Saturday, 30 September 2017

MuhMur Radio September 28 Broadcast.

The programme starts with a track from the newly released tape "Binary Visions" by Daniel Fagerström. Daniel is one half of Swedish duo Cryme (whose new single I played on the last programme). Daniel has also released under the name of Optic Nest and been involved with the Skull Defekts and Members Of Tinnitus. "Binary Visions" is six pieces of analogue sequencers and patterned electricity. Really great sounds, the tape is released by UK label Beat Concern.
A few weeks ago I was chatting with Harbinger Sound mainman Steve Underwood about his upcoming release of the third Heavy Metal album when he dropped the name La Confirmation into the conversation and recommended the new album "1983 - 1985" a collection of unreleased / live tracks from that period. All new to me and surprisingly excellent. Sound quality is excellent for unreleased tapes ... made me wonder if this was all a little Chen Yi ... but I have been told it is genuinely from those years. Again, very Tuxedomoon in places and sometimes Blurt and Savage Republic, hence "Arci Kroen" from the double LP "Aegean"on Nuit Et Brouillard.
Dug out the old Skullflower single, I like digging out old Skullflower records, a fact I have learnt in the last few weeks is that Australian based critic / author Jack Sargeant was involved with Toejam Records. He released his own Nitro Pussy project on the label too.

There's an awful lot of Coil (and associates) being re-issued at the moment. I'm not a big "fan" of the group but when I saw "Another Brown World" was being released as a 12" by Sub Rosa it made me dig out the 1989 "Myths 4" album it was originally released on. I had forgot all about this gem.
The programme finishes with two tracks by two projects that have a connection. The DP's and Duncan Harrison. The DP's "City Of Freaks" comes from the LP "If You Know What Mean?".

I love The DP's. There was a weekend in Lincoln in 1978 where they played live twice. Once supporting Slade at the Theatre Royal and then supporting The Vibrators at The Drill Hall. They were
promoting their first LP and still known as The Depressions but they have left an impression on me. The LP cover is truly bizarre (for a "punk" album) and features Debbie Arnold. Class.
"Preamble To Nihil" by Duncan Harrison is available as a pay what you like download at :
The connection? They're both from Brighton.

Listen hear : (Copy & Paste).

01: Daniel Fagerström : "0110100" (Beat Concern) 2017.
02: Units : "High Pressure Days" (Community Library) 2009.
03: La Confirmation : "Echolalie (Delodio Edit)" (Delodio) 2017.
04: Savage Republic : "Arci Kroen" (Nuit Et Brouillard) 2015.
05: Einstürzende Neubauten : "Kalte Sterne" (Mute Records) 1992.
06: Skullflower : "Spook Rise" (Toejam Records) 1990.
07: Tovah Olson & Aaron Dilloway : "T&A" (Tovinator Records) 2006.
08: Esplendor Geométrico : "Héroe Del Trabajo (II)" (Geometrík) 2012.
09: Phantom Airwaves : "KR200 Kabinenroller" (Firework Editions Records) 2010.
10: Stuart Chalmers : "Fire In The Blood" (Not On Label) 2017.
11: Dome : "Ritual View" (Dome Records) 1980.
12: Filtro : "Statore" (Upside Down Recordings) 2017.
13: Death Squad : "Unit 1837.2" (Spastik Kommunikations/Neural Operations) 2011.
14: La Confirmation : "Pièce No.5, Enfermement Du Soir" (Delodio) 2017.
15: Coil : "Another Brown World" (Sub Rosa) 1989.
16: The DP's : "City Of Freaks" (Barn Records) 1978.
17: Duncan Harrison : "Preamble To Nihil (A)" (Not On Label) 2017.

The next MuhMur Radio broadcast will be on October 12 at 20:00 hours GMT. Hopefully the FM transmitter out on the Dartington Estate will be fixed and it will all be heard over the airwaves. This programme was "internet only". The October 12 programme will feature exclusive material from Bulgarian projects : MyTrip, Dayin and Mother Spit .. as well as the (ir)regular feature of "on this day"....

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Duncan Harrison.

It's good to see a new release from Duncan Harrison. The Brighton based chef of the noise garde, promoter, poet and ex-Plural. The last solo release I heard was the 2013 tape "Ogre Neon" on Beartown Records, and I found that CDR very hard to get on with ... "Preamble to Nihil" is still "difficult" music but it is an easy listen thanks to masterful editing ...

"Preamble To Nihil" is a C30 tape, a step inside the comforting space between the ears of Mr. Harrison. It's construct is from random recordings, live performances, stream of conscious style verbals and attacks. A collage. A diary. Cut-Up Construction.
Inside the magnetics are sounds of wonky lo-fi guitar, dreamscape poetry (word & mouth play), looped vibes, arguments, church bells and brass bands (Brighton parklife?), turntables, general rustle, hustle and bustle. Sax blurts, ampnoise. There's some recorder playing that sounds like an intro to an old Good Missionaries song. It's all in the editing and presented so smoothly, like listening to a jigsaw being built.
"Preamble To Nihil" is available as a pay what you like download Duncan's band camp site : : I think all the cassette editions have sold.

It's always a pleasure to listen to what Duncan is up to, this tape does not disappoint. To quote the man himself;

"Empty Of Meaning Where Meaning Could At Last Be Emptied". 

Friday, 15 September 2017

MuhMur Radio September 14 Broadcast.

A programme built around the sound of Bulgarian project MyTrip. MyTrip are over in the UK next week for a quartet of live shows, starting in London on September 21, then moving to Bristol (22), Birmingham (23) and Brighton (24). I have been listening to the sounds of MyTrip since 2012 when I bought their split tape with Costa Rican noise band EUS. I knew nothing of Bulgarian or Costa Rican electronic sounds so I thought I'd take a listen. I have been listening to MyTrip ever since. Even managed to catch him live in 2014 in Bristol.

                                                             MyTrip, Bristol 2014.

The broadcast starts with two pieces from the split tape, also included in the mix is a track from the collaboration release with fellow Bulgarian artistes Climaxim and Ivan Shopov, and a track from the split cassette with Human Larvae.

I was surprised to read that Russian label Infinite Fog were re-releasing the Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson LP "The Art Of Mirrors" on CD format. I never knew a vinyl edition existed. Originally released on the French Black Mass Rising label "The Art Of Mirrors" is a live soundtrack to the 1973 film of the same name by Derek Jarman. Recorded at L'Etrange Festival in 2004. The original vinyl release was limited to 500 copies....I managed to track a copy down, the programme includes two extracts.
A couple of "pre-release" spins courtesy of the good folk at Harbinger Sound. Nachthexen's "Disco Creep" 7" is out on the 22nd September to co-incide with their London date with Sleaford Mods and Heavy Metal's "Use Your Skull" track is from the forthcoming LP "The Nietzschean Supermen Of Dustbin Rock". Heavy Metal are a Berlin based punk band, fitting perfectly in with the roster of German punk bands being discovered and released by Harbinger Sound. Pisse, Toylettes, Noseholes and to some extent Karies spring to mind. I really like these tracks by Heavy Metal. "Simple Things" having a touch of Wire's "Lowdown" about it and "Use Your Skull" reminds me of Poison Girls (When played loud)!
The "On This Day" record is Artery's "The Clown". Released in 1982 on Red Flame Records.
Towards the end of the broadcast is the new 7" from Swedish duo Cryme. Their first outing on vinyl. Cryme are Daniel Fagerström (Optic Nerve) + Mattias Gustafsson (Altar Of Flies). A great slice of Swedish avant-pop.

Please take a listen here : Copy & Paste :

01: MyTrip : "Watching Myself" (Abandonment) 2012.
02: MyTrip : "From A Distance" (Abandonment) 2012.
03: Peter Christopherson : "The Art Of Mirrors (Extract)" (Black Mass Rising) 2015.
04: Climaxim/Ivan Shopov/MyTrip : "How Does It Feel To Be Inbetween" (Amek) 2016.
05: Cabaret Voltaire : "Baader-Meinhoff" (Factory Records) 1979.
06: Chris Watson : "10m" (Touch) 2007.
07: Peter Christopherson : "The Art Of Mirrors (Extract)" (Black Mass Rising) 2015.
08: Illusion Of Safety : "Quell" (Crippled Intellect Productions/Complacency) 2008.
09: Stuart Chalmers & Neil Campbell : "Slipping Slipping" (Not On Label) 2017.
10: Religious Overdose : "In This Century" (Glass Redux) 2017.
11: Bunnydrums : "Little Room" (Not On Label/Self Released) 1981.
12: Heavy Metal : "Simple Things" (Static Age) 2016.
13: Heavy Metal : "Use Your Skull" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
14: Nachthexen : "Disco Creep" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
15: Artery : "The Clown" (Red Flame Records) 1982.
16: MyTrip : "Remain Unfinished" (Danvers State Recordings) 2014.
17: Noise Dreams Machina : "Out" (Drone Records) 2008.
18: Cryme : "It's All Cold" (Hästen & Korset) 2017.
19: BºTong : "Vam / Lam / Ram / Pam" (Drone Records) 2011.

Next broadcast will be at 20:00 GMT on Thursday October 12. SoundArt Radio 102.5FM if you're anywhere near Totnes Devon or tune in to the SoundArt Radio website and listen to the live stream. SoundArt Radio have also started archiving MuhMur Radio broadcasts ... (Thank you very much).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Chris Watson : No Man's Land

                                            Ellen + Chris in conversation. Philip obscured

Throughout the month of September an event is taking place in Torbay. "The Tale", a journey through time and space from the streets of Torquay to the quarry of Berry Head in Brixham. Performances, paintings and installations take place at points in between.
It is all the idea of Philip Hoare, a local lad who spent his boyhood here in Torbay. Philip is an esteemed author and film-maker of oceanic life.

                                           Watery Ecstatic (Whale Fall) by Ellen Gallagher

Last Saturday Philip hosted a conversation with Chris Watson and Ellen Gallagher whose audio and visual work are part of "The Tale". Ellen's work is being exhibited at Torquay Museum (to a Chris Watson soundtrack) until September 24. Chris has his installation piece "No Man's Land" in the quarry at Berry Head. The conversation took place inside the Artillery House at Berry Head Nature Reserve. It was more or less established straightaway that the three were connected through a love of music, although Ellen had never heard Chris's work until this event. She was involved with American project Drexciya and has worked with Detroit musicians Derek May + Jeff Mills. Philip used to work for Rough Trade Records and Les Disques Du Crepuscule in the early 1980's whilst they were releasing and promoting Cabaret Voltaire.

                                            Mathew F. Riley outside the Artillery House

The conversation flowed from Ellen's work in her studios in New York and Rotterdam (The Nether-Lands), where she is based by the sea..she likes to travel out onto the ocean to seek inspirations for her art. She told the story of watching a deer drown and so discovering that the sea is unrepentant and also the history of the Dutch slave ship "The Zong" and how it was originally called "The Zorg" which is Dutch for "Care" and its massacre of slave women and children in 1781. Compelling and fascinating. Chris wove in stories of how sea mammals communicate, how the life that remained in the sea instead of crawling onto the land and never returning, communicates by telepathy and vibrations. He explained his techniques for recording their "music", referring to the sounds of the sea as music. Philip spoke of his swimming with Orca and Sperm Whale and his fear of the ocean. He swims daily but every time he enters the water he is "shit scared". And all this going on whilst the music of turtles, dolphins and whales coming from Chris's installation was surrounding the hut.

Q&A session and my esteemed colleague and occasional MuhMur Radio contributor, Mathew F. Riley asked Chris what was the defining moment when he decided to leave the path of Industrial Music and record the music of nature. Was it always a boyhood dream? Chris answered by saying the reason for leaving Cabaret Voltaire was deeply personal. The death of Ian Curtis affected him a lot. Then it became obvious through watching New Order and Soft Cell (both of whom Chris had recorded in his Western Works Studio in Sheffield) that to progress they would have to sign to a "major" label. In 1983 New Order were invited onto "Top Of The Pops" and Soft Cell were number One with "Tainted Love" and they both invited Chris along for the experience and it was there during the recording that he saw that you had to sell your soul to move "upwards", you had to become a prostitute and sacrifice too much. It was there he decided to leave Cabaret Voltaire and start a career in engineering at Tyne Tees. (A Northern television studio). It really was an ear and eye opening personal story told with eloquence and not what either of us expected.

                                            "No Man's Land" Berry Head Nature Reserve 

"No Man's Land" is a mammoth installation. An array of huge speakers hung over the quarry cliffs booming out the music of subterranean sea life. The sound of Planet Ocean. We spent about 30 minutes in the sensurround sounds looking out across the Atlantic Ocean towards Torquay and beyond. The sound of below the sights of above. Awe-inspiring. 
Events like this are rare in Torbay. I went along to meet and hear Chris Watson (being an old cab's head) and hopefully get my 7" single signed (failed....too shy), but the day opened me to the works of Ellen Gallagher and writings of Philip Hoare.
The event runs until September 24 and the installation at the quarry is free on weekends. Recommended. A great day out. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Religious Overdose.

As a rule and generally speaking I am not too keen on the CD re-issue of bands from the punk / post-punk era that released a brace of 7" singles before disappearing into the swamp of life never to be seen or heard of again. These CD compilations are usually filled with demo tracks, dodgy live recordings and alternate mixes / acoustic versions. I always think it is better to save the coffers and try and find the original vinyl.
There are, however, exceptions to the (my) rule. "Glass Hymnbook 1981-1982" by Religious Overdose being one of those exceptions. Running time is a little over 50 minutes and includes the three single releases. The "bonus" material includes a couple of live recordings, a track from the compilation LP "Northampton Under Glass" and a 4-track demo tape version of an earlier B-Side. No O.T.T. excessive live versions or 21st century remixes. This CD is expertly compiled with well chosen extras.

I can't remember when I first heard Religious Overdose. The debut single "Control Addicts" came out in 1981. I either bought it from Sanctuary Records in Lincoln or through the classifieds in "Sounds". That's how I bought stuff back then. But...I have a feeling I had a cassette tape of theirs previous to this. I have always associated Religious Overdose with a couple of other bands; The Dogma Cats and Ersatz who I used to correspond with at the time, and I think I got to learn about Religious Overdose through them. Although I could be mis-remembering things. The website Discogs doesn't list any tape . but I can see it!
So. 1981, I am 18 years old and there's a band called Religious Overdose and they have a single out called "Control Addicts" (Just like the Cabaret Voltaire song .. but plural .. I know) it has got my name written all over it.
In the early days the style of Religious Overdose was languid. "Control Addicts" kicks off with a Dr Rhythm style beat box and slowly there comes the fuzz drone keys, the stabbing guitar, the floating strings and "in the mix" vocals. The kind of single that 4AD would have released, and yes, it has a Cabaret Voltaire air. The B-Side has always been my favourite. "25 Minutes" with it's repeated vocal "25 Minutes On A Train, On A Train" over a motorik  psychedelic soundtrack. Think of The Instant Automatons "New Muzak" mixed with early They Must Be Russians and you get the build of this song.
Later in 1981 came the 7" "I Said Go" and the introduction of "real" drums. "I Said Go" is a tight two minute pop song with a catchy chorus. The B-Side has always been my favourite (spotting a theme here?). "Alien To You" is another Religious Overdose classic with spiked guitar wandering all over freeform drums and keyboards. One of those songs where it's easy to get lost in the drifting sound .. to these 2017 ears it reminds me of Circuit Breaker.
It was after this release I started writing to Religious Overdose and throughout 1982 got letters back from the singer Alex Novak, and sometimes the guitarist Richard Formby. That was what I did back then. No internet and hardly any "media" coverage.
The final vinyl came in 1982 with the 12" single "The Girl With The Disappearing Head", which (for some reason) I have never bought. Never even heard it before buying this CD. Perhaps I did hear it on John Peel and by the end of 1982 my music taste had altered? I doubt it though ... It's now a 12" I need to have....
Track listing puts the B-Side first. A seven minute plus masterpiece called "In This Century". It all begins with scraped guitar necks, tinkered cymbals, bowed bass strings and a tinny tippy tappy beat box. Its all very "Bela Lugosi's Dead". Slowly it breaks into a sub psychedelic stream of conscious loose live jam "type" of track. I know this is a bit niche but it reminds me a hell of a lot of "Little Room" by Bunnydrums. "The Girl With The Disappearing Head" is a straight forward pop tune with the title as chorus. Perhaps Religious Overdose were getting tired? Perhaps the introduction of Ciaran Harte to the line up changed the sound? He was in the band Glass before going solo before joining. Again, 2017 ears and I'm hearing a lot of Artery in the sound.
The bonus tracks are dispersed amongst the singles and gives a great indication in the development of  sound in Religious Overdose. The CD ends with a ten minute plus live (to tape) version of "In This Century". It must have been a live showstopper.

I have always had a copy of the first 7". I can't live without "25 Minutes". The copy I have at the moment I found for 25p in an Oxfam shop in Selby. Mint it was.
I did try and listen to Venus Fly Trap in the late 1980's....the group formed by vocalist Alex Novak, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear back then. I saw the name of guitarist Richard Formby as producer on a VibraCathedral Orchestra CD a few years back.
The CD is essential if you want to know what great indie music sounded like in 1981. It comes with a 12 page booklet telling the story of the band with pages of old ads and flyers. And a couple of pictures. I had never seen a picture of the band before!

CD is available from Glass Redux for a tenner.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

MuhMur Radio August 31 Broadcast.

Live on a hot August night, in the darkness (again) of Dartington Hall Estate. This programme begins with the whole of Frans de Waard's new one track album "Hot August Night". Newly released on the Tokyo based label White Paddy Mountain. It's a great meditative piece of gongs and bells dedicated to Frans' late mother Lotti de Waard-Hellegers.
Recently I managed to get a copy of the debut tape release from Widows Of Europe. Talked about elsewhere on this blog "Hot August Night" bleeds into side A of "Live @ Ambient Electronique".
Going through some old tapes I discovered a copy of the compilation "ND #7" on Texan label ND. The cassette was released sometime in 1986 and was the first audio edition of the ND Magazine. Under the banner of "Contact / Document / Exchange" ND Magazine operated for about 20 years featuring leading exponents  of underground mail art, performance art and sound art. "ND #7" features tracks from (amongst others) Die Form, The Joke Project, Odal, The Haters, Andre Stitt, Qwa Pigs Never Parish and (in my opinion the finest track from) IBF. Australian artist / filmmaker Paul Hurst is also on there with an untitled piece of AM/FM radio collage. Paul lived in London in the 1980's and started Produktion, a record stall and hairdressers and cassette label. Paul also worked with Whitehouse, John Duncan and Nurse With Wound.

A sneaky preview of the upcoming release by Sheffield punks Nachthexen follows Nurse With Wound. "The State Of Her" is a track on the 4 track 7" EP "Disco Creep". It will be released by Harbinger Sound on September 22. Nachthexen will be supporting Sleaford Mods throughout on their UK tour this autumn. Also in September Bulgarian project MyTrip will be in the UK playing a series of dates in Brighton, London, Bristol and Birmingham. Check the MyTrip Facebook page for tour details. I am hoping to play some exclusive MyTrip sounds on the next broadcast (September 14), just depends how the postman feels ... a package including some exclusive material by Michael Esposito has been lost in transit. "Lustre" is a track from the 2016 album "Filament" released by Amek Records.

The regular feature "On This Day" features Glaxo Babies. A band that never released a bad record! the 7" "Christine Keeler" was released on 31 August 1979. I remember buying it from Sanctuary Records in Lincoln!

The MixCloud archive of the broadcast is available. Please copy & paste :

01: Frans de Waard : "Hot August Night" (White Paddy Mountain) 2017.
02: Widows Of Europe : "Live @ Ambient Electronique (A)" (Sword & Mirror) 2017.
03: Neutral : "Andas" (Omlott) 2016.
04: Five Or Six : "The Trial" (Cherry Red Records) 1981.
05: Paul Hurst : "No Title" (ND) 1986.
06: John Duncan : "The Gossamer Dispatch" (Errant Bodies Press) 2006.
07: Nurse With Wound : "Alas The Madonna Functions" (Vinyl On Demand) 2009.
08: Nachthexen : "The State Of Her" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
09: Glaxo Babies : "Christine Keeler" (Heartbeat Records) 1979.
10: Stuart Chalmers : "Flying Dervishes Of The Recycled Choir" (Chocolate Monk) 2017.
11: MyTrip : "Lustre" (Amek) 2016.
12: Dusa : "Märkliga Timmar.Nattslut" (Segerhuva) 2008.
13: Enhet För Fri Musik : "Fragment Av En Midsommarnattsdrom" (Omlott) 2017.

Next broadcast is on September 14, same time, same channel and (more than likely) same T-Shirt.

MuhMur Radio Broadcast 15 March 2018.

Back in the studio after a month away. "After The Snow" ... if only I had thought to open the programme with the Modern Englis...