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.
Incredible 23 years have passed without an regular Keith LeBlanc solo album now, hard to believe as he’s been all over the place all of the time but except some reissues on his / Blanc bandcamp lately there was hardly any solo activity besides 2008’s Chess Moves – Future Blues Project not many seemed to know what to make of as it was a strange hybrid of original recordings with added Instrumentation by Keith, Doug (Wimbish) and Skip (McDonald) – maybe best described as found on dc “Re-production and partial re-instrumentation of old blues tracks using the original tapes”. Then there where regrouping activities as Tack>>Head live and even culminating into the “For The Love Of Money” cover versions album in 2014 which didn’t exactly overmatch it’s expectations. I’m not even sure if the title was meant ironically.
Anyway; 12 Movements Of Boom does.
Of course it might be there where no expectations to see another KLB album which was really regrettable as his incredible mix of electro, hip hop, funk, jazz and whatever style comes to his mind held together by his rhythmic brilliance somehow managed to build up to amazing heights, especially on Time Traveller (Blanc Records 1992) and Stranger Than Fiction (Enigma / Nettwerk 1989) two albums I regularly return to. The selected cast of guest musicians old and new support this all-in vision.
His long time allies Doug & Skip ‘Little Axe’ and a shelved but not forgotten tape with recordings of vocals and poetry from the late Andy Fairley given to him in the 90’s build the solid core of Boom. He dives more into mellower jazz ambience and hip hop here than in the 1990’s without loosing himself and his trademark edgy beats. A very welcome highlight.
A week later, October 25th he released the companion album – Boom Instrumentals & Bonus Tracks.
Summer is gone finally, so the Dub Producers from Rootz Zombie found time to release a new album via Culture Dub Records and their own bandcamp simultanously. This one is more in the vein of their 2018 first collaborative release “Sounds From The House”, again with wonderful artwork from Legras Fist, a blend of harmonies and grooves enriched with prominent vocalists Sammy Gold, Thomas Anton (from Travelerz), Mista B, Little R and Bobby Surround.
While the download is free you can support the artists and label directly through a pay what you want option @ bandcamp and find more music in both cases, of course it’s just a tip of an iceberg but a good starting point into the current french dub scene as it can be.
Roots Zombie from Bordeaux are a great example because they’re not to strict stylistic and explore Bass Music, Hip Hop, House whatever makes them fancy but thankfully not all at once which makes it a pleasure to listen to.
I am very proud about the two recent releases by Hungarian Dub Master Kálmán Nemeth published lately. The EP tracks where recorded early this Spring and released with extraordinary artwork by TapeAir from Budapest. The new album – his first since the excellent Eleven from early 2020 collects recordings from 2021 to late 2022 – made in isolation and compiled thematically coherent.
I rediscovered my love for dub techno (which started with some of the first basic channel 12″s I bought when in Berlin during the early 1990’s) while working from home. It helped to keep me focused, most tracks aren’t too short so if fits in easily with the patient needed sometimes and besides there is a steady but not too dominant groove involved. I know this is not the real point here but it’s easy to enjoy the wordless space created here while being busy with whatever. OhmikRon was one of dozens artists I discovered via bandcamp and soundcloud and he moves never too much into ambient ambiguity and this makes discovering his releases (and DJ Mixes) a pleasure.
Eric Ramsden from Manchester was one of a handful of early electronic post punk pioneers, unique and uncompromising not completely unlike Robert Rental, Fad Gadget, . He was involved with early Factory acts, the New Hormones label, Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley as The Tiller Boys and maybe best documented with Cabaret Voltaire (as guest musician on record, as opening act on tour and fully absorbed on the Pressure Company live LP). From solo output up to putting a band together (The Bedlamites) and getting recruited for the then Manchester based femme fatale junkie legend Nico as tourband member – with additional stints in the Suns Of Arqua, Psychic TV and the Durutti Column.
This short bio shows a lot unknown facts, thankfully supported by the man himself about his whereabouts and his surprising return to electronic music starting with ‘Man Dog’ in 2014 on Klanggalerie after a 18 years hiatus and continuing until the present day. Find his latest Album ‘No-Go‘ here as CD and DL and a live recording from 2019 promoting the ‘Wire Me Up‘ 2*12″ on soundcloud.
An incredible find, many, many thanks to Hugo Ball.
‘Pull up! This is the new style.
Flip the script.
This one’s for the inmates.
The process, the process, the process church of the final judgement.
Like my life these tunes are crunked, chopped & screwed.
A deep listening reflection on this processed world we live in.
No sleep till Bristol.
As Prince Jazzbo said ‘one step forward, two step backward.’
Let the drums of defiance ring across this land.’
Not brand new but nonetheless worth listening. For tracklist and dl see secret thirteen, always worth a visit.
So with a deep look back in time (36 years now) here is an exciting Reissue I’ve been looking forward to since I read about it. Not just another Collection of b-sides and new mixes but a whole Compilation of unreleased outtakes is included now with the Maffia debut album before the classic Wimbish / McDonald / LeBlanc trio aided Mark Stewart.
See a newly made Video for “Liberty City” here.
The regularly over-used term ‘groundbreaking’ is finally used for once justified on this album which was/is a mutant melting of dub, industrial, anarcho free-style attitude with a singer who could sing but choose not to and lyrics which where not pretentious but worthy to chew upon years after years.
The original version of “The Paranoia Of Power”:
(from “The Lost Tapes” Compilation)
>> Mark Stewart himself perceives The Lost Tapes as a document that now possesses a storied significance: “It was a real adventure discovering this forbidden history, a twisted tale of Muswell hillbillies, French pirates and a Dutch schizophrenic doctor doing psychic archaeology.” Whilst Adrian Sherwood describes these works as characteristic of a distinct primitivism: “[The Lost Tapes represent] the early childhood of the songs before Mark and me conducted frenzied, scorched earth, slash-and-burn, twenty-hour mental, manic editing sessions at Crass’ studios that led to birthing the finished album.” <<
Info from Mute.com
There is also an Vinyl 2LP Edition, in black or clear with DL Code available directly via mutebank . Digitally the lost tapes are also available on it’s own via iTunes or Amazon.