Monday 27 May 2024

Graveyard Productions - Grab My Mask

Graveyard Productions - Grab My Mask (1995)
The daisy-age gone sour. A deranged criminal tale set to sweet innocent music. So it's not the usual 90s Memphis underground horror movie samples, it's a lovely tranquil Isley Brothers sample of Highways Of My Life mixed with Graveyard Production's melodic chorus that has fermented into something off key sickly sweet and absurdly unsavoury. It's a bit of creepy fun, lo-fi used to delirious perfection. They tread a fine line on Grab My Mask: Always verging on satire of hip hop's glamorisation of nihilistic ultra violence and yet it's still often unsettling. "Don't make me get my OJ gloves" is a particularly menacing line that's probably also black comedy genius. I'm pretty sure there's also a conflicted Robin Hood-esque moral tale lurking in amongst this complex barrage of words too.    

DIY outsider halloween music.

Sunday 26 May 2024

Strap Like An Army Tank - King Goldi (feat. Lil Wako & Skimask Troopaz)

King Goldi - Strap Like An Army Tank (Video incorrectly titled) - [1996]
Insane underground lo-fi psychedelic horrorcore* 90s Memphis stylee with some rockin' guitar samples and screwed techniques. That cheap creepy synth is something else. The music here has more in common with Chrome or The Residents than say 1996's rising stars of rap Jay Z or The Fugees

*I feel like 90s underground Memphis Rap with morbid, horror, satanic and dark psychological themes was never properly named or in fact given a proper sub-genre term to seperate it from other Memphis rap and Horrorcore from other geographical areas. Using the term horrorcore with 90s Memphis rap is somewhat misleading as it really doesn't sound anything like Esham, Gravediggaz or bloody ICP, only really overlapping in some dark psychological lyrical themes. The 90s Memphis flows and beats are an entire (aesthetic sound)world apart from these Northern counterparts. 

If they can retroactively coin the term Mid-School Hip Hop they should have no qualms about a seperate genre name for the music I'm talking about here. Bloggers and aficionados refer to it as evil Memphis shit or devil shyt. Perhaps I should try to come up with one... then again I can't stand retroactively titled genres especially if it's for music created created more than 5 years previous let alone 30 years ago. I mean is anybody seriously really using the term Zolo outside of Rate Your Music nerds? 

Saturday 25 May 2024

Black Puppet - Groove Chronicles

Groove Chronicles - Black Puppet [1999]
Classic UKG. 

The kids are reading history in reverse. So some of these children who weren't even born in 1999 call this dubstep. Not something that inspired or influenced dubstep but actual dubstep. This temporal collapse is distorting knowledge. It's a particular pedagogical and epistemic problem that is being applied across the board as seen in debates about slavery where they conveniently leave out of the timeline how the British stopped slavery and poured immense financial and human resources into this incredibly moral endeavour... correct me if I'm wrong I think perhaps sociologist Frank F├╝redi addresses the problems with reading history wrong and its disastrous consequences... anyway sorry this is a tangent not relevant to this amazing track.

...this was the b-side of their hit 99 with the wibble wobble bass, crisp jittery beat and overall immense dubwise production.   

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Just Give It All To Christ · Lucky Rosenbloom

Lucky Rosenbloom (1985)
Back to the electro. This is something else. I guess it's electro gospel but I mean it could be gospel-house, I don't get the genre pigeon hole here...I'm guessing it's down to the make of drum machine and his geographic location which was St Paul. 

This is a WTF? tune if there ever was one. It's electronic, it's post disco, It's funky, it's jazzy, It's futuristic, it's the strangest space age gospel tune you ever heard. Insane synth action with luxurious soul jazz piano stylings, acidic squelches, off the wall funky keytar breaks, unorthodox recording techniques and more. At one stage (0.42) I thought another song had started playing in another window of my computer but no that's just this song's strange arrangement and unique sound design. I can't tell whether that was incompetence or deliberate, either way it was surprising and a genius move.

If my memory serves Rosenbloom was a pastor and tv evangelist who recorded just this one 7" single and last year it got re-released by one of those trendy reissue labels either Light In The Attic or Numero Group. 

I think maybe this is outsider music.  

Monday 20 May 2024

Broadcast - Spell Blanket

Running Back To Me - Broadcast (2024)
Witchy and tribal. This definitely has a second half of the 00s vibe, making clear that there was definite overlap between Hypnogogia and Hauntology. This has a similar spirit to groups like Pocahaunted but then again I guess Broadcast were always more than just hauntologic with their folky neo-psych and dilapidated moogy dream jazz.

March Of The Fleas - Broadcast (2024)
Sorta like a lo-fi shoegaze jam but Broadcast stylee. I get that these are demos but were Broadcast ever this raw? My brain says no but I don't really trust my memory bank anymore so who knows... maybe I'll have to dig out me dusty old cds and give them a listen. So the recently released Spell Blanket compilation is made up of 36 demos recorded between 2006 and 2009. This material was apparently sketches for a future LP that never got made. (Retro) Retro retro-future.  

Broadcast - My Body (2024)
Hymn for an occult ritual... goths in the baby Diamanda Galas doing spooky incantations...

I don't recall Broadcast ever being this overtly... well just this overt. 

Disturbing or hilariously cheese-y, I don't know... maybe both. 

Broadcast - Follow The Light (2024)
While containing many sketches and snippets Spell Blanket has plenty of gorgeous haunting psych-folk moments like this. Surely one of Trish's most outstanding tunes.

Sunday 19 May 2024

Staring Into The Abyss


Bernard Herrmann - Gort/The Visor/The Telescope (1951)
Darkness and fear with added theremin fun.

Front 242 - Moldavia (1991)
The sound design and the way sound is organised here is pretty impeccable. Also just an iconic anthem innit.

Health - Ashamed Of Being Born (2023)
It's hard to have an affect if you're a post-industrial pop group post-1980s but this is somewhat interesting if perhaps post post-post ironic (or should I add in a few more posts). This video with its images of the cult of nerdy fandom with their infantile dress ups and mental illness deification is all about you and your identity or lack thereof and the emptiness at the heart of it all...The downer euphoria "I'm a sad boy" identity pioneered by the likes of Drake is transposed here onto a Linkin Park/NIN style jam. What's the difference anymore? Rap, psych, metal, industrial, dance pop: All this shit sounds the the same. 

Pedro The Lion - Rejoice (2002)
Codeine/Low/Idaho.... Pedro has the blueprint...pulled off with particular aplomb. This is a raw non-ironic sad boy but it feels like he's reaching for something more and not just acquiescing to the abyss. 

Crass - White Punks On Hope (1979)
A song slagging off The Clash is always a winner with me. Also notable for astute commentary on retarded "There is only one viewpoint. It's ours and we are correct" lefty conformism and meaningless pick a team "Which side are on?" politics that still rings true today. Imagine thinking for yourself...

I get the irony of a dogmatic sloganeering band slagging off a band for being dogmatic sloganeers. 
"Pogo on a nazi, spit upon a jew
Vicious mindless violence that offers nothing new
Left wing violence, right wing violence, all seems much the same
Bully boys out fighting, it's just the same old game
Boring fucking politics that'll get us all shot
Left wing, right wing, you can stuff the lot"

Polvo - Every Holy Shroud (1994)
Like Pavement and Unwound tunes like this sounded nostalgic back in the 90s when they were released. I've gotta say It is surprising that I still really enjoy Polvo. In fact I think I like their stop start shenanigans, weird time signatures, modal guitars and daft surreal melancholy more now. Still acquiring the taste 30 years on. 

"Celebrate the new dark age with us
Calculate the irony with someone you can trust"

Friday 17 May 2024

Midnight Star - Electricity

The charms of Midnight Star..... they certainly had a fucking knack for these insidious grooves. Although this was infectious electro-funk for the future these fellas were so old school they still wore their showbiz threads instead of the trendy sneakers, leather jackets and tracksuits. It didn't really matter though coz if you were breakin' or roller skatin' this jam was electric. 

Thursday 16 May 2024

The Future - Nuclear Holocaust

The Future - Nuclear Holocaust (Vocal) [1984]
Oblivion was just a push of a button away back in the day when the cold war was raging with it's arms race and star wars programme, We understood the very real threat that we were going to be blown to bits by a nuclear bomb at any minute. Paranoid dread was real and normal to us kids at the time. 

We didn't get our Nuclear Holocaust or jet packs. It seems jet packs aren't on the horizon anymore but the future does offer us the renewed promise of the possibility of thermonuclear annihilation. Isn't it nice that our childhood dreams are being kept alive by our overlords.

The Future is an alias for Michael Johnson Jr of legendary electro-funk combo The Jonzun Crew.

The Future - Unclear Holocaust (Re-mix Version) [1984]
You may prefer the instrumental dub mix b side for your breakdancing til armageddon. 

Monday 13 May 2024

Sandy Kerr - Thug Rock

Sweet, smooth and sultry this funky post-disco* hip-hop jam is the business. Behold that groove, bass-line extravaganza and cowbell goodness. Everybody get out your roller-skates, it's time to partay!

*Disco often gets conveniently overlooked as a major ingredient in the formulation of hip hop. By the time it mutates into gangsta rap nobody's owning up to it as an influence. Moot point I spose.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Strafe - Set It Off

An epic elemental electro-funk masterpiece.

When the differences between funk, electro, house and techno or even post-disco, freestyle and chart dance pop were pretty flimsy. If you added the emphasis on a particular instrument here it may have been categorised as a different sub-genre. A lot of categorisation at the time was geographical. In Australia in 1984 just starting High School it was all just called dance music. 

Set It Off's influence continued into at least the early 00s with the likes of The Neptunes ripping off this aesthetic wholesale and calling it their own. 
Still the future. 

Friday 10 May 2024

Newcleus - Computer Age (Push The Button)

Newcleus - Computer Age (Push The Button) [Club Mix] - (1984) 
A lot of old school electro jamz are amazingly pertinent to today, probably more so than anything actually current in pop music. 

Some theorists say now that AI has been unleashed onto the public that we're doomed. How much more doom mongering propaganda can we take? I suspect AI was released into society to create more havoc, confusion and chaos so that more control can be exerted upon us lowlife masses. It will have you screaming for the government to fuck you harder with regards to your dwindling freedom.

Many people are under the misapprehension that science-fiction books & movies and futuristic electronic music are always cheerleading retarded technological progress but no many of these artist's artefacts have always been about warning us of these incredibly anti-human existential dangers. Enjoying Kraftwerk, John Foxx or Newcleus doesn't equate to wanting to comply with trans-humanism. 

Are we under their control, or are they under our control, or what?
Push the button
Computer age is now
Everyone must have a machine
They say it's gonna make life easier,
well, I can't stand it....
They say we should put them in control
Well, maybe next we'll give them a soul
I guess we must now think that we're gods,
While we're less men than ever
I know the Lord cannot be too glad
In fact, I'm sure he must be quite mad
To see us take His role from our lives
And give it to computers
For here we sit in our easy chairs
As our machines decide how we'll fare
Who will suffer, who will survive?
It's up to the computers
Push the button
Are we under their control, or are they under our control, or what?
Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning!
"I'm no longer in control
I can't program my machine
Now it wants to take my soul
Stop it or it will proceed!"
Why is it you're trying to give me
I'm in charge and yet you're trying to
I'm metal so you think you have to
But I'm a man 'cause I don't need no
Now computing...
Are we under their control, or are they under our control, or what?

Totally epic track that gets pretty cosmic at 5:40.

Sunday 5 May 2024

Bonny - Prefab Sprout

Bonny - Prefab Sprout (1985)

Timeless 80s pop perfection: aged like fine wine. Paddy McAloon's idiosyncratic words and feels ensure Bonny is like nothing else. Wretched grief thoroughly captured in an authentic yet beautiful manner. 


Rev-P - 1994 (1994)
Strangely several elements of Bonny were used here to great effect in this unusual uncanny slice of dark, damp and dubby jungle. This murky tune was created by Pete Parsons aka Voyager aka Static Substance