Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Machines (two of them)

Following on the heels of my Level Records posts, here are two absolutely stunning singles from the "Machines" series put out by Simple Machines records back in the day. This series comprised the first six releases on the label, one for each of the eponymous devices: wedge, wheel, pulley, screw, lever, and inclined plane. These were later compiled on CD, so if you want a cleaner copy, you should go get that. In the meantime, I'm posting the two entries from the series that are in my collection, with all the snaps, crackles, and pops like you're sitting listening to your own copies.

First up is Lever, which opens with a great rager by Severin, followed by Scrawl's cover of "Reuters" by Wire, which if not an improvement on the original (how could it be?) is an interesting and worthy entry into the legions of Wire acolyte-ism. Autoclave, who showed up here on the Teenbeat 50 comp a while back, reappear with another hit, and finally the disc wraps up with the real wonder of the bunch, Circus Lupus, whose song "Pacifier" I first heard on a mixtape in 1994 and is still blowing my mind all these years later. Who'd have thunk that you'd hear the influence of Steve Albini and Alain Jourgensen on a Simple Machines release? Listen and learn, my friends.

Lever split 7", 1991
Simple Machines, no. 5

A1. Severin, "Me & You" (4:10)
A2. Scrawl, "Reuters" (2:17)
B1. Autoclave, "Summer" (2:20)
B2. Circus Lupus, "Pacifier" (3:58)

For the final single in the Machines series, those Simple Machines folks really pulled out all the stops, squeezing four of the heaviest hitters of the early 90s indie scene into one amazing single. Inclined Plane boasts a cover of Flower's "Beauty pt. II" by Tsunami (featuring the label's stalwart leaders Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson), followed by (yet another) great Superchunk track. On the flip side is a tremendous instrumental by Louisville's Rodan, and finally, fantastically, Unrest's reworking of the Family Fodder hit "Debbie Harry", which is updated to become "Winona Ryder". Anyone who reads this blog knows how I love Unrest, so this is a very happy finale indeed.

Inclined Plane split 7", 1993
Simple Machines, no. 6

A1. Tsunami, "Beauty pt. II" (3:04)
A2. Superchunk, "Baxter" (4:04)
B1. Rodan, "Darjeeling" (4:16)
B2. Unrest, "Winona Ryder" (2:30)

Get both singles here. Enjoy!

1 comment:


Love the Unrest/Rodan songs here.