February 7, 2014
DAS on Bandcamp
Just issued on Bandcamp, DAS `X' (1984).
DAS was the precursor to Radio Massacre International, and over a seven year period in the 1980's recorded 12 albums of material, only one of which was ever released,until now !
Over the next year, we will be issuing these albums on Bandcamp at the rate of one a month (in addition to whatever RMI projects might also find their way there).
`X' is the first release (although it's the tenth album).
Here's a short overview of the `DAS' years:
Before Radio Massacre International, there was DAS. It effectively involved the same personnel alongside a few others here and there, as they dropped in at the hub of most of the activity, Duncan's bedroom/studio at 1 The Crescent, Marske by the Sea.
Within a month of leaving school at 16, we had found ourselves forming a band (Age Of Berlin) with Mark Spybey and Mark Sanderson, and most crucially, borrowing the college's synthesizer (a Roland SH1000, later nicknamed 'Tiny'). By Christmas 1979, Duncan had installed the synth in his studio and begun experimenting with sound on sound and echo techniques, and when I came round and recorded 'Departure' on the afternoon of 27th December 1979, DAS was born.
Come New Year's Eve, guitarist and new `Age Of Berlin' band mate Gary Houghton was invited around to mark the turning of the decade musically with a piece christened 'Into the Eighties', the second half of which was recorded on January 1st 1980. It is with great amusement and satisfaction that when invited to discuss the 70's aspects of our music that we are actually able to lay claim to being a 70's band....albeit with only a day or two to spare.
By our return to college, we had our first album in the bag. This was exciting stuff for a trio of 16 year olds, and by Easter we were already receiving offers from the outside world. The main stumbling block at this time was the lack of experience and resources to consider pressing an LP. 'DAS 1' did however enjoy a modicum of success as a cassette release on David Elliott's YHR label; the DIY post-punk ethic in full force. We also did things like sending it to the local radio station and then requesting them play it, something which paid off at least once.
With the bit between our teeth, term breaks would mean another round of creativity, aided by `Tiny’ and whatever other instruments we could cobble together. Jon Davis came on the scene and added a very individual dimension the proceedings and we continued to work with Gary whenever we could. DAS 2 & 3 were completed by early 1981, and incorporated guitar pieces alongside synthesizer explorations, reflecting a wider range of influences. It was all music to us.
By 1981, a small posse of visitors to the studio would find themselves (sometimes unwittingly) making an album, 'The Shuttle Album' was recorded in a day (give or take an overdub), and involved Duncan, Steve, Jon, Mark Spybey, and Jan Mitchell. Later that year, the experiment was repeated on the `Universal Mother’ session, this time with a line up of six, although how we all squeezed into the studio remains unclear.
At the same time in summer 1981, we were working on `The Ruth Album’ with Jon Davis; a collage of pieces, poems and even songs. Album `Seven’ involved Duncan and Jon alongside further collaborators, and is in many ways the furthest from any kind of cosmic associations we may have had, it even features a cover of the Stones' 19th Nervous Breakdown !
`Watercolours’ (1982) represented a further excursion into the collage approach, incorporating a varied set of solo pieces, collaborations and even extracts from live performances often in widely differing styles. These albums represent a diary of changing times and circumstances, people moving away from Teesside to universities, and work etc, but we always found time to come back to base and record music somehow.
April 1983, and with Gary back in the fold on the first half of the album, `Last Wednesday’ sees Duncan and Steve investigating the joys of the piano alongside the electronics, branching out into Duncan's Mum's music room when she wasn't looking.
The Easter project for 1984, and the tenth album, `X’ is perhaps the most indicative of the future direction Duncan and Steve would take. With a borrowed Pro-one in tow and once again upstairs in the bedroom studio, Duncan and Steve created a collection of sequencer based pieces including the centre-piece Good Friday, perhaps their proudest achievement.
By 1985 and album number 11, they are still getting the most out of the least equipment, but again it is by now easy to see clear connections with the work of RMI. The twelve album catalogue is neatly rounded off by the aptly titled 'Apart'. Steve's at college and Duncan is by now working on a well known TV soap in Liverpool. The pieces here are once again a blend of collaborations on weekend visits, and solo pieces. There are new toys evident here too; programmable rhythm machines are in particular evidence. The final piece 'Out' closes the history of DAS after some 7 years of activity.
The next time Duncan and Steve would collaborate it would be under the new name Radio Massacre International, and Gary would be back permanently this time.
The 12 releases here will give some indication of how that point was reached.
October 4, 2013
RMI's 20th anniversary, free download of historic first session at Northern Echo !
Well, like many men we almost forgot our anniversary....in fact if the truth be known we're day late...but keep it under your hat....Today we released three new Bandcamp albums to celebrate 20 years of active service as Radio Massacre International.
Chorlton 2013 / The Conspirators / It Was 20 Years Ago Today
'It was 20 years ago today' is the newly, painstakingly restored first RMI session of October 2nd 1993, and is yours to download for free. An hour of music, the starting point from which RMI began accumulating many more hours of recordings for your listening pleasure over the last 20 years. Raise a glass and head over to Bandcamp to hear where it all began. Those of you lucky enough to own a copy of 'Lost In Space' will have heard edits of these two pieces, but for the first time the unedited session can be heard in all it's glory, and it's had us scratching our heads wondering how these pieces came to be so brutally chopped. The editing technology of the time is largely to blame.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have also released a fully remixed, and much improved version of our most recent UK concert at Chorlton St Clements Church, and a wild card from the archives featuring Max Noble on guitar...Radio Maxacre International.
Full details and sleevenotes are available by following the above links, here's to the next 20 years.
Thanks for all your support, without whom etc etc....
Steve, Duncan and Gary
September 10, 2013
"The Clouds Of Titan" Available Next Week
Our new album, The Clouds Of Titan, will be available for purcahse next week. We wanted to make sure Cyndee, Jeff's wife, gets the first copy of the album before we put it up for sale (we're sure you understand).
August 13, 2013
RMI News Update
Firstly, we'd like to apologise for the delay in releasing 'Clouds Of Titan', and those awaiting orders of our latest albums. We think the manufacturer is on holiday. Updates when we have them.
In the meantime, we continue to establish our pitch at Bandcamp, with an exclusive and largely unreleased session from August 1996. We recorded three pieces, totalling 2 hours, which were hurriedly edited into a 20 minute composite piece for a long forgotten compilation CD for SMD music, and then shelved.
One aim of our presence on Bandcamp is to present complete, unedited studio sessions which shed new light on some of our older recordings. Many pieces from the early Northern Echo era were heavily edited, (often with good reason of course), from extended improvisation and have existed in much longer form, untouched for nearly 20 years, and to mark the first 20 years of Radio Massacre International, we'll be making available complete sessions for the first time. Some of these will feature familiar material in it's orginal context, others will be completely unreleased. Be assured our usual quality control standards will still apply, but if we like it, it goes out!
August 1, 2013
RMI hits BandCamp!
This summer sees us finally get to grips with Bandcamp as a further means of distributing our music. What we like about it is that you can download in any format you like, and that each time you download, the artist gets paid instantly!
Give it a try with our special hour long piece `Last Rainy Day Under Right Song', which you can have for the princley sum of £1.
We'll be using Bandcamp to publish lots of archive goodies and new things as the fancy takes us. Look out for the pre-radio massacre international DAS albums, unedited studio sessions, live performances, solo work and whatever else we think you might want to hear. It doesn't mean we'll be stopping releasing CD's any time soon, more like we see Bandcamp as a way of developing quite an interesting archive which will be available at any time to download.
Any requests ?
The Clouds Of Titan