Bristol Archive Records Blog

Archive for September, 2010

Black Roots – Back In Business

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Black Roots

Nubian Records Presents

 

DECEMBER 10th 2010 at TRINITY HALL, BRISTOL

For the first time in 25 years the 80′s root reggae band

Black Roots

Live on tour

With special guest

Dalas, Tan Teddy

Jamaican Folk Culture Group

Tickets £15 + bf / More on the door

On stage 12 o’clock

18+

Trinity now operates a “Challenge 25″ policy. If you look under 25, please be prepared to show proof of age on entry

Bristol Ticket Shop 0870 44 44 4400

Genesis Records 0117 955 4992

Frontline Video 0117 955 4992

Rooted Records 0117 907 4372

Chemical Records 0117 971 4924

Check: www.nubianrecords.co.uk

 

 

News Flash

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Confirmation just received that moving forwards Bristol Archive Records will be sponsored / supported / marketed with the assitance of the team at The Colston Hall, Bristol.

The Colston Hall will also sell our releases at the box office and promote any gigs we wish to put on with reformed Bristol acts in the smaller hall above the old foyer to tie in with future releases.

The joint venture is incredibly exciting as it stands but could move in the future to a full partnership arrangement.

An official full press release will follow at the end of October.

Mike Darby
www.bristolarchiverecords.com

Live Review – The Pop Group – London Sept 2010

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Pop Group: still blazing a trail that makes rock look conservative

More than 30 years ago, the Pop Group ransacked free jazz, dub reggae, noise and funk. But I never imagined they’d still sound so vital in 2010

Photo of Mark STEWART and Gareth SAGER and POP GROUP Like Franz Kafka fronting Funkadelic … Gareth Sager and Mark Stewart perform at Alexandra Palace. Photograph: David Corio/RedfernsI saw the Pop Group just a couple of times back in the day, once in broad daylight at an outdoor festival in east London around about the summer of 1978. I’ve never forgotten that performance. It was the shock of the new writ large.

As far as I can remember, one member was wearing a skirt of some kind, another was sporting a Mohawk haircut. The lead singer sang though a kerchief and, later, though a megaphone. Every song seemed like a statement of wild intent, an unholy noise that merged funk, dub and avant-garde noise.

Back then, the Pop Group were almost too much to take in: pretentious, arrogant, noisy, chaotic, violent to the point of implosive. For me, they signalled the moment that punk mutated into something new and infinitely more ambitious, a chaotic merging of dub, funk, avant-garde noise with paranoid, often politically charged, lyrics. Their music spoke of a future free from the few already exhausted chords that rock’n'roll was built on.

I was reminded of all this on Saturday night at the Garage in north London, when the Pop Group, reformed with all but one of their original members, tore into We Are All Prostitutes, a song that sounds as tumultuous and deranged now as it did 30-odd years ago. I had gone to the gig with mixed feelings. When a beloved group reforms after years of silence, the heart sinks. What price memories if they are trampled on for nostalgic or economic reasons? The original Pop Group burned, and burnt out, in a few years. Now, 30 years on, older, portlier, unable to draw on the untramelled energy and optimism of youth, they were back. Would they still burn?

The answer, against all the odds, is yes. Nick Cave, once described the Pop Group’s music as “unholy, manic, violent, paranoid and painful”. To a great degree, that remains the case. They still sound like nothing before or since. And Gareth Sager still rushes on stage like a gleeful maniac and grabs whatever instrument is to hand – in this case, a keyboard – and unleashes a salvo of atonal noise to set things rolling. Then, a short silence broken by a familiar crash and what Cave once described as one “of the greatest ever openings of a song”; the bestial howl that begins We Are All Prostitutes.

The song rumbles and clatters along in its barely cohesive way, just about grounded by Bruce Smith’s extraordinary drumming and a taut bassline that shakes the floor. I was reminded immediately of Sager’s singular – and often overlooked – brilliance as a rhythmic lead guitarist of fierce intensity, a blur of movement chopping out dissonant shards of sound that punctuate the songs and undercut Mark Stewart’s anguished vocals. “Our children shall rise up against us,” Stewart chants, half-warning, half-hoping, still raging against those Babylonian forces of oppression.

How to describe the sound of the Pop Group? It is, more than anything else, a rhythmic noise, fractious and uneasy, dense and chaotic, but imbued with its own inner logic. It does not welcome you in, but instead provokes a reaction of some kind: fewer people leave the room tonight than used to. The vocals seem to emerge from another space than the music, a deeper, darker, even stranger, realm of the imagination. At times, it’s like Franz Kafka fronting Funkadelic; at others, like a madman with a megaphone ranting at the world over some strange collision of Ornette Coleman and Lee Perry.

Unsurprisingly, things often threaten to fall apart but the sheer propulsion of the rhythm section pulls it all back from the brink. It’s the exhilaration of watching a tightrope walker. The familiar thrust of We Are Time is as close as they get to a riff-based song but it careers off at warp factor 10 within seconds. The bass rumbles like an earthquake, one drumbeat echoes across another, dubbed-up, ghostly. Thief of Fire begins with an even more primal howl than We Are All Prostitutes, then stutters and judders along, frenetic, impatient.

Sonically, things can get strange when there is this much abrasiveness and distortion. You hear noises within noises: strange echoes, floating dismembered vocals, reverberations that seem to emerge from underneath your feet. And then there’s the lyrics. Mark Stewart has a post-Pop Group reputation as one of the great conspiracy theorists of the British music underground, but he is a singular songwriter all the same. She Is Beyond Good and Evil remains utterly unique, utterly spellbinding: an existential love song that posits a Nietzscheian worldview over a dub-funk maelstrom that perfectly echoes the lyric’s fraught articulation of all-consuming desire. Here, love is a unified front against a hostile and threatening world:

“Our only defence is together as an army/ I’ll hold you like a gun.”

No one has written lyrics this strange and startling since the Beats except maybe for the aforementioned Mr Cave when he was rooting though the southern swamplands with the Birthday Party. (An old Gareth Sager quote from 1978: “We are the beatniks of tomorrow”.)

Back in 1979, She Is Beyond Good and Evil, produced by British dub wizard, Dennis Bovell, sounded like the most extraordinarily adventurous pop single I had ever heard. On Saturday night, it blazed anew, the guitar much more upfront in the mix, altering the contours of the song altogether. Stewart told the rock writer Simon Reynolds that the song was “an attempt to mix up poetic, existentialist stuff with political yearnings”. It is all that and more, something truly beautiful and breathtaking in its formal risk-taking.

The Pop Group were young, fearless and full of themselves when I first encountered them, unafraid to be overambitious, even pretentious in order to express their impatience with pop music. They ransacked free jazz, dub reggae, noise, funk and the outer reaches of experimental rock and, for a few brief moments, before the conspiracy theories, the relentless politic ranting and the faux-tribal stylings took over, they blazed a trail that few, if any, have had the imagination or the bravado to follow. It was good to be reminded of how singular and beautifully abrasive the Pop Group could be, and how dreadfully conservative most rock music since sounds in comparison.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2010/sep/14/pop-group

News

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

  September Update Now Live At

www.bristolarchiverecords.com

New Release on CD and digital download:

                                                              VARIOUS ARTISTS

‘AVON CALLING 2’

Released worldwide on 14th September 2010

20 SUPERB TRACKS ALL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Buy now from www.bristolarchiverecords.com or HMV, AMAZON, PLAY.COM or any good Record Shop

 

In 1979, Bristols’ music scene was riding the crest of the new wave, spawning numerous bands and performers whose influences and indeed physical beings have gone on to feature in some of todays’ big music makers.

During this period local musician Simon Edwards decided to form Bristols’ first independent label, HeartbeatRecords, to capture all the excitement and get Bristols’ music out beyond the M32.

With so many bands to choose from the label set about releasing a series of 7” singles, and such was the demand realised by these that a compilation LP featuring fifteen of these bands was released. The album, topically titled AVON CALLING went on to achieve near legendary status – even hailed by John Peel as “truly superb, the compilation that all others should be judged by”.

Such was the interest in the album that the bands involved continued to supply the label with demo tapes, and the lucky ones went on to release more singles, even 12” EP’s and ultimately LP’s.  The sheer volume of demos and the eventual logistical constraints of “just how many records can one man put out in a year” meant that only a few would actually see further releases – though the content was in most cases nothing short of superb.

Label boss Edwards openly admits to continually returning to many of the songs purely to just listen and enjoy some “bloody good music”.  Long has it been his ambition to put together an album of these songs – for no other reason but to get them out there where they belong, so they can at last be heard by others and the bands once more be applauded for making such exciting and essential sounds.

Well, the dream has finally been realised and Bristol Archive Records have given him the platform to finally release AVON CALLING 2, a collection of previously unreleased recordings from the vaults of  Bristols’ Heartbeat Becords.  Featured bands include EUROPEANS, APARTMENT, SNEAK PREVIEW, JOE PUBLIC, 48 HOURS, ESSENTIAL BOP, THE DIRECTORS, THE X-CERTS and SOCIAL SECURITY.

This new album full of forgotten treasures will sit perfectly along side the original AVON CALLING release and go some way to completing the story of just what was happening in Bristol back in 1979/1980 and how the music sounds as relevant today as it did back then.

Tracklisting:

1          SOCIAL SECURITY   SELF CONFESSION                                       

2          EUROPEANS              THE ONLY ONE                                                        

3          APARTMENT             BROKEN GLASS                                           

4          PRIVATE DICKS        YOU GOT IT                                     

5          X – CERTS                  PEOPLE OF TODAY                                      

6          ESSENTIAL BOP        AUDITION ROOM                            

7          APARTMENT                         RETROSPECT                                                            

8          SNEAK PREVIEW      MR MAGOO                                                  

9          JOE PUBLIC               LETTERS IN MY DESK                                             

10        48 HOURS                  TRAIN TO BRIGHTON                                                

11        DIRECTORS               SHOWCASE                                                   

12        PRIVATE DICKS        WANT SOME FUN                            

13        SNEAK PREVIEW      I CANT GET OUT                                          

14        STEREO MODELS      MIDDLE OF NO WHERE                                          

15        THE PHONE               ANY TAKERS                                                

16        SEAN RYAN               SUICIDE MAN                                                                 

17        JOE PUBLIC               FASTER                                                         

18        TVI’S                           DANCER                                                        

19        DIRECTORS               EMPTY PROMISES                                        

20        UNKNOWN                YOU MIGHT AS WELL ENJOY YOURSELF                       

 

DIGITAL ONLY RELEASES THIS MONTH:

ARC 167              ANIMAL MAGIC

 

Originally released on Recreational Records in 1982

 

Recorded at Crescent Studios, Bath 11/12 April 1982

 

Engineered by Steve Street

 

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC 170              SHARON BENGAMIN

 

Originally released on Shoc Wave Records in 1980

 

Drums

Rhythm Guitar

Keyboards                           Joshua Moses

 

 Lead Guitar                         Larry Wilson

Sax                                        Nigel Wood

Bass                                      Gene Walsh

Percussion                            All

Vocals                                   Sharon Bengamin

 

Produced by Gene Walsh

Rereleased with the permission of Gene Walsh

 Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC 171              SHOES FOR INDUSTRY

 

Originally released in 1980 on Fried Egg Records

Recorded at Sound Conception Studios by Ken Wheeler

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC 172              SHOES FOR INDUSTRY

 

Originally released in 1979 on Fried Egg Records

Recorded at Sound Conception Studios by Ken Wheeler

Crystal Theatre presents Shoes For Industry

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC 173              BUGGS DURRANT

 

Originally released in 1983 on Shoc Wave Records

A Side Written by Errol Williams  and Produced by Gene Walsh

B Side Written by Richard Gibbons and Produced by Roger Lomas

Rereleased with the permission of Gene Walsh

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC 164               DAN RATCHETT

 

Originally released in 1989 on Freshblood Records

A Musi –Tek Production

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

 

ARC 165    MYSTERY SLANG

1.       I’m Mad At You ( J.L Hooker and L Gardez)

2.       The Golden Cross ( L Gardez)

3.       Seven In A Ditch (L Gardez)

Produced by Stephen Street 1989

Constructive Music . Tristan Music

All instruments played by Mystery –Slang and Stephen Street except:

David Catlin Birch              B/A

Simon Roberts                     Harmonica

Front cover photograph by Neil Davenport

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC166                HERB GARDEN

1.       Bulldozer Jones

2.       Red Van

3.       Convicted Man

4.       Sunburn

5.       Ice Cream Man

Dave      Bass

Rat         Guitar

Phil         Lead Guitar

Carl        Vocals

Ben         Drums

All songs written by Herb Garden 1989

Recorded at S.A.M Studios

Engineered by Sooty/Simon Frazer

Sleeve    Steve Taylor

Produced by Paul Jocelyn / Herb Garden

Photo     Simon Sherrin

Illustration            Nick Hamer 

Originally released on Vermin Vinyls

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

ARC 161   ANIMAL MAGIC

1.       Grip

2.       Go Funky-Doo-Lally

Howard, Mark, Mark, Gill, Rob with Jamie on percussion

All tracks written by Animal Magic 1982

Published by Recreational Music / A.T.V Music Ltd

Originally released on Recreational Records

This was originally a 4 Track 12” two tracks have been excluded due to problems with the transfer. They will appear as a seperate release in the future

Remastered by Steve Street April 2010

 

DEVAN ARC162                                RAGGAFUNKIN     

 Produced by Desi ‘T’, Le-Roy, & Oliver Jones for Wild Cherry Productions

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Coach House Studios Bristol

All songs written & composed by Desmond Taylor

Originally released on wild Cherry Records in 1994

DEHVAN              ARC 163               MYSTORY-I

Recorded at J&J Studios

Recording Engineer – James Barr

Mixed at Easy Street Studios

Mixing Engineer Antony Ric

Mastered at Loud Mastering

Published by Wild Cherry Productions Publishing

Originally released in 2000 on Wild Cherry Records

ARC 159  Stargazer   ALBUM               ‘Beyond The Skyline’

All of these tracks would have been recorded between 1978 – 1980.Gimme Direction and Tonight being the last of those recordings during that period (at about the same time as the St. Pauls’s riots).The significance being, that the tracks were recorded at Cave Studios, just off Portland Square, St. Pauls.The band were blissfully unaware of anything going on outside and that close to them

WHATS NEXT?

VARIOUS ARTISTS

The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983

Released worldwide on 21st February 2011 

14 SUPERB TRACKS, 11 NEVER RELEASED BEFORE IN A DIGITAL FORMAT 

CD, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD and VINYL

From Pop to Punk, the late seventies and early eighties saw a huge explosion in the number of local bands as more and more people thought they’d give it a go, new studios and independent labels weren’t far behind and Reggae wasn’t going to be left out of the musical mix.

If the majors were even aware of Bristol they showed minimal interest and it was left to the bands themselves and the handful of indie labels to document Bristol’s contribution to what was then a vibrant UK Reggae scene. Working on tight budgets and with no money for marketing campaigns local bands managed to release a small, but steady flow of vinyl, mostly pressed in tiny quantities and often sold direct to fans at gigs, these records, although cherished by those who own them, and sought by those in the know, have been largely ignored by the wider music industry.

Fortunately Bristol music has its own champion in the shape of Bristol Archive Records, a label with a mission to share our great musical heritage with the world, “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” is the first and only attempt to document the local Reggae scene from the late seventies until the early eighties. With the exception of the Black Roots tracks none of the recordings have ever been reissued and all were originally released before CD had been launched, so this is their debut in the digital format.

The music itself reflects the dominance of the Roots style in Bristol, even today Roots is by far the most popular type of Reggae in both the retail and live scenes locally, Black Roots live up to their name and show why they were the equal of any UK Reggae band in their day, Talisman, Restriction and 3D Production follow in their Roots footsteps, but a real highlight of this release is the inclusion of the ultra rare “Africa Is Our land” from Joshua Moses, a UK Roots classic. Bristol wasn’t all about Roots though and the other tracks follow a more mellow template, dealing with love and relationships, both Talisman and Joshua Moses show another side to their music and are joined by tracks from Buggs Durrant, The Radicals and Sharon Bengamin who’s “Mr. Guy” is a classic UK Lover’s track in the mould of Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Louisa Marks et al.

“The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” will be released as a fourteen track CD, but you can’t have a proper Reggae release without it being on vinyl so there will be a very limited vinyl pressing featuring an eight track selection and just to keep things local the sleeve art is a mid-eighties carnival shot from Bristol’s own Beezer, (www.beezerphotos.com), featuring a classic image of Jah Revelation sound-system.

This release will shine the spotlight on a long neglected corner of the UK Reggae scene and Bristol’s musical heritage, the same music that would help underpin Bristol’s musical dominance in the following decade.

( Sleeve notes and press release by Martin Langford)

 Thanks for reading, check us out at www.bristolarchiverecords.com

Bristol’s famous for many things like Chatterton the poet, Cary Grant and now the Archive can be added to fellow locals ‘Blackbeards the Pirates chest’, as a true treasure trove of wonders.

Bristol Boys make more noise…

Mark Stewart
( THE POP GROUP)

Mike and The Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bristol Reggae Explosion

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS

The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983

Released worldwide on 21st February 2011 

14 SUPERB TRACKS, 11 NEVER RELEASED BEFORE IN A DIGITAL FORMAT 

 

 From Pop to Punk, the late seventies and early eighties saw a huge explosion in the number of local bands as more and more people thought they’d give it a go, new studios and independent labels weren’t far behind and Reggae wasn’t going to be left out of the musical mix.

If the majors were even aware of Bristol they showed minimal interest and it was left to the bands themselves and the handful of indie labels to document Bristol’s contribution to what was then a vibrant UK Reggae scene. Working on tight budgets and with no money for marketing campaigns local bands managed to release a small, but steady flow of vinyl, mostly pressed in tiny quantities and often sold direct to fans at gigs, these records, although cherished by those who own them, and sought by those in the know, have been largely ignored by the wider music industry.

Fortunately Bristol music has its own champion in the shape of Bristol Archive Records, a label with a mission to share our great musical heritage with the world, “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” is the first and only attempt to document the local Reggae scene from the late seventies until the early eighties. With the exception of the Black Roots tracks none of the recordings have ever been reissued and all were originally released before CD had been launched, so this is their debut in the digital format.

The music itself reflects the dominance of the Roots style in Bristol, even today Roots is by far the most popular type of Reggae in both the retail and live scenes locally, Black Roots live up to their name and show why they were the equal of any UK Reggae band in their day, Talisman, Restriction and 3D Production follow in their Roots footsteps, but a real highlight of this release is the inclusion of the ultra rare “Africa Is Our land” from Joshua Moses, a UK Roots classic. Bristol wasn’t all about Roots though and the other tracks follow a more mellow template, dealing with love and relationships, both Talisman and Joshua Moses show another side to their music and are joined by tracks from Buggs Durrant, The Radicals and Sharon Bengamin who’s “Mr. Guy” is a classic UK Lover’s track in the mould of Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Louisa Marks et al.

“The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” will be released as a fourteen track CD, but you can’t have a proper Reggae release without it being on vinyl so there will be a very limited vinyl pressing featuring an eight track selection and just to keep things local the sleeve art is a mid-eighties carnival shot from Bristol’s own Beezer, (www.beezerphotos.com), featuring a classic image of Jah Revelation sound-system.

This release will shine the spotlight on a long neglected corner of the UK Reggae scene and Bristol’s musical heritage, the same music that would help underpin Bristol’s musical dominance in the following decade. 

( Sleeve notes and press release by Martin Langford)

 CAT NO: ARC191CD

FORMAT: CD plus digital download

WEBSITE:  www.bristolarchiverecords.com

PRESS CONTACT: Garry Hutchinson / SaN PR. garry.hutchinson@s-a-n.co.uk  - T / 01429280582.

 

Track listing:

01.   Black Roots : Bristol Rock  (Bunny Marrett) (Arranged by Black Roots) p Nubian Music 1981

02.   Joshua Moses : Africa (Is Our Land) (Joshua Moses 1978) p Copyright Control 1978

03.   Talisman : Run Come Girl – Live (Taylor / Talisman 1980) p Recreational Music 1981

04.   Restriction  : Four Point Plan (Restriction 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983

05.   Black Roots : Tribal War 12” Mix (Black Roots) p  Nubian Music 1981

06.   Restriction : Restriction (Restriction 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983

07.   Joshua Moses : Pretty Girl (Joshua Moses 1979) p Unitone Publishing 1979

08.   Talisman : Wicked Dem – Live ( Taylor / Talisman 1980) p Recreational Music 1981

09.   The Radicals : Nights Of Passion ( John Carley 1980) p Copyright Control 1980

10.   Sharon Bengamin : Mr Guy (Unknown 1980) p Unitone Publishing 1980

11.   Black Roots : Juvenile Delinqent (Black Roots) p Nubian Music

12.   Buggs Durrant : Baby Come Back(Home) (Errol Williams 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983

13.   3-D Production : Riot (John Carley 1980) p Third Kind Music 1980

14.   Talisman : Dole Age 12” Mix ( Joseph / Talisman 1981) p Recreational Music 1981

Tracks 1, 5, 11 originally released on Nubian Records

Track 2 originally released on More Cut Records

Track 3 and 8 previously unreleased Live Recordings

Track 4 and 6 originally released on Restriction Records 1983

Track 7, 10 and 12 originally released on Shoc Wave Records 1979, 1980 and 1983

Track 9 originally released on The Bristol Recorder 2 1980

Track 13 originally released on Third Kind Records 1980

Track 14 originally released on Recreational Records 1981

Track 1, 5 and 11 Engineered by UK Scientist, Recorded at The Facility, Produced by UK Scientist and Black Roots

Track 2 Engineered by Dennis Bovell, Recorded at Gooseberry Studios London, Produced by Dennis Bovell

Track 3 Recorded Live at Glastonbury Festival

Track 4 and 6 Engineered and Mixed by The Mad Professor, Recorded at Ariwa Sound Studios London, Produced by Restriction

Track 7, 10 and 12 Produced by Gene Walsh, Recording location unknown

Track 8 Recorded Live at Bath University

Track 9 Engineered and Produced by David Lord at Crescent Studios Bath

Track 13 Recording location unknown, Arranged and Produced by Ron Green

Track 14 Engineered by David Lord at Crescent Studios Bath, Mixed by UK Scientist, Produced by Talisman and UK Scientist

All tracks re-mastered by Steve Street, July 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avon Calling 2 – Record Collector Album Review Oct 2010

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

 

AVON CALLING 2 – Record Collector Album Review

3/5

The legacy of Bristol’s Indie bands is in safe hands.

In subtitling this follow-up to the 1978 Avon Calling compilation, documenting a multitude of hopeful Bristol indie bands, Forgotten Gems and Unknown Curios, its archivist Simon Edwards (who put out the original LP on his Heartbeat imprint all those years back), is acknowledging both this collection’s distilled essence of musical ambition and that, while none of these acts have transcended their regional scene, some have totally vanished without trace. What got left behind was a veritable treasure trove of cassette tapes that Edwards has horded and loved ever since.

We don’t care that these bands never got to the Colston Hall, let alone Carnegie: what we like is the notion that someone out there is hearing themselves and their aspirations and dreams for the first time for 30 years due to this diligent tending of the flame. What that must feel like!

As you’d anticipate, there’s a certain amount of raw enthusiasm over genuine talent embedded in these C60 demos, but there’s also some perky three-minute pop recorded for posterity. Were you a member of Sneak Preview, The Phone, Social Security (what a shame Self Confession is so grainy), Directors or Europeans? You did good!

(Ian Abrahams)

Album Review – Avon Calling 2

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

 

‘Avon Calling 2’ – Review in Venue this week

This raid on the vaults of Heartbeat Records captures no-budget Bristol in the fertile years 1978-1980. It’s pretty diverse. Social Security’s ‘Self Confession’ is a minor snot classic celebrating the rock ‘n’dole lifestyle, while Essential Bop’s busily psychedelic ‘Audition Room’ sounds like a Doors album track played at 45 rpm. Sneak Preview’s offerings are wonderfully deranged: ‘Mr Magoo’ meets Andre Breton’s ghost in an afterlife of freak-out organs; ‘I Can’t Get Out’ confronts a predatory transvestite in a fog of dub. Both are surprisingly catchy. Equally fine are the two Apartment tracks-the slasher atmospherics of ‘Broken Glass’ and hurtling panic of ‘Retrospect’. They’re the post-punk heroes you’ve (probably) never heard of. This is alternative history, from which the mysterious Sean Ryan emerges as the Gary Numan that never was.

It’s  highly recommended to anyone interested in the early years of the UK underground.

(Adam Burrows) 4/5

The album is released on September 13th and can be pre ordered now at Amazon, HMV, Play or buy directly from www.bristolarchiverecords.com