Sunday 17 November 2013

Nitro - Blues In My Shoes 7" Warm & Genuine 2079 028, 1973

We're off to an inauspicious start with that title, inasmuch as blues in anything is seldom a good thing. The Warm & Genuine label, erstwhile home to Jon English, is another turn-off, not to mention the fact that the (Stephen) Housden credit you see on the label is the same fella from Little River Band. Yikes. That pedigree can be heard all over For Me Or For You, the weak flipside to Nitro's only single. Not so the A-side, a neat boogie/glam rocker with its titular 12-bar chug offset by a chorus that's no riff and all embellishment, and bonus nonsense lyrics about starchildren and stardust - the latter being a missed opportunity for the title, says us. Housden contributes some nice guitar work throughout, particularly as he starts to unclench from the last verse on, and the rhythm section of Mal Wakeford (drums) and Peter Deacon (bass) is suitably solid and understated. Housden and Wakeford's hard-rockin' side presumably sprang from their brief tenure in Rachette with a post-Easybeats/pre-solo Stevie Wright; sadly, there seem to be no recordings from that period. We wish the same could be said for later collaborations, investigation of which will require stronger stomachs than ours.

Blues In My Shoes [Download]

Sunday 3 November 2013

Gestalt - √−1 7" Pyrrhic 001, 1982

We've made our feelings on Sydney's North Shore known before. We admit though that there was a pretty good punk scene up there that spawned some of our favourite records; oh, and Progression Cult too. There was other stuff as well, and the leafy bush around Church Point (almost as far North as Sydney stretches) produced a strange experimental record in 1982.

The 300 press was split equally amongst the three members. Each member's 100 copies has label and sleeve designed by that individual member. We haven't seen enough copies over the years to be sure how much variation thus ensued but the three we know of are pretty different. Anyway, as explained in the booklet which comes with some copies, the common denominators in each copy are the bandname Gestalt, the label and catalogue number (Pyrrhic 001) and the song titles: Adventures Of A Flea, Chained To The Floor, Of This Men Will Know Nothing and Latent Doings.

The packagings are labours of love - from the 1/2 inch thick piece of foam matting above to the found photography and art here, down to the hand altered blank white labels.

The care extends to the music - analog synths, electroacoustic tape manip and so on. We're no experts on this kind of thing though it's unpleasant enough, if lacking the kind of anti-social edge we could hang our coats on.

As to the protagonists - they're unnamed. How did they come to make music like this? John Blades in his memoir speaks of the importance of Double Jay in proselytising mutant sounds. M-Squared's first half dozen releases precede this and they had decent distribution, on the East coast at least. There's a probable M Squared connection, at least by communication - MxM gets a thanks, and the the Shane in the thanks list is Shane Fahey, Gordon is probably Gordon Renouf (Slugfuckers, Wild West, M Squared engineer), and so on. The recording wasn't done at M Squared though, but at the "now demolished Roscoe St residences" - most likely in Bondi (but perhaps in Newcastle), over Easter 1981.

Adventures Of A Flea [Download]

Chained To The Floor [Download]

Of This Men Will Know Nothing [Download]

Latent Doings [Download]

Another sleeve variation, front...
...and back.

It was cheap...