Monday, 30 March 2020
The Fall are a band I studiously ignored for decades. As you are probably aware I am a music obsessive, so, to start tackling a band like The Fall with 97 albums, 60 Singles & 51 compilations really is pretty much financial suicide for me! The worst part is each album has many different versions & "expansions" coupled with the fact that you have to go through lots of versions to find the best remaster and the one with the most extras, also, they are not cheap!! Whilst I have dipped my toe in The Fall over the decades and I have really liked what I have heard, tackling their vast back catalogue just seemed insurmountable! That all changed recently! I had been listening to some Fall and really enjoying it and last month I had a bit of spare cash and decided maybe I should buy some I found someone who was selling The Fall 7 CD singles box set for £30, I was aghast, as the Fall have always been a "singles band" I figured it was as good a place to start as any with these guys, so I decided I would get that and maybe their first lot of albums.Whilst searching for some bargains I also found that they had released a box set called "1982" this 6 CD set basically covers everything they done in that year and as it was a handier way of wiping out 6 separate purchases so I got that too!
This brings us to this post, I had downloaded The Singles box set when it came out in 2017 and I remember at the time there was a lot of complaint about how it was arranged (3 discs of all the A sides and 4 Discs of the B Sides rather than have the complete singles in chronological order) not only that when the CD came along as the dominant format The Fall often released CD "sets" with multiple B-Sides and on this box set they only give one or in some cases 2 of the B sides for each single!
FFWD to a couple of weeks ago, I am in a group on Facebook called "Now Playing" where you post up a picture of what you are listening to and talk about it! I posted The Fall singles Box and one member commented that he hated the way it was arranged and that he was "gonna rip my CD's one Day and put it in the right order" WELLLL as you can imagine this sent a huge spotlight (not a light bulb a SPOTLIGHT) off above my head, I decided that not only was I gonna take my freshly ripped CD's and put the singles chronologically A & B-Sides together I was gonna insert ALL the missing B-sides and make this a TRUE "Complete Singles" set. I set about doing this and it took me about 10 hours over 2 days to do it, I had no intention of doing a Fall post here but I decided I'd put so much work into this I should upload it for the world!
So firstly, here, the box set has been expanded from it's original 121 tracks to a whopping 155 tracks! And, as this is my personal version of the "Complete Singles" each single has been put in proper chronological order (I researched the dates each single was released and arranged them accordingly ...Yeah I'm that much of a fucking NERD!) with it's A side then B sides rather than split them up into "all the A-sides" and "All The B-Sides"! I also where possible put the tracks in the order they were on their original release even if it meant there were 2 versions of the same track together!
Now I am not gonna claim this to be 100% complete as the original boxset contained one track each from the A & B sides of later EP's "The Remainderer" and "Wise Ol' Man" however I decided as these are not truly singles and are actually more like mini LP's (both running at around 20-30 minutes in length) that I would ommit them from this set as I would have had to add a 9th part just for those.
I have sourced the missing B-sides from remastered and expanded Fall albums so there is no loss in quality and no vinyl rips, the sound should be and is to my ears consistent throughout.
I decided that giving you The Fall Singles set wasn't nearly enough, Hell no! Let's go back to the "1982" box set! The Fall were fairly productive in 1982 doing 2 albums, a single, a Peel session and a tour of Australia and New Zealand! Label Cherry Red Records are in the process of releasing "The Fall Sound Series" they claim this series as the definitive remasters and expansions of The Fall back catalogue and they decided to cover the whole year in one mighty 6 Disc box set! So in the Box you get the albums "Hex Induction Hour" "Room To Live" plus the compilation "Singles, Sessions, Soundchecks, Live" (containing their 1982 Peel Session and the 1982 Kamera 7" plus some Live tracks and the soundcheck for the Australian Gig That Was Released as "Fall In A Hole" this comp is exclusive to the boxset) Also included are the live Albums "Fall In A Hole" & "Fall In A Hole Plus" and a further Live set from the same tour "Live To Air Melbourne '82" so altogether you get 72 tracks of prime era Fall all remastered for this set!
Onto your files... I don't think there is any point in me discussing the music of The Fall I don't think that anyone whose come to this post is going to be new to them you probably came to this from a search for it, but if you don't know The Fall this is a good place to start as the singles box covers their entire career from their first 7" release in 1978 to the last in 2016 and will give you a damn good idea what they are like. So the files These are pretty big downloads I decided, as I have the storage space and no restrictions on uploads, why upload 14 links? So I have put them together in parts. Each of the parts of the single box contains 2 folders of approx 80 or more minutes in length and I chose to put 2 Discs each from the "1982" set in each part below to save time for me and the box set was too big to just upload in one file.
So there you go a labour intensive exhaustive "Complete" Fall Singles collection and the bonus of the expensive 1982 box set all ripped from my own CD's and sourced from remastered versions so... Go get yourself TOTALLY WIRED with some classic FALL!
1982 BOX PT 1 - Mediafire
1982 BOX PT 2 - Mediafire
1982 BOX PT 3 - Mediafire
COMPLETE SINGLES PT 1 - Mediafire
COMPLETE SINGLES PT 2 - Mediafire
COMPLETE SINGLES PT 3 - Mediafire
COMPLETE SINGLES PT 4 - Mediafire
I guess many of you regular readers of this blog may have thought the blog was dead and finished? I guess i kinda did too I have to be honest I lost interest and enthusiasm and as you will see I've done little but a couple of short posts and updates over the last year
This year marks 7 years since I sat down on the Google blogger page and attempted to work it out, I remember starting this in 2013 and it has gone through some trials and tribulations like the loss of a years work through 4shared banning me over copyright issues to the gradual slowing down and eventual grinding to a halt!
This year marks 7 years since I sat down on the Google blogger page and attempted to work it out, I remember starting this in 2013 and it has gone through some trials and tribulations like the loss of a years work through 4shared banning me over copyright issues to the gradual slowing down and eventual grinding to a halt!
I have made many promises of I am going to be doing more etc and not lived up to them so if anyone is reading this I will be surprised! However this time I mean to do it and here's a show of faith....
FIRSTLY... Some changes :
You will notice the blog has been trimmed down SEVERELY that is because I am no longer going to be posting "extreme" music that is extremes of metal and punk almost all the Crust/ Grind/ Death/ Metal has gone I have left a few but not much. This is my music policy from now on I am dead with "extreme" music I am approaching 50 and really I am no longer part of it anymore it doesn't move me the same and I have subsequently sold ALL my CD's of that nature and will no longer be posting music of that sort!
REQUESTS - I will still take requests for stuff but if I don't have it or feel it's not something worth blogging I won't honour the request I have moved house since last posting and the internet here is terrible and it takes a long time to upload even the smallest of files so I won't waste my time uploading things I am not 100% behind and definitely DO NOT request extreme punk or metal (see above).
WRITE UPS - I am going to continue writing things up in my usual "anecdotal"style but in most cases instead of doing time consuming research I will provide you with a short overview from a decent source (probably discogs or wikipedia) if I am not able to write off the top of my head as basically I would read that and re-word and expand on that info anyway. OH, AND I had a few complaints in comments over the years about my lack of correct punctuation making my write ups hard to read, well let me tell you something....I am a self confessed dumbass, I left school at 15 some 33 years ago and have done no formal study since. I recently had to do a qualification for my current job and part of that was an English course! Which I passed with a high grade mark so SCREWWWW you! I will now endeavour to edit more heavily and insert correct punctuation but no promises this is supposed to be fun for me too!!! All links will be provided by me and kept to the usual UTS quality standards
All of this is being done to streamline the process of bringing you a high quality of music and high quality downloads and also so I will not end up being discouraged by the huge task of starting a write up.
That's about it, below this post you will find no less than 19 new posts yup 19! my goal for this reboot was 20 posts to go some way to replacing the near 100 posts I deleted so it's a start I had aimed for 20 but these 19 were done and ready and my brain was fried and I decided that as these were done and nothing new was lined up and I have spent the best part of 6 weeks worth od free time doing these that I would publish these 19 and have a fresh look tomorrow and see if i can give you a 20th!
It is my intention to try and do minimum one but attempt 2 posts per week where possible.
Right now at the end of March 2020 we are in the middle of the CoVid -19 Corona Virus pandemic. Here in the UK we are on government enforced lockdown being in the high risk group I am stuck at home on my days off for the foreseeable months I can only leave the house to work because it is literally a 5 min walk there if I had to take public transport I'd be in self isolation right now. This was the impetus behind rebooting the blog! I am bored and here I can actually do something to help other people who may be stuck at home bored with little to do, well here is a bit of reading and a shit ton of free music for you to enjoy.
I'd like to say a heartfelt thanks to those of you who have continued to drop by the blog despite the lack of activity and if you fell by the wayside then I am sorry for being a lazy dick! I guess you won't be reading this anyway ha ha!
Here's to a more productive 2/3 of 2020 here at Under The Surface
Look after yourselves, Stay home, Stay well and Enjoy the music
Love, Peace and Good Health
(^ The uncertain smile of a man in the middle of a deadly pandemic!!!^)
Manchester's Factory Records has long been an interest of mine basically for 2 reasons when I first moved to England in the mid 90's I lived in Manchester for 5 years. I absolutely loved the city and it's a place very close to my heart and secondly because I am a huge Joy Division fan, it had always held a fascination for me as it was during the years of "Post Punk" that bands were truly innovating and inventing new sounds from the stale 3 chord pub rock on steroids template of the original punk sound. However aside from Joy Division I had never really considered any of the other Factory bands worth checking out I had this idea in my head that the names and the music released by Factory in particular New Order who I have never been able to get into, were basically too commercial or just not going to be of interest to me! It was upon reading I think the 5th book I had read on Factory records related things that I decided I have the internet what harm is there in checking out some of the other early Factory bands? When i finally sat down at the computer to do this I started wanting to punch myself in the face! Between around 1981 and 1984 there was some utterly amazing stuff released by factory (also some total GUFF!) and some of these rapidly became an obsession for me to the point I bought albums beyond this period that cost me dearly and turned out to be well pretty disappointing and terrible!
So one band I discovered was Crispy Ambulance (see Post HERE) Another was Section 25. Named after a Section of the Mental Health act I have no idea that with a fairly dark name and coming from the particular era I love that I ignored them for so long! You'd think I'd learn about prejudicing music by now right? I downloaded Section 25's debut " Always Now" and by 3 songs in I was on Ebay buying the fancy double CD reissue within about a week I had bought almost everything I present to you here, I say this not to brag but to illustrate how much of an impact it had on me I had been looking for bands with that sound and Section 25 pretty much hit that nail square on the head!
Joy Division seemed to be a catalyst for the Manchester scene and beyond, their influence lies heavy over the early Factory records roster, not that any of the bands are merely cloning but you can certainly feel that influence of dark, moody atmosphere. Section 25 are no exception, their debut album "Always Now" is an atmospheric ride through dark urban spaces the music is sparse but still manages to evoke a feeling of discomfort. Not that it's not enjoyable I absolutely love this album but it is a very dense, claustrophobic listen in places but then so were Joy Division and they went on to be one of the most popular bands in the world! Don't get me wrong this is a great album and here expanded with all the singles B-sides a John Peel Session session outtakes and a live set it's an absolutely fantastic set! The dark and moody theme continues with second album "In the Key Of Dreams" in fact if possible it seems this album is even more moody than it's predecessor you can hear more electronics sneaking into the sound here with the use of some programmed beats and more synths but it's actually a very minimal stripped down sound this time still very much in the post punk camp but taking the sound to a quieter place. less brash guitars, more darkened rooms and almost whispered vocal at times. I do like this album but it doesn't have the same impact for me as it's predecessor I have listened to it a few times but I find you definitely have to be in the right mood for it, here it is expanded with "The Beast" 12" and bonus track "Hold On"
Lastly we come to probably their most well known album well if not it contains their most popular song ("Looking From A Hilltop") 1984's "From The Hip" is a VAST progression from it's predecessors, whilst still evoking an atmosphere this is a complete change of style. Here the moody darkness has been substituted for a lighter touch there is almost no live instruments on this album it's beats appear to be entirely programmed and the music created by processing and keyboards/synths also there are now some gorgeous female vocals provided by Angela Cassidy which was also a big shock to me I hadn't really expected when buying these albums for the band to have come so far in a year. Legend has it that the rise of The Hacienda club, at the time the heart of the Manchester and Factory scene, had been a huge influence on every band involved with factory (New Order are a perfect example) the infectious dance, funk and electro beats being played in the club had hugely influenced Section 25 resulting in this first foray into more dance orientated sounds! This is a great album, though, as I had been hoping for more of the moody post punk of their first 2 albums I was actually very disappointed and at first I shelved it and was pretty gutted about my purchase as it was quite expensive, but, for me at least, persistence was key. Determined to get my moneys worth I continued to listen and I began to realise what a great album it is, Although the sound is quite dated now reminiscent of the synth pop of the era there's a melancholy sorta underground edge to it. I am old enough to remember when this was cutting edge music so to my ears it's a beautifully crafted electronic album with some great catchy beats and warm pulsating synths that still manage to evoke an atmosphere but here the dark dread like feeling has been replaced by something altogether more wistful! I have given you the 30th anniversary expanded 2 disc edition which includes a\ll the relevant singles and mixes released at the time a BBC session plus a brace of album demos bonus tracks and a couple of more contemporary remixes one by Stephen Morris of new Order from 2010
lastly we come to "Illminus Illumina" this is a little confusing as between their first and second album Section 25 released a cassette of this title however in 2001 LTM released a 2 CD compilation one disc featuring bands from their label packaged with a second disc which was a Section 25 compilation with the same title but a different tracklist from the 1981 cassette this contains what appears to be an entire demo from 1981 recorded at SSRU Studio coupled with 7 live tracks from 1979 - 1982. It's actually a pretty good listen considering it's near 40 year vintage and shows a great glimpse of the bands early work (Please note everything here is ripped from my own CD's at 320 KBPS except for this I have not been able to find a CD yet but it's at VBR and is really good quality)
So I kinda waffled a bit here but I hope you get the idea, I really like this band and they are one of the better ones from this era i have discovered from my deep dive into the early post-punk scene if you're already a fan then help yourself to these expanded editions if not have a listen if what I've said strikes a chord?
ALWAYS NOW (30th Anniversary 2 Disc Edition) - Mediafire
THE KEY OF DREAMS - Mediafire
FROM THE HIP (30th Anniversary 2 Disc Edition) - Mediafire
ILLUMINUS ILLUMINA - Mediafire
Crispy Ambulance were an early Factory Records band and it is a name I have heard many times and completely ignored due to, thinking "How can I possibly take a band seriously with a name like that?!!" Whenever the name has come up in the plethora of Factory records and related books I have read I have not really given them my attention! However I recently got sick of certain bands coming up in things I was reading in relation to other artists I like, one of those was Crispy Ambulance (Another was Section 25 see post HERE) I decided to do a bit of investigation into them despite my reservations about the name, so first a little bit of history...
The band played their first gig on 1 January 1978 at the Spurley Hey Youth Centre.Following a self-released debut single, "From the Cradle to the Grave" (1980), the band joined Factory Records. Singles "Unsightly and Serene" and "Live on a Hot August Night" (produced by Martin Hannett) preceded their album The Plateau Phase and final single "Sexus". The Plateau Phase was given a five star review by Sounds In April 1980 singer Alan Hempsall also appeared on stage with Joy Division at Derby Hall, standing in for Ian Curtis who had suffered an epileptic fit, a performance which ultimately descended into a riot. This scene is depicted in the Joy Division biopic Control. During 1981–1982, Crispy Ambulance played several dozen live dates in the UK, as well as a short European tour with Section 25. They also recorded a session for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show in January 1981. Crispy Ambulance disbanded in late 1982, leaving behind Fin, a live album of late period songs. A further posthumous album, Frozen Blood, included their 1981 BBC radio session for the John Peel programme.
In the commentary for the 2002 film, 24 Hour Party People, Tony Wilson of Factory Records stated that while he liked the band, he felt that their name was the worst band name of all time.
So there you go I'm not the only one with reservations about the name! I have taken most of the above paragraph from wikipedia as I don't know a great deal of history of the band as I am a fairly recent convert however you will note this post is called "Crispy Ambulance - Essentials" this is because I am going to deal with the bands original era from 1980 - 1982 as they reformed in 1999 and have actually released more material since reforming, than they did in their original incarnation however whilst good it does not have the same sound as the original releases and in a lot of cases is instrumental.
So enough blurb here's what you get in your files, Now I feel it was quite sneaky the way the 3 Albums "Plateau Phase", "Frozen Blood" & "Fin" that I present to you here were reissued, whilst for my money I would have compiled all the non album studio material on one disc the reissuers have chosen to spread it over the 3 CD's and in one case on a much later release from 2015! So all shall become clear at the moment as OCDave has sorted it all out neatly for you!
Your first file is Plateau Phase (Expanded), In 2015 Crispy Ambulance recorded an album of unreleased songs from their early days called "Compulsion" but also included on this album were 2 outtakes from the Plateau Phase album session from 1982 "WMTP 2" & "Rain Without Clouds" I have added these to the end of the album in this file giving you the complete session
Second File is Frozen Blood (Redux) "Frozen Blood" was a compilation of Live Tracks their John Peel & Piccadilly Radio Session & some single tracks however the rest of the bands singles were split up over "The Plateau Phase" CD and "Fin" Live CD so what I did was took the Live Tracks out from "Frozen Blood" then I stripped the single tracks from the other 2 CD's and rearranged it all in chronological order and therefore you have Frozen Blood (Redux) I feel it works better that way and gives a better overview of the bands non album studio output. This is all tagged correctly and I have put in brackets after each song title where the song is from
Third File is "Fin" This was a 12 Track live compilation taken from Various concerts up to 1982 I have expanded this by adding the live tracks from "Frozen Blood" as stated above taking "Fin" from it's original 10 tracks and expanding it to 18 tracks.I have put in brackets after each track the concert and date it was taken from.
Please also note that ALL of the material presented here has been remastered for these reissues and ripped directly from my own CD's so it's very good quality.
So if all of the above has not confused you too much then you will find this is, at least as far as released material is concerned the complete early works of this essential band it took me a few CD purchases and a lot of work to arrange them how I have but what's good about that is these versions are entirely unique to this blog you may find these albums elsewhere but not in the way I have presented them here.
I feel Crispy Ambulance whilst having a following at the time didn't really take off as much as some of their Factory records contemporaries and have remained an obscurity, they play a style whilst rooted in the Post Punk movement of the time remains all of their own blending jangling guitar lines with deep bass and keyboard textures along with unique vocals to make a sound that is all encompassing and just envelops the listener as it evokes mood and atmosphere.So I am giving you a chance to check out a fantastic band with all their recordings from the early 80's in one place I strongly urge you to give this band a chance as they would not be here if they weren't of extremely high quality.
PLATEAU PHASE (EXPANDED) - Mediafire
FROZEN BLOOD (REDUX) - Mediafire
FIN (EXPANDED) - Mediafire
Adrian Thaws aka Tricky Kid aka Tricky has been an artist that rose to high prominence. But whilst continuing to make music to this day seems to endear himself to hardcore fans only. having consistently progressed his music forward over the course of some 25 years Tricky has managed to remain relevant if not still having critical and commercial sucess these days, to illustrate I had no idea Tricky was still making music and releasing albums until recently and I consider myself a fan, His current flavours of contemporary urban music are not really my bag but his body of work in the mid 90's up to 2000 was outstanding and I decided that having talked about it in the post on Massive Attack I would do this companion piece as I feel Massive Attack and Tricky are intrinsically linked certainly during the era covered by this post and again now as he made an appearance with Massive attack on their most recent 2016 EP "Ritual Spirit" which if you have a look at the Massive Attack post (HERE)you will see this was really quite an event!
After breaking from the Massive Attack collective in 1994 after their 2nd album "Protection" Tricky started work on his debut album with vocalist Martina Topley-Bird Also featuring appearances from Alison Goldfrapp & Mark Stewart of The Pop Group, The Mafia etc) The resulting album "Maxinequaye" (Named for Tricky's departed departed mother) was unprecedented! Winning him critical and commercial acclaim and sold 100,000 copies during it's first months of release and going on to sell 500,000 reaching number 3 in the UK album charts, no mean feat when you listen to the album and I certainly remember at the time nearly everyone I know owning this album!
Whilst as I have stated Tricky has continued to consistently release music having just released a single earlier this month (March 2020) this post will stick to the era of Tricky's first 3 albums and surrounding projects as for me this was an era when his creativity and innovation was at it's best.
I am going to deal with your links and talk a bit about each album at the same time here if you wish to delve deeper into Tricky's history then you can find all you want to know HERE at trusty ol'wikipedia it will also provide you with links to other articles should you choose to follow them.
Maxinequaye (1995) - Tricky's debut was surprisingly popular, the thing with Tricky's music is it is dense and dark, utilizing elements of Hip Hop, Dub, Rock and with some experimental edges at times the beats are quite off kilter and leave you wondering whether you should nod your head or scratch it. It's not without it's moments of beauty take the beautiful slow motion strings and beats of "Hell is Round The Corner" with Martina provided some vocal parts to compliment Tricky's sinister whisper it is just sublime. Martina Topley Bird has a unique style at once heavily accented streetwise young girl at the same time smoky chanteuse it's a brilliant combination and I definitely think finding her was a godsend for Tricky as she fits it perfectly and is key to this albums brilliance. Tales of lost love and urban alienation rub shoulders with street jargon, slang and give an overall dense, dark feel to the whole album, the click of what sounds like an automatic handgun forming part of the beat on "Strugglin'" illustrates this perfectly and throughout the album Tricky and Martina's trade off vocals compliment each other perfectly. Whilst not an entirely challenging listen, for me, this album has an experimental edge that is missing from a lot of what is known as "Trip Hop" whilst this album is tailor made for sinking into the couch with a packed spliff it'll have you looking behind you to make sure no one's there.
LINK NOTES - This album was given the "Deluxe Edition" treatment back in 2009 and I picked this version up, the entire package is remastered and the bonus disc contains monitor mixes, remixes and B-sides as well as 3 new remixes from 2009 by Tricky himself. However I was a bit disappointed because there was a brace of singles and EP's released around this album and a LOT of the B-side material and mixes and some of my favourites were not included. So In this folder you will find a folder entitled Disc 3, this was assembled by me from various CD's I own and top quality downloads and contains a further 11 Mixes from the B-sides of the various singles that were ommited from the Deluxe Edition so this rounds up pretty much the entire first year of Tricky's career.
Nearly God & Starving Souls (NG (1996) SS (1995) - In between Tricky's debut and second album, as if hitting us with Maxinequaye's dizzying journey wasn't enough Tricky initiated 2 projects first Starving Souls and then this short-lived (one EP) project morphed into Nearly God. This was completely unexpected, an artist rooted in the culture of Hip Hop brings out an album almost devoid of beats! Whilst not completely without ANY rhythm at all, what beats there are are sparse and minimal in some cases reduced to mere bass pulses you feel rather than hear, in other cases beats are there but understated, not only that the list of collaborators is an impressive run through some of the biggest names of the era. Featuring contributions from Terry Hall, Björk, Neneh Cherry, Alison Moyet, Cath Coffey and of course Martina Topley-Bird.This album does not have the same sort of density as "Maxinequaye" but it definitely has a very dark and brooding atmosphere. Opening with an unrecognisable cover of Siouxsie & The Banshees "Tattoo" the album proceeds through another 10 tracks each of which has it's own unique features (Take I be the Prophet With it's weird jumpy almost horror movie strings) and is a really interesting companion piece to "Maxinequaye"
LINK NOTES - Here I have given you The American version of this album which contains 2 bonus tracks "Children's Story" from the B-side of the "Poems" single and "Judas" In the folder you will also find the Starving Souls "I Be The Prophet" EP whilst Starving Souls is basically the Project that evolved into Nearly God ("I Be The Prophet" Is on the Nearly God album) It contains non album track "If You Want My Love" and alternate version "I Be The Prophet (With Drums)" and is worth having for those alone!
Pre-Millenium Tension (1996) - Tricky's second album was a shocker for me whilst "Maxinequaye" had been an impressive and brilliant debut, the depth of maturity and progression displayed by this second album was staggering. Taking the already dark, dense & claustrophobic feel of the debut and pushing those boundaries further, looking back now I can't believe an album this dark could be so popular I remember working at Virgin records and regularly hearing tracks from it being promoted on the instore radio! Opening track "Vent" simmers deeply with a looped snare roll, subsonic bass and guitar motifs and Tricky intoning "Can't Hardly Breathe" repeatedly whilst Martina provides some backing if that isn't the very definition of "claustrophobic feel" I don't know what is! Making a conscious effort to shed the "Trip Hop" tag he'd been saddled with Tricky himself stated "I wanted to make this an out and out punk record" I wouldn't exactly say he achieved that, whilst it certainly doesn't have the same slow motion feel of "Maxinequaye" it's still definitely a chilled out listen if you take that as a double meaning, as in it's chill out but at the same time "chlling" like a horror movie! The lurching scratch of single "Tricky Kid" winch literally sounds like someone heaving about to vomit, coupled with the backing shouts of someone deranged (Tricky? who knows!) doing intermittent dub style toasting like they were being electrically shocked and you have a pretty potent mix! Again this album is not without it's beautiful "ahhhh" moments take "Makes Me Wanna Die" where Martina's gorgeous sultry croon is in full effect over some gorgeous guitar picking and a really nice beat, however here look at the title it's not the music that's dark here it's the content! This really is a fantastic album and shows that Tricky was listening and watching and progressing the sound forward without losing any of the momentum he had gained and still being consistent in his sound.
LINK NOTES - This album was reissued and remastered in 2016 released bizarrely enough by Cherry Red (usually home of punk and post Punk having released stuff by The Fall and Dead Kennedys) it was expanded with 5 bonus tracks from the various B-sides of singles and EP's from the album however once again there was a few mixes and B-sides missing so in this folder you will a second folder "B-sides" containing a further 4 tracks that were omitted from the official expansion.
Angels With Dirty Faces (1998) - This, Tricky's 3rd album and the last one to feature Martina Topley Bird as a collaborator is a completely different sound and a big departure from it's predecessors and is definitely, whilst great, far less challenging than the first two. Here the album has a live sound the drums and instrumentation sounding for the most part less sampled and more like an actual band, however weirdly enough lead single from the album "Broken Homes" features a collaboration with jagged british Indie artist PJ Harvey and it's beat has that same slow motion feel backed with almost soul-esque backing singers and peppered with a Public Enemy style sax scream! The chill out vibe of the preceding 2 albums is still there in a way but it feels more intense, less chill out on the sofa and more sit up and pay attention this is perfectly evidenced by second single "6 Minutes" an intense track with hard hitting drums that scattershot the rhythm and retain the live feel I mentioned before!
Again here Tricky has progressed and pushed his sound into new area's whilst still remaining consistent and familiar the self deprecating and media baiting "Analyse Me" and the sub drum and bass rhythms of "The Moment I Feared" are great examples of this! Whilst I would say this is not quite as compelling for me as the first 2 albums This is still head and shoulders above his contemporaries at the time only his previous band Massive Attack who released their master work "Mezzanine" bettered him in 1998!
LINK NOTES - Here I have given you the Japanese Edition of the album no one has seen fit to reissue/expand./remaster this album as yet so as The Japanese version came with 2 bonus tracks I bought that to replace my original (Note the Japanese version as with all the non UK versions of the album have the tracks presented in a different order than the original UK edition, I have left it in the order it came the bonus tracks being "Time Slippin'" & "Peyote Sings") As with the other files I present here again this album having not been expanded there's a second folder of B-sides rounding up 4 more tracks and thus covering the entire "Angels..." era)
Mission Accomplished EP (2000) - I have included this little curiosity as I almost added it to the "Angels..." folder but coming between that album and his next "Blowback" I figured I would give you it separately! SO this EP contains 4 tracks culled from various promos etc that were put together as this EP it carries on in the same "less trip hop more hip hop/live band" feel as "Angels..." does but I mainly include it here for the absolutely vicious closing track "Divine Comedy". This vitriolic stab at his previous record company (The sarcastically bright sampled shout and repetitive motif of "Polygram" throughout the track leaving no doubt whop the target is) and hearing Tricky's attack on this is worth the downloading this EP alone!
Remixed (2001) - This compilation rounds up Tricky's remixes of other people up to 2000 and contains 9 of Tricky's take on tracks by a dicverse ranfge of artists such as Intastella, Black Grape, Yoko Ono, Elvis Costello, Cath Coffey, Aco, Angeligue Kidjo, Bush & Garbage. So pretty much a round up of older heads and indie darlings of the 90's It seemed when Tricky's star was on the rise everyone wanted a piece of him This comp, whilst not essential is part of the era I cover here and I figured I would include it as an interesting look at Tricky's remixing skills and also because it shows you how a couple of critically acclaimed albums can put your name on everyone's lists and open doors.
That's pretty much your lot then! I have maybe rambled a bit more than intended considering this was simply a companion piece to the Massive Attack post, I seem to have possibly made this one even more expansive! It wasn't my intention, but I hadn't listened to Tricky in a while and as I did this post I was listening through to each album and I was stunned how damn progressive and innovative Tricky were. Not to say that he is not anymore, but I haven't really found much of his post millennium work has moved me that much "Blowback" his fourth album from 2001 was decent enough but didn't have the same spark or attraction for me as the preceding work. I guess having fallen off the radar a little and continuing to release work quietly and a lot of stuff as downloads I guess Tricky committed as he is to what he does and continuing to progress and remain contemporary is no longer the media darling he once was (considering his intense dislike of the media I guess he's probably happy with that?) so I did wonder if this post might be a bit of a nostalgia one for me and anyone who comes across it because I definitely have a nostalgia for that era of my life when the whole "Trip Hop" thing was fresh and new and I was deeply immersed in it, however having listened to the albums today I am in no doubt that, whilst the music covered here is definitely "Of it's time" it most definitely passes muster on the UTS Quality control meter and is 100% worth the inclusion and your attention.
MAXINEQUAYE (DELUXE EDTION + EXPANSION) - Mediafire
NEARLY GOD & STARVING SOULS - Mediafire
PRE-MILLENIUM TENSION (DELUXE EDITION + EXPANSION) - Mediafire
ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (JAPANESE EDITION + EXPANSION) - Mediafire
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED EP - Mediafire
REMIXES - Mediafire
Dälek (pronounced dialec) are a hip hop outfit I came across by pure chance, During 2007 & 2008 I had a massive phase of listening to a lot of what is known as "Concious" Hip Hop basically underground, mostly unknown artists (mostly white), with more to say than the usual "bling & bitchez" type nonsense (A misogynist, sexist and neanderthal approach that I have no time for FUCK that) that were basically mining their own particular vein of hip hop. Most of the things I was listening to at that time were centred round or affiliated with Anticon & Definitive Jux records however Dälek had nothing to do with either of those and are definitely out there on their own with their style! So before i start my blurb I'm gonna continue being a little lazy and give you some history from discogs.com the fountain of all trainspotter knowledge
"A hip hop outfit from Newark, New Jersey, founded in 1998. Will Brooks (a.k.a. MC Dälek) was responsible for lyrics, Alap Momin (a.k.a. The Oktopus) was the producer Hsi-Chang Linaka (a.k.a. Still) used to handle turntables, but left Dälek in summer 2005.For a band so steeped in noise and bombast, Dälek ended quietly, going on hiatus in 2011 without even an official statement. Brooks stresses that there was no beef between he and Momin, just a project that had run its course. Momin moved to Berlin and focused on electronic projects, while Brooks made slightly more traditional rap as iconAclass. Performing classic Dälek tracks live gave Brooks the urge to revive Dälek, and with Okto’s blessing he assembled a new lineup in the spring of 2015 with co-producer Mikey Manteca (Destructo Swarmbots) and DJ rEk."
That should give you a brief overview of the band it would appear that the main core of the band as pictured above is Will Brooks (aka MC Dälek (Left) & Alap Momin (a.k.a. The Oktopus (Right) So I don't know a great deal about this band what I do know is that I love their unique sound so let's go with that!
Dälek combine a lot of elements into their dense sound the early albums "From Filthy Tongues.." & "Absence" mix variations of huge beats pushed up to 11 combined with industrial scrapes and washes of abstract sound that wouldn't be out of place on an early Einstürzende Neubauten album!!! Combine this with some nifty turntablism and lyrics delivered with sincerity and urgency with an interesting style of wordplay based in the social/political spectrum and that about sums up the sound early on, However take a listen to something like the epic "Images of .44 casings" on their debut mini LP "Negro, Necro, Nekros" and when the beat kicks in it absolutely floors you, in the same way the huge beats on those early DJ Shadow records did (A technique they would use again to devastating effect on the Deadverse Remix of Techno Animal's "Homicide" see EP's blurb below) and will put your speakers through their paces. Also on "Ever Somber" from "Absence" they weave the sound collages in a way that makes the backing track sound like a remix of something from My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" album! Shoegaze hop anyone? This is basically the essence of Dälek they use sounds and beats in a way no other hip hop artist does and is precisely why, whilst much of the hip hop I discovered during my "phase" has fell by the wayside Dälek endured and remain a firm favourite, I continue to follow them and why I decided that they deserved a place in the blog!
Beyond the first 2 albums the Industrial sounds start to lessen or are at least made less harsh and by the time of "Abandoned language" the sound has been tempered with more contemporary elements and is far easier on the ears! There are actually some truly beautiful moments that just stop you in your tracks and leave you just astounded, "Isolated Stare" from "Abandonded Language" for example with it's soaring strings and off kilter distorted brass which combine to make a sound that just melts you into your seat! As I said it's hard to define Dälek I listened to a lot of hip hop over the years from the early days of Public Enemy & gangsta rap in the 80's The 90's weed influenced artists like Cypress Hill, Ice Cube and House Of Pain in the 90's, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg & Eminem's world domination in the early 2000's to the contemporary underground artists I talked about at the beginning, I am NO hip hop aficionado but would consider myself well versed in Hip Hop and I have never heard anything like Dalek! Their sense of experimentation and use of sounds beyond the norm of what is normal hip hop fare (you're unlikely to find an Amen break or a James brown Horn solo in amongst ANY of these guys work) is what keeps me returning to them and I hope you will too! I feel I want to say that while I may make Dälek sound like some sort of unholy experimental mess it's exactly their ability to draw their elements together into a cohesive sound that whilst occasionally challenging, overall they do make some just simply fantastic and original hip hop and I have found myself often sitting back listening to these guys and nodding my head with a huge grin on my face! These guys may challenge in places but exactly that element that makes them so compelling, with hip hop being probably the most influential style of music ever created on the planet infiltrating almost every aspect of music from punk and metal to contemporary dance and urban sounds to come up with sounds that actually are both contemporary and experimental that also draw the listener in and remains cohesive and ultimately listenable is something the majority of the biggest selling and best known artists in the field fail to do miserably!
Right then onto your links I have given you all the Dälek studio albums ripped from my own CD's which is pretty self explanatory However a couple of these links need a bit of explanation
Griots & Gods - This is a live collaboration with Swiss Industrial legends Young Gods recorded in 2010 at the Les Eurockéennes Festival de Belfort it is basically what you imagine it is a live combination of the sounds of both bands and is a very interesting listen!
EP's - This contains the non album EP's these have been either taken from downloads (high quality paid) and from my own CD collection This contains the "Street's All Amped" 12" "Respect To The Authors" 12" Their split with Techno Animal and the 1 track 40+ min "Untitled" EP released on Southern records experimental Latitudes offshoot.
Deadverse Massive Vol 1 (Redux) - OK if you follow this blog you will know I am an obsessive so when i started looking at Dälek's discography after I bought this compilation of EP's and remixes I realised that there was quite a few things missing from it and other things that had come out since it's release so I stripped some of the stuff out (Streets all Amped 12" and Techno Animal/ Dälek split see EP's above) and rebuilt the comp in near as possible chronological order with the missing bits and pieces inserted! So this version is completely different to the released version and is unique to me and this blog! The material from this was taken from various sources including the original comp, downloads and vinyl rips but it's all presented in 320KBPS and is as good quality as is possible!
OK so that's Dälek dealt with so onto the bottom set of links Deadverse Massive now this may get confusing here but bear with me as well as doing Dälek, members are also involved in a collective group called Deadverse Massive which is also a name often used for Dälek remixes.To date there have only been 2 releases under the Deadverse Massive name exclusively, these are the album "TakeOver" which is basically a collaborative effort which is overseen, produced and mixed by Will Brooks of Dälek featuring a plethora of MC's and artists collaborating on the tracks it gets more confusing now, there is also a Deadverse Massive 12" pic Disc this is released under the artist names of Dälek / Destructo Swarmbots / Oddateee but the record is called "Deadverse Massive" and features 4 tracks none of which are credited to in individual artists! To be honest with you it's really all irrelevant, what you get is an album and EP's worth of some great underground hip hop that whilst featuring members of Dälek has a more contemporary feel to it there's none of the Shoegazey/Industrial Scrape experimentation whilst this is still most definitely underground hip hop and you are unlikely to hear this music blasting out from boy racer cars any time soon it is definitely way more straight ahead than Dälek whilst still having it's feet firmly planted in the conscious/underground camp there is a lot of use of the N-Word, bass and beats and more what you would expect from more well know hip hop but it's still an interesting listen and I added it here as it's related to the Dälek camp and is a good counterpoint to Dälek's madness!
So that's that, here's your links go nuts, I don't often post much Hip Hop and I don't really intend on posting more but you never know, I'd like to think that in the company of the other music I have posted over the years of varying genres that you will understand that these guys are head and shoulders above anything else in the genre, at least in my opinion and that's why i am drawing your attention to this! I can imagine that this is the kind of Hip Hop that would appeal to readers of this blog and is definitely something more cerebral than fucking Kanye West!
Negro, Necro, Nekros - Mediafire
From Filthy Tongues Of Gods & Griots - Mediafire
Absence - Mediafire
Abandoned Language - Mediafire
Gutter Tactics - Mediafire
Griots & Gods (With The Young Gods) - Les Eurockéennes Festival - Mediafire
Asphalt For Eden - Mediafire
Endangered Philosophies - Mediafire
EP's - Mediafire
Deadverse Massive Vol 1 (Redux) - Mediafire
TakeOver & 12" Pic Disc - Mediafire
This is gonna be a shorter post as this one is for posterity really! Cathedral are a band that should need little introduction Featuring Lee Dorrian (Owner of Rise Above Records and who, at the time Just freshly vacated the vocal spot in Napalm Death) as well as ex- members of UK thrashers Acid Reign These guys set out to make the heavisest and darkest doom metal they could possibly manage heavily influenced by the early Doom bands like Pentagram, Trouble, Saint Vitus and of course Black Sabbath. Cathedral took that mournful sound to the next level! Time for a space filling anecdote....
I had known Lee from his time in Napalm Death and I hadn't seen him since he had left ND. However he had come on tour as "chaperone" to Japanese Hardcore band S.O.B. as they did not really speak English and had never been to the UK before. I caught up with him in Edinburgh and as we were chatting he told me about his new band Cathedral (I'm almost positive original Cathedral bassist Griff was with him but memory is hazy) and from his pocket he pulled the now legendary "In Memoriam" Demo tape which had just been recorded and not yet released....
Lee said if i could get the sound man to play it over the PA so we could hear it good and loud (The band had not played live yet and wanted to know how they sounded over a venue system) then I could have the tape to keep! So I asked, the sound man obliged and I got to hear the first Cathedral demo pre-release at top volume over a venue PA system! I was blown away this was an era when bands were trying to "out-heavy" each other all the time down tuning guitars heavier gauge strings etc. But i had never heard a guitar tone so low or music so slow it was ridiculous but mind blowing! This was heaviness on a near subsonic level!
Over a career of near 25 years 10 albums and a brace of EP's Cathedral were a very progressive band going from the slow crawling funeral doom of early albums to integrating funkier and more prog rock and psychedelic influences even being given the tag "disco doom" at one point! There's so much stuff and it's easily available elsewhere so I would not even try to give you a discography it'd take forever to upload, however, I put a little something together for myself a few years ago and I mentioned it on social media and a few friends of mine begged for a copy so I uploaded it to mediafire for them and decided at some point i would share it here! I have no idea how long ago that was but here we are now...
You may not be aware that when albums are released in Japan the domestic price of a CD is far more expensive than the cost of an imported version from the West so how would the Japanese music business even begin to compete with that? (You'd think lowering prices would be the obvious answer) Well the normal practice is that the Japanese domestic release of a bands CD normally comes with a bonus track or in some cases whole bonus discs or DVD's.The problem is that this extra stuff MUST remain exclusive to the Japanese market and cannot be released in the West. I for one think this is a fucking travesty have you ever tried to look for Japanese Imports with bonus content ? You are looking at 3 or 4 times the price of the released version, sometimes it's worth it but other times you're looking at paying £30 for a single CD that has one short bonus track! So back to Cathedral over the course of their career they have amassed 10 tracks and an hours worth of Japanese bonus tracks! I of course think it's ridiculous as stated above the price of imported Japanese CD's is ludicrous both in Japan and the rest of the world so here I have compiled them in chronological order and even made a custom cover. So now you rabid Cathedral fans can add this to your collection! ENJOY!
CATHEDRAL JAPAN - Mediafire
Lack Of Knowledge are a bit of an anomaly, I have been listening to a lot of what is called "Post Punk" type music for quite a few years and also having been a long standing fan of anarcho punk music I had done a lot of downloading of that early 80's era music centred mostly around Crass & their Crass Records imprint however some of the things I had downloaded didn't fall into that specific "anarcho" sound I loved, bands such as The Mob, Part 1 , Vex, etc they didn't really fit into that rage and bile sound and they were consigned to a folder and forgotten. However with my interest in the post punk sound I started seeing a few ties to the anarcho scene and decided to revisit some of them and this is where Lack Of Knowledge come in.
Formed around 1980 Lack Of Knowledge self released their first single "The Uninvited / Ritual" in 1982 Following that they forged an alliance with Crass records releasing their amazing "Grey" EP packaged in a trademark 6 panel fold out sleeve and bearing the standard Graphic appearance of the Crass records EP's you'd be forgiven for thinking that you were getting some serious punk rock but that is definitely not the case....
Lack Of Knowledge - "Grey" EP (Crass Records 1983)Whilst there certainly is a ton of energy to this band they have a sound more akin to post punk contemporaries of the time such as Joy Division whom they obviously owe quite a debt to for their sound, whilst the lyrics are overtly political that is pretty much where the connection to the more traditional punk ends! The sound is very melodic but with a slightly darker edge also the songs are well written and have a scratchy kinda melody that makes the songs both memorable and a pleasure to listen to.
It staggers me that Lack Of Knowledge landing at the exact time when this sort of music was at the height of it's popularity that they didn't garner a larger following as at the time post punk was very much en vogue and these guys play the style with absolute conviction. I can't help but think that their association with Crass Records may have held them back somewhat or maybe it was their blatant Joy Division influence that hampered them more than helped? I don't know of many people outside of the punk scene that have actually heard of them in fact when I recently shared a song on social media only one of my more astute friends of a similar age, himself entrenched in punk had actually heard of them and was a fan! Another thing that mystifies me is why go with Crass Records (Their later stunning debut album "Sirens Are Back" was released on Crass records offshoot Corpus Christi Records) I personally feel that being packaged like and released by a notoriously political label whose releases were hugely popular with the "hardcore" punk crowd then maybe they were "guilty by association" I can imagine the lack of raging guitars shouted vocals and "Fuck the System" lyrics would have had most Crass Records fans chucking this on their pile and never listening to it again! (Which is exactly what I did sort of! Though I DID listen again).
Whilst as I have already said Lack Of Knowledge are very heavily and very obviously influenced by Joy Division The baritone vocals the drumming style the playing the bass high while the guitars ring and chime these things were also pretty much all the trademarks of the post punk sound and Lack Of Knowledge have a lot more to offer than mere cloning.They add elements to the sound that are what I can I guess describe as heavier maybe denser? the songs are melodic with plenty of hooks and great vocal lines whilst delivering astutely political lyrics and there are some nice subtle touches of keyboard that help drive the songs dynamics. All in all Lack of Knowledge have become one of my favourite listens over the last year or so which is why I decided to give them a space here in the hope this will land with you guys too.
Almost all of Lack of Knowledge's output was compiled over 2 CD compilations The "Grey" EP and debut album "Sirens Are Back" being released as the "Grey" CD and a further compilation "Americanized" compiles Their Debut Single "Uninvited/Ritual" and "Sentinel" 12" along with a further 19 tracks, 6 demos/unreleased tracks from 1978 - 1984 and a staggering 13 new recordings from 2000 I can find no information as to what these are an attempt at a comeback an aborted album? who knows however they seem to spark with a more punky energy and less of the doomy Joy Division sound of their earlier material. the only thing missing from these CD's is the "White Science" EP which was released in 2004 however this sounds like an early demo having a far scratchier, faster and intense sound and far more akin to the sound of anarcho punk at the time rather than the better produced and more mature sounding music released later I have added it in here for completions sake.
So below you will find the discography of this great band split over 2 parts I have broken both compilation Cd's into their individual parts as listening to the CD's at home as a whole is fine but I feel digitally you should see the individual covers and be able to listen to the separate parts as they were released. Part 1 contains the "Grey" EP & "Sirens are Back" LP. Part 2 contains the "Amercanized" CD Which I split into the 7" & 12" and compiled the remaining studio tracks into chronological order the demos & Unreleased tracks and the session from 2000 separately
I can't recommend this band highly enough I truly feel they have been overlooked and forgotten and it's a real shame because they really deserve more of an audience and the music has aged surprisingly well in both production and sound.
PT 1 - Mediafire
PT 2 - Mediafire
As some of you may remember from my posts on Aphex Twin I am a bit of a fan of electronic music. / IDM / Electronica whatever you want to call it, in the interim since I have been avoiding the blog I have been getting into a lot of it and have been investigating a lot of artists who, whilst having been around a LONG time I never had the opportunity to check out. One of these artists is Gescom. I knew of Gescom back in the 90's as I lived in their hometown of Manchester which is also the home of their label Skam. I don't recall ever having seen any Gescom records for sale anywhere, I can only assume that with their connection to the kings of geek electronica Autechre that they were simply not available or sold out very quick! However I decided it was long overdue to get onto them so I did I managed to download their entire discography as well as purchase some bits on CD. I was absolutely gutted that I hadn't got to them sooner (but not as gutted as I was when i found out 90% of their output is vinyl!) Gescom play an almost industrial style of electronic music when I say industrial I don't mean industrial music I mean the music is very machine like deep clanks and pulsating repetitive rhythms pretty much defining their sound.Whilst I am saying that Gescom have an "Industrial" sound don't think this is all Sturm und Drang there are some absolutely gorgeous pieces in here too, take the sublime waves and bleeps of "Five" from their debut EP or "Mag" from their 2nd EP which has a fantastic hip hop-esque flavour to name just two really they are quite a varied outfit they just happen to have some very dark machine like flourishes!
As has become par for the course with the blog these days here's a potted history nicked from the web....
"The project name is an abbreviation of "Gestalt Communications". Beginning its activities in the early nineties, the Gescom collective has released material on Clear, Leaf, Chocolate Industries, SKAM, Warp, Worm Interface, and Source labels.
Incorrectly perceived as simply an Autechre side-project, Gescom in fact exists as a platform for a number of aligned artists to work in various different combinations, whilst remaining otherwise-anonymous. Personnel in Gescom has varied from release to release and even track to track. Quote from the Autechre FAQ: "Actually the whole Gescom crew consists of almost 20 people. Sean Booth calls it an 'umbrella-project'."
Whilst having both Rob Brown & Sean Booth of Autechre at it's core this as has been said Gescom is not simply an "Autechre Side project" (If by now you are baffled by who Autechre are and I'd be surprised if you were reading this post if you were, then here's a link to wiki for you if you are the curious type like me Autechre Wiki )
I originally got into Electronic music due to it's being really good music to chill out to with a spliff! but, as I've gotten older I have realised that you can enjoy the full benefits of this kind of music without being stoned! I'm not the best at describing this sorta stuff I dunno how to describe a digital sound or have enough about me to say they use (insert complex technology here) either, all I know is I listen to a lot of electronic music and I think I have discerned what's the best of it and Gescom are definitely in that category
I have pretty much collected the full discography here there may be one or two comp tracks I have not managed to source or maybe some obscure stuff that I just don't know about but as far as i am aware this is pretty much everything it's all tagged with relevant covers etc here's what's in your links
Gescom EP (Skam 1994)
The Sounds Of Machines Our Parents Used 12" (Clear 1995)
Gescom EP (aka C & D EP) (Skam 1995)
Keyknell EP (Skam 1996)
Motor EP (Source 1996)
Keyknell (Autechre Mixes) (Warp 1996)
That 12" (Skam 1998)
Fat Cat Split 12" W/ Foehn (Fat Cat 1998)
SS:SA CDEP (Skam 2003)
A1 - B1 (Skam 2007)
C1 - D1 (Skam 2007)
This EP (Skam 1997)
Skull Snap EP (Skull Snap 2011)
COMP TRACKS AND RARITIES
OK bit of explaining here this file basically rounds up all the Gescom tracks from various compilation EP's & Albums that do not appear on any of the EP's above, including but not limited to (because I can't remember every release I sourced them all from) "0161" , "Skampler" , "Invisible Soundtracks Volume One" "Alt Frequencies" and I think a couple from the series of "Mask" 12" Comps on Skam. There's 13 tracks in total and nearly 80 minutes of music so basically a double albums worth of stuff! I have arranged it in chronological order as best I can.
So lastly we come to what for me is the turd in the otherwise sparkling swimming pool that is Gescom....
This was originally released on Minidisc only in 1998 but was reissued on CD in 2006 basically it contains 88 tracks, ranging from a few seconds to a minute or two at longest mostly electronic farts, beeps, noises whooshes and contains NO discernible songs really I don't know what purpose it serves is it a template for making your own music is it a pisstake on the obsessive nature of electronic music fans? who knows for me it's a worthless effort and is included here only for completions sake DO NOT download it if you are expecting music of the quality of everything else here!
So that's about it as I just want to say that pretty much everything here is sourced from the best quality downloads the majority is from FLAC vinyl rips I converted to 320KBPS (NO I do not still have the FLAC files before you ask they take up too much room and it took me about 8 hrs to upload this post!) and having listened to all of this a LOT I can assure you there is nothing here that will distract from this amazing music save the very faintest of crackle between songs if you listen hard! Anything that is available on CD has been sourced from CD or taken from my own CD's. I already said I lack the descriptive terms to describe electronic music, I just know what I like and I like Gescom! I am hoping this post will be a nicely organised way in for the curious or a good place for fans to find some missing pieces from their Gescom collection so that being said I shall leave it at that and you can go check out some brilliant music from some of the top minds in the electronic field. I may or may not consider doing a post on Autechre one day it'd be a mammoth task so don't ask it'll happen or it won't!
PT 1 - Mediafire
You wouldn't think Sub Pop records would really have that much to offer these days, their heyday I guess is long behind them, save stalwarts Mudhoney who continue to release consistently great records really I don't know much about Sub Pop beyond the early 90's or what they release. Enter METZ a 3 piece Garage/Noise band from Ontario Canada! I had heard a lot of good things about METZ back in 2012 when they released their debut album however I was surprised to find they had a brace of 7" singles and EP's dating back to 2009! I was blown away when I finally got round to listening to these guys here is a band who like to make one HELLAVU racket and i had to wonder how fucking out of touch I am that I had never heard these guys!.
I saw METZ live twice in the space of a few months (They were so good first time I had to go back for a second round) and despite that and owning all the CD's I literally know very little about these guys! In fact I didn't even know what they looked like till I saw them live, I like these guys a lot so I don't know why I didn't look into them more. So as I have been doing of late with the posts here's a bit of blurb about them from the internet. I mean this is pretty weak considering this is from Sub Pop's webpage on them it still doesn't tell you very much but here you go
"METZ, our own widely-adored and delightfully noisy 3-piece punk* band from Toronto (ON, CANADA), have been laying waste to stages around the globe for over 10 years. During that tumultuous chunk of time METZ, comprised of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet’s most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock METZ create uncompromising and challenging music that remains unwavering and has only grown over time."
* I would like to add here "punk" is not really a word i would use to describe METZ that's SUB POP not me! Punk is far too bland a word for these guys!
The rest of the blurb just tries to sell you their music! So onward then... I would have to say that METZ are one of those bands that continue the fine tradition of "Noise Rock" that has seen the torch passed from hardcore to early exponents of the genre like Amphetamine Reptile records and bands Like Jesus Lizard, (Early) Helmet, Shellac, Drive Like Jehu, etc etc etc what's great about METZ though is they really like to push their sound into the red, Drums like Oilcans from the back of a cave, guitar and bass that literally feels like you can touch it they are so loud and in your face. Their attack is 100% aggressive but without sacrificing the tunes and whilst I say tunes don't expect to be whistling any of these dittys as you hoover your house, what I mean is these guys are so forceful in their approach that they completely draw and COMMAND your attention, their songs for all their thrash and full on guitar overdrive are actually memorable, though I would say that a typical listen to METZ will leave you with your eyes reddened and bugging out, your neck muscles aching and the taste of blood in your mouth!
I have no fucking idea what I'm saying here I post a lot of different music and I try my best to bring you variety but I listen to so much music and there's so much to digest these days that whilst a band stands out to me I'm no longer able to trainspot to the same standard as when I first started this blog!!! For me it's about the sound of a band more than individual songs and information these days and METZ sound just destroys me in the best way music can destroy anyone,What I will remind you of is what I have always held true here. that. NOTHING get's posted on this blog that isn't music I truly love if it's passable or just OK or good it does not make the cut . So take my word for it if I tell you METZ will rip your head off your shoulders and you'll be happy about it you can trust me they are THAT fuckin' good!
Here below you will find links to all 3 of their albums plus last years "Automat" comp which nearly rounded up all their previously mentioned 7" tracks however there were a couple missing which i sourced and added to the comp along with the "M.E." EP containing 3 cover versions that was originally released on a bonus 7" with the limited first edition "Automat" LP but I downloaded the digital version and stuck it in with the "automat" link. The 7" featuring covers by Urinals, Sparklehorse and Gary Numan it's a pretty interesting listen! I don't see the point in going into the sound of each album here, METZ are a consistent band that's another thing going for them you pick up the new METZ you know it's gonna be exactly what you expect no jazz funk or pop hooks, no frills just straight up what you want from them not that they have not progressed but every album has those cavernous drums and in your face guitars and the songwriting just gets better and better!
So that's about it in a world of fairly weak guitar bands that leave me longing for the 80's and 90's and a new Shellac album Metz were exactly the tonic I needed Loud in your face and kicking me around the room just like the good ol' days go check em out I can guarantee your satisfaction!
METZ - Mediafire
II - Mediafire
STRANGE PEACE - Mediafire
AUTOMAT & M.E. EP - Mediafire
Back in the 80's and early 90's when hardcore ruled the underground in the UK there was a small scene that ran parallel to it and often crossed over with it, for the sake of ease I'm gonna call this music "guitar noise" think of bands like Head Of David (See post HERE ) and Loop (See Post HERE ) and many more, there were many famous venues such as ,The Mermaid in Birmingham and Planet X in Liverpool who would put on large mixed bills (the kind of thing that would have "Fest" attached to it now, but back then it was just a normal thing) and it wouldn't be unusual to see what you'd think of as a "weird" mix of bands on these bills from crust and grindcore to punk and often these type of guitar noise bands as well (For example Liverpool band Walkingseeds who I will do a post on soon often appeared on these type of bills at Planet X). Whilst these bands bore little resemblance to the hardcore bands on the bill back then thinking was not so rigidly divided by genre and it wouldn't be jarring to have Head Of David on the same bill as Extreme Noise Terror in fact the first time I saw Godflesh they were on tour with Napalm Death in 1988 so you had one of the worlds slowest bands playing with the worlds fastest! There were some great bands that emerged from this "guitar noise" scene, some long forgotten, some have become more well known and influential, with the availability of the internet people are discovering this groundbreaking music with ease. One such band that seems largely forgotten is this band A.C. Temple.I had completely forgotten about them myself until for some reason recently the name popped up and I remembered them being around at the time and that, despite trying, I couldn't get my hands on their records, luckily. as i say their albums are easily available used on CD.
Despite the fact that A.C. Temple did a mini album and 3 great albums on Various Mute related labels (Furthur & Blast First) particularly with the latter (Blat First) being the absolute bastion of acidic guitar noise. Unleashing such bands as Sonic Youth & Big Black on the UK, it seems A.C. Temple remain largely a curiosity of the time, all of their albums are out of print and hardly anyone seems to know much about them.
I know very little about A.C. Temple's history so I decided to take the easy way out here as I have a lot of posts to get through for you so here's what the holy temple of discogs.com has to say about them....
A.C. Temple were - Chris Trout, Jane Bromley, Matt Silcox, Noel Kilbride, Paul Dorrington, Tim Beckham
"Formed in Sheffield in 1985, A.C. Temple were a powerful UK counterpart to the abrasive experimental guitar bands coming out of the USA around the same time.
Early vocalist Giles soon took a back seat to Bromley but remained a co-lyricist to the band throughout their career. However, it was the classic line-up of Bromley, Kilbride, Woodward, Hartley and Waterfall who recorded their seminal 'Blowtorch' LP and a session for John Peel on Radio 1 in 1987. Critics made favourable comparisons to Sonic Youth and Big Black (Kilbride, in fact, had acted as Big Black's driver for their final UK tour and is one of the named recipient's on Shellac's 'Futurist' LP) but the swirling intertwined guitars and extreme down-tuned bass, combined with Bromley's sonorous vocals and Waterfall's thunderous drumming, were distinctively theirs.
Subsequent line-up changes saw Chris Trout (from Kilgore Trout) join and more melody and light enter their songs, culminating in the ethereal LP 'Belinda Backwards', before they split in 1993 (leaving some new songs sadly unrecorded), under-appreciated and under the radar to the end"
That pretty much sums it up and covers what I was saying "under-appreciated and under the radar to the end" Though i can understand the Big Black/Sonic Youth comparisons I feel that while yes they definitely fitted into that mould that they had something of their own there and also there was little to compare this band to at the time as this music was new for example I remember Godflesh being pitched to me as a cross between Big Black & SWANS well yeah I definitely see SWANS but Big Black? why because they use a drum machine? As i say reference points were thin on the ground then!
So onto your links what you have here is the released discography by this band there are a few unreleased things I'd love to get my hands on such as their John Peel Session and the aborted Steve Albini recordings for their debut album "Blowtorch" (you can find some of those on youtube at the Camel Channel HERE this youtube channel is run by ex - A.C. Temple member Chris Trout and contains many interesting bits and bobs) So here's what you get
Their 1986 demo - I found this at the excellent Sheffield Tape Archive on Bandcamp (HERE) they document many lost and unknown Sheffield bands recordings as well as many decent quality live recordings of bands that have played in Sheffield and is well worth a few minutes of your time to have a browse. This is very good quality for an unearthed demo from over 3 decades ago and has a couple of primitive versions of songs that would be reworked for subsequent albums. It's raw and noisy but definitely shows you this band had their sound nailed!
Songs Of Praise - This was originally their debut mini LP but was added as bonus tracks to the CD of their debut album "Blowtorch" I decided to separate it and give you it on it's own with the correct cover art etc as being their vinyl debut it's too important to be tucked away as bonus tracks. I remember this causing a stir in the music papers and getting some pretty decent reviews I had only recently discovered bands like Big Black & Sonic Youth as well as the likes of Head Of David and Loop so anything in that mould would definitely attract my attention! This is a great debut thundering drums deep bass topped with all sorts or chiming and thrashing noisy guitar it also contains some great use of that crazy slide guitar technique that Jesus Lizard would use to great effect later! top this with some great dual male and female vocals and it's definitely a potent listen! The guitar is definitely at the forefront of the sound and there's swirling riffs ala' My Bloody Valentine and plenty of scratchy guitar that reminds me of bands like The Fall and The Wedding present though way more out of control!
Blowtorch - Takes the sound of Songs Of Praise and refines it and maybe smooths off the rough edges a little and i can definitely feel a more Sonic Youth influence here while the guitars still bite and scratch and the vocals are still edgy there's a definite progression here and whilst far more noisy and out there there's a lot of sounds that would later form the basis of a lot of the indie rock of the 00's! Also the production is way smoother I would actually prefer they had released the noisier Steve Albini version of the album (see link above to youtube) but this is still a cracking listen and definitely gives me that teeth gritted nodding my head thing!
Sourpuss - 4 years into their existence and the band are definitely progressing this album smooths the edges out further and the Sonic Youth and now Dinosaur Jr. influence is definitely showing, with Kate Bromley's vocals (which are most definitely heavily influenced by Kim Gordon) are taking the lead and the band are definitely leaning more towards the sound of the music coming out of the US underground at the time like some of the things SST & Homestead records amongst others were releasing also bands like Fugazi, whilst that American influence is definitely felt they have a very British take on it and are still holding their own here the sound is bombastic the songs have a spark and energy that just leaps from the speakers where i found the American bands to be more introspective there's almost a dark "joy" to the songs on this album.It's still chock full of dissonant guitar and thundering drums it's just a less "grimy" take on it than it's predecessors.
Belinda Backwards - This is their 3rd and final album from 1991 this is probably my least favourite of theirs whilst it's still a pretty decent album again the influences I mention on "Sourpuss" are very prevalent but that bombastic "Dark Joy" I mentioned seems to be missing, whilst the songs aren't in themselves what you call slow they seem to lack the energy and dynamic of the previous album and overall the sound is far more accessible, in places reminding me of the Pixies. Again whilst the influences are overwhelmingly American you couldn't listen to this band and not know they were British if you are versed in the music scene of that time. I'm maybe being a bit unfair to this album as I'm listening to it now as I type this and it's certainly a great album but as I said it just seems a bit tamer than it's predecessors with some almost sorta jaunty/jangly touches whether that's a better thing or not you can decide.
So that's it not quite a lost band but certainly a (sadly) forgotten band there wasn't a great deal of bands in the UK at the time coming up with sounds that were as good as their American counterparts it's just unfortunate that they suffered from that aloof elitism that because they were not American then they were "not as good" I call bullshit on that, these guys are every inch the equal of the sounds they were influenced by and definitely worth your time to check out if you like any of the bands I have mentioned or if you are just curious! A.C. Temple, a great band defeated by geography!
1986 (DEMO) - Mediafire
SONGS OF PRAISE - Mediafire
BLOWTORCH - Mediafire
SOURPUSS - Mediafire
BELINDA BACKWARDS - Mediafire