Steele is one of much loved diggers and selectors out there. He made a lot of noise with his mixes, outstanding Odd Waves series and also his striking sleeve designs (on Safe Trip, Knekelhuis, Efficient Space etc) for some of the best compilations and records of the last couple of years. Here he chose some odd bits and pieces that he’s into. In his own words: “They are all from the 80s and all have a bit of a private press/homemade vibe to them, which is not to say that this is the only kind of music I like, but when I go to record fairs and shops these days I guess bits like this are the sort of thing I’m hoping to discover – music made by the outsiders of our society. Oh, I also like LPs but I didn’t include any here, partly because I wanted to use my scanner for the images and LP are too big, ha”
RTC – Toekomstmuziek 7″ [1986, De Fabriek]
The ‘Rocking Teenage Combo’ were a duo of weirdos from Gronigen, a province with a reputation for being the most boring area in the Netherlands. I can’t really comment on that because I haven’t really spent much time there. Anyway, these guys made some pretty odd and fantastic music, at least to my ears anyway. I found this particular 7” at a fair near my place in Amsterdam and it came with a neat little photocopied zine. There are 7 tracks on it all up which are sung in a combination of Dutch and English.
Fondation – Le Vaisseau Blanc Cass [1983, Tago Mago]
French husband and wife duo who released 3 cassettes in the early 80’s. This one is my favorite as it has less of a proggy sound than the other two and contains some really beautiful music which is broken up by readings in French, apparently from an HP Lovecraft story. The whole thing makes for a very enjoyable and spaced out listen from start to finish. It also comes packaged in an oversized matchbox, along with actual matches. This cassette ended up being the soundtrack to a digging trip through the south of Germany last year with my mate James. We each brought a stack of CD’s along with us but they weren’t of much use when we discovered that our rental car had no CD player. Luckily I had just ripped this one and loaded it onto my phone, we probably listened to it about 10 times over.
The Limp – Marked Man 7″ [1981, Primate Records]
This one was a gift from my mate Michael who was super generous to send it on to me after the vocalist of the group Judy McGee passed it onto him after finding some extra copies in her house. The Limp were basically an offshoot of Sydney post-punk group Pel Mel, who were one of the most important bands to come out of the scene in Sydney at this time, even though they actually originally came from Newcastle about two hours drive north. Aside from a mispressed white label 45 that never actually got properly released this is the only record by the Limp, hopefully, some more of their recordings will see the light of day in the future.
Current Obsessions – Current Obsessions 7″ [1982, Bland Records]
Weirdo experimental post-punky stuff privately released on a 45 on ’Bland records’ and shrouded in mystery. These guys came from out of Cariff Wales, other than that I can’t tell you much about them. The 5 tracks on this little 45 are pretty varied and unique, from dub to pop-rock and some other bits that sound almost like 60s psych. I love it to bits and I wish I owned more records like this one.
Kevin Harrison & Steven Parker – Against the Light 7″ [1982, Illusion Production]
A collaborative effort between Kevin Harrison, the guy who did the Ink Man record and Steven Parker, member of one of my favorite bands Bron Area. No surprise that the result is amazing. Dreamy ethereal synth experimentation with some melancholic vocals in there too. The cassette and insert come packaged in a neat little screen printed envelope.
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