Showing posts with label 70s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 70s. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Australian Post-Punk Update


I used to write about music quite a lot here on me blog and Australian Post-Punk was a favourite topic of mine. The real stuff, I mean, that happened in the late 70s and early 80s. None of this faux shit from the last 20 years. Anyway there has been some activity over at Jonny Zchivago's legendary Blog Die or DIY? with some posts of stuff that's never been reissued since those olden days ie. Philip Brophy's Tsk Tsk Tsk. I've never been able to find their records in physical form or in a file format. So go here to find the Venitian Rendezvous EP, Nice Noise EP, Caprice EP and Spaces LP.





While you are over at Jonny's site don't forget to check out some other choice Antipodean post-punk. He has posted a bunch of Sydney stuff including a stack of seminal compilations on the Terse Tapes label, a coupla things from the M Squared label, some primo Slugfuckers, a Negative Reaction tape and miscellaneous Systematics releases.

There's also some other seminal Melbourne experimental post-punk but those records have been reissued in the last few years so you've probably got those Essendon Airport, Asphixiation and Primitive Calculators LPs/cds.

Speaking of The Primitive Calculators they have released a new LP On Drugs and it's here.


Friday, 22 June 2018

On The UK Prog Tip


MIRAGE - CAMEL (1974)
I'm no expert on UK prog, I know more about French, Italian, German, Australian and Swedish progressive rock. I've hardly checked out Pink Floyd post Saucerful Of Secrets since I was a teen. I know me King Crimson Larks' Tongues In Aspic/Red/Starless & Bible Black era due to my brother, some primo Van Der Graf Generator and Gong (I guess they're more like an international prog supergroup) but that's about it. I've been totally diggin' Mirage though, every song's a winner. Some choice keyboard workouts and impressive wayward guitar parts. Very enjoyable.


IN THE LAND OF GREY & PINK - CARAVAN (1971)
I guess this one's still pretty psych in parts but kinda jazzy with a great rhythmic sensibility, fey vocals and hints of pastoral folk. In The Land Of Grey & Pink is particularly delightful in that whimsical British sense. Hatfield & The North and Egg await.


ACQUIRING THE TASTE - GENTLE GIANT (1971)
This is an incredibly inventive album with intriguingly unlikely musical juxtapositions and haunting visions. One of Tony Visconti's finest production achievements. As the title suggests this is an acquired taste you'll either be seduced by this eerie madness or hate it with a passion....er...I'm in the former camp. I can imagine Scandinavian black metal bands diggin' on these ghostly medieval(?) vibes interspersed with heavy psych-prog guitar interludes, outlandish percussion and mysterious ye olde folk with jazzy undercurrents.



FRAGILE - YES (1971)
I can't believe how much I've been enjoying Yes. I was always led to believe that they were naff. I didn't realise how influential they were/are on the likes of Rush, 70s corporate radio rock, prog-metal and maybe even some indie rock. Exceptionally surprising pop hooks amongst the proggy and neo-classical jams. Love the psych-fuzz and Wah-wah on The Fish.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Mort Garson - Black Mass Lucifer


I was listening to this the other day through the computer which was transmitting to a stereo system via bluetooth. The bluetooth wasn't functioning so great with interference, static, clicking, distortion and kept cutting out. Before I got around to pairing the computer to the stereo again I kept listening. If I'd just walked into the room and heard these sonic textures I would have asked 'Is this the new Ekoplekz album?' so I just listened to the rest without fixing the bluetooth connection.

Ekoplekz might be a fan of this for all I know. It's got all that pre-industrial electronic stuff going on and I guess it's not that far removed from your industrial/pre-post-punk of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Residents etc. This is the sort of stuff (Egisto Macchi, Moggi, Bruce Haack, Gyl Trythall, M Zalla etc.) I was heavily into in the mid/late 00s via sharity blogs. Later, reissues started popping via The Omni Recording Corporation and a bunch of other record companies. Anyway amongst Garson's catalogue are a couple of other classics, specifically the pastoral loveliness of Mother Earth's Plantasia and the mischievous sinister sounds of The Unexplained: Musical Impressions of The Occult under the pseudonym Ataraxia.



*This has been reissued in the last month according to discogs.

Friday, 16 March 2018

No Rest For The Wicked



1976. Here's an LP that is amazing. Power trio shit up there with Blue Cheer, ZZ Top, Rush and whoever. This group is sometimes so in the pocket I can't believe it. I'll analyse it later but for now just enjoy. Sometimes it even reminds me of Television, perhaps it's just the guitars they use I dunno. Rock on!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

1971: Heavy Psych/Prog Jams



Now this is what I'm talkin' 'bout. Heavy-psych/sludgey-acid-prog-blues man. This is pure early 70s gold. Get out yer bong or drop some acid, you decide.



Moog driven heavy space prog jam. If there's similar shit like this out in the world please let me know. Sometimes I think 1971 is the best year in music ever. That's probably not a very cool thing to say but I don't give a fuck. This tune blows my fucking mind man. This band is a band. Everyone's contributing good stuff. The rhythm section is cookin' while that keyboard goes mental. The singing and guitars are perfectly complimentary too.



Now this one gets pretty far out into almost drone territory in the middle. Then they pick up the momentum and it comes back into an amazing heavy psych-prog climax with a bass sound from outer space. Incredible shit. I don't think this even got a mention in Japrocksampler as far as I recall(?)

Monday, 19 February 2018

Dio & Metal & ....



There is something very business like about certain metal. The way they trade singers and guitarists like it's a fucking football draft. The bands don't necessarily feel organic or like a gang.

Somewhere on the internet the other day someone mentioned the lead singer of Whitesnake had been in Deep Purple. I always just thought they were an American poodle hair metal band. I did only know a couple of 80s Whitesnake music videos featuring scantily clad ladies. My metal knowledge is somewhat lacking. I guess I'm more into your 70s hard rock, proto-metal, heavy prog and space rock with huge blind spots when it comes to conventional heavy metal and NWOBHM. I've never been able to get into Iron Maiden or Judas Priest like I have with say the likes of Blue Oyster Cult, Truth & JaneyThin Lizzy, Motorhead, Scorpions or Venom (maybe one day but I'm not holding my breath). Where the hell do bands like Accept and WASP fit in? I guess I need to do some research. Actually I've watched all those Banger docos so I suppose I've just forgotten about the shit groups that I don't care about.

I like Deep Purple (LPs like In Rock, Machine Head, Live In Japan etc.). I only really started to recognise their charms when I got old. They do tend to get overlooked as metal pioneers in favour of your Led Zeppelins and Black Sabbaths, particularly these days. It's weird that I know fuck all about them except maybe they recorded once in a castle in Germany and it burt down or something or nothing (?). I guess I know more about the post-Deep Purple activities of Richie Blackmore because I quite liked Rainbow due to several live videos that used to get played on Rage in the late 80s when I was a teenager. Their 1976 LP Rising is a classic.



Then there was Rainbow's Ronnie James Dio who later joined Black Sabbath for a couple of albums in the early 80s. Not that I know much about him either. I was somehow aware that his first couple of solo records were rated by metal heads and then Henry Rollins once mentioned him in a stand up comedy routine in the early 90s.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is the stories of these people David Coverdale (singer of Deep Purple and Whitesnake), Richie Blackmore (guitarist of Deep Purple and Rainbow) and Ronnie James Dio (Vocalist extraordinaire of Rainbow, Black Sabbath & solo) are all relatively interesting. Why don't Mojo and the like cover this sort of stuff instead of going over and over the minutiae of Bob Dylan's motor bike spokes (Sure I haven't flicked through an issue for years but I assume....)

Maybe I have to start reading the metal equivalent to Mojo or maybe a history of metal. Any recommendations out there? I did read that Chuck Eddy book on 500 metal albums but that was hardly an overview of orthodox metal. More like one dude's trip into heavy music that pissed off many an orthodox metal head.



Scorpions, they were German. They also rocked.

Friday, 26 January 2018

RIP Mark E Smith

Go to my twitter for more tributes to the great man. I'm trying not to double up on the stuff I've already posted there. I also don't wanna use all those same words that have been used to describe Mark E Smith and The Fall over and over again throughout their existence. So here are just a handful of tunes and videos from the first ten years of The Fall's recorded output.


M.E.S.
1957 - 2018



Recorded in 1977 and released in 1978.



1979's Rowche Rumble is the 3rd Fall single and what a cracker.



B-side to Fiery Jack. The Fall's B-sides were often as good as the A-sides and usually didn't feature on the LPs.



Single number 6 which was also not included on their album of the time. This is why Fall compilations are such an integral part of their discography. Is Totally Wired The fall's finest moment? It's fucking exhilarating. Has a song title ever fitted a song's sound so literally? 



My Favourite Fall LP (well for today anyway, interchangeable with about seven others), released in 1980 on Rough Trade.



Another great stand alone single from November 1981. This is peak period Fall right here folks.



This was the B-side to Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul from 1981. You got bang for your buck with Fall 7"s back then. I guess these were more like double A-sides, doncha reckon?



The B-side to another non-LP single Look Know from 1982. Just to clear up any confusion it was later included as a bonus track on the expanded cd version of Hex Enduction Hour.


C.R.E.E.P from 1984. Another mighty era for The Fall. This is when Brix Smith became an indispensable member of the mid 80s Fall line-up. The shiny new Fall now had boy/girl vocals, hooks galore and rhythms for the dance-floor.



Cruisers Creek a 1985 single. V dodgy vhs transfer of the film clip. Remember when youtube was just a bunch of old shonky vhs tapes?



LA is quite possibly the coolest tune in rock history. It's all happening here: the band, the production, the inspiration, the synergy.....spellbinding! They were not only top of their game, they were top of THE game. Taken from 1985's musical triumph This Nation's Saving Grace. LA is also AA-side to Cruiser's Creek.



1987 single which was a cover of an old 70s tune, maybe a Northern Soul or Motown number. I remember hearing it on a soul radio show 10 years ago and freaked out because I always thought it was a Mark E Smith tune.



There were a bunch of versions of this ecstatic dance-floor anthem. Which one is this? I dunno. Hit The North should have been a global No. 1 with a bullet. 

*There is so much more to The Fall than just this motley selection of tracks. I could go on for days. I haven't even posted any live numbers or Peel Sessions. If you really get into The Fall it can be a captivating passion. 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Shango Dance Band - Position Pass Power

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY BARRACKS



Deep in a rabbit hole on the youtubes last night I discovered this lost gem of psych tinged afrobeat from the early 70s. Some of these dudes were from Fela Kuti's 60s group Koola Lobitos. Position Pass Power is on the Shango Dance Band LP which was reissued last year.

I'm amazed that there is any undiscovered stuff from 70s Nigeria left after the massive excavation of the last 20 years. They made a hell of lot of great music in those parts during that era. I still haven't got around to listening to Now Again's Ten years in the making 4 LP compilation from 2016 Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock 1972-77. I thought that was probably going to be the epic final chapter in Nigerian 70s archival sets but maybe not. Let's hope the gems continue to be unearthed.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Anthony White - Block Party

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 12


1977
More funky 12" mix gold from Walter Gibbons. How bout those high-hats and that cow bell? 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Double Exposure - Ten Percent

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 10 (%)


1976
According to Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, Peter Shapiro's excellent 2005 book, this was the first disco mix released commercially on a 12". Walter Gibbons was to go from strength to strength in the remix department. Ten Percent was an auspicious start.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Angel Rada



This is taken from the Soul Jazz comp Venezuela 70 which was released this year. I don't think I'd ever heard anything from Venezuela before. I have many records from Brasil, Columbia & Peru but this is a new territory for me. The above tune is the outstanding one for me on that collection - South American space synth jam dedicated to Klaus Schulze.



This one's on Venezuela 70 as well.... pretty good too. Details about Rada on the web are v sketchy. He was in the band Gas Light then went solo. He studied music in Germany in the 70s. That's about it.



Wow...this tune is not on the Soul Jazz compilation but is incredible. Upadesa puts me in mind of an even stranger Illitch if that's possible. This is fabulous lost Kosmische synthesiser music. A musical revelation to the eardrums. So all of the above tracks were on Angel Rada's record Upadesa released sometime in the 70s (???). This is the kind of thing that would have been posted on Mutant Sounds back in the day. Is there more unheard gold out there?

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Mac Bits....


I loved this when it came out. I would have only been like 8 but it got played to death on the regional radio station of my childhood 3MA when I lived in Buronga. Of course I wouldn't have realised the Stevie Nicks connection. Maybe I thought it was Fleetwood Mac though, I mean it's co-produced by Lindsay Buckingham. I think I actually only learnt that a year or two back!






This was on a hits compilation (Chartbusters?) when I was like 10. I wouldn't have realised who he was until at least 5 years later. I remember my sister thinking he was a bit of alright. I dunno though, he's stacked on a few pounds and isn't as cool as he was during the Rumours/Tusk era or even circa The Dance. Is this a good tune? I have no idea. I can't get it out of my head though.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

RIP Stevie Wright




Surely Friday On My Mind should be Australia's national anthem. Strangely, I had written an entire post about this song for my 2015 wrap up but never posted it because I thought it was too negative. It was about how this tune ceased to be my weekly anthem as I'd given up the booze and finishing work on Friday had become something to not look forward to....blah blah blah...anyway after a couple of years I decided to have a wee drink on Friday nights again and well...the song's status may well be restored soon, I hope. Stevie, the lead singer of The Easybeats, died a few days ago. He had hedonistic demons that nearly destroyed him at one point. Wright suffered brain damage due to controversial treatment of his addictions in the 70s. He made several comebacks though. I saw one of these appearances that he made on the telly late one night and it was heartbreaking yet triumphant at the same time. That brought me to bittersweet tears which is no mean feat for the hard arse I thought I was at the time. So this guy touched me like few artists ever have plus he was fucking awesome! RIP.



Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Top 3 LP Covers Of All Time

I was filling in a questionnaire about best LP covers the other day and found it really hard. My conclusion in the end was that movie posters are much better pop art than album covers. What surprised me most was how much I didn't give a fuck about the artwork for albums. Perhaps movie posters are better because they promise so much yet the actual movie rarely delivers on that promise. Movie posters as an entity unto themselves seem like a much more successful artform than the poster as part of the combination with the movie or album artwork by itself. Album artwork really seems to be an afterthought doesn't it? Music doesn't need it's sizzle to be sold because it speaks for itself.

Sure I had a few other favorites but below are my top three LP covers of all time and the music is awesome too...just slightly magnificent.


Big Fun is surely the best LP cover ever. The soundz within are bloody exceptional too!


In Concert is quite possibly my fave Miles record.....uh and that cover!



An amazing trilogy of funky ghetto pimp shit that really suits the tunes. The album sleeves for In Concert & On The Corner were once described as 'tastelessness' by Canadian jazz magazine Coda, ha...the last laugh is on you Coda, tastelessness never tasted sooo good. Don't you love how people with a different taste to you describe it as no taste as if there couldn't possibly be an alternative to their specific tastes. Stupid. I love these Corky McCoy cartoon covers more than the covers Mati Klarwein did for Miles Davis but they're great too (see below), if a little tasteful.



How good is the Live/Evil one? Fucking mental.

The two different styles of cover art really sum up where Miles was at, at the time. A culture clash of high culture and trash. Davis was making mercurial epoch defining art and designing sonic templates for future genres to plunder but he also really wanted to be down with what was happening on the bad ass fonkay streets. He wanted to eat his cake. I think he did and then some.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

On The Hi-Fi - Part !!!


The fog has lifted slightly but I feel like I can barely string a cohesive sentence together. I'm strugglin to get past 'I like/don't like' sort of writing at the moment. Deep analysis might be out the window until my brain gets flowing again. Sometimes it seems you need to be a musicologist to review this (above) kind of shit but no, I'm gonna give it a Space Debris crack. This is very bloody good. Before we had jungle we had the polyrhythmic mentalness of this Latino shit. Some of this music is as outre as Miles in the 70s while some of it sounds like it could have been off the soundtrack to The Love Boat. Many a legend is to be found on this comp that came out 20 years ago including Palmieris Charlie & Eddie, Joe Bataan, Ocho, Grupo Folklorico etc. This new version has an added cd with 8 tracks that weren't on the original collection.  Do I need to mention Cuba, Boogalooo, Salsa Classic, Puerto Rico, New York, Fonkay or whatever? This is Superfly, sometimes soulful, jazzy, summertime and everything else in between! Makes you want to drink cocktails in the sun and dance like you think you are the greatest dancer ever.


LIVE IN ALCALPULCO - DDAA (1981) (Tape 2)
Well I was not expecting this. I had previously heard DDAA's Nouvelles Construction Sonores Sur Fondations which was a lengthy drifting sonic art collage released in 1991. When the opening tune Ready With The Answer came on with it's rubbish bin percussion and mental guitar I was so shocked I thought this was a different group altogether. It caused a flurry of research and no it wasn't two different groups, it was the one and only DDAA. As far as I can tell they were a 3 piece who had formed in France in 1979. This release is surely where Sun City Girls got all their inspiration. Live In Alcalpulco is fabulously minimal stuff that sometimes sounds like a Middle Eastern no-fi Slint gone acoustic with drums made of cardboard. Then it goes psych post-punk like a No-Wave group stranded in the desert jamming while imbibing mushrooms then incredibly inventive drones, space invader noises and gamelan-esque percussive sounds enter the fray. The crowd of two like it a lot and clap enthusiastically (surely this is a faux-live record). I thought I was hip to all the under-underground classics by now, but no way, I was not even aware of this double cassette until today. Subterranean Gold!


I have been waiting for a new release from Gesaffelstein since his classic Aleph from 2013. I guess this isn't the true follow up to that masterpiece of 'beautiful paranoid atmospheres, bangin streamlined EBM and Cold Rushes.' It does have the cold and paranoid atmospheres but not so much the bangin club tunes. I assume Maryland is a horror film because this is quite the grim soundtrack. An hour earlier my brain had been comparing Burzum's ambient black metal tunes to those of the mid 90s electronic doom/gloom-core variety ie. Miro, The Mover, Reign etc. so it was weird that this turned up as surely Gesaffelstein loves all that stuff. Wall Of Memories could be a Burzum track with it's simple but bizarre piano phrase that is chilling to the (hard)core. Could a horror score be album of the year two years in a row?

*The Space Debris airwaves have been featuring the aforementioned Burzum plus the likes of Bathory, Ulver, Celtic Frost, Wolf Eyes (??), Bene Gesserit, Skin, Swans, Crime & The City Solution, Clint Ruin & Lydia Lunch, Terror Danjah, Isolee, Ricardo Villalobos, Arthur Russell, Future, Young Thug and er.....Gong. A little old school hip hop has been on the decks too including the likes of LL Cool J, Schooly D, EPMD, Slick Rick, NWA, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Dr Dre etc. with a blog post coming up on these ye olde artists and the current state of Hip-Hop.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 - How Shit?


I've gotta say 2015 has got to be the worst music year since fuck before the 2nd World War, I reckon. I'm stuck in 90s musical zones (see above) myself and don't particularly care that my listening isn't drifting back to the now. In fact I want to stay right in those places when and where the possibilities seemed endless. Me and the Mrs discussed a furniture shop closing down near our house the other day and ended up in the terrain of "Is that it then? Music's finite so i guess furniture is too." I was saying how these retro interior design shops had become so uninspired and formulaic, why would anyone want to spend money on this new old shit when there's plenty of old shit anyway?. The retro eclecticism, of the products in these shops, is disappearing up it's own arse at an accelerating rate. Is it that no one is game enough to say right here's a new style? So we just continue down these tasteful but conservative aesthetic avenues? Nobody's killing their idols. There's way too much reverence. We lived through a modernist time but that has gone. Where are the generation gaps? The kids don't even want one. Teenagers don't seem to exist anymore, kids don't leave home until they're over 25 now. You used to leave home and disassociate yourself from your family and become a whole new you, severed from the past. Emma went to the Bowie exhibition in Melbourne last weekend and said there were kids sans parents there. I thought what the fuck? These youngsters are going back 40 years. In 1985 diggin the 60s seemed old but it had only ended 15 years prior. When I was 17 (by then we had Public Enemy, The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jnr., Acid House, Hip-Hop etc.) I wouldn't have been caught dead being interested in a culture that was 40+ years old. Strange days indeed.

*This is raw thought data that's still being processed in my mind.



**A retro curio in itself. First issued in 1971 (maybe the year I was born) on his Hunky Dory LP then was later released as a single in 1973 when Bowie had reached stardom. It became a massive hit in the UK.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

70s Indonesian Meta music



'Every music and melody I love.'

You can't love music much more than that can ya?

'I love Rolling Stones/I love Led Zeppelin.' 

*Funnily enough after that last post about The Doors I went to bed and put on this album for some reason and this is the first track. So this is Panbers from the fabulous compilation released a few years back (2011) by NowAgain Records called Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock & Funk 1970-1978. Anyway this is my 3rd perhaps final contribution to Blissblog's Music Music series. Great tune eh?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

MUD - Groups I'm really starting to get Part 1



Who knew Mud started in the 60s? I thought they must have formed in about 1972 as a bunch of charlatans jumping on the glam bandwagon to make a fast buck. They obviously had deep talent and a love for for music though. This was released in 1967 and didn't bother the charts but it stands the test of time, reminiscent of contemporaneous influences The Bee Gees. I don't know what they did between 67 and 73 but that's a big wait for success innit? I know they released several singles on different labels but with no chart action. For some reason they kept on truckin. Mickie Most saw something in them in 1973 and signed them to his RAK label. Mud finally hit pay dirt with 3 singles from 1973 all Chinnichap productions and compositions. These are the following three videos of which two were top 20 hits and Dynamite reached no 4.



This is fucking fantastic. Mud could have been a serious proposition. I mean I guess they were were with huge record sales by the mid 70s. Lead singer Les Gray was so charismatic. But they kinda had a bit of the class clown about them which wore thin after less than a couple of years. Then again Glam was all about good times and having a laugh was it not? This one carries over a bit of freak beat into glam as well as almost inventing new wave at the same time. One of the coolest tunes ever surely. Talk about atemporal. Absolute classic!



Hypnosis puts me in mind of like a cross between Love and Abba. Who would have thought that would have been a good combo? I'm not even sure if Abba had records out by that stage, anyway who cares this a tuuune and and half.



Classic glam jam right here. Gee the Chinnichap team had a winning formula didn't they?



The Cat Crept In was released in April 1974 and reached number 2 on the UK charts. Les's Elvis-isms start creeping in at this point and would really come to the fore on their Christmas No 1. Lonely This Christmas later that year. Although there was quite a bit of The Big O on that one as well. I guess the use of Lonely in the title was a bit of a giveaway. I can't bring myself to post it though. All those years of waiting to make the big time and by their 7th hit, the aforementioned Christmas single, they'd lost it. They were still reaping in the rewards though weren't they?



This one actually reminds me a little of one my old band's tunes which I didn't write, Greg our drummer did, maybe he was referencing it. The only song of Mud's I vaguely knew back (Youtube not yet invented) then was Tiger Feet from when I was little which must have been on some kind of mid 70s hits compilation. I certainly wouldn't have known who it was by. Mud mustn't have been as big in Australia as Slade, Sweet, Suzi, Marc, Gary Glitter et al. Anyway Rocket's got more Elvis inflections in the verses here. This was issued in 1974 and hit the number 6 spot in the UK.


Undeniably infectious pop smarts are displayed on their early 1974 single Tiger Feet. which became their first UK No.1 smash. Tiger Feet stayed on top spot for 4 weeks running. This tune brings out the shoulder jive moves when heard amongst the company of my wife's side of the family who come from North Wales.

Anyway a good little run of tunes over an 18 month period, I reckon. Better than anything Blur or Oasis could come up with.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Lobby Loyde Part 3 or 4 or 5


My Lobby Loyde posts have been a bit all over the shop. They've featured his stints in 60s bands The Purple Hearts and The Wild Cherries and his short stints with The Aztecs at the end of the 60s and Rose Tattoo at the end of 79 into 80. I've covered The Coloured Balls Ball Power a couple of times and his great production jobs for X and The Sunnyboys. The above tune, Devil's Disciple, I saw on Rage once and thought what the fuck is that? It later turned up on the Ball Power deluxe reissue from Aztec Music. It turns out that it was a B-side to their inferior version of Mess Of The Blues the 7" A-side that originally came out in 1973. Devil's Disciple is a Lobby original and, let's face it, a blueprint for his successors AC/DC. Lobby was on the (coloured) ball and saw them coming and left them a gift. Funnily enough AC/DC had supported the Coloured Balls a few times. Before joining AC/DC Bon Scott would sometimes get up and jam with Coloured Balls when they played in Adelaide as he was a friend of Lobby's from the old days. Bon Scott had been in Perth mod/bubblegum unit The Valentines in the late 60s and Adelaide's Fraternity in the early 70s before joining AC/DC in 1974. Devil's Disciple, along with a handful of other 7"s, was a bridge between the first and second Coloured Balls LPs.



Heavy Metal Kid their 2nd album was released in October of 1974 and just isn't held in the same esteem as Ball Power. It isn't a bad LP by any means. Heavy Metal Kid just isn't as singular as its predecessor. Still it has classic tunes like the opening title track and the existential Just Because that's like a counterpart to Ball Power's Human Being. Other tunes look back to Rock'n'Roll roots like Do It and Leiber & Stoller's Baby I Don't Care. Private Eye is the band at its most pop with a glammed up Peter Gunn riff and lyrics about being a spy. If it was released as a 7" it would surely have been a hit. EMI didn't see the potential for Private Eye to be hit worthy, huh!? The record company didn't release any singles off Heavy Metal Kid and subsequently failed to promote it much as they saw it as commercially unviable.



See What I Mean is a Trevor Young (drums, vocals & keys) composition which takes them into 70s power ballad territory complete with synths sounding like strings before just deciding to sound like synths along with absurd drum fills but it stays on the good side of such zones. Dance To The Music is a strange one where you think its gonna be all good time Rock'n'Roll but turns out to be a muted melancholy tune, like they couldn't actually be bothered getting off the couch to do what they're singing about. Yes and No 's 50 seconds of psych noodling is followed by Back To You, a classic guitar driven Coloured Balls tune with reverbed to the max vocals and keyboards that give it a strange edge. The best bits though are when Lobby gets going and does a little shredding before ending up in space/stadium/lighters in the air rock territory. Need Your Love is almost comic like a Ringo Starr throwback. Sitting Bull is a bit wrong with its faux Native American chants and a little bit awesome because it sounds soo good with its 70s west coast vibe. This tune is reminiscent of similar themed tunes by Silver Apples and JD Loudermilk. The vocals are then over with and the last four tunes are a panoply of instrumentals starting with the boogie Custer's Last Stand then Metal Feathers which is a mellow acoustic and keyboard jam ending with ticking and gonging clock, nice. Space rock enters the fray again on Tin Tango with what could be an early computer game soundtrack which gets all plinky plonky early electronics stylee at the end. The LP closes with 27 seconds of musique concrete. These last four tracks give an indication of where Loyde was to go a couple of years later with his concept cosmic rock sci-fi concept record Beyond Morgia.

I've never really analysed Heavy Metal Kid before as I just took at face value, it is what it is. Now thinking about it it's quite a bizarre LP. Maybe they were trying to shed some of their fans here. Who knows? How a spelling era got through on the cover is totally mystifying too. Anyway this eccentric little journey is pretty good though. The Coloured Balls were ahead of their time with their atemporality.

Oh we're missing a u.
*Next Time: The final Part Of My Lobby Loyde Obsession including Beyond Morgia, Obsecration, Hall Of Fame, Retromania Concerts and whatever else.

**Special thanks to Ian McFarlane (Legendary Oz Rock Historian) whose Heavy Metal Kid liner notes I only just read after writing this (new spex), so I added on those AC/DC connections. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ekoplekz - Reflekzionz

Loving that artwork and the music contained within
A new month must have ticked over because hello we've got a new Ekoplekz release. I couldn't sleep, went on the interweb, saw Reflekzionz was coming out. By chance I checked i-tunes and they had it available a week or so early. I couldn't wait for the physical copy, being the instant gratification era and all, several clicks later walla! the album was sitting in my i-tunes and my earphones were sitting in my ears. How was I meant to get back to sleep after that? My excitement levels were high and 3 hours later Refekzionz was still swirling around in my brain. Thank god it wasn't a work night. Then I started hearing chooks. I had to give it a rest. These 12 trax at 54 minutes will be released on Planet Mu as a double LP. Something had to interrupt my Conrad Schnitzler obsession. Of course this recording led me back to current music in a very smooth manner as Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz would probably be a big fan of Schnitzler's. While I mentioned in my article on solo 70s Schnitzler that he had an immense spatiality in his music, as large as King Tubby's, on the 1978 classic Con, that didn't mean Conrad was informed by or using similar techniques to Mr Osbourne Ruddock aka King Tubby. Mr 'Ekoplekz' Edwards however does come from from a dub lineage that was probably picked up from the likes of 70s Cabaret Voltaire who probably were into King Tubby and dub in general. I guess the feel here is more like post punk stylee dub filtered through German 90s dub-tech like the Pole/Basic Channel/Chain Reaction milieu. I guess they're interesting parallels caused by my own recent listening habits but funnily enough it's all fairly closely related in a coincidental manner to Ekoplekz and his new LP.

Opening tune A Caustic Romance continues Ekoplekz's foray into melodic idylltronic zones albeit over a gritty but almost cute clipped industrial-lite beat. Quakers Road Skank is awesome robotic electronics. Seduktion is radiophonica funk that sounds like it was recorded in the emptiest place in the universe giving it an uncanny hollowness. Repeater (How did it feel?) is as fucking good as classic ambient dub tech gets. Downtone is wintry technoid dub with amazing bass tones bringing the foggy darkness in close and those rudimentary beatz feel like their trying to warm up but their coal's running low and there's no 50 P's for the meter. The classic British isolationism, with extra synth squelches, of Midnight Cliffs is next and it couldn't have a more perfect title.

Tremulant is a slice of ye olde Ekoplekz with its alien warfare dub splatter but as has been recently noted Edwards now has his once outta control machines in line and almost compliant to his every command. Dubnium 268 is a dark techno ditty but kind of playful at the same time. On this tune and at several other stages during Reflekzionz I'm taken back to my Cologne days in the 90s. In an unusual moment of zeitgeist there has been an article over at FACT, I noticed, on the likes of some of my 90s Cologne faves ie. Mouse On Mars, FX Randomiz etc. Maybe Ekoplekz is trendy now. Canon's Marsh is is a marvellous piece of technoid minimalism with curious reverbed drones that leave you slightly mystified as to what that felling you've been left with is. That's quite a remarkable artistic achievement. Ominous transmissions create an insidious intensity on Black Calkz. The machines here sound as though they could run out of power any second as a power surge is imminent and the circuits feel like they're about to burst. Saturation (Full Rinse) is an Ekoplekz banger! Nick Edward's has been heading towards this zone for a while and perhaps he's finally achieved this goal ie. a tune that could get played out. Just as you're thinking that though his erratic machines, who have been acquiescent throughout the entire LP, seem to have a sinister plot to sabotage his plan, by being contrary and slowing the bpms right down toward the end. Day In May is glowing sunshine one minute and pastoralism gone awry the next which brings Reflektionz to a close.

Halfway through like the 2nd listen I was beginning to wonder if this was perhaps a concept album or some kind of tribute/homage to the 90s. Even in this review I've used the word classic several times. The thing is with Ekoplekz is he could never pull off a homage record, like say Urge Overkill's Saturation where they recorded brilliantly perfect facsimiles of some of their favorite 70s stadium rockers like Kiss, Cheap Trick etc., because with Ekoplekz it will always be Ekoplekz. You may have been able to detect Cluster or Cabaret Voltaire influences previously (probably still can) but it's never a straight copy because he's always reshaping sounds and experimenting. He uses their ideas as much if not more than their actual sonic artillery. That's probably not a good way to make millions of bucks but his idiosyncrasies will always endear him to original music fans. When I think of Ekoplekz I don't usually think of the 90s much, I mean sure a bit of techno but to me that's like 15% of his shtick. A reactivation of several 70s approaches to music but with a here and now experimental feel is how I have him pegged in my brain. Experimenting, moving along, not giving a fuck about fashion and well just making cool dub inflected electronic music is what Ekoplekz are all about. The first song A Caustic Romance could be a dead giveaway ie. Is this referring to his love for Aphex Twin's alias Caustic Window? I mean I'm sure he listened to some of the same gear we all did in the 90s like rock, house, bleep, hardcore, ambient dub, techno, jungle, trip hop, darkside, electronica, isolationism, gabber, trance, tech-step, speed garage, post-rock, pop and whatever else I can't think of right now. It just hasn't seeped through so much until this LP. Maybe next month we'll have a bizarre take on music from the 00s by Ekoplekz. Not sure he'll have much to work with there. Perhaps he could go back further to say the 60s. Anyway he's on quite a roll isn't he? This is his 3rd fine double LP in 12 months then there have been mini albums, EPs...


*On Twitter I got a reply from the man himself. See below.