one faint deluded smile

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Poor Soda's Coda

heavens forfend - this heat - jumping!

Amongst the bands I devoured with fan-boy intensity in my youth, none seemed so uncompromising as This Heat. (For comparison: Pere Ubu, Henry Cow and Faust were some of the others I'd include in that list - no slouches themselves in the "serious artist" stakes). I knew absolutely nothing about the band at the time except that their music was unlike anything else I'd ever heard. Ofcourse, there were echoes of previously loved tonalities and styles - a little bit of Krautrock and prog and post-punk - but the full noise they made is still, undeniably, something that no other band has replicated or ripped off. It's just too impossibly odd and singular to copy.

mp3: 24 Track Loop

Not so much a song as an experiment in arrangement, 24 specially devised and meticulously recorded tape loops + a mixing desk make this their most dub-inflected piece. The crowning joy on their 1st self titled album.

mp3: Cenotaph

Their 2nd album, "Deceit" is more politically motivated and the polemic sometimes sticks in my craw, even if I do agree with it, but this track is a perfect anti-war song and highlights their off-centre harmonies to perfection.

mp3: S.P.Q.R

This, on the other hand, is all frontal assault with propulsive drumming and frantic guitar and a stadium sing-along that U2 should have made.

mp3: Health and Efficiency

A 12" single and a 3" cd release. Their most memorable track in many ways with an indie prog rock feel to the 1st section slamming into the long, hard, funky repeating end portion where not much seems to happen but where all the sounds meld perfectly.

mp3: Horizontal Hold

Well after they'd split up, "Made Available - The Peel Sessions" was released and it contains fantastic live / semi-live versions of previously released and unreleased tracks. This was originally on their 1st album but this rendering is even better in many ways - more angular and brittle sounding than before.

mp3: The Fall Of Saigon

A vaguely east indian drone with woodblocks and drums and an ethereal vocal line and a monumental feeling of dread - "we ate soda, the embassy's cat". Their most effective and moving song.

Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, Gareth Williams:

How 3 guys (including 1 avowed non-musician) could create such a glorious noise baffled me then and continues to do so.

A pretty complete discography can be found here.

These Records are the people who can re-release these fantastic albums but, currently, they're still out of print. Don't bother hectoring them as they've probably got enough worries as it is.

A terrific PSF article on them can be found here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Got It!

alesis ion

Well, my Alesis Ion finally arrived today! I took it out of it's cardboard case and marvelled at how lovely it looks. So shiny, so new, so... damned... white.

behringer kx1200

I also got a new amp - the Behringer KX1200 - which was slightly bigger than I'd expected but lovely in any case.

So I plugged it all in, turned it all on, pressed a couple of buttons and... what a noise it all makes! It's going to take me some time to get used to it all but I'm looking forward to new(ish) sounds and getting over that steep learning curve.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Third Tier (Complete)

yellow square, 1976

The Blog's been a little quiet of late - run out of words for the old stuff and nothing new has really compelled me (all the way through especially - what has happened to the releases where every track can make you excited like a kid all over again?)

So instead I'll let the few of you know that the latest recordings by "A Slow Rip" - The Third Tier - have been added at this page. Maybe making music is where my enthusiasm lies once again. If so, hurrah!

Please let us know what you think.

And, yes, Mr Anonymous, your prayers have been answered. Maybe someday you'll come out of your anonimity and revel in the spotlight:

mp3: Do The Standing Still

This really is a great new wave track, isn't it?