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PLATFORM 23

Vox Populi!'s cult and highly sought after debut LP is finally reissued here after 30 years. Recorded after their first single - Ectoplasmies (1983) - between 1984 and 1985, the original band of Mitra and her (then) 14 year old brother Arash and Axel Kyrou, evolved from 2 early cassettes and the 7"s' rudimentary, idiosyncratic and improvisational structures to more cohesive edges.

Living together, but with no formal music education, the nature of the disparate elements led to a sparseness of the recordings. Influenced by his mother, the concrete music pioneer, Mireille Kyrou and her work at GRM (State Institute for Musical Research), Axel challenged his creativity by utilising their Vox Man studio as an instrument.

Building on minimal synth, rhythm box, hand percussion and Persian poetry, they experimented with tape manipulation - layering the music with forward, backward and echo simultaneously - creating a leap in the band's development.

The dark nature Myscitismes was reflected in their increasing interest in industrial and ethnic music, with a great fascination for the religious traditional music of Tibet. Ceremonial, gothic, drone-folk, the progression is apparent; onward perceptions.

Please find enclosed one 'Deluxe' stereophonic gramophone record from Concept City, containing thirteen recordings of musics entirely produced upon 4-track portastudio for your pleasure and discourse - the sole work of Mr Robert Grant of this parish.
So states the photocopy insert from the 1985 November LP on Cordelia Records. Home to R. Stevie Moore, Rimarimba recently reissued by Freedom To Spend - and label owner Alan Jenkin's The Deep Freeze Mice, Cordelia was a sanctuary for a menagerie of sound collage plucked from the ether.
Included is the only vinyl release from Concept City, spreading across 13 instrumental tracks of samples and noise. The Welsh choir and robovox meets hypnotic bass of "Open The Network" glides to the acoustics of "Jayne Andrews" and "Filaments", before "Steam" amasses TV ad cassette archives. As "Etruria" and "Lapse Wine"'s Durutti meets reel-to-reel to the cold wave of "War, Children" and wasp synth of "Helsinki", Grant slowly unfolds a masterpiece.

Looped drum samples, multiple layered to tape, sped up and slowed down for phasing, the title track is a pinnacle of 80s DiY genius. 'Crossroads' multi-sampling "Meg" leads to the exotica 'muzak' closings of "Penetration" and "Friends". With just 5 albums over 40 years the music of Mr Concept can be a discovery and cherished.

The music of Chel White is celebrated in "Automaton", a collection of mostly unreleased recordings from 1985 to 1991, by this innovative animator, film maker and visual artist.
Having studied music theory in grade school, White taught himself drumming and played in a new wave band until, in 1981, together with Dan Gediman, they formed the minimal wave duo "Process Blue" (Alternative Funk, 1985 / Dark Entries, 2018). Here their experimentation went way beyond playing drums.
His interest in industrial music, fostered in the late '70s and early '80s while working in factories as a way to put himself through college, informed his use of electronic instruments, tape manipulation, noise and unconventional percussion.
By 1985, as a now solo artist buoyed by newly affordable audio sampling technology, White tapped into his earlier teenage fascination with the art and films of both the Surrealist and Dada movements - in particular their disparate and fragmented imagery and sound - as a means to create striking new sonic palettes.
"Science & Industry" - a track largely influenced by Balinese monkey chanting and the consumer excess of American in the 1980's - is a clear example of "music collage". "Photocopy Cha Cha", made for the short animation film Choreography for Copy Machine (Berlin International Film Festival, 1992 / Sundance Film Festival, 2001) moved his music into the realm of early multi-media.
Experimenting further, tracks like "Liquid Shadows" and "Pensive" provide minimalist moments, before the drone-like "Dream #630" and "Forest Song" point to a future that included music video works (David Lynch/Thom Yorke).

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Mega synthscaping, machine funk and industrial pop action here on this retrospective of animator and musician Chel White. Cool artwork, cooler music...

Platform 23 returns with the reissue of songs from Canadian project, Vini Vidi Vici. With just one privately pressed mini-album in 1989 that bridged the gap between the later years of New Wave and the early vestiges of House, the music included in this edited EP highlights a thriving Montreal scene in its heyday.

Vini Vidi Vici was created out of two different music backgrounds. Paul Klopstock was a classical pianist, while Mario Langlois was a DJ, self-taught musician and radio producer, who came together when both worked at the underground arts / club Le Lezard. Starting in 1986 the space mixed painting, drag shows and bands alongside the latest alternative sounds, from Rap to New Beat, Electro to Acid Jazz.

As House and Techno started to filter through, Mario (aka Ave Mario) and the other resident DJs laid the ground of what was to come. From this Paul and Mario collaborated from late 1987 through in to 1988 and created the mini-album, however this EP concentrates on the duo's self penned work.

Recorded at Oliver Sudden Production studio, the A side is made up the raw House of 'Club Stuff" and Native American meets avant percussion of 'Vini Vidi Vici'. Showing a confidence and experimentation beyond their years, the two tracks production and all round hypnotic danceability, highlight why original copies are so prized (and expensive).

The B side follows with two tracks recorded in Mario's home closet studio. Lo-fi to the max and improvised, the no wave / world beat experience of title cut, 'Ou Sommes Nous?' and the proto-electro-wave of 'AA HHH' are like something again, a mesmerising fusion and quite unique.

Self pressed, the project ventured to live performance and (sadly unreleased) remix work, before the partners went their separate ways, however this archival document can be seen as their own special conquest.

"A manner or style, a frame of mind, thought or existence" (Mode).
"Intelligence quotient, the use of perception or awareness." (IQ).

Mode I/Q, the self-proclaimed unknown band, was a richly textured, bold project starting life in 1979 out the embers of punk and new wave resulting in a hypnotic convergence of love, the future, life and art.

Lucian and Nicolas, two creative spirits who viewed the world through their own prism, augmented by a moving cast of friends and acolytes, were together compelled to make great music. This was a concept from the heart, with transformativelive performances, channelling spaces into art "Mode" events orchestrated to bring about a full integration of site and sound.

Psychedelic, punk overtones. A funky electronic hybrid, mixing Kraftwerk with black music. Guitars delayed and twisted through echo boxes and micro synths. Casio and Commodores delivering the machine funk. Mode I/Q played CBGBs, Max's Kansas City and Danceteria in their three year lifespan. Just 3 releases deep, 1984's mini LP "Mind/Soul" captures the band at their best. 6 songs to immerse, dance and shake the mind.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Machine funk at its finest here, on my personal reissue of the week. Whether you're snaking your hips to the wavy "Competition", enjoying the pre-shoegaze and post motorik pulse of "Looking Through Your Mind" or strutting to the gnarly new wave of "Two Different Things" there's so much to love here!

The 3rd EP (of 4) looking at the music of Exquisite Corpse's output from 1992 to 1994. As with the rest of the series the music included covers the palette of Robbert Heynen's output and is presented here, remastered and redesigned for club play.

Working as ever with friend and engineer Tim Freeman, as well as partner Debbie Jones, Heynen's post-Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia productions took his techno, trance and tribal explorations to a new conclusions.

With "Point Zero" all these elements come together with possibly the strongest tracks of the EPs. Opening EC's sophomore album, "Inner Light", there is confidence in the interplay between oscillating sequencing and rattling drums, perfectly and infectiously interweaving between headspace and dance floor.

"B K S" from the "Dream Night Dance Music" album follows and takes things down a notch. Ethnic leanings interplay with light percussion and a deep bass to pull you till dawn.

Side two opens with the clattering, syncro-rhythms of "Traditional Ties With Dreaming". Taken from their debut EP, "Reassembling Reality" is itself the perfect elude. Quasi-dreamlands, drumming for 1000 musicians that loops and builds, dismembers and starts over like a gentile, hypnotic orchestra.

To complete the EP, "Dream Night Dance Music" appears again with "Elevator" showing a love of the original deep house odes emanating from Fingers and Jefferson of late 80s Chi Town. Fluorescent keys overlay somber drum and bass to sink the most melancholy sunsets. An end to the beginning. A beginning to the end. A third ending.

Platform 23 presents the 2nd (of 4) EPs of music from Exquisite Corpse. On "Between Rhythms II", Robbert Heijnen further cements his brand of deep, jagged, electronic tribalism.

Part of the Tillburg post punk / alternative scene of the mid-80s, Robbert's industrial and EBM credentials were forged through Dutch group Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia. The move from the metallic sounds of its early incarnation, to later embracing the sounds emanating from late 80s Chicago and Detroit saw the band develop from their early cassette "1989" to the fully formed and now revered 1992 debut album, "Ov Biospheres And Sacred Grooves (A Document Ov New Edge Folk Classics)".

The release starts with "Shadow Play" from his second album, 1993's "Inner Light". Darkness descends to echo'd drums as the vestiges of developing European techno worlds can be heard in the distance. "What A Life", from the "Reassembling Reality" EP, brings things down with an ambient beginning moving to Reich loops and sequencing that create shifting melodic horizons. A personal favourite of the artist, the EP saw the realization of the collaborations with Debbie Jones in design and life.

With the consistent presence of 'third member' - in mixing, engineering and support - from Tim Freeman, the songs in the series have a unique, but familiar and inclusive nature. This can again be heard in "Sacrifice" from the highly sought after "Dream Night Dance Music" album. The interplay of drums, claps and swing are enough alone to warrant acceptance. To close, "Tepu" returns to the "Inner Light" album. 

Platform 23 follow those ace "Alternative Funk" releases with a 4 EP collection of the music of Dutch producer Robbert Heijnen (Psychick Warriors Of Gaia / SUMUS) and his Exquisite Corpse project.

First appearing as a one off contribution to a Katharos Foundation compilation cassette and using only tape loops in 1986, Exquisite Corpse was resurrected in 1992, shortly before Robbert left PWOG to concentrate on his solo music.

Now equipped with a modest midi set-up, most of the Exquisite Corpse material was recorded with the aid of mixing desk master, engineer and friend, Tim Freeman, as well as with later contributions from partner Debbie Jones (The Mistress/DJ Venus). Released on Belgian label KK Records, the tracks included in these 12"s are taken from a furtive two year period that saw six EPs and two LPs released.

Starting with "Inner Rhythm (Higher World Mix)", taken from 1993's EP of the same name, Between Rhythms I starts with intent. Crisp percussion, relentless and interwoven sequences abound over a dark bassline, before the dub meet world sounds of "Kupuri" show the depth of EC's outlook.

This is backed by the rawness of "X-Out" from 1992's "Strange Attractor EP". Recorded to cassette before Tim joined the project, the guttural bass and sharp percussion cross boundaries between house and techno. This deep tribal sound, full of pulsing drums highlights a sharper angle from much of EC's output and as such, is a pure club machine.

The first EP closes with "Sitting In A Tree (Time Flies)". The first track to be taken from their debut album, Dream Night Dance Music, the album is rightly considered their strongest, more rounded record, seeing it now trading at spiralled prices. With all 6 of it's songs to be covered across the 12" series, the ambient influences and yearning keys here make for a perfect, first ending.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Powerful, driving and smooth techno trips filled with darkness and esoteric passages. Rare to come across a 12" with four fillers. They truly are - the lot.

Platform 23 presents the 2nd collection of songs selected from the "Alternative Funk" series released by Vox Man and VP 231 Records. Originally appearing in 1985 across 1 vinyl and 2 cassette albums these cult collections have long been in collectors' (and bootleggers') sights and finally see the first official reissue. As with Volume 1 the series covers the weird, wonderful, esoteric, exotic and quirky sound and puts them in a reset context that immediately gives clarity of the original's curation.

This volume opens with some DIY electro stealers, first with Dee Nasty's "Orientic Groove", where the early French hip-hop pioneer lays down a battle cry of beats, slapped bass and YMO keys, before the second offering from Scoop! and their rap attack, juxtapositions the past series and leads to label heads Vox Populi! & Man and their continued look at the rudiments of cut up manipulation and scratch techniques. The avant rappears with 3M's percussive marker and legendary Amus Tietchens' is ever challenging, before Melsjest's post-punk meets the Weirmar possibly steals the side as Vox Pop spoken outro joins those (micro)dots.
The cult of Randall Kennedy returns with another garage-fuzz gem. His stories for wackos'n'weirdos end all too soon and are followed by Liquid Liquid's Dennis Young, diving deep with Intuition, before Stanalis returns with another winner. Bene Gesserit is a killer and welcome addition, before Kosa return with more industrial clippings and volume 2 heads to the door with Capital Funk's electro-punk bomb - possibly the series champion - while the slap bass-scratch of California's Psyclones leads to a music hall end in the homage to mum's favourite, Chukk.
What these Volumes again highlight is how the DIY aesthetic of so many independent labels was supplemented and spread via collections of friends, contemporaries and often, literally pen pals, to mail in their offerings that are then picked for wider ears. While some of these artists have become known, just as many are who and whats, but they sit side-by-side as warranted and often killing the scene of what Axel and co sought to be...the Alternative Funk.



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