Bush Tetras – EP Rituals (1981)

“In New York in the late ’70s & early ’80s, the Bush Tetras blazed brightly in the sweaty clubs of the Lower East Side, playing music that was a blend of funk rhythms & dissonant guitar riffs. Lead guitarist Pat Place had been the original guitarist & one of the founding members of the No Wave band The Contortions. With the Bush Tetras, she continued to pursue some of the musical ideas she had explored in that band, themes of driving rhythm & nihilistic trance…hypnotic, tribal, & dirty. Together with vocalist Cynthia Sley they produced the most distinctive aspects of the Tetras sound. Sley’s half-spoken, half-sung vocals, often repeating simple phrases over & over again, creating a hypnotic monotony similar to Place’s guitar rhythms. The Bush Tetras toured with the Clash & struck up a friendship with Topper Headon that lead to his producing this, the Rituals ep on Stiff Records in 1981. The Bush Tetras on Rituals were: Cynthia Sley – vocals; Pat Place – guitar; Laura Kennedy – bass; & Dee Pop – drums. …”
YouTube: Can’t Be Funky, Funky Instrumental, Cowboys in africa, Rituals


The ROIR Label’s Timeless Documents of Underground Music

“If you had a taste for underground music in the ‘80s, you almost certainly had multiple releases on the ROIR (pronounced ‘roar’) label in your collection. The tiny New York label’s output was exclusively available on brightly-colored cassettes, with liner notes by noted rock critics like Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Byron Coley, Kurt Loder, Jon Pareles, and a pre-Yo La Tengo Ira Kaplan. The catalog included releases by proto-punk and punk legends like the MC5, Television, the New York Dolls (and Johnny Thunders), Nico, the Raincoats, the Dictators, and Suicide, as well as hardcore acts like Flipper and GG Allin, compilations like New York Thrash (featuring the Beastie Boys’ earliest recording), and the Bad Brains’ legendary ‘yellow tape.’ They also released noisy, arty music by Glenn Branca, Christian Marclay, Laibach, and Einstürzende Neubauten. And they balanced their loud, aggro side with releases that revealed label founder Neil Cooper’s passion for dub and reggae, with titles by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Big Youth, Niney the Observer, Yellowman, Bill Laswell, and others. …”
bandcamp (Audio)
Guardian – Label of love: ROIR

Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps / You Can’t Be Funky (1980)

“… ‘From our English shores, the sound of Bush Tetras was both jarring and warming,’ says [Hugo] Burnham. ‘Jarring because, well, it just was. And warming to my ears because Pat’s guitar playing was not a million miles away from our own angry, sonically annoying, percussive, nasty-funk playing [Gang of Four guitarist] Andy Gill. Like minds—how exciting. And women, too. OK, that’s not such a big deal today, but right then it was a bonus, even though it should not have mattered.’ The early ‘80s were heady, adventurous times in the New York scene. Punk rock had kicked open a lot of doors and various strands of dissonant art-rock, reggae and funk had rushed in and found hungry audiences. Not large audiences, mind you, but that wasn’t necessarily the point. It was before MTV spread the smooth stylings of Duran Duran and Culture Club, before New Wave was marketed to Middle America, before a mainstream hit became the Holy Grail. The first edition of Bush Tetras only lasted until 1983. …”
WBUR – Bush Tetras: 3 Women Playing Punk-Funk, 1980. They Didn’t Catch On. Now They’re Back. (Video)
W – Bush Tetras
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Too Many Creeps (Live), You Can’t Be Funky