KUKL – VISA – Rebel Flux – 1984 / MARS – Infidelity Records – 1980 / Chalwa Dub – Chalwa Records – 1978 / Dormannu – Illuminated Records – 1983 / Zos Kia – Temple Records – 1985 / Danny Ray & Mexicano – 1977

KUKL – side 1

KUKL – side 2

A very rare cassette tape by KUKL featuring future Sugarcube and now respected solo artist Bjork.

This KUKL performance was recorded in September 1984 somewhere in Paris and was released on VISA / Rebel Flux cassettes in 1985.

KUKL were an Icelandic group created in Reykjavik in August 1983 with Einar Örn Benediktsson (vocals, earlier in Purrkurr Pillnikk); Björk Guðmundsdottir (vocals, earlier in Tappi Tikarrass); Guðlaugur Kristinn Ottarsson (guitar, earlier in PEYR); Birger Mogensen (bass, earlier in Killing Joke) ; Einar Melax (keyboards, earlier in Van Houtens Koko) and Sigtryggur Baldursson (drums, earlier in PEYR).

Originally the group was a project based on an idea by among others, Asmundur Jonsson from Gramm Records in Reykjavik.

They debuted live on Icelandic radio and performed at the “We demand the future” festival in Reykjavik in 1983 with Crass and a host of other Icelandic bands.

In 1984 they performed with Psychic TV in Reykjavik and then travelled to England to perform with Flux of Pink Indians and other anarcho bands.

KUKL recorded at Southern Studios in London during January 1984. The tracks were engineered by John Loder and produced by Penny ‘Lapsang’ Rimbaud of Crass. Later the same year they played at concerts in several European countries including this performance in Paris.

In June 1985 the band performed at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark and later the same year at some concerts in Iceland where they played with Megas, the ‘grand old man’ of Icelandic rock.

At the turn of the year 1986 they released the two albums that had been recorded previously at Southern Studios on Crass Records.

KUKL’s music is complex and rhythmic, and a mixture of punk, rock, jazz, and more experimental music, with the lyrics sometimes in English, and sometimes in Icelandic.

KUKL were a powerful and personal band combining qualities from three important groups in Icelandic rock from the beginning of the eighties.

Here is the KYPP post that has the audio of KUKL’s debut performance at the ‘We Demand The Future’ festival, along with the audio of the other bands that performed on the night including Crass HERE

The visuals for this YouTube post include the scan of the sixteen page booklet that accompanied the cassette tape.

KUKL’s debut 7″ single may be listened to on this KYPP post HERE

MARS – side 1

MARS – side 2

A right racket masquerading as art, this 12″ extended play record by MARS has few redeeming features, save the amount it could fetch on Discogs.***

For best results invite a friend round, give him or her a microdot, put this on loud, then wait around for a bit.

The tracks included on this record were recorded in 1978 but released in 1980 a little while after Brian Eno took an interest in the No Wave scene in New York.

Eno was interested enough to produce the ‘No New York’ album which contained tracks by The Contortions, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks and D.N.A as well as MARS.

That release is the only decent starting point for an introduction to this scene for anyone who gives a rat’s arse…The scene was small, did not last more that a year or two but gave a fair amount of inspiration to artists later on down the line, like Jim Foetus and Nice Cave.

*** The tracks on this record are not that bad if you can handle SPK, Whitehouse or Throbbing Gristle which thankfully I CAN!

Some history:

Sumner Crane grew up in Queens, New York and studied painting at the Art Students League of New York, under abstract expressionist Milton Resnick, together with Nancy Arlen, who studied sculpting. Nancy Arlen was from upstate New York or Pennsylvania. Nancy and Sumner were about the same age. Constance -Connie- Burg grew up in Ohio and studied at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

School: “I (Mark Cunningham) grew up in the New Jersey suburbs and spent my teenage late sixties years tripping out in the Village (N.Y.C) at the Electric Circus and the Fillmore East. From September 1970 to 1974 I went to college at a freak school, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida that was probably like a lot of other arty type schools of the time. My first day there I met Arto Lindsay (later DNA), this strange kinda nerdy looking kid from Virginia who had grown up in Brazil. We immediately conspired to get rid of our assigned roommates and roomed together for the following four years and soon hooked up with other like minded music and word freaks and started jamming. We had no technique and no rules, worshipped the beats and Miles, Warhol and the Velvets… Later additions to the scene were Mark Pauline (later Survival Research Laboratories) Connie Burg (later known as China Burg), Gordon Stevenson (later Teenage Jesus), Mirielle Cervenka (Exene´s sister), and Liz and Bobby Swope (later Beirut Slump)…”

Move to New York: “In 1974 several of us (Cunningham, Burg, Lindsay) decided to head for N.Y.C (East Village, on Avenue B and Tenth Street), like so many other college grads and dropouts of the time. We knew something had to be happening there. It didn’t take us long to find C.B.G.B’s. We hit it for one of the first Television shows and it blew us away. We became regulars and saw the beginning of that whole generation of bands. In 1974 and 1975 it was really just a local underground scene but as Talking Heads and Patti Smith, The Ramones and Television released albums it started to get a lot more popular and the bands lost some of their original energy going for whatever formula they felt they had found. So at this point we all started thinking we could give that new blast that the scene needed. Then on the one hand you had the burgeoning punk scene which included a lot of boring rock bands and on the other this new bunch of very amateur groups looking for any sound that was different and cool. MARS (at that point in time named China) started in December 1975 really but we spent a year playing in a loft before we went public as China”.

Mark Cunningham – interviewed by Weasel Walter.

Chalwa Dub side 1

Chalwa Dub side 2

Uploaded tonight is an extremely rare album entitled ‘Calling 1000 Dreadlocks’ on the very short lived Chalwa record label from Kingston, Jamaica.

Involved in the recording sessions were Lloyd Parks studio band, Skin Flesh And Bones, alongside Augustus Pablo with his melodica and flute, Dave Barker and Dennis Alcapone on vocals and dub-chatter.

King Tubby was mixing, Clem Bushay was producing and supposedly Alton Ellis was overlooking everything generally.

There is no sleeve artwork for my copy of this album, it never appeared with any artwork for the original release as far as I know, just a thick white sleeve complete with a sticker with a little more information upon it. This release was limited to only five hundred copies from it’s release date in the 1970’s.

Some history.

Lloyd Parks performed with the Invincibles band (whose members also included Ansell Collins, Sly Dunbar and Ranchie McLean) before teaming up with Wentworth Vernal in The Termites.

In 1967, they recorded their first single, ‘Have Mercy Mr. Percy’, and then an album ‘Do the Rocksteady’ for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label.

After recording ‘Rub Up Push Up’ for the Dampa label, Parks and Vernal split up.

Parks then briefly joined The Techniques as a replacement for Pat Kelly, recording tracks such as ‘Say You Love Me’, before embarking on a solo career and later starting his own label, Parks. His second single was the classic ‘Slaving’, a moving song about the struggles of a working man.

In 1974, he founded the We the People Band.

As a solo artist, he recorded a number of songs for Prince Tony Robinson, including ‘Trench Town Girl’ and ‘You Don’t Care’. Some of his best known solo hits include ‘Officially’, ‘Mafia’ (both 1974), ‘Girl In The Morning’ and ‘Baby Hang Up The Phone’ (both 1975).

Parks was a studio bass player, backing many of the reggae artists, including Justin Hinds on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label. He was a member of Skin Flesh and Bones, along with Ansell Collins on keyboards, Tarzan on keyboards, and Ranchie MacLean on guitar. This group backed Al Brown on his hit ‘Here I am Baby’, and many other artists.

When Skin Flesh and Bones started backing up artists for Channel One Studios, Parks renamed the band The Revolutionaries.
Parks was also a member of Joe Gibbs’ house band, The Professionals, performing hits such as Althea & Donna’s ‘Up Town Top Ranking’, also backing artists including Dennis Brown, The Abyssinians, The Itals, The Gladiators, Culture and Prince Far I.

Dormannu side 1

Dormannu side 2

Based in the Squats of Brixton, south London and mates of Sex Gang Children, Danse Society and the Skeletal Family, this bunch could certainly out-funk most of the goths, unfortunately it left the band with a slight identity crisis. The goths of the day not knowing whether to dance to the percussion led beat, a la Adam And The Ants, or to stand around posing.

Dormannu had several line up changes, notably the vocalist of the band for this record, Chicken Mike, who was elbowed out for his continued use of the subject matter described quite well on the A-side, ‘Powdered Lover’. Heroin.

Some of the original Dormannu members put the effort into a new band, Lets Wreck Mother, who were a regular band at Gossips in the central London, for a while the home of the Batcave club. Maybe I will whack that Lets Wreck Mother 12″single up soon.

Following after this 7″ single, a 12″single, ‘Dread’ was released, and a couple of years later, an album, ‘Return To Quebec’. Then Dormannu disappeared.

Illuminated Records was a fine record label around the time of Dormannu (the record label released all of the Dormannu records). On the label’s roster were artists and bands as diverse as; 400 Blows, Sex Gang Children, Throbbing Gristle, Car Crash International, 23 Skidoo, Poison Girls, D.A.F, Television Personalities, The Destructors and many many more.

“I was half of Illuminated Records at the time of ‘Powdered Lover’. Kid Jensen played it on release with a truly great build-up. It sounded fantastic, just a shame the lyrics of a debut single and their best tune, were so overtly a hard-drug paean – that should come after the band is tortured by success.
They had a lot going for them, looks, funk, proto-rap. They should have stayed more close to the ‘cult with no name’ than the goths. At least they were more likely to forgive shambolic gigs as a statement, although Dormannu did support Danse Society on a tour, quite good gigs. I remember the old Dominion, Tottenham Court Road.
I remember the squat in Brixton. Keith and I had to pick the band’s gear up from somewhere the day after a gig. No-one home so (possibly for the only recorded instance) we had to break into a squat via a window to return property”.

Pat.

Zos Kia side 1

Zos Kia side 2

Zos Kia’s essential second vinyl release, and the first to be released on the Temple record label run by Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic T.V.

This clear vinyl copy was given to me from a box that he had stashed away for mail order customers in his Beck Road base in Hackney.

This record was played to death at the time. The track ‘Be Like Me’ being a real foot stomper with a funky overtone and a guitar line reminiscent of ‘Public Image’, the debut single from Public Image Limited.

The foot stomping starts after a couple of minutes of pleasant piano introduction, the piece that continues throughout the song, hidden under the percussive instruments, funky bass line and general noise.

The lyrics, almost line for line, are courtesy of the Reverend Jim Jones, the infamous leader of the San Francisco’s Peoples Temple.

The followers of the San Francisco’s Peoples Temple, as well as the Reverend Jim Jones himself, met a sudden and violent end in November 1978. More than 900 Temple members committed suicide by drinking poisoned juice, the followers that did not want to go through with the sacrifice were shot (along with the killings of five other people at a nearby airstrip) by the Temples ‘guards’ in the jungle clearing of ‘Jonestown’, Guyana.

The San Francisco’s Peoples Temple was at that point based on that continent after leaving San Francisco under intense F.B.I scrutiny.

The lines making up ‘Be Like Me’ was part of a Reverend Jim Jones speech that was made during the mass suicide.

The B-side, ‘Ten Miles High’, is a short noise festival which I guess is, ahem, very loosely based on ‘Eight Miles High’ by The Byrds. Save a snippet of a guitar sound lifted from that famous song from the 1960’s, there is nothing to compare the two songs.

Zos Kia are verging towards Lou Reed’s ‘Metal Machine Music’ era rather than the flower power of the late 1960’s Los Angeles.

The repetitive loop at the end of ‘Ten Miles High’ is exactly that. A loop that continues until you lift up the stylus on the turntable.

I cut it short of course.

Play this record at maximum volume and then some…

The George Best photographs on either side of the sleeve artwork, I have no clue about, unless it is to entice the purchaser to ‘be like’ him, a hidden visual message to camouflage the Reverend Jim Jones speech. I might have just made that up, but it would have been in line with some visual and audio hidden meanings in Psychic T.V and their allies published books, pamphlets or record releases.

More Zos Kia posts may be listened to and viewed below.

The word ‘enjoy’, might not be right term to use for Zos Kia, but whatever…

Danny Ray – Revolution Rock

Mexicano – Dub Rock

The Clash were extremely inspirational to me growing up, and whatever you might think about the band, one thing that cannot be denied is the band’s real love of Black music and culture, reggae music was no exception.

If it was not for The Clash promoting authentic reggae via name-drops in the media or some lyrics, or on original compositions like ‘Bank Robber / Rockers Galore’ or covering some of the songs of the day, thousands of people, like me, might not have been touched by this music.

Sure there were other bands around that time including the odd reggae based song into their repertoire, Stiff Little Fingers for example. The Clash did attempt ‘Police And Thieves’ and ‘Pressure Drop’ in a more punked up style, a couple of years prior to me going out and buying records. But when it came to 1979, The Clash found out that they were far from just a ‘punk’ band. With Mickey Gallagher and other musicians and artists in tow, the band recorded the sessions that would result in the formidable ‘London Calling’ album, deep down in Highbury, North London.

On the ‘London Calling’ album, one of the highlights (for me anyway) was the band’s version of Danny Ray’s ‘Revolution Rock’.

In 1977, a record was released in Jamaica on High Note Records and in the U.K on Golden Age Records (the record label run by members of the, during that time U.K based, Pioneers). This record released was ‘Git Up’ (sic) voiced by the old Jamaican legend Jackie Edwards. Jackie Edwards had been around since the 1950’s, and had helped Chris Blackwell organise Island Records at a time when Blackwell was selling records out of the back of his Austin Mini Seven.

Hope he got his cut further on down the line for helping to build an musical empire that is still a massive presence today…Probably not.

A much younger vocalist (and less well known in Roots than his favoured U.K. Lovers Rock circles) Danny Ray voiced this rhythm in the same year, released in Jamaica on High Note Records and on the Doctor label in the U.K, a subsidiary of Golden Age Records.

This cut was ‘Revolution Rock’. This is the version that The Clash covered.

Eddy Grant’s brother, Mexicano was taken into Coach House studios in Stoke Newington, to voice the D.J cut, again on the same rhythm and released on Pioneer Records.

This is ‘Dub Rock’.

Sadly I only have the Jackie Edwards version of this rhythm ‘Git Up’ on Golden Age 7″, and I wanted to keep this post specifically for ‘Revolution Rock / Rock Dub’. Those tracks were both ripped off of the Danny Ray and Mexicano albums, the images are of the sleeves of each…

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Penguin

1985 - 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution 1988 - 1991 King Penguin Distribution 1989 - ???? Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

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