viernes, 17 de mayo de 2019

The Rats


The Rats were an American garage punk band from Portland, Oregon, formed by Fred Cole previously of the garage rock band, The Lollipop Shoppe. Cole played guitar and sang, his wife "Toody", played bass and sang, and initially Rod Rat played drums. Their sound was a raw mix of punk rock with occasional country touches. Their self-titled debut album appeared on Cole's Whizeagle label in 1980. Soon after, Rod Rat left the band, though he guested on the 1981 follow-up 'Intermittent Signals' before his death by suicide. Sam Henry, formerly of the Wipers, played drums on this LP but left to join another Portland band, Napalm Beach. Louis Samora was on the drum throne for the 1983 album 'In a Desperate Red', still on Whizeagle. Samora left in 1984 to concentrate on his rockabilly band, The Jackals. The band broke up, but Bill Barker of Profile Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia convinced the band to reunite for a single. It appeared under the band name The Desperate Edge later in 1984. Soon after, Cole assembled a country band, Western Front, and he and Toody later reunited in Dead Moon. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 16 de mayo de 2019

Pig


Raymond Watts, who performs under the name Pig, was one of the founding members of the performance art ensemble originally known as Kein Mehrheit für die Mitleid, which would only later develop a more musical focus and become known as KMFDM. He left that band in its early stages and, as Pig, released a number of albums. The first few were issued on the Wax Trax! label, including the 1988 single "Never for Fun" and his debut LP, 'A Poke in the Eye...with a Sharp Stick', which also came out in 1988. He followed with 'Praise the Lard' in 1991. The early albums represented the influences that he was under while living in Germany and doing work for bands like Einstürzende Neubauten. He would soon form a relationship with an A&R man at Alfa Entertainment, which released his albums 'The Swining' and 'Red Raw & Sore'. When Watts' A&R contact moved to Victor, Watts followed and issued several albums through them, including the 1995 full-length 'Sinsation' (Nothing Records). That year, he also returned to KMFDM to help them record their seventh album, 'Nihil'. 'Wrecked' arrived in 1996 on Wax Trax!/TVT. 


The music featured on Watts' albums evolved over the years to become increasingly complex, incorporating German, British, and Japanese pop music elements and a variety of electronic idioms. In 1999, Cleopatra Records re-released the two Alfa albums as a single volume, resurrecting one of the strongest periods in his career. 'Genuine American Monster' was issued the same year. The 'No One Gets Out of Her Alive' EP followed in 2000. Four years later, Watts released the hard-rocking 'Pigmartyr' under his own Watts name, producing a remastered version titled 'Pigmata' that arrived in 2005. Watts would sideline the Pig project for a decade, returning in 2015 with a pair of collaborative EPs ('Compound Eye Sessions' with Marc Heal and 'Long in the Tooth' with Primitive Race). His eighth LP, 'The Gospel', was released in 2016, with a remix LP, 'Swine & Punishment', landing in 2017. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 15 de mayo de 2019

Naked Lunch


Naked Lunch are an English band formed in 1979, by Tony Mayo who advertised for like-minded people in the Melody Maker. Mick Clarke replied and they then moved into a flat to work on further material. In preparation to play live further members were advertised for and Tim Yorke, Paul Nicholas Davies and Cliff Chapman joined and then, in 1981, by Mark Irving who replaced Tim

The band was one of the first synth based groups, and as such were featured on the 'Some Bizzare Album' alongside Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Blancmange and The The. Tony Mayo, the lead singer with the band, had close connections with Stevo Pearce and aided with pulling the artists for this album together. Naked Lunch also recorded at Abbey Road recording studios for EMI and the track "Horrow Shock Horror" was released on the EMI compilation 'Terpsichore (Silly Not To)'. Subsequently, the band's were featured on the London Weekend Television program "20th Century Box" and during the making of this program, Tony Mayo bought the attention of the program makers of Depeche Mode, who were then featured on the program and was part of their rise to fame. The Depeche Mode biography "Stripped" makes several references to Naked Lunch and explained how they had been around since the early days of the UK electronic music movement and had paved the way for other bands such as Depeche Mode


A brief history of the band includes the fact that as early as 1979 they performed in a show alongside the likes of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, B-Movie and Clock DVA organised by the band and Stevo Pearce (who managed Some Bizzare Records), who Tony had DJed with previously. The band undertook the Naked Lunch's Electronic Indoctrination Tour in 1980 which included a show at Leeds Futurama, which was filmed and eventually broadcast on BBC2. Naked Lunch then set about helping Pearce find artists and recordings to make up the 'Some Bizzare Album' to which the band itself contributed "La Femme" (a song originally called "Le Femme" but Phonogram who released the album was licensed to change it to grammatically correct French, missing the point of the androgyny of the electronic music scene and that the song was about that). After a parting with Pearce, Naked Lunch became managed by Ramkup with the single "Rabies" backed by "Slipping Again" being released, though it suffered from a ban on daytime radio play due to the title but did receive good play and support from the likes of John Peel and Nicky Horne on their nighttime shows. Line-up changes continued before the band split in 1981 with Mayo retaining the name Naked Lunch, which he registered with Companies House in May 1981. A second version of the band emerged as a live act until 1985 and though Mayo continued with Naked Lunch projects, the band as such was a quiet presence. 2010 saw Tony Mayo link up again with early member Paul Davies and writing new material, with Mick Clark and Cliff Chapman joining in 2011, both in the original line-up. Their first gig for over 30 years came at BAS II with the addition of Mark Irving coming in early 2012 and Anastasia Coburg linking up in June 2013. During 2013, Naked Lunch appeared at the Roundhouse in London, the Dark Waters Alternative Music festival (both of which had positive reviews) and also headlined at the Slimelight Club in London. The band has been recording new matierial and have released their first album 'Beyond Planets' in 2014 after signing with Sub Culture Records for digital distribution, Deadfall management and Dark Independent bookings. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 14 de mayo de 2019

Mecca Normal


A seminal influence on Northwestern indie rock (and especially on the riot grrl movement), Vancouver's Mecca Normal was the bridge between female post-punk primitives like The Raincoats and The Slits -not to mention Patti Smith's punk poetry- and the more explicitly political, feminist noisemakers of the '90s. Lo-fi, amateurish, and decidedly minimalist, Mecca Normal was essentially a duo, with occasional studio help; vocalist Jean Smith (also a poet, novelist, and painter) declaimed her stream-of-consciousness, aggressively topical lyrics over guitarist David Lester's clattering cacophony. Their prolific partnership lasted over two decades, during which time they earned a reputation for fiery concert performances and enjoyed stints on some of the era's most notable indie labels, namely K, Matador, and Kill Rock Stars. 


Smith and Lester formed Mecca Normal in Vancouver in 1981, at which time both were working in design for print media. After several years of rehearsing, the duo made its first home recordings in 1984, and completed its first album in 1986; simply titled 'Mecca Normal', it was released on the band's own Smarten Up! label and sold chiefly at live shows. It helped lead to a friendship with Beat Happening frontman and K Records honcho Calvin Johnson, who signed the band for its 1988 sophomore effort, 'Calico Kills the Cat'. A stream of albums on K followed, including 1991's 'Water Cuts My Hands', 1992's prettier and more subdued 'Dovetail', and 1993's 'Flood Plain'. 1993 also brought 'Jarred Up', a compilation of the band's singles for various indie labels over the past six years. 

Mecca Normal subsequently signed with Matador and debuted with 1995's well-received 'Sitting on Snaps', which featured musical involvement on drums and piano from New Zealand producer Peter Jefferies. Smith and Jefferies formed a concurrent side project called 2 Foot Flame, which released two albums over 1995-1997. Jefferies stuck around for the next two albums, 1996's 'The Eagle & the Poodle' and 1997's more acoustic 'Who Shot Elvis?'. Mecca Normal subsequently went on hiatus for a few years while Smith and Lester pursued other creative activities; in 2000, Smith signed to Kill Rock Stars and issued her self-titled solo debut. Mecca Normal returned in 2002 with 'The Family Swan', also on Kill Rock Stars. Album number 13, 'The Observer', appeared two years later, along with a spring tour of both U.S. coasts. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 13 de mayo de 2019

Look De Bouk


Look De Bouk formed out of the ashes of renowned French RIO act Hellebore headed by Denis Tagu. In the same year as 'Il a y des Jour' Look De Bouk released their first album entitled 'Lacrimae Rerum' on the AYAA label. Trending different avenues to their predecessors Look De Bouk embraces a playful almost childish outlook to the sound they craft sounding like a cunning mix between 80's Residents, Pascal Comelade (thanks to their usage of toys), Aksak Maboul's first and ZNR. The combination results in an overly enjoyable experience (undeniably French) putting an affable face on these weird but charming RIO-esque experimentations. To date the band has released two full length albums plus two reissue albums with extra unheard material, amongst numerous feature pieces on an array of compilations. 

People deterred by the sinister side of RIO/avant-prog should find Look De Bouk to be a breath of fresh air offering a more digestible and charming affair. [SOURCE: PROG ARCHIVES

domingo, 12 de mayo de 2019

Keith LeBlanc


More than just a drummer for the apocalyptic dub/funk produced by Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound productions, Keith LeBlanc is also an accomplished solo artist who uses the same collage of sound and aural layering learned from years of playing in the Sherwood-produced band Tackhead. Admittedly, LeBlanc gets a lot of help from cohorts Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald (the other two-thirds of Tackhead, originally part of Sylvia Robinson's Sugarhill studio band), as well as Sherwood himself. But that said, the recordings that bear his name have been exciting, experimental hunks of postmodern music that combine live playing with musique concrete, and spoken word segments with snippets from film and television. In other words: easy listening this ain't. LeBlanc's career started auspiciously with the release of the EP 'No Sell Out', which was a hip-hop deconstruction of a Malcolm X speech. An alternative scene "hit," it helped engender interest for LeBlanc's first full-blown solo effort, 'Major Malfunction', which gets its title from the description used by engineers of the Challenger space shuttle disaster; LeBlanc uses some of the tape-recorded reports from the disaster for effect. Not a big seller, 'Malfunction' was followed by 'Stranger Than Fiction', which was a bit of a letdown, but still had enough squalling noise and reggae-inflected creepiness to make it well worthwhile. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 11 de mayo de 2019

Joanna Brouk


California-based Joanna Brouk composed slow, sparse works intended for meditation and reflection, utilizing acoustic instruments, vintage synthesizers, field recordings, and the human voice. Her music was inspired by classical minimalism, but it was embraced by the burgeoning new age movement during the 1980s. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1949, Brouk moved to Berkeley, California in 1970 to study literature. Inspired by the cadences of poetry and the human voice, as well as the rhythms and soundings of nature, she began creating music. She spent numerous hours experimenting with synthesizers at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in Oakland, and studied under the tutelage of avant-garde legends Robert Ashley and Terry Riley. Her music was introduced to radio listeners in October 1972, when she appeared on KPFA's contemporary music program "Ode to Gravity". 


After graduating, she went into radio production, and composed music for documentaries and other programs. She entered Mills' graduate program for electronic music in 1980, and created a work titled "Holy Saturday Mass", performed at the Oakland Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales, as her thesis. Brouk's classmate Maggi Payne contributed flute, and the compositions appeared on Brouk's 1981 debut 'Healing Music', the first of five cassettes she released on her own Hummingbird Productions throughout the '80s. The tapes were a success with listeners of KPFA (where Brouk became program director) as well as therapists and hospitals. 'Sounds of the Sea', also released in 1981, was Brouk's most fully realized recording, bringing together nature sounds as well as hypnotic vocals and manipulated electronic and acoustic instruments. Brouk's most ambitious composition was "Lalinia Electra", a symphonic work commissioned by the Bay Area Women's Philharmonic in 1982. 

As well-received and innovative as Brouk's recordings and performances were, she stopped making music in 1985, as she moved to San Diego and started a family. Under the name Joanne (with an "e") Brouk, she became a prolific writer of historical fiction and plays, as well as a notable producer of Internet content. Brouk's music found a new audience during the 2010s, when new age music received a resurgence in interest and critical re-appraisal. Brouk's composition "Lifting Off" appeared on 'I Am the Center', Light in the Attic's 2013 anthology of private press new age recordings. Three years later, Numero Group issued 'Hearing Music', a comprehensive anthology of Brouk's music, compiling material from her cassettes in addition to previously unissued works. Brouk died in 2017 at the age of 68. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 10 de mayo de 2019

Ian Boddy


Ian Boddy is a British electronic musician and composer. In the early 1980s Boddy began experimenting at an Arts Council funded studio in Newcastle. This period resulted in 3 cassette releases on the Mirage label, which showcased Boddy's work with analogue synthesis and tape manipulation. 'Images' (1980), 'Elements of Chance' (1981) and 'Jade'. In 1983 Boddy's first LP, 'The Climb', was released, followed by two more LPs, 'Spirits' (1984) and 'Phoenix' (1986). In 1989 Boddy released his first CD, 'Odyssey', on the Surreal To Real label, followed by 'Drive' (1991). Following these releases, Boddy founded the Something Else Records label, releasing another 4 albums, 'The Uncertainty Principle' (1993), 'The Deep' (1994), 'Continuum' (1996), 'Rare Elements' (1997) and reissuing his first 3 LPs and one of his early cassettes, 'Jade' (1992). On Something Else Records he also released 3 collaborations, 'Symbiont' (1995) with Andy Pickford, 'Phase 3' (1997) with Ron Boots and 'Octane' (1998) with Mark Shreeve under the name of ARC. A cassette-only release of live recordings between 1980 and 1989 was also available for a short period. In 1999 he founded the DiN Records label. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 9 de mayo de 2019

Hybryds


The Hybryds, a male-female duo from Belgium who had already released the limited-edition cassette 'Mythical Music From the 21st Century' and the two parts of 'The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive' (Rioart, 1991 and 1992), were revealed in the vein of Dead Can Dance by the exotic, exoteric, electronic 'Music For Rituals' and, after the relaxing, new age music of 'Soundtrack Voor Het Aquarium', topped that achievement with the colossal 'The Rhythm Of The Ritual'. 'The Ritual Of Rave' modernized that idea of cerimonial world-music. 'Dreamscapes From A Dark Side' (1996), 'Cortex Stimulation' (1996) and 'Clavis' (1997), a collaboration with Nebulon, are minor works that indulge in their worst excesses. 'Ein Phallischer Gott' (1997) is a collection of leftovers from 1986-1996. 'Tectonic Overload' (1998) is a concept album based on samples and topics borrowed from the film "Johnny Mnemonic". The tracks are orgies of polyrhythms but not very inventive. 'Virtual Impact' (2000) is a live album. [SOURCE: THE HISTORY OF ROCK MUSIC

miércoles, 8 de mayo de 2019

Guyer's Connection


Tibor Csébits and Philippe Alioth formed Guyer’s Connection in Basel, Switzerland when they were only 14 and 15 years old. At the time they were in a new wave rock band called Kurtzschluss which they decided to break from in order to make purely electronic music. They began with two synthesizers, a drum machine, a 4-track tape recorder and a multitude of ideas. They channeled their unique and humorous vision into their first album, entitled 'Portrait' which they produced themselves and self-released in 1983. Over the years, the album became a highly sought after minimal synth cult classic. It stands alone as one of the strongest examples of Swiss Minimal Wave, and probably the only one that is in Baseldytsch (German dialect from Basel). [SOURCE: MINIMAL WAVE RECORDS