Chuck Warner at Messthetics is one of the good guys. He spends an inordinately large proportion of his life chasing down obscure Punk/DIY group’s from the late 70s/early 80s UK independent scene and dragging any available recordings into his Messthetics laboratory, where he lovingly fashions them into genre-defining compilation albums that become genuine historical artifacts themselves in the process. Following the rampant reception granted to 2006’s “Messthetics Greatest Hits” – including a full-page spread in The Guardian - Chuck has been beavering away at the test tubes/Bunsen burner once again assembling his UK Regional Series. Currently scheduled to run to 12-volumes (Messthetics 101-112), the series kicks off with a brace of London volumes:
Messthetics #101 - D.I.Y. 77-81 London I
101 covers the London & Home Counties scene from 1977-81. Highlights include Funboy Five’s stomp-a-long ode to freedom through obesity, “Compulsive Eater”, a ‘rough’ version of the genius Homosexuals anthemic “Technique Street”, Take It’s gloriously shambling “Armchairs”, Collective Horizontal’s Sarah Records inspiring “Beach Coma” & Existence possibly ground-breaking boy/girl collaboration, “I’m Glad”. The package is completed with a 16-page booklet rammed with sleeve scans, rare-photos, bonus MP3s & essays on each group by Chuck Warner:
Messthetics #102 D.I.Y. 78-81 London II
102 also covers the London & Home Counties scene, this time from 1978-81. Highlights include Metrophase’s abrasive “Cold Rebellion”, Dry Rib’s strident “Quail Seed”, Astronuats’ tiring “All Night Party”, London PX’s shadow casting “Orders” & Innerpropriates’ scuzzed up answer to the Tory canvasser at their front door, “Never”. The package is once again completed by the by now obligatory 16-page booklet stuffed with sleeve scans, rare photographs, bonus MP3s & essays on each group by your man, Chuck Warner!
Leaving London behind, the series moves North to embrace the Midlands, & trakMARX is proud to exclusively announce:
Messthetics #103: Midlands D.I.Y. 1977-81
103 covers the Midlands scene from 1977-81. Highlights include The Prefects swaggering “Things In General”, Swell Maps’ certifiably eccentric “Camouflage Attack”, The Cravats’ uber-classic “Gordon”, The Shapes’ super-hero-worrying “Batman In The Launderette”, School Meals’ staff-baiting “Headmaster” & Domestic Bliss’ previously unreleased anthem, “Domestic Bliss”, collectively making a watertight case for Leamington Spa being the creative centre of the known universe! The package will once again include a 16-page booklet pimped to the max with sleeve scans, unseen photographs, bonus MP3s & the ubiquitous Chuck Warner penned essays!
Messthetics Regional Series will continue in due course, with volumes in the pipeline from Wales, Scotland, Manchester/Liverpool/Lancashire, North-by-Northwest, the South Coast, the West Country & Essex/East Anglia.
Guy Debored – tMx 28 – 02/07
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