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).

Man & Hammer – Just Say Noise!

Man & Hammer
Just Say Noise!
1988 Jeru-Slam Records (JS009)
Sterling City, California, USA

David Joo

  1. The Newage Movement
  2. Revelation 3:20
  3. Revelation 13:15, 16, 17
  4. One Struggle One Fight
  5. Jesus is Comming
  6. Sleeper
  7. Quietly Now
  8. I’m Just a Sinner
  9. Untitled
  10. Just Say Noise
  11. Something I Wanted to Say

This is the second tape by Man & Hammer (or at least, the one after Skeletons if that demo is not the first one). David Joo is pretty much the main person behind Man & Hammer. He also put out a zine called ZOTT (Zine of the Times), ran Jeru-Slam Records, and recorded other projects as well (some under his name – which I have never heard or seen – and one as Hellfire). He also frequently goes by the nickname “Squid” if you ever hear that name mentioned in regards to the tape underground. The sound is similar to other tapes – found sounds, randomly played instruments and/or things, and other noises made to push boundaries.Some people can’t stand this music, I find some it (like this project) oddly intriguing.

Hornswoggle – Bite the Wax Tadpole

Bite the Wax Tadpole
1996 Oral Gestation Artefacts (OGA 13)
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Kara Clark
J.W. Case

Side 1:

  1. Track 1
  2. Track 2
  3. Track 3

Side 2:

  1. Track 4
  2. Track 5
  3. Track 6

I was really expecting some dark alternative grunge or something based on the cover, but turns out this is noise. I mean, the music genre “experimental noise” roughly related to industrial, that is. No track names, no people listed, and very little online about this tape (other than that it was recorded live with no overdubs to DAT on Easter morning 1996). It is mostly found noise, distorted samples, and occasional instruments like a recorder played over freeform noise (as opposed to noise music that uses noise to form a discernible rhythm). It is also mostly instrumental, except for the words in the samples and some tracks with trippy spoken word vocals. I did find a page for the band from Automatapedia in the Wayback Machine that gives a few more details, but that is about all there is out there.

Missing Information: Names of tracks, who played what

Face in the Crowd – Singing on the Narrow Ledge

Face in the Crowd
Singing on the Narrow Ledge
1986 Artaman
Cheshire, England United Kingdom

Russell Kirk – Instruments, tapes, effects, noise
Rupert Loydell – Instruments, tapes, effects, noise
Tim Hodgson – Instruments, tapes, effects, noise
Martin Hibbert – Taped flute and vocals

Recorded live February 1986

Side 1:

  1. At Least Six Years…
  2. …What Are You Doing Tomorrow?
  3. We Only Came to Dream
  4. Rotating Globes
  5. Singing on the Narrow Ledge
  6. Attempts at Connection
  7. Nameless Trees Flashed Past
  8. Poor Julia (She Grew Very Strange)
  9. Even Hate Has Some Truth in It

Side 2:

  1. Even Hate Contd.
  2. Power Chooses Its People

This one took a long time to convert to digital. The music is basically live improvisational music, kind of along the lines of White Trash, Inc. Or maybe not – I am not totally familiar with this type of music. That is the closest that I am familiar with. Eventually, I was able to find cassette clicks where the various songs ended and finally made the individual songs. Many of them are named after quotes or samples that are played during the songs. There are instruments played on here, plus found noise and samples as well. Each side is over 47 minutes long – with the last song clocking in at over 33 minutes. I can take White Trash , Inc. on a 7-inch for a short amount of time, but this really pushed my attention span. It probably works better as background or meditation music.

Man & Hammer – Not Dead

Man & Hammer
Not Dead
1989 Jeru-Slam Records (JS013)

David Joo – Music, vocals, songwriting, recording

Side 1:

  1. Hang With Me
  2. Rock the Nation
  3. B.I. K.G.B. C.I.A.
  4. Maffia (All the Same to Me)
  5. Alice Through the Windowpane
  6. Family Part 1

Side 2:

  1. Crackhouse
  2. Abortion
  3. Mirrors of the Soul
  4. Hip Hop This Train
  5. Not Dead
  6. Amazeing Grace

This is the fourth overall album by Man & Hammer that I have heard – but I am not sure how many total there are. Man & Hammer is the one man project of David Joo (who also went by Squid). This tape continues in the same vein of noise/industrial music. As you can tell by the cover, there is a bit more of a hip-hop sound here – some of the noise is scratching and other hip-hop related found noises. There seems to be a bit more of an electronica beat here and there as well. And, of course, a lot of samples and “found noises” as I call them (recordings of every day sounds and noises). Mis-spellings in the song titles above represent what is printed on the cover.

Gadget – Joyful Noise

Joyful Noise
1987 Corpoii Productions (CPCS-5)
United States?

Gadget – All instruments and noises, vocals, production, and song writing

Side 1:

  1. Armageddon
  2. Psalm 23
  3. Will Anyone Survive?
  4. Transfiguration
  5. Psalm 46

Side 2:

  1. Psalm 102
  2. Knock! Knock!
  3. Train to Heaven
  4. Psalm 24
  5. Joyful Noise

This is a bunch of noise. The genre of “Noise” that is, not the insult “noise.” For those that aren’t familiar, noise is sometimes seen as a sub-genre of industrial music that uses samples, found noise, instruments, percussion, spoken word, shouting, and sometimes general mayhem to make very avant-garde music. Gadget uses a lot of creative percussion (hitting on what sounds like all kinds of objects to get a large range of sounds) along with manipulated sound effects, quirky keyboard usage, sampling, some guitar feedback, loops, and other general “noise.” It is all organized into songs with noticeable rhythm and structure if you listen… but it is different. I enjoy this kind of music – you can listen to it as background music as you work/think to change the usually flow of background music, or listen closely to figure out what sounds Gadget is using. Determining where one song ends and another begins is a bit difficult for some songs, as they appear to fade into each other occasionally. Gadget also likes to read Psalms over the noise as well. For those not in the know, Gadget was Marc Plainguet, who released tons of solo tapes and was also a part of other bands (like Crazed Bunnyz and Nutty Faith) as well. This demo was followed up with Gnashing of Teeth in 1990. There is currently a BandCamp website for Marc that is empty – but I hope it get filled up soon.