Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Auscult - s/t MLP
Requested by some and here it is.
Until recently, this was one of the most mysterious releases to be found. I was attracted to it as people described it as gloomy postpunk/synth/wave. The album doesn't mention any names of bandmembers, label or song titles. On the back of the sleeve there's only "NYC 1986" mentioned.
Now there's alot more info on this release. The record's on eBay for sale right now (ends within 12 hours) by someone called Goutroy. I think his description is quite accurate:
When I say this is Iron Curtain related, I mean it literally. This is an extremely rare and virtually unknown 12" EP put out in 1986 by Steve Field's (aka the brains behind Iron Curtain) brother, Ken (who was also a founding member of Iron Curtain). This was the only record Auscult released. This record has given collectors a bit of a problem, as nobody knows who was behind this band. No insert was ever included (I opened this sealed copy). There's no record label (it was self-released). No band credits... nothing. The front says "Auscult", the back says "1986 NYC" and the labels on the record only say "1" or "2". I only know this is Steve Field's brother because he mentioned it in an interview on the minimal-wave website (www.minimal-wave.org): "Incidentally, my brother, Ken Fields formed a minimal band in NYC called "Auscult" and released a terrific record that is a true rarity." The full interview can be found here: http://www.minimal-wave.org/site/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=19 As mentioned earlier, Ken Fields was one of the founding members of Iron Curtain along with his brother. He was also the one responsible for Iron Curtain's most well-known song, The Condos, in the form we're familiar with. It was originally a dirge-like song, but Ken reorchestrated it one night and made it into the minimal synthpop song we all know and love. Anyway, enough backstory, on to this record: You can definitely tell the brothers grew up with the same tastes. Take a song from the Condos EP by Iron Curtain, slow it down to 33 1/3, add vocals that sound like Steve Fields mixed with Ian Curtis, and that's what Auscult sounds like. Just like Iron Curtain, he uses a simple, repetitive drum machine, synths, and sparse guitars. The only difference is that Auscult is slower and MUCH darker, dirge-like, and depressive than anything Iron Curtain ever did. Even Tarantula Scream doesn't come anywhere close to the melancholy and gloom found here. If Iron Curtain was covering Danse Society's "There is No Shame in Death", it would sound pretty much exactly like the music here. Needless to say, you should probably own this if you don't already!
Now that the word is out that this record is Iron Curtain related, bids will get high I'm afraid. Glad I found a copy earlier this year (I was the only bidder!) 'cos I can't compete with the minimal synth collectors.
Thanks to Sorrow-Vomit for stirring up my interest a little more for trying to get this one.
This is dark, creepy stuff. Recommended!
Auscult MLP (No Label-1986)