Friday 10 April 2020


I have done previous posts on DJ Shadow (HERE) & Portishead (HERE) so I figured as Massive Attack are one of the big 3 originators of the sound known as "Trip Hop" and also happen to be one of my favourite artists that despite them being a mega band that it was long overdue that I did a post on them!

When it comes to bands that are popular on a global scale in the sense of "pop" popularity/chart sucess I don't like many, so, when people ask me why I love certain popular bands and artists who have had this kind of success  I have had the same mantra for decades and that is tis "Sometimes bands are popular because they are disposable and a current trend forced on you by the media sometimes bands are popular because they are simply REALLY fucking good" Massive Attack fall into the latter category.

A Little history, Massive Attack have worked hard for their popularity. Evolving out of a Bristol sound system collective named "The Wild Bunch" having immersed themselves in Hip Hop, Dub and Graffitiit culture they coalesced round a core of Robert "3d" Del Naja, Grant "Daddy G" Marshall And Originally Andy "Mushroom" Vowles in the early days they also enlisted Adrian "Tricky Kid" Thaw (Who would later see sucess in his own right as simply Tricky I will be doing a companion post on Tricky soon) This along with contributions from Shara Nelson & Horace Andy are the crew responsible for groundbreaking debut album "Blue Lines" in 1991, pulling together many elements of underground sound system culture they pretty much invented what would later be called "Trip Hop" (a name all the artists tagged with it despise) The Track "Unfinished Sympathy" was a massive hit both in clubs and in living rooms and thus Massive Attack became the hot name on everyone's lips! Massive Attack have continued to have sucess and adversity over the near 30 years since forming core members have come and gone at one point during the era of their "100th Window" album Massive Attack were Robert Del Naja On his own! Peaking with their "Mezannine" album selling 4 million copies in 1998 and containing a hit single " Teardrop" The story of Massive Attack is a long and convoluted one it's really difficult to discern who Massive Attack actually are at times core members as I said have come and gone and other names come and go regularly (Neil Davidge for example who appears to have worked on a lot of Massive Attack material but it's unclear what he actually does!) Massive Attack seemed to have settled nicely into a niche where they can comfortably do what they want, make music or not, it's been 4 years to date since they released any new music and there's no word of any coming I guess we'll know when they are ready!

I have called this post "A Connoisseurs Selection" this is meant in a slightly tongue in cheek way as there is no point in doing a Massive Attack Discography their music is distributed in huge quantities you can pick up all of their albums now for about £10 for the set so the reason for the name is I have picked a selection of newer things that might not be so easy to find and some bits that I have found that have never been given an official release. So here's what you get

First up we have something I came across by pure chance and had no idea existed. There is a fantastic Massive Attack site (you will find it here - The person or persons who run this site are absolute Massive Attack obsessives there is so much information on there and so many bootlegs etc that you can download, they are all in FLAC and all of the highest quality, it's one of the first matches when you type in Massive Attack website to google and it's a testament to Massive Attack's spirit they haven't had their lawyers shut it down. I f you want to learn more about Massive Attack then I would strongly suggest you go there they leave no stone unturned. This brings us to our first 2 links I am an absolute FIEND for BBC recordings in particular Peel Sessions so when I found this BBC Live From Miada Vale Studios 2006  I was beyond excited to hear it what you get here is basically the Massive Attack live band playing live in the studio doing some of their best songs there are 7 tracks on this and it's a fantastic listen and the quality is superb I don't know how it was sourced but it sounds phenomenal! What's also great is, exclusive to this download (and from the website itself ) is that after the 7 tracks there's an interview with MA main man 3D .

Next up is "Nocturne Sessions (Disk 3)" Now do not panic this is not a random disc lifted from a set here's the story....

"This disc is one of the rarest Massive Attack promo discs in existence. There were only 200 copies produced and each is numbered. This disc was only given out free to the first 200 patrons of the Nocturne club in Bristol on the night of the 12th March 2002. It was the third in the series of such very limited releases from Nocturne to feature exclusive one track mixes from well-known DJ's and musicians from Bristol. This particular one was mixed by 3D"

So as you can see it's a series by different DJ's this being the 3rd and the only one related to Massive Attack! It's an absolutely fantastic mix, as it's a continuous DJ mix it is only one file however there is also a text document giving you the tracklist but just in case wherever you are in the world you can't open it here' it is,

01. Pink Floyd - On The Run
02. Kraftwerk - Musique Non Stop
03. Massive Attack - I Against I
04. Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
05. Can - Mushroom
06. The Twinkle Brothers - Jehovia In Dub Majesty (Mix By Jah Shaka And Mad Professor)
07. Vangelis - Blush Response
08. Massive Attack - Risingson (Mad Professor Remix)
09. The Saints - This Perfect Day (Single Version)
10. Radiohead - Meeting In The Aisle
11. Psyche/BFC - Elements
12. This Heat - 24 Track Loop
13. Public Image LTD - Careering
14. Liquid Liquid - Cavern
15. Massive Attack - Inflight Data
16. Vangelis - Tales Of The Future
17. Public Image LTD - Radio 4

For me this mix perfectly illustrates the diversity of influence on Massive Attack and why their sound is so unique and compelling!

Let's continue with the commercially available stuff. Firstly we have the "Blue Lines" (2012 Mix/Master) Basically in 2012 the band decided their debut album needed an overhaul for the new millenium being some 20 years old for this reissue it received a new mix and a new mastering job straight from the original tapes, whilst nothing has been changed drastically the sound is sharp and clean and everything just sparkles with a new energy, listening to this 2012 mix is a bit like washing your car, you knew you loved your car but it looked grubby and you didn't love it as much, then you put it through the car wash and it came out looking beautiful and you remembered how much you loved your car in the first place! It sounds great and include it here in case you are not like me and feel the need to purchase every scrap of Massive Attack.

Next up "Mezzanine" 2019 Deluxe Edition" I didn't even know this was coming out I just happened to be on an assignment in the community and the person I was with wanted to go into HMV so as we walked in "Mezzanine" was playing which brought a smile to my face however I did wonder why HMV would be playing it as they only ever play things they are trying to sell, new releases etc. So lo and behold I discovered this new overhaul of "Mezzanine" I personally think the album already sounded perfect but there's no harm in giving it a little clean up and it does sound fantastic however. the bonus disc is a full set of Mad Professor mixes of tracks from "Mezzanine" however, of the 8 mixes presented, most have already been released as B-sides to the many singles from "Mezzanine". There are a couple of new ones and I get the concept of the Album/Dub Version but I would have liked to have seen Mad Professor do an entire new Re-Dub of the whole album but hey what do I know?

Singles 2016 right well this is the absolute bonus for me, After a few years of silence in the time after their "Heligoland" album, in 2016 Massive Attack released 2 x 12" singles and a four track EP put together they total 8 tracks and pretty much an albums worth of material! Best part is this is a massive return to form for Massive Attack the sounds are fresh and contemporary but it still manages to sound like Massive Attack from the 90's it also features a host of collaborators both old and new including Ghostpoet, Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Roots Manuva, Young Fathers and the biggest surprise of all Tricky See Post HERE) is back providing some vocals on "Take It There"  There is the 4 Track "Ritual Spirit" EP The 2 Track "The Spoils" 12" and lastly "Dear Friend" A couple of notes here, in the files you will find "Dear Friend is 2 tracks with the same name they both feature the same vocal but the second track is actually the instrumental of  "Take It There" from the Ritual Spirit EP. also note in the middle of "Come Near Me" the song stops and I think it is supposed be the sound of a party where "Unfinished Sympathy" is playing I found this a bit confusing but it appears to be intentional. These are a fantastic set of tracks and certainly have been enough to keep me going for the last 4 years waiting on a new Massive Attack Album.

OK so onto your last link Rarities so this is a bit of a misnomer as most of this is easily available however what I have done here is, I have taken the bonus disc of the Massive Attack Best Of "Collected" which features 10 tracks of rarities and I have tacked on some hard to find extras, so aside from the 10 original tracks I have expanded it with another 10 B-sides etc so here's what's extra...

The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game (From the Batman forever Soundtrack featuring Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl), Nature Of Threat (an MP3 Released by Massive Attack themselves from their aborted 2000 studio session for their 4th album),  I Against I (Instrumental) from a promo 12",  United Snakes (B-Side of Promo 12"/CD of  False Flags (UNKLE Remixes). Reflection B-side extra from "Inertia Creeps" CDEP, Aftersun (Feat Dot Alison) appears over the end credits of the movie Danny The Dog/Unleashed but was never put on the soundtrack released as an MP3 by the band. Superpredators & Euro Zero Zero  (Mezzanine singles B-Sides), Home Of The Whale (Mix of Hymn Of The Big Wheel from the B-side of their Debut EP), Unfinished Sympathy (Instrumental) Self explanatory!!!  That brings the Rarities file up to a meaty 20 tracks of non album Massive Attack!

So That's about it, I have made the write up and explanations far longer than I intended to making this a pretty massive (pardon the pun) post, but these guys are worth the effort. I was unsure as to whether to do this post or not due to the fact that there's not a great deal of  hard to find stuff by Massive Attack and in general for a band entering their 30th year there's not a great deal of material in general. As I said in the beginning this is A Connoisseurs Selection I'd like to think that there are people who like Massive Attack as a chart/pop/singles/best of band and there is a smaller group who love massive Attack for the innovative fantastic music they make, I fall in to that latter group, and if you do then this post is for you! If you're looking for hits and best of's go to amazon and buy a CD! I hope you guys enjoy this post as much as i enjoyed listening to the music and writing it up!





SINGLES 2016 - Mediafire



This Heat are a band I had never heard of till a couple of years ago I was going to a sorta indoor festival because SWANS were headlining and on the bill were a band called This Is Not This Heat my partner who has some far more obscure tastes than me seemed to be quite excited about this and was mentioning Charles Hayward often. Me? I was clueless! So turns out This Is Not This Heat were a version of This Heat featuring original and founder member Charles Hayward, it was a great performance and I enjoyed it thoroughly and had my partner school me up on this band I had never heard of. FFWD a few months and my partner is telling me that she can't listen to This Heat on spotify and it's really pissing her off. I went on one of my geek hunts and found her the complete works boxset "Out of Cold Storage" and this brings us to this post! I think the issue with me was I knew the name but I had mistaken This Heat for someone else ,I thought they were one of those 80's synth pop bands I have no idea who I mistook them for but I'm glad that situation was rectified!

I can tell you now I love the music of this band but I know very little about them so I'm gonna hand this over to the internet (again!) and then take you through the links

"In 1976, Charles Hayward of Gong (and Phil Manzanera's Quiet Sun) joined with Charles Bullen and Gareth Williams to form This Heat. Though arising from art-rock and the British school of fusion jazz, This Heat quickly developed into an experimental band largely dependent on tape loops and production tricks. This Heat dissolved in 1982-1983. Charles Bullen went on to solo work and put together his own studio in the late 1980s; he has recently issued a CD under his own name. Charles Hayward decided to keep up public performances and formed The Camberwell Now.

This Heat were an English experimental rock band, formed in early 1976 in Camberwell, London by multi-instrumentalists Charles Bullen (guitar, clarinet, viola, vocals, tapes), Charles Hayward (drums, keyboards, vocals, tapes) and Gareth Williams (keyboard, guitar, bass, vocals, tapes).Originally active from 1976 until 1982, This Heat were active in the ascendancy of British punk rock and post-punk, but stood apart from those scenes due to an experimental, confrontational, and politically charged approach. This Heat's commercial success was limited, and their discography consisted of only two albums and an EP, but in later years the band have been widely considered a link between early 1970s music styles such as krautrock and later experimental genres such as industrial music and post-rock"

Ok their wikipedia page has far more information this is just a small paragraph to give you an idea.
So the boxset well This Heat were not hugely prolific they released 3 albums an EP a Live album and a disc of John Peel Sessions and that was all The reason the set is called "Out of Cold Storage" is that This Heat's place of practice was an old abattoir and they used to rehearse and work on music in a huge meat fridge, How this influenced their sound I guess we don't know!

Describing the music of This Heat is difficult there's no easy definition as This Heat were and still are out on their own musically and have an experimental sound that is challenging upon first listen Combining traditional instrumentation such as guitar bass and drums with tape loops and production technique they go from digestible tracks with a slightly experimental edge to challenging noisier pieces, from gentle vocals to tortured angst. There are elements of Krautrock, Post Punk, Jazz and an Industrial feel with some of the noise and effects they use but because these guys are such talented musicians and can really play it's all held together cohesively, particularly by the absolutely stellar drumming of Charles Hayward. It has a sound of the more experimental end of Post Rock music (Tortoise for example) but predates this genre by a good 25 years!

I am hoping that as This Heat are unavailable to listen to outside of youtube or actually buying their CD's that this will be a godsend for the people who are curious as well as people who are already fans so failing to describe the band very well my suggestion is to start with the debut self titled album or the cleverly titled "Made Available" Peel Sessions album (clever pun huh seeing as Peel Sessions are for the most part recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale studios)  These are probably good entry points but really none of the albums are easy this is is the kind of music that takes investment to a degree repeated listens will unveil sounds and layers that will just leave you scratching your head in a positive sense!

So onto your links I won't go into detail for each one the box set contains their entire recorded output but here's what's in there it's all remastered for this set and ripped direct from CD at 320kbps

This Heat - Debut album from 1979

Repeat - Second album 1979/1980

Made Available - Both Peel Sessions from 1977

Health And Efficiency EP 1980

Deceit - Third and final album from 1981

Live 80/81 - Selection of live performances from 1980 & 1981

Nivelles - This was a 1 track CD  given free to subscribers to the production of the box set unfortunately we came to it after the fact and did not receive this but this completes the discography and is 1 track recorded in 1981 possibly an outtake from "Deceit"? as it is only one track I have Bundled it with the "Health and Efficiency" EP

I apologise for my poor description of this band I'm not a journalist or particularly good at English (maybe because I'm Scottish? ha ha) when you have a band as complex and as talented as This Heat and some 40 + years ago were really pushing the envelope musically with a great deal of improvisation employed how the hell do you relate that in words? but if you find this post intriguing it would only take you a cpl minutes to go to youtube to have a listen or 5 mins to download an album from here? I often have found great things by taking a chance so I will leave that decision with you the reader!

THIS HEATMediafire




LIVE 80/81Mediafire


Thursday 9 April 2020


Do a band fronted by none other than one of the most infamous people in rock history really need much introduction or explanation? I'm gonna assume with his more recent celebrity that everyone knows who John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) is? I did actually consider not doing this post because the man behind this band has firstly become a complete parody of himself and, more recently, his misguided political outbursts have literally reversed everything he has proclaimed to stand for over his entire career. So before I start on the music let me say I am not a fan anymore and I 100% do not endorse anything to do with the man over the last decade or so his views are his and mines do not in anyway line up with that.

So with that out the way this post is here to deliver you 2 albums that have been part of my life since I was basically a child and as they have both been given an overhaul I wanted to share them with you and this also means you don't have to shell out what are, and becoming more so, your valuable monies on these expensive though worthwhile reissues.

After the Sex Pistols broke up in 1978 you could have forgiven John Lydon for continuing to profit from his fame by simply starting another punk band, seeing as how he'd barely been given a chance to enjoy it with his previous band. This was not the case. The history of the bands and the man has been heavily documented in books and online so I will give  my take. John Lydon never subscribed to the music of punk, it would seem, from what I  have read, that he had far deeper and richer tastes in music than merely the glam of the era that gave birth to punk. Lydon though obviously having an affectation for bands like The Stooges, New York Dolls, Bowie etc he had been immersed in other music that has in recent years been given some credit towards influencing the better of the punk bands to come out of the '76/'77 explosion. Lydon appeared on Tommy Vance's Capital Radio show in Summer 1977 having been invited on there to play a selection of his favourite records, The Sex Pistols management and record label may have seen this as an opportunity for Rotten to promote the Pistols legend by flexing his punk rock credentials He confounded listeners, management & fans alike by being firstly, eloquent and educated on his musical tastes and also by showing his musical influence to be nothing like anyone expected. Selecting records by Can, Reggae Artist Dr Alimantado and other dub and reggae records and expounding on how great and how much of an influence Peter Hammill (ex Van Der Graff Generator) was on him vocally.This basically set out his stall for what would come after the Pistols. Public Image Limited.

After the spectacular car crash that was the end of the Sex Pistols Lydon did not take much time to lick his wounds enlisting close friends and housemates John Wardle (better known as bottom end bass supremo Jah Wobble), Canadian Ex-Pat Jim Walker on Drums and the amazing Keith Levene on Guitar, who had originally been a founding member of The put together new concept & band Public Image Limited. I want to mention now, that whilst nothing other than the combination of Wobble, Lydon & Levene could have made the 2 releases in this post, for me, it is Keith Levene's unique guitar work that makes these 2 albums as important to me as they are and has made their influences endure for 40 years, and also why with a revolving door of members, once Levene's contribution had been lessened and then he left the band in 1983/84 that for the most part I have little inerest in PiL beyond these 2 albums.

Originally proposed as an umbrella name for a multimedia experience Pil failed to deliver on that front fully, despite numerous attempts and a huge pot of money wasted, but what they did deliver was 2 albums of striking originality and absolutely crucial and influential music. First single "Public Image" had been originally floated by Lydon as a new song for the Sex Pistols if memory serves it was rejected by the band and I can see why this track whilst by far being the closest to "punk" PiL ever released is head and shoulders above punk in innovation with it's chiming guitars and deep dub bass and Lydon's previous sneering vocal now seemingly lifted a few registers higher and more acidic this was something new entirely. it may have been a taster for the forthcoming album but nothing could really prepare the listener for this debut album from PiL."Public Image (First Issue)" was absolutely confounding, firstly to the label and then to the public, expecting Sex Pistols Mk.2 and no doubt fuelled by the single expecting the "Chuck Berry on Speed" rock of the Pistols couldn't have been further off the mark. It was common practice in those days to open your debut album with the "hit" single, PiL defying convention chose to bury it as 5th track and on Side 2 of the album. Instead choosing to open the album with the the staggering 9 minute slow crawl of "Theme" Whilst I came to PiL much later I can't imagine what the average council estate punk must have thought in 1978, punk still a fresh mark on the musical landscape, dropping the needle on this album, this deep resonating bass heavy piece peppered with Levene's fantastic dissonant and chiming guitar and Lydon's shrieks and the refrain of  repeatedly wailing "I wish I could DIIIIIE" this was, for the time, highly challenging music with no precedent and little to prepare the average listener. whilst the album isn't without more conventional moments "Theme" immediately let's you know that you can put all your expectations in the bin! Going from a spoken word version (Religion I) to the full band version (Religion II) from "Religion II" to "Attack"the middle 5 tracks of the album whilst being fresh and unlike anything you have ever heard before (at that time) definitely follow a more familiar "rock" structure however album closer "Fodderstompf" (a tune apparently improvised in the studio due to PiL not having enough material for an album) Bookends the album with "Theme" It's twisted disco Dub bass, sparse electro percussion, lack of guitar and Lydon doing his best Monty Python-esque shriek of "We Only Wanted To Be Loved" at just shy of 8 minutes is a challenge, but I personally love it, especially when they make no bones about this, Lydon intoning during the song "We wanted to finish the album with the minimum amount of effort which we are now doing very successfully" well as the man himself once said "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" I certainly don't . It's impossible to state how utterly leftfield this album was at the time I wasn't there but from what I have read it really did send shockwaves through the industry and was not universally loved by the conventional/casual listener but I can tell you that for me it deserves the critical acclaim it gets in retrospect and it's influence can still be heard now in the sounds of contemporary indie & alternative music many bands having made whole careers of retooling this sound for a new generation.

You'd think maybe with negligible sales and critics and label alike panning the debut album, Lydon may have thought of making something a little bit more acessible? Obviously not.What he did do was create one of the most challenging and influential albums not only of his career but of music as a whole.Coming along just shy of a year after their debut, 2nd album "Metal Box" was an unprecedented musical landmark in both it's sound and design, not only did it it's first run of , I had thought 10,000 copies but wikipedia says 60,000,come packaged in a metal film canister containing 3 x 12" 45 RPM singles,at no small cost to the band, having to sink £20,000 of their own money into the packaging, the 3 x 12" singles were separated inside by a thin pieces of paper and were not easy to remove from the canister, the idea being that this would cause the records to decay from removing and putting them back in the case some sort of statement on disposability? The reason for the original album to be pressed on 3 x 12" singles was to allow bigger grooves on the vinyl so as to allow for deeper, richer bass tones a tip picked up from the Dub records out of Jamaica that the band worshipped, this was an essential contribution to the sound of the album. Jah wobble's bass on this album for someone who was a comparative amateur underpins the entire album with it's deep dub inflections couple this with the genius guitar work and sound of Levene's guitar Lydon whilst publicly being the "star" of the band and also crucial to the sound for me takes a back seat to the music and whilst this is one of my all time favourite albums as it stands I could easily listen to it as an instrumental.

I am noticing that this post for a mere 2 albums is delving far too much into biography/music journo territory here I love both these albums particularly "Metal Box" so if I am allowed to continue waffling this will turn into an essay and I know for a fact this album has had it's musical bones picked clean over the 41 years since it's release and by far more qualified people than me so here is a link to wikipedia HERE if you don't know what this album sounds like then this should help.

So Onto my reasons for posting these easily available albums. Firstly I present them here in their "Deluxe" and "Super Deluxe" editions respectively both sets have been remastered for these reissues and in the case of "Metal Box" expanded massively.

"Public Image (First issue)" to be honest there's slim pickings it is good to hear this album cleaned up and remastered but as PiL had to improvise an 8 minute track in the studio just to  bring the original album to a near acceptable length, welll..... The bonus second disc with this album contains the only real extra music of that era the B-side of the "Public Image" single " The Cowboy Song" for my money this, unlike "Fodderstompf" does fall into throwaway studio fucking around ,with no discernible groove and just being a sheer racket it really does not do PiL's innovation during this era any favours. However what is of interest on the 2nd disc is the hour long BBC Radio 1 interview with John Lydon which I personally really ernjoyed listening to and is an unusual bonus for a deluxe edition treatment. Originally a Japan only release this deluxe edition was later reissued in the US by Light In The Attic records so is now more easily available should you wish to seek one out

"Metal Box" (Super Deluxe Edition) is another thing all together ranging from £80 to more than twice that in price now it sickens me that this couldn't have been available at a more reasonable price and availability as it is one of my all time favourite albums and the bonuses here are fantastic. At 4 discs there is a lot of material and I'm not going to break it down too much but here's what you get...
 (Note - I have broken the set it into 2 parts because it was just too big to put in one file at at 541 MB)

Disc 1 - The album remastered and sounding amazing

Disc 2 - ALL the singles, B- Sides their John Peel session "Death Disco" Live on "Top Of The Pops" along with live Tracks from the BBC Old Grey Whistle test show as well as rare comp track "Pied Piper"

Disc 3 - Contains Monitor Mixes, Rough mixes, Unreleased Instrumental jams, works in progress etc and is a fascinating glimpse into the albums "becoming"

Disc 4 - Live at The Factory (The Russell Club) Manchester a very high quality live set from a legendary performance at the Factory In July 1979

This is a definitive reissue for once and is one of a handful of these SUPER Deluxe editions that are worth having.

So that's that it's impossible to understand the importance of these 2 albums in 2020 whilst their influence and importance has been documented heavily I feel unless you were there at the time (I wasn't myself though i did beg my dad to buy me "Metal Box" in it's original tin cannister at a local record fair in 1983 which he begrudgingly did and I was far too young to "get it" and I absolutely hated it) you can't possibly understand how utterly groundbreaking this band were, Over a period of 2 years this band created some of the most important and challenging music of the latter half of the 20th century I can imagine many of you thinking that's a bit of an overstatement and I guess if you look at someone like Miles Davis it does look like hyperbole, However for someone so very deeply in the public spotlight as John Lydon was, at the time of these albums release, well you have to look at it from that perspective. PiL were no little obscurity that no one ever heard of, despite not being musically popular John Lydon had been headline news in the British media for a full 18 months to 2 years preceding PiL and despite the then "abrasive" nature of  The Sex Pistols he was viewed as a "Pop Star" Pil Made at least 3 appearances on Top Of The Pops one of them with "Death Disco" if you have heard that song you will realise how desperate the world was to keep Lydon in the public arena to unleash Death Disco on the most sober and popular music show of the era .When you look at these 2 albums from that perspective well maybe you'll agree with me on their importance in musical history? Lydon may only be good for selling butter, entertaining reality show fans and right wing opinions and his "band" only good for entertaining 50 somethings trying to recapture their glory days of 40 years ago however for on brief shining period in the late 70's he was at the helm on one of the most innovative band sto ever record music for that reason alone I will continue to love the guy well that is at least the John Lydon of the 70's and 80's.




UPDATE #27456321

Hi folks
           If you have been revisiting my blog over the last 2 or 3 weeks you will see that the posts are coming thick and fast. 27 posts in what 10 or 14 days? Although I did publish 19 posts at once that I had been working on in March and February.

There are a few reasons behind this. Firstly due to Corona Virus I am In isolation for a couple of weeks this is up on Weds 15th when I will be returning to work, at this point my free time will be drastically cut, so you can expect a severe slowing down of posting, Though I do intend to try and stick to my promise of "1 Post A Week" but at the moment stuck in the house with little to do and nowhere to go I am using my time wisely so consider this flurry of posts an advance payment!

If you have been coming to the blog regularly over it's history, you may see old posts you have seen already starting to appear at the top of the page. This is because I have left the blog that long that some artists have had many releases since their original posting.I want to make it clear that in the past I have added an update to a post at the bottom with a short paragraph and simply tacked the new releases on there.THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE if an old post appears at the top of the page it has been completely re-written or the roiginal has been edited and rewritten. I have looked back on the blog often and seen posts where I have obviously rushed the write up or simply blogged a band I knew little about, Whilst the latter is still occasionally true, I just wanted you,the reader, to know I'm not copping out or trying to make the blog look more productive by simply adding new music to a post and moving it up the chain to the top, I am investing time and effort in to freshen up the posts and the blog and bring the writing and links up to date until I am satisfied with the quality of the blog.

I also wanted to say that despite heavy editing and tying my hardest to make posts interesting, and, I like to think my enthusiasm for music shows in the writing, sometimes I really do lack the descriptive ability to give you a good idea what a band sounds like and sometimes I feel I fall short and often repeat myself or repeat the same influences, this is simply because, well despite having hugely varied tastes in music, I simply haven't the time to fully ingest everything, take Can And Faust for example, I refer to them and Krautrock often but I really don't have the ability to full digest a prolific era of music (Germany early 70's) to give a more varied view of influences and I like to think everyone who reads the blog known Can and Faust? I do listen to a lot of Krautrock but it's something that I haven't lived with forever the music taste I have now has only really developed in the last 20 or so years so I haven't been listening to Krautrock since the 70's or something, more like barely the turn of this century! Suffice to say the original ethos of this blog is still valid, that nothing I post here is to look cool or appear knowledgeable in obscure music, NO music is posted unless I am really blown away by it, if it's merely a passing interest or just "OK" it doesn't get posted!

Right apologies for the lengthy updates hope you all continue to enjoy the blog and keep coming back and discovering new music and interesting things. Any issues with links or any problems comment I'll do my best to fix things quick as I can.




So in 2015 this was originally a kind of a "sister" post to the one I did on Dead Skeletons (HERE) I mentioned Follakzoid in the  Dead Skeletons post as being the "support" band when I saw both of them live, but just to be clear, I was at that gig for BOTH bands it was definitely a double header for me more than a case of support and main act! Hailing from Chile of all places it's not the place that automatically comes to mind when thinking about psychedelic music but hey we live in a linked up global culture now and I have been proved wrong here.

Follakzoid are a many faceted band, I have heard the tag of "Krautrock" being thrown at them often and to a point I agree, beyond the first album the backbone of their sound is a strong metronomic rhythm exactly the kind of thing that defined those early Berlin bands such as Can and Faust however whilst those bands employed a more minimal approach to a degree Follakzoid definitely are a far more psychedelic prospect at least they started out that way.

Folakzoid have not been the most prolific of bands having only released a mere 4 albums and 3 EP's up to 2019 which isn't a great deal over 11 years of existence but as I've often said and is the case here it is quality over quantity.Self titled debut album from 2009 is definitely the sound of a band finding their feet, though not without it's psychedelic edge the Krautrock influence isn't apparent here, what is is a sound more akin to guys who have been steeping themselves in the first 2 Stooges albums, Early Velvet Underground and sounds that remind me of UK 80's guitar bands like My Bloody Valentine and Loop.For example the track "El Humo" is a straight up homage to "I Wanna Be Your Dog" stopping just short of being a cover! It's an enjoyable listen but it is raw in both production and sound, and, if you were to listen to their back catlogue in order then this album would not in any way indicate where Follakzoid would go with their sound and for me is more like a demo for a band exploring their influences and learning their craft. 2 years later they had completely changed and it's their self titled 12"/EP that for me is the debut proper for these guys. This is where that metronomic beat and more minimal approach of Krautrock begins to show it's almost like they went away for 2 years steeped themselves in the early 70's Berlin scene and Hawkwind's back catalogue.

INTERLUDE - Now whilst many people may Baulk at the mention of Hawkwind and I may well be presuming prejudice here, but let me just state now, I'm a big fan, Hawkwind are for me one of the greatest and most important bands in music history, I know a lot of people are probably jaded by their space rock/Stonehenge/acid hippy reputation but they are by far and away one of the greatest psychedelic rock bands of all time, the only reason I haven't done an extensive post on them here is because their digital discography sits at a hefty 10 GB and I don't even have everything they have done, and, I'm not ruling out that it may happen in the future! So do yourself  a favour if you haven't or don't already,go listen to Hawkwind if you want some recommends on where to start,comment!)

Returning to Follakzoid's 1st EP, with 2 lengthy tracks this EP clocks in at just shy of 20 minutes and really is a good taster for the music to come from Follakzoid. The drum's tick away in the background while the music rises and falls but never rising to ridiculous levels of freakout they really have tempered their sound here with a strong sense of restraint. A motif that would continue to develop over the course of the next 3 albums. "II" their 2nd album is my personal favourite, here they have the minimal Krautrock restraint nailed but take it somewhere altogether more spacey! Whilst the rhythm section holds everything together perfectly, this leaves the guitar to explore more freeform textures and sounds whilst having an almost "jam" like feel to it, It's all locked together in perfect synchronicity by tight and extemely confident playing, the fact that these guys can play and play well as a unit is immediately apparent. Between "II" & "III" Follakzoid released "II Remix" EP This features remixes of "9" & "Trees" by modern psych titans Psychic Ills and Moon Duo respectively and whilst I'm not a fiend for remixes the chosen remixers were a stroke of genius and add their own fantastic touches to these 2 tracks without ruining them.So when I saw Follakzoid back in 2015 they had just released their 3rd album "III" with only 4 tracks and clocking in around the 45 minute mark Follakzoid here have taken their minimal aesthetic to what I thought was it's logical conclusion. While the plucked bass and tight metronomic rhythms still hold the bands sound together and the guitar still takes us out into space, this is not a "cosmic" space like before, this is space in the literal sense.Whilst there had always been an element of this previously here the music, while still being fantastic is far more stripped down than before, the drums have been reduced to an almost pulse beat of hi hat and bass with occasional cymbal punctuation to lift the songs dynamic when needed (I remember remarking when seeing them run through this material live that being Follakzoid's drummer must be a really boring job!!!) .It's exactly this ability to restrain and build songs that engage and have a great dynamic, but yet hewn from the sparsest of elements, that is key to this bands greatness. The effect of this pulsing beat and minimal elements gives this album a feel of being like one 45 minute track that morphs and changes over it's course as the musicians dictate.
This all made sound a bit boring, I can assure you it is not, the bass pulsates with, in places, an almost "funkiness" particularly apparent in the track "Earth" the drums continue to provide a solid beat whilst the guitars meander and build over the course of the songs making for an utterly spellbinding listen. In the interim between "III" and their next album, in 2017 Follaxoid had a session in a London studio to jam 2 of the tracks from "III" with none other than J. Spaceman (he of Spiritualized / Spacemen 3 fame) Whilst it's a great listen and I did notice that there were added elements to the songs and definitely louder peaks, I felt that with songs as minimal as these, there was not a great deal to jam out. Don't get me wrong it's a decent record but to me it doesn't feel enough has been done to radically change these songs to justify the release! I may be wrong but you can judge for yourself.

As I have been sat here this morning re-doing this post,I decided it was about time I actually owned this fantastic bands CD's. I remember seeing that they had released an album entitled "I" last year I saw this at the time and assumed it was a repackage/remaster of the first album (It's called "I" the preceding albums were called "II" & "III" what else WOULD you think?) But, as I was purchasing the other albums I had a look. The 4 tracks on this album at lengths of 17+ minutes confused me! the debut album had 6 average length tracks on it, NOPE turns out Follakzoid had had a new album out for 8 months and I had ignored it because they confusingly titled it "I" .I  have literally had it for less than an hour but as I was in full on blogging mode I have added it to this post to save me having to come back and edit  Please bear that in mind when reading on... Just when I thought no more could be stripped away to minimize Follakzoid's sound these guys bring out "I".Here the sound has gone even less, which I thought would have been impossible without reducing the music to beatless drone. but no these guys are certainly masters of understatement. There are 4 long tracks simply titled I - IV and opener "I" has a beat that I'm not entirely sure is a drummer,the hi hat is barely being touched and the bass drum is simply a pulsing vibration underpinning this, however still being referred to as "A band" by their label and there being no mention of anyone leaving then I can only assume there is still a drummer? There has been little progression this is simply because instead of adding more they have put in less, but yet still retaining the sound of predecessor "III. So without repeated listens (which I can tell you this album will get as I really like this band) I can't say much more than if you like "III" then you will like "I" all the elements are still there just presented in a more restrained and quiet fashion.

Right well I have waffled away here So I shall go now and hand this post over to you the listener. It's astounding for me how compelling that progressively more minimalist this band have become that I still find them engaging, when it comes to this sort of music I am generally more of a fan of the noisy freak out or 60's kitsch of psychedelia, but in this case these guys have melded the template of Krautrock to a spaced out groove that just manages to fill the room, albeit with a very deft and quiet manner. Below is their released discography to date I recommend starting with "II" and working your way forward. Enjoy.

Föllakzoid - Mediafire

II - Mediafire

EP - Mediafire

II RMX EP - Mediafire



I -

Tuesday 7 April 2020


In 2014 I received a message about an upcoming local (Liverpool) gig featuring Portuguese heavy psych band Black Bombaim, who I strongly recommend you check out, Local instrumental stoner/psych masters Mind Mountain (now long broke up sadly) but the opening band was  a London band called Henge. These guys were unknown to me, so I checked out their bandcamp page and they had a 4 track demo available to download free, so I downloaded it and I was shocked by how utterly GREAT this band were....
(Flyer for the Henge gig In Liverpool)

I had listened to the Henge deo MANY times after downloading, it was one of my favourite listens after I got it, but I found it hard to categorise them as to my mind they have a pretty damn original sound, they are sorta slow to mid paced with a really dirty fuzzy guitar sound and a nice deep clean bass (switching to distorted in the right places) providing a great bottom end and whilst these traits would seem to be fairly common, the riffs and song structures are most definitely not! What I also like about this band is that their singer has a unique vocal style which reeks of tortured anguish and  "don't give a fuck" but not in the punk/metal/thrash sense of screaming and shouting about it you can easily understand what he is singing about! And the combination of all these elements is a truly great one!

(Henge - "Henge" LP)

So I went to the gig and they were utterly fantastic, I have no idea how long they had been going in 2014 but they were strikingly self assured, tight, loud and captivating! So I continued to drop in to their page now and again but they kinda seemed to drop off the radar a bit, but in 2015 I got a notification from God Unknown records (The label they are on and home to many great artist you can check out their bandcamp page and listen to their stable of great bands HERE) That these guys were about to drop their debut album (at 28 mins more of a mini album really) I was very pleased to hear they were still around and were actually gonna release something new as I had pretty much worn out the demo (Though at least 2 of the demo tracks are re-recorded for the album along with some of the riffs/ideas from the other 2 redone into new songs) The debut "Henge" is Fantastic. What's great about these guys is, whilst there's a lot of familiar elements they use them in a way that's unique to them, sure some of the riffs could be called "doomy"but they don't sound like a doom band,where doom  bands tend to attempt to invoke a sense of almost "gothic" misery, Henge use their doomy sound to convey despair, frustration and anguish, also what makes Henge appeal to me is their sound is dirty and scuzzy the guitar and bass create a heavy sound but are distorted in an almost psychedelic way but far too heavy to fall into the whooshing swirls of sound category. The drums are like slow motion Krautrock, having a metronomic feel to it but at half the pace and they sure do pound through the sound with a heavy THUNK! This band have a proper despairing feel to them the songs feel like they are coming from a sense of desperation, but instead of being intense and uptight about it it feels more like these guys have resigned themselves to their fates and have decided to form a band to play songs about it! I don't know why, but whenever I listen to Henge I get images of bad road movies and obscure biker films in my head! I don't know if that was their intention but I could imagine this imagery being evoked to me would no doubt please these guys immensely! The album is not without it's mellower moments "Time outside" tempering the scuzz and dirt a little for a slightly sunnier groove that reminds me of a nastier version of Kyuss though not without a fuzztastic feedback ending! So having played the Henge album to death for a while, I moved onto other things and heard nothing more about this fantastic band, no tours or gig announcements, nothing.I noted another band called Henge were rising to prominence and I wondered if maybe they had changed their name or perhaps lack of interest had made them decide to call it a day, I was wrong...

(Henge - "Nothing Head" LP)

Last year some 4 years since their debut album I got notified again from God Unknown (not from Henge they seem to be masters of NOT promoting their band ha ha fit's their misanthropic attitude perfectly!) Henge had a new album coming out! I was pretty damn shocked.A complete lack of activity from the band then boom, a new album. "Nothing Head" was released in March last year and if you have seen my "2019 top 10 post (HERE) you will see it placed highly! Opening your album with a 7 minute psychedelic instrumental is a brave thing to do! You have to rely on the listener to persevere for me this was no issue, I love these guys, any scrap of new material was gonna be great! What is immediately apparent is Henge have progressed massively, whilst not sacrificing any of the elements that made them great, they have created a more dynamic sound that, whilst maybe a little more subdued than previous releases is none the less engaging! Whilst the heaviness and anguish is still there it's been given a far more psychedelic edge and reminds me a lot of US Christmas (I'd love to do a post on this band but unfortunately their material is heavily regulated and I will get shut down go do a search for "Eat The Low Dogs" album on Youtube) There's a new more "tempered" edge here but it's Henge this is bad trip psychedelia! Not that it's unpleasant to listen to it's just not "trippy" There's still scuzz and dirty guitars and heavy riffing by the bucketload there's no radical departures here just a better grasp of songwriting and dynamics, which, let's face it ,after 5 years since last releasing anything if there was no progression then there';d be something wrong. Henge have matured massively and it shows this album is confident tight and well played and in some cases I hear hints of "melody" though I may be mistaken! It's still a noisy beast and no mistakes all the elements are there they are just played better and given some rnew fresh touches that are welcome and definitely have taken Henge to another level of utter brilliance!

These guys have been hard to describe I hope I've managed? If you want the shorter version if your tired of the same old doom & stoner bands with the same "warm" fuzz guitar/vintage amp 3rd rate Ozzy impersonator on vocals, then maybe give Henge a try? I have given you both albums as the first album is 5 years old, the second over a year old now, and as both are only available on vinyl  I hope I am furthering some vinyl purchases here and not harming the bands revenue? I have also given you the demo as it appears to have been taken off bandcamp and I guess is no longer available anywhere but here? Henge are by far and away NOT a stoner or doom band, but I can imagine anyone who loves that sort of music will find the heavy scuzz of Henge an absolute pleasure!

Find them on Facebook HERE if you like them go give the page a like.

Henge Demo - Mediafire




Kranky records is a label that has both delighted and confounded me. I started taking the label name as a guarantee of quality after purchasing the reissued CD of Godspeed You Black Emperor's debut that was issued by kranky (you can check out my post on GYBE HERE)  I figured that if they would want to release something this good there must be more good stuff on the label? I subsequently purchased the Pan American debut which I then discovered was linked to Labradford so I bought their "A Stable Reference" album and....well, read on!

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia I had no idea what these guys would be like when I purchased "A Stable Reference" but I fell in love with the band immediately and proceeded to seek out the rest of their material. To say Labradford have an ethereal sound is understating it, for a start there are little drums on the majority of their material, if any. Their sound in general is atmospheric but it's as much a "creep up your spine" atmosphere as it is warm and beautiful. Keyboards hummmm found sounds fade in and out of the mix coupled with some beautiful and spacious guitar strumming that puts me in mind of some sort of spaced out, slow motion Ennio Morricone, It's exactly this ability to create dark and light at the same time that endear me to them the opening track "Phantom Channel Crossing"on their self titled 3rd album with it's deep cello sound, underpinned by a beating heart type pulse and what sounds like a knife being sharpened and the sound of someone dragging chains,then add what sound like someone torturing a violin! Whilst this made sound an unholy mess and also terrifying, by the time the soaring string sounds and organ and gentle vocal of the second track "Mid-Range" arrive you have forgotten why you were ever frightened in the first place!

Don't get me wrong Labradford are a great listen, however a significant portion of their work is made up of more drone like pieces which I would probably call "ambient", but still with that hint of darkness. 1997's "Mi Media Naranja" is a vast progression from thie first 3 albums, taking the Morricone strings and even adding some proper live drumming. Opening track "S" creating a sound that Godspeed You Black Emperor would later make their own and perfect.  There is also some more dubbed out pieces, whilst still being undoubtedly Labradford the songs on this album tend to effect more of a mood of melancholy than dread closing track "P" having parts that are almost a dead ringer for Fleetwood Mac;s "Albatross"! For me this is the pick of the 6 albums whilst some of my favourite Labradford tracks may be on other albums this one for me is the most consistent. By the time of final albums "E Luxo So" & "Fixed:::Content" however, Labradford had really cleaned up their sound, to these ears there is a far more minimal approach to the song craft, with more traditional instrumentation such as strings and piano playing a large part of "E Luxo So". Whilst it's still an enjoyable listen it's definitely less compelling for me as it just seems more conventional and has less of that atmosphere and more of a soundtrack feel to it. This is even more apparent of "Fixed:::Content" which has an even more minimal approach than it's predecessor stripping away many of the deeper layers of sound for a cleaner feel and again for me falls into more soundtrack/background music whilst not a bad album it's the one I listen to the least.

So let's deal with the Labradford links. Below there are links to all 6 Labradford albums all ripped from my own CD's at 320 KBPS plus a further file "Singles" Whilst Labradford weren't hugely prolific on the singles fronT,they did release a few. These are "Everlast" 7", "Julius/ Columna De La Independencia" 7" "Scenic Recovery" 10" and "The Kanahek Incident Volume 3" A split release with Stars Of The Lid from a series of 3 x 12" singles on Trance Syndicate records where experimental/post rock bands take a crack at covering/remixing/remaking one of each others tracks in this case Labradford remixing Stars Of The Lid's "Texas" and Stars Of The Lid Remixing Labradfords "Virginia" I have included both sides here as I don't fully understand the concept ha ha so figured you might as well have both especially as at clocking in at 21 minutes the Stars of The Lid version is a marvellous piece of pulsating drone! As for the other singles "Everlast" & "Scenic Recovery" appear on "Prazision LP" & "Labradford" respectively. to my ears the vinyl versions sound slightly different but could just be the rips I have however both sides have B-sides that are not on albums and I include this pack to make it a complete discography.


As I said above over the last 3 albums Labradford released there seemed to be a swing towards less electronics and more traditional instrumentation, there was still occasionally those spacious dubbed out beats and electronics raising their head here and there, though not as much as on the first 3 albums, I can only put this down to the influence of one Mark Nelson 1/3 of Labradford. During the era from Labradford's 4th album "Mi Media Naranja" in 1997 up to their last album "Fixed:::Content" in 2001 Mark Nelson started releasing solo music under the name Pan American. Now firstly Mark is still recording and releasing music as Pan American to date, but as this post is primarily about Labradford I am only covering the era of Pan American whilst Labradford were still going, after that I felt Pan American became less compelling and more minimal,these releases I cover here, as you will read, definitely belong with this post.

I was absolutely floored by Pan American's 1997's  Self Titled Debut. Whilst Labradford shifted towards more traditional sounds, Mark nelson was taking the dubbed out,.creepier end of  Labradford and creating whole albums around this sound. The whispered vocals are still there but Mark has taken them and some of the strummed guitar I loved so much and welded them to an electronic, dub like template creating music that whilst not quite as dark as some of the material on the early Labradford albums still has an atmosphere like tha,t but is far more compelling and definitely makes me want to melt into my sofa! 

There is not a single track on the first Pan American album I would skip, it's been a personal favourite for 23 years since I first picked it up, from the very Labradford  sounding opening track "Starts Friday", to the call and response rhythm of "Remapping" to the stunning and majestic "The Dark Nest" This album envelops the listener all at once with deep bass and gorgeous textures that just send you drifiting off into another place but not in a "background" sense it still commands your attention! This formula would continue over second, double album "360 Business 360 Bypass" however on this album the pieces are longer and given more space to develop and have a  stronger sense of melody and a less dark touch than it's predecessor. I have given you both albums here but during the 1997 - 2001 period Pan American released a 12 and a 10" EP as well (these are covered in "EP's" link below) Firstly we have 1999's "Quarry" 10" a 2 part song split over 2 sides "Quarry A" would not have sounded out of place on the debut album having that same dubbed out spacey bass heavy feel but "Quarry B" harks back to early Labradford it is a very dark and ambient piece entirely beatless and will possibly give you a bit of a chill up your spine. The last release for Pan American during this period was the "East Coast Bugs/Esso" 12" presented in a bright yellow sleeve with very little info save band name track titles etc this release 100% stopped me in my tracks! 

("East Coast Bugs/Esso" 12")

A-side "East Coast Bugs" clocking in at a lengthy 14+ minutes opens innocuously enough with some nice Pan American still ambient whoosh, however at 2 minutes the beat kicks in and for the first (but not last time) Mark Nelson has his sights set on the dance floor, now before you baulk at the thought of some sort of house tune I simply mean that this song has a "dance" beat repetitive bass drum, you could in fact maybe call this a "dub" because that's basically what it is. If you have ever listened to something like Basic Channel or Maurizio or Rhythm and Sound then that's where my "Dance" reference comes from. The bassline to this song being deep in the mix and also absolutely lurches over the song combined with the beat that sounds like it's pulsing from the ocean floor it is a 100% speaker destroyer. I would ensure you don't have the volume up too loud when you play this! The production and mix on this track is outstanding whilst minimal pulses and rhythms are brought in and out to great effect they cascade round the room in a way that makes you feel they are almost tangible things. This is for me one of Pan Americans crowning glories it's an absolute blinder of a track and I have listened to it often. Things do NOT let up on the B- Side "Esso" Either but this is more Pan American business as usual this track doesn't have the reptitive beat of the A side but has a bass that's even deeper! This track is a different beast altogether the mix and the tangible sound is still present but this is a dubbed, bliss out of a track with gorgeous strings,rhythm's and sounds moving in and out of the space to make yet another utterly amazing track!

If you hadn't guessed already I like these guys a lot, below you will find both albums and Both EP's if you like Labradford and haven't heard Pan American then I'd be surprised, but if you haven't then I say get this lot downloaded immediately!


This brings us neatly to our final piece of Labradford related goodness. I only discovered this album recently and seeing as it's been out since 2000 I'm surprised becasue this is one of those "supergroup" collaboration type deals featuring Adam Wiltzie (Ex - Stars Of The Lid & currently, A Winged Victory For The Sullen) and Robert Donne (Ex Labradford has played in Anjou, Spokane & Cristal to name a few) I am not gonna go overboard here this one off colaboration album is really a sum of it's parts it sounds exactly how you'd expect, a cross between Stars of The Lid's bright and beautiful drone and Labradford's more ambient and gentler pieces. If you are a fan of either band (as I am) then I would say you should definitely have a listen to this, if you're new to these bands then come back for this later!

That's it folks a bit of a mega post with plenty to check out if you are new to these bands then I suggest checking out Labradford's "Mi Media Naranja" and Pan American's self titled debut first if you like both of those go nuts! If you're a casual fan then now you can complete your collection! Either way I hope you enjoy some fine music!






E LUXO SOMediafire





360 BUSINESS 360 BYPASSMediafire



AX EM KLEMM - Mediafire

NOTE - One final thing in 2014 Mark Nelson & Robert Donne reunited to play music for the first time since Labradford had broken up, the results were new band Anjou ,they have released 2 albums of beatless,dark drone ambience not a million miles from those type of parts of Labradford or a darker Stars Of The Lid. I have not included them in this post because it falls outside the timeline covered however I have both albums if anyone wants them uploading I will happily put an addendum to this post. Also I have mentioned Stars Of The Lid another Kranky records band a few times in here I can do a post on them if anyone's interested? so feel free to comment.

Monday 6 April 2020


I have said often that I will be posting no more "extreme" music in this blog but I'm not "Stalinizing" my past as such, it's just I no longer need the glut of it I had..There are however a handful of bands that still mean a lot to me one such band was Canada's  Born Dead Icons (See Post HERE) Born Dead Icons seemed to simply fade away after their 3rd album and nothing more was heard of them, but a post happened to come up on my facebook about them and I said they were so great shame they never went on to do another band... I got a reply, seems most of the band went on to do this here band Complications. Now as I have linked you to a post about Born Dead Icons I won't go in depth here but I will say they were one of the more interesting bands from the crust punk explosion of the early millennium they were heavy and aggressive but they tempered that with melody and influences beyond the usual taking in early American hardcore amongst other things but with Complications they have taken things in a whole new direction. Firstly it has to be said the kinda raspy vocals from BDI have been retained but tempered to a more urgent style rather than the gruffness of BDI and the musicians involved in both bands are French Canadian so the vocals are very accented which I always loved with these guys in both bands! However it's the music here that is a big departure, what we get is a much cleaner and brighter sound it's no longer heavy and oppressive and is definitely leaning more heavily towards an influence from the more melodic end of US Hardcore, such as Wipers, Naked Raygun etc. There's also a little bit of post-punk in there too (think Killing Joke & Wire etc.) also what's really good is without being too fast these guys keep it uptempo and convey a more positive sound here than the doom - laden sound of their previous bands and is definitely, with the great driving drums, gonna get your foot tapping! . All in all it's really pleasing to my ears probably because it suits my current tastes better ha ha!!

When I first found out about this band from the previously mentioned post on facebook I went searching but for some reason these guys decided NOT to title their releases (a Cassette album a Vinyl LP and a 7" I have not put the 7" in this post as it's a terrible quality rip and both songs are on the other releases) they are all just self titled which made it damn hard to find them and google was useless, unless you want to know about pregnancy complications?!! Eventually I managed to source some fairly muddy rips of both these guys releases, a cassette album and a vinyl album, whilst it was great to have them I will be honest, I didn't listen much due to the quality of my files and these were what I originally uploaded to this post. The story does not end there though. I can't remember how I found out but these guys started a bandcamp page and not only did they offer both the Album and Cassette in direct, top 320 quality both the cassette and the LP had been expanded with bonus tracks from the sessions, 2 on the cassette file and 3 on the LP file. To top that they were also FREE downloads! When I got these I could not believe the difference in quality everything was much brighter and cleaner and I noticed even more so how much more melodic and, in a way, "accessible" these guys sound was.

So I decided to completely re-write this post and re-up the links which I have done, so, below I have linked you to both the Cassette and the LP uploaded to my mediafire to save you messing with bandcamp and even trying to search Complications which as i said above is a trial! I cannot urge you enough to download these as this is something new and fresh and basically why they survived the cull of noisy stuff because this is ridiculously good and really does deserve to be heard by more people.



P.S. I got a message not long after my original post saying that it's unlikely you'll hear much more from this band as apparently one of them is now a trucker/lorry driver and the other has a baby so this might be the last we hear of these guys but hope not They did put up an advertisment for a gig in 2015 so who knows?

Also as I know some people are sticklers for quality if you want to download these directly yourself or would like a FLAC rip then you will find them here

Sunday 5 April 2020


Hood are a band that can be a challenge but they certainly seem to endear themselves deeply to everyone who discovers them. I recently bought a Hood CD from discogs and received a message from the seller saying

"You are obviously a TRUE music fan only true music fans like Hood"

That pretty much says it all there however it does beg the question why was he selling their CD? ha ha!

Hood hail from Leeds in the UK and existed from 1991 before going on Hiatus in 2006 and considering the hiatus has now almost reached the same length as their preceding career I am not holding my breath to see them return anytime soon! Hood are a band who's early work may confound the listener it can leave you scratching your head sometimes but it's intimacy pulls you in and completely hooks you! I can't even begin to describe the early music of Hood ,but I am going to try! They are kinda like the UK answer to Lou Barlow's Sebadoh but with more of a "band" feel as they are a band, but for example one minute you could be listening to something that sounds a bit like say Sonic Youth or the lighter end of Dinosaur Jr. before being plunged into a burst of static noise/radio tuning and found sounds then next you'll be listening to a home recorded acoustic number or a fragment of what sounds like a rehearsal recording! The other thing with Hood is, over their early work they are a bit like Minutemen, they sound nothing like them but their songs are short and compact, An EP may have as many songs as an album but be 1/4 of the length. One of their albums "Silent '88" has 26 songs! I may be making Hood sound like a confounded mess here but trust me all of it works together to create a sound that draws you in and keeps you interested.

If you are still reading after my ham-fisted descriptions above I shall continue. In 1998 Hood signed with Domino records and things began to change quite drastically. Firstly the production and sound was given a huge lift, Hood obviously being given better studios and better producers ,so shorn of their previous lo fi sounds and collages of noise Hood developed into a great post rock band, something akin to maybe Tortoise or other American contemporaries such as you'd find on the Thrill Jockey label. The louder guitar noise sound of the earlier work replaced with a warm gentle sound that loses none of the home recorded intimacy of their earlier work it just has a vastly improved sound. Also the songs now, were more conventional in length, rather than ranging from less than a minute to a couple of minutes at most, here, the songs are given more time to develop and are more consistent in sound. This does not mean Hood had stood still and churned out standards for the last 8 years of their career, third Domino album "Cold House" saw Hood collaborating with Why & Doseone of underground hip hop act cLOUDDEAD who were also making big waves with those in the know! Utilising sampled beats and the unusual vocal techniques of both Doseone and WHY? in tandem with their trademark sound to create something wholly different and by the time of 2004's "Outside Closer" the band were integrating brass sections and melodies that, for Hood at least were almost conventional!

I could go on but I think I've said enough for me this blog is about putting the choice in the hands of the listener the music is here free and it shouldn't take too long to download so if you like the sound of what I am saying go check out an album if not move along,

With a staggering 11 albums, 26 singles, 5 compilation albums and 151 appearances on compilations I cannot 100% guarantee this is a "FULL" discography hence the question marks after the post title, I don't think even Hood themselves could give a full accounting of all their work, but I thoroughly researched Hood as best I could when I discovered them, so if there's anything missing then I hold my hands up! I am not gonna get into full reviews of all your links either I'd be here all day but some of them will need some explanation but for the conventional albums I will leave you to do your own investigation or read my description above.

 Right then your links.. Hood released a double album called "Singles Compiled" with such a huge EP discography this was a godsend at 59 tracks over 2 discs however upon investigation I discovered a few bits missing so I decided to go hunt them down and as Hood have some pretty weird and wonderful covers for their 7" singles, I decided instead of compiling I would break them down into their individual EP's so below you will find links to EP's #1 & EP's #2 these are pretty big packs containing 19 EP's over 2 Folders all separated, tagged and with their covers, however those are for the hardcore fan, I decided that, should you wish to have the more compact overview I have ALSO uploaded Singles Compiled which at 59 tracks, as I said, neatly compiled over 2 discs which contains most, but NOT all of the singles in the EP packs. The next one that needs explaining is  "Compilations, Tapes ,Disasters" OK so in this folder you will find  2 parts, this is basically my own home made thing I have taken the Hood Compilations "Structured Disasters" & "Compilations 1995 - 2002" plus some other non album bits and bobs and structured them into 2 x Hour long "parts" containing a total of 50 non album, compilation and unreleased tracks with custom covers created by me!

So that's that covered, the rest of your links are to the albums, there are a couple of things I want to mention. There is a link called "Field Report (a) (i) An Overcast Sky"this was a cassette only release, the discogs page on this release has 15 separate tracks listed (Go HERE if you want to see) but here the file is one continuous 27 min track and is basically a collage of ambient sound, practice fragments, pieces of songs, found sounds etc etc it's an experimental piece and I don't see the point in why they did it really but I include it here for the collectors. There is also a link below for "Noise, Warmth And Assuming Grace" this again was a cassette only release and was a split with Meredith, I have included the Hood side only. This is a bit more conventional than the Field report... cassette above, it is quite lo-fi but seems to contain less collaging and more straight forward songs and fragments, but they definitely sound like they are taken from jam snippets, practice tapes etc. Again one for the collectors. Lastly we have "The Hood Tapes" a collection of home recordings recorded between 2004 & 2005 and pressed on a CD-R, only sold on Hood's last tour, It was the last release by Hood and it's a pretty cool way to end being basically being a lot like their early work but a far higher quality in both songs and collages and sound.

The rest of your links are to straight up albums but In case you are completely new to Hood here is a list of those albums

Cabled Linear Traction (1994)

Silent '88 (1996)

Rustic Houses Forlorn Valleys (1998)

The Cycle Of Days And Seasons (1999)

Cold House (2001)

Outside Closer (2004)

That's it then folks here's a discography of a band I feel highly are highly overlooked and underrated. Their original lo-fi collage approach endeared me to them greatly, but I can see why it may have put off people who were more used to conventional music, however, why they didn't get more interest off the back of the lush albums of their Domino records era I have NO idea. This discography may be a little overwhelming but my suggestion is maybe pick a few bits, I would recommend  "Cabled Linear Traction" for a good overview of the early work and "Rustic Houses Forlorn Valleys" for a later view if you like either of those everything else is here. Enjoy!


SILENT '88Mediafire








EP'S #1Mediafire

EP'S #2Mediafire