WashYourHands

Well-known member
Holger Czukay and Jah Wobble. Onerously heavy talents. Together, even better.

School was a war zone. The whole region was drenched in unavoidable violence - domestic, recreational, territorial, footy. Mainland IRA bombing campaign in full swing and that long, grey round-trip via Liverpool and Holyhead. Monstrous times, don't know how the old man stayed sane. Every night and day could get your head filled in, casuals just waiting for an excuse and that classic tradition of Britain and Ireland, drinking into oblivion. Racism and bigotry of the latent or immediately physical kind always waiting if you wore a hoops top. A melting pot though. Lots of Asians, Jamaicans and Irish families on our avenue, the gateway to the north. NG83 hip hop and breaking crew smashed things creatively. A slim shaft of light. The place has chutzpah.

The miners strike. More chaos, but as divisive as it got for the majority of English people we knew. Have to hand it to Thatcher, she was a true daemon. In among the debris of events like Ollerton, a notice went round school about new qualifications - GCSE's - being rolled out. Piss take because we were the first cohort up. Lab rats got put into sets. Some mates who were marked down took it as a signal to fuck the whole thing off and sell draw ft. More cash meant more records. Somewhere in this swamp of velocity-enforced fear and carnage, Holger Czukay and Jah Wobble's collaborations landed.

2 bass players. 2 legitimate brains who made bass as a locking physical force. 2 wise cracking eccentrics, 2 gentlemen with unhinged talents combined. This entire thread could dovetail into German cosmic-ness so easily. ¬Focus¬.

Selected tunes offer combinations of personnel. The first track is/was a brave new world. Seriously. If you're at an age when hormones are carving up your psyche, listening to a composition that dissolves the world, or anyone's for that matter, has to effect an epic dose of qualia modulating sonics. Language doesn't help, so


Transportation. A place. A high. A drop away. Temporal transactions, where you nodded out but from the very opposite of escapism. In it. Of it. Music with swagger. There's a good chunk of material left hanging (PIL), so it has to be the following groovers






Bliss. Rhythm of an obvious but subliminal nature too. I'm charmed and astounded by this music. That it exists, people actually made it. That they find a tempo and allow themselves to go with it. Another thread here mentions Jaki Liebezeit. What a drummer. Relentless and on it. ON IT. A lot of folk music i'd heard was a strict idiom that packed the emotional and harmonic punch, but these tracks achieve another form of lift off. Wunderbar.

A brief side note for later Balearic Wobble glory. Bomba is, was and forever shall define everything good about music from a specific era that dared to illuminate these rain-soaked islands of shittiness


Notable inclusion (apologies, this was a pure drug tune)


Next, Demis Roussos.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Summer 1986. Got invited to Fuengirola in Spain by a mate and his family. My brothers were so jealous. Foreign holidays were a largely protestant phenomenon. They'd come back with their fucking tans (pun intended) that stretched into October. Problem was protestant girls could be blonde and delicious too. If you couldn't beat them....

A couple of snogs with German girls and a fingerbang, sun-burn, that first encounter with a brutally unforgiving sun, cooking outdoors on a patio. High society. A sea that wasn't brown, sky perma-blue that strecthed out over the Med. Porn on sale openly. Lush, clean hash.

This gaff had a resort style disco. You may well know the type, nothing Alfredo would endorse. A pool table. An excuse for a dance-floor where the Brits would inevitably do a congo at midnight and a local lad on a single deck who must've run through half the wives there. Typical 80's pop diabolica, although to his credit certain tunes emerged out of those pissed up stoned sessions that border on secret/special weaponage which ended up as a mini-quest tune sniffing.

Think these are where a fascination with 4x4 or 1/1 time cemented itself. It could've been heatstroke. As much as i love old hip hop, the difference between a breakbeat and a slow chug goes deeper than aesthetics. Both allow you free-form composition over their respective hypnotic qualities. Yes, there's some disco involved here, but there's an age and a window of experience which could seed that head-nodding addiction in certain personalities and i must be one. 'Stfu and drop the tracks'




 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Time to throw an album in. A whole one. This is the NG7 postcode experience distilled down to an lp. Could've been King Tubby, Jah Shaka, any number of West Indian Cavaliers party numbers, but the thread demands favourites. For all the Alfreton Rd and Radford Rd steppers

 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Shift of tone. You can blame my brother for most of these, a minor cul-de-sac, but a significant one. These are his records, but they have to be included when outlining a relevant life-map about sound.

My older brother was a bit of a punk, still is at heart, so guitar-based music was really his forte. He acquired a guitar (and amp) around ‘85 which coincided with a few records he’d practice to. Endlessly. He got a fuzz pedal just as thrash and grind reared its head out of the other hardcore continuum (which could include stacks of lp’s), so focus is as important as context.

Over the next 18months to 2 years or so, these lp’s and tapes got sealed into my mind in their own way. I mean how many ways can you growl-scream “uuuuuuuuuuuyyyyyyychhhhhhhhgrrrrrrrrrr” at 120db and thousands of bpm’s?

First up are 2 lp’s that defined this period. You don’t have to like them to acknowledge their impact.

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I make no apologies here. This is one of the 20th century’s greats. It hasn’t aged a day. I heard the title-ish track blasting out of boy racer’s shed of a car not too long ago and instantly grinned. The definitive thrash guitar sound. Possibly the best drummer to feature from that era. Guitar solos screaming like blitzkriegs. And Tom Araya on vocals conjuring demonic forces. There isn’t one track you could call filler and the production was/is incredible.

Look at the sleeve art. A pope in hell (thank fuck say the Gers crowd). A throned goat baphomet figure rules this domain. It defines hormonal transitions you were living and instead of nihilism, it said “nihilism is for cunts, get a load of this”. In this respect, it’s surprisingly life affirming. Except my room was next to my brother’s and I must have spent months listening to him fudge riff after riff, until one night he‘d nail a sequence and you’d hear “get in there ya wee cunt”, followed by the floor being banged and my Mum screaming for him to turn it down. One night she dropped the main fuse switch to the entire house. Such is life. Compared to comical twats like Iron Maiden, who still had a contingent at school (don’t really see metallers these days), it had gumption and heft whereas UK punk and DC/NY hardcore were on the slide.

Not long after they played Rock City in the center of town. My brother got us tickets and the line waiting outside was most definitely not the Cabaret Voltaire and TOPY trench coated crowd. Half a gram of speed and the previous autumn’s mushrooms that had broken down into dust and stems. Both compounds boshed, strongbows flowing. Picture denim and patches and leather and long hair and acne and the odd Dead Kennedys shirt accompanied by a few old punks. Piss running down the pavement due to fear of people losing their place in the line.

Get inside. T-shirts on sale, fuck that, mushrooms had given me unholy bowel gurgles and no option other than the toilets. Another line. Noooo. Mushrooms are kicking in hard with the speed, sweating like fuck. Bog door opened and I was in. Seat covered in bodily fluids. Tried to squat over the thing and splatter panned the life out of it. Bog booth was breathing, wavy, jolted by shouts and accents from outside my lair and then the epic problem arose - there‘s no loo roll. This squat had turned into a Guantanamo style stress position, so somehow I got my trousers and kegs off and wiped up with the latter except that wasn’t enough. T-shirt sacrifice time. The guest openers who I can barely recall started. Quick, you’re going to miss this. Walls juddering and I’m wiping my ass with a t-shirt. Done. Wash my hands, trying to avoid the face in the mirror and out into this breathing organic corridor into the main room/hall. Teeth grinding, ticket stub in hand I spent a virtual eternity trying to find my brother and his mates. When he saw me his face turned to an instant frown. “Wtf have you been doing and where’s your fuckin clothes?” Tried explaining, an accident, but he couldn’t really hear me. The stage and hall lights lowered mid sentence and this pagan communal guttural utterance ascended through your entire being. Every cunt was cheering but just before the opening riff it went pin-drop quiet. Commence to something like this


Come on. Get into it. Monarch to the kingdom of the dead? It’s Friday.
 
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WashYourHands

Well-known member
Don’t go in the pit.

Due to mushroom bowels, when our cohort went down to the front to do their thing, I sat further back a bunch of rows. Memories of legs over heads, stage diving fails, but from that range of distance I could just (just) about take it in.

The whole gaff was a living, breathing entity. Walls pulsing. Thank the gods for Tom Araya. He ripped the piss in a fluffy sort of way the whole set, but the visual field of distortion was too much at times. Proper synesthesia. Speaker stacks of Marshalls pumping out purple, yellow, red and green threads of witchy-ness. Not spooky or scary, just overwhelming volume and colour.

Someone bought a tour t-shirt that I wore home, then conveniently forgot about, but that toilet.....savage chaos.
 

Leo

Well-known member
kudos. I still own "reign", they always remind me of the classic scene in "river's edge" when Layne (Crispin glover) wakes up behind the wheel of his VW bug in the morning sun in the middle of the road with slayer blasting. (btw, there's a cult film that deserves discussion, the tale of late-80s burnout American kids).

believe Henry Rollins has said it's one of his all-time fav albums.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
kudos. I still own "reign", they always remind me of the classic scene in "river's edge" when Layne (Crispin glover) wakes up behind the wheel of his VW bug in the morning sun in the middle of the road with slayer blasting. (btw, there's a cult film that deserves discussion, the tale of late-80s burnout American kids).

believe Henry Rollins has said it's one of his all-time fav albums.
Is that the one about the teenager who kills a classmate?
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Earache UK & EU
Registered Office: 26 Handel Street, Nottingham NG3 1JE
e-mail: mail@earache.com
A monster appears as the gateway to the north meets the West Midlands.

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Not many records ripped through the 2nd half of the 80’s like Scum. If you’re going to tear the face off your audience, doing it like this will work. Put aside blast beat biases, ND were a miracle at their slowest. Blew the doors off British music. Mayhem. Few more dicks at gigs but outweighed by the fun and education that a crossover crowd drew on. Bill Steer changed the way a guitar could chew in the same way Aphex nailed synth reverbs with S.A.W. Mick Harris - how much talent and range does the man have? I want to spare a Lull bit for later, but jaysus, genius ears pure and simple. It’s the ears to know where things can go that elevates the art.

Notable additions (that reads like a prick), up there with ND for me is the Carcass lp Reek of Putrefaction. Oooph.

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You’ve got to laugh with the sleeve. 1987 was a funny year. Coil were bubbling away (save later too). For the commitment my brother had in trying to get even close to completing any of these tracks practicing is one thing, but we sort of bonded more over these records. A level ground. Someone who had half a head height and a couple of stones on me actually wasn’t a cock, just some of the time.

Lastly, bought at Our Price for a pile of shrapnel, not one £1 note. Any number of albums might be among the choices, but I saved like a cunt to get this so

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Monstrous choice dilemma if you extend out to Minor Threat, Rollins, Bad Brains (another prompt to include more on) who were like a force of nature. DK’s reminded you this weird anomaly we call America could dissect itself with succinct noise. From the first second, it’s on. A band that you have to dose yourself with every now and again. And what a racket, a racket that could make you ponder ‘is it really that bad over there? has the cunt not seen Ilkeston?”
 

Leo

Well-known member
damn, WYH, taking me back. "holiday in Cambodia" and "California uber alles" actually seemed dangerous back at the time, Cali punk shows used to get seriously raided and cops weren't shy about busting some heads to teach a lesson. how can you not love a band with members named Jello Biafra, Klause Flouride and East Bay Ray.
 

Leo

Well-known member
as I've said before: nah, just old.

BTW, I wasn't in California getting beaten by cops at punk shows, but I did see the DKs twice in NYC.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
1988 and 1989. Last one before bed and beats of a specific form. Anyone remember how good Holland were that summer in the Euros btw? An acceptable form of orange savant-esque expression. Stfu and get to the music. Ok.

This tune hit so hard with funk dialled to the max when first heard. Can’t place where exactry. A record that stays with you the way loyal friends do. Its sheen has never faded at all. In fact fuck it, there are three musts, even though a ton of alternative material is floating within reach and I’m slaloming a bit.


into


Wherever you could be over this period, home, your mates, at school, at the record store, parties, these tunes were going to be there. Whatever hip hop you may or may not like today, not many acts could hammer and mould a groove rhythmically and lyrically as EPMD did.

A decade changing drastically. A whole swathe of proto-House, techno and disco edits filtered into life around this time and a drug that was a pill, not a jelly or a diazepam script, but a wave of change in itself. Before we go there and because I’m wired and insomnia is kicking in, hold tight for a super slow ride. A record that was so far ahead of the game in terms of groove. All the other fake soul rubbish doing the rounds roughly contemporary to it crumbled in its wake when you played this in Nottingham


More later. Nah, actually, the soundtrack to most acid comedowns over these brief few years, before the twist back to the US. Slainte

 
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