Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.



FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! To translate a line from their early ”Incubus Sucubus” single, is what a first impression of Xmal Deutschland is full of. A physical, rhythmic flirtation with the colossal that captured a raw energy... a resonance that throbbed and shuddered with an acute, refreshing sense of being alive.
Fetisch”, the CD, harnesses enough of that resonance to be a vital release, one of the few records that actually has some semblance of purpose, meaning and belonging in the present day. The 'mystery' which many reviews have referred to stretches further than the simple exotica of their being foreign.  Thankfully some 'mysteries' are best left unsolved and there is then a temptation to continue the savouring of the subject from a safe distance. But it is that allure again, that having to know which draws one on.
While most German post-punk and new wave bands of the early 80’s explored Atavism and Dadaism, Xmal Deutschland applied the dogma of German expressionism in dark-punk. Thus “Fetisch” is a mixture of gothic-rock, noise-rock, and electronic-rock; it is heavy, relentless, expressionistic and austere.  In the middle of all this pandemonium, only the lyricism of "Boomerang" provides the listener with temporary relief.


Following on from the truly awesome Virgin Prunes is always going to be a challenge. I decided to take this journey on a sharp left turn as there is a connection between the Virgin Prunes and Coil...

Coil's first official full-length album, Scatology, originally released on LP in 1984 is one of the essential landmarks in the group's discography and, moreover, one of the '80s industrial scene's more vital and influential recordings. This is the first part of the essential Coil trilogy that also includes Horse Rotorvator and Love's Secret Domain. The 1984 album exhibits the group at its early industrial stage, in transition to the undefined genre of astral noise psychedelia that Coil would inhabit for the following decades without peer or precedent. The core duo of Peter Christopherson and John Balance are joined by Clint Ruin (aka Jim Thirlwell), whose role in the production cannot be underestimated, as well as Stephen E. Thrower, Throbbing Gristle's Alex Ferguson, vocalist Gavin Friday of the Virgin Prunes, and one Raoul Revere (who is in fact British pop legend and Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond). "Restless Day" is a haunting rumination that defies description, other than being an utterly essential self-defining moment in the Coil paradigm, with an atmosphere hanging in the tense space between harsh noise and harmony that apparently causes time to cease. "The Tenderness of Wolves" features the vocals of Friday in one of the more poetic moments of the '80s post-industrial sound. At the album's sombre end, this outstanding work finishes with a rendition of "Tainted Love" featuring Almond, who had made the track a new wave hit with Soft Cell. Here, however, the tune is given a bleak slow-motion version that could be read as a tragically suggestive commentary on the AIDS epidemic of the era. The album was originally released on Force & Form/Some Bizzare, and was the subject of numerous bootlegs and illegitimate versions. Maybe the numerous LP and CD versions that have appeared since its original release are suggestive of just how vital the album is, not only in the Coil discography but to the industrial electronica scene as a whole. This repress was made in the UK, unlike the original CD, which was made in Switzerland.



The Glove's Blue Sunshine is a one-off collaboration between The Cure's Robert Smith and Siouxsie And The Banshees' Steven Severin resulted in an eccentric, and at times incompatible, mix of psychedelic sounds wrapped around alternative '80s pop. Writers Smith and Severin's more eccentric tendencies are as likely to evoke pictures of a carnival as a funereal march, but the backbone rests largely on tightly constructed tunes with occasional forays into the experimental. Jeanette Landray sings the majority of the tracks, while Smith takes the lead twice amongst a smattering of instrumentals. Standout tracks include the Middle Eastern-twinged "Orgy" and the more conventional "Mouth to Mouth." Smith's distinctive warbling on the first-class "Perfect Murder" takes the album directly into Cure territory, as do the instrumentals which could equally find a home on Seventeen Seconds. While musically diverse, the album's lyrics rarely stray from the dual themes of death and sex, furthering the gothic undertones so often heard in Smith and Severin's previous work. Blue Sunshine's eclecticism makes this an interesting side note for long-time fans of the Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees, but a somewhat more inaccessible listen for others. 



The Creatures’ first full-length album (released 15th May 1983) is a revelation. It was recorded in Hawaii, and is environmental in terms of place: It drips with sex, humidity, narcotics and ritual; but is timeless. This is due in no small part to the mainly acoustic instrumentation, which is stripped down to drums, percussion, marimba and Siouxsie’s voice, all reverbed and processed to give the dense, trippy effect. No guitars are used and it sounds unlike anything anyone else was doing in 1983. The cover says much about this record. This is psychedelia of the truly shamanic variety: no gnomes or daisy-chains here! Much of the feel is of a crazed Hawaiian night-time beach party attended by William Burroughs and Dr. John at which strange, spiked cocktails are being served, whilst magical rituals are performed.


Just a brief introduction...

I've been reading blogs since 2011 and always thought that one day I would give it a go myself...and so, here I am.

The aim of this blog is to share some of the music I grew up listening to and some of the music I listen to today...There is every chance that the music shared here will have been shared before, but that's OK because it may be the first time that you, dear reader, will have heard it.

So while I'm away creating audible delights please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.