Never Say When - 30 Years of Broken Flag
London. Friday May 4th – Sunday May 6th
The Dome, 178 Junction Road, Tufnell Park, N19 5QQ
Kleistwahr - Myth
Harbinger Sound. Harbinger 102. LP
Kleistwahr - Arsonicide
Harbinger Sound. Harbinger 103. LP
[unsure of pressing run for either of these releases]
With Broken Flag passing me by the first time around I’m always keen to hear whether the reissues add weight to the legendary label or whether they’re just the work of die hard fanboys.
But first a plug for the up coming Never Say When/Broken Flag weekend festival. I’ll be there for the last night and a line up that runs like this:
THE NEW BLOCKADERS
RAMLEH (rock set)
+ other TBC
Not bad eh? Hopefully this time I wont have to dodge any flying TNB debris. The other two nights are as equally beneficial and I urge you to check out the lineups and buy tickets using the above links.
Kleistwahr was Gary Mundy’s solo project. An attritional barrage of indecipherable angst and misanthropy that's now seen as classic Power Electronics.
Myth definitely sounds the more primitive work of the two [and there are big distinctions between them]. On Myth there are rapid oscillations that sound like someone rolling a control knob backwards and forward in an attempt to produce something disorientating. Its a murky sea of electronic squiggles and reverberating, moaned, unintelligible, barked lyrics that occasionally form walls of sound and occasionally collapse into equipment frotting.
I found Arsonicide’s more minimalist approach worked better than Myth’s all out blare and bluster. Here the vocals are much more prominent even though they’re still delivered in a muffled, threatening style [this on ‘III’ - all tracks on both releases are untitled] which when matched to single wobbling notes or slowly developing seas of static and hiss produce a much more balanced work. A much more controlled affair and one I find myself increasingly drawn back to.
Hearing these releases in their original early 80’s cassette state must have been quite an experience for the lucky few managing to find a way into that most underground of labels. Hearing them on glorious vinyl has more than made up for my loss.
Gary Mundy’s label continues to grow in stature with every passing year,. We still might be here when the 50th anniversary of Broken Flag rolls around..
See you in London.