KULTURE KIOSK

Boom Crash Opera: Crazy Times in Ordinary Heaven

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design

HEY-HEY, HEY HEY HEY! 1988, I was young(er) and Australia was having a birthday. To celebrate we (in the UK) sent our DJ Simon Bates to cover it. More importantly he played the new clutch of Aussie bands that were aiming for international super stardom after INXS. There was Wa Wa Nee, Big Pig, Noiseworks (I had no inkling it was Jon Stevens singing) and before I knew it my next musical crush were on. ‘Hey Hey, hey hey hey!’ ‘WOW, what was that!!?’ My 17 year old self was sent…read more

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Alphaville: From Germany with Love

Posted by in Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

BROTHERS IN ARMS *This blog contains affiliate links. So you’re young though not necessarily forever young. You’ve got a great singer who can sing and write songs in English. You’re signed to WEA. Your first single is massive, you have the world at your feet, everything seems to have fallen into place with considerable ease and then… this happens…  …and as the ultimate nose rub they’re on the same label and would in time prove bigger in your own country. But band comparisons are nothing new; U2/Simple Minds for example….read more

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Populating Polytown: Mapping the Spiritual Nineties and the Geography of Sound

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THE GEOGRAPHY OF SOUND Not all nineties music was Brit-pop and grunge. The early to middle years saw many artists renew what their forefathers in the late sixties had tried to do; alert the masses to an age of hope and optimism, thus spawning a common new age spiritualist thread on recordings from Seal’s début to Wendy and Lisa’s ‘Eroica’ to Rain Tree Crow and Sylvian/Fripp’s ‘The First Day.’ Even Kenny Loggins was in with his earthly observations on 1991’s ‘Leap of Faith’ while Toni Childs did similar with her…read more

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Steve Hogarth: Here There and Everywhere

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

WHO IS THIS GUY? The late eighties were, as I’ve most likely said elsewhere, a time of discovery. Now in the age of Wiki we can look up anyone of interest and know all about them in moments but back then it was all detective work, piecing together fragments of information.  For those of us music junkies or audiophiles who took time to read the sleeve notes, certain names appeared. I can’t remember which one went first, it could have been The The, it could have been Do-Re-Mi and it…read more

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Eno: Some Suggestions (in Plain English)

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This blog was originally published on the eve of 2018 which marked the 70th birthday of Brian Eno. It occurred to me that while he is often spoken about, written about and admired, there wasn’t really a generic overview of best bits; solo and collaborative, which as you may imagine is a formidable body of work, so here’s my take on things both sonic and visual. *disclaimer – this is just what I like, it is near impossible to cover everything he’s produced.  FRIPPERY ON ALL FOURS The first four Eno records are…read more

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Suede: Catching Up with the Insatiable Ones

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URBAN HYMNS OK, I was never into Brit-pop and as previously stated the nineties left me pretty much cold in terms of musical development in our humble isles (the UK). Recently in my local library I spotted (front man) Brett Anderson’s biog Coal Black Mornings and from there wanted to go back and listen to the music. An interesting pointer here is like U2, SUEDE were slow to adapt to colour, the first two albums sound like a grimy urban landscape in just about any hinterland town in the UK…read more

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Tim Bowness: Catching Up with the Velvet Ghost

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*It would be difficult to discuss Tim’s output without mentioning No-Man and some of his collaborative efforts. I mentioned being on the road since 1999 and it’s that year I met Tim at the now defunct 12 Bar Club in London’s Denmark Street where I also briefly chat to Steve Jansen and Peter Chilvers. I’ve not met Tim in person since but we have maintained a periodic dialogue over the years. The story begins some years earlier… PAINTING PARADISE: THE NEW ROMANTIC NINETIES It’s the early 90s and everything you knew…read more

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No-Man: Urban Disco

Posted by in Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

DICK WHITTINGTON Near the end of 1988, Steven suggested that no-man become the main musical focus for both of us, So in October 1988 I headed Dick Whittington style to the nation’s capital (sans cat). – from Tim’s Speak blog (abbreviated mix by moi)… In the run up to No-Man’s first new album in over a decade and my unexpected return to Blighty, I decided to construct a blog about Tim Bowness‘s time in London. As we can see from the excerpts Tim’s London begins in Autumn 1988 and lasts…read more

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A-ha: A Lifeline from the Dark

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In my Subshine review I begin with A-ha and it’s pretty amazing I haven’t given them the full works so continuing the Norwegian theme here goes…. TAKING ON A-HA November 1985, as I stare forlorn into the crackling bonfire just over the chest high wall in the wilds of the local pub’s garden there was only one thing going through my mind. That melody, That video. It was of course Take on Me – then on its third release and finally a hit. This time we were all taking notice….read more

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Perry Blake: Songs of Faith and Devotion

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design

DREAMING OF PRAISE Yes that title is intentionally ironic as much as the actual title Songs of Praise is. In my last Perry blog I suggested I’d rather see some art on his album sleeves and lo and behold he has done exactly that. It stands out like a sore thumb as much as Nomad does in my own catalogue so let’s start there. If albums could borrow other albums covers this one would probably be New Gold Dream. Why? It’s all to do with colour, the pastel shades of…read more

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