Saturday, 16 February 2008

Off on a Tangent, Part 9 - More Slab!

I wrote about Slab! here some time ago, and I’m pleased to say that, for a band that’s been defunct for nearly twenty years, they appear to be gaining a good deal of attention, both on the net and beyond.

First off, there’s Slab’s My Space page, set up by Tim Elsenburg of the folktronica outfit Sweet Billy Pilgrim (check out the fantastic tracks Bruguda and the gorgeous Meantime here).

Tim is also writing a piece on ‘songs that changed my life’ for The Sunday Times – the song chosen? Dolores, by Slab!, which you can hear on the MySpace link above. Without a doubt it’s the best track on the album, and probably (for me at least) amongst some of the best – and heaviest – music ever recorded. And lurking underneath the massive beats, drum machines and scuzzed out bass, there’s an honest to goodness tune. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Oh, and if anyone can track down any pictures of this elusive band, let Kevin know on


Jon Peacey said...

"In some respects, these facts make me feel incredibly smug, inasmuch as I know about this band and the rest of the world doesn’t. However, for the most part, I feel massively aggrieved that such a brilliant and essential record has passed people by without anyone noticing. (from the previous post)

-I know precisely how you feel: I want to share the music I love but I fear that if other people find it, my love will be diminished. Worse still I fear that it will be found by evil TV people and used ad nauseam on progs and worse still trailers... as with Unkle!

I heard the same piece of Arvo Part on TV twice last week (Casualty, two episodes; Doctors, one). That was annoying. This is my music, I found it; how dare they take it away from me!

I think the trailer people get given just the one CD for each Christmas, assume that is the sum total of all music then use it for backgrounding everything!

Sorry, I've gone tangential...

Jon Peacey said...

Just looked up Descension on Amazon for a price... checked the reviews for a second opinion... and whose name should I find there?

Chip Smith said...

Yup, sorry, guilty as charged! The Relapse re-release was a few years back now - I almost wet myself with excitement when it came out, as my vinyl copy is totally knackered.

I'm a complete musical snob, I'd be the first to admit to that, but I'm also painfully aware that if you're in a band, you want people to hear your music, no matter how left field and obscure it might be.

If you're tempted by Descension, let me know what you think! The follow up to that record - Sanity Allergy - hasn't been released on CD (and I doubt it ever will), so if you enjoy that, I could always do you a CD-R if you fancy it.

Jon Peacey said...

That's a most generous offer which I may take you up on after I test the water... Descension is a mere 2.50 at the moment... so well worth a punt. (Unfortunately there's also the new Goldfrapp, Miss Kittin and the third of the Bjork sets in the very near future!)

I'm a terrible musical (and also, to a certain extent, cinematic) snob. Partly, it's a long harboured desire to direct that feeds into it... I want to be the first to put 'Band X' into a film...

The thing that I've lost sight of is whether the bands/artists I like are actually obscure/unknown. Some people seem to have heard of these things but it could be that I just know people who know these things. (Mind you too many of them are clinging onto out-dated musical forms like I**n M**den!)

I would guess that a couple of the Goth bands I like would count as obscure. And of those the most wanted release is the official CDr of Ghost Dance's Gathering Dust LP: it's never been issued by a record label but the band did a version themselves. Mind you, I should probably pick up a vinyl copy in the first place.

BTW: presumably you have the capability to turn vinyl into CDr. How do you go about it? The last time I asked for advice in a computer emporium they asked me what a 'record/LP/vinyl' was!

Chip Smith said...

I think the first test of 'obscurity' is a Google search. Regardless of the band name, no doubt you'll get a few hits - the next stage is to track down the records that that search throws up. With a band like Slab!, the second album is almost impossible to come across - plus, there's very little about them on the www, and three fifths of the band have apparently vanished off the face of the planet! So as far as obscurity goes, I think that one's a pretty safe bet...

Re vinyl to CDR - there's a piece of software called Audio Cleaning which is pretty good. I picked mine up on ebay for about fifteen quid - comes with all the leads. Plug your amp into your PC and away you go - it's a doddle (so speak Mr Technophobic).

Chip Smith said...

And speaking of Iron Maiden, my brother's just come back from Australia where he saw them twice - Brisbane and Perth. The 30th and 31st Iron Maiden gigs he's been to. I, on the other hand, have never seen them - and I intend to keep it that way!