THE MAGIC INTERVIEW 01-13:
If you looked in the very first edition of
The Mmattrix from the Summer of '91, you wouldn't find a solitary mention of
Kev Trundley. However, in the second one, three months later, we were
singing the praises of The Trundley Experience from on high. Well, page 10.
One of the monster distros of the golden age and long time valued friend, I
chew the fat with the man himself...
How much shopping? Ha! Loads and loads and loads…. Difficult, where to
start, as the people who you leave out might end up getting offended!
Yes, we WILL!
There were various gems I discovered… the psychedelic swirl of Sponge, the
techno montage of Cabbage Head, The Pagan Stomp of the O’Roonies and the
trance heads of Ozric Tentacles; the nihilist noise onslaught of the Grey
Wolves and Con-Dom, the gothic ambience of Saffron Dreamshadow, the
post-punk individual exentricico of Howl In The Typewriter; the cheery pop
blasphemy of Christ! The self effacing thrash metal of Wat Tyler, the
lysergic aural overdose of the Ceramic Hobs; someone called Magic Murmurs at
Twilight Time I think, the French wild man of punk, Costes, the
porno-a-go-go noise of Smell & Quim, the acid angst of Viktimized Karcass,
the extended head jams of Alien Planetscapes – all of ’em still well worth
checking out. Thanks to the beauty of the net, there are a few blogs like
No Longer Forgotten Music
DIY Or Die
(gone now - MM)
that still unearth some of these mainly tape-based gems. And, of course, let
us not forget the labels and distros that were uncovered – excellent sounds
from Insane Music in Belgium, Strength through Awareness in Salisbury,
Better Days Distribution in Glastonbury, Irre Tapes in Germany, Harsh
Reality in the States. Also check out the amazing
Living Archive Of Underground Music
from US Underground legend, Don Campau.
(Whose is that face glaring at me from the little window on the left!!?)
Well, you and I certainly go back some years. I seem to recall the first
time I heard of The Trundley Experience would have been in the summer of
1991. I’d got a flyer from Dion Trevarthen (Sponge) and sent you a postal
order to find out what you did. What I got back was the most massive
catalogue I’d ever seen, absolutely thousands of tapes, LPs and CDs. How did
it come about that you set up a
distro and what are your memories of that golden age of the underground?
Yes – I still remember that first letter from you, where you said you had
been sent a flyer with a picture of a funny little man on it, and I wrote
back and said it was supposed to be a self-portrait! How did the Trundley
Experience start? – Well, from a long term interest in music I guess – I had
quite narrow tastes in the 1970s looking back, with a lot of space rock and
prog rock on the turntable – Amon Duul, Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart,
Van der Graaf Generator, Hawkwind and King Crimson were big faves – but
swapping home made tapes with mates certainly broadened my horizons and
introduced me musically further afield to discover the likes of the Butthole
Surfers, The Smiths, Stump and the Pixies. I had been into graphics and
comix for an equally long time, and had started to get work published in an
underground comic over in Belfast, called Blast! In the second issue
featuring my work, they put out a list of recommended contacts in the
Underground – that lead to me getting in touch with Trev Ward of the Grey
Wolves (still going), Felix Hansen of Sicky Spread Tapes (now defunct), Stan
Batcow of Pumf Tapes (still going) and Sean Worrall of the Organ, the
amazingly encyclopaedic fount of contact for the Underground (now defunct) –
from then on it was network network network, listening to more and more
different types of music, making more and more contacts. After a brief spot
working in a local record shop (“we’ll give you those albums for free to
take home if you promise never to play them on the shop floor again”), I
developed a series of contacts from indie label distributors, and then
decided to develop my own open ended distro under the moniker of The
Trundley Experience. It didn’t bring in the money as I had hoped, but it put
me in touch with lots of amazing people and amazing music, and right in the
forefront of a whole network of musicians, artists, distributors, voices and
events organisers – it was an excellent time!
Mostly, those of us involved were huge music fans ourselves, and always on
the lookout for something different. I remember you saying, in your first
letter (on paper, with a stamp!), that you’d bought a copy of our “Zoen
Nostalgia” album a couple of years earlier from Ken MacKenzie’s Rat Music
Company, how much ‘underground shopping’ did you do back then and what were
the real gems you uncovered?
If you ask people like Kev
Trundley for 'a photograph', this is what you get!