Digital Download

Out of print

Skin Deep
Dream Decade


CD album | gg414
Bourbonese Qualk were an experimental music group from England who where active from 1979 until 2003. The group were always obsessively and uncompromisingly focused on controlling their work – they ran their own record label, recording studio, tour organisation and music venue (the legendary ‘Ambulance Station’) – they refused to integrate into the commercial music racket turning down publishing deals from major labels – stubbornly opting for total independence. Bourbonese Qualk were also known for their political activism which was formed in the crucible of the 1980s Britain: The Miner’s Strike, Falklands/Malvinas war, Anti-fascism, Thatcherism, Moneterism, squatting/housing, local government corruption, anti-capitalism, and Anarchism – which was further re-enforced by touring Europe and meeting like-minded groups and organisations. They saw their music as a revolutionary cultural force – a belief that radical musical forms must be part of positive social change. Despite this position, the group avoided dogma, cliché and propaganda, preferring to let their audience come to their own conclusions – their work was often ambiguous and directly critical of cynical power-politics of any colour – often irritating members of the traditional ‘organised left’. In 1984 Bourbonese Qualk occupied a large empty building on the Old Kent Road in South London which they turned into a base for their activities and a co-operative for artists, musicians and writers as well as a centre for radical political activism – specifically as a co-ordinating centre for the ‘Stop The City’ anti-capitalist riots of 1984-1986. They never recorded in a ‘proper’ studio (not that they could ever afford to), choosing instead to work with their own extremely basic equipment (at a time when home studios were very unusual – the unique raw sound of these recordings is the result of their choice – which now, ironically, is in vodue due perhaps to the overwhelming obliquity of ‘clean’ audio digital production tools. If Bourbonese Qualk have a legacy, it is that ‘culture’ should be reclaimed, re-defined and owned by the people, wherever they are, however small and not by the state or the market and that ‘culture’ is a vital vehicle for debate and radical change. BQ was the band's fifth album and was originally released on New International Recordings in 1987. It was recorded by the band's core members Simon Crab and Steven Tanza, the latter leaving the band after the recording of the album to form his own project The State. Full tracklist: 1. Skin Deep 2. On Your Knees 3. Dream Decade 4. Untitled 5. Black And Blues 6. Pipe Dreams 7. Workover 8. Shock Corridor 9. Sweat It Out 10. Dummy-Run 11. C2V 12. Obsession 13. This Is The Enemy 14. Mean Street 15. Always There 16. New Jerusalem 17. Forget 18. Lullaby. Price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Piąta płyta Brytyjczyków pokazuje, że Crab i Tanza nauczyli się obsługiwać syntezatory oraz automaty perkusyjne – i zrobili z tego ciekawy użytek. Oczywiście brzmienie ich nagrań nadal pozostaje w kręgu lo-fi i daleko mu do mocy ówczesnych dokonań Front 242 czy Skinny Puppy. Na pewno zresztą Anglicy nie mieli nawet takich ambicji. Bourbonese Qualk od początku był zespołem eksperymentalnym – i na swej piątej płycie nadal taki pozostał, choć odważniej zwrócił się w stronę tego, co akurat wtedy było modne.
(Nowa Muzyka, September 2022)

As this self-titled features shorter and often more formal/ straight songcraft - it sits at the more approachable/easy-to-digest end of this collectives sound. So, Id say if the blend of moody 80s electronica and electro-industrial appeal, give this a go - as its one of the better inroads to the Bourbonese Qualk backcatalogue.
(Musique Machine, Movember 2022)

The group had by then five LP releases and a clearly defined sound. The sound of schizophrenia, as I like to call it. On the one hand, there are heavy, pounding rhythms, the drums of the big city drummed into existence (a city for people, not businesses), and on the other hand, there are these dreamy guitar pieces. But these two releases show the group in transition.
(Vital Weekly, December 2022)