course stylee

thank god for a blog maert

keep crintin`

A NoMan said...

This is a classic album! Scottish band The NoMen have done some cover versions which are good!