This article, one of several pieces written by Dave Henderson, originally appeared in the UK rock newspaper Sounds, dated May 7th 1983. I'd strongly recommend not writing to any of the very out-of-date addresses contained in it! It's a snapshot of what "industrial music" appeared to be in the UK at one particular point in time, when the earliest industrial pioneers had had their day, but widespread enthusiasm for an independent, networked music scene was still very much present.
The bands that Henderson lists provide useful pointers both to those who had inspired the industrial scene, and to its future developments (e.g. extreme noise, electronic body music etc). It's also one of several breeding grounds that mushroomed into the underground cassette networks of the middle and late eighties. Many of these bands are forgotten now, some admittedly with justification. Others, however, are neglected gems.
All I've done is to write the introduction. For his efforts in scanning, converting and proofreading, the text, I'd like to offer a huge acknowledgement to Peter Werner. Thanks! - Brian Duguid, July 1996
Dave Henderson, bored with the clap-trap rat pack, takes a journey around the world and unearths all manner of difficult music.
WITH THE release of Third Mind's 'Rising From The Red Sand' cassette - the label's Chris Brownett and Gary Levermore pictured left - a whole spectrum of music from around the world was brought together in a 2xC60 package. The wealth of sound and variation of content so impressed me that I began to contact the groups involved to see what else they had been doing. Underground, free-from, experimental, avant-garde, industrial, call it what you will, but there's a blossoming sub-structure of groups around the world who are attempting to produce music that is ultimately different. They are not tied together as any kind of neat package but merely as a network of friends who are in sporadic contact with each other. In compiling this preliminary listing I have heard things that I have never heard before and met some of the innovators of the art. Even in its mammoth proportions there are others who I couldn't contact or who were on the perimeters, but once you've entered the network it's possible to delve much deeper into the unknown.
ABWARTS: (Germany) Led by Einsturzende Neubauten's FM 'Mufti' Einheit Abwarts are the accessible face of the 'Untergang' of Berlin. Their first Zick-Zack LP 'Amok/Koma' was anarchic but their second 'Der Westen Ist Einsam' - currently available on Mercury Records - although carrying on that flavour is a lot more commercially based.
AFTER DINNER: (Japan) Formed in 1981, After Dinner are fronted by 19 year old Haco. Her traditionally orientated vocals and the group's use of Japanese instruments is transformed into a challenging sound collage by the use of varispeed and free improvisation. Contact: (see Eastern Works)
JOHNNY ALIEN: (Transatlantic) Featured on the Sterile records compilation cassette Standard Response' and rumoured to be putting together an LP for the label. Currently working in Sheffield in an American bar he has travelled back and forth from the USA and lives out the western philosophy in more ways than one.
AMM: (UK) Forerunners of experimental mayhem. Several albums have been released from their most productive period in the mid-60's but they all may be difficult to locate now. One track, which was recorded at the Commonwealth Institute in 1967 and taken from over 15 hours of tape, is featured on the United Dairies compilation 'An Afflicted Man's Musica Box' (see United Dairies).
AMOK: (Italy) Dealing with noise for effect they manage to transcend a lot of the easy options and come up with a unique sound. From Italy and featured on the Trax 'Area Condizionata 1' cassette, Amok also have nine hours of material available in the 'Conceptual Music on Tape' series and tracks on various other Trax compilations. Contact: Enrico, Via Petrarca 15, 25086 Rezzato, Italy.
ANIMA: West German duo who released five albums and contributed to a couple of compilations during their most productive period between 1969 and 1977. A sample of their work, which demands further Investigation without doubt, is available on the United Dairies compilation 'An Afflicted Man's Musica Box'.
ANODE: (USA) 'Experimentalism from the Northwest resulting in multi- textured sonic seasonings that fuse the primal with the etheral' reads the handout that accompanies the Eurock LP 'The American Music Compilation' and once you've got past all that, I suppose it's quite true.
'AREA CONDIZIONATA': A Trax cassette magazine which appears whenever possible (see Trax for contact). Issue one features a selection of Italian industrial artistes with each contribution tastefully separated by the sound of an electric drill. A good starting point for Italian experimentalists, their hypothesis being to 'explore different topics relevant for our time and culture.'
ART OF NOISES, THE: A manifesto from the futurist movement written by Luigi Russolo in 1913. Russolo wrote about the six families of noise which the Futurist Orchestra would soon set mechanically in motion. These families ranged from 'Booms' to 'Sobs' and as a closing paragraph he wrote: '...We therefore invite young musicians of talent to conduct a sustained observation of all noise. This will afford not only an understanding, but also a taste and passion for noises...'
ATTRITION: (UK) Trio from Coventry who have an array of material available all over the world in cassette form. Most recently they've been featured on the Third Mind compilation 'Rising From The Red Sand' and a C90 compilation from Cause For Concern. In their own right they have a C45 containing music to accompany the board game 'Death House' available from themselves and a C25 cassette EP coming soon from Third Mind. Formed in 1980 and going through numerous personnel changes they are now Martin voice and percussion, Ashley keyboards and Chryss voice and bass. Concentrating on setting up their own studio and building up the hardware therein, they have recorded numerous tracks in the development stages of their sound. "We have always striven to create a music that combines both energy and ideas and we know we are getting nearer and nearer to this." Indeed they are. The two facets of the group are displayed admirably on their 'Death House' cassette and their most recent recordings. While 'Death House' is eerie and long the newer material is quite short and, especially on tracks like 'Cut it Fine', has a commercial edge while still remaining challenging. Attrition are close to that bridging paradox where the avant-garde becomes accessible. If they finally find that hallowed ground it will have been well worth the wait. Future projects see them contributing to a flex package for the Ministry of Culture in New York - which will be available through the group - a joint single with Switzerland's Shaman Circle and a track on the forthcoming Glass Records double compilation. Information and cassette catalogue available from Attrition, 143, Moat Avenue, Coventry, CV3 6BW.
BAIN TOTAL: Distribution and label for France. Dealing with Camera Obscura, Die Form, DZ Lectric, Etant Donnes, IMM, Krylon Hertz, Ptose Production, Stigma Diaboli, DF and others. Contact: 8, rue due 4 Septembre, 01000, Bourg en Bresse, France.
BENE GESSERIT: (Belgium) The project most concentrated on by Alain Neffe - known as B. Ghola in this case - and Nadine Bal - known as Benedict G - with one single - the essential 'Kidnapping' - 3 tracks on the DIA LP 'Four In One', a cassette 'Postcard From Arrakis' on Ding Dong Discs and many appearances on compilation tapes.
JACQUE BERROCAL: (France) Featured on the United Dairies compilation 'An Afflicted Man's Musica Box', Berrocal has also released three albums in his own right. The second, 'Paralelles', featured a long track entitled 'Bric A Brac' which has become a term for his music.
IAN BODDY: A biochemist of some kind from the Newcastle area, Boddy is a self-taught keyboard player whose music is usually half improvised and half scored. The vague titles of his pieces reflect his music, which, by design suggest distinct images in their use of overlayed keyboards, echo and delay. Influences range from Bach through Eno to Klaus Schulze and examples of work can be heard on three cassette albums which he has produced for Mirage (see Mirage).
RICHARD BONE: American experimentalist who features on the Eurock compilation of American music. Following this more avant-garde performance his subsequent releases - through Survival Records in this country - have shown a more commercial side of his performances. His new LP features an array of electronic pop music and is called Brave Tales.
ALEXANDER VON BORSIG: "Since I'm 13 I'm interested in manipulation." Former member of P1 E, Blasse, Sentimentale Jugend, Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh and Sprung Aus Den Wolken, Borsig was one of the early members of Einsturzende Neubauten. He left the group because he didn't feel there was enough room for his ideas but eventually returned to handle their sound. Now as a member of Borsig-werk he is joined by Abwarts/Neubauten's FM Einheit for live appearances and has a solo 12" out on Maxi through Rip-Off (see RO). Acclaimed as a genius, he also has numerous releases available with former outfits and plans to release new material this year.
BOURBONESE QUALK: Started in Southport in 1979. First performance in l980 with the odd non-musical appearance before (mainly vandalism). After several line up changes the group toured France last year and will be touring Europe this year. Although several records labels have shown interest they have remained independent and are the nucleus of the Recloose Organisation. An LP by the group is planned for release before the summer and seems to fluctuate between hard electronic rhythms, almost funky dance music and a fusion of the two. Contact (see Recloose Organisation)
BROKEN FLAG RECORDS: (see Power Electronics) Contact: 56B, South End, Croydon, Surrey.
WILLIAM BURROUGHS: Although not directly involved in music William Burroughs has great regard - he recently sighted SPK as one of his favourite groups - and has had a large influence on many artists. His text 'The Electronic Revolution' (available as part of 'Ah Pook Is Here and Other Texts' from John Calder Ltd, 18, Brewer St, London, WlR 4AS) has been sighted as essential by Cabaret Voltaire and many others. His ideas about using tape recorders to spread rumours, discredit opponents and as a front line weapon to produce and insight riots recurs in numerous spoken text overdubs that have crept into music. Similarly his cut up technique - note Yazoo on their first LP - has been used to great success not only with text but with music as well. This technique and its origins can be studied on the Industrial Records LP 'Nothing Here Now But The Recordings' which is still available in small quantities and features an explicit explanation of the art. Burroughs' readings, which perfectly display the humour that so many miss in his work, are also available on a C60 cassette entitled 'Opens Fire' which is available from less mainstream bookshops and on the GPS import album 'You're The Guy I Want to Share My Money With' where he is featured along with Laurie Anderson and John Giorno.
BUSHIDO: Group set up by Chris and Gary of Tone Death magazine. Although there is only one track available - on the 'Rising From The Red Sand' compilation - under the name Tone Death, plans are afoot for new recording and releases. Concentrating on a aggressive music for films and with a healthy regard for more obscure music this year promises to be productive and important for them.
FRIEDER BUTZMANN: Former member of the early DAF and Din A Testbild, Butzmann eventually opened his own record shop and started the label Zensor. Noted for releasing the Throbbing Gristle live album 'Funeral In Berlin' the label also released the excellent 'Vertaunesmann des Volkes' by himself. A throbbing and compulsive collage of electronics and voice.
CABARET VOLTAIRE: First generation experimentalists who, through a string of live appearances and numerous releases on Rough Trade, Industrial Cassettes and Crepescule, managed to shake off the bleak, grey image of their native Sheffield. Having recently set up their own video label (see Doublevision) and left Rough Trade they are negotiating a major record deal and already have their next LP recorded - which should cause a few stirs in its reading of the medium as an almost commercial entity.
JOHN CAGE: Modern classical minimalist who influenced Zappa, Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno and a new wave of experimentalists. His concept of total harmony in the role of composition and performance shifted and demystified the moment of creation. His players follow his scores at will not improvising themselves but improvising his music. Each performance is impossible to predict, but always eventful.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Masterminded by Larry Peterson, an effervescent character who writes like a crazed lunatic. A cassette label that concentrates on the diverse and on most occasions comes off pretty well. Sample from catalogue: 'Metempsychosis' (Paul Kelday) Can words describe this music? Here's a few: atmospheric, electro, acoustic, mind bending.... No, words can't describe this release. Listen for yourself (#1 or blank C90). Material is variable in quality but some important outfits are nestling within CFC. Most notably Third Door From The Left (see TDFTL) and the two compilations on CFC highlight music that deserves more investigation. 'Paranoia Is Awareness': Features the Apostles, Nocturnal Emissions, Tom Castle, the Event Group etc. 'A Sudden Surge Of Power': Features Test Department, Attrition, 400 Blows, We Be Echo, Chris And Cosey, New 7th Music etc. Both compilations come with booklets, the latter being undoubtedly CFC's most important release to date with a strong roster of artists included. Also available of CFC is a rare TG tape 'Nothing Short Of Total War' which was originally only available in very small quantities. Contact: 55, Hollybush Hill, Snaresbrook, London, E11.
MONTE CAZAZZA: America's most excentric and radical 'pop' star, Cazazza released two singles and a live tape on Industrial Records before disappearing back to the States. Since that time numerous rumours have circulated about his hatred of leaving his flat, his current work and his future plans. Recently there have been sporadic showings of his eight minute anti- pornography film 'SXXX 80' which has been cited, inevitably, as pornographic. Working with Tana Emmolo-Smith and Californian based group Factrix he recorded a live album - 'California Babylon' for Subterranean Records - and a video 'Night Of The Succubus'. 'Stairway To Hell' has just been released by Sordide Sentimental in France and an extensive interview will appear in the April issue of RE/Search while Monte's voice can be heard over a telephone on the forthcoming Psychic TV LP. Monte: "I hope to be starting on a new set of performances and work but as these are going to be the most complicated I have ever attempted it may take from one to three years before they see completion, if at all."
CHRIS AND COSEY: Perpetrators of CTI and ex-members of Throbbing Gristle who have managed to foster the new generation of 'interesting and experimental' bands by their sheer encouragement. Having released two LP's through Rough Trade which showed the old TG awareness but with a new technological proficiency Chris And Cosey have contributed to an endless number of compilations while still finding time to work on other people's material. They have recorded a single with the Eurythmics which should be out quite soon and in the recording of their next LP they have worked with various musicians including Lustmord. Also dabbling in video and there are plans this month for their first live appearance at the Ace in Brixton. With regular newsletters to interested parties you'd wonder where they get the time but it is their personal approach and helpful attitude that is so rewarding and this too is reflected in their music. All records and most compilation tapes through Rough Trade, 137, Blenheim Crescent, London, W11.
CORTEX: Poetry in French most often said by Mirella Brunello the singer in Subject with backing music by Alain Neffe. One cassette on Grafika (see DIA).
CULTURAL AMNESIA: Having appeared on several compilation tapes - Cause For Concern and Sterile - there are plans afoot this year to release a vinyl representation of their strange sound squiggles and forceful rhythms. Contact: Vine Cottage, Haroel, Long Crendon, Bucks.
DATENVERARBEITUNG: Occasional magazine and cassette label set up by Andreas Muller. Unimpressed with the music scene in Germany Muller decided to release material by foreign groups. Recently releases have included material by Spain's Esplendor Geometrico, America's Hunting Lodge - who sound extremely interesting - and England's Cultural Amnesia. There are also a couple of recent compilations: 'Sinn And Form' features Nocturnal Emissions, MB, Koft/Kurz, Metradrive, Pseudo Code, Chris And Cosey and others. 'Germany' - which is in fact a Bain Total sampler (see Bain Total) - features Camera Obscura, Die Form, DZ Lectric, Ptose Production and other French bands. Contact: Andreas Muller, c/o Normal, Bornheimerster 31, 5300 Bonn 1, West Germany.
DDAA: Deficit Des Annees Anterieures, who, through their own Illusion Productions, have released several small scale concept pieces. Most recently there's been the EP 'Adventures In Africa' (now deleted) concerning their research into that country's music and at the end of last year the LP 'Action et Demonstration Japanaise' concentrating on traditional Japanese music. Their performance on these projects is inspiring and the hand painted sleeve of the LP opens to reveal an array of Japanese paraphernalia including water colours and sketches. Opting to do things on such a small scale has obviously paid off for them as their releases are works of art to a certain degree. More important however is the music contained which is riveting stuff and definitely worth searching out. Contact: Illusion Productions, 15, rue Pierre Curie, 14120, Mondeville, France. DDAA are also featured on the Selektion LP 'Masse Mensche'.
UN DEPARTMENT: French group who have been difficult to locate but who have a mini-LP and a single available on import. Varying from Cabaret Voltaire style aggression to loose jazz and free-form improvisation their music is highly accessible but always quite challenging.
DIA: Launched in the summer of 1982 following the bankruptcy of Sandwich Records. The Direct Impact Association has its own record label subsidiary Grafika and the first release on that was a 'Four In One' compilation featuring Glamour For Evening, the Legendary Pink Dots, Bene Gesserit and Subject. Singles followed from Wallonia's hottest white funk group Itza Uchen, Bene Gesserit - the rapping 'Kidnapping' - and Storm In A Nutshell's 'Deaf Doom Dumb Waiters'. On the cassette front there are a host of releases in many different formats. The first 4 in 1 package consisted of contributions from MV, Etat Brut, Human Flesh and Pseudo Code and the 'Insane Music For Insane People' - now up to volume 3 - has included Mechanique Vegetale, Cortex, I Scream, Japanese Genius, MAL, Nosy Parker, Colin Potter, Let's Have Healthy Children and many more. DIA are also heavily involved in the distribution of material from all over the world. Contact: 83, Avenue Ducpetiaux, B1060 Bruxelles, Belgium.
DIE TODLICHE DORIS: The deadly Doris, Berlin's most expressive and chaotic outfit. Their music is merely an extension of their everyday life, there is a wealth of activity going on, in and around their two fine LPs - both available on Zick-Zack (see Rip-Off). The films of deadly Doris are soon to be available through Twin Vision on a video which will include the classic short 'The Life of Sid Vicious' with a two year old boy playing Sid. The trio consists of Wolfgang Muller, Kathe Kruse and Nikolaus Ufermohlen and their desire to stay outside of the accepted rock tradition is well in evidence on their live performances. (On occasions they have got three other people to perform so that they can see what they look like). Outside of music, Muller has also written a book 'Geniale Dilletanten' which explains music through different people's eyes and features Borsig, Frieder Butzman, Einsturzende Neubauten and a large wealth of talent.
DING DONG DISCS: Set up to release material by interesting new groups in Arnhem and the surrounding area, this Dutch indie ran into a few problems as there was only Van Kaye and Ignit and Andre de Saint-Obin doing anything interesting in the area. Eventually after meeting Nadine Bal and Alain Neffe of Grafika Airlines - now DIA (see DIA) - they began to release each other's material in their respective countries. Similarly, after meeting Pat Bermingham of In Phaze (England) they began to distribute each other's material. Although they have since developed a healthy network of contacts around the world, these three labels act as a tight knit unit for distribution in England, Belgium and Holland . Their latest venture is 'theme cassettes' where groups from around the world are asked to contribute tracks on a certain theme for a compilation cassette. The first example of this is highly successful. 'Turkish Delight' features the Legendary Pink Dots (England), Bene Gesserit (Belgium), Soma (Holland), Arif Sag (Turkey) and many others. The next package will be 'Film Noir'. Other material available includes records and tapes from Bene Gesserit, Van Kaye And Ignit and Andre de Saint-Obin. Contact: Ding Dong Discs, PO Box 1155, 6801, BD Arnhem, Holland.
DOUBLEVISION: Independent video label set up by Richard Kirk and Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire along with Paul Smith. At the outset it was regarded as a one-off project to release a Cabaret Voltaire video, but after a short while the proprietors realised that they could release other material. The second release, Throbbing Gristle's, recording of 'Heathen Earth' came out recently and plans are afoot to release material by 23 Skidoo, Z'ev, Pete Care - a Sheffield film maker whose 'Johnny Yes/No' film features a soundtrack by Cabaret Voltaire - along with a tape featuring the highlights of the Fetish night at the Lyceum with TG, the Cabs, Clock DVA and Z'ev. All releases are reasonably priced (under #20) and details are available from Doublevision, 30, Chatsworth Avenue, New Basford, Nottingham, NG7 7EU.
DUALLEIN: Cassette 'Noch Kein Regen Fur Alle' available from Neumusik. Neumusik: "Rhythmic, repetitive 'trance' music from Vienna. Based on the themes of vibration and respiration, and although most of the instrumentation is electronic in origin the end result if very organic, earthy and incredibly hypnotic.
EASTERN WORKS: Distribution network set up in Japan. Also involved in the release of material by Japanese groups - see After Dinner, Merzbow and Taco - and responsible for the release of the sadly deleted 'Ylem' compilation LP last year. Contact: 2A Hasegawa Bldg, 7-37-4 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 151.
EG OBLIQUE GRAPH: The brainchild of Bryn Jones who, with his meagre studio resources, managed to produce the excellent 'Piano Room' C60 cassette on his own Kinematograph tapes and the 'Tryptich' 7" EP for the Recloose Organisation Hailing from Manchester Bryn entered a new phase of production this year and changed his name to Muslimgauze (see Muslimgauze).
EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN: Formed in 1980 by Blixa Bargeld, NU Unruh, Gudrun Gut - now with Malaria - and Beate Bartel - now with Liasons Dangereuse - they released a cassette and undertook live work before Gudrun and Beate's departure. Eventually FM Einheit (see also Abwarts) joined the group and their first LP, 'Kollaps', was recorded for the Zick-Zack label (see Rip- Off). Another Abwart, Marc Chung, was recruited for a European tour and floating member Alexander Von Borsig (see Borsig) rejoined the group. In April 1982 they formed an organisation with the aim of 'Planning, realisation and production with the greatest possible independent control of the group'. July '82 saw the recording of 'Thirsty Animal' with Lydia Lunch and Roland Howard of the Birthday Party. At the start of this year the group played the Lyceum, London to a rapturous response and the Hardt label - subsidiary of Self Immolation Records (see You've Got Foetus On Your Breath) - have a compilation of the group's material ready for release. Neubauten are currently recording their second official LP.
ERROR GENETICO: Oddball Spanish outfit who dabble in multi-layered sound, wild Pigbag style brass excursions and recurring bass drones. Contact: (see UMYU)
ESPLENDOR GEOMETRICO: Consisting of Arturo Lanz and Gabriel Riaza, EG have been together since September 1980. A first EP and cassette have already sold out - the cassette has been re-released by Datenverarbeitung. Contributing to various compilations in other countries their music is an aggressive charge over an industrial noise base. The best example of their work is their LP which is still available from the group. Hard electronics employing voice, synth, rhythms and tapes. Contact: Apartado 14325, Madrid, Spain.
ETANT DONNES: Extreme sound collages using tapes loops and electronic noises. Contact: (see Bain Total)
ETAT BRUT: (France) From their appearance on a Grafika (see DIA) cassette it would seem that this French outfit concentrate on rhythmic pieces which build into a hypnotic climax. Quite a long track which is pretty aggressive.
EUROCK: American magazine put together by Archie Patterson and as its title suggests concentrates on the synth music of Europe. As time has gone on the field of research has been widened and recent issues have featured Richard Pinhas, Der Plan, Klaus Schulze, Legendary Pink Dots, Nocturnal Emissions, Neuronium, Bernard Xolotl, DDAA, Urban Sax, Faust, Chrome and a host of others. In its 10th year it also handles a distribution service for cassettes and LPs and on the Eurock label 6 cassettes and one LP have appeared. The LP features American music from four artists - Anode, Doctor Wize, Richard Bone and a collaboration between Jasun Martz, Eddie Jobson and John Lutrelle - and shows well they haven't quite gone to sleep over there. Contact: Eurock, P0 80x 4181, Torrance, CA 90510 USA.
EYELESS IN GAZA: Duo consisting of Pete Becker and Martin Bates who, over numerous LP's for Cherry Red have produced some fine, thoughtful, synth based music. Always with the potential to produce a hit Eyeless have experimented with their music in a lot of ways and have tracks featured on many compilations around Europe as well as an LP on the Uniton label.
FACTRIX: American duo whose long anticipated debut LP 'Scheintot' appeared on the Adolescent label last year. Recently in England to work on their next LP they have also had an LP and video collaboration with Monte Cazazza.
FETISH RECORDS: In their heyday, with releases from 23 Skidoo ('Seven Songs'), Clock DVA ('Thirst') and Stephen Mallinder ('Temperature Drop' and 'Pow Wow'), Fetish had their finger firmly on the pulse of the experimental crossover genre. Following the decease of Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records they released a box set of TG's four studio LP's along with a recording of their last live concert 'Mission Of Dead Souls'. Unfortunately their releases weren't always as direct with material coming from the Bush Tetras and the Bongos. That coupled with the desire to break Perry Haines' 'What's Funk' in the national chart placed the company in financial difficulty.
FLOWMOTION: Set up in 1980 by Ian Dobson to cover the ground between the traditional Euro scene and the national press. Ian: "Luckily through Flowmotion I've discovered the new underground of overseas groups - DDAA, MB, P16D4, Esplendor Geometrico and hundreds of others. The same thing goes for British groups, there are thousands of people who buy TG, Cabaret Voltaire etc. who have never heard of Nocturnal Emissions, Nurse With Wound, etc." With the release of a Flowmotion compilation LP Ian opted for the more 'easy listening' style of music because there were a lot of avant-garde releases in preparation. The compilation features Chris And Cosey, TLA, Eyeless In Gaza, David Jackman, Ian Boddy, the Legendary Pink Dots, Paul Nagle, Carl Matthews and Colin Potter. Purposely all British to show that not only France and Germany could produce that kind of music. The next vinyl is the new Konstruktivits LP which is the start of a series of vinyl releases and Flowmotion have also got a healthy roster of cassette releases available - including Sea Of Wires, Ptose Production, etc. Issue 5 of Flowmotion, due soon, will feature Frieder Butzmann, Z'ev, Konstruktivits, 23 Skidoo and lots more. Other projects include a cassette and LP from Metamorphosis and a compilation video which has been in construction for some time. Contact: Flowmotion, 9, Ashley Terrace, Leeds 9. Stop press: A cassette by Cosey Fanni Tutti, 'Time To Tell' with magazine now available.
400 BLOWS: South London duo who rose from the ashes of Concrete to release one of the finest singles of last year 'Beat The Devil'. Their curious and exciting style has been well received on the dancefloors of the Camden Palace and the Hacienda which just goes to show that people are susceptible to less mainstream music when it is filtered into their system. Alexander Scott Fraser and Andrew Edward Beer are warm and endearing characters who offset their music with a very personal approach. Their multi-layered pieces are infectious and further examples of their work can be heard on the Cause For Concern cassette compilation 'A Sudden Surge Of Power'. Future projects include a contribution to the next Touch cassette and plans are afoot for further record releases. 400 Blows are an experience which is growing and they can be contacted through Concrete Productions at 47, Oak Avenue, Shirley, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 8EP.
FRA LIPPO LIPPI: Originally a trio FLL released a single on their own label before moving to the Dutch Uniton label. The beginning of 1982 saw the release of their debut LP for the label 'In Silence' and more recently they have put out a single 'Now And Forever'. Quite mainstream with definite songs they have an underlying power in their use of recurring melodies.
STEVE FROST: British based synth player drawing on both German and French influences to produce an accomplished, often sequencer based, sound which still retains its subtlety. Almost classical in its delivery, his 'Soundscape' cassette (#2.65 from Mirage) shows that there is still life in the UK as far as non-pop synth music is concerned.
TINA FULKER: Extending the boundaries of poetry, to a certain degree by releasing a thirty minute selection of her work, 'Dial My Number' with off the wall backing tracks by an array of musicians including Pete Becker of Eyeless In Gaza. Further information and tape available from: 20, Frith House, Frampton Street, London, NW8.
PHILIP GLASS: A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Glass has been the recipient of numerous awards and his search for non-westernised music has led him to Central Asia and India. His music is distinguished by its repetitive structure and special style of construction. Playing with an ensemble, he has done numerous concerts in Europe and the USA and is most in context on his longer pieces - e.g., the 4 hour 'Music In 12 Parts'.
GORP: Easily dismissed as Pigbag style funksters Gorp arrived amidst a blaze of press at their Beet-Bop Club last year. But riding in on the new jazz ticket they weren't really telling the whole story. Even their recently released 'Wild Men' LP only partially tells the tale of their activities. Basically seven different personalities who are constantly pulling against each other. The result of this internal activity is a hybrid dance music which adheres to no boundaries. Gorp are important, but as they admit themselves, they'll probably be cited as influential in years to come but have years of torment in the meantime.
GROK: Magazine compiled by David Minshall which concentrates on the seedier side of life as well as looking at various music orientated outfits. Issue 3 featured SPK, Monte Cazazza, brain splitting and John Duncan. Issue 4 will feature Paul McCarthy and brain transplants amongst other things. Contact: 52, St Johns Rd, Clifton, Bristol.
HOLY TOY: Originally called Mechanical Grave this Dutch outfit released a 12" maxi single for Uniton entitled 'Perfect Day'. After a line up change - they are now Andrej Dziubek Nebb, Bjorn Sorkness, Sven Kalmer and Rolf Wallin - they set about working on their debut LP which will be released in Britain this month. A powerful and emotive release 'Warszawa' fuses traditional Slavic music with electronics and sounds which are straight out of 'Eraserhead'.
HUMAN FLESH: Collage of music from all over the world played by many different people. The whole thing is put together and co-ordinated by Alain Neffe. Tracks on various compilations and a cassette on the US label Aeon Tapes.
INKEYS: Tape magazine which acts as a valuable sampler to new releases in the world of European synth music. Compiled, produced and mixed by Jeanette and Dennis Emsley it's what SFX should have been like with sample tracks from next albums and interviews with some of the artistes overdubbed. As a guide to new releases it's essential with a great selection of music and snippets of information on the relevant artists. Issue 3 is out now and features Bernard Xolotl, Colin Potter, Neuronium, lan Boddy, Sea Of Wires and a host of others. Issue 4 will be out in May and further information can be obtained from Inkeys, 50, Durell Rd, Dagenham, Essex, PM9 5XU.
IN PHAZE: Run by Pat Bermingham who set up a four track in his garden shed and started recording bands who he liked. A few years on they've got a healthy catalogue of cassettes and records, all of high quality, and moved to a penthouse in Ilford. Material varies in musical direction but having recorded the first Marine Girls cassette LP that's definitely a good point in Pat's favour. Other artists with material on In Phaze include the Moscovite 5, Legendary Pink Dots, Bona Dish, Solid Space and Portion Control. Contact: Top Floor, 737, Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, Ilford, Essex.
IPHAR: Cassette label concentrating mainly on Consumer Electronics (see Power Electronics). Contact: 30, Dunster Gardens, Nailsea, nr Bristol, Avon.
I SCREAM: Anthology material from Alain Neffe recorded between 1972 and 1978 which appears as a cassette on DIA (see DIA).
DAVID JACKMAN: A history lesson: "I wouldn't claim to have released the first indie cassette (I wouldn't dare) but I was certainly one of the first. I'd done this piece with a cymbal which had hundreds of pinging sounds in it and I liked it. With the idea that finishing a piece of music included finding an audience for it, I made 10 copies and took five to Rough Trade where, to my surprise, they bought them off me. I think that was in early '79 and from then on I did a lot of work using loop tapes often making quite complex pieces of collage sound." Working with Phil Sanderson (see Snatch Tapes), Jackman released a series of cassettes which he hoped were "interesting and creative in musical content" and since '82 he's had his own label, Aeroplane Records, which has so far consisted of cassette only releases. With a background of serious experimental music in the Scratch Orchestra ('69-'72), Jackman did "nothing" until the arrival of punk which he felt had the "same excitement that rock 'n' roll had in the mid 50's". Concluding his work with loop tapes Jackman has an LP ready for release (hopefully) and has recently been involved in some experimental "but accessible", piano music. Aeroplane Records c/o 112, Elm Grove Road, London, SW13.
ARIEL KALMA: Several cassettes releases available through Mirage (see Mirage). From the Mirage catalogue: ARIEL KALMA 'Bindu' (import) Ariel's second cassette of 'Love And Dream Music'. To say 'Bindu' is beautiful is an understatement. Ariel conjures up images of erotic sound with ease and employs piano, flute, zither and other exotica to weave a warm tapestry of flowing music that engulfs the senses.
KONSTRUKTIVITS: After several releases through Flowmotion under his own name Glenn Wallis' first LP 'A Dissembly' was released through the label this month. Using electronics as a base and tape loops and percussion on top it's a powerful statement. Already a second LP, as yet untitled, has been put together with the assistance of members from Bushido, Chris And Cosey and various other luminaries. Showing a healthy understanding for the theory of power electronics and subsequent music forms it's not as upfront as his first effort but finally more rewarding.
LAIBACH: Suppressed by the cultural association in Yugoslavia Laibach are "the only interesting group in the country' claims Fritz of 23 Skidoo. Recently arranged a Yugoslavian tour for themselves Skidoo and Last Few Days. (Further information coming soon).
LAST FEW DAYS: Originally consisting of a nucleus of Dan Landin, Si Joyce and Keir, augmented by Fritz and Sam from the early 23 Skidoo, LFD did a string of appearances at the Scala cinema where they always insisted in going out at 7 in the morning. Their music was harsh but emotional and supremely danceable. With the success of Skidoo they were trimmed down to their present 3 man line up and opted to rehearse and play the occasional live gig - the Final Academy and Heaven - rather than release any recorded material. A recent tour in Yugoslavia with Skidoo and Laibach saw them release some material over there but there are still no plans over here although several avenues have been opened. LFD are out on the edge preferring to keep a low profile rather than become involved in any movement, their music has developed immeasurably. Their use of string instruments, effects and their megaphone vocals has left audiences confused but always interested. Having supplied several pieces for the Psychic TV video 'Polavision' there is a possibility that more will be heard of them soon. From brief extracts that I've heard the wait will have been worth it (watch these pages for an interview).
LAUGHING HANDS: Life in Australia. Started as an improvising quartet in 1980 and are now a duo. Track on the Selektion LP 'Masse Mensch'. Contact: 287, Rae St, North Fitzroy 3068, Australia
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS: Unique London based outfit who mix experimental music with a touch of Psychedelia - and almost everything else you can imagine - to produce an ultimately unique sound. Fronted by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable Edward Ka Spel the group lives its music out to the full and as a result have numerous cassettes available through labels all over the world. Their debut LP, 'Brighter Now', is a valid starting point (available on In Phaze) with Syd Barret style doodlings well in evidence. Numerous tracks on compilations also show the variety that the group possesses. A new LP is currently in preparation and you'll be able to read more about LPD when that comes out. Although they're not as outright and alarmingly 'different' as a lot of their contemporaries it would be foolhardy to ignore LPD as they have produced some important and sadly unrecognised music over the last few years. LP on In Phaze, contributions and cassette releases from Ding Dong Discs, DIA, Illusion (through DDAA), Third Mind and others. Contact through In Phaze.
THOMAS LEER: Like Robert Rental and Daniel Miller came up through the independent circuit and produced a number of good releases. Now signed to Cherry Red his 'Contradictions' LP of last year sold well and a new LP is scheduled soon. Collaborated with Robert Rental on an LP for Industrial Records.
THE LEMON KITTENS: Consisting of Karl Blake and Danielle Dax, the Kittens trod the ground of avant-garde rock for several years while flirting with the building DIY scene. A first single on Step Forward was followed by an LP and 12" on United Dairies (all probably now deleted) and an LP, 'The Big Dentists', on Illuminated this year. Having finally split up both artistes currently have solo LP's available.
LOTUS RECORDS: Mail order outlet specialising in electro-synthesiser releases from all over the world. Contact: Lotus Records 23, High Street, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffs.
LUSTMORD: A character indeed is Brian, a man amongst men. First LP on Sterile was recorded and mixed in 8 hours. Sold out now there are plans to re-release it on Presence Records in the USA. Still available though is 'Lustmordekay', a C60 document of the first year of Lustmord (see Sterile). Various tracks have appeared on compilation tapes and Brian is now working on something for the upcoming Twin Vision compilation video. He'll probably be doing a speech about the rest of the tape. Recently involved in the recording of a disco 12" with Chris And Cosey and as a third member of SPK his plans for the future include a collaboration with Konstruktivits, a new LP entitled 'Paradise Disowned' - exploring the sinister broodier side of his music - and a magazine which will not just concentrate on music. Although Lustmord music can verge into being extreme, Brian has the urge - following his work with Chris And Cosey - to record a disco album. Whatever he gets up to you can assure yourself that it will warrant investigation and without doubt be well worth it.
MAL: A pseudonym for the solo efforts of Daniel Malempre who hails from the heavily industrialised Charleroi in southern Belgium. Also part of Subject and Human Flesh he has released one cassette as MAL through DIA (see DIA).
CARL MATTHEWS: From Cumbria and with an almost cosmic view of his work. Matthews, although ranting about 'taking people to a higher level', does come up with the goods. Concentrating on guitar and keyboards his greatest successes are his longer pieces where he builds songs and works into them. Five cassette albums are currently available through Mirage (see Mirage). 'Aksu' is the most immediately appealing - moody Vini Reilly guitar at times - but his latest, 'Iridescence' shows a maturing of his sound and demands investigation.
MB: Maurizio Bianchi has released eight albums in 18 months. From Italy he started working in 1979 using pre-recorded filtered sounds and in 1980 he bought his own electronic equipment to "produce technological sounds to work for a full awareness of modern decadence". Leading exponent in the Power Electronics field (see Power Electronics) MB deals in noise of the most extreme qualities. LP's available for £6 each including post and packing from MB at Via Tiriano N13, 20145 Milano, Italy.
MECHANIOUE VEGETALE: Once devoted a C60 cassette to the sound of electric razors. After going through an Eno ambient phase re-emerged as Glamour For Evening on the DIA (see DIA) compilation '4 in 1'.
MECANO: (Holland) Formed in late 79 and with a string of releases already out Mecano have trodden the boards of experimentalism but always kept it on a pretty even keel by way of the rock base from where they arose. They're a schizophrenic outfit, at one minute quite accessible, at the next trying to do something totally different. Their recent LP 'Autoportrait' even shows a hint of the classics thrown in. Consisting of Cor Bolten, Dick Polka and Theo Bolten they have 3 singles, 2 12"ers and 2 LP's out. Recent work has been on the Dutch Torso label. Contact: Torso, Wamelplein 165, Amsterdam, Holland.
MERZBOW: (Japan) Duo consisting of Masami Akita and Kiyoshi Mizutani they have released numerous cassettes on a small scale and an LP 'Material Action 2' through Easter Works (see Eastern Works). Seeing themselves as rock musicians rather than experimentalists they have in fact, managed to create a selection of interesting sound collages using found and manufactured tapes and noises. Motto: 'Lowest Music and Arts'
METABOLIST: Oddball outfit who disappeared a couple of years ago. Their strange fusion of punk spirit and the avant-garde brought about an aggressive style of music which was displayed to its fullest potential on their LP, singles and cassette album on their own Dromm Records. Two members of the group have recently re-emerged on an album entitled, simply, 'Max And Malcolm' where the sound is more emotive and electronic.
METAMORPHOSIS: Impressive 4 piece from Nottingham whose ideas and performance are pretty unique. Energetic and accessible new dance music with an array of instruments - including glockenspiel, clarinet, trumpet, etc. - over powerful rhythms. Their early music shows a new angle on the Skidoo brand of fiery dance music and a strong feeling for ambience. Already they have moved on and developed a new sound of their own which will be displayed on their forthcoming Flowmotion releases - a retrospective cassette and a new LP. Consisting of Jonathan Tait, Matthew Collin, Meloni Poole and Nick Cope, their musical progression - the most important aspect of their existence - is reproduced in words and pictures in a series of small scale publications put together by the individual members - 'Y', Mobray Product, 391 and Hiatus. Metamorphosis are one of the most exciting new groups to emerge for a long time. Contact: 64, Main St, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5AD.
MFH: Consisting of Neumusik supremo David Elliot and Andrew Cox they've released four tapes through the magazine. The latest of these offerings being 'Ground Zero'. A good mix of electronics a la TG and a smattering of the commercial thrown in for good measure. Worth further investigation. Andrew Cox also has several solo tapes available through Neumusik, his 'Hydra' features harsh experimental electronic music produced by either electronic or synthetically treated acoustic instruments. Pretty blood- curdling.
MIRAGE: Run by the enthusiastic Martin Reed, Mirage for some time produced an infrequent magazine which acted as an essential foil to his record and tape distribution service. The magazine seems to have been temporarily shelved but the Mirage cassette label is still highly mobile and there are plans to release the first Mirage LP at the end of the year. Recent additions to the distribution side include material by Pete Becker from Eyeless In Gaza, Ariel Kalma, Robert Banks and many others. From Mirage itself comes new recordings by Ian Boddy, Steve Frost, Carl Matthews, Naif, Colin Potter and a compilation tape, 'Reflections', which features Ariel Kalma, Colin Potter, Rieg and Carl Matthews. A whole host of contemporary synth music is available through their back catalogue which only goes to show that that field of music doesn't stop at the end of Klaus Schulze's keyboard. There is obviously an enormous demand for this kind of music and it is heartening that people like Reed and Neu Musik (see Neu Musik) try to make the material available in this country. Contact: Martin Reed, 614, Southmead Road, Filton, Bristol. BS1Z 7PF
MONA MUR: Defected to the west when her Russian classical dance ensemble toured Germany. Previous work in Russia in her group Brygida Krewna - Bloody Brigitte - had been suppressed by the authorities. Befriended by the local Hamburg musicians she appeared with a group made up of members from Einsturzende Neubauten and Abwarts and eventually recorded a Maxi 12" (see Rip Off).
MUSIQUE CONCRET: London based duo consisting of James Ross and MJ Mullen. Their 'Bringing up Baby' LP on United Dairies, like all UD releases, is nothing like you've heard before. The whole thing feels - rather than sounds - like it's going to float off the record player as, through the use of echo and delay, notes recur, slipping in and out of focus. Their next project which is in the planning stages will feature collected tapes from TV and radio and should, if it's produced in the same manner as their first, be essential listening.
MUSLIMGAUZE: New name for Bryn Jones formerly EG Oblique Graph. First material available as of now, is an LP entitled 'Kabul' which, although recorded on a 4 track cassette machine, is of high quality. Jones concentrates on rhythm with small pieces of speech and instrumentation creeping in. The pulsing soundtracks retain an immediate, direct quality which never lets the subtlety of the overlaid instruments suffer. Forceful and essential, a new sound. Contact: Kinematograph Records, 447, Chorley Road, Swinton, Manchester. PAUL NAGLE: Well played, produced and written electronic music of a highly melodic nature. I'm reliably informed that his Neumusik cassette 'The Soft Room' sounds like a cross between Richard Vimal, Peter Baumann, Micheel Garrison and Edgar Frosse, with a little touch of Roedelius thrown in for good measure.
NAMEDROP RECORDS: Small struggling indie label who have managed, against all the odds, to release some pretty hot material. NR1 DOOF 'Exist' A 10" mini-LP which, in its anarchic composition, displays the talents of Paul Platypus and Philip Johnson. NR2 TWELVE CUBIC FEET 'Straight Out Of The Fridge' Again pretty anarchic but the beauty of 12CF is their ability to write good pop songs. NR3 PHILIP JOHNSON 'Youth In Morning' The first LP from Philip who, over the last few years, has released a selection of cassettes. Carrying on his highly individual reading of music it's an experimental high done on limited resources and the most challenging Namedrop release.
NANAVESH: Magazine of high quality which concentrated initially on Throbbing Gristle. With their demise it moved onto Psychic TV and sporadic publications will appear whenever finances allow. For now there is a retrospective tape of Throbbing Gristle entitled '23 Drifts To Guestling' which is basically a magazine on tape. It contains an interesting insight into TG with messages from their ansaphone, some material, an interview with Genesis following the 'Prostitution' exhibition at the ICA, an interview with Gary Gilmore, a chat between Genesis and Monte Cazazza, bits and pieces of songs and a few death threats over the phone. It makes compulsive listening because it's so strangely put together and it's a good insight into the character of Mr P-Orridge. Contact: Navavesh, c/o IHAM, 54, Belmont Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 4HN.
MARTIN HOWARD NAYLOR: After a brief flirtation with classical music Naylor built his own synth and started experimenting with sound. Setting up his own cassette/video label, Sorcerer Sound Productions (34, Bassingham Road, Wembley, Middx) he developed his own sound system and becoming a member of the London Musicians Collective he began to experiment with eastern instruments. A sample of his work can be heard on the Cause For Concern cassette compilation 'A Sudden Surge Of Power' (see CFC) and information and other tapes can be obtained direct from SSP.
NEUMUSIK: Magazine put together by David Elliot and featuring everything from views on Italian industrial music to features on synth oldies (style wise) like Rolf Trostel and Neuronium. A well written and researched affair which is hardly surprising as David spent some time in Europe studying music. Parallel to the magazine David has also put out a wide ranging catalogue of cassette releases on his YHR label from all over the world. The catalogue features material from MFH, Andrew Cox, MB, Peter Schafer, Paul Nagle, Duallien, Gunter Schikert and numerous others. Thirty-one releases in all they are all reasonably priced (under 3 quid) and available from Neumusik at 128, Cedar Drive, Chichester, West Sussex.
THE NEW BLOCKADERS: Serious avant-garde tape music from this group based in the north of England. Two LPs and several cassettes already available and plans for a release through Gordon Hope (see Gordon Hope) later in the year. Contact: Beehive House, North Broomhill, Morpeth, Northumberland.
NEW 7TH MUSIC: From a nucleus of 2 and at times up to 10 people, New 7th Music began work in '79 as an experimental outfit. Several tapes have been released and all music is improvised and recorded live. Tracks on Cause For Concern compilation (see CFC) and the Recloose Organisation's 'Sudden Departure' LP. 'Ghosts Among The Weeds' and 'Modella' are available from MFM, 40 Thompson Rd, Langley Green, West Midlands. Contact: 54, Mill Park Rd, Nyetimber, Bognor Regis, W. Sussex.
NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS: Formed from the remnants of the Pump and originally a 3 piece - now a duo consisting of Caroline K and Nigel Ayers. Three LP's and a couple of cassettes through their own Sterile Records (Contact: see Sterile) and contributions to compilations on Trax, Third Mind and many other labels. To support their recorded output they have a healthy contact system through Sterile, an irregular magazine - Tract - and have released a video. Formed from Nigel and Caroline's desire to hear music that they liked NE are mainly involved in research in various areas. Working in a musical field with that attitude has meant that they constantly have to move on and their recorded output has reflected this. Numerous live appearances abroad have secured a healthy following but over here they have been restricted and opted for rather obscure venues including a disco, a railway arch in Brixton during a riot, a crypt and an artificial cave. Unorthodox, yes, but so is their music. Deep and emotional soundscapes of sound which dissolve into noise-play and occasionally wandering melodies. An interview with Nocturnal Emissions will be featured in Sounds in the near future.
NON: As Non Boyd Rice has produced some of the most imaginative and difficult music ever. Hailing from California, one of his earliest claims to fame was for being arrested after attempting to give Senator Ford's wife a mounted goat's head at a public function. His first recording, an untitled LP available on Mute, dealt in relaxed soundscapes which meandered effectively but with his discovery of loop spiral records his next EP and eventually the LP 'Pagan Muzak' were much nearer the knuckle. The technique on the LP consists of 17 looped tracks on a seven Inch disc which you can leave playing for as long or as short a time as possible. The effect can be tranquillising or shattering. The tracks from the EP can be found on Mute as one side of a seven inch record with Smegma and the LP is still obtainable on import. Both can be played at any speed and have an alternative middle. Continuing his research into sound, Boyd's appearance at the Lyceum Fetish night saw him setting off several delay units which repeated the original signal in a gradual decay. The effect of this collage-like technique, which continually changed throughout his short set, was recorded on his world tour of that time and a 12" is available on Mute with an LP to follow shortly. Boyd Rice's dabblings in delay and spiralled sound have been influential to numerous people (note the tape loops that appear on Skidoo records and a host of others) and there is also an LP which was recorded two years ago, a collaboration with Fad Gadget. The release of that should see an important bridge between the music of Non and a more mainstream approach.
NURSE WITH WOUND: Having been around since the late 70's NWW have been the mainstay of the United Dairies label. Steve Stapleton and John Fothergill's ambitious project to create and release music that no-one had heard before has provided a selection of experimental but adhering music over their 5 LP's. The garish graphics and oddball name was a conscious effort to attract people who might want to listen to something out of the ordinary and although this may have put some people off it has surely created a regular market for their releases. Stapleton is a compulsive listener with an excitable encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre. With his constant desire to discover new things and his healthy respect for his predecessors he has managed to always stay one step ahead with NWW and produce a selection of music that you would never be able to hear anywhere else. Sure, they want to reach a wider audience - at the moment it's the public's loss - but they have no intentions of toning down their material or making compromises and they never should. You get a feeling with NWW that they'll never quite reach a mass audience but in years to come they'll be looked on as the inspirational force that they surely are. Why wait? (Contact: see United dairies).
OBSCURE RECORDS: Set up by Eno, initially as a cut price outlet for his more esoteric work, the Obscure label developed into an important dictionary of the avant-garde which, probably due to lack of funds, was never quite as comprehensive as it should have been. Concentrating on the likes of Gavin Bryars, David Toop, Steve Beresford, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and artist Tom Philips amongst others, the music was diverse and never predictable. The immediacy and importance of the project was somewhat diluted because the featured acts were never outrageous or image conscious enough to attract sufficient press but the music, for those who managed to locate it, was always worth the trouble.
MARTIN O'CUTHBERT: Somewhere on the edge of experimental music where, with his Esoteric record label, he has managed to release at least half a dozen EP's and finally, this year, an album. He's eccentric, make no mistake, and his style of throwing the oddest of sounds against each other is quite unique at times. 'For Alien Ears' is available from Esoteric, 33, Barberry House, Shannon Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham.
OPERATING THEATRE: With an LP released on United Dairies and no other information available, Operating Theatre are exactly as their name suggests. Over the 2 sides they manage to dissect every day life, everyday noises and rebuild them like some disturbed sculptor into a soundtrack. It, 'Rapid Eye Movements', is without doubt one of the most exhilarating LP's and unorthodox concepts ever to be submitted to vinyl. Contact: (see United Dairies)
P16 D4: (Germany) One of the hardest attacking groups in Germany in 1980 were PD but after personnel changes they became P16 D4. Dubbed anything from jazz/free music, heavy metal/psychedelia and industrial/musique concrete they have, since '81, strengthened their sound. Long improvisations were discarded for shorter severe tape compositions. Tracks are featured on the Selektion (see Selektion) compilation 'Masse Mensch' and Selektion have other releases by the group available.
'PERSPECTIVES AND DISTORTION': Cherry Red compilation released in 1981 and focusing on 'the curious no man's land between the areas of rock and avant- garde'. Still available it features tracks from the formative years of a host of artistes including the Virgin Prunes, Lemon Kittens, Eyeless In Gaza, Two Daughters, Thomas Leer and David Jackman.
PLASTIC BAG: Electronics with a commercial bent which owes more to Dr Who than Tangerine Dream or the Human League. Loose, but at times, quite alarming sound effects and keyboard passages are usually topped with treated vocals. One tape available from Cause For Concern (see CFC) entitled 'Hop The Twig'.
PORTION CONTROL: London based trio who've been together since 1980. Starting work in the studio primarily, they released a 12" (deleted), 'With Mixed Emotions' (cassette) and an LP, 'I Staggered Mentally' through In Phaze (see In Phaze). With a successful European tour under their belts - "the audiences over there are much more receptive" - they are currently working on their next LP. With a healthy regard for their contemporaries Portion Control admit freely that they aren't in any way that extreme and from hearing their music it's easy to pick up that they, probably more than any, are the most likely to break through on a commercial level. Also in progress at the moment is the first Portion Control video which they are compiling from material from over the past few years, having already contributed some images to the forthcoming Twin-Vision compilation tape. Another European tour is scheduled for the summer and already several people have shown an interest in the group with regard to releasing future material. Although still taking risks Portion Control manage to retain a commercial edge that will surely see them through to a much wider audience.
COLIN POTTER: Two tapes available through Mirage. His latest, 'Here', displays his electronic prowess coupled with harmonium, glockenspiel and tenor recorder. One of the upcoming names on the British synth music scene.
POWER ELECTRONICS: The ultimate in noise. Gary (Broken Flag): "Neungamme (a compilation LP on the Broken Flag label) features the leaders in the field of Power Electronics! "What people don't understand they are afraid of and what they are afraid of they simply push away." JC John (director of Come Organisation) "The listeners of these records will always enjoy the most intense reactions of all. Because they are the most repulsive records ever made." For whatever reason they may have the people involved in power electronics nave several things in common. Visuals depicting death and debauchery surround all of the groups. Whitehouse's glorification of mass murderers and sexual perversions has lost its shock value after seven LP's and numerous paraphernalia and their fascist overtones make it even more difficult to take them seriously. Getting down to the 'music' there are glaring similarities too. Broken Flag's 'Neungamme' LP features ten bands but even with that chance of variety it all sounds the same. Individual tapes and records by the groups also have no differentiating qualities from what is basically just noise from start to finish. Remarkably the Come LP's are rumoured to sell really well, mostly abroad, but realistically if you've got one there's no need to invest further. If you can live with their dubious presentation and repetitive and predictable ramblings then fair enough. I can't.
PSEUDO CODE: "We play potlatch music which is emotional music, or more accurately emotional sounds, because we are not musicians." With 2 EP's and 2 cassettes released the group has been temporarily shelved while Alain Neffe concentrates on Bene Gesserit.
PTOSE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTE: Ptose Production, the group, began in '79 when they recorded a cassette album and gave it away to friends. The response was so good that they decided to set up PPP and release more tapes. As their reputation grew people from all over the world began to write to them. Thus began the series of releases 'Assemblee Generale' as well as their own material. PP's music is strong and electronic but with humour and a definite commercial bent. Their regard for electronics is nicely balanced against 60's guitar style which occasionally verges on the funky (note their version of Tom Tom Club's 'Wordy Rapping Hood'). Their recent 'Assemblee Generale 3' featured Cosy Corner, DDAA, Geso, What Is Oil?, DZ Lectric, Camera Obscura, Les Chats and numerous others. It's available, as are their cassettes, from Ptose Production Presente, 12 rue Chabaudy, 79000 Niort, France.
RADIO FREE EUROPE: Since the release of their LP 'Laughoncue' in 1981 the members of RFE have been involved in putting together soundtracks for films and Stephen Miller has recorded some solo material. Their LP, which was released over here by Armageddon Records, disheartened the group somewhat as the label refused to answer any of their letters and they ended up losing out financially. Undaunted by this record biz behaviour RFE plan to take up the gauntlet once more and new material from the group is expected this year. Copies of their LP should still be available in the shops, and the group can be contacted at PO Box 5421, Austin, Texas, 78763 USA.
RECLOOSE ORGANISATION: Centred around Bourbonese Qualk the label has released various records and cassettes and is currently in the process of building recording and live premises in south London. With contacts all over the world involved, the music which has come out of the organisation so far is of a particularly high standard. Releases of note: BLADDER FLASK: 'One Day I Was So Sad That the Corners of My Mouth Met and Everyone Thought That I Was Whistling (EP) VARIOUS ARTISTS 'Sudden Departure' (LP) includes contributions by Philip Johnson, Paul Kelday, Bourbonese Qualk, Bladder Flask, New 7th Music, La Fondation, EG Oblique Graph, Peter Northz and Lol Coxhill. Coming soon an LP by Bourbonese Qualk. Contact: 167, Choumert Pd, London, SE15.
RECOMMENDED RECORDS: At a starting point of the sadly neglected European music scene, Recommended Records have branched out to release or at least distribute music from all over the world. Their 'Recommended Records Sampler' from last year features a wealth of talents that they have become involved with and is an essential buy for anyone wishing to investigate further. The double album contains tracks from Faust, Stormy Six, The Work, Decibel, The Muffins, Hector Zazou, This Heat, The Residents and many more. Their current catalogue includes (a selection): Kassiber 'Man Or Monkey' (Germany) Wha Ha Ha 'Wha Ha Ha' (Japan) Harry Partch 'The Bewitched' (USA) Debile Menthol (Switzerland) Plastic People '100 Points' (Czechoslovakia) Poznan Percussion Ensemble '4 Pieces' (Poland) A Glazunov 'Music For Saxaphone (USSR) Contact: (For lists and record prices) Recommended Records, 387, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8.
STEVE REICH: Like Philip Glass, respected for his work and although not recognised as a direct influence he has obviously inspired people. Numerous albums available.
THE RESIDENTS: Secretive San Franciscans who, in their unorthodox approach to recording and writing material, have been highly influential. Without ever allowing their music to become predictable they managed to display the kind of humour and realism that a lot of their later imitators could only dream of.
ROBERT RENTAL: Early second generation British experimentalist who followed in Daniel Millers footsteps and in fact recorded a live LP with him for Rough Trade. Also involved in an LP collaboration with Thomas Leer for Industrial Records.
RE/SEARCH: San Francisco based magazine which has featured many excentric artists including Non, Factrix, SPK, Monte Cazazza, Z'ev and many others. It's brash and exciting layout goes hand in hand with its unorthodox approach and, as a magazine, it works extremely well as an informative guide to what some unorthodox practitioners are up to. After several issues the editors produced a book about William Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Throbbing Gristle and future plans include books on cartoonists and a guide to industrial culture.
RIP-OFF RECORDS: German distribution and mail order service. Material available includes Einsturzende Neubauten's LP 'Kollaps' and other releases on the Zick-Zack label. Also the Super Max series of 12" records including material by Christiana, Mona Mur and Alexander Von Borsig. Contact address: Rip Off, Rambachster 13, 2000 Hamburg 11, West Germany.
'RISING FROM THE RED SAND': The compilation tape that has opened the floodgates for a different kind of music to enter your kitchen. A 2xC60 package in nifty plastic wallets which features an array of groups who can only justify, without doubt, this feature. Available from Third Mind (see Third Mind) it features classic cuts from numerous bands without a duff track (well almost) included. Essential listening and a good intro to the likes of Chris And Cosey, Attrition, Legendary Pink Dots, DDAA, Nurse With Wound, Test Department, Lustmord, Un Department and a host of others.
ANDRE DE SAINT-OBIN: (Holland) Working as a solo artist he has recorded a cassette, 'Sound On Sound' and a single 'Human Machine' for Ding Dong Discs. Whilst working on a new cassette recording Andre has been putting together a group for live appearances. Playing everything from guitar, bass, drums and keyboards his unique sound of effected instruments is powerful and abrasive but never unlistenable (see Ding Dong Discs).
SCHLEIMER K: With two releases of high quality under their collective belts this London based outfit disappeared for some time but have finally returned with an LP entitled 'Wounded Wood'. In search of someone to put it out there should, hopefully, be the opportunity for a wider audience once that task is successfully completed . Their earlier work - an LP on Omega Records and a 12" on Glass - was merely a stepping stone and this new product is a coming of age for their ideas. Rough cut electronics with a generous smattering of effects backs the highly individual vocals of Michael Wolten to provide an almost commercial reading of their talents.
EL SECRETO METRO DU BARCELONA: Comprising of Peque Lino, Victor Nubla and Anton Ignorant, Secreto Metro seem to be the mainstays of the UMYU organisation in Spain (see UMYU). Nubla himself is also involved in outfits with diverse names such as FSM, Los Hablandons, NAIF - cassette out on Mirage - Boris and Macromassa. All of the groups have degrees of similarities moving from free jazz improvisation to avant-garde noise mongering. There's the inevitable varispeed doodlings and lots more besides.
SELEKTION: Label from Germany who have concentrated on more extreme music. Several cassette releases include material from P16 D4, LLL, Permutative Distortion, Pari Kekonnen and Der Letzte Tango. Most notably they've released the sadly ignored international compilation 'Masse Mensch' which features tracks by Nurse With Wounds, P16 D4, Laughing Hands, DDAA, Smegma and the Work. Contact: R. Wehowsky, Wistrmg 27, 65 Mainz 1, West Germany.
MARK SHREEVE: An aspiring architect from Enfield, Shreeve was an infant ivory tinkler who saw the light back in '73 when he first heard Tangerine Dream on John Peel. Unable to read or write music his technique of sitting behind a synth until he came up with something interesting has resulted in four cassette album releases - 3 on Mirage and one on the Dutch Ajistajon label (all available from Mirage) - as well as an LP, 'Thoughts Of War' on the Uniton Label. Touching on the classics at times Shreeve's use of tape loops and noise effects makes his long pieces intriguing and at times emotional with recurring melody lines.
SIRIUS B: Consisting of Ian Barrett and Alan Harvey, Sirius B are from Leeds and have been in existence since the beginning of 1982. Concentrating mainly on recording the duo have released one tape 'Death Of A Seduction' which is available for 85p. Compared to anything from Cabaret Voltaire to Hawkwind, Sirius B in fact retain a certain charm and individuality that is quite refreshing. The tape has sold reasonably well and the next step, when enough interest is created, is to get something onto vinyl - although they still stand by the validity of the cassette medium. Contact: 15, Sandway Gardens, Crossgates, Leeds 15, West Yorks.
SKY RECORDS: The home of European synth music some years back with releases from Eno, Michael Rother, Wolfgang Reichman, Cluster, Roedelius, Mythos and numerous others. Dealing in an area that has been somewhat forgotten in this country, sales were inevitably better abroad and this side of experimental music took somewhat of a backseat to the likes of Cabaret Voltaire and the eventual rise of your Human League etc. Still in operation but lacking the breakthrough, a lot of the new synth artists are being handled by Mirage and Neu Music in this country and Eurock in the States. A new generation of artists has arisen making the Sky releases very interesting in comparison.
DON SLEPIAN: Cassette 'Sea Of Bliss' available from Mirage. Mirage: "This recording represents one of the most beautiful pieces of meditative music I've heard in a long time. The music is performed on an advanced digital synthesiser and further recordings will be made available later in the year." (see Mirage)
SMEGMA: One of the few American bands who are attempting anything new. Two tracks featured on a side of a Mute 7" shared with Non and a track on the Selektion LP 'Masse Mensch'. Contact: HC Poole, 76 NE Thompson, Portland, OR 97212 USA.
SNATCH TAPES: Cassette label, run by Philip Sanderson, which has tapes featuring material by the Lemon Kittens, Sea Of Wires, David Jackman, Cultural Amnesia, the Storm Bugs and various other artistes. Also the home of Aeroplane Records (see David Jackman). Contact: Snatch Tapes, 112 Elm Grove Road, London, SW13.
SPK: From Australia but residing in England at the moment. The mastermind behind the whole thing is Graeme who along with Dominik formed the group in '78. Members now are Graeme and Sinan, although other people, notably Lustmord, have assisted recently. Graeme: "From the start I've always had a negative way of working where I always rejected 90% of the things I came up with, simply because they sounded like someone else. It's extremely important to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of what's gone before." Extracts from a conversation with Graeme: "The first album was a classic ultra noise album, I suppose, and the next one was more constructed, tape experimentation. "I think I was originally influenced by Neu and Can but the one influence I have really is isolation. "When SPK started I was working as a psychiatric nurse and in Germany SPK stands for Socialist Patients Kollective which was a group of patients in Hidleberg who were making an important parallel between sickness and capitalism. We thought it was a good name because we wanted to use that kind of medical deviant imagery. It was a totally opposite step from what Throbbing Gristle were doing. They were taking the Manson's of this world and making them heroes and I thought it was a mistake because it was like the Sunday newspapers making stars out of these people. "What we were trying to say was that it wasn't some kind of marginal thing, it was central to the whole society." SPK music has varied over the years, latest recordings reveal a hybrid of metal percussion and underlying noise - e.g., the 1982 LP 'Leichenschrei' on Thermidor in the USA. Their first LP 'Information Overload Unit', 'Leichenschrei' and a new 12" 'Dekompositiones' are all currently available from Rough Trade and an interview with SPK will be featured in Sounds in the near future. SPK also stands for Surgical Penis Klinik and SEPPUKU.
STABMENTAL: Magazine put together by Geoff Rushton (now involved with Psychic TV) which concentrated on post-industrial music. Now defunct.
STERILE RECORDS: Home of Nocturnal Emissions and set up by the group's Caroline K and Nigel Ayers to release music that they wanted to hear. RECORDS Tissue Of Lies (Nocturnal Emissions) LP (deleted) Fruiting Body (Nocturnal Emissions) LP Symphony For A Genocide (MB) LP (deleted) Lustmord (Lustmord) LP (deleted) Drowning In A Sea Of Bliss (Nocturnal Emissions) Small quantities of the deleted LP's may still be available at your local record boutique. CASSETTES Standard Response (11 international artists) C45 Just Want To Dance (The Pump) C22 Deathday (Nocturnal Emissions) C30 Live At The Crypt (SPK) C45 Whisky A Go Go Live (Nocturnal Emissions) C45 Lustmordekay (Lustmord) C60 VIDEO Bleeding Images (Nocturnal Emissions) VHS 45 mins Information and material available from Sterile Records, 90, Lilford Road, London, SE5.
SUBJECT: Alain Neffe project that has developed a more accessible stance. Three tracks on the DIA (see DIA) compilation 'Four In One'. One track 'I See You' was hailed as the best Belgian pop song of 1982 by the French rock weekly Tele-Moustique.
SURFACE NOISE: New music, progressive, experimental, electronic, avant- garde, microtonal. American magazine concentrating on all of the above with a healthy regard towards independently released material. Quarterly and available from Mirage, or direct, the last issue (no 5) featured Harry Partch, a piece on mellotrons - remember King Crimson? - Roger Trigaux and extensive reviews on Klaus Schulze, Bernard Xolotl, Nico and numerous others. Contact: Surface Noise, 428 Citrus Road, Melbourne, FL 32935, USA.
TACO: Unorthodox outfit from Japan who have a 12" single out via Eastern Works (see Eastern Works). Their use of classic rock instrumentation over a strange disjointed rhythm makes their record extremely effective even though there's a manic guitar solo in the middle.
TEST DEPARTMENT: Probably one of the most important groups to emerge in Britain for some time. Their use of metal percussion as displayed on their cassette 'Strength Of Metal In Motion' has won them many admirers and they have had tracks lifted from there for several compilations. Based in New Cross their ability to get over to crowds, as displayed at the Batcave, and their new version of 'Shockwerk' - which will appear on the Batcave compilation - will win them new friends. True, there is a commercial angle present in their apocalyptic rhythms and it's more than time that the pathetic pop sensibility was smashed down, my bet is that Test Department are the people to do it. Contact: 8, Nettleton Rd, London, SF14.
THIRD DOOR FROM THE LEFT: Formed at the TG/Final Solution/YMCA gig in '79 by Kevin Thorne and Raymond Georgeson. Two cassettes are available through Cause For Concern (see CFC) which displays the earthy potential of the outfit which was never quite fulfilled. Last year the duo split up with Raymond forming Thirsty War Victims and Kevin becoming We Be Echo (see WBE).
THIRD MIND: Cassette label - and soon to be vinyl - which came from the Tone Death magazine and released 'Rising From The Red Sand' - a compilation of new music. With the success of that release Gary Levermore will be releasing cassettes from Attrition, Portion Control and later in the year a compilation LP featuring the Legendary Pink Dots, SPK, Nurse With Wound and Konstruktivits. Another volume of 'Rising From The Red Sand' is in preparation and other releases will be put together when the cash flow allows - watch this space.
THIS HEAT: Trio who were active most notably at the end of the 70's. Releasing two LPs and a 12" single they experimented with sound over a holocaust of rhythm played on a drum kit augmented by bits of metal. Their constant re-appraisal and reworking of their songs live was always an intriguing spectacle. Their first LP stands as a classic of the genre and is still available.
391: Magazine put together by Nick Cope of Metamorphosis as an alternative to the 'run of the mill bands, records, gigs type fanzine'. A compact collection of images varying from contributions about Dada artists to extracts from Thee Temple Of Psychick Youth. A bargain at 20p plus an sae and available from Nick Cope 2, Clifford Close, Keyworth, Nottingham.
THROBBING GRISTLE: Probably as important as the Sex Pistols for enabling people to break through barriers. Whereas the Pistols showed you could just get up and play, TG showed that it didn't have to be a carbon copy of anything. Treading a thin line between acceptance and total hatred, TG released four studio albums that have inspired many. The trick is not to copy but to do your own thing and break down the musical barriers; luckily a lot of people have. Records available through numerous people; a good insight into their history though is '23 Drifts To Guestling' which you can get from Nanavesh (see Nanavesh).
TONE DEATH: Set up by Gary Levermore, Chris Brownett and Vince Shell to cover music that they liked mixed with more acceptable material, so that people would be able to read about more obscure groups. Two Issues so far have covered a variety of essential new groups - issue 3 featured Nurse With Wound, Pseudo Code, Metamorphosis, Konstruktivits, Lustmord, Chris And Cosey mixed in with Shriekback, Aztec Camera and various other more accessible acts. With the release of their 'Rising Sun From The Red Sand' double C60 compilation on their Third Mind label they made a lot more people aware of interesting music that was coming out in Europe. Future plans sees the magazine being even better put together and more concentration on Third Mind. Chris and Gary are also involved in the group Bushido. Contact: 20, Spire Avenue, Tankerton, Whitstable, Kent.
TOUCH: A four man operation hell bent on supplying music and visuals of a higher standard. Their first faltering steps, 'Feature mist', comprised of a booklet and cassette with contributions from New Order, Simple Minds and various others. 'Touch 33', a supplement, is a C60 with one side of ethnic music and a side of experimental music fused in one long piece. Both tapes are essential listening. Future plans include a cassette/magazine featuring (hopefully) Einsturzende Neubauten, Deux Filles, Test Department, Gorp and a host of others. High standard finishing in both sound and vision ensures that Touch will be with us for some time to come and the quality of their contents show even more so the importance of the venture. Contact: c/o 83, George St, London, W1.
TRAX: Italian multi-media label who have released all manner of wondrous stuff. Mail Art, 3D viewing cards, magazines records and cassettes. The Area Condizionata series of cassettes and magazines featured in its first issue Italian radical bands and the seconds should be with us soon. The first LP project had something special about it too. Ten artists were selected from around the world and they sent tapes to each other, each worked on top of the other - maximum of 3 contributors per track - and the results were released. Those involved included Nocturnal Emissions, Enrico Piva, Vittore Baroni and others. The next project is an LP of International anthems from all over the world. So far lined up to contribute are Naif Orchestra (Italy), DDAA (France), Merbow (Japan), P16 D4 (Germany), La Otra Cara De Un Jardin (Spain), Stano (Ireland) and various others. Contact: Vittore Baroni, Via Raffaelli 2, 55042 Forte Dei Marmi, Italy.
TUXEDO MOON: Originally from the San Franciscan Subterranean/Ralph school - Residents, MX80 Sound, Chrome - TM released several albums in the States, one on Pre and following a few London appearances a couple of years ago disappeared to Belgium. As a three piece their sound excursions always had a hint of the commercial about them but since their move to Brussels they have been cut down to a nucleus of two - Blaine Reininger and Steven Brown - with several floating musicians assisting. Their last LP, 'Divine', was the score to Maurice Bejart's ballet in tribute to Greta Garbo and they are currently working with Chinese/American poet Winston Tong. Steve Brown also has an LP out in collaboration with Benjamin Lew on the Crammed Discs label (available through Rough Trade).
23 SKIDOO: From the restrictions of funk to the edge of experimentation Skidoo have never compromised - as displayed on their recent Operation Twilight LP, 'The Culling Is Coming'. Two totally contrasting sides, one live at WOMAD using found metal objects as percussion and the other recorded at Darlington Hall on a gamelan orchestra. There are rumours of a commercial single, they've just completed a tour of Yugoslavia and they are heading off again to Europe for more live appearances. Alex: "Noise has lost its shock value."
TWIN VISION: Set up by Dominik Guerin, formerly of SPK, and Kolleen Ford as an alternative video company, Twin Vision have so far released two tapes with another two in preparation . Twin 1: 'Despair' by SPK retails for œ6 and is rated XXX. Featuring live footage of SPK including the Birkwerz performance and the karnage of the 1982 US tour, it lasts 60 minutes and is punctuated by the ultimate in severed head sensations. Twin 2: Untitled, features two autopsy films with incidental music by SPK. It lasts 60 minutes and goes for œ15. Twin 3: Almost completed is a two hour compilation tape which will sell for E18 and features SPK, Chris And Cosey, Nocturnal Emissions, Lustmord, La Loora from Germany, Portion Control, Die Todliche Doris and various others. Twin 4: 'The Films Of Deadly Doris' by Die Todliche Doris features several films by this excentric German outfit (see Die Todliche Doris). Lasting 60 minute it sells for œ16 and features the near legendary 'Life Of Sid Vicious with a two year old infant in the lead role. All Twin Vision tapes are VHS and can be obtained for the above prices (cheques made payable to Dominik Guerin or Kolleen Ford) which include post and packing from 68, Bonnington Square, London, SW8 1TG.
TWO DAUGHTERS: With a track on the Cherry Red compilation 'Perspective And Distortion' and an LP released through United Dairies, Two Daughters promised so much but have recently been rumoured to have disbanded. Their use of tape loops and disjointed sound made their debut LP an exciting package. If you're out there, get in touch.
UMYU: Spanish label with a healthy roster of experimental/avant-garde music on its books. Releases go back to 1976 and include material from Macromass, Peruchos, Zulian And Ordinas and Secreto Metro. 'The most great not existing organisation' claims their letterhead and the music which they are responsible for suggests that they should be existing (discovered) soon. Contact: UMYU, Tordera, 36, 2, 2, Barcelona 12, Spain.
UNITED DAIRIES: Label run by John Fothergill and Steve Stapleton concerned with groups that they find interesting and different. Over the six or so years of its existence it has released many challenging and essential records and lost quite a bit of money due to lack of support from the media and the high quality packaging are pressing that they insist on, Done purely for the love of the music, most of the releases below are still available (contact: 35, Brackenbury Rd, E. Finchley, London, N2). Catalogue UD001: NURSE WITH WOUND 'Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table' UD002: LEMON KITTENS 'We Buy A Hammer For Daddy' UD003: NURSE WITH WOUND 'To The Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl' UD004: NURSE WITH WOUND 'Merzbild Schwet' UD005: BOMBAY DUCKS 'Dance Music' UD006: VARIOUS 'Hoisting The Black Flag' UD007: LEMON KITTENS 'Cake Beast' UD008: NURSE WITH WOUND 'Insect And Individual Silenced' UD009: THE 150 MURDEROUS PASSIONS UD010: MUSIQUE CONCRET 'Bringing Up Baby' UD011: OPERATING THEATRE 'Rapid Eye Movement' UD012: VARIOUS 'An Afflicted Man's Musica Box' UD013: NURSE WITH WOUND 'Homotopy To Marie' All releases are LPs except UD007.
UNLIKELY RECORDS: With the slogan 'You don't know what you'll like until you hear it' Unlikely have released a series of tapes. 'Real Time', featuring unknown bands from all over the country. Not everything is likeable, of course, as mentor Robert Cox admits: "I don't like everything on RT but I try to put things of merit/value/curiosity on the tapes. In that context it works. Over the five releases tracks of interesting value have come to light for unorthodox approach or even just downright inventiveness. Real Time 1 featured Part Form from Liverpool who deserve further investigation and E.G. Oblique Graph (see also Muslimgauze), UV Pop from Sheffield, Attrition (see Attrition) and Sirius B (see Sirius B) have all been on subsequent releases. The most cohesive selection, though, must be side two of Real Time 4 which features the intriguing Ffuts from London, Jung Analysts and Push- Button Pleasure from Ipswich, Paul Kelday from West Sussex, Syd Nairda who is like Morricone gone electronic and a contribution from Cox himself. Real Time tapes are available from Unlikely Records, 42, Haven Close, Felixstowe, Suffolk.
URBAN SAX: Founded in France in 1973 by Gilbert Artman, Urban Sax have grown to 50 performers - approximately 35 saxophonist accompanied by gongs, vibraphones, chorus and dancers. Two LPs on the French Cobra label have been released and display a dirge like soundscape which gradually changes as it progresses. The most acceptable way to take Urban Sax though is in a live environment. The performers are clad in black or white outfits with metallic or polythene skins and insectile helmets. Splitting into various mobile groups they overflow normal concert environments using the space around gradually leading the audience towards one central point. Having appeared at numerous festivals and events in Europe they will be making their first British appearance at (or around) the Theatre Royal, Bath on the 8th of June. 'The saxophones of the apocalypse' 'Some ritualistic celebration from a civilisation lost or not yet known'. Contact: Roxana Knight, 121, Richmond Avenue, London, N10.
VAN KAYE AND IGNIT: (Arnhem, Holland) A trio comprising of Ed Van Kasteren (Van Kaye), Ignit (Ignit) and William Wiusselink (Wizzkopf). Van Kaye started singing in the Monomen in 1977 and recorded an LP which never saw the light of day. At the end of 1980 he began working with synthesisers and developing extreme sounds. Joined by Ignit, who had previously worked in the field of art and performance, they recorded and released 'A Slight Delay' through their own Ding Dong Discs label (see Ding Dong Discs). Another ex-Monoman, Wizzkopf, later joined after releasing a 10" EP by Mathilde Santing on his own 1,000 Idiots label - now available through WEA. VK&I have also contributed to various compilation tapes in their very personal commercial style of electronic music. Recommended: 'A Slight Delay' (Ding Dong Discs) cassette, 'Picasso's On The Wall' (Ding Dong Discs) EP
VELVET UNDERGROUND: Maybe not 'experimental' but always innovative and attempting to re-route the rock traditions. As influential to new outfits, as was punk, in their ability to open the doors for others to try new things. When Lou Reed's contract with RCA was almost up his double album departure, the tongue in cheek, 'Metal Machine Music' may have been a joke but it influenced a new generation of noise makers. Check out the Velvet's 'And So On', 'Etc' Plastic Inevitable LP's and the box set 'Everything You've Ever Heard About...' for trailers of tape loops and less mainstream material.
CYRILLE VERDEAUX: Former leader of Clearlight, Verdeaux has managed to use his classical roots with the latest technology to produce some eloquent music. Still touching on his roots and employing a grand piano to the full he has also been involved in a collaboration with Bernard Xolotl. Two cassette LP's, 'Offrandes' and 'Nocturne Digitales' can be obtained from Mirage (see Mirage).
VICE VERSA: Mentioned as sending tapes of their early demos to Throbbing Gristle in Industrial News 3. Their fusion of drum-machine driven electronics and northern soul as displayed on their Futurama appearance was exciting and inviting but they chose to trade In their credibility for shiny suits and a career in ABC. An EP was available on their own label, Neutron, but was too tongue in cheek to be serious.
VIDEO: A lot of the more experimental groups have started to become involved in the production of videos. Future products are scheduled from Portion Control, SPK, Nocturnal Emissions and Chris And Cosey and some material is already available. Companies Twin Vision and Doublevision have already begun to build up their catalogues and as an experimental visual media it will undoubtedly be much used in coming years.
VOX: Magazine compiled and thoughtfully put together by Dave Clifford (449A, South Circular Road, Rialto, Dublin 8, Ireland) which, as well a providing a healthy guide to the Irish scene, has featured numerous experimental and avant-garde luminaries. Past issues, a mere 45p each, have featured TG, Gilbert And Lewis, Nocturnal Emissions, Eyeless In Gaza, Lemon Kittens, Virgin Prunes and many others. Essential reading.
WE BE ECHO: Set up by ex-Third Door From The Left man Kevin Thorne when that outfit split up. New material takes more risks and is ultimately more fulfilling with more depth and structure. A cassette LP is in the process of being put together and should appear on Cause For Concern (see CFC) In the near future. Kevin has also been involved in the recording of the next Chris And Cosey LP.
WHITEHOUSE: Leaders in the field of power electronics and mainstays of the Come Organisation. (see Power Electronics).
WIRE: Caught up in the first - and most effective and important - wave of punk, Wire were always on the edge. Their dabblings in unorthodox song construction - note their new Rough Trade single, 'Crazy About Love', taken from a Peel session in 1979 - resulting in their demise and eventual collapse due to the public's refusal to accept their new direction. Robert Gotobed seems to have disappeared, Colin Newman carried on in more commercial vein while Gilbert and Lewis pushed themselves to new boundaries in Dome and now Duet Emmo.
DR WIZE: In fact the versatile Dennis Weisse who is featured on the Eurock compilation of American music. Varying from almost ethnic soirees with kalimbas to more contemporary synth dance music (see Eurock).
BERNARD XOLOTL: Straddling the uncomfortable line of being almost cosmic, Xolotl manages to come up with a strange hybrid of classical and electronic music with his mixing of synthesisers and traditional string instruments. He has two cassette LP's available through Mirage (see Mirage) and a collaboration with Cyrille Verdeaux.
YOU'VE GOT FOETUS ON YOUR BREATH: The brainchild of Jim Thirwell, aka Frank Want, whose mutant reading of music has been displayed in numerous formats as Foetus Under Glass, Foetus Over Frisco, You've Got Foetus..., Philips and His Foetus Vibrations, Foetus In Your Bed and the soon to be revealed Foetus On The Beach. The multi-faceted talent which is cocooned within the Self-Immolation label has produced some diverse and occasionally 'rock' based music without ever being predictable. Foetus are true heroes of the non-image image and with the current attention of Stevo (a rumour) you should be hearing a lot more about them all.
Z'EV: Percussionist and performance artist who specialises in found and assembled pieces of metal. Beginning his work in 1978 he finally made Britain on the Fetish night at the Lyceum in 1981 where he stunned the assembled multitude by crashing numerous metal sheets across a miked up stage. A single and video were released on Fetish and the video is about to be re-released on Cabaret Voltaire's Doublevision label. An excentric character Z'EV has also been involved in various written projects but his work with noise is his most outlandish and exciting facet. The video sees him beating hell out of pieces of metal in what seems to be a tacky club, you'd never get it at the Camden Palace but I'd like to see Rusty Egan drum along with it if you did.
(or a good place to start)
There will be a sporadic news/reviews section featured in Sounds which will concentrate on bands featured in this listing plus articles on several of the acts. Thanks to the following for their help and enthusiasm without whom this would have been impossible; Edward Ka Spel, Steve Stapleton, Gary Levermore, Graeme from SPK, Nigel Ayers, Martin Reed, Dave Elliot, Ian Dobson, Dave Farmer, Chris And Cosey, Portion Control, Pat Bermingham, Ptose Production, DDAA, Ignit, Vittore Baroni, Andreas Muller, Test Department, DIA, Larry Peterson, Dan Landin, Selektion, Touch, Dave Farmer, Kevin Thorne, Dominik, Lustmord, the Recloose Organisation and everyone else who wrote and contributed.