A CD version of the Enormous Savages LP featuring an extra 80s track and also five post-2000 recordings.
Please click interviews for a recent interview with the band covering history and current activities for Compulsion magazine.
'Had it not been for their early demise, this was a band that could have followed in the footsteps of Throbbing Gristle, Clock DVA, Dome, and Cabaret Voltaire circa 1981... Lyrically, these are abject tales of blood, scars, alienation, and British misery, with some of the lyrics penned by Rushton himself. Those painfully eloquent songs are prescient of what Rushton was to bring to Coil's early work on Scatology, but they serve Cultural Amnesia very well on their own. The band reformed in 2000, and offer five new tracks, which actually seem to pick up right where they left off, moving more towards the Pop Group's muscular grooves and fidgety funk... A very welcome document from Britain's cassette culture.' - Aquarius Records 'highlights of the week', 8 May 2009
'What I'd like to examine here are the five songs of the second period of the band. ... [T]he tracks composed after 2000 find a band still full of ideas and able to use new sounds. "It's Coming!" mixes driving distorted guitars, piano, synths and drums with semi-spoken lyrics, it sounds like a roller-coaster ride, with stops and goes and that sensation of having your chest pushed. "Contains" is a beautiful electro experimental tune where voice is again semi-spoken. The sound is rich and the catchy acoustic guitar lines sound perfect with all the electronic sounds that come and go. "I heard It On The Radio" recalls a little the 80s atmosphere, a sort of electronic ballad with guitars that sound like razors. In this way the sound is in opposition to the melancholy vocals. "Syst.Admin" starts with a dissonant guitar that reminded me of The Fall or A Witness while the vocals sound like the sermon of a possessed priest. Everything is sustained by a syncopated drum. The Birthday Party on acid? "Theme From Cultural Amnesia" starts like a dissonant post-rock track filtered by a broken radio only to lose the filter after a minute and develop into a mysterious instrumental track with a theremin-like synth. The track slowly fades into a creepy noise/synth experimental tune. This album proves that this band has so much to tell and we need that so badly.' - Chain DLK
'A time trip to those good old Rip It Up and Start Again days - to post-punk. The sound of the rhythm box, the Korg MS10, the Casio and organ are characteristic. [D]ry, sarcastic, above-par lyrics address the condition of things in the Britain of the Thatcher era ... [John] Balance steers a darker course through stained nights and stained bodies. Good material which has learned some tricks from Cabaret Voltaire and Portion Control but is also inflected by disco - and with an ear for the ambitions of prog rock! First put out as an LP by Anna Logue in 2006, the collection is here extended with five tracks recorded 2004-7: with Balance gone in 2004, CA lives on - and not on leftovers.' - Bad Alchemy magazine (translated from German)
'Cultural Amnesia have a history steeped in DIY cassette culture and family ties to Coil and Psychic TV, so you get a idea of where they're coming from if yer in this biz. Cabaret Voltaire or Tuxedomoon electronics mixed with Gang of Four guitar stabs and even some Bauhausian Goth channeling that lost Sheffield sound. This collection is less abrasive and experimental than I imagined, more skewed pop or post-clank punk. Tracks would feel at home nestled on a Fast Product 12". ... These folks aren't hack throwbacks. I usually fear reunions put to tape, but the five tunes from this decade, though different animals, still hold their own. Less synth here and there and upped production quality. The rock moments even feel like The Ex or early Mekons, only less political and more of a snide hit against consumerism... Repetitive Fall stabs of UK art-rock by older guys who are allowed to do it...' - Terminal Boredom (see 'Summertime Reviewz Bloose')
'... [A]n unconditional DIY that combines alienated minimalism ('Kingdom Come'), toxic electropop ('Materialistic Man'), disarticulated post-punk ('Repetition For This World'), tangles of dissonance and unadorned primitivism ('The Wildlife Of The Tranquil Vale'), a piece in which the radical influence Joy Division is felt ('Blind Rag'), and a surprisingly light instrumental ('Wee Sorg'). Three pieces have lyrics written by John Balance, 'Fetish For Today', darkly imperturbable, 'Scars For E' ... and 'Here To Go' with its irresistible Fall drive. Five further tracks have been added to the CD release, products of the reformation in the last decade of the English ensemble, now with more sophisticated means. The acid attack of 'It's Coming!' gets things off to a good start, and the impetus is sustained with 'Syst.Admin' and the very up-to-date cold wave of 'I Heard It On The Radio'. - Blow Up magazine #136 (translated from Italian)
'Very beautiful synth/pop/rock from England. This collection follows the essential two-LP set put out by Vinyl On Demand a couple of years ago [Press My Hungry Button]. ... This band should not have been under the radar in the early '80s.' - Amoeba Music, 'Music We Like', fall 09.
'As I write this Synth Britannia, a BBC4 documentary on how synth-pop revolutionised the UK music scene, is being advertised. Gary Numan, Human League, Depeche Mode are amongst the talking heads appearing on it. Cultural Amnesia won't. They didn't sell any records or garner much attention outside of the cassette network. Like many others, they don't appear in any histories of post-punk. Listening to this or Press My Hungry Button you might ask yourself, why? ... Not only that. They're back. This Enlarged edition includes 5 tracks from Cultural Amnesia recorded since 2000. And guess what? They're pretty cool. The electronics slightly cleaner, the guitars slightly less rough but they're as oblique and as clever as ever. 'It's Coming' is delivered in reams of smart descriptions and waves of distorted guitars hinting at a punk-funk thing. 'Contains' is a clever-clever list of marketing spin, ingredients and common phrases over electro squelch and guitars. With its stark guitar chords over primitive electro rhythm, 'I Heard It On The Radio' is almost a transitionary piece bridging the gap between the old and new Cultural Amnesia. The hollered vocals and Albini-esque guitar playing over organ chime on 'syst.admin' is reminiscent of the solo work of Thighpaulsandra. Blurt and a honking crackle box make this a total winner. This Enlarged edition closes with 'Theme From Cultural Amnesia' which appropriates a foreign radio broadcast over some loose guitar playing and theremin-like wail, dissolving into experimental electronic improvisation. ... Cultural Amnesia were never short of ideas and these new tracks show they still have a lot to offer. It's rare we review an album twice but this is great stuff. Limited to a mere 500 copies on CD and been out for a while. Go and buy this.' - Compulsion online, News, September 2009
An Italian review from Drexkode (see 'Avant-impro-various sounds')
A review at Experimusic (see 'Record Reviews A-Z')
A review at Superfluous Man blog (see 2009, September)
Click on Enormous Savages for more reviews of the LP version.
(Click on track links to the right for comments and some lyrics)
Repetition for this world
The wildlife of the tranquil vale
Fetish for today*
Scars for e*
Here to go*
Wee sorg (CD bonus)
It's coming! (2006)
I heard it on the radio (2007)
Theme from cultural amnesia (2006)
* Words by John Balance
release announcement from Klanggalerie
gg124 CULTURAL AMNESIA - ENORMOUS SAVAGES (ENLARGED) CD
A wonderful band from the UK, Cultural Amnesia are back in full flow in 2009. Originally released on vinyl in 2006 on Anna Logue Records, "Enormous Savages" is the first part of a collection of tracks that were released on cassette between 1981 and 1983. Some of those songs were even co-written by Jhonn Balance of Coil! A mix of synth pop, anaologue electronica and rhythmic Industrial, Cultural Amnesia fit in somewhere between Cabaret Voltaire and Portion Control with an added playfulness. An 80's classic ready to be re-discovered and loved! Plus: a selection of bonus tracks old and new, some from a very recent date that show you how CA sound in 2009! Sound clips, as usual, on our web site. Price: EUR 14,-/copy excl VAT & shipping
Wholesale as usual, if unsure please ask.
gg117 GIANCARLO TONIUTTI - LA MUTAZIONE CD
gg132 SLEEPCHAMBER - SORCERY, SPELLS AND SERPENT CHARMS CD
More info at www.klanggalerie.com
Orders being accepted now, release date for CA April 25th.
Enormous Savages LP
Press My Hungry Button