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Caustic Window - Compilation / CAT 009 CD

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OK gang - what do we have here. Well we have the CW compilation CD filed under CAT 009 CD. AB3 (CAT 008) was released in 1993 but this one came out in 1998. They must have decided early on that there would be a compilation put out to collect those early CW 12"s. Those were some of the first Rephlex records out there and correct me if I'm wrong, but are Pop Corn and R2D2 the only tracks not included on this comp? They are good tracks and it's too bad they're not on here however I happen to love this CD. This compilation was also repressed as 3x12s" in 98 as well (although that one is missing the humanoid must not escape" -- tragic)

what to say. I love all these tracks. Another excellent showcase of early RDJ at his esoteric best. Tracks go all over the place stylistically but each one is so easily identifiable as an RDJ product. As far as early "compilations" go, I prefer this one to "Classics" - Cordialatron, Italic Eyeball, Astroblaster, On The Romance Tip and Humanoid Must Not Escape are so excellent. I don't know if these are as "club-ready" as Digeridoo or even Tamphex. Maybe this release sits between SOSW and Classics on headphone <--> dancefloor spectrum.

Won't say much more because we all know and love this one, and I wanna keep going to more "obscure" Rephlex releases. This one has even been reissued more than once!

In short.... It's great. 4/5.

Up next.... CAT 010 CD / Mike Dred The Kosmic Kommando - Freaquenseize 

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me and my daughter had a rave up to popcorn when she was in the (analog bubble)bath the other day. really reminded me that its bloody great. i was always a j9 guy originally as i couldnt find the first two for years and was a bit disappointed when i finally got them. listening to them with a 6 year old puts it in perspective though. there's only one richie James. 

 

J9 is the dogs bollox still mind you.

Edited by donquixote

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Popcorn (and R2D2) were not included on the compilation due to the former being a cover of Hot Butter's 1972 cover of the song of the same name, and the latter having directly sampled the Star Wars movies for most of its percussion sounds.

The 1972 version by Hot Butter:

Popcorn was originally released in 1969 by Gershon Kingsley:

 

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yes that makes sense!! I knew that pop corn was a cover but i didn't think that even in 1998 people cared about that stuff as much.. I guess I was wrong!!

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It's popcorn. Not pop-corn. One word.

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a lot of releases of the Gershon Kingsley original are listed as “pop corn” not “popcorn” or “pop-corn” in fact the first CW release on Discogs lists it as pop corn as well.

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More early banging afx here with "that Rephlex sound". Dunno, it has all the potential to be something I drool over, but can't fully digest all of it. Like, to my ears Cordialatron is what Polynomial-C is to Classics or (CAT 00897-AA1) to AB3. It has everything that a legendary afx tune should have, but yet leaves me little cold. The other more melodic pieces such as Italic Eyeball (Illumineph would have been way much cooler title imho) and On The Romance Tip on the other hand are very good. Really dig both Joyrex Tracks and Humanoids Must Not Escape. Astroblaster and Fantasia not so much. Fantasia would be wicked with its beat and acid line, if the use of the porn sample was more subtle or better yet, if it had been left entirely without it. The approach is too much in your face for my taste. So I guess I prefer more of the GPO Beat from the dump. But doesn't really matter if the whole album was pure shit as long as there is Garden Of Linmiri. Covers all the flaws. One hell of a tune. As huge auditory assault as, say, We Have Arrived QQT & TTQ mixes or Metapharstic. That's the air I breathe.

So overall, good afx release, not my favorite from the catalog (rephlex or aphex) but pretty damn far from the worst too.

   
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8 hours ago, Uros said:

More early banging afx here with "that Rephlex sound". Dunno, it has all the potential to be something I drool over, but can't fully digest all of it. Like, to my ears Cordialatron is what Polynomial-C is to Classics or (CAT 00897-AA1) to AB3. It has everything that a legendary afx tune should have, but yet leaves me little cold. The other more melodic pieces such as Italic Eyeball (Illumineph would have been way much cooler title imho) and On The Romance Tip on the other hand are very good. Really dig both Joyrex Tracks and Humanoids Must Not Escape. Astroblaster and Fantasia not so much. Fantasia would be wicked with its beat and acid line, if the use of the porn sample was more subtle or better yet, if it had been left entirely without it. The approach is too much in your face for my taste. So I guess I prefer more of the GPO Beat from the dump. But doesn't really matter if the whole album was pure shit as long as there is Garden Of Linmiri. Covers all the flaws. One hell of a tune. As huge auditory assault as, say, We Have Arrived QQT & TTQ mixes or Metapharstic. That's the air I breathe.

So overall, good afx release, not my favorite from the catalog (rephlex or aphex) but pretty damn far from the worst too.

   

Well said. I’m all about Linmiri on repeat.

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How could I nearly forget! The dub track on j9. One of the earliest dub techno examples I know of. Before basic channel et al if I remember correctly. I like to claim in more drunken moments that aphex is the godfather of the genre. I don't believe it but it does wind up a certain kind of techno fan.

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On 10/29/2019 at 1:26 PM, Joyrex said:

Popcorn (and R2D2) were not included on the compilation due to the former being a cover of Hot Butter's 1972 cover of the song of the same name, and the latter having directly sampled the Star Wars movies for most of its percussion sounds.

The 1972 version by Hot Butter:

Popcorn was originally released in 1969 by Gershon Kingsley:

 

Some of the "rumored" song titles like 4-LOM, and Jedi (On the Romance Tip) were changed to avoid conflict with Lucasfilm.  I believe Tom Middleton & Mark Pritchard receiving a cease and desist from Lucasfilm might have been on Rephlex's radar.

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On 10/29/2019 at 6:26 PM, Joyrex said:

Popcorn (and R2D2) were not included on the compilation due to the former being a cover of Hot Butter's 1972 cover of the song of the same name, and the latter having directly sampled the Star Wars movies for most of its percussion sounds.

Popcorn is directly sampled too - from this cover version by Elektrik Cokernut:

 

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Another very strong release. I always think of Caustic Window stuff as being darker/harder but theres plenty of variety here. Cordialatron, Italic Eyeball and On The Romance Tip all have enough of a softer edge that wouldn't have sounded out of place on SAW 85-92. (OTRT has possibly my favorite pad sound of all time). The Joyrex J trax, Humanoid and Watmm Hardcore all dial up the distortion and pace a notch more. And then the full on gabba assaults of Astroblaster/Linmiri/Fantasia which all still sound great when he plays then live today. Then theres the creepy whimsy of Pidgeon St, the cartoonish extremism of AFX114 which all help to broaden the remit. I dont really miss Popcorn or R2D2, i feel they cross the line into kitsch cheesiness that i dont enjoy as much. Wish there was a home for Human Rotation too.

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6 hours ago, Key said:

Another very strong release. I always think of Caustic Window stuff as being darker/harder but theres plenty of variety here. Cordialatron, Italic Eyeball and On The Romance Tip all have enough of a softer edge that wouldn't have sounded out of place on SAW 85-92. (OTRT has possibly my favorite pad sound of all time). The Joyrex J trax, Humanoid and Watmm Hardcore all dial up the distortion and pace a notch more. And then the full on gabba assaults of Astroblaster/Linmiri/Fantasia which all still sound great when he plays then live today. Then theres the creepy whimsy of Pidgeon St, the cartoonish extremism of AFX114 which all help to broaden the remit. I dont really miss Popcorn or R2D2, i feel they cross the line into kitsch cheesiness that i dont enjoy as much. Wish there was a home for Human Rotation too.

Hear hear! The distortion is very strong element in the comp. Even though the tracks go in the same vein with the harder bits of classics and SOSW, there's still this grittier sound, which is kinda evident when mirrored to the more polished soundscapes of the other two. So, in that sense maybe universal indicator series is more close to this than his early warp and r&s stuff. CW LP had more soft edges, could have been a Polygon Window release as far as I'm concerned. The track selection for this is perfect as it is. R2D2 is OK but I really can't stand popcorn. Comes from the same gutter as pac-man EP.

Didn't know the Jedi = On the romance tip bit. Some new aphex lore there.

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On 11/1/2019 at 11:30 PM, Rubin Farr said:

Some of the "rumored" song titles like 4-LOM, and Jedi (On the Romance Tip) were changed to avoid conflict with Lucasfilm.  I believe Tom Middleton & Mark Pritchard receiving a cease and desist from Lucasfilm might have been on Rephlex's radar.

It's my understanding that Gonzi Marchan and Allen Parry from the AFX Discography days were responsible for naming the tracks (as well as the SAW II tracks) since officially they didn't have titles when the Joyrex EPs came out, and had fun naming them. When the Compilation came out, Richard formally gave the tracks names.

SAW II still officially has all tracks except BLUE CALX as Untitled.

Apparently that whole gang at the time were massive Star Wars fans, with Grant adopting "IG-88" at a time as an alias.

I remember when we were doing the Kickstarter for the Caustic Window LP, Richard and Grant were very particular about the track names being named exactly as they were given to me (the digital files), lower case and everything.

I wasn't given an explanation at the time (or I don't remember what it was), but it was likely do to with publishing rights/ownership via Chrysalis and having them named a particular way.

On 10/30/2019 at 11:38 AM, dr lopez said:

a lot of releases of the Gershon Kingsley original are listed as “pop corn” not “popcorn” or “pop-corn” in fact the first CW release on Discogs lists it as pop corn as well.

Interesting - did not know that (I was focused on the grammar, not the actual track title so apologies for the confusion)!

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However, none of the Joyrex EPs have track titles (they didn't get titles until the Compilation as mentioned above).

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