Tuesday, 5 August 2014

White Stained Covers

About a million years ago, back when I lived in Lewisham, Mark Crumby of Impulse fanzine told me that he was putting together a book about the power electronics group Whitehouse. This was to be accompanied by a free cassette of cover versions of Whitehouse tracks, and I was asked if I would like to contribute. Mark explained that the covers could be fairly liberal interpretations, and that the point was to have fun with the material. I mentioned this to my friend Andrew Cox as we convened for our evening session in The White Horse, and he was very much tickled by the idea, and thus were born Stan Presley & the Glitterdust All-Stars for the express purpose of failing to see the humour in Rock and Roll, a track originally recorded for Birthdeath Experience, Whitehouse's 1980 album and one of the few that doesn't sound exactly the same as the other two thousand they have since recorded. I also turded out two further tracks, and Andrew played guitar on one of these, but I can't remember which as I don't have the cassette with me, and I haven't heard them in two decades. This is also why I'm not going to name my other two tracks, in case it turns out that they were shite after all. Apparently William Bennet of Whitehouse was somewhat bemused by the cassette when it emerged. Perhaps he thought we had failed to treat his oeuvre with due reverence, or perhaps he was simply angry because our versions were much better than all that ranty ravey I'm going to feel your bottom! stuff of his. Actually, that's probably it, I should think.

Anyway, White Stained Covers has been reissued, for some reason, albeit as a limited run of numbered copies by the Bleak Netlabel in conjunction with something called aufnahme+wiedergabe.

In 1993, a group of electronic troubadours set about writing and recording a tribute to their favourite band, Whitehouse. Amongst them, ex-Whitehouse member Glenn Michael Wallis, founder of industrial pioneers Konstruktivists, former stagehand for Throbbing Gristle. The recordings were given away with the book Still Going Strong, a collection of interviews, reviews and newspaper snippets about Whitehouse and their legendary live actions. Created, edited and published by Mark Crumby's Impulse label, it has become a massively sought after collector's item - the book, that is; not the tape. The tape never got the attention it deserves, and everything around it seems to be embarrassing for the involved persons. It took twenty years to unveil the mysteries to it, to identify the names and persons behind this labour of love. While considered a parody by many, including William Bennett, we feel that this highly underrated work by dedicated artists should be brought to a new generation of power electronic kids.

So there you have it. The tape is not yet available, but is available for pre-order, possibly from this place, or maybe from their friends. Ordinarily I would wait for it to be on sale before plugging such an item, but it'll probably be sold out by then, given that this is how such things tend to go and it's now possible to sell a bit of paper with the word industrial written on it on eBay for thousands of pounds.