They've done Alternative Sixties on the radio. How about a pitch for an Alternative Eighties. It would feature Test Department, Crass, early Chumbawamba, Steinski, Big Black, Stump and Slab, Hardcore Holocaust, Miranda Sex Garden, In the Nursery, Bow Gamelan, Eric B and Rakim, Butthole Surfers, Holger Hiller — oh, go on then, let's go the whole hog and include Cabaret Voltaire — and Tackhead, of course. It would need to be on a public service network, because no advertisers would touch it: it would be a bloody hard listen, for depressives and conspiracy theorists only.
I felt at that time that this was the sound, or a sound, of the future. Now I wonder whether it hasn't been as influential as expected — or perhaps it has? I'm too old now to listen to the kind of people who might be influenced by Tackhead and the On-U sound. Except Burial, of course. Like every middle class, middle aged, metropolitan white boy, I listen to a bit of Burial now and then. I wonder if he listens to Tackhead?
These days I find the 36 minutes of this CD a little long, a little heavy going. The last I heard of the members of Tackhead, Skip McDonald and Adrian Sherwood were working with the Barsley folksinger, Ian King, and that's much more my kind of thing now. Comforting that they've mellowed a little along with me (though we don't really like to think of it as mellowing, do we?).
I can't work out the the title of this album. MusicBrainz and Discogs both have it as Tackhead Tape Time by Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System, though the former phrase appears nowhere on my CD. Meanwhile Last.fm and Rate Your Music have the album title, not the artist, as Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System. Of Mr Clail, the sleeve notes helpfully explain,
Some people have called Gary a rapper. Gary is, in fact, an ex-scaffolder and second hand Cortina salesman from Bristol, England, and sees his new role as chanter extraordinaire as his true vocation.
MusicBrainz entry for this album
Wikipedia entry for this album
Rate Your Music entry for this album
Listen to this album in part at Last.fm