Various Artists – Sub Rosa Records – 1984

Mark Stewart And The Maffia – The Wrong Name And The Wrong Number –  William S Burroughs – The Five Steps

The Camberwell Now – For Those In Peril On The Sea / Replash – Martyn Bates And Peter Becker – Sun Like Gold In Three Parts

I originally bought this LP for the track by the ex Pop Group front-man Mark Stewart collaborating with New York’s Sugarhill Gang session musicians, Skip MacDonald, Doug Wimbush and Keith Le Blanc.

On this Sub Rosa released LP the Mark Stewart track is a longer and more abrasive version of ‘Bastards’ that originally appeared on the ‘Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade’ LP that was released by ONU Sound / Mute records that same year.

This track is awesome and essential listening mixing up various W.S. Borroughs quotes over an extreme dance beat adding the odd yelp of  “Y’ALL BASTARDS” and “THE ECONOMICS OF GENOCIDE”. The guy who (via the studio mixing desk) makes the track sound like an aeroplane taking off  is ONU Sound’s boss Adrian Sherwood. Play it loud to really get the most from the track and to annoy your neighbours.

I was lucky to have attended many Tackhead / ONU Sound system events and one of the main draws for the night was watching Adrian Sherwood sweat it out over the mixing desk. What was occurring on stage sometimes faded into insignificance compared to watching this wizard at work all night. Added to that the sound at these events was bastard loud which always helped when participating throughout the evening. What was also great to see was the wide mix of public that would peacefully turn up for these Tackhead / ONU Sound system events. Rastas, punks, wideboys, mutoid wasters, hip hoppers, and everybody in between. Happy daze indeed.

Further details on the Sub Rosa release below swiped off the blog.

1. Mark Stewart started out in Bristol in 1978 with the Pop Group, an out there, genre busting band whose titles, political conviction, disrespect for copyright and willingness to collaborate laid the foundations for his later work. Post Pop Group members Mark Stewart, Bruce Smith and John Waddington thus heading off to London and hooked up with the emerging On-U Sound as part of the New Age Steppers. On-U supremo, Adrian Sherwood, had previously worked as European tour manager for legendary Jamaican deejay Prince Far I, whose live backing band largely comprised members of Creation Rebel and later Roots Radics. So while Lincoln Valentine ‘Style’ Scott, Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt and Eric ‘Bingy Bunny’ Lamont formed the core of Dub Syndicate, they were also enlisted as part of Stewart’s new backing band and the first line-up of the Maffia. The second line up and the line up that appeared on this Sub Rosa LP was the ex Sugarhill Gang members, Skip MacDonald, Doug Wimbush and Keith Le Blanc.

2. Novelist William Seward Burroughs born in 1914 initially drew acclaim as a member of the 50s Beat movement, alongside friends and peers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. His acclaimed publications, notably The Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and The Ticket That Exploded, exhibited the “cut-up” technique first espoused by fellow-writer Bryon Gysin, in which passages and texts were cut and reassembled to create unconscious writing. The pair subsequently brought the same method to recording during their stay at the Beat Hotel in Paris. Burroughs’ experimental nature and his espousal of drug use made him an attractive figure of the 60’s counter-culture. Aided in sound by Martin Olson.

3. The Camberwell Now is a Experimental rock band formed in 1982 by Charles Hayward after the breakup of This Heat recorded at the bands Cold Storage studio in Brixton.

4. Martyn Bates and Peter Becker, after releasing experimental / industrial tapes of Antagonistic Music / Dissonance (as Migraine Inducers), Martyn Bates formed Eyeless In Gaza in 1980 as a duo with Peter Becker. Eager to explore musical territories that veered crazily from filmic ambience to rock and pop, industrial funk to avant-folk styles, the duo steered hungrily and rapidly through several albums that culminated in the reflective swan songs of Rust Red September and Back From The Rains.

1 comment
  1. Lean
    July 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I taped the Camberwell Now track from John Peel and was blown away by it. Lost the cassette and when the internet started providing music I searched and searched for it and after years I found it on some music blog. For those in Peril on the Sea is just about my favourite piece of music ever.
    Thanks for providing the other stuff on the record. I’ll download and listen to them too.

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