Thursday, 11 December 2008

Smith Research Cassettes, 1985-1986

SRC 1 THE CERAMIC HOBS - John There/Summer Hobdays, 1985, also came in different sleeve now lost. There was never a tracklist for these very first recordings by the Ceramic Hobs which was just myself and Steve Lambert at the time. The other side of the original cassette consisted of prank phone calls - you can hear an example of these on the Jara Discs CD 'It's Good To Talk' released in the mid-90s. The last track on this is an excellent recording of our first ever gig at Lytham Library Buildings on September 14th 1985 - we were joined by friends from school for this, none of whom could play or owned instruments. Some of this stuff makes me cringe (although we were only 16 at the time) but some of it is fairly inventive musique concrete with added absurdity.
SRC 2 THE CERAMIC HOBS - Merry Xmas Folks! Released perversely in January 1986, this was more of the same Phase One Hobs style including primitive sampling techniques and much absurdity.
SRC 3 'TELEPHONE TERRORISM' - lost. A full cassette of prank calls by 'the Turnip Brigade' (= Ceramic Hobs) with Charles Manson on the cover if my memory serves correctly.
SRC 4 THE BIZARRE WORLD OF JIMI EGG! A solo tape by me wich had a full side of short-wave and household noise with more diverse sampling and other styles on side 2. Came in an envelope.
SRC 6 IVOR EGG - Egg Of The Day - lost. Early Hobs associate Ivan H recorded a tape of bizarre solo material including untutored interpretations of Dire Straits and songs about politics. Never actually released to my knowledge.
SRC 7 THE CERAMIC HOBS - Swans Have Long Necks. Unpleasant sounding concept abum with ultra-primitive guitar and bass by Steve and myself. Included first ever version of The Stoat Rides Out which had a different original riff. Very few copies were released.
SRC 8 THE AGENTS OF PRAGUE, THE CERAMIC HOBS, OVERTURE IN A SEWER, AUTOPSIA - Moo Like A Baa-Lamb. More bass and guitar Hobs primitivism. Autopsia was Swell Maps style solo material by Phil C who later became an important Hob. Overture in a Sewer and the Agents of Prague were part of a group of computer geek friends who made inventive and unusual bedroom electronics material. This compilation received airplay from Radio Lancashire's 'On The Wire' show.
SRC 9 RITUAL MUSIC FOR THE INITIATES OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY AFTERBIRTH. A second Jimi Egg tape uncredited to any artist. Ultra-minimal and creepy repetition.
SRC 10 BERTIE EGG - Yes Sir Ted Moult - lost. I think the cover was made but the album was never recorded or released for this Lambert solo project.
SRC 11 THE METAL OVULATION RHYTHM BAND - The Most Boring Tape In The World. De facto Hobs Phase One in a more self-consciously avant-garde style, with field recordings and shortwave interspersing the basic instrumentation. The project was briefly revived in the late 90s.
SRC 12 BILLY FULWOOD'S AMAZING PERFORMING ANT BAND - Pleasure Beach Anarchy, 30th June 1986. Field recordings of The Laughing Man and the Derby Racer music, half-an-hour each side. A surreal release of which I am still very proud.
SRC 13 THE CERAMIC HOBS - Fishbread Miracle. This tape marked the start of 'Phase Two' of the Hobs (we're currently in Phase Eight) and a temporary hiatus for the Smith Research label. Steve L and myself were joined by some musicians who owned and could play instruments - Syd Green, Phil Crozier, Alan Pill, Andy Pearson - and these recordings resulted over two semi-improvised afternoons. We carried on for another two years after this and went on to make better recordings. Most of the 1987 stuff featured a drummer called Steve Bond, he was replaced in '88 by Steve Massey on drum machine. Some interesting overloaded live-to-cassette psych-noise appears on this first attempt.
SRC 2-13 all released 1986. All C60s except SRC 9 which was a C30. All tapes except 3, 6 and 10 reissued by Scum/Smithsonian Archives 1995. SRC 13 reissued on CD-R by Man Have Wank 2006.