Oct 31, 2008

BAD DREAM FANCY DRESS " Choirboys gas " (UK,1988)

This work captured perhaps better than any other el release the nature of this label. Immature and experienced, weird and light, innovative and simple, funny and very girlish... Just two young girls and his madjesty the King of Luxembourg (Simon Turner)...
Despite of the (better late than never) recognition of el, this great pop gem remains strangely overlooked.

SIMON FISHER TURNER " Caravaggio 1610 " (UK,1986)

The movie is a fictional biography of the great baroque painter with the scandalous (for the era) work and the adventurous life. Derek Jarman emphasizes innovatively in the visual part of the movie... and Simon Turner composes a diverse soundtrack. A perfect mirror for the eclectisism of el label.

Oct 30, 2008

WOULD BE GOODS "The Camera Loves me " (UK,1988)

Fresh, delicate, cosmopolitan semiacoustic pop with influences from 60`s, from Cherry Red`s early days and bands like MARINE GIRLS, MONOCHROME SET etc. Main personality is the Singapure-born singer JESSICA GRIFFIN. One of the el classics.

MOMUS "Circus Maximus" (UK,1986)

The beginning of momusic...

Momus - Circus Maximus (1986)

01.Lucky Like St. Sebastian
02.The Lesson Of Sodom (According To Lot)
03.John The Baptist Jones
04.King Solomon's Song And Mine
05.Little Lord Obedience (5:13)
06.The Day The Circus Came To Town
07.The Rape Of Lucretia
08.Paper Wraps Rock
09.Rules Of The Game Of Quoits

CIRCUS MAXIMUS  (link updated april 2013)
Momus - Don't Stop The Night (1989)

Momus - Tender Pervert (1988)

THE SLEEPERS " Mirror / Theory ", 7`` (US,1980)

a. Mirror

THE SLEEPERS " Seventh world EP " (US,1978)

back cover

a1.seventh world
a2.no time
b1.she`s fun


Oct 28, 2008

EL RECORDS (1985-1989): The eccentric quest of pop innocence

Departing from Cherry Red and after a short involving with Blanco Y Negro (Warner bros) legendary indie guru, artist and label man Mike Alway founded EL RECORDS, perhaps at first as a home for artists who were too "strange" to sign straight in major label.
The first numbers were really amazing: the SHOCK HEADED PETERS, MOMUS, VIC GODDARD, MONOCHROME SET albums & singles demostrated the start of a really different approach: diverse & unsual, while new artists joining the label (Louis Phillipe, Simon Turner, Would-Be-Goods, Marden Hill, Anthony Adverse, Always...) defined El`s characteristic profile of stylism, eclectisism, intellectualism, weirdness, englishness, loungness, pseudosnobbism, "imaginary fashion" following, retro, amateurlike sound.... and other eccentrities.
El Records was a backlash to the middle-eighties death of indie electric form, a backlash to dark, warmless, freshless, miserable, stupid post punk situation...
Due to its peculiar image, El Records had neither underground nor overground recognition (apart from Japan), soon was taken over by Cherry Red (1989) and declined... receiving (as expected) some afterdeath cult status honours.
Nowadays, as a subsidiary label of Cherry Red, El has been releasing good retro material, still diverse and often surprisingly great.

See Mike Alway interviewed about El Records story at :

Oct 27, 2008

THE SLEEPERS " Painless Nights " (US,1981)

San Francisco short-lived post punk outfit released one 7`` single, one EP, and this LP.
Disbanded in 1981. Singer, Ricky Williams moved to FLIPPER. He died in his sleep in 1992. The rest members joined outfits like Toiling Midgets, American Music Club, Tuxedomoon, Torcher...

Ricky Williams - vocals
Michael Belfer - guitar
Paul Draper - bass
Tim Mooney - drums
Alex Gibson - guitar
Mike White - guitar
Ron MacLeod - bass
Brian MacLeod - drums
Tom Reccion - drums

MOMUS "Monsters of love (singles 1985-90)" (UK,1990)

"From the siesta of reason come monsters of love..." MOMUS

FRANCISCO DE GOYA, El sueno de la razon produce monstruos, 1797-98
[The sleep of reason produces monsters]

Monsters Of Love (92mb)

Oct 16, 2008

MOMUS " Nicky " (UK,1986)

Accompaniment to CIRCUS MAXIMUS long play album, this 3-track EP shows the european/folk/ballad origins of Nicholas art. Inspired momus spoken adaptions of Jacques Brel tunes constitute a respectful homage to the (greatest of the greatests) belgian songwriter... but Momus whimsical idiosyncracy drips like poison from the heart of the songs.

NICKY (14mb)

Oct 15, 2008

MINIMAL MAN " Sex with God " (US/BEL, 1985)

Following TUXEDOMOON`s european trail, electro-industrial/post-punk pioneer Patrick Miller relocated to Belgium where he released four more MINIMAL MAN LPs. "SEX WITH GOD" was the first of them. Recorded in Brussels, with help of BLAISE SMITH (keys, guitar, drums) and KRISTIN OPPENHEIM (vocals) and released from Berlin experim/industrial label DOSSIER.

Patrick`s "brutal" drawings of lovelessness & cruelty has an elegiac depth, but from title to the last song... this art keeps no distances; seeks for the limits of its own approach; it is itself, a deeply conscious part of the painful situations that exposes.


Oct 13, 2008

CHRIS KNOX " Yes!! " (NZ, 1997)

The usual lo-fi-folk-pop-garage recipe for writing simple, homemade, sarcastic, critical, self-ironic and yet sensitive songs, by using cheap tricks and poor means is not always inspired.
" YES!! ", his 1997 release, sounds a bit "tired" and at times boring. The bonus disc though, that escorts " YES!! " is (in my opinion) more interesting. It contains, prologued by CHRIS, ten songs himself like to perform live. Some of them deserve placing in a possible anthology. If an anthology were enough in his occassion...
Get a listen of some bonus disc selections here. (23mb)

Song of the would-be messiah / Consdicuous consumption / Maxillofacial homocraft /
The counsellor`s song / The grip /

LO JO "L`Une Des Siens" (FRA, 2002)

LO JO exists since 1982. Core members are DENNIS PEAN (voice, accordion, keys, etc) & RICHARD BOURREAU (violin, strings, etc). The rest cast rotates embracing musicians and artists from several music (or non music) areas. They do a lot of live performances which consolidate into an overall action, music, dance, miming, acrobatics, films, visual arts. LO JO is mainly a collective with nomadic inclinations, an open community that promotes a multilevel activism in life and music. Their avant-world approach is rooted to french folk, gypsie, african music, reggae, street culture... without denying other global influences. Solid rhythms, art european romantism, multiple male/female vocals, great variety of instruments, melancholia, cheerful experimentations... Celebrations of life`s chaotic diversity that explode like the small wonders of circusworld...

Oct 12, 2008

THE UNDERNEATH "Lunatic Dawn of the Dismantler" (UK,1987)

Solo project of KARL BLAKE, the man who is also behind Shock Headed Peters, Lemon Kittens, Evil Twin...  "LUNATIC DAWN..." released from EL records in 1987. 

Oct 10, 2008

RAN BLAKE QUARTET " Short Life of Barbara Monk " (US,1986)

Highly lyrical, haunting sound monument in remembrance of Monk`s daughter who died just two years after her father`s passing away. RAN BLAKE directs a flowing of emotional images the way the music becomes an almost natural bridge between memory and sentiments, knowledge and imagination, between life experience and action of dreams. Apart from 3 originals ("short life", "impresario of death", "pourquoi laurent"), SHORT LIFE includes also some standards and other really "reinvented" compositions from a less known world area.
The classical-avant-jazz idiosyncratic pianist and improvisator works and performs usually solo, but contributing musicians (former BLAKE`s students) are really "into his spirit" and this work is one of his finest.

RAN BLAKE ....piano
RICKY FORD ....tenor sax
ED FELSON ....bass
JON HAZILLA ....drums

MINOX "Downworks" (ITA,2001)

MIRCO MAGNANI (piano, clarinette, keyboards, voice) and MARCO MONFARDINI(drum-machines, electronics, voice) are italian duo MINOX. In 80`s they released the arguable interesting, STEVEN BROWN produced, mini LP "LAZARE". In 90`s they formed the label SUITE INC where dealing mostly with production and remixing . Their very small output includes a limited single with LYDIA LUNCH. "DOWNWORKS" - a much better place to start - released from their label in 2001.
Ambient electronica, downbeats, and guests like Nobukazu Takemura, The Gentle People, a.o., try to modernize (with middling success) an approach that actually remains stuck to the dark artistic visions 0f 80`s and the sounds of TUXEDOMOON, MECANO, FLUE etc. Although they copy overtly the originals, there are moments here that can excite the friends of romantic, dark, melancholic soundscapes and really deserve to be chilling past reminders. BLAINE REININGER plays violin on two tracks, while LYDIA LUNCH`s participation on some spoken words is one of the lowest points of the album.

downworks (link removed)

Oct 9, 2008

TANIT "Can an actor bleed " (FRA,1983)

French post punk/cold wave with ELSA DREZNER doing fine as french SIOUXSIE or french NICO. PASCAL HUBERT on bass, played later with PASSION FODDER and the very popular 16 HORSEPOWER. The rest musicians were: drummer PASCAL NORMAL (ORCHESTRE ROUGE) and guitarist THIERRY BERTOMEU who joined later DAZIBAO.
Apart this small gem they also made an LP called "TO ALASKA". Pieces of history for ones checking the genre.

Can An Actor Bleed
(link removed, complaints received)

Oct 8, 2008

AXOLOTL "Out Manoeuvre" (FRA, 1983)

Stepping towards the outer limits of avant prog, french outfit AXOLOTL (no relation with other same named bands) created, in this second - and best - effort, grey, intriguing & disturbing sound spaces where weird vocals, electronics and noises bring the free jazz improvisations somewhere between the unpredictable plot of opposition and the industrial area.

ORTHOTONICS "Luminous Bipeds" ( US, 1986)

The second and last Orthotonics LP
For ORTHOTONICS and their first album "Wake up, you must remember", see LA FOLIE DU JOUR previous post.


Oct 7, 2008

CASSIBER " Perfect Worlds" (GER, 1986)

Riskant edition vinyl cover

Recommended rec vinyl cover

ReR Megacorp CD edition cover


Four different avant garde personalities with equally important roles in creating methods that allow heterogeneous elements to participate in an open, strongly political form.

PERFECT WORLDS was the third LP. After departure of ALFRED HARTH, CASSIBER worked here as trio.

CASSIBER brought out the polymorph and inconsistent face of things, viewing the culture through the fragmented visions of 20th century intellectualism.


Oct 6, 2008


A selftitled EP (1985) and this LP was the main output of Blacklight Chameleons, a band Dino Sorbello founded after disbandment of Mad Violets. A female singer beside Sorbello adds folk scent to the main garage-revival direction of sound which also includes surf themes and significant spaced out organ contributions by keyboardist ( and composer) Bill Ebauer.

THE BROKEN JUG " Grand Junction" , EP, (GER, 1985)

Historical first EP from one of the leaders of 80`s garage-psych revival in Germany. One of the first also releases of Glitterhouse records (GR 04). Fresh (old) sound and genuine (imitated) atmosphere. Had come for making just some primitive electric noise, but later they decided to burn down the whole neighborhood.


Images that sometimes keep annoying my sleep, too.

I don't know about yours...

A poem and some more (poems and facts ) through a video.

The Current (Fires-1983)

These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.

But there's one that comes--
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,

closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.

From the PBS television documentary To Write And Keep Kind, 1992.

More about Raymond Carver:


Oct 4, 2008

GLASS EYE "Bent by Nature" (US,1988)

Impressive, ahead of its time work from Texas outfit that combined cleverly elements from many places ( indie rock, funk, folk, experimental), escaping definition by any of its influences. Very eclectic approach, electric-acoustic contrasts and angular forms. Expanding arrangements add keyboards, accordion, trumpet. Much of the spirit of their works started being applied massively some years later in alternative rock, GLASS EYE remained though little known.

Oct 3, 2008

NON CREDO "Reluctant Hosts" (US,1988)

Αρτιστικη-τζαζ νουαρ-ρετρό προσέγγιση ενος γκροτέσκου, σχιζοφρενικού, παραμυθένιου κόσμου, αναμεσα στον ονειρισμό και τις παρυφές μιας απρόβλεπτης και επισφαλούς πραγματικότητας. Φιγούρες μοιραίες, αποδιοπομπαίες, ενεδρεύουσες, δύσμορφες, θελκτικές κινούνται στην σεληνιασμενη περιοχή της επιθυμίας, όπου σαγήνη και απειλή εναλλάσουν διαρκώς θέσεις απελευθερώνοντας ένα σκοτεινό αισθαντισμό.
Ο JOSEPH BERARDI (κρουστά, ακορντεόν, τσέλο, πλήκτρα και παρελθόν στους Fibonaccis) και η μούσα KIRA VOLLMAN (μπάσο, πλήκτρα, κλαρινέτο, φωνή) παγιδεύουν τις αισθήσεις μέσα σε αύρες ψιθύρων και δυσοίωνους ίσκιους γύρω από μισόφωτα που υποκρίνονται τον ερχομό της αυγής.
Αναφορές οι RESIDENTS, οι SLAPP HAPPY, οι FIBONACCIS, o NINO ROTA, ο FR. FELLINI, ο DAVID LYNCH, ο σουρρεαλισμός, ο μυθικός κόσμος του τσίρκου, τα σαουντρακ τρόμου, το καμπαρέ, η θεώρηση ενός πλούσιου ποικίλου καλλιτεχνικού σύμπαντος, η υπερβολή...
Στους "χώρους της διακύβευσης" που παραστατικοποιούνται εδώ συμπεριλαμβάνεται φυσικά και η βαθιά καλλιτεχνική υποβολή που οι ίδιοι ασκούν.

Oct 2, 2008

GUY KLUCEVSEK & BANTAM ORCHESTRA "Citrus, my love" (US,1995)

Accordionist, composer GUY KLUCEVSEK has worked with top avant garde musicians, has formed his own bands and participated in many projects, film scores etc. He is also commissioned a lot of music for theatrical performances, festivals, happenings...
CITRUS, MY LOVE contents three parts: the three movement Passage North, the eight movement Citrus my love, and the composition Patience & Thyme, all commissioned by various parts, composed in 1990-91, recorded in 1992 and released by RecRec in 1995.
GUY KLUCEVSEK plays on a very thin and sometimes paused seeing line among mourning, natural melancholy, quietness and meditation. He combines classical, minimal and folk, american and (central, east) european influences with Far East beeing present as atmosphere and artistic tradition, as the gentle expression of impressions and sentiments following a ceremonial process.
Beside GUY KLUCEVSEK(accordion, piano) the BANTAM ORCHESTRA is : ERIC FRIEDLANDER (cello), MARY ROWELL (violin, viola), JONATHAN STORCK (double bass).

Citrus, My Love ( 68mb)

Oct 1, 2008

GEOFF LEIGH & FRANK WUYTS "From here to drums" (UK/BEL,1988)

British saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist GEOFF LEIGH (performed with HENRY COW a.o.) and Belgian FRANK WUYTS (keyboardist of AKSAK MABOUL) recorded this stuff circa 1983. They had in mind some kind of electronic, funky, pop, world sound close, more or less, to the new wave directions of the era. Of course they couldn` t escape so easily from the avant prog / experimental / jazz / fusion experience of their past... so lots of weirdness sneaked into this hybrid thing. And probably this could be one reason "FROM HERE TO DRUMS" is object of (some) wishlists. The guaranteed name of NO MAN`S LAND which finally released the album in 1988, could be another one....