Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wah! - nah= poo, the art of bluff (1981)

Pete Wylie was unjustly neglected amidst the neo-psychedelic scene of Liverpool, where Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope stole the limelight. Nah=Poo is certainly a splendid album.

Check the dark-punk ritual "Wind Up" (similar to Modern Eon), the glacial mixture of power-pop and dark-wave "Otherboys" (with the Wagner-ian synths), the hysterical new-wave "Why D'You Imitate The Cutout" (akin to the XTC), or "Mission Impossible" (akin to a more gothic Teardrop Explodes), occasionally reaching paroxysm levels in it's wall of sound ("Seven Thousand Names"), and sabotaged by discordant sections ("Somesay").

Actually, this is a very creative record that surpasses both the debuts of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. It's not often that someone can combine the melodic and the neurotic element so effortlessly.

EDIT: Dead link because of complaints to Rapidshare.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Anne Clark - the sitting room [1982]

Anne Clark was never really a singer, more of a reciter, albeit a powerful one. That's the case with this 1982 EP, though the music is quite exceptional.

We get recitations over synthscapes that are kosmische, symphonic and dreamy ("The Sitting Room"). Actually, this particular formula predates dream-techno by about a decade.

Also, there's tormented musique concrete ("Swimming", "The Power Game") which then transforms to moody and robotic ambient-oramas ("An Ordinary Life") and then to transparent requiems ("Shades"). Finally, there's fragile synth-folk ("Short Story"), and futuristic adaptations of traditional dirge-music ("All We Have To Be Thankful For").

An excellent EP that languishes in obscurity. Get it here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mission Of Burma - vs. (1982)

Back in the day, the Mission Of Burma's VS had few equals.

"Secrets" is a post-punk blazing star, which steals the manic energy from hardcore. The bouncy "Train" betrays the influence of the Gang Of Four, but the structure borrows from progressive-rock as well. The phosphorescent march "Trem Two" shows that they've listened to Martin Hannett's productions (think Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades"), while the discordant guitar-patterns in "New Nails" owe a lot to the MX-80 Sound. "Dead Pool" reinterpretes the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs" through the elaborate structures of progressive-rock, and the neurosis of the post-punk climate.

Like an avalanche, "Learn How" bulldozes everything in it's way, while the guitar displays pure mania in it's staccato noise fabric. "Mica" adds an anthemic progression, and "Weatherbox" adds vibrant concrete electronics. The catastrophic intensity of "Ballad Of Johnny Burma" is also increased by a spastic middle-section. Nevertheless, the geometric structure of these spasms proves just how influential the Burma were to the math-rock movement. The elegant "Einstein's Day" bridges the most dream-like acid-rock, post-punk and hardcore. Ditto for the guitar-solo in "Fun World" (whose basis is an industrial boogie) which is mesmerizing.

Simply put, a masterpiece. Get it here.