Sunday, March 25, 2007

Truth Club/Fote Split 7" (Le Rey LR 01) 1980?

**Reissue update below** Incredibly crucial post-punk/diy split 7". Not only is this the first record on the highly sought after label Le Rey, it is also the first recorded work of Robert Haigh (that I know of).

Truth Club consisted of Robert Haigh and Trevor Reidy. Their contribution to this 7" is one of just two tracks they appear to have released. The other, To the Nile Sister, appeared on the United Dairies compilation - Hoisting the Black Flag, which Mutant Sounds has kindly posted here.

Fote, consisting of Haigh & Reidy from Truth Club, and augmented by Deborah Harding, were a bit more prolific (but not much). In addition to this 7", Fote released two EPs (Perfect Sense & Shaking the House) in 1981, both on Le Rey. If anyone wants to see these EPs posted, leave a comment!

Robert Haigh is probably the most familiar name here. After Fote & Truth Club, Haigh went on to record under his own name and as Sema for various labels like Le Rey, L.A.Y.L.A.H. and United Dairies. After a brief hiatus, Haigh re-emerged in the early 90's with a drastic genre switch as a drum & bass artist, most notably Omni Trio, Splice, London Steppers.

Trevor Reidy contributed percussion on recordings by Nurse with Wound, Danielle Dax, Shock Headed Peters, Chrystal Belle Scrodd and The Monochrome Set.

As for the music:

Fote - Lemon Kittens is a good comparison, off-kilter rhythms, discordant guitars, creaking female vocals.

Truth Club - Post punk w/ vocals similar to Two Daughters/Five or Six, basically music that could have fit on early Factory or Cherry Red (odd-rhythm drums eventually build into a snare-heavy march with guitar, piano and restrained brass squeals).

UPDATE (3/26): This 7", along with the other Le Rey releases are due to be reissued by Seal Pool out of Japan, and they have kindly agreed to allow this post to stay up. I encourage everyone who downloads this file to support the artist and label and purchase the reissues when they are released.

First up in the series is not a reissue, but a collection of new material. Robert Haigh and Silent Storm - From the Air will be released in an edition of 500 copies, 100 of which as a special edition with a bonus CD-R. There are two tracks available here to preview. They are future release and Evolution Crawls. I have to say that Evolution Crawls is a beautiful track - I'm really looking forward to this CD.

The first reissue will likely be Robert Haigh - A Waltz in Plain C, which these days seems to be harder to find than any of the other Le Rey titles (despite being the most recently released). Even though it features Haigh performing solo piano and doesn't fit the mold of 'difficult' listening like other Le Rey titles (or his label mates from United Dairies/L.A.Y.L.A.H.), it is a breath-taking collection of music.

Right now, while listening to this CD for the first time in around 10 years, I am in awe of how Haigh created pieces so simple with their minimal and restrained instrumentation that I still instantly remember the melodies building, drifting and playing off each other...


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Normal Brain - Ready Made LP (Vanity 0009) 1981

Mutant Sounds has this posted as well, but it looks like it is missing side B. Here is the full LP, a vinyl rip @ 256K, which also includes extra pictures.

Looking at the insert creates more questions than answers. To start, the title is referenced as 'Ready Made', Lady Maid' and 'Lady Made', although not 'Ready Maid'.

The track titles also differ between the insert and the label for a few tracks. One title, 'Tomorrow Never Knows' (Beatles cover) is only listed on the insert. Perhaps a joke, or possibly a legal issue arose after the insert was printed and before the vinyl was pressed. In addition to this inconsistency, 'Thrift' is titled 'KE-300' on the label and 'Mist' is titled 'Fragment' on the label. The track 'Frottage SW', listed on the label does not appear on the insert, unless this is actually the Beatles cover.

At the bottom of the insert is the phrase: Let us sing songs together with Speak & Spell

From the magazine, Music:

'Normal Brain was a project of Yukio Fujimoto, using electronic gadgets like analog-synth, rhythm machine, and Speak & Spell. His music was intelligent and witty, traversing the fine line between modern art and pop. Fujimoto's minimalist approach also had a child-like playfulness and elegance, conceptually paralleling the music of early-Kraftwerk or Eno. Currently, Fujimoto is active as sound artist, producing sound objects and installations.'

Here is a description of a recent sound installation by Yukio Fujimoto (from the Venice Biennale 2001):

'If Belgium's pavilion feels like a picture gallery, Japan's suggests a miniature alternative space, crammed with a thematic show that scores only some of the time but is winningly earnest. "Fast and Slow" looks at the signs and costs of material progress. With the support of the McDonald's Corporation, Masato Nakamura has erected a ring of trademark golden arches, a warmly glowing circle that feels like a light-therapy chamber. Nearby are Naoya Hatakeyama's photographic murals on the changing physiognomies of Osaka and Tokyo. Ambient electronic sound is furnished by Yukio Fujimoto's electronic keyboards strapped to the walls. A smaller downstairs space treats the "slow" principle: Hatakeyama's shots of Tokyo's vaulted sewers, whose eerie grandeur recall Nadar's early photographs beneath Paris, and Fujimoto's Sugar, a little glass drum whose ceaseless rotations gradually reduce a sugar cube to powder.'

Fujimoto also contributes synths/electronics to the Morio Agata LP on Vanity.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

V/A - Assemblee Generale Vol. 5 Cassette (P.P.P. 20) 1984

Here is a nice slab of music. It is volume 5 of the Assemblee Generale series, released in 1984 on the P.P.P. label. Like the last edition, the cassette is housed in a unique package - a fake slice of steak. Under the color print of the meat is a 44 pg. booklet & the tape resting in a styrofoam tray, all of which is contained in a ziploc bag.

The music is a good variety of diy/post-punk, industrial, collage, synth, etc... Some better known artists (John Duncan, Die Form, 1/2 Japanese, Tazartes...) and many lesser known. The booklet also contains mini-features (in French) on DDAA, Merzbow & Anne Gillis.

Here are descriptions of a few tracks:

Frederic Nilsen - Insecticide: Nice tape collage utilizing insect chirps, noise-based rhythms, spoken word samples and other sounds reminiscent of early Severed Heads and Greater than One. Nilsen was a member of Doo-Dooettes, Airway, B People, a.o., and one of the founders of LAFMS.

The Grief - Agoraphobie: Minimal synth track similar to Human Flesh or Bene Gesserit.

Suyama Kumiko - Tsukiyo no Shinkukan: Solo vocal & piano piece from member of legendary Japanese punk band Henshin Kirin. She also has a track on the Tago Mago compilation titled Paris Tokyo which will eventually be posted here.

John Duncan - Probe: Droning shortwave radio & noise collage.

Duppi - Hallelujah: If Steven Stapleton had actually been a young Japanese woman, the early years might have sounded a little like this. Duppi was the vocalist of Reform who released one cassette on Pinakotheca in 1982. Anyone have a copy of this to post???


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Older DJ Set of mine - Cooler by Design @ Marx Cafe June 2006

A few people have inquired, and others have had problems with the podcasts on the Atlantis Records site, so here is a set of mine from last year zipped up.

This is a set from last year for a one-off event at Marx Cafe (another fifth Friday) with Braulio, who will also be joining Sam and myself this Friday.

Some of the music here will likely turn up Friday night during one of my Champion Superior Soundsystem sets. The music is, for the most part, unlike most of what would be posted here, but I expect everyone here has a fairly open mind, so....

Included in this mix are tracks by Snatch, Viv Goldman, Don Cherry, Os Mutantes, Sadistic Mika Band, Tom Ze, Gilberto Gil and others including a Vanity label track not yet posted on-line. Can you spot it?

I would really like to hear feedback on this....


Belle du Soir s/t 7" (M Squared M2011) 1981

This is my third attempt at finding a 7" not already posted or available on CD as a reissue. I was going to post a Monoton split 7", but the track has been reissued here. Then I thought about posting Frieder Butzmann - Valeska 7", but this was reissued on CD and has already been posted on a few sites. So, this 7" was the next in line....

The first track on this Bell du Soir 7" was reissued on the compilation Can't Stop It #2 CD - Australian Post-Punk 1979-1984. Since only one track made it onto the CD, I decided to post this so all 4 tracks can be heard.

Musically, I think they fall somewhere between Young Marble Giants and Mad Tea Party and probably many others, but these are the first that come to mind. An excellent, and very hard to find single.

The release date is a guess. I found little about this one on the web, and it isn't listed in


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SAB - Crystallization LP (Vanity 0002) 1978

This is the second Vanity LP, released in 1978. It is mostly synth/ambient music w/ a bit of piano, sitar and other instrumentation including a bit of percussion.

As the description from Music magazine below mentions, this could be considered pre-new age music, particularly side A, washy synths and a little piano... side B explores a little more and this is where most of the other instrumentation comes into play. This may be the one Vanity LP that sounds the least like any other. I think this is partly due to the instrumentation, the higher-production level of this album compared to some of the other Vanity titles, and possibly the musicianship of SAB & friends. Not mentioned below in the article is that SAB did a lot of the music on the Morio Agata LP for Vanity.

SAB: CRYSTALIZATION (Vanity 0002/LP/1978) A 19-year-old Sab produced this spacey-electronic music almost entirely by himself using multiple recording and such instruments as guitar, synth, and various electronics. Here, Sab creates crystal-clear electronic music comparable to Magical Power Mako, Kitaro, and the Sky label. Pre-new age music. Since this talented musician went to India, nobody has known his whereabouts.

Two tracks per side are listed, but I think it might be one on side A and three on side B. I have left the vinyl rip as two whole sides. Here is the tracklist according to the sleeve/label:

Side A
1. Yume-no-ishe
2. Marble

Side B
1. Menou
2. Agate


Champion Superior Soundsystem @ Marx Cafe, Wash DC - Friday, March, 16th

Another plug for a Washington DC event...

This Friday I will be spinning music with a couple friends of mine at Marx Cafe in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of DC. I will be joining Braulio & Sam for a night of dope kraut afro space funk fusion dub beats.

Sam is a resident of another night at Marx every last Friday of the month titled DC Soundclash showcasing music from Jamaica. Braulio has a long history of spinning throughout DC, most notably at Chi-Cha lounge for over two years, Dragonfly for over three years and occasional spots at Blue Room.

A little more info on the event below....

It goes kind of like this:

The Champion Superior Soundsystem triumphantly thunders back to Marx Cafe on Friday at 10 p.m. DJs Braulio Agnese, Dave from Atlantis and Sammy Gong will bring an arsenal of funk, boogaloo, Brazilian, Kraut, hip-hop, reggae, rare groove and other hunks of raw beat to feed the shaking asses of the masses. In other words, They drop, You bop.

The Champion Superior SoundsystemFriday, March 1610 p.m. - 3 a.m.Marx Cafe 3203 Mt. Pleasant St.NWDC
No Cover, No Escape

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Klaus Bloch (A La Ping Pong) - Phase II 'Gogopongs' LP (Private) 1981

Another artist I discovered via The Crack in the Cosmic Egg is Klaus Bloch. He released two LPs featuring his tape-delay guitar work. This is the 2nd LP - Phase II - Gogopongs.

The first track, Go, starts up with a wonderful drone that builds up to what can best be described as Neu on nitrous. Track 2, Go Go Pongs, is slightly dark synth-wave with less of the guitar effects.

My favorite track is the third, Farbenspiel, a slower meditative piece with guitar, keyboards, strings and the 'Animabass' which doesn't do much other than distract from the rest of the music. Perhaps I like this one so much because it reminds me a lot of a track I made in the 90's, a few years before I finally heard this album.

Since this album isn't included in the on-line version of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, I have transcribed the info on Bloch below:

"Actually, hiding behind the moniker of 'A La Ping Pong', Klaus Bloch was a talented amateur guitarist who broke on to the independent scene in a small way in the early-80's. Apart from being the project name, the 'A La Ping Pong' phrase was what he called his tape delay system, which was in essence his variation on the Frippertonic system. Klaus Bloch went on to make two very different albums. The first featured a highly inventive music featuring more recognisably 'Frippertonic' style guitar looping and delays, with multi-tracking and electronics, often comparable to Manuel Gottsching's echo and delay guitar work, early Heldon, or Camera Obscura. Then, in contrast, PHASE II took a diversion to Kraftwerk styled electro-pop blending with Frippian touches, and is vastly inferior, despite aid from synthesist Hardy Kukuk."

If the Freeman brothers truly find this LP 'vastly inferior', Bloch's first album must be a masterpiece!! This one isn't too bad itself....


Friday, March 9, 2007

Bits - EP (Pure Freude PF 19) 1982

Here is a short one before I head out....

This is another record I discovered via The Crack in the Cosmic Egg. It features Michael Karoli of Can on guitar and production. Although Karoli is only credited on guitar for one track, the whole EP has a Can feel to it. The on-line version doesn't include artists past 1980 so here is a transcription from the book:

"These were part of the totally confused early-80's Cologne scene, and interconnected with Dukelziffer & SYPH. Bits offered a typically Can inspired music (not surprising as co-producer was Michael Karoli) with odd new-wave and dub elements, comparable to Czukay's & Wobble's collaborations. This sole EP would seem to be all of Bits' output."

Already being a Dunkelziffer & SYPH fan, I was intrigued by the description in the book. This sounds more like Dunkelziffer than SYPH, particularly the dub bass-lines and rhythms. At times this also reminds me of earlier Tortoise when they single out just the bass & drums.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Brave New World - Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley LP (Vertigo 6360 606) 1972

Normally I wouldn't post a release on a label as big as Vertigo. But this LP, one of my favorite albums of the Krautrock scene, appears to have never been reissued. Seeing that so many bands, most of whom were marginal at best, are having their back-catalog reissued, it is a mystery why this one keeps slipping under the radar.

I found out about this album from the book, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg. That book became, to me and a few friends, a bible of sorts. We discovered all these records we never heard about or at least what they sounded like. We each made our own lists of what we were after. Brave New World and a few others I will post this week (Bits, A La Ping Pong...) were on mine.

I was lucky to pick this one up not too long after the book was published, so the price wasn't too steep yet. Recently, I've seen this fetch $300+ on eBay!

Speaking of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, there is an abridged version of the book on-line, but restricted to the years 1967-1980. Here is their description of Brave New World:

A short-lived Hamburg based project, featuring Irishman John O'Brien-Docker (formerly of City Preachers and Marcel) and jazzer Herb Geller, along with a few top local rock and pop musicians. Brave New World's whole oeuvre was the concept of the Aldous Huxley science fiction novel. An unlikely "supergroup", and remarkably the music they created was unprecedented and original. On their LP, Brave New World blended styles, in such an unlikely manner, hinting at the music later created by the likes of Art Zoyd or Univers Zero. Virtually instrumental, blending medieval musics, electronics, jazz and rock in a dazzlingly complex fusion, a big step beyond early Between, with the Krautrock feel of Annexus Quam, Achim Reichel, Tomorrow's Gift, et al. And, dig that over-amplified stylophone! An all-time Krautrock classic.

Dicky Tarrach (drums, percussion), Lucas Lindholm (bass, bass fiddle, organ, piano), Herb Geller (flutes, cor anglais, alto/soprano/tenor saxes, organ), Reinhart Firchow (recorders, flutes, ocarina, stylophone, percussion, vocals), John O'Brien-Docker (guitars, organ, percussion, vocals, wind chimes), + Esther Daniels (vocals)
This is a vinyl rip. Unfortunately there is a bit of crackle in some of the quieter parts.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Musik Werks - Anthology '77-'81 (River Musik Werks RMW-3) 1981

An obscure treat for all the DIY - electronics fans....

I don't know too much about Musik Werks. What little I could find on Google indicates they were from the US.

The spine states '77-'81 and the tape lists '77-'80. The music was recorded between '77-'80. It contains unreleased music recorded before and between their two albums (presumably cassettes): Songs You've Never Heard Before and Intersketches.

The music is primarily DIY-synth/electronics w/ a little bit of live percussion. For comparison's sake I place this closer to Conrad Schnitzler than Klaus Schulze, not to say there isn't a closer comparison that can be made. The fluttering, cascading synths of Cascades reminds me of Steve Hillage's ambient masterpiece Rainbow Dome Musick.

There is one track I always have to skip when listening to this, Winter Interlude, as it sounds too much like a Billy Joel ballad, or worse.

The one track with live percussion, Avanti, starts off with synth burbles and then, out of nowhere, Musik Werks pull a Steven Halpern move and drop some mad percussion that makes one wonder why there is only one track like this (does anyone know if they ever explored this direction on their other releases???).

For those unfamiliar, Steven Halpern released several new age/ambient synth albums. A long time ago for reasons now forgotten, I had noted in my wantlist to track down Halpern's Subtle Body Suite for what had good drum breaks. I didn't know for the longest time it was a track title, not an LP title. In the early/mid-90's Amoeba & Rasputin's records in the bay area would always have several of his LPs in their used bins, and they always turned out sounding like hippie new age music. Finally, a few years ago at a record fair, I randomly chanced upon a strange looking Halpern record - Christening for Listening. Once I turned it around to look at the tracks (and instrumentation), I see the much-coveted track, and the LP includes percussion. To finally find this was great, and to find it for $5 only made it better.

Enjoy Side A (w/ art)
Enjoy Side B

Sunday, March 4, 2007

LLL - Hoffnung Cassette (Selektion SC 2) 1980

...and one more Selektion cassette this evening.... This is the first of two cassettes by LLL that appeared on Wahrnehmungen, and the only one released on Selektion. One side of their other cassette, Schlagt sie tot! was reissued by Vinyl on Demand as part of their Wahrnehmungen 1980/1981 3LP Boxset.

LLL (aka Joachim Pense) made a few other appearances on compilations and also as source material used by P16D4 including a track on one of my favorite compilations from the 80's - Bruitiste.

When I archived all of these cassettes a while back this one initially stood out the least to me. Now after listening to them all again, I think I enjoy this one the most.

Four of the five tracks are over 10 minutes long and most are very stripped down in their instrumentation (electronics, bass, keyboards, location recordings...). As a whole this tape is similar to Vanity label. One track (B1) especially reminds me of Tolerance and perhaps Cranioclast's longer ambient pieces.


Permutative Distorsion - Bruckenkopf im Niemandsland Cassette (Selektion SC 8) 1981

Another cassette on Selektion - this one by Permutative Distorsion featuring Ralf Wehowsky (P.D., P16D4, RLW...).

Bruckenkopf im Niemandsland was originally released on the label Wahrnehmungen as W 021. There is a 7" version of this release with a different tracklist that has already been posted by The Thing on the Doorstep.

Update: While researching info on LLL, I realized that Side A of this cassette was reissued on the Vinyl on Demand 3LP boxset Wahrnehmungen 1980/1981. That leaves one "exclusive" track from this cassette.


(note: tracks A5 & A6 are joined together on this rip)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

V/A - Rhein-Main-Sampler Cassette (Selektion SC 1) 1980

Another cassette compilation on Selektion, the first on the label. As with the other Selektion cassettes, Rhein-Main-Sampler was originally released on the Wahrnehmungen label.

I particularly like the first two tracks by P.D. and Der Letze Tango. Other artists appearing are: Kurzschluss, Rogalli, 6.094 (w/ Lisa von Licht Pause), LLL and others. Also appearing is a track by Elektrozange, an early project of Achim Sczepanski who would go on to head Force Inc./Mille Plateaux Records.

The music here is pretty similar to the other Selektion compilation posted the other day. If that, or the Vanity label are your thing, check this one out too....

Hopefully, there'll be two more Selektion tapes ready to post this weekend....


Update: Here is a link to another compilation cassette on Selektion - Offene Systeme, posted by dorfdisco braunsfeld who runs another fine music sharing site.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

V/A - Reissaus vor Krach und Chaos Cassette (Selektion SC 007) 1981

This is the first of a few cassettes I will be posting from the Selektion label. Reissaus vor Krach und Chaos was originally released on the pre-Selektion label Wahrnehmungen as either catalog # W 016 or W019, according to different pages on the label's back catalogue. This copy is on Selektion. Regular cassette package with fold-out insert.

Artists include P16.D4 (and related Permutative Distortion & P.D), LLL, Rogalli, Kasperle Killerpilz, Kurzschluss, Der Apathische Alptraum, Les Crepes, El'A and Ertrinken Vakkum.

For those of you who have enjoyed the Vanity label posts (and they seem to be the most popular by d/l counts) you will probably like this. Minimal electronic, some with, some without guitars & vocals.


Update: Here is a link to another compilation cassette on Selektion - Offene Systeme, posted by dorfdisco braunsfeld who runs another fine music sharing site.