Boomkat Product Review:
Talk about foundational; William Bennett, Daniel Miller and J.G. Thirlwell’s pre Whitehouse, The Normal, and Foetus unit are finally subject of a proper reissue on the former’s Susan Lawly label.
‘Rampton’ documents the coolly psychotic origins of a whole wave of noise and experimental rock and electronic music via seven tracks from the short-lived Come, whose various members would go on to define the limits of future music; from Whitehouse’s envelope-pushing power electronics to Mute’s global dominance of synth-pop, new wave, and techno, and JG. Thirlwell’s progressive hybridizing and cinematic sound design. Over 40 years have passed since they first piped up, and they’ve all lead illustrious careers over the interim, making the wickedly crude ‘Rampton’ cuts feels like a series of spotty teenaged portraits (despite the fact that Miller was in his late 20s by this point) by proper outsiders of their time.
Coming together out of necessity, as no other label would release their gear, Come did it themselves, pressing up this LP and its lead 7” in 1979 as a response to the by-then staid conventions of punk rock, effectively transmuting influence from german experimental musicks into a driving, tapped sound that paralleled, to some extents, the like of Throbbing Gristle and Nurse With Wound in the UK, the No wave movements of New York, and strange, unhemlich tape releases from The Lowlands to Japan.
Flinging together a Scottish mad head, the polymath son of Austrian-Jewish immigrants, and an Aussie fine artist, the results of ’Rampton’, from its title to the wiry jags inside, form a very peculiarly British conception of where rock should go in 1979 after it had burned itself out in punk bile. Between the desiccated, reversed psychedelic loops of ‘The Prats’ to the white hot motorik guitar and unhinged vox of ‘Shaved Slits 2’, via the jabbing monotone synths of Daniel Miller aka Dr. Death on ‘Come Sunday’, thru the gnarled death rock of ‘Iron Man’ you’re listening to a primordial square root of UK noise and synth-pop in effect.