Saturday 31 December 2022

Juaneco y Su Combo 1976

You might initially think "oh this is just ho-hum Peruvian cumbia" but seconds later you will drawn in to the sublime poly-rhythmic vortex then the mesmerising mystical guitars. All of a sudden you are lost in sweet incandescent sound. These are deep Amazonian jamz and Juaneco y Su Combo were at a ceaseless peak.

Another deep cumbia Amazonica jam with tantalising kaleidoscopic rhythms and those complimentary divine psychedelic guitar tones will have you enraptured. These two tunes are the final tracks of their 1976 LP Linda Nena on Infopesa. Juaneco y Su Combo were at the peak of their powers here and seemingly unstoppable but sadly it all came to a dark and abrupt end. In 1977 five members of the band, including guitarist/main songwriter Noé Fachin, died in a plane crash. Several remaining members would reform the group later and while still very good they never quite recaptured the magic of the Fachen-led era.

Friday 30 December 2022

Pink Floyd - Welcome To The Machine

Heard Welcome To The Machine for the first time since the 80s this year and can't believe how fucking great it is. The outa control swathes of noise-y synths combined with that lovely 12 string strum, bass pulse and those tormented vocal vibes are just the ticket for epic ominousness and silly self-seriousness. I'm sure millions of you (well at least the three people who still read me blog) are cringing at me right now, saying "you took your time getting here man!" 

Barring Syd-era, I always thought Pink Floyd were too middlebrow for me. The 70s were Can or Abba, Bolan or Beefheart, Black Sabbath or Bee Gees. I didn't hate Pink Floyd I just never actively listened to them. They were still hanging around being lame when I was a teenager circa Momentary Lapse Of Reason thus were easy to ignore. I also never had that clichéd rite of passage where I went all in on the discovery of pot. I never owned my own bong or bought a quarter or burnt incense trying to mask marijuana smoke from my parents while looking at my Bob Marley poster and listening to David Gilmour soloing for eternity into the abyss...aww I know this is too so sad.  

Anyway I thought maybe one day my Pink Floyd time would come. I thought I'd missed my chance though as its been 30 years since discovering and digging the delights of other English proggers and space rockers Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Gong, Hawkwind etc. Hopefully there's much Pink Floyd goodness to discover... I have vague recollections of Wish You Were Here and Animals being good, however it wasn't that long ago that I gave Dark Side Of The Moon another chance and I just couldn't stomach it at all...we'll see...

*Roger Waters has coincidentally been on the radar in 2022 because he is one of the few anti-war voices (alongside Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, Jeffery Sachs, Jimmy Dore) who understands the bullshit western media propaganda surrounding Zelensky and the retarded lies of the American war machine. We're expected to believe nonsense like "Putin blew up Nord stream" or "Zelensky is Churchillian" which is hilariously absurd. We all marched in opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, two hundred thousand of us in Melbourne, I recall. They invaded then committed war crimes anyway. Since then what? Let the anti-war movement recommence. 

Thursday 29 December 2022

Noche Tropical - Juaneco y Su Combo

Juaneco y Su Combo are all about the poly-rhythms, designed specifically for good times dancing. At 0:52 we get a wicked break then the incredible extended 15 second break at 2:00 which is as good as anything in funk or disco. By the time you've puffed yourself out from dancing, the insidious tune will be stuck in your head. Peak Cumbia Amazonica!

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Juaneco y Su Combo

Juaneco Su Combo were there from the start ie. the conversion of old school cumbia (of the Colombian variety) into electric Peruvian psych cumbia. There's an entire pre-history to this band but the combo we're interested in here is the one led by Noé Fachin who was "a wizard" or a "witch doctor" (depending on how good your Spanish is) of the guitar. 

Cabalito Nocturno was the opening track on their debut self-titled LP released by Peruvian label Imsa Records in 1969. Keyboards were pretty rare on early Peruvian cumbia, really only becoming prevalent when synths gained in popularity later in the 70s and into the 80s. 


This is their most famous tune featuring vocals although that lyrical guitar melody is competing with the chanting to be the star of the song. You gotta love that percussion too. It's always doing something to capture your attention. This featured on their second LP El Gran Cacique from 1972. For this record they signed to Alberto Maravi's Infopesa label. This was a successful partnership that lasted up until 1984 and yielded ten top notch LPs.  


This one is all about the rhythm. I mean it's all good, such a wonderful cumbia jam that distils the elements of the genre down to their bare essentials: great tuneful twangin' guitar, a bit of yelling/MC-ing, that infectious tropical beat...and at 2:43 you even get a breakdown which isn't all that common in 70s Peruvian cumbia. This is peak cumbia from the Amazon!

Saturday 24 December 2022

Grupo Genesis - Vuela Cóndor Vuela

If you think all Peruvian cumbia sounds like The Ventures with Tito Puente on drums think again. The 80s ushered in a much more slickly produced sound which was a lot more glossy, synthetic and electronic. A whole new set of influences were on the cards: Euro Disco, electro-synth-pop, cosmic synth, prog etc. while the tunes became more vocal and lyric based. There were new stylistic flourishes, to add to the usual tropical twang-fest, that hint at shoegaze and vapourwave while still retaining the fuzz/wah wah guitars and danceable latin poly rhythms. 

Anyway Vuela Cóndor Vuela always blows my little mind especially when it gets to the surreal almost shogaze-y bit where it lifts off into the stratosphere followed by that disorienting backwards/forwards "what's going on?" sonic moment before getting back to the tune. Quite a trip. Anthemic!

*Also LOOK that outfit, it says it all. 

Friday 23 December 2022

Los Orientales - Chinito Bailarin

This tune... Peruvian cumbia at its most mesmerising, psychedelic and intense. There's a guitar line that starts at 0:58 to 1:13 you could imagine Bernard Sumner or Marty Wilson Piper playing then another guitar turns in that incredible new wave-esque oriental break. How this tune manages to stay true to its cumbia roots, in fact more so than a lot of other Peruvian cumbia songs usually do, is a testament to this combo's integrity. Chinito Bailarin is from Los Orientales second single. I like to imagine this is a mini guitar duel with Maximiliano Chavez fervently trading licks with Victor Ramirez just before they parted ways and the group split into two. I mean we don't know who played what exactly so this story, which is possibly true, is what I'm going with. The best!

Thursday 22 December 2022

Los Orientales de Paramonga Maximiliano Chavez - EL DRAGON

Quite possibly my favourite tune from Maximiliano Chavez's Los Orientales. El Dragon from 1972 or 73 is the most unhinged track they did. That makes this single pretty atypical as Los Orientales were usually the most mellifluous of the original bunch of psych cumbia groups that formed in Peru during the late 60s. This is as rock as Chavez ever got and it's intoxicating, menacing and punk. When he starts slashing at his guitar at 0:45 it's a fucking psychedelic tropical noise party. Then that manic rhythm goes even more nuts and there's a weird deep bass chugging away in a chasm while horns blast away towards the end. The Best!

Los Orientales de Paramonga Maximiliano Chavez - LA DANZA DEL MONO

Guitarist and bandleader Maximiliano Chavez claims his Los Orientales de Paramonga are the authentic band out of the two that existed in Peru simultaneously from 1971 onwards. Who am I to disagree? He wrote their original first 4 sides that appeared on Dinsa 7" singles in 1970 before the group splintered off into his combo and the other directed by guitarist Victor Ramirez.
La Danza del Mono from 1971 was the brilliant first single to be credited to Los Orientales Director M Chavez 

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Los Orientales de Paramonga

If you've only heard a handful of Peruvian psychedelic cumbia tunes chances are this is one of them. Iconic is right! Now here's some more confusing information about this Peruvian scene. I'm not a hundred percent sure about this but I think in the 70s there were two groups called Los Orientales de Paramonga playing a very similar style. I cannot work out if the two groups are related, if one was a splinter group or what the story is. One version of Los Orientales was led by Maximiliano Chavez while the other was perhaps led by Victor Ramirez. Perhaps at one stage Chavez and Ramirez were in the same group then splintered off into two bands, causing this confusion. Maybe they're the same guy (?).

I finally found an article that clears up some of the confusion about the information on Discogs and other websites. It turns out I'm right Chavez and Ramirez were both original members of Los Orientales de Paramonga formed in 1968. It is assumed they both appear on the debut single on the Dinsa label from 1970 Lobos Al Escape.


The rest is pretty vague. Sometime in 1971 singles started appearing on the Sono Radio label by Conj Tropical Los Orientales de Paramongo as directed by by Victor Ramirez with the writing credits also going to Victor Ramirez. This is the beginning of the 2nd Los Orientales combo who would run in parallel with the Maximiliano Chavez led version with the same name.


It must have been confusing for Peruvian fans at the time too because the exact same tune (I'm pretty sure it's also the exact same recording) turned up on different labels with different writing credits. This Captura de Lobos single on Dinsa is credited to M Chavez and performed by Los Orientales directed by Maximiliano Chavez

Tuesday 20 December 2022

La Danza Del Petrolero - LOS WEMBLER'S DE IQUITOS

If you could do a basic equation of what Peruvian cumbia (aka psych cumbia) is it would be surf/fuzz/wah-wah guitars playing the melody line that in traditional Colombian cumbia would have been played by the accordion plus awesome danceable latin rhythms. Sure it's much more than that. I mean if I was an ethnomusicologist I'd be able to tell you the different types of latin rhythms utilised, their geographic origin and historical importance. Then there's Andean and Amazonian folk influences particularly in the singing style. Synthesisers increasingly play a role as the the style develops into the late 70s and 80s. There's a social and political element too but I suppose because the lyrics aren't in English that's less tangible.

Anyhow Los Wembler's original version of La Danza Del Petrolero is a totally infectious toe tapper with its very peculiar wall of rhythmic sound containing all sorts of chirps and fizzy noises bubbling away. From what I can gather the brief lyric translates as "This is the dance of the oil tanker. Where the black gold reigns" which makes sense as there was an oil boom in Peru at the time. 

The Los Mirlos cover of La Danza Del Petrolero came out a year later. The guitars are a bit more off kilter here. It's a wobbly psych cumbia journey that Los Mirlos make their own. I probably enjoy the Los Wember's maximalist rhythm more but the guitars in the Los Mirlos version are pretty noice so I guess it's like a draw. Then again if I had to pick one it would be the Los Wembler's de Iquitos original.  

Monday 19 December 2022

Sonido Amazonico - Los Mirlos/Los Wembler's de Iquitos

It's been 20 years since this tune turned up on the great Vampi Soul compilation Back To Peru. Honestly it feels like longer. Anyway it's summer time so we gotta have the Peruvian cumbia tunes at the ready. Once upon a time I used to spend my summer holidays sipping cocktails in the tropics. It all seems like a dream now. The last 10 years have been a bloody health nightmare. I need to dream in hope that maybe soon I can at least make it out to the backyard and have a cold beer with old friends. This classic 1975 recording from Los Mirlos is on at least 3 compilations in my collection.

The original version of Sonido Amazonica from 1974 appeared on the Decibel label. I read recently about a beef between Los Wember's de Iquitos and Los Mirlos that maybe ended up in a seven year court-case or something insane like that. I can't actually confirm if that's true because I now can't find the source. What we do know for sure though is that Los Mirlos became famous and much more successful than Los Wembler's after recording a couple of their tunes including today's theme tune Sondido Amazonico. It all seems pretty shonky. 

I do realise I've got this all arse about but the Los Mirlos version is the one we all know and love but hey the Sanchez brothers of Los Wembler's were there right at the beginning of Peru's electric conversion of cumbia in the 60s alongside fellow pioneering legends Los Destellos and Juaneco Y Su Combo. 

Sunday 18 December 2022

Macchu Picchu

I was listening to this 2022 Vampi Soul compilation 14 MAGníficos Bailables today and the above boogaloo jam turned up at the end. It's an impressive piano and percussion pile up party. Coincidentally Macchu Picchu is in the news today as there is some kind of uprising in Peru but getting a good comprehensive news report on events is "surprise surprise" impossible to find. What are the chances the good old CIA are involved here? All these reporters care about is Westerners being stranded in foreign riot zones. What the fuck happened to news media? 

Anyway for what it's worth Vampi Soul in the last year or two have been reissuing a stack of stuff from the ye olde Peruvian record label MAG.

Wednesday 14 December 2022


We all know Vladimer Putin is nuts and that NATO have been taunting Russia since the 90s but this goes out to, as Jimmy Dore would say, the WAR PIGS Joe Biden and his Democrat Party, including sell-outs Bernie and AOC. Nearly a hundred billion dollars of American money has been given to Ukraine's war effort. The Ukraine being a country led by a dodgy corrupt regime who have a battalion in their army run by actual neo-nazis. Horrific war crimes have been reportedly committed by certain Ukrainian voluntary forces. Surprise, surprise that weapons sent by the US to Ukraine have shown up in the hands of terrorists in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands. Why are we in the West being asked to cheerlead the military-industrial complex and this retarded proxy war against Russia? Fuck off war pigs.

*Oh and don't mention Yemen. 

Anyway how good is this Black Sabbath performance of War Pigs? So tight and on the money! Outstanding magnificence. 

Sunday 11 December 2022


Spell Casting Summat (2011)
In anticipation of the usual Christmas tradition ie. the imminent release of the new Moon Wiring Club LP, I've been listening to some older tunes by Ian Hodgson. He is the one man band behind the MWC moniker. I think I say it every year in December but why aren't Moon Wiring Club in the Pitchforks and Wire Magazines or featured anywhere because really they should be as big as Depeche Mode, I'm sure. Since the release of their classic debut An Audience Of Art Deco Eyes in 2007 they have had a non-stop annual release schedule that has been top notch quality all the way. 

2011's Clutch It LIke A Gonk was probably my my most neglected and least listened to MWC concoction almost a designated relic. Recently however I've come to appreciate its perhaps more streamlined and slightly changed approach. They call these albums transition records. A catalyst for the catalyst. Gonk was slightly askew sonically to what had come before and that would remain a constant from then on for this eerie aural project. MWC strayed and expanded into off-beaten territories but they kept enough of their established charms so as to be the changing same. How could this be? Spooky sonic alchemists they are and magic tricks are their game and their sorcery secret is changing while staying the same.

Anyway how good is the above track Spell Casting Summat from the Clutch It Like A Gonk cd. Hallucinatory dark ambient steppy electro garage dub kinda jam.

Anglo Saxon Androids (2022)
So this is the teaser for the new Moon Wiring Club LP Medieval Ice Cream. It sounds like it's going to be a foray into the outer limits of plagued electronic psychedelia with the added appearance of creepy ancient goblins & ghouls from deep space. 

Make Yourself At Home (2012)
Here's a golden oldie from the haunted hit parade. Genuinely eldritch and unsettling. Moon Wiring Club hitting upon perfection here. From this point on they would be in a class of their own.

Thursday 8 December 2022

Iron Man - Black Sabbath

My birthday theme tune. I am Iron Man after an overnight iron transfusion. Thanks to the transfusionists. Haven't heard this in ages and fuck me how good? All of the puzzle pieces! Bill fucking Ward! Geezer the Butler, Tony the goddamn Iommi and Ozzy and the Orange amps and the riff-a-rama and the drums and the Ozzy sings and the colour and the hair and guitar bits that follow bass bits and the tone and the sci-fi narrative and the heavy downward vibe and the guitar bits that follow Ozzy vocal bits and the perfectly in the pocket-ness of the rhythm and the little freak outs and the speed ups and the slow downs and the threads and it's just the best. 

Sunday 4 December 2022

Retro Retro - Future

Yeah yeah shonky dancing in shonky clothes but wait for the strangest moment when the studio cameras become the dancers to the Moog-y-licious hauntological score. It's all a bit cheesy yet uncanny too.

Wednesday 30 November 2022

R. Dean Taylor - There's A Ghost In My House

One afternoon twenty years ago at work I had the Friday soul show on the radio and this song came on and blew me little mind. I always thought this was an 80s tune penned by The Fall and a fine one at that but no I was hearing an even better version from the 60s. This was a Holland/Dozier/Holland composition released on the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. Records in 1967. Weirdly it's performed by Canadian Motown hit Songwriter R Dean Taylor. It was not a hit though. However Ghost In My House was re-released in 1974 in the UK due to Northern Soul DJs giving it a thrashing at their amphetamine fuelled all night discos (Is that what they were? I'm no expert on this particularly English scene). It became a smash hit peaking at No 3 on the charts. Fans of freakbeat, 60s pop and soul rejoice, this is peak tuneage! 

Insistence is brilliantly baked into the rhythm, melody and incredible vocal arrangement here.... that outrageous riff-age, underlying terror and those contagious hand claps are something else too... the sonic alchemy of synergy on display on this production is so damn infectious...REWIND!

Saturday 26 November 2022

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - The Night


I mean what can you say?! This richly melodic funky tripped out jam is just the best! It gets better and better as time goes on forever. All the elements of this meticulous arrangement combine to create pop perfection. It's beautifully balanced to be effective on both the radio and the dance-floor. 

I never knew until one minute ago that Frankie Valli's glorious 1972 non-hit The Night was covered by both Soft Cell and Pulp amongst others. Me and Emma and Cooper (the dog) just had a boogie to this, you can't not!

*In 1975 The Night was re-released in the UK and became a top 10 record.

Thursday 10 November 2022


DJ Crystl: Dee Jay Recordings 1993: REWIND of post from 26/3/22 with reinstated audio courtesy of odysee.

To me Dj Crystl is one of the great sound designers of the jungle era. Perhaps Pete Parsons aka Voyager, his engineer and right hand man deserves some credit here too. The tunes below display a producer at the peak of his powers going from strength to strength like Omni Trio, Foul Play, 4Hero and Goldie all were at roughly the same time. While Dj Crystl's 1993 was brilliant choon-wize and his 1994 was also pretty good, it was the following year that things just did not blow up for him how they were supposed to as jungle ballooned into Drum & Bass. Crystl somehow missed the momentum and it felt like his potential was never fully realised. Like is there several albums worth of material that never got released? What happened? While that's probably an interesting story (that I don't actually know) I just want to point out here what a stellar set of releases DJ Crystl issued in 1993 on Dee Jay Recordings

Dj Crystl's three 12"s on Dee Jay Recordings and one 12" on Force Ten Records in 1993 make up one of Jungle's most sublime winning runs. If Crystlize, Deep Space, Meditation, Warp Drive, Sweet Dreamz, Your Destiny, The Dark Crystl and Inna Year 3000 were all put on one cd it would have been one of the top jungle albums of all time along with The Deepest Cut, Parallel Universe Black Secret Technology. Actually I can't believe somebody didn't have the foresight or hindsight to compile that (?). 

I suppose Dj Crystl was one of the original ambient jungle producers. I always think he's got a vague shoegaze vibe too with his walls of synth sound, drones and ethereal vocal science scattered amongst the jungle elements. I wonder if Kevin Shields or Seefeel were fans? or vice versa? Anyway his sides are a lot crisper than you might imagine or remember. They are immaculately put together with all sorts of microscopic detail. I imagine Dj Crystl spent a lot of time meticulously crafting each second of his tuneage while never losing sight of the big picture. The sound while fastidious however never appears to be too fussy, often quite the opposite and that balancing act is where his potency lies. Like Omni Trio there is an aura of splendid excitement, elegance, generosity and transcendence in Dj Crystl's jungle.

DJ Crystl - Crystlize
Swirls of synths, shapeshifting walls of sound, time-stretched drum opulence, alluring dark tunnels, ethereal vocal science and an uncanny rattling clang accompany the endlessly chopped snares into the Crystlized echo chamber.

DJ Crystl - Deep Space
Frantic intricate choppage that is somehow mellifluous. Those melodic snares are cushioned perfectly amongst the atmospheres of enchanting darkness. 

DJ Crystl - Meditation
Oceanic pools of sound, bleeps and waves of delicate vocal science eventually make room for exquisite rhythm-ology. At  5.10 a dramatic halt to proceedings occurs to allow the sonic waves back in before the beat momentum effortlessly picks up again. In the remaining couple of minutes it moves into mesmerising choppage of sparkling ambient snares. 

DJ Crystl - Warpdrive
Dj Crystl's most in yer face moment in 1993. This is a deluge of chopped and stretched breaks that go euphorically haywire amongst ominous drones. Don't forget that gloriously dark synth lull at 3.12. then the breaks continue go more and more insane. Holy shit this is the Best!

DJ Crystl - Sweet Dreamz
Idyllic sounds of the seaside with heaven bound synths, a woman's soothing meditative voice and a beat much less frantic than most jungle. Sweet Dreamz is all space age tropical vibes of calm tinged with disorientation and twilight. Pretty psychedelic.

DJ Crystl - Your Destiny
Waves of miniature ambient delirium and disorienting backwards abstractions where the spirit of MBV circa Glider lurks. The rhythm stop starts until 2.53 when it gets fully rolling as the darkness encroaches with a spectral presence coming in and out of focus. Choice dubby bleeps add to the subtle elusive charms of Your Destiny.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

DJ Crystl - The Dark Crystl/Inna Year 3000 (1993)

Getting back to where I was up to in my March jungle posts. This was Crystl's most famous tune as I recall (Hey I might be wrong as my brain is diminishing daily. Feel free to correct me). The Dark Crystl is undeniable darkside jungle choonage of historical significance to the hardcore continuum.

This was the flip.

*This is a test. Testing Testing 123....Let's hope these two audio clips work.


***I'm using Odysee which like Rumble is a Youtube alternative. Like Twitter pre-Musk Youtube has a retarded biased establishment left agenda (the mainstream democrat media line that actually blindly cheerleads big pharma, big tech, war etc.) so does not believe in free speech. In the last few days they have taken down videos of honest  commentators, who only want the truth backed by evidence and facts, because they didn't agree with their political viewpoints.

I'd love to never use the youtubes ever again as we don't need our information and thoughts policed, particularly by those Neil Young-crying into their man nappy Soviet types with authoritarian cheerleading tendencies, but unfortunately youtube have a cultural stronghold on music video content. 

The dude who runs the channel that these two DJ Crystl clips are from had his youtube account suspended a few months ago. Fortunately he had uploaded a mirror channel onto Odysee which I've only just rediscovered.  Anyway at this stage Rumble and Odysee seem to be the video content platforms that aren't the censorship arm of the establishment. For now it appears you are allowed free thought & speech so I'll be trying to use them as much as possible. 

Enjoy the music while you can as DJ Crystl's clips usually don't seem to stick around on these platforms for long. I'm guessing whoever runs hardcore Junglism is the copyright zealot who keeps reporting rogue Crystl clips. At this stage of the game you would think that keeping this music in the conversation is what is going to give it longevity. Every other hardcore/jungle/dnb artist is available to be discovered and listened to so this strategy is just going to write your music out of the game...anyway...

Keep on rockin' in the free world...

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Parabellum - Sacrilegio


More unhinged noise from Colombia in the 80s. This is uncategorisable. It's got elements of Hardcore, Thrash, Black Metal, Noise Rock & Death Metal but really it's not particularly any of these is it? It's so chaotic and amorphous it unwittingly becomes pretty psychedelic. Sacriligio is noise-y metal but I kinda hesitate to call it that because some micro-genre nerd has probably already claimed that as a pigeon hole for some other type of music. 

Some bright spark called this wave of metal coming out of Medellín, Antioquio, Colombia in the 80s Ultra Metal - and they were correct! 

Apparently Parabellum were one of the first extreme metal bands to come out of South America, possibly the original. I love that this glorious racket came out on my favourite Latin label Discos Fuentes who were responsible for bringing the tropical sounds of Cumbia to the world in the 20th century. There ain't no latin rhythms on Sacrilegio though.

Saturday 22 October 2022


Ten years ago I discovered a lil' treasure trove of insane 80s South American metal on, I think, what was an Aussie extreme metal blog. Anyway you know how the best music is before a genre gets solidified, the stuff that's proto, that doesn't stick to the rules or genre boundaries because they are not set in stone yet. That's what this is. 

Most extreme metal fans would know Brazilian pioneers of the original 80s wave of black metal Sepultura, the terrific Sarcrófego and the great Cogumelo record label but who knows the groups of Colombia from the same era? Blasfemia were a side project for members of the Colombian black/death metal group Parabellum (more on them in the next post). Blasfemia released just one 12" and this is it. Guerra Total from 1988 contains an insanely hardcore black metal thrash hybrid that really could have been an entire new sub-genre. I guess it kinda was, almost was. A handful of disparate 80s Columbian metal groups were included in the umbrella term ULTRA METAL. There couldn't be a better word for it. The ultra metal groups came from Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia hence the alternate ultra metal title of Metal-Medallo. 

These four tracks from Blasfemia have got everything that is good about dark mental metal and there is no holding back or conformity to orthodoxy. They just wreak metallic havoc for 13 minutes. This should have been the future instead we got fucking nu-metal, groove-metal, metalcore, several thrash revivals etc.. I'll take this lo-fi unhinged cacophony any day of the week.

Sunday 9 October 2022


Jamma - Candyman (1993)
Jamma is an alias for Subnation's W. Wilson. I never heard this back in the day but discovered it 10 or 15 years ago, probably on the Back To The Old School blog. Doomed belles of doom, Amen breaks, samples from the titular horror movie, a pitch black pummelling synth drone and noice rumbling dubby bass make this a lil' piece of terrific darkside jungle.    

Subnation - Scottie (1993)
Plenty has been written about this panic attack anthem. Peak jungle.

Warrior Bass - Ride The Rhythm (1994)
Step into the cold dark world of this darkside jungle weirdness on the verge of techstep from Subnation alias Warrior Bass. Some choice psychedelic backwards chopped drummage here!

Sunday 2 October 2022

Sacred - Do It Together (1992)

I just listened to this for the first time in 12 months and 30 years later I am fucking astonished, still. Do It Together is just so inspired and so inspirational. It's got the lot! All the hardcore elements of the past, present & future are here. Why even bother with words? They just fail to capture the essence of the dizzying heights (emotionally, artistically, culturally) of this tune. This is quite simply possibly the best breakbeat-hardcore-rave tune of the entire 90s.

Saturday 1 October 2022

Remarc and Lewi Cifer - Ricky

All three of these tunes are from the 1994 Ricky 12" released on Dollar Records. I'm not really sure who Lewi Cifer is or what his contribution is here, who cares... I spose. A bangin Amen tune with samples from the 1991 Scorsese remake of Cape Fear

Okay here's a weird sample for's from Home Alone.

I don't know which was first? Ricky, Subnation's Scottie or Johnny Jungle's Johnny? I always assumed the order was Johnny, Scottie and then Ricky was last. I could be wrong... at this point nobody cares. All three are bona fide classics. Anyway this was Remarc's contribution to the Panic Attack micro-genre. Sample a panic stricken character from a movie yelling somebody's name then add manic chopped beats and a tense atmosphere to match. Great fun. 

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Remarc 1994

RIP - REMARC (1994)
Now for some undeniable classics that I've probably posted before but...

RIP is top 5 all time ragga jungle gem. 

If you don't know anything about jungle just press play. 

1:33 is the moment you will know if you are a born junglist or not as the chipmunk samples clear and a reggae toast heralds the incoming Amen breaks followed by a pile-driving sub bass drop. The chopped up breaks are a supreme ruff rush of the manic variety. Hardcore. Peak jungle. 

The "pizza de resistance" of Amen smashers Drum N' Bass Wize just gets better with age. This delirious choppage will have you hanging on every snare hit and gap in-between. There's just a smidge of a Mentasm in the background throughout and that hallucinatory time-stretched "drum n' bass wize" hook is irresistible. The best. 

*to be continued...

Sunday 25 September 2022

4HERO (Cold Mission & Project A-KO)

Cold Mission - For Da Ladies (1994)
A ruff rush where the hardcore rave spirit lives on a few years later. A rare bit of ragga jungle from 4HERO circa 1994. 

Project A-KO - Passion & Fire (1994)
Project A-KO is another 4HERO alias. Maybe later there was too much of this style which became the commercial public face of hardcore but this slice of mellow jungle into dnb from '94 is just sweet here. The unmistakeable sound of the mid 90s. 

Project A-KO - In Time (1994)
Staying true to '92 (in 94).

Saturday 24 September 2022

Internal Affairs (Goldie & 4 Hero) - Shinin' Down On Me 1993

On the surface this is a blueprint for radio/cafe friendly dnb that was to come in a year or two but give it another listen. Beneath the future gloss is a pretty deranged hardcore jungle tune. This is truly a sonic moment where the avant and the pop intersected. A real tension exists within this track where the pioneering hardcore underground elements meet the crowd pleasing commercial pop needs of the masses.  And yet it wouldn't be until the following year that Goldie would break into the charts with Inner City Life.

Tuesday 20 September 2022


Redy to Atak
Pretty mental jungle and so tinkered with in a dub tradition but it somehow becomes mellifluous. This paradox was not lost on listeners at the time. This is a 4HERO alias from one of their two 12"ers of 1994. 

The Sound Bizniz
Is this even jungle? Whatever it is, it's a journey into unorthodox beat science. Mac & Dego were known for pioneering a lot more than jungle. The secret to 4HERO's art was the broad palette of musical knowledge which they drew upon to come up with such boundary busting tunes. 

Drug Store Rude Boy
This is far out. 
Jungle from the other side. 

Lovely ambient jungle until (as pointed out in the comments) the 3:24 mark when it's interrupted out of nowhere by something unnatural. Tainted euphoria. 

Monday 19 September 2022

Source Direct

Shimmer (1994)
From the first Source Direct 12", Shimmer was the b-side. It starts out like a dolphin ambient almost shoegaze-y jungle thing before morphing into an amen smasher with diva after two and half minutes. Then at 3:49 we get the bleep-y technoid vibes as the bass drops continue and it smashes on. In 1994 you could have literally bought a record every day with an Amen break on it and they would have all been good.

Stars (1994)
After the atmosphere of the intro it's an Amen smasher all the way with a 1:37 sub bass drop for maximum speaker shaking. The 3:38 moment when the drums pull up for some dilapidated ambience is the subdued euphoric moment you're waiting for. 

Sunday 18 September 2022

Source Direct - Black Domina

Supreme choppage amongst the tense vibez. The gaps between drum hits are fascinating and that cymbal editing is top level mesmerising. 

Saturday 17 September 2022

GOLDIE - Still Life (Photek Remix)

What I love about this is despite it being drum'n'bass by this stage it's still a totally hardcore riddim. This was 4HERO on production & engineering and Photek on the remix. Still the future, has anyone come up with a better future?

Saturday 10 September 2022

The Shining Soundtrack

...because more than anything this film is a great listen. As a movie it's a great soundtrack. Why were we searching for the ultimate industrial noise thrills in the 70s, 80s & 90s? when it was already done many years prior by classical composers then put into this incredible sound design by music editor Gordon Stainforth for one of the biggest mainstream horror flicks of our time. The Shining OST 1980, it's got all the Penderecki pomp, percussion, dissonance, buzzing, scraping, violent intensity, abstraction etc. I mean De Natura Sonoris 2 is noisier and better than anything Einstürzende Neubauten or Liabach ever did, falling spanner sound included. Don't forget the other orchestral dudes Bartok and Ligiti. Ligiti brings the ominous frequencies and electric drones while Bartok's more subtle strings, percussion and celesta eerily enchant until climaxing with a jolt. Then there's the 30s pop of Jack Hylton, Al Bowlly & Pet Van Steeden that 20 years later would inspire hauntology, in particular Leyland Kirby's musical project The Caretaker (which he named after Jack Nicholson's character). 

I wonder if there is a mix from the actual film's sound source as there are a few pieces of music missing here and it's the editing of this noise of the 20th century that brings the extra excitement. Anyway for now here is the track listing for this youtube version of the soundtrack which is much more comprehensive than the original vinyl version from the 80s:

1. The Shining Main Title by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
2. Lontano by Ligeti
3. Music For Strings, Percussion, & Celesta by Bartok 
4. The Awakening of Jacob by Penderecki 
5. De Natura Sonoris No. 1 by Penderecki 
6. Polymorphia by Penderecki 
7. Masquerade performed by Jack Hylton 
8. De Natura Sonoris No. 2 by Penderecki 
9. It's All Forgotten Now by Al Bowlly 
10. Kanon by Penderecki 
11. Home by Van Steeden, Clarkson, and Clarkson 
12. Utrenja (Kanon Paschy) by Penderecki 
13. Utrenja (Ewangelia) by Penderecki 
14. Midnight, the Stars, and You by Henry Hall & The Gleneagles Hotel Band

Thursday 8 September 2022

Denroy Morgan - I'll Do Anything For You

The synth in this is just the best! Classic bit o 1981 boogie from Jamaican ex-pat in America Denroy Morgan. 

Wednesday 7 September 2022


Unwound are more well known for the inferior bands they influenced than for their own actual music, such as Modest Mouse, The Trail Of Dead, At The Drive In, Black Dice etc.

After Twin InfinitivesSpiderland and Soundtracks For The Blind you could make a case for Unwound's 1996 LP Repetition as the fourth greatest innovative American noisy rock album record of the 90s. Discuss (or not I mean who cares at this point...)

Intense with lackadaisical overtones. Emotional...

You know a good LP when the best tune is the final track (cf. Gouge Away - The Pixies, The Bewlay Brothers - David Bowie). 

Friday 2 September 2022

earth - omen and portents

I never like re-activated groups. The two exceptions are Swans circa The Seer and totally surprisingly Earth. This track puts me in mind of Rock Formations era Yawning Man but slower. Bill Frisell guests. A deep psych jam emerges from the doomed drone desert rock nexus.

Sunday 28 August 2022

Nunc Dimittis (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: End Credits) - Geoffrey Burgon

This is the song in the closing credits for each of the 7 episodes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which aired on the BBC is 1979. Apparently the singer is Paul Phoenix. This tune while already haunted has extra resonance today as the ill-informed, misguided and tyrannical woke-tard cultural revolutionists have now come to destroy choral music and church choirs. Object now! So this is the new punk-rock. 

This goes out to the heroic 80 year old granny objecting to cocks in her changing rooms at her local pool and the legendary lesbians who were banned today from a pride march in Wales for stating "Lesbians Don't Like Penises!"   

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Kano - I'm ready

Future electro from 1980 by Kano. For a start that bass....then the vocal science....the untreated vocal melodies are like something Ariel Pink was influenced by circa Loverboy. The glitz & the glamour of Italo-disco bliss...

Sunday 14 August 2022

Hadji Baba - Gus Vali

Hadji Baba comes from a 1974 LP that's never been reissued so perhaps the collector cult builders who run reissue labels don't like it. Reminiscent of Can's ethnological forgeries, 70s Miles and Turkish psych, it's a super session of 70s psychedelic jazz-funk-fusion. Recorded in NYC by Greek American belly dancing advocate Gus Vali. A Middle-Eastern Afro-Cuban jam with an all star lineup that features Charlie Palmieri on the Fender Rhodes.  

Saturday 13 August 2022

Iration Steppas - Iration Steppas vs. Dennis Rootical

Choice "digi-dub" reggae from the mid 90s. Nothing produced by the dubstep people 10 years later was anywhere near as good as this tune. Massive.

Skream - Midnight Request Line

I always thought this dubstep tune was a total Drexciya rip off. Listening to most dubstep still gets on my tits because it has all these elements from top genres like dub, electro, Detroit techno, jungle, dub-tech etc. but it's not as good. Plus it's got dub in the bloody name right but it's rarely dubby enough. I mean this track, even though it's undeniable, is virtually dub free.  

Friday 12 August 2022

Infophysix - Dopplereffekt

Infophysix from 96 is classic Detroit electro. Dopplereffekt is one half of Drexciya Gerald Donald's side project that adds an ebm element to the sound. The subject matter is old school industrial style though: nazis, porn, eugenics etc. Don't let that put you off though as many of their 90s tunes have that luxuriant electro vibe that could only be Drexciya

Sunday 7 August 2022

Jaze - Wanna Get Down With You

Some funky psychedelic guitar action on this disco number from 1979. An ace production that gets pretty out there. If someone told you this was Can collaborating with a female vocal trio you might well have believed them. The mysterious Jaze did just the one record and this it. Wanna Get Down With You was released on 12" by the Leo Mini label.  Top jam!

Friday 5 August 2022

Underground Lovers - Promenade

One of the great 90s live bands from Melbourne. They also did some terrific records. I guess they were indebted to space-rock, post-punk, synth pop, krautrock, neo-psych, indie-dance, shoegaze and everything else good in between. 1992's Promenade is just hits & memories for me and sure I used to sometimes have a beer at me local with the drummer on this record 30 years ago. Still I reckon it must be good. It stands up like say Ripe, their contemporaries don't. At 2.52 when it takes off into blissed out noise overload and the synth strings swell with the concrete into the sky...

Underground Lovers were signed to short lived 4AD sub label Guernica. The only other bands I can think of that were maybe on that label were Insides & Unrest. Am I right? The Undies killed it on the big stages like The Palace with epic performances but were also great on the small stages where they could pack a punch like The Punters or The Empress. The sound of my youthful soul wasting away. Who knew it would all turn into a dystopian nightmare 30 years on...

Monday 1 August 2022

Dr. Strangely Strange - Dark Haired Lady

A haunting acid-folk tune from 69 that swiftly transforms when an eldritch stylophone enters at 2.47 and it becomes another song entirely. 

Sunday 31 July 2022

Sekret Sekret - New King Jack

The offbeat New King Jack must have stood out like a sore thumb amongst Sydney's inner-city post-punk scene in 1980. I guess at its heart this tune is pop, sixties and folk influenced with hints of retroactively named 60s micro-genres like baroque psych and sunshine pop and eventually it becomes undeniably psych when that sideways guitar enters and almost tips the song over. Anyway what's a delightfully enchanting number to me might not be for your you. Peculiar. 

Saturday 30 July 2022

The Moles - Tendrils and Paracetamol

An epic pop mutation from Sydney group The Moles in 1991. This inspired psych-noise-pop post-punk-funk odyssey was an anomaly then and remains so to this day. 

Friday 29 July 2022

The Missing Links - You're Driving Me Insane

Now we're talking...back to the British beat, the FREAKBEAT! Although this is actually from Sydney in '65. I'm sure Freakbeat Phil included several Australian and Dutch 45s in his freakbeat micro-genre roundup...I guess so long as it's not American and has been touched by the hand of mayhem it's in. This is buzzing with so much electricity on so many fronts. Lust, violence, noise... I've finally caught the spice-y virus and well my brain just can't think up the words to express the vibe for this song... If you don't already know the tune just press play and voilà it'll be one of your 60s favourites.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Beacon Street Union - The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens

Mr Simon Reynolds joins in the psych fest. He suggests this, another good bit of daggy Boston psychedelia from 1968. These guys were part of the phoney Bosstown Sound scene along with Ultimate Spinach and Orpheus. It starts out as a tepid Love rip off but then a flute enters and by the end a nifty little guitar break emerges creating a noice mini psych freak out.  

Ultimate Spinach - (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess

I guess the best way to describe this is daggy psychedelia. Ultimate Spinach were acolytes of folk rock and San Francisco style psych but they were far from the happening scenes of the day (Texas, San Fran, LA etc.) as they were Bostonians. They are the sort of band that never quite make the grade with regard to lists of psych but often rate a mention as second tier runners up that might be worth a listen once you're done with the good stuff. Anyway that's all beside the point as Hip Death Goddess is a stellar tripped out acid rock epic. This jam could have continued for another 10 minutes and I wouldn't have minded at all.