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Looking Backwards & Further

The last year was the year I finally gave in and accepted that I’m getting older. I listened as usual to a lot of music in all formats, but what excited me most with only a bunch exceptions where lost & found reissues actually with some current releases of old names thown in.

DVA

The year started quite promising with a Sign from Adi Newton as Clock DVA, together with his recent partner in crime TeZ and affiliates Rizosfera the first new DVA album since an eternity after various singles and remixes spread into the world since reactivation ca. 2014. ‘Neosis’ came in various formats, CD was my choice as it beared more content in form of 4 extra tracks. Marketing was on spot this time arround, various limited packages and appeareances accompanied this event and I had quite high expectations. In the long run I listened to it only a few times, musicwise it was exactly what one can expect from Clock DVA, the sonority of Adi’s vocal, semi Kraftwerkian coldness and dark hints between tech and occultism. Actually a solid but not surpsrising album I would have listened more often if it hadn’t gone lost due it’s unhandy A5 digipak folder ArmComm settled on as standard with it’s releases so they need to be stored somewhere other than in a current pile.
Besides he also released solo compositions and various collaboration, check adinewton.bandcamp.com , Spectral Unit (with Enrico Marani), Psychophysicst (without A. McKenzie) and The Anti Group with some more elusive stuff from the archives via a subsription option.
On a sidenote : BEF’s “Music For Stowaways” feat. Adi on one track was finally reissued with all tracks included that where on this and the “Music For Listening To” issues on CD/LP/DL via Cold Spring.
After years of silence a hell of activity, but at least some new material after VOD most likely published every single tape recording from the beginnings in three boxed LP sets starting from 2012-2019. Sorry Adi but this was too much for my bank account so I gave up in completing DVA/TAG.

Another band I gave upon collecting after years was COIL, there where just to much reissues, remasters, half-legal attempts and color variations with few new tracks I obviously had to have. As much as I welcome their music and legacy being widely available I felt amibigious about “Queens Of The Circular Library” being forced on Vinyl. This was always meant to be listened to as a whole as I understood it and not split in sections. To a lesser degree the same applies to ‘Tunnel Of Goats’ from “Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil” but imho this was best experienced live anyway. Coming in March via Dais is “Moon’s Milk (In Four Phases)”, the compilation of their 4 solstic EP’s published (of course in various variations) throughout 1998 together with the 2002 appendix of the bonus disk added to the Eskaton 2CD Reissue. This might be one of the last offerings as all releases when Drew McDowall and / or Thigpaulsandra (excluding the live ones) where involved are available now again. Danny Hyde seems to have published all his outtakes and mixes too so the big question is still open : Will their 80’s releases and early Albums up to “Love’s Secret Domain” ever be reissued ?
As of now VOD announced a John Balance 8LP Box Set in a woodcase with t-shirt and whatever determined to be a collectors item containing earliest recordings and collaborations and earliest Coil (solo & with Sleazy) in two editions, regular version 666 copies + 133 extra limited ones which can’t be purchased without the other. Most likely this is the last of his Vinyl endavours as the gobal postage and economical pressures took his toll. We’ll see, as next project he’s announced CD Box Sets already and if they’re made with the same care they can’t be bad.

Photo: VOD

At least David Kenaan’s English Hidden Reverse Book on Current 93 / Nurse With Wound and Coil got finally a repress via Strange Attractor with some expansions now and hopefully a little more Coil and less C93 content now but as far as I read it’s only already published material about artists who interesected with them originally as Furfur. But of course it’s not over with Memorabilia to be plundered, Timeless Editions published a facsmile collection of pages from John Balance’s notebooks. See for other items in various editions for your pleasure if interested.

Drew McDowall, who had left Coil and the UK after “Musick To Play In The Dark I”, published a 6CD Box Set including his 4 solo Albums with added Live and Outtake Recordings via Dais. Just after I completed getting his 4 Vinyl / digital only Albums. I was still tempted, especially after his strong Lamina LP from 2020 and finally seeing him live in 2020 (post Covid restrictions) with his Time Machines interpretation.

While looking after the whereabouts of ex-Coil members there was also a remarkable release by Stephen Thrower with David Knight in the ongoing Modulism Series as digital only release in the guise of UnicaZürn. As all parts of the series linked to an extensive interview and additional photos. If you dig deeper you’ll find Thighpaulsandra there too with another exclusive release.

2023 Activities : “View From Nowhere” ..

Self promotion is not really what I would call my strenght. Anyway, there is a need to sum up what happened since the last Klappstuhl releated post now.
Anyway, here is a slight look back on another year Klappstuhl & releated Activities:

January started with a compilaton of loose tracks from MIK@ issued via con area Hand Made which is for now a PWYW release.

February and May saw the next remastered reissues of Frankfurt’s cyber goth Project Solanaceae Tau on nihilistick noise archive .Each Album accompanied by a free digital single. The next release sadly came to an halt due to the untimely death of singer Katmaina this Autumn. Shocked and sad we will continue to present the legacy as good as possible, also in memory of Axaxas who left earth the year before.

On Klappstuhl April and June where highlights unearthing an unpublished Siegmar Fricke electro EP, recorded back in 1999 and the definitive Version of the Pharmatrance Album by his and Heike Böhm’s project A:M:B, both freshly mastered , licensed from the ever evolving pharmakustik both featuring original artworks by Siegmar Fricke.

A radio show featuring among others Siegmar Fricke, D.S.I.P. and A:M:B by Mr. Ebu from FFM (who still has a wide open heart for the Casssette Culture and more). Follow on Mixcloud is now listenable online at:

August came and with it my personal favourite – ‘View From Nowhere’ which is a great double album documenting the recent sound developments of ungarian electronic dub maestro OhmikRon following 2022’s ‘Pandemic Dub’ also on Klappstuhl and ‘Broader Spectrum’ (via ODrex Music, Berlin. Toying with an AI image Generator for the design gave it an extra fitting and futuristic touch. More can also be found at ohmikron’s page.

In Autumn all I could do was reworking the early Walt Thisney album ‘ThisContinuum’ for an reissue. Thanks once more to Maurizio for his work beyond the call of duty which gave this retro futuristic collection a fresh neonlike sound.

Thiscover more recent works by Walt via his site which seemed dormant for a while but got recently updated with new releases.

On a releated note Marco Milaneso of DsorDNE also deep dived into his archives and published two soundtracks, commissioned for original theater productions MARAT SADE and RED by Nevio Gambula back in the mists of time.e 8 tracks extracted from soundtracks specially made for theater works in 1989 from the Acqualuce Studio tape archive and remastered, two tracks have also been remixed from the original tapes, at O.F.F. Studio, Torino.

As far for now, I wish all a better year than the last one.

Avoiding Reissues [More Or Less] with THE KLF

Trying hard to keep their artistic vision intact and their promise intact not reissuing the KLF COMMUNICATIONS back catalouge still more than 23 Years after they where a big household name the music can only be streamed and now the Videos & Footage can be seen once more, “including The White Room (1989), The Rites of Mu (1991), narrated by Martin Sheen and the previously unreleased Krash (1992). Also included are the world famous music videos for the hit singles 3 A.M. Eternal, What Time is Love? and Justified & Ancient”.

KLF

Extras include A Chance to Play with the Big Toys (2023, 41 mins): director and producer Bill Butt is interviewed by Mick Houghton, publicist for The KLF, KLF: Unfinished (1992, 29 mins): Robert Milton-Wallace’s fly-on-the-wall documentary about the making of The KLF’s music videos & This Is Not What The KLF Is About (1991, 15 mins): a short film not directed by The KLF, capturing the making of Stadium House Trilogy which was available on VHS an Age ago (and I should still have somewhere while not even having an player for it at hand).

Take Off with Sumac Dub

Sumac Dub is a project of Tom Dorne from Grenoble, France I stumbled upon already a few times while digging the French Electro Dub, Future Dub, Steppa and Modern Reggae releases. Promoted by the very interesting and active ODG Productions (On Dub Ground Prod.), Subsquad Prod who release a.o. an excellent City/Area themed compilation series not to forget the brilliant Mareé Bass label which also dives into bass music / drum and bass or many smaller ones or self-released Productions (thanks to the interwebs). Besides his collaborations which are common allover this scene with Ishiban, Full Dub, Kandee, Kanka and The Maucals to name just a few. He released already three full length albums and at least 4 EP’s since 2015. Very melodic stuff and a pleasure to discover. Also on soundcloud and youtube to find easily.

This is his latest single – live recorded while paragliding – Enjoy.

Video credits:

Artist: Sumac Dub
Venue: Lans En Vercors
Produced by: Yapouss Production and ODGPROD
Realization: Traym Production
Cameramen: Panot Prod, Arya Audiovisuel, Théo De Framond (Pastek Studio), Guilhem Sauvage, Gabriel Boulay.
Drone pilots: Théo De Framond (Pastek Studio)
Pilots: Etienne Lavarenne, Mélanie Forestier, Pierre Augier
Production team: Killian Hallier, Etienne Lavarenne, Tom Dorne
Bénévoles: Adrien, Antonin, Corto, Dean, Dorian, Emelieke, Louis
Partners: Alto, Arturia, Lans en Vercors

Mastering: Olo
Special thanks to Camille, Paul, Simon, Xris, La Tangente, Vercors Experience

Savage Republic – Exodus

While Bruce Licher’s Independent Project Records jumped back into live during the last years with impressive actions involving all social media channels and publishing new material in famously handcrafted and printed designs the 2nd incarnation of Savage Republic which started back in 2002 after regrouping to promote the Complete Studio Box Set Reissue of the Albums and Singles up to Customs seems to be fizzling out now.. a mere 20 years and and another 4 Studio Albums later.

A new live album is annocunced via Gustaff Records from Poland recorded during their last European tour which ended as recent as of this January while a recording of the first incarnation as Africa Corps was already issued via IPR in late 2022.

Alongside this video of the title track from their most recent album Thom Fuhrmann announced that he quit in early August.

This leaves Ethan Port of Mobilization and F-SPACE as the longest serving member (since 1985) together with Kerry Downling and Alan Waddington most likely in an unfortunate position as Thom F. had taken over most lead vocals and guitars during the last years.
We’ll see if there will be more to come or not. Any incarnation of the band had a good run and an impressing output over the years so for now: thanks a lot guys.

High Ideals & Crazy Dub – Mark Stewart R.I.P.

Thanks for all the hints, inspiration, quotes, music and points of view to Mark Stewart who sadly passed away. Many words have been written about The Pop Group, The Maffia and his collaborative works with others. His influence can hardly be understated from Bristol to the rest of the world. From Nick Cave to Gary Clail, Massive Attack to Nun Gun, Adrian Sherwood to Daniel Miller. He never stopped exploring, experiencing and questioning the status quo.
Find some of his musical legacy via Mute, On-U Sound or via Mark Stewarts own page and associates.

MARK STEWART – 10/8/60 – 21/4/23 Rest in peace

Dark Days (Full Lenght) – Thomas Leer (to good to be forgotten on a harddrive)

Sometimes it seems Human progression is a myth. We move forward only to be dragged back by the stupidity of individuals who infect with misinformation & false promise. Their numbers seem to grow & So…..
Dark Days are Here Again.”

Leer.

Released September 6, 2019 / Synthesizers, Sampler & percussion / Thomas Leer.

Epical Obscura – Solanaceae Tau

The third installment of the Solanaceae Tau Reissue series is “Epical Obscura“, originally published in July 2000 and heavily influenced by ecological activist Julia Butterfly who saved a giant and ancient redwood tree and surrounding forest in California by living on it as long as it took to get an eternal contract that it will be saved. Three of the tracks use lyrics by her and the all other lyrics are critical observing the state of the world by then too. One of the album tracks reminds me a lot of Algebra Suicide in a positive way;

Nihilistick Noise Archive aims to present the legacy of Solanaceae Tau as best as possible furthermore each album reissue is accompanied by a free single, in this case The Circle c/w Announcement Of Darkness. Get it here.

The original cover art can be seen archived on discogs, slightly altered but still blatantly taken from the innersleeve of an Grateful Dead record to underline the strength and unitiy of alternative culture but due to the re-working of the album it seemed approbiate to update and re-design this too.
As with the preceeding reissues (2007’s Novus Ordo Seclurum and 2003’s Voices From The Ground Behind) the tracks where professionally remastered by Maurizio Pustianaz of Noisebrigade honoring the late Axaxas aka Fenryr aka Andreas Kirchner.
I’ve been in contact with him again as I had the idea to publish some of this projects works on Klappstuhl because they where badly underrepresent anywhere online which was a shame… S.T. never managed to fit into one style be it experimental, electronic darkwave, industrial, neo folkish or cybergoth or whatever and had most likely because of this and limited distribution only a selected followship.

[click to listen]

Landscape pic by Dominik Scythe.
Skull pic by Max Kleinen, thanks to both.
Design & layout fd (full printable artwork included with dl).

NOESIS – Clock DVA Album 30 Years Post ‘Sign’

Adi Newton, conceptualizing & envisioning Clock DVA since 1978.

2023 sees the first DVA all new album release since 1993’s ‘Sign’. The 2nd (electronic) incarnation of Clock DVA was then already faded out with only Adi Newton and Robert E. Baker left. Dean Dennis had at least participated still to ‘Man Amplified’ before starting his own project Sector in the fall of 1993. Adi Newton did publish the weakest TAGC album ‘Iso Erotic Calibrations’ in 1994 and also the excellent ‘Burning Water’ Recordings dating back to 1987 and 1990 on Side Effekts and stayed as far as known in Italy with very few signs of musical activities besides 1996’s Psychophysicist collaboraton with Andrew McKenzie which had already been recorded in 1994.
A reissue deal with Mute was once rumoured about but nothing came of it so in general all proper DVA albums are still mostly out of print. I guess it is quite difficult to sort it out properly as there have been many group members through the years who contributed even when A. Newton always was the head and main writer.
Vinyl On Demand explored with various formats and boxes the earliest phase from roughly 1978 to 1980 with three different box-sets (4 if you like to count the double 7″ with the book) and which helped me to get my hands on some of the material I only ever heard of before.
But concerning new music the current line-up did not rush with releases.


Maurizio Martinucci (aka TeZ) Permanent DVA Member since 2010.

As is his do-it-all-alone style various sites and announcemnts popped up in the 2000’s but until 2013 when a compilation of unpublished Mid 90’s tracks appeared as “Post Sign” and in 2014 the first new tracks coupled with a multi media approach, remixes and video on an USB Stick in best possible audio quality plus two remixes on a limited 12″ through his Antererio Research Media Com. the Neoteric CD EP in 2016 was the next one with a Remix 12″ following in 2019 and also a Vinyl Reissue.

The Anti Group Project stayed pretty on the backburner besides a new Remaster available in 2013 of 1994’s Adi Newton solo effort, a few compilation tracks up to 2018 and very few live activity but is now fully active again with no less than 3 new works published and another expanded reissue of the singles Compilation. A playlist with TAGC & Clock DVA tracks older and more recent compiled by Adi Newton to promote his appearance as The Anti Group at Cinema Classico’s Overlook in Torino, Italy on the 1st of July 2017 is well worth a listen:

Adi Newton also collaborated with Jack Dangers (of MBM) as SŌON and published one excellent CD in 2019.
Various other projects have seen the light of the day, usually difficult to obtain, expensive or both. It got better since he teamed up with the Italian label / publishing company Rizosfera /NU KFM who handle the european ARM COM Releases for now.

Find full details / tracklisting / formats here.

The Life And Times Of Terry Hall – R.I.P.

March 19, 1959 – December 18, 2022.

Terry Hall from Coventry, U.K. started his musical adventures in a punk band before getting drawn in to the Coventry Automatics, The Special AKA and then known as The Specials. 2 Tone – the label founded by Jerry Dammers and the Ska Revival in the late 70’s with The Selecter, The Beat, Madness, The Bodysnatchers, Bad Manners is well documented and researched. The orginal Specials broke up in 1981 after years of permanent touring and many great Songs and Singles.

Terry, co-Singer Neville Staples and Lynval Golding had prepared their first Fun Boy Three Single ‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum’ already and jumpstarted a new career while the remaining Specials fragmented and faded out with a final LP ‘In The Studio’ appearing after endless Studio Sessions in 1984.

The Fun Boy Three released a bunch of incredible singles plus two great Albums, 1982 and 1983 before Terry called them quits. The surprised Neville and Lynval – on vacation then tried a new project Sunday Best with Pauline Black, from the equally dissolved Selecter which fell on dumb ears and faded after one single.
Terry had started The Colour Field (or Colourfield) heading more into melancholic British Pop with Toby Lyons and Karl Shale. Today best known for the pretty blatant but successful ‘Thinking Of You’ single still most songs showed Terry’s with and sharp observational skills. Surfaced now has this Radio Show, hosted by him in early 1985:

After various line-up changes The Colour Field faded out in obscurity after an weak second Album in 1987, recorded by Hall & Lyons with the aid of guest musicians and an over the top sterile production. This left Terry Hall to pursue a new project featuring Blair Booth and Anouchka Grose, ‘Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes’ before teaming up with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics as Vegas for one Album.
1994 finally saw his first solo LP ‘Home’, produced by Ian Broudie with whom he kept regularly working during the 90’s, appearing as co-writer and Singer on many of Lighting Seeds releases. 1997 he released ‘Laugh’, arranged and partly co-written with Craig Gannon and 2003 a collaborative Album with Mushtaq from Fun-Da-Mental ‘The Hour Of Two Lights’ which showed less Terry Hall as we knew him than any other release before besides on “A Tale Of Woe”.

Drawn back to Ska/Dance/House Music he appeared as guest of Junkie XL, Lautrec, Tricky and on many occasions live and on record with The Dub Pistols with the brilliant ‘Problem Is’ for example.

Finally he seemed at ease with his past success and roots and slowly the possibility of a Specials Reunion became real. In 2009 all the Specials (minus Jerry Dammers) got on the road again for a 30th Anniversary Tour and surprisingly stayed together for the following years, also touring ‘More Specials’.

With the core of Terry, Lynval and Horace (Neville Staples had to quit due Health issues and John Bradbury died in 2015, Roddy Radiation got lost again on the way) The Specials MK III released the Studio Album ‘Encore’ in 2019 which stayed true to the original spirit of The Specials, not shying away from any current issues. This was followed in 2021 with a cover album ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’, an all new album was in preparation but this was not meant to be.

Terry Hall leaves three sons, two with his former wife and one with his later one. He fought depressions and traumas and was one of the first Patrons and supporters of Tonic, aiming to help people in the music industry fighting against mental illness.

The world lost a brilliant wordsmith and a unique voice of his generation.