Wednesday 29 June 2022

Wimple Winch - Rumble on Mersey Square South

One of the best tunes of the 60s. It's got the lot: Drama so much drama and that crackling electricity in each drum hit and the exhilarating quiet loud dynamics and the crunchy guitars and the strange whistle break and the exciting violence and the complex weird melodic vocal harmonies with some funny creepy lyrics. The words are so evocative, it's like a mod movie in just four and a half minutes. 

As it said on the compilation this is "choice psychotic freakbeat" How Rumble On Mersey Square South is not on everyone's best tunes of the 60s list is beyond me but then again I only discovered it 15 years ago with the re-issue of Bam-Caruso's 1984 compilation The Psychedelic Snarl. All I know is Liverpool's Wimple Winch released just three 7"s on Fontana and none of them were hits.

I just noticed House Of Love ripped off that opening guitar line for one of their tunes maybe Shine On?

Sunday 26 June 2022

Miller - Baby I Got News For You

Not many tunes are about buying shoes for the one you love. This is fucking weird and a little creepy. Sonically so raw and in your face. Did they expect this to get on the radio back in the day? This single was released by Columbia in 1965. Miller had previously been in the British instrumental group Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers who'd had some top 10 action with Joe Meek productions. Anyway those brash guitars eventually take over this ditty after 2 and half minutes. A very noisey racket-ness. Did a bunch of future bands base their entire careers on the last 40 seconds of this song? 

Friday 24 June 2022

The Selfkick - Gosh, I'm Your Woman Not Your Wife

Well this is as unhinged as any great freakbeat tune from the Britain. The Selfkick were Dutch and this was Nederbeat. A classic noise-y racket from 1966.

Thursday 23 June 2022

Him And The Others - She's Got Eyes That Tell Lies

Is there anything cooler than a group who recorded just one single?....well yeah if their one and only 7" was released on Parlaphone in 1966 and was this actual song! Plus this classic is the B-side. This is Freakbeat gold. 

The Sorrows - Pink Purple Yellow and Red

The Sorrows - Pink Purple Yellow & Red (1967)
Never heard this tune until yesterday. I know next to nothing about The Sorrows except they were from Coventry. This tune is a ripper. That bassline! Those drums. A bit of menacing British beat if not quite unhinged freakbeat. In the original definition of the term freakbeat Phil Smee, who coined the term, said it had to be "touched by the hand of mayhem" so it's not quite chaotic enough but ya know whatever i's still freakbeat innit. That term has come to encompass British Beat, RnB, Mod, Psych etc.

The Sorrows - Take A Heart (1965)
This is the one song by The Sorrows I previously knew because it was on a compilation from 21 years ago Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire & Beyond

Monday 13 June 2022

Suburban Lawns - Unable

Since I last wrote about Su some dude reckons he saw her on twitter. This claim appears to be absolute bullshit because I think the internet would have actually gone mental if any activity from Su had actually been detected.

Everybody's favourite enigmatic new wave pop singer Su Tissue wears top outfit and does stares almost as good as Johnny Rotten.

PIL - The Slab/Order Of Death


The Slab is the original recorded version of the below tune The Order Of Death. Keith Levene stole these 1982/83 demos that Lydon was disappointed with and released the bootleg called Commercial Zone.  Many of these tracks would be re-recorded without Levene for PIL's 1984 LP This Is What You Want...This Is What You Get.

Welcome to your dystopia where everything is now flipped. The authoritarianism is now emanating from the extreme but mainstream left.

"Stay in your houses. You must comply with what we say. We have decided you can no longer think for yourselves so we have revoked your privileges and liberties. You don't want autonomy anyway we have decided. We will not tolerate dissent, you will be in trouble from MIS, DIS & MAL. We have decided you cannot see your family until further notice. There will be no fraternising with others either. We will be monitoring your online conversations to make sure you are conforming to what we have decided is correct thinking. Not calling certain men women will result in hate crime charges. Your freedom depends upon how willing you are to acquiesce to our demands."


This is another Commercial Zone version. I assume that's Pete Jones on bass.

*** I've gotta say John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten seems like a diamond geezer. The fact that he adopted Ari Up's kids, still recognises his working class roots (unlike the British labour party), is not on board with the bullshit new Sex Pistols tv show, likes common sense and spends most of his time looking after his wife of 41 years who has Alzheimer's is all pretty endearing. 

Recently, lame middle class leftie elitists, stuck in their illiberal bubble, have tried to smear him as a deplorable but John gets what has transpired politically (over the last 40 years) and is still getting the goat of the people who deserve it. He will not blindly toe an orthodox party line.

The Screamers - Vertigo

Monday 6 June 2022


I know I've skipped ahead chronologically in the career of Drexciya but I was in a Neptune's Lair kinda mood. So we've gone from 1993 in the last post to the sound of Drexciya in 1999. I think we all thought they'd broken up at this point as they hadn't released any records for a coupla years but as if to say we're gonna really make a fucking indelible stamp on 90s music now they issued this surprise epic masterpiece in the nick of time during November of 1999, just before we were all gonna die from Y2K. I've said it before, this was the last great LP of the 90s. It's also the strangest, most enigmatic and ambitious music of Drexciya's esteemed 10 year saga.

When I first heard this album I thought it was some kind of secret mystic missive from a hidden sacred zone. It sounded like nothing else at the time and still holds a mesmerising hold of my brain when the needle hits the record/lazer hits the reflective metallic plastic today. 

They basically eschewed the harsher elements of their music to concentrate on the sweeter side of Drexciya, that was always a part of their dna but never quite at the forefront. The thing is this wasn't just the lovely side of the duo, it was an entire leap into unprecedented sumptuous sonic waters. The charm of Neptune's Lair resides in its refined attention to peculiar but splendid melodic detail. Epic opulent washes of sound, rippling low frequencies, sub-aquatic funk, fizzy kaleidoscopic jams, waterlogged bass lines and bubbling atmospheric waves conjuring weird underwater activity is what it's all about. We still get electro bangers where the funky robot sound of the gritty futuristic metropolis is relocated to the bottom of the ocean.

You can't really write about Drexciya without mentioning the fantastical mythology that surrounds the duo's music and its themes. On early records the artwork, song titles and aural textures hinted at this underwater-world known as Drexciya. By the time of their mammoth 2cd career spanning compilation The Quest in 1997 the mythology became overt with text and maps etc. It's hard to know if this mythos of an Afro-futurist utopia was originally just vague abstract ideas later retro engineered into something more coherent or was thought through from the start or was somebody else's poetic interpretation of the hints they'd been given. 

Anyway Drexciya is a mythic world that is inhabited by underwater sea-breathing, hastily evolved humanoids known as Drexciyans descended from pregnant mothers thrown off slave ships in the 17th century. Depending on your point of view this can either enhance ("wow man deep") or hinder ("nerds!") your enjoyment of Neptune's Lair. It all kinda puts me in mind of the top 70s Frog-proggers Magma who had a fictional planet Kobaïa and even invented a language Kobaïan

To me this record belongs thematically at least in the tradition of deep sea/aquatic/underwater records that were recorded in the 70s & 80s and released on library record labels. Records such as Fabio Fabor's Aquarium, Walt Rockman's Underwater, Armanda Sciascia's Sea Fantasy and Egisto Machi's Fauna Marina. Since discovering this delightful sub genre of music in the early 00s I have always wondered if James Stinson or Gerald Donald were across these LPs. I have to think they had probably come across one or two whilst digging in the crates if not being aficionados of these much coveted artefacts. 

Saturday 4 June 2022

Drexciya: 1992 - 1993

DREXCIYA - Deep Sea Dweller (1992) [Shockwave Records]
An incredibly consummate debut EP from the mysterious and much mythologised Drexciya. However the Detroit duo of James Stinson and Gerald Donald had released an EP on Hardwax Balance Of Terror in 1992 under the alias L.A.M. 

The four tracks here are..... is it futile to talk about Drexciya? I mean a lot of previously written words..., what's the point? Top tunes: Yep: Innovation: Yep: Nerdy prog-rock mythos type vibes: Yep: Absurdly influential for 30 years now: Yep. Deep Sea Dweller is an All killer/No filler EP of the highest regard: An auspicious beginning: Yep. Start of a ten year reign as master maestros of Detroit electro-techno of the sublime and idiosyncratic variety: Yep. Still tops: Yep.

DREXCIYA - Bubble Metropolis (1993) [Underground Resistance]
It's funny how much Mouse On Mars were influenced by Drexciya. I didn't realise it at the time. You think it's all contemporaneous whilst you are in the moment but when you look back you can hear the truth plus Drexciya were releasing records a couple of years prior to their existence. Throughout the Drexciya catalogue you can hear future blueprints for the likes of Boards Of Canada, Rustie etc. as well helping shape future sound of genres like electroclash, maybe some dubstep and even hauntology.

Sometimes talking about what a musical entity influenced is dumb and quite lazy. It definitely isn't necessarily a compliment but it wasn't Drexciya's fault a bunch of electroclash knob heads ripped them off in a superficial manner. Nobody could recreate their strange mystic aura though. I assume they influenced a whole lot more of the 21st century's club music and its adjacent scenes but hey I'm blissfully unaware of most of that music. It's also easy to forget there was a hell of a lot of techno in their music too. 

They continued their odyssey with their twisted variant on electro and tekno Detroit stylee on Drexciya III - Molecular Enchantment. This seems a bit harder than previous releases and was released on the Aphex Twin owned Rephlex imprint no-less. I mean this has got the terrific Hydro Cubes on it, that is a landmark 90s electro tune innit. You gotta love intense noise couched in exquisite lovely-ness. 

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Moritz Von Oswald & Mark Emestus: Main Street Records 1993 - 1999

Round Two - New Day (Dub) 1994
Round Two are Mark Emestus and Moritz Von Oswald who were also the legendary Basic Channel as well as Cyrus, Quadrant, Maurizio and Rhythm & Sound. While I have records and cds by all of those aforementioned groups I'm not really au fait with this moniker. I'm glad I looked into it today.

Round Three - Acting Crazy (Instrumental) 1995
Unmistakable Basic Channel-y sounds. 

Round Four - Found A Way 1998
Pure dub-tech gold! How do they do this trick? It almost dissipates into nothing right before your very ears and yet it still holds a rhythm albeit a rather mirage-like one. 

Round Five - Na Fe Throw Version 1999
Thick vibe man. I just noticed people arguing in the comments whether this should be played at 33 or 45. So I'm guessing all these side Bs are like all Basic Channel 12"ers which you can play at either speed depending on your mood.