This day forty-years ago was The Fall entered the Sound Suite In Camden, Greater London and recorded their first long-player:
“Live At The Witch Trials”.
Although recorded in one day on the fifteenth of December and mixed the following day, the album would not hit the shops until mid March 1979.
This however was the very moment the alternative, indie and punk scene exploded under a collision curated by the late Mark E. Smith, the Mancunian rebellious wordsmith, one part Johnny Rotten and one part Ian Dury.
The man who steered this ship of alternative post-punk was as scathing as he was intelligent, not yet the commander and chief but his dominance was already in its infancy and rearing its head.
The fearless nature of the collective unit was the original mark of brilliance which made this a standout release in the late-seventies punk movement, its acts as a time capsule of both the social and economic state of Britain forty-years ago, a narrative of council estates, unemployment;”Rebellious Jukebox”,”No Xmas for John Quays”, “Industrial Estate” and of course the opener, the claustrophobic masterpiece “Frightened”.
Martin Bramah, the original guitarist is solid, melodic and at times the centerpiece, he effortlessly provides a backdrop of intensity, as for Marc Riley and his solid bass which holds the band’s direction together but it is the drumming of Karl Burn which was as wild and ramshackle as they come when it came to providing that extra menacing aspect to the music, this was the classic Fall lineup.
The extra ambiance of keyboards by that unsung hero Yvonne Pawlett was the perfect balance to Smith who, is at the very front on the mix, every word and syllable is clear, unlike later recordings, but here they are friends and comrades which adds to the easy flow of “Live At The Witch Trials”, it was never again this relaxed, this brilliant.
Someone's always on my tracks
And in a dark room you'd see more than you think
I'm out of my place, got to get back
I sweated a lot, you could feel the violence
I've got shears pointed straight at my chest
And time moves slow when you count it
I'm better than them, and I think I'm the best
But I'll appear at midnight when the films close
'Cause I'm in a trance
Oh, and I sweat
I don't want to dance
I want to go home
I couldn't live in those people places
Oh, they might get to know my actions
I'd run away from toilets and feces
I'd run away to a non-date on the street
'Cause I'm in a trance
Oh, and I sweat
I don't want to dance
I want to go home
I feel trapped by mutual affection
And I don't know how to use freedom
I spend hours looking sideways
To the time when I was sixteen
'Cause I'm in a trance
Oh, and I sweat
I don't wanna dance
I wanna go home
I go to the top of the street
I go to the bottom of the street
I look to the sky, my lips are dry
I'm frightened, frightened, frightened.
Original 1979 Track List;
Crap Rap 2 / Like To Blow
No Xmas For John Quays
Two Steps Back
Live At The Witch Trials
Futures And Pasts
Kevin Burke Dec 2018
On this day, exactly 41 years ago, Joy Division recorded their very first EP, 'An Ideal for Living'
On this day, 14th December, it is exactly 41 years ago that Joy Division recorded their very first EP An Ideal for Living. In fact by the time of these recordings the band was still called Warsaw. It was released the year after on 3rd June 1978 by the band's own label, Enigma, shortly after the group changed its name from Warsaw to Joy Division. The EP was recorded at Pennine Studios in Oldham and self-financed by the band on a budget of £400 (+/-€ 450).
The original 7" version of An Ideal for Living (1000 copies) was sold out by September 1978 and was subsequently followed by a 12" version on 10th October on the band's own Anonymous Records label. All four tracks were re-released on the 1988 singles compilation, Substance.
The cover has a black-and-white picture of a Hitler Youth member beating a drum, which was drawn by guitarist Bernard Sumner. The cover design, coupled with the nature of the band's name (Joy Division was the name from the sexual slavery wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel House of Dolls) fuelled controversy over whether the band had Nazi sympathies. When the EP was re-released on 12-inch vinyl, the original cover was replaced by artwork featuring scaffolding.
The EP has an overall more punk-rock sound than towards the post-punk/new wave sound that their future releases would get. Founding members Hook and Sumner acknowledged forming the band inspired by and after witnessing a Sex Pistols concert.
An Ideal For Living (Track listing)
- "Warsaw" – 2:26
- "No Love Lost" – 3:42
- "Leaders of Men" – 2:34
- "Failures" – 3:44
Today, the original 7" pressing has become an expensive collectors' item and copies have been traded on the internet for over € 2,700!
On the fourteenth-of-December 1979 The Clash reached the pinnacle of their creativity with a release which still echoes not only in music but in society, a sprawling double-album which is still relevant as the band crossover the divide between Rock and Punk.
Joe Strummer channels the chaos of the apocalypse directly into the snarling opener, his venomous-vocal line, with a solid belief in every phrase he spits out;
“London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust”.
This is the perfect opener, the mindset and mood is laid out from the start, Strummer uses an almost clairvoyant warning to us of the decay that is coming;
“The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in,
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin' thin”.
Following this with the psycho-billy rampage of “Brand New Cadillac”, a cover of the Vince Taylor classic and used here as a two-minute bolt of energy.
The new-found reggae and dub sound The Clash started to experiment with found its way onto the album in “Rudie Can’t Fail”, whereas “Spanish Bombs” takes the bombing of hotels in the Costa Brava combined with echoes of the Spanish Civil War and in Strummers hands it becomes the setting for an all out rocker.
A very varying scope on society appears throughout the record, themes of consumerism and over-commercialism is attached on “Lost In The Supermarket”, the divide in social standings all come under appraisal, alienation and the effect on the human psyche. Similar to this is “Clampdown”, the effects of economic-capitalist ideas on the youth, The Clash never lost their punk-spirit, their ideals, all was very much intact even if the music became more refined:
“We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers”.
Even the Paul Simonon composed and sung “The Guns Of Brixton” is a classic, the reggae-fused song pre-dated the Brixton Riots but already took its story from the movie ‘The Harder They Come’ which dealt with the Brixton-born son of Jamaican immigrants who gets gunned down by police.
There is a cut at the older generation of rock-stars in the incendiary “Death Or Glory”, those rockers who swore they’d rather die than get old, whereas the rock-steady based “Revolution Rock”, which was originally the albums closer is an exuberant number of pure adrenaline;
“Everybody smash up your seats
And rock to this brand new beat
This here music mash up the nation
This here music cause a sensation”.
The closing album-track “Train In Vain” after release as a single became the first Clsh song to break the U.S top-thirty, the Mick Jones sung track with a title which is slightly obscure, more to do with the rhythm sounding like a train, although it got the added on (Stand by me) title on that American single.
Across the ‘London Calling’ album there are nineteen-tracks of killer without filler, an accomplishment for an album of its length, with the instantly recognizable cover it became an instant success which still reverberates thirty-nine years later.
Brand New Cadillac
Rudie Can't Fail
The Right Profile
Lost In The Supermarket
The Guns Of Brixton
Wrong 'Em Boyo
Death Or Glory
The Card Cheat
I'm Not Down
Train In Vain
“Jesus died for somebody’s sins,
But not mine..”
This day forty-three years ago, Patti Smith released her groundbreaking debut album “Horses”, and music thankfully was never the same since,
The album went on to become the most influential and important release of the Punk-Rock movement, in fact it is quoted as not just being the album held on the punk-pedestal but one of the true artistic statements in twentieth-century music.
What separates “Horses” from other releases of the day is down to the intelligence in the songs of Smith, a deeper meaning not usually associated with punk, poetry set to the sound of rage and delivered with a snarling-venomous voice and three chords played exceptionally loud.
New York and in particular CBGB’s quickly became her battlefield and the birthplace of a legend, “Horses” was born out of the frustration and the pain Smith felt in the loss of the dominant, otherworldly rock stars such as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
“All I ever wanted, since I was a child, was to do something wonderful”.
The album opens with a quiet moment of self-realization, that slowly gathers tempo, “Gloria” a track recorded originally recorded by Them and then The Doors and it is Morrison’s version she claims here, a slice of power and angst as producer John Cale steered the runaway train from leaving the tracks.
Across the albums eight-tracks all avenues are explored in full, from gender to violence, the influence “Horses” cast is heard in the music of Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Smith’s, R.E.M, The Slits and PJ Harvey who all owe a debt to the electric troubadour.
But her arrival on the music scene was exactly what Punk needed, with inspired lyrics similar to the folk-rock crossover that erupted ten years before when Dylan turned electric she blended aggression with intuitive words that rang in the ears of the listeners making nobody feel alone.
“In the sheets
There was a man
To the simple
Rock & roll
Original 1975 Track Listing;
Break It Up
Land: Horses/Land Of A Thousand Dances/La Mer (De)
Kevin Burke Dec 2018
This weekend, BIMFEST 2018 kicks off with Covenant, Leaether Strip, Light Asylum, Clock Dva & Agent Side Grinder amongst others!
14 + 15.12.2018 - De Casino - St-Niklaas - B
(THE Belgian Independent Music Festival since 2002)
This weekend the 17th edition of the renowned Belgian Independent Music Festival 2018 or for short, BIMFEST, will take place. Like every year, BodyBeats Productions have managed to compile a very varied, appealing and interesting line-up in the best 'BIMFEST tradition! BIMFEST is not a festival that focuses on mass tourisme with only big and popular names but rather tries to focus on the real alternative and underground music lovers.
Let us briefly introcuce the line-up, in alphabetical order:
AGENT SIDE GRINDER (SE)
Agent Side Grinder is an electronic band from Stockholm, Sweden, which was formed in 2005. The band has made four albums and toured extensively throughout Europe. Their first two albums, Agent Side Grinder (2008) and Irish Recording Tape (2009) were rooted in post-punk, industrial and dark electro. The band quickly gained an underground following throughout Europe. Agent Side Grinder has a reputation of being a powerful and mighty live band and have recently released the long awaited new and stunning videos/singles "Doppelgänger" & Stripdown
AMNISTIA is a German electro/EBM duo who call the music they create BodyWave. The band was founded in Leipzig by Stefan Schötz and Tino Claus. The latter is also know from EBM act MRDTC and his solo project TC75. The name AMNISTIA is both the program and a philosophy. In many languages it means amnesty.
A new album is in the pipline!
CLOCK DVA (UK)
Clock DVA returns to BIMFEST as the headliner for the Friday night, 14th of December. CLOCK DVA have played BIMFEST once before in 2011, stunning our BIMFEST audience with their mesmerizing multimedia performance! This time these electronic music pioneers, since 1978, will be performing an exclusive Belgian show with tracks from their legendary albums Buried Dreams, Man-Amplified, some new stuff and much more!
Covenant's 9th studio album, 'The Blinding Dark', was released in November 2016 and showed a remarkable development in style, something that Covenant definitely wanted to do with this album - not least because of the subject that they dealt with on this album. With this release, this Swedish / German outfit has probably released their most artistically ambitious album so far. As many music lovers and critics agreed, this album was perhaps also their most obscure and moody album since their first two albums Dreams Of A Cryotank (1994) and Sequencer (1996).
Therefore it was a more than logical consequence that BodyBeats, after their successful The Blinding Dark Tour’ passage in 2017, asked Covenant if they could be up for to the idea of presenting some gems from their first two albums to the BIMFEST audience. Being great admirers and supporters of BIMFEST, frontman Eskil Simonsson and his companions immediately agreed and started working. Of course, besides these lovely vintage songs, they will also play some of their most famous clubsongs to please their fans!
Call Ships To port (Video)
FIRST AID 4 SOULS (HU)
First Aid 4 Souls is one of the electronic music projects founded by Hungarian musician Istvan Gazdag. With this project he mixes the brutality of noise music with the psychedelic pulsation of trance/acid, the rich melodies of new-wave / synth-wave and the strict grinding of electro industrial / EBM. Recently he fired-up a brand new project called Stalgeist which has a more straightforward EBM sound. Together with Tamás Bank (Munkás/Worker) they summon the classic EBM sounds with harsh precision and commitment. At BIMFEST they will present the best of both worlds to us as opener on Friday 14th December.
GERTRUD STEIN (CH/UK)
Is the visual art & electro music project of the London based Swiss artist Gertrud Stein who drew our attention with her contribution to the Daft Records compilation 'Deep' and her subsequent successful, stunning and enchanting performance at the Daft Festival in Antwerp (2017). Getrud Stein's live shows with her virtual live bandmembers Mike Line, Tom Delay and Diana D.I. are not to be missed!
LEÆTHER STRIP (DK)
It has been 30 years since the Dane Claus Larsen started his Leaether Strip project and released his debut on the now defunct Zoth Ommog label shortly afterwards. In addition to having more than a handful of side projects, this man has released already as many studio albums (30) under the Leaether Strip moniker. No wonder he can't be ignored by dark music festivals and clubs from all over the world. He already played BIMFEST 2009 and the BodyBeats Festival 2011. And this year he is returning to BIMFEST 2018 to celebrate Leaether Strip's 30th birthday with a special and exclusive birthday and career overview show!
LIEBKNECHT is an alter ego of Daniel Myer, also known as head and voice from German 90s cultband HAUJOBB. LIEBKNECHT is Techno, Dance-floor Elements mixed with Dark Textures, Cryptic Messages, Eclectic Experimental Sounds and Straight Forward Beats, always on the edge between Old-school Electro and Club Culture. After some successful DIY teaser releases through Bandcamp the band has now signed to Lenny Dee's label Hard Electronic from NYC for the release of their debut album 'Produkt', due to be released on January 9th, 2019!
LIGHT ASYLUM (USA)
Light Asylum is a NYC/Brooklyn-based electronic music project founded by Shannon Funchess. The band released their first EP 'In Tension' in 2010. The self-titled début album Light Asylum has been released in May 2012 and received positive reviews all over the world. Shannon collaborated with many artists such as: The Knife, Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb) and ADULT. Light Asylum's music incorporates elements of dark-wave, synth-pop and post-punk and is heavily influenced by bands like Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb and Nine Inch Nails. In 2012 Light Asylum played the renowned Belgian Pukkelpop Festival, now it's time for BIMFEST !!!
NZ is THE Austrian EBM revelation of the last years and is a band that doesn't seem to make any efforts to cover up who influenced them the most. Even their own band name can be taken as a clear reference to one of the biggest names in EBM music history Nitzer Ebb. With their pounding beats, cutting sequencers and slogan-like vocals they will set every EBM fanatic in motion in no time. After their first DIY EP release 'Your Pure Heart,' the German Emmo.biz label signed them almost immediately, releasing another three very strong EPs. In 2015, these EPs were bundled in a 3 CD collector box, so now we are looking forward to their new and first full album!
With only one EP to her name so far, this female Dutch electronic artist can already be called the discovery from the low lands. Stahlr is about contrasts and opposing, overwhelming futuristic forms of Brutalist architecture, masculinity, concrete versus wavy lines, subtle expressions and femininity. Stahlr sounds like Cocteau Twins playing a musical version of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in a concrete parking garage.