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Bunhill


LP
Numbered edition of 500

Cover by Adam Bohman
Released 2006

includes postage - for multiple items I will refund the excess



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Side 1

•  
Mrs Berry Berry Berry  (1:01)
•  Stay home on Monday  (1:44)
•  Melancholic alcoholic  (1:12)
•  Irresponsible parent blues  (1:31)
•  If you’re feeling perky  (1:09)
•  Cauliflower stomp  (0:58)
•  Midnigh
t movie  (1:22)
•  Do the roc
k (parts I and 2)  (1:12)
•  Missionaries of the Amazon Basin  (1:12)
•  Cherry blossom toothpaste  (0:40)
•  The whore from Norway  (3:24)
•  Arctic cave dweller  (0:48)
•  Marching song  (1:16)
•  Talkin’ bout Manilow  (1:09) mp3
•  This is your leader speaking  (0:55)
•  Messenger/Paperkeeper romance  (1:40)
•  Have you ever seen the young man  (0:57)

Side 2

•  Tom Brown’s school days  (1:07)
•  The girl in the purple dress  (1:40)
•  Quango tango  (1:16)
•  This is your leader speaking (pt 2)  (0:58)
•  Bunhill botleys on the rampage  (0:53)
•  Heavy metal Halifax  (1:48)
•  2, 20, 6, 4, 9  (2:32)
•  Pre-war and ugly  (1:36)
•  Juliet Hippohorn  (2:28)
•  The beast is breathing  (1:28)
•  It’s sorglehop  (1:21)
•  Animal biology  (2:44)
•  The
milk chocolate soldier  (3:01)

total time  45:21

1980 was an incredible year for London’s experimental music scene with many different strands. Recommended Records were rereleasing the first two Faust LP’s, L. Voag had found ‘the way out’, Swell Maps were ‘in occupied Europe’. Throbbing Gristle and other industrialists were giving plenty of live actions. Nurse With Wound had just released their first LP, as had This Heat. The other great LP on Piano Records by Steve Beresford was also on the shelves. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the capital Adam Bohman was making his first recordings working with two budget cassette recorders. Bunhill Row was the first complete album of material, but whilst the aforementioned artists were pressing up their recordings and making them easily available via Rough Trade or the Recommended Records ‘shop’, Adam’s releases remained in tiny cassette editions made for friends or exchanged on the mail art network.
So here for the first time is Bunhill Row, released as it should have appeared at the time - on vinyl.
It must be said that this is quite unlike any of Adam’s other releases, and quite unlike his work with Morphogenesis, or his work as one half of The Bohman Brothers. This is ‘songs’ - 30 in all, and the main instrument used is a trumpet (an ordinary trumpet), along with other acoustic instruments and a vast variety of objects and junk, much of which is still part of the Bohman armoury. The overall feel sits somewhere between R. Steevie Moore and Caroliner, but this is British of course. Somehow it all works, and all in all, opens another window on to the incredibly fruitful astral alignment that occurred over London at this time.

Adam also has a solo CD on Paradigm Discs, and also appears on 'Variations - a London compilation' the first CD released on Paradigm Discs. The only other solo CD by Adam is on Mycophile


REVIEWS

200LBU
The inner debate still rages on with me about the amount of records I order these days from labels with such names as No Way and Painkiller. Is this a mid-life crisis or just a rethink of roots? Hmm... One thing's for sure, no matter how many spins I give that Wasted Time 7", I still got plenty of couch and grass time for anything revolving around the London based Morphogenesis troupe. The subtle creep and sweep of their ways has made many a late night seem like a pit of lush silver to me and that 'Stromatolites' jam from the late 90's still sounds pretty keen-o. Morphogenesis' Adam Bohman (pictured above) did up a solo joint sometime in '99 or 2000 entitled 'Music and Words' that I thought was a real crack-up. Lots of bed springs scraping and whatnot while Adam kept turning the handheld tape recorder on and off to tell you what he had for Boxing Day dinner at the folks' house and other such important facts. Repeated listenings to the disc proves the fact that the more mundane an object is, the more fascinating it becomes. So when I found out that another solo thing of Bohmans' had just come out on the Paradigm label (a racket owned and operated by fellow Morphogenesis member Clive Graham) entitled 'Bunhill Row', I snapped the sucker up real quick like at a local spooge shack and ran like hell back home to bust out the sweet green and lissen to it. When I got home and started to check out the cover, I gots alittle confused. The amount of song titles on the back rivaled the first D.R.I. LP or any Inca Eyeball release for that matter. Nothing went over the three minute mark. Something was fishy. Are these....like...ACTUAL SONGS?!?! Turns out the LP is a collection of bedroom recordings done by Bohman in the early 80's when everybodys' head in London was fulla demented homespun dreams. The gush of short, playful and downright juvenile improvised songs this LP shoots off is a real groin scratcher. Is this really a member of Morphogenesis? Not to stereotype, but I'd figure a member of this band in his late teens/early twenties would be practicing puffing on a pipe and saying 'Rather', not creating skewed pop tunes about old women and their vibrator collections. If you're a sucker for anything British, primitive and catchy, you need this like a Israeli rock star needs a cigarette in the eye and a good shove. If this came out at the time it was recorded, you know Chuck Warner would be re-issuing it and some hipster doofus would be trotting Adam around NYC introducing him like he was his new pornstar girlfriend. For now, it sits in the distinguished company of other forgotten artists re-discovered by Paradigm, like Brast Burn and Daphne Oram, which ain't no nothin' to sneeze at. Done up in a numbered edition of 500 and the whole bit...go grab it before those Paradigm snewts find out some Cro-Mags fan told you about it...

Bixobal #2
Often times I can get a general idea of what I am getting into when I get a record by someone whose work I am familiar with. But that certainly wasn't the case with this LP. I expected it wouldn't be like Bohman's work with Morphogenesis, and I learned the man is eccentric from the brilliant microcassette monologs which have appeared previously. But this archival release recorded in 1980 is songs with melodies and all. The opening number even has the qualities of a sing-a-long, with melodic lyrics of a local woman and her vibrator recorded so lo-fi and raw. With this, we definitely are fully engrossed in another eccentric aspect of Bohman. The album is composed of 30 songs, most hovering around one minute in length. They all exhibit a spontaneous music brut quality with vocals ranging from actual singing to decidedly off key to monotone instruction. There is a really gritty edge to all of this, sounding like he recorded one take on a cheap tape deck and played that back while playing over it. He can range from wistful in "Midnight Movie" to stream of consciousness on "Talkin' Bout Manilow", and then into plain racket territory as he stirs up noise with his collection of instruments. As to the latter, I quote from the jacket: "vocals, trumpet, six string guitar (prepared or not), home made stringed instrument, wine and drinking glasses, melodica, rubber bands, short plastic tube, electric shaver, glass bowl, light bulb, inside of toilet roll, various metal objects, spine binder, whistling and recorder." The primary instrument is often the trumpet, which he plays decently, although the overall impression is of someone trying to play instruments without regard to what they are supposed to sound like or to whether he plays them properly. It gives the album a very playful feel while Adam just goes for it. Giving a hint to his future work, the other instruments add a rough grain to some of the songs with noises heading towards experimental territory. At times seeming downright ugly and odd, it is both of those things in the right ways. "Bunhill Row" is a fun and rollicking recording. It is music as defined by song form, but it is so battered by Bohman that it becomes his own little beast. Obviously not appreciated at the time it was recorded, the album comes to an end with "Animal Biology", which nears the 3 minute mark before Adam announces that his mother has complained about the racket, leading to a curtailing of the bedroom recording. Following this, the last track on the record, "The Milk Chocolate Soldier", seems to be recorded accapella outdoors. If you missed Bohman's curious sense of humor earlier on the record, you can't help but come face to face with it on this cut where he teases and taunts his little edible soldier. So check out his audio diorama of "Missionaries of the Amazon Basin", the tale of wondering what to think of the dead body in "The Girl in the Purple Dress", and join in on "It's Sorglehop". Bloody brilliant.  Eric Lanzillotta

KJFC 89.7FM
Bohman (from the London project Morphogenesis) created this solo record in 1980, overdubbing everything on cheap cassette recorders. He sings and plays trumpet, guitar, melodica, and a bunch of non-traditional instruments such as electric shaver, radio static, plastic tubes, rubber bands, toilet rolls, etc… Many of the tracks are crazy noise pieces with banging metal for percussion and unrecognizably distorted instruments, and there are plenty of ranting vocals: (A9 “….we are missionaries, we have come to convert you!”, A11 “…she was a whore!”, A12 “…I live in a cave!”, and so on). There are also some lovely but depressing pop songs: in “Irresponsible Parent Blues” a single father tells his child that he/she is going to be put in a “home”; “The Girl in the Purple Dress” is about a body found floating in a river (“you were dead… you were dead…”). Extreme weirdness is everywhere; even the pop songs sometimes have howling or shrieking sounds in the background. Voice-only tracks such as “Talkin’ ‘bout Manilow” and “The Milk Chocolate Soldier” show how twisted Bohman really is. The ragged tension of some of this material reminds me of Bohman’s fellow UK scenesters Throbbing Gristle and This Heat, and what they were up to at that time. This record is an amazing adventure!
 Max Level

The SOUND PROJECTOR (15th issue 2007)
Fantastic LP of 1980 cassette recordings by this certified UK genius. These miniaturist avant-pop songs, some lasting less than sixty seconds, make for an incredibly beguiling and intriguing listen. Everything fits right in with the recorded work of Sexton Ming and Viv Stanshall, especially in the very English subject matter, being dealt with in a very English way... the underlying gloom and pessimism, the rainy weather, the letters from the Council, the failing relationships, the landscape of miserable houses... it's all here in the dense and opaque content. Listen to songs like 'Irresponsible Parent Blues' or 'Melancholic Alcoholic' for proof that England's social problems haven't changed (or improved) much in the last 26 years. There's humour too - in 'Heavy Metal Halifax', or the hilarious 'Talkin' Bout Manilow', which takes social satire of the 'normals' to new depths, with its absurdist parody of shopgirls and secretaries gushing inanely about Barry's music in their Thames Estuary accents. Bohman's charmingly abrasive work from this period could be a missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle of early 1980s avant-garde post-punk crossover history, a zone that includes the Miniatures LP compiled by Morgan Fisher, The Door and The Window, and The 49 Americans - not to mention the history of DIY cassette bands...
Even bearing all the above in mind, you still won't be prepared for the unearthly sound of this LP. It's in the utterly unique singing style, the performance, and presentation of this music. There is clearly some preparation in the composition of the lyrics and song, and the recording method, yet in the finished product Bohman makes it sound so natural as though it had only just occurred to him. His singing style may not be a total shock if you've heard any of his wonderful spoken-word cassette recordings from his aural diary (also released by Paradigm, on 1999's Music And Words CD, and on compilations), but it may surprise some listeners.... then there's his performative style, here deliberately restricted to playing acoustic instruments and based mainly on the acoustic guitar, trumpet, and recorder, but also including all manner of domestic objects and junk used as percussion (very English method this, connecting strongly to the work of Hugh Davies). Finally there's the recording method, involving astonishing use of degraded cassette tapes, battery-operated players, loops, and anything else that might contribute to the aesthetically-delightful obfuscation process. It takes the Mark E Smith aesthetic to the nth degree. I think it's fair to say Bohmans lightened up slightly on this warped approach to recording since 1980; but here, it sounds beautifully raw, dirty, and mesmerising.
Brother Jonathan Bohman plays on one track; add to this the dazzling 'outsider art' sleeve by Adam, a nifty vinyl pressing, and we have a genuine masterpiece of grown-in-the-UK genius. It's a genuine pleasure for me to whole-heartedly recommend this LP to everyone. Welcome back, Paradigm.
  Ed Pinsent 21/11/2006

Swill Radio
I know Adam Bohman from an excellent 7” I used to carry by the Bohman Brothers. Bunhill Road is a reissue of a very homemade cassette originally released in 1980 (!). The music is very lo-fi acoustic songs, many of which have lyrics. Some of the songs are a little too folky or ‘regular’ for me, but many of them are quite interesting, with some great no-budget production techniques. If stuff like the God-like early The Door & The Window (or other homemade UK song based music from the early 80s), floats your boat, this might be for you. Twenty songs, no waiting. Scott Foust

The WIRE (Jan 2007)
Adam Bohman is known for off-the-wall noise improv, hectically coaxed from a table-load of everyday objects - in collaboration with his brother Jonathan, or recently amongst verbal jostling with performer Patrizia Paolini. But this remarkable LP documents an outpouring of songs, rants, experiments and sonic dada from a feverish autumn in 1980, when a 21 year old Bohman was at his most uninhibited. It's not always a pretty sight: "In the village of the porcupine procreator/There lived a little woman with a big vibrator" is as sentimental as a Bohman love ballad gets.
"Stay home on Monday" is another catchy tune, though Bohman has rendered the chorus indecipherable by singing it down a toilet roll interior. Everything is non-electronic, but multiple overdubbing onto a cheap reel to reel tape recorder has stretched the sonics way beyond busting point, which is of course the point. "Talkin' 'Bout Manilow" layers up distorted voices like a chorus of demented parrot's cooing over their idol's lovliness. Bohman luxuriates in sheer distortion. "It's Sorglehop" finds him ranting like a furious poet over a complex howling racket, "Missionaries Of The Amazon Basin" suspends a pedantic voice - "We come in peace!" - over frantic, pseudo-ethnic hooting, to hilarious effect. It's silly but damnably intense.
Bohman's liking for a wistful, outer space trumpet melody recalls the excellent Birmingham group Pram, while his declaiming over metal-bashing ("If you're feeling perky") evokes 1980s art-punk duo The Door And The Window. The average track length is one minute, and the cover allots generous space to Bohman's art, at once luridly colourful and grim like German woodcuts.  Clive Bell

 

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