Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pagan Babies

I really have to warn you - the music on this tape is not even up to the low standards we maintain on this blog :) But I had to post this cassette cause it's sort of African music by a Hawaiian band recorded in Papua New Guinea which I bought in the Oxfam shop in Swansea, Wales. It was too much of a mix of weirdness and the cover makes me laugh. Most of the tracks sound like they were knocked out on a cheap kid's synth at a wedding reception. But the tracks Wasara and African Typic are not too bad for fun african party numbers.

The Pagan Babies of Hawaii, U.S.A.

a1 - Hat, Hat, Hat
a2 - Jungle Beat
a3 - Sebe Allah-ye
a4 - Fire in Belize
a5 - That's My Blood
a6 - Natives are Restless
b1 - Bidimbo
b2 - Could You Be Loved
b3 - Wasara
b4 - African Typic
b5 - Forget About You
b6 - Hot, Hot, Hot

I also want to talk about some new bands. We here at the Dalston Oxfam Shop blog are not content with rave rare cassette postings and hot dj gigs - we also WANT TO BOOK LIVE BANDS. Yeah. I was asked to book the dungeon room at the last People on Horses party and instead of just getting more djs, I thought it would be fun to turn it into some weird freaky band-fest. I had just seen Maria & the Mirrors play at Offset festival where I had been djing and my friend Hannah from The P.I.X. tipped me off to the hot new show put on by the FANTASTICALLY named An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (named after a classic painting). Both of them had an great sort of raw rock/punk/tribal drumming thing going on with a theme of girl-bands-who-drum-standing-up.

Here's a track by An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump - Lights Out. They're 3 english girls, one of Nepalese descent and two filipino sisters. And they make really good RAW sounds. They've recently played with S.C.U.M., Pre and Selfish Cunt and are solidly booked for gigs as you can see on their myspace and are currently playing in Berlin. The youtube vid doesn't really capture the experience.

Maria & the Mirrors is probably a bit lesser known, but their live show has something which is like an avant-garde art/music wet dream. Two girls standing playing drums in sync like some east london aboriginal tribe reborn followed by seagull calls and screams interspersed with the electric bass/loop stylings of their male force with occasional rants from him as well. I couldn't find a good quality track as of this posting, but check out the hebrew symbolistic referential (to equinox) Tekufah on their myspace. Honestly, I have been telling people left and right to book them. The artist Martin Creed obviously agrees with me as they are playing with his band on the 14th Oct. at The Hub on Goulston Street (east london). Pic below is from Offset festival. Somehow at the gig they managed to pull a whole bunch of the Friday night 333 crowd downstairs because it was such a strange yet wonderful sight.

Finally I would like to draw attention to another musical project which is similar to the above in its sense of rejecting the whole "my this is a good vintage, a '98 Chateau Margaux red" with nose in the air approach to musical craftsmanship, favoring instead a sort of Lambrini and poppers freestylin in ye olde squat down the lane. Squallyoaks is the womb of much creativity in London, as it is the fairly inexpensive residence of Karley Sciortino and her mates. I don't know her mates very well, but Karley has been behind the fantastically written Slutever blog, the international slam dance girlcore, which along with other parties she has booked, has made Catch the hot spot again in Shoreditch. She also dates a mysterious, sweet and very talented indie chart star, has her own band Indie Boys Don't Boners, is a hottie, has been in French playboy (as an article, with her clothes on, duh) and was key to the success of my blog as she put me up in lists of good sh*t in like Dazed and such. And she probably still thinks she's not up to anything.

Well she and her fellow Squallyoak-ians decided to put together an album and actually there are some really good ideas on it. It's sort of keeping with the ideas over polish theme in this blog post. Not sure where you can get the cd, but message Karley. Do not assume that the other tracks are like this one.

Squallyoaks - Ridiculous


Hippie Zingo said...

Cool blog! FWIW, the photo on the cover of the Pagan Babies album is based on a famous photograph of the Asaro Mudmen by Irving Penn:

dalston shopper said...

Thanks Hippie. I thought I had seen that before but didn't recognize till you mentioned it.

ArchStanton said...

I was just transferring some other Pagan Babies cassettes to digital when I stumbled across this. They were a favorite band of mine while I was stationed in Pearl Harbor in the 80s-90s. I agree that they can sound a bit synthy on their recordings, but they did sound much better live.

I know of four albums:
The Pagan Babies (1985) cassette
Yeba! (1988) cassette
Wild Root Remedy (?) CD
Carnival Knowledge (1993) CD

About half of the tracks on your posting are not on any of the albums I have, so I am excited to be able to hear them again. Brings back memories - thanks!

Dennis said...

Great stuff! I used to watch them at Anna Bananas on the weekends. It was a rockin' place!