There will never be a box that will allow us as dissenters to state 'none of the above'.
People will go on voting for what they percieve to be the lesser of the evils, or motivated by nostalgia, or in the flawed belief that they have some moral obligation to vote.
That doesn't mean to say that if your tired of the whole charade that you should stay away from polling stations. By totally abstaining the point you're making is not clear- millions of people won't vote because they don't care less or they don't understand the extent to which they are oppressed or there's something on TV or it's just something that they don't do. I'd rather turn up at the polling booth and make some sort of a statement . Spoiled ballot papers are counted...So long as there's no place on the ballot paper to record disapproval of the farce of democracy in a capitalist state you need to improvise a bit. Spoil the paper, make your point. State your position on the ballot paper. Spoiled papers do more to undermine the credibility of any elected body than a low turn out.I can reveal that in the forthcoming Euro elections I will be writing the following quote from Chummy Fleming on the paper:
I am opposed to your Government and to your authority.
Down with them. Do your worst. Long live Anarchy.
This is a vinyl rip of the Clay 12”, so it includes the track Alcohol, which seems to be missing from some CD reissues.
Colin Abrahall- vocals
Ross Lomas- bass
Colin "Jock" Blyth- guitar
Andrew Williams- drums
I love simple music-
From the green pastures of Harvard University- Galaxie 500 were:
Dean Wareham -guitar,vocals
Naomi Yang - vocals, bass
Damon Krukowski - drums
Noted for the diversity of the material they covered, these two sets include numbers originally by Jonathan Richman, Buffy St. Marie, Sex Pistols and Young Marble Giants.
Tracks 1-4: broadcast 17th October 1989
Tracks 5-8: broadcast: 4th November 1990
Anyone remember this treasure?
Miaow, as featured on the 'legendary' NME C86 tape. I first came across them on Peel, also used to have the Underground Strum+Drum cassette, which I was surprised to see was actually 1988... thought it was older.
Cath Carroll - vocals, guitar
Steve Maguire -guitar
Ron Caine -bass
Chris Fenner -drums
There's a history of the band and an overview of Cath Carroll's work here.
Two Rolling Stones songs-Shockabilly- 19th Nervous Breakdown (1983)-The Mo-Dettes-Paint It, Black (1980)
Dug out these two Rolling Stones covers from that box of 7” records.
Two interesting bands, well worth five minutes on Wikipedia.
Chadbourne and Kramer have worked with talents from John Zorn to Half Japanese whilst The Mo-Dettes provide the unlikely link between The Slits and The Communards.
The Mo-Dettes single is the most warped record I have ever seen!
Eugene Chadbourne- guitar vocals
Mark Kramer- bass, organ
David Licht- drums
Ramona Carlier- vocals
Kate Korus- guitar
June Miles-Kingston- drums
Jane Crockford- bass
This one does the job- tracks from the 2 studio LPs, singles and a lot of alternate takes and live stuff.
Truly unique and deeply influential.
tracks 4, 6, 8 & 17- recorded Sept 1977.
rest recorded December 1978- July 1979.
Nikki Sudden- guitar, vocals
Richard Earl- guitar, bass, vocals
Epic Soundtracks- drums, piano, stylophone, backing vocal
Jowe Head- bass, violin, backing vocal
David Barrington- guitar, bass, vocals
John Cockrill- guitar, backing vocal
Sorry to disappoint you Dave, but the power belongs to us already- as David Hume wrote over 200 years ago "force is always on the side of the governed, and governors have nothing to support them but opinion".
The Subhumans came from Wiltshire and initially signed to Flux of Pink Indians’ Spiderleg label. They cited their influences as being Crass, The Damned, King Crimson and Frank Zappa!
This 8 track EP from 1983 brings us some tuneful, technically accomplished anarchopunk . There’s even a piano driven song! They sound more like a 1977 band than their crusty contemporaries.
Dick Lucas - vocals,occasional piano
Grant Jackson - bass
Bruce Treasure - guitar,vocals,occasional drums
Trotsky - drums
Today, so many years later, the shock of punk is that every good record can still sound like the greatest thing you've ever heard.....because it can convince you that you never have to hear anything else as long as you live-each record seems to say everything there is to say…Greil Marcus Lipstick Traces 1989
This is the 1979 reissue of Spiral Scratch.
The record was originally released 29 January 1977 on the band's own New Hormones label, making Buzzcocks the first English Punk group to establish an independent record label. Its initial 1,000 copies quickly sold out, and eventual sales reached 16,000 via mail order, and Virgin Manchester.
Buzzcocks recorded the tracks on 28 December 1976 at Indigo Sound, Manchester on 16-track tape, produced by Martin Hannett (credited as Martin Zero). According to Devoto: It took three hours [to record the tracks], with another two for mixing…The band borrowed £500 from their friends and families to pay for the production and manufacture of the record.
The reissue was credited to "Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto"
Howard Devoto: vocal
Pete Shelley: guitar
Steve Diggle: bass
John Maher: drums
If you only ever get one Lee Perry LP this should be it.
If you only ever get one reggae LP this should be it.
If you were only ever going to get one LP you could do worse.
I’m not going to try to eulogise the eccentric genius of Perry here- that would take millions of words.
A few weeks back I predicted a heatwave- stock up on summer sounds to help stay cool- start here.
All tracks recorded at the legendary Black Ark Studio, Kingston, JA- 1975-1977.
On a day when comrades are gathering to sack parliament and kettle the cops I thought we could sample a bit of anarchist culture from my youth.
A word about quality- or lack thereof:
This was the ethos of DIY punk carried towards its logical conclusion, a compilation of recordings that were submitted to Crass- some of them bedroom recordings- transferred to vinyl in their original form- 25 tracks for £1.35…
As Andy T says on the prescient opening track- you don’t have to be able to play you don’t have to have something to say just do it.
The record stuck about 6 times that I noticed- so I just tapped the deck with a drumstick after a second or so- hope this doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of this document of the golden age of anarchopunk.
There are some storming numbers here.
Tracklisting in file.
Nestor Makhno said: ANARCHISM - a life of freedom and creative independence for humanity.
Anarchism does not depend on theory or programs, which try to grasp man's life in its entirety. It is a teaching, which is based on real life, which outgrows all artificial limitations, which cannot be constricted by any system.
Anarchism's outward form is a free, non-governed society, which offers freedom, equality and solidarity for its members. Its foundations are to be found in man's sense of mutual responsibility, which has remained unchanged in all places and times. This sense of responsibility is capable of securing freedom and social justice for all men by its own unaided efforts. It is also the foundation of true communism.
Anarchism therefore is a part of human nature, communism its logical extension.
Let’s put this into context- This 7” single is 32 years old.
I found it in a box of rubbish in 1986. I was literally going through somebody’s rubbish when I found it. It was naked- no sleeve.
So there’s a bit of surface noise. That’s an understatement.
There are millions of pristine versions of this music available out there in blogland.
It just made me think though- when you’re looking for a rare record for every copy that’s nestling comfortably in someone’s collection, armoured in a polythene sleeve, protected from dust and extremes of temperature, there are probably an equal number that were chucked out in the rubbish.
It emphasises the essentially ephemeral nature of pop music. I remember one kid who used a box of Elvis 78’s as airgun targets…
The Screamers originated in Seattle and moved to Los Angeles in 1977.
Although cited by many later punks as a great influence, the Screamers never released a record, and their reputation rests on bootlegs and practice recordings such as this one. Having their roots in performance art and with visuals being an important aspect of their work, they initially planned to release their debut album in video form only (a remarkable proposition in the early 80’s).
Punk Rock without guitars and bass? You bet. Call it synthpunk? Why not just call it punk.
2 Tone was commercially successful in a way that punk had never been. In 79-80-81 The Specials / Special AKA scored 7 consecutive top ten hits, including 2 number ones, ...
the music and image had mass appeal, particularly with younger kids. The porkpie hats, the sta pressed, the braces, the dances, the shades- it was all there on a plate and served up by numberless market stalls. This EP went to number one in the UK charts in January 1980. The lead number, a breakneck version of a track off the band's debut LP, was a reworking of Lloyd Charmers' Birth Control . The remaining tracks are covers of 60's Jamaican classics that would pepper generations of ska compilations.
Terry Hall - vocals
Jerry Dammers - keyboards
Lynval Golding - rhythm guitar, vocals
Neville Staple - toasting, backing vocals, percussion
Roddy Byers (Roddy Radiation) - lead guitar
Horace Panter (Sir Horace Gentleman)- bass guitar
John Bradbury (Brad) - drums
Rico Rodriguez - trombone
Dick Cuthell - flugel horn
That Petrol Emotion blah blah blah Undertones blah blah blah first LP blah blah heavier sound blah. John O'Neill blah blah blah.
Music journalism blah blah blah, earnest attitude late eighties blah blah blah. Primacy of the guitar in popular music etc blah.
Great album, hardly off my turntable 86-89 blah blah blah.
Blah blah blah promiscuity, cavities and receding hairline.
Blah blah blah falling in a ditch and waking up with my hat still on and the bed full of soggy leaves blah blah blah.
This has got the bonus tracks from the Demon records CD release.
Altogether now, three cheers for Walker!
Steve Mack- vocals
Raymond Gorman- guitar
Ciaran McLaughlin- drums
This really is a classic. The Partisans, a young band from Bridgend in south Wales, came up with one of the best punk albums of the early eighties.
Although they often cropped up on Oi complilations, they were more honest to goodness punk than just terrace chants, with plenty of social conciousness and ire evident in their lyrics.
This is a rip of the No Future vinyl release.
Spike - vocals
The 101'ers were supported by the Sex Pistols at the Nashville Room on 3 April 1976, 5 seconds into the Pistols' first song, I knew we were like yesterday's paper, we were over... said John, who was by this time known as Joe Strummer... he went on of course, to front the greatest band in the history of rock music and to take on the mantle of Punk Rock Warlord.
Burning Aquarium is not an encyclopedia.
Joe Strummer - vocals, guitar
Clive Timperley - guitar, vocals
Dan Kelleher - bass, vocals, keyboards
John Mole - bass
Richard Dudanski - drums, vocals
Our social institutions are founded on certain ideas; as long as the latter are generally believed, the institutions built on them are safe. Government remains strong because people think political authority and legal compulsion necessary. Capitalism will continue as long as such an economic system is considered adequate and just. The weakening of the ideas which support the evil and oppressive present-day conditions means the ultimate breakdown of government and capitalism. Progress consists in abolishing what man has outlived and substituting in its place a more suitable environment.
Satori , literally understanding , is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. Satori in Paris was issued free with the initial release of the Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape live LP, as well as on the New Rose label in France. (This is the Beggars Banquet issue) Both tracks (Double Dare and Hair of the Dog) were recorded live at Le Rose Bon Bon, Paris, France on December 3rd 1981.
The record takes its name from Jack Kerouac’s unenlightening 1966 account of a drunken trip to France in search of his roots.
I’ve always thought that The Wedding Present was an inappropriate name for a pop group — more like a poem, or a book or something — and therefore quite attractive (to me!). I’ve also always been fascinated by weddings... David Gedge
I have been unable to locate the origin of the phrase it’s grim up north. At a time when independent music was descending into tweeness the sound of The Weddoes, the scratchy urgency of their songs and the flat anguish of Gedge’s singing, was , well, very real .
Even though describing a pretty hopeless life, their gritty kitchen sink dramas, documenting disappointment and portraying relationships as dour wars of attrition between mutually uncomprehending parties, were a breath of fresh air.
Tommy (1985–1987) released in July 1988 is a compilation of their first four singles, and selected tracks from two early radio sessions. Readers please note: The band originate in Leeds, but I have made no reference to the Gang of Four…
David Gedge – vocals, guitar
Peter Solowka – guitar
Keith Gregory – bass
Shaun Charman – drums (tracks2-12)
with: Julian Sowa – drums (track 1)
Mike Stout – guitar (track 8)
This was a must have compilation from the rockabilly revival /psychobilly era.
Side one featured legends from the USA sixties garage or outsider scenes before rounding off with a live track from revivalists the Meteors.
Side two brought us some contemporary bands (including the sensational The Gun Club- a bit misplaced here I thought but genius nevertheless).
Honest rock n roll music with a twist of B movie horror, flying saucer madness and the genuine psychosis of artists like Hasil Adkins and The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
I gave this a spin for the first time in years the other night- there’s plenty of clicks and scratches, but they really do add to the atmosphere.
Play it on the back porch and see what crawls out of the swamp…
Walker says: Well, two months online and still lovin' it. I've just unearthed a box of 7" records- mainly punk / new wave dating from 1977-1984. Some of them are probably wrecked, but over the next couple of weeks I'll post a selection of the more obscure ones...
Thank you all for your ongoing support.
Okay, here’s another live bootleg for you.
It’s May the 12th 1981 and the venue is Tyrone’s, Athens, GA.
The band is REM.
Llanelli- rugby, tinplate, beer…
I had to get my thinking cap on for this one.
I dug out this Hepburns 12” and found that curiously, there is no date on it. I looked it up on Discogs- not listed.
If the Peel Session was spring 1989 and Aled Richards replaced Les Mun on drums during the summer of 1990 (my memory is sketchy) then this must fall somewhere in between. Early 1990?
The sound quality on London Welshman is a bit fuzzy I’m afraid. I think that this is more than made up for by the inclusion of Dive- Matt Jones at his finest, a sort of male Dorothy Squires.
The latter day incarnation of the Hepburns is well worth checking out – Matt still writes a wicked bossa nova tune and you also get the drumming of R n B legend Pat Grover.
I’ll repeat my request: does anybody have a copy of Goalmouth Incident that they could share with the world? I dunno what happened to mine...
Line up here:
Les Mun- drums
Matt Jones- guitar , vocals
The King of Wales- fender telecaster
Mike Thomas- bass
Iain Davies- keyboards
Cronsey- artwork, pigsqueal, harmonica & krugers
An ethereal collection of songs by artists who were, at the time, signed to the 4AD label. The quintessential 4AD LP?
Who does what is here.
And from the 4AD website: This Mortal Coil's full-length debut, It'll End In Tears, arrived in October 1984 and was a long-term feature at the top of the UK Indie charts. In addition to the Cocteaus, this brilliantly-woven aural tapestry featured members of 4AD artists Colourbox, Dead Can Dance, Modern English, Xmal Deutschland and The Wolfgang Press, plus ex-Magazine/Buzzcocks frontman Howard Devoto and celebrated cellist Martin McCarrick ...
My link got killed off, but there's a good download here: http://thisisnthqhiphop.blogspot.com/2011/09/this-mortal-coil-itll-end-in-tears-1984.html
A mole digging in a hole/Digging up my soul now/Going down, excavation/I and I in the sky/You make me feel like I can fly/So high, elevation
The heart is a bloom/Shoots up through the stony ground/There's no room/No space to rent in this town
My love, she throws me like a rubber ball/(Oh, the sweetest thing.)/But she won’t catch me or break my fall...
He doesn't do those on his own does he?
What were you expecting, Fucking Ted Hughes?
Elvis son of Tupelo/ Elvis mama’s boy/ Elvis the twin brother of Jesse who died at birth and was buried in a shoe box
Nick Cave anyone? I think the old Aussie has covered this theme at great length already (a novel and a couple of albums at least) without resorting to such peurile dross as:
Elvis the bumper stickers/ Elvis the white knickers/ Elvis the white nigger ate at Burger King and just kept getting bigger.
Wesley Willis would have consigned that to the litter bin.
Another section reads:
Elvis white trash/ Elvis the Memphis flash/ Elvis didn’t smoke hash and woulda been a sissy without Johnny Cash...
Thats the thing about the stadium rock mentality I suppose, a bit like the Wizard of Oz, take away the smoke and the lasers and the corporate adulation (like the BBC heap on this crock of shite) and it's nothing really is it? No substance. Just bollocks. Leather trousered bollocks in daft shades just spouting words that don't actually mean a fucking thing.
As our friends in the Russian Federation and other former republics of the CCCP get set to celebrate Victory Day (День Победы) on May 9th, here’s a good soundtrack to aid them in their celebrations.
Мат Без электричества (Mat without the electricity or unplugged) was Sergei Shnurov’s first LP as Leningrad's lead vocalist.
Real populist good time sounds here, street language combined with a range of brass instruments, big bass drum etc. and songs of course dealing with boozing and sex.
If youre interested in the Мат argot used here, here’s a dictionary.
Considering the effect that periods of social unrest can have on the creative process, the Black American author Jean Toomer wrote: Unrest is a help to creativity because it automatically breaks and dissolves many of the encrusted and obsolete forms which impede original creation… There are, in a sense, the spiritual pioneers, the builders of the future. It is their nature, not to conform, but to form; not to reform, but to transform…
The remarkable Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in Jamaica in 1952. He moved to Britain in 1963. Educated at the University of London, he was awarded a C Day Lewis Fellowship in 1977. Johnson's first collection of poems, Voices of the Living and the Dead was published in 1974 . A collection of his works, Mi Revalueshanary Fren , has been published by Penguin Modern Classics- making Johnson one of only 3 poets to feature in this imprint whilst still alive.
This groundbreaking LP was realised through a collaboration between Johnson, who as well as being a published poet was a respected journalist and music critic, and the producer Dennis Bovell.
Most of the poems featured on the LP first appeared in Johnson’s 1975 volume, also titled Dread Beat an' Blood.
Floyd Lawson, Vivian Weathers- bass
Jah Bunny, Winston Curniffe - drums
Dennis Bovell, John Varnom, Vivian Weathers - guitar
Desmond Craig - keyboards
Everald Forrest, Jah Bunny, Winston Curniffe, Linton Kwesi Johnson - percussion
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Lila Weathers, Vivian Weathers -vocals
Produced and mixed by Dennis Bovell
Warsaw took their name from the track Warszawa off David Bowie's Low album.
In January 1978 They changed their name to Joy Division to avoid confusion with metal band Warsaw Pakt
Recorded at Pennine Sound Studios, Manchester, July 18th , 1977, this was intended as a demo, and is noteworthy as being their first recorded work.
The line up contains a couple of transparent aliases- Pete Hookey is of course Peter Hook, and Barney Rubble later reverted to Bernard Sumner. Steve Brotherdale was only with the band briefly before leaving to join an outfit called Panik, who, he felt, had more potential than Warsaw. (Either that or the other band members simply abandoned him at the roadside one night). Steve Morris took over on drums, completing the line up that would be Joy Division and later the backbone of New Order.
I fascinate, infatuate emphatically...
When I was first seized by the desire to share my music collection with you this band were high on my list of priorities. I played them to death in drunken parties in the nineties, aghast at the fact that so few people remembered them. I still can't figure out why they received so little attention in the mainstream media. Perhaps they were just too stylish, just too cool? Or was it that they didn't fit easily into any pigeonhole?
In the field of quantum mechanics Dr David Deutsch of Oxford University is producing some excellent work that shows that Professor Hugh Everett's theory of parallel universes is not as far fetched as it initially appeared, I can only hope that somewhere in the multiverse The Monochrome Set are enjoying the reverence that The Beatles enjoy in this particular little branch of the everything...
Bid - vocals, guitar
Lester Square - guitar, vocals
Andy Warren - bass , vocals
J.D. Haney - drums, percussion, vocals
Bob Sargeant- keyboards, vocals
The need for freedom, which spontaneously appears in social revolution as an old need, is stifled in the capitalist world.In a society such as ours, in which pacification has been achieved up to a certain point, it appears crazy at first to want revolution. For we have whatever we want. But the aim here is to transform the will itself so that people no longer want what they now want..
Up until very recently i would have agreed with him on all points- yes, a handful of people had the insight to know that society could be better rebuilt along new lines for the benefit of the majority, but the majority themselves remained ignorant of this fact.
But what about this transformation of the will? Why should we want a revolution? life is surely comfortable? Yes, the impulse to break down the extant social system and start again is as old as the concept of society itself, but it is never a choice, a luxury. Revolution is born out of necessity, and circumstances themselves will bring about the change of desires to which Marcuse refers. The old order will disassemble itself- and the process has begun. Durutti's assumption that the bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history will prove to be true. The current system is busy digging its own grave...
We need not, as Lucy Parsons said, arm the tramps to kill the rich, or destroy the avenues in which they live. They will take care of that themselves...
But when the current milieu becomes intolerable for the mass of people, they will abandon their lives of quiet desperation in favour of action.
Already the old foundation for people’s thinking is being destroyed. This beginning of the "leap in the subjective" provides the conditions in which preparations for political revolution must be made.
The convulsions that have shaken capitalism over the last few months are the beginning of its death throes. Can we imagine the circumstances under which revolution becomes a necessity? Will it be mass poverty, mass unemployment,the collapse of the the welfare state, an ever widening chasm between the haves and the have nots, real hunger on the blacked out streets where now we are sitting comfortably obese in front of our plasma screens and wiis?
So what if the banks go bust?
So what if governments go bust in their ever more ludicrous efforts to bail out the banks and patch up the rotten old boat of capitalism?
A world of temporary want and chaos is nothing to fear. Remember the words of Durutti-
It is we the workers who built these palaces and cities ...We, the workers, can build others to take their place. And better ones! We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth; there is not the slightest doubt about that... We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.
The collapse of capitalism and the resultant revolution is inevitable. We have to be as prepared as we can for this.
As Lucy Parsons wrote: Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.
That's not to say that there's nothing to be done except read- constant tapping breaks the stone, and the shaky old wreck is ready to be pushed over...
What’s the Welsh word for ‘eclectic’?
I dunno. Maybe John Cale knows? Apparently he once said that Patio by Gorky’s was his favourite LP of all time- praise indeed.
I used to have this big old suitcase full of cassettes (I used to have a lot of things, but then again I used to be quite fucked up too) - in amongst the warbling home taped dross and bargain bin impulse buys of twenty odd years were one or two irreplaceable gems, including a genuine demo of Patio (a chap who I used to go to the football with had been in school with the band…)
Very interesting outfit. Lot of strange stuff on the web about the name, which, I’m sure, is more to do with sixth form humour than having any literal translation.
This is a collection of singles and EP's originally released between 1994 and 1996 on the Cardiff based Ankst label.
J'ai tendu des cordes de clocher à clocher ; des guirlandes de fenêtre à fenêtre ; des chaînes d'or d'étoile à étoile, et je danse...
I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star, and I dance...
Can anybody tell me what, if anything Mlah means? For the best part of 20 years I thought it was Milah... The stylistic influences on this record are innumerable, resulting in a fantastically energetic and uplifting hybrid of authentic populist styles . I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was a case of learn as you go, with the group, some of whom were trainee circus performers, being relative novices on their instruments.
Undoubtedly one of the albums of the eighties.
There is a good account of this most interesting band here.
There's going to be a heatwave this summer, and this is the perfect soundtrack for those days when the mercury is touching 37 c.
Flux Of Pink Indians- Neu Smell 7” (1981)- Strive to Survive Causing Least Suffering Possible (1983)
What larks! We stood in the precinct, a small ragged trousered huddle, and took it in turns to go into WH Smiths and Woolworths…
The by now contemptuous staff were used to our vain requests for records by bands they had never heard of.
‘Have you got the new LP by Flux Of Pink Indians?’
He tuts at the name.
‘I doubt it…’
‘Can you check? Will you be having it in?’
‘What’s it called?’
‘The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks’
‘Can I order it then?’
Entertainment was in short supply, you see...
Flux’s second LP, The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks, was in fact banned by retailers (including HMV) and Greater Manchester police found that they had nothing better to do in those halcyon days of law and order than to seize copies from Eastern Bloc record shop, which was charged with displaying "Obscene Articles For Publication For Gain".
I saw Flux Of Pink Indians playing with Crass in 1984. In truth, I preferred them to Crass on record. Their sound, whilst ballsy and abrasive was more accessible. Strive To Survive Causing Least Suffering Possible might sound like the title of some pseudo Buddhist self help book, but it’s actually not a bad way to live is it? Here are two poor quality rips of Flux Of Pink Indians. I find they need a fair bit of volume to be appreciated.
Update: The links are dead- Neu Smell can be found here: http://enemy-of-the-music-business.blogspot.com/2008/03/flux-of-pink-indians-neu-smell.html
And Strive ... here: http://burningaquarium.blogspot.com/2010/09/flux-of-pink-indians-strive-to-survive.html
Beauty of perfection! Perfection of beauty! It is between these two exclamations that lies… the mystery of the Bulgarian voices- Marcel Cellier.
Never before have I been so intensely subjugated by the human voice -Ivo Watts-Russell.
The Bulgarian State Radio (later and Television) Female Vocal Choir was formed in 1952, and recorded as early as 1955. Swiss ethnomusicologist Marcel Cellier, who lived in Bulgaria for many years, released an LP of their work, entitled Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares in 1975, the culmination of fifteen years recording.
When head of 4AD records, Ivo Watts-Russell , was given an unlabelled cassette of this record by the Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy, he was so fascinated that he became determined to bring their sound to a wider audience (see ‘hometaping is killing music’! )
Watts- Russell was able to license the recordings, and the resulting 4AD album proved massively popular.
Lets not get too folksy about this, the actual songs performed might be hundreds of years old, and when at last we got to see the Bulgares they were dressed in traditional costume, but this is no field recording of untutored peasants working in some esoteric tradition, but rather the work of rigorously trained singers of what was effectively the national choir of a Communist state.
Still makes me think, however, of whitewash, pomegranates, and incense. (With apologies to Bulgarian readers).
More info on the choir here.