SPUD and OFFSET: SPECTACLES (Reissue of 2021) now shipping!

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Trouble In Mind


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Highest recommendation.

Reissue of the Year, 2021.

Read on if you like Velvet Underground, P.K. 14, Wire, Gong Gong Gong or music-induced trances.

We had the good fortune to be on the right website at the right time 10 years ago when somebody mentioned the genius of THE OFFSET: SPECTACLES and their debut LP. We didn’t hesitate and have enjoyed its mesmerising repetitive riffs all these years without telling anybody - because we wanted to reissue it ourselves. (The one person we told, promptly bought it on Discogs and doesn’t shop with us anymore ☹. You’re welcome.) It has been extremely hard to find since and our personal copy has seen better days. (Playing it in the old store one day, a customer swung their bag and collected the tone arm – SKKKRRREEEECHHH!! – which was followed by a friend’s young child doing the same with his arm…)

With Nov ’21 being the 10 year anniversary, we reached out to guitarist Tom Ng (now of the even more minimalist Gong Gong Gong) last January and were (eventually) told it was being reissued by a Chicago label.

Trouble In Mind Records, who this store has championed for 6 years (Mountain Movers, FACS, Lithics, Melenas, David Nance, Greg Ashley, the list goes on) will reissue the album late November, bringing the trio’s haunting tunes to a wider audience. Yes, China has a LARGE population, but you know what happens to music this subversive…

So, what do THE OFFSET: SPECTACLES sound like? Canto-Psych?

Crafted from two guitars and the use of bass, viola and organ, the Beijing-via-Hong Kong outfit conjures the self-described “Phantom Rhythm”, inducing the afore-mentioned trance-like state. There’s a roaring percussive clash of pawn-shopped 1960s guitars and fuzz organ flickering oscillators joined by unaffected Cantonese vocals.

“The feverish violins of “Dead Air” are especially spine-chilling while “The Loop Swing” provides a passage of pop levity until the final one-two combo of “Bodies’ Descendants” into Wire-y closer “Curbstomp” ratchet up the intensity tenfold.”

Not on streaming services and few clips to be found… to reach that trance-state, one plays the album in its entirety (or at least from "Downward")…

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