Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Broken Hearts - Part 1


It's funny how songs like this appeal to you as a child. I guess it was like a portal into what adulthood intensity was going to be like. Little did we know how painful such things were going to be and that we never really wanted to go through a scenario such as the one outlined in this song. Great songwriting.



I loved this when I would have been 10. Quite possibly the greatest heartbreaking tune of them all. It's all too much!

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. I think I actually only learnt that a year or two back!


Love this one.



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.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

In Love With These Times: My Life With Flying Nun Records


Finally a book on Flying Nun written by the guy who started the label. Haven't read it yet. Here's a podcast from the other day with the author and a bunch of old film clips. Can't help but think this might be quite boring though, like that podcast. How sycophantic is that interviewer as well? Bruce Russell once hinted that Flying Nun's signings weren't necessarily based on aesthetics or great judgement but just whatever bands existed on the south island and other parts of NZ at the time. They were lucky there were so many good ones. This was further demonstrated in the late 80s when, after Flying Nun did some major label deal, a lot of the better acts started getting their work rejected. Anyway I hope it's good or do I?.........I wonder if the Axemen will get a mention?

I kind of liked it when you knew very little about underground music from NZ or Flying Nun. In the 80s I reckon there were only like 5 videos that ever got played on Rage. You'd see a small news article on The Clean or Verlaines in RAM back then plus the occasional review or bit on The Clean or The Chills in NME and Melody Maker. In Clinton Walker's 1983 (published in 84) book The Next Thing, which was about the current state of Australian rock, there was one paragraph at the end of the book mentioning The Clean, Victor Dimisich Band, The Chills and The Gordons. Walker speculated that perhaps there was something cool going on over there in the land of the long white cloud. He wasn't even sure if The Clean were still together! That's how little information there was at the time. Finding a Flying Nun record was like discovering treasure. Now all that fabulous mystique has gone and we're way too over informed more and more each day. I miss the mystery. I don't wanna know how much a Bats LP cost or how many copies they manufactured. It was all about these peculiarly beautiful tunes that seemed to come out of nowhere or maybe from a parallel time and universe. New Zealand seemed so mysterious and so far away then, even though it's just a short flight from East Coast Australia.












Robot/Copy - Plastics


1979 B side


A side
Released on Rough Trade.

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Dadacomputer

Again & Again &...

Whilst moving house recently a printed out image of the cover to this tape came out of one of my boxes. I'd printed it out a couple of years ago as I thought it was an incredible piece of pop art as previously mentioned. I'd only seen the cover and heard one of their tunes back then but a few months after that original post I found a cd in a second hand record shop in Melbourne. It was a little confusing though as it was credited to The Birth Of 5XOD. It was only like $6 so I bought it anyway. When I finally got home and did the interweb research I discovered it indeed was the same album Minimal Wave had reissued. I'd just never heard of 5XOD (or Five Times Of Dust) but I soon discovered they'd released 4 tapes in the early 80s and contained members Mark Philips and Robert Lawrence who were the original band Dadacomputer. Confused? Anyway it wasn't until blog Die or DIY? put up a file of 5XOD in 2014 that I ever heard them. Last year Johnny Zchivago of the aforementioned blog put up a whole lot of stuff from Mark Philips, Robert Lawrence and other associates of The Dadacomputer/5XOD and fuck that was like an avalanche of revelation

Getting back to the original Dadacomputer tape from1981, it has since become a cult classic at my home, on the internet, amongst electro fiends and.....er... hipsters and continues to grow in stature by the minute. So much so that a tune from the tape has been included on the 4 CD compilation of UK electronic music from 1975 -1984 Close To The Noise Floor. In fact it's the first track on that collection, as if the compiler was trying to make a statement about the merits of the band. There's also a tune from 5XOD included as well. Anyway The Dadacomputer tape is a classic of it's ilk. The primitive melodic electronics are like an unholy union created in the interzone of Computer World and 20 Jazz Funk Greats except it is fabulously unique. Which makes that description kind of deceptive. The contents range from computer-y disco to proto-house to trippy journeys into sound to minimal pre-IDM through to the just plain weird/normal. The Dadacomputer are neglected alien space babies lost inside el cheapo computers from 1981. On the surface it seems sonically rudimentary but on closer inspection it is perhaps sophisticated. Had enough paradoxes, oxymorons, confusion etc? Well I'll stop there.

Eventually I'll do a post on Map 7 which is an epic 10 tape series by Map (ie. Mark Philips 1/2 of The Dadacomputer) from 1981 because it is awesome.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Blog Stagnation


I will explain in this little post the reasons for the continuous interruptions to transmissions of my blog suffice to say health problems and a David Toop style dry patch have played roles in this. Didn't Toop retire from The Wire because he couldn't write about or listen to music anymore? Since last November there's probably been only 7 or 8 days where I've wanted to listen to music. This has made writing my blog a bit hard as it's primarily music based. Culture is a funny old thing, when you are really ill it ceases to have any meaning whatsoever for me. So in the past at least 7 months I've seen it as trivial and inconsequential. That could be the art of Tracey Enin, Mike Kelley, Christian Marclay or whoever to music like Miles Davis, Love, The Fall, Omni Trio or Young Thug to beloved movies like Bring The Head Of Alfredo Garcia, Don't Look Now, King Of New York etc. I don't want to be disengaged by the things I admire artistically and time will tell if the passion can make a return. I mean I'm pretty much done with movies, particularly those of the last 20 or so years but also retroactively such as films I once admired as a younger person. I cannot imagine sitting through a Hal Hartley film now (or at any time in the last 10 years) but I once rated him very highly. So anything could happen with regards to me and culture high or low (like there's any distinction in my brain with regard to that anyway) in the future.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

RIP


Had the 7" of the above back in the day but fuck I should have bought the 12" as it's way better and still so good.





One of Prince's great gifts to the world was his songwriting, producing and playing with women. In the case of the above Vanity 6 tune he even gets to be a woman in the song. He wasn't going to be pinned downed by society's sexual conventions. I was going to write a long personal post about sexuality, hating aspects of my own gender etc. with reference to Morrissey, Robert Forster, Michael Hutchence and of course Prince but I thought fuck it the past is the past. I didn't want to write a self therapy session. Don't get me started on Therapy! What a load of shit. Anyway I didn't need to write it as there's a terrific article by Simon on Prince, Gender & Music here.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

What's On The Hi-Fi - 2016 - Part 1


Pearsall Presents - Beyond Ecstatic: Hardcore Goes Jungle.
Another excellent mix from Pearsall from SonicRampage. These are tunes from 94/95 at the intersection of hardcore and jungle. I didn't really know what to expect from this mix as it all seemed a bit recalcitrant and probably not something I would have dug back in 95 but it's a bewdy and I think he achieves his goal. I suppose you can decide for yourself. Tunes from Ratty, House Crew, Essence Of Aura, DJ Seduction etc. Many of these are lesser known tracks by these well known artists, at least by me anyway. Pearsall describes Beyond Ecstatic as
'Jungle from hardcore producers, jungle released on hardcore labels, jungle remixes of hardcore tunes …'


Pearsall Presents - Truly Dread: A No U Turn Crew Special. 
This is another classic mix from early Feb that's on the Tech-Step tip and it doesn't disappoint either. We've got the cream of the Tech-Step crop here Nico, DJ Trace, Optical, Ed Rush, Dom etc. Get bent darkness points here(via EnergyFlash). An hour and a half of 90s gold.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Bass Bits Winds Up But...

God I could on forever. Don't get me started Peter Hook, Tina Weymouth, The Contortions, Gang of Four, The Fall, The Moodists, ESG, The Slits, Ian Rilen, The Pop Group, 70s reggae, PIL, liquid Liquid, Joseph K, Can, every band from the 60s, Michael Henderson, Bootsy fuckin Collins, every soul/funk band from USA in the 70s, Paul McCartney, Fire Engines, Minutemen, Jon Entwhistle, Died Pretty, Pete Wells, Gary Gary Beers, Mark Ferrie, James Freud, Steve Hanley, Andy Rourke, Bruce Lose/Will Shatter, Debbie Googe, Grant McLennan, Steve Kilbey, Kim Deal........somebody stop me.

I wrote this bit about bass players in July 2012. Now I wonder if they've all been covered. I've noticed some omissions though ie. Well I missed the Meat Puppets and all of 80s New Zealand but did Kim Gordon, John Frenett (Moonshake/Laika), the dude in Les Rallizes Denudes, Paul Raven etc. get mentioned in the Bass Bits celebration?


 Honey and Heat is a mesmerising off kilter urban dub tune with see-sawing samples. The samples here are meticulously crafted and create an entirely unique peculiarity. 


Red River could be a Moonshake tune with it's squalling sax, tense noisy guitar shapes, claustrophobic minimal bass and tumbling out of control beats

* Words on Laika taken from me bit here.


Paul Raven plays the bass here with great vigour...a bit like a 60s/Noo Wave guitar style with that chopping of the strings thang. I like this song but I also think it's kinda funny....the seriousness of it all. No mistaking that 80s vibe though. Did Killing Joke make it to the stadiums? Probably only as a support act I'd say.



The sound of late 80s Australian indy psych pop bass. Beautifully melodic and swirling. There's even a break at the 3.08 mark, nice. What's not to like? Always thought it was the dude Mark Lock who was the bass player on all Died Pretty's recordings up to1988 but discogs tells me it's Steve Clarke who took over bass duties in 1989 from whence this tune came.



Classic Flying Nun bass from Robert Scott in 1981! Written by Peter Gutteridge (RIP), later of Snapper.



How could I forget this one? Not played by Kim Deal who'd moved onto guitar but by Joesephine Wiggs. Her name's rather apt here as she fully wigs out here.
                                         

GOOD(idea) TRIBUTE




David Barbe does an incredible impersonation of Kim Deal here. Sugar fully admitted this was their homage to The Pixies. Very bloody faithful.