Wednesday, September 29, 2010

T-Shirt of the Week: Sputnet 2000

Here we have a shirt that can still be seen on the Transmission 242 shop at ) known as the "Sputnet" shirt. This particular shirt was obtained on the "Compact Tour" in 2000. It has the same design as the one sold on the site, but I think the shop shirt lacks the tour dates on the reverse.
I also have a long-sleeved version which is identical in all regards.

The "Compact Tour" was a short series of shows that followed on the heels of the "Re:Boot Tour", virtually identical as far as the material presented.

Does anyone understand what the characters on the shirt exactly are? I have tried looking at the negative space, etc. and am unable to make them out, if they are letters at all! Comments welcomed and appreciated!

Sputnet T-Shirt Front
Sputnet Front Detail

Sputnet T-Shirt Back

Sputnet Back Detail

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Compilation of the Week: Oh Joy It's...CMJ! Sampler

Here we have another promotional cassette from 1993 on epic/columbia records, featuring their indie and  sublabel artists. It seemed epic had a thing also for Ren & Stimpy during this time and so they feature on the cover, in 3-D nonetheless (see Compilation of the Week: Dining Hall Classics).
This tape, with catalogue number CAT5553, features some of the same artists and cuts of other epic promos of this era. CMJ, which still operates today, stands for College Music Journal (  ), which among other things, hosts a music festival each year, and at one time published an excellent monthly magazine that feature a CD sampler. Several were issued with Front 242 cuts, and so will be spotlighted someday.

The 242 track featured here is "Animal" . (I find it a bit ironic that the next track following is by Carcass...)

Also note: Another stand-out band featured on this tape is Stabbing Westward, who along with Ethyl Meatplow, toured extensively with Front 242 on the UP EVIL Tour, following Lollapalooza 1993.

The track list is as follows:
Side One:

  1. Mercury Rev:  "Something For Joey"
  2. Eve's Plum:  "I Want It All"
  3. Kate Bush:  "Rubberband Girl"
  4. Mudhoney/Sir Mix-A-Lot:  "Freak Momma"
  5. The Boo Radleys:  "Barney (...And Me)
  6. October Project:  "Be My Hero"
  7. Fudge Tunnel:  "Ten Percent"
  8. Bad Brains:  "Take Your Time"
  9. Fugees (Tranzlator Crew):  "Vocab (Excerpt)"
  10. Hollyfaith:  "Bliss"
Side Two:
  1. Flop:  "Woolworth"
  2. Jamiroquai:  "When You Gonna Learn?"
  3. Prong:  "Another Worldy Device"
  4. Stabbing Westward:  "Control"
  5. Smokin Suckaz Wit Logic:  "Cuz I'm Like Dat"
  6. House of Large Sizes:  "North Cedar"
  7. Front 242:  "Animal"
  8. Carcass:  "Buried Dreams"
  9. Sepultura:  "Biotech Is Godzilla"
  10. Jeff Buckley:  "Mojo Pin"

Cassette Tape Artwork

Track Listing

Side 2 (Front 242 Side!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bootleg of the Week: Russian MP3 CD collection

Here you have an entire output of Front 242 material in one serving. This Russian bootleg contains 13 albums of 242 material in MP3 format, encoded at 128 kbps, designed to play on PC computers or MP3 players.
The "label" is  Домашняя Коллекция and according to Discogs, this stands for "Home Collection" or "Home Coll". Here is a link for more info:Домашняя+Коллекция

...obviously this is pirated material. Supposedly this disc may also contain additional material such as pictures or lyrics. Personally I have never actually played it! I simply added it to my collection as I came across it.

The picture sleeve features 3/4th of the band, poor J-L being the notable omission! The CD liner shows artwork for the releases contained therein. (If anyone is able to translate the Russian text on the CD, it would be most valuable!) The disc itself is quite generic.

Regarding value, I occasionally see this offered on ebay, but most of the time they are quickly removed. I cannot speak as to their availability in the European markets.

Russian Front 242 MP3 Bootleg

CD Liner


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Memorabilia of the Week: Controversy Between camera-ready art?

File this under one of those "huh?" collector's items...or else "one man's trash is another man's treasure" department.

It took me awhile to figure out exactly what these are. From appearances these seem to be camera-ready transparencies (acetates?) for the artwork from the original release of the EP "Controversy Between" on Himalaya Records, HIM 006 to be exact.
I obtained them from another collector in a lot of 242 memorabilia. At first glance I thought they were for advertising in print media, but upon examination of the record itself, this is the artwork  that appears on the vinyl label.

What one can do with them, that I do not know. I will eventually spotlight that record as a "Record of the Week..."

Controversy Between artwork

Friday, September 24, 2010

Record of the Week: FRNT 2 Never Stop! Promo

Following up on its success with the Headhunter single and FRONT X FRONT album, Front 242 issued the EP Never Stop! This promo preceded that release.

FRNT 2 is actually a European promo issued on Red Rhino Records, but a number of them were imported to the US for Wax Trax!, so much so that this promo did appear on the Billboard Hot Club Play Charts.

Side A features "Never Stop! (V1.1) with Side B featuring the club-friendly "First In/First Out"

An interesting story behind the creation and meaning of the track "First In/First Out", from an interview in Alternative Press, November 1988:
"Take for example the very house-ish "First In/First Out" standard with simplified M/A/R/R/S vocals and funk beats galore. 'We did that song on purpose,' Richard pauses before trying to explain what happened. 'Basically, we did it because the bass line sounds funny. Daniel came up with that base line and when I heard it I said, 'It sounds like house music.' I mean, honestly, it's funny because there was no purpose behind that. Just the fact that it happened. We don't really want to do house music. We just kept the bass line and worked on it so you really don't have a house track, it's something funny. That's why we call it "First In/First Out" because it's the first time we did that kind of shit and it's the last time as well."

Despite this DJ Promo being limited to 1000 copies, promo record FRNT 2 seems fairly easy to come by these days.  In collecting this single, be sure to obtain the photocopied insert, at least with the ones promoted by Wax Trax! records. Also a must is the condition of the picture sleeve itself. I have seen these offered without the FRNT 2 sleeve. Depending on condition, this one is easily had in the $10.00 - $25.00 range.



FRNT 2 Side A

FRNT 2 Side B

FRNT 2 Photocopied Insert

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poster of the Week: Front 242 & Project Pitchfork, Maritime Hall, San Fransisco

Here is a nice, apparently limited edition show flier, for one of the stops on the 1997-1998 Re:Boot Tour. This particular show is from the (in)famous Maritime Hall in San Francisco, July 23, 1998. The opening act was Metropolis Records label-mate, Project Pitchfork.

This poster measures 11 X 17 inches on white stock. It was designed by "Chris" who also signed and numbered it as #6/50. It is reminiscent of those "groovy" 60s music posters in the San Fran Scene. I am intrigued by the "$3 Burger & A Beer!"

Front 242 Re:Boot July 23, 1998 Maritime Hall, San Francisco

Artist Signed Detail

Numbered Detail


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Compilation of the Week: Decadance Volume 3

Here we have an interesting compilation from 1991 on Who's That Beat? Records, which touted itself as 'The dance label of Play It Again Sam.' It contains some interesting tracks and artists from several indie labels of the time, including PIAS, RRE, Pulse 8 Records UK, HPF Belgium, and others. It has the catalogue number: WHOS 52 CD

Stand out tracks include The KLF: "3 A.M. Eternal" (Klonk Blip Every Trip), Moby, and The Shamen.
The 242 Track is from the "Tyranny >For You<" album: "Rhythm of Time (Victor The Cleaner Mix)"
Today it can be had quite easily for $5-$10

The track list is as follows:

  1. T.99:  "Anasthasia (Out of History Mix)"
  2. Front 242:   "Rhythm of Time (Victor the Cleaner Mix)"
  3. The KLF:  "3 A.M. Eternal (Klonk Blip Every Trip)"
  4. Rave 2001:   "Seduce Me"
  5. Rozalla:   "Born To Luv Ya"
  6. Nomad:   "(I Wanna Give You) Devotion (Soul Mix)"
  7. B-Sides:   "Moral Soundabuse"
  8. Sequencial:   "Death House (Space Boundary Mix)"
  9. The Shamen:  "Hyperreal (Maguire 2)"
  10. Moby:   "Go (Remix)"
Decadance Volume 3 Picture Sleeve

Decadance Volume 3 Inside Sleeve

Decadance Volume 3 Foldout booklet

Decadance Volume 3: Tray liner

Decadance Volume 3 Disc

Monday, September 20, 2010

T-Shirt of the Week: 242 "Sphere"

Here we have another nice Front 242 design, this time featuring the spheres as seen on the catalogue re-releases. This particular shirt has a US label and as such, I suspect it is either a promo shirt or else a bootleg.

The shirt itself is multicolored, primarily black, white, and red-screened on a heather gray cotton T-shirt. I actually still occasionally wear this one...

242 Catalogue "Sphere" Shirt



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bootleg of the Week: Live Target

Perhaps the most popular and most available of the many Front 242 bootlegs, "Live Target" is without a doubt one of, if not THE, best Front 242 bootlegs. In terms of quality of the package, quality of sound, and overall design, it is unrivaled.

Originally produced on the Italian label "Guzzi" with the catalogue label number "Guzzi 888", "Live Target", now has the status of "semi-official" release.
Here is how it is described in Transzine 004, the quarterly Transmission 242 AMS Magazine, December, 1992:

"Live-Target" is the title of the Europe-wide limited edition of 5000 CDs which will be made available in an effort to stop the flood of low-quality Front 242 bootlegs on the market.
"Live-Target" is an Italian-made bootleg culled from Front 242's "Front By Front" and "Tyranny >For You<" tour and seized by Italian police in a raid on an illegal CD factory in Sicily. The Italian publisher of Play It Again Sam Records, Front 242's label, laid claim to the stock but were prevented from destroying the consignment by the band themselves who, impressed by the high quality of both recording and packaging, decided to allow the sell-off of the confiscated stock. Hence the semi-official release, sure to become a collectors item!"

Live Target was offered in the Transzine catalogue with a listed price of 695 BEF, and $25 US.

Standout tracks include Rhythm of Time, Gripped By Fear, Never Stop, and Punish Your Machine. The last track "Intro + Circling Overland" seems a bit out of place coming at the end of the CD, but what else could one do? "Circling Overland" was the intro to the "Front By Front" shows, with "Rhythm of Time" obviously being the start of the "Tyranny" shows...actually a good way to contrast how each tours shows began.

Honestly, the entire CD is most excellent! I actually prefer it to the "official" live release "Live Code". From the design of the liner notes/inserts, to the screen printing on the CD, everything about this presentation is superb...

Today it can be had a little more often, as most hard-core collectors have it in their possession. Expect to pay from $50-75, $25 if you are lucky!

Live Target Jewel Case Insert Front

LIve Target Jewel Case Insert Back

Live Target Jewel Case Liner Notes

Live Target CD Tray Liner

Live Target Disc

Thursday, September 16, 2010

12 Days of A Selective Retaliation: V1.12

We have reached the end of "12 Days of A Selective Retaliation"! The final print, V1.12, is aptly titled W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. 1.1
Of course most know that this stands for "What You Hear Is What You Get" which itself is a play on the WYSIWYG acronym (here is a wiki article if you are curious:

W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. is the first track on the "Official Version" album. On the actual liner notes/album artwork it is listed as W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. Extended 7:22

This is one of those Front 242 songs that was often played live, with much more dramatic differences that what is on the actual album. The live versions often feature lyrics that are not sung on the album cut itself (technically if you listen closely to the track you do start to hear J-L sing some of the lyrics as the song fades out)...which is very curious to me. I have always enjoyed live cuts of W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. since J-L sings these lyrics, which also appear on this print. (The same thing also happened when Front 242 would close with the song "Work" , as the live version has lyrics not on the released track.)

If you can't quite make it out, here are the lyrics... (from the print and from the song as appears on the Switzerland 86 and Hadafi Commando bootlegs). Later W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. would often be combined with U-Men and the lyrics were not sung...

"One hour ago...
there were only three...
But look at them now...
They must be more...
Much more than twenty...
They act too shy...
They act too shy...
So they prefer...
to fly in the sky...
They're coming down...
They're coming down...
They're coming down for you...
You're one of them...
(None) dares to be the first...   (Print: none of them dare to be the first)
You're one of them...
(None) wants to be late...  (Print: none of them wants to be late)
One hour ago...
There were only three...
But look....(repeat)
They're coming down...
They're coming down for you...
You're one them...

BTW, does anyone know where the samples "Are You Crazy" and "You're making (a big mistake?)" and others from this song come from? I have tried to find them for years...!

The print itself features yet another "Quite Unusual" video image with the title above and the lyrics below...


V1.12 Detail (rotated)

V1.12 Detail

V1.12 Detail

V1.12 Detail (lyrics!)

V1.12 Detail

V1.12 Detail

So ends "12 Days of A Selective Retaliation"... See The Future?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

12 Days of A Selective Retaliation: V1.11

We return again to the video sessions of "Quite Unusual" for the penultimate print V1.11 in "A Selective Retaliation." If you have not seen the video, here is a link:

Watching it now, it all seems a bit dated. Despite their more serious demeanor and approach to music, when it came to videos, Front 242 often did not take themselves too seriously. (Egghunter!)
 In reading interviews regarding this video, they were not exactly pleased by the final result. In an interview from "Alternative Press" November 1988 (Someday I will eventually post a Press/Interview section!):

"The video tries to display a story of three men on the run from a midget in a toy-sized helicopter before finally evading him and jumping onto a real helicopter and escaping at the end. Richard describes how the band wasn't really happy with that entire idea. 'The video was directed by this Belgian guy who we knew that was working on a rock show for Belgian t.v. Belgian t.v. produced the entire show. We hate all the part with the midget, we aren't happy with the way it was filmed and all that. What we wanted for the video, we didn't want any stories right, just atmospheres. We told the director that and he agreed with us but then he said that if the Belgian t.v. is going to pay for it, that he had to give them a story board cause otherwise they would say no. They weren't going to give us thousands of francs to do something they didn't like. He told us it would have to look like a regular video on the story board but that after we got the money, we could do whatever we want. But when we look at the final product, the story board is still there now. We didn't agree about the bit with the midget and all that." -Richard, from Alternative Press, Vol.3 No. 13, November 1988

Midgets and toy helicopters aside, these images are much more atmospheric. We return to the guys on the run, this time the print images are more manipulated and pixeled...


V1.11 Detail

V1.11 Detail

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

12 Days of A Selective Retaliation: V1.10

Departing a bit from the images of "Quite Unusual", Print V1.10 is another one of those images that Front 242 so effectively created by melding form and function: effective use of imagery, with sound bytes and slogans...their comment has always been "No Comment" and "It's Up To You To Decide..."


V1.10 Detail (rotated)

V1.10 Detail

V1.10 Detail

Monday, September 13, 2010

12 Days of A Selective Retaliation: V1.9

Print V1.9 continues the "Quite Unusual"/"Official Version" video sessions and is almost a mirror image of the previous print, this time, Patrick C. seems to be leading the charge...


V1.9 Detail (rotated)

V1.9 Detail

V1.9 Detail