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Bourbonese Qualk

Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987

Mannequin Records is proud to present a double LP and CD compilation of one of the most important Industrial bands active during the 80s in the UK.

Bourbonese Qualk were an experimental music group from England who where active from 1979 until 2003. Throughout this period they had a number of different line-ups but this album concentrates on the period from 1983 until 1987 with the trio of Simon Crab, Julian Gilbert and Steven Tanza. During this time the group released five albums: ‘Laughing Afternoon’, ‘Hope’, ‘The Spike’, ‘Preparing For Power’ and the self-titled ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ on their own Recloose Organisation and New International Records labels.

The group were always obsessively and uncompromisingly focussed on controlling their work - they ran their own record label, recording studio, tour organisation and music venue (the notorious ‘Ambulance Station’) - they refused to integrate into the commercial music racket turning down publishing deals from major labels - stubbornly opting for total independence.

The group are known for their political activism which was formed in the crucible of the 1980s Britain: The Miner’s Strike, Falklands/Malvinas war, Anti-fascism, Thatcherism, Moneterism, squatting/housing, local government corruption, anti-capitalism, and Anarchism - which was further re-enforced by touring Europe and meeting like-minded groups and organisations.

Bourbonese Qualk saw their music as a revolutionary cultural force - a belief that radical musical forms must be part of positive social change. Despite this position, the group avoided dogma, cliché and propaganda, preferring to let their audience come to their own conclusions - their work was often ambiguous and directly critical of cynical power-politics of any color - often irritating members of the traditional ‘organised left’.

In 1984 Bourbonese Qualk occupied a large empty building on the Old Kent Road in South London which they turned into a base for their activities and a co-operative for artists, musicians and writers as well as a centre for radical political activism - specifically as a co-ordinating centre for the ‘Stop The City’ anti-capitalist riots of 1984-1986. Most of the recordings on this album were recorded in their studio at the Ambulance Station.

The group never record in a ‘proper’ studio (not that they could ever afford to), choosing instead to work with their own extremely basic equipment (at a time when home studios were very unusual - the unique raw sound of these recordings is the result of their choice - which now, ironically, is in vodue due perhaps to the overwhelming obliquity of ‘clean’ audio digital production tools.

If Bourbonese Qualk have a legacy, it is that ‘culture’ should be reclaimed, re-defined and owned by the people, wherever they are, however small and not by the state or the market and that ‘culture’ is a vital vehicle for debate and radical change.

The fight goes on. (Simon Crab, London, 2014)

Flo & Andrew

Take Suicide

    One of the holy grail of the minimal synth and one of the most obscure musical projects ever produced in Italy is finally reissued on Mannequin Records.
    Originally released in 1981 by Broadbean Records, a sub-label of LM Records, Flo & Andrew only release ‘Take Suicide’ was home-recorded and home-mixed by the duo in Bologna, using early drum machines like the Boss Dr-55 and the Korg Kr-55, analog synthesizers, guitar, saxophone, tape loops. Flo & Andrew music is truly unique and exemplifies the fact that limitation can be the perfect source for creativity. The title-track and ’To Committ Suicide’ travel through contort and nervous synth sounds and loops, taking somehow inspiration from the No Wave heroes, while ‘Japanese Girls’ is nothing less than a beautiful minimal electronics track in the mythology of the futuristic rise of Japanese country.

    Recently (re)discovered, ‘Take Suicide’ is a milestone of the European minimal synth singles and is not really a coincidence that a young generations of producers take it as inspiration (you can see ‘Take Suicide’ floating in the tracklist of artists as Helena Hauff and NGLY). Another must have in your collection / record bag!

    Mastering by Ruud 66.

    Original graphic design by Surgelato.

    As the world goes to shit and the impending apocalypse draws ever nearer, the dancers and DJs head underground, swapping the frothy delights of the terrace for the grit and grime of the basement. Handy then, that Mannequin treat us to a killer LP from unsung Industrial heroes Nocturnal Emissions.
    Led by Nigel Ayers, the band was one of the first to use tape cutting, avant-garde art, and underground video works to create a stage experience that was being cultivated by like-minded artists like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. The band moved on to using samplers and electronic noise in their early 80's work, creating a twisted funk sound that would go on to influence everyone from Foetus to Negativland. They still utilized their former tricks, upping the ante with extremist performance art and more professional video displays. The group avoided signing to a major label, instead focusing on releasing their own music more effectively. They followed this path into the 90's when they started www.earthlydelights.co.uk, an incredibly detailed website that promotes their various ideologies (they are strongly against the British monarchy and believe that citizens should have unlimited access to space travel) and constant release schedule. The band has released countless tapes and CDs of their material, and continues to unleash their noise through their website.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Industrial anti-heroes Nocturnal Emissions land on Mannequin with a twenty track set of wobbly tape funk, squirming synthwave and cranky mechanics - hot and hissy folks.

    Mannequin Records complete their trilogy of reissues from the avantgarde Italian-born producer Doris Norton, with her 1985 work "Artificial Intellingence".
    Apple's first music "endorsement" (later IBM consultant) and early Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro / computer music.
    While the beat-oriented style of Norton’s music aligns her with such global fellow-travelers as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, her championing of the personal computer as a tool for self-sufficient musical creativity also connects her to more artsy musicians such as Pietro Grossi, Laurie Spiegel, and the League of Automatic Music Composers. Norton’s predilection for the bright, glossy timbres of early digital instruments also recalls Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader’s bizarre 1982 one-off Erdenklang.

    1 year after "Personal Computer", Doris Norton released 'Artificial Intelligence' (previous title: 'From Art-Physiol to Artificial Intelligence', changed before publishing) in 1985, setting a step up in her deep electronic music research and innovation.
    "The whole album was composed and programmed only with the alfanumerical keyboard of the computer. The total of the notes and coded events takes to the number 124.648: of these 123.827 were coded with 'step time' procedure and the rest with real time procedure.
    Having done reduced the keyboard Doris Norton used only an hexaphonic JX.8P with memory processed by her and interfaced to the computer.
    No drums were used, neither electronic nor much less acoustic. All the rhythmics were obtained by A.D.A. conversions and processing of wave ranges and with the use of expanders with a very special handling of envelopes, frequency, resonance, noise
    Doris Norton fed the computer the parameters of vowels and consonants of her own voice, like A, O, U, E, D, N, through an A.D.A conversion card; by processing these values and assembling them in phoneme in hundreds of different combination, various compressed resolutions she was able to make the computer sing a complete song in a totally human way (with the voice of Doris).
    Many other yxith sounds resulting from A.D.A. conversions are present in this new album 'Artificial Intelligence', amongst these: pipe organ, plate, electric discharge, iron beat, birds, dog, harp, woods ...... all sampled and handled by the computer.


    Black Merlin

    Oba Enka EP

    Like a monstrous hybrid of Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange and He Who Shall Not Be Named (TAFKAV), George Thompson laughs at your puny Defense Against The Dark Arts. While you're pissing about with Gilderoy Lockheart, admiring his hair and re-enacting his famous victories, Thompson is summoning his Black Merlin guise, shitting in the nearest horcrux and doxxing Ginny Weasley. He's a bad MF with a wonky wand, and he's firing about 1000 volts of EBM charge straight through Dobby's obedient knackers. "Oba Enka" buzzes, bristles and screams with AC overload, techno 4/4 clashing with brutal body mutilating sequences. "Def" steps a little further into the techno blackness, gritty drones'n'noises gradually overwhelming the fierce rhythm track while "Ham" sees Black Merlin snatch up the pure Fleur Delacour, slap her in some bondage gear and take her to Belgium for six minutes of pure new beat fun.

    Mannequin Records is proud to present a trilogy of reissues from the avantgarde Italian-born producer Doris Norton, "Norton Computer For Peace" (1983), "Personal Computer" (1984), "Artificial Intellingence" (1985).

    35th anniversary edition, original release from 1983 by Durium Records.

    Apple's first music "endorsement" and Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro / computer music. Norton is the wife of Antonio Bartoccetti, progressive rock guitarist, and mother of the musician and techno producer Rexanthony. As a teenager, she was drawn to medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, not to mention quantum physics, differential equations, organic chemistry, the experimentalism of John Cage and animated movie soundtracks. Her love for modules and circuits found expression through the waves of an old harmonium, the frequencies of a Minimoog, a Roland System 100M, a Roland System 700 and the ARP 2500/2600.

    In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera "Under Ground". Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), PC (1984) – whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo – and Artificial Intelligence (1985).

    Third studio album, 'Nortoncomputerforpeace' involved Doris Norton, Antonius Rex and Rudy Luksch (hardware engineer).

    "Don't Shoot At Animals" was used as original soundtrack for the RAI tv program "Rumore Di Fondo" directed by Umberto Marino.

    Nacht Raum / Bande Berne Crematorie

    Expanded 1982-1984

    Continuing their rich vein of form, Mannequin Records present a LP compilation of Michael Antener (Swamp Terrorist) early 80's minimal synth/industrial projects Nacht'raum (with Michael Stämpfli) and, as solo, Bande Berne Crematoire.
    Heavily influenced by the works of SPK and Nocturnal Emissions, Michael Antener made his first recordings in the basement of his parents house in a small village nearby Bern, Utzensdorf. He started BBC in 1980, a hybrid of Neue Deutsch Welle and noise/experimental, making a household name in the international home recording scene of the time and participating to many tape compilations.
    Teaming up with Michael Stämpfli as Nacht’raum, he self-released the untitled mini-lp in 1983. Coming out from the same town of Grauzone, the duo moved into the darkest minimal electronic sounds, choosing German as main language for the lyrics and a Roland Tr-808 as main drum machine, bringing the sound to a proto-electro dimension. Nacth’raum will be historically a real gem in the 80's Swiss underground electronic music, together with Mittageisen, Grauzone, Liliput, The Vyllies.
    Michael, by the way, later teamed up with Ane Hebeisen and they went by the name of Swamp Terrorists, releasing seven albums and touring throughout the world until the end of the nineties. At the end of the nineties he sold all his instruments and became independent as a graphic artist. 

    Atelier du Mal were formed in Florence in 1983 by Lapo Pistelli (synths, electronic drums), Iacopo Ficai Veltroni (bass, synth) and Ignazio Matteini
    (drum programming, percussions). Recorded in 1984, "Noblesse Oblige" was the first and subsequently the only demo tape by the group, self-released using classic gear like Korg MS-20, Roland Tr-606, Roland Tr-808, Roland Juno 60, Roland TB-303. The ten tracks on offer fuse the melancholy vocal melodies, snapping drum machines and propulsive sequences of the early Human League with angular post punk guitars, gloomy basslines and a touch of cinematic new wave. A forgotten gem from Italy's electronic past, returned to the shelves thanks to the mighty Mannequin.


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