20 Greatest Hits

by the A Band

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A double CD compilation of tracks recorded in the early 90s and previously released in various formats.


The Wire

As the 1980s headed towards the 90s, a new wave of sub~underground combos began to emerge in the UK. Skullflower. Richard Youngs with Simon Wickham-Smith, The Shadow Ring and The A Band all provided amazing reveiations about the further edges ofthe UK`s non-jazz Improv impulse; each of them using different approaches and techniques to strip awaythe woollen clappers then covering our ears.

In some senses The A Band was the most mysterious of the lot, since it was hard to figure out how many people were involved in the organisation (a lot), whether they had a leader or not (they didn’t). what instruments they were playing (various things) and whether or not they were serious about their sonic explorations (sometimes). Their recordings were few and limited. their live shows were restricted to the UK, and they all but broke up in 1994, although different element’s occasionally regroup for live performances, This might all seem as though it would add up to well-deserved obscurity, but The A Band‘s legacy has remained important. and individual members such as Youngs and Neil Campbell have gone on to create large and wonderful discographies. This expansive two CD set, with its facetious title, collects a wild batch of The A Band`s live music, mostly recorded between 1990-93, and it is a splendid thing to hear. The material ranges from free rock murige at its most ecstatic to minimal pieces that almost sound composed. ln a long, hilarious interview recorded for French radio in 1992, the group’s compositional philosophy is mentioned frequently, and it boils downto improvisation and chaos_ It is worth noting, however, there is nothing arid or academic about The A Band`s sound. Some of it may be gruesomely damaged post-Industrial noise. But the bulk is playfully anarchic. more in the style of The Nihilist Spasm Band, Smegma or Dieter Roth`s Seiten Gehorte Musik, than anyone else. They were, indeed, quite a band.

Bvron Colev


released June 27, 2014



Must Die Records Blackpool, UK

Must Die Records is a small DIY label founded in Blackpool, UK in 2010. Must Die specialise in sound and audio experiments, avant-garde, fringe, drone, noise and outsider music. The motivation behind Must Die is the love of music and the joy of hearing and exploring music and new styles. ... more

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