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Release Info: Associates 12" Singles
Billy MacKenzie and Alan Rankine formed The Associates in Dundee, Scotland, in 1976. They released a self-funded 7" of Boys Keep Swinging mere weeks after David Bowie had released his original. This scam got them a publishing deal with Bowie's publishers and a proper record deal.
By 1980 they were touring with The Cure and signed to Fiction Records, for whom they recorded The Affectionate Punch. At the turn of the year they relocated to Situation 2 and put out a string of singles, later compiled on the album Fourth Drawer Down, recorded using money from major labels who were expecting demos to be produced with their cash... In tandem with their increasing consumption of coke and speed, the groups' music became increasingly deranged and experimental. John Murphy and Mike Dempsey (ex-The Cure) became official members.
The stories behind the four singles which went to make up the Associates' second album are legion. How Billy MacKenzie sang through a vacuum cleaner tube on "Kitchen Person"; how cups were stuck on heads to help implement "The Associate"; the phlegmy coughs which doubled as backing vocals on "Q Quarters". Listening to Fourth Drawer Down now, it seems incredible Rankine and MacKenzie were allowed to get away with so much. But thank goodness they were. MacKenzie's typically overwrought falsetto still carries considerable emotional clout when matched to his partner's dislocated funk and the dark, skewed electronica.
Brittle, sparkling, hysterical and romantic. But like, totally, totally mental. No one, ever, sounded like this. Genius.
Vinyl rips at 320 Kbps.
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