Nash The Slash – ‘Novel Romance’ UK 7″ (DinDisc, DIN33, 1981)

A non-album single from Nash The Slash’s brief period signed to the UK DinDisc label in 1981, this record brings together a few of my favourites for its one-off collaborative nature, namely Nash The Slash himself, Bill Nelson in the producers chair and Peter Saville on sleeve design work, under his ‘Dessin Controlee’ nom-de-plume.

Nash The Slash - 'Novel Romance' UK 7" front cover design
^ Nash The Slash – ‘Novel Romance’ UK 7″ front cover design

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Danielle Dax – ‘The Chemical Wedding’ Japanese CD (Vap, 85018-25, 1987)

In a comment on my previous Danielle Dax post about the ‘Yummer Yummer Man’/‘Fizzing Human Bomb’ single, PostPunkMonk absolutely nailed it about Dax with his customary pinpoint accuracy and brevity – “a talent with no fear and ideas to spare”. No better example of that than this curious release, ‘The Chemical Wedding’, which was a mini-album release in Japan only (mini-album I presume, based on its duration) at the tail end of 1987 at The Venue, in Aberdeen. A curio in that it features various tracks that were originally unique and later would re-appear in re-recorded/remixed form over the next couple of years, making this a desirable item to track down for the version crazy completist Dax fans amongst you. (Assuming that’s not just me then!)

Danielle Dax - 'The Chemical Wedding' Japanese CD - front cover design and disc label with folded insert in jewel case
^ Danielle Dax – ‘The Chemical Wedding’ Japanese CD – front cover design and disc label with folded insert in jewel case

I didn’t come by this release at the time though, only much later. I had been able to see Danielle Dax live in November 1987 on a brief UK tour, a great show it was too, the experience something else altogether. Earlier in 1987 was when the ‘Inky Bloaters’ album came out, to some degree of celebration in the music press, it’s fair to say – so, subsequently getting a chance to see the live show in due course, even better.

This release passed by my radar though – perhaps no surprise, as it had no UK equivalent. Seems to have been released in November of that year and when I did find out about it, much later, I assumed it was a straightforward singles A and B sides mopping-up compilation from foreign climes, just the type I like… There was no nor eBay to easily find out details back then. But this release was much more than that, as it turns out… a treat for Danielle’s fan base in Japan, since it contains unique versions of ‘Cat-House’ and ‘Whistling For His Love’ and early dibs on ‘Touch Piggy’s Eyes’ and ‘Olamal’, which wouldn’t get releases elsewhere until 1988 and 1995 respectively. And let’s get one thing clear from the off – Dax B sides contain some incredible songs. That 1987 gig at The Venue in Aberdeen and the transformed version of ‘Up In Arms’ a good example – a sonic juggernaut when taking flight in live performance. Continue reading “Danielle Dax – ‘The Chemical Wedding’ Japanese CD (Vap, 85018-25, 1987)”

Duet Emmo – ‘Or So It Seems’ UK 12″ (Mute, MUTE 025, 1983) / French 7″ (Mute/Vogue, VG 108 / 101835, 1983)

This was such a surprising release, completely out of the blue. With three albums already under the project monicker of Dome, an album (‘3R4’) and single (‘Ends With The Sea’) as B.C. Gilbert & G. Lewis, 12″ EP under the name Cupol and the B.C. Gilbert/G. Lewis/Russell Mills exhibition installation soundtrack (‘MZUI’) – evidence witnessed the ex-Wire pair follow a particular sonic path that mostly found its music fashioned from manipulated sound sources – Blackwing studio as instrument in particular – with vocals mostly (but not exclusively) provided by Graham Lewis. Despite the then fairly common default assumption that anything that sounded unusual must be done on ‘synthesizers’, rarely were there much in the way of traditional keyboards and synths to be found on their releases. This release was quite the exception however, no doubt due to the presence of Daniel Miller amongst the ranks.

Duet Emmo 'Or So It Seems' UK 12" single front cover
^ Duet Emmo ‘Or So It Seems’ UK 12″ single front cover

The A side is quite the minimal synth track – building slowly from odd keyboard/synth sequences, the Mute Records house style is there to hear, with the unmistakable vocals of Graham Lewis in particularly fine form on top. It is melodic, make no mistake about it – incredibly so compared to much of the preceding, often stark, output since 1980 by Gilbert and Lewis, where you would have little clue as to quite what instrument or sound source was made to produce what you were hearing. Despite the sweetness in melody and vocals, plenty of more discordant elements were still to be found, particularly the track’s intro section and later saxophone. Continue reading “Duet Emmo – ‘Or So It Seems’ UK 12″ (Mute, MUTE 025, 1983) / French 7″ (Mute/Vogue, VG 108 / 101835, 1983)”

Wire – ‘Third Day’ CD EP (Pink Flag, PF1, 2000)

This small object of desire was initially available for sale from the merch stall upon the occasion of Wire’s second ‘reactivation’ (their third coming, I suppose) – a concert at the Royal Festival Hall [RFH], London on 26th February 2000. By that time, despite their absence after having reverted to the three-piece format of WIR and it having come to an end in the first few years of the ’90s, the band’s critical stock had risen, no doubt thanks to obvious Britpop admirers such as Elastica, Blur, et al, through the mid to latter half of that decade, but also along with the good work that Wire Mail Order [WMO] had been doing in curating the recorded legacy meantime. The vibe meant that selling out a venue as large as the Royal Festival Hall was possible in order to welcome back Wire on returning, once again. (Such a venue and audience was not necessarily a good thing, in my experience, but more of that later…)

Wire - 'Third Day' CD EP front cover design
^ Wire – ‘Third Day’ CD EP front cover design

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Brian Eno – ‘The Drop’ and ‘Iced World’ version craziness

A simple joy of physical format products – the ability to pinpoint precise times and places associated with them. For me, Brian Eno’s 1997 album release ‘The Drop’, (All Saints, ASCD32), always takes me back to a summer morning on the ground floor of HMV’s flagship London Store on Oxford Street, on a brief city break, where I was loaded up with a shopping list of records to look out for across the many and varied record shops of the great city. New and exotic, second-hand and scarce – the list was long. This album had only just come out and was on that list…

Brian Eno - 'The Drop' - 1997 Japanese 2 x CD edition
^ Brian Eno – ‘The Drop’ – 1997 Japanese 2 x CD edition

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