Mar 28, 2018

RhoDeo 1812 Aetix


Today's artists are one of the less-known Manchester bands of the post-punk era. Formed in 1978 by former Manicured Noise guitarist Arthur Kadmon, the group initially consisted of former Nosebleeds drummer Philip Tolman, bassist Willie Trotter, and vocalist Linder (Linda Mulvey), a Manchester scenester who designed record sleeves and posters for Buzzcocks and Magazine. She also became a close friend of Morrissey, who was significantly inspired by her. Ludus debuted on Richard Boon's New Hormones label in 1980 with The Visit, a 12" single, My Cherry Is in Sherry, followed months later. By the time of 1981's five-song Pickpocket cassette, the band's membership changed to Linder, guitarist/bassist Ian Devine, and drummer Graham Dids. The band influenced singer Morrissey, later of The Smiths and a solo artist, who remains one of the group's most vocal fans.............N'Joy

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The band was founded by Linder Sterling, who in the arts and music scene was credited as Linder, having designed the cover of Buzzcocks' single Orgasm Addict and Magazine's debut album Real Life; Kadmon was formerly in Manicured Noise. Shortly after the formation, ex-Nosebleeds drummer Philip "Toby" Tomanov and bassist Willie Trotter joined to complete the band. It debuted live at the Factory Club, supporting The Pop Group, in October 1978, the same month it recorded a first studio demo. Later, it toured in some parts of England, like the Eric's Club in Liverpool and, travelling with Magazine, The Venue in London, in November the same year.

Since its live debut at The Factory, Ludus was favourably reviewed in the press. In January 1979, Paul Morley, writing for NME, remarked:

    Ludus are anything but ordinary. A rich, bewitching quartet, led by the enigmatic Linder, whose maturing, enchanting voice adds layers of mystery, fragility and haunting strength to the esoteric music... Arthur supplies the solids, Linder the shadows; Arthur the rain, Linder the wind. It's a classic combination... The overall mixture is of a precious dance music: Gothic, but not glossily so, like Magazine; impressionistic and expressionistic; compact and exuberant. It's music that chills and warms, with images that scare and comfort... Still young, still unsure onstage, their music is already alone and knowing. And they're getting better all the time. Take good care of them.

In February 1979, Ludus returned to the studio to record another demo, produced by Linder's then boyfriend, Howard Devoto, singer of Magazine. Shortly after a brief UK tour supporting Buzzcocks in March 1979, Kadmon and Trotter quit the band. Kadmon later joined The Distractions and Trotter moved onto working in the BBC as executive producer for daytime drama. Ian Devine replaced them, after which the group began recording for New Hormones and pursued more abstract directions, including jazz, improvisation, and (after moving on to Les Disques du Crepuscule even French pop. A provocative live performance at The Haçienda club in Manchester on 5 November 1982 saw Linder take the stage dressed in a dress fashioned from raw meat, a sartorial innovation later reprised by Lady Gaga. After a spell in exile in Brussels, the group disbanded in 1983.

In October 1985 Morrissey wrote sleevenotes for an (unissued) Crepuscule compilation, and offered this closing eulogy: "Ludus lay on us the decorative impulses of their music, and nowhere more significantly than on the volume which now lies before you. People who know real genius will love this record... Her singing leaves me out of breath... Linder went to Brussels and I remained stuck in Manchester, battling with the tides of fortune. Our shrill spirits still slide through the ugly streets of Manchester, always wet through, always caught out, always spectating, our hearts damaged by too many air-raids."

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Having built up a considerable reputation as one of Manchester's most well-known but little-heard bands -- thanks to a combination of Morrissey's unflagging name-checking, Linder's eventual photography work with him on his solo career, and the out-of-print status of the band's various releases -- the release of The Damage was long overdue and incredibly welcome. Presenting a fine overview of the group's career -- selecting from singles, albums, and live shows -- The Damage makes for one entertaining listening from start to stop. Even a cursory listen makes one wonder why in the world nobody had gotten around to re-releasing anything by the group beforehand -- Ludus had to be one of the catchiest, sharpest bands of their time, effortlessly balancing an inspired series of artistic experiments with memorable performances. One can hear the echoes of their time throughout the music -- the giddy sharpness of Girls at Our Best!, the relentless explorations of the Raincoats, the friendly funk experiments of Rip Rig & Panic, and many more besides -- but Ludus distills it all beautifully into one commanding presentation. Linder's singing, sometimes cool but passionate and sometimes a powerful, Yoko Ono-esque wail ("Too Hot to Handle" is especially strong), and her aptness to use wit as directness to convey lyrical points, along with Ian Devine's sprightly guitar, which definitely seems to predict Johnny Marr's adaptations of African highlife at points (check out "Let Me Go Where My Pictures Go") were the equal keys to the band's many artistic successes. Sometimes the occasional synth is a touch too shrill, but it's a minor point -- The Damage is a must-listen, a long overdue reintroduction to a singular band. As is the case with nearly all LTM reissues, label boss James Nice does the collection proud: the sound is crisp and bright, the band biography detailed, and the discography as thorough as one could want. Some of Linder's own striking photo collages help complete the effort.

Ludus - The Damage (flac  442mb)
01 How High Does The Sky Go? 1:06
02 She She 3:35
03 Let Me Go Where My Pictures Go 3:14
04 Nue Au Soleil 4:25
05 Little Girls 3:57
06 I Can't Swim, I Have Nightmares 5:16
07 Hugo Blanco 4:39
08 See The Keyhole 4:05
09 My Cherry Is In Sherry 2:38
10 The Escape Artist 6:33
11 Mirror Mirror (Live) 4:08
12 Wrapped In Silence (Live) 7:09
13 Too Hot To Handle (Live) 4:27
14 Howling Comique 1:53
15 What A Falling Off Was There 6:04
16 Patient 2:54
17 The Fool 3:34
18 Breaking The Rules 2:45

Ludus - The Damage   (ogg  165mb)

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Following up on the career retrospective The Damage, this CD patchily reconstructs two key releases in this Manchester post-punk outfit's history. The Visit was first released as a 12" EP in 1980; later reissues expanded the set to full-length with the addition of songs from the subsequent "My Cherry Is in Sherry" 7" and the Pickpocket cassette, but this set cuts it back to the original four tracks, "Lullabye Cheat," "Unveil," "Sightseeing," and "I Can't Swim, I Have Nightmares." In its original form, 1981's The Seduction was Ludus' proper album debut, and the band's career high point. Despite the straightforward construction of the compilation's title, however, this album isn't properly showcased here: instead of the extended six-minute version of "My Cherry Is in Sherry" on the original double-EP release of The Seduction, the original 2:38 single mix is here. In the other direction, "Herstory" is presented in a previously unreleased extended version. Also, just to be confusing, the set also throws on two bonus tracks somewhere in the middle, the single sides "Mother's Hour" and the Brazilian-influenced "Anatomy Is Not Destiny." Regardless of the set's structural deficiencies, it's undeniable that these 14 songs are a valuable addition to LTM's ongoing project of resurrecting the British indie scene of the '80s and early '90s. An unfairly overlooked band too often thought of only in relation to singer Linder Sterling's later personal and professional relationship with one Steven Morrissey, Ludus in fact were an intriguing blend of confrontational gender politics (à la the Au Pairs) and post-punk experimentalism. There's quite a stylistic jump from the harshness of the four EP tracks and the considerably more melodic indie guitar pop of The Seduction, which features Sterling's new musical foil, guitarist Ian Devine (later of the lovely minimalist twee pop duo Devine & Statton with ex-Young Marble Giants singer Alison Statton), but the soul of the record is in Sterling's impressionistic but biting lyrics and her expressive vocals, which can shift from an Ari Up/Poly Styrene squeal to a shaky-pitched-but-appealing croon similar to Marine Girls-era Tracey Thorn (and, indeed, early Morrissey). The packaging also includes several examples of Sterling's collage-based art, showcasing her later career as a notable visual artist.

Ludus – The Visit / The Seduction (flac  419mb)
The Visit
01 Lullaby Cheat 4:38
02 Unveil 3:19
03 Sightseeing 4:02
04 I Can't Swim, I Have Nightmares 5:35
05 Mother's Hour 2:03
06 Anatomy Is Not Destiny 3:52
The Seduction
07 Unveiled (A Woman's Travelogue) 8:37
08 My Cherry Is In Sherry 2:38
09 See The Keyhole 4:05
10 Herstory 8:43
11 Inheritance 4:38
12 The Dynasty 9:51
13 Mirror Mirror 3:42
14 The Escape Artist 6:33

Ludus – The Visit / The Seduction   (ogg  172mb)

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People who know real genius will love this record. Linder's singing leaves me out of breath' - Morrissey. LTM are pleased to announce two more archive CDs from Manchester avant-punk legends Ludus, active between 1979 and 1983 and featuring creative mainsprings Linder Sterling and Ian Devine. Combining Ian's angular, jazz-informed and often improvised music with Linder's unflinching lyrical explorations, Ludus recorded three albums and six singles for a variety of labels, including New Hormones, Crepuscule and Sordide Sentimental. Pickpocket/Danger Came Smiling collects together two impossibly rare albums from 1982, both originally released on New Hormones, with the largely improvised DCS standing as the bands' most willfully experimental material. Danger Came Smiling is one of the most experimental and bizarre rock albums ever recorded, and is quite different than Ludus' other work, represented by the other half of this program, Pickpocket, which is largely poppy, though typically offering quite unusual and mind-blowing limber, lean, post-Sharrock clean avant-jazzy instrumental elements and bold, brilliant dada-feminist lyrics. And, well, Linder Sterling is an avant-pop siren of the highest caliber.

Ludus - Pickpocket + Danger Came Smiling (flac  425mb)

01 Patient 2:55
02 The Fool 3:40
03 Hugo Blanco 4:41
04 Mutilate 2:31
05 Box 3:28
06 Mouthpiece 3:40
Danger Came Smiling
07 Foaming At The Bit 3:43
08 Howling Comique 1:53
09 You Open My Legs Like A Book 3:27
10 Flogging Cully 1:33
11 Mememoremee 1:37
12 Invasion Of Compulsory Sex-Morality 6:55
13 I Stabbed At The Sheep 0:40
14 Mistresspiece 2:06
15 Bloody Chamber 3:13
16 Would You Rather Dancing Be? 0:10
17 Wonder-Wounded 1:57
18 Savasana 1:26
19 Bitch Party 3:51
20 Modju 1:55
21 Palace Of Thieves 8:10
22 Redress 0:23
23 Crinkum-Crankum 3:27
24 Centuries 3:02

Ludus - Pickpocket + Danger Came Smiling   (ogg  223mb)

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bobbysu said...

thank you so much

apf said...

Thank you, Rho!

sotise said...

great ... they deserve to be much better Known... many thanks!!