Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons - Best Off (Ill Wind)
A few years back we dug up some MP3s from this Swedish band that had already been highly touted by today's fans of minimal synth/Euro postpunk. Their "Ice Cream To God" and "Happy Funeral" 7"s emerged around 1980 and 81, and there was not much at all about them on the web, unfortunately; everytime I played 'em on air people immediately got in touch wanting to know more. About a year ago I heard from Ill Wind records, who excitedly told me that there was a KATPS retrospective on the way, and sure enough the My Space page popped up, and now we finally have the disc itself compiling EPs and a nice slab of live performances. The basics of the band's sound (synth/bass/guitar/drums/vox) weren't revolutionary by any means, and like so many others of the era heavily who saw Devo and Pere Ubu as a portal to the future, it's as New Wave as your pyramid-pot hat-spotting Uncle Charlie, but there's something ominously dark in a non-sucko Goth context amidst Anne's gurgling vocals, the sinewy basslines and spazzy attack. It seems as if a lot of this stuff got some pretty raw basement production but gets the starkness across spot on, the live tracks especially show that they were a pretty propulsive force to be reckoned with.
Black Devil Disco Club - 28 After (Lo Recordings)
Back in 2004 Rephlex put out what was described as an obscuro French electronic/disco LP from 1978 full of dark, weird soundscapes, over-the-top vocoded voices, thick dub-chamber excursions, lots of frazzled sounding beats and keyboards, basically pretty fantastic. The question remained though, was this a real record or Aphex Twin and cohorts having a minor hoax at collectors-types' expense? It sounded strangely modern, or perhaps modern-retro in certain ways. Eventually, word became that it was indeed real, and that one of the auteurs behind it was a fellow by the name of Bernard Fevre, who has now reemerged with a late 2006 release just in here to FMU, 28 After. The trouble is, this too sounds very much in kinship with the old recordings, so what exactly is the deal? Could it be brand new recordings, old material resampled, or just outtakes of the old stuff? No one seems exactly sure, not even the label. The mystery comes as an odd thing indeed and maybe a statement on how so much material these days in the realm of retro-chic disco/house etc. just relies heavily on the paths well trodden. Or how much perhaps people behind the scenes want people to believe something is more desirable if shrouded in mystery. Modern or vintage, it's an enjoyable listen, in fact Other Music's declaration that it sounds like Cerrone mixed by Martin Hannett is dead on.
Fire of Space - Handbasket (482 Music)
Hi NRG, dense, but completely swingin' NYC ensemble that rip like a hybrid marching band split between say Bombay and the Balkans. Definitely electric Miles and Ra influenced (and I would guess William Parker's Little Huey and Broztmann's Tentet ensembles rear some kind of influence) but a lot more decidedly traditional folk elements from lands far and near.