[Music] merch David J – Rene Halkett – Nothing/Armour (20th Anniversary Re​-​issue)

Many years ago, my brother and I shared a book on Bauhaus that was probably put together by a fan of the band.  It had mentioned some rare curios like a 7-inch recording of band bassist David J collaborating with a member of the original Weimar Bauhaus movement in Germany, René Halkett, who had been residing in Cornwall, England in 1980.  David recording Halkett reading his own poetry and releasing it as a one-off.

Here are some more notes from David’s Bandcamp site:

While still a member of the pre-eminent gothic rock band Bauhaus, David J had the brilliant idea to collaborate with René Halkett, artist/poet of the Weimar Bauhaus art school in the 1920s.

On July 28th, 1980, David took a trip to René’s cottage in Cornwall. Using a portable cassette recorder, he recorded an 80 year old René reciting his own poetry. In 1981, David added musical accompaniment to two of the poems and released them as a one-off single for 4AD.

I stumbled across this valuable single at a record convention when I was 19 or so. I think I paid four bucks. My buddy has his turntable set up for ripping vinyl to his computer. Before heading over there, I figured I’d look on Soulseek to see if someone had beat me to it. I found the two tracks, plus three extras!

It turns out that in 2001 this single was re-released as a Silver Anniversary CD, signed and numbered, limited to only 1000 copies. The two original tracks, “Nothing” and “Armour,” are remastered and then followed by a newer track, presumably circa 2001. “The New God” is a longer narrative piece that was also recorded that day in 1980. In a fitting touch, David created the music with the help of a lute that he inherited from René when he passed away in 1983. As a final bonus, the original spoken word cassette recordings of “Nothing” and “Armour” are included. Although David’s surname appears here as Jay, for consistency’s sake I’ve tagged his name as David J, the name he’s used for all subsequent releases in his career.

René Halkett & David J – Nothing . Armour (1981)
1. René Halkett / David J – Nothing (2:22)
2. René Halkett / David J – Armour (2:50)
3. René Halkett / David J – The New God (13:23)
4. René Halkett – Nothing (2:26)
5. René Halkett – Armour (2:53)

credits

released January 1, 2011

Words by Renee Halkett
Music by David J
c&p 2001 Urbane Music
Photographed by Anton Corbijn
‘Nothing’ and ‘Armour’ recorded in 1980 and originally released on 4AD Records in 1981
‘The New God’ recorded in 2001, spoken word from the original recording by Rene Halkett 1980.
‘Nothing’ and ‘Armour’ (spoken word) recorded in 1980.

[Music] The Teardrop Explodes – Reward

Julian Cope popped into mind earlier today, and it got me thinking about how good his old band The Teardrop Explodes actually were.  Reward was their biggest hit, released in 1981.  It’s mind-blowing to think that this is nearly 40 years old now.

Lyrics
Bless my cotton socks, I’m in the news
The king sits on his face buttons all askew
All wrapped up the same (same)
All wrapped up the same (same)
They can’t have it
You can’t have it
I can’t have it too
Until I learn to accept my reward
Princes stand in queues they stand accused
Death in solitude like Howard Hughes
All wrapped up the same (same)
All wrapped up the same (same)
Silence has it
Arrogance has it
I can have it ooh
Until I learn to accept my reward
Suddenly it struck me very clear
Suddenly it struck me very clean
All wrapped up the same
All wrapped up the same
You can’t have it
I can’t have it too
Until I learn to accept my reward
Until I learn to accept my reward
Until I learn to accept my reward
Until I learn to accept my reward
Until I learn to accept my
I learn to accept my
I learn to accept my reward!

[Music] Steve Jansen & Claudio Chianura – Kinoapparatom


It’s hard to believe this release was recorded 20 years ago, as it has a healthy freshness to the material.  Former drummer of the new wave band Japan Steve Jansen collaborates with keyboardist Claudio Chianura and is ably supported by guitarist Roberto Zorzi and synth player Piero Chianura.  The work is a collaboration where the quartet improvise to the Dziga Vertov film Man With A Movie Camera [German: Kinoapparatom], a classic of Soviet filmmaking.

In places, it sounds similar to Industrial noise; in others, like a more playful version of Rock-In-Opposition.  It’s a solid release, though I wonder if there is live footage of this performance available.

[Music] Кино (Kino) – Ночь (Night)


Kino were the closest thing the Soviet Union had to a new wave band, and they were pretty damn good at it.  Co-led by singer and part-time actor Viktor Tsoi, his death in 1990 from a car accident ended the band’s career.

By the time this album had come out in 1985, the band were nearing their peak, selling two million units (though receiving hardly anything for their efforts). Amazingly, they also managed to sell around ten-thousand records in Southern California, both for the quality of the music and the novelty of being one of the first rock records ever released in the West by a Soviet band.