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Medium Medium in 2004
|Genres|| Dance-punk |
|Years active||1978–1983, 2004–|
|Labels||Cherry Red Records|
|Associated acts||C Cat Trance|
|Members|| John Rees Lewis|
|Past members|| Nigel Stone|
Leslie Joachim Barrett
Medium Medium was a post-punk band from Nottingham, England, initially active between 1978 and 1983.
Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and black styles like dub, funk, free jazz, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. Communities that produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines developed around these pioneering musical scenes, which coalesced in cities such as London, New York, Manchester, Melbourne, Sydney, and San Francisco.
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority area in Nottinghamshire, England, 128 miles (206 km) north of London, 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Birmingham and 56 miles (90 km) southeast of Manchester, in the East Midlands.
Emerging in 1978 out of the Nottingham punk/rhythm & blues band The Press,Medium Medium's first single was "Them or Me", which was released in late 1978 and was still selling well enough in 1980 to appear in the UK Independent Chart. The second single, "Hungry, So Angry", was released in February 1981 on Cherry Red Records. One of the first records to introduce slap bass - a technique borrowed from black funk music - to a generally white audience, "Hungry, So Angry" reached #48 in the Billboard Disco chart - the single and the album were released in 1981 on the New York-based indie label Cachalot Records - and has appeared on over a dozen compilations over the years.
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.
Cherry Red Records is a British independent record label founded by Iain McNay in 1978. The label has released recordings by Dead Kennedys, Everything But the Girl, The Monochrome Set, and Felt, among others, as well as the compilation album Pillows & Prayers. In addition to releasing new music, Cherry Red also acts as an umbrella for individual imprints and catalogue specialists.
Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.
The band released one studio album, The Glitterhouse, in late 1981. Its stark, stripped-down dub and dance rhythms and chiming, funk guitar with occasional saxophone and other sounds, failed to attract a large following.
John Rees Lewis, the lead singer and saxophone player, left at the start of 1982 to form C Cat Trance with the original drummer Nigel Stone, who had left shortly before the release of "Hungry, So Angry". The remaining members, Andy Ryder (guitar/vocals), Alan Turton (bass guitar), Graham Spink (offstage special sounds) and the replacement drummer Steve Harvey, continued to tour and were later augmented by, first, Leslie Joachim Barrett (guitar/keyboards), then Julie Wood (keyboards). Forays into a fuller, more produced sound failed to earn the band a new record deal and Medium Medium split up in late 1983.
C Cat Trance were a post-punk band from Nottingham, England, formed by John Rees Lewis after his departure from Medium Medium. They released five albums before splitting up in the mid-1990s.
Inspired by a Cherry Red retrospective CD release in 2001 and the subsequent dance-punk revival, Medium Medium reformed in late 2004 for several live shows, including a showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. No longer a full-time venture, the band has stated plans to continue to write, record and perform.
Dance-punk is a music genre that emerged in the late 1970s, and is closely associated with the post-punk and new wave movements.
CMJ Holdings, Corp. was a music events and online media company which ran a website, hosted an annual festival in New York City, and published CMJ New Music Monthly.
In 2010, Medium Medium released a split-LP with Kommissar Hjuler on the German label Der Schoene-Hjuler-Memorial-Fond, containing tracks from their concert at Part Time Punks Festival USA, followed by a second split-LP in 2011.
Kommissar Hjuler works as a sound recordist in the field of Noise and Post-industrial music, visual artist, film maker and police officer at Flensburg, a town on the German border with Denmark. He often works together with his wife Mama Baer as Kommissar Hjuler und Frau. As self-taught artist he began making music in 1999 and visual art in 2006. He is considered to work in the field of neo dada, whereas his output also contains elements of fluxus, art brut.
The band's "The Glitterhouse" was reissued in expanded form as a triple vinyl edition in 2016 by Optic Nerve Recordings.
The Glitterhouse is the sole studio album by English post-punk band Medium Medium, was released in 1981 by record label Cherry Red.
Clayton Patterson is a Canadian-born artist, photographer, videographer and folk historian. Since moving to New York City in 1979, his work has focused almost exclusively on documenting the art, life and times of the Lower East Side in Manhattan.
The Desperate Bicycles were an English punk band who released a series of independent recordings in the late 1970s and inspired many other bands to do likewise. The Desperate Bicycles pioneered the do-it-yourself ethic of punk, adopting a proselytising role exemplified by their ardent exhortation: "it was easy, it was cheap – go and do it!". The group have been described as "DIY's most fervent evangelists".
The Partisans are a punk rock band formed in Bridgend, in South Wales in early 1978, when all four members were in their early teens. They continued until 1984, having several hits on the UK Indie Chart. The band re-formed in the late 1990s.
Rudi were a punk rock/power pop band from Belfast, Northern Ireland formed in 1975.
Sad Lovers & Giants are a rock band from Watford, England which formed in 1980. Their sound blends post-punk, atmospheric keyboards and psychedelia.
Thomas Leer is a Scottish musician. He has released a number of albums and singles as a solo artist, and was also one half of the 1980s electropop band Act.
Eyeless in Gaza are an English musical duo of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker, based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. They have described their music as "veer[ing] crazily from filmic ambiance to rock and pop, industrial funk to avant-folk styles." Formed in 1980, the group went into hiatus in 1987, re-emerging in 1993.
The Business were an English oi! band formed in 1979 in Lewisham, South London. The band lasted for four decades until their frontman Micky Fitz died from cancer in December 2016.
LiLiPUT were a Swiss post-punk band active from 1978 to 1983, initially known as Kleenex. According to AllMusic, the band "made some of the best, most adventurous, most exhilarating, and most critically derided music" of the punk rock era.
Hagar the Womb are an English punk rock band, originally active in the early 1980s and part of the Anarcho-punk movement. In hiatus from 1987, members went on to form We are Going to Eat You and Melt. A 2011 compilation of their back catalogue brought all members back into contact with each other, and invitations to reform and play gigs and festivals have had Hagar The Womb gigging again since 2012.
Electro Hippies were a crust punk band formed in St Helens/Wigan, United Kingdom, in 1985.
The Fits were a punk rock band from Blackpool, Lancashire, England, who were active between 1979 and 1985, having several hits on the UK Indie Chart. They reformed in 2011.
One Way System are a street punk band formed in the Fleetwood area of Lancashire, England in 1979.
The Outcasts are a punk rock band from Belfast, Northern Ireland formed in 1977.
The Wall are a punk rock band formed in Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, England, in early 1978. They have released two albums.
Recreational Records was a British record label set up in 1981 by the Bristol record shop and distributor Revolver Records. Originally formed as an independent record label with its own distribution as part of the Cartel.
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Sector 27 were a British new wave band founded in 1979 by Tom Robinson. Their 1980 debut album, Sector 27, was produced by Steve Lillywhite. Robinson subsequently left the band, and the band continued without him for a number of years. Sector 27 toured with Elton John and The Police.
Family Fodder is a post-punk group revolving around songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer/producer, and guitarist/keyboard player Alig Fodder. Formed in London in the 1970s, it has had a sporadic existence ever since, disbanding in the 1980s then reforming. NME described their song "Dinosaur Sex" as a "forgotten post-punk classic".