Album Review

Bohman, Adam – “Bunhill Row ” – [Paradigm Discs]

Max Level   4/7/2007   12-inch, A Library

Bohman (from the London project Morphogenesis) created this solo record in 1980, overdubbing everything on cheap cassette recorders. He sings and plays trumpet, guitar, melodica, and a bunch of non-traditional instruments such as electric shaver, radio static, plastic tubes, rubber bands, toilet rolls, etc. Many of the tracks are crazy noise pieces with banging metal for percussion and unrecognizably distorted instruments, and there are plenty of ranting vocals: (A9 “we are missionaries, we have come to convert you!”, A11 “she was a whore!”, A12 “I live in a cave!”, and so on). There are also some lovely but depressing pop songs: in “Irresponsible Parent Blues” a single father tells his child that he/she is going to be put in a “home”; “The Girl in the Purple Dress” is about a body found floating in a river (“you were dead… you were dead…”) Extreme weirdness is everywhere; even the pop songs sometimes have howling or shrieking sounds in the background. Voice-only tracks such as “Talkin’ ‘Bout Manilow” and “The Milk Chocolate Soldier” show how twisted Bohman really is. The ragged tension of some of this material reminds me of Bohman’s fellow UK scenesters Throbbing Gristle and This Heat, and what they were up to at that time. This record is an amazing adventure!

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