Die Zwei – Grapsch! (Remix) (US 12″)

Die Zwei

Weird dubby electro-funk with early Hip-Hop from German group (Twin Brothers Udo Scheuerpflug, Gerd Scheuerpflug and the mysterious Love ? ) Mixing in some jazzy brass, random samples and cut -ups combined with the cheesiest rap of the year so far with faux English accents. It was mixed by the wonderfully named The Magnificent Kordak with the “Communist Party Mix” being the pick, discarding most of the rap, amazing stuff for 1983 and weird just like most of this blog and the person who runs it!




Personal Records ‎– P-49807zwei

A1 Grapsch! (U.S. Mix) 5:17
A2 Grapsch! (Minimal Dub) 4:55
B1 Grapsch! (Communist Party Mix) 3:56
B2 Grapsch! (Original Mix) 5:22

English Evenings – Touch (12″)

Quirky New Wave from English Evenings (Graham Lee and Lee Walsh) (No vids and actually no Promo pictures as I’ve used the entire Web’s supply of them on this blog already!)

From 1984 with gentle synths and drum machines mixing with guitar and saxophone. Their second single and produced by Phil Harding who gives it a bit of dance floor edge. (Reminds me a bit of Classix Nouveau.) The “After Dark Mix” is a longer, dubbier mix where you can do plenty of air-drumming to and ends up sounding like a video game.

“Let The Dancing Begin!”

B-side is an emotional, piano led track. Is it about the actual “Last Supper” who knows? It’s quite heartfelt and emotionally sung, a bit too Christian Rock for my taste.

Rare New Wave stuff for your lug holes.

All English Evenings stuff has been re-upped.





And Here (Bloody Spoiling you!)




Safari Records ‎– SAFE LS 59english

A Touch (Extended Version)
B1 Touch (After Dark Mix)
B2 The Final Supper 3:19

Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust (7″)

More Bauhaus and that cover (which is actually too close to the original) released in 1982 as Bauhaus were at the height of their popularity, they were to call it quits following year.

It’s louder and rockier than the Bowie’s version and lots of people say better. I’m liking the B-side “Third Uncle” a cover of the Brian Eno track from 1972. The opener to their album “The Sky’s Gone Out” powerful stuff, like a Harder Brother of “Lust Of Life”

Many thanks to “Sisters Of Mercy” once again!


Beggars Banquet ‎– BEG 83ziggy

A Ziggy Stardust
B Third Uncle

Y – Key Operators – A Review of their Debut Album

Ykeyoperators cover

So to new stuff by the Y-Key Operators (a band I’ve been following for quite a few years now) and in fact their debut, self-titled album. It’s a bit like asking a mate if the new shirt you just bought suits you, a difficult task to be totally objective! (It’s after all, their baby and for me a long awaited, eagerly anticipated release – so thanks lads for the preview.


The album has been a good few years in the making due to producers and engineers having different schedules and commitments. Produced by Chris Oliver, who is part of ChameleonsVox set-up and completed through his breaks during their tours and mastered by the much in demand, Martin Desai (Mr. Scruff, Badly Drawn Boy) The quartet of Woz Griffiths, (vocals) Malc Burke, (keyboards) James Freeman, (guitars and vocals) Ray Bowles (Bass) and Nathan Potts (Drums) have certainly delivered.

Was it worth the wait ?

Yes for fans of the classic Manc/Indie sound of the early 90’s, slightly updated with added synthlines and technology with an eye firmly on the dancefloor. Songs to move your mind and your body.

It’s very Future Retro with a good variety of styles to keep the listener hooked in through its eleven tracks. As you’d expect from the guys there is no filler, with a lot of trouble being taken to get the track order spot on, leading to a very well paced album.

Let’s take it track by track;

Bad Karma

A live favourite and suitable opener. The delayed guitar and multi-layered vocals builds to a recurring theme of doubt and questioning. Catchy chorus and deep synth layers reveal a tight interplay between the band. A good introduction.

For You

Nods to the melodic references to the Stone Roses with Woz and Jimbo duet-ting over a wall of guitars.


Heaping on more psychedelia guitar and slowing the tempo down, very 80’s sounding with Ray’s bass pulling everything together.


This has shades of John Squire’s rock guitar (there’s even a solo that annoyingly gets faded out!), Again interplayed vocals with some light piano hidden in the mix.

Big Society

Has a live raw feel to it and the first track with an explicit political message. Short and punchy


(Live favourite and set closer) Starts with a heavy synth riff and builds to an Indie Dance fest with a Roses breakdown in the Bridge (there’s even a Woz whistle!)


Features a sample of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” speech as its main focus. A bit of a detour with heaps of atmospheric strings. Tribal drums, it has shades of Public Service Broadcast.

What’s Real Anymore ?

The underlying theme of doubt and the questioning of authority and the political system continues with this short, call-to-arms anthem, led again by Ray’s Bass and again nodding to a Retro 80’s sound.

Risk It All

 My least favourite track, lots going on with a spacey lead synth line sitting a bit uncomfortably with the funk guitar riffs. Not sure about the lyrics too.


This was the track that made me sit up and take notice of this band. Their signature tune that displays all the various qualities that the different band members bring to their dynamic sound.

Nothing To Lose

Brings the album to a close. Powerful, with complex production and plenty of synth to fill out the sound. The sound of a mature band getting lost in their sound.

Verdict –  A very enjoyable journey through a variety of Indie styles. The compositions are tight with lots of variety, The vocals (or vocal delivery) is a tad samey in places- maybe too many effects on certain tracks. The band are certainly not the finished article as they continue to hone their song-craft; I hope to see the follow-up not taking so long!!

Released on the 23rd April and available to Pre-order from the 2nd April

Share the love and Keep It Real…




Pre order 2nd April
release 23rd April

Bauhaus ‎– Telegram Sam (12″)

A contribution from follower “Sisters Of Mercy” , many Thanks!

A very early release (November, 1980) on the label 4AD and the other cover that Bauhaus released (Ziggy Stardust being the other) and a completely different take on the T-Rex classic. Rawer, punkier and even shorter!

The B-sides are worth a listen. The piano and passionate voice of Murphy on “Crowds” combines with Daniel Ash’s atmospheric guitar. “You worthless bitch You fickle shit You will spit on me You will make me spit”…. passionate stuff

“Rosegarden” is another cover, this time a John Cale song, a meandering, slow Blues song drenched in wailing feedback with an insistent bass-line about the Virgin Mary complaining about the whore house next door where Mary Magdalin lived, how apt for a Good Friday!




4AD ‎– AD17Ttele

A1 Telegram Sam 2:08
B1 Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores 5:31
B2 Crowds 3:13

The Teardrop Explodes – Colours Fly Away (12″)

Keeping it Alternative and Leftfield with the choices all through the Easter Weekend.

A forgotten but classic single from The Teardrop Explodes released after the successful “Passionate Friend” and from the album “Wilder” this keeps the driving horn section of the previous singles and the fab lyrics but failed to make a dint in the charts after previous success. Angular Soul, but the drugs were kicking in apparently and Cope wanted to alienate himself from the public eye.

The B-side is darker and more experimental. “East Of The Equator” being a instrumental in the vein of Joy Division with plenty of atmospherics, whilst “Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns” is probably the closest thing to an Easter record this year. With it’s squeeze box Harmonium from Dave Balfe and hard to decipher lyrics, it veers off to mysticism and more cross spoken lyrics, weird 

“Shoot my eyes out, I could wake up dreaming!”




Mercury ‎– TEAR 612coloursfrontcov

A Colours Fly Away
B1 East Of The Equator
B2 Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns

Re-uppage 31 (Black, Kenny Loggins, Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy, Peter Gabriel, Marc Almond, Soft Cell, Michael McDonald, Ranking Roger, Bananarama, Technotronic, Republica )

In which variety be the methadone of the Blog…..

Black – Black (Compilation From 1984) (CD) the forgotten but quality stuff from the WEA years For Martin










Kenny Loggins – Dangerzone (E.P.) For Retro Hound (Yelp! Yelp!)


Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy – Kiss Me (Both Versions) For Stephen (who obviously would like too! X)










Peter Gabriel – Steam (US Promo 12″) For Steamy Stephen a member of Ivor The Engine Loco-Shed



Eurythmics – Love Is A Stranger ’91 (12″) For Stephen (his last request for now!)










Marc Almond – Ruby Red (Special Remix 12″) For Joe



Marc Almond – This House Is Haunted…… (Mini-LP) For Joe










Soft Cell – What! (12″) For Joe (Shimmy Shimmy)



Michael McDonald – All We Got (It’s Not Enough, Never Enough) (12″) For Retro Hound










Ranking Roger – So Excited (US 12″) For D. (Simply D and nothing else!)










Bananarama – Every Shade Of Blue (US Promo 12″) For Neil (who still has several requests left)



Technotronic – Get Up (Before The Night Is Over) (Remix) (12″) For Neil (who should be sporting loose fitting Day-Glo leggings over the Easter Weekend in Homage)












Republica – Ready To Go / Drop Dead Gorgeous (US Promo 12″) For Neil (Sorry about the wait on this)








Clan Of Xymox – The John Peel Sessions (CD LP)


I think Winx was appreciative of the Darker side of the 80’s I was turning to this week so I dug this out from the CD vault.

John Peel was a source of new music for me and many of my contemporaries of the time. It was really nice to hear the original session I’d actually taped off the show back in 1985 – how very stereo and polished on this 2001 CD release. Clan Of Xymox were completely new to me. The synths and samples still sound great, with Ronny Moorings giving it an “Electronic Cure” feel to it. European coolness abounds from the epic ally long “Stranger,” to the frantic Goth strum of early single “Muscoviet Mosquito.” The genre denying vocals of Anke Wolbert on “Seventh Time” I just love the rawness of the performances. “After The Call” is a personal favourite, a lump-in-the-throat song which takes off in the finale after all the Talk Talk atmospherics. “Agonised By Love” jitters along with a romantic edge with great bass playing.

Not your usual traditional Goth but alternative and electronic enough to make you seek out more….


Strange Fruit ‎– SFRSCD102peelclanfrontcov

1 Stranger 5:30
2 Muscoviet Mosquito 3:59
3 Seventh Time 4:45
4 After The Call 7:20
5 Agonised By Love 5:03
6 Mesmerised 6:16

Den Harrow – A Taste Of Love (12″)

Before we get all Gothed up ! (And please try to not laugh at the video!)

Italo-disco anybody ? This track is nice and synthy from Den Harrow but the real mastermind behind is the production duo of Turatti & Chieregato (Roberto Turatti and Michele Chieregato) Doing a bit of a Martin Rushent on the synth backing.

Den Harrow was a bit of a Nick Kamen character, fronted by model/actor/dancer Stefano Zandri the A -side is quite cheesy and unfortunately the B-side is a little bit crackly….a bit of shame 😦




CBS ‎– CBS A 12.4107tastefrontcov

A A Taste Of Love 7:16
B A Taste Of Scratch 6:21


Elvis Costello And The Attractions ‎– Man Out Of Time (12″)

The Profumo Affair put to music. From 1982 and the limited 12″ which has three cracking tracks from Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus and his band.

Released in 1982 and seemingly sandwiched into a completely different record. The 7″ Promo edit is already up here.


On to the two quirky B-sides. “Town Cryer” is a funky little number, speeded up from the original and was from the album, “Imperial Bedrooms” The title track starts off with a drum machine intro and those witty lyrics.


F-Beat ‎– XX 28 Tmanfrontcov

A1 Elvis Costello & The Attractions Man Out Of Time
B1 Elvis Costello & The Attractions Town Cryer (Alternate Version)
B2 Napoleon Dynamite & The Royal Guard Imperial Bedroom