Walls Of Genius' 1986 compilation of Cassette Culture artists,
"Son Of Madness", is now available on Bandcamp:
When we put out the call for "Madness Lives" in our catalog "The Gift Of The Geek" (approx. March 1985), we had no idea that the response would be so enthusiastic that a sequel would be warranted. But that was in fact the case.
Some of the materials were out-takes from the first go-round. We were sent more material than we could use for each artist and wanted to include as many artists as a 90-minute cassette would hold. We requested that artists limit themselves to 5 minutes. "Restrictions (were) limited to questions of recording quality (we're not super finicky) and content (we're partial to peculiar stuff...)". We asked contributors to not "be afraid to go psychologically naked for this project, let it hang down to your knees and, above all, to take effective measures to unleash your inhibitions." The response from the Cassette Culture was a tsunami of fascinating and diverse material, from sound collage to demented rock'n'roll.
Why "Son Of Madness" now? Why not the original "Madness Lives" first? That's just a quirk of circumstance. In the course of conversation I discovered that Little Fyodor had already digitized almost all of Walls Of Genius' titles at his end, so I asked him if I could get copies of "Son" and "Live Improvisations". I started checking out his digitized version of "Son" and one thing led to another. So, eventually, of course, "Madness Lives" will also be available via Bandcamp, but for the moment, only "Son Of Madness" appears on the Bandcamp site (along with other WoG titles).
The most comprehensive discussion of all the tracks on "Son" appears on Hal McGee's website, haltapes.com, in the Walls Of Genius archive section:
Briefly, thirty different artists each have a track. I've broken the 90-minute cassette into volumes one & two for convenience because that's a lot of tracks! Some of the artists are just Walls Of Genius in different incarnations. Cowtown is Walls Of Genius backing up Cowtown's only actual member, punk dee-jay Peter Tonks. Wally Bob Colorado is WoG's own Head Moron putting on his cowboy hat. Meichenbaub was the teenage brainchild of one of our Boulder pals, Bob O'Connor. Russ Stevens, imploring us to "slap the buttocks", was one of the
original Dirt Clods from the proto-Walls Of Genius period in Ed Fowler's living room.
Many others were stalwarts of the scene, like Problemist, from Unsound's
William Davenport. Dino DiMuro gives us the first of two Hitler related pieces, while the salacious Roberta Eklund gives us the second. The prolific Don Campau appears, as does Schlafengarten (a Psyclones associated group), Minóy, Smersh, Tom Furgas, Ken Clinger, Booed Usic (a/k/a tENTATIVELY ... a cONVENIENCE), John Wiggins, and Master/Slave Relationship (Debbie Jaffe of Viscera and Cause & Effect). Others were artists getting airplay on Little Fyodor's radio program "Under The Floorboards", Johnny J. & The Diversatones for one. All of the artists on the comp represent individuals who had either received our catalog or knew somebody who had. Some of those artists remain quite mysterious to this very day.
In any case, "Son Of Madness" is a real tour through the classic 80s Cassette Culture scene and is filled to the brim with gems every bit as worthy as those found on the original "Madness Lives". We here in WoG-land hope you enjoy!
Walls Of Genius
formed in 1982, a musical performance-art comedy experimental noise ensemble, featuring everything from musique concrete, sound collage and extended rock improvisation to demented top-40 parodies, free jazz, industrial and audio experiments of all kinds, mostly fitting in no category whatsoever.