Friday 29 May 2015

Various Artists - On-Slaught No. 4 -1983- (Cassette, Idiosyncratics), US

This here is - I think - the last cassette of the On-Slaught compilations which is still not to be found on the web. Moreover it takes us back to the beginning of this blog with cassette releases from the early eighties DIY home taping scene (more similar stuff to follow soon). The On-Slaught volumes always consisted of some songs taken from proper album releases and previously unreleased tracks by the featured artists. All the other five On-Slaught compilations are to be found here and here. This time I will make an exception by quoting what Cranio of The Thing on The Doorstep tells us about the On-Slaught series because I couldn't do it more accurate:

On-Slaught magazine was founded by Jody Quirk (editor) in 1982 and published by Artwerk Records with the intent of bringing attention to unusual and experimental music. The first two issues had flexi-discs in them and were successful on a cult level and brought the magazine notoriety in the darker side of the budding New Wave music scene of the early 80s. However in 1983 Jody Quirk left the magazine in career pursuits and electronic musician Mark Lane assumed the role of editor. He was assisted by the graphic artist Julie Vlasak (now with Rhino Records). The two of them published four more issues of On-Slaught on the Idiosyncratics label as a cassette magazine. This not only allowed them to have more bands/artists participate, but also pushed them into the forefront of a by now flourishing worldwide cassette underground. The reader would listen to the cassette program while following the information provided in the printed portion. At the time this concept was ground breaking, and has now become influential as attested to by all magazines that now have CDs in them.

This fourth compilation shows electronic Krautrock legend and founder of Kluster Conrad Schnitzler on the cover of the magazine who plays a track with his son on this compilation (they did a whole album together in the early eighties). Other acts present are a.o. Algebra Suicide, Sleep Chamber, Doo-Dooettes, Mood of Defiance and Ony. What I personally like about the On-Slaught series, apart from the extensive information on international bands, is the right balance between electronic acts and more punk-like improvised noise-bands. Great songs! Legendary compilations. I included the full magazine in the file.


Sunday 3 May 2015

VA - MEC 70 - Música Do Brasil Volume 1 -1970- (LP, Ministério Da Educação e Cultura), Brazil

This is a rare Brazilian compilation of Avant-Garde composers from the early seventies. There existed a couple more records in this series (MEC 70, MEC 71) published by the ministry of education and culture of Brazil. One of them was posted ages ago by Continuo. The MEC series was created to showcase all Brazilian contemporary Avant-Garde music including musique concrète and electronic music in the early seventies.

On this record, which I believe is the first in the series, there are three Brazilian composers present: Edino Krieger, Ernst Widmer and J. Lins. All pieces are performed by the Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional. The first side is by Edino Krieger with his piece Ludus Symphonicus from 1965. It's a modern composed strictly classical piece reminding me of Harry Sparnaay's Bass Clarinet Identity II that I posted a while ago. It constantly evolves from tension to de-tension and is occasionally influenced by Brazilian rhythms. Unfortunately this side of the record turned out to be quite crackly.

The second side consists of two pieces: Quasars (1970) by Ernst Widmer and Policromia (1970) by J. Lins. These pieces are more spacious and experimental so to speak and evoke more futuristic images because of their cinematographic nature. Speaking about futuristic, I really love the sixties and seventies graphic and optical art from South America (in design, architecture etc.). It integrates and combines the beautiful natural and often tropical environment with geometrical modernity and the space age. The MEC covers all look amazing.This music has to be placed in that context too.

Enjoy! HERE