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Artist: 12 MINUTES AT THE HOT CLUB MURPHY
Title: s/t
Format: 7"
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $7.00
"a limited edition of 457 reissue of a Rosetta Stone rarity from 1982: adventurous, subtly-hued pop art from an all-star line-up of post-Homosexuals / This Heat / Rock in Opposition squat savants. The full story is more complicated – and exponentially richer (as is the music!), but heres a short version, in the words of Rob Storey, the one constant in 30-plus years of Murphy variations - Federation Murphy, Orchestre Murphy, The Murphy Love Experience, Murphy Patrol, Murphy Working Stiffs, Laboratoires Murphy, etc.: (musicians performing on the EP appear in boldface):

"We had made a start as the Good For Nothings in about 77/78 and played sort of punk rock music with a line-up of Catherine OSullivan, Bing Selfish, Rodrigo Lodwick, Seamus Luttman-Johnson, and Robert Storey. We soon got tired of the straitjacket of the punk sound and started trying other things, fake jazz, more theatrical elements, improvisation and performance deconstruction – which resulted in some extremely antagonistic audience reactions... "After making the first single Fed Up Skank / Slipping Past On The Inside, Bing was a semi-detached member of the Murphies anyway, and went on to make Selfish Works. Chris Gray, Jim Whelton, Ted Barrow (who had all been associated with the Homosexuals), Lepke Buchwalter, David Doyle and Joe Torres (who were Milk from Cheltenham), Janey Haggar (Nancy Sesay), and Mick Hobbs (The Work), amongst others, became part of the pool of people who would do gigs, tours or recording sessions. It was a loose arrangement of players by the time we made 12 minutes at the Hot Club Murphy."

In the meantime, Robs label Noise Method had at least six cassette releases in addition to the Murphy Federation single [NM1], the Hot Club Murphy 12" [NM6, 1982] and Selfish Works [NM8, though officially on El Frenzy, 1982], and thered also been several junkets to Barcelona that resulted in the Domestic Sampler – UMYU compilation [1981] and Bings Selfish Works (of whom and of which much more anon!). In addition to the Hot Club tracks that Chris Gray recorded at Surrey Sound, others were taped at This Heats legendary Cold Storage studio in Brixton with Pete Bullen. Mick Hobbs left The Work (to be replaced by Jim Welton/Amos) and went on to Officer!; Catherine OSullivan went on to Sally Patience (who were named for a Murphies song)… Anyway, Messthetics and Stewart Andersons [Boyracer+++] Milk and Alcohol label have reissued 12 Minutes at the Hot Club Murphy in its entirety as a 7" EP, limited to 457 numbered copies. The silkscreened sleeve reproduces the original front artwork (admitting there were many variations with different inks and cover stocks, and as the original screens and LetraSetting for the 12" wore out and were patched or replaced "on the fly")… There has never been musician credits until now. YouTube videos are online for Hiding in the Forest and The Encampment showing the originals and representative artwork from the 7" EPs."- Messthetics.

Artist: DRY RIB
Title: Whose Last Trickle
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $11.00
"D.I.Y. with a guitar-genius/nonsense poet only begins to explain Dry Rib and the projects that followed, but they were one of a tiny handful of D.I.Y./post-punk-era groups whod probably have sounded the same whether Punk had happened or not. And things only got cooler, odder, and more idiosyncratic as Rob Vaseys audio insurgency progressed. Ed Ball of O Level (and later the Times and Teenage Film Stars) saw Dry Rib first in late 1978 and promptly signed them to his new Clockwork label. He writes, Dry Rib were a late 70s three piece group of some indefinable power - not Powerful in the obvious sense, as in everyone slugging out the same riff... More the power of musical and lyrical imagination ... Rob Vaseys guitar style of blurred chord stylings coupled with continuous tremolo arm preempted My Bloody Valentine (or anyone else) by the best part of a decade. [He] wasnt like Eric Clapton or Paul Weller in way/shape/form ... Which could only be a good thing because, he superseded these fellows for sheer guitar innovation and songscapes that neither could even conceive of. Rob was ably supported by two equally intelligent musicians ? Andrew Goodwin (one of the best two drummers Ive ever played with - and that includes the so-called shit-hot session guys) and Mike Mullholland (who could make a Fender Precision sound like Entwistle, Matlock or a distressed horsefly!) Dry Ribs EP received heavy airplay from John Peel, who featured all three tracks: Quail Seed, Cruelty of the Victim and their epic Alaska (the latter and a demo of Quail Seed appear on Messthetics #102) and briskly sold through a thousand-odd copies at the beginning of D.I.Y.s golden age. They made several further trips to the studio, with no loss of intensity or inventiveness. Robs career next took a more fluid and improvisational turn in a series of collaborations with various members of the Times extended family, mostly under the flag of as, hem syrup (the name taken from a nonsense prose piece of Robs) and the lyrics grew even more fanciful. As with Dry Rib, theres no mistaking any of the material for anyone elses. Theres much more of Ed Balls account in his liner notes (including diary entries from the time) along with every surviving Dry Rib photo, lyrics, the usual daunting ephemera, and 20 songs and 75 minutes of music on the CD." - Messthetics

Artist: GODS GIFT
Title: Pathology: Manchester 1979-84
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $11.00
"From 1979 to 1984 other bands on the Manchester scene played larger roles, but sooner or later almost everyone who was there mentions Gods Gift -- in tones of awe or amazement. Heres where the rest of the world finds out what all the racket was about. The early Manchester scene was anchored by The Fall, Joy Division, a few straightahead punks, and the more idiosyncratic denizens of the Manchester Musicians Collective. And Gods Gift out-did them all -- in diffidence, darkness, pure feral energy and gleeful musical anarchy. Their successes were epic, but their failures, too, left indelible impressions. Guitarist Steve Murphy: If things were going wrong, wed make them go more wrong... Singer Steven Edwards once shouted out to a baffled London crowd, Wotcha dancing for? -- its tuneless, you pillock! This was no pose. As much as can be said of any band in rock history, Gods Gift were the product of their day jobs: Murphy, Edwards, and at least five others who played in GG all worked inside at Prestwich Asylum -- then the largest psychiatric hospital in the U.K. The hospitals grayness, hopelessness, and constant menace permeated not just GGs tunes and lyrics, but their very stage-presence -- Edwards in work-clothes, and Murphy playing (always!) with his back turned to some of the U.K.s least cuddly audiences. GG recorded a fight onstage and used it in place of lyrics for their self-released first 45, People. Gods Gift found a champion in New Hormones owner, Richard Boon, who booked the band and put out the 12" Gods Gift EP and their landmark Discipline single, but unfortunately, as New Hormones finances crumbled, Boons favorite track, Clamour Club, remained unreleased. Messthetics 17-song CD, Pathology, spans GGs career from 1979 to 1984, drawing material from their records, a Manchester Musicians Collective compilation, several demos and two full-length cassette albums. 12-page booklet with photos and extensive bio; 75 minutes of pounding, insistent, magnificent noise." -Messthetics

Artist: PERFORMING FERRETS
Title: No One Told Us
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $11.00
"Twenty-eight songs from one of D.I.Y.s iconic bands, including most of their astonishingly scarce LP, which music-historian / journo / D.I.Y.- enthusiast Johan Kugelberg described as the most seminal LP to come out of DIY ... Fantastic over enthusiastic juvenilia of an almost supernatural beauty. Whether or not the name was ironic, The Performing Ferrets were very much a performing band -- whose songs clearly grew out of the way they interacted. A curious rhythm, an engaging riff, an arresting lyrical snippet, and frequently a Melodica tumble and writhe, ferretlike, into song / groove / experiments that stood unique on the indie post-punk scene. The Ferrets started out in Maidstone, Kent, in 1978 but they parlayed academic careers in Manchester, Portsmouth, Nottingham and Preston into appearances all over the U.K.. John Peel once lamented that every gig he did there seemed to be a Ferret there clutching a demo tape in its sweaty paw. Theres a touch of The Fall and the TV Personalities, a little garage and Beat, hints of the rhythm-propelled sounds of the Monochromes, Feelies, Beefheart, Gang of 4/Delta 5 or Diagram Brothers, and a dry wit that had more to do with the Ferrets favorite authors and comedians than anyone from the class of 77, but the Ferrets response to D.I.Y. was all their own. In Mandolin (performed on a detuned mandolin that sounds like a toy piano) they complain, The independent market / Is just a bring-and-buy sales ... God help those who do it small scale / Youve got to watch those pennies ... Youre bound to lose pounds / We just cant make money (oh no, oh no!) Their conclusion? Theyd just as soon give their records away for free (though the planned free flexi never happened). No One Told Us collects 28 tracks from 1980-82, although only three rather inscrutable tunes saw wide distribution back in the day on their lone Peel-championed 45. They also released two cassettes (perhaps 200 each) and 300 odd copies of their self-titled LP. After two years in Manchester the Ferrets wound down when two of them ended up in Miaow with Cath Carroll, another took over the editorship of Manchesters legendary City Fun, and a fourth got a doctorate in immunology. The complete sagas in the 12-page booklet, along with photos, artifacts, and almost 80 minutes of the Ferrets finest on the CD." - Messthetics
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Artist: V/A
Title: Messthetics #103 D.I.Y. 77-81 Midlands I
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $12.50
"D.I.Y. and (very) indie postpunk from the Midlands, 77-81. The Messthetics #100-series hits the metal-weary Midlands, where it encounters a sparse but energetic rabble of (mostly) teens - happily raising their own musical racket, completely outside the mainstream music business. Faster, louder, and less arty than their D.I.Y. counterparts elsewhere in the U.K. Messthetics #103 collects rare tracks from the Versatile Newts [pre-Felt], Swell Maps, Prefects [pre-Nightingales], the Accused, Profile, Hardware [pre-Pigbag], Famous Explorers, School Meals, The Shapes, the Buzz, Domestic Bliss, Cracked Actors, Lester and the Brew, Human Cabbages, 021, and Cult Figures. Also selections from the first releases from Digital Dinosaurs, Spizzoil, Cravats, and Dangerous Girls. 22 songs on the CD plus four bonus MP3 tracks. Lavishly illustrated and documented 24-page booklet, with histories, photos and ephemera." - Messthetics
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Artist: V/A
Title: Messthetics #105 D.I.Y. 77-81 Scotland I
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $12.50
"D.I.Y. and (very) indie post-punk from Scotland, 77-81. Messthetics first Scottish installment focuses on a brief, intense scene of ardently independent bands who got started rubbing shoulders with 1977 punk then paid no attention at all to London after that. (London returned the favor.) The sound was based on guitars of all sorts, ingeniously skewed melodies and unashamed local accents. Naturally, it all fell apart as soon as The Sound of Young Scotland became a marketable commodity, but they left behind a rich cache of lost alternative hits. Plenty of traditional D.I.Y., too... 24 songs on the CD plus nine bonus MP3 tracks. 90 minutes of music. 24-page booklet, lovingly documented with histories & photos galore. Messthetics #105 features rarities by Fire Engines, Scrotum Poles, 35mm Dreams, The Exile, Commercials, Fakes, Metropak, Tony Pilley, Visitors, Article 58, Radio Ghosts, Rapid Dance, Strutz, Vertical Smiles, Restricted Code, Brills, Rhythm Method, Hes Dead Jim, Friction and Paul Reekie. Unreleased first recordings by Dirty Reds [who became the Fire Engines], 35mm Dreams, Jazzateers, International Spys [pre-Radio Ghosts, Wee Cherubs, Bachelor Pad] and Edinburghs legendary Ettes. Plus other never-before-released material from the Scrotum Poles, Commercials, Tony Pilley, Article 58, Radio Ghosts, Vertical Smiles, and Restricted Code..." -Messthetics.
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Artist: V/A
Title: Messthetics #106 The Manchester Musicians Collective
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $13.00
"...1977-1982. Messthetics first visit to Manchester surveys the most successful and innovative of Britains post-punk-era musicians collectives. The MMCs most famous spawn were obviously The Fall (who first played at an MMC meeting) and Joy Division (who loaned their P.A.), but the MMCs emphasis on public performance and its egalitarian ethic of shared gear, expertise, and, frequently, band-members, affected and inspired future stars and faintest sparks alike to create an unparalleled range of truly alternative sounds. Twenty-one songs on the CD plus five bonus MP3 tracks. 80+ minutes of music. 24-page booklet, extensively documented with histories, photos and artifacts. Messthetics #106 features songs by the Mud Hutters, Gods Gift, Dislocation Dance, Elti-Fits, Diagram Brothers, The Liggers, The Passage, Bee Vamp, Spherical Objects, Grow-Up, Contact, Slight Seconds, Armed Force, the Manchester Mekon, The Spurtz, and never-released tracks by The Elite, The Hamsters, Manchester Mekon, Bee Vamp, and Property Of (Messthetics fans will also note an unusual concentration of women-in-charge, unorthodox effects, provocative lyrics, wildly varied electronics and general non-punk stylings)." -Messthetics

Artist: V/A
Title: Messthetics #107: D.I.Y. 78-81 London III
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $13.00
"Messthetics returns to London - mostly to a handful of Tube-stops along the Central and Northern Lines. #107 also includes a special 7-band, 6-page feature on the legendary Dining Out label. Rough-edged new wave wonders, scrappy D.I.Y.-punk, ear-boggling home experiments - and the usual quota of accidental pop from fifth-form teens, art-school grads and committed hippies. Some recorded in actual studios, others on stand-alone cassette-decks placed just so on the squat- or church-hall floor. With ex-members of Spitfire Boys, Tax Exiles and Flying Lizards; others went on to Weekend, Alien Sex Fiend, A Certain Ratio, 400 Blows, Alabama 3, Celestial, Afro Celt Sound System, Fraff, Late Night Poker, and ..and the Native Hipsters. Plus 5 bands that got their start at Raynes Park High School for Boys, Morden. Messthetics #107 features obscure vinyl sides from Disco Zombies, Demon Preacher, Jelly Babies, Six Minute War, Stepping Talk, Occult Chemistry, The Patterns, 49 Americans, Avocados, Methodishca Tune, Jangletties, Stolen Power, Flags, The Steppes, The Insex, The Milkmen, Design for Living, Twilight Zoners, and Club Tango. Unreleased material from Disco Zombies, Buddy Hernia & the Rickets, Twilight Zoners, Milkmen, and the White Brothers. 23 songs on the CD plus 7 bonus MP3 tracks: 90+ minutes of music. 24-page booklet, extensively documented with histories, photos and artifacts." -Messthetics

Artist: V/A
Title: Messthetics #108: South Coast D.I.Y. 77-81
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $13.00
"D.I.Y. and (very) indie postpunk from the South Coast 1977-81 (vol. 1: Bournemouth-to-Brighton). Throughout the age of Punk and postpunk the English music press, the major labels, and the established indies ignored the South Coast with surprising thoroughness. Their neglect blurred lines between potential chart acts, Rough Trade prospects, and deliberate D.I.Y., so that the South Coast scenes (while still insular) remained highly varied, while D.I.Y. became less a choice than a necessity. Except for the Mods, hardly anyone put out records on their own, so instead the best documents of South Coast postpunk were a handful of excellent local compilations and a raft of barely-circulated tapes -- that account for a majority of the tracks here. Messthetics purists may note with alarm that almost every band on #108 had a proper drum-kit (sacrilege!) and also performed regularly in public. Still, there are Messthetics sounds of all species on #108 -- and its our most generous selection yet! 24 songs on the CD plus 10 bonus MP3s and a video: 110 minutes of music; 28-page booklet, extensively documented with histories, photos and artifacts." -Messthetics

Artist: V/A
Title: Messthetics Greatest HISS: Classics Of U.K...
Format: CD
Label: Messthetics
Country: USA
Price: $13.00
"...Cassette Culture D.I.Y.: 1979-1982 (Volume 1). An introduction to the D.I.Y. cassette scene 1979-84. The U.K.s original cassette-scene hosted some of the most inept shambling in the history of recorded music, but there was no shortage of musical genius, either (be that accidental or otherwise). From endless bedrooms filled with home-made gadgets, Woolworths guitars, Casios and soldering fumes, came sounds both stunningly simple and sophisticated -- and vastly more varied than anything on vinyl. These artists seldom made more than 100 copies of their cassettes and typically circulated them for free, with untold thousands of tapes changing hands through the Royal Post. Messthetics new series samples the more, er, musical sides of the scene (lots of cool electronics, but no ambient or industrial -- and everythings under 5 minutes!): Here is D.I.Y. at its most liberated. Twenty-five tracks on the CD plus five bonus MP3s. 90+ minutes of music. 24-page booklet, crammed with histories, photos, artifacts and an essay from Mick Sinclair, who wrote the original Cassette Pets column for Sounds. Messthetics Greatest Hiss features the superstars of cassette culture and plenty of others: The Jelly Babies, Danny & the Dressmakers, Storm Bugs, Colin Potter, Event Group, The Get, Instant Automatons, Missing Persons, Gravity Craze, Farming Jim & his Hepcat Groovstas, 391, The Chromosomes, Mike Jones, The Living Dead no. 5, Digital Dinosaurs, The Twizlers, Aconite, Casual Labourers (Bendle and other DIY heavies), Midnight Circus, Milkshake Melon, Funhouse, Cultural Amnesia, Stripey Zebras, Chimp Eats Bananas (pre-Chumbawamba!) and Dean Johnson." -Messthetics
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by artist / 0-9    A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z    V/A \   by label