In a cathartic purge Ian Moss has recorded three albums worth of spoken word under the generic title “Anything Is Permitted At Any Given Time”.
Following the dissolution of his relationship with the band Kill Pretty Moss felt the need to close that chapter of his musical history with a tangible record of all of the lyrics he used with the group and other contemporary work. Some of the lyrics made it on to albums, some were on singles, but a considerable number never made it out of the rehearsal room.
Moss felt an album full of spoken word with no mise en scene would be dry and uncomfortable listening. so he commissioned sound artist Space Museum to create sounds/music/rhythm to support each track.
Each of the three albums have been allocated a worthy cause and the money raised from sales will be given direct to FC United of Manchester, Emmaus Salford , or Strummercamp. These are three organisations that Moss is strong supporter of.
Below are the detailed liner notes that come with each album which tell the story much better than I can. Listening through the three releases it is striking how strong the words are taken out of the context of the music they were previously aligned with. This demonstrates, in no uncertain way, Moss’s importance as a lyricist, his grasp of contemporary issues and his unflinching desire to comment on matters that both concern and anger him. His frustration with the music business, politics, and the failure of humans to communicate is palpable. Emotionally raw in places, very funny in others, and always challenging this is an excellent historical record of an important period in the musical history of the Greater Manchester conurbation.
All three albums are reasonably priced at £4 each. There will be no physical versions of the albums in order to reduce overheads and maximise the money being given to three organisations that are supported. The albums are released on Friday 10th April via German Shepherd Records.
LINER NOTES (written by Ian Moss (words) and Space Museum (music))
Album One – Segments
Proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to FC United of Manchester to help with the development of the club and its new ground at Moston.
For this first album groups of lyrics have been brought together in segments
Acetone – written at the turn of the 90s for the Stepbrothers album ‘ Switched At Birth ‘ (available on German Shepherd Records). Given a rebirth in early Kill Pretty sets and recorded on ‘ in 80 days ‘
Baby Talk , proposed song for Kill Pretty , collapsed in a bad tempered rehearsal.
Pigkicker – a lyric without a home.
I Blaspheme , Gods Gift a great Salfordian band from the early 80s had a song called ‘ There is no God’ this was basically an update of that , recorded by Kill Pretty for album ‘ Bubblegum Now’.
Streets of London – a day trip to the capital left me feeling saddened and repulsed , wrote this on the train home as a possible single for Kill Pretty that never came to pass.
Crazy Paving – a jaundiced observation.
Why Must I Rhyme – self chastising
Devils Music , always fascinated by the friendship rivalry between Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis , I have long wanted to scream this over a rock n roll band having a ball.
Season in Hell – tribute to Arthur Rimbaud , rehearsed with unsatisfactory results.
What About Me? – Kill Pretty song released on the album Snake Sheds Skins still available from All The Madmen records.
Musicians Are Scum – I knew Pere Ubu had a song with this title which I thought was genius , I avoided hearing their song so I could write my own
Lotus Eaters – Kill Pretty version on album ‘ Bubblegum Now’
Heads Will Roll – a KP2 piece that was lost in the gold rush.
Iceland – written on the Kill Pretty trip to iceland , performed once in Sheffield and then retired.
Madcap- for Syd and myself, both out of kilter with the drones
Propshaft – version by Kill Pretty on album ‘ Bubblegum Now’, self indulgent crap according to some people.
Dadrock – my answer to the people mentioned above
Meat Grinder , KP2 , one that got away
Historical Allegations – another homeless KP2 piece about the top level whitewash and cover up of sex abuse cases perpetrated by the powerful against the vulnerable
The Scenic Route – a possible lyric for an Ion Morph recording.
I like this noise – written after a night watching ‘ Klaus Kinski! , ILL and 2 Koi Karp, a celebration ! Rehearsed several times with Kill Pretty , never remotely the way I envisaged it.
The Horror – a cautionary tale
The rat the cat dragged in , possible Hamster song
Notes for the background sounds
The overall brief for the background sounds was fairly open, there would be some dub, some jazz. some noise and some electronica but I was pretty much left to my own devices. Knowing some of the recorded songs very well I had to disassociate myself from what I expected to hear when those lyrics were uttered.
A major aim was to try and capture the raw emotion of the delivery.
As usual I work very quickly ( the Nick Lowe method) – I had a broad idea to segment the first album into groups and make this selection more theatrical. Acetone was recorded later in the process and was developed when a lot of the dub aligned music was being created.
Segment One was about the use of tonalities (the soundtrack to This Island Earth is a big influence on my work in this area – so you will hear sounds in that context). The words demanded their own space so the ambient sounds are meant to be just out of earshot. The words are processed with echo and reverb as appropriate.
Segment Two is mostly underpinned by an old Passage of Time tune which was inspired by early Tangerine Dream.
Segment Three is derived from some of the standard chill wave and drum & bass samples that come with Ableton broken up with some arpeggiators and sweeps.
Segment Four having worked on at least one of these tracks for several weeks (trying to rescue some of the studio stems from oblivion) I need to both reflect on what I had previously done. In the end I used an as yet unused tune which had been planned for another project for the first section and created a new piece of electronica for the second part.
Segment 5 – having spent some time on putting this, for want of a better phrase “sound collage” together a couple of years back – the brief Steve Reich with bits on the top – I was pleased to resurrect it. This is a slightly different version to the one eventually used on the Bubblegum Now album. The original stages of the development of the Reich inspired elements final piece can be found on the Passage of Time album Dreaming – passageoftime.bandcamp.com/album/dreaming
Segment 6 – it was important to get atonal/experimental at some stage in the proceedings – inspirations for this section come from Tortoise, Test Department, Foetus, Biota and AMM. It was also important to challenge the listener to seek out the lyrics.
Segment 7 – more of the same as segment 6.
Album Two – Hammer Blows
All proceeds from the sale of this album will go to support Emmaus Salford Homeless Facility.
Love twists – James Ellroy inspired piece , the Kill Pretty version is on the Dark Heart album
Hammer Blows – written in horror , Larry Gott wrote great music for it , recorded by Kill Pretty as b side of the Rob A Bank single.
Clever men with Thin Arms – a phrase thrown up during an episode of ‘ Games of Thrones’ I seized it and wrote this in 2 or 3 minutes , the Kill Pretty version is on the Dark Heart album
Finnish Hitman , recounting accurately an encounter I had in Stockholm after watching FCUnited , tried once or twice with Kill Pretty to no avail
Dark Heart – I received as a birthday present from my close friend Ciarán a hip hop compilation that inspired me to write something rhythmical , the song was me preparing myself for open heart surgery , the Kill Pretty version is on the Dark Heart album.
A Day in September (there are deliberately no notes for this song)
Swastika Girls – a straight honest narrative account of the self destructive impulses I struggled with as a teenager , to a backdrop of Fripp and Eno , I spilt blood. Appear on the Kill Pretty album Bubblegum Now.
Devil Resides – about internal struggle , the Kill Pretty version is on the Dark Heart album
13 moons – drawing inspiration from a genius of cinema , the Kill Pretty version is on the Dark Heart album with a remix on the Snake Sheds Skins album.
Mirror Factory – my job was crushing me , I knew I needed to move on even though things might not work out , a resignation letter , the Kill Pretty version is on the Dark Heart album
Kenneth Williams Penpal – performed at either the last Sicknurse show or first Kill Pretty show depending on your perspective.
Zombie Beat – written as lyric for a dark electronic track at the request of a friend
Hessler Berghoff – a bad dream gifted me this , recorded by Sicknurse and Kill Pretty on the album “in 80 days”.
Limboland – on the Kill Pretty album , Snake Sheds Skins , more misery!
Wild at Heart – written while recuperating , it was all in my head as I took a walk , simply poured it onto a page when I got home , on Kill Pretty album Bubblegum Now
Emperors New Clothes , , 2 versions by Kill Pretty on albums , in 80 days and Snake Sheds Skins. Fame at any level plays tricks with people’s perceptions
Notes for the sounds
The pace was picking up we were recording at a ridiculously fast rate, even for me – this set would be predominantly jazz and dub.
Love Twists – Jimmy Smith influenced Hammond repeated ad infinitum with strange swirling things
Hammer Blows (Raining Blood) – Larry Gott’s original was breathtakingly good so I found myself trying to make it as simple as possible – rhythm and electric piano
Clever Men Who Have Thin Arms – Filles de Kilimanjaro without the trumpet – it’s jazzy man
Finnish Hitman – ambient sounds, jamaican drums, and Fripp/Eno squiggles
Dark Heart – back to that Miles Davis sound, I couldn’t possibly cope with the magnificence of the original so I just took it to a smoky bar somewhere
A Day In September – paranoia, conspiracy and claustrophobia
Swastika Girl – jazz piano and atonal synth clusters
Devil Resides – experimenting with some of the more fascinating parts of the Oscillator synth – live mixing of the echo/reverb elements
13 Moons – previous de-constructed elsewhere but this time King Tubby influenced
Mirror Factory – Moet as Francis Albert at the bar of the Dog & Duck at closing time asking Joe to set them up again.
Kenneth Williams Penpal – simple electronic repetition
Zombie Beat – sweeps, Wakeman-esque piano’s, the nearest you’ll get to prog around here matey
Hessler Berghoff – funky urban stuff…..IM reminds me of Old Gunslinging Bill on this one so I imagine a dance hall with William, Brion, Jack K and Allen G doing the funky chicken to this tune.
Limboland – a tune I spent many hours reconstructing from studio bits so I needed to exorcise that experience – more elevator music for the slightly deranged.
Wild at Heart – soul jazz urban – saxophone by Lash Pedicure of Hard The Transition
Emperors New Clothes – another one I spent hours reconstructing a couple of years back so the need to do something different- an exercise in dub which seemed logical – no grudges here.
Album Three – We Are From The North
Proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to Strummercamp to assist their ongoing work to promote excellent music
The Factory Closed Down – one started with Larry Gott but not completed
Falling out with Harry – work politics driving me nuts , Harry was my employer ,,, he remains a friend
Legalise Drugs – when a band dismiss new material like this in favour of polishing older material it’s time to go , should have been a Kill Pretty single , wasn’t .
Manchester – on the Kill Pretty album “Bubblegum Now”
More Punk ! – A song that never quite fit anywhere , provoked by people with the right haircuts but the wrong attitudes
Mr Pye – my favourite author was Mervyn Peake. This is dedicated to him.
Old is the New Young – Wire, the pop group, Vic Godard , the Nightingales ,,even more relevant now than then.
Rehash – written with cute Bobby Williams in 2010 for that years Hamster shows , recorded by Kill Pretty for album “in 80 days”
Rob a Bank – musing one afternoon on ‘ love’ this happened , recorded by Kill Pretty on album Dark Heart.
Something Out Of The Day – inspired by a twisted boned old lady I encountered in Ashton under Lyne and memories of my mother , one I wanted to work on with Kill Pretty , enthusiasm elsewhere seemed lacking so it stayed on the shelf.
Streets Gonna Get You – a combination of cities I have felt uneasy in , Hamburg , Budapest , Athens , Philadelphia and Manchester , Kill Pretty version on album Bubblegum Now
Super Soar Away Sun – a dig at the dirty digger and his pack of dogs , on album Bubblegum Now.
Sylvia Fading – watching my mum dying horribly this was how I articulated her dementia , on Kill Pretty album Dark Heart.
Titty Belt – Ed Gein inspired piece intended for a possible final Kill Pretty album that was not to be.
Travelogue – dreadfully ill in a steaming Marrakesh hotel room , reading William Burroughs ‘ Wild Boys’ one verse each day as I suffered , first Kill Pretty recording , on album “in 80 days”
Unhappy Birthday – more meditation on my mums painful demise , co written with Larry Gott , on album ‘ Bubblegum Now’
War Porn – another one earmarked for Kill Pretty , never attempted ,
Andrews World – I met Andrew at Manchester ‘ pride’ he was a lovely person , I only saw him another couple of times , but was devastated when I heard he’d died so needlessly from a drug overdose , on Kill Pretty album Dark Heart
Back Passage Boys – unimpressed by my colleagues , no pride or shame , on Kill Pretty album Dark Heart
Breakdown Man – on Kill Pretty album Dark Heart , channelling my Bruceness,
Burnley – my absolute favourite Kill Pretty track ., so good it almost makes up for the disgust I feel at having been in that band , written in its entirety as I lay in hospital hooked up to a plentiful supply of morphine , it’s a tribute to places and people who have not surrendered their very identity , on album Bubblegum Now
D is for Death – the last (unrecorded ) Kill pretty song played with any regularity during my tenure with them.
Of course they continue, so expect plenty of toe tappers soon.
Notes for the sounds
The voice recordings were coming thick and fast and there was a desire to conclude things as soon as possible so the impetus would not be lost. So we had started of with something vaguely electronic, wandered through jazz and dub, this last set was a chance to continue some of that but also perhaps be more experimental.
The Factory Closed Down – a pop song structured little ditty
Falling Out With Harry – time for something a little more on the outer edges. We are both fond of Stockhausen so there is some of that but also more obscure film soundtracks.
Legalise Drugs – it suggested some sort of trancey trippy approach and what better influence than the 70s albums of Tim Blake with their spacey repetition.
Manchester – what to do with KP’s most famous tune? Well perhaps to reflect the bustling night life of the Cotton King. Intentionally all over the place in terms of rhythms and structures.
More Punk – dub rhythms, trumpets, distant guitars and sparse piano. The music bizz is full of envy and resentment – some tension and no release therefore.
Mr Pye – one of the last things recorded, there’s some reference to John Martyn here I think. It felt like it needed a late night sense to it.
Old is the New Young – deliberately experimental and repetitive
Rehash – again one I needed to take out the context of the original recording. Some manipulation and sampling of Mr Moss.
Rob A Bank – taking another famous one and putting it somewhere else – dub and drum ‘n’ bass seemed the most appropriate.
Something Out Of The Day – I had to get some arpeggiators in on at least one of the tracks, Ian is at his very best here and it deserved a nice simple melody floating over two chords.
Streets Gonna Get Ya – gave this one a jazzy urban feel.
Super Soaraway Sun – a very strong original musically so a complete brain flip was needed. Cheesy disco advert music.
Sylvia Fading – a deeply personal song so some attention to detail with a lounge jazz west coast style.
Titty Belt – menace and clapping – the Steve Reich connection continues
Travelogue – mutant dub, could have gone in a souk direction but that would have been a bit obvious
Unhappy Birthday – Mr Moss echoes Mr Gott’s melody in his delivery so I used Ableton to grab the notes and turn them into midi signals and then shoved that through the Oscillator synth.
War Porn – multiple rhythms and various extraneous sounds
Andrew’s World – guitars heavily processed and chill wave rhythms
Back Passage Boys – eschewing the Sabbath derivation of the original – four chord standard song structure with reversing synths
Breakdown Man – Kraftwerk obviously
Burnley – the original was all about Bo Diddley – this was New York Disco in a contradictory way
D is for Death – more serial repetition – Mr Moss shows is innate ability to hit the beat without even hearing the music – quite extraordinary as Mr Coleman used to say.
SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY OF IAN MOSS
Switched at Birth
A Cabinet Of Curiosities
A Curiosity of Cabinets
Chase The Dog (with Johann Kloos)
Legalise Drugs/War Porn (with Space Museum)
Check Out The Tsunami (with Nemo)
The Strawberry Fields/Cactus Circus (with Space Museum)
The Wilsons/Don’t Make Gods Of Men (with Space Museum)
All releases available from German Shepherd Records