Archive for the art-punk Category

Family Fodder- Monkey Banana Kitchen LP

Posted in 1980, 1980s, art-punk, british, family fodder, synthpunk, uk on August 14, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a fun little gem for you folks today… Below lies the first album by Family Fodder, an idiosyncratic London-based synth band active from 1979-1983 (though they officially formed in 1975). The four piece act consisted of Media Fodder and her three brothers Tod, Rod, and God, obviously a clever lot of pseudonyms, as their discogs.com page reveals a sizeable lot of collaborative members, far more than four, with Alig Pearce being the only consistant member.

Family Fodder released two full lengths and several quirky 7” singles to a sizable cult following. Their fellowship with experimental post-punk act This Heat also helped bring the band to a bit of underground prominence.

Their music was generally playful, a hint of dub and reggae mixed with absurd, blissful pop, with synthpunk and sometimes experimental instrumentation. Most of the lyrics were also sung in French, courtesy of original vocalist Dominique Levillain, a combination rumored to be of some significant influence over Stereolab. Over the years, the band reformed several times over, recording and releasing sporadically since their initial demise in 1983. A handful of greatest hits collections have also appeared over the years, attempting to collect the band’s initial singles and best moments.

I’ve uploaded their first proper LP, 1980’s Monkey Banana Kitchen, which features ‘Savior Faire,’ an infectious little tune I can’t get enough of these days. Here’s the details and download information for the LP:

Family Fodder- Monkey Banana Kitchen LP
1. Darling
2. Symbols
3. Savoir Faire
4. Cold Wars
5. Monkey
6. Wrong
7. Organ Grinder
8. Love Song
9. Bass Adds Bass
10. Philosophy
11. Cerf Volant
12. Banana

*DOWNLOAD LINK REMOVED* – reissued in 2014 on LP and CD!

The only in-print Family Fodder disc seems to be one of the more recent compilations, a 42 track anthology that seems to include several of the band’s hits, including alternate versions and more recent recordings. A definite must-have for fans of the band! Here’s a link to purchase the collection, entitled More Great Hits!

purchase More Great Hits! via amazon.com:

Seems to be a myspace page available as well…Is it official? I can’t tell you at the moment due to work-related securities, but take a peek and decide for yourselves:

Family Fodder on myspace.com

Swell Maps

Posted in 1970s, art-punk, post-punk, swell maps, synth on September 11, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Swell Maps are among the most influential and chaotic bands of an early post-punk movement. The band originally formed in the early seventies by brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (Nicholas and Kevin Godfrey respectively) but waited until the punk explosion to become a full-blown force.

The band would further bastardize and obliterate the three-chord boundaries of punk rock, experimenting with expansive Kraut rock sounds, utilizing tape loops, and practically destroying synthesizers on tape. Both of their full length records include ambient soundscapes and short segments of noise in between shrill yet catchy lo-fi punk songs.

Though their tenure on record barely lasted over a year and change, the band would leave a spectacular trail of songs and sonic experimentation before their demise in 1980. Both brothers would join other outfits and pursue solo ventures, and compilations of single tracks and unreleased material would soon find their way to the market in the wake of the band’s budding influence.

I’ve uploaded a duo of tracks, the first is a personal favorite, a sprawling, clanging instrumental piece featured on their second and final record, 1980’s The Swell Maps In…Jane From Occupied Europe.. The second is a straightforward art-punk tune featured on 1979’s A Trip To Marineville. Enjoy!

download Swell Maps- ‘Big Maz in the Desert’
download Swell Maps- ‘Blam!’

No real footage or videos of the band exist in full form, but I’ve come across a live version of ‘Let’s Build a Car From the Tyranny of the Beat’ backed with assorted live bits and bobs.

Fortunately (and most refreshingly), the majority of this band’s official (and unofficial) output is available for purchase by clicking the following link:

Swell Maps on Amazon.com

Colin Newman

Posted in 1980s, art-punk, british, colin newman, synth, wave, wire on August 7, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop


Having gone though rather huge phases listening to nothing but post-punk greats Wire for a few days in a row, it’s no shock that I’ve also inspected and been overjoyed with the various side projects and solo outings during the band’s off-time. Today’s artist is one of the double frontmen of Wire and the primary tunesmith, Mr. Colin Newman.

When the British band temporarily split in 1980 after three records, Colin quickly pursued a solo career, taking the art-damaged direction that Wire had experimented with on both Chairs Missing and 154. The result didn’t fall far from the tree, for Colin recorded a series of three records in a similar art-pop style. The first, 1980’s A-Z, was released on Beggar’s Banquet and featured ‘Alone,’ a haunting track tapped near-ten years later for the soundtrack to Silence of the Lambs and covered by friends in 4AD project This Mortal Coil. Both 1981’s Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish and 1982’s Not To were released on 4AD, once they were able to properly finance Newman’s recordings. The first featured instrumental tracks as a series of numbered fish while the second consisted of new recordings and reworked Wire outtakes.

Though Wire reformed in 1984 and has remained intermittently active since, Colin released three more solo records and an EP for various labels. The last, 1997’s Bastard was a largely collective and collaborative electronic outing. Over the years, Colin has also produced records for the Virgin Prunes and Minimal Compact, produced recorded full-lengths with Wire as well as longtime collaborator and wife Malka Spigel, managed Wire’s Pinkflag label, and also done double-duty as a member of Githead, an experimental rock outfit.

I’ve uploaded two solo Newman tracks for the downloading; ‘Alone’ from A-Z and ‘Don’t Bring Reminders’ from Not To.

download Colin Newman- ‘Alone’
download Colin Newman- ‘Don’t Bring Reminders’

Most of his solo and collaborative band material is easily available through Amazon and your local record shoppes, so pick some up if you’re into it! For a more thorough biography and discography on Colin, click this link:

Colin Newman web-hub
Colin Newman via 4AD