singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
18 May 2022
(listening with headphones)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
Luxman P-1u
Sennheiser HD800

Like Off the Leash, this comes in someone else’s record sleeve with photocopied text stuck to it. Because having your own sleeves designed and printed is for suckers. And sell-outs. My copy repurposes a sleeve of a Nicola di Bari single with an Italian title that I can’t be bothered to type in. What do you care anyway? Nicola looks like a slightly overweight John Denver, and he’s been colourized like Frank Sidebottom’s postcard of Tim Grundy.

There’s a yellow card insert with rather good cartoons of the band, in which they look a bit like a teenage mystery-solving outfit; and a slide of a girl who was not in the band. Who knows who she was, or who she is now?

Camp 18 is thicker and lumpier than the version on Freewheel, but none the worse for it. Once it ends, there’s a massive burst of barely tolerable, wildly panning organic noise, then some unlisted song that sounds like the band were playing next door. Next there’s a better-recorded bit, then another song with a different singer, which is Don’t Kill Art Boy. I’m not sure how many songs there were on that side. The label says one, but it was at least two and maybe as many as five.

On the other side there’s a commendably enthusiastic, way faster than the original, cover of What Goes On, perfectly exemplifying NBTs’ sloppy-but-tight (and with-trumpet) style.

Not absolutely their best record, but I have such a soft spot for this band that they still get a

4

I used to love the The Apples in Stereo. They went crap of course, everyone does. I know I have. But back in the day they didn’t half know how to put together a pop song. Tight as the proverbial, and catchy as you like. Classic Beach Boys/ELO inspired, sub-three-minute indie pop songs with two guitars and a proper drummer. You knew what you were getting. Dependable.

This is an improvisation on a mind-controlled synthesizer.

It isn’t great.

On the other side Breathers do a respectable low-budget sci-fi film soundtrack, recorded in a way that makes you think the belt is slipping.

2

On Duophonic, and thirty years old. Let’s just let that sit for a minute. Thirty years. Thirty years before I was born, it was the middle of the second World War. There are almost fifty percent more people in the world now than there were when Arcwelder recorded this. Thirty years from now, swathes of the world may be uninhabitable.

I had a memory of Arcwelder being noisier than this. I think I saw them once. They do a heavy indie-rock type thing. I quite liked the b-side. Whatever. Who cares. There’s too much perspective now.

2

Opening up with the surprisingly catchy Giraffe Expansion Device by Dalmation Rex and the Eigentones, this is a ten band compilation from, I imagine, the mid-1990s. Holly Hobby suggest doing their song again, which probably wouldn’t have hurt. Wonderfully monickered The Washing-Up Liquid do a comedy underwater hardcore thing called Deep Fried Chewits. Can you still get Chewits? If not, make mine a deep-fried meat pie sandwich. Fish From Tahiti do some funny noise thing, and The Infra Red round off the “Positive Brain” side with a spoken-word (sampled?) thing called Shark Fishing in America.

On to the “Negative Brain” side, which sounds much more my cup of tea. It’s opened by The Freed Unit, doing whatever the heck that was, then Lazarus Clamp present Epiphany for Filter and Map, which presumably is about doing extends Enumerable. Voon stop by briefly to sing Face in a Meat Slicer, before Milk of the Stars play Mysterious Companion Object. I liked that one. Finally, something called FPV also has a go at Shark Fishing in America. You’d wonder why we needed it twice.

3