elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth. Please keep in mind that the majority of the artists that appear on this blog, along with their respective record labels, are not wealthy and need your support. If you enjoy the material that you find here, please support the artists/labels by purchasing their material afterwards. If you are an artist/label that would prefer to have your material removed from this blog, simply leave me a comment, and I would be more than happy to promptly remove the offending post. In addition to running this blog, I also work on a few other projects during my spare time. You can find links to those, as well as a few other important links associated with Digital Meltd0wn in the menu bar above.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Magazine - Real Life

Magazine's Real Life is post-punk ground zero. Singer/lyricist Howard Devoto split from Buzzcocks to be less musically direct and therefore more adventurous with his new outfit. Taking the groundwork laid by his previous band and applying the artsy abstractions given to the basic rock formula pioneered by the likes of Roxy Music, David Bowie, and Krautrock, Devoto chose his new partners well -- partners who were talented musicians, not afraid to display their skills. (Well, actually, the flat-drumming Martin Jackson would be gone after this, replaced by the much better John Doyle.) Magazine were never about finding a riff, bashing out a knuckle-dragging rhythm, screaming about everyday young-adult angst, and taking a break after every two minutes. The arrangements and structures here -- as on each successive Magazine recording -- are herky-jerky, tightly wound, unpredictable, and incredibly dynamic (for one great example of the latter, check the onset of the breakdown just before the three-minute mark of the opening "Definitive Gaze"), perfectly suited for Devoto's swoopy, livewire vocal tendencies. Even the most punk sounding song here, "Recoil," sounds a little bizarre when compared to most of Magazine's contemporaries. And then there's the more daring aspects, like the spacey keyboard passages (some of which haven't aged too well, though they're hardly Asiatic) and Devoto's lyrics, a how-to manual for many songwriters that followed, from Momus to Thom Yorke. Often cryptic and very open to interpretation, his wordplay is always enough to command interest and provoke analysis. It might be up for debate as to what the best Magazine record is, but Real Life is an undeniably terrific debut, thanks in no small part to the Devoto/Shelley-penned "Shot by Both Sides" and the thumping "The Light Pours Out of Me." Everything else is gravy. (Year of Release: 1978)

Track List
1. Definitive Gaze
2. My Tulpa
3. Shot By Both Sides
4. Recoil
5. Burst
6. Motorcade
7. The Great Beautician In The Sky
8. The Light Pours Out Of Me
9. Parade

Download: Magazine - Real Life (54.6 MB)


Anonymous said...

He Ho!
Lots of Thanks!
Been looking for this one quite a while.
Great Site as well!