Archive for April 2011

Tony Gage – Techno Prisoners (1999)

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Terrifyingly bleak and irresistibly hilarious. Like so many Tony Gage albums, but perhaps more than any other, Techno Prisoners tells you the truth you don’t want to hear. Stoner rock done against garish general MIDI shades, its genius is all too visible for those who are ready to see it, deftly sewn into an assembly of seemingly second-hand and incomplete drapings others might have discarded. It is dreadful and awesome, monstrous in its half-munched effluence, damning in its über-Kak, arm’s-length indifference.

There’s a gruff, gritty darkfulness to this album (even on upper beat tracks like ‘Bouncer’ and ‘Venus’) that reaches its apotheosis with ‘This Misery Can’t Last’ a muddily disinterested dirge that fails to settle on a groove while roughly cut splices (mostly) of Laura Jesson’s famous lines in brief Brief Encounter that give the track its title. The brilliant matter-of-factness of the instrumental playing’s looseness makes for a tawdrily sardonic retort to Dr Shit’s excessively tightly knotted interplay, especially in the swaggery loy of ‘Bouncer’ or ‘I’m Coming Your Way,’ a partial revision of the Sparrow song of the same name from the same period.

Like the knobbly elbows of birds’ wings, two pieces containing collaged dialogue from The Man With the Golden Gun provide a certain symmetry: the first, ‘My Name Is Scaramanga’ is merely exposition through reference and acknowledgement, before ‘James…’ (on what was the old cassette Side Two) makes anarchic mockery of the very premise of 007 – celebrating, as Gage righteously does, the fact that the only Bond suitable enough to accentuate the role’s inherent ridicule was Roger Moore.

At the time of the album’s original preparation for release, Gage supplied several different images along with the cover art (like those inserted above); no recommendation was given as to how these should be deployed (the most reasonable assumption was that they might be good as part of a CD booklet – Kakutopia were more extravagant in their packaging, sometimes, then), but zip-file downloads now offer the chance to include random surplus content – there’s a third picture in the d-load pack.

1. Scraper
2. Venus
3. Decaying Grandeur
4. You Two
5. “My Name Is Scaramanga”
6. Walk In Town
7. Bouncer
8. This Misery Can’t Last
9. I’m Coming Your Way
10. Supermarket
11. W.I.C.
12. “James…”
13. Sad Crap
14. Woman Blare

Tony Gage – all insts


Written by Gustav Thomas

April 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Tony Gage Albums