Boomkat Product Review:
A proper post-industrial touchstone for Raime and reams of cranky buggers, the eponymous 1987 LP by Simon Crab & Steven Tanza’ agit-prop duo Bourbonese Qualk sees a timely 35th year reissue with Mannequin
The fiercely independent BQ began life in Southport, UK, before really coming into their own after moving to a London squat in ’82 and, by 1984, becoming a crucial node in the anarchist and radical political activist network, helming the Ambulance Station as a hive of activity from rehearsal/recording/performance space to print workshop and a coordinating centre for the Stop the City anti-capitilist riots of ’84. Their self-titled, fifth and final album in this original guise pays indomitable testament to the duo’s musical schism, torn between discomfiting, feral yowls, voodoo drums and darkly possessed forms of ambient experimentation that would come to define their legacy, before parting just prior to the album's release on the Recloose Organisation label - home to Bryn Jones’ earliest gear as E.G. Oblique Graph, and later Muslimaguze - and a forerunner to Simon Crab’s next endeavour with New International Recordings.
‘Bourbonese Qualk’ is certified canonical ‘80s post-industrial. Patently not as polished as parallels such as The Cab’s in UK, for example, BQ perhaps shared more textural familiarity with Zoviet France, the clatter of Test Dept., Het Zweet zonked tribalism, and echoes of TG, but stood in their own lane of steadfast politics that used gigs and records as a space to rally like-minded radicals. This newly remastered example of BQ’s late formative era veers from synth-pop/club-ready juice in ’Skin Deep’, the throbbing pulse of ‘Dream Decade’ and ’Seat It Out’, to sultry ambient slugs such as ‘Mean Streets’, beside much ruder jags such as ‘On Your Knees’ that clearly split the difference between TG and Raime, with outstanding gear in the quease of ‘Obsession’ and languid strum of ‘Always There.’
They’re you’re favourite industrial artist’s favourite industrial artist and ever ripe for rediscovery by new ears trained beyond the mainstream.