Boomkat Product Review:
V-O-D knocks us sideways with their first Welsh-language collection courtesy of Cardiganshire’s Malcolm Neon, who set-up and ran the very first DIY underground tape label in Wales, Casetiau Neon, between 1980-1986. All material inside is taken from the label’s tape releases and presented on vinyl for the first time, yet again opening another experimental postpunk wormhole that we, and likely many others, never knew existed before now.
Nowadays a member of Datblygu, who are still active and apparently played ATP Prestatyn in 2016, Malcolm’s early work fizzes with a raw outsider quality that’s hard to ignore, and when you factor in the fact that he hails from the extreme west of Wales and sings in the wonderful cadence of Welsh language, it’s a pretty special sound quite unlike anything else out there, bar none - predating even the earliest work of Brian Williams’ Lustmord (the only other Welsh guy we can think of from that realm, beyond the well-established welsh psych/folk/rock scene).
With a sound quite possibly explained by the fact that West Wales was thee major manufacturer and supplier of LSD in Britain during the ‘70s, the styles on 1980 - 1985 are just west af; full of curdled and smeared chromatic synth tones, expressively primal, dramatic vocals and floppy, spiralling grooves that surely sound great while rolling around the countryside, and probably just as virulent anywhere else.
Cumulatively they frame the sound of a real explorer carving his own niche way beyond the mainstream, instinctively taking the influence of Kraftwerk and Eno along much odder, waywardly personalised vectors which would eventually inspire and intersect other local freaks such as Ail Symudiad and, in particular, the power pop unit of Datblygu’s Patricia Morgan, David R Edwards and Wyn Davies, the latter of whom appears alongside Neon on the bonus 7” containing their Meibion Mwnt release, Seren China  whose dippy psych-pop charms clearly pre-echoes the likes of Gruff Rhys and SFA et al.
Seriously our heads are spinning after ingesting this one. Don’t miss!