Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bamodi CD review from the Beat magazine

A nice chap named Patrick Emery has again tackled Bassta! Pex's band! After two cool reviews of both Soviet Valves EPs, Patrick has bothered to review Bamodi debut CD for Melbourne's Beat magazine. We think he did a bloody great job!

Here it is:

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Abe Sada tour of Japan June/July 2007

Here some more rant about our recent gigs in Japan.

Most of the Tokyo shows were organised by Sawada-san. He's a nice bloke who plays drums in a cool Japanese band Marble Sheep. While we were over there Sawada was also running a small club called Penguin House, but I believe he's moved on now. So, quite often he organises gigs for touring bands.

26 June @ Em Seven, Koiwa

I Believe Koiwa is not even part of Tokyo (it belongs in Chiba prefecture), but here was our first gig and it was a good start of the tour. I must say that the whole thing would be much more difficult for all involved, especially me, if it wasn't for my wife Atsuko, who helped with finding our way around, getting the tickets for train, communicating with the venues' staff and lot more.

So, Atsuko and me met Cat Hope and her partner (and fellow Abe Sada member) KFord at Minami Senju station. Then we took a couple of trains and we arrived to Koiwa. We found the venue and met the guy who came to deliver the amps - we had to hire 3 bas amps, as most venues in Japan have only one bas amp for bands to use. He already unloaded all the gear, we paid him and went upstairs.

Now, most of the venues we played are in buildings and often on 2nd or 5th floor or something like that. It's rather unusual, at least in Australia, to see venues like that. My first concern was noise restrictions, but that was not a problem at all, as every single venue was sound-proof somehow.

KFord outside Em Seven

We met Dylan - a young Perth guy who joined us for a few gigs in Japan. He came with his friends Janelle and Jesse - all three of them are rather nice folks. We all went to the venue and met the staff. They asked us where we want the amps and we decided to spread them around. Now, that was not hard as the venue was rather small (I'd say 70 people is a maximum capacity). We tried the amps, had a short soundcheck and we were happy with it.

As we finished we met Sawada-san and all of us went in search of some food. We found a nice izakaya-style restaurant nearby (izakaya is a really cool style of restaurant where you can order many small dishes to share - it's tasty and bloody cheap). For next hour or so we pigged out and drank a lot of beer. For next few gigs that would be our routine: get to the venue, have a soundcheck, go and eat/drink a lot.

After a huge meal we went back to the venue. The shows in Japan start early - around 6.30 - 7pm. It's because people need to have enough time to catch a train home, which is cool. The first band on was Ulysses. It a 2-piece with girl on guitar/vocals and guy on drums. At moments it reminded me of Afrirampo with a bit of shoegaze stuff. Not bad in any case.


Then there was this computer/visuals noise guy, who I had to miss as I was catching up with my friends outside. Apparently it was really good.

Next band was Deadstock, really cool 3 piece noise-punk stuff. I talked to them after the gig and we exchanged the CDs.

It was Abe Sada's turn now and we took the stage or rather we took a corner each and started making noise. It was very enjoyable, even though I couldn't hear my bass much. People seemed to like it and some punters came to talk to us after the gig.

Abe Sada @ Em Seven

The last band Kurucrew was the highlight of the night! Awesome, awesome band with drums (and what a drummer he was!), bas, guitar and sax. Very mesmerizing loud stuff. Cat got their CD - I must get her to burn me a copy.

After them we hanged around for another beer, took some photos with lots of people and went to catch the train.

28 June @ Motion, Shinjuku

Met with Cat and KFord at Shinjuku train station around 3pm and we headed towards the venue. Three of us no-Japanese guys were overwhelmed with the number of people we saw on the streets there - they were everywhere! KFord stopped at some music shop to buy the soft case for his bass and we were off to the Motion.

The venue is on the fifth floor of this building. We met some staff at the door, they gave us our passes, Atsuko filled all the required forms and we hopped inside for a soundcheck. But we decided not to have one, as the nature of Abe Sada is to do improv gigs, so it was not necessary. We opted for spreading around the venue again, except for me who got the spot on the stage.

After leaving all our gig at the venue we went music shopping. KFord bought Boss Loop Station twin pedal for more than twice cheaper than in Perth. He looked happy for sure. Then it was time for some record shopping. I bought two records by Serbian jazz trumpeter Dusko Gojkovic who was coming to play in Tokyo, so I wanted to get him to sign it for me. Good luck finding his stuff in Australia, but in Japan all you need to do is go to first record/CD shop and ask for it - they have plenty of his stuff.

I'm not sure about the names of all bands we played with that night. The first one was kind of indie rock one, not bad, but didn't grab me too much.

Clean of Core were next and they were brilliant! Instrumental, almost prog rock, but not cheesy at all. Drums, bass and guitar/keys guy, very intense and almost danceable.

Tiecup were next, cool dub rock with chick on drums. Great Blue Hearts cover too. Bought two copies of their CD - one for us, one for a friend who would like it.

Tiecup in dub action

I introduced Abe Sada to a massive applause from the crowd and we took off. I got to say this was one of those great live Abe Sada shows and I totally enjoyed it. Punters were going from a player to another and checking our stuff, except for me who was isolated on stage, damn! We finished, went backstage and met both venue manager and owner, who were impressed and invited us back for another show - hopefully it will happen next year.

Bassta! Pex says this is the best way to play bass!

@ Motion

Last two bands I can't remember the names of... I was too high on adrenaline after our show to enjoy them anyway.

29 June @ ERA, Shimokitazawa

As usual, we met with Cat and KFord at the station and went to the venue. Again, the venue was on 5th floor and I had not so comfortable feeling when we got there. The sound guy assured us the venue will be packed tonight, so we decided to set up on stage for a change. During the soundcheck Atsuko eavesdropped on some guys from other bands who were talking crap about us. Like, "look at these guys who can't even play their basses". Arseholes!

After dinner we got back to the venue. This time we were joined on 4th bass by Hatake - a friend of Atsuko and a really cool guy. I had something like million of my friends who came and I had to catch up with them, so didn't bother to check the other bands.

When we took the stage pretty much the only audience were my and Atsuko's friends, as well as couple of Aussie guys, which made total number of punters 15 or so. So much for the "packed venue". Cat introduced the band and dedicated our set to "all the real musicians in the audience". We played well though, but I don't think I'll ever bother to play at that venue.

After the gig: KFord, Bassta! Pex, Cat, Hatake, Sawada-san hiding in the background

2 July @ UFO, Higashi-Koenji

This was the last and probably best show for me. I've heard of this venue before and liked it from the moment we stepped inside. This time the venue was in the basement of the building.

We met Tabata (of Zeni Ggeva) who were our 4th player tonite. Nice guy and a great player. We did a soundcheck, again set up on stage, went for huge dinner and lots of drinking and got back to the venue.

First band was Praha Depart - a combination of new wave, kraut and noise with drums, guitar and female vox. Really cool.

Praha Depart

Then it was the crazy Bariken guys. Drummer and guitarist/vocalist who play noise punk that reminded me a bit of early Melt Banana. Totally crazy stuff, awesome performance. Both of them would jump in the crowd in the middle of the song, do some weird dance and jump back on stage in time to finish the song. Met them after the gig and got a copy of their demo CD.

Bariken rule!
Alan Smithee something-something were next. Two drummers, bass, guitar, a bit of prog, bit of psych and totally cool.

I introduced us again and we were off. I don't want to crap so much about how good we were, but we were good. I loved it. The crowd loved it too.

At the end we had the best band on the night - Geltz. Drummer and bassist with something like 50 pedals. Awesome, awesome band, but no CD yet...

Then we said our goodbyes and pissed off. KFord and Cat continued for a few more shows on Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka...

And just a few things at the end. Japanese bands deserve more fucking respect! Especially in their own country. Being in a couple of bands in Australia I realize how easy it's for us here. We do some practicing, book a show and usually get the money, even if it's just $40 or so. With Bamodi we don't pay for rehearsal room as we practice at our drummer's workplace for free. So the only costs we have are usual ones: guitar strings, equipment, petrol... We play a few gigs and we can save enough money for recording. Fuckin easy, right?

In Japan bands pay heaps for rehearsal rooms and then in most cases they have to pay to play. Usually the system is that punters say at the door which band they came to see. So if our band has certain number of people who came to see it you get some money, but not much. The reason for this is that all venues have a lot of staff. So it's good for bands because the venue looks after you - all bands get soundcheck, which means great sound, everything is organised and all you need to do is make sure you're in tune and plug in your guitar and play. Venues supply drumkit, amps and PA. But no money.

So, I'm seeing all these Japanese bands and they all rock, they are all super tight and they have to pay to play. Not many people buy CDs over there, same as here, so there's no other income for bands. But they still rock. Good on you guys.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bassta! Pex conquers Japan!!!

We arrived to Narita airport after almost ten hours long flight from Perth. Recent survey showed that Australians are least satisfied with Qantas of all airlines and I don’t blame them – the food was bloody awful! Didn’t get much sleep at all, but was looking forward to the beginning of my holidays in Japan.

We went through the customs smoothly – no dirty “you are a terrorist smuggling eggs, honey and wood to Australia” look I’m used to almost every time I fly in to Perth, hehehe.

Atsuko’s family picked us from the airport, we hired the mobile phone, got some money from ATM and took the train to Yokohama. The ride was very comfortable and some hour and half later we arrived to her home.

Straight away the in-laws accepted me wholeheartedly and I knew it’ll be nice five weeks spending here at their house. Japanese houses are much smaller than Australian ones, but somehow they don’t lack anything. I surely have to bend my head every time I go from room to another room, which is a lesson I learned the hard way at least couple of times.

Atsuko’s father is a great cook and he certainly takes care of our meals while at home. It’s hard to believe, but I put on 3 kilos in just 5 days. Japanese people are food-obsessed in the best possible way. And to me everything tastes fuckin’ awesome, so it’s really difficult to resist all the nice food that’s on offer here, not to mention all the beer and other drinks.

All the stories about Japan being expensive are bullshit – so far the only thing more expensive here than in Australia is coffee. Eating and drinking out is cheaper (unless you eat not-Japanese food, which I won’t do here, of course), cigarettes are $3 a pack (although I haven’t been smoking almost at all here), the other stuff I’m spending money on (CDs, records) are also cheaper than in Perth. The other day I went and bought a new Epiphone SG bass, with two leads, a strap, and other accessories for less than $450!!!

Apart from meeting my in-laws, the other reason for coming here is a short tour by my bass-noise band Abe Sada – http://www.myspace.com/abesada - I will be playing four gigs with them in Tokyo starting from next week. Can’t wait!!

Abe Sada @ Em Seven, Koiwa, 26 June 2007

Abe Sada @ Motion, Shinjuku, 28 June 2007

The last gig in Tokyo is on tonight. It’s been hectic few days. I had to catch trains (and mean a few) from where I’m staying in Yokohama to wherever we had to play. The load in is usually around 3pm, followed by a soundcheck. That means I had to leave home around noon to get there in time.

All the venues we played were quite smaller than the venues in Perth, which is cool, as I’m much more comfortable with that and, honestly, didn’t think that hundreds of Japanese punters will rush to see some obscure, unknown noise band from Australia.

First gig on 26 June was at Em Seven in Koiwa, which is, apparently, suburb of Chiba, not Tokyo. Meaning: it’s fuckin’ far away. We met Cat and Karlos (two quarters of Abe Sada) near their hotel at Minami-Senji station. They both looked tired as they just flew in from Singapore that morning.

We went to the venue where we met the guy who delivered amps – we had to hire three bass amps, as the venues here only have one bass amp, which is reasonable, considering that venues in Australia have bugger all! The guy seemed ok, but we think that he ripped us off later, but that’s another story and one of very, very few bad ones, so let’s skip it here.

Dylan – the fourth Abe Sada member for most shows here – arrived with his two friends and we went to load stuff in the venue. We decided to spread the amps around the place and had a short soundcheck. No need miking the amps up, as the place was small. Sawada, our booking man, came and after a while we went to look for a place to have dinner. We found an izakaya style restaurant (cheap and fuckin’ tasty Japanese style food) and we ate and drank like kings for about $20 a person!

The first band was on at 6.30, so we dragged our arses to the club. The band was called Ulysses and consisted of a chick on guitar and guy on drums. It sounded like a cross between Afrirampo, Boris and maybe Cease, although a lot sloppier. Then it was turn for a solo laptop noise guy. Unfortunately I missed it, as I had to catch up with friends who came to see us. By all reports the guy was awesome. Then there was a three piece called Deadstock and they were pretty good: loud, mostly fast and entertaining.

We played a cool set but I was not happy with the venue’s amp I used – just couldn’t make it sound very loud. The last band Kurucrew were mindblowingly cool. Drums, bass, guitar and alto sax, they reminded me of Lightning Bolt at times but heaps tighter and more repetitive. The thing about most of Japanese bands I’ve seen here is that they are super-tight and even the ones I didn’t like sounded great at what they were doing. Caught a train home and was surprised to see it packed at around midnight on Tuesday night.

On Thursday we played at Motion in Shinjuku. When we arrived at the station in Shibuya at around 3pm we were surprised how that area of Tokyo looks huge, but it was later that night when I could see it at it’s full flight with millions of people roaming its streets.

The venue was on the fifth floor of this building – it amazes me how most venues are in buildings, but obviously they know how to solve a sound issues here. We didn’t have a soundcheck as we decided to have the amps spread again, so instead we went shopping. First stop guitar shop. Karlos bought a Loop Station for three times cheaper than in Perth. Then we went to one of many Disc Union music shops. It was a wet dream for any music consumer. I checked the jazz vinyl shop and found two records by Dusko Gojkovic – Serbian jazz trumpet master who is playing here on 14 July. Then went to soundtrack/DVD shop and nearly wet my pants when I’ve seen what they had for sale. Records and CDS are reasonably priced here – cheaper than in Perth for sure, while the DVDs are bit more expensive. But the choice, man, the choice!

After shopping we went for dinner and to the venue to check the bands. The first one was OK indie rock band that reminded me on Pixies. The guitar player wore Neu! t-shirt and we had a chat after the gig. Then Clean of Core took the stage – an awesome three-piece instrumental band that Sawada described as progressive, but I wouldn’t go that far. They are great instrumentalists and they had lots of weird changes in their set. We bought two of their demo CDs, they sound superb! After them Tiecup played – a real cool dub band that even did a Blue Hearts cover! Again bought two of their CDs – when I want to support a band I want to give them a bit of an extra support.

I introduced us before we started playing and when the crowd applauded loudly it was a sign that the gig will be great. And it was. I was the only member on stage and couldn’t see much what’s happening in the audience, but every now and then I could see punters moving from player to player and checking them out. We finished to a great response. Went out and met the venue manager and the owner. They were both impressed and wanted us back again in future. I was too high on adrenaline to bother too much about other two bands, but they were both really good, as far as I could hear.

Went outside into a hot and humid night. Streets of Shinjuku were packed with people and smelled of rotten cabbage. It amazes me how Tokyo stinks real bad, but I guess most of the huge cities do. We caught the train alright, but again it was chockers. When we arrive to our station in Yokohama it struck me how cooler it was here and quieter for sure. Bought the midnight snack, took a shower, ate and went to bed.

The next day it was a turn to play at Era in Shimokitazawa. From when we arrived to the venue I had bit of a bad feeling about it. It was the biggest so far and the sound guy wanted us to play on stage as “the venue will be packed tonite”. We had a short soundcheck during which Atsuko (who helped us heaps as interpreter at every gig) overheard other bands being sarcastic about “musical abilities”. Fuckheads.

We went for a walk, ate dinner and went to the venue, but we didn’t want to check other bands. Instead we caught up with some guy from Perth and his wife, as well as with few of our friends who came. Before we started playing Cat introduced us and dedicated the set “to all real musicians in the audience”, hehehe. We played really well, this time joined by young Hatake – a friend of Atsuko – but the turnout was quite poor. If it wasn’t for our friends the place would be empty. So much for the packed venue!

The next day the band played at Penguinhouse, but I couldn’t make it, as Atsuko’s friends bought us tickets for Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra – a band that I just couldn’t’ afford to miss, as I love their CDS and the DVDs I’ve seen of them performing live were supercool. We took a train to Shibuya, crossed the famous intersection, and took a long walk to the venue in Aoyama – a posh suburb of Tokyo.

The club was not too big, say 250 capacity. It was boiling hot inside, so we went for a beer. The band came out at 7.15pm armed with 6 saxophones, two drumkits, percussions, trombone, trumpet, melodica, flue, bass, two guitars, MC, dancers and conductor and for next two hours produced the most exciting and beautiful music I’ve ever witnessed live!

I think they only played five songs, but it was not boring for a second. Their music is a mix of jazz, world music (especially Balkan Gypsy stuff) and even pop, so the song would start with its main melodic theme and then it would go into various solo bits, total free jazz mayhem, back to poppy bit, more solos and finally huge comeback to the main theme, while we all yell and scream in excitement.

Their ‘conductor’ Daisuke Fuwa was anything but a classical conductor. He was giving the band signs what to do with his hands and things written on sheets of paper. He smoked at least a pack of smokes and drank 6 cans of some alcoholic beverage, finishing the gig with a bottle of sake, while he gave a bottle of vodka to band members to share.

As expected the show finished with “Theme of Honda Kumoten” – their trade mark song. And what a finish it was: the whole place was jumping in a manic dance craze yelling “Na na na, na na na, na na, na na” off the top of their lungs. Me included. Fucken hell, what a show that was!

Shibusa have been going for years, have over ten albums, but never became a major band in Japan. Considering that band consists of huge number of people it’s hard to believe they make any money from music. Which is to say they are probably professional musician who make their dough elsewhere and do Shibusa just for pure fun. Perhaps that’s why they are such a great band live. Honestly, after such a gig I don’t think any live music will ever sound so exciting. You can download the whole gig here:

After the gig we took some pics with the MC and dancers and pissed off home.

Played the final Tokyo show last nite… feeling quite empty now. I’m gonna miss it.

We went to UFO Club in Koenji (Guitar Wolf and Afrirampo played here before) around 4pm, met Tabata (Zeni Geva member) who was our fourth member for the night. Had a short soundcheck then went to eat. We ate and rank like maniacs again. Fuck, the food would never stop arriving to our table; squid’s liver, flying fish, flying fish cakes, deep fried chicken, cheese spring rolls… all with lots of beer and sochu.

All the bands that played at UFO with us were awesome! First there was Praha depart, who are a mix of new wave (Slits in particular), kraut and noise. Then there was this amazing two piece (drums and guitar) noise punk act that was highly amusing. They were followed by a pysch combo with two drummers.

Abe Sada played a great set, Tabata was real cool. It was loud as fuck, had to wear earplugs. After us it was a turn for Geltz – another two piece, but this time bass and drums. And what a fuckin’ awesome band they were!

We packed, said our goodbyes to all the people, caught a train and went home. Cat and Karlos will continue to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe and play gigs there. Karlos broke his cheap piece of bass shit, so I had to lend him my baby for the rest of the tour. Hope he takes good care of her, hehehe…

Sunday, June 3, 2007

X Press magazine interview with yours truly, 31 May 2007

This int was conducted by Mike Wafer for Perth street rag X Press. The ocassion was Abe Sada's CD launch/fundraising gig for upcoming tour of Japan. Check this space for my adventures from the land of the rising sun!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

SexA - Croatian post-punk from early 80s

SexA (Sedatives ex Apoteka - which should translate as Sedatives from the Pharmacy) was a seminal Croatian band that played since early 80s until they broke up in the early 90s.
The started in 1980/81, which was a really good time for Yugoslavian new wave. But due to the unaccessibilty of their music they haven't released anything until 1986 when a live cassette from their gig in Koper (Slovenia) was released in edition of 200 copies.
Soon after that the band went into hiatus. They re-appeared in 1989 with slightly different line up and totally different sound. This time they were quite noisy, not too different from bands like Killdozer, Big Black, Rapemen, although I'd say they were closest to Stretch Heads.
During this period they released one LP and a single, as well as some cassettes. When the war in former Yugoslavia started they moved to Amsterdam and soon after broke up, for good it seems... Unfortunatelly, it appears Steve Albini was really interested in working with them, but the band was no more.
Here are some of heir post-punk/wave stuff, both studio and live. The quality is not the greatest, but it will give you an idea how good SexA was.


Friday, February 23, 2007


New wave/post-punk period (late70s/early 80s) has to be the most creative time in the history of Yugoslavian music - both quality and quantity wise. Of course, quantity means there was a lot (and I mean a lot) of crap that popped up under the new wave banner, but Bassta! Pex won’t get too deeply into that - let’s talk about good things. Like Sarlo Akrobata.

Sarlo Akrobata (Loosely translates as Charles the Acrobat) started playing under that name in 1980 in their native Belgrade. At the same time two other local bands Idoli and Elektricni Orgazam also started making noise and soon after all three bands ended up on legendary compilation “Paket Aranzman”. It must be said her that all three bands were quite different: Idoli were new wave-ish pop, Elektricni Orgazam punk with synth and Sarlo Akrobata were... um, Sarlo Akrobata!

Sarlo Akrobata sounded like bastard sons of Pere Ubu, Pop Group and Gang of Four (whom they supported in 1981), yet, they sounded like nothing else before or after. Loud, wild, not afraid of experimenting (both in studio and live), Sarlo Akrobata created sounds that were never extremely popular, but certainly very influential on the upcoming generations of Yugo bands.

They recorded their only album in July/August 1981 and pretty much broke up immediately after. Bass player Koja continued to do similar stuff with Disciplina Kicme, while Milan (guitar) formed highly successful Katarina II - later Ekatarina Velika or EKV. Milan passed away in 1994 and Sarlo Akrobata drummer Vd passed away in 1992. Until this day there hasn’t been a legitimate reissue of “Bistriji ili tuplji covek biva kad...” LP. We hope it happens soon.

Here's all of their studio recordings, as well as some live stuff (not great quality, though):

Thursday, February 22, 2007


OK, time for some obscure Serbian post-punk stuff: split tape of Kazimirov Kazneni Korpus and Profili Profili from 1982.

Really don't know much about this, but I think it was the same band under two different names. Both bands do a few versions of the same song each.

Profili Profili had two songs on "Artisticka Radna Akcija" compilation LP from 1981.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yui Torigoe - Dualism exhibiton

As the newspaper article recently said: discovering new artists is as easy as going to the restaurant! It was in October 2006 when my then girlfriend/now wife and me went for a dinner at the restaurant in East Victoria Park (part of Perth, Western Australia, for you not familiar with Bassta! Pex’s whereabouts).

Food and service were awesome, but we also realised they had some cool artworks hanged on their walls. Had a chat with the owner while we were paying the bill and she told us the artist is a young Japanese woman who is currently visiting. We passed on our number and asked to get in touch.

A couple of weeks later I’ve heard from Yui Torigoe – the artist. Next day we met her and she gave us a CD-R with her artworks. After a few clicks through the thing I wanted to organise an exhibition for Yui straight away!

So, about 4 months later the exhibition Dualism is up and running at Central TAFE Artist-in-Residence Studio, at 149 Beaufort Street, Perth. It’s open 12 – 5pm Monday to Saturday, until 10 March 2007. If you’re in Perth come and check it out.

Now, I won’t bullshit too much – I don’t know more about the art than anyone else. And to be perfectly honest, there are not many works of art that really impress me. However, every now and again I stumble upon some artworks that impress me and make me go back to it and check it again and again: paintings by Dino Buzzati, works by young Taiwanese female artist I-Ching Hung and now Yui Torigoe.

Yui does child-like surrealist pieces about places, people and objects that do not exist, except in her mind. Or perhaps that’s how she sees the world around her and it’s up to us to either embrace or reject such world. I embrace it wholeheartedly!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Soviet Valves

Soviet Valves formed in May 2004, played over 40 shows in their native Perth, released a couple of CDs and 7” singles and broke up in May 2005.

Now, I’m aware of the fact that hardly anyone heard of this band, but every now and again I hear from someone who is still after our music or simply inquires about Soviet Valves. So, I felt like giving my perspective of the band and chuck in some of our tunes for anyone who bothers to listen.

Roots of SV lay in Sokkol - another anonymous Perth band from the past. Sokkol were around from October 2001 until early 2003. We played some 20 odd shows in Perth (One at the Amplifier, two at Grosvenor Hotel and the rest at Hyde Park Hotel). The music was a bit rough version of (almost) arty punk. Comparisons went from the Humpers to Rocket From the Crypt to Germs to Black Flag. Occasionally we threw in “Ex-Lion Tamer” cover. Never recorded anything in studio, however, almost all songs got recorded on shitty walkmans, Mini Discs and video tapes, and some of it were compiled on “No reason No Hope No Goal” CD-R. Of course, nobody heard it, as we did only 10 copies. Brendan played drums, Mark played bass, Milos sang and yours trully played guitar.

Sometimes around the time of last Sokkol gig
I met Clinton, a young fellow who claimed he plays guitar. He was into good music and seemed like an OK person, so I asked him to have a jam on just two guitars. Right after a few seconds I recognised a great player and realised with two of us on guitars we won’t need a bass. In the meantime Milos and me crapped on about starting another band, but we never got off our arses to actually do it.

Then I went to Japan for holidays and over there decided to start a band as soon as I get back to Perth. There was no particular reason behind it. So, I rang Milos and Clinton pretty much the day after I landed back here. They were both keen to give it a go. We were thinking about the drummer and the only choice was Brendan, as we didn’t know any other drummer at the time. Luckily he was available.

In early May 2005 we went to the rehearsal room and churned out 4 songs: Gift, Zip, Jebediah and Bait. Went in again the next week, but my guitar amp blew up. I went to get it fixed and the repair guy said he needs to replace the valves, but I have to wait for a few days as he just ordered them from the USSR. For a minute I wondered what was he talking about, as I haven’t heard anyone using that term for some 10 plus years. Then I realised he meant Russia. I told that anecdote to Milos that night and he said: “That’s it! That’s the name of the band!!!” Of course we voted on it, but it was just a formality.

Next two months we spent rehearsing once a week and writing songs. When we had 8 songs we booked our first gig. It happened on Monday 5 July at this new pub in Joondalup. I know many people reading this are not familiar with Perth, so here’s a short explanation: Joondalup is one of the suburbs furthest from the city, so playing there on Monday night in winter didn’t sound very appealing. But what the heck, it was our first gig, so if we fuck up, it’s better to “fuck up in Joondalup”! Miraculously, at least 50 people turned up, the venue was cool and we played a good set. Nobody heckled us, nobody even threw a bottle.

Next couple of gigs we played at the famous Hyde Park Hotel and then we started getting bigger and better gigs. We pretty much never turned a gig down, sometimes even played two gigs on the night. All in order to get more experience, to play to as many people as possible and to get as much money as we can and record something in studio.

In September 2004 we went to Bergerk! Studio and recorded our first 6-track EP with Al Smith. We decided to do it there because everyone who recorded there was raving about Al and how nice he is, as well as because he recorded some cool local bands. Very soon I realised hew was not what people led me to believe - he was even better than that! Honestly, the nicest guy in the world, great sound engineer and person that can make recording for the first time ever a very relaxed experience.

We recorded Carrion Luggage (which became one of the most popular songs we did by that time), Small Doses, Gift, Throne, Just because and Panic Dance. Some three weeks later we released it and launched it. First pressing was 100 CDs, which took a couple of weeks to get rid of (considering that we sent 40-50 copies to radio stations/labels), so we did another 100 copies soon after.

SV kept playing and writing new songs. Feedback from some labels was great, but nothing happened yet... We released a split 7” single with local lads Whitechapel - we put on “Carrion Luggage” on it. Only 50 copies were made on lathe cut vinyl at King Records in New Zealand. After serious consideration we decided to replace Brendan with James, a young kid who already gained some experience with hard core bands A.I.D.S. and Collapse.

James got in and one week later (late February) we were back in Bergerk! recording another 6 songs. “Fun, Safe & Anonymous” took 12 hours to record and some 6-7 hours to mix/master. Mostly because we were pretty relaxed and didn’t look at the clock too much.

Again we sent a few copies to the labels and Smart Guy Records from San Francisco said they want to do a 7” EP with four songs straight away! And that was on the day when we played a big fund rising gig for local radio RTR FM. So playing in front of the biggest crowd ever while realising we’ll have a proper vinyl release soon was fuckin’ awesome!

Since Smart Guy Records agreed to do the single, we decided just to make 100 copies of our new CDEP for local market. We booked the CD launch for 20 May 2005, knowing that it probably might be the last Soviet Valves gig, as Milos decided to go to London for a long while. Greta Perth bands Sabre Tooth Tigers, Macarburetors and Snowman played and together with 300+ punters made it a memorable night.

A week later Milos was gone overseas.
A few months later “Sight That Harms/Gaze That Harms” EP was released, 100 copies on transparent green vinyl and 400 copies on black vinyl. It looked fantastic! But the band was no more. Clinton, James and me went our own ways. Soviet Valves did, however, one more gig in April 2006 when Milos visited from England. It was very low-key at a house party, but it brought back lots of good memories...

Here you can download a few extremelly rare SV tracks recorded live at rehearsals and gigs:

You might check http://www.myspace.com/sovietvalves

And if you soulseek look for basstapex and feel free to download pretty much all of our audio recordings and some cool pics

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bassta! Pex is in da haus

It's another morning I couldn't sleep - someone rang me at 4am and there was nothing on the other end of line except for some loud chatter in the background... thanx for that fucker!

So what's a man deprived of sleep to do? Start a blog, of course.

Expect rants, music posts and similar stuff here...