viernes, 28 de julio de 2017

Medium Medium


In the tradition of numerous British late-'70s bands, Medium Medium helped facilitate the bridge from new wave to post-punk with a bleak music that was light on melody, yet heavy on funk-influenced rhythms with throbbing bass. The Gang of Four serve as the easiest reference point to their sound, though Medium Medium were not pointedly political in their lyrics, as the Gang of Four were. Those finger-popping bass lines, detached and not terribly hopeful vocals, and edgy song structures made the Gang of Four comparisons all the easier. It's a little strange that Medium Medium have largely vanished into discographies, while the Gang of Four remain a hip touchstone for those into new wave and post-punk. 

Medium Medium evolved out of The Press, and began releasing material in late 1979. Their second single, 'Hungry, So Angry', made some unexpected inroads into the American dance market in 1981, reaching the disco charts. An album, 'The Glitterhouse', came out later that year, but they were unable to capitalize on the success of "Hungry, So Angry," such as it was. Singer/saxophonist John Lewis quit at the end of 1981 after their first American tour. Although they continued without Lewis for a while, extensively touring internationally in 1982 and putting out another single, they disbanded in 1983 in the absence of a record deal. Lewis put out records as part of C Cat Trance after his departure from Medium Medium. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 26 de julio de 2017

Live Skull


Inspired by the likes of Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth, and the New York no wave movement, Live Skull delivered the kind of relentlessly bleak, abrasive noise rock that made their better-known contemporaries Lydia Lunch and Swans into cult underground figures during the '80s. The band usually favored a ponderous, crushingly loud grind, but tempered their assault with sophisticated, arty arrangements and thick, hypnotic sheets of pulsating white noise. Their subject matter was invariably dark and downcast (some critics said oppressively so), though not as deliberately shocking as some of their even more confrontational peers. Live Skull's earlier output tended to de-emphasize vocals, but the 1987 arrival of vocalist Thalia Zedek gave the band a new spark and focal point; even if their sound was just as uncompromisingly difficult and amelodic as before, most observers heralded this phase as the group's creative prime.

Live Skull was formed in New York City in 1983 by the guitar/bandleader tandem of Mark C. and Tom Paine. They were initially joined by drummer James Lo and Paine's girlfriend at the time, Marnie Greenholz, on bass. The group issued its self-titled debut EP -generally regarded as a formative effort- on the small Massive label in 1984, and subsequently signed with indie notable Homestead. Their full-length bow was 1985's 'Bringing Home the Bait', which found Greenholz, Paine, and C. all splitting vocal duties. The follow-up, 1986's 'Cloud One', adopted much the same approach, and the band began to make its name among fans of the more extreme wing of underground rock. A concert album, 'Live: Don't Get Any on You', was recorded at CBGB's late that year and released in 1987. 


Seeking a stronger vocal presence, C. and Paine invited Boston native Thalia Zedek to join the band in 1987. Zedek had previously played in the Boston-area punk outfits White Women, the Dangerous Birds, and Uzi, and quickly injected a shot of new energy into the forbidding Live Skull sound. The band also replaced drummer Lo with ex-Ruin member Rich Hutchins; Lo would go on to play in Wider and the much better-known math rock outfit Chavez. Zedek and Hutchins made their debuts on 1987's 'Dusted', which received some of Live Skull's strongest reviews to date. The group subsequently switched to the Caroline label, debuting with 1988's well-received, six-song EP 'Snuffer'.

By this time, Hutchins was also playing concurrently with the similarly styled Of Cabbages & Kings. Greenholz, who had long since ended her relationship with Paine, subsequently departed and was replaced by Sonda Andersson, a former member of Rat at Rat R and the cousin of avant-garde guitarist/composer Glenn Branca. Released in 1989, 'Positraction' was a more accessible, song-oriented effort that maintained the generally positive critical reaction, but also proved to be the band's swansong. Following their official breakup in 1990, Zedek moved back to Boston and formed the acclaimed, blues-flavored Come. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 25 de julio de 2017

The Hummingbirds


Although criminally unknown outside of their native Australia, The Hummingbirds' dreamy boy-girl harmonies and refreshing jangle pop sound positioned them among the brightest bands of their era. The group formed in 1986 from the remnants of the short-lived Bug Eyed Monsters, and originally comprised singer/guitarist Simon Holmes, bassist John Boyce, and drummer Mark Temple; vocalist/guitarist Alannah Russack signed on a short time later, and after signing to the indie label Phantom, the group debuted in mid-1987 with the single "Alimony". Boyce soon departed, and with the subsequent addition of singer/bassist Robyn St. Clare, the classic Hummingbirds lineup was in place. After three more 1988 singles -"Everything You Said", "Swim to Shore" and "Hindsight"- the band signed to the rooART label, and with noted producer Mitch Easter entered the studio to record their 1989 debut LP, the superb 'loveBUZZ'. When the album became a hit down under, it was licensed for U.S. release by the Polygram label; however, despite excellent reviews, the LP stiffed, and The Hummingbirds' career suffered seemingly irreparable damage. Despite strained relations with rooART, they forged on, with drummer Shane Melder taking over for Temple; after another LP, 1992's 'Va Va Voom' (released solely in Australia), The Hummingbirds moved on to the tiny indie IV Recordings. After two final 1993 EPs, 'Gone' and 'Tail', the group disbanded in December of that year; Holmes later joined the band Fragile. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 22 de julio de 2017

The Fluid


The Fluid was an American rock band from Denver, formed in 1984 who disbanded in 1993, but reconvened in 2008. The Fluid were originally called Madhouse. After early 1980s Denver punk band Frantix broke up, bassist Matt Bischoff, drummer Garrett Shavlik and guitarist James Clower began playing as Madhouse. On July 5, with new band members Rick Kulwicki (guitar) and John Robinson (vocals), they played their first gig at the German House (Denver Turnverein) as The Fluid, which was the only name all five members could agree upon. In 1986 The Fluid released their first album, 'Punch N Judy' on Rayon Records. The album was also licensed to and released by the German label Glitterhouse. They toured for the next two years in support of the album. In 1988, they released the album 'Clear Black Paper' on Sub Pop. They were the first non-Seattle band to sign to the record label. After The Fluid broke up, drummer Garrett Shavlik started the band Spell (not Boyd Rice's band of the same name) who were signed for a time to Island Records. Bassist Matt Bischoff started the band '57 Lesbian. The Fluid reunited to perform at Sub-Pop Records 20th Anniversary at Redmond's Marymoor Park in Seattle in July 2008. This was preceded by a June 20 show at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. Their guitarist, Rick Kulwicki, died on February 15, 2011, at the age of 49. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

viernes, 21 de julio de 2017

Die Haut


Formed in 1982 and based in Berlin, Germany, Die Haut (which translates to "the Skin" from German) originally consisted of Christoph Dreher, Remo Park, Martin Peter, and Thomas Wylder. Essentially an instrumental act, Die Haut gained attention by having a revolving series of guest vocalists, including one Nick Cave on four tracks on their debut full-length, the 1983 release 'Burnin' the Ice'. Other guest vocalists on future releases included Kid Congo Powers, Anita Lane, Debbie Harry, Mick Harvey, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Blixa Bargeld, Lydia Lunch, and Alan Vega. While the band would go through many lineup changes over the years, Die Haut centered around Christoph Dreher and Remo Park for the better part of the '80s. Park left in 1985 to be replaced by Rainer Lingk, who remained with the band until 1997, the year in which the last official full-length offering from the band, 'Spring', was released. A remix collection of the music from 'Spring', titled 'Springer', followed in 1998. Both Remo Park and Christoph Dreher have continued to work, albeit as separate acts, well into the 21st century. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 20 de julio de 2017

Bastro


Bastro was the more prominent of guitarist David Grubbs' two immediate post-Squirrel Bait projects (the concurrently running Bitch Magnet being the other). Grubbs originally joined the Louisville, KY-based Squirrel Bait while still in high school, and was actually one of the oldest members of the group; when he and bassist Clark Johnson left for college, it effectively spelled the end of the band after two important releases. Grubbs went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and formed an early version of Bastro in 1987 with bassist Dan Treado, who soon left. Even though Clark Johnson had gone to Chicago, he and Grubbs reteamed as the new core of Bastro, and pursued a more twisted and abrasive style of post-hardcore punk than their former band. Backed by a drum machine, they issued a six-song EP, 'Rode Hard & Put Up Wet', on the Homestead label in 1988. They subsequently played some tour dates with My Dad Is Dead, whose drummer at the time was Oberlin College percussion major John McEntire. McEntire wound up joining Bastro full-time for their LP debut, 1989's 'Diablo Guapo', which drew comparisons to the blistering extremity of Steve Albini and the precision and shifting dynamics of another Squirrel Bait offshoot, Slint. Their second full-length, 1990's 'Sing the Troubled Beast', found the group straining against their established blueprint to follow a relatively subtle and melodic path. Bassist Johnson subsequently left the group and was replaced by Bundy K. Brown; meanwhile, Grubbs relocated to Chicago to attend graduate school. Feeling limited by the extremity of their power-trio format and afraid of stagnating, Bastro tried to push into more atmospheric territory, and wound up deciding to retire the name altogether and continue as a completely different project, dubbed Gastr del Sol. Brown and McEntire appeared on Gastr del Sol's 1993 debut, 'The Serpentine Similar', after which the group became a vehicle for Grubbs' collaboration with Jim O'Rourke, as well as a touchstone of the post-rock movement. Brown and McEntire subsequently became charter members of the even more seminal post-rock outfit Tortoise. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 19 de julio de 2017

Deux


Gérard Pelletier says: "I was in Germany when I heard Kraftwerk for the first time. It was a revelation for me… and I thought "I want to make electronic music" ! A month later, I took the train to Strasbourg with the intention of buying a synthesizer and I found my first electronic machine, a Kawai made of metal and wood. It was a sound research machine, not very easy to use but I found it very powerful to create my own sounds. I began to sing with other friends of mine every Saturday night and so started the beginning of what would become Deux. In 1979, I decided to leave Germany and return to France. I found a work place in Lyon (the 2nd largest city in France). I was also working on my music every weekend but I was alone. Then one day, I met Cati Tete and I spoke with that magical girl about music the entire night. Deux was born". [SOURCE: MINIMAL WAVE RECORDS

martes, 18 de julio de 2017

Death In June


Industrial innovators Death in June emerged in 1980 from the remnants of the punk unit Crisis, reuniting singer/multi-instrumentalist Douglas Pearce and bassist Tony Wakeford; drummer Patrick Leagas completed the original lineup, which made its live debut late the following year with an opening slot for The Birthday Party. The 12" 'Heaven Street' soon followed, and in 1983 Death in June issued their first full-length effort, 'The Guilty Have No Pride'. From the outset, the group was criticized for its adoption of fascist imagery, and charges of Nazism dogged Pearce throughout his career. Upon completing the 'Burial' LP, Wakeford left the lineup to form Sol Invictus; following the release of 1985's 'Nada!', only Pearce remained, with Leagas exiting to form his own project, Sixth Comm. Beginning with the 1986 double-album 'The World That Summer', Pearce continued Death in June primarily as a solo concern, aided by a revolving group of collaborators including Current 93's David Tibet, Boyd Rice, and Coil's John Balance; the abrasive electronics and martial rhythms of early efforts gave way to an increasingly expansive sonic approach over the course of subsequent outings including 1987's 'Brown Book', 1989's 'The Wall of Sacrifice' and 1992's 'But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?', the latter evoking Pearce's longstanding interest in traditional European folk music. The first British act to perform in Croatia following the outbreak of Yugoslavia's civil war, Death in June documented their experiences on 1993's 'Something Is Coming'; subsequent efforts include 1995's 'Rose Clouds of Holocaust', 1997's 'Take Care and Control' and 2000's 'Operation Hummingbird'. 


On 2001's, 'All Pigs Must Die', Pearce collaborated with Forseti's accordionist Andreas Ritter on half the date. 2004 saw the release of 'Alarm Agents', a recorded collaboration between Death in June & Boyd Rice. Two years later, a digital-only release entitled 'Free Tibet' was issued from the band's website -with Current 93's David Tibet on vocals. 2008's 'The Rule of Thirds' marked a return to Death in June's neo-folk sound, followed by a limited pressing of the concert recording 'Black Angel Live!'. 'Peaceful Snow/Lounge Corps', from 2010, was offered as a double-length, re-recorded collection of Death in June catalog material rearranged for only Miro Snejdr's piano and Pearce's voice -the latter album in the set was piano only. 2013's 'The Snow Bunker Tapes' was yet another repackaging of the same material, this time with Pearce on voice and acoustic guitar. 'Live at the Edge of the World' (recorded in Brest, Belarus) was a duet with drummer John Murphy (The Associates, SPK). 2015 saw the release of yet another retrospective repackaging billed as 'Death In June Presents Miro Snejdr - Best of Lounge Corps'. 'Free Tibet' was reissued in 2016, this time as a physical disc. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 16 de julio de 2017

Ultratruita


Ultratruita was a group of dark pop formed at the end of 1980 with members coming from Basura and La Truita Perfecta, and contemporary of the "Movida Madrileña". Their style, self-defined as psycho-pop, is characterized by rhythms cut to Talking Heads, new-wavish metals, use of violin and unusual lyrics. Their most stable members in its first stage were Boris Porter, Joan Garcia -Panotxa-, Jeannette Porter, Mikel and Gat. In a second stage Susana and Rafa Prieto establish as stable members. In their third stage Susana left the band entering Carlos as keyboardist. This formation remains stable until their dissolution. The demo "Herman Brut" (1980) was one of the most voted by the listeners of Radio 3. Between 1981 and 1982 they played in venues such Metro, Magic or Zeleste, and in music competitions such Don Domingo in Radio 3 and the Benidorm Festival. 


Without support of critics or the record industry, Panotxa and Víctor Nubla created their own record label, Ddomèstic Records. Thus, in July 1982, accompanied by the musicians of Ultratruita, the single 'Sola / Cine de Barrio' (Ddomèstic, 1982) of Maria Lanuit is released, being one of the first works of the Catalan indie. In that same 1982 they enter the studio to record their first single 'Herman Brut / Ladrones de Pastillas' (Ddomèstic, 1982) that was the second reference of Ddomèstic. In early 1983 Gat and Jeannette left the band forming New Buildings. And in that same 1983, after a long parenthesis in Ddomèstic, came the second single 'Sangre y Arena / Frío' (Ddomèstic, 1983). During those years the shows continued. In December of 1984 they act in the TV show Estoc de Pop with the songs "Niños", "Este Pais" and "Conspiració", being 1985 year that put an end to the project, integrating Boris and Panotxa into El Hombre de Pekin. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

sábado, 15 de julio de 2017

Das Damen


Das Damen were one of the more metallic acts in the legendary SST stable, melding '60s psychedelia and heavy acid rock with the noisy, punk-derived alternative rock typical of the label. Instead of delving into screaming white noise along the lines of labelmates Dinosaur Jr., Das Damen preferred warm, trippy, high-volume distortion. Their early material was given over to improvisational jamming, but as they developed their songwriting, they threw in more complex rhythms and time signature shifts. Taking their name from the German term for "ladies," Das Damen were formed in New York in 1984 by vocalist/guitarist Jim Walters, guitarist Alex Totino, bassist Phil Leopold Von Trapp, and drummer Lyle Hysen. The group released its six-song, self-titled debut EP in 1986 on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label; it was quickly picked up by SST, which was also Sonic Youth's label at the time. 


Das Damen's first full-length for SST was 1987's 'Jupiter Eye', a highly improvisational record that nodded to the spaced-out acid jams of the late '60s and early '70s. The follow-up, 1988's 'Triskaidekaphobe', was a more structured and melodic hard rock album, but its follow-up, the 'Marshmellow Conspiracy' EP, achieved far more notoriety. One of the four tracks, "Song for Michael Jackson to $ell," was actually a straight-up cover of The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour", credited to the members of Das Damen to protest having to pay Jackson royalties (Jackson had just outbid Paul McCartney for the rights to The Beatles' entire catalog). Jackson's lawyers got wind of the stunt and ordered all copies of the EP (pressed on pink vinyl) removed from distributors' warehouses and destroyed. SST later reissued the EP in a three-song form, but the controversy helped spell the end of Das Damen's career with SST. 

The band moved on to the Minneapolis-based Twin/Tone label and released 'Mousetrap' in 1989. Although it boasted more polished production, it failed to make any inroads at college radio. Das Damen recorded one further album, the 1990 live set 'Entertaining Friends', which was performed at CBGB's and released on the German label City Slang. In 1991, they moved to Sub Pop for a one-off single, 'High Anxiety', but subsequently disbanded. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 14 de julio de 2017

Corn Dollies


The Corn Dollies were a United Kingdom indie band from London, active between 1987 and 1991. Comprising Steve Musham (vocals and guitar), Tim Sales (guitar), Steve Ridder (bass), Jack Hoser (drums), and Jono Podmore (violin), the band met in King's Cross although they all hailed from Dalston, aside from native Californian Ridder. After their first Robert Forster-produced release on the Farm label, they released several singles on Medium Cool Records. The debut, "Be Small Again" was an indie hit, reaching No. 28 on the UK Independent Chart. The follow-up, "Forever Steven", originally released on the band's own Farm Label, was produced by Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens reached No. 16. They also contributed a track to the various artist compilation 'Bananas!', an album issued to help the Football Supporters Association campaign against the ID card scheme that was being mooted by the UK Government at the time. They gained popularity throughout Europe after a tour in 1989, building a strong fanbase in Spain. When Medium Cool collapsed, they moved to Midnight Music, releasing two albums. In support of 'Wrecked', they undertook a national tour supporting Ian McCulloch, but with the album's success being limited, the band split up in 1991.[SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 13 de julio de 2017

Stickmen With Rayguns


Stickmen With Rayguns was an American punk rock group from Dallas, Texas. The group's name comes from a comic that Bobby Soxx (Bobby Glenn Calverley) had created called "Stick Man with Ray Gun". The Stick Man was a crazed, racist character who walked the streets of his neighborhood blasting anyone with his raygun that he thought was defiling his race or just bugged him. 

They formed in 1981 after lead singer Bobby Soxx (formerly of The Teenage Queers) attended a show by guitarist Clarke Backer's previous group, Bag of Wire. Their first show was a date at the Fort Worth club Zeros in spring 1981. Because of Bobby's reputation, Clarke often had to vouch for Bobby's behavior with club managers in the early days of the band. Close friends with members of The Butthole Surfers, they often shared the stage, each opening for the other until the Surfers began to tour nationally and gain popularity. They also opened on Texas dates for punk groups such as X, Dead Kennedys, T.S.O.L., The Misfits, Bad Brains, and UK Subs. They went on hiatus in 1987 and reconvened in 1988 to write new material; their last show was in June 1988. 

The group was distinguished by their raucous and aggressive musical style which featured an incredibly loud, howling guitar and a thundering distorted bass, backed up with confrontational and offensive lyrics, and correspondingly Bobby's decadent lifestyle. Stickmen With Rayguns was in many ways performance art, gleefully exploring violence and irrationality. Their sets were openly hostile or combative with the audience. They were completely unconcerned about what people thought of them. They often played unusual or intentionally irritating audio tapes prior to going on stage and sometimes experimented with annoying lighting effects if they had access to the lighting in a club. This seemingly self-destructive behavior was exaggerated whenever they played off their home turf of Dallas, often choosing to open sets out of town with songs they had never practiced. 

Before the band started in 1981, Bobby Soxx was notorious for starting fights frequently, urinating on other groups during their shows, and inserting microphones into his anus before leaving the set. In fact, many of these aforementioned stage antics and others only happened once but their fame grew exponentially among the fans as time went on. 

In its heyday, the group recorded little in the studio, Clarke once intentionally destroyed the master tapes from a particularly weak recording session, though a few rough mixes survived and have been reluctantly included on various releases. They never toured outside of Texas and were not well known beyond the regional punk scene. However, as interest in the early Texas punk scene increased over time, groups like Stickmen With Rayguns and The Hugh Beaumont Experience acquired a cult status among punk fans. Stickmen became better known when the Thurston Moore project, Dim Stars, covered their song "Christian Rat Attack". In 2000, guitarist Clarke Backer released 16 of their recordings on an album entitled 'Some People Deserve to Suffer'. In 2002, the album was picked up, enlarged to 23 tracks, and re-released under the duel label of Emperor Jones/Drag City; the reissue received highly positive reviews from several major press agencies and was named the No. 6 in Mojo's Best Underground Albums of 2002 list. After spending time in prison and a mental hospital, Bobby Soxx died of liver failure due to acute alcoholism on October 23, 2000.

As their notoriety has increased, both Clarke Blacker and Bob Beeman have participated in a number of in-depth interviews that have appeared online. Their 'Some People Deserve to Suffer' album has now been re-released on the band's label, We Don't Have the Time Music, and is currently available for digital download worldwide.

On Thanksgiving weekend 2014, the well known Austin, Texas record store End of an Ear released the vinyl LP 'Grave City' as their new End of an Ear label's debut record. The first pressing quickly sold out, and a second pressing was ordered in January, 2017. The second pressing has the record label reversed (white text on a black background) to differentiate the two pressings. 

In September 2016 12XU held a simultaneous release of two live vinyl LP albums; 'Property of Jesus Christ' and '1,000 Lives to Die', which featured newly restored live performances recorded at two shows in 1984 and 1987. These two records give the listener rather different, but intense performances by this controversial Texas band. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

miércoles, 12 de julio de 2017

The Boys Next Door


As the cult of Nick Cave grows, more and more non-Australian music fans may discover The Boys Next Door and their lone album, 1979's 'Door, Door'. Singer Nick Cave, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey, bassist Tracy Pew, and drummer Phil Calvert were disaffected, dissatisfied teenagers growing up in a middle-class section of Melbourne, listening to hard rockin' glam acts like The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Alice Cooper. (It won't surprise anyone to find out that Cave was also informed by country luminaries Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.) They uprooted themselves from the "right" side of the tracks and settled down comfortably with the junkies and prostitutes in an appropriately run-down area. As the rising tide of punk began to crash on Australia's shores, the Boys' realized that this was the proper direction for their chaotic, anarchic energies, and homegrown punk heroes like The Saints and Radio Birdman greatly influenced their musical direction. 


They started working their way towards the top of the musical heap, their live shows quickly becoming notorious as chaotic, noisy, and nasty affairs -characteristics the musicians would later push to the breaking point as The Boys Next Door. This sheer recklessness garnered them a following, the buzz eventually leading to a deal with Mushroom, a successful Australian independent record label. The band recorded six songs before having the good fortune of stumbling upon Rowland S. Howard, who became the band's second guitarist and author of their most popular composition, "Shivers." That song, along with three others, was recorded in later sessions that featured the revamped lineup. "Shivers" became something of an anthem among the Australian punks and was the musical centerpiece in the bleak film "Dogs in Space", concerning the sordid lives of a handful of young people in a Melbourne slum. The album that appeared, 'Door, Door', combined the two recording sessions but was not well-loved by the musicians, as they felt the results were too poppy (comparing it to any of their later releases, especially the albums 'Prayers on Fire' and 'Junkyard', one can't help but agree). 

They were rapidly changing their style, anyway, as well as their name: in 1980 they released their first album as The Birthday Party, and soon hightailed it from Australia to London. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 11 de julio de 2017

The Bags


Los Angeles punk pioneers The Bags formed in 1977. Singer Alice Armendariz and bassist Patricia Morrison first met while auditioning for Venus & the Razorblades, a group masterminded by producer/svengali Kim Fowley in the wake of his success with The Runaways. Adopting the aliases Alice Bag and Pat Bag, they recruited guitarists Craig Lee and Rob Ritter and drummer Terry Graham to round out the lineup. Per the band's name, The Bags wore grocery sacks atop their heads during their earliest gigs, although the practice ended when Germs frontman Darby Crash mounted the stage and ripped away Alice's. The Bags made their professional debut at the L.A. nightclub The Masque on September 10, 1977, emerging alongside the first wave of SoCal punk acts. The group's visceral live shows quickly became the stuff of legend, although their debut single, 'Survive', did not appear on the Dangerhouse label until late 1978. After contributing "We Don't Need the English" to Dangerhouse's 'Yes L.A.' compilation, Morrison resigned on the eve of The Bags' scheduled appearance in Penelope Spheeris' cult-classic documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization", and while the remaining members still appear in the film, their contributions were credited to the Alice Bag Band to sidestep the growing animosity between Alice and Pat. By the time "The Decline of Western Civilization" hit theaters in 1981, The Bags were no more. Morrison, Ritter, and Graham later reunited in The Gun Club, with the former subsequently relocating to London and joining latter-day editions of the seminal British punk bands The Sisters of Mercy and The Damned. As Rob Graves, Ritter also fronted the goth rock band 45 Grave before succumbing to a fatal heroin overdose in 1991, while Lee tenured in Catholic Discipline before launching a career as a writer, publishing "Hardcore California: A History of Punk and New Wave" prior to his death from AIDS. Armendariz later served as a member of Castration Squad, Cholita!, and Stay at Home Bomb. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 10 de julio de 2017

Das Ding


Das Ding is Danny Bosten, who was active in the early 1980s releasing his music and friends’ music via his own cassette label called Tear Apart Tapes. While studying graphic design in art school, he designed all the tape covers himself. Meanwhile, he recorded his own music as Das Ding. Powerful dark electro, some tracks are quite addictive and danceable while others are more for at home listening enjoyment. 

1981, the south of Holland: When his brother’s band decided to take a break, Danny Bosten asked if he might borrow some of their equipment. Some friends contributed synthesizers and soon, Bosten’s bedroom had become a small recording studio. Danny learned to work the machines and began recording. The results were more than passable and he decided to produce a few cassettes to sell and trade. Watching television one evening, the 1953 classic sci-fi movie "The Thing From Another World" came by on a German channel, and Danny had found a name for his project: "Das Ding (aus einer Anderen Welt)!". 

At the time, it seemed that everyone was making music, or noises of some sort. This scene seemed to warrant the establishment of a full-blown cassette-label, and so Bosten, together with Johan de Koeyer, who was operating as Les Yeux Interdits, set up Tear Apart Tapes. Their first release was a split C-20 cassette featuring Das Ding and Les Yeux Interdits, and Danny, who was studying graphic design at the time, designed the artwork, cassette-sleeves and illustrations himself. 


Those were the days of mail-art and tape-trades, and the mailman was soon delivering stacks of stuff- tapes, records, xeroxed fanzines and weird objects of every kind each morning. A friend arranged the release of another Das Ding tape on the Dutch STUM label, the Update Materials Foundation from Laren, to be called ‘Highly Sophisticated Technological Achievement’, or ‘H.S.T.A.’, as it was thereafter known. Over the next years, Danny made more tapes and played some gigs, in various incarnations. At the time, limited by the era’s technology, Das Ding’s music was difficult to perform, and every song had to be programmed before it could be played. With time, Danny’s interests shifted -as did popular taste- toward increasingly guitar-oriented new wave. A new project, The Cherry Orchard, became his primary musical focus, and after moving to Amsterdam, Danny spent many years producing pirate-radio shows, mixing homemade industrial music with media soundscapes. 

In 2007, 433rpm, of the exhaustive music blog "No Longer Forgotten Music", posted some of his old Das Ding tapes, and Veronica Vasicka -who runs the New York based Minimal Wave label and specializes in reissues of 80s synth-wave- contacted Danny, now living in Rotterdam, to propose the release of a Das Ding album. Old tapes were uncovered, and Minimal Wave released a remastered version of "H.S.T.A." and other tracks, in 2010. A wave of renewed interest followed the record’s release and soon people were in touch to propose live shows. Twenty years later, and after some deliberation, Das Ding was reincarnated under its old moniker but now with a revised line-up and a working set-up that reflected inevitable technological change. Suddenly, Das Ding was a ‘Dutch electro-pioneer’ and the apparent pinnacle of ‘Minimal Wave’. [SOURCE: MINIMAL WAVE RECORDS

domingo, 9 de julio de 2017

Agrimensor K


Agrimensor K was a band from San Sebastian formed in 1981 by Nacho Goberna (guitar and voices), Ignacio Valencia (voice and bass), José Manuel Gandásegui (drums) and Juan José Mourlanch (keyboards). Their name came after the influence of the novels "The Process", "The Castle" and "America" ​​by Franz Kafka. They played dark and sinister music that culminated in their first disc, a single that DRO released in 1982, 'Principio y Fin / El Castillo', only selling 300 copies. In 1982, his song "Resurreccion Blanca" appeared in the compilation 'Navidades Radioactivas' with other bands such Siniestro Total, Derribos Arias, TNT, Glutamato Ye-yé or Seguridad Social, among others. As for shows offered, their highlight was the one starred in Rock-Ola, along with Servando Carballar's Los Iniciados and the synth-pop band from Alicante Todo Todo. After this performance, drummer José Manuel left the band and he was subtituted by a drum machine. It is already in 1983 when they recorded their second and last single, '¿Juegas al Escondite? / La Pira', again for DRO. Their music, still considered very dense today, was very far from what they would later became La Dama Se Esconde, with much more success and, consequently, popularity. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

sábado, 8 de julio de 2017

Trisomie 21


Trisomie 21 (literally, a 21st chromosome trisomy, also knows as Down Syndrome), is a group by Philippe Lomprez and Hervé Lomprez, two brothers from Lille, France. Hervé is a Professor of Sounds Technology. Their early music is considered French coldwave (an early cousin of "darkwave"), while their later music electro-pop. Throughout the 80's and 90's, T21 was signed to PIAS Records and their most popular song was "The Last Song". 

In 2003, Trisomie 21 remixed "Le Grand Secret" by Indochine which featured Melissa Auf Der Maur from Hole. In 2004 they released 'Happy Mystery Child' on Le Marquis Records. This album featured the songs "She Died For Love" and "No Search For Us". They also released the limited edition 'The Man Is a Mix', a 3 CD set including 'Happy Mystery Child' and 2 discs filled with remixes. and 'The Woman Is A Mix' (2006), a collection of remixes done by women. [SOURCE: LAST.FM]

miércoles, 5 de julio de 2017

Jill Kroesen


Performer and writer Jill Kroesen has not only participated in a number of rock bands and avant-garde productions, but has also produced original music theater works and written for independent publications. In the mid-'70s, after earning her M.F.A. at Mills College (where she studied with Terry Riley and Robert Ashley), Kroesen moved to N.Y.C. There, she worked briefly in Rhys Chatham's group before focusing on her own musical theater works and performance art works. Other performing credits include a role in Robert Ashley's early-'80s opera-for-TV project "Perfect Lives", and her own recording for Lovely Music, 'Stop Vicious Cycles'. Kroesen's work in graphic and visual arts led to her receiving a video fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 1985, after which she continued her work as a video engineer. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 4 de julio de 2017

Ptôse


Lionel Jarlan (vocals, percussion, electronics), Benoît Jarlan (vocals, guitars) and ZZe (synthesizers, guitar) are from the west of France, and they formed Ptôse during the Christmas holidays 1979-1980. In order to produce and distribute their music (and sometimes that of other bands), they soon founded Ptôse Production Présente, an independent structure on which they released, between 1980 and 1984, about fifteen tapes that have become collector items since then. The French band took part in dozens of samplers around the world, thus contributing to the independent movement whose international network was very active then. Ptôse has become emblematic of the underground wave of the beginning of the Eighties: music that’s out of line, neat sleeves, limited editions, etc. By the end of 1984, the new label Ayaa published 'Ignobles Limaces'. This was the first studio album by Ptôse. They claim their main influences are Nino Rota and nursery rhymes and rhythms. The band finally ended in 1987. [SOURCE: LAST.FM

lunes, 3 de julio de 2017

Waq


Waq is one of the unfairly forgotten bands of the early 80s, formed in Madrid in 1981 by Miguel Bañuelos (vocals and synthesizers) and Antonio González (guitar, bass, drum machine and vocals). They have been labeled in many ways, for example, naif synth-pop, but, in short, they made simple songs with ingenious texts backed with good bases of keyboard and guitar. 

In the middle of 1981 Miguel convinces to his friend Antonio González to start the band, rehearsing that summer songs like "La Monja", "Smoking Rosa", and "Osa Mayor". On March 1982 they offer their first concert in Rock-Ola and on the following month they register their first demo in RNE. On June 1982 they recorded the videoclip of '"Ladrones de Juguetes", their most celebrated song, in the TVE show, "Pista Libre". The next day Paco Martín, capo of the record label MR, called them to record what would be his first EP. 

Antonio is called to the military service, so Miguel thinks that it is not a matter of losing such an opportunity, calling Guillermo Caso to take care of guitars. On August they recorded on Doublewtronics 'Las Cebollas'. Miguel is also called to serve the country and in a permit (February 1983) they recorded "Toros Blancos" for a compilation, and another EP, 'Mira Por Donde'. Later, Antonio decided to leave the group, in a friendly way, leaving Miguel and Guillermo to the front of Waq. In 1983 they participate in the TVE show, "Caja de Ritmos", playing "Toros Blancos" and "Nudo en la Garganta". 

Anyway, the echoes of "La Movida" languished and although the group usually played live (Rockola, Universal, El Templo del Gato, Komite, etc.) they would not enter the studio to record until 1987. The following year they released 'Guisantes con Jamón' in Producciones Menu. In January 1989 they recorded what would be their last demo and on June participated in a recording in RNE. By the end, tired of the little repercussion of their works, they created a company called A.O.B dedicated to compose music for publicity. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

domingo, 2 de julio de 2017

Red Transistor


The assaultive New York trio Red Transistor were comprised of guitarist Rudolph Grey, drummer Mark Edmands and VON LMO (in his pre-Strazar days) on guitar, vocals, shortwave and organ. In existence from September 1977 until the following August, they performed at CBGB’s and then spent a period performing Sunday nights at Max’s Kansas City. They were an original blast of shattering, repetitive guitar with unswerving drumming that drove down the centre as the whole shebang was forced over the wall by LMO’s second guitar and/or various electronic accompaniments.

Red Transistor’s debut single never saw release during their period of active operation. Languishing in the vaults, it was finally issued in 1990 with Rudolph Grey’s “Not Bite” on the A-side and VON LMO’s “We’re Not Crazy” on the flipside. Both sides are as screamingly hyperactive as they are torturously repetitive and they are both so ahead of their time that even today they rage and thrust with qualities of true abandon and mental-ness. It’s appropriate that both sides of this power surge have the word “not” in it -not only because they were a band of outsiders in a scene of outsiders (and they were) but also their music zeros out everything in its way so energetically with a ceaseless flow and an infinite row of negative integers. 

The greatly-titled “Not Bite” drives itself up the wall again and again and then some more for good measure. Repetitive, sharply angular and stopping for nothing in its way, Rudolph Grey states on the sleeve that it could and did run anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes in length when performed live onstage, and one only can image the effect it must have had on audiences (on a bad night it probably made the audience fling projectiles at the band, and on a GOOD night must have caused an outbreak of fisticuffs within the audience.) Rudolph’s cranked-up buzzsaw guitar is shored up by LMO’s nightmarish organ stabbings running alongside like a nagging little brat in the sidecar of a motorcycle poking his older brother’s ribs while they take turns at speeds highly unrecommended for those who wish to live another day. They almost derail in the middle of Grey’s detuned guitar solo, but deftly and quickly reassemble because they are so truly going for it it’s an exhilarating mishap all the same. And Edmands’ constant supply of driven rolls and fills keep the whole thing muscularly driven like 1972-era Simon King. Threading throughout this exhaustive display, Rudolph’s deliriously spazzed out vocals flatly repeat: “A nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, NAH!” with occasional LMO backing screams and vox that make for a brilliant, straightjacketed display. 

The B-sides packs as equal a spazzerino punch, maybe more so: seeing as its VON LMO’s deranged “We’re Not Crazy.” And it is. Crazy. Period. LMO is lying his face off as he howls then shrieks the title over and over (which of course doubles as the lyrics for the song) because this track is such twisted insanity. The delivery of this powerdrive is smeared with LMO’s skittering shortwave manipulations and launched upon two-ply buzzsawing guitars and drummer Edmands’ simple but propulsive beats of most heart stopping speed. They got it burningly in the pocket and they are truly plugged into the universal electric socket, and there is no other way to end the monomaniacal drive that is this thing but to spin out in the ditch with a free for all/free fall freak out racket where it all collapses in the very last frenzy of many against the humming of their overwrought amps...but then again, the whole single is sheer frenzy from beginning to end. [SOURCE: JULIAN COPE PRESENTS HEAD HERITAGE

sábado, 1 de julio de 2017

El Último Sueño


El Ultimo Sueño began in September-October 1981, although they had been playing before with other names, such as Los Magnéticos. The core of the band were Felipe Palomo (voice and guitar), Juan Carlos Palomo (bass) and José Enrique Siguero (bataría).

The name of the band came after a comic, along with their fascination with the world of dreams. When the name was proposed, it seemed very suggestive and open, although it would surprise that many band would adopt similar artistic names (El Ultimo de la Fila, Ultima Emoción, Ultimo Resorte). 

Although most bands of the time based their appeal on extra-musical qualities such as freshness, impudence, fun or provocative image, influenced mainly by the latest British trends, few bands were, unlike in the United Kingdom, making good songs or investigating with music and sounds to obtain something new. El Ultimo Sueño always had that restlessness, as well as, for example, Decima Victima, or the first Gabinete Caligari. In both bands, the use of guitar with flanger and distortion, and a bass that was not limited to being a mere yes-men, drawing suggestive melodic lines. However, their references were never located in Spain; they simply shared certain musical tastes. In fact, there was an external factor (of which it has hardly been discussed) that contributed to the homogenization of the sound of a few groups: Jesús Gómez and his study Doubletronics. He was the sound engineer for most of the famous songs of that time and since he was a young musician, he played a decisive role in the final sound. El Ultimo Sueño fled the distortion and typical "power chords" and above all, the way of composing was clearly different, exploring new territories (especially in their second single).

They contacted with Carlos Entrena, of Décima Víctima, with whom they acted like supporting act in the Escuela de Caminos, recorded a demo and later plastified their EP, in Grabaciones Accidentales. It could be said that the rupture of Décima Víctima had a negative influence on the group's future, since it was Carlos and Lars Mertanen who moved the most. In March of 1982 appeared a song on a Radio Nacional demo, pertaining to a LP entitled 'Maquetas' (where emerging groups of the moment appeared): "El Fugitivo", although the song that came out was actually "No Debiste Asustarme".

In December of the same year they recorded their first EP for Grabaciones Accidentales with three songs: "Perdido en el Tunel del Tiempo", "No Debiste Asustarme" and "El Reloj se ha Parado". In June of 1983 they recorded what wanted to be a EP with 4 songs: "El Silencio de los Cisnes", "Los Muebles Están Volando", "El Silencio de los Cisnes" (instrumental) and "Nunca Olvidarán lo Visto", but crisis on the indie labels arrived and they only managed to take out of that session a single with "El Silencio de los Cisnes" y "Los Muebles Están Volando". A year later, in summer of 1984, the group was already a duo. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80