Saturday, February 16, 2013


Oh my…yes, I do believe I have a show stopper for you all. This soundtrack to Todd Verow's film adaption of Dennis Cooper's novel "Frisk" (IMDB info here) features original compositions by both Coil (also using their alter ego ELpH here) and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, as well as a handful of pieces they've co-composed and/or have had pastiched together, medley-style. All of this loot has languished on this soundtrack up till this point without any formal release. Now, here it is for your collective predilection and as a stand-alone gesture in its own right,  it works a charm.

The entirety of this film is up on Youtube here, so you can reach your own conclusions about it in cinematic terms, but the effectiveness of the soundtrack that Coil and Ranaldo have devised is immediate and undeniable. Coil's opening theme sets things propulsively in motion with an excellent and very 90's bit of motorik rock akin to Kreidler's work of the time but they achieve equally gripping ends with the languid abstract guitar essay "The Sleeper". Elsewhere, Coil alternate between offering up glistening spectral electronic tones, re-tooling their opening gambit, plying some of their acid house moves of the era and applying the sort of delicacy and shading they'd soon bring to bear on their Musick To Play In The Dark albums.

Ranaldo contributes just about exactly the sort of timbral and textural guitar interventions you'd anticipate from the gentleman and these work a charm as well. Their individual efforts tend to be more remarkable than the small handful of tracks here where the two concerns combine forces but the overall cohesiveness and impact of this work is undeniable. Coil's closing gambit in particular reminds me why Clive Barker once remarked that they were the only band that could make his bowels churn: it's easily among their most sinister and penetrating moments and a fitting coda to a harrowing story.


With Vas Deferens Organization's forthcoming split LP collaboration with both Audace and Ben Presto being the next scheduled release on our Puer Gravy label (it's currently at the mastering stage, with more details about it coming shortly), I wanted to take a moment to point you all toward Audace member Bernard Grancher's just released debut LP "Monsieur Delicieux", an artfully discombobulated dovetail of moody minimal synth and recherche' 80's French art pop tangents that's sure to tingle the tangle of a certain breed of Mutant. Head on over to his Bandcamp page here where you can check it all out and score yourself one of these lovely things.


Though Matt Johnson would go on to garner both popular acclaim and critical huzzahs with the lighter and slighter touch of The The's later and more accessible work, his tenure with three other mutant synth pop oddniks in Gadgets resulted in two albums circa 1980 whose cumulative impact offers a decidedly tough act to follow for any artful young punter. Perfectly of piece with their Gadgetree LP, the outlandish creativity at hand here also exists on a perfect continuum with Johnson's solo debut under his own steam with his Burning Blue Soul LP from 1981 and his contributions to the Deux Filles LP's. Echoes of Swell Maps, early Ultravox and Magazine resound throughout, but they're continuously offset by the kinda of craftily drugged dislocations of post punk signifiers that I associate with the likes of The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast. Would that my vinyl was a more perfect copy, though…


Brash, bombastic and pretty much fabulous, the early line-up of Shockheaded Peters (later revised to Shock Headed Peters) heard here was a repository for some pretty singular talents. Among the ranks of what is almost a sub-underground super-group, you'll find former members of Metabolist, Lemon Kittens, Five Or Six and Danielle Dax's band and future members of Spring Heel Jack. Blake, fresh off years of deforming musical vernacular to its collapsing point in Lemon Kittens is perhaps the biggest surprise here; coherent song structures and thundering rock moves being about the last thing you'd expect from this godfather of insular art damage. Also contributing is future Spring Heel Jack member Ashley Wales', bringing with him his former bandmate from Five Or Six, one David Knight who'd go on to work alongside Blake's former creative other as collaborator on many of Danielle Dax's albums. The extravagance of the gestures here and the theatricality of their attack would be tempered down the line by a more stately approach on their subsequent LP Not Born Bad and a somewhat more formally rock posture after the departure of Rowlatt and Wales, but it's here on their debut EP where their dark flower is in fullest bloom.


 Lovely though it was, the debut solo outing from former L'Infonie front man that I posted just recently cannot begin to prepare you for his sophomore effort; an epic of unfettered imagination with the kind of spiritual/emotional gravitas of a Franco Battiato or Lucio Battisti. Beginning on a quiveringly profound note, "Alllo" is a shower of Robert Wyatt-style multi-tracked vocal love from the deepest caverns of Duguay's consciousness. plangent acid folk cedes to pungent brass rock and back again over the rest of side A before going out with a side ending bang, as Duguay whips out his most salaciously foul and greasily leering delivery on "Le Krrrash A" and inserts unguent in mouth again for a reprise on side B's opener "El Hsarrrk".  The reminder of side B continues apace, trawling through a similar expanse of humanity-steeped higher key conjurations.


Paga was the 80's vessel for former Magma members Bernard Paganotti and Klaus Blasquiz to flex their remaining Zeuhl muscles in public, alongside periodic bouts of some less exhilarating  AOR impulses. In the time since their 1985 debut outing, they've jettisoned the sax player and swapped drummers, but the results deliver a similar mixture of overtly Zeuhl (and thus overtly satisfying) prog gestures alongside the aforementioned AOR-esque exploits, but with the former fortunately outweighing the latter. New to the mix this time 'round is a bit of 80's King Crimson influence that meshes tidily enough into their praxis and seems almost a given for those flying prog flags around that time.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


There's been a reason for the extra long span of time since my last posts went up: I've needed time to weigh my options and determine if this shebang is still worth keeping afloat. I say that because Rapidshare, as far as I can tell, appear to be waging something of a stealth campaign against Mutant and presumably others in the sharity blog realm; a kind of covert war of attrition in which they simply chip away at you incrementally, by arbitrarily removing files that were only just recently re-upped, by marking files as "illegal" even though they're often for some of the most obscure things imaginable, by requiring an elaborate re-arrangement of account settings and then still managing to mark dozens of these files as being unavailable because you don't have permission to download them in spite of this. It's now two steps back for every one step forward and it's rendering the whole process of doing Mutant into a titanic headache.

After umpteen re-up campaigns, what I am now willing to do is the following. A few months back I posted a list of 300+ newly re-upped files. Those new links were never formally punched into their respective posts as I got busy with other creative activities but I'll now plug those back into the posts. So too, a Greek friend of the blog has been helping over time with the re-up campaign and I've accumulated another hundred or so more files to re-up from him. Those will go up soon along with a list containing links to them all, but beyond re-upping those, I've now officially reached the end of spinning my wheels retracing the same ground. New posts will continue on the roughly bi-monthly schedule that they've been arriving at for some time, but all the rest of my spare time will now return to being concentrated on Vas Deferens Organization and label activities instead of this redundant bullshit.

For titles that are down, feel free to re-up them at will elsewhere including on Youtube, though a link back to the original post would be appreciated. I'm sorry I'm incapable of offering better than this, but the sheer scale of the undertaking means that there is only so many times I can attempt this.

New posts will be up by early next week. Stay tuned...