ACUTE HARTZINE MIXTAPE AND OTHER INFO

All Posts,mp3,Radio — Dan on October 28, 2011 at 12:32 am

I made a mix for a French website. It’s not for dancing. More a college radio style collection of post-punk styled stuff, a bunch of uk lost generation type tracks and 2 songs from upcoming Acute releases, The Trypes and for the first time online, a track from the unreleased Lines material. Stream it here and read about us in french. Otherwise you can download it directly:

New Clothes for the New World
Tracklist below.

Been busy in Acute land. Disco Zombies LP came out late last month and has been doing well. Good reviews, airplay from respectable radio stations, demand out-stripping supply and, apparently, like all good music, “Big in Japan”. Getting ready for the Happy Refugees records Return to Last Chance Saloon coming late November. They’ve got a facebook page set up, which is a good place to learn about things such as their upcoming visit to New York to play with Crystal Stilts in early December. I’ll have more information on the Acute site soon, if you’re press/radio/retail types looking for info on this (or any of our releases), please get in touch! If that wasn’t enough, we’ve begun working on our next release, The Trypes, who, like Happy Refugees, have gotten back together to play some shows. More news soon!

In the meantime, check out the aforementioned mix. Here’s the tracklist:

1. Seefeel – Faults
2. Locust – I Become Overwhelmed
3. Design for Living – Red Ribbon Day
4. It’s Immaterial – A Gigantic Raft (in the Philippines)
5. The Raincoats – Balloon
6. Family Fodder – Silence
7. Disco Inferno – New Clothes for the New World
8. Pram – Dancing on a Star
9. Broadcast – DDL
10. AA – Society Stinks
11. Home & Garden – (please) Fix My Horn (my brakes don’t work)
12. The Lines – Raffle
13. Broadcast – Microtronics Thirteen
14. Din A Testbild – Die Siebziger
15. Camberwell Now – Speculative Fiction
16. Broadcast – Microtronics Fifteen
17. Conrad Schnitzler & Gregor Schnitzler – The Shark Eats Ice
18. Positive Noise – Ghosts
19. Broadcast – Still Feels Like Tears
20. The Trypes – (From the) Morning Glories
21. Robert Wyatt – A Sunday in Madrid

BLANKS NYC MIX

All Posts,mp3,Old Music — Dan on November 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Blanks NYC is an art collective of sorts, a bunch of friends who are artists, animators, designers etc that host parties throughout New York City. They invited me to take part in Blanksgiving 2.0, their first anniversary party, in which they invited a ton of people to make mix CDs and come DJ. The idea was to make 20+ copies and bring them to the party, where they’d be collected in batches so everyone would leave with a stack of mixes. We would also all DJ. Being 5-10+ years older than most of the people involved I was given one of the prime DJ slots. I have to say if I had to choose between working a party from 10pm till 4am, or just going on at 11:30 on a thursday night, killing it for a half-hour, then going home at a reasonable hour, in my advanced age the latter is sounding really great.

I was excited about the mix idea as it’s been a few years since I’ve recorded any kind of proper mix. As a “DJ” I should be recording mixes every day but I’m really lazy. I have a couple ideas for mixes that I’ve been planning for years but never getting around to doing, and in the last year or so that I’ve gotten my little letterpress studio set-up, the idea of recording good mixes and printing neat covers has been an obvious goal, just one I keep putting off. So this party at least gave me the push I needed to do such things. Sure, I waited till the day before. Woke up, recorded the mix, went to the dentist for a few painful hours, came home, edited the mix, set some type, printed the black, cleaned the press, set some more type, printed the red, cleaned the press, burned 20 copies, and off to bed at a totally unreasonable hour. Note to amateur printers–remember to print black last so you don’t have to be so anal cleaning the lighter ink off the press.

So I consider this a dry run. The mix is kinda sloppy, drags here and there, filled with forced transitions. I thought it was going to be more poppy, but some of the transitions were so off I just edited entire songs out. But there’s some pretty cool stuff, some kind of weird stuff. Certainly not the most fun, dancey or poppy mix I’ve ever recorded, but it has it’s charms. The cover was done quickly with some hand-set type on some leftover stock pulled from the recylcling bin, using way more impression then is healthy.

Dan Selzer – Blanks NYC Mix

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Download hi-res cover art here.

Tracklist:
Ultramarine – Stella
Housemaids – Je T’aime
Long Ago – A Relic
Eric Random and the Bedlamites – Hardcore
The Naughtiest Girl Was a Monitor – To Love Nuclear
The Associates – The Associate
Stephen Mallinder – Cool Down
Psychic TV – She Was Surprised
The Dragees – Shoot To Kill
Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (Bottin Remix)
Repetition – A Full Rotation
Japan – Life in Tokyo
Up! – Spiritual High
The Associates – Theme from Perhaps
Les Rita Mitsouko – Marcia Baila
Durutti Column – The Together Mix
Sweet Exorcist – Track Jack
400 Blows – Men of Divine Wind (The Kamikaze)
Renegade Soundwave – Pocket Porn Dub

KEVIN DUNN/KIMBERLEY REW/STUART MOXHAM

All Posts,mp3,Old Music — Dan on May 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm

KEVIN DUNN
Another chance to check out some recent reissues, not stuff we’ve released but stuff we would’ve loved to have released, and in some cases stuff we almost got to! For instance, and appropriate in other ways, is No Great Lost by Kevin Dunn out on the Casa Nueva label. Keven Dunn started out in the seminal Atlanta new wave band The Fans in the mid 70s. I first heard the Fans on a mixtape (not CD, tape) made for me by Jonathan Marx, the same 2 volume tape compilation where I first heard the Lines. He made me a UK volume and a US volume. (looking now, the UK volume was the George Harassment LP on one side, The Tea Set, the Table, The Jets, The Cigarettes and the Lines on the other, while the US mix included Monitor, The Twinkeyz, The Fans, Plastic Idols, who’s second single I’m still looking for, The Molls, Man Tit, Monitor, Doodooettes, Dennis Duck, Le Forte Four and Human Hands…quite the education.) Anyway…I started collecting The Fans records (all 3 of them) and Kevin’s later solo stuff. Also got in touch with a journalist who was working with Dunn who sent me CDs…a potential Fans compilation featuring some unreleased stuff and a potential Kevin Dunn compilation. Unfortunately for the latter, the tapes had been lost in a fire years ago so what I heard was transferred from vinyl. I thought it sounded good but they weren’t happy with it and I dropped the thread. A few years later they realized they had the original multi-track tapes. So instead of remastering from vinyl like lazier labels (cough), they went ahead and re-created the original mixes from the multitrack. This stuff isn’t “remixed” in the sense that they did anything different. Instead, with constant comparison to the original vinyl, they matched the mix that was originally done and ended up with something that basically has the same decisions and sound of the original vinyl releases, but better sound quality, a great job by folks at Casa Nueva and the engineers.

If you haven’t already gone back and read what I wrote about the Fans in a previous post, it’s worth noting that The Fans and Kevin Dunn were heavily influenced by the smarter side of british art rock of the Eno type and pioneered new wave in Georgia which within a few years would give birth to B-52s and Pylon, both of whom’s first releases were produced by Dunn, and of course R.E.M. and a little band you may have heard of called The Method Actors. It’s hard to describe Dunn’s music, he released much of it under the name Kevin Dunn and the Regiment of Women but it was mainly a one-man project. Thin drum machine rhythms like you’d hear in any number of early 80s pop new wave bands but absolutely killer guitar playing vacillating between the kind of GA rave-ups you’d hear from Vic Varney, Peter Buck, Randy Bewley and Ricky Wilson and more elaborate and processed leads of Robert Fripp. Some keyboards where appropriate and some of the most goddamn catchy “how is I’ve never heard this before” pop music committed to vinyl in the 80s and forgotten by too many.  The timing is really good for this reissue, coming out just after the DFA‘s release of the two Pylon CDs and our own Method Actor’s CD. The CD is really a treasure of awesomeness, especially the opening song 911, which oddly enough is one of the reasons I stopped listening to my earlier version for a few years after being pretty obsessed with it for a few years around the turn of the decade. In the chorus he sings 9 11, 9 11. Living in NY during the attacks on the Word Trade Center, listening to that song suddenly had this weird resonance. It’s still my favorite song, though many others come close, including this one.

Kevin Dunn-Saturn

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OK, I’ve got two more to mention and I’ll try to make them quick.

KIMBERY REW
I have wanted to hear this one forever. I’ve been a big Soft Boys fan since High School. At some point in college people started telling me what an awesome pop album Kimberley Rew’s solo record from the early 80s The Bible of Bop was, but I simply never saw it anywhere. Now it’s finally getting a CD reissue. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a proper solo album but actually a compilation from a few sessions and releases, 1/3rd of which recorded with the Soft Boys, which strangely enough, sounds like the Soft Boys but without Robyn Hitchcock singing, 1/3rd recorded with the dBs, who were fans, and 1/3rd recorded with the Waves, who would shortly become Katrina and the Waves with whom Rew would see fame of the like The Soft Boys never would! And while the different parts sound a bit different, they’re all great, smart, punky power-pop of the highest order. This song, with Katrina on co-vocals I assume, is the first song on the CD and is as simple, catchy and awesome as rock-n-roll gets.

Kimberley Rew-The Nightmare

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STUART MOXHAM
Gonna make this quick because my server ate my first attempt. To quote the liner notes, “I chose my favourite tracks from thirty years of post-Young Marble Giants recordings; unreleased obscurities by the Gist and highlights from solo albums of the 90s; some unheard gems from my American adventures, a couple of fin de siecle rarities and the best of current and new material. Inevitably it’s a very mixed bag but I think it gives a fair overview of my attempts never to write the same song twice.”

One thing I love about his music is the echoes of those very unique and iconic Young Marble Giants qualities that remain. The music and songwriting, experimentation and arranging has matured, but aspects of YMG’s simplicity and basic building blocks remain.

This is coming out on Stuart’s own Habit Records label, for more information check out his myspace page or the Young Marble Giants fan page.

Stuart Moxham-Autumn Song

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FLAMING TUNES/TAPE #1/INTERFERENCE/RAYMILLAND

All Posts,mp3,Old Music — Dan on February 22, 2010 at 1:38 am

Been meaning to post about some recent (to somewhat recent) reissues and share some music before posting about our own upcoming reissue, This is Still It by The Method Actors. These are all releases that I would’ve loved to have done on Acute, but a better, more appropriate label got to do it!

First up is Flaming Tunes, whom I feel so strongly about I had to make a little collage from the original tape insert…

FLAMING TUNES
Flaming Tunes was a cassette only release from 1985 or so recorded by longtime friends Gareth Williams and Mary Currie. It first came to my attention in the pre-file-sharing days when people would make tapes or even burn CDs for each other when I traded some CD-rs with a guy in Germany named Eric Wilhelm. I sent him CD-rs of the Homosexuals, Desperate Bicycles, Scritti Politti, Prefects etc and he sent me a ton of This Heat-related stuff. Since getting turned on at the Oberlin Co-Op, This Heat had been a favorite band of mine. Among the live recordings and other rarities was a release with a photocopied sleeve called “After the Heat (unreleased Demo-Recordings)”. I was totally blown away. I was expecting to hear some kind of lo-fi proggy, punky noisy racket  and instead found an eclectic selection of beautiful and delicate songs, ranging from minimal and ambient atmospheres to circular and repetitive yet melodic and enchanting songs.

Except for the fidelity, it didn’t sound like a demo to me, it sounded like a completely new and different direction for This Heat, though with a few similarities. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned it wasn’t a This Heat recording at all! I can’t remember exactly where, but somewhere on the internet, discussion about these recordings came out and Mary Currie appeared to right all wrongs. After Gareth Williams left This Heat to spend some time in India, he came back and started collaborating with Mary. In 1985 they released these recordings as Flaming Tunes through Contagious Unit, which described itself as “a cooperative of musicians producing and distrubting low cost, high quality cassettes because we want to.” Unfortunately, following it’s release, it was relatively forgotten until copies started circulating with the “This Heat” title.

Since straightening the internet out, things began to fall into place and Flaming Tunes finally saw release last year on the new label Life and Living Records. They have kindly given me permission to share one of the songs, and I had a hard time choosing. It’s really a perfect record. Tape experiments, lo-fi keyboards, whimsical percussion, strange drop-outs…moments of silence. 80s drum machines and Casios co-exist with fiddles, whistles and clarinets. Echoes of Indian percussion, dub reggae, acoustic folk, musique concrete, a bit of the ReR/Rock In Opposition prog/art/songcraft you’d expect. In Raindrops from Heaven, over 2 minutes of outdoor nature noises exist before a simple percussion part (loop?) and beautiful out of tune piano and bass emerge for 2 minutes before giving way back to nature. Another Flaming Tune presents a minimalist piano arpeggio while buzzy, reedy electronics and clarinet hum and drone underneath and tapes and percussion stutter and start . Elsewhere Gareth and Mary sing harmonies and wonderful pop melodies particularly in the enchanting Beguiling the Hours, the song I’ve chosen to share.

Flaming Tunes-Beguiling the Hours

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This song has long been one of my favorites. When I first got the bootleg CD, I’d listen to it over and over again. Probably second only to Pink Frost by the Chills in my list of “songs left on repeat”. The piano, the clapping, the clarinet and keyboards, the melodies, the lyrics, “think of the wealth…” part. I don’t know, it just kills me every time.

It’s really amazing that a release so obscure that even fans of the artist didn’t know it existed, or if they did, where it came from, has taken such a vibrant life in the last year. Gareth passed away in 2001 and it’s hard to separate the growing tributes to him from the growing interest, awareness, and passion about Flaming Tunes. First, there is the Flaming Tunes website, where you can find additional downloads, videos, old letters and input from various Flaming Tunes associates and friends. More information and ordering info can be found at Life and Living Records. It’s also on iTunes of course. There’s a great and informative interview with Mary as well as Andrew Jacques of These/Life and Living and Mick Hobbs, who was involved in the reissue and plays on the original tape, by The Wire. And as testament to it’s power, check out Diamond Age, a musician out of texas who recorded a complete cover version of the entire tape. It’s really wonderful, and can be ordered from Life and Living. Meanwhile, more material keeps turning up on the Flaming Tunes website, such as later recordings of Gareth’s and even videos, some shot then, some shot now, some shot then and finished now. This song, Nothing On, and it’s video, can be downloaded from the site, but it’s also on youtube, so I can more easily share it here…

YouTube Preview Image

next up…

TAPE #1
There’s always been a great deal of mystery and debate regarding No Wave. How do you define No Wave? Which bands were No Wave? Is it limited to a specific location and time period or is it a timeless attitude and aesthetic? Do you hyphenate No-Wave? Do you capitalize it? For a long time everyone was sure of one thing, the four bands that appeared on No New York–Mars, DNA, The Contortions and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks–were No Wave.
But what about the so-called Soho bands? Theoretical Girls, The Gynecologists, Daily Life, The Static, A Band. And all that 99 records funk stuff…Liquid Liquid, ESG? Lesser known but more appropriate to be defined as such, was a group of bands who came up just after the initial years and continued to blaze raw and noisy paths in downtown New York through the early 80s. I’d first hear some of them on Elliott Sharp’s Peripheral Vision comp, a fantastic and ubiquitous record store staple in NY for much of the 90s. While many of these bands started out opening up for and playing shows with Mars and Lydia Lunch, their sound was less dark…more lo-fi and often political. Mofungo bassist Robert Sietsema said they were “the stepchildren of the first generation of no wave bands.” I’d come across the occasional Mofungo, The Scene is Now or V-Effect record but only heard whispers of TAPE #1, the self-released compilation cassette that came out in 1980 featuring songs by Blinding Headache, Information and Mofungo.

Blinding Headache was apparently first, forming as early as 1978 in the basement of an NYU dorm by Jim Posner, Willie Klein, Kym Bond and Rick Brown. Rick Brown would leave Blinding Headache and join Information, which featured Chris Nelson, Gary Larson and Phil Dray. The remains of Blinding Headache would be joined by others including Sietsema to form Mofungo. By 1980 they decided to put this tape together, and it’s a fascinating slice of a certain time, with some crossover and influence from the current no wave scenes and some amount of pointing at various sounds of New York City (and Hoboken) for the next decade or so. Information would eventually mutate into The Scene is Now, Rick Brown would play with the incredible V-Effect, followed by Timber, Fish & Roses, Run On, collaborations with Charles Hayward (see above), etc etc. Sietsema would find more fame as the Village Voice’s resident foodie, inspiring many a visit to Flushing,Queens while leaving me eager to find out if Sonali in Sunnyside is as good as he says, because they may deliver to me.

Tape #1 was still a holy grail to me when word first arrived that it would be getting a reissue as a digital only release on Anthology Recordings, a fantastic label with an eclectic selection of downloads to purchase. Currently, their website is down as they reconfigure some stuff, but I’m sure it’ll be back shortly. And if that wasn’t enough, the craziest thing happened. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks decided to do a reunion concert at the Knitting Factory and somebody had the brilliant idea of inviting Information to reform and open up. A band so obscure that their only release was on a 1980 tape compilation. I was there and as I’ve said elsewhere, Teenage Jesus was a blast, but Information blew them out of the water. I’ve suggested that they should get back together and in the least, record the set they played that night. I’ve decided to share 3 songs from the release…normally I wouldn’t share so much but the tape had 43 songs! So one from each band, including the most punk song from Information, which has already been released into the internets when Brian Turner of WFMU found Tape #1 and blogged about it. Check out his write-up, as it’s more interesting and informative than mine!

Information-Let’s Compromise

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Blinding Headache-Total Media Blackout

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Mofungo-Out Of Line

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INTERFERENCE
In an almost logical follow-up to discussion of Tape #1, we have another stepchild of No Wave in the band Interference. David Linton moved to New York City around the same time as his college friend and bandmate in The Flucts (Fluks?), Lee Ranaldo(still waiting to hear those tapes), and they both quickly fell in with the No Wave scene of the times. Lee would famously end up with Glenn Branca in his Ascension band, play in some of the early symphonies and end up in Sonic Youth. Linton on the other hand would play with that other proponent of guitar orchestras, Rhys Chatham. After leaving Chatham, Linton and Michael Brown would form Interference with Anne DeMarinis who had just left Sonic Youth, which Lee would then join. Music was recorded and was intended for release on Branca’s Neutral label, but it never happened. Finally a few years ago The Social Registry, one of New York’s finest record labels, announced they were going to release it, and after a gestation period almost as long as the typical Acute release, it’s finally coming out. It’s so cool, so NY, that when Rich from The Social Registry first played me the tape I said “you gotta let me release that, it’s such an Acute release!” But he turned me down, got to work, and now we’re finally hearing the whole thing.

Interference often sound exactly like what you’d expect them to sound like. The repetition and clanging guitars of the guitar orchestras and the punk rock energy and aggression of no wave. At times they sound more like Sonic Youth than Sonic Youth do on their first EP. Think about that! Oddly tuned guitars, gamelan sounding percussion, even a bit of Liquid Liquid funk at their noisiest. There’s a bit of vocals but even less conventional song structure then the typical Sonic Youth song of the period and at times they reach a tribal intensity of guitar skronk, no wave funk, minimalist repetition and sonic assault that I’ll be surprised if this release doesn’t see them added to that great canon of No Wave step-children already occupied by Mofungo, by Sonic Youth and the Swans. And Ut. For an interview with Linton, check out Too Cool To Die, check out Linton’s website, and for more information and to purchase this release, which will be a double LP featuring an LP of the original material and a fresh record of remixes, visit our friends at The Social Registry.

Interference-Excerpt #1(Version 2)

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and finally….

Raymilland
Here’s an obscure one that was totally new to me until a few weeks ago. I was checking out one of my favorite music blogs, Last Days of Man on Earth, excited to see the great review of the forthcoming Acute release, This Is Still It by The Method Actors when I noticed their following post. Last Day’s author Joe was excited to be reviewing a reissue/compilation from a post-punk/new wave band from his hometown St. Louis. I had no idea what to expect from that particular region from that particular time, but let me say I definitely didn’t expect a totally rocking, totally spacey, totally glam and totally sci-fi punk sound like this. For peers, I’d say 70s punk oddities like the Twinkeyz, the Fans and Chrome, american punk rock bands with a healthy fascination in all things cosmic and/or modern with a degree of a glam/euro/Eno/Roxy/Bowie going on. Relatively early Ultravox! would probably be a good reference as well, the sci-fi lyrics of John Foxx and synthesizers creating a futuristic atmosphere, underpinned by killer Stooges/Mick Ronson rock and roll. I was excited enough by the samples on the blog that I promptly ordered the album from BDR Records. The LP comes with a CD featuring even more tracks then are on the record, and it has an awesome cover that is right up my alley. Speaking of covers, they do a few, including the early Bowie song She’s Got Medals and Syd Barrett’s No Good Trying. The best cover since Cabaret Voltaire covered The Seeds? This release is one of those really obscure oddities that comes out of nowhere and makes you wonder how you lived so long without it.

Raymilland-Climate

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That’s it for now. (that’s all??) Coming soon: catching up with Viva Radio and another Acute release, This Is Still It, by The Method Actors.

SOME NEW MUSIC

All Posts,mp3,New Music — Dan on August 30, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Been meaning to post some new music again for a while. I don’t have much time for the new stuff as there’s still too much old stuff to catch up with, I mean I just heard Din A Testbild, and Dion & The Belmont’s My Girl the Month of May, but I do really dig a lot of stuff that’s going on now. Lots of synth-punk stuff and C86 influences and psychedelic flourishes and plenty of post-punk, NDW, italo and other referencing. MGMT is really great. But I just got exposed to some tangentially Acute related artists I thought I’d share.

When I first met Matt Wood, he was referred to as “Teenage Guitar Sensation Matt Wood.” He had somehow joined the Nightingales, the band that evolved out of the Prefects. The Nightingales reformed around the time Acute’s awesome Prefects CD was released and we helped bring them to the US for their first gigs. On their second or third visit, they had shuffled their line-up a bit (not the first, nor last time) and had this stylish youngster playing guitar. From the first note it was obvious he was a force to be reckoned with, adding a great deal of skronk to the band. He was excited that our next release was the Fire Engines CD, so I knew he had excellent taste. I was sad to hear that he left the Nightingales, though they replaced him with Christy from Christy & Emily, forging a slightly different but no less powerful sound. In keeping touch with Matt since then I learned he has a new project still very much in the early stages. They are called the Silver Hares and are described on myspace thusly…

metalbeat noise and pop songs to salvage despondency of grey matter modern music + all suspect supposed ‘new-wave’ / ‘indust-est’ monochromoloid young liquid savages &/or hungry ghost league.

Their influences are listed as Faust, Palais Schaumburg, Subway Sect, Throbbing Gristle, Milk n Cookies, Joe Meek, Fire Engines, Family Fodder, Sparks, John Foxx

I asked for further details and found out we’re all at Goldsmith’s College and live in a big pink house just round the corner from Deptford (fun city!) We hope to one day find somebody else we like who’ll sing and play bass for us.

Without further ado, here is a song called 48CRASH, also known as Demonstration Two.

The Silver Hares-48CRASH

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Totally killer, right?

And a world and ocean away…I got word from Gustaf Heden, a young swedish songwriter who’s been gigging solo around NYC for a few years now and is forming a new band, Gustaf Heden & Distracting Noises. I’m assuming he’s spent some time in Scotland because he’s worked with Malcolm Ross of Josef K and Orange Juice and Acute’s good friend Russell Burn of the Fire Engines, Win, Sexual Objects and other projects. Gustaf’s debut album, recorded with Russell, called Spectorbutllets is out soon. This is what he had to say about it on his myspace page…

My debut album and collaboration with Russell Burn is recorded and being mixed in Edinburgh by mr. Burn. You can catch the first, raw fruits on here – “Goldmine”, “The Buffalos” and “- + – is…” are rough mixes from the album.

This LP is what happens when you tell one of the best and most creative drummers I’ve ever heard to play 4/4 on every fucking song, and see what he does. It’s what happens when you let me attack every instrument around. Most importantly, it’s a nuclear battlefield of different ideas, harmonies and disarray influenced by the likes of Mayakovsky, Bowie, 13th Floor Elevators, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Augustus Pablo, and gay spray.

There are also some further contributions on certain tracks – guitar from Malcolm Ross (Orange Juice/Josef K, The Bum-Clocks), writing by Joanna Pickering, plus vocal assistance from Heather Craig and Fiona McIntosh.

It was a great month in Scotland and apart from walking up Arthur’s Seat and taking “creative breaks” at the Albion Pub I also got to collaborate on a track off the Sexual Objects’ album and on the second Piefinger album – two albums I can’t wait to hear – as well as play piano with The Bum-Clocks on two nights (Thank you for the great support, Aberdeen!)

Enough Yakkin’. Hope you like the songs – there is much more to come…

For DJ/review advance copies contact us on here or on distractingnoises@gmail.com

I’m really digging this song Goldmine, which reminds me of some the more accessible if shambolic Homosexuals songs…

Gustaf Heden-Goldmine

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What else is new? It’s so hard to keep up. I love Jeremy Jay. John Carpenter sounds really good. Thousands of post-balaeric revival grooves, post-Italians Do It Better moody italo-wave, Telepathe and Effie Briest. Mirror Mirror. The lo-fi italo/techno deconstruction of the mysterious Yellow Beach Balls. I don’t know, I still mostly listen to Fred Neil and the Lines. I JUST finally got Love and Hate by Section 25 and can’t wait to see them (and the Raincoats!) at Part Time Punks fest. I don’t get out much but did see The Pretenders and Cat Power in Central Park. What’s new with you? What’s the new stuff we should be listening to? What’s that, what’s new with Acute Records itself? That’s the next post.

ANOTHER LINES UPDATE THIS TIME WITH MUSIC

mp3,Old Music,Radio — Dan on May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Things are pretty busy for The Lines so I figured it was time for another update, and while I’m at it, why not share some music?

First, The Lines appeared on Ambrosia Rasputin’s show on Resonance FM a few months ago, as mentioned here. Mr. Rasputin played some selections including some releases Rico Conning worked on both now, like a beautiful track from Torch Song’s Laurie Mayer, and then, like a classic song from the Swan’s Children of God, which Rico engineered. And of course they played some Lines.

Around 5 minutes and 30 seconds in, Rico announces a selection from their forthcoming album. That’s right, another Lines release! For everybody who thinks they’ve heard it all, Memory Span and Flood Bank simply comprise the complete RELEASED output of the Lines. After the release of their final album, they continued recording, moving further into electronic, dance and experimental territories. Acute is planning on releasing this as a limited vinyl and digital download, and other then the few times this has been played amongst friends, this is probably the first time anybody has heard this. The song Single Engine Duster is an instant Lines classic…the songwriting and melodies are as good as anything they had released, but the production is more aggressive and electronic then anything they’d done till then.The rest of what will make up this album is varied in style and as good, ranging from atmospheric instrumental grooves that sound like Savage Republic jamming with Cabaret Voltaire to (almost) straight up vocoder and drum machine electro-funk. Really amazing stuff and a few of the super-fans who’ve heard it have ended up liking some of it better then the stuff that actually was released!

Later in the set, the Lines played live, mixing old unfinished tapes with new live improvisations. Very krautrock, very cool.

And that wasn’t the last time they’d get some radio attention in the past few months. At the end of March, Henry Rollins played a track from Flood Bank on his KCRW radio show. We’re proud to say that Henry seems to be a fan of Acute and has played most of our releases on his radio show. You can check the tracklisting and info for the show here, unfortunately it seems it’s no longer archived, sorry I didn’t post about this sooner. I know Henry has played Metal Urbain and Ike Yard among other Acute releases, and he always makes a point of saying how he makes sure to check out our releases because he seems to trust our judgement. You should too!

Meanwhile, beyond their appearance on Resonance, The Lines continue to meet up and play together. With hope, this will result in some shows and maybe even some new recordings! Make sure you befriend them on Myspace to keep up to date on all the details, though obviously I’ll keep posting here.

Before I go, I figured I’d share some more Lines rarities. First we have the version of On the Air recorded at Alaska Studios. After the release of the On the Air single but before the recording and release of the Cool Snap EP, the band went into Alaska to record a possible album. This included new recordings of On the Air and Not Through Windows from the single, early versions of the Cool Snap songs, a very early version of Nerve Pylon, and 3 otherwise unheard songs, Time To Go, Uneasy Affair and Blisstability–the latter two making their first appearance on Acute’s Memory Span compilation. (or Hyped2Death’s Messthetics 102, if you’re really keeping track). Time to Go and the other early versions will remain in the vaults for now, but here’s On The Air…

On the Air (Alaska version)

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Another awesome–and even more essential–rarity, is the original version of the song Transit. Recorded for their second Peel Session, Rico would rewrite the lyrics before the final version that appears on the single and on Memory Span. This version is more direct, aggressive and has the classic Peel Session raw intimacy lacking in the more subtle and produced final version.

Transit (2nd Peel Session)

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So enjoy these tracks and check out the Ambrosia Rasputin jam session and the special sneak-preview of our next Lines release, which you will be hearing plenty about soon enough.

THE LINES UPDATE

All Posts,mp3,Old Music,Radio — Dan on February 25, 2009 at 12:14 pm

The Lines are back! I’m excited to report that The Lines have been rehearsing again for the first time in many years. They hope to play some shows and record some music. I’ll do my best to keep you informed here on this blog, but the best way to follow them would be to check out their myspace page here. We’ll be adding more press and information and the guys will be be posting to the blog with announcements, such as this one…

Resonance Radio appearance

Dear best friends,

we have been cordially invited to join Mr Ambrosia Rasputin on his wednesday evening, wireless show. Show starts at 9.pm so make sure your generators are fully wound and batteries loaded. We will play some of our recorded music, which has not been heard since the mid – 1980s and then, only by a minute portion of the conescenti. We will also play music by other artistes, and although there will only be three of us: Rico; Michael and Nick, we aim to perform live, making it up on the spur as it were. Resonance Radio 104.4 Fm

So definitely tune in tonight, 9pm UK time, to Resonance Radio 104.4 Fm in London, or online here.

Meanwhile, accolades for Flood Bank continue to pour in. Check out Andy Kellman’s 8/10 review at allmusicguide, an extensive 8/10 review by Timothy Gabriele for PopMatters, and Kris Need’s 4 star review for Record Collector in which he states The Lines are “Monstrously ahead of their time”. Extra thanks to Kris for letting us use his 1981 interview with the band from Zig Zag magazine in the liner-notes for Flood Bank. Both Lines releases got a mention in Simon Reynold’s ‘Year in Reissues’ feature for The Wire’s 2008 Rewind issue, where Flood Bank was also listed in the Office Ambience chart.

Also make sure you check out the January 2009 issue of Dazed and Confused magazine for a great 4 page feature on the band with some more of Martin Mossop’s photography. Great article, but features the glaring mistake of calling Acute a “Brooklyn” label. I know Brooklyn is the hippest place on earth, but technically we are based in DC and the slightly less hip borough of Queens. Gotta represent!

What can we expect in the future? Hopefully some live shows and new music and in the meantime, they’ve been going through the archives and digging out more old stuff, unreleased stuff better than most bands released stuff, I assure you! More info about that soon!

LA PART TIME PUNKS FEST RECAP

All Posts,event,mp3,New Music,Old Music — Dan on December 5, 2008 at 1:38 am

Sorry I didn’t do this when it was fresh in my mind. Been busy and there was a national holiday to deal with as well. What an adventure! I’m going to kick it LiveJournal style now. I went out there with nothing really planned except the incredible oppurtunity to crash on the floor of my friend Adesh’s room at the Standard Downtown. We decided to rent a car, because people apparently drive in LA, but the super budget car rental place had no GPS, so most of the trip involved me yelling at Adesh and telling him his iPhone’s GPS was junk. We got to town, I ate some tacos the size of my head at the Grand Central Market, complained about eating too much for a while then went to Amoeba, where I didn’t end up buying any records but I tried to convince some dude to buy some Cabaret Voltaire 7″s for 10 bucks each—you cannot pay too much money for copies of Extended Play and Silent Command. Ran into Mahssa and thought I was back in NYC. Went back to the hotel, hung out with Dahlia and took a nap. Woke up and Adesh was too busy hanging out with A Certain Ratio at the Standard’s roof pool so I went over to the Echo by myself. Met Michael from Part Time Punks and Benny Shambles who I knew from Go Go Go Airheart playing in NYC, and Scarlet from Hang the DJs. Pop Noir and Adult. played. Adult. was way more industrial then they used to be and I missed the neo-italo new wave of the electroclash days. Rico from The Lines showed up to say hello then at the end of the night after Dirty Dave and Franki Chan loudly rocked the kids with their serato sets I got to DJ. Of course I only brought CDs and they didn’t have CDJs set up and their computers were about 100x louder then my CDs so when I opened with Perfect Kiss it sounded terrible but enough of me making DJ excuses. That’s my new DJ name, btw, DJ Excuses. So after the club closed at 2 we went to what looked like a cool old diner but was really a total hipster hangout called Brite Spot or something and we sat next to the singer from Veruca Salt, a real L.A. moment. It was 2am LA time, so 5am NYC time, which is what time I’d usually end up at the diners of NY (Odessa, or Veselka), so all was right, even if I had 2 hours of sleep the night before.

SUNDAY

Went over early to catch ACR’s soundcheck. The rest of the day was spent running up and down the stairs checking out bands and working the merch table where I sold 9 Acute CDs. Was re-introduced to Jessica Espeleta of E.S.P.S. who I had met years ago in NYC. Ran into original Dazzle Ships bartender Brion Paul, who still has my Norman Mclaren DVD, but I’ve got his copy of Jubilee. Victor who played Lines singles for me in SF last year at his Teenage Kicks party, ILXor and blogger Bimble, Don from the old Don’s Records in Brooklyn, Brody from the Plant Bar days, DJ Rob, my old LiveJournal friend Elena and others were all there. And to think I thought I wouldn’t know anybody, a stranger from NY in a stranger land (LA).

ANYWAY

I didn’t see all the bands. I saw Magic Bullets who make a suitably powerful slightly twee Postcard Records style indie-pop with a singer who’s a bit too Morrissey. I saw What’s Your Rupture? signees Nodzzz, who were good simple rock and they had a sense of humor. I saw Grimble Grumble do a classic droned out space rock thing, felt like 96 all over again, they even covered It’s a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl. I saw a bit of Warpaint do some sort of tribal rock and the Vivian Girls for a few seconds playing their c86 girl-group sound. I read an interview with them where they talk about being influenced by the Shangri-Las and never having heard the Shop Assistants. They sounded great, better then the one time I’d seen them before. Love is All as well. I always wonder when bands start to hit bigger stages whether they’ll benefit or suffer. Some bands, especially punk bands, need that intimacy and energy of a small room. But both Vivian Girls and Love is All were great and went over swimmingly. I did not see the Muslims, who sound pretty cool. Nervous Gender was some old-school industrial and Medium Medium and Pylon were both dependably great though I didn’t get too pay too much attention. I totally missed Savage Republic and Softboiled Eggies, to much regret.

Onto my pet faves.

Wild Stares were awesome. I didn’t really know what to expect. I first heard them on a Hyped2Death comp and later found a few of the records here and there. They started out in Boston with releases on the seminal Boston punk/post-punk label Propeller, spent some time in Europe and eventually settled in LA where they’re all involved in tons of projects. Vocalist/gtrist Steve Gregoropoulos is a producer well known on the scene and a member of Lavender Diamond. While they were playing I spoke to some LA kids who couldn’t believe what they were seeing, not expecting Steve to rock out like he did, I suppose. They’re a hard band to describe with their own sound. It’s a noisy post-punk, angular and aggressive and chaotic. They use a drum machine and some electronics to good effect. They did a furious version of one of my favorite songs, Piece of the Picture, which Steve was kind enough to let me share here.

Wild Stares-Piece of the Picture

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Before they played, I was DJing between bands and thought it would be fun to play the Dangerous Birds single on Propeller, the first band featuring Thalia Zadek. I wondered if anyone in the band noticed. A few hours later I was checking out the merch table and noticed another member of Wild Stares sitting behind some records, including original copies of some of their old records including an old Propeller 7″. I mentioned how cool I thought it was that they had that there for sale. He introduced himself as Justin Burrill, who was the man behind Propeller! And yes, they did notice I played the Dangerous Birds single. It was this kind of punk-rock networking that made the event so cool. There’s a great and extensive interview with the band from an old edition of Perfect Sound Forever, well worth reading.

The Nightingales were one of the main reasons I was there. They grew out of the Acute Records-released Prefects and I had suggested them for the festival. As those of you who have been religously following this blog know, I think they’re one of the best bands performing these days and I’ve seen them play NY a few times now, each time just getting better and better but never really reaching that huge an audience in this jaded town. I think it’s great that they’re playing so much though and really think it’s starting to pay off, building up a new fan-base show by show. Despite there being some last-minute schedule changes, which I am partially responsible for, they finally got to play around 6 or so, a few hours after they were supposed to play, but many hours before they were scheduled to play. It’s a long story, but the timing worked out well for them. They played upstairs to a packed room and I imagine most of the people there didn’t know what to expect. They put on a great show, though not quite as amazing as their performance at Asterisk in Bushwick the week before. I think they won over a lot of fans. The moment they finished two guys came back to the DJ booth and asked “who was that???”.  Robert Lloyd was in great form, taunting the audience as usual. One famous aside that has already been documented in more then one place involved Robert stopping the music and staring at somebody in the first row and saying “Don’t you fucking ever take a picture of me…holding a bud light.” They did that little bit of Faust So Far they always do, making for the second Faust cover of the day. Seriously, do not miss the chance to see them. They have a great new album out soon called Insult to injury, recorded with Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust, here’s a song from it.

The Nightingales-Little Lambs

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The Urinals have been a favorite of mine since the AmRep compilation came out. Unfortunately I didn’t see much of their set even though it was a prime goal of mine. I heard them play Strip Club from the 100 Flowers record, one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. I also bought a t-shirt. They sounded great.

A Certain Ratio hadn’t played the US since 1985 and getting them to play the festival was quite the coup. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m sure a lot of people were hoping to hear some of those early post-punk funk classics, which ACR did deliver. But I think some of the audience may not have remembered how far the band went into the 80s and 90s getting more and more involved with club music and various other influences, ranging from the smooth post-UK jazz funk grooves to acid house. While they may not have played Do the Du with all the frantic noise of a young post-punk band, they covered the breadth of their career and sounds, ending with a killer latin drum funk jam (a live remix of Skipscada?) and encored with a cover of Joy Division’s Heart and Soul. Now we have to get them to NY!

The bands ended sunday night around 1 or so, and were followed by a Part Time Punks dance party. Something I’d never really seen. Back when I started Transmission I had this dream of playing proper post-punk dance records to a dancing crowd. That’s never really flown here. Maybe you drop Gang of 4 or Delta 5 into a disco or 80s rock/new wave set you’re good, but a room full of people dancing their assess off to the Normil Hawaiins or House of Cracks by The Lines at 2 am on a sunday night? I take it all back LA, I’m sorry about all the horrible things I’ve said about you.

After the show, I joined Adesh to hang out with A Certain Ratio back at the hotel, the closest I’ll ever come to living 24 Hour Party People, then we hit IHOP. A few hours of sleep, waiting for valet service in 91 degree heat, just missing Rob Lowe filming something on the hotel roof, then we flew back monday. NY was like 40 degrees. The NME reviewed the festival here, including some video footage, though I take umbridge at the “hipster Brooklyn” comment.

Anyway, thanks to Part Time Punks for putting it all together and letting me take part. Till next time…

The photo up top is ACR taken by Adesh’s iPhone. OK at pictures, not OK at driving directions. Here’s one more for the road, I’d Like to See You Again, Los Angeles…

NEW MUSIC

All Posts,event,mp3,New Music,Old Music — Dan on August 16, 2008 at 1:36 am

With full understanding that the only way to get anybody to read your blog is to post free music for people to download, I’ve been meaning to start doing that forever. However I am very busy. As you may have read, I recently did a whirlwind trip through the UK, which I hope to recap soon, but for a taster, it involved DJing in London, dancing at Optimo, going to a party in a cave, having a drink with some Fire Engines, etc. I’ve also been busy stateside, including finishing up the next Lines CD, “Flood Bank”, compiling both their LPs, doing a few Viva Radio shows I haven’t posted about here yet, and even DJing locally. For instance, tonight (Saturday, August 16th), I’m DJing at Rubulad, which will also feature a performance by the Homosexuals. For more info and the address, send me an email.

However, while I take a break from my hectic schedule, I’d like to post some mp3s, so I can join the exciting world of “mp3 blogs”, influence a new generation of music fans and maybe get hired by some dot-com 2.0 start-up funded by News Corp or Viacom or something. Actually, I’ve been excited to do this for ages now. There were a few years where I really wasn’t paying attention to new music. On one hand, I was too busy collected Desperate Bicycles records and reading the Phil Ochs biography. On the other hand, most new music was terrible. Things started to change though, mostly through the influence of people like myself teaching kids about the good musics of the past. All these amazing new bands have been popping up and now there is scene upon scene of awesomeness. Cool minimalist art-punk bands, cosmic disco rockers, psychedelic folk finger-pickers…you name it.

And wouldn’t you know, soon as I started the Acute Records myspace page, I got attacked by friend requests. A good portion of them are crap bands who are just looking for a label. But I listen to them all because some of them actually find us because they dig some of the same music we do, even some of the CDs we release. Or some find my personal page because I have such great taste. Eventually I started finding some on my own, just linking to people’s top friends and discovering the aforementioned scene upon scene of cool stuff I dig. So when I started this blog I mentioned my intention to highlight some of these bands/acts that I liked for whatever reason, and for no particular reason, I decided to start with these two recent myspace acquaintances.

Tony Underground – Mana Magic (album edit)
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this has been removed because it’s coming out legit on Tirk! Congratulations! Awesome!

Tony Underground is a nu-disco (for lack of a better term) producer/DJ in England. His interests are pretty much the same of mine when it comes to dance music, italo, Chicago house etc. He’s got some pretty banging tracks on his myspace player, but the one that grabbed me was this one, Mana Magic. It’s a bit of a balearic groove with a bit in common with some early UK IDM, something Ultramarine or even AFX might’ve done. Beautiful piano tinkling and lush synthetic atmospherics, joined 1/3rd of the way through by some simple beats…really beautiful.

Rauschenberg – Sigue

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Rauschenberg is a duo located in Brooklyn, NY, easily the second coolest borough in the city. They pair an 80s electronic pop sound with a very digital/cut-n-paste aesthetic, especially to this song, with lo-fi casio style samples, vocal grunt samples and newscaster soundbytes that owes as much to Trevor Horn’s glossy Fairlight production as it does to the Severed Heads or Cabaret Voltaire at their most accessible, with female Japanese vocals. I think I was initially attracted to another song on their myspace player, Instrumental, and asked for this one by mistake. Instrumental starts with a digital piano and strings melody (I just love piano and piano-esque) before bringing in the italo-bassline and drum machines, though this has more to do with the way New Order would draw from italo and make more baroque pop songs then the type of post-electroclash italo revival we hear most often. Both songs have some great hooks and totally fascinating production.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed my foray into mp3 blogdom. I have a large backlog of new-ish bands I dig that I plan on asking if I can share (that’s right, I asked permission. It really wasn’t that hard.) I’ll try to do this as often as I can, but as I already said…I’m really busy. Better get back to work.

WAVE THE RAVE GOODBYE

All Posts,mp3,Old Music — Dan on October 15, 2007 at 12:20 am

Killed some time yesterday and recorded a new DJ mix. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that and I had a lot of fun with it. For a few months I’ve been talking about a series of mixes I wanted to record but have just been to lazy busy to do it. Then somebody announced the idea of doing a DJ mix competition for the I Love Music message board and I figured I should throw something together. Only a few others have taken the bait, but I’m just glad it motivated me to get off my ass and record something. I also worked out some kinks in my recording set-up and learned how to fix the volumes in Audacity so it was definitely a good use of my time. It’s a bit sloppy at times, but I had fun. Here’s the mix, tracklisting and more info after the cut.

Wave the Rave Goodbye

more info…

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