Hastings of Malawi: “They recorded the album in one night in 1981 with no plan and no idea of what they were doing.”
Hastings of Malawi‘s Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth, released on Brussels experimental Sub Rose Label, is, uh, something. Best to let the music speak for itself.
“A classic masterpiece from 1981, never re-released before. Originally 1000 copies pressed on orange/red vinyl. 120 copies were sold through Rough Trade and Virgin Records. 800 copies were bought and later destroyed by the United Dairies label, making this record even more rare.
Hastings of Malawi were Heman Pathak, David Hodes and John Grieve.
They recorded the album in one night in 1981 with no plan and no idea of what they were doing.
They played drums, clarinet, synthesizer and piano but also made use of things that they found lying around the studio – old records, cookery books, telephone directories and a telephone.
The recordings were played down the phone to randomly dialed numbers and the reactions added to the recording.
All three had been involved in the recording of the first Nurse with Wound album Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella and had contributed metal scrapings, piano, effects, clarinet and guitar during the session.
The album was released in 1981 as Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth by Hastings of Malawi on the Papal Products label.
The star of the record is Pat Simmons who was the voice of the UK speaking clock between 1963 and 1984.
In his book Lipstick Traces writer Greil Marcus seeks to draw a line from Dada through the Situationist International to punk rock. If this line exists then this record sits on the end of it.
The only review that the album received was from Steve Stapelton who suggested that “nobody should miss this vinyl disaster”
Good or bad are not concepts that can be applied to this recording.
The record stands firmly in opposition to the now all pervading concepts of commercialisation, celebrity culture and the commodification of creative activity.”
Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber