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The first-time vinyl reissue of the sole album from UK DIY legends Milk From Cheltenham, originally released in 1983 on famed It’s War Boys imprint, is recommended for fans of Swell Maps, The Faust Tapes and LAFMS.
“Flashback to no-when (1978) in a musty cellar beneath a record store in Brixton, later to become the humble 8-track recording studio of It’s War Boys. Milk From Cheltenham would regularly jam and invite friends / enemies to participate with whatever weapons / instruments they chose to deploy, making live recordings on an odd triple microphone input cassette player. By the time of the recordings at Surrey Sound in 1981-82, we had reduced in size from a hive of toxicity to a triptych of poisoners: Victorr Lounge, Salamander and myself.
“Like rabid quantum monkeys with broken typewriters, we were allowed to run loose in the studio, under the supervision of tonmeister Chris Grey and head zookeeper L. Voag. There was always a cornucopia of exotic instruments including kettle drums, synthesizers and electric sitar. To make some of the basement tapes sound bigger, Chris would play them through vast speakers and re-record the results. The footsteps you hear is our mate strolling around in cowboy boots on top of one of the speakers.
“Milk were hot – like a triplet mega-brain generously juiced on creative steroids – and this was before our special splice-and-be-damned bricolage of the tapes, interpolating into the jams a pastiche of Morricone lock grooves, early Sparks, radio fragments, a JFK speech and samples from our most cherished record, Christmas Carols With Breezy (a creepy singing rabbit). One track mined a session at Cold Storage (home studio of This Heat) where everyone played in different parts of the building, separated according to instruments and without much idea of what anyone else would be doing.
“I remember scrawling a dead cow on a napkin in a café. The albums, all printed by hand, took longer to make than the recording because the screens would often disintegrate. The back cover art was printed at Recommended Records and spray glued – poor ozone layer! Almost half the song titles were borrowed from Le Corbusier’s book The Radiant City. The record was released to spectacular indifference and just 500 copies made their way into an unsuspecting world.” – Lepke B