va - Brain In The Wire / Brain Not In the Wire


This came out in two versions... a double disc and a triple disc. The double disc version came, as you've probably guessed, in The Wire magazine. A third disc included music that was, again obvious from the title, not included in The Wire magazine. Released in 2002, compiled by the folks behind the Brainwashed.com website... includes music by Matmos, V/Vm, Greater Than One, Jessica Bailiff,  Legendary Pink Dots, Nurse With Wound, Aranos, Little Annie, Bedhead, Diamanda Galas and more.

disc 1
disc 2
disc X

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Steel Pole Bath Tub - Venus In Furs / European Son




Yeah, two Velvet Underground covers ... what's not to love?

7" released on Communion Label in 1991.

shiny shiny shiny boots of leather

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Tumor Circus - Take Me Back Or I'll Drown Our Dog




Just in case you don't know, Tumor Circus were a short-lived and unholy union between Steel Pole Bath Tub, Charles Tolnay (who was in the likes of King Snake Roost and Lubricated Goat) and the perpetually relevant political rants of Jello Biafra. It was only released in the UK as a 12" (a 7" elsewhere) and includes the track "Fireball" but it's different to the one that appears on the self-titled LP in the same year.

12" released on Alternative Tentacles in 1991.

horse molester must be stopped

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va - Brainwaves 2008

Second triple-disc compilation from the second Brainwaves Festival. Another blank white sleeve for the bands to autograph. This one has music by Reformed Faction, Meat Beat Manifesto, Threshold HouseBoys Choir, Christoph Heemann and Andreas Martin, Marissa Nadler, His Name Is Alive, A Place to Bury Strangers, Manorexia, Silver Apples and more.

disc 1
disc 2
disc 3

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Resistance Takes Many Forms





HERO!

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No Justice. No Peace.










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va - Brainwaves

Triple CD compilation given to audience members at the Brainwaves festival, hosted by Brainwashed.com in 2006. Includes exclusive music by Z'ev, Jack Dangers, irr. app. (ext.), Throbbing Gristle, Goodiepal, Troum, Black Light District, Edward Ka-Spel, Wagon Christ and more. The package was all white with no information on it. The idea, I think, was for audience members to ask artists to autograph the album during the festival.

disc 1
disc 2
disc 3

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right about now...



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My Dad Is Dead - The Best Defense




The fifth My Dad Is Dead LP and the second that was doomed to unavailability.

Another Homestead Records release from 1988.

The Best Defense

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Bitch Magnet - Valmead




Given that David Grubbs slid from Bastro into a world of different ideas ... and played with Bitch Magnet and (basically) the backing band for the second track is Codeine ... it made sense to segue into this. I had some conflicted feelings about them at the time and still do to be honest. They had loads of that underground Bastro tornado style but you can hear glimpses of the themes that led to the year that punk broke. Yeah, for me that was when people that I knew were arseholes started to pretend they were really into it and always had been. Inverted snob and proud of it. Don't get me wrong there are some brilliant things within the Magnet canon and I was going to post a few of the things that I bought at the time. In preparing those posts I realised that in 2011, Temporary Residence released a triple CD / LP set that remasters pretty much everything they ever did and includes some unreleased stuff. It's still for sale. I've listened back to it and it sounds pretty immense. As a taster, here's this:

12" released on Glitterhouse Records in 1990.

Valmead

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Bastro and Codeine - A L'ombre De Nous




Apart from the Antlers CD containing live material from 1991 (that you can still pick up from Drag City), this was all she wrote. Really, it marks the transition of David Grubbs from one band to the other and into an area that journos tried to initially pigeonhole as slo-core. The members of Bastro would continue to orbit around each other for years to come in the form of Gastr Del Sol and Tortoise.

7" released on Sub Pop in 1991.

A L'ombre De Nous

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Bastro & My Dad Is Dead - Split




Where one plays the song of the other ...

7" released on Clawfist as part of their singles club in 1991.

Nothing Special / Flesh-Colored House

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Bastro - Sing The Troubled Beast



In an echo of Big Black, Bastro left at the top of their game with Clark Johnson going back to law school. I didn't know it at the time but I sat in anticipation of the next album and it never came ... information was different then. In retrospect, the fact that Brian Paulson handled most of the recording gives a clear light towards the future direction that these people would take and it makes a lot more sense now. Yeah, he was in Man Sized Action and was behind the desk for the Cows and a lot of the better end of the Touch & Go roster (Killdozer, Brick Layer Cake, Arcwelder) but later he was involved in Slint and others trying to slip into that stream ... they were all riding a wave heading in the same direction.

Released on Homestead Records in 1990.

Sing The Troubled Beast

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My Dad Is Dead - Let's Skip The Details




Apparently, this was more or less the work of Mark Edwards with a couple of people making small contributions. 32 years ago I read this really small piece talking about it and went out and bought the vinyl. Just my opinion but maybe the others were contractually tied up and kept anonymous. This is a full band pure and simple. MDID don't tend to get written about much even back then ... if they were from New Zealand we would all be lighting candles on a nightly basis at our home-made shrines. To my mind, this is a masterpiece.

Only released in America in 1988 on Homestead Records and then never available again. Criminal.

Let's Skip The Details

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Culpis - Situation Vacant Columns

Incredibly, this is the only full album by Culpis! The trio of Michi Nagata on guitars, Daizo Nishimura on harmonium and Takuji Naka on reeds, makes one hell of a racket. They remind me of Voice Crack or Dislocation, an energetic and dense improv/noise clatter. I like this album a lot, and would have liked to have heard them do more... but other than "Situation Vacant Columns" (released as a CD by PARA Disc, the label affiliated with the Parallax record shop in Kyoto), they made two split CDRs with MSBR and nothing else. Nagata was also in the grindcore band Casket K. Takuji Naka went on to record with Tim Olive, Frans de Waard and Jason Kahn. The other guy hasn't made any other albums that I'm aware of. If you're only going to leave one album behind, this is a pretty good one.

Culpis - Situation Vacant Columns

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Steel Pole Bath Tub - The Miracle Of Sound In Motion




"Sorry" if you're not enjoying this latest incursion ... but I'm having a blast (first). Slurred psychedelic overdriven garage noise-rock at it's finest. I've loved these people for a long time but had forgotten how much. I've been playing their releases all day and I'm waiting for the noise abatement notice from the neighbours. Shit happens. I could have started at many points but this is the one that when I took it home, my head fell clean off and it all made perfect sense. Saw them live somewhere between one and three times ... who knows?

Released on Boner Records and Tupelo Recording Company in 1993. Seems like this was only released in America ... I bought it over here in the civilised world so maybe it was an import? It's never been reissued since ... legalities I presume.

The Miracle Of Sound In Motion

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Jun Kawasaki - 左岸右岸 (Left Bank-Right Bank)

Solo album by bassist Jun Kawasaki of EXIAS-J, released on CD in 2003 by Bishop Records. EXIAS-J's guitarist Hideaki Kondo and pianist Shin-Ichiro Kanda appear on several songs, as does oboist Toshiya Nakamizo.

Jun Kawasaki - 左岸右岸 (Left Bank-Right Bank)

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God Is My Co-Pilot - Getting Out Of Boring Time Biting Into Boring Pie




I really like angular music that leaves you with little idea where it's going or why. Listening back to 10 X My Age made me go back and listen to this ... another great 10" that I bought at around the same time. It sounds better to me now than it did then. I distinctly remember reading them described as Dutch queer-core and hopefully the author is now not employed in any capacity. Well they are from New Amsterdam so good I named it once and I have never bothered to find out what the sexual preferences of the individual members of this collective are ... because it has absolutely no relevance.

10" released on Quinnah Records in 1993.

Biting Into Boring Pie

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Shoji Hano - Tayhei Nipon

Solo drum album by Shoji Hano, with guests Keiji Haino (who plays guitar on two songs) and Yoshinori Yanagawa of Dislocation (who plays alto on one song). Hano is now known mainly as a free improv drummer who plays with Peter Brotzmann, Olaf Rupp, Billy Bang and other jazz heavyweights. But he was also sat in High Rise's combustible drum seat for a time, and plays in Dare Devil Band with members of Acid Mothers Temple. This album came out in 1991 as a CD on the evocatively named Package Records Corp. label.

Shoji Hano - Tayhei Nipon

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Trumans Water - 10 X My Age




This is such a gorgeous thing ...

It was released on Elemental in 1993 in a beautiful white marbled 10" vinyl version. I used to stare at it for hours at a time whilst it played on rotation. There was a CD version (with nothing extra) and I might have bought that as well but I can't be bothered to get a ladder out to climb the CD wall.

10 X My Age

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