Showing posts with label Post-Punk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Post-Punk. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Primitive Calculators - On Drugs

The Primitive Calculators have released a new LP. It's the follow up to their stunningly abrasive 2013 comeback long player The World Is Fucked. The new record On Drugs is available here.


I read a while back that this album was going to be like a pop record influenced by The JBs, or did I dream that? There was also talk of a psychedelic space folk album from the Calculators too but did I get that wrong too? I do recall like 17 years ago Stuart saying he loved The Beach Boys and ABBA but this stuff never really seems to seep into their one chord noise boogie sonic assaults. Although maybe it does because to me they've always had pop sensibilities in that snarly neanderthal 60s garage sense albeit speeded up to the max with a fucking relentless futurist drum machine and awash in a brilliant nihilist noise guitar/synth chug. There is a ballad, however, on the new LP but the sentiment is so malicious it could only come from The Primitive Calculators who are self proclaimed outer suburban Melbourne scum. Funny bastards to boot!

*I'll write a proper review later. 

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, 4 May 2018

Models - Cut Lunch



Confusingly this 1981 EP/mini LP Cut Lunch made both the singles charts and the albums charts.

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. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

UK Post Rock - The Lost Generation


In keeping with my recent recent posts about MainIce & Techno Animal I thought I'd go into a bit more detail on UK's Lost Generation of Post-Rock. Good ole Professor Reynolds was writing about these groups in the pages of Melody Maker from at least 1991 onwards. There's was an article in the 91 Christmas issue of Melody Maker with no byline that I assume was penned by Simon. It documented the first stirrings of a new (non)scene that included a bunch of disparate musical units committed to taking their music to the limits well away from the commercial alternative business of the time. Cranes were the hot topic with their 91 classic Wings Of Joy but they weren't what was soon to be called post-rock. They were a one off post-goth/industrial band with, and I quote 'a lush Scott Walker/Euro cabaret grandeur.' Anyway AR Kane's (forefathers of UK post-rock) label H.ark get a mention with their roster containing Papa Sprain & Butterfly Child. Kevin Martin's label Pathological rate a mention too with his own great band Techno Animal plus Oxbow (whatever happened to them?). Avant Yanks Cop Shoot Cop and Twin Infinitives era Royal Trux get thrown in the mix as well. But it was future post-rock icons Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis and Main who were the most celebrated/anticipated in this article as some kind of future saviours of what was still being called Avant-Rock. Two years later in 1993 the lost generation were still dubbed as Avant-Rock along with the speculative term Cyborg-Rock, which never really gained any traction. I guess weird non UK bands like Young Gods and The Boredoms would have fitted this category with relative ease. In the UK though more and more groups like Insides, EAR, Moonshake Scorn, Ice, Seefeel were displaying un-rock tendencies in a beyond rock context so this wasn't a classification that was to properly fit. Avant-Rock still implied that the genre was still rock'n'roll at its core despite innovations and modern tendencies. While half of what ended up being called Post-Rock still rocked in some mutant form, the other half was not so rockin. Hence the term Post-Rock making perfect sense.

The thing is this music was already under my skin so by the time Simon Reynolds came up with the term Post-Rock for these bands in an article for Wire magazine's May 1994 issue (reprinted in Bring The Noise pages 186-193) it kind of didn't really matter. I've never really thought about it before but I guess it was named in hindsight as the scene had been going for 3 or 4 years already. As is usually the case with these things a demise was on the way with only a few classics of the genre to be released after 1994. Post-Rock now also included the likes of O'rang, Laika, Flying Saucer AttackPram & Movietone. Parallels were being drawn to other artists on the outer musical limits like Paul Schutze, Jim O'Rourke, Thomas Koner, Aphex Twin, Eddie Prevost, Zoviet France etc. In an article in Melody Maker in July 1994 past artists were retroactively inducted into a post-rock hall of fame lineage from The Velvet Underground to Krautrock legends Neu, Faust & Cluster to Brian Eno to Post-Punk groups like PIL, Cabs and The Pop Group to 80s UK noise/bliss rockers from JAMC, MBV, Spaceman 3, Loop, The Cocteau Twins, AR Kane etc.

Post-Rock was all about samplers, drum machines, studios, effects, sequencers, jettisoning the guitar as a riff apparatus and integrating the techniques of dub, 70s Miles Davis, Can, hip-hop, ambient & techno into rock. Guitars were still sometimes used but in more of an unfamiliar and un-rock way. Mixing real time instrument playing with sampling was the raison d'etre for some which gave the recordings a really strange edge. Others opted for a wholly synthetic approach. This bunch of groups rarely sounded like one another, they were on the outside, went out into these zones alone and wore that status like a badge. Some were beat scientists, while others severed beats altogether and space was the place. Anyway that doesn't really sound like Explosions In The Sky does it? This UK shit was the shit! This was the sound of my bedroom in the early 90s while your more accessable rock/pop stuff (Shoegazers, Breeders, Pavement, Mazzy Star, Portishead etc.) from the era made it into the lounge rooms of the share houses I lived in at the time, Post-Rock was not embraced by all and remained in the ghetto of my bedroom (along with strange septic tanks like Slint, Trumans Water, Thinking Fellers Union 282 et al.). This parallelled how Post-Rock was pretty marginalised in the outside world too apart from Stereolab who were quite the cult band.....I suppose.

I think a top 14 of the original UK Post-Rock is in order. This is when the term made sense, meant something and the music was bloody great.

THE TOP 14
Hydra-Calm (compilation) - Main [1992]
Eva Luna - Moonshake [1992]
May - Papa Sprain [1992]
Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements - Stereolab [1993]
Iron Lung - Pram [1993]
Under The Skin - Ice [1993]
Quique - Seefeel [1994]
Hex - Bark Psychosis [1994]
Evanescence - Scorn [1994]
DI GO POP - Disco Inferno [1994]
Silver Apples of The Moon - Laika [1994]
Herd Of Instinct - O'rang [1994]
Further - Flying Saucer Attack [1995]
Re-Entry - Techno Animal [1995]


*The top 14 has just one record per artist.
These are in chronological order.
This list is by no means comprehensive.
Each of the top 14 will be featured in a future blog post.

**Stereolab, Flying Saucer Attack & Third Eye Foundation all released gems after 1995. I must admit I didn't really follow the next wave of  Post-Rock groups from the UK. I'm actually struggling to come up with any of their names beyond the Flying Saucer Attack affiliates Piano Magic, Crescent and Amp.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Sounding Lines

WHAT'S ON THE HI-FI PART 42


MORITZ VON OSWALD TRIO - Sounding Lines
Always avoided Moritz Von Oswald Trio as I read somewhere that they were like a jazz trio. For some reason the words 'Jazz Trio' make me feel a little bit sick which is funny because I'm not averse to a bit of jazz. I guess jazz trio brings to mind trad sax, scatting, drum solos etc. Not the ultra minimal and restrained voyages into rhythm and occasional faint bits of dissonance that make up Sounding lines. I mean I haven't listened to jazz in a long time (apart from 70s Miles Davis) but I was once really into John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Don Cherry and John's Mrs Alice. MVO Trio only really get about as jazzy as Can ever did. Speaking of Can there is quite a Can-esque feel to many of these trax. Some of Sounding Lines evokes the less furious side of 70s era Miles. The best parts though are when Moritz conjures his own Basic Channel vibes with 90s German stylee dub influenced techno like on the fabulous epic opening tune Sounding Line 1. Sounding Line 4 is classic ambient dub-tech that could have come straight off BCD except it has real drums. Even Hauntology is invoked on Sounding Line 5 (Spectre) with it's dreamy library electronics and slight faux jazz soundz, I didn't even know what it was called when those thoughts crossed my mind until I looked at the track listing and thought 'uh huh! I'm onto something there.' After a bit of library-jazz-funk, a drum machine appears along with some gaseous squelches on Sounding Line 7 and causes a ripple of nostalgia that makes you wanna get out those old Basic Channel tunes. This is an incredibly enjoyable microbic beat odyssey, quite the little surprise then that I'm really glad I checked it out. I didn't think it was gonna be anywhere near as good as it is. I might even go back and check out their other albums.

*Conjures, evokes and invoked all in the same bloody paragraph! Jesus Christ! What's with that?


ROME - Rome
So while we're feeling 90s zones, here's one I gave a spin recently after finding all those 90s German cds due to the Mego reissue of General Magic & Pita's Fridge Trax Plus. Anyway Rome aren't German but American and this came out on Thrill Jockey. During that rummage I came across other er...post-rock from America such as Cul-De-SacDirections In Music, Ui, Jessamine, Labradford, Tortoise, Bowery Electric & Sabalon Glitz. This is the only one to get any airtime so far (can't bring myself to listen to one song wonders Tortoise) and it complements the MVO Trio record perfectly as Rome were also a trio and the most dub influenced US post-rock group. This 1996 release is the only Rome album who came and went in a flash. I have no idea what happened to them after this. Their self-titled cd is quite the underrated little gem though. This is something along the lines of dub applied to US underground noise, making it a one off artifact. The music here is closer to Cabaret Voltaire and PIL's post-punk dub gloom than say US post-rock or German dub-techno though. Even that's not really a fair comparison as Rome were really fucking original and unique. I once read an article on Kevin Martin's dub noise band Ice in Lime Lizard in the early 90s and Rome were more along the lines of what I thought Ice were going to sound like. I can't believe how well this shadowy experimental dub un-rock stands up today. This LP is a terrific ghostly haze. Rome is forgotten but should perhaps be unforgotten. Now I'm wondering if they had any other releases worth checking out...I'm sure they had a 12" that never crossed my path plus a tune on Macro Dub Infection 2, otherwise I think that was it. At least they didn't hang around too long and get boring.

*It turns out Rome is unforgotten as this album was posted on the I Hate The 90s blog a few hours ago which I came across after writing this post while searching for other Rome material. The blog confirms there was just another 12" called Beware The Soul Snatchers where Rome were reduced to a duo plus they had a tune on the compilation In Memoriam Gilles Delueze on Mille Plateaux from 1996, which I never tracked down despite it being highly regarded amongst Wire writers at the time. I would suggest downloading Rome's Rome LP from i-tunes though where it's available but the elusive 12" isn't. Perhaps that shall remain a mystery to me till my dying day.

**Ice: I ended up really loving them. Under The Skin (1993) is one of my favourite records from the 90s and Kevin Martin's duo with Justin K Broadrick, Techno Animal, had a really amazing double cd Re-Entry from 1995.

***Don't get me wrong DJed the one classic song from Tortoise is a top tune. Its just that nothing else they did was ever as good. I mean did we need a lounge version of Slint's Spiderland that was the first Tortoise LP? Millions.... was DJed with a bit of math-rock and 90s electronica filler  chucked in. Then, I dunno, wasn't TNT a muzak version of Steve Reich's Music For 18 MusiciansJohn McEntire from Tortoise did an incredible remix of Stereolab's Les Yper Yper Sound though, which featured on the choice 1996 Virgin compilation Monsters, Robots & Bugmen.

The mysterious Rome 12" eludes me.