Whew...finally! "Madness Lives" is now available for download on Bandcamp! (https://wallsofgenius.bandcamp.com) Don't ask me why I digitized "Son Of Madness" first, there's no rational answer, things just worked out that way. But "Madness Lives" was just as good. In fact, it was so good that it inspired the sequel. So in true Stars Wars tradition, I digitized and posted the sequel prior to the original.
The story of the Madness compilations has been told in detail at www.HalTapes.com on the Walls Of Genius archive, thanks to a lot of hard work by Hal McGee (http://www.haltapes.com/walls-of-genius.html) I don't wish to cause ear fatigue, so I will recapitulate briefly here for those who haven't heard the tale, for those who were there, and for those who aren't sick of hearing my voice. There we were, back in 1985, Little Fyodor and I were living in the Hall Of Genius on 19th Street in old north downtown, back when working stiffs like us could actually afford to live in downtown Boulder. Almost. We were pushing it. But we were young and motivated.
We had already gotten a start with the underground in 1983, recording in Ed Fowler's living-room. Later on, Little Fyodor helped me out with rent at the Eldorado Springs house before I got kicked out. At the house on 19th Street, he and I set up the living-room as a recording studio. We started pushing Walls Of Genius on the Cassette Culture Underground. We recorded relentlessly and released new material on a nearly monthly basis. We sent out catalogs every few months with humorous tongue-in-cheek material and lists of our latest releases. Not only did we desire ever-more reviews from the 'zines covering this underground scene, we wanted, like unhinged Rodney Dangerfields, respect. All while trying to fool that world into believing there really was an experimental music scene in Boulder, Colorado, by recording as a different band every time we turned on the Dokorder. Everybody caught on to the joke eventually and that's when we officially became "Walls Of Genius". It was amazing that such a scene existed and we wanted at least thirty-five-minutes of fame, if not more. One of the ways of disseminating your music to a wider audience was to send submissions to compilation tapes and everybody was doing it.
"Madness Lives" was by no means the first of its kind. There had already been many comps and Walls Of Genius had happily submitted a number of tracks. By the summer of 1985, we felt that we had enough connections through the snail-mail network to put together what we envisioned as a 'tour-de-force', a compilation that would cover the whole scene. The word went out via a Walls Of Genius catalog, "The Gift Of The Geek", that featured the releases of what would subsequently be two of our most successful titles, "Before...and After" and "the mysterious case of Pussy Lust". The solicitation begged for psychological nakedness, promising the "most intense sort of insanity". We had been already been called the 'new sound terrorists of America' by one reviewer and we wanted our compilation to fit the same mold.
And fit it did. The response was overwhelming, so much so that a sequel was required to cover all the material we received. "Madness Lives", the first installment of the series, features 31 classic tracks from the mid-80s Cassette Culture in a wide variety of styles and includes a number of folks currently appearing in Electronic Cottage.
This is just a sample of the cassette submissions for "Madness Lives"... it was all done by snail mail in those days.