Sigma Seven – Alpha

Sigma Seven
Alpha
1985 (no label)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

John Gore

Side 1:

  1. Maelstrom
  2. Slow Fall
  3. Metal Umbrella
  4. Sandwalk (Dune)

Side 2:

  1. A Triptych on War
  2. Ulysses + The Sirens

This is a very ambient tape that is about an hour of keyboard ambiance. Sometimes the keyboard is harsh to the point that it almost reaches into the noise category, while others it is very mellow almost new age music. There are no true rhythm instruments utilized on this tape, and most of the keyboard sounds are long drawn out notes that blend into each other. These are sometimes interspersed with repetitive repeating successions of keyboard notes as well. Both sides are about 30 minutes long, it’s just that the two songs on side two are really long. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like it as a break from the usual metal and alternative.

New Society – Eternity

New Society
Eternity
1992 Roman Recordings
Wonder Lake, Illinois, USA

Rick Roman, Jr. – Vocals, guitar, keyboards, sampling, bass
James Wayman – Bass, keyboards

Side 1:

  1. Eternity
  2. Beware the Nicolaitan (In Between)
  3. Silent Scream
  4. White Room (Disco Remix)
  5. Rumors
  6. My Secret Symphony

Side 2:

  1. My Secret Symphony (Long mix)
  2. The Call (1987 Mix)
  3. Rumors (Work It Out)
  4. Play Thru Me

This tape is at least the 4th (that I know of) demo by New Society. On this release, New Society was a duo. The tape starts off with an almost-ambient almost-instrumental (some minimal percussion and a few spoken/whispered statements here and there add texture that you typically don’t get with ambient music) before jumping into techno-leaning industrial. The music kind of bounces back and forth between different flavors of techno-leaning industrial. The cover indicates that these songs are from a period of several years prior to this release, and the inclusion of different mixes of songs lends to the feel of a compilation. So how does this tape compare to 2019 free version they just released? It seems the 2019 version has different versions of most of the songs here, all that are longer or shorter than the original versions. “My Secret Symphony” was cut down to a minute and a half, for example. At least 8 new songs were added. Oh, and “Play Through Me” was renamed to “Sonic Voyage” on the 2019 version.

New Society – Updated Versions of Older Tapes

For those that weren’t aware, New Society albums are usually up for download somewhere online. However, some of them have been disappearing here and there, so it seems Rick Roman, Jr. has fixed that, as well as tweaking/updating some releases. If you haven’t heard of New Society, it was an electronic project run by Rick Roman (with others joining him from time to time) that mixes industrial, techno, metal, trance,you name it. There are many more New Society albums than the ones up online now – not sure if they will be added or not. Also of note are NEW songs from 2019 in there are well. But currently up on Soundclick for free download:

  • A Taste of Black (Anthology 1990 updated 2019)
  • So Red a Revelation (Anthology 1990 updated 2019)
  • True Faith (Anthology 1990 updated 2019)
  • Eternity (Anthology 1992 updated 2019)
  • E.T.S.G.A.N.W. (Anthology 2003 updated 2019)
  • REG.NO.2615161 (Anthology 2004 updated 2019)
  • New Life (Anthology 2008 updated 2019)
  • Collective (2019)

Opinion 8 – Don’t Quit Yer Day Job

Opinion 8
Don’t Quit Yer Day Job
1994 Camouflage Records

Joe Wallace – vocals and instrument manipulation

  1. Psychadelic Beige Orangutangs
  2. The Oppressed
  3. For Art’s Sake
  4. Jack the Happy Suicide
  5. Test Patterns
  6. New World
  7. Decline
  8. Ostrich Behavior
  9. Won’t Be You Today
  10. Ends Abruptly & Too Soon

This tape is a bit different, even from those that are a bit different. The credits thank IDY and other experimental bands, and there is a noticeable influence of these bands on the music. But there is also a strong sense of song structure that is alternative rock in nature. It comes across as a more experimental Crazed Bunnyz or a more alternative rock leaning IDY. It looks like Wallace is responsible for the played and electronic instruments. I kind of dig it, and it sounds pretty original to me – but maybe I don’t know the experimental underground as well. Are you wondering about the title of the last song? It pretty much describes what actually happens to the song. There is also another un-dated demo from before or after this one called Combat Boots.

Centre of Gravity

Centre of Gravity
1985 Stride
Cheshire, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

  1. Pacific 231 – Psycho Moon
  2. Pacific 231 – Gare De L’est 1943
  3. The Dangerous Bros – On 45
  4. Vox Populi – Pygmies in the Park
  5. Vox Populi – Mind
  6. Vox Populi – Glassy Stare
  7. Face in the Crowd – Clown
  8. Face in the Crowd – Love is Like a Cancer

Side 2:

  1. Griff – Wrant – U – Wrant
  2. Griff – Poser
  3. Griff – Match’s Mate
  4. Celestial Orgy – Pig to the Abbatoir
  5. Celestial Orgy – Feminist
  6. Celestial Orgy – Maths
  7. Inlaws and Outlaws – Foot Inside Your Door
  8. Face in the Crowd – Summer Fool
  9. Face in the Crowd – A Strong Voice
  10. Face in the Crowd – Justice

This is a mysterious compilation from Stride that serves up several songs from mostly noise/industrial/experimental bands – with a few exceptions. So who is on it? First off is Pacific 231, a noise/experimental project by Pierre Jolivet of Paris that has been going since the early 80s. If the band name sounds kind of familiar to you, Pacific 231 has been on some split albums with Psyclones, also an early noise/industrial band that was composed of Brian Ladd (aka Blackhouse) and Julie Frith. I can’t find these songs listed on any Pacific 231 releases, so they might be exclusive to this comp? I can’t find any information on The Dangerous Bros, but they appear to be an experimental free-form band with guitars. Vox Populi has also collaborated with Pacific 231, but is a band from France that has been around since the early 80s. They have an experimental noise sound as well, with some vocals and instruments. Face in the Crowd has released many tapes in the Christian tape underground, usually of a more experimental band sound, with some spoken word parts, some sung parts, random instrument playing, etc. Griff has also been featured here before, but he is experimental folk rock with an extreme British sense of humor. Don’t know much about Celestial Orgy, but it seems they only have compilation appearances listed on Discogs. They appear to be the closest thing to a rock band on here – definitely some alternative guitar and drums, but still more experimental than most alt rock. When they hit the high pitched vocals, it almost reminds me of Danielson. Inlaws and Outlaws is another band I can’t find much on, but they also are the most traditional industrial/electronic band on the compilation (although many others use industrial elements).

Ted Goodwin – Intuitively Obvious

Ted Goodwin
Intuitively Obvious
1991 (no label)
Orlando, Florida, USA

Ted Goodwin – Synthesizer, drum machine, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, miscellaneous voicings, various mangling and manipulations of tape, assorted heavy machinery

Side 1:

  1. The Age of Reason (Part 1)
  2. Intuitively Obvious
  3. Destructive Tendencies
  4. Heart Over Mind
  5. Almost Clear
  6. Just the Facts, Ma’am
  7. Believing
  8. I am Joe’s Brain

Side 2:

  1. Multiple Choice (Option A)
  2. Multiple Choice (Option B)
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. Imprisoned Spirit
  5. Return to Reality
  6. Unspoken Words
  7. It’s All There for You
  8. Hidden Truth (IAJB Reprise)
  9. The Grand Assumption
  10. The Age of Reason (Part 2)

If you can’t tell by the cover, this album is a little bit different. Technically, it is almost all instrumental electronic music, but more new wave/alternative in nature. “It’s All There for You” has vocals. Buried in the middle of side 2. I hate to say Tangerine Dream as a comparison, because that still covers a lot of ground. Anyways, if you can imagine a new wave electronic band existing in the 1990s that did instrumentals, you would have the sound here. However, song lengths are all over the place – from 59 seconds to over 11 minutes. So at times there is a prog-ish long song “repetitive-but-then-suddenly-change” feeling to some songs.

Grease Pot – “The Beach” Cassette Maxi-Single

Grease Pot
“The Beach” Cassette Maxi-Single
1992 (no label)
Massillon, Ohio, USA

Spiney Cottage Cheese Butt Hair Lips
IDY

Side 1:

  1. The Beach (v1)
  2. The Beach (v2)
  3. The Beach (v3)
  4. The Beach (v4)
  5. The Beach (v5)

Side 2:

  1. ?
  2. (instrumental)
  3. Vinyl Dreams of a Leather Sofa / America / Snack Machine / (untitled)
  4. Let Me Speak
  5. (instrumental)
  6. America / (untitled) / America the Pitiful

This is one trippy 10 song “maxi-single.” Well, kind of ten songs. The five songs on side one are 5 different versions of a song called “The Beach.” Mainly they are messing around with the vocals and solo instruments on each “song.” Side 2 is also five songs (three without names) that are even more experimental. The liner notes imply this tape was improvised, and you can tell. Kind of alternative-leaning  experimental. This is the kind of music that would fit in with The Furnace Room, Plan 7 Dist., and Corpquii Music. In fact, IDY has also released some solo albums on The Furnace Room. Oh, and there is language on this one for those that have problems with that.