Monday, July 24, 2006


various artists | what feet

in an earlier post i mentioned bi-joopiter and said i would be returning to the subject.
i just received an email that made me want to write about it immediately.

but now i'm not sure quite how to start.

umm...how about at the beginning - how i got involved with buying bi-joopiter cassettes.
it was 1986 and the first time i heard mctells they were played by john peel.
i bought the 7" - it was a 4 track EP on the frank label and it looked like this:

mctells | jesse man rae

inside was a beautifully hand screened flyer for a mctells cassette released by bi-joopiter, so i sent my couple of quid and a note and a few days later it arrived.
before i even put it into the cassette deck i knew i was going to love it.
the packaging was super - a pink cassette mounted onto a 7" sized screen printed card in a plastic bag.
it turned out that paul mctell was one half of the bi-joopiter label, whilst mark mctell (aka flunder - ex television personalities) ran the frank label.

pretty soon i was buying a fair amount of stuff from the label and had built a decent friendship with paul and gillian.
around this time i'd also fallen madly for the first beat happening LP and bi-joopiter stocked K releases - i got hold of the first beat happening cassette, a couple of their 7"s and a lovely cassette by the cannanes:

cannanes | happy swing

suddenly there was a whole new world opening up to me.

there was great music out there being made and released that didn't care about distributors, record shops and the like.
this was about a network of people just getting on with it.

the mctells were my favourite (something which i have to admit is blatantly obvious if you listen to the sarandon records. try playing "prove it" right after the mctells' "push". oops).

the first time i saw them they played aston university - it was a peculiar evening - they were on quite early and after them the frank chickens did a set, though it appeared that there were 2 completely different promoters putting each band on. i couldn't hang around after the mctells for frank chickens. i had to go out and then pay to get back in.
so i never saw frank chickens (though i wish i had).

anyhow, back to bi-joopiter.

as i mentioned a few posts ago the mctells played my birthday party.
i'd not long had my band together and paul and gillian were immensely supportive.
always seeming to have time to listen to the recordings we'd made, always encouraging.
they took copies of our cassettes to sell and they asked us to appear on a compilation cassette they were releasing called "what feet" - i still have it and i still love it more than any other compilation we were involved in.

around the time that i lost contact with the bi-joopiters i started my own cassette label.
i had been talking to my friend and mentor stan (of pumf cassettes) about it and he had told me i should just do it.
i thought about bi-joopiter and how it worked, it's aesthetics and it's ideology and knew that if i was going to do it myself then bi-joopiter would be the standard by which i judged what i did.

and you know, bi-joopiter was a label that taught me lessons about how and why to do things that still hold true to the way i operate today in all aspects of my life.
and for that i am eternally grateful.


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