martes, 23 de mayo de 2017

1919


The band was formed in late 1980 by Guitarist Mark Tighe and Vocalist Ian Tilleard. After starting life as Heaven Seventeen, and with early lineups including a pre-Zodiac Mindwarp Mark Manning, the band eventually settled as 1919 (after a book belonging to Tighe) with Nick Hiles on Bass and Mick Reed on Drums. Their intention was, according to Reed, "to create a heavy melodic intense dance band with no frills and no intentions".

In 1982, 1919 released a 7" white label promo of 'Repulsion//Tear Down These Walls', and were subsequently invited to record their first session with John Peel in May that year. 1982 would see the single re-released on Red Rhino Records, as well as the single 'Caged/After The Fall' and the LP 'Machine'. In 1983, Bassist Hiles was replaced by Steve Madden, and the band recorded their second and final Peel session on May 4. Madden featured on the final recordings of this era, a 7" and 12" version of 'Cry Wolf/Storm' and 'Cry Wolf/Dream/Storm' respectively, which were released on Abstract Records along with the 12" 'Earth Song' EP, released in 1984 after the band's dissolution. During this period, 1919 had also included Kev Aston (Saxophone) and Sputnik (Synthesizer) at various times as part of their ensemble.

With Reed's departure from 1919 to form The Hive, the band decided to take a new direction and changed their name to Another Cinema, with the lineup now Tighe, Tilleard, Madden, and Stefan Khacheturian -who was introduced through a collaboration with former bassist Hiles in ICE- on drums. The band were once again taken under the wing of Red Rhino founder Tony Kostrzewa, this time releasing their single 'Phase One' (1984) and 'Midnight Blue Oceans' under the Altered States banner. The band called it a day in 1986. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

lunes, 22 de mayo de 2017

I Start Counting


Pop experimentalists I Start Counting favored English artiness with a sense of fun. Unlike many other electronic groups from the '80s, I Start Counting never settled into a single formula; the band continued to tinker with its sound, shifting effortlessly from light to dark, accessible to avant-garde. I Start Counting was formed in the early '80s by David Baker and Simon Leonard. In 1984, the duo was signed by Mute and released its debut single, the quirky 'Letters to a Friend'. "Letters to a Friend" easily distinguished itself from the glut of synthesizer-laden records from the mid-'80s with Baker's distinctly British talk-sing style and the psychedelic feel of the keyboards. The follow-up, 1985's "Still Smiling", was hailed as another instant classic from the band. Writing and recording songs from their basement, Baker and Leonard finally released an LP, 'My Translucent Hands', a year later. I Start Counting gained a significant cult following in the U.K. and the U.S., especially among American suburban teens who were discovering Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk in dance clubs. 1989's 'Fused', heavily influenced by house music, was the last album Baker and Leonard made under the I Start Counting name. Switching their appellation to Fortran 5, the duo ventured further into their bizarre imaginations, sampling the most unlikely of sources and challenging listeners with their unpredictable adventures in electronics. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 20 de mayo de 2017

The Snakes


Michael Hampton and Simon Jacobsen were close friends who grew up together in Georgetown and they had a band called The Snakes that both predated and co-existed with their other bands, The Extorts, S.O.A. and The Faith

The initial idea to record The Snakes at Inner Ear Studios (as opposed to on a Panasonic cassette player) was to simply make a document of the songs, but everyone loved the finished tape so much that the question of release was unavoidable. Jeff Nelson absolutely wanted to put The Snakes record out, but Ian MacKaye was concerned about how what was basically an inside-joke would affect the label's reputation for serious work. It was finally decided that the record would be released, but it would be on "Discard Records" to alert the public that it was a bit tongue-in-cheek. 

The Snakes played their only live show at the 9:30 club with their friends, Brendan Canty and Guy Pizziotto joining them as back-up musicians. They went on to do more recording with Ian at Inner Ear, and songs from those later sessions were released on Jeff's side-label Adult Swim as the 'Happy' album. [SOURCE: DISCHORD RECORDS

viernes, 19 de mayo de 2017

Material


One of the most high-profile projects of the endlessly prolific bassist and producer Bill Laswell, Material pioneered a groundbreaking fusion of jazz, funk, and punk that also incorporated elements of hip-hop and world music well before either's entrance into the mass cultural consciousness. Formed in 1979, the first Material lineup consisted of Laswell, multi-instrumentalist Michael Beinhorn, and drummer Fred Maher, all three staples of the downtown New York City underground music scene. The group, plus Kramer and a few others backed Gong's Daevid Allen during his New York visit, resulting in the album 'About Time' by New York Gong. After Material's debut LP under their own name, 'Temporary Music', the group's ranks swelled to include figures ranging from Sonny Sharrock to Henry Threadgill to Fred Frith, additions which yielded 1981's superb 'Memory Serves'. A guest list running the gamut from Nile Rodgers to a then-unknown Whitney Houston distinguished the avant funk of 1982's 'One Down', the final Material LP before a nearly decade-long hiatus; Laswell finally reassembled the troops in 1989 to record the atmospheric 'Seven Souls', which spotlighted the spoken word performances of the legendary William S. Burroughs. 1991's 'The Third Power' brought the group back to its soulful roots, with guests including Herbie Hancock, Sly & Robbie, Maceo Parker, and the Jungle Brothers; after 1994's 'Hallucination Engine', another four-year hiatus preceded the release of the remix collection 'The Road to the Western Lands'. 'Intonarumori' followed in 1999. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 18 de mayo de 2017

The Decorators


The Decorators were a post-punk band from Acton, London, England, formed in 1980. They released two albums before splitting up in 1984. 

The initial line-up of the band was Michael Bevan (vocals, guitar), Johnny Gilani (guitar), Steve Sandor (bass), Joe Sax (saxophone), and Allan Boroughs (drums). They moved to a communal residence in London and released a couple of singles before attracting interest from Island Records, a deal falling through when Island's Andrew Lauder moved on to Demon Records. The band instead signed to Red Flame Records, and expanded to a six-piece with the addition of keyboard player Pete Saunders, fresh from Dexys Midnight Runners. After the 'Strange One' single in June 1982, they released their debut album, 'Tablets', the following month, released by Virgin Records in France. This was followed in late 1983 with a second set, 'Rebel Songs'. The band split up in 1984. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

miércoles, 17 de mayo de 2017

Alternative TV


It was the old, old story. Bored bank clerk falls in love with punk rock, writes a few pages about it, Xeroxes a fanzine, sells it at gigs, creates a monster, starts a new fashion. The first issue of "Sniffin' Glue" featured the Ramones and Blue Öyster Cult; the Punk Reviews page hit The Flamin' Groovies and The Stranglers, and the intro hinted at treats to follow: Nazz, Roogalator, The Raspberries, and The Count Bishops. There really wasn't much punk around in those days. 

The magazine grew with the scene it championed, and for a year, it ruled the British fanzine roost. But the bank clerk, Mark Perry, was sick of writing -he wanted to step out and be written about himself. His last band, The New Beatles, had done nothing; his next, Alternative TV, could scarcely do any worse. 

Featuring Perry on vocals, ex-Generation X drummer John Towe, Mickey Smith (bass), and former Nobodies guitarist Alex Fergusson, the band formed in March 1977, rehearsing at Throbbing Gristle's studios in Hackney -both "Love Lies Limp" and "Alternative to NATO" were written and recorded there- and on May 6, 1977, ATV made their live debut in Nottingham. 


The first lineup splintered almost immediately. Smith was replaced by New Beatle Tyrone Thomas, and on June 5 ATV opened for Wayne County's Electric Chairs in Brighton. Six gigs later, Towe quit, but not before ATV released their first single, "Love Lies Limp," as a free flexidisc with the final, August 1977 issue of "Sniffin' Glue". 

Towe was replaced by Chris Bennett, and in this form the band continued to gig, at the same time as preparing the ground for their debut album. They are caught rehearsing in "The Punk Rock Movie", the cinéma vérité documentary of punk's first savage summer; more exposure came in December, when the "How Much Longer" single appeared on Perry's own Deptford Fun City wing of Miles Copeland's Illegal setup. 'The Image Has Cracked', the group's live and studio debut album, appeared the following spring. 

Singles "Action Time Vision" and "Life After Life" followed, together with the archive Towe-era "Life", but ATV were changing first, as Perry rocketed on toward the Throbbing Gristle sound which by now captivated him (the official bootleg 'Live at the Rat '77', incidentally, was recorded by Genesis P-Orridge). 


By the time of 'Vibing Up the Senile Man (Part One)', the second ATV album, and its accompanying single, "The Force Is Blind", only Perry remained from the original band; only bassist Dennis Burns remained from any of those who had followed. And, of ATV's original, punk-era press disciples, even Sounds found the album unlistenable. 

Unperturbed, Perry took the new album out on the road, but an end of sorts was in sight. In March 1979, on-stage at Chelmsford, ATV called it a day. Side one of the valedictory 'Scars on Sunday' album preserves highlights from this final show; side two introduces The Good Missionaries, the band that would pick up exactly where ATV left off, only without the encumbrance of such an historically resonant name. 

But of course it wasn't the end really. The first ATV reunion, with Fergusson back on board, occurred as early as 1981; another kept Perry amused through the second half of the decade and, in 1999, Perry celebrated the release of his 20th album, under the born-yet-again name of Alternative TV. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 16 de mayo de 2017

Siekiera


Siekiera was one of the most influential and popular post-punk bands in Poland. With fast, aggressive music and lyrics filled with obscenities, the band was a sensation at the 1984 Jarocin Festival. After lineup changes, the band switched to new wave and dissolved in 1988. 

Siekiera formed in 1982 or 1983 in Puławy, Poland, under the name of "Trafo". The line-up then was Tomasz Adamski -guitar-, Tomasz Budzyński -vocals-, Jerzy Janaczek -bass-, and Irek "Borys" Czerniak -drums-. They started by playing cover songs of UK Subs and The Exploited. In the autumn of 1983 they changed their name to Siekiera (Polish for "Axe"). There is a legend that the name came from a guy who heard their music and compared it to an axe. The original line-up was Tomasz Adamski (a.k.a. Dzwon)- guitar, leader, the author of all lyrics and music-, Tomasz Budzyński (a.k.a. Budzy) -vocals-, Dariusz Malinowski (a.k.a. Malina) -bass-, and Krzysztof Grela (a.k.a. Koben) -drums-. For a while some guy called Piotr Szewczyk played guitar, but they fired him because of his blues influences. 


In 1984 they played their first official show in a club "Remont" in Warsaw. They also performed at the Jarocin Festival, and they were well received by the audience. In October 1984, after a huge show with TZN Xenna and Youth Brigade, Budzynski left the band (he wanted to have some influence on the band's music and lyrics, but Adamski wasn't happy about that). With that line-up they played only 6 shows. After that Budzynski formed a band called Armia (with Robert Brylewski). 

Tomasz Adamski reformed Siekiera with two new members: Zbigniew Musinski -drums- and Pawel Mlynarczyk -keyboards-. Dariusz Malinowski took the vocal duties (besides playing bass). In February 1985 they recorded eight new tracks, some of them were played on the radio. In May and June they recorded some songs for an EP and the 'Jak Punk to Punk' compilation LP. In 1985 they played again at the Jarocin festival, but the orthodox punk public didn't like their new wave image and music. 

In 1986 Siekiera released their only LP, 'Nowa Aleksandria' -it is influenced mainly by Killing Joke and regarded as one of the greatest Polish albums of all time. In 1987, a new guitarist, Wieslaw Borysewicz, was recruited, and Tomasz Adamski concentrated on singing. In 1987 they also played a mini-tour with Variété, a Polish new wave band. Finally, in 1988 they broke up. They were expected to re-form in 1989 with an almost original line up (with Stopa who used to play in Moskwa and Armia as the drummer), but somehow it didn't work out. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

lunes, 15 de mayo de 2017

The Assembly


The tale of The Assembly is one of unfulfilled potential. After Yazoo split up in 1983, keyboardist Vince Clarke, also formerly of Depeche Mode, began searching for another vocalist he could collaborate with. He eventually found one: Feargal Sharkey, ex-leader of the Irish pop-punk band The Undertones. Along with producer Eric C. Radcliffe and guitarist Dave "Clem" Clempson, the quartet released the single "Never Never" in 1983 as The Assembly. However, Sharkey wasn't intended to be The Assembly's permanent singer; instead, Clarke and Radcliffe wanted to have a revolving door of vocalists, a different one for every track. It didn't happen. "Never Never," a moving ballad about unrequited love, topped the pop charts in England, but it was The Assembly's only record. The Assembly became a new wave footnote, an answer to the trivia question, "What group was Vince Clarke in between Yazoo and Erasure?" After "Never Never," Sharkey released a self-titled solo album, while Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 with Andy Bell. "Never Never" didn't disappear with The Assembly, though. In 1995, the track was resurrected on 'New Wave Hits of the 80s, Vol. 14'. A year later, the song was re-released as a CD single that included its extended version and the instrumental B-side "Stop/Start". [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 14 de mayo de 2017

Anne Clark


A unique figure in British music, Anne Clark is a singer and lyricist who works in both electronic and acoustic music, performing literate but emotionally charged songs of contemporary life. Clark was born in the South London community of Croydon on May 14, 1960. A bright and restless youth, she left school at the age of 16, and after taking on a variety of odd jobs she began working at Bonaparte Records, an independent record shop that also released discs through an offshoot label. Clark immersed herself in the nascent punk and new wave music scene, and started booking events at the nearby Warehouse Theater, presenting a variety of cutting-edge music, poetry, and comedy. She was also an editor at Paul Weller's short-lived publishing house Riot Stories, and helped assemble an anthology of new authors for Faber & Faber, "Hard Lines", which was a considerable success. In time, Clark began writing her own songs and performing at London clubs, making her live debut at Richard Strange's "Cabaret Futura". In 1982, she released her first album, 'The Sitting Room', in which she worked with Dominic Appleton of This Mortal Coil. On her second LP, 1983's 'Changing Places', she began collaborating with keyboard player David Harrow, whose pulsating synthesizer work gave Clark's songs a compelling yet hard-edged electronic sheen that suited the often-alienated tone of her lyrics. Harrow's electronics would dominate many of Clark's best-known releases, but she also collaborated frequently with classically trained pianist Charlie Morgan (he co-wrote and played on the album 'Hopeless Cases'), as well as recording with John Foxx of Ultravox and Martyn Bates of Eyeless in Gaza (the latter on a collection of songs adapted from poems by Rainer Maria Rilke). Beginning in 1987, Clark spent three years in Norway, where she worked on a variety of projects with musicians Tov Ramstad and Ida Baalsrud, and then returned to the U.K. and resumed collaborating with Morgan, a partnership that ended in 1992 with the pianist's death. In 1994, Clark turned away from electronics to take an acoustic band on the road (the tour was documented on the live album 'Psychometry'), and folk and art music influences began dominating her work. However, as more new electronic artists began citing Clark's work with Harrow as an influence, she began recording new electronic pieces, as well as allowing new acts to sample elements from her catalog. After taking time off to return to school, Clark returned to music in 2001, forming a new acoustic group with guitarist Jeff Aug, percussionist Tobias Haas, pianist Murat Parlak, cellist Jann Michael Engel, and Steve Schroyder on keyboards and programming. Clark also gave permission to the Belgian electronic group Implant to remix some of her songs, leading to an active collaboration between the two on their album 'Self-Inflicted', in which she sings two songs she wrote. In 2008, after releasing a number of live recordings, remix projects, and interpretations of the work of other writers, Clark issued her first set of new original songs in over a decade, 'The Smallest Acts of Kindness', and in 2010, she took a step towards creative self-sufficiency by launching her own label, After Hours Productions. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 13 de mayo de 2017

Rites Of Spring


Because the term emo has come to define a sensibility more than a particular sound, it can be difficult to pin down even if you're not an outsider. Yet there's a general consensus -by no means universal, but fairly solid- that Washington, D.C.'s Rites of Spring were the first true emo band. Their music epitomized emo (or emocore, as it was then more often referred to) in the original sense of the term: an emotionally charged brand of hardcore punk marked by introspective, personal lyrics and intense catharsis. While Rites of Spring strayed from hardcore's typically external concerns of the time -namely, social and political dissent- their musical attack was no less blistering, and in fact a good deal more challenging and nuanced than the average three-chord speed-blur. Although they didn't exist for long or record that much (two releases in just under two years), and didn't attract much attention outside of D.C. during that time, their influence was tremendous and far-reaching. Not only did they map out a new direction for hardcore that built on the innovations of Hüsker Dü's 'Zen Arcade', they spawned a host of imitators, first locally, then elsewhere; these descendants in turn gradually brought emocore to a wider underground audience, from which point it mutated into varying strands that often bore no surface resemblance to Rites of Spring, but owed them a great debt nonetheless. Additionally, half of the band went on to join Fugazi, whose status as punk icons helped shed light on Rites of Spring's small but still-potent recorded legacy. 


Rites of Spring were formed in March 1984, with a lineup of lead vocalist/guitarist Guy Picciotto, guitarist Eddie Janney, bassist Mike Fellows, and drummer Brendan Canty. Canty had played in the local hardcore band Deadline from 1981-1982, while Janney was a seasoned veteran of the D.C. scene, having been a member of the Untouchables (1979-1981), the short-lived, Ian MacKaye-led Skewbald/Grand Union (1981), and The Faith (1981-1983), which some credit with laying the groundwork for the early emo sound. Breaking free from hardcore's stylistic straitjacket, their music was powered by melody, tuneful (if hoarse) singing, guitar solos, and compelling instrumental interplay. Frontman Picciotto's lyrics were by turns nostalgic, heartbroken, confused, and desperately searching, expanding hardcore's range of subject matter into territory rarely covered (save for Hüsker Dü). Owing in part to the draining intensity of their shows, Rites of Spring didn't play live very often, but when they did, their gigs were full-fledged events, inspiring fierce devotion among fans and usually ending with the stage covered in flowers and smashed instruments. 

Rites of Spring signed with Ian MacKaye's Dischord label and recorded their self-titled debut album in early 1985. Eventually hailed as a landmark in some quarters, at the time it didn't receive the kind of widespread critical attention that 'Zen Arcade' had the year before. In January 1986, the band returned to the studio and cut a four-song EP, upon which point they disbanded; the EP was released posthumously the following year as 'All Through a Life'. Picciotto, Janney, and Canty promptly regrouped as One Last Wish, which moved Janney to bass and put ex-Faith member Michael Hampton on guitar. They disbanded by the end of the year, and in 1987, the entire original lineup of Rites of Spring reunited under a new name, Happy Go Licky, and played a more experimental brand of post-punk influenced by Gang of Four and Mission of Burma. Again short-lived, the group's only recordings were live, but gave Canty the connections to join up with Ian MacKaye in Fugazi later that year; Picciotto would follow him several months later. Mike Fellows, meanwhile, formed Little Baby with ex-members of Soulside, and went on to play with Government Issue and Royal Trux. In 1991, Dischord compiled all of Rites of Spring's recorded output -the 'Rites of Spring' album, one unreleased song left over from the sessions, and the 'All Through a Life' EP- onto the CD release 'End on End', which was remastered in 2001.  [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]