Cut Deep 1989. CDCUT 1
I wasn’t going to post this for a while because I’m concentrating on vinyl rips at the moment, but “Forever” was very keen to get this, so always willing to oblige…
This is a career retrospective – not the sort of thing I usually go in for: as I recall I picked this up cheap. Between this, the Time Of Life 12″ and the Edward Not Edward compilation, this must cover most of what they released, which was one album and a handful of singles. I also have their debut, a flexi which came with Debris magazine, but that appears as the first track here. This is the end of the line for Dub Sex posts on vinyl301 I’m afraid – this is all I’ve got.
I can’t think of much to add to what I said about Time Of Life. Dub Sex were short lived and didn’t change their style much, so it’s more of the same. The standard of the material is really consistent; there’s not a duff track here, and as I said before, they deserved to be much bigger than they were. Swerve and Kicking The Corpse Around spring immediately to mind as highlights.
Scam 1989. SCAM005
Dub Sex were a Manchester band who were, I think, unjustly ignored. This is a fabulous, dark single, oozing with energy and anger. It’s like a cross between Wire and late period New Fads. I came across them on a flexi which came with an issue of the excellent Debris magazine, on the strength of which I bought a few bits and pieces by the band. I know nothing more about them, and there’s precious little on the net, but don’t let that put you off – this should have been huge.
Dub Sex have appeared on this blog before, on the rather fine Edward Not Edward compilation. There is of course nothing available to buy by the band.
Wooden Records 1989. WOOD 7
This is a remarkable album by any standards. On the face of it, it’s a tribute album to the maverick Manchester artist, Edward Barton, but there’s more to it than that. The usual tribute album is about a long established, legendary artist (like the Neil Young tribute I posted a few days ago), and the performers are either newer artists or unknowns, but this is the other way around. Many of the artists on this album were well established, at least in independent music circles, whereas Barton was little known. It also appeared on Barton’s own label, Wooden, and it appears, was compiled by him. The last odd element to this is how unlistenable Barton’s own performances of these songs were. He was at the time best known for a disturbing appearance on The Tube where he performed I’ve Got No Chicken, But I’ve Got Five Wooden Chairs solo, playing his acoustic guitar with a wooden spoon with a manic vocal delivery which generated a surprising number of complaints, despite the absence of anything obviously offensive.
However, as this album shows, Barton was much more than a novelty act. With his, er, difficult delivery removed and replaced by some of the best Manchester had to offer in 1989, his songs are revealed to be startlingly original, both musically and lyrically. Apart from Chapter and the Verse’s contribution which hasn’t aged well, there’s hardly a duff track here. Highlights are 808 State, whose inspired version of Sorry Dog features a couple of young kids on vocals and tells of a man’s feelings of guilt after he shits on the floor and blames the dog. The Ruthless Rap Assassins (more music from them at some point in the future) deal with the sorry tale of a car crash in Z Bend, also covered strangely poignantly by Ted Chippington. I’d been listening to this album for years before I realised that when A Guy Called Gerald said “pump the jack” in Barber Barber that he was talking about the barber’s chair, not some sort of dance move I was way too uncool to be aware of. As always, Gerald is excellent.
There’s a surprising amount of Edward Barton material available. His new (ish) album which is by far his most accessible to date and really worth a punt is available here. It’s obvious his early releases didn’t sell well, so you can buy them direct here. There are also a few free MP3s if you hunt around.