Tuesday, 23 November 2021

The Swingin' Love Corpses - Stooge Warriors For Wotan -1992- (Cassette, Insipid Music), US


The Swingin' Love Corpses were a spontaneous jam outfit from Lakewood, St. Louis, Missouri connected to the Church of the SubGenius. The band consisted of Dr. Philo Drummond (saxophone and vocals), Col. Sphinx Drummond (trumpet and vocals), Baba Ray Hay (guitars and vocals), Elvis Hemingway (keyboards), Mojo "Skippy" Butcher (drums), Lafe Kowabunga (bass and guitar), Pope Cecil X. Nixon (trombone and vocals) and Dr. Winston Torquemada (synthesizers, percussion, trombone).

Philo Drummond, one of the key figures of the band, was founder of the Church of the SubGenius together with Reverend Ivan Stang. The church represents a parody religion that mocks popular as well as lesser known belief systems. It also has an own mythology created around the ficticious 1950's salesman J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, who saw God on a televison set he created. He is used as the symbol and epitome of the recurring American capitalist dream and is also depicted here on this cassette cover as some sort of sci-fi warrior. 

In 1988 Ivan Stang and others published the book High Weirdness By Mail that was a compendium of all kinds of strange fringe-organisations, visonaries, UFO worshippers, political extremists, Jesus-freaks, weirdo's, conspirators and other pseudo-religious groups. Included were their mail-adresses or other contact information and descriptions. People were thus able to communicate with these groups and started to correspond.

Through the mythology and tactics as well as the complex systems which imitated their subjects, the Church of the SubGenius functioned as an organized form of Culture Jamming. Media culture and cultural institutions were ultimately being disrupted through a clever Church scheme of playful anti-consumerist protest. It's as if they were giving media, the mainstream culture and consumerism a bit of its own medicine and used their own mechanisms against them, whether in the form of mockery or as direct disruption. 

In any case a lot of the activities of people involved with the Church of the SubGenius were also related to music. A radio show called Hour of Slack, hosted by Ivan Stang, has been going on for decades and can still be heard to this day. The Church had interest for music that was manifested through home-taping culture and mail-art. Those were often people either using media in an autonomous way or people who were actually manifesting recordings from their self-created fringe-world away from the mainstream. 

The Swinging Love Corpses were one of the bands of the Church of the SubGenius that played over thousands of hours of jam-sessions. They also played many live gigs and released cassettes that were distributed thoughout the global home-taping circuit. In a way they come from a similar realm of American mockery and/or weird groups using absurdism or culture jamming like The Residents, Negativland, Frank Zappa, Butthole Surfers, Blacklight Braille and many others. Ofcourse Pop-Art seems to have been one of the first manifestations of this kind of post-war capitalist mockery and reversal of media powers in general.

I guess there's a lot to check out more elaborately for yourself within all of this, specially regarding today's perpetual digital media simulacrum trip and the post-reality virus age...But for now here are The Swingin' Love Corpses providing their great mutoid funk, zappa-esque manoeuvres, space jazz and trippy jam explorations for the end of the world détournement party which was already recorded some 30 years ago.

Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive

Get it HERE

Monday, 8 November 2021

The PamelA Mind B.and - 3rd Side Experiments -1996- (Cassette, Self-Released), Wales


Next up on the blog is this quite mysterious project from the 90's called The PamelA Mind B.and which was created by Mark Reeve. I'm guessing that he hailed from Wales because one of the tracks was recorded live at the "Bell In" in Gwynedd. The music is quite noisy and consists of long improvised electronic soundscapes and radio cut-ups combined with other distorted sounds generated through various pedals and machines. The music is being introduced at the start of the tape as a sonic search for a so called "third shadow side" of the cassette through the exploration of its sounds, hence the title 3rd Side Experiments.

Even though a lot has been done in this particular field of music it does have a dreamlike and surrealist touch to it. It reminds me somewhat of the Canadian act Dust That Collects that was posted on the blog some time ago. The PamelA Mind B.and was featured on a tape compilation during the 90's but I'm not sure whether more material was released.

In any case another fine DIY cassette with some nice plunderphonics-bruitist-table-full-of-equipment-noise-music from the last decade of the last century. 

Enjoy it HERE

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Clock DVA - 1610 83 - Live At De Gigant Apeldoorn, 16-10-83 (Tape, Unofficial Release), Netherlands/UK


On the treshold of the end of this 16th of October I thought it's nice to share this Clock DVA live rarity that was recorded in Holland on the 16th of October of 1983. 

Clock DVA is ofcourse the brainchild of Adi Newton, a subversive band from Sheffield named after the Russian gang-slang influences in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. A band that was very impactful and influential in the shaping of the English (industrial?) sound of the 80's. They started off by releasing home experiments on cassettes in 1978 and gradually evolved into a proper band with members that had played with Cabaret Voltaire, members that later joined Heaven 17 as well as The Box to name a few bands. Throughout various periods in the 80's Clock DVA played dance powered new wave and post-punk music guided by feedback, dark vocals, tapeloops, a complex rhythm section as well as treated trumpet sounds and other experimenation. From 1983 Newton founded a new band called The Anti-Group (T.A.G.C.) that was even more about sonic experiments, audiovisual elements, clustering self created industrial jazz sounds, electronic extremes, technological research, psychology, human nature and different unusual cosmologies with each other. By the late 80's and even the last decades of this century Clock DVA returned with mostly EBM and electro sounds accompanied by various hypnotic audiovisual live experiences.

During the so called "band-phase" Clock DVA played many concerts throughout Europe. In The Netherlands they found quite some following and played many gigs including the first edition of the legendary Pandora's Music Box Festival in Rotterdam. Apparently the same year they played a concert at the venue De Gigant in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn, which was nicely recorded and unofficially, yet beautifully, released on a self-designed and hand-painted limited cassette that came with different unique photographs of the gig.

On this occassion the band consisted of Adi Newton (Voice and Trumpet), John Valentine Carruthers (Guitar), Paul Browse, (Saxophone, Keys), Dean Dennis (Bass) and Nick Sanderson (Drums). The recording vividly captures the pre-show ambience of the night, the live concert and a vibrant audience. A nice relic and another rarity that might be of interest to Clock DVA fans of all sorts. 

Get it HERE

Friday, 1 October 2021

Die Dancing Chromosomes - Was Ihr Wollt -1985- (Cassette, Refiuti Records), Germany

Ever since Mutant Sounds posted their first cassette Kleine Gelben Tierchen (Little Yellow Animals) in 2007 I tried tracking down the second Dancing Chromosomes cassette. Finally after more than a decade here it is...

The Dancing Chromosomes were a NDW and New Wave band from Munich that consisted of Ralf Bremer, Philipp Meyer and Christian Türck (& Fraenk S. and Peter Spies). (Members of honor: Lutz Möller, Steffen Haller). They released two cassettes in the early eighties and ran their own cassette label called Refiuti Records.

On this second cassette Was Ihr Wollt the band continues where they left off with the first one, although in a slightly less minimalistic way. Some light-hearted rock 'n' roll inspired tunes are interspersed with synth experiments and darker new wave songs with melancholic atmospheres.

The Dancing Chomosomes were not absurdistic like many of their NDW peers, but they focused more on their song-writing. Some of the tracks contain certain Sehnsucht love theme's that resemble Dutch minimal synth act The Actor. Their less serious tunes also remind me of Bavarian home-tapers Fit & Limo or the mysterious Tenk Ric Snach project I posted some time ago. All in all there is an elegance of the music on display through mood and emotion.

Another essential tape from 80's Germany, the Munich DIY scene and the missing piece of the Dancing Chromosomes discography. Maybe some labels are brave enough to reissue them one day!

Get it HERE

Monday, 6 September 2021

Various Artists - All Bare Or Dead Forms Under Sunlight Cast Mysterious Shadows On The Snow -198X- (Cassette, Epitapes), US/International


Here's another nicely assembled international compilation cassette on American Epitapes that was established by Mike Tetrault from Belchertown, Massachusetts. Throughout the 80's dozens of these compilations were created. Each compilation was given a poetic title, sometimes even in the form of an entire sentence. Some tracks were taken from existing releases while others were sent specially for these tapes. You can read an interesting interview about these cassette series with Mike Tetrault over here. 

All Bare Or Dead Forms Under Sunlight Cast Mysterious Shadows On The Snow is a compilation that covers the theme of “surrealism”. Artists were free to interpret that as they pleased which resulted in a diverse range of sounds. The tape starts with a nice song by the new wave and dreampop group Area that consisted of Henry Frayne, Lynn Canfield and Steve Jones. Continuing the A-side there are a.o. tape-loops by Croiners aka James Levine, electronic home-taping sounds by No Unauthorized and minimal music by The Dead Goldfish Ensemble.

The B-Side starts with Dutch home-taper Odal and furthermore displays a broad variety of music with the avant-garde violin sounds of Adam Bohman, strange soundscapes by Nigel Jacklin (the guy who convinced his music teacher to book Throbbing Gristle in his school Auditorium in 1980 and created the Alien Brains project as well as Verdenskang), surreal sounds by Berlin manipulators Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, improvisation by Italian clarinetist Fabio Martini (part of The Zint Group and collaborator of the great RIO and impro band La 1919), some organ music by Los Paranos and many tracks in-between.

All in all quite a nice compilation with some known and lesser known protagonists of the international cassette culture network of the 80's and a classic of the Epitapes series.

Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive

Get it HERE

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Dust And The Minds - Mind Blow -198X- (Cassette, Egmondse Klank Opsessie E.K.O. 12), Netherlands


I guess it's time for another very special cassette by Dutch anarchist, free-form home-taping group Dust And The Minds. The band from the surroundings of the small village of Egmond-Binnen was created by the brothers Fred and John Valkering who were accompanied by a lot of different other musicians. The Valkering brothers established their cassette label Egmondse Klank Opsessie (Egmond sound obsession/on session) to release their different musical disguises like Dust And The Minds, Comrades Creating, Hafre as well as solo works. During the 80's they released dozens of cassettes of which many were beautifully created and released with DIY booklets, drawings, posters, unusual packages etc.

The music on the Egmondse Klank Opsessie label was truly authentic and true to itself, even within the Dutch home-taping and punk circuits of the time. Within the wider region there were many punk groups active in their own space but not all villages were naturally connected and not everyone was pushing punk into more abstract forms. The punk influence however seemed an important starting point from which further experimentation and free-music forms were explored by some of the groups. Dust And The Minds clearly combined all those different elements.

Mind Blow is quite an exceptional album that was released as a pack of tobacco, including a pre-rolled cigarette, dust-and-the-minds rolling papers, a DIY booklet and ofcourse the cassette. Having heard different albums by the band, Mind Blow is probably one of the most elaborate and complete ones they did. It combines dark post-punk songs, free impro no-wave tunes as well as dub sounds brought with an uncompromising energy to play music. It has a sound that might be a bit reminiscent of early Cabaret Voltaire, perhaps Bourbonese Qualk or even Bauhaus (you know the stuff from the time), yet there's this natural will to create present in the music that gives a real animated feel. I feel that everything they did is deserving some revaluation and appreciation. Who knows if we can make something happen eventually...

I intended to index the tape, but sometimes the tracks flow into each other, so I decided that it's better to hear it as an ongoing cassette without cuts. More Dust And The Minds in a previous blogpost and perhaps more to come in the future.

Graveyards are made for the living
to remember the lifes of the death
A rotting place of
poisened bodies
Dangerous as pesticide
where can I go
when I'm dead and gone
Throw me in the sea,
the fish you eat
will burn your guts
burn me, the smoke
will torture your skin
I'm a nuclear soul
Eternity at last.

From the Collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get your mind blown HERE

Monday, 9 August 2021

Darren Copeland & Company - Living It Out In The Dead Air-Space -1988- (Cassette, John Doe Recordings), Canada

Living It Out In The Dead Air-Space was the magnum opus cassette album release by the Ontario based composer, sound-artist and electronic music producer Darren Copeland. The music was realized over the course of half a year during 1987 and 1988 together with a larger group of Canadian experimental musicians: Ron McFarlan (also to be found on the blog under his project Dust That Collects), David Edwards, John Marriott, Michel Flock and Lhuke Shier. 

The pieces create a conceptually hollistic space that consists of dark ambient electronic soundscapes, spoken word, field-recordings and ethno-tribal influences. It carries different properties that on the one hand seem to carefully invoke the void of space (a dead end space) with its dark and silent chaos of endless probabilities and on the other hand it displays human consciousness and rational forms of understanding that are defying the dead end space from an existential point of view. The sounds of the dark untamable and alienating universe have an eternal presence in the natural and urban environment on earth. Alienation and the presence of the unknown are of great influence on life existence.

Living It Out In The Dead Air-Space is another beautiful work of Canadian experimental music that is perfect for a deeper listening experience. Simultaneously it works well as an invocation for different existentialist questions on a scientific, natural or spiritual level.

Through the further development of technology in later decades sound explorations from scientific standpoints have obviously become endless and have elaborated into many realms. Yet on this recording we can experience the scientific exploration as a subject of the music rather than that scientific approaches are being used to create the music.

Considering the year of the release, ofcourse Mr. 'Star Wars-program' and buffoon-president Ronnie Raygun is depicted on the cassette cover, but I suppose we could all think of other people suitable for the cover in today's world.

Kindly donated by The Y Create Archive

Get it HERE