Saturday, March 17, 2007

the re-emergence of underground labels - or how to spend money like water.

through the 80's i bought a hell of a lot of cassette releases.
this ended up in starting my own label and trading cassettes with label-folk around the world.
by the early/mid nineties the whole cassette underworld started to turn (back) towards releasing vinyl.
looking through the slew of catalogues from underground distributors like fisheye and betley welcomes careful drivers (both also labels in their own right) there was just masses to choose from.
and, for me at least, it was the first time in years that EVERYTHING sounded interesting.

at this time i was doing a degree as a mature student, working in a small record shop part time and bringing up a child.
all these records were an escape.
it simply reminded me of the excitement i felt a decade before when, as a teenager i'd spent my time living in the local record shop.

i distinctly remember looking through a fisheye catalogue that dropped through the door one morning and thinking "rather than fool myself by just buying one or two records and then buying one or two more in a few weeks time, i might as well by a whole stack now".
i wrote a cheque for over £100 and sent it off to paul fisheye.

paul, bless him, wasn't always the quickest mail order bloke and my order took over a month to arrive.
it was a long month.
and it meant of course that while i waited for this package i ended up ordering bits and pieces from other places too.

i took another part time job, cleaning a local high street store early in the mornings to make sure my finances didn't get too out of hand (it didn't help).

so, here then is a list of three of my favourites from this time (very roughly circa 1993-1997):

harry pussy | harry pussy

HARRY PUSSY were my absolute favourite. a 3 piece fronted by drumming screaming beauty adris hoyos. i don't think i can properly explain the screeching whirlwind that HP created. punk free improvisation? primitive rock noise? dunno.
what i do know is that they sounded like nothing else on earth - fresh, exciting and thoroughly frightening.
siltbreeze, who released a number of their records did a retrospective CD a few years ago. track it down if you can.

wingtip sloat | half past i've got

wingtip sloat came a close second for my affections. semi-improvised red neck white collar trash rock. the sloats had songs you could (almost) sing along to. released on the marvellous vhf records who have been threatening for far too long to release a retrospective CD.

irving klaw trio | irving klaw trio

oh i don't know how to order all these records. now i've thought about irving klaw trio i think they may be second to harry pussy. no wingtip are second. or are they?
irving klaw trio were a jazz inflected chicano improv group who roared. their self titled LP is a must have, but failing that their "utek pahtoo magoi" CD on road cone is storming too.

there're so many more bands and labels to talk about - hood, inca eyeball, gag, evil moisture - but they can all wait for another time.


  • At 5:53 AM, Blogger Novemberer said…

    Ah yes, Wingtip Sloat. I've still got my copy of that somewhere (stowed away at my folks' place I expect), I defo need to hear that again sharpish...


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