In 1988 SCW put out their fourth and final cassette-only release, The Band with an International Reputation. Side A of the cassette was titled Crush Grind and Swallow, and contained tracks recorded and overdubbed on multi-track and then mixed down. Side B was titled Disco Dancing With the Best and was recorded direct to cassette, live off the floor at SCW’s Queen St. West studio/rehearsal/living space.
The Band with an International Reputation – cassette insert
The first track is classic SCW, mixing live instrumentation with samples, tape loops, effects etc.
A Pretty Uncomfortable Area
For this cassette release, each band member was invited to write and record their own tracks – here’s one of Roba’s prime cuts.
America Wake Up
This last track is the live band with overdubs and was recorded and engineered by our friend GBH at his studio. It was also sampled and regurgitated on SCW’s next release, God Family Country.
In April 1986 PnrH and dWM wrapped up their weekly Building Balanced Children radio show on the Toronto community radio station CKLN-FM. dWM promptly started a new weekly radio show; the groundbreaking culture-jamming Why Pay More? The premise of Why Pay More? was to create a meta-radio show by sampling bits of all the previous weeks’ shows broadcast on CKLN, and then slicing, dicing, processing and regurgitating the content into a weekly 30 minutes of radiophonic mayhem. The show lasted until September of 1986. Check out the Best of Why Pay More? compilation:
In January 1986 PnrH and dWM began a weekly radio show on CKLN-FM, a Toronto community station. The show was called Building Balanced Children and the premise of the show was to perform a live improvised mixdown using 100% sampled material. They used turntables, tape loops, digital delays and the first affordable digital sampler – the Ensoniq Mirage.
They performed the Building Balanced Children show under the name Security Operations Consultants, which they would also use for a live performance in the fall of 1986.
The Building Balanced Children show lasted until April 1986, and during its run produced some of the most extreme music being broadcast on the Toronto air waves at the time. Hear for yourself – here’s both sides of the BBC compilation tape release:
Best of BBC Side A
Best of BBC Side B
The orginal artwork for the Best of BBC cassette tape by PnrH
After the move to Toronto, in 1985 SCW released the compilation cassette tape “A Collection”. This consisted of greatest hits from the first two tapes and selected recordings from their live shows. We won’t post any audio here because it’s documented in previous posts.
“A Collection” cassette tape cover – folded out – by PnrH
SCW’s second release on cassette came out in mid-1985 and was a mixture of new material and live recordings from the Sweet Children of the West show in April that year. The new material continued in the same techno-industrial post-punk style of the first cassette, with added horns in some tunes. This release marked the end of SCW’s use of analogue synths, and drum machines – all future work was done using either ‘real’ instruments played live or digital samplers, drum machines and effects.
“Model 152 Blow Gun” cassette tape cover – folded out – by PnrH
By mid-1984 SCW had established a living, rehearsal and recording space at Willow St. in Waterloo, Ontario, and had access to the electronic music labs at the University of Waterloo. In August of that year they released their first cassette, entitled Arbeit Macht Frei.
“Arbeit Macht Frei” tape cover – folded out – by PnrH
The cassette was 90 minutes in length, with about 32 individual tunes. Here’s some highlights:
In 1984 the four members of SCW were all students at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Jeff-o and dWM had enrolled in David Huron‘s computer music course, thereby gaining access to the electronic music studio in the basement of Conrad Grebel College. The studio was equipped with recording facilities, a grand piano, a Roland Juno-60 synthesizer, an E-mu Drumulator, and a huge Moog modular synthesizer (either a model 55 or 3C). SCW had absolutely no idea what they were doing when they were using most of the gear, especially the Moog. However large portions of the first SCW tape release were created and recorded in this studio.
Here is a raw recording of experimentation using the Moog modular and Juno-60 (with the Moog sequencer triggering the Juno arpeggiator). Some of this material was used on the first SCW cassette tape release.