Various ‎– Discreet Campaigns (Cassette Album)



More compilation fun with some obscure and not so obscure bands. This was released by Rorschach Testing Products (home of the early Industrial band Click! Click!) on cassette only in 1985. As it was on tape it had a load of tracks. Not too experimental the Eyeless In Gaza’s bright shiny synthpop kicks us off after a weird spoken introduction by John Marc Gowans, who pops up again on the track listing. The Flamingo’s do a great impression of claustrophobic industrial-lite but with a soulful lead singer (Cliff Peacock), a nice mix of styles and as you’d expect from Sheffield.

Guitars emerge in the lazy shoegaze of The Wake, a Scottish band that was criminally ignored. A laidback groove augmented by electric piano vibe.

Corpaelia tap into goth psychedelia, very live sounding and there only ever release, Gene Loves Jezebel springs to mind!

Keeping the swirly vibe Cocteau Twins pop up track from the album “Echoes In A Shallow Bay” with the dramatic”Pale Clouded White” with added mellotron on the chorus.

A fresh-faced James is next, frantic drums and strums and very short! “What’s the World”was that good even The Smiths covered it live.

The Decemberists are up next (not those ones!) with more jangley guitar on “James Is” pleasant but they did nothing else.

Back to weird stuff with “Bullet” by Furniture, weird arrangements and instrumentation (wonky organ anyone?), this would appear on their debut album, “The Lovemongers.”

Dif Juz were an obscure instrumental jazz fusion quartet and they noodle around on “Echo Wreck”, different and that’s why this compilation is great because of the mix of artists.

Sixties throwback time with Kevin McDermott giving it a nostalgic nod with “The Faintest Sound”, even has a singalong “Doo-Doo-Doo” part!

All changes with side 2 and Chris & Cosey and their light electro funk track “Shivers”, never sure of her distinctive vocal style and that backing does sound dated, beginning of sampling I suppose.

Actors And Famous Peoples are quite interesting, a female funk band in a Rip Rig and Panic style. Didn’t do much after this either. Just like the next band Resistance, coldwave drum machines and goth bass and guitar with mumbled then shouty vocals, recorded in someones bedroom.

John Marc Gowans returns with an semi-spoken prog rock out (Mogwai or Mark Stewart fans??) with overdubbed samples and effects in proto mathrock style.

More Factory Acts make an appearance with Duritti Column and Vini’s peaceful guitar and fragile voice, from compilation album “From Brussels With Love” – a rare track to track down for fans.

Another obscure Manchester band, Life, make an appearance mixing drum machines, synths and guitar atmospherics. Like an electronic B-52’s mixed with the Pet Shop Boys; Andy Robinson later became the New Order manager.

More one track wonders from local lads from Bedford, where the label was based, Spiral Staircase,so more jangle and Cure influences.

The standout track in terms of sounding ahead of their time was Ganzheit, amazing, almost acid techno but with sampled brass and soundbites!!

Closing the album is an atmospheric opener from “Low-Life” from New Order. Here in demo and instrumental form…..a rare thrashy gem!!


A1 John Marc Gowans The First Thing You Ever Said To Me (Edit) 1:00
A2 Eyeless In Gaza Stay 4:23
A3 The Flamingos This Heat 4:13
A4 The Wake Torn Calendar 4:51
A5 Corpaelia The Mentor Will Rise 4:10
A6 Cocteau Twins Pale Clouded White 3:20
A7 James What’s The World (Live) 1:53
A8 The Decemberists James Is 2:37
A9 Furniture Bullet 5:06
A10 Dif Juz Echo Wreck 4:40
A11 Kevin McDermott The Faintest Sound 3:52
B1 Chris & Cosey Shiver 5:00
B2 Actors And Famous People End Users 3:32
B3 Resistance And With Disease (Live) 4:17
B4 John Marc Gowans Return To Activity 6:00
B5 Durutti Column Weakness And Fever 5:20
B6 Life Optimism (Electro Version) 4:44
B7 Spiral Staircase Everybody Has Bad Dreams 3:19
B8 Ganzheit Preface And Hostilities 3:30
B9 New Order Sunrise (Instrumental Rough Mix) 5:39




2 responses

  1. Wow! Every day is like Christmas. Your wonderful site continues to share true surprises, and often provides the core of my listening for that day.

    But, wow!!! I still have my original Discreet Campaigns cassette, but never had it digitized. A while back, I found a version on line that, unfortunately, was recorded at about 3/4 speed – so everything sounded like I had consumed too much NyQuil. What a thrill to have you post this glorious snapshot. Thank you! Thank you!

    Thank you, for this and the breadth of the music you share.

    Have a great day!

    1. Thanks Dana that means a lot. We aim to please 😊

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