Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Renegade Soundwave-Soundclash: The Best Album Of The Past 30 Years

 By Der Kosmonaut
 I recently "re-discovered" the 1989 release of Soundclash by the East London New Wave electronic group Renegade Soundwave. I place re-discovered within quotation marks because I have frequently listened to the album since it was first released. However, it was just a few days ago that I discovered the lyrics to the songs of Soundclash. With the lyrics being known after 30 years, multiple dimensions of the album were revealed. Upon the discovery of the lyrics, I "re-discovered" Soundclash. As a result I've had to to completely reassess how I've listened to music over the past 30 years. Soundclash is not only the best album released over the past 30 years but is beyond doubt the most influential album since its release.
  Soundclash never received its proper recognition simply because it got lost in the shuffle of all of the outstanding songs and albums released around the same time and after. The period between October 1987 until March 1990 was an extraordinary era of the modern music era. There was an endless stream of groundbreaking songs and albums released on a monthly basis. The songwriting and music production of those 2 1/2 years has never occurred before or since. This isn't to say that there wasn't plenty of poor quality music during the period. There certainly was, particularly in Top 40 Pop music. Nonetheless, that era set the foundation for practically all the music produced after 1990 until today. It seemed that there was an intense competition to make music more intense and extreme than before. The availability of digital technology and computerized synthesizers allowed an experimentation in sound which had not been possible. A new generation of musicians and producers were in a mad hectic dash to make the most innovative and cutting edge music ever made. They simply weren't content to make a "good" song or an "excellent" album. Each wanted to make something so different, so unique, just about anything that had been done before. This coincide with the peak of Indie labels mostly out of the UK such as Mute records. Even some of the corporate labels could see the innovation in the New Wave and Dance genres and encouraged the most outrageous music.
  Though Soundclash was the best release of the period, it was a crowded field with limited markets and radio stations. To give an illustration, Soundclash was released around October 1989. Depeche Mode released their hit single Personal Jesus in the US the same time. That same month Nine Inch Nails released its debut album Pretty Hate Machine.  (Incidentally Renegade Soundwave's first single was "Biting My Nails". So I often confused the song with the band Nine Inch Nails. More misfortune for Renegade Soundwave.) A few weeks later The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste was released by the Chicago New Wave turned Industrial music band Ministry. All of these releases became either commercial hits and/or became classics that are known today. Though that season was a feast of musical paradise for my generation, it was the worst possible moment for Renegade Soundwave. While all the songs and albums named above are outstanding, they lack the intensity and creativity of Soundclash.
  It was an error not to include the lyrics when Soundclash was released. The words are very difficult to understand in the recording for two reasons. The first reason is that the lead vocalist Gary Asquith sings with a deep East London Cockney accent. Most North Americans in 1989 couldn't decipher the Cockney dialect and colloquialism. The second reason is that as the title name suggests, the music is a clash of sound. How they managed to produce and engineer the album may forever remain nothing less than a miracle and a mystery to me.
  By omitting the lyrics the few fans who were lucky enough to listen got caught up in the music and the dance beat. While the listener couldn't have failed to ignore Asquith's voice, they clash of sound and dance rhythms commanded the listener's attention. By the same token, Mute and it's US distributors may have been leery of posting the lyrics. The lyrics are the most violent and pornographic lyrics that I've ever read or seen. The late 1980s was a period of literal witch hunts against popular music. The Christian Right as well as as right wing Democrats were overcome by hysteria alleging Satanism in music, particular Heavy Metal. Tipper Gore, the wife of then Senator and future Vice President Al Gore launched a hysterical campaign to censor music. She used her husband's influence to place warning labels on album covers. In many of the provincial barbarian hinterland states, this meant in practice that many albums weren't sold or available. If Tipper Gore and the Christian Right got their knickers in a knot over some pathetic Heavy Metal lyrics and the silly profanity of Prince and The Pixies, they would have certainly had diarrhea upon reading the lyrics of Soundclash. Interestingly enough Soundclash eluded warning labels put on it, at least in New York. It might have been the wise choice at the end, But in the long term it hurt the band's legacy and reputation.
  When I finally looked up the lyrics of Soundclash last week, my jaw dropped. I had no idea that I was enjoying and dancing to songs about looting and murder. I was used to the violence of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. However, that's elementary schoolyard action compared to Soundclash. I wonder how many DJs unwittingly made thousands of kids dance their asses off to a song about gouging out eyes and stabbing someone to death in the heart?
  Soundclash was promoted as an album about the underworld crime scene of East London. But no one had any idea just how deep into Hades the songs went. While I know next to little about "Gangsta Rap", I can say with a certainty that neither Ice Cube, Ice T, Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur nor Biggie Smalls ever wrote raps as twisted and warped as Gary Asquith. Moreover, none of the Gangsta Rap had music as complex, deep and unpredictable as Soundclash. When it comes to production, there's simply no contest.Renegade Soundwave is the first and only Gangster New Wave, Industrial and Electronic group.
  Below is a playlist of Soundclash. Underneath I list all of the tracks and with the lyrics. Buckle up and strap down for Wild West gunslingers to Jungle Beats, an explanation of how TV advertising is nothing other than capitalist looting, snitches and informants, video games where vampires that can go out in the daytime get eaten alive by zombies, failed robbery attempts, skulduggery, murder and X rated porn. Note: Younger readers and other's that aren't familiar with 1970s and 80s British slang and culture may not get all of the references and inside jokes but that's how it goes. I suggest that you listen to it with head/earphones or play it a high volume on speakers. Laptops and mobile phones will not serve Soundclash justice.





1.Blue Eyed Boy
I said I'd make you mine all mine
Said all this at the drop of those dimes
Stick it up jack
It's something like a city
Never seen a face that looks so pretty
Heads you wind, Said tails you lose
Seditionaires is super, pointed boots
I said I'd make you mine all mine
Said all this at the drop of those dimes
Dressed to kills not dressed to thrill
No dressed to thrills not dressed to kill
Shaping it up
Shipping it out
Chewing it over
Spitting it out
Blue eyed boy sticks his face in the city
Blue eyed boy got a face so pretty
I said I'd make you mine all mine
Mine all mine at the drop of those dimes
Blue eyed boy sticks his face in the city
Rich pickings to be made
Few arses to be kicked
Said all this while licking the lips
Licker the lips as he says all this
Blue eyed boy sticks his face in the city
Blue eyed boy got a face so pretty
I said I'd make you mine all mine
Heads you win, Said tails you lose
Seditionaires is super, pointed boots
I said I'd make you mine all mine
Mine all mine at the drop of those dimes
Blue eyed boy sticks his face in the city
Blue eyed boy got a face so pretty
Dressed to thrills not dressed to kill
No dressed to kill not dressed to thrill
I said I'd make you mine all mine
Said all this at the drop of those dimes
Blue eyed boy sticks his face in the city
Blue eyed boy got a face that's pretty
Cutting glances he's taking his chances



2. Lucky Luke

Fists or guns for boothill
You can shove it
He hasn't got the time
He hasn't got the time
So backs off like success
Buckles his holsters
Keeps trouble in mind

Slide in your gutter
Make your heart flutter
Whistle when he walks
Drawls when he talks
Just one in the gang
Number one with the stance

He fought hard, He was winning through
He's a pistol whipping his way to you

Like grease lightning
Eventful to track
Hitting hotel beds
At the end of the night
Puts cigarette down
Before he hits the sack
Fixed his eyes to the ceiling
And the horse out back
This week's adventure
With Pockmarked Jack
Stampeding cattle with the rest of his pack
Luke's sure to catch him
Pin a note on his back
But he lasso's my tequila
Hey! give it back
You'll be battered and bruised
Not fit to wipe my shoes
Profits there to be made
But you'd have to be crazy
Kid Curry, Billy Wizz, the left handed gun
They're the hole in the wall gang
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
He fought hard, He was winning through
He's a pistol whipping his way to you
The skill is the will
Not a twist in his tail
Always holding his own
He'd sooner go it alone
Likes staying the pace
Got a skinny opposition
With nothing to stake
Folks spoke with praise
How he tackled and saved
Stopping wheels of steel
With a flick of the reins
Got the courage and fame
He audacious and game
Got it down to an art
Likes playing it smart
He fought hard, He was winning through
He's a pistol whipping his way to you
He fought hard, He was winning through
He's a pistol whipping his way to you
He fought hard, He was winning through
He's a pistol whipping his way to you
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
He fought hard, He was winning through
(Get Lucky)
He's a pistol whipping his way to you
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
He fought hard, He was winning through
(Get Lucky)
He's a pistol whipping his way to you
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)
(Lucky Luke)
(Get Lucky)










3. On TV

On T.V.
See the looters run
With the whisky and cigarettes
Wigs and sofas
And T.V. sets
Running merchandise
You've got to specialise
When you advertise
On TV
On TV
On TV sets

See the looters run
With the whisky and cigarettes
Wigs and sofas
And T.V. sets
Running merchandise
You've got to specialise
We've got a TV
We've got to advertise
On TV
On TV
On TV





4. Probably A Robbery

I'm back to announce
Put some style in my accounts
Put your face in a trance
Pull my fist from your mouth
I've got my feet on the throne
I'm gonna slap you with tone
We've going straight to the top
We've no reason to stop, because it's...
Probably a robbery
A bit of skulduggery
The funniest thing
I just wanted to sing
But the notes wouldn't come my way

Watch out
There's a thief about
He's picking locks
and scaling walls
Takes people for fools
If you want my advice
Get it all above board
Just pop into Lloyds and get yourself insured
Because it's...
Probably a robbery
A bit of skulduggery
The funniest thing
I just wanted to sing
But the notes wouldn't come my way

I was most distressed
Where's the sense of dress?
Balaclavas, trigger happy
Give me the rest
My character changed
I left the place in dread
The Shooters on the counter
Stockings over our heads
Because it's...
Probably a robbery
A bit of skulduggery
When I got outside
I looked to my dismay
'Cause the getaway car just sped away
Probably a robbery

I heard alarm bells ringing
Shouts of 'stay where you are!'
There wasn't time to blink
The flying squad moved in
Threw my arms in the air
Slung down the bag with tools
The worst thing about it
I'd just booked me cruise
Because it's...
Probably a robbery
A bit of skulduggery
When I got outside
I looked to my dismay
'Cause the getaway car just sped away
Probably a robbery
I didn't want in
But committed the sin
Started as a dipper
But I married a stripper
At Her Majesty's pleasure
I'm here for the leisure
I'm here in wait
For a suitable date
Because it's...
Probably a robbery
A bit of skulduggery
The funniest thing
I just wanted to sing
But the notes wouldn't come my way
Probably a robbery
Probably a robbery
Probably a robbery
Probably a robbery



5. Traitor

Snitch
Grass
Informer
You're a traitor

You can't be trusted nor left alone
Take it out on her
Take it out on this
Take it out on her oooogh
Take it out on his
Cause you're a snitch
You're a grass
Informer
You're a traitor

You can't be trusted nor left alone
Any other name would put you to shame
Any other name where the rules aren't the same
It's just as true to say every dog has it's day

Cause you're a snitch
You're a grass
Informer
You're a traitor
Five laid here says put him on the dare
Five laid there says your acts not really there
Put a body up
Pass some information
Put another body up
You need a change of location
Steer a coward clear
You can live in constant fear
Steer a coward clear
A concrete overcoat to wear
You can't be trusted nor left alone
We can't even call you on the telephone
We got some loud, loud music
A torture that fits
We've got some loud, loud music
Won't you listen to this
Listen to this
Listen to this
Listen to this
What you gonna do for the meet at the zoo?
What you gonna do now the dangers approved?
You're gonna have to keep moving from town to town
You're gonna have to keep your feet firmly on the ground
When there's nowhere to run
All the honour has gone
There's not a great deal to do
Because the squealings been done
You just wouldn't listen
Is nothing sacred to you
Is nothing sacred to you
Is nothing sacred to you
Philby, Burgess and Maclean
Trading state secrets like ice cream
When you work for foreign office
You get paid to liaise
Behind your iron curtain your activity changed
He said, the communist ideals they don't suit me
I stopped out before the third degrees
Snitch
Grass
Informer
(What you gonna do for the meet at the zoo?)
You're a traitor
(What you gonna do now the dangers approved?)
You're gonna have to keep moving from town to town
You're gonna have to keep your feet firmly on the ground
Snitch
Grass
(Blowing his nose)
(Spilling the beans)
Informer
(Approach with caution)
(He's a bubbling)
You're a traitor
(He's a cats arse)
(And his cards been marked)
Philby, Burgess and Maclean
(What you gonna do for the meet at the zoo?)
Philby, Burgess and Maclean
Philby, Burgess and Maclean







6. Space Gladiator

Put your money in the slot
Wait for it to drop
See the credits roll
And we are ready to go...

Trading places with chimpanzees
Get yourself snug and get strapped in
Introducing you to higher G-forces
Feeling weightless and my balance adrift
Countdown that's in process
Checking out the power systems
Launch a rocket through the outer limits
You're the only one who really appreciates it
Power lights are flashing
Above my head, man it's dashing
It's a beautiful view, both the earth and the moon
Switch to automatic, picking up static
Pumping the brakes, honey
I'm gonna be home late

Space invader
Space gladiator
Bandits in the sky
But this is only the start, guy
We've just invented bullet proof glass, why?

It looks surreal, the atmosphere's dry
I gave the oath, no one gets out alive
There's no fighting in space
No third world to face
Get a grip, we've got a black out
Sorry, we've got an eclipse
Space invader
Space gladiator
Bandits in the sky
But this is only the start, why?
I'm taking up my bullet proof glass, guy
I'm going back to base
Rebuilding the brake, prepare for re-orbit
Impose Martial Law, start the curfew at 8
The haunted house is plagued with ghouls
Freaks coming out of the floorboards
Power thrusts to the mutant guts
Zombies that need a mouthwash
Fought the enemy back
We've got a laser attack
Vampires out in the day time
I tell you, they risk being eaten alive
Space invader
Space gladiator
Bandits in the sky
But this is only the start, why?
I'm taking up my bullet proof glass, guy
You really do deserve that rise
But then again you're just a fly by night type


8. Murder Music

In hell
There's no passing sound
Heard you were calling out
I was feeling over-wound
Inbound in uncertain ground
You're the fool again
To find yourself alone with me tonight

Hey I like those eyes
Pluck them out
That's my surprise
Everything in glass jars
Surround Surround
Family desert is now served

Go on your mind, From cinema finds
Dizzily you're quick to shake yourself
Oblivious to horror, to fantasy
You're quite unaware of what might be
It's yelling away from inside
It's into the kitchen to find a knife
Implanting it deep in his heart
To which stops beating
A ketchup like substance starts to flow

Hey I like those eyes
I like to pluck them out
That's my surprise
Everything in glass jars
Surround Surround
Family desert is now served
Repeat this under strange routine
I'll tell ya sooner than later you'll be with me
You'll get the mortuary tag
You'll get the autopsy
Hey I like those eyes
I like to pluck them out
That's my surprise
Everything in glass jars
Surround Surround
Family desert is now served



9. Biting My Nails

She came up to me and she said
Catch you later, baby, I gotta split
I got a habit, I just can't quit
Catch you later, baby, I gotta split
I got a habit, I just can't quit

Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails

Sound system plays a Renegade tune
Pretty woman and a big full moon
A handsome man, look, a diamond ring
How he wishes he had that thing

Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
He's got a finger in her painted lips
Oh he's got a hand upon her African hips
So give me money for adventures, honey, not this time
I've gotta habit, and it's all mine
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
A fanfare played, feeling great
Put a shine on your shoes
Does it have to end
Our guest of honour, it's you
I'll take you back
My diction's hit for a four
I will recover
I'll even come back for more
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Just biting my nails
Get on my case
The guitar breaks
She's got a devils tattoo
It's playing live
Let's take a drive
And push the volumes up high
Can't hear no bass
But I catch you face
And it's inline with mine
All around the world
A se**** term
So let's turn off the light
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
I'm gonna
Give it up
Put me down
I want long nails, honey, so I can scratch your back

10. Pocket Porn

(We have girls from 20 years old up to 30 years old)
(We have thai, chineese, japanese and from european countries)
(and everybody we can speak to english ...)
I remember it well
Like the day I was born
I was itching
Raring to go

Steaming at the years in the world of porn
What I crave for, other people scorn
Thread the needle, spreadeagled
Wanna fuck you some more

I guess you could call this my business call
The cat wants the cream
It's what you're right hands for
When I'm flicking through it
A hiney jumps from the page
My body's fluids
Lets go to it
Lets go to it
Break right through and give the texture some sage

Shoot the squirrel
Get a line on places you don't go
I don't read comics
Let's get the show on the road
I cast my peepers from the sleepers to the covers I know ...
'Cause I remember it well
Like the day I was born
I was itching
Just raring to go
I've got my pocket porn
In between popcorn you pull back the sheets
Crack a fat, pull some meat
She's good enough to eat
Look at the stroke books
Looking like sculptures
Close ups
We've got some Greek culture
Cast the net
Cut the cake
I'm studying anatomy late
In no time at all
I was giving my own
I woke up clutching at my pocket porn
I'm sick in body, mind and soul
Flicker through shelves full
My hands a rage
I might be going blind in the Garden of Eden
When I get home
You're gonna see some ...
(and everybody we can speak good English)
(and good looking too)
(the price is one thousand baht)
(and we go accompany you for five six hours)
(I mean one thousand baht is include five six hours ...)



11. The Phantom
Instrumental
12. Ozone Breakdown
Sample from the classic 1979 film "The Warriors"





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