TURN UP THE STROBE: THE KLF, THE JAMS, THE TIMELORDS – A HISTORY IAN SHIRLEY

The story of two guys who with talent and lots of luck, destroyed people’s expectations, did ridiculous stunts, pissed off people, and created songs that still resonate with listeners and will be played for decades. The one and only flaw is that both Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty both declined to be interviewed for the book, which might have added a bit more to the story.

Starting off with the lesser-known beginnings of the duo, their younger years and meeting each other, the book gives an insight into where they came from and the earliest projects. It gives a lot of background with Big In Japan, Drummond managing Echo and the Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes while running Zoo Records alongside David Balfe.  Cauty and Drummond don’t actually get together and collaborate on their first project, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu track “All You Need Is Love,” until almost halfway through the book, but you really need to read about their beginnings to get an idea of where they took ideas to form their later music. I remember hearing about them when they were getting in trouble for including ABBA on their album 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) and being upset that I couldn’t hear what the commotion was all about, of course now you can just do a search on the interweb and there it is. When I heard “Doctorin’ The Tardis,” I was fascinated, for one, I can’t stand Dr. Who and this was the first and only bit I ever liked and how much I loved the damn thing. I was hooked and had to get more, so I went out and got the Chill Out album and starting buying the singles that I could find from them. When the White Room album came out, I was working in a record store and made a sign with the band’s logo advertising it and sold tons of them. Of course, the sheep blood and burning the money all are in the book as well, but regardless of the stunts, the guys just were talented and make for a fascinating read.

Author Ian Shirley gives the reader a well written and interesting book that will keep you reading and being intrigued by the career of a couple of guys who grabbed the world’s attention and still retain my interest now. With all of the tales in this book about their lives and music, there still is a lot more to them then their past and I’m looking forward to their future.

https://twitter.com/rrpgeditor?lang=en Ian Shirley’s twitter

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ALIEN SEX FIEND: Fiendology – 1982-2017

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Since their emergence in the early ’80s, Alien Sex Fiend have remained one of the most loved and longstanding pioneers of the Goth movement. Fusing themes of horror, humour, inner turmoil and outer space with an industrial and electronic sound years ahead of its time, the band scored countless indie chart hits, found success across Europe, America and Japan and won a dedicated, adoring fan base which exists to this day. The collection is composed of 3 CDs spanning their 35 year history, including five previously unreleased recordings, previously unreleased mixes of “Now I’m Feeling Zombified,” and “I Walk The Line.” There are two brand new tracks from their forthcoming album Possessed, plus artwork by Nik Fiend in the booklet telling the band’s story in pictures, as well as sleevenotes by Kris Needs and Youth.

With the big songs mixed in with album tracks and remixes, this collection gives fans and those curious a look at the band that is without comparison. The band has been in and out of fashion and still marches on to the sound of their own drum machine. Electric and bizarre, they continue to thrill and get people dancing to the mix of strange lyrics and the dance beats that they have been putting out with regularity. The new songs sound right at home, maybe a bit more modern, but fit in perfectly with the sound that they have molded over the years. The booklet has great stories and gives a terrific overview of the band and how they have moved through the years, giving the fans amazing music.

With all of the collections of the band out there, this has to be the one to get, great sound, a collection of obvious and less obvious tracks, and with some rarities added to the two new songs, you just can’t go wrong. Now go out and “Walk The Line” and get Zombified.

https://www.facebook.com/AlienSexFiendOfficial/

http://www.asf-13thmoon.demon.co.uk/

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ALIEN SEX FIEND: Classic Albums Volume 2

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Alien Sex Fiend is a combination of goth, new wave, and industrial that has been a going concern since 1982 and still continues now. The heart and soul of the band is Nik Fiend and Mrs Fiend who are like the Energizer bunny……..they keep going and going and going…….thankfully for us all. This is a remastered collection of four albums, and the second such collection of their music in this format. You get Here Cum Germs, Another Planet, Curse, and Open Head Surgery, which is their fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth albums. You also get remastered music, bonus tracks, a booklet, mini LP sleeves and a clam-shell box to store it in.

A fantastic collection of albums that showcase the band at the end of the 80’s and the early 90’s when they were getting a lot of interest in North America as well as the UK and Europe. It has them getting deeper into sampling and electronics and doing more experimental things, but still sounding like themselves. The albums have a great mix of cartoonish lyrics and manic music that mesh together perfectly. Here Cums Germs has a great continuation of their earlier albums, and a foreshadowing of the more electronic sounds coming on the next bunch of albums. Another Planet is just Mr and Mrs Fiend and they put together a great album of solid songs. From “Bun-Ho!” to the covers of “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine,” the album is a treat. Curse has the fantastic “Now I’m Feeling Zombiefied,” and a huge jump into techno, hip-hop style music that is strong on this album, but still retains the feel of the band. Open Head Surgery continues on from the previous album with a similar sound and has the band leaving the batcave/goth sound pretty much in the dust. The remastered sound gives the listener the opportunity to hear the little sounds that got lost on the previous recordings, and the cleaner sound makes for a better listening experience. The bonus tracks are a treat and the information in the booklet is interesting to read.

The band has gone through a lot of different styles and sounds throughout their career, but through it all, they still are Alien Sex Fiend. This band changes, but yet stays the same in a lot of ways………thankfully for us.

https://www.facebook.com/AlienSexFiendOfficial/

http://www.asf-13thmoon.demon.co.uk/index.html

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BOOZOO BAJOU: 4: CD

Boozoo Bajou - 4

It’s been more than twelve years since the duo of Peter Heider and Florian Seyberth put out their  first record, and sixteen years since they got together. This album also features the guitar of Frank Zeidler, the violin and viola and mbira thumb piano of Stefan Pötzsch, the flugelhorn of Markus Stockhausen, and the Armenian duduk of Frank Freitag, as well as the synth playing of Max Loderbauer.

This is not a dance floor shaker of an album, it’s more of an album to put on at night when you come home from work or clubbing. Turn the lights down, grab a glass of wine, or brandy, sit near the fireplace, look out the window at the rain or snow, plug-in the headphones and let the sounds wash over you. The relaxed feeling on this album really takes you away from the crap that life can throw at you and get your mind into a clearer place. Track after track of layered sounds take control of your ears and set a course for pleasure, all except the first track “Jan Mayen” which reminded me of a Herb Alpert track with the horn playing, but I can always skip that one. I can use the word lush for the sounds on this album of interesting and well done instrumentals.

I really enjoyed this album, and will let my wife listen to it, as she has started to have a love affair with ambient music. This makes me glad that there are still people out there doing more than the minimum amount of work to create music, and succeeding so very well at the hard work that they have put in.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boozoo-Bajou/30340212833

http://www.boozoobajou.com/

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http://www.randsrecords.com/

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DIFFUZION: Insomnia: Download

While they are currently in the studio recording their third album, Belarusian act DIFFUZION today have released their first single from the new album. You get five songs on the EP, two mixes of “Insomnia” and three of “City Of Dust”.

“Insomnia” starts things off with a tight and pounding beat and distorted vocals that gives this songs harsh electronics a great forum to kick up a noisy and pulsating vibe that really is catchy. “City Of Dust” is a more mellow synth pop track that has female vocals and flows over you and makes your head bob and gets stuck in your head. “City Of Dust (Junksista mix)” is a bit more deconstructed at first, but then kicks into a nice groove with some Euro house touches that give the song a nice dance floor vibe and get you moving. “Insomnia (sleepless mix by Eff Dst)” hardly has any vocals and has a cool UNDERWORLD vibe going on that brought back memories of spinning their music back in the ’90s and this remix would fit in great with a night of cool electronica / techno. “City Of Dust (Diversant:13 mix)” has a cool, bubbling sound that keeps the dancefloor in its sights, but has a bit more depth and it would sound great loud in the car.

A great taste of what the band is up to and it really makes you look forward to their new album. I’m going to be playing this a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/diffuzion  http://diffuzion.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix  http://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/

HELGRITT: Helle 666: Download

This album from Las Vegas, NV resident Helgritt caught me off guard completely. The high energy album will get you up and you will feel the need to dance as soon as you hit play.

The album comes at you with blasts of Euro-house, EBM, and New Beat all mixed together in a delightful concoction that put a smile on my face right away. You also get a mix of different styles all mashed together on the terrific track “Abomination”. You get the great electronics mixed with chanting, harsh noise, and gentle piano to create a track that really stood out. From start to finish, this is an album of one great song after another with energy and a sense of excitement as a theme.

As I listened to this album, I kept thinking that this is one of the most interesting albums that I’ve heard in a long time, lots of fun tracks that just felt like a party. If you’re looking for an album that brings together the best of different genres and sounds like it’s a lost classic from the early ’90s, then this is the album for you…it is for me!

https://www.facebook.com/Helgritt  http://www.helgritt.com/

THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA: As You Will: Download

This five-piece band from Chicago, IL plays post hardcore mixed with electronica and pulls it off. Two genres that have a ton of energy and have layers of sounds on their own mix together to take the anger and energy to another level.

The album has the traditional aggressive sound of both genres and pushes them together to take on a whole new fierce sound that kicks up the energy up a few notches. The songs come at you hard and fast, but the added electronica gives the songs more textures and depth that not only get your head banging, but your feet taping too. It does remind me of the experiments in the late ’90s that bands were trying to do, but this seems to work really well. Tight played songs, great dual vocals, one clean and one screamed that mix together well, powerful drumming, thick bass guitar, and the heavy riffing all added to the well thought out songs really grabs you. The standout tracks were “Catharsis (Feat. Garret Rapp)”, “Broncos In The Basement”, “Branches”, “Segments”, and “The Octothorpe”.

The album was a very cool mixture of two sides of a coin that would normally not be put together, but they managed to pull it off. This is an album that would sound mega-huge in a club played really loud.

https://www.facebook.com/thecaptainhatesthesea  https://www.facebook.com/stayposirecords

http://stayposirecords.bandcamp.com/  http://stayposi.com/