Klappstuhl Records just proudly published the 5th Album by the meanwhile legendary and believed to be lost on music Mr. Concept from Leicester, UK. An early fiend of the use of Synth with Pop Music Structures as well as influences from the Shadows, the 60’s the New Wave and Comedy made his Cassette releases near unique in the 80’s Cassette Scene. Such that even his ‘November‘ LP on Cordelia Records issued in 1985 could not really do justice to his talents as without the jingles, radio spots or other interludes it appeared more like a Compilation of some of his finest moments then an Album. But anyway, while everyone expected Mr. Concept to jump straight into the Entertainment Brunch of popular Culture but after a final MC release he made himself ultra-rare for the connosoirs of his tunes, only slight glimpses of life appeared since then, most remarkable the “While My Sitar Gently Beeps” digital EP in 2007 – now deleted but all tracks included here), a website about ringtones and an exclusive unpublished track on “The Constant Rise Of Expectations“ Compilation (Klappstuhl, 2012).
Here is what Concept City ‘s Managment reported to us about the historical events………
“After the creation of his last ever cassette tape ‘CONCEPTVM UMBILICVS‘, way back in 1986, Mr Concept! continued to make recordings of the finest quality on a four track cassette based Portastudio for several more years. Meanwhile The City of Concept was growing and developing into the massive metropolis that we live in today. As part of that development a new levitated tramway was needed to connect the workers luxurious living areas with their city based ‘Centers of Creativity’ and/or the pub. Unfortunately the planned route was right through CONCEPT CITY Studio 2 and so in 1990 the contents of Studio 2 were rehoused into Studio 3 which was located in an affluent suburb area of CONCEPT CITY. Unfortunately the engineers had trouble remembering how to connect everything up again and the Portastudio never really regained its importance as a creative tool for the genius mind of Mr Concept!
Mr Concept! struggles with the inner turmoil of stifled creativity and unfinished work
The world was advancing rapidly – technologically and computers were becoming more powerful year by year. The engineers at CONCEPT CITY realised that if they could distract Mr Concept! for long enough then maybe they could create a completely new methedology of recording and forget all about connecting the old studio up again forever ny-a-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa! Soon they had a strategy – to connect a computer to a musical keyboard and let the computer control the keyboard. All Mr Concept! would need to do would be type in a few numbers in boxes and new tunes would roll off the production line and his stiflement would be no more and they would be off the hook. They worked incessantly both night and day trying to develop this wonderful dream but got nowhere. Meanwhile Mr Concept! bought an Atari ST and a cheap Yamaha keyboard with MIDI and was soon creating wonderful new music.
Mr Concept! was fired with enthusiasm and decided that all of the remaining music created on the Portastudio would be released on a cassette and he would call it ’37’. A master tape was labelled and the first track ‘Open Up The Network (Reprise)’ was written and recorded and placed on the master tape. And that’s as far as it got. For Mr Concept! became pregnant with wife and children and his creative stiflement was no more for he had created the best thing ever – a family!
Some Years Later….
New PC is delivered
The world had changed. Especially the world of the computer. The PC was King, and the King had a sound card, and hard drive, and a CD-Burner, and Windows, and a door and a drive… And Mr Concept!’s creative stiflement had come back, only this time on the left side. He had heard, from a far off land, that there were computer programs that could be used to create music like in the old days with the Portastudio. He would be able to play his guitar and record it on the PC. And the PC could play samples like the old UK101 computer he had used all those years ago, and it could do MIDI, and everything that Mr Concept! had ever dreamed of!
Mr Concept! plucked up the courage to visit a downtown CONCEPT CITY music store. It was empty and two bored assistants listened to Mr Concept!’s description of the software ‘Holy Grail’ he was searching for. They nodded as each feature was listed and said ‘yep’ to let him know that they understood. Mr Concept! expected the worst but was thrilled when they both looked at him, then looked at each other, and shouted ‘ACID ROCK!’ in unison. An initial order of twenty copies was placed and within days the engineers were installing it at the CONCEPT CITY Test Plant for approval. The Portastudio was moved to one side to make more room, and then later put back in its box for a few days, and then even later forgotten.
This was indeed the dream application that Mr Concept! had hoped for… within hours he was creating new tunes with this wonderful software. It was sooo easy using all the supplied loops. Unfortunately every other user of Acid Rock was doing the same and you would hear the same drums and riffs in other people’s songs. So Mr Concept! started going through his record collection and making his own samples by recording small snippets of sound onto the computer.
And so, over the next three years, new recordings were gradually created. Time was limited, what with the breast feeding and everything, but Mr Concept! gradually learned how to make music in this new way. The early tunes contain quite a lot of ready made samples and Mr Concept! wanted to put more of his own stamp on any future recordings and so decided to create a CD with the material so far and draw a line in the sand. The CD ‘Electric Gates of Distinction’ was made with this early computer created music but remained unreleased as there might have been copyright issues with the samples used.
At around the same time Mr Concept! rounded up all the remaining tracks from the Portastudio years and finished off the ’37’ project but instead of a cassette he created it as a CD. Sadly it too remained unreleased…
And so – lines drawn in sand and everything wrapped up Mr Concept! sat at the dawning of a new era in his life. He looked back at the past and then turned his gaze forward. ‘Will there be a future’ I hear you sigh…
Obviously there is always a future – but sometimes it doesn’t turn out quite the way you had hoped. But on the up-side Mr Concept! has survived and slowly he has produced a pile of new audio miscellany for a future release but in the meantime…
Archeologists recently unearthed the Portastudio from a store room deep in CONCEPT CITY. At first it all looked well but after further investigation it was found that all the rubber drive belts had rotted away and it was now nothing more than an oversized four channel mixer – it is now on permanent exhibition in the CONCEPT CITY Museum of Technology. To celebrate this amazing discovery CONCEPT CITY and Klappstuhl Records have joined forces to release the last output from this ancient machine ‘XXXVII’ which is latin for ’37’. Now dear listeners you too can relive those ferromagnetic days by getting your very own copy of XXXVII………..”
After some promising teasers at soundcloud by Cousin Silas, a gifted guitarist and musician from Huddersfield the full album of his collaboration with Glove Of Bones is now available for free at Bristol’s digital dizzy Netlabel. Some more info and the possibility to obtain a limited hardcopy can be found easily per the Glove Of Bones home.
Which is actually how I found about these as there are more interesting publications by A4+ of Glove Of Bones heading into the ambient / experimental / electronica and non-electronica field with a very own and original approach to enjoy either as “name your price” digital release or as physical well crafted, handmade and obviously limited art editions.
Tom Ellard writes “Severed Heads has refused to make new music since 2007, as there was no compelling reason to do so. But when asked by Ears Have Ears to perform a new 20m piece on air at FBi Radio, it came to mind that BUGHLT had recently offered to cut a 20m long acetate. That the acetate lathe once made discs for radio play inspired a piece formed from 78 rpm records that we would both perform and cut to disc. We’re pleased to present the first new SH tracks in 9 years. It’s Stewart’s first writing credit too!”
Besides Dark Entries & Medical Records have reissued / issued various classic S.H. Albums on Vinyl and / or downloads lately, the most interesting in my humble opinion being the stretched Version of Stretcher …
Pay What You Want !
A great find on the interwebs, a full length interview with Tom Ellard (Head of ‘Heads) talking pre-digital age history and anecdotes like hanging out with SPK – actually published already in January 2013 @ Resident Advisor really worth a listen.
More about current activities, reissues, musings about life can be found here and always worth a visit is the SevCom bandcamp page of course.
Late November finally one of my all-time favourite tape only releases got reissued; the 1992 HAX tape ‘Carceri’ of Marco Milanesion’s DsorDNE project – freshly remastered by the Maestro himself. A personal highlight of 2015.
On another note, concerning his more current works the renowned portugese label Thisco issued an EP consisting of 3 tracks constructed out of original soundwork developed by (r), as Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo his partner in crime at O.F.F. audioprod & studio in Turin, Italy.
The experimental EP published under his current alias 9CENTO9 can be found alongside equally interesting Releases by Simon Crab (Bourbonese Qualk), Rasalasad (Walt Thisney a.o.) and Martin A. Smith here as part of a new digital only Release series.
After some of the usual and some unusual delays SP 006 is finally released. It was originally intended as a Summer release, something to turn up the volume and hitting the streets even bumpin’ out of your stereo’s in the sunshine. It finally saw the light of early Autumn late September.
CyborCosis are a transgender duo from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, UK producing music together since years and giving it all away freely in the spirit of the early Rave and Techno scene. They’ve been hugely inspired by The KLF and honoured them with a bunch of great reworks they’re most famous for.
For some uplifting leftfield, psytrance, trance tunes of their own check out ‘Trans Lives‘. This is available for free / PWYW at the Klappstuhl bandcamp page.
One track features the Canadian transgender activist, artist and model Brae Carnes, who’s striving for equal rights for all and especially against any opression, find further links on the release page.