Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poster of the Week: Mixed By Fear

Here we have another beautiful Front 242 poster that makes effective use of the "Tyranny" symbols. This is a poster for "Mixed By Fear". It is quite large, measuring 25 inches X 35 inches, and is on glossy paper stock.

The central "Tyranny" symbol being Earth; it is surrounded by a sea of brilliant blues and excellent use of the 242 logo. Several pictures from the Mixed By Fear photo sessions flank the bottom. My only criticism of this poster is the quality of those pictures. They are very grainy and poor, and therefore I feel that this is likely another bootleg poster! In the far right corner it states "Printed In Great Britain."

Bootleg poster or not, it is still quite striking and will someday adorn my walls once framed properly!

Mixed By Fear Poster

Mixed By Fear Detail

Monday, August 30, 2010

Compilation of the Week: Les Editions Confidentielles Volume 1

Here we have another unusual promotional sampler featuring a more "obscure" Front 242 track, or at least once again, not the typical 242 track often featured on promos or samplers.

"Les Editions Confidentielles Volume 1" is a sampler of the artists on the Play It Again Sam label, for which Les Editions Confidentielles publishes the music. It dates from 1993 and has the label number LEC VOL.1.

According to the liner notes:
"Welcome to the wonderful world of LEC Music Publishing. This introductory sampler has been compiled to introduce you to the myriad of musical genres within our catalogue. During the last year we have had our artists music featured in several major movies, as well as supplying music for several commercials. What ever your musical requirements our writers can fulfill your needs..." A contact address is then provided.

The Front 242 track featured is "D.S.M. 01" taken from the "Mixed By Fear" CD. It clocks in at 4:27. Although this is speculation on my part, I suspect this track was featured to spotlight its potential as soundtrack music for a movie or television spot. The title itself "Dancefloor Soundtrack Music" also is a giveaway. It was about this time that Rhythm of Time was featured in the movie Single White Female and Moldavia in the K2 trailer...

The track list is as follows:

  1. Meat Beat Manifesto:  "Original Control V.2"
  2. Front 242:  "D.S.M. 01"
  3. Chris and Cosey:  "Apocalypso"
  4. The Weathermen:  "Around Europe"
  5. Fracture:  "Threat Assessment"
  6. Sequencial:  "The Holy Inner Mind"
  7. Bebo Baldan:  "Strange Passion"
  8. Trisomie 21:  "Long Rider"
  9. Borghesia:  "Never Trust A Soldier"
  10. The Neon Judgement:  "Are You Real"
  11. The Scab:  "Don't You Know"
  12. Adrian Borland:  "Flight 23"
  13. Paranoiacs:  "Teenage Zombie Rampage"
  14. La Muerte:  "Black God White Devil"
  15. The Absolute Lovers:  "Repetition"
  16. Marian:  "Dancin Acoustic Version"
Les Editions Confidentielles Volume 1  Digipack Front

Les Editions Confidentielles Volume 1 Digipak Back

Les Editions Confidentielles Volume 1 Digipak Liner Notes and Disc

Sunday, August 29, 2010

T-Shirt of the Week: Interception

Up next we have a most beautiful T-Shirt based on the artwork from the "Interception" 12 inch EP, and to a similar degree, the "Quite Unusual" 7 inch record (See Record of the Week: Quite Unusual)

This is undoubtedly another Front 242 bootleg T-Shirt, but it is of very high quality!
The artwork is in brilliant shades of blue, white, red, yellow, and others; it is single-sided.
It is very stunning up close and I still wear it quite often. I often get remarks about it from non-music fans and it is especially pleasing when someone recognizes it as a Front 242 shirt.

Interception T-Shirt Front

Interception T-Shirt Close-up

Interception T-Shirt Detail

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bootleg of the Week: Body To Body (Live Chicago)

Re-listening to this bootleg made me realize just how much this is one of my favorite live Front 242 recordings! Recorded in Chicago on May 13, 1989 at Metro (see also T-Shirt of the Week) "Body To Body" is sometimes also referred to as "Live Chicago", although there are also other Chicago bootlegs out there. It is on the "Hand Made" Label, catalogue number HAM 015.

"Body To Body" contains 17 tracks, and the sound quality is very good. As with most, if not all, 242 bootlegs, there are some mistakes on the track listing:
W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. and U-Men are a medley, but listed as separate listings here, and there is an "intro" before track the listed track number 1:  Circling Overland; U-Men is credited as "U-Man."

The artwork is very well-done. The picture sleeve has one of the more iconic pictures of the group.
Standout tracks for me always include the W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G./U-Men Medley; Never Stop, and Circling Overland. I also enjoy hearing other tracks that do not always appear on other bootlegs and are seldom heard live, such as Red Team, Terminal State, and Felines.
I especially enjoy Work 242. By chance does anyone know the complete "alternative" lyrics for when this song is played live? I can almost always make them out, but come up short.
"The Dreams Are Gone!"

The corrected track listing is as follows:

  1. Intro
  2. Circling Overland
  3. First In, First Out
  4. Don't Crash
  5. Until Death Us Do Part
  6. Red Team
  7. Im Rythmus Bleiben
  8. No Shuffle
  9. Terminal State
  10. W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. / U-Men Medley
  11. Never Stop
  12. Headhunter
  13. Masterhit
  14. Welcome To Paradise
  15. Felines
  16. Work 242
  17. Body To Body
Body To Body (Live Chicago) Cover
Body To Body (Live Chicago) Inside

Body To Body Disc

Friday, August 27, 2010

Memorabilia of the Week: AMS Membership Card

Membership has its privileges! In the early days of Transmission 242, Front 242's official fanclub offered two membership levels! 242 fans could purchase an "Active 242 Membership" (AMS) or a "Passive 242 Membership." (PMS).

For the annual subscription rate of BEF 700 (US $20.00) AMS members received the quarterly "Transzine" (I will eventually post these!), Transmission 242's magazine/newsletter, membership card, and access to the exclusive Transmission 242 Phone and Fax lines.
Recall that this was "back in the day" when there was no internet to speak of, and this was quite an innovation for the time. One could call the AMS Hotline service and ask questions, place orders, and listen to pre-recorded messages regarding the latest happenings with the band. Each day would feature a different language. For "urgent" questions and membership ads, the Faxline was available. (Personally I did not really use the service that much...overseas phone calls were quite expensive at that time!)
Note I will post more on the AMS/PMS/Transmission 242 concept at a later time...

PMS members, well, they apparently got mailing news, order forms, discography info, and dates & places of 242 concerts, for the cost of BEF 150 (US $5.00)

Here we have the membership card one would receive with AMS membership. I was SO CLOSE to being the coveted member number 242...I often wonder who actually received AMS membership number 242, or if indeed it was ever given out?

One supposedly could use this card for special discounts or services, but most, if not all events eligible were in Europe. I often tried to use my card to get into a show free or for a discount at the merchandise tables stateside, but most of the time I got confused & blank looks...oh well, at least I tried!

Also here is a copy of one of the initial Transmission 242 newsletters, detailing how the membership would work. Sadly the AMS/PMS membership concept no longer exists!

AMS Card Front

AMS Card Back

Transmission 242 Newsletter Page 1

Transmission 242 Newsletter Page 2

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Record of the Week: Quite Unusual 7" + Test Pressing

Here we have a beautiful picture sleeve of the 7" single "Quite Unusual" with the reverse being "Agressiva". This was released as a 12" maxi on vinyl and later CD as "Interception", with longer tracks and different coloured artwork.

This particular 7" is on RRE Records and has the catalogue number RRE 3. Side A is "Quite Unusual" running at 3'40". Side AA is "Agressiva" with a time of 3'59". Both cuts are from the album "Official Version."

The sleeve is beautiful...certainly suitable for framing!  Contrast the orange-ish hues here with the distinct blue tones of the 12" "Interception" sleeve. (This artwork is also featured on a bootleg T-Shirt that I will post someday).

Also following is a test pressing, similar to the one seen with the "Headhunter" 7" (See Record of the Week: Headhunter 7"). I obtained it on the secondary market and it came with the generic sleeve with handwritten notes. Interesting enough, etched in the margins of this Test Pressing and the regular release are "RRE 3" and "DR TRAUMSTEIN" on Side A(A) and "RRE 3" and "BACK TO BODY" on Side B(AA). I have no clue what that means...perhaps you do?

Front Sleeve

Reverse Sleeve
Side A

Side AA

Generic Test Pressing Sleeve

Test Pressing Side A

Test Pressing Side B

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Poster of the Week: Headhunter 2000

Following the success of 1998's "Re:Boot", Front 242 continued their "updated and modernized" sound with the re-release of their EBM classic "Headhunter." However, this time, it was remixed in tribute by those who followed the "forefathers of electronic body music."
"Headhunter 2000" was released in Europe and stateside in a variety of collectible formats (all of which will eventually be featured here!).
In the United States, "Headhunter 2000" was released on Metropolis Records and this is an in-store flyer/poster promoting the release.
The poster measures 11 inches X 17 inches on glossy paper. The artwork is in brilliant purples, yellows and black, but recycles heavily from the Re:Boot artwork and poster campaign. In the background are the words "17 Remixer" (supposed to be 17 Remixers??)  "Re-Engineer" "A Dance Floor Great". In the corner is Richard 23 and Patrick, the same image as in the Re:Boot promo poster, and above is Jean-Luc in colorful Andy Warhol-style, beneath the title!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Compilation of the Week: Dining Hall Classics

File this one in the "What were they thinking?" category! Here we have a strange promotional release from 1993 by Columbia/Epic/Sony and some other indie labels. "Dining Hall Classics" was compiled by the "Sony Music College Department, the First Name in Back To School Samplers". (Stay in school kids and you get great music! (see Compilation of the Week: I.D. This!)
It has the catalogue number ESK 5438.

With artwork from a school cafeteria and comments about the quality of cafeteria food, I can only guess who this CD is aimed for!? Since Epic was still heavily promoting Front 242, their inclusion in another Epic promotional CD is quite logical. On the other hand, Epic's choice of song, IMHO, is not!

The track featured here is "Serial Killers Don't Kill Their Boyfriend" from the album "05:22:09:12 OFF". Certainly not the typical 242 track to feature, and certainly not one you will find on many other promos! As this track was never intended to be a single release, one can only guess why it was included here. Perhaps it's the "menacing" title? (There is a meat cleaver on the CD artwork after all!) Perhaps it's the driving percussion? Perhaps serial killers are "edgy"? Who knows? It just doesn't seem to be the best introduction to a new or casual listener to the Front 242 sound, not that I have anything against Eran Westwood or 99 Kowalski mind you!

Other artists featured here include Bad Brains, Rage Against The Machine, Suede, Jamiroquai, and no Epic promo with Front 242 would be complete without a Ren & Stimpy track!
The track list is as follows:

  1. Bad Brains:  "Rise"
  2. The Boo Radleys:  "Lazarus"
  3. Hollyfaith:  "Whatsamatta"
  4. Mercury Rev:  "Something for Joey"
  5. Rage Against The Machine:  "Bombtrack"
  6. Fudge Tunnel:  "Grey"
  7. Front 242:  "Serial Killers Don't Kill Their Boyfriend"
  8. Maria McKee:  "Opelousas (Sweet Relief)"
  9. Sun 60:  "Never Seen God"
  10. Season To Risk:  "Mine Eyes"
  11. SSL:  "Cuz I'm Like Dat"
  12. Suede:  "Drowners"
  13. Flop:  "Regrets"
  14. Chris Whitley:  "Starve To Death"
  15. Eve's Plum:  "Die Like Someone"
  16. Jamiroquai:  "When You Gonna Learn (Digeridoo)"
  17. Mudhoney/Sir Mix-A-Lot:  "Freak Momma"
  18. Manic Street Preachers:  "Scream To A Sigh (La Tristesse Durera)"
  19. Ren & Stimpy:  "Don't Whiz On The Electric Fence"
  20. Silverfish:  "Crazy Remix (Edit)"

Cover of picture sleeve

Inside cover
Inside liner notes
Back Insert

T-Shirt of the Week: 242 "Clock"

Up next is a variation on a previous Front 242 shirt. I call this the "242 Clock" (perhaps there is an official name?). The artwork itself can be found on the liner notes of the CD release of FRONT X FRONT, along with the "Moment of Terror..." quote.
I do believe that this is actually a bootleg shirt. I do not remember it being available for sale in the Transmission catalogue and there is not information linking this as an actual tour shirt, but I could be mistaken. Can anyone confirm this?

The shirt only has a front image, but it is quite striking in red and white. When wearing, people often ask me..."Front?...where's the Back?" Some people don't get it I guess...

"242 Clock" Detail

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bootleg of the Week: Silicon Answers

The next bootleg, I have to admit, is one of my least favorite of all the many Front 242 bootlegs available. Although it was one of my first and initially well-loved and well-listened to bootlegs, time has not been that kind. "Silicon Answers" is a 2-CD set from 1992, with tracks from two Front concerts. The label here is "Deep Records" and it gives the catalogue number of MIK 024/025.

The "issues" I have with this bootleg are many:

1. The Title: "Silicon Answers" was probably meant to be "Silicon Advisors"...as this is the line/reference from the 242 song "Circling Overland." However, "Silicon Answers" as a title isn't necessarily all that bad, and bad 242 word play has been done before (see Hadafi Commando!) So I will cut the title some slack...

2.  The Artwork: Plain and Ugly! The poor use of mixed fonts for "Front" and "242" is an eyesore, IMHO. The only redeeming part of the art is the nice picture of Richard and Patrick on the Emulator from the inside of the liner notes.

3.  Misspellings:  Misspellings are a given when dealing with 242 bootlegs. This one gets most of the song titles right, except for a few slips: "Moldana" "Funkhadaffi" "Tyrany For You" etc. ...but it also misspells 3 of the 4 band members names. OK, I admit that names can be hard... ("Demeyor?" "Patrtck?" "Richard IK?")

4. The Contents: Now in all fairness, I don't really know what came first, but this bootleg is really rehash (or partial rehash) of other releases. Or rather, this material can be obtained elsewhere and at better sound qulaity. CD1 contains tracks from Goeteborg, Karen (Sweden)...this is seen on Body Beats, although more is actually presented here. CD2 recycles or represents the concert at Lausanne Hot Point Festival (see Switzerland 1986 and Hadafi Commando). Although here I think Silicon Answers gives the date as July 4, 1987.

On the plus side, the intro track Rhythm of Time is quite nice, and I am still a sucker for the W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. - U-Men medley, and at the time, having a 2-CD set of Front 242 bootleg material was quite remarkable!

Silicon Answers (side view of 2-CD set)

Memorabilia of the Week: 242 Flag

Along with the 242 Armband (see earlier post), the 242 Flag is one of the "Holy Grails" for Front 242 Collectors...and so it should! The 242 Flag is stunning! Available in the 242 Propaganda Unit catalogue, the Front 242 flag sold for 70 BF in Belgium, 90 BF in Europe, and 110 BF for other countries (+ postage).

The flag is very large! It measures 36 inches X 55 inches and is made of sturdy nylon material. The image is classic 242: The Official Warfare Helicopter and Russian typography, which can still be seen and purchased on 242 shirts from Transmission today. The end of the flag has metal rings by which you could fly it proudly.

This particular flag has 3 of the 4 band member signatures, including the elusive Daniel B. who signed it upside down!
I obtained this flag second-hand and I cannot reveal just how much I paid for it! This particular flag, with signatures, I would consider "priceless", but I would not be shocked to see the 242 flag, when and if they ever come up for sale or auction, to be sold for upwards of $200-$500!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Record of the Week: Tyranny >For You< Promo Cassette

To continue a "Tyranny" and cassette week, up next is the Tyranny >For You< promo cassette issued by Epic records. The design of this promo mirrors the promo t-shirt and 12" promo albums, featuring the "Tyranny" symbols in black & white, and the US release date of January 29, 1991. I have invitations and other items that were given away at the listening/preview party, but I am unsure whether or not this cassette promo was given away at that time...perhaps someone could vouch for that?

The cassette has the Epic promo catalogue # AEC 46998. I do not see this offered for sale as often as the 12" vinyl (I will eventually post it); the vinyl sometimes goes between $25.00 - $50.00 range, but I would expect the cassette to be a bit cheaper?