Wild Planet

Wild Planet Revisited

One of the most extraordinary and in-depth pieces of music journalism, the “Wild Planet” series of articles was written by Dave Henderson and published in the UK weekly music newspaper “Sounds” in May 1983 and periodically for the next 2 years.

Charting in great detail the rise of an independent sector (it was much wider than a ‘movement’) of d-i-y experimental and avant garde music and sound sculpture, the series had a worldwide perspective, and opened many people’s eyes to the vast array of sound artists that were beavering away in their own backyards without any media coverage. I can honestly say it was probably the major influence on the creation of the Encyclopaedia Electronica archive.

As such, I hold this work in great regard, and thought it would be interesting to try and revisit those artists’ work and careers now, some 36 years on, utilising the resources of the archive and the wider internet. Hence the Wild Planet “Revisited”…

I’ll be posting the original articles, page by page, and then taking a more in-depth look at each in the intervening years.

 

Wild Planet P1-0170

 

 

Wild Planet Revisited – Bain Total

Bain Total

Philippe Fichot of the French industrial/electronic band Die Form runs the label Bain Total, which is still active after 38 years, with some 67 releases over the years.

The first Bain Total release was the joint Die Form/Eva Johanna Reichstag single “Zoophilic Lolita” in 1977.

 

 

The latest Bain Total release is the Die Form/Musique Concrète album “Cinema Obscura” in 2015.

 

 

More info on Die Form can be found here: http://www.dieform.net/

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Attrition

Wild Planet P1-11 Wild Planet P1-12

Attrition are one of the groups featured in ‘Wild Planet’ that need little introduction. Active from 1980 to this very day, Martin Bowes, as the ever-present member & founder of Attrition, has built up a substantial canon of work, and now actively produces and masters others’ work at his studio, The Cage.

Attrition’s back catalogue can be accessed extensively at their Bandcamp page: https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/

Rather than trying to encapsulate a 36 year history here, here are some items from the archive.

This is the earliest entry in the archive from 1981.

Attrition 1981

 

Attrition gatecrash the “Sounds Obscurist” chart – straight in at Number Three! (Early 1982)

Attrition Sounds 30.01.82

 

Attrition pre-empt the 1980s cassette-driven computer game age by releasing a cassette that soundtracks a board game! (Early 1983)

Attrition Sounds 29.01.83

 

 

A small feature from Sounds, January 1986

Attrition Sounds 18.01.86

 

Attrition were actively supporting animal rights and PETA, this track appears on a benefit album

 

Another press feature, this time from 1992:

Attrition Spiral Scratch 20.02.92

Attrition have always gigged sporadically, here’s a flyer for the Pushing Against The Wire Festival in Northampton, 1992

Attrition Pushing Against The Wire Festival December 1992

 

Yet another feature, this time in Rock Sound Magazine, in 2000:

Attrition Rock Sound 06.00

Attrition continue to release material on a regular basis, most recent major release was their take on the horrors of World War One: Millions of Mouthless Dead (2015)

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Art of Noises, The

Wild Planet P1-10

Ok, a whole art movement to cover in a blog…I don’t think so. I’m sure there are endless texts on the internet about the Futurists and the Art of Noises, and I couldn’t do it justice. So, let’s see what the archive has that might be of interest…

Dada NME 05.01.80

The earliest piece is this from the NME 5th January 1980, clipped from Andy Gill’s “The Concise NME Guide to Electronic Music & Synthesised Sound” which ran across two weeks.

In 1985, a compilation LP called “Dada For Now” on Liverpool’s Ark Records generated a bit of interest in the music press, the most in-depth being this piece in the NME, 27th July 1985…

Dada NME 27.07.85-1 Dada NME 27.07.85-2

 

To finish, here’s a piece by Luigi Russoli, from 1924:

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Area Condizionata

Wild Planet P1-09

Not a group or artist this time, but a tape/magazine label run by Vittore Baroni, the Italian cultural activist, mail artist and music critic, who in 1979 founded the first mail art assembling publication/artist’s magazine in Italy Arte Postale! and was among the first to write about industrial music and the new experimental frontiers. Area Condizionata released 3 compilation cassettes in 1983: “Italiano Industriale”, “The Voice / La Voce” and “Videogames For The Blind”. Vittore then moved on to other projects.

Here’s a selection from the 3 volumes:

 

 

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Anode

Wild Planet P1-08

Well, that wasn’t much to go on in pre-internet days, was it? Needless to say, I’d never heard Anode before I started searching t’internet. Turns out Anode, or Anode Productions, is the work of a chap called Robert Carlberg, who was born in Seattle, Washington in 1954. He has been actively creating soundscapes since 1972, releasing his first recording “Early Tapeworm” in 1975. He has recorded musique concréte, minimalism, tape music, phonography, drones, manipulations and other non-keyboard-based electronics. He has also produced recordings for other artists, created soundscapes for film, theatre and musical composition, documented rare environments, provided audio backdrops for trade shows and conventions, and amassed a large library of audio-vérité recordings. On top of that, he founded the Synex newsletter for electronic musicians and wrote a monthly column for Electronic Musician Magazine between 1979 and 1989. Robert became acquainted with many other DIY electronic musicians worldwide, in what eventually became known as “Cassette Culture.”

Robert Carlberg

Robert has released over 50 albums of material, including the “Urban Soundscape” series, which he describes: “My Anode Urban Soundscape Series (AUSS) is a series of CDRs documenting particularly-interesting environments. Unlike other “natural sound” releases which seek to record environments free of mankind – or through editing, create such an environment artificially – my series dismisses the view that all human activity is “noise pollution.” We live, most of us, in human society and the natural sounds around all of us include our fellow pink apes. The sonically-rich environments presented therein will yield to careful attention, but they also can be placed in the background for reading, sleeping, or simply experiencing the ambience of a different time & place. My ultimate hope is to build up a library of such urban soundscapes, allowing one to go “around the world in 80 minutes.” They also explore the idea that we don’t have to travel to exotic locales or witness unusual events to find something worthy of our attention. ”

Robert has a series of recordings on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/anode-1

This is the only YouTube recording I could find of his work: one side of his “Anode” cassette release from 1979.

Downtime is described as: “An homage to the utility of occasional discontent.”
Recorded and mixed March 1979 at Anode Studios and the Palace of Lights, Seattle.

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Anima

Wild Planet P1-07

Anima, which began life as Anima-Sound, were a wife-husband duo of Limpe Fuchs (1936-) and Paul Fuchs (1941-) with support from Freidrich Gulda and Johan Anton Rettenbacher. Part of the burgeoning West German experimental scene which appeared in the late 1960s, their work lay in the area of improvisation and free jazz. They particularly focused on the creation of their own instruments,  from wood, metal and stone, such as the Fuchshorn, Fuchszither and Fuchsbass.

Their use of found sound percussion can seen to be a precursor to some of the sounds Einstuerzende Neubauten were creating a decade later.

Anima disbanded in 1989, but Limpe Fuchs has continued to work as a solo artist as well as with famous musicians such as Theo Jorgensmann and Albert Mangeldorff. Here she is in solo performance in 2010.

 

In 2015 the Berlin label Play Loud! Productions published the entire catalogue of Anima-Sound, Anima and Limpe Fuchs’ solo work in the form of the “Limpe Fuchs archive”.

http://www.playloud.org/limpefuchs.html

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Amok

Wild Planet P1-06

Amok was one of the pseudonyms used by Enrico Piva, a prolific soundscape artist from Rezzato, Brescia Italy, and under this moniker was active between 1981 and 1985 during which time 6 cassette albums were released. This piece is from the last of these.

Enrico also recorded under the pseudonyms of Edo, Fehlera, L’Oeil a Paris, Locus Solus, M. Antipyrine, Ready-Made, Unit 06 and Sokol Movement, releasing no less than 7 cassette albums by these ‘groups’ in 1981 alone.

Continuing to record and release under his own name, Enrico released a further 6 cassette albums between 1987 and 1990. This is from 1987.

Enrico appears to have gone silent after 1990. Discogs records that Enrico died in 2002, aged just 46.

Enrico Piva

 

More can be found out about Enrico Piva here:

http://stahlfabrik.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/enrico-piva-late-november-dream-egk-egk.html

http://www.discogs.com/artist/125136-Enrico-Piva

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – AMM

Wild Planet P1-05

Trying to cover the expanse of this freeform experimental group would be a daunting task for a whole website, let alone one paragraph! Even to try and do justice to AMM here would be impossible, so best read their Wikipedia entry for the full story. Surely one of the longest surviving groups, starting in 1965, and still releasing albums as recently as 2014. AMM were probably an influence on the more experimental and abstract end of the electronic genre, such as Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, and they cross paths on the United Dairies compilation LP mentioned in the paragraph above.

The earliest mention in the archive is this review from 1980, when they were already on their third incarnation.

IMG_20150807_0001

 

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

Wild Planet Revisited – Johnny Alien

Wild Planet P1-04

Yet another very obscure artist, recording only one known track, that I haven’t been able to track down. Nigel Ayers confirms on his website that he is an old friend who now lives in the USA and performs as ‘Big Bad Bollocks’.

This biography appears on Discogs:

“Johnny Alien began his discography with a release for Sterile Records in the early eighties, with an inclusion on the compilation Standard Response. The track was called ‘Without Measurable Damage’, production was assisted by Chris Vine – an experimental guitarist who has worked with New York avante jazz impressario Elliot Sharp. Since this brief dalliance with experimental electronica Alien went on to form, what was initially, a folk-punk duo with Patrick Owens of Detroit. This project soon grew into a seven piece Folk-Punk Orchestra which in turn revolved into a four piece ‘Electric-Acoustic, Folk-Punk, Rock Band’…this is Alien’s current performing status. Though more and more he is performing solo with a spoken word/squeezebox show he calls ‘Gobsmacked’ mostly in his adopted Massachusetts. He’s originally from northern England where he grew up a close friend of Nigel Ayers of ‘Nocturnal Emissions’. His show ‘Gobsmacked’ is a rant about those wet, cold years up north and his obsession with Americana…From cowboys and indians (this can be observed from his paintings featured on the cover of Ayers and Storey’s ‘The World Turned Gingham’) through American realism in painting to Andy Warhol and Martin Scorsese. Alien is a hopeless romantic who lives pretty much in some invented past which he prefers to his reality. At his performances it is clear that there are others who feel the same way. He works a crowd like a seasoned carnival barker – amusing, challenging and entertaining…and quite funny! He is currently working on a book which will compliment his live solo shows, tracing and formulating life and pop-culture as an ongoing formula for who he is and in turn who some other people might be. He’s interested in pop-culture’s folkloric imprint on our lives. More than anything he’d like to own a pub in Cornwall and be able to sit around and reminisce with his old mate Nigel and his family who he misses very much.”

As well as being part of Big Bad Bollocks, Johnny Alien, aka John Allen, recorded with the Dropkick Murphys and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

 

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]