Archive for the ‘Missing in action’ Category

The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981, UK cassette (The Human Condition, THC 1, 1981)

Friday, August 28th, 2020

The Human Condition was a short-lived band featuring reunited PiL band-mates Jah Wobble on bass and Jim Walker on drums, the line-up rounded out with Animal (aka Dave Maltby) on guitar and also occasionally augmented by Annie Whitehead on saxophone. This ‘rush release’ is one of two live recordings released on limited run cassettes that were issued back in the day and document their fine instrumental workouts. The packaging was stripped down and minimal on both, having the air of bootleg issues, perhaps, despite being official output. As far as I am aware they have never been re-issued in any form. One of the tracks on here would appear in studio form on 1983’s ‘Snakecharmer’ release by Wobble, Czukay and The Edge. I’ve selected my favourite track from the cassette to sample via a YouTube upload, ‘Neon’ – see what you reckon for yourself… if you like it, plenty more from the same account to check out.

The Human Condition - Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981 UK cassette front cover

^ The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981 UK cassette front cover

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Side by side: Hard Corps – ‘Metal and Flesh’ album versions

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

This post will look at the various releases of the Hard Corps compilation album, ‘Metal and Flesh’ and its multiple mixes and selections across a small but surprisingly varied releases. I have posted about Hard Corps before, they remain, even after all these years, a favourite. At a time when bands were increasingly content to rely on the clean gleam of the new digital instrumentation wave, Hard Corps were synthesising their own sounds from a variety of elements. In the rhythm department in particular, none of the obvious go-to sources of the era, save for a Roland  TR-808 to provide a basic chassis in early stages of a track’s development, swapped out as they progressed for their urgent, hard, insistent pure electronic beats driving the music. Whether in the more in your face and up tempo signature pieces as ‘Metal and Flesh’, ‘Dirty’ or ‘Desolation Land’, or on the slower, more melancholic works such as ‘The Bell’ or ‘Respirer’. My goodness, how well did Regine Fetete’s abstractions describe in fragments such bittersweet worlds to marry with the music produced by Hugh Ashton, Robert Doran and Clive Pierce.


Hard Corps ‘Metal and Flesh’ 1990 CD

The CD was the first version of the album to appear, I received my copy by mail order on 19th September 1990 (having ordered it from an advert for Beat Route mail order back in August). The Discogs.com entry gives an earlier release date of 18th June 1990 though. I don’t know the background to the album and how it came to be. Seems to gather together earlier, harder and more melancholic tracks along with later period ones where the sound has softened a little over time. I have no idea if it is really as clear cut as that, but a I wonder if there was some kind of change, perhaps related to the period where the band’s period with Polydor must have soured and led to be a barren period of activity. 1986 in particular saw, for example, little if any live activity.

Hard Corps 'Metal and Flesh' 1990 CD - front cover design

^ Hard Corps ‘Metal and Flesh’ 1990 CD – front cover design

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Matthew Seligman, 1955-2020

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Very sad news indeed today to read of the death of Matthew Seligman. Bass player par excellence, so many great records in my collection that he plays on – Thomas Dolby, Peter Murphy, Snail and many more – and of course, The Soft Boys. Sadly, a victim of COVID-19, the disease that the current sham of a UK government seem incapable of managing without putting so many in harms way.

If you are not familiar with Matthew there is fine obituary on Slicing Up Eyeballs.

The photo below is one I took back in 2005 on a hot August night in a cramped rehearsal studio for his then band Snail (Matthew, Jon Klein, Chris Bell)during a video shoot.

Such a sad loss, RIP Matthew.

Matthew Seligman and Snail, Shepherds Bush Rehearsal Studio, August 2005

^ Matthew Seligman and Snail, Shepherds Bush Rehearsal Studio, August 2005.

Steve Strange, 1959-2015

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

For some reason, I’ve never posted anything about Visage on this blog, despite having a fair few of their records. The return of the band in recent years has been a most welcome surprise, with a strong album that tapped into the original style of the band and a string of fine singles (and accompanying remixes, the latter something of a rarity). This on top of their classic era material, particularly the first two albums. So, it is with sadness that I have just read about the passing of Steve Strange. RIP, Steve.

Remake, remodel: Wire ‘Change Becomes Us’ and Karl Bartos ‘Off The Record’

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Arriving within a short period of one another, two releases which both delve back into the history books in order to refashion roughs into polished new shapes. Wire have taken a selection of material that previously saw release only as live versions (on 1981’s ‘Document and Eyewitness’ live set and, later, the ‘Turns and Strokes’ compilation gathering together remaining waifs and strays of the period) – so, mostly familiar to long-time Wire fans. Bartos meanwhile has looked back to private musical sketches to bring something new to the world.

Wire 'Changes Becomes Us' limited edition and and Karl Bartos 'Off The Record' CDs

^ Wire 'Changes Becomes Us' limited edition and and Karl Bartos 'Off The Record' CDs

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