A round up of some of the compilations that have come out in the last couple of months, you get the ‘unrivalled collection of Industrial, Esoteric, Dark Ambient, Noise, Ritual, Drone, Doom Metal, Experimental, Electronica, and Dark Soundtracks.’ from Cold Spring on Arise. Reggae Reggae and Pipeline gives you ‘the music within the grooves of the record that lay within ranks alongside the finest reggae of the period.’comprehensive anthology of Leeds’ independent music from that period, through to the end of the 1980s. Where Were You – Independent Music From Leeds (1978-1989) goes ‘From punk to goth, indie pop to industrial dancefloor, out-and-out pop to underground psychedelia, the four hours’ worth of recordings here are a celebration of the musical diversity emanating from the city’s studios and clubs.’ Finally Oi the singles gives you ‘101 track 4CD clamshell box set featuring the A and B-sides of 37 Oi! related singles, all released between 1977-85.’ ‘All killer, no filler!’ Have a read what we think below..
Arise – A Cold Spring Sampler
Cold Spring release music that takes you into landscapes of icey blankness, rocky chaos and broken forests and concrete. They produce sounds that make you think of drowning, emerging from the mist clasping weapons and taking part in weird ancient rituals. If you have never heard a cold spring release, brace yourself. They don’t cater for the faint hearted. This collection has thirty three tracks, each one different, each one vital in its own way and some are blinding in their brilliance.
You will have heard of some of the artists, Coil and Psychic TV crawling from the ruins of Throbbing Gristle are both here as is Merzbow and his glorious static noise. There are the underground electronic noise musicians like Lull and Collosloth and the dark folk and black metal people who create what they need to, not what everyone wants to hear.
These are the people who have to create this stuff, to get it out of their heads, to release what is inside of them and to forge mesmerising, unforgettable, menacing and beautiful sound.
Cold Spring call it ‘An unrivalled collection of Industrial, Esoteric, Dark Ambient, Noise, Ritual, Drone, Doom Metal, Experimental, Electronica, and Dark Soundtracks.’ I agree, it’s an excellent almost essential addition to the discerning noise heads among you.
Reggae Reggae and Pipeline
This is a reissue of two iconic Trojan records, the cover of one featuring a group of suedeheads in front of the Brixton railway arches, not very Jamaican at all until you realise that those were the kids dancing to and buying reggae and ska back then. Both albums were produced by Alvin ‘G.G.’ Ranglin whos influence was increasing when these records were released and the Jamaican artists involved all sound brilliant.
As a slice of time and a period of white and black kids dancing together, skinheads and suedeheads this is just ace. It’s hard to even sit still while listening to this let alone not dance. The groove is cool and easy, there are some ska moves and some slowed down loving vibes too but all together it’s a great groove.
Where Were You – Independent Music From Leeds (1978-1989)
I’ve been to Leeds a good few times, as it’s halfway between here and Newcastle on Tyne I’ve driven past it many more times on my way to see family. I’ve ended up there by accident more than once trying to find the A1 and the last time I was there was to see a band at a social club. I’ve heard it called the home of Goth and that’s not unfair, not cool, but not unfair. But then Cherry Red put out a compilation like this and you realise that every city in the UK has the same mixture of bands, styles and madness.
I’m listening to this and scrabbling around the internet to find out about the bands realising that some of these lunatics only put out one single, which to buy now would mean a remortgage, but it’s on this collection. Making it pretty vital to be honest.
There’s spikey antagonistic post punk, excellent quiffed up rockabilly, electronic delights, mod cool grooves and lots of goth. Don’t just take my word for it, have a look at the tracklist and seek out some of the records from the back of dusty shelves, an excellent addition to the Cherry Red retrospectives.
Oi – The Singles
Someone somewhere has all these singles, just sitting in a box or on a shelf and they’re probably worth a fortune now. I imagine I went to school with some of those people. There were a lot of Angelic Upstarts and Cockney Reject badges around. Mainly worn by kids with close cropped hair and doc martins. I wasn’t one of those kids, I was a metalhead until having my head turned by the Damned and didn’t really get into Oi until my mate gave me a Cock Sparrer tape and I found a Blood album in a second hand shop. It’s music by a disadvantaged unemployed and, for the main part, forgotten working class, full of aggression and bitterness. It’s not nazi, right wing and violent as it was written off at the time.
These songs have humour, aggression, spite and above all an attitude of not giving a flying one. It’s punk rock gone out onto the streets flicking the Vs up to everyone who isn’t part of it, at the end of the day, it’s great.
All words by Adrian Bloxham