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Mesh Of Wire
Table Matters Soundtrack

STORM BUGS A Safe Substitute

CD album | gg337
Storm Bugs are an English post punk band formed in 1978 in Deptford, London, by Philip Sanderson and Steven Ball who had met in the Medway Towns, England. The band have been linked to a number of genres including: cassette culture, industrial music and DIY. Storm Bugs were initially active between 1978 and 1982 and reformed in 2001. Sanderson had experimented with tape recorders whilst still at school, after moving to London in 1978 he began to get out of hours access to the electronic music studio at Goldsmiths College and also purchased a Revox reel to reel tape recorder setting up a DIY home studio. It was using these facilities that Sanderson recorded much of the Storm Bugs output from 1978 to 1980 with Ball designing the artwork for the releases. The band released three cassettes albums on Snatch Tapes: A Safe Substitute (1980), Storm Bugs (1980) and Gift (1981). Further recordings were made in 1981/1982 but not released with the band effectively going into hibernation for 20 years. Storm Bugs were rediscovered in 2000 when they were included on the bootleg LP I Hate the Pop Group, on Vertical Slum Records. A year later Snatch Tapes reactivated and released a compilation of some of the bands finer moments from the past, entitled Let's Go Outside And Get It Over, this was the start of a re-issue programme that saw much of Storm Bugs original material being rereleased on vinyl. This is the first release of their debut album on CD, containing three bonus tracks. Full tracklist: 1. Mesh Of Wire/Objective/Car Situations/Mesh Of Wire (Reprise) 2. Hodge 3. Solely From 4. Blackheath Episode 5. He Rose Up Again 6. 333 7. Table Matters Soundtrack. Full price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Its not unfair to say that despite the elevated awareness of their earlier output that has occurred since their most recent reformation, Storm Bugs remain unfairly under-appreciated. A Safe Substitue illustrates a band whose work is as engaging as their many contemporary equivalents and successors, and should continue to further seal the bands reputation.
(The Wire, December 2020)

One route is very much in the direction of industrial music, with repeating sounds and brittle electronics, but it is not all about just loops and noise. (...) It is, perhaps, at the far end of post-punk meeting experimental music; something that I found in those days quite intriguing and usually on a label such as Cherry Red or Dome Records. Storm Bugs share a similar joyful sense of experimentalism, here in their roughest, earliest form of course.
(Vital Weekly, December 2020)

We find drifting & blurring blend lo-fi chopping beats, wavering & unease synth textures, floating female & male voices - either snipped & dragged, or left eerier & stark, rattling or clicking metallic tones, or wonky pitch shifts - all making for an eventful & unease sonic soup. (..) Its marvellous to see Klanggalerie reissue this great example of early 80s Industrial unease & clattering grim ambience - and lets hope there are some more Storm Bugs reissue planned for the near future, as they certainly had their own distinctive sound.
(Musique Machine, December 2020)

To fascynujący dokument wczesnej fazy rozwoju industrialu. Psychodeliczne wpływy słychać w składających się na szesnastominutową suitę czterech pierwszych utworach: przrzetworzone głosy mieszają się tu z gitarowymi przesterami i orkiestrowymi loopami (Mesh Of Wire). Bardziej hipnotyczny charakter mają utwory oparte na mechanicznym rytmie, wywiedzionym z kraut rocka (Hodge). Z kolei tworzenie muzyki z hałasu, podsłuchane u twórców musique concrete, ożywia bonusowe kompozycje (He Rose Up Again i 333).
(Nowa Muzyka, February 2021)

I would argue that few UK musicians have come closer to delivering sound work that is analogous to some of the output of the Structuralist-Materialists. In particular, theres the same concern with tape as material, not unlike the materialist practice of some of the hard-core Film-Makers Co-Op brigade. Storm Bugs call attention to the properties of magnetic tape, and the devices used in the process of assembly – including loops, varispeed, edits, and processing. You may want to liken them to tape-wranglers of the Schaeffer school, but Storm Bugs have the advantage of growing up in 1960s and 1970s UK, absorbing and advancing the post-punk thirst for experimentation in rock music. They came up with their own unique hybrid, is what I am trying to say, they didnt completely abandon song form, or rhythm, at the same time, they didnt produce harsh noise for its own sake.
(The Sound Projector, June 2021)