This morning, we are delighted to welcome Normil Hawaiians. Operating more like a collective than a band, the Normil Hawaiians formed in the austere post-punk permafrost of 1980s UK.
Under the continuities of racial and economic imperialism and in the grip of another ruthless despot, freedom was in part personified by the widely vilified and brutally attacked people’s Peace Convoy – a manifestation of idealism that was grotesquely smashed near Stonehenge on 1 June 1985; 537 arrested, children terrorised, idealism and hope stamped on with fear and violence.
In their own words, ‘come rejoice with us; all that falls, now falls into place… and all that was air now becomes solid’.
Normil Hawaiians’ selection
Fela Kuti - Power Show (Edit)
Guy: “…I woke up one Sunday morning in (photographer) Fin Costello’s house in Islington with my girlfriend Irena in a double poster bed… one of those wonderful 4 storey London town houses, to the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of Fela Kuti’s Power Show wafting up the stairs. My friend Tony Harrison who was Fin’s assistant had been doing a photo shoot with us whilst Fin was away. The studio was in the basement - it was the same one that the cover of Japan’s Tin Drum was shot… What a beautiful morning that was and Power Show just encapsulates freedom, defiance, rebellion… but most of all joy and harmony, it’s just beautiful… 10 minutes or so of pure life! It also was a reminder that you can take people on a proper musical journey in 10 minutes…““
Isao Tomita - Arabesque No. 1 (Claude Debussy)
Simon: “This was a formative recording for me as it introduced me to two musical influences that have remained with me ever since; I was not at all familiar with the music of Claude Debussy prior to my 17th birthday when this record was given to me by my friend John and I had had only minimal exposure to electronic pieces at this stage in my life. However, the picture on the back of this album always fascinated me, as did the mystery imbued in Debussy’s beautiful works…“
Neu! - Hallo Gallo
Noel: “I like Hallo Gallo as it goes, was playing it yesterday in fact. Sunday no less, while cooking dinner!“
Mark: “Neu was interesting to me when I first heard it as a teenager as it challenged my preconceptions of what was passing as music… it also set on edge the American ideals of rock n roll… it was coming from a very modern European aspect and one that was tackling an immediate difficult past… trying to build a clearer tomorrow… it seemed free and I wanted to be freed.“
Normil Hawaiians - Yellow Rain
Sanjay: “After a hiatus just about as long as my entire lifetime, I was thrilled to hear that the ranters were back to perform their previously-shelved third album at London’s Cafe OTO in 2016. Despite being recorded in 1985, Return of the Ranters is a wonderful mixture of the eclectic, experimental and eccentric. This one, however, is a relative oldie but a goodie from 1982’s More Wealth than MoneyLP. Wistful, healing and just enough melancholy for a Sunday morning…“
Les Filles De Illighadad - Fatou
Sanjay: “Les Filles de Illighadad are a group from the village of Illighadad in the region of Abalak; a world far away from WiFi where the suns’ passage, the movement of the animals and the sound of the crickets measures the length of the day. They present a curious and original approach to two very different sides of Tuareg music – dreamy ishumar acoustic guitar sessions, and the hypnotic polyphonic tende drum (submerged in water for much of their performances!) that inspires it. This is subtle yet deeply personal music.“
Annette Peacock - Survival
Sanjay: “Another musician who still sounds incredibly fresh all these many decades later. Produced in 1979, ‘Survival’ sounds like a beat poetry dissertation on the state of the world. A rap from the here and now about the here and now.“
A Silver Mt. Zion - The Triumph of our Tired Eyes
Sanjay: “There aren’t many MailTape issues I’ve been involved in that don’t feature a release from the brilliant Constellation Records in Montréal. And this is unliklely to be the last – despite me wearing down the wax on this particular album since its release in 2001. ‘Good words! strong words! words that could move mountains!’“