RE/Search Publications

RE/Search Publications is an American magazine and book publisher, based in San Francisco, founded by its editor V. Vale in 1980. In a few references Andrea Juno was also credited as an editor. However it was the successor to Vale’s earlier punk rock fanzine Search & Destroy (1977–1979), which was started with $200 provided to Vale by Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. RE/Search itself began as a tabloid-sized magazine. The debut issue of Search & Destroy (1977), named after the Stooges song, focused on the emerging punk and new wave scene, with articles on Mabuhay Gardens, the hottest venue for punk in the city, and interviews with the local bands Crime, Vermilion, and the Nuns. The first issue of RE/Search (1980) had photographs by Ruby Ray and articles on Factrix, The Slits, conspiracies (written by Jay Kinney), Young Marble Giants, Boyd Rice‘s NON, Cabaret Voltaire, Sun Ra, flashcards, Japan, J. G. Ballard, Julio Cortázar, rhythm & noise, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, Throbbing Gristle, nuclear disaster, Situationism, Octavio Paz, and ‘punk prostitutes’. It was distributed by Rough Trade. Following the third issue, issues 4 and 5 were collected as a single volume, a ‘special book issue’. Subsequent issues all retained the book format. …”
RE/Search: List of publications

Cluster / Brian Eno – Cluster & Eno (1977)

“In Brian Eno‘s first collaboration with Cluster, the best of this album’s instrumental pieces are too emotionally rich to waste as mere background music, evoking feelings of hesitancy and regret that rescue the music from mere vapid prettiness. Three tracks in particular indicate things to come. ‘Wehrmut’ is an ethereal synth piece with the pace slowed to a tantalizing crawl. ‘Steinsame’ features a treated guitar playing a slow figure over a dark, almost funereal synth melody. ‘Schöne Hände’ uses watery synth effects to highlight a shivery rhythm pattern. Other pieces dispense with moody atmospherics altogether. Tracks like ‘Ho Renomo’ and ‘Selange’ consist mainly of pounding rhythm patterns lightly embellished by piano or synthesizer, and ‘Die Bunge’ sounds like an electronic goldfinch fluttering around a cartoon horse. While not the unqualified success of their 1978 collaboration After the Heat, Cluster & Eno remains an important album. Along with Eno‘s 1978 Music for Films, these works helped define the depth and promise of ambient music.”
allmusic (Audio)
W – Cluster & Eno
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Cluster & Eno (Full Album) 36:52

Los Angeles – X (1980)

Los Angeles is the debut studio album by American rock band X, released on April 26, 1980 by Slash Records. Produced by ex-Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek, it includes a cover of the 1967 Doors song ‘Soul Kitchen‘. It placed at No. 16 for the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 286 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1988, Slash issued Los Angeles and Wild Gift jointly on a single CD. It was reissued by Rhino Records in 2001 with five bonus tracks. Los Angeles was reviewed very positively from its first release. Ken Tucker wrote in Rolling Stone that it ‘is a powerful, upsetting work that concludes with a confrontation of the band’s own rampaging bitterness and confusion.’ Robert Christgau wrote that their outlook and songs ‘make a smart argument for a desperately stupid scene.’ AllMusic‘s retrospective review concluded that the album ‘is considered by many to be one of punk’s all-time finest recordings, and with good reason.’ For the year of its release, it was placed at No. 16 on the Christgau organized Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. …”
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Los Angeles (Live)
YouTube: X – Los Angeles (Full Album) 8 videos

Gang of Four – Damaged Goods / Love Like Anthrax / Armalite Rifle (EP 1978)

“‘Damaged Goods’ is the debut single by Gang of Four. It was released on 13 October 1978 through independent record label Fast Product. Produced by Fast Product owner Bob Last under the alias Fast Product, the single received critical acclaim, prompting the band to sign to EMI Records. The title track and ‘Love Like Anthrax’ were re-recorded for Gang of Four’s debut album Entertainment! in 1979 and the whole EP was included in the Fast Product compilation Mutant Pop in 1980. The title track starts with syncopated bass and drums, which are later accompanied with a guitar. The song also features vocals by Jon King, which take the role of ‘a lonesome, longing lament’ and a ‘nearly spoken-word‘ section sung by the band’s guitarist Andy Gill. … The single cover art attributes influences to Situationism and Deconstructionism. It features the bold black sans-serif title over a deep pink background, similar to the design of 1914’s short-lived Blast magazine. The self-referencing text, the sleeve for a Gang of Four recording of ‘Damaged Goods,’ ‘Love Like Anthrax’ and ‘Armalite Rifle’ is scrolled around the title. …”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Damaged Goods (Live)
YouTube: Damaged Goods, Love Like Anthrax, Armalite Rifle

David Johansen – David Johansen (1978)

David Johansen‘s self-titled solo debut bears a closer resemblance to his work with the New York Dolls than any of his subsequent recordings, but the former Dolls singer cleverly crafted an album that played to his former band’s strengths while establishing an identity of his own and delivering a set of tight but powerful hard rock. Where the Dolls were frequently sloppy and poorly focused (if often gloriously so), David Johansen rocks with a cleaner but equally emphatic guitar attack (courtesy Johnny Rao and Thomas Trask), while Johansen‘s vocals are noticeably more powerful and sharper than his earlier music. Johansen‘s songs are more straightforward and less campy than his Dolls tunes; while ‘Funky But Chic’ would have done his old glam buddies proud (‘Mama says I look fruity, but in jeans I feel rotten’), the celebration of the fair sex in ‘Girls’ and ‘I’m a Lover’ cuts his former sexual ambiguity to the quick, and the tough rock & roll good times of ‘Cool Metro’ and the girl-trouble commiseration of ‘Pain In My Heart’ show Johansen could move into more conventional lyrical territory without losing his swagger or street smarts along the way. And while the Dolls didn’t leave Johansen much room for slow songs where he could wear his heart on his sleeve, ‘Donna’ and ‘Frenchette’ allow him to do just that, and remarkably well. David Johansen in some respects seems like a deliberate attempt to sidestep much of the baggage that weighed down the New York Dolls in their bid for rock stardom, but at the same time its celebration of women and good times isn’t simple or without its own appreciation of good danger, and it rocks out with a New York street vibe that has a life of its own; it’s still Johansen‘s best solo work to date.”
allmusic (Audio)
W – David Johansen
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: David Johansen (full album) 38:26

Onze danses pour combattre la migraine – Aksak Maboul (1977)

“In the spring of 1977, two young Belgian musicians who call themselves Aksak Maboul (aka Marc Hollander & Vincent Kenis) set out to record an album, ‘Onze danses pour combattre la migraine’, in which they playfully fused and deconstructed all kinds of genres to create their own musical world. Three years later, Hollander founded the Crammed label. Many ingredients came in and out of the Aksak blender : fake jazz, electronics, imaginary African & Balkan music, minimalism… there were even pre-techno aspects such in as Saure Gurke and its characteristic keyboard stab pattern which will mysteriously find its way into many classic Detroit techno tracks some ten years later. Onze Danses became a cult album, and seems retrospectively to have mapped out the way for the various directions which have been explored by Crammed during the next two decades.”
bandcamp (Audio)
W – Onze danses pour combattre la migraine
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Onze danses pour combattre la migraine (Full Album) 50:26

Forces Of Victory – Linton Kwesi Johnson (1978)

“Having exploded onto the UK scene in 1978 with the dark, angry masterpiece, Dread Beat & Blood, Brixton Dub Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson returned the following year with second album, Forces Of Victory. Calling, again, on the talents of the Dennis Bovell Band, this was a calmer, more measured work, packed with both wry observation and political conviction. Johnson’s poetry, with its emphasis on rhythm, was ideally suited to the sparse, jazz-tinged backings of UK dub. Opener ‘Want Fi Go Rave’ is as cool and confident as anything by Gregory Isaacs or Prince Buster, while ‘It Noh Funny’, a homage to the realities of youth, gives Bovell plenty of room for the interaction of drum and delay. Sonny’s Lettah – a deeply affecting tale of injustice – is a favourite among veteran activists, but ‘Independent Intavenshan”s bouncing bassline and scornful lyrics (bemoaning the abundance of right-minded organisations attempting to speak for the black community) make the more resonant statement. ‘Fight Dem Back’ rallies against the racists behind a mocking sing-song refrain, while ‘Reality Poem’, with its haunting chorus-drenched guitar motif, advocates sober atheism at a time when such viewpoints were far from welcome. Some have criticised Johnson for making Caribbean culture palatable to a predominantly white left-wing audience, but such criticism is to be expected by any artist who transcends their genre. And while the clean understated Bovell production is more suitable for the coffee bar than the sound system, it marks one of many high points in a distinguished career. A homegrown reggae classic.”
W – Forces of Victory
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Fight them back (Live), Sonny´s Lettah (Live)
YouTube: Forces of victory (full album) 33:54