Monday, November 24, 2008


Jubilant and infectious brilliance from what is essentially Family Fodder in disguise on this brief 12" EP. Aside from a couple of minute-long nugs of quirk (including a delightfully tinkertoy take on Telstar) the bulk of this is comprised of two feature tracks
and man oh man are they ever knockouts, "The Story So Far" an immaculate slice of post punk art pop glory in the Homosexuals mode, "Tedium" a proactively R.I.O.-ish bit of Slapp Happy meets Henry Cow by way of Kew Rhone arch art song wit.

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Where exactly has this been your whole life? How one of the cornerstone post punk documents of the entire era (every bit the West Coast equivalent of No New York) could have remained out of print for so long is certainly a mystery, and it's absence from the sharity blogosphere is every bit as baffling. Happily, we can now remedy this historical oversight and reintroduce the world to this masterpiece, housed in a suitably eye-popping sleeve by the legendary Gary Panter. From Chrome to The Residents and from MX-80 Sound to Tuxedomoon, none of the parties involved in this epochal Ralph Records compendium should require much in the way of introductions here. Suffice it to say that each contributes exclusive material and that in most cases (excluding perhaps The Residents) said exclusive material remains among the finest extant in each of these maverick unit's respective discographies. Let that sink in.

Track listing:

Chrome-In San Francisco
Chrome-Meet You In The Subway
MX-80 Sound-Lady In Pain
MX-80 Sound-In San Francisco
MX-80 Sound-Possessed
The Residents-In San Francisco
The Residents-Dumbo, The Clown (Who Loved Christmas)
The Residents-Is He Really Bringing Roses (The Replacement)
The Residents-Time's Up
Tuxedomoon-In San Francisco
Tuxedomoon-Everything You Want
Tuxedomoon-Waterfront Seat

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Of all the sundry and formidable groups and projects that have come in the wake of landmark French R.I.O. maestros Etron Fou Leloublan's dissolution back in the late 80's, organist Jo Thirion's wickedly sharp unit Art Moulu might just be the peak of the pack. By turns boisterous, mincing, capering and hectoring, Art Moulu wring a whole universe of gallic garrulousness and mischievous mirth from a decidedly spare instrumental palette (organ, sax, drums, vocals) and in the process, come up with both the closest analog to the spirit of Etron Fou and some of the most maddeningly catchy and endearing R.I.O. tunes that France ever produced.

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The last of my three posts of Festival MIMI documents (anyone out there wanna pony up the 89 LP or the 88 Festival open stage improv cassette?) and perhaps a shade more patchy than the prior two installments, the delightful bits here elbowing for space alongside un-apropos afropop from Les Tetes Brulees, Des Antipodes' wandering improv and the nimble but slight bass and sax machinations of ex-Etron Fou-ers Ferdinand Richard and Bruno Meillier in Bruniferd (a project whose appeal I never quite "got"), but delights are clearly to be had nevertheless and for me, those specifically come in the form of Jonio, trilling and twittering avant chanteuse Catherine Jauniaux's project alongside one-time Univers Zero keyboardist Jean-Luc Plouvier, Macromassa's grunty mutant funk and entirely characteristic and choice contributions from Blurt and Iva Bittova & Pavel Fajt.

Track listing:

Bruniferd-L'Anglais Power Decouvre Les Capillaires
La Marmite Infernale-Eifu
Jonio-Le Nouvel An Birman
Les Tetes Brulees-Nadege
Des Antipodes-3 Lieder
Iva Bittova/Pavel Fajt-Svatba
Blurt-Down In The Argentines

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Rough hewn and charmingly askew vignettes from some obscure French cats who are in some fashion connected with the delicately warped whimsy merchants in Klimperei, and with an aesthetic stance that lands them somewhere between the lurching art brut emissions of their contemporaries from the DDAA/Illusion Productions camp and the jerry rigged toy instrument caprices of Pascal Comelade or Pierre Bastien.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Roland Bocquet-Robot Rose - Claviers Synthétiseur,LP,1982,France

After the group CATHARSIS broke up, its former keyboardist threw himself into the adventure of solo production, managing to avoid the restrictions and pitfalls of the "solo keyboards album" -which is often a pretext for an insipid display of the keyboardist's talent- by inviting excellent musicians to accompany him and by giving free expression to his fabulous talent as an original composer and gifted arranger. This album combines great electronic/experimental /space elements and sometimes touching the pseudo disco sound.An album which is an invitation to travel and to dream.

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Modern Art- Oriental Towers,1983+Underwater Kites,1982,tapes UK

Following my post ages ago of their Age of lights tape here are the first 2 Modern Art tapes. "Modern Art (sometimes spelled Mødern Art) was a psychedelic rock band formed by Gary Ramon in the 1980s. It had a loose lineup that never played gigs but did see the release of two studio albums and a number of self-produced cassettes. Ramon disbanded the group out of a desire "to make a more live-sounding group that could go out and play". Many Modern Art members subsequently joined Ramon in various incarnations of his new band, Sun Dial."
from Wikipedia
These 2 here are more post punkish influenced reminding early Echo and the Bunnymen,Joy Division ,etc. Guitar,drum machine and keyboards creating a calm yet dark atmosphere ,sometimes psychedelic and no way mellow.Trully great lost gems!
get them here and here

VA-Off Records No.1,LP,Germany,1985

Excellent German compilation from 1985 , featuring the likes of Dunkelziffer,Phantom Band ,Unknown Casea ,Project X and others presented here on the back cover foto. Post -RIO musics here reminding much Recommented records art improvisational scene, along with some post punkish elements and jazzy and dub touches.Quite rare to find this days ,this is a perfect example of the German 80s impro /avant rock scene.
get it here

George Garside - New Land,1986+Mind over Matter,1987,tapes,UK

Following my previous post of George Garside 's first tape , Oasis, here are presented his 2nd and 3rd respectively.More floating space electronics here in the Berlin school tradition but with a more homemade approaching. If you liked his first one you would love these!
get them here and here

Red Shark-Le Fin,tape ,1986,UK

Totally unknown mid 80s band here. Blending DIY experimentalism, with floating psych atmospheres and eastern influences , this gem here has wrongly remained buried in awareness for more than 20 years. I think it's time to people get to know it. It reminds many things and yet nothing. Isn't this a sign of geniousness?No more infos available though ,ecept those mentioned on the cover. In part reminds me early TV Personalities, early Jesus and Mary Chain and even some Fall elements. All those blended with ultra stoned eastern elements and Velvet Underground influences and bluesy touches give an awesome result. It's so bad they seem not to have released anything else and even worst that no one has digged this out through all these years.

get it here

Tamia-Tamia,1978+ Blues For Pedro Arcanjo (with Perre Favre),1983,LPs,France

The first Tamia LP appeared long ago in Thunderperfectmind's blog( who seems to be inactive for a long while,pity!),but i thought it is a good idea to post it here. It was presented there as Senza Tempo ;but it was wrong,this is her forst self titled LP. The other one presented here is her 1983 collaboration with Pierre Favre. Vocal experimentation all through in the Meredith Monk way,but ,imho, much more esoteric and darker.I love both those 2 would be nice though to hear Senza Tempo too.
for those not yet grabbed those , get the s/t Tamia LP here 
New link for Blues For Pedro Arcanjo coming soon

The Fates-Furia,LP,1985,UK

This absolut gem was posted a while back in Bimble's Windy Weather blog,but now it seems link is dead.After asking him he gave me the permission to repost it here.This is a record ,almost unknown to many people, is the result of Una Baines (of Blue Orchids/Fall fame) collaboration with 2 other women. Musically it is dark ,sometimes ritualistic , folk with much electronic sounds though and much improvisational parts. In my opinion this is a masterpiece. Most songs remind me a more acoustic sounding Blue Orchids ( reminding much their songs Sun Connection and Bad Education to me). Rumours want it this album to blend the growing ,these days, early wicca philosophy. Anyway, the result is like runing through Britain's green mountains with druids and elves accompanying oneself. I love this record!

get it here


Following my post ages ago of GAM 1st LP ,here's their 2nd one reissued some years back by Freeman brothers(ULTIMA THULE).The GAM trio (Günter Schickert, Axel Struck, and Michael Leske) once again leads us to endless space excurtions,reminding much Ash Ra Tempels space trips.
Note: link removed at the request of the label.

Rimarimba-Gone To Hell In A Bucket,tape,1985,UK

Rimarimba is the musical vehicle of Robert Cox.As one of the masterminds of avantgardish homemade electronics ,Mr. Cox presents here 6 compositions varying from Residents like electronic cartoonish to ZNR/Débile Menthol weird minimal compositions and Berlin school space excurtions. Check out also the post of his first LP here. Wish someone could offer his recordings as Robert Cox on Unlikely tapes (along with other releases from the label of course).

get this gem here

Funeral Dance Party-Quirtyiop ,tape ,1980,UK

Although already posted in Mr. Knife in The Toaster blog a while back, i couldn't resist reposting this gem in Mutant Sounds. Besides as you all may have noticed ,this was one of my top wants. FDP were an Alien Brains/New Blockaders related band ,brainchild of the genious Richard Rupenus and Phil Sanderson .Music(?!) is NWW-ish Dada experiments .Later they became Bladder Flask. Wish someone has the other 2 FDP tapes and the Phil Sanderson "Dark Cuttings"from 1978. Thanks again Mr. Knife in The Toaster!

get this gem here

Cord Of Life - Imaginary Journeys To Sunset,tape ,1985,UK

Following my previous post of Cord of Life's 2nd tape , Winterland, here's their first tape,Journeys to Sunset.More homemade minimal space electronics here, much related with the ICR scene. The sound here is more amatourish, just the way i love it!

get it here

\Human Condition - Live at the Collegiate,1981+Live in Europe,1981,tapes,UK

Here is presented the first post-PIL ,John Wardle, aka Jah Wobble.With Animal and original PIL drummer, Jim Walker,he toured under the moniker Human Condition in the US and Europe.Those live session were released privately on tapes ,actually the only releases by Human Condition. Instrumental weird darkish experimental funk, reminding the most mainstream moments of Pop Group and Mark Stewart and the Mafia and even the funkiest moments of Can(not surprising that Jah later collaborated much times with ex Can members). Excellent improvised compositions with excellent basslines and guitarwork, by the virtuosos of the genre.
get them here and here

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A lost curio from the waning days of the post-punk era, the A side a listing and pitching punchdrunk instrumental that garlands swooping streaks of tape reversed backwash and subtle harmonic shimmer over a devolving rhythmic tumble, the B side a wholly unalike bit of spare and untutored D.I.Y. songsmithery of the Johan Kugelberg-approved sort.

As a nice tie-in with another of today's posts via their presence on the Festival MIMI 87 compilation, here's more of Fish & Roses amiably askew Downtown NY art rock lurch; this the last of their output under the mantle of Fish & Roses, before Rick Brown and Sue Garner regrouped alongside Alan Licht in Run On.

Effectively the pop face (albeit artfully skewed) of one of Britain's true unsung musical heritages, the trifecta of David Cunningham, Steve Beresford and David Toop constituted a formidable braintrust of art pop savvy improvisors and jocular genre fuckers that in various assemblages formed the core of ensembles like Alterations (covered in this month's Wire Magazine), General Strike and the below featured 49 Americans, who just happened to tidily fit into this particular alphabetical post. Many will recall the Flying Lizards simply for their 15 minutes of pop glory in the annals of early 80's synth pop one-hit wonders via their cover of The Beatles' "Money", but this particular well runs infinitely deeper into the recesses of weirdity than anyone might surmise from that. Four killers cuts here (the A-sides taken from their second album Fourth Wall, the B-sides exclusive to these singles) that run the gamut from "Lovers & Other Strangers"' Raincoats cum Family Fodder-like rubberized art punk playfulness to the blearily seductive synth pop of "Wind" and from "Move On Up", which mines a vein of skewed disco pop like Belgian proggers Cos were attempting at the end of their career to the unexpectedly stark and Cab Voltaire-ish "Portugal".

In tribute to the memory of Jim Jones (no...not THAT one...), a Cleveland underground all-star who had memberships over the years in Pere Ubu, David Thomas & The Wooden Birds and The Mirrors and who unexpectedly died of a heart attack earlier this year (check out his contributions to David Thomas & The Wooden Birds-Blame The Messenger to see how impressive this guy was), here's one of his earlier recorded achievements. The Incredible Truth sounds like some post punk fever dream of a Roxy Music jam while The Long Walk Home is a brilliantly unnerving instrumental, tapping a realm of suffocating post punk instrumental abstraction that carries a strong whiff of The Swell Maps' A Trip To Marineville at it's furthest out on a limb.

The insular and lo-fi mirror inverse of The Flying Lizards studio-fied confections, within the bounds of 49 American's tinker toy universe Beresford and Toop (distinctly absent Cunningham here) conspired with assorted post-punk provocateurs and untrained hangers on from workshops they used to stage to form these fey and fractured little art pop nuggets of jerry-rigged joy that seem yoked together with dental floss and have all the more what-the-fuck? appeal for the gesture.

FOllowing Jim's post of their Some Other Guy 7" in one of his own D.I.Y. 7" posts, here's another round of sing-songy and affably shuffling rhythm machine pre-set D.I.Y. synth pop doink; the A side applying the treatment to Ike & Tina Turner's Nutbush City Limits, the flip settling into a spare and dejected sounding guitar and rhythm box instrumental lope.

The sole release under this moniker from dearly departed Vas Deferens Organization/Yeti/Ohm keyboard guru Doug Ferguson, Frankie Teardrop! was the alter ego he used for his solo keyboard outings, this one produced by Matt Castille from VDO (I sat this session out for some reason) during some downtime from the recording of VDO's "Zyzzybaloubah", if memory serves. Two for the ages from the maestro here, Electro-Acoustic Rollercoaster Ride liquidly surging through Phaedra-like progressions, 666-era Vangelis flourishes and passages of the hectic gothic grandiosity he'd take to such hair raising ends in Yeti and Aphrodite's Lullaby riding the pulse of the universe somewhere between the tranquilly fluttering core of Harmonia's Deluxe and the pastoral electronics of Sowiesoso-era Cluster.

Another tersely mutant funky Neue Deutsche Welle treasure from the ZickZack stable, Front's choppy and stark but groovulating attack often landing them somewhere between fellow NDW operatives Kosmonautentraum and The Contortions circa Buy.

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