Saturday, 31 October 2015



we meet between
the Time Towers
on nodes of the
worm cycle

speak erotic blasphemy while
terrorists and lovers
speak only confusion

to you, I’m
Danny Darkness,
to me, your
raster eyes

we trip a storm
of crimson wings
noisy with birdsong
to a vaporising city
where altitude beams
pulse in resonating

then dematerialize
through places that shine
until we grow weightless
to observe sunspots
and solar flares

lights drift like
tethered nebulae here
and mournful hyenas
eat the faces from
sleeping men

I ride the time worm cycle
from enrichment to nullity,
as this Danny Darkness hunts
the riddles of your face

I’m woken by air-attack banshees,
by the ripple of pterodactyls,
by a male voice choir, and
sometimes by the homely
assonance of steam train
whistles that drift up
from Cairo’s main
rail terminal

we met between
the Time Towers
across nodes of
the worm cycle when
worlds drifted through
spatial zones of temporal
non-causality, energising
bounces across ages from
Earth’s slow end lit by
red uncertain sunlight

then back here, to
Cretaceous beaches

and us
time-crossed lovers
raving at strange

Published in:
‘STOP GAP!’ edit Pete Presford (Spring/Jan 1997 – UK)
‘HANDSHAKE/ Dunnock Press no.25’ (July 1997 – UK)
‘FOCUS no.32 (Nov/Dec)’ (February 1998 – UK)
and in the collection:
‘EUROSHIMA MON AMOUR’ Hilltop Press (UK-Oct 2000)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015



 Andrew Darlington takes a strange trip through the 
late-1960’s English ‘Underground’ Scene,  via the band 
that was ‘almost like its news-sheet’ 
 – The Edgar Broughton Band – 

“nineteen-hundred and sixty-eight 
the year that you gave us a break…” 
      (“Double Agent” on ‘In Side Out’) 

Think about this. What bullets are to war, ideas are to revolution. In the battlefield of insurrection opposing factions compete to control concepts that are the keys to support. And in revolutionary situations they are everywhere. In slogans chanted by street-mobs. In agitational rhetoric from would-be leaders. In manifestos and posters, banners, and graffiti sprayed on walls. They are also encrypted into the secret codes of songs... but of course, the late 1960’s counter-culture battles are seldom fought near the barricades. They happen in the area of what William Burroughs calls ‘the Grey Room’ – the mind, where the propaganda value of ideas is even more important.

And the ‘Underground’ makes it up as it develops. Extemporises it. It is happening for the first time. There have been Anarchists and Romantic Poet Revolutionaries, Jazz Be-Boppers and Beat Generation Bohemians, but nothing on this scale. Nothing quite like this – ever, before. What comes next? Nuclear Armageddon? World revolution? The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius? No-one knows. Everything changes. And everything stays the same.

You’ve thought about that? Right – now forget it. Some had reservations about Robert Edgar Broughton from the start. To them the British underground – to which his band was ‘almost like a news-sheet’, is an odd, idiosyncratic hybrid. An anarchic and irreverent fraternity, looking to America for its models, channelled through hazy dope-clouds of ill-disguised and badly misunderstood New Left slogans looted from brief perusals of the ‘Fontana Modern Masters’. Most of it just so much Idiot Wind, raw material for the great vinyl auto-muncher of ephemeral mass consumption. America has the Vietnam Draft, the anti-Segregation struggles, Bob Dylan, Abbie Hoffman, Timothy Leary, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane. England has ‘It (International Times)’, The Pink Fairies, ‘OZ’, LSD, Richard Neville’s ‘Play-Power’... and the Edgar Broughton Band.

Step One: the ideal prerequisite for an ‘Underground band’ is obscurity, which – largely, the Broughton’s achieve. Mick Farren’s (Social) Deviants are more obscure, and hence – by definition, more valid. Lucifer, with its few dilettante-porn singles obtainable in plain brown wrapper through your mail-box succeed in remaining obscure to a degree beyond even their own wildest mouth-watering anticipations. But largely, around the turn of the decade – 1960’s into 1970’s, the Edgar Broughton Band get to become a serviceable street-corner pass-word with which to impress the standard dumb straights.

Of course, all this hard-won oblivion – even when supported by John Peel’s ‘Top Gear’ Radio One slot, could so easily have been destroyed by commercial success. But mercifully that never happens. Their first single doesn’t catch fire. So their integrity/ reputation remains intact. Both sides – “It’s Evil” c/w “Death Of An Electric Citizen” (Harvest HAR 5001) are later featured on a conveniently historic retrospective ‘A Bunch Of Forty-Fives’ (Harvest HAR 2001), charting the dubious progress of their most visible years. Even if – at the time of its original release the single, opening with peals of manic laughter, is reviewed as ‘an unbelievable cacophony of psychedelic noises, reverberating twangs and berserk vocals’ (by ‘NME’, who obviously don’t get it).

But the single does form a useful trailer for their first album – ‘Wasa Wasa’ (1969, Harvest SHVL757), an archetypal electric-Blues set featuring stand-outs “Crying” and the ‘transparently cynical’ “American Boy Soldier”. “Love In The Rain” uses lascivious Hendrix changes (‘…tell your Mother, I’m no fussy Lover...’) ‘YOU LIKE IT? SO DO I... I’M COMING, I’M COMING, I’M COMING – I’M NEARLY THERE.... THAT WAS SO GOOD…!!!!’ fading out in lustily post-orgasmic panting. And the heavy guitar figures of “Why Can’t Somebody Love Me”, plus both sides of the single – of which ‘Electric Citizen’ had begun as a track spontaneously recorded the year previous in just fifteen minutes at EMI’s No.2 studio. It is clearly a formative album utilising the classic Cream/ Hendrix bass-lead-drums power-trio line-up, with much of its potential yet to be realised. While the sleeve features the protagonists moodily clustered about a candle. Faces, suitably solemn, half-eclipsed by its light, emerging from its Twilight Zone…

At the time Edgar is busily engaged in telling ‘Zig-Zag’ magazine (itself a former fanzine, grown out of the ‘counter-culture’ community) that ‘we are the product of the people, a mirror of the people.’ Prophetically so. For this is the real – and only way, that all that potential will be achieved. They are a working band. Recently down from gentle historic Warwick where they were managed by the Broughton’s mother. Beginnings are easy. Encounters that unhinge separate lives into a shared ratio. Two brothers bedazzled by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates on ITV’s Saturday evening ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’. Watching Hank B. Marvin, the Stones and the two Kink brothers on ‘Top Of The Pops’. Impressionably idealistic, listening in awe to vinyl editions of Dylan’s incendiary political rage. We could do that. We could combine those elements, and change the world with a handful of riffs, and if we score some Hippiechick nubiles and some High Times along the way, so much the better! From there it’s deceptively easy, falling weightless into the heat of a social furnace that will buckle identities and fates into new shapes. Events in pinpricks on the time-map.

But by this time they’ve been taken up by Blackhill Enterprises, and they’re turning up at Festivals and Benefits playing in the rain off the back of pick-up trucks for free. On stage they are evolving Canned Heat’s “On The Road” riff, into “Greyday” – a song about a businessman who gets killed. But more importantly they’ve also begun doing “Out Demons Out”, the chant that will become not only the ‘A’-side of their second single (c/w “Freedom” Harvest HAR 5015, March 1970), but also the first of their only two bona fide chart records. The band’s anthem, and its occasional albatross.

Their exhaustive rendition of the repetitive chant incites a frenzy when they do it as part of their set at the high-profile Blind Faith Free Concert at Hyde Park. While the single – which hovers between 40 and 50 on the list (aspiring to a high of no.39 on 2nd May), had begun life as the ‘Exorcising The Evil Spirits From The Pentagon’ invocation recorded live-on-the-streets by the Fugs for their ‘Tenderness Junction’ album. Something possessed (pun!) Broughton to commit it to wax, replacing the Fugs’ documentary-authenticity with a Heavy Rock backbeat – a dubious trade-off, resulting in a chanta-longa-Broughton incarnation more ‘Dennis Wheatley Armies of Hammer Horror’ than the Fugs ‘Norman Mailer Armies Of The Night’ subversive act of insurrectionary Street Theatre. And – like that never-to-be-repeated epic of Woodstock, the ritual gets spontaneously reborn at a thousand subsequent gigs up and down Europe in all its chanted monotony and subject to the same laws of decreasing returns as said Festival.

But pause for a moment here. By 09:00 on the morning of Saturday 7th June 1969 there’s an estimated 7,000 psychedelic gypsies here in Hyde Park, clustered in and around a natural amphitheatre called the Cockpit. Many bedraggled freaks have already spent a long and uncomfortable night on this dew-chill grass. Then The Third Ear Band’s hypnotic mantra-drone eerily opens up events at around half-past-two. And by now they’re talking about something like 150,000-strong of us squatting in the dirt.

And the Broughton’s, doing a clutch of electronic howl-and-fart numbers, are stalking stage-boards aggressive and lethally raucous. This is a band consisting of Edgar (born 24 October 1947 in Warwick) on vicious mouth-noises and guitar, brother Steve (20 May 1950) on heavily mortgaged drum-kit, and Arthur ‘Art’ Grant (14 May 1950) pulsing search-and-destroy basslines. Edgar is always the visual art-object, his pseudo-romantic bohemian overkill charisma derived somewhere between committed Ian Anderson and media-radical Red Danny Cohn-Bendit. He looks good, down from the Midlands Working-Class Industrially silted wastes (only the A429 separates Warwick from Coventry). A visually right symbol. Audially, it’s not always quite so satisfying. But what the hell? Joints are ritually ignited. Street-sellers are bartering wonderfully Art Nouveau copies of printed ephemera, ‘UFO’ posters, ‘Frendz’, spirit-duplicated poems. A nude girl idiot-dances to Ritchie Havens. Donovan and Blind Faith (featuring both Stevie Winwood and Eric Clapton) follow as the sun filters down through the trees... it’s an event. A Renaissance Fair. A peak experience.

How to capitalise on that collective buzz? Well – why not subvert the antique hypocrisies of the 1970 General Election by issuing a cut dedicating its ‘we’re all dropping out’ raspberry to ‘all of you in Whitehall’? And the result is an act of Benny Hill politics. Naughty fun timed to tie in with – and as a comment on the tired facade of democracy, while also featuring the David Bedford Orchestra and Chorus. Listening to “Up Yours” (Harvest HAR 5021) now, it seems a vaguely amusing absurdist tribal sing-along – but then, of course, absurdism is a vital part of the Situationist Manifesto, and although its ‘mildly offensive’ content gets it banned from the BBC playlists it proves an appetising taster for their second twelve-incher ‘Sing Brothers Sing’ (SHVL 772) issued in June.

On the cover three kids (one black) are framed by a Gothic arch. Inside there are occasionally jazzy rhythms, and “The Psychopath”, a song about a child molester that features the ‘WEM Hand-Ful’ for sound distortion and effects. Other cuts include Tribal Crowd-Pleaser “Momma’s Reward (Keep Them Freak’s A-Rollin’)” and “Officer Dan”, plus “Old Gopher”, the peaceful “Aphrodite” and “Refugee” chanted over a stark percussive backdrop. Press-ads for the album read ‘we would like to thank the Policemen, the Councillors, NAB Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Stoned-Out Freaks without whom this album would not have been possible – STAND PROUD!’ Completing the set is the epic “There’s No Vibrations, But Wait” with its distorted megaphone-voice rap-chanting poem-style, complete with bleeped-out obscenity and ‘negative negative’-repetitions which reduces ‘the cultured word-wizard’ to deliberate nonsense for ‘as long as the cigarette-smoke curls up and not down from the ash-tray.’ We – of course, can all decrypt that code. While there’s also “The Moth” (a three-part dialogue with a moth concerning ‘are you a boy or a girl’ Freak ridicule about what really constitutes maturity), “Grandma”, “Is For Butterflies” and “It’s Falling Away”….


But the best is yet to come – in the shape of “Apache Drop-Out” (Harvest 5032), a single from November 1970. In a classic juxtaposition exercise the Broughton’s loot Captain Beefheart’s ‘Safe As Milk’ album, replicating its “Drop-Out Boogie” with authentically acid-etched vocal – but substituting the keyboard minuet bits with regurgitated lines from the era-defining Shadows’ 1960 instrumental hit. Whether it’s Brion Gysin-inspired cut-up collage, or inspired anticipation of the as-yet uninvented mix ‘n’ match Hip-Hop sample-culture to come, the fusion – or collision between the two disparate elements works oddly on vinyl where, on paper, it shouldn’t work at all. Swelling into a monumental Jerry Lordan meets Don Van Vliet confrontation crammed into 45rpm with a hot-line, potentially – to both markets, but in actuality to neither.

As it simmers around the chart plimsoll line (reaching a high of no.33 on 27th March during an in-and-out four-week run) the band are preparing to play eleven German gigs in fourteen apocalyptical December days of riots and headlines. Broughton’s crowd-pleasing ‘Free Music’ notoriety precedes them across Europe, where the dichotomy between such protestations and the gate-money demanded by ‘Mama Promotions’ induces an outrage that the band are made aware of, and on which they capitalise. They declare free gigs, thus earning the animosity of Mama, a two-year ban by German promoters, and the nucleus of a large following across Europe and Scandinavia. Of course, music should be free. As in ‘free expression’. Or ‘Freedom Suite’. But that don’t necessarily legitimise the Yippies or the White Panther Party storming the perimeter barricades of the Isle Of Wight Festival demanding free access. It doesn’t mean that venues don’t have to be paid for. Or power bills honoured. But hey, it’s a great slogan.

Nevertheless, in the first month of the new year they add to the momentum by recruiting twenty-four year old Warwick guitarist Victor ‘Vic’ Unitt (5 July 1946) from the Pretty Things and cut “Hotel Room” c/w “Call Me Liar” (Harvest 5040) for June release. Broughton writes “Hotel Room” about the ‘injured parties in my bed’ in a Hamburg ‘Desolation Row’ Hotel off the Reeperbahn, and it’s a strong song, one of their strongest. Strummed guitar, with the smooth girlie voices of The Eruptions dubbed across both sides. Ragged romance. But no intrusive politics. And it makes the German top twenty.

As mid-summer arrives it seems to be the time the Broughtons might break on through elsewhere. They play a benefit for Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in Battersea Park Pavilion with other high-profile ‘Underground’ acts including Juicy Lucy and Assegai. Then, in furtherance of their ‘Peoples Band’ ideology they go on to do a string of free open-air concerts at seaside venues – running into trouble at Redcar and Blackpool where local Councils forbid same. But they play anyway. July 18th, at Redcar – they attempt to play from the back of a truck, but get moved on by Police after various hassles. Manager Peter Jenner (credited as co-producer with the Broughton’s on ‘Bunch Of Forty-Fives’), and a roadie are charged – but later acquitted of ‘obstructing Police and a Breach of the Peace’. In that same court, the same August – and later in Brighton, the band are prosecuted on obstruction charges, and also have £200-worth of gear, including a Fender and a Burns twelve-string lifted from their van! Property, after all, is theft.

This chaotic tour goes off against a soundtrack of ‘Edgar Broughton Band’ (1971, Harvest SHVL 791), their most convincing – if occasionally messy album, enveloped in a meat-market sleeve of carcasses hung in neat raw rows. Side one opens with “Evening Over The Rooftops” co-written by Unitt and Edgar. The song is accused of vibing Leonard Cohen’s bleakness (‘the smoke hung over the sky-line, the city fell in silence’) while around the Symbolist poetics of ‘the mating of the earth and air’ – cryptic with meaning, lurk girlie voices, shivering Palm Court Strings and a Salvation Army tambourine. Further along the vinyl is “The Birth”, a more orthodox heavy Broughton exercise lyriced ‘in the heat shaking her meat, pointing her tits up to heaven’.

Exhibiting more esoteric ‘back to the farm’ sentiments and Johnny Van Derek’s appropriately country violin comes “Piece Of My Own” – ‘all I want is a piece of my own, a lot of land, and some sticks to build a home.’ Next track is the novelty strum-along “Poppy”, a country-blues about pollution, with side-swipes at ‘plastic picnickers’ talking about the length of his hair while he’s there having deeply meaningful eco-friendly thoughts, although the title could equally be inferred to have an opium connection (‘I laid on a poppy, it laid on me’). It is followed by “Don’t Even Know What Day It Is” and “House Of Turnabout”. “Madhatter” seemed like a word-game send-up, while “Getting Hard” is painlessly vocal-less.

After this respite the track bleeds into the impassioned vocal laid across “What Is A Woman For?” recalling James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” in an odd way, its long instrumental fade eventually dissolving into “Thinking Of You” with its pleasant mandolin bits. The album – which allegedly takes a not-inconsiderable (then) £10,000 to record through the months of July ‘70 into February ‘71 closes with the violin-ridden ‘Albatross’-alike “For Doctor Spock Parts One And Two”, with the lyrics suitably dumbed-down infantile (no pun intended) – to ‘what if all the babies went on strike, for a better life to be born in.’ There’s some nice Hawaiian-style slide guitar on the cut though…


What bullets are to war, ideas are to revolution. And in interview the Broughton’s stance and protestations are never less than political. Asked by Pete Frame if working through capitalist giant EMI compromises their ideals Steve comments ‘if we sell as many records as they would like us to, and if we sell as many as we want to, eventually we are going to turn people onto burning EMI down’. Edgar – in the meantime, is telling ‘Melody Maker’ ‘of course I believe. I’ve got a social conscience.’ For this is an Underground Band. It plays to the Underground Press. Its audience think of themselves as concerned, as radical. Even Broughton’s company – including eventually the Music ‘Factory’ in Barnett – is called ‘Weemeenit’. When Edgar complains that ‘the planet’s in a bad way, oh yeah, and I’m sitting here counting the days’ (“Call Me A Liar”) his sentiments can be expected to get some kind of sympathetic feed-back from their floating turned-on community. Even though his affirmations on behalf of the student-shootings at Kent State – ‘she is my sister, he is my brother’ (“Freedom”) can so easily be seen as angst-by-proxy.

Sure, as political songs go, they lack the precision and focus of – say, Phil Ochs or even Billy Bragg. But that’s hardly the point. Innocence can be a wonderful asset. And their real politics are the blurry-edged fuzzy-logic generational dialectic. Free Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll can save the world. Terrorists are romantic idealistic figures, associated with liberation, not atrocity. Do the Broughton’s sincerely believe all this? I suspect that – on at least one level, and with some reservations, yes – they do. ‘Cos what can a poor boy do? ‘Cept play for a Rock ‘n’ Roll band? And on stage, Edgar is doing just that, up there playing phallic symbol games with a Fender Sunburn electric twelve-string, a Gibson Flying Arrow special and a Fender black Stratocaster. Steve does GBH to a Ludwig drumkit. Victor uses a Gibson Les Paul original bass, as does Grant. It’s loose, but getting tighter. A working band loud and hairily unsubtle on gigs, but encapsulating that particular brand of inspired spontaneity that can sometimes catch the true essence of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Through April of the following year they embark on yet another UK tour to launch the fourth album – ‘In Side Out’ (1972, Harvest SHTG 252). Recorded between 15 February and 9 March, in many ways it contains a more playfully mature approach to lyrics. Although “I Got Mad (Soledad)” comments with unconvincing rage on the black American prison riots, running ‘I got mad, really bad, have you heard about Soledad? ...if they take me, I’ll take ten for one’ – a manipulation of media-radical cliché slogans, issues and concepts, built around vintage riffs. ‘We said ‘no more war’... what’s there worth fighting for?’ There’s also a track to ‘my comrade’, jailed radical “Sister Angela” (Davis). In some ways it compares favourably with John Lennon’s similarly themed ‘Sometime In New York City’ agit-prop album.

The outer sleeve starkly reflecting the monochrome urban working-class stance of “Home Fit For Heroes” which runs a Dylan harmonica over more local issues – ‘up there in the dockyards, they’re fighting for their rights.’ The Broughton’s taking on the Lennon ‘Working Class Hero’ persona. But there’s also humour – ‘you ask me what I’m doing, I’m just picking my nose. My Lady’s in the kitchen and she ain’t wearing no clothes, I’m tired and crazy and I’ve just come off the road.’ The kind of shambling haphazard ‘Diary of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band’-type thing that Ian Hunter would later write so well.

Other tracks include “Chilly Morning Mama” – an uncomplicated Pop song, “Totin’ This Guitar” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll” (a slow cut, despite its title). But the stand-out, “It’s Not You”, is 11.06-minutes long and full of full-on Magic Band dislocated rhythms and Stones raunch (‘Jesus please be good to us, or we’ll all be on the News’), and “The Rake”, which – according to the lyric sheet, is a dirty song riddled with double entendres (‘I was looking through her dressing drawers to see what I could find, I found the Ten Commandments stamped on her backside’). ‘CAN YOU DIG IT – OUT HERE ON A LIMB?’ Sure, we can dig it. So dig this – ‘I love that little hole in the back of her head... I was looking down a needle, a needle full of red.’ “Gone Blue” is vaguely menacing, there are sounds of fighting – don’t know what it means, but it sounds nasty. Dreams have a dark side. Inside the gate-fold there are atmospheric black-and-white shots of the wind-blown band amid a symmetrical complex of concrete motorway, interposed by effective rural shots. For every country idyll, there’s a hard narcotic urban counterpart….


Knowing what we now know, it’s strange to evoke other lost possibilities. We obsessively re-examine time into comforting geometries and reassuring clarities until we think we know it. And surely momentum, and the force of that momentum, must have already been at work, defining all the subsequent pathways. But pause on this space of grace. Because back then it still seemed other outcomes were open. And although the revolution hits the dead-end of the 1970’s in a dark Thatcherite backlash of Right-Wing violence, its legacy defines us here and now. Gay Lib, Animal Rights, Black Liberation, Feminism, Eco-Awareness, anti-Globalisation protest, they all have their roots in the ‘Alternative Society’.

And the Broughtons are defined by their status as a counter-culture band. They can’t really be considered any other way. Mick Farren goes on to mainstream Music Journalism and SF novels. Bopping Elf Marc Bolan discovers electricity and becomes a tiny gilt-wrapped Teen Idol. But the Broughtons never achieve elevation beyond their ragged community. In the years to come ‘Underground’ bands will become more pointedly, more knowingly political – Crass, Poison Girls, and Chumbawamba. While for career outrageists like Limp Bizkit or Marilyn Manson the profile gets meticulously rehearsed and premeditated. Into the platinum albums. And the Greatest Hits DVD compilations.

And of course – for the likes of the Broughtons, the record companies really wanted marketable product all along. Like Family. Or Jethro Tull. And as a concession to such expectations, as the 1970’s gets into its stride, they do get dutifully more adept at parcelling and selling units of supposed insurrection. But while I guess the Broughtons weren’t exactly averse to the idea of a hit record, it was hardly their most urgent priority. It is open-ended. No-one really knows what comes next. It could go this way... or it could go that way... Nuclear Armageddon? World revolution? The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius? No-one knew for sure. Everything changes. And everything stays the same.

But while we wait, ‘A Bunch Of Forty-Fives’ arrives as a partial ‘the-story-so-far’ re-run of the Broughton’s contribution to the German ‘Masters Of Rock’ series – an album that inexplicably omits “Apache Drop-Out”. By contrast the British version is fleshed out by the 1972 single “Gone Blue” (HAR 5049), plus its B-sides “Mr Crosby” and the nice snarly intricate acoustic interplay of “Someone” (‘someone threw a bomb...’), all nicely repackaged by the Hipgnosis art-studio who turn the band’s faces green for the cover shot.

But beyond the period covered by this retrospective comes the Broughton’s final full-length play. The mid-’73 album ‘Oora’ (SHVL 810) which further develops their hallucinogenically humorous angle with that ‘long smoke in my hand’ and ‘green lights in your eyes’, set to a slow acoustic knock-knock-knocking on heaven’s door and ambient wind ‘I met her in the garden’ sounds. The album’s advertising graffiti is also effective, made up of pictures in cartoon-like sequence, a Spitfire, the Palestinian girl guerrilla Leila Khaled, etc. While the sleeve superimposes the band over a quasi-mystical mandala-symbol. But it is album of endings. It will be the last project on which Vic Unitt plays – before he splits, contributing nice mouth-harp to “Get Out Of Bed”. And while it remains probably the band’s best recorded album, it meets standard Broughton sales reaction.

The revolution that had never really happened is over, leaving the band stranded in a time-warp of hung-over images, legal complications and bad karma. Like a tired deja-vu flashback of earlier ‘straight-world’ complications a last-minute Council veto means that a free gig for the Broughtons – organised by Granada TV in Stoke, has to be hastily transferred to another location. While through October they return to the site of their earlier anarcho-forays in Germany for a fifteen date tour, their first since the lifting of the two year ban, during which the group van blows out and has to be abandoned in Frankfurt. Then 1974 sees a Roundhouse concert embellished by their concession to Alice Cooper-style visuals – stomping on flurries of cellophane butterflies! And this is the act they take with them on their first American tour.

But as they get back a series of management problems conspire to temporarily bring a halt to their recording and performing, and the first – inevitable, Broughton split is announced 19 November 1976. Finis. Yet a long and determined hang-over of projects and reformations continue, including their final big-label album – ‘Bandages’ (1975, NEMS NEL 6006), and the intriguing ‘Parlez Vous English’ (1979, reissued Eclectic Discs ECLCD1034) with its more complex history. Recording as ‘The Broughtons’ they temporarily resume in 1979 as a six-piece, the original trio expanded to include Pete Tolson – another one-time Pretty Thing, John Thomas, and Richard DeBaston. The resulting album achieves its initial release through the Swiss ‘Interhandel’ Indie to coincide with European live dates, although a single from the set – “All I Want To Be”, contrives a UK release through EMI in a picture sleeve artfully mocking the then-current Sex Pistols product. Who was it who’d originally declared an intention of ‘burning EMI down’ anyway?

Later there was a reversion to trio format for a further single – “Ancient Homeland”, from ‘Sheet’, a Songwriter’s Workshop label. And although the promotional artwork shows them shorn of their extravagant hair in a style more acceptable to the 1980’s, its ironic attack on patriotism indicates that – lyrically, they’ve lost none of their political bite. An album called ‘Superchild’ arrives in 1982 (there are probably others I’ve failed to track down, if so – why not let me know?), but by this time the CD re-issue program is about to go back to the murky beginnings of it all, and start resurrecting the battered Broughton legacy. Even though, to reviewer Monty Smith of ‘Q’ magazine, ‘the notion of the Broughtons on CD is kind of cute... their records were more likely to be played on Dansettes in squats than on stereos in suburbia. If at all.’ Yet – even into the early nineties there are tales circulating that Edgar can still be found performing part-time as a component of a late-sixties revival show, and on the London pub circuit.

The ‘Counter-Culture’ invented itself as it was happening. Extemporised it. Sure, there had been Anarchists and Romantic Poet Revolutionaries, Jazz Be-Boppers and Beat Generation Bohemians before it, but nothing on this scale. Nothing quite like this – ever. It was happening for the first time. And, like I said, the British ‘Underground’ – Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, ‘Nasty Tales’, Hawkwind, ‘Frendz’, the Deviants – and the Broughton Band, might have started out as an often distorted ‘Through-The Looking-Glass Mirror-Image’ of what they imagined was happening in the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury area, or New York’s Greenwich Village, or MC5’s Detroit. Yet Hippies instantly became Global.

And it was this skewed misapprehension, this accidental Chinese-whispers altering of nuance and emphasis that gives each scene its uniqueness. And now, with Hippie Head-shop ephemera demanding collector’s prices – posters, magazines, and vinyl albums, those frequent reservations about the Edgar Broughton Band are frequently outweighed by affection, and in retrospect the whole thing even acquires its own internal, if shambling, consistency. One that was seldom apparent at the time. And strangely, I find myself enjoying those Urbane Guerrilla’s album in retrospect more now than I ever enjoyed their oddly assorted component cuts then.

Out, Demons, Out…



AS WAS’ (Dec 1988 - 90 min 20-track compilation, EMI Harvest GDP7 909632)


OUT DEMONS OUT: THE BEST OF THE EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND’ (EMI Harvest 7243-5-31067-2-0) 2001 CD compilation

SUPERCHIP… PLUS’ (1981 - SEECD 464) Concept album about the ‘silicon revolution’, with tracks ‘Metal Sunday’, ‘Superchip’, ‘Who Only Fade Away’, ‘Curtain Outrageous Behaviour’, ‘Not So Funny Farm’, ‘Night Hogs’, ‘Pratfall’, ‘Overdose’, ‘Do You Want To Be Immortal’, ‘Subway Information’, ‘Last Electioneer’, ‘Ancient Homeland’, ‘Innocent Bystanders’ and ‘Fourteen The Virus’

Published in:
A draft version of this feature originally appeared,
in a different form, in ‘LIQUORICE no.3’ (UK - October 1975)
Edit: Martin Jones’ (Headpress) (UK – June 2005)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Science Fiction Of JOHN LYMINGTON


John Richard Newton Chance, 
known to the Science Fiction world as 
 ‘John Lymington’ – 1911 to 1983 

As in all good soap operas, the action is firmly centred on the village pub – the ‘White Lion’, where the characters make their entrances and exits. ‘Nothing is based upon fact’ explains John Lymington helpfully, ‘except the name of the inn.’ Landlord Richard Callum is also a writer of James Bond-style secret-agent thrillers. How has he managed to write so many books? Perhaps autobiographically, he responds ‘I’m forty-four, which is no chick age’ and ‘I started very early.’ To stretch a point, if we are talking about his ‘Night Of The Big Heat’ here, that would mean he was writing it in 1955. For the novel was published, by Hodder & Stoughton, in 1959, then in Corgi paperback edition in 1961. But that’s speculation, for Lymington – born John Richard Newton Chance in 1911 in London’s Streatham Hill, was churning out a vast number of novels in a variety of popular genres, since at least 1935. According to his autobiography ‘Yellow Belly’ (Robert Hale, 1959), in 1944 he was invalided out of the RAF where he’d served as flying instructor, retaining his permanent Flight Lieutenant’s rank. This enabled him even greater writing time.

Meanwhile, Callum’s wife, Frankie has taken the car fourteen miles to Yarmouth, so their unidentified island must be the Isle of Wight, and the pub the one that Chance himself managed from 1956, with wife Shirley neè Savill and their three sons. While Patricia Wells is the flighty typist the agency has sent to help Callum’s stalled work on his latest novel. She appears to be modeled on, say, Audrey Hepburn, acute, lively intelligence, just a playful hint of ‘the tingle of sex’, which leads him to kiss her.

The various rural yokels at the bar complain of the ‘queer heat’. It’s the eighteenth of June and its unnatural intensity has been increasing for a week. This is a novel of its time. They blame sputniks and atomic testing for the abrupt climate-change, but although they hoe potatoes and speak in fractured dialect (uttering ‘it’s moi sheep. They all be dead’ in the film version), they’ve spent years stationed in the Burmese jungle, the Western Desert, Mandalay. They are the war generation.

There’s a token sinister stranger – Harsen, who books a room at the Inn, from which mysterious buzzing machine noises can be heard. And there’s a young Air Force lad from the radar station on ‘the Point’ who tells them about the strange blips their screens have been picking up. There’s also the vicar from the Saxon church, who would probably be played by a bumbling tipsy Derek Nimmo. And drunken Bob Franker who claims he saw a ‘flying saucer’ crewed by giant spiders in a ‘drunken dream’. There’s also Vernon Stone in his horn-rimmed spectacles, not so much a science writer, as an occasional contributor of science-based ‘space-stuff’ features to SF magazines – a kind of ‘Kenneth Johns’ of ‘New Worlds’. Although he’s writing ‘an article about the Martian canals’, it’s he who first suggests that the intolerable heat-levels are due to cosmic interference, and propounds some odd ideas about the interrelationship of all organic matter – ‘remember, a million years is but a night in the span of life on Earth.’ And ‘scientific research proceeds and often disproves some basis upon which the later finding was based.’ The kind of bland generalization that passes for profound in cheap fiction.

Then an ‘elongated blob’ lands in the field behind the church. There are scares and scratching noises in the dark. Harsen – still a little sinister, turns out to be a kind of UFO-ologist or conspiracy theorist who believes the heat is caused by creatures being transmitted down to the island by ‘materialising beam’, and ‘reassembled by very short radio waves.’ A kind of beam-me-down technology. Harsen investigates strange goings-on in the local chalk-pit, reporting his commentary back by radio in a sequence obviously designed to be adapted into a BBC Light Programme thriller. While, like all the best 1950s black-and-white horror movies, the monsters remain off-screen, a menacing presence, more terrible for being imagined. As though Lymington always had screenplay options in mind, offering low-budget, picturesque sets in a quaint village. Cheaper to produce than ‘Quatermass’!

If the book was purposely slanted towards the broadcast medium, it was a strategy that paid off. For ‘Night Of The Big Heat’ was filmed twice. The first, a 1960 ITV ‘Play Of The Week’ adaptation relocated the setting to a village on Salisbury Plain. Directed by Cyril Coke the screenplay was by Giles Cooper. The ‘Observer’ reviewer called it ‘a poor man’s ‘Quatermass’, more than a bit crude – yet remarkably good sport.’ The second, ‘Night Of The Big Heat’ (Planet Films, 1967) was a 94-minute UK feature film directed by Terence Fisher – retitled ‘Island Of The Burning Damned’ for US release. With the action this time switched to chill winter on the remote Scottish island of Farah, it features Patrick Allen (as ‘Jeff’ Callum) with his real-life wife Sarah Lawson (as wife Jackie), plus the impeccable duo of Christopher Lee (as Hanson/ Harsen) and Peter Cushing (as Vernon Stone).

And all the while, the heat just gets hotter. John Lymington had astutely hopped onto the SF scene in the wake of John Wyndham’s mainstream success with ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ (1951) and ‘The Kraken Wakes’ (1953). John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris had been contributing to the Pulp magazines under variant forms of his convoluted name since that same 1935 dateline. But his ‘cosy disaster’ novels were published under the respectable Penguin imprint, and achieved massive critical and commercial success. Writer Sam Youd was quick to take advantage of the window that Wyndham had opened up, and as ‘John Christopher’ found a ready market for his eco-disaster novels ‘The Death Of Grass’ (Michael Joseph, 1955) and ‘The World In Winter’ (1962). ‘Night Of The Big Heat’ was consciously jumping this trend, pitched at a less elevated level maybe, but within its frames of reference it worked spectacularly well. Brian Stableford suggests that even the name ‘Lymington’ was chosen ‘in a blatant attempt to cash in’ on Wyndham’s popularity’ (in his ‘Historical Dictionary Of Science Fiction Literature’). While to critic John Clute, Lymington didn’t work ‘at the imaginative level of his predecessors (and possible models) John Wyndham and John Christopher’, and on a downbeat note, that he ‘writes with some verve, but little style’ (in Peter Nicholls’ ‘The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction’).

When both Harsen and Vernon Stone are killed off in what some would deem developments in a group-jeopardy plot, the rest of the team set off in an old Ford Roadster. They travel through a hot darkness filled with the hushing sounds of unseen alien movement. Yet all the themes come down to conjecture, as they start working on the idea that aliens are probing the area with beam-technology using experimental test-creatures in the way that early human space-shots used an unfortunate chimp or space-dog Laika. Surely this contradicts Bob Franker’s earlier flying saucer story? Either his sighting can be rationalized as a hysteria-induced hallucination… or a Lymington continuity-lapse?

Ultimately the heat generated by the radio waves causes its own destruction when fields and trees ignite in a wall of flame, causing the still-unseen monsters to pop ‘like lice on a fire.’ Evidently Lymington expects us to recognize what this sounds like. For the film version – requiring more visual action, the characters deliberately ignite bales of hay and use dynamite to achieve the same ends. Until the novel closes, as it began, in the ‘White Lion’, as a timely rain-deluge fortuitously extinguishes the blaze. For John Lymington, this novel was about as high-profile as it gets.

There were subsequent novels. The immediate follow-up, ‘The Giant Stumbles’ (1960), also centres on an isolated motley group faced by vast menace. There’s a chain-reaction series of unnatural highly-localised storms – ‘like a man breathing with no lungs.’ Nigel ‘Ni’ Orson Rhodes is a famous scientific writer with an idyllic marriage to ‘Hal’ Harriet, and three sons, teen love-interest Joe (18), Harry (10) and John (6). They live in a great semi-circular white bungalow where he works in a study nicknamed ‘The (Looney) Bin’ by skeptical local villagers.

Rhodes’ guests include Leila, European representative for US magazine ‘Wednesday’ who calls her contributing writers ‘children of volatility’, plus ruthlessly shrewd newspaper publisher Rex Hason, and creepy bespectacled mathematician Benstead of the Almos Radio Observatory (a conflation of Los Alamos?) who uses its ‘electronic computer’ to check out Rhodes figures concerning ‘the queer thing.’ This confirms that ‘the sum total of all nuclear fission has created a charge within the earth’s composition, in just the same way as electricity can be charged in a storage battery.’ This will cause a gravitational pause, ‘a stumble, as it were… a thing infinitesimally minute in the progress of this planet, yet to us a thing so gigantic we can only start to imagine it.’

During their Long Goodbye, facing the end of civilization as gravity momentarily blips out, they endlessly debate the wisdom of publishing a warning. Career-woman Leila flirts with Nigel, Benstead suicides, Leila connives with Rex who sets out to silence Nigel, and Nigel attempts to alert the Defense Minister. Eventually the nucleus around Rhodes’ family use his derided dream-project barge called ‘Elly’, or ‘Daddys White Elephant’ to ride out the apocalypse, also carrying Harry’s zoo of pets, Noah-style. It’s wiser to skip the quasi-biblical allusions. Roland Emmerich’s film ‘2012’ (2009) takes and massively CGI inflates a similar theme – provoked by neutrino-storms cataclysmic Earth crust displacement destroys civilization, as survivors escape in giant arks. Although there can be little more than the most tenuous analogy between the two works.

When he died in 1983 an obituary in Dave Langford’s ‘Ansible’ (No.38) credits John Richard Newton Chance with writing over 150 novels ‘including twenty+ SF potboilers’, adding that he ‘made a steady income by delivering thrillers to (publisher) Robert Hale at a chapter a week.’ So he was one of a generation of writers who made their fiction viable by prolific speed and volume, rather than by striving to conform to more literary critiques. His were the kind of books you stumble upon while browsing through the crammed shelves of musty secondhand bookshops. The kind you speed-read in an hour, then toss them aside with a grunt of satisfaction. But that’s no small achievement. That’s more than enough.

(1 January 1911- 3 August 1983): 


1960 – ‘THE GIANT STUMBLES’ (Hodder & Stoughton)

1960 – ‘THE GREY ONES’ To critic John Clute, ‘much of (Lymington’s) subsequent work has been a series of routine variations on the theme of alien or natural menace to Earth,’ his ‘use of genuine science is minimal and most of his books (many of which feature monsters) operate at the level of B-grade SF/Horror films, where menace strikes unexpectedly into a lazy, rural setting’ (in Peter Nicholls’ ‘The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction’)

1961 – ‘THE COMING OF STRANGERS’, ‘A Rustling In The Night, And Then Death, Horrible And Sudden’, ghostly appearances, footprints in the sand, and furniture knocked over, herald the presence of an unseen invasion

1962 – ‘A SWORD ABOVE THE NIGHT’ (reissued by MacFadden-Bartell Books, 1971)

1963 – ‘THE SLEEP EATERS’ (Corgi, 3/6d), ‘James Colvin’ (Michael Moorcock) in ‘New Worlds no.147’ (February 1965) is not impressed, writing that it ‘is no better, no worse than his usual novels. I find him dull’

1963 – ‘THE SCREAMING FACE’ (Corgi, 3/6d) according to Hilary Bailey in ‘New Worlds no.153’ (August 1965) this is ‘an end of the world story in the form of a diary written for posterity by one of the men who knows the horrid secret. As the big saw comes nearer and nearer the writer becomes increasingly tormented by the question of whether he loves his wife or her sister and whom his wife loves. Only in the last thirty pages does the eternal quadrangle, played out in one of those detective-story English villages, give way to the author’s real plot – planetary revelations, skin-saving in high places and guys fighting to get into the spacecraft’

1964 – ‘FROOMB!’ (Hodder), a time-traveller sees his own future. When explorer John Brunt, a tough, womanising adventurer, agrees to make the last exploration left to man, he cannot calculate the spiritual and physical terrors that await him. This is a story of the Future and of Now. Brunt find there is no escape from either. He finds he cannot shake off the seeds of destruction he takes with him to the years beyond Now. But does destruction come? There must be escape somewhere, somehow. But where? How?

1964 – ‘THE NIGHT SPIDERS’ (Corgi) ‘Twenty-Eight Tales Of Terror From The Imaginative Mind Of John Lymington’ including “Battle Of Wills”, “Easy With Music”, “Moving House” and “Threepenny To Mars”. James Colvin (Michael Moorcock) in ‘New Worlds no.144’ (Sept-October 1964) writes ‘though these stories are in the Corgi SF series, virtually none are SF – they’re ghost stories and very, very bad ones’

1965 – ‘THE STAR WITCHES’ (Hodder) ‘From Another World… A World That Wanted To Possess, Destroy, a man has been experimenting to make contact with the outer world. One night he disappears – to become the master of the forces he has unleashed, or their first victim? ‘She put her hands over her ears and stared at the silent man on the camp-bed. They had not touched her. He was breathing, but very slowly, so slowly that they had not noticed it at first. There were wires attached to his head by a structure like earphones. They ran under the bed and disappeared into the darkness beneath’



1967 – ‘TEN MILLION YEARS TO FRIDAY’, the multiplication of the speed of light imposes a resurrection of the distant past upon the modern world

1968 – ‘THE LIGHT BENDERS’ written as by ‘Jonathan Chance’



1972 – ‘THE YEAR DOT’










THE NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT’ (ITV ‘Play Of The Week’ broadcast 14 June 1960), produced for the Associated-Rediffusion Network by Cyril Coke, ninety-minutes in black and white, with Lee Montague (as Richard), Melissa Stribling (as Patricia), Sally Bazely (as Frankie), Bernard Cribbins (as Cpl Pearce), plus Bernard Archard, Karel Stepanek, Patrick Holt and June Ellis. In a tack-on ending not in the novel, the cunning invaders next switch their target to the Sahara Desert. The ‘Daily Telegraph’ reviewer says ‘the warning that it was unsuitable for adults of a nervous disposition was highly necessary – I was positively limp at the end and so were the hard-working, sweat-soaked cast’

THE NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT’ aka ‘Island Of The Burning Damned’ (1967, Planet Films, DVD by Simply Media, 2004), directed by Terence Fisher, starring Peter Cushing, Sarah Lawson, and Kenneth Cope (as Tinker). Screenplay by Ronald Liles, with additional dialogue by Pip and Jane Baker. Music by Malcolm Lockyer. Christopher Lee (Hanson) collects specimens and photos of UFO landings from ‘where the cosmic gasses ferment,’ he listens to the BBC Home Service weather forecast, and predicts that Earth will soon become ‘another hot planet… like so many others in the constellation.’ The Patricia Wells character becomes Angela Roberts (played by Jane Merrow), former mistress of Callum (Patrick Allen) who accuses her ‘you were no untouched virgin before we met.’ The aliens, beamed down through radar scanners, ‘resemble giant luminous fried eggs’ and are destroyed – not by fire as in the book, but by ‘the Triffid effect’ of dissolving in the rain. Writers David Miller and Mark Gatiss say ‘you can’t apply the word ‘abysmal’ to many films in this book, but it’s the only word to describe ‘Night Of The Big Heat’’ (in ‘They Came From Outer Space’, 1996, Visual Imagination)

John Richard Newton Chance also wrote a vast number of crime thrillers as John Nelson Chance, from his debut novel ‘Wheels In The Forest’ (Gollancz, 1935) through to ‘A Tale Of Tangled Ladies’ (Hale, 1989). He also wrote six novels in the ‘Bunst’ series – children’s stories featuring eccentric inventor Audacious Cotterell and his youthful assistant Bunstuffer, including ‘The Black Ghost’ (1947) as David C Newton, and ‘Bunst And The Brown Voice’ (1950) as John Newton Chance. Writing as John Drummond he wrote a series of War titles for the Amalgamated Press ‘Thriller Library’, and Detective crime-fiction under the Desmond Reid house-name for the ‘Sexton Blake’ series (including ‘Anger At World’s End’)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Digital Album For Refugees: 'CRISIS MUSIC'

Album Review of: 
(Crisis Music, Digital Album In Aid Of Refugees)

 ‘All that I ask is that for peace,
you fight today, you fight today
so that the children of this world
may live and grow and laugh and play” 
(The Byrds – “I Come And Stand At Every Door”, 1966)

Crisis music for crisis times. We’ve seen the TV-blurts. A tarpaulin shanty on Kos waste-ground, a sharp clear-eyed girl maybe ten, no name, no number, speaking to camera about her family’s escape from the escalating horror of Syria, her calm articulate intelligence reaches out to grab you, before the prying lens-attention switches on to the next item. Where is she now, as laser-wire checkpoint barriers erect across Europe, and fresh corpses wash up on Med beaches? In the spaces between her words, the story hurtles on. Meanwhile, ‘Crisis Music’ is ‘An International Digital Compilation Assembled To Help The Refugees In Need.’

The charming and very civilised Ivan Antunovic is speaking from Croatia. From his ‘Small Doses’ fanzine through his essential 0.5 online page, he’s a connoisseur of all things audio-experimental and electro. He narrates the project’s history, ‘I actually curated this donation-based compilation, asking friends from the music world if they’d like to contribute, and the response is way in front of you, with most of the material being exclusive on it, plus some of the material previously being released but now serving also a special purpose...’ He has an impressive roster of friends.

Popsimonova’s opening track “Speechless” is relentless minimalist electro, icily perfect, immaculately stoned from Croatia’s Lana Jastrevski. Ex one-half of DAF-influenced Dekolaž, now she’s her own creation. Science with synthesizers. Then there’s Stormtrap, who is Palestinian musician Abdel Hadi Hashem. His “Zikra” is a delicious noise, beautifully fractured. Followed by “All Hell Breaks Loose” from Bruch (Philipp Hanich), from Austria. Their album ‘My Name Should Be Trouble’ (2014) was a raucous Post-Punk Krautrock mash-up. But this is a previously unreleased track. A great Future-Pop sound, with an ‘Autobahn’ spine. An electric work-out for the mind and the body.

See the span? As a creative sampler from the edgier extremes of the Cosmic Groove, this album is impeccable. Sometimes recalling the electro-experimental 1980s of Mute or Factory, but carried over into new techniques and attitudes.

The next title is “Unconnected”, but Peter Hope & Charlie Collins go way back – all the way to Sheffield’s confrontational Box. Here, hissing noise-attacks, abrasive vocals and treated sax submerge in the mix, shimmering on unorthodox time-bends. No split decision about this one… they’re all positive…! According to Pete himself, ‘yes, Ivan asked me and I immediately agreed. The Syrian refugee situation is a disgusting situation brought about by greed, corruption and the Orwellian notion that war = peace. We actually recorded the track back in 2003, shortly before I left Sheffield to live in the Outer Hebrides. At this point I’d become very disenchanted with the capitalist/consumerist model that was dumbing down both education and media. ‘Unconnected’ (I don’t exist so I won’t be missed) reflects that feeling that social divisions are a tool to dehumanise and alienate people. The current world situation is very much a confirmation of that corporate political commodification of humanity. So, at last the track found its natural home…’

Ivan picks up the tale. ‘Digital-only, this album was assembled for the refugees in need – Syrian refugees included as the focus due to the sad crisis going on now in Syria, but considering there are various ethnic groups from the Middle East that were caught up in a war and had to flee, we all agreed to consider the context that will not focus on just one ethnic group alone…’

There are twenty-five laser-guided heat-seeking synapse-zapping tracks, too many to individually itemize, but collectively sat-navving the Euro-creative nerve-points. There’s what Ivan terms ‘domestic punk duo’ Markantonija – a minimalist DIY-guitar horror-movie asking ‘some intriguing questions, delivering a stunning figurative ‘horror’ piece on the lost sense of belonging and what’s left of love in this cold cold world.’ Plus synth-noire from Cipolla Varieté, Pasiune Oameni, Soft Riot (imagine Depeche Mode fronted by Ian Curtis), Two Pigs Under One Umbrella, Zorja, Carrie Cult, Schwarzer Kanal, Colin Lloyd Tucker (“Freedom”), Lime Crush (irresistible Vienna mutant girlie speed-Pop), Zukunftsstadt, the wonderfully-named Cyborgs On Crack (Croatian powerdrive-electro on “How To Use Machinery”), The Cyclist Conspiracy (guitar-driven Serbian Indie with ethereal harmony vocals), Claudine Coule, Šumovi Protiv Valova, On/a, Marinada, Jos Narg, and Mutandini Karl (“Gravedigger”). Plus ‘one of my songs is also on (“Let’s Call It A Day”), appearing under my former pseudonym ‘I/II’,’ a nagging Giorgio Morodor dance-floor hook overlaid by bleak strident voice, remixed by Kurtiz ‘another musician friend.’ Twenty-five blasts of amazement. I trance, you trance, everybody trance. But creativity counts over format every time.

Through to final track “Take Control (Newsflash)” from This Is The Bridge – which is London-based Richard Anderson. ‘You’ve had your chance, but you failed the test…’ a repeatedly accusing voice, nagging synths, jumping bassline, whirl noises, samples of formless panic, and raw stripped-to-the-nerve boings always work for me. Production and remix from Iv/An ‘yes, I did a remix for This Is the Bridge’ admits Ivan. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the silence. It is in the perfect balance of the two we find greatest contentment.

To mangle The Bridge, don’t fail this test. The Byrds track – selected and quoted here by Ivan, is adapted from a haunting poem by Nâzım Hikmet by Gene Clark for the Byrds ‘Fifth Dimension’ (1966) album, inspired by the Hiroshima atrocity event. It tells of the lost ghost presence of a seven-year-old child in search of peace. An echo of the sharp clear-eyed ten-year-old Syrian refugee girl in the tarpaulin waste-ground shanty on Kos. She also stands at every door, demanding our response. Linking ‘Crisis Music’ into a continuity of outrage against inhumanity. This album is a place where past, present and future meet and interact. The future is dead. Long live the future. You can – and should, download these tracks, as part of the entire compilation, for just €1.

All proceeds go to the Austrian initiative