Since the 1980s, UNIPLUX have been an integral part of Rome’s music scene. Born from an idea of Fabio Nardelli, leader of the band’s original line-up, they debuted in the flourishing period of Italian Punk rock, with the Italian RCA label, as a guitar-bass-drum trio, releasing ‘Chi siamo noi?’ - a track declaring the incommunicability and marginalisation of young people. The group’s style, although resonant of the 1980s, takes its roots from ‘70s rock and rediscovers the Italian musical heritage of the ‘60s. With appearances on national and local networks (Orecchiocchio, Maledetto Rock, their second single – Rai Stereo 2, Onda Verde, Domenica Rock …) their original repertoire was revived. The style was rigorously Italian, of social orientation and linked to the theme of troubled youth as a consequence of marginalisation and urban decay. Following several changes in the band’s line-up, and a stimulating collaboration between Fabio Nardelli and the musician Marco Schiavoni producing music for cinema and theatre (‘Aminta’ di A. Fabrizi, ‘La vespa e la regina’ di A. de Leo, ‘Da qui a cinque anni’ con Caterina Genta), the band’s repertoire reached a new maturity that was reflected in their live performances. The right exposure had finally been found for Nardelli’s visceral guitar playing, his edgy voice, and the creative vision of his daily experiences of psychology and pyschotherapist Reichiano (aspiring shaman..?). A commitment to the prevention, cure and rehabilitation of the mentally ill and drug dependent became a formidable driving force for a lyricist without compromises, at times harsh and direct, yet always sincere. Recently the group’s lyrics have been enriched due to esoteric-cultural influences, the philosophical leader’s vision of the world. Amongst their new songs, Fermare il mondo speaks of the painful process of internal transformation, an inevitable journey to reach a new type of consciousness – the only possible alternative to the terrible conditions of homogeneity and alienation of occidental man – a clear reference to Carlo Castaneda’s book ‘Viaggio ad Ixtlan'. Il fantasma della libertà is inspired by Luis Bunuel’s eponymous film and Radiazione Orgonica is a tribute to the work of William Reich, a revolutionary psychologist who was as much a genius as he was persecuted. Dismissed from the official science of our time, the tracks Superimposizione cosmica and Asylum are dedicated to Reich, songs that speak of his death in an American prison in 1957. In 2000, the band was invited to play at the 22nd Girofestival broadcast on Rai 3. In 2004, they appeared on Rai Uno’s ‘Demo’ and in 2005, Red Ronnie’s ‘Cosa succede in città. Also they played Rai Radio 2 on Carlo Posio’s ‘Notturno Italiano’. UNIPLUX released 3 short films Fermare il mondo, Lady Day and Dott. Carlitos, based on an idea of Fabio Nardelli’s that was produced by Studio ZOBIT and directed by Marco Schiavoni. The cd album Radiazone Orgonica was released in 2002 on Enrico Capuano’s independent label, Blond Records and in 2006 was realeased I Dannati, i militanti e lo stregone with label Atman Records. In December 2007 UNIPLUX’s latest cd Spacciatori di soldi was released in co-production with the independent label Atman Records.
The Thought Criminals were an influential and enterprising Australian punk band based in Sydney. They formed in late 1977 and disbanded in late 1981. The “angular, fast and quirky punk rock" of the Thought Criminals "was a fixture in the burgeoning Sydney underground scene.” The band’s name was derived from the concept of ‘thoughtcrimes’ (unapproved thoughts) from George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Thought Criminals exemplified the do-it-yourself punk ethos of the late 1970s, with which they combined considerable business acumen. The band members formed the Doublethink record label and agency which provided recording and live performance opportunities for other new bands.
A Certain Ratio are a Post-punk band formed in 1977 in Manchester, England. While originally part of the punk rock movement, they soon added funk and dance elements to their sound. They are sometimes referred to as "cold wave". The band's name is taken from the lyrics of Brian Eno's song "The True Wheel" (from the album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), which in turn were taken from a quote from Hitler on the proportion of 'Jewish blood' that was required to determine whether someone was to be classified as 'Jewish'. There is some dispute as to whether the band were aware of the original meaning of the phrase.
The group's longest serving members have been Martin Moscrop (guitar, trumpet) and Jeremy Kerr (bass, vocals). Another current member, Donald Johnson (drums, vocals), joined early to replace a drum machine. Three original members have left the band - singers Martha Tilson (left in 1982) and Simon Topping (left in 1983 for Quando Quango and, later, T-Coy), plus guitarist Peter Terrell, who left in 1982. Keyboardist Andy Connell who joined in 1982 left to form Swing Out Sister in 1985.
The band's exploration of rhythm fusing funk, disco, punk and Latin has had a resurgence in the last few years and their influence can be heard in bands such as The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. In 2002 Soul Jazz Records started a program of reissues of ACR's albums and difficult to find tracks. Further re-issues and a live recording from 1980 have also been made available on the LTM label.
Although the band does not play full time, they continue writing, recording, and performing. A Certain Ratio performed in the US for the first time since 1985 on November 16, 2008, headlining the Part Time Punks Festival at The Echo in Los Angeles, California.
A Certain Ratio started their career on Factory Records, managed by Tony Wilson. They are featured in the film 24 Hour Party People where Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan) calls them "Joy Division but better dressed." Martin Moscrop was Musical Supervisor of 24 Hour Party People.
Simon Topping appeared on stage with Joy Division - filling in for an indisposed Ian Curtis - at a concert in Bury's Derby Hall on April 8 1980 which ended in a riot (featured in the Anton Corbijn film Control). This concert took place a few weeks before Curtis' suicide.
RF7 is a long-lived, southern California punk rock band that began in 1979 by Felix Alanis and small time child star of the Sheriff John show Nick Lamagna. Felix also began the record label Smoke Seven Records and signed his band and many others who were ignored by the big labels then, such as Redd Kross, Bad Religion, JFA, Crank Shaft, Circle One, Sin 34, Youth Gone Mad, etc. From the beginning, the RF7 sound was not clearly punk but really what would be called today hardcore punk. Felix Alanis has always mixed middle class virtues with strange religious imagery in his lyrics. Nick Lamagna added guitar and music that had a twist more "rock" then some punks preferred. Walt Phelan added a drummer's drumming, and the bass player seemed to always change, with Robert Armstrong perhaps being the most solid recorded bass man from 1980-83, and again on 1990's classic Traditional Values album. On 1982's Fall In album, the band brought in super producer Geza X. The band continues today with their latest release (Addictions and Heartaches) on the Puke and Vomit label, which also re-released Public Service and Sudden Death compilation albums. Their early releases are available on the Grand Theft Audio label, as well as Bomp and Alive records
Dictators, The - 1977 - Manifest Destiny (US) download .
The Dictators are an American punk rock band formed in New York City in 1973. Critic John Dougan said that they were "one of the finest and most influential proto-punk bands to walk the earth." The Dictators are represented in the "Punk Wing" of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, Ohio. Steven Van Zandt called them "The connective tissue between the eras of The MC5, Stooges, NY Dolls, and the punk explosion of the mid to late 1970's".
The original postbox recording line-up consisted of bassist/vocalist Andy "Adny" Shernoff, lead guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman (aka Ross Funicello), rhythm guitarist Scott "Top Ten" Kempner, and drummer Stu Boy King (who was, in fact, the band's fourth drummer since forming in 1973). It was this line-up - along with roadie/occasional vocalist and "Secret Weapon" Handsome Dick Manitoba - which recorded the band's 1975 debut album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy for Epic Records, produced by Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman (best known for their work with Blue Öyster Cult). Although the album sold poorly at the time, today it is considered one of the most important albums ever recorded by a New York punk band of the period, and still stands as arguably one of the funniest records ever made. Frustrated by the lack of sales, the band broke up for a few months in late 1975, but reconvened in early 1976, with bassist Mark "The Animal" Mendoza replacing Shernoff. After a few months Shernoff was persuaded to return to the group as the group's keyboardist. This line-up soon secured a contract with Asylum Records (at least partly due to the notoriety the group had developed following a well-publicized brawl between Manitoba and Wayne County) and released their second album, Manifest Destiny, in 1977. The album - again produced by Pearlman and Krugman - is usually considered the weakest of the group's first three albums, and featured a considerably more mainstream sound. The band resisted playing songs from Manifest Destiny for several years because the album had not been re-released on CD. During this period the band was christened with their nickname, "The 'Taters." This culminated in an incident during a tour with Uriah Heep and Foreigner in which Foreigner's roadies strung a net filled with potatoes above the stage and released it during the Dictators' set. By 1978 Mendoza had left the band (he soon joined Twisted Sister) and Shernoff had returned to his original position on bass guitar. It was this line-up of Manitoba, Shernoff, Friedman, Kempner, and Rich Teeter which recorded Bloodbrothers (yet again produced by Pearlman and Krugman). It was the first album to feature Manitoba as the group's vocalist on all the songs, though Bruce Springsteen - a big fan of the group to this day - can be heard counting "1-2-1-2-3-4" during the album's opening track, "Faster and Louder." The album's "Baby, Let's Twist" was a minor hit on a number of east coast radio stations, but the lack of mainstream success caused the band to split the following year. Shortly before the split drummer Mel Anderson had left Twisted Sister and joined The Dictators, replacing Teeter
Chrisma (and later Krisma) were a kind of early Italian incarnation of Moloko. Both are boy/girl combinations making slightly wacky albums, where the focus is more on style and a certain weird cool image rather than being musically very interesting. The band-name is constructed from the first names of Christina Moser and Maurizio Arcieri, who also claim a punk-influence when starting out with the band in 1976. Well, maybe……we'll have to take their word for it, as it certainly doesn't show up in their music, which is more like synth-pop. Which brings us to the Vangelis connection, the nature of which has been a hot topic in Vangelis-related discussions for years.Apparently, Polydor's Italian branch signed the group after which they were contacted by Niko Papathanassiou (Vangelis' older brother, who was employed by Polydor at the time) who proceeded to be involved in their first two projects "Chinese Restaurant" and "Hibernation" as arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Niko persuaded Vangelis to lend them his Nemo studio during the 1977 summer holiday period to record what would become the "Chinese Restaurant" album (although the finishing touches were applied in a Milan studio). Vangelis' regular engineer at the time, Keith Spencer-Allen, helped out technically and computer-narrated the final "Thank You" track, his then girl-friend Veronique Skawinska took the large number of photographs featured on the gatefold-sleeve and Niko was allowed to use his brother's synthesizer set-up. That, in all likelihood, is the whole story, because if indeed Vangelis played some of the music himself, it is inaudible. The only real candidate for this anyway is the track called "Lycee" which at least obviously uses his instruments (slight echoes of "Beaubourg" here). But the actual, rather hesitant-sounding playing on it doesn't bear Vangelis' signature unless, extremely unlikely, he really didn't put his mind to it or something. The other tracks don't sound like they even used the Nemo instruments, or at best only occasionally.Vangelis switched to Polydor himself the next year (continuing the "China" theme for his first project there) and asked Christina and Maurizio to return the favour on his 1980 "See You Later" album, where apparently they provided the Italian lyrics and voices at the end of "Suffocation". Interestingly, that album is almost Chrisma-like in its wackiness, so it could well be a fair guess that, over the course of all those Chinese dinners, they might have talked Vangelis into doing something different on the rather odd "See You Later".At least on that album there's some decent music, which can't really be claimed for "Chinese Restaurant". The whole affair sounds rather bland, neither Christina nor Maurizio (who obviously took a leaf out of the book of Fleetwood Mac's Lindsay Buckingham) are great vocalists, and the song-material is average at best. "Lola" is a decent song, the mere usage of Vangelis-sounds is enough to inject a bit of atmosphere in "Lycee" and poor Keith Spencer-Allen must have been bribed ("2 Chinese meals for free !") into parodying his contribution to "Albedo 0.39" on the final "Thank You". But this band was always more to do with style than content, and probably succeeded there.