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SUPERIOR VIADUCT

William Hooker

...is Eternal Life

    Drummer, composer and poet William Hooker has been a tireless force in free improvised music for over 40 years. He emerged from New York’s loft jazz scene in the mid-’70s, part of a generation of artists fueled by the social, political and cultural frustrations of their era. This second wave of American free jazz would push relentlessly into new territories—collaborating in a variety of non-traditional settings, establishing their own labels, venues, etc.—all in an effort at creative self-determination. While William Hooker’s output extends past 70 albums as leader, it all began with the double LP ... Is Eternal Life. Recorded in 1975-1976 and released privately on the artist’s own Reality Unit Concepts imprint, ... Is Eternal Life is nothing short of visionary. Filled with tension, intricacy and raw fury, these extended compositions feature the playing of David Murray, Mark Miller, David S. Ware, Hasaan Dawkins and Les Goodson. 

    The Fall

    Perverted By Language

      The Fall returned to Rough Trade in 1983 to release a pair of singles ("The Man Whose Head Expanded" and "Kicker Conspiracy") and Perverted By Language, their sixth proper studio album. Perverted By Language hints at the band's shift towards a distinctly pop approach, one that they would perfect via their Beggars Banquet output that immediately followed. Yet again, the force and panic of their initial Rough Trade recordings remains the foundation for much of the album. A transitional recording in the absolute best sense, Perverted By Language is The Fall both as they were and as they would become.

      The emergence of Brix Smith is often cited as the impetus for The Fall's move toward outward pop, and she makes her first appearance with the band on Perverted By Language. Nowhere is her presence felt more than on "Hotel Blöedel," where she handles lead vocal duties alongside Mark E. Smith whose mangled violin accompaniment roots the song's cold romanticism in his unmistakable brand of strange. "Garden" provides a new take on The Fall's stretched-out tendencies – using ringing, clean guitars to build a nearly 10-minute epic more subtly than ever before. The opener, "Eat Y'self Fitter," is wholly classic Fall: a playfully circular bass line drives the album's strongest vocal spout, complete with emphatic breaks where Mark E. Smith issues the song's spiteful decree with equal parts glee and scorn.

      The Fall

      Hex Enduction Hour

        Hex Enduction Hour was originally conceptualized as the death knell for The Fall. Beleaguered by career uncertainty and guided by vague premonitions of collapse, Mark E. Smith declared that one full hour was needed to thoroughly and perhaps finally state his case with The Fall. This framework resulted in a true classic of the post-punk era and an album that gave The Fall their first taste of album chart success, thankfully removing surrender from the equation.

        Recorded in haste in both Iceland and England in late 1981, the performances on Hex Enduction Hour are among the band's most urgent and distinctive. The album begins with the severe provocation of "The Classical" and the terse punk of "Jawbone And The Air-Rifle," but it's "Hip Priest" that stands out as Smith's calling-card theme, a song that would become inextricable from his character (or perception thereof) in the years that followed. The elongated "And This Day" fittingly positions the band as spell-casters, closing the hour by filling every conceivable bit of space with wild, primitive percussion and whimsical electric piano.

        The Fall

        Slates

          If The Fall truly is a cult band, then Slates both benefits from and reinforces such shrouded obsessions. In presenting these six particular songs as a 10-inch EP, the inherent and attractive difficulty of The Fall's sound is made physical, framing the urgency of their singles from this period (notably How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' and Lie Dream of a Casino Soul) alongside lengthy rumblings normally restricted to long players.

          The tumbling and phased "Middle Mass" begins on an incredible high note, segueing into the snake-charm hypnotism of "An Older Lover Etc." "Slates, Slags, Etc." is built on stretched VU-inspired riffing, complete with ace feedback bleed that doubtlessly went on long after fade-out. Ultimately, it's the piercing chimes of guitar and marching drum grind of "Prole Art Threat" that elevates Slates beyond oddity. Truly one of Mark E. Smith's finest, busiest and most enigmatic performances, equally matched by a band at the peak of their powers.

          The Fall

          Dragnet

            Dragnet is arguably The Fall's best-known album. With the departure of Martin Bramah after Live At The Witch Trials, the band underwent yet another lineup shift in late 1979. Marc Riley switched to guitar and Steve Hanley joined on bass; the latter's signature basslines would become a major part of The Fall for the next two decades.

            Opening track "Psykick Dancehall" strikes like an elusive, working-class anthem with its bouncy tempo changes and Mark E. Smith's unfiltered vocals raining down on the dance-floor. "Dice Man" takes its direction from disheveled beats, stuttering lyrics and asymmetrical phrasing. Somehow Dragnet manages to be even more lo-fi than The Fall's debut, yet reveals a cohesive sound and fierce songs that would further build the band's cult following.

            The Fall

            Grotesque (After The Gramme)

              Bursting into the 1980s on a new label (the then-upstart, now-legendary Rough Trade) and with an augmented, audibly panicked lineup, The Fall's Grotesque is the true pure-bred Fall release from the Marc Riley era. Released in the immediate wake of The Fall's most beloved single (Totally Wired), the album carries over that righteously famed teeth-chattering, bolstered in no small part by the drumming of new addition Paul Hanley, brother of bassist Steve Hanley and aged only 15 at the time of recording.

              "Pay Your Rates" negates the notion of easing into things, opening the album with pure jitter, guided by hornet-buzz guitars and Mark E. Smith's commanding shout, allowing for breath only during the brief, lumbering waltzes that appear at unexpected intervals. "New Face In Hell" is an entirely alien take on dancehall post-punk – a kazoo-driven rave-up that holds an unshakable position in the band's canon.

              Many significant firsts surround Grotesque, including The Fall's inaugural production partnership with Mayo Thompson and the debut of Suzanne Smith's wonderful artwork, both of which would play key roles in the band's following phase.

              The Fall

              Room To Live

                On Room To Live, The Fall take the hurried, all-or-nothing approach of their preceding Kamera Records releases to extreme ends. Forged via Mark E. Smith's continual disassembling of players and focus on previously unrehearsed material, the album collects The Fall's most experimental and improvisational recordings. As proclaimed on the album cover, "Undilutable Slang Truth!" would be revealed throughout Room To Live.

                With the album's comparatively lo-fi production and always-teetering performances, the title track comes closest to a stab at pop (by The Fall's standards), built on fantastically bent saloon swaying under one of Smith's by-now characteristic dressing-downs of square life. "Detective Instinct" is an unshakeable creeper, as languid and ominous as the band would get during the Marc Riley years. "Marquis Cha Cha" is a post-punk rhumba, beginning with fury and then easing into something only The Fall could conjure.

                The Fall

                Live At The Witch Trials

                  The first full-length album of The Fall, Live At The Witch Trials, is not actually a live album. Emerging out of a two-day studio session at Camden Sound in North West London during a sickly December of 1978, Witch Trials amounts to the sinister foundation of the band's diverse sound. Every song explores drastically different styles and wild terrain, leaving much to decipher over its eleven tracks.

                  "Frightened" has magnetic attraction / repulsion that shifts between Martin Bramah's skeletal guitar, Yvonne Pawlett's plastic keyboards and the lurching rhythm section of Marc Riley and Karl Burns. Mark E. Smith's mesmerizing bark and eerie lyrics warp the cosmic context with each repeated non-chorus. "Rebellious Jukebox" takes yet another turn and showcases the band's more melodic leanings.

                  One gets the sense that The Fall are in a time-travel hallucination (from 19th century witch trials to a scathing critique of the late-70s punk scene) where the band's snot-nosed scrabble afflicts the shape of pop to come. As Smith dictates, "We are The Fall, northern white crap that talks back."


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Matt says: Another from the recent slew of much welcome Fall reissues. A personal favourite, which contains the Piccadilly Records anthem "No X From John Quays" which was written about one of our most dearist customers. It's a brittle, spiky and angst-ridden occassion and finds Mark in typically aggressive and confrontational mood. Plenty more to come from this pivotal band.

                  Richard Pinhas

                  Iceland

                    Originally released in 1979, Iceland is Richard Pinhas’ third solo album and his first following the breakup of Heldon. While moving away from the maximalism of his old band, paring down Heldon’s hybrid of otherworldly sci-fi imagery and pummeling psych-prog riffs, the journey through Iceland is decidedly more inward. Consisting of longer, brooding synth-based pieces as well as short proto-industrial études and interstitial sketches, Iceland features Pinhas’ delay-ridden electric guitar, pulsating machine rhythms and analog synthesizer washes—all vivid in texture and timbre, notwithstanding an undeniably chilling ambience. This first-time vinyl reissue includes “Wintermusic,” an immersive 25-minute bonus track recorded in 1983 and appearing here on vinyl for the first time. Pinhas’ excursions channel the season’s stillness and sublimity, its majesty and its threat. Without a doubt, one his finest moments. Recommended for fans of Cluster, Mica Levi and Fripp & Eno.

                    “It’s been nearly five decades since Joe McPhee assembled a group of musicians to perform the weekend concerts that would become Nation Time, his debut LP. It was December 1970, thirty-one-year-old McPhee was inspired by Amiri Baraka’s poem ‘It’s Nation Time,’ and the students at Vassar College didn’t know what hit them. ‘What time is it?’ shouted the bandleader. ‘C’mon, you can do better than that. What time is it?!’ “The music on Nation Time came out of the fertile, but little-known creative jazz scene in Poughkeepsie, New York, McPhee’s home base. Two bands were deployed, one with a funky free foundation featuring guitar and organ, the other consisting of a more standard jazz formation with two drummers and the brilliant Mike Kull at the piano. Across the concert and the next afternoon’s audienceless recording session, the band was ignited by McPhee’s passion and his gorgeous post-Coltrane / post-Pharoah tenor. On ‘Shakey Jake,’ they hit a James Brown groove filtered through Archie Shepp, while the sidelong title track is as searching and poignant today as it was during its heyday. “Originally released in 1971 on CjR, an imprint started expressly to document McPhee’s music, Nation Time has a sense of urgency and inspiration. Additional material from those December days would later appear on Black Magic Man, Hat Hut’s first release. In fact, the first four records on this seminal Swiss label all featured McPhee. “Nation Time was largely unknown a quarter century or so later, when it was first issued on CD through Atavistic’s Unheard Music Series. On Corbett vs. Dempsey, we reissued the album along with all known tapes leading up to and around it as a deluxe box set, but the standalone LP has long remained incredibly rare. Now is the time for a new generation of freaks to lose their shit when settling into the cushy beat of ‘Shakey Jake’ and answer McPhee’s call with the only appropriate response: It’s NATION TIME.” —John Corbett .

                    The Fall

                    Totale's Turns (It's Now Or Never)

                      Given The Fall's penchant for iconoclasm, it's no surprise that they decided to say goodbye to the '70s with a series of gigs at Northern England's gruffest halls. The band's formidable live show was met with even more derision and disorder than customary during these late '79 and early '80 performances, and they skillfully amplified such sentiments back at the crowd. Totale's Turns, The Fall's first live album, was released on Rough Trade just prior to their pivotal third album, 1980's Grotesque.

                      "The difference between you and us is that we have brains," shouts Mark E. Smith to open Totale's Turns as the band breaks into the rollicking "Fiery Jack," their latest single at the time. Each player is at their jagged best: Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon's splintering guitars, Steve Hanley's thunderous bass and Smith's combative sneer reverberate over "Rowche Rumble," "Choc-Stock" and "Spectre Vs. Rector" more than any studio would ever allow. Totale's Turns never panders to live-record conventions, serving instead as a gripping exhibit of The Fall en masse and arguably the most accurate document of the group to date.

                      Superior Viaduct's edition is the first time that Totale's Turns has been available on vinyl domestically. Liner notes by Brian Turner.

                      Hopeton Brown, better known as Scientist, has been a pioneering figure in the world of dub for 40 years. His early love of electronics proved fruitful when (still a teenager) he was hired at King Tubby’s studio in Kingston. Brown quickly ascended the ranks and became heir to Tubby’s throne, producing imaginative and technically impressive mixes that solidified his forward-looking nickname.

                      Originally released in 1981, "In The Kingdom Of Dub" remains one of the best early LPs in Scientist’s long career. Produced by Roy Cousins at Channel One and featuring Sly & Robbie along with members of The Revolutionaries, The Aggrovators and The Soul Syndicate, the album offers a wide range of arresting rhythms, bold effect drops and exquisitely melodic bass. From “18 Drumalie Avenue Dub” (a reference to King Tubby’s address) to “Burning Sun Dub,” Scientist lays down a veritable roadmap of dub - filled with disintegrating echoes of satiny organ and textural guitar - firmly cementing his place as one of the true innovators in Jamaican popular music.

                      The Fall

                      The Rough Trade Singles

                        The Rough Trade Singles collects The Fall's four singles recorded for this influential label in 1980 and 1983 – How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' / City Hobgoblins, Totally Wired / Putta Block, The Man Whose Head Expanded / Ludd Gang and Kicker Conspiracy – none of which appeared on any of the band's studio LPs. With 7-inches being the era's vehicle for buzzing communiqués, The Fall would use the format for short-form, standalone works rather than as mere promotional devices for forthcoming albums.

                        "Totally Wired" is often cited (and rightfully so) as The Fall's most infectious tune – an amphetamine-fueled anthem with stuttering nods to forebears, yet too incisive to have been made by anyone else. "How I Wrote 'Elastic Man'" is another mad hoedown, one reimagined for the post-punk age. While the playful rhythm machine on "The Man Whose Head Expanded" almost suggests danceability, Mark E. Smith's idiosyncratic shriek on "Kicker Conspiracy" pierces through the twin drumming of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns and the group's unpredictable / unmistakable racket. Together these songs remain some of the absolute best material The Fall would ever release.

                        Liner notes by Brian Turner.

                        John Bender

                        Pop Surgery

                          Following the release of lo-fi electronic masterpiece I Don’t Remember Now / I Don’t Want To Talk About It and his brilliant follow-up Plaster Falling , Cincinnati-based artist John Bender began assembling his third and last album, Pop Surgery, in late 1982. While all of Bender’s work draws from intimate home recordings—featuring the artist alone with various keyboards, analogue sequencers and tape delays—Pop Surgery remains the one that perhaps best distills his arrant deconstruction of the “pop” concept. These twelve frenetic tracks, meticulously stitched together with dubbed-out vocals and disjointed drum machines, stretch the boundaries of bedroom electronics.

                          Bender would forgo the handmade LP sleeves typical of his Record Sluts imprint. The cover depicts an imposing scrapyard crane, ready to pick up discarded objects with its bright red electromagnet, while the center labels détourn Columbia’s classic ’70s style. “I pressed a single run of 500 copies,” Bender recounts. “The only review I remember railed at the poor production quality. The DIY era had clearly come to an end.” This first-time standalone reissue is recommended for fans of Suicide, TG’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats and early Cabaret Voltaire. Liner notes by John Bender.

                          Suicide

                          First Rehearsal Tapes

                            “On Suicide’s First Rehearsal Tapes , recorded in 1975, Alan Vega and Martin Rev create minimalist aural structures, traces of which would surface on their eponymous debut album, released on the Red Star label in late 1977. “These songs are not a sketchpad of semi-formed ideas.

                            The First Rehearsal Tapes comprise an audio diary of two men out in the ether, measuring themselves as evolving individual artists and as a unit who would rely on inseparability to realize their unique and often confrontational mass in the decades to come. What the tapes also reveal is that Vega and Rev were compositionally ambitious, capable of melody and form, while resisting definitionas they headed further into uncharted territory.

                            “The First Rehearsal Tapesafford the listener a glimpse into the creative process of two groundbreaking, true art warriors with their swords and shields leaning against the practice room wall. To understand the absolute brilliance of Suicide’s first album as well as their sonic adventures that followed, you have to start here with their earliest recordings.” —Henry Rollins (excerpt from the liner notes)

                            Henry Flynt

                            You Are My Everlovin'

                              Philosopher, musician and anti-art activist, Henry Flynt has long foregone the academicism often associated with “serious music” in favor of a uniquely intuitive, emotional approach to composition. In the 1960s and 1970s he was a part of NYC’s vibrant avant-garde scene, studying with Hindustani singer Pandit Pran Nath and developing his own proprietary technique on violin. You Are My Everlovin’, Flynt’s first published musical work, finds the composer in peak form at a lower Manhattan loft in late spring 1981. Featuring solo electric violin and pre-recorded tambura, this sinuous performance elegantly brings together disparate vernaculars—Southern blues, modal jazz, Appalachian fiddle, North Indian raga— into a new and bracing whole. As Flynt writes in the liner notes, “The electric violin timbre is crucial; it allows me to crush the diverse styles into a unity. I imagined the genre as open, radiant improvisation…an open plain that could absorb anything.” Incorporating themes and melodic phrases from his earlier work, Everlovin’ becomes Flynt’s own Gesamtkunstwerk—a work that is at once rooted in and liberated by the drone, revealing the profound mutability and utter singularity of this American iconoclast.

                              John Coltrane transformed the inner architecture of jazz, throughout the mid-1950s and 1960s and long after his premature death at age 40 in 1967. No other American musician could be said to be at the spiritual center of the ‘60s musical universe as he influenced Albert Ayler, La Monte Young, Jimi Hendrix and everybody in between. "Cosmic Music", originally self-released by Alice Coltrane in 1968 and later issued by Impulse!, features two tracks (“Manifestation” and “Rev. King”) by John Coltrane’s legendary final quintet that were recorded in San Francisco on February 2nd, 1966 and two more (“Lord Help Me To Be” and “The Sun”) from Alice Coltrane’s very first session as a bandleader, recorded six months after her husband’s passing.

                              “Manifestation” opens with the group already in mid-flight: Trane’s fierce tenor leads the way with Pharoah Sanders’ blistering sax and Alice’s powerful chords hearing his call. On “Rev. King,” Trane introduces a lyrical theme and then the composition erupts into fiery incantations, while Jimmy Garrison’s bass throbs alongside the propulsive, gravity-defying drumming of Rashied Ali. Foreshadowing her majestic debut, A Monastic Trio, “Lord Help Me To Be” brings Alice’s celestial piano playing and inspired improvisations to the foreground with Sanders, Garrison and drummer Ben Riley rumbling in tow. “The Sun,” a meditative ballad with subtle urgency, perfectly closes the album’s contemplative circle. As John Coltrane recites on the final track, “May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation.”

                              The Pin Group

                              Ambivalence

                                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                New Zealand’s Pin Group emerged out of the early ‘80s Christchurch scene and, with just two stunning singles and one brilliant five-song EP, have become an archetype for nearly all indie bands ever since. Ambivalence was not only The Pin Group’s hypnotic debut, but also the very first release on Flying Nun. While guitarist Roy Montgomery, bassist Ross Humphries and drummer Peter Stapleton build off each other’s jittery riffs, Montgomery’s uncanny baritone pierces the torrential clangor. Conjuring both Wire’s Chairs Missing and VU’s White Light/White Heat, the band captures a truly unique sound – evocative, yet austere. Wasting little time, The Pin Group released Coat in November 1981, merely two months after their first single. On the title track, Humphries’ distant vocals call out as tense rhythms gradually push listeners over the edge. B-side track “Jim” could easily have been recorded in Manchester circa 1979, but remains a master class in NZ post-punk atmospherics, menacing from start to finish. The Pin Group went back into the studio in January 1982 to record their third and final classic release. Featuring an expanded five-piece lineup with Mary Heney on guitar/ vocals and Peter Fryer on viola, Go To Town is a work of taut perfection. Showcasing the band’s dramatic chiaroscuro textures and arresting lyrics, “Long Night” and “When I Tell You” make staggeringly clear how much sonic ground The Pin Group covered in their unfortunately short tenure. These first-time standalone reissues, featuring Ronnie van Hout’s original sleeve designs, are pressed on limited edition color vinyl. 

                                The Pin Group

                                Coat

                                  THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                  New Zealand’s Pin Group emerged out of the early ‘80s Christchurch scene and, with just two stunning singles and one brilliant five-song EP, have become an archetype for nearly all indie bands ever since. Ambivalence was not only The Pin Group’s hypnotic debut, but also the very first release on Flying Nun. While guitarist Roy Montgomery, bassist Ross Humphries and drummer Peter Stapleton build off each other’s jittery riffs, Montgomery’s uncanny baritone pierces the torrential clangor. Conjuring both Wire’s Chairs Missing and VU’s White Light/White Heat, the band captures a truly unique sound – evocative, yet austere. Wasting little time, The Pin Group released Coat in November 1981, merely two months after their first single. On the title track, Humphries’ distant vocals call out as tense rhythms gradually push listeners over the edge. B-side track “Jim” could easily have been recorded in Manchester circa 1979, but remains a master class in NZ post-punk atmospherics, menacing from start to finish. The Pin Group went back into the studio in January 1982 to record their third and final classic release. Featuring an expanded five-piece lineup with Mary Heney on guitar/ vocals and Peter Fryer on viola, Go To Town is a work of taut perfection. Showcasing the band’s dramatic chiaroscuro textures and arresting lyrics, “Long Night” and “When I Tell You” make staggeringly clear how much sonic ground The Pin Group covered in their unfortunately short tenure. These first-time standalone reissues, featuring Ronnie van Hout’s original sleeve designs, are pressed on limited edition color vinyl. 

                                  Suicide

                                  Cheree

                                    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                    Classic NYC duo composed of Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Their first single, originally released in UK in 1978, features a remix of the band’s very first song (“Cheree”) and the brilliant non-album track “I Remember.” This first-time vinyl reissue and first-time domestic release comes with original sleeve design. Limited edition red vinyl.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    David says: Until Suicide's debut album was released none of their predecessors had used keyboards in such an aggressive 'punk' way. They pretty much single handedly invented Industrial and have had a massive influence on everyone from Aphex Twin to Depeche Mode.

                                    Ellen Fullman

                                    The Long String Instrument

                                      Ellen Fullman began developing her installation The Long String Instrument in 1981, in search of tonalities that could not be achieved with traditional instruments. This largescale work consists of 70-foot-long metallic wires, anchored by a wooden resonator, across which the performer moves backwards and forwards with rosin-covered fingers. The overall effect has been rightfully compared to the experience of standing inside an enormous grand piano.

                                      Recorded during Fullman’s 1985 residency at Het Apollohuis in Eindhoven, Holland, The Long String Instrument album is the first document of her acoustic explorations. “Woven Processional,” which features Fullman alongside artist Arnold Dreyblatt, conjures an enchanting drone from the elongated strings and dissolves into organ-like overtones and otherworldly textures. Several tracks bring to life another Fullman invention, The Water Drip Drum, constructed from water dripping into an amplified aluminum pan and manipulated by foot pedal.

                                      Thirty years since its initial release, Ellen Fullman’s debut LP remains a major contribution to the histories of sound sculpture and minimalist composition. This firsttime reissue is mastered from the original analog tapes and recommended for fans of Pauline Oliveros, Charlemagne Palestine and Harry Bertoia.

                                      Heldon

                                      Allez-Teia

                                        Allez-Téia, the second album by French guitarist Richard Pinhas under the Heldon moniker, was originally released in 1975 on the artist’s own Disjuncta imprint. Far from the band’s prog-tinged trio lineup, Allez-Téia features a menagerie of guitars, Mellotron and analog synthesizers. While opening track “In the Wake of King Fripp” pays homage to King Crimson in its title, the album’s heady textures and rhythmic meditations are more reminiscent of the German Kosmiche movement (Cluster, Harmonia, et al.) and post-rock experimentalists, such as Jim O’Rourke and Gastr del Sol. Acoustic guitar even makes a rare appearance - on the beautiful and melancholy “Aphanisis.” With front cover artwork depicting the events of May ’68 in Paris (by renowned photojournalist Gilles Caron), these dark ambient sounds make Allez-Téia perhaps the most revolutionary release in Heldon’s influential catalogue, foreshadowing Pinhas’s incredible solo work for decades to come.

                                        An errant project of suburban Los Angeles art collective World Imitation Productions, Monitor was the sonic outlet of four young artists grappling with their terror and amazement in the convergence of the late 1970s punk scene and Southern California’s consumerist decadence. As with the collective’s visual artwork and events, Monitor blends archaic influences with modern technology into one of the era’s most curious albums. Eerie synthesizer, menacing guitar leads and morose vocal chants make “In Terrae Interium” an evocative ballad of paranoia. “I Saw Dead Jim’s Shade” showcases Monitor’s idiosyncratic vocal interplay in a sinister tale of a stolen hand. When “Hair” required a tempo beyond Monitor’s instrumental chops, the band appropriated The Meat Puppets to record the track for them. Acquainted at first through mail art, World Imitation found a kindred spirit in DEVO associate Ed Barger, who meticulously recorded this LP in 1980, burying the presence of shrieking cats, closing doors and tape loops deep in the mix. Monitor associated with the original Hollywood punk scene but often met with ambivalence for their incongruity in the face of the movement’s increasingly codified appearance and sound. Loosely aligned with like-minded pioneers such as Nervous Gender, Human Hands, BPeople and NON, who together constituted the sub-scene known as the Associated Skull Bands, Monitor operated in its own space within a progressive, diverse musical milieu. Few groups so deftly encapsulate the existential dread and delight particular to Southern California’s antiquated culture of artifice.

                                        • First-time reissue of only album, originally released in 1981
                                        • High-concept post-punk from Los Angeles art collective, produced by DEVO associate Ed Barger
                                        • Features track performed by The Meat Puppets
                                        • LP includes digital download card, CD contains three bonus tracks
                                        • For fans of Suicide, The Residents, Nervous Gender


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