Sunday 29 May 2011

Hiss & Shake - Legg's Eleven pt. 9

“I find it interesting that some of the things I’ve been learning seem to be similar to the way I was playing in the Raincoats. Not knowing the standard chord progressions, and many of the rock tricks on the guitar, and not learning through, say, folk guitar, I had to invent ways of playing it. And I found that those connected up with some of the rhythm playing in the African style (actually the Zairois style soukous) – obvious things like using just three strings instead of all six, playing the top part of a chord on the bottom part of the string, picking out little figures and playing them repeatedly, and playing a fairly assymetrical pattern that starts and stops, and starts again, without taking any notice of the bar lines ... which is what we did in the Raincoats anyway.” - Quote attributed to Vicky Aspinall, in Signed, Sealed and Delivered (Sue Steward and Sheryl Garrett)

"A few words on Ut? I don’t rightly know. Seeing bands should be about enjoying yourself. I remember when I used to go out and see bands like the Young Marble Giants and the Raincoats and just stand there with a big, idiotic grin on my face. Ut are like that. I put the grin into my feet and dance the night away. Enjoyment, first and foremost. The fact that they, to me, are pushing through at the boundaries of ‘normality’ and just sound so good is ... well, terrific. Like falling in love every time you see them, only there’s no risk of getting hurt (I don’t know, though – just look what happened to the Raincoats). Inspirational, yeah inspirational. If they hit upon a tuning they like (by chance?) they stick to it, instead of following other people’s standards. And why not, if it sounds good? Refusal to be hurried by any demands from the audience is refreshing, also – only the highest self-determined standards here. No manipulation either, you can take ‘em or leave ‘em (and that would just be your loss). The spirit of independence.” - Jerry T. Communication Blur No. 2 1983

“I was really into Television’s first single Little Johnny Jewel —and that sound inspired Ut. I'd take records out from the library where I discovered this Daglar wedding song which was in fact the saddest song I'd ever heard. I taped [the song] and carried it around in early days of London exile but I misplaced it long ago.” Jacqui Ham, Warped Reality

“I was fortunate enough to see them them live on a handful of occasions in the mid-80s & it's fair to say that they made absolutely no concessions on stage - swapping instruments, teetering on the brink of a liberating chaos, dissecting & spitting out their ferocious, primal guitar-scraping abstractions to disconcerted, slack jawed crowds who'd much rather have been watching The Flatmates. Though they'd appear at the outset to be freely, & somewhat awkwardly, improvising, the realisation would gradually dawn that, actually, the songs they were playing had been meticulously arranged to sound that way: fractured, forensic, remote & slightly cantankerous.” – I Love Total Destruction

“Steve Rickard, a friend of Art Bears drummer and Recommended Records founder Chris Cutler, ended up as the engineer/manager of the new, commercial Cold Storage, with Phil Legg in charge of recording the more pop-oriented groups.” - Mike Barnes, Once Upon a Time in Brixton, The Wire, August 2005.

UT – Confidential/Bedouin/Tell It. Label:Out Records. Catalog: OUT R 02. Format: Vinyl, 12".

  • Bass – Nina Canal (tracks: B1), Sally Young (tracks: B1)
  • Drums – Nina Canal (tracks: A, B1), Sally Young (tracks: B2)
  • Engineer – Phil Legg
  • Guitar – Jacqui Ham (tracks: A, B1, B2), Sally Young (tracks: A)
  • Horn – Tim Hodgkinson (tracks: B2)
  • Mixed By – Scott Piering
  • Producer – Ut
  • Recorded By – Tim Hodgkinson
  • Vocals – Jacqui Ham (tracks: B1), Nina Canal (tracks: B2), Sally Young (tracks: A)
  • Recorded at Cold Storage, July 1984

“For me, Ut represent one of the most intense musical experiences in the known universe. Are you ready to have your head trip with infinite velocity, sheer and primal ferocity? Run and get a copy of Ut’s debut LP Conviction (Out Records), and check out Confidential; this is no joke, Ut will make you work through a tortuous weaving of purely physical vocal/guitar wars.” - Elizabeth Johnson, Debris issue 14

“With ruthless insistence they attack the senses and subvert the concept of music with their hideous agitation of our nomadic fears and dissonance. With discord comes the unearthly howl of warning, of unease, curtailing its power through its own abstraction. Without edges or form and wrought with tension this is a musical sculpture of sorts, or is it just pretence?” – review of Ut, Early Live Life by Alex Kadis, Underground June 1987

“I defy you: find me one conventional guitar solo in all of Ut's works, from the early scratchy noise on 'Early Live Life' through to the awesome 'Griller', and I'll go buy every single Rush LP. That is what's always struck me; the Ut sound works as rhythms and patterns, sequences of sound, weaving like the best techno. No matter how dissonant and vengeful the guitars got, there is still the opportunity to trace shapes and sense. "Repetition in our music, and we're never gonna lose it", as The Fall were wont to say.” - Kevin Pearce, Tangents, 1996

“They weren’t interested in having a single focal point, a Star in the spotlight, center stage. Their goals were slyer, and deeply radical: to find the beauty in chaos, the calm at the center of the storm. To wrest the purest expression out of potential anarchy. Their name may have been deceptively simple and declarative, but the music was hardly easily reduced. But then, with Ut the journey was more important than the destination. You never knew where a song might veer next —they weren’t built linearly but ran scattershot, pell-mell.” - Andrea Feldman, Warped Reality

“Everett True interviews Ut:
Inspiration: “Contempt.”
Confrontation: “Revelation.”
Realisation: “The goalie’s anxiety at the penalty kick.” - Everett True, Plan B #13

“I always think of Ut as the last soldiers of the No Wave. They stayed true ‘til the end.” – Glen Morrow quoted in No Wave – Thurston Moore/Byron Coley

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