Category Archives: Comp

Artifice #5 magazine

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CD/magazine, Artifice, 1996

Artifice appears to have been a short-lived British arts magazine of the mid-90s. Mixing a 120-page colour book with a CD/CD-rom containing music, short films and assorted files like experimental fonts, all in a nifty transparent plastic clamshell, it ran for only a short while – indeed, this may have been its last issue. Fairly certain this was bought in the graphic design section of a London or NYC bookshop; maybe it never even made it to record stores? A brief online search reveals a few other issues for sale, for rather stupid money. Some people, eh? Just the audio components here, including some rare Burnt Friedmann (as Drome, but sounding far more like the much later Nu-Dub Players stuff) and a lovely Scanner track that actually reminded us what he was capable of.

NB. Audio comes as one 28 minute track. Feel free to separate it all out and repost in the comments yadda yadda.

01. Phillipe Cam – Le Chariot
02. Woman, 37, Albanian – ext.3
03. Scanner – Verb
04. Student, 17, English – ext.4
05. Phillipe Cam – Le Rap de Giaco
06. Farmer, 47, Albanian – ext.5
07. Possible Music – He Said He Cared
08. Student, 17, English – ext.6
09. Drome – Moon On My Screen

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Various – Acid House

LP, Jack Trax, 1988

And this is the sort of acid techno those last couple of records were trying to emulate. BTW, this is the European edition of this record; there’s a US version retitled Acid LP that drops “Confusion’s Revenge” for a second Mr Fingers track, but we know you’ve all got Ammmnesia anyway to we’re keeping this just as it is. Meanwhile, we’re intrigued to see just how collectible these early US and UK acid records are getting, just as many Stateside techno types are getting all 808-squiggly on our asses again this last year or two…

SIDE ONE
1. Pierre’s Pfantasy Club – Dream Girl
2. Phortune – Can You Feel the Bass
3. Armando – Confusion’s Revenge
4. Armando – 151

SIDE TWO
1. Mr. Fingers – The Juice
2. Phortune – Jiggerwatts
3. Kool Ma Kool – World Turns Round
4. Megamix – Pump up the Acid

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Various – Acid Trance

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LP, Blue Chip, 1988

… Meanwhile, the guys behind Blue Chip Records and the Kevin Saunderson-worshipping Nexus 21 were plotting their own move from Detroit-inspired early techno into pure acid… or at least the sound as they saw it, from the desolate industrial wastelands of, um, Stafford, England. As is usual with these early scene-jumping records, almost everyone on the disc is pretty much the same couple of guys under a bunch of pseudonyms. And as is often the case, they finally hit on a couple of artist names that they’d stick with for a while – in this case, the mighty Altern-8 and Bizarre Inc.

01. The Smiley People – It Makes Me Haaappy
02. MADM – To the Acid House
03. Bubbleena – Ah Ha Ha Ha Haaa (Alright Matey Mix)
04. Blip Blop – In a Trance (Doo It)
05. Jeuce – Zoooommm
06. Thieves of Bagdad – Let Me Hear You Scream

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Various – Acid House Volume One

Font disaster!

LP, BPM, 1988

Couple of intriguing but not madly rare compilations today, from the dim and distant early years of British acid house. Just as with the British Invasion of the US in the 60s, punk from NYC and then back to the US a few years later, and so on, in those far off early days, the music that inspired the first glowing articles was more talked about than heard, and as a result some British producers set about creating a music they had only read about. The most warped example of this is probably the hilarious Jack the Tab albums made by Psychic TV and their woeful cohorts, and there’s some of this “Chinese Whispers” effect happening on these two discs as well.

BPM and Warrior Records were a pair of allied dance labels formed by members of 400 Blows, and on this record Tony (Moody Boys) Thorpe is all over most tracks. Warrior released their own acid compilation around the same time, featuring many of the same contributors. (Note to selves: pull that for a posting, hmm?) Some of it’s odd, some of it’s crude, and to be honest very little is what one might with hindsight call proper acid house, mostly pitched somewhere around early techno with more sampled voices. Just a couple of years later, many of the acts were far more at home making Depeche Mode-esque industrial electro. That New Chapter track at the start of side two, though… very tasty.

01. Joi Bangla Sound – Taj Ma House (5:29)
02. Silicon Chip – Phuture Music (6:06)
03. Construction Crew – Heartbeat (4:10)
04. Force Motive – You Will be Dealt With (4:56)
05. New Chapter – Acid Generation (5:17)
06. The Moody Boys – Boogie Woogie Music (5:43)
07. LE Bass – Acid Bitch (6:22)
08. Mister Monday – Keep On (4:44)

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Japan Bashing vols 1-3

It’s strange to look back and realise that even as late as 1990, the new Japanese experimental rock music was a rarity in the West. Fuelled by the desperately tantalising reviews of discs on Alchemy, PSF and Bron in the pages of the irreplaceable Forced Exposure magazine, noiseheads were drooling at the thought of this brain melting psych racket finally making its way beyond Japan’s borders. So praise was duly given to the fine people of Public Bath Records, creators of these three seminal EPs of new Japanese rock racketry. These days, as the saying goes, nobody knows if it really happened. Japan Bashing Volume 1, 7″, Public Bath, 1990 • Discogs A1. Boredoms – Discow Moscow A2. UFO or Die – Space Disco B1. Omoide-Hatoba – Linear Motor Jet Shop B2. Hanadensha – Future Deadlock Japan Bashing Volume 2, 7″, Public Bath, 1990 • Discogs A. Subvert Blaze – Butterfly (Away Mix) B1. Playmate – Upside Down B2. Playmate – Life is Never Too Short Japan Bashing Volume 3, 2×7″, Public Bath, 1991 • Discogs A. Hijokaidan – Theme of the Taste of Wild West B. Solmania – Highdrophobia Part 2 C. Hanatarash – Galaxy Boost & Hanataradelic Planet Dub (Sore Diamond Remix) D. Masonna – Hot Licks From a Cunning Linguist All three in one at new ZSK2S

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Techno! – the New Dance Sound of Detroit / Techno 2 – the Next Generation

The word “techno” had been used in the title of several electro-pop dance records before this – even as far back as a Yellow Magic Orchestra album in 1981. Man Parrish had their electro “Techno Trax” in 1982, and of course Juan Atkins’ “Techno City” was in 1984, at a point where electro and hip-hop were creating sleek new sounds. It always seems to take a gathering together of disparate forms, though, to start to properly coalesce a scene. Regardless of where the term came from, this landmark compilation (and its darker follow-up) put the term front and centre as the sound of Detroit, and from there the world. It could so easily have been so different – the story goes that the first volume was all set to be called “The New House Sound of Detroit”, but when Juan Atkins turned up with his “Techno Music” track the title was assured.

A couple of years later, the follow-up disc showed the spread of the sound into harsher, sparer, more hypnotic tracks. Highlight for the Friendsound crew has always been the kooky 4AD samplefest of “Stark”, sole release by KGB (Tim Brown). Sample-spotters hold onto your hats for “A Lambkin is Bleating” from Les Mysteres des Voix Bulgares and the piano riff from “Blue Bell Knoll” by the Cocteau Twins. Classic albums both, ripped warmly from living vinyl.

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Techno! – the New Dance Sound of Detroit, LP/CD, Ten, 1988

A1. Rythim Is Rythim – It Is What It Is (5:36)
A2. Blake Baxter – Forever and a Day (5:36)
A3. Eddie “Flashin” Fowkes – Time to Express (5:41)
A4. K.S. Experience – Electronic Dance (6:36)
B1. Members of the House – Share This House (Radio mix) (5:56)
B2. A Tongue & D Groove – Feel Surreal (6:55)
B3. Mia Hesterley – Spark (6:09)
B4. Juan – Techno Music (7:20)
C1. Inner City – Big Fun (7:39)
C2. Blake Baxter – Ride ‘Em Boy (7:02)
C3. Shakir – Sequence 10 (5:20)
C4. Idol Making – Un, Deux, Trois (6:05)
D. Various – Detroit is Jacking (The Techno! Megamix) (13:49)
(mix by Juan Atkins & Derek May; lp version only)

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Techno 2 – the Next Generation, LP/CD, Ten, 1990

A1. Area 10 – Love Take Me Over (7:09)
A2. Reel By Real – Aftermath (5:17)
A3. KGB – Stark (6:36)
A4. MK – Mirror, Mirror (6:27)
B1. Octave One featuring Lisa Newberry – I Believe (5:56)
B2. Infiniti – Techno Por Favor (5:14)
B3. Psyche – Elements (6:52)
B4. Vice – Ritual (5:48)

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Actual Frenzy – RR eight Point nine

One-sided 7″, Recommended, 1982

To be frank for a moment, we were gearing up to rip and post the whole of the Recommended Records double album sampler, but at the last minute noticed it had been reissued. The 7″ that accompanied the first, subscriber-only copies of that disc, though, wasn’t on that reissue, so we thought it would be a shame not to…

As as well as its splendid line-up it’s a lovely artefact too – transparent vinyl, with a glow-in-the-dark scene screenprinted on the flip… Lovely, that is, until you play the thing, and realise that the experts weren’t lying when they said that coloured vinyl sounds really horrible. Check it out, see if we weren’t lying neither.

1. Peter Blegvad – Frenzy
2. The Homosexuals – Total Drop
3. Faust – Extract VI
4. R Stevie Moore – What Are You Looking At?/Flowers Sleep into the Night

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Various – Chemical Imbalance #8

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7″, free with Chemical Imbalance issue vol.2 #3, 1993

More treats, with another freebie single that came with the oft-missed Chemical Imbalance magazine. Rather hard to argue with this line-up…

A1. Kicking Giant – Rapid-C (0:49)
A2. Faust – Live in Hamburg 10-90 [excerpt] (4:15)
A3. Kicking Giant – Background, Moving Quickly (0:39)
B1. Pavement – My Radio (1:22)
B2. Sun City Girls – Swing of Kings (2:14)
B3. TV Personalities – Girl on a Motorcycle (2:12)

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Various – Chemical Imbalance #2: Happiness is Dry Pants

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7″ EP, free with Chemical Imbalance issue #5, 1988

OK, so side two is nothing special. And on the flip, the Tengo’s Fleetwood Mac cover is not their best by several leagues. But side one, track two, well, that’s why this has us all gibbering. Shame they never developed this one further. IYAU a properly recorded version would have been most welcome on Songs About Fucking. YMMV.

A1. Yo la Tengo – Dreams (4:37)
A2. Big Black – Burning Indian Wife (2:30)
B1. Kilslug – Warlocks, Witches & Demons (4:26)
B2. Moving Targets – Squares & Circles (2:13)

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Various – Palace of Lights EP

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7″ EP, Palace of Lights, 1981

Kerry Leimer’s Seattle-based Palace of Lights label started in the early 1980s and quickly developed, in a small, way into a little hothouse of Eno-inspired fuzzy ambience, Fourth World workouts and generally pleasing music full stop. Along with Leimer, whose music formed the bulk of PoL’s releases, there were friends Marc Barreca and Michael William Gilbert; Leimer and Barreca were also in Savant.

After a long hiatus, Leimer and his wife restarted the label a few years back. As well as reissuing some classic Leimer/Savant work has more recently been home to splendid electronic and neo-classical work from the likes of Steve Peters (who played with Leimer very early on) and Gregory Taylor. If you want to start anywhere, we recommend you try Leimer’s Closed System Potentials or Imposed Order – or the recent, acclaimed disc of previously unreleased tracks on Rvng Intl, A Period of Review.

Here’s a sampler EP from their earliest days. It was limited to 350 copies. The Barreca tracks are from his album Twilight; the others did not appear in these forms anywhere else.

A1. Savant – The Radio
A2. K Leimer – Assemble & Diffuse
B1. Marc Barreca – School for Whales
B2. Marc Barreca – The Wendigo
B3. Anode – Whiteout

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