Tag Archives: vinyl

Death Church

“RUDIMENTARY PENI are a band so fucking good that no one will ever understand them; I doubt they understand themselves.” – Steve Albini, 1993

We can almost hear you mumble “about bloody time too!”.  Yes, it’s taken a while.  These Rudimentary Peni reissues have to be perfect you know, so sometimes we have to take our time. This one involved going back to the cutting room many times over to get the sound of the vinyl exactly right.  We don’t want to mess about, we want top quality.

Death Church was recorded in two days at our very own Southern Studios in April of 1983. It was the band’s first long-player, following on the heels of their self-titled EP in 1981 and the Farce single on Crass Records in 1982. Arguably the most beloved album album of the band’s many fans, Death Church wore its contents on its sleeve, quite literally. The intricate line drawings of vocalist/guitarist Nick Blinko are dark visions of madness, religion and death…all of which are to be found in the lyrics within. Musically, Death Church has been embraced and claimed by every fringe musical niche of its time… it’s the album that brought together the death rockers, anarcho-punks, peace punks, hardcore punks, proto-metallers and art rockers.

Our vinyl reissue includes a faithful reproduction of the iconic fold-out poster sleeve from the original issue.  Also included is the original insert (okay we changed a couple of minor things – see if you can spot them) and a card with a code entitling the purchaser to a free MP3 download.  The LP is pressed on 180gm black wax. The CD version is in a gatefold wallet and includes a lyric insert.

We also have a t-shirt available which features the cover art on the front and the band logo on the back. 

Death Church T-Shirt
Death Church T-Shirt in Black, of course.

Death Church is available to pre-order from the Southern web shop now.

Nomeansno classic reissued on vinyl

Originally released in 1998 on double LP and CD by Alternative Tentacles, Dance Of The Headless Bourgeoisie was reissued on CD on the band’s own Wrong Records in 2004, but it’s taken them a while to get around to a vinyl reissue. Now Nomeansno fans the world over finally have the chance to enjoy the album in its full gatefold glory.

  • Double 180 gram black vinyl
  • Gatefold sleeve with lyrics
  • Code for free MP3 download

The tenth album from Nomeansno was, and still is, a groundbreaking exploration of social and political lyrical statements and post-punk musical workouts.  Back in the day, confused people liked to call this “jazz-punk” or “jazzcore” because it involved more than three chords and shock! horror! time changes! and OMG! slow parts!

Scientific proof that NoMeansNo has indeed transformed from a tight, aggressive, smart, political punk band into a dull, meandering punk version of Rush.” – A.V. Club review 

Nomeansno finally has some decent production that puts all their instruments in the right place without sacrificing their power. The first four tracks charge out of the gate with the steam of a locomotive…” - Satan Stole My Teddybear review

“The proclamation “I’m an Asshole” and the graphic-as-true-crime violently extortionate title track lend credence to theory that Nomeansno is out to offend this time.” – Allmusic review

“Dance of the Headless Bourgeoisie is for the most part an unquestionable jazzcore masterpiece: inaccessible, uncompromising and very draining, but also incredibly tight, smart, funny, intense and repeatedly mind-blowing.” – Guy Peters Record Reviews Site review

“Well you know what they say. The world wasn’t built in a day.” – Nomeansno

Dance Of The Headless Bourgeoisie is available to order now from the Southern web shop.

Christ The Lacquers

Christ The Lacquers

For anyone who follows these things, we’ve been trying to get all of the Crass vinyl back into print for about a year now. Our mission has been to (a) Restore the original vinyl mix tapes (the quarter inch analogue tapes that were originally used to cut the vinyl on initial release) (b) Create new metalwork (from which the vinyl is stamped) and (c) Reproduce the original poster sleeves and inserts (minus the “Pay No More Than”, which was actually removed over a decade ago when these were last printed).

Part (a) was pretty easy – we have the set-up to bake tapes right here at Southern Studios.  The thing with magnetic tapes is that during the late 70’s and through much of the 80’s, some tape manufacturers started using new (aka cheaper) technologies to produce tape which resulted in an unstable binder material.  This causes the tape to oxidize over time and shed particles when you attempt to play the tape.  Tapes in this state can be temporarily fused by a process known as baking – a long exposure to very low heat in a special oven.  Once this is done you can transfer the programme to another digital or analogue storage device.  Harvey Birrell, who runs our studio, is very accomplished at restoring and mastering and has handled all of our reissue projects.   Harvey did a faithful ‘flat’ transfer of the recordings (no changes to the mix or levels) and these were checked by original producer and band member Penny Rimbaud once done.  So far, so easy.

Equally part (c) was straightforward enough as we have kept all of the original artwork files and have some excellent printers that we work with regularly.  We’ve had the print ready to go for some time now.

It was part (b) that was giving us a real headache.  Despite the popular niche that vinyl has found with the public over the years, there are very few plants who press vinyl (and do it well and in any kind of a timely fashion).  Probably about 90% of the independent labels we know work with a well-known plant in the Czech Republic, who are generally great people to work with.  Until something goes wrong, when you are thrust through a time-warp back to the 1950’s and customer complaints are ‘reviewed’ by committees whose job is to determine the ‘validity’ of your dissatisfaction.  We have, and still do, use DMM for a lot of mastering jobs, but despite several tries at doing the Crass titles this way, we only managed to get good results on two titles – Feeding of the 5000 and Penis Envy.  These two were repressed earlier this year (and have since sold out, so we need to do more).  Eventually we were forced to concede defeat on DMM and take our lumps and start over.

We had no other option but to go back to the three-step process of cutting a lacquer  master (or father) from which a metal mother is made, which is then used to make the stampers used to imprint the grooves on the vinyl.  We have used many vinyl cutting rooms in London in the past, and most of them are gone now!  So we went back to John Loder’s favourite haunt, Abbey Road.   Penny and Harvey attended and were very pleased with the results – which you can see above!  So the remaining albums – that’s Stations of the Crass, Yes Sir I Will, Christ The Album and Ten Notes On A Summer’s Day have all gone off to to the pressing plant (in France this time).  Fingers crossed everything will go smoothly and we’ll have vinyl back by the end of November – just the things for putting under your Crassmas trees.