Nov 8, 2017

RhoDeo 1745 Aetix

Hello, to all Apple users, the Paradise Papers revealed that Apple has indeed been fleeing Ireland and moving much of its off-shore assets from the subsidiary in Ireland to a tax haven in the island of Jersey, off the shore of France in the English Channel. According to the leaks around $252 billion worth of monetary assets have been relocated, and while this doesn't in itself avoid taxes, except for the fact that they aren't brought to the U.S. to be taxed, it has reassured the lowest possible rate now that Ireland became too hostile due to pressure from EU.
According to EU among others, is because Apple has been evading taxes the entire time. It seems clear that Apple is seeking for every possible tax evasion practice of which, mind you, some if not every single one could be legal, but definitely do not resonate with how the company's image has been built. Funny thing all that loot makes them candidates for a takeover by a bigger thief.

I suppose the Apple sheeple will be proud that Apple is best at tax-avoidance, those billions of taxes would be wasted on the common people...

Today's artists are an English synthpop band who were formed in 1979 and consist of Neil Arthur (vocals) and Stephen Luscombe (keyboards). Taking their name from a type of cooked pudding, the electronic duo interlaced the arty, exotic dance rhythms of Talking Heads with the quirky melodrama of early-'80s British synth pop.They enjoyed some chart success in the early 1980s . .....N'Joy

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Taking their name from a type of cooked pudding, the electronic duo Blancmange interlaced the arty, exotic dance rhythms of Talking Heads with the quirky melodrama of early-'80s British synth pop. Consisting of Neil Arthur (vocals, guitar) and Stephen Luscombe (keyboards), Blancmange formed in London, England in the late '70s. Originally called L360, Blancmange received immediate recognition when they sent the song "Sad Day" to DJ Stevo, who added it to a compilation LP of then-unsigned new wave groups, including future alternative icons like Depeche Mode and Soft Cell. Drummer Laurence Stevens was a member of the band for a short while, but they eventually replaced him with a drum machine.

Signed to London Records, Blancmange released their first two singles, "God's Kitchen" and "Feel Me," in 1982. Both records were moderate hits in the U.K., the latter barely missing the Top 40 charts. Later that year, Blancmange's debut album, Happy Families, sold well on the strength of their first Top Ten hit, "Living on the Ceiling," which peaked at number seven in Britain. "Living on the Ceiling" captured Blancmange's unique take on synth pop, throwing heavy Middle Eastern flavors into their very European style of club music. "Living on the Ceiling" was the beginning of a string of U.K. smashes; "Blind Vision" and "Don't Tell Me" both reached the Top Ten in England. Their cover of ABBA's "The Day Before You Came" was actually even more successful than the original, peaking at number 22. Blancmange's 1984 LP, Mange Tout, further established the group as one of Britain's most popular electronic artists; however, unlike many of their peers, Blancmange weren't afraid of experimenting with real instruments, incorporating sitars, strings, woodwinds, and horns into their synthesized sound. However, after this, the band's fortunes declined. Their 1985 single "What's Your Problem" only reached no. 40, and the subsequent album Believe You Me spent only two weeks in the UK Albums Chart, peaking at no. 54.[3] The duo announced they were splitting in June 1986 after a farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Luscombe released an album of Indian-influenced music, New Demons, with Pandit Dinesh, Peter Culshaw, Priya Khajuria and Asha Bhosle under the name West India Company, in 1989. Meanwhile, Arthur released a solo album, Suitcase, in 1994.

Then, after almost twenty-five years, to the pleasant surprise especially of its older fans, Arthur and Luscombe re-activated Blancmange and, in 2011, released a new album, Blanc Burn. However, Luscombe had to leave abruptly due to health reasons. Arthur decided to soldier on. In 2014, with the help of session musicians, he released Happy Families Too… as Blancmange’s fifth album—an updated re-recording of the group’s now classic debut. Obviously recharged, Arthur immediately followed this up with two more albums under Blancmange’s name, Semi Detached and Nil by Mouth, both released in 2015, with only half a year’s gap between each other.

Released on March 23, 2015, Semi Detached is Blancmange’s sixth album. It opens with the eight-minute old-school Synthpop indulgence of “The Fall,” which seems to pay homage to the pioneers of the genre, as it bears sonic similarities with the likes of The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette,” Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn,” and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s “Messages.” Then there is the funky beat of the angular guitar–flavored “I Want More,” which can be nicely paired with The Other Two’s “Movin’ On;” while the Dark Wave atmosphere and Arabian trip of “Paddington” exudes the vibes of Red Flag’s “Broken Heart” and Camouflage’s “The Great Commandment.” Overall, one might deride Semi Detached as too derivative; however, in fairness, Blancmange may be regarded as simply backtracking and digging its roots and paying tribute to the forerunners of Synthpop, the genre where it swam for decades and is still gracefully swimming to this day and age.

Following on the heels of its predecessor only after half a year, the instrumental album Nil by Mouth was released on September 25, 2015. It is more an exploratory affair than the usual Pop preoccupation of Blancmange music. It served as Arthur’s outlet for his more experimental musical ideas. This release was initially only available for purchase at the band's two shows at London's Red Gallery in May 2015. It subsequently became available as a CD through the official Blancmange website on 25 September 2015

On 29 May 2015, Blancmange announced the release of their cover of Can's "I Want More" as a limited edition 12" record for Record Store Day, making it the third single from Semi Detached. Commuter 23, a studio album containing 14 tracks, was released on 11 March 2016 and was well recieved. On 20 March 2017, the band announced on their website that a new album, Unfurnished Rooms, would be released on 22 September 2017. In August 2017, Edsel released the 9-CD boxset The Blanc Tapes that expanded each of the three 1980s albums over three discs with additional material and liner notes by Neil Arthur.

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'Irene & Mavis' (the ladies' names refer to the group's core members for some strange reason) is a typical DIY debut of its time, which can be easily put shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Soft Cell's 'Mutant Moments', The Fallout Club's 'Falling Years', The ID/OMD's early recordings, Cabaret Voltaire's 'Extended Play' or very early Clock DVA and The Future/The Human League cassettes. Yes, there are plenty of references which will undoubtedly storm one's imagination in wanting to explore Blancmange at these early stages as well. Especially for the fact, some of the pieces ('Disco-A-Bomb-Bomb' in particular) are additionally much closer to, and can very easily be confused with, a certain Suicide (which Blancmange very probably did in deliberate manner of both, to pay hommage and to rip-off respectively).

Originally as a trio, expect not much from a drum machine - for it serves the 'melody' rather than the beat, in a fair, crisp hissing sound. The drums and percussion are put more upfront with occasional filtering. Among the weird examples is a truly hillarious piss-take called 'Concentration Baby' (delivered in a ska mode of Madness rather than electro-pop, featuring Neil Arthur at his most de-concentrated). Another strange affair is 'Overspreading Art Genius' which sounds like an ode to the Dadaists. With rotating synth-bass and heavily processed percussive rumble, this could have been a far more groovy piece from what's officially offered on 'Irene & Mavis'. The vocals are so indecipherable, it becomes amazingly irrelevant what's the lyric sheet all about - with only a tiny farewell note ('... you might as well stop it!') which repeats into fade out. The most disturbing piece is the best one on record in all of its abstract glory - 'Modichy In Aneration' which bears another significant style, the 'motorik' drumming (reminscent of pieces like Can's 'Oh Yeah'). To add to the confusion, this particular piece is split into two individual moments, causing a debate whether the second 'half' is actually a hidden, seventh track.

 Blancmange - Irene & Mavis (EP) (flac  95mb)

01 Disco-A-Bomb-Bomb 2:35
02 Holiday Camp 3:01
03 Overspreading Art Genius 2:16
04 Concentration Baby 2:03
05 Just Another Spectre 3:05
06 Modichy In Aneration 3:21

  (ogg    mb)

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Blancmange's first album, 1982's Happy Families, yielded the minor radio hit "Living on the Ceiling," which also received a good deal of attention from early MTV. Though Happy Families can accurately be described as techno-pop, it's techno-pop with a modicum of taste and sophistication, putting it more in the ballpark of genre pioneers like OMD and Yazoo. Neil Arthur's lyrics are interesting enough to reward close listening, and his Bowie-esque voice, while somewhat limited, serves the material well. The sound of Happy Families is built largely around synthesizers, played by Arthur and partner Stephen Luscombe. The duo have a knack for catchy basslines and drum programming, on top of which they strategically deploy guitars, Eastern instrumentation, and female backing vocals. Particular highlights include "I Can't Explain" (not the Who song), "Feel Me," "Sad Day," and "God's Kitchen."

Blancmange - Happy Families (flac 375mb)

01 I Can't Explain 4:00
02 Feel Me 5:05
03 I've Seen The Word 3:00
04 Wasted 4:17
05 Living On The Ceiling 4:10
06 Waves 4:06
07 Kind 3:55
08 Sad Day 4:04
09 Cruel 4:52
10 God's Kitchen 2:54
11 Living On The Ceiling (Extended Version) 5:37
12 God's Kitchen (12" Mix) 4:27
13 Feel Me (12" Instrumental) 5:06
14 Waves (Original Version - No Strings) 4:22

Blancmange - Happy Families   (ogg  163mb)

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Mange Tout, Blancmange's follow-up to Happy Families, appeared in 1984. Typical of many second albums, the production is a little glossier, the sound a little less fresh. On Mange Tout, Arthur and Luscombe stick to the pattern they established on their debut, alternating catchy, sequencer-heavy pop with downtempo ballads. Sitar and tabla flavorings continue to play a significant role, as does co-conspirator David Rhodes' guitar. This album is more adventurous although less melodic than their debut. "Blind Vision" is a great dance track with ominous laugh in the background, listen to it very carefully to hear it;) "That's Love That It Is" is full of positive energy & the most melodic one. "Don't Tell Me" almost everyone knows, true hit with eastern influences. Side B is more experimental. Only "My Baby" is closer to what we got to used to hear from them. "Murder" & "All Things Are Nice" have very strong rhythm & low pitched screams of vocalist, Neil Arthur. At the end very personal cover which more than honors the original. A must for every early 80's synth pop fan.

 Blancmange - Mange Tout (flac 474mb)

01 Don't Tell Me 3:30
02 Game Above My Head 3:57
03 Blind Vision 3:54
04 Time Became The Tide 4:49
05 That's Love, That It Is 4:22
06 Murder 5:57
07 See The Train 2:04
08 All Things Are Nice 5:00
09 My Baby 3:58
10 The Day Before You Came 5:49
11 Game Above My Head (Long Version) 7:09
12 Blind Vision (Long Version) 9:37
13 Don't Tell Me (Extended) 6:22
14 Vishnu (Short Version) 4:44

Blancmange - Mange Tout   (ogg  109mb)

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Having suffered somewhat of a sophomore jinx with Mange Tout, Blancmange wisely adjusted their approach for their third release. Believe You Me is leaner, subtler, and more organic, without straying too far from their established sound. The Eastern instrumentation is de-emphasized in favor of more string and woodwind sounds. Neil Arthur's vocals are stronger, and his and Stephen Luscombe's songwriting is more focused. The result might best be described as "mature techno-pop," and perhaps predictably, it failed to find an audience, especially in the U.S. Blancmange disbanded not long after. With this in mind, it's not hard to find a vein of regret running throughout Believe You Me: Song titles include "Lose Your Love," "No Wonder They Never Made It Back!" and "Why Don't They Leave Things Alone?," the loveliest, saddest ballad Blancmange ever recorded. Even the poppier tracks, like "22339" and "Believe," are driven by an undercurrent of apprehension. Believe You Me wraps up with a couple of bittersweet instrumentals, bringing Blancmange's recording career to a close on a peaceful note.

Blancmange - Believe You Me (flac  487mb)
01 Lose Your Love 4:06
02 What's Your Problem? 4:09
03 Paradise Is 3:48
04 Why Don't They Leave Things Alone? 4:34
05 22339 5:18
06 Don't You Love It All 4:34
07 Believe 3:47
08 Lorraine's My Nurse 2:31
09 Other Animals 4:32
10 No Wonder They Never Made It Back! 4:34
11 John 4:24
12 Lose Your Love (7" Single Version) 4:03
13 I Can See It (Extended) 7:54
14 Lose Your Love (This Club Mix) 6:45
15 Mixing On The Ceiling (Megamix) 10:37

Blancmange - Believe You Me   (ogg   169mb)

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In case you always wanted to know how Blancmange made it count on the stage as a band with limited means, here's your chance.

Blancmange - At The BBC (flac  354mb)

Radio 1 Session (John Peel, 13.2.82)
01 I Would 4:04
02 Living On The Ceiling 3:11
03 Waves 3:59
04 Running Thin 2:18
Radio 1 Session (David Jensen, 5.6.82)
05 God's Kitchen 2:53
06 Feel Me 5:17
07 Kind 3:47
08 Cruel 3:47
In Concert, Paris Theatre (13.11.82)
09 God's Kitchen 3:32
10 Living On The Ceiling 4:32
11 I've Seen The Word 3:35
12 I Can't Explain 4:22
13 Waves 4:37
14 Feel Me 5:39

Blancmange - At The BBC   (ogg   140mb)


Anonymous said...

Well done. One of the finest - and hugely underrated - groups of their era. And Neil is still sounding great 35 years later.

And as a joke for those old enough to remember - sorry, Julian. It's true. ;)

Anonymous said...

As an Apple product user and regular visitor to this fantastic blog, I must say I'm disappointed to see "Apple sheeple" used here. I expect it on Apple news forums from twenty year old trolls, but I expected better when I come here.

I love the Blancmange that produced these albums you posted. I'm not crazy about the new material, though.

Anonymous said...

Well, then. I guess (or hope) somebody feels a little better now.

Rho said...

Hmm Anon you know how Apple prices their products, they look at expendable income of the upper/middle middleclass, add those that want to belong there, set a price considered what these people are willing to pay, considering the brand goodwill of their closed shop business.
That will be a 1000 dollar for Iphone 10 then, there's no relation to product cost or taxes. Those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research in large part because the majority of others possess a similar mindset (induced by Apple's closed shop policy). don't care whether Apple's taxes are payed or their bling is overpriced just as long as they can wave their expensive tool around.

Anonymous said...

Anon #3 here, who was referring to #2 previously, and who would like to say - "just as long as they can wave their expensive tool around" - well put, Rho.