March 19, 2015
“Colonna sonora perfetta della decadenza urbana, tra incubi distopici e sogni libertari, oggi come allora, i Bourbonese Qualk ci mostrano, da un passato mai dimenticato, lo spirito e le forme possibili della resistenza del futuro.”
Igloo Magazine (English)
“Bourbonese Qualk were as difficult as their name suggests: abrasive, uncompromising, highly conceptual and devoted to specific ideals. As one of the early original industrial bands from the UK emerging in the tumultuous wasteland of Thatcher’s England, BQ would influence many other bands to follow”
DJ Broadcast (Dutch)
““God With Us” which originates from their 1983 LP Laughing Afternoon and suggests fragments of their musical legacy has spread deep into the DNA of modern electronic music.”
September 24, 2014
It’s taken a while but, the first of a series of official re-releases of Bourbonese Qualk archive material comes out in a few weeks on the Berlin based Mannequin Label. ‘Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1986’ not surprisingly, is a compilation of tracks taken from the first five albums during the early Crab/Stanza/Gilbert period of 1983-86 and will be available as a Vinyl LP and CD.
Track listing is as follows:
Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1986
- 1. ‘Dream Decade’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP
- 2. ‘Born Left Hearted’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
- 3. ‘Pogrom ‘ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
- 4. ‘Soft City’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
5. ‘Headstop’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
- 6. ‘Gag’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
- 7. ‘Outcry’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
- 8. ‘Return To Order’ Originally released on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP 1986
- 9. ‘Confrontation’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
- 10. ‘In-flux’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
- 11. ‘Qualk Street’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’ LP
- 12. ‘Backlash’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
- 13. ‘Sweat it 0ut’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP New
- 14. ‘There is No Night’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
- 15. ‘God With Us’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’ LP
- 16. ‘Blood Orange Bargain Day’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’ LP
- 17. ‘Shutdown’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
- 18. ‘Invocation’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
- 19. ‘To Hell With The Consequences’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’
- 20. ‘Erector’ Originally released on the ‘Hope’ LP
- 21. ‘Black Madonna’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
- 22. ‘Suburb City’ Originally released on the ‘The Spike’ LP
- 23. ‘Workover’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP
- 24. ‘Deadbeat’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
- 25. ‘Insurrection’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
- 26. ‘This Is The Enemy’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP
The tracks were chosen by Alessandro at Mannequin to focus, I think, on the more electro-minimal, verging on ‘pop’ style. Not the choice I would have made! – I find my early, er, singing, too awkward and painful to listen to, but, it does seem to be what BQ have become ‘known for’ so who am I to argue?
You can get it here:
watch this space [ ] for more re-release news.
September 3, 2014
Ibrahim’s book on Muslimgauze ‘Chasing the Shadow of Bryn jones’ has been out for some time now but I thought I’d give it a little extra publicity boost. Not that anyone I know could afford to buy it – if you are really keen you can buy a whole box set of vinyl and book from VOD for 219,99 Euro. As I may have mentioned before, I don’t get this vinyl collecting thing (or collecting anything come to that) so such behaviour is beyond me.
I was asked to creatively direct the project after the project almost collapsed when the original designer suffered a near-fatal cycle accident and I suppose because I new Bryn well from the Recloose days – we released a number of his works and in effect launched his ‘career’; something for which he was eternally unthankful.
The book is a plush affair beautifully printed and laid out by designer Eric Kessel using original and rare material. ‘Chasing the SHadow’ goes into obsessive detail on the Muslimgauze subject – basically Bryn didn’t do anything but spend time in a local recording studio releasing record after record…which doesn’t make for exciting reading unless you are an MG devotee. I’m not totally convinced that his work deserves such lengthy scrutiny but it does hold together as a ‘total object’ and as such is a good testament to Bryn’s life and work.
August 3, 2012
Lol Coxhill (19 September 1932 – 10 July 2012)
The Recedents Live at the Red Rose, London Feb 6th 2007
In 1984 I attempted to release the first album by Lol Coxhill’s trio ‘The Recedents’* on our Recloose Organisation label. Unfortunately all of the global distributors absolutely point-blank refused to take the LP claiming that even by Recloose standards this was strong meat i.e. no one but the terminally obscure or criminally insane would think of buying such a product. So, to my eternal regret I shelved the project.
Read the rest of this entry »
March 1, 2012
So after a lengthy campaign of pestering, John Peel finally allowed us to record a session for his show in late 1986 (for the unaware; John Peel’s nightly BBC Radio programme was hugely influential to new music in the UK throughout the seventies and eighties) with the caveat that we weren’t to set foot in the BBC studios. John Walters, Peel’s producer somewhat haughtily claimed that we had such a bad reputation for anarchic trouble making, nicking stuff and smashing things up that we had to use our own equipment…which was a bit rich considering the long list of ruffians who HAD been allowed in.
November 25, 2010
Towards the end of this video I am being beaten with fish by a very tall Australian woman then lifted upside down by my feet and shaken so that all the coins in my pockets fall on the floor. The location is Clapham Junction railway station in London which at the time (1986?) was partly derelict – the occasion, a shoot for the Factory Records stars Durutti Column directed by DV8 Physical Theatre Company. Miles makes a ghostly appearance with trademark slouch at 2.46 sadly a surreal dance sequence he did was cut from the final edit.
March 30, 2010
From the Peasant’s Revolt to the Boston Tea Party, Taxation has historically been a defining issue in the struggle of people against imposed government. The poll tax riot of March 31 1990 was ‘the most serious public order disturbance for over a century’ and the culmination of months of anti-poll tax protests and riots in the north of England and Scotland (where the tax had been ‘tested’ on the strongly anti-Conservative Scots) .
June 3, 2009
DMA was a record label and music promotion organisation based in Bordeaux who were best known for the annual DMA2 ‘Divergences/Divisions’ music festival during the late eighties. This festival became one of the most respected ‘experimental with an industrial slant’ music event in Europe and featured such stars as as Legendary Pink Dots, Nocturnal Emissions, The Hafler Trio, laibach and of course, Bourbonese Qualk.
January 19, 2009
November 28, 2008
To Londoners, The old Kent rd has been for many years a byword for poverty; the cheapest, dismal brown coloured property on the monopoly board and in reality a grimy thoroughfare providing the boundary of two of the most neglected regions of London, Peckham and Bermondsey. Once the heartland of a solid white working class population the area was bombed close to complete destruction during the war and then rapidly rebuilt with monolithic high-rise housing estates which by the 1980s had begun to be abandoned and crumble.
In the cold winter of 1984 we – bourbonese qualk and crew – occupied the Ambulance station, an empty five story castle-like building on the Old Kent Road. Our ambition was to create a radical ‘cultural-political centre’ (though we would never have used that term) and a general base for our activities – performance space, recording studio and office for the Recloose organisation label – in the middle of this piece of un-picturesque South East London. After lengthy renovation (removing 1 meter deep layers of dead pigeons, replacing piping, windows and tiles on the vertiginous roof) The top two stories were converted into artists studios, the middle storey our living quarters. The first floor was taken up as meeting space for anarchist groups, a free cafe and offices for the local squatters organisation, ‘S.N.O.W’ (who housed more people in 1985 than the local council). The ground floor was changed into a large performance space and bar as well as a recording studio, sculpture studios and print workshops.
August 29, 2008
lots of Qualkology this week. This time an mp3 compilation put together by Uncle Spellbinder at Anomolous Mind – a kind of online label that issues unnofficial bootlegs, mashups and so-on (incuding, strangely, the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Who) . ‘Adventures In Forestry’ is the title they have given to their selection of early ‘classic qualk’ (not my description) of the 1983-1987 period.
“Bourbonese Qualk is by far one of the most under appreciated bands in my memory. One of the main reasons I created this comp of the early years was with the hopes that others would come to appreciate the wondrous sounds Bourbonese Qualk created over your all-to-short tenure” says kindly Uncle S.
download it here: ‘Adventures In Forestry’ bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987
August 28, 2008
Charming. Jorge Stretcher WAS at the above mentioned gig (Bourbonese Qualk at the Labirintho, Porto, Portugal in 1990) and made these recordings of the somewhat chaotic event:
May 11, 2008
Some time ago, well, many years ago, we (bourbonese qualk) were asked to provide some unique material to be broadcast on a French radio show by Tristan Koreya. We put together a collage of work in progress at the time (1989 ?). The result was a snapshot of half finished tracks linked together in typical qualk fashion i.e. semi-randomly. Some of the music made it onto various releases in a slightly more polished form, others didn’t, thank god. most of the music is Miles Miles and I (where was Owen?) with a focus on twangy guitar tunes and Arabic doodles – The quality is patchy and some of it over-indulgent, sketchy and in need of severe editing, some of it kind-of works – bear in mind, this was intended as a one-off never to be heard again broadcast. Tristan has posted MP3s of the show on His blog ‘nostalgie de la boue‘ which brings a snapshot of the time, and all the accompanying ghosts, back to life:
April 29, 2008
Finally, an MP3 version of Achwghâ ney wodei’s “Triptyque” album with the remaining postcard prints and back cover design – thanks to Paphio23 and Maarten for providing MP3 rips of their vinyl:
April 23, 2008
February 21, 2008
bourbonese qualk. RRV, Lisboa 08-12-1987
Some unreliable recollections and rough recordings of the gig we (bourbonese qualk) did at the Rock Rendezvous in Lisbon in the 80’s, (December 8th 1987 to be exact…my memory triggered by recent comments on this blog): At the time Portugal was undergoing a minor renaissance in new music – the Fascist dictatorship of the seventies had given way to a state of attrition between the traditional conservative catholic mainstream versus an ad-hoc collective of revolutionary groups, eccentrics and newly active youth. This polarization resulted in a profusion of new music groups such as (amongst many others) electronic experimentalists SPQR (who supported us at this gig), dark surrealists ‘Mão Morta’ and the cerebral pop of Pop De’ll Arte. Our gig was organized by the hyperactive João Peste of the Ama Romanta label – responsible of promoting much of the new Portuguese underground and hosted by Rock Rendezvous, the epicentre of live music in Lisbon at the time.
December 12, 2007
The intention of these series of posts is to document sounds that have remained in memory. Not sounds that are particularly pleasant or trigger ‘Proustian Resonance’ but unique sounds that once heard are never forgotten (therefore impossible to reproduce or record). If i get enough – and please add your own – i’ll organise them into a top ten ‘mnemaudio’ chart.
Miles was the first casualty, and, I always maintain, the inspiration for the violence that took place at the Trafalgar Square Anti-Poll Tax protest in 1989. During what was an admittedly tense but peaceful sit down protest in front of Downing Street, Miles charged at the Police brandishing a metal pole. He was immediately floored, struck on the head by a brick thrown from the police lines*. Seconds later the police panicked and sent mounted riot squads charging into the unarmed protesters, this event ignited a day of fierce fighting in the centre of London. For six hours the police held protesters in the square: The sound that fixed in my memory is the combined roar of bottles and bricks being thrown, burning buildings, screams, police sirens, helicopters, horses, whistles and ambulances which, after six hours, merged into one high pitched continuous distorted scream. This noise stayed with me for weeks, day and night -a kind of hysterical tinnitus.
*I dragged miles to an ambulance which took him to hospital. A few hours later he discharged himself, concussed, dripping blood from a head wound he returned to the battle pressing home his assault on the forces of ‘law and order’.
November 15, 2007
“The Herald of Free Enterprise sinks, Piper Alpha and Kings Cross burn. These temporarily grab the headlines that sell the newspapers that fund the next catastrophe. Elsewhere the scientists sell us failsafe mechanisms that snap, the artists cast over us the spell of beauty, the shopkeepers flog us shoddy goods. The Religious meekly offer up tolerance and all the time the politicians remind us we’ve never had it so good. Four screws instead of six for maximum profit, and the wing drops off. Lest we forget, we should try the war criminals of the future now.”Summer 1988.
“On Saturday the fourth of June 1988, as the sun set on the Bluecoat courtyard in central Liverpool there occurred an hour long incident. A monumental barrage of sound, light, image, daring, dance, fire, music, speech and performance. A spectacle based on the African Vimbuza ritual, designed to strengthen us all in the fight against those evil and negative spirits that have polluted the world sporting the brand names of Colonialism, Market Forces and Incentive, but all the time disguising the real sponsors: Greed and Negligence.”
…I’m sitting with Miles Miles on top of a high empty plinth outside St George’s Hall in the centre of Liverpool. A swarm of military vehicles followed by a troupe of Ghanaian dancers and manacled slaves slowly process around the ornate Victorian buildings. My friend Artmy Troitsky (Russian rock journalist, author of several books, one time boss of Playboy Russia and now head of MTV Russia) is standing, a little nervously, Nelson like on the top of a fifty metre high column declaring sections of ‘Das Kapital’ in Russian through a megaphone (the synbolism!). Bourbonese Qualk supply the soundtrack to the event -Miles and I are playing guitars lying flat on top of the plinth and manipulating the sound with some basic technology:
1. Take 1 old Mirage Sampler (The Bourbonese Qualk 8 bit standby of the day).
2. Sample random bits of live guitar…
3. Overload the basic sequencer function by pressing the ‘play’ button repeatedly in quick succession…
4. All going well the Mirage starts generating random granular type sequences based on live guitar samples.
‘Urban Vimbuza’ was a series of urban performances ( hate that word) in Liverpool during the late Eighties. The fact that they were in Liverpool (Liverpool was a long way away during the eighties) and that they were focussed on controversial and confrontational subjects meant they were ignored by the rest of the country -this was during the height of the Thatcher regime. Vimbuza scrutinised racism, capitalism, slavery, terrorism, violence, hypocrisy and threw it back in the face of an ever widening consumer society. The spectacle (i use the word knowingly) succeeded because it drew on genuine anger and spontaneity while remaining completely independent from political or artistic control. The events were co-ordinated by the ‘Stress Block’ a loose conglomeration of Liverpool musicians, artists and activists overseen by ‘Kif’ at his Bold Street apartment and studio – Kif’s other role was the policy maker and policy upholder, sound engineer and DJ for Bourbonese Qualk, more of him later…
Here’s a recording of ‘Rhythmic Stress’ from 1989:
October 23, 2007
Nenad Vujic sent me these MP3s of Het Zweet from the mid 1980s to further the cause of ongoing Het Zweet promotion (whether Marien likes it or not) :
‘Zweepslag 1+2’- released on the US based Industrial and Experimental tape label ‘Sound Of Pig’ run by Al Margolis (If Bwana) in 1984(?)
‘FASE’ was a cassette only release on the Netherlands ‘Staalplaat‘ label released, i guess, in 1984 (?).
October 18, 2007
Another chance discovery from my old tapes box (which i hadn’t bothered to look at for twenty years…) is this recording from Bryn Jones’ ‘Eg Oblique Graph’. These two tracks ‘Fall Into Glass’ and ‘Linked to Gaulist Conspiracy’ are from a cassette Bryn sent to me (as usual nicely presented with typographic printed and xeroxed designs – a contrast to the DIY ethic of the time) when i started the Recloose Organisation label around 1981. Shortly after this we released a 7″ 3 track EP ‘Triptich’ of similar material, and shortly after that he changed the bands name to ‘Muslimgauze’ (much to our horror). I think these tracks are some of the best work he ever did – very experimental, inventive and uncompromisingly electronic, to me his later work became too repetitive, formulaic and rather unimaginative.