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Info on all of our CD releases, in order of release.


We Are Your Gods – best track: When Jimmy Was William.

 Andy Martin, Lawrence Burton, Nathan Coles, Dave Fanning, Pete Williams.

 Paradigm. At The Cenotaph. Hadrians’ Wall. The Dispossessed. The Liberators. The Collier Laddie. Decontrol.

Rub Out The Word. The Patient. Who? The Stoke Newington 8. Queer. Echoes Of Adric. Pride & Prejudice.

In The Childrens’ Hospital. Cam Ye O’er Frae France. The Hunt. Aye Waukin O. When Jimmy Was William.

The Witness. Love Song. March Of The Cybermen.  

At the time of these recordings, the group didn’t have a name! This was basically Dave Fanning and 3 of his friends having fun in the studio with lots of old rock and pop songs Andy Martin had written. Martin himself only sang on some of these pieces at the request of the others since he didn’t regard himself as a full time member of this band at the time. A German record label released most of these tracks as old fashioned phonograph records (a 7” single and a 12” album) under the name UNIT because nobody could think of anything better. There isn’t much music of interest here although certain tracks do stand out. Paradigm was a popular live favourite at the time, being one of a series of pop songs Martin wrote during the 1990s.  When Jimmy Was William is easily the best track here for both the unusual music and bizarre lyrics (although Martin wrote the piece, he doesn’t appear on it) but credit must also be given to Fanning for Love Song with its excellent singing by his friend Diane Murphy. The other interesting work here is Hadrians’ Wall (with its really impressive narration by Lee Simpson) because it anticipates the avant garde direction UNIT would take 5 years later. Love Song and March Of The Cybermen were issued as an old fashioned vinyl record that was given away free with issue No.5 of Manchu 731, a Japanese magazine published by Akira Ishii, the infamous fascist who was briefly a member of this early version of the group in 1999. Although released in 2000, all these recordings were made between 1996 and 1998. Burton retired from music completely and is now a successful author and artist. Coles left in high dudgeon after one of his many vitriolic arguments with Martin – it is no secret that they despised each other. Williams left music to pursue a career in astrophysics and he is now a professional astronomer in America. Mr Fanning temporarily retired from music to further his interest in Japanese martial arts. So this album represents false start No.1.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from February 1996 to August 1998.

Sons Of The Dragon – best track: Cambodian Kim.

Andy Martin, Lang Kin Tung, Gieng San Man, Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi.

 Son Of The Dragon. Orders Of The General. Chinese Youth. HCYC. Don’t Do Drugs. Hai Phong Harbour.

Tsim Sha Tsui. The Boy From Hanoi. Cambodian Kim. The Meeting. War Crime. Jing Goes To College.

This Unspeakable Horror. The San Man Strut. The Killing Fields. CK Surfs The Net. Son Of The Dragon.

+ Orders Of The General. The Red Guards. The East Is Red. Don’t Do Drugs. Minh, Binh & Vinh.

Son Of The Dragon.

 The story behind the formation of UNIT is now so well known that it seems futile to recount it in detail here. Briefly then, Martin worked in Hackney Chinese Youth Club where he met Lang, Gieng and Ngo. Lang (known as CK) was learning to play guitar and was already a competent keyboard player; he realised Martin used to be in a group and suggested forming a new one if Dave Fanning could be persuaded to resume his duties as bass guitarist. He did return to the group but was rarely enthusiastic about it although he worked hard and contributed time, effort and financial support until 2005 when he finally elected to pursue his martial arts studies on a full time basis. They couldn’t think of a name for the fledgling outfit so they decided to adopt the one used for the BBP record released back in 1997. Lang then asked his friend Ngo Achoi to join since he could play the flute (although not very well) and the drums (although not very well at all) but Achoi said he’d only join provided his friend San Man could be involved too. Gieng had begun to learn the guitar barely 2 months prior to joining the group. Unfortunately, neither Martin nor Fanning seemed concerned about this. To be brutally honest, Gieng and Ngo were simply not technically competent at the time they ventured into Waterhouse Studio to record this album and this becomes painfully obvious on the more complex numbers. They were barely able to play simple pop songs so asking them to perform progressive rock works was taking optimism to the level of psychosis. That they almost succeeded is a credit to their perseverance, persistence and sheer hard work.

 This album does contain a few classics, not the least of which is Cambodian Kim. This is the song that has been continually requested at concerts since 2001 and it is easy to see why: a highly amusing and very clever lyric is combined with memorable music that includes an infectious guitar riff, a nifty bass guitar counter-melody and a simple sing-along chorus. This album does contain Son Of The Dragon, one of the more personal songs by Kwan Siu Lung, the young Chinese guitarist who was with the group during 1999 and who returned now and then to lend assistance right up to 2003 when he returned to Wu Han. This song is also the only time the voice of Achoi is ever heard on any UNIT recording. Most of the tracks on this album are concerned with south east Asian culture and politics but the most dramatic example is War Crime, a 9 minute progressive rock epic that combines blues, rock and traditional Vietnamese folk music and includes a tape recording of the girl who became famous when she appeared in a newspaper photograph, her naked body burned by napalm in one of the many American bombing raids on innocent villages during the invasion of Vietnam. Every alternate track on this album is an instrumental and one of these, The Boy From Hanoi, quickly became almost as popular as Cambodian Kim. It is certainly my own favourite on the album. Despite the credits on the tray card at the time, we can now reveal that the majority of the music is actually performed by CK and Siu. Gieng and Achoi do appear on a few tracks, however, so the credits aren’t a total lie!

 Recorded at Waterhouse Studio in September 2001.

Fire & Ice – best track: When We Were Friends.

 Andy Martin, Lang Kin Tung, Gieng San Man, Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi.

 Good Morning / Fractured. New Order. National Suicide. Sick Man Of Asia. Achoi Versus Gameboy.

The Sword. Walking Away. To Tay Ninh. 11.04.02 / Sai Steps In. Why Should We Not?

Too High Too Soon. The Boy From Beijing. U B 4 Tea. Forbidden Love. Midwinter Pig.

When We Were Friends. Lia Gia Jing & Yang S Yang.

 If Sons Of The Dragon represents the sound of a new group fresh and vibrant with new ideas, happy to be alive and bursting with enthusiasm (despite the absence of sufficient ability), then Fire & Ice is the grim, bleak and depressing sound of a group suddenly torn asunder by dark forces within and without its ranks. Martin described it as ‘The Thomas Hardy Album’ although I suspect he was thinking of Jude The Obscure rather than Far From The Madding Crowd. For a start, early in the year we lost 3 of our main distributors in Europe. Then we started to receive racially abusive mail from punks in Britain (which is odd considering UNIT is not and has never been a punk band) followed by a sudden cessation of interest in Japan. This is odd because previously the Japanese were our most vociferous purchasers of albums and enthusiastic correspondents. A couple of racially abusive letters from Osaka and Kyoto revealed just why they no longer liked us – too many Chinkies in the band! Is it any wonder there are so few pop groups in Britain that contain Chinese or Vietnamese members? Then Gieng read the lyrics to Forbidden Love, an old number Martin wrote for The Apostles in 1988; they give an autobiographical account of what happened when he realised he was queer and developed an unhealthy attraction to one of his Chinese pals when he was a teenager. This was when the balloon went up. Gieng and CK simply left the band, no questions asked. To be fair, CK did stay just long enough to finish the album but Gieng fled in disgust so that his remaining guitar parts had to be recorded by CK and Siu instead. Achoi was also tempted to depart as a result of constant peer group pressure from his oldest brother and the other lads at HCYC, most of whom urged him to leave the group. It is to his credit that, after a couple of months in the wilderness, he finally elected to remain with UNIT despite the criticism and censure he received from his friends.

As a result of all this, certain playful, buoyant numbers originally intended for the album were omitted (they appeared later on Untied & United: Volume 1) and replaced by angry, emotionally turbulent works which give the whole album its impression of frustrated fury alternating with utter despair. Ironically it was this terrible situation which caused to be written one of the best tracks ever recorded by UNIT, the 9 minute progressive rock opus When We Were Friends which has one of the most plangent, desperately sad lyrics I have ever heard. If I could only keep just one track from the groups’ recorded legacy prior to UJ joining the group, it would be this number. Even before all this turmoil, there was Too High Too Soon which is about Valerie who, at 14 years old, ran away from home and linked up with some dubious older men involved in the 14K Triads in Chinatown. We met her at HCYC both before and after this incident and the change in her character was frightening. Then there is 11.04.02 which depicts a particularly nasty assault by 7 West Indian youths (armed with knives) on Gieng and his friend Cuong in London Fields one evening. Nothing prepares listeners for Sick Man Of Asia which is an especially unpleasant verbal attack on Aminh, the oldest brother of Achoi; this is pure revenge and in my opinion should never have appeared on an album; in fact, it wasn’t originally to have been released to the public but after Aminh tried to persuade Achoi to leave the group, Martin insisted it was included on the album. Both these tracks utilise a kind of mutant blues genre that would be used again on later recordings. There are 2 brilliant instrumentals on display here. Why Should We Not is an effective arrangement of a haunting piece originally recorded in 1963 as the first single by English pop group Manfred Mann and is one of the few tracks to feature all 5 members of the group while Midwinter Pig is a 7 minute slice of progressive rock by Fanning that is probably the most complex work he ever wrote for the group although Achoi is the only other UNIT member who appears on it. On only a few tracks do we hear what Danny O’Rawe calls ‘that bloody vibraphone’ which would soon become an integral part of the UNIT sound; this was initially associated with Achoi but I quickly adopted it as my own trademark when I joined. Siu informed the group that as he was in the final 6 months of his university degree course, he really would have to leave the group to concentrate on his studies. So, when the album was released, UNIT were bereft of a keyboard player, a guitarist and any means by which to distribute the discs to the public. Fanning had become quite evidently disillusioned with the group and Achoi was, for a while, unavailable for comment while he considered where his loyalty lay. Furthermore, Martin found that 85% of the HCYC members had elected to boycott the youth club in protest at his continued employment there. As a consequence, he started to drink alcohol despite previously being a strict teetotaller since the age of 16. It looked as if UNIT was finished.

 Recorded at Waterhouse Studio and Redchurch Studio from July 2002 to November 2002.

Untied & United: Volume 1 – best track: Ode To Johannes Kepler.

 Andy Martin, Lang Kin Tung, Gieng San Man, Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi.

 For Sarah Strange. Common Ground. Death Of A Bailiff. Paynal The Rapid. A Change For The Worst.

The Reptile Kid. In Praise Of Technology. The Carnivorous Plant Song. This Hour’s Mine. Johnny Todd.

The Island. Rain. Escaping Again. Counterpoint 1. Counterpoint 2. Bourgeois Blues. Ode To Johannes Kepler. Willie MacKintosh. The San Man Strut. Sachin Scores A Century. Looking Back. Come On Home.

If You Believe In What You Do. Tekken 3: Kuma. Jing Flies Jets. Conspiracy. Cowards. c (Δλ / λ).

Cuban Getaway. Lesoi Goes To Japan. A Fracture & A Head Wound.

 During studio sessions for the previous 3 albums, there were various tracks recorded that were either not appropriate for the albums or regarded as inferior in some manner. Martin paid for this album to released as a farewell to a group he thought was probably mortally wounded if not already stone cold dead. The first 6 tracks were originally released in 1997 in the form of an old fashioned 7” phonograph record by BBP – although this was despite strident opposition by most of the group at the time. After all, how many people still possessed either records or record players in 1997? Only the very old or the very sad! Their inclusion on this disc meant that at last everyone else under the age of 50 could also listen to them. For Sarah Strange is the only 1 of the 6 on which Martin appears yet it is also easily the best, being a genuine account of the suicide of a teenage girl at the psychiatric hospital in which Martin worked at the time. Most of the other tracks on this disc feature the Lang-Gieng-Ngo version of the group and there are some real oddities here, particularly their attempts at old fashioned rhythm and blues songs for example. The best of these is their cover of If You Believe In What You Do by Freddie King on which San Man manages some fairly decent guitar playing. One really nice track, This Hour’s Mine, by Lawrence Burton, is an especially strong example of the high quality the formative version of the group could occasionally aspire. Rain and Escaping Again are covers of songs by 1980s pop groups Exhibit A and Twelve Cubic Feet respectively (both of which contained virtually the same members) and are highly enjoyable. I wish we played more stuff like this. The track Bourgeois Blues, like its older brother Hadrians’ Wall, anticipates the avant garde idiom which we’d embrace from 2005 onwards. Japanese drummer Akira Ishii is heard here on recorder. For me the best track is Ode To Johannes Kepler because it manages to set to majestic music the 3 laws of planetary motion formulated in the 17th century by German astronomer Johannes Kepler. An alternative reading of The San Man Strut is actually superior to the one including on Sons Of The Dragon. CK called it The San Man Slut! Achoi wanted to include his versions of pieces originally recorded on cassettes in the 1990s by Time To Think, a solo project by Pete Williams. He substitutes flute parts for some of the original guitar lines so we are treated to a quartet of mutated hardcore punk rock, the best of which is c (Δλ / λ) that many people prefer to call by its more easily remembered title of Hubbles Law. The album closes with A Fracture & A Head Wound, named after 2 particularly odious punk fanzines, which is 4 minutes of pure punk rock – a deliberate assault on all the bigots in the British punk scene who had subjected UNIT to racist abuse and insults over the years. A different edit of this was also featured on Volume 1 of what would later become the famous series of compilation albums known as Gods Punk. So this album marked the end of false start No.2. Had the group surrendered then, there would have been no international radio play, no prestigious concerts, no e-mail address, no website and no saxophones – but then along came a young martial artist and flute player called Zhang Yao Min (UJ).

 Recorded at Waterhouse Studio and Redchurch Studio from September 1997 to June 2002.

Dare To Be Different – best track: Race Traitors.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Garlen Lo, Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi.

 Orders Of The General. Beijing Bastard. Made In Hong Kong. Out To Lunch. The Asian Invasion.

Shakespeare’s Lover. Race Traitors. Hello Playmates. Shanghai Elegy. The Unforgiven. The Letter.

Make The Bastard Cry. Solar Wind. InSANity. China United: 3, Whiteboy: 0. Alsatian. Asian Avenue.

Breaking Barriers. 2 Weeks In Malaysia. Exhibit ‘A’. 20 Years.

 Many people regard this as the first proper album by UNIT (I agree with them) and it is easy to understand why. The technical proficiency of the performances combined with the (almost) professional production must have come as a pleasant shock to all those who had suffered the ineptitude and clumsiness of the previous albums. Besides, for me, a disc without UJ on it is simply not a real UNIT album! Martin remained at HCYC as a volunteer primarily due to the support shown by Ian Yau, the manager. He had met UJ the previous year and a tentative friendship developed; when UJ learned the whole sad and sorry saga of UNIT, he decided, single handed, to take over the group, revitalise it, design a website, set up an e-mail account and try to find new members. He attended the Surrey Institute of Art and Design on a 3 year film makers course and encountered Garlen Lo, who was in the year above him. Lo was a guitarist, singer and song writer so UJ wasted no time – within 2 weeks Lo arrived at HCYC one Saturday afternoon for an audition (which was held in the shed used to house Sai Lai, the pet Alsatian dog kept to guard the Chinese Centre). A few tracks had already been recorded for the album, including the magnificent 20 Years, an anthem that celebrates and acknowledges all the previous band members, including those who had behaved abominably. Siu plays the lead guitar on this as his farewell to the group – he returned to China the week after this track was recorded. The Cantonese part is spoken by Rikki Morris, the only other white boy involved in the Chinese Centre (as a volunteer for the elderly luncheon club). Rikki actually speaks Cantonese more fluently than many of my own Chinese pals! Bearing in mind where Lo attended his band audition, it’s ironic that the first song he contributed to UNIT was Alsatian, a song he’d written the previous year about the western influence upon Hong Kong. The events of the previous year left their legacy with Make The Bastard Cry and The Letter, two of the most grim, bleak and powerful indictments of bigotry and prejudice ever set to music. The former, with its suicidal lyric of gut wrenching despair, is highly disturbing while the latter is a blatantly in-your-face account of an incident that occurred one Thursday evening when Martin received an anonymous death threat from one (or more) of the HCYC lads. The use of haunting electronic sounds behind the barbaric simplicity of the music is what gives this piece its highly disturbing aspect. There are only 2 chords in it! On In SANity we hear a plaintive response to the harsh treatment inflicted upon Martin by Gieng and the others the previous year; this gentle piece approaches folk music in style which only adds to the plangent sadness of the lyric. Despite that, of the 21 tracks on this album, Martin appears on just 10 of them.

 At the other extreme is Race Traitors, an 11 minute assault on the Snakeheads, the Chinese Triad gang responsible for sending poor refugees to Europe who sought to escape from the tyranny of communism in their homeland. They’d charge extortionate fees for a service which was generally barbaric. In one celebrated case they packed 58 people into the back of a locked removal van that was left parked on Dover docks one boiling hot summer day and most of the refugees, unable to leave the vehicle, suffocated to death. There were only 2 survivors. Such an important subject is awarded music of the highest quality and a small part of this progressive rock masterpiece includes a theme originally written by Gieng San Man which reveals surprising generosity considering that lads’ previous behaviour. There’s also an excellent instrumental called Exhibit A in which we hear The UJ Flute in full flight; he also plays the keyboard parts, a task he soon relinquished (with considerable relief) when I joined! This is not laziness on his behalf – he often ended up playing guitar and bass guitar as well as flute on all our albums after School Farm Bungalow! On 3 tracks (the best of which is Shakespeare Lover, an interesting song by UJ) we hear the excellent singing of Helen Nguyen, a friend of UJ who is so obviously the best singer on the album that it is a shame we were never able to persuade her to become our full time vocalist. There are a few pure pop songs on this album, the best of which is 2 Weeks In Malaysia, a rare example of a traditional lyric from Martin, inspired by a holiday UJ had in the far east. The words (concerned with a search by UJ for the best looking girls in south east Asia which finally achieved success when his family travelled to Malaysia) were written from the perspective of UJ and are set to highly memorable tune for the verse which is matched by a contagious chorus that once heard is impossible to forget. UJ provides the sheep impersonation at the end. In terms of the sheer variety of material included combined with the generally excellent performances and, it has to mentioned, album sales, this was only finally surpassed by Class War, the project we completed in 2008.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from February 2003 to December 2003.

School Farm Bungalow – best track: Pills & Pains.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Garlen Lo, Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi.

 Make Believe. Good Morning. Pills & Pains. Everybody. The Girl Next Door. Long Holiday. The Zoo.

The Nuclear Family. School Farm Bungalow. Life Still Dreams. The Witch. Detective No.5.

Standing In The Morning Rain. Li Kim Sook. Giving It Large. Feelings. End Of An Era.

+ It’s Your Life. In A Chinese Youth Club. Long Holiday. Circle Of Sevens. Pills & Pains.

The Boy Next Door. Life Still Dreams. Make Believe. Feelings. School Farm Bungalow.

 In order to welcome Lo into the group, UJ agreed to allow him complete freedom to decide what kind of album we should make next. In retrospect this was a serious mistake. Lo took this generosity to imply an unrestricted license to write all the music, all the lyrics and design the cover too. What we made, in effect, was a solo album by Garlen Lo, assisted by 2 session men, namely UJ and Achoi. On some tracks, Lo is the only performer at all. That said, at least nobody could complain about his enthusiasm or ability to contribute to the group in terms of material. Persuading him to part company with money, however, was rather more difficult. In fact, Martin once stated that, compared with squeezing cash out of Lo for studio time, it must have been only slightly harder work to mass the forces on D Day. He believed that he, UJ, Fanning and Achoi were being asked to pay the studio bills for Lo record his solo album. Fanning actually plays on just 2 tracks on this album since all the other bass guitar parts are played by Lo; Martin appears on just 1 track, the marvellous anthem Giving It Large, dedicated to Middlesex and England cricket player Phil Tufnell. The track is partially spoiled by some inept drumming and the clumsy production. I wanted us to record this track again so it could be done properly. We did just that in 2011. This is therefore mainly an album of twee pop songs by Garlen Lo performed by the trio of Lo, UJ and Achoi. I am one of the very few people who actually enjoy at least most of this album. Fanning still loathes and detests it even today; UJ found much of it supercilious, pretentious or just plain boring. Achoi called it ‘self indulgent self congratulatory sonic confectionary’ and supported Fanning in his insistence that the album should not be released. UJ wanted to use our funds to release more important projects and this is understandable since Lo left the group shortly after the album was finished (although he does appear on a few tracks of our next album Rock In Opposition: Phase 1, work on which was commenced almost immediately after School Farm Bungalow was completed). It was only Martin who continually attempted over the years to persuade the others to release the album (despite appearing on only 1 track himself). Even after Fanning left the group in 2005, Achoi still refused to sanction its release so it wasn’t until he finally left the group in 2007 that we were able to issue it to the public.

 Pills & Pains is easily the best track on the album with its amusing lyric, infectious rhythms and superbly spiky keyboard and vibraphone parts. Achoi made an alternative arrangement of this track as he believed it to be a decent song ruined by the original arrangement Lo had made. When Achoi finished it, Lo admitted that it was superior to his own reading and so rejected his version for that of Achoi. We include the original version as a bonus track on the CD and the Achoi version is such an obvious improvement that I’d like to have heard what Achoi could have done with some of the other tracks on this project. One of the best songs here is Make Believe with its overlapping vocals and excellent words on which Lo proves himself to be the only other member of UNIT ever able to match the technical skill of Martin as a lyric writer. Li Kim Sook is an excellent arrangement by UJ of an old but very popular instrumental by Martin from the 1990s, which adds variety to the proceedings. The acoustic, plaintively nostalgic School Farm Bungalow features a whimsical, slightly sad lyric about childhood that manages to avoid the mawkish sentimentality that mars most songs of this type. The sprawling, slightly surreal epic Feelings covers territory that reminds me of Oasis, The Velvet Underground and The Jam – simultaneously! With all these items on offer, it is a great shame this album has had to wait so long before being made available to everyone.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from December 2003 to August 2004.

Rock In Opposition: Phase 1 – best track: Hungary 1956 / 3 Fingers.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Garlen Lo, Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi.

 Death To The Diegesis. Breaking Barriers. A Case History. In A Chinese Youth Club. The Chinese Cuckoo.

Sick Scum. The Blue Funnel. One Life. Alien Asian (Again). Baader Meinhof. Middle East Panorama.

Now & Then. Ngya Gue. Resonance Rocks Out. Hungary 1956 / 3 Fingers. The Last 10’ Of A Tyrant.

The Clear Spot. Science & Magick.

 The album should be called Rock In Transition because during its recording 2 people left the group (Garlen Lo and Dave Fanning) while 2 others joined (Thanh Trung Nguyen and I). It is also the record on which we first ventured into avant garde musical territory and overtly political lyrics; both these properties would inform much of our work in future. This is the last album on which Dave Fanning plays as a member of the group. He occasionally returned to the studio to play bass guitar on one or two works when requested (i.e. when nobody else was able to play a particularly difficult bass guitar part) but his involvement as an active ceased after the release of this album. We credited him as the bass guitarist on all the RIO albums in deference to the time, energy and money he used to commit to the group even though nearly all those bass guitar parts were played either by Thanh or UJ. In fact, in my entire time in UNIT so far, I have only ever seen Dave once! Both Thanh and I only play on 2 or 3 numbers. The idea for a series of albums called Rock In Opposition originates from Andy who was, for a brief period, heavily influenced by the writing of Chris Cutler and his group Henry Cow. His enthusiasm for this group was only shared by Achoi who was initially intrigued by the arguments that appeared in Cutlers’ book. However, the primary motivation behind the lyrics and music of this album was the invasion of Iraq by America and Britain and the imposition on ordinary British people of increasingly totalitarian laws by the oppressive government known as ‘new labour’, headed by Tony Blair, surely one of the most repugnant, power hungry obscenities ever to slither into parliament.

 I admit I didn’t understand or appreciate much of the music on this album at the time – I’d never heard anything like it before and it made little sense to me at the time. There are 3 works on this album which have justifiably become favourites: The Blue Funnel (by Achoi), a disturbing account of the disgusting treatment given to Chinese sailors who served in the British navy during world war two; Resonance Rocks Out (by Martin, UJ and Thanh), a jazz rock venture that reveals just how highly competent the group had become and Hungary 1956 / 3 Fingers (by Martin), a powerful indictment of communism that has since become a live concert favourite. Certainly these last two pieces are my own favourite tracks on this disc. While recording this album I attended all the studio sessions even though I only appear on a few tracks. Two of these were Ngya Gue and Now & Then. These are among a small number of ventures into rap that UNIT have attempted, none of which have so far been entirely successful. On both of these we were joined by Richard Wong Yit Sinh who was just 13 at the time. We had no idea then that in 2009 he would join UNIT as a full time member of the band. I gained the impression that the group was launching into novel, exciting territory and charging into a bold new adventure. All the same, I quickly realised that I was being asked to join a group whose music I didn’t understand and which I could only barely play with any proficiency.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from March 2005 to May 2005.

Rock In Opposition: Phase 2 – best track: Come September.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Thanh Trung Nguyen, Ngo Achoi.

 I Was Born To Rock & Roll. Democrazy. Seine Welt Ist Eine Welt. Jihad. Icons. InSANity. The Family Of Noise.

Homage To Kurt Gödel. Rocket No.9. Dare To Be Different. Ogune. Murderer. The Difficult Bourgeoisie.

Intifada. Für Nguyen Van Troi. Vault Over Amp Air. From This Day On. Come September.

The Palestine Perspective. The Question Of Palestine: Antikhthon & Erikhthon. Star Gate. After The Last Sky. Resonance Roadshow.

 As Thanh and I became more familiar with the kind of music being written for the group (mainly by Martin and Achoi), it became evident that while I regarded it as a challenge, Thanh quickly revealed his impatience with the avant garde and he also found the rigorous polemic of the lyrics intolerable and alienating. UJ was probably the stabilising influence here who managed to hold the group together for although Achoi was writing more material than ever before, he had become dissatisfied with own contributions as a performer and would often not attend group rehearsals and studio sessions. I tried to compensate for this by enlisting the services of 3 friends of mine from the Chinese youth club I attended and where Martin worked: Jan Dinh, Helen Dinh and Linda Hong. The trouble is, they possessed even less musical ability than Achoi so we had to work extremely hard to utilise their limitations. To some extent we succeed best in this respect on the epic Fire & Ice In Palestine, a 16 minute exploration in two parts of the emotional impact on the criminal brutality inflicted on innocent Palestinian Arabs by the Israeli military on the order of their government. The music is by Achoi (the aggressive, harsh cacophony of part 1) and UJ (the gentle, ethereal soundscape of part 2). The words are by Huwaida Arraf and the famous Palestinian author Edward Said. Intifada (words by Achoi) and From This Day On (words by Rajasvini Bhansali) both address this Middle East conflict in a more restrained, thoughtful mode and with music that is generally interesting although it is never allowed to detract from the lyrics. Two further numbers that utilise texts by Huwaida Arraf and Edward Said directly address the Middle East conflict and form a trilogy with Fire & Ice In Palestine. The Palestine Perspective includes a tape of Edward Said and the music is by Achoi and Thanh. What Achoi calls ‘the most accessible member of the trilogy’ is The Question Of Palestine with music by Achoi and myself. Many of the stories used in these works are taken from actual accounts listed with horrible accuracy in the book By Theft & Murder by Ted Curtis and Huwaida Arraf.

 What also didn’t help is that my ignorance of politics became horribly apparent, much to the frustration of UJ and Martin who must have come close to fainting with shock when I admitted I didn’t know the difference between a Palestinian and an Israeli – which was especially unfortunate since nearly half the lyrics on the album are concerned with the plight of the Arabs in Palestine under the dreadful system of apartheid imposed upon them by the Jewish colonists who first invaded their country in 1948. We recorded so much material that we soon realised this would have to be released as a double album. However, while there were too many tracks to fit onto a single disc, there was insufficient work completed to fill up two discs adequately so we decided to include a live concert we played in Holland earlier that year. This was a single work lasting nearly 40 minutes and represents our first attempt at free improvisation; its inclusion was probably the single most crucial error in our career, mainly because it is the second most tediously boring piece of music we’ve ever performed. First prize for that dubious honour must be awarded to the free improvisation we performed at the Festival Of The City in May in which Fanning and Thanh played as loudly as possible for nearly 35 minutes so UJ, Martin and I couldn’t even be heard – not that the music would have been much improved had they played quieter. Had we all played so quietly that nobody could hear us at all then that, possibly, might have been tolerable.

 Beyond doubt the most bizarre work in this project is Vault Over Amp Air, an instrumental by Martin on which he does not perform – although in fact nobody else performs on it either; he asked us all to set up the drum kit, turn on the amplifiers and stand there for 90 seconds while the microphones picked up the ambient noise of the studio. The title is a superb pun on Volt Over Ampere and also an accurate description of the piece! Probably the most dramatic combination of rock music and avant garde writing is Ogune, a study of exploitation in Africa by Shell; the text is by Achoi in which I provided the basic drum patterns under his complex music. UJ is heard at his majestic best with his live flute playing but there is also a tape of prerecorded flutes playing in a totally different tempo and rhythm to the live music, the combination of which is really unsettling but highly effective. This disc does contain our most successful track in our avant garde idiom: Come September with a text in Cantonese by Achoi and superb music by Martin. This was the first overtly avant garde work I ever heard that I really understood and enjoyed listening to. After this I started to appreciate some of the other weird stuff we had recorded (such as The Blue Funnel) but among all our non-rock pieces, Come September remains the one everybody remembers. We’ve performed it live at nearly all our concerts and it was also the most memorable track from our first radio session for Resonance in 2005. Of all our avant garde albums this is my favourite because the music is skilfully organised, logical and emotionally responsive to the texts; there is variety in terms of both texts and music here and the idiom is contemporary but rarely inaccessible. Then we went and ruined it all by going too high too soon with the next project!

Recorded at Redchurch Studio from January 2006 to May 2006.

Untied & United: Volume 2 – best track: This Is For The Moment.  

Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Thanh Trung Nguyen, Ngo Achoi.

 Sunday Double Time. O’Reilly & MacNeill. Aberdeen Beach. John MacLean. Johnny Todd. The Works Outing.

The Weekend Song. The Colliers 8 Hour Day. The Ballad Of Q4. Anchors. Another Reason. Rushes.

This Is For The Moment. Breaking Barriers. The Drunken Weasel. Come September. Resonance Rocks Out.

Breaking Barriers. Orders Of The General. Hungary 1956 / 3 Fingers.

Although released in 2008, most of the music on this album was recorded in 2006 in spare studio time during the sessions for Rock In Opposition; Phase 2. It was crazy – after a morning of squealing saxophones, prepared piano, electronic sounds and girls yelling in outrage at atrocities committed by military thugs in the Middle East, we’d take time off to record traditional Scottish folk songs about 19th century miners or a works outing. Martin is the only Scot in the group so it was very odd to have 3 Chinese lads playing the music while he launched into full folk mode, particularly since Achoi and I made very modern UNITised versions of these pieces. Achoi toyed with the concept of recording an entire album of traditional Scottish folk songs, especially those with social and political sentiments, but he soon became impatient with the idea and the novelty of having young Chinese musicians playing ancient traditional Scottish music soon lost its glamour, especially since nobody else was particularly interested in the project. So we ended up with an unfinished album – the tracks were shelved as none of us quite knew what to do with them. Out of all these works, The Ballad Of Q4 is probably the track that works best, thanks to the excellent singing by Martin and the sensitive arrangement by Achoi. That said, I also enjoy Aberdeen Beach with its machine gun muttered lyric, frantic scampering music and chattering vibraphone part. Achoi also discovered the music of an obscure avant garde group called Five Or Six who released a few records in the 1980s. What he didn’t realise was that both Fanning and Martin were also familiar with the work of this group. He decided we should record our own arrangements of some of their pieces but he was met with resistance, primarily because we believed that time, effort and studio costs should be spent on our own works rather than those of other people. Only 4 works were completed before this project, too, was abandoned. This Is For The Moment was one of these and it is easily the most effective and exciting work on the entire collection. By the time we finished with it, very little of the original number remains.

 Then we managed to obtain decent quality copies of the 2 live radio sessions we played for Resonance in 2005 and 2006. These were given to me to clean up and improve the sound quality. That first session I remember because Martin told me about it in advance on the previous Saturday at HCYC and I was able to listen to it on the radio that Monday evening – it was the first time I’d listened to Resonance. It was an exciting time for me because I knew they wanted me in the band and here they were playing live in a radio broadcast. I joined the group a few days afterwards. I didn’t know Thanh very well at the time and I associated UJ with Pak Mei kung fu rather than flute playing. They were assisted on guitar and clarinet by Finbar Cullinen, a friend of Thanh who, we later discovered, was a fully paid up member of the Socialist Workers Party. Imagine that: Andy Martin in the same group as communist! One of the tracks, The Drunken Weasel, was an instrumental in 7/4 by Dave that has never been recorded in the studio. The best track of the session was Come September, a number that wouldn’t appear on a studio album until the following year. For the second radio session I wasn’t available because it was being recorded during the day on a Saturday when I had to work at the take-away so I recorded the drum parts in the studio the previous day; these were transferred onto CD and the group played along to it during the session. My pal Michael Hoang assisted on keyboards while the guitar part was taken by CK, the same Lang Kin Tung who had left the group back in 2002. I’m surprised they even asked him, to be honest; evidently by that time he had forgiven Martin for being queer! The best piece here for sheer energy and power was Hungary 1956 / 3 Fingers with UJ dashing back and forth between the vibraphone and flute microphones while Martin made his debut on saxophone because Thanh decided not to do the radio session – at just 2 days notice. That Martin managed to play a reasonably tuneful saxophone contribution to 2 numbers that afternoon is nothing short of miraculous. Anyway, after I’d removed extraneous background noise and improved the production on the tracks from both sessions, I realised that they’d fit nicely onto a CD when combined with the Scottish folk tracks – so Untied & United: Volume 2 was born.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from March 2006 to July 2006.


Rock In Opposition: Phase 3 – best track: Roads – Bridges – Space.  

Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Thanh Trung Nguyen, Ngo Achoi.

 The Latent Fascism Of Property Relations. The Leg Irons. Die Kämpftaktische Gepflogenheit.

Die Dunkeln Flöten Des Herbstes. Homage To Derek Bailey. Jetzt Nehme Ich Dem Feind Meine Geschichte Weg. The Buddhist Response To Western Aggression. No Matter – Try Again – Fail Again – Fail Better.

Little Severin, The Mystic Badger. Roads – Bridges – Space. Homage To Resonance.

 Phase 2 of this series was a success because each work made sense; aspects of the avant garde were utilised in a manner that was satisfying on an artistic level. For Phase 3 we were under the dubious orders of Achoi and Martin at their most uncompromising and the ridiculous extremes to which we (and the audience) were subjected resulted in an album that is virtually intolerable. There was a damaging aspect to this, too: it was the recording of this album that caused Thanh to decide he no longer wanted to be a member of UNIT. He was a superb saxophonist, a competent bass guitarist and also a reasonable keyboard player. It’s true that he was never an easy person to work with: he never paid a penny toward studio costs and he never disguised his dislike of and contempt for Martin even though (for once) I can think of no reason for such an attitude. He managed to annoy and irritate not only Martin and UJ but studio engineer Fred Baggs – frequently! When he did leave the group I know UJ and Fred were actually relieved. Martin and I regretted his departure but only on musical grounds. In his absence, band rehearsals and studio sessions were far more pleasant experiences! However, we were not fair to him on this album and his brilliant musical skills were generally wasted on this mess. The Latent Fascism Of Property Relations is allegedly written by me but by the time they’d all finished with it, very little of my original idea remained. That said, it is one of the few pieces on this album which can listen to all the way through. The only other work on this project that stands the test of time is the 23 minute soundscape Roads – Bridges – Space although only 2 of us (Martin and UJ) actually perform live on it; the contributions from myself, Achoi and Thanh are all taken from fragments of our playing used for other tracks which have been sampled, treated and modified on computer before being replayed as a backing track over which Martin and UJ recite the text. The rest of this album is plagued by just so much sonic doodling (which Martin had the temerity to dignify by calling it ‘aural abstract impressionism’). Pretentious, empty gestures infect every track where even the lyrics – generally our strongest characteristic – fail to meet our usual standards. I have to admit I began to wonder what the hell I was doing in the group and made no secret of my opinion of what we were doing here. Perhaps this is why recording sessions were halted in March so we could venture upon Phase 4 of the series. We completed this in July and only then did we return to Phase 3 and finally complete that onerous task in November. I was glad to see the back of it.

Recorded at Redchurch Studio from January 2007 to November 2007.


Rock In Opposition: Phase 4 – best track: Trung Goes To Germany.  

Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Thanh Trung Nguyen, Ngo Achoi.

 Ex Post Factum. Motorway Madness. Beggar Bashing Boogie. Our Mother The Earth. Hard Corps.

Shove The Dove. Our Pride Is Our Loyalty. Tearing Down The Wall. Exhibit ‘A’. New Face In EH4. Thalidomide. Daze Of The Weak. High Fives. Arschloch / Arschlöcher. Warum Schweigst Du? A Greenprint.

Ivor Kallin Goes To Denmark Street. Exploitation. All The Wars. Prime To Pension. Capitalism Is Cannibalism.

Pete The Plectrum. Proletarian Autonomy. How Do You Do Today? U B 4 Tea. Trung Goes To Germany.

1.1 x 1010.

 This was the last new album to feature Achoi as a member of UNIT and therefore it remains indelibly fixed in our minds as a project tinged with sadness and regret, despite the ebullient and triumphal nature of much of the music and texts. With his departure we lost our only link with the original HCYC team who formed the group back in 2000. Thanh also left the group in May as a result of one final argument with Martin following the debacle that was our dubious contribution to the Freedom Of The City festival. Fortunately most of his bass guitar and saxophone parts had already been recorded so he appears on most tracks of the album. To compensate for that, we produced an album full of real music with proper themes, recognisable harmonies and infectious rhythms. Music is surely about communication and that is what this album does – in spades! There are 27 short tracks on the project including 8 purely instrumental works. Everyone is given the opportunity to display their abilities. Dave Fanning is credited with bass guitar but, sadly, only plays on one track, Exhibit A, and even this is merely an alternative version of the work that appeared on Dare To Be Different and was recorded over a year previously – all the other bass guitar parts were shared between UJ and Thanh. I’ll always remember 2007 as the year I enjoyed a brief flirtation with British anarcho-punk from the 1980s. I discovered Hagar The Womb, Cold War, Part 1 and Anthrax. In a fit of probably misplaced enthusiasm I insisted we make arrangements of 4 tracks by Anthrax which I selected. Martin was opposed to the idea but we simply ignored him. Thanh arranged Exploitation as an eccentric instrumental complete with scampering vibraphone and marimba parts. I adhered fairly closely to the original version of All The Wars because I was aware the others would probably take quite adventurous liberties with the tracks on which they worked. Achoi made a superb arrangement of Prime To Pension and in my opinion his contribution is the most interesting and professional of the quartet. UJ provided a dramatic account of Capitalism Is Cannibalism that, while exciting with excellent flute playing, still doesn’t quite match the raw power of the original.

 Any project in which Martin is involved is liable to court controversy and sure enough, here we were again plunged into the midst of a furious row. He presented us with 3 post-punk rock pieces that I thought possessed unusually simple harmonic progressions but other than that I assumed he’d written them, particularly as the lyrics were clearly lifted straight out of the right wing political box. It was UJ who then discovered – after we’d recorded and mixed the bloody things – that all 3 works were originally written by Ian Stuart Donaldson of fascist band Skrewdriver. UJ read the riot act in no uncertain terms but Martin retaliated with the old ‘freedom of speech’ routine favoured by the BNP. Sod that – I couldn’t be bothered to waste time arguing so I just belted him. When he hit the floor I thought ‘Oh bugger it – that’s me out of the band’ but, much to my astonishment, that possibility was apparently never an option. The trouble is, this was in fact a form of retribution by Martin against Thanh that just might have been forgivable had it not also involved us. In 2006 Thanh offered to give Martin saxophone lessons – at £10 an hour! I thought that was grossly insulting since Thanh never paid a penny toward studio sessions anyway but Martin agreed. Before the first lesson had finished, Thanhs’ mother asked her son to tell Martin to leave the house – no explanation was given. Then, a few days later, UJ called at the house for a rehearsal with Thanh and his mother made no objection on this occasion. The inference was obvious: Martin, being a white boy, was not welcome in the house while UJ, being of Chinese origin, was acceptable. Thanh never apologised to Martin for his mothers’ behaviour and it was that which infuriated him rather than the racism of the woman because Martin stated that as it was her house, she was fully entitled to prohibit people from entering it, even on the grounds of racial origin. The fact Thanh still charged Martin the full rate for the lesson probably didn’t help matters either!

 In a moment of creative madness I persuaded myself I’d be able to write and perform a work on which I played all the instruments. This solo spot resulted in A Greenprint but when it was finished, I was a bit embarrassed at what I’d done. However, Martin pleaded with us to include it on the album because he liked it so much so we relented; anyway, I still felt a bit guilty after walloping him. There are quite a few very old songs included on here that originally appeared on records by The Apostles on which the playing was inept and the production abysmal so UJ and I decided it was time to rescue these pieces and record them properly. These are Ex Post Factum, Motorway Madness, Our Mother The Earth, Thalidomide, Daze Of The Weak, Proletarian Autonomy, Pete The Plectrum and New Face In EH4. My favourite track on this project is the instrumental Trung Goes To Germany – the title is mine but the music was written mainly by Thanh; all I did was assist with the arrangement. The excerpt from the theme tune to The Simpsons is glorious – but actually this is the 3rd time we’ve quoted this tune in our work. Its first appearance is at the end of an alternative take of Son Of The Dragon added as a bonus track to the near eponymous album. Its second appearance is hidden away in one of the lead guitar parts to Too High Too Soon on Fire & Ice. Thanh is also heard playing mandolin on How Do You Do Today, a satirical attack by Martin (using music based upon a traditional English folk song) on the HCYC crowd who tried to intimidate him back in 2002. The idea for the track comes from a version of this recorded by progressive folk group Steeleye Span. The final track, 1.1 x 1010 is an excellent example of what happens when conventional rock music is combined with an avant garde idiom in a successful manner. The text is strictly from Rob Simone territory but it adds lustre to the series of science fiction lyrics Martin has written over the past 2 decades.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from March 2007 to July 2007.

Untied & United: Volume 3 – best track: Buckingham Palace Burns Down.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Wong Yit Sinh.

 For Sarah Strange. Ode To Johannes Kepler. Cambodian Kim. Incandescence. God Of Grumblers.

God Of Nothing. Out To Lunch. Hak Gwai Pu Kai. I’d Like You Better As A Dalek. Bright & Beautiful. The Letter. Male Slag. Berserker. Intlatol In Tlamacazquime. In A Chinese Youth Club. Breaking Barriers.

Why I Am Not Everyone. High Fives. The Buddhist Response To Western Aggression. Mr Arsehole.

Eco Warrior Blues. Better Dead Than Red. No More Heartaches. Michaels’ Brothel. The Scoop Six Place Pot.

Buckingham Palace Burns Down. Eagle.

 Of all 4 volumes of Untied & United released so far, this for me is the most interesting since it covers the longest period and features the largest number of personnel who have been members of UNIT over the past decade. Nathan Coles, Lawrence Burton and Pete Williams appear on the alternative mix of For Sarah Strange. Kwan Siu Lung and Akira Ishii play on Ode To Johannes Kepler and Cambodian Kim, a remix of what used to be our most popular track; very few recordings exist of this brief version of the group. Dave Fanning, Ngo Achoi and Lang Kin Tung appear on the 3 tracks taken from Gods Punk Volume 1. Dave and Achoi are also featured together with UJ on the next 5 tracks after which Garlen Lo joins us for Male Slag and The Letter. Lawrence Burton is the guest on Intlatol In Tlamacazquime, sung in Nahuatl, the original language of the native Mexicans (the Olmec people). The next 2 tracks feature Garlen but omit Dave who left the group in 2005 although he would return to play on some of our live concerts. From Why I Am Not Everyone onwards, I join the group, initially as a drummer until Achoi left – after Rock In Opposition: Phase 4 from which this different edit of Mr Arsehole is taken – when Richard Wong Yit Sinh joined us and I became a full time keyboard player. Most of these tracks are taken from the first six Gods Punk compilations plus a few additional remixes and previously unreleased tracks from our archive. The change in styles and the improvements in both performing ability and production quality are dramatically evident as the album progresses from 1997 to 2008.

 Recorded at Waterhouse Studio and Redchurch Studio from September 1997 to June 2008.

Class War – best track: Ming Hai.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Wong Yit Sinh.

 Gordon Brown! Take Your Filthy Laws Off Our Bodies. Angry Flower. Work – Buy – Consume – Die. A New World. Eagle. Workers Autonomy: A Chant. Workers Autonomy: A Tune. Luc’s Late. Ming Hai.

Buckingham Palace Burns Down. Cause & Effect. The Amnesty International Report. We Are All Prostitutes.

The Mansfield Miners Rally. To Tramps.

 In November 2007 we played a concert at Housemans Bookshop in Kings Cross. On the way there, I noticed Martin was reading a book by someone called Ian Bone; it was called Bash The Rich and, obviously, I was intrigued by the title! I took it off him and started to read sections at random. I came across his name on one of the pages and was surprised to discover that he knew Mr Bone fairly well. So I asked him all about it and he told me of this anarchist newspaper called Class War, the political situation in Britain during the 1980s and the resistance movement that involved not only civil disobedience but actual riots. This was all news to me – I was born in 1989 after all. We played the ‘concert’ well enough; it was just unfortunate that, even though by now we were a trio, yet we still managed to outnumber the audience! I left for home straight after the event, ashamed and embarrassed. Martin and UJ were clearly angry and upset but their fighting spirit was provoked when I suggested to Martin that he ask Mr Bone if he’d like to record some tracks with us. What I didn’t realise then was that back in 1985 Mr Bone and his pal Martin Wright had arranged to record 3 songs with the little pop group Martin and Fanning were in but the studio engineers never turned up and the recording had to be cancelled. The songs were eventually recorded but this time with a group called Conflict as the backing band. They were released as a single called Better Dead Than Wed in time for the royal wedding between Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. Between my suggestion (when Mr Bone still lived in Cardiff) and the time Martin finally summoned sufficient courage to send Mr Bone an e-mail, only a few weeks later, the vintage anarchist had moved to London to take a job in a housing advice centre. Thus he was able to say ‘yes’ to the offer and this in turn inspired Martin to contact another old friend, Malcolm ‘Scruff’ Lewty, best known as the founder of heavy metal band Hellbastard. Although he lived in Bath at the time, Scruff agreed to participate and ultimately ended up appearing on more tracks than Mr Bone himself. As an added bonus, Scruff brought along guitarist Kavus Torabi (who plays in a band called The Cardiacs) to one of the studio sessions. Mr Torabi in turn brought with him a plethora of strange toy instruments although ultimately only the toy piano and zither were actually used.

 Mr Bone participates on 4 tracks: Gordon Brown (words by Bone, music by Martin) is a glorious celebration of pure pop music and one of only two from this quartet on which Martin appears; it was even played on Resonance despite the swearing in its chorus. A New World (words by Buenaventura Durutti, music by me) has an additional vocal by Scruff; I love the Geordie accent – there’s nothing else like it in the English language. We venture into heavy metal territory on The Mansfield Miners Rally (words by Bone, music by UJ) with Scruff taking the part of one of the miners in a central section where he has a brief conversation with Mr Bone. Only after I’d heard this for the 3rd time did I notice the quote from a Metallica song! On To Tramps (words by Lucy Parsons, music by me) Martin plays a hesitant but tuneful saxophone part yet is not credited in the CD booklet. Whoops. Mr Torabi makes his presence felt on Buckingham Palace Burns Down, a heavy metal instrumental UJ actually wrote for Scruff to play. The drum part made my arms and shoulders ache for the next 2 days. I wrote a melodic instrumental called Ming Hai, named after my parents’ take-away; it wasn’t intended for the album but Martin liked it so much he insisted it be included. It has become one of the most popular tracks on the album. My parents were pleased at the free advertising too. We made an effective arrangement of We Are All Prostitutes, a famous anti-capitalist anthem by The Pop Group, an agit-prop funk outfit from the early 1980s. Martin dispensed with the guitar part and replaced it with a canon for 3 flutes, all expertly performed by UJ; we then added excerpts from the lyrics of 2 other Pop Group works just to show how trendy, cool, windswept and interesting we are. Martin made an arrangement of The Amnesty International Report, also by The Pop Group, which was originally the ‘b’ side of the single of which Prostitutes was the ‘a’ side. This mess reverts back to RIO 3 territory and is a bloody racket. Finally, there is Eagle. This sad ballad by Martin was inspired by the episode A Little Learning from Survivors, the 1970s science fiction series created by Terry Nation. 2 versions were recorded, one with UJ singing and playing guitar and one with Martin singing and no guitar. Martin wanted the former included on the album because he claimed his singing was inferior to UJ but UJ and I over-ruled him and used the latter because Martin wouldn’t know the difference between a decent singer and a walrus in a cassock. I’m glad this album has proved to be so popular because it is my belief that with it we finally matched the variety and professionalism of Dare To Be Different.

Recorded at Redchurch Studio from January 2008 to July 2008.

A Greenprint For Success – best track: Eagle.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Wong Yit Sinh.

 Eagle. Minh, Binh & Vinh. A Greenprint. Light Up Cigarettes In Pubs & Bookies. Angry Flower. Ming Hai.

Osaka Boy. New World.

This is basically a collection of 7 pop music tracks edited and remixed into a radio friendly texture plus a bizarre ‘classical’ work by Andy Martin performed by a school orchestra and recorded live. The Martin composition aside, I doubt the validity of presenting UNIT material like a bag of assorted sweets. After all, if a radio presenter hears a track he likes, he might – or might not – play it on his programme. Anyway, I suspect radio presenters are not impressed by collections of material compiled, shaped and dressed up to appeal to their vanity. Also, it is a curious selection because Martin only appears on one of them – and it was he who chose which tracks to include on it! There are 4 songs (2 sung by UJ and 1 spoken by me) and 3 instrumentals. His edit of Eagle (the version sung by UJ) is effective – by removing the saxophone and flute chaos in the middle he’s turned it into a pure pop song (albeit still a highly unusual one). UJ made a new and vastly superior arrangement of the Sons Of The Dragon track Minh, Binh & Vinh for Gods Punk Volume 9 which is only slightly spoiled by its repetitive nature – a caveat solved by Martins’ edit here where it has been hacked into a short, sharp shock rocker that shines the spotlight on the Hammond B3 organ that I used to considerable effect on the album Facta Non Verba in 2010. The Malcolm Lewty ballad Angry Flower remains close to its original on Class War. A touch of reverb and equalisation tweaking have smoothed out some rough edges. Light Up Cigarettes In Pubs & Clubs Now is the most recent number included here – in fact we recorded this again in February 2010 especially for Facta Non Verba. For once this edit is less effective primarily because a succession of 3 instrumental solos sounds over indulgent and its brevity sacrifices the sense of discipline displayed in the full account of this jazz influenced piece. Martin picked A Greenprint, my compositional debut for UNIT, presumably in order to feature my voice but while my playing is crisp and precise, my voice is actually annoying because I am not a singer and I think this piece would have sounded better spoken by UJ or Martin himself. The final track is Ming Hai, one of our own favourites and certainly the best track I have written for UNIT so far. He has cleaned up the end and added a touch of reverb here and there with the result that I wish this version had been included on Class War. New World is a curious homage to the traditional music of Japan that features a shakuhachi and a marimba (played by UJ and Richard Wong respectively) as soloists supported by a small orchestra which itself is spiced up with electronic sounds recorded onto magnetic tape and played back at certain times during the performance. This piece – all 50 minutes of it – is written in the most austere idiom possible, a rigorous exploration of the avant garde that just gives me a bloody headache. Apparently the performance, by the Japan Schools Orchestra directed by Kei Kobayashi, is excellent according to Martin. I’ll have to take his word for that. I was instructed to play the piano on this work but it was an extremely uncomfortable experience, first because there must have been at least 7 performers in the ensemble who were all much better pianists than me and second because I didn’t like the music at all. UJ played his parts really well, especially since he has only limited experience on the shakuhachi which is the traditional Japanese wooden flute and rather different to play in technique than the European metal flute. The shakuhachi was lent to us by Hidetomo Tanaka. Richard enjoyed himself immensely on the marimba although he occasionally departed from the music actually written for him to play on the grounds that his ideas were superior to those of Martin – a provocative response but, to his credit, Andy permitted this impertinence on the grounds of artistic freedom, especially since Richard seemed to understand what was required of the music. This album does provide an interesting if biased introduction to the accessible side of our work combined with an example of our most inaccessible, stringently avant garde work so its release is justified...I suppose...possibly...maybe...perhaps.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from July 2007 to July 2010.

Musik Als Globale Waffe – best track: The Phoenix.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Wong Yit Sinh, Fabian Fritze.

 In All Honesty. Perrier Road. Matthew Leonard Goes To Hackney. No More Heart Aches. Checkmate.

Arroya La Bomba. Popular Capitalism. Employment Enjoyment. The Phoenix. Die Tränen Meiner Brüder.

Krieg Den Gegen Terror. Music Of The Spheres. The Shadow Out Of Space.

For the first time in our career we took an extended break of 14 months between recording albums. This had never happened before. We chose this option partly because we tried desperately to locate and audition new members for the band. Considerable time was wasted by people who pretended to be musicians but really just wanted free copies of our albums – apparently this is a common practise in the music scene but we were blissfully ignorant of this disgusting behaviour at the time so we ended up sending albums to this Japanese Blur fan Taichi Hashimoto who pretended to be a guitarist; when he still prevaricated about meeting us in the studio for an audition we stopped sending him CDs and he no longer answered our e-mails. We then had an identical experience with a fake bass guitar player but he stopped answering e-mails when we refused to send him any free albums until he agreed to meet us in the studio. After no less than the 5th time this happened to us, we gave up! When we realised absolutely nobody was at all interested in joining UNIT we realised that concerts were no longer a viable option and that we’d have to learn to play other instruments. UJ diligently practised both guitar and bass guitar while Martin took up the drums in earnest and I practised my keyboard playing. We all decided to write new music that would enable the 3 of us to utilise our limited resources to their best advantage. Then we realised we would have to press up more copies of two of our older albums. The original copies of these – Fire & Ice and Untied & United: Volume 1 – were found to be faulty so we were obliged to spend money to press up replacement copies. All the people who had contacted us to complain about their copies no longer playing in either computers or CD players had to be sent replacements. All the money we used for this was taken from savings we had originally accrued to spend in the recording studio! When we tried to contact the pressing plant responsible for these faulty discs, we discovered the firm had gone bankrupt. Bugger it!

 During this time Martin regained regular contact with one of our many German colleagues, Fabian Fritze, who had recently departed from his group 14 Inch General (named after a dildo apparently). I was most impressed when I learnt that Fritze, besides being a political activist, also plays guitar, bass guitar, drums and bagpipes. I suggested to Martin that we record an album in two halves, each designed to appeal to the two main sections of our audience, the large majority who enjoy our rock and pop material and the small minority who appreciate our avant garde work. Further assistance was given not only as a performer but also as a writer from Richard Wong Yit Sinh who you first heard back on Ngya Gue on RIO 1. I credited Wong as a full member of UNIT on the tray card and CD booklet because he plays drums on every track that uses them and he also co-wrote a few of the pieces. At 17 years old, he’s the same age I was when I first recorded with UNIT on RIO 1; his contribution here is far more significant than was mine when I was his age. We recorded the rock and pop pieces in little more than 2 weeks, the best of which is the instrumental The Phoenix. This is based on an older number Martin wrote during the late 1980s but which incorporates a new central section which is basically a duet between UJ on flute and Fritze on bagpipes. There are a couple of glorious pop songs in the first (i.e. pleasant) half of the album. No More Heartaches is the closest we’ve ever come to a standard rock and roll song that obeys all the rules of convention – almost but not quite! The words wouldn’t appear incongruous on an album by The New York Dolls, for example. This was first recorded by The Apostles in 1988 but never released. Checkmate is a superb example of what we do best: a pure pop song with slightly subversive music and lyrics. We really should record more pieces in this idiom if only because we do them so convincingly. Besides, they’re much more enjoyable than the avant garde nonsense we still churn out and which give me a headache, especially when I have to answer all the complaining e-mails from people who, frustrated and exasperated, want to know why we bother with such crazy crap.

 We spent many months trying to complete the 3 long avant garde works that constitute the second half of the album. The reason they took so long is due to my interference – I regarded it as my duty to prevent Martin reverting to RIO 3 territory. It is not in our interest to alienate our audience, particularly since Class War had proved such a commercial success. Martin alleged that the healthy sales of the previous album allowed us to do what hell we liked on this one; I insisted that many of these sales were due to people who purchased the album for the disc of tracks by The Living Legends rather than ourselves. The result was a compromise – the avant garde section of the project is more self indulgent and crazy than I desired but less undisciplined and off the wall than Martin wanted it to be. Knowing our luck, everyone will hate it anyway. Stephen Parsons of BBP finally makes his debut on CD as one of the voices on Die Tränen Meine Brüder, a grim and relentless succession of electronic noise relieved only toward the end with any sense of order by the quietly spoken summary of Fritze over pre-recorded German speech taken from a student rally in 1968. It is possibly the most extreme track we’ve ever recorded and it’s absolutely horrible – all 12 bloody minutes of it. The most impressive of these tracks is Der Krieg Gegen Terror which has a polemical lyric spoken in German by Fritze sprinkled with some superb flute histrionics by UJ. He also contributes some subtle unconventional performance techniques on 2 bass guitars and the performance is completed by some minimal piano playing from myself that Martin suggested; I didn’t believe it would work – but it does. The electronic sounds and pre-recorded German speech (taped from student riots in 1968) provides the basic soundscape upon which our live instruments comment but there is an incredible amount of space in this 20 minute track – a result of the discipline I imposed on proceedings even though the music was basically composed by Martin and I take full credit for its success, so there.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from November 2008 to July 2009.


Facta Non Verba – best track: Osaka Boy.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Wong Yit Sinh, Fabian Fritze.

 Mental Oriental. The Victim. Mr Newman. Friends. Minh, Binh & Vinh. An Appreciation Of Hiru Onada. 2nd Desert. The Covered Room. Christliche Perversionen. Stillstand. Light Up Cigarettes In Pubs & Betting Shops – Now!  Gegenseitige Vergeltungsmaßnahmen. Osaka Boy. How To Avoid The Follow On.

 Winter 2009 saw the introduction of some new keyboards in Redchurch Studio, including a Hammond B3 organ and a Solina from the 1970s. This is a curious hybrid that is part electric keyboard and part polyphonic synthesiser. To these were added an Emax and a Korg. Nobody has yet manufactured a digital device able to imitate the sound of analogue keyboards with any accuracy. This coincided fortuitously with a decision by UJ to concentrate on his guitar and bass guitar playing for the next album so I realised I’d have to play far more keyboards to compensate for either the absence or at least the lower profile of the flute on many tracks. Both UJ and Martin had been listening to a lot of contemporary progressive rock (Anglagard from Sweden, Signal To Noise Ratio from Poland and Deus Ex Machina from Italy) and this is apparent in the music written for this album. Even I was caught up in their enthusiasm for this genre although normally I am not a fan of this kind of music. We were assisted again by Fritze who this time left his bagpipes behind and contributed guitar and bass guitar parts to one of the longer numbers instead as well as a drum part to one of the others. His spoken and sung vocals (in German) were included as well. Richard Wong makes a strong impression on some of the tracks here although his playing is still far from satisfactory on the more complex numbers. This is not really his fault – he did his very best. The real problem is that the Sons Of The Dragon syndrome returns in spades here as he is frequently asked to play material that is beyond him. I should have paid more attention to this problem – but I didn’t. Sorry!

 My favourite track on this project is the instrumental Light Up Cigarettes In Pubs & Betting Shops Now, partly because it’s so simple and direct compared with all that faffing about on many of the other tracks, partly because it’s so blatantly jazz influenced and makes no apologies for being so and partly because of the wonderful title. It was written by myself, UJ and Wong. That’s where the problem lies with much of this album – there are too many moments when it sounds as if we’re saying ‘listen to us, we’re being rather clever here’ when in fact we’re simply showing off yet often we don’t actually possess sufficient technical ability to do so. It only takes a couple of careful listens on headphones to bring this sonic house of cards tumbling down. That said, there is much that deserves credit here. Mental Oriental is one of the funniest tracks we’ve ever recorded and is a credit to Martins’ ability to write cleverly satirical lyrics; it uses the rhythm and blues idiom that has been a feature of many of our pieces over the years. However, the central section with its preposterous drum solo sits incongruously with the rest of the piece. I may make a pop edit of this in the near future. Stillstand 2009 takes a lyric by Fritze set to his own music (which would make a decent 2 minute pop song) and inflates it into a 7 minute epic that threatens to become pompous and pretentious at any moment. The rest of the music is by Wong and it sounds as if he struggles (and fails) to keep all his ideas under control. He’s obviously trying to write music that compliments and matches the other long rock tracks on this album when perhaps he’d have been better advised to adhere to his own natural style. Despite this, the majority of the work is dramatic and still enjoyable.

 A genuine curiosity here is An Appreciation Of Hiru Onada whose lyric is taken from a totally offensive essay by Akira Ishii, the Japanese nationalist who was briefly the drummer of UNIT in 1999. The first two thirds of the essay are recited by Martin while UJ plays majestically (in a different room) on a shakuhachi lent to us by Hidetomo Tanaka, this Japanese weirdo we met in April. At the end of this arrant racist nonsense, Fritz absolutely trashes the previous sentiments which makes me feel better anyway although Ishii will probably explode with rage if he ever hears it – which I hope he does. Friends features one of the most grim, depressing lyrics I’ve ever heard and yet it is entirely appropriate since it must express a fear common to people who are obliged to live in the margins of normal society: ‘please don’t let me die alone’. The magnificent anthem Osaka Boy was actually written in 2009 and is a curious mixture of humour, sarcasm and wistful sadness. It is clearly Martins’ attempt to understand and develop a rapprochement with some of the Japanese people he has met who clearly have upset and irritated him over the years. The lyric works because it is always respectful while the music contains some of his best work – it is easily on the same glorious level as Cambodian Kim and Eagle. In Christianliche Perversionen we allotted Fritz the space to present what is almost a solo work in which he directs a savage assault upon Christians and Christianity. It’s the most unequivocally avant garde work in the entire project and, like Second Desert, would have made a far more interesting and important contribution to RIO 3 instead of those wretched attempts at free improvisation which make that album so tedious.

 One of the most convincing works is The Covered Room which features an empty, bleak and stark accompaniment of shakuhachi and bass guitar, Along with Second Desert, Christianliche Perversionen and Hiru Onada, it forms a quartet of spoken prose pieces supported by minimal accompaniment. Quite why the magpie, crow, rook and raven also appear (on tape, not live unfortunately) on Second Desert is unknown to me although Martin has for many years held these birds in a mysterious kind of reverence which probably means he’s utterly bonkers, the sort of fellow who would have beetles fall out of his bouffant. It provides a malevolent accompaniment to what is possibly the most desperately grim and relentlessly bleak poem I have ever heard. The name of Andy Nunn will be familiar as the writer of Cosmogony, the poem included in the booklet to Fire & Ice. This poem is taken from The Silent Colossus, a booklet of his poems we printed in 2007 and issued in our catalogue of releases. Gegenseitige Vergeltungsmaßnahmen is probably the best work on here simply because it just about manages to hold itself together amid all the time changes, harmonic impertinence and jigsaw sections that battle for attention. Martin compiled this 8 minute epic as a homage to the Red Army Faction with assistance from Fritz in most of the German translations. Although Martin doesn’t appear as a performer on this track, his presence is apparent in the bizarre rhythmic changes and advanced, almost atonal harmonies used here. In summary, this is a bold, interesting and adventurous project flawed by technical limitations and a lack of discipline in certain areas. It was also bloody hard to play!  

Recorded at Redchurch Studio from November 2009 to April 2010.

Panem Et Circenses – best track: The Boy From Hanoi.

 Zhang Yao Min, Luc Tran, Andy Martin, Wong Yit Sinh, Fabian Fritze.

 Rat Skunk. Asian Youth. Arranged Marriage. Siege & Turmoil. Think Tank. Factory. Drained. Wandrers’ Nachtlied. Erics’ Detachables. LBW. Career. Here Are The Young Men. The Master Race. Nazi Scum. So Alone.

The Stranger. Rock Salad. A World We Never Made. SOLIDaridad PROLEtaria. Entfremdung.

Wenn Worte Töten Könnten. The Boy From Hanoi. Weapons For El Salvador. Under Star.

 At last I was able to exert sufficient influence over the group to insist that we record an album of pop songs. Gone are the squealing saxophones, electronic squeaks, radio noise and extraneous birds. This record is a glorious celebration of clever, incisive, witty and sometimes strange lyrics combined with music rich in memorable melodies and delicious harmonic adventures that sparkles from start to finish – yes I’m being big headed and rightly so! After 5 years of so much pretentious sonic drivel it was an immense relief to release an album of real music that I could play to my mates without being embarrassed. I collected some of my favourite lyrics by Shocking Lemon, The Asian Kung Fu Generation and Ellegarden (3 of my favourite contemporary Japanese groups) and started to set them to our own music. Ultimately I abandoned the concept, however; I decided instead to concentrate purely on UNIT compositions. One piece did survive – an account of Under Star by Shocking Lemon. This was at the request of Martin who is an admirer of the group in general and this song in particular. At least we are able to hear him trying to sing in Japanese which sounds impressive to me but has no doubt already caused all our Japanese friends to develop ruptured intestines from intense and uncontrolled fits of laughter. The Japanese theme that informs some of this project (which commenced with 2 tracks on the previous album) is a deliberate attempt by me to try to win back the many Japanese fans we once had – but if it fails, it matters not.

 As a result of reading The Day The Country Died by Ian Glasper I discovered the British anarcho-punk scene of the 1980s. Through that I discovered the Kill Your Pet Puppy website through which I discovered a Pakistani pop group called Alien Kulture who actually featured 1 white chap plus 3 Pakistanis – the ethnic similarity to UNIT is astonishing. I was intrigued. The result: I made arrangements of 2 of their works – Rat Skank which became Rat Skunk after I omitted the words and Arranged Marriage. I asked UJ and Richard to make arrangements of 2 others. (Andy was opposed to the idea of recording yet more cover versions so he didn’t participate in the project until he heard what we’d actually done to the pieces whereupon he changed his mind and became enthusiastic.) UJ arranged Siege & Turmoil and Richard did the business on the ‘a’ side of their only single, Asian Youth. I was also asked to master for CD some ancient cassette recordings by 1980s groups The Snails and Flack (among others) by Mick Penguin. Thus I encountered Think Tank and Factory by The Snails and Drained by Flack. I couldn’t discern most of the lyrics so I wrote my own and arranged their music for a 21st century audience (i.e. I omitted all the punk elements). Then Danny O’Rawe sent us an e-mail that described an attack on his community centre by a gang of neo-nazi skinheads. We thought such idiots had died out in the 1980s. Andy suggested we record our version (in German) of Nazi Scum by Oi Polloi since it doesn’t pull any punches and we all agreed, especially since UJ already had the original track on CD himself. An alternative account (in English) was recorded for Gods Punk 10.

 The Apostles recorded a lovely instrumental called Erics’ Detachables that I’d wanted to record properly for some time so we finally did it. UJ wrote an untitled instrumental but was not satisfied with the drumming after we’d recorded the backing track so rather than waste it, I made my own arrangement of the piece and Andy called it Rock Salad after a BBC World Service programme hosted by Tommy Vance. The music is all by UJ except that the instrumentation used and the sound of it is precisely not what he intended! We recorded The Boy From Hanoi again because I’ve always loved this track but I was irritated by all those jangly guitars and inaudible drums on the Sons Of The Dragon version; ultimately it turned out even better than I imagined it would so that’s grand. It’s probably the most impressive track of the album. Fritze returned with a trio of his own pieces and he also added vocals to various other pieces. Weapons For El Salvador was originally by Dutch anarchist band The Ex (Danny O’Rawe sent us their complete works 1980-2008) but by the time Andy had finished with it, very little of the original work remained. Myself and UJ both decided to record modern versions of some very old pieces by Andy, primarily because those that do exist are abysmal. In fact only Rock Salad, the trio of works by Fritze and the central section of Weapons For El Salvador were written in 2010 – all the others date from 1980 (the Alien Kulture pieces) to 2001!

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from August 2010 to November 2010.


Untied & United: Volume 4 – best track: The Covered Room.

 Zhang Yao Min, Andy Martin, Luc Tran, Wong Yit Sinh, Fabian Fritze.

I Heard Him Call My Name. One Of The Lads. Shameless. Ich Werde Mir Ein Gewahr Kaufen. A Dinkum Griffin. Rediffusion Refugee. No More Heartaches. Second Desert. The Covered Room. Universal Soldier.

Labor Callum Obducit Dolori. Death To Rock & Roll. SOLIDaridad PROLEtaria. Nazi Scum. So Alone. Entfremdung. The East Is Red. Two Chinese Boys. A Chinese Girl.

The Sword Of Erin. Deconditioning. Winter. Giving It Large.

This collection features the second bunch of tracks from the later Gods Punk collections up to volume 10 together with some unreleased tracks of variable quality. At last we were able to reveal how Giving It Large should have sounded: the flute playing is better, there are no guitars and Martin provides superior vocals to the SFB account. Some of this sounds like a band whose members have dredged up mistakes, jokes and drunken idiocy that somehow was never erased when it should have been, simply to fill up an album. There’s plenty of musical variety on this collection – but that doesn’t mean many of the tracks are any good. A Dinkum Griffin (for example) is a 7 minute racket that sounds like a reject from Rock In Opposition: Phase 3, easily our worst and most self indulgently pretentious album. The Sword Of Erin is enjoyable fun but I recorded this solo vibraphone number as a private present for Danny O’Rawe which was never intended for commercial release. For fans and completists only.

Recorded at Redchurch Studio from February 2009 to January 2011.

Per Ardua Ad Astra – best track: Hup Soon Heng.  

Zhang Yao Min, Luc Tran, Andy Martin, Wong Yit Sinh, Fabian Fritze.

 Faith. In The Name Of Science. Alienation. The Crime. The Island. Borrowed Plumage. The Loss. Years Ago.

The Outsider. 2 Pagans. The Signals. The Room. Nothing Left. Walking Away. Elegy. Peace. Fragments. Winter. Memories As Leaves. The Citric Felines. If You Believe In What You Do. My Parents Are Dead. Hup Soon Heng.

 Although I ought to be pleased that the group agreed to record another album that consists largely of pop songs, not since Fire & Ice have we released a disc that contains so many thoroughly bleak, grim and depressing tracks. Nearly three quarters of the tracks are drenched in despair where a smile is a sin and all hope is decadence. No less than 12 of these tracks were originally recorded or played live by The Apostles but have never since received properly performed professional recordings. The more recent tracks – Alienation, Years Ago, Nothing Left, Elegy and Peace – were written in 2006 after Andy was sacked from Hackney Chinese Youth Club but we were unable to record them then because he was too emotionally upset to sing them. Quite how Andy is able to live with stuff like this in his head is beyond me. Hup Soon Heng is not so much inspired by as transcribed from the film 15 by Royston Tan about a group of 15 year old Triad gang members in Singapore. Its sympathetic and emotionally charged lyric is a direct address to some of the boys who appear in the film. These lads were not actors but played themselves in scenes that are occasionally very funny, sometimes sad, often bleak and always real. The director allowed (actually encouraged) some of the lads to write scenes in the film themselves. It is the only film I’ve ever seen that made me cry. I urge everyone to watch this superb work and the interview with the director that accompanies it (it’s available on DVD). Unfortunately Fritz was not available for this recording. That’s one of the problems of having a band member who lives in Germany!

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from January 2011 to April 2011.

Civil Disobedience – best track: Chinese Youth.

 Zhang Yao Min, Luc Tran, Andy Martin, Wong Yit Sinh, Fabian Fritze, Colin Murrell.

 These Men Of Old England. What The Cat Brought In. Libertarian Youth.

Apologise To The Rice! So Long. Sixth Elegy. People.

Always Remember The Origins Of The Spring From Which You Drink including Fraggels’ Lament.

One Is All You Get. Sexual Conditioning. We Are The Night Family. At The Mountains Of Madness.

A Brief History Of Design. Siebengesang Des Todes. Lament For Mrs Emily Cooper.

The Dailo & The Gwailo. White Trash. Towers Open Fire / Fight Now Right Now.

Chinese Youth including The Red Guards and The East Is Red. Dreams Prepare Our Minds For Space.

Hatesville. The New Imperium. Love Won’t Change The World.

Tell Me & I Forget, Show Me & I Remember, Involve me & I Understand. Anthrax. Interference.

Where There’s A Will including Fahnenflucht and The Lie. Little Severin The Mystic Badger.

The Last Words Of Hassan Sabbah. Dubitatio Plane Monstrosa. Horses, Hounds & Hooray Henrys.

 In the past we made a brave attempt at the avant garde and we failed – I said it was time for us to admit it and return to doing what we do best. However, there is a quintet of tracks reveal that it is possible to utilise the avant garde in a constructive and emotionally vibrant manner. An electronic soundscape by Colin Murrell provides the backbone for One Is All You Get. The inclusion of samples by William Burroughs on the cool jazz of Sexual Conditioning and the ethereal beauty of We Are The Night Family (despite its blatantly pornographic text) reveal that another idiomatic road has been added to our already crowded sonic city. Sounds of the cosmos (downloaded from NASA) combine with live instruments in a bizarre tribute to H P Lovecraft on At The Mountains Of Madness. Finally it was decided to record a version of Interference close to that which used to be performed at live concerts by The Apostles with the original backing tape. The arrangement is augmented by flute and the lead vocal by UJ that simply oozes sarcasm. Where There’s A Will including Fahnenflucht and The Lie is our response to the series of riots and civil disobedience that exploded across the nation for 4 days after the police murdered Mark Duggan in Tottenham; this brought the total of innocent people brutally murdered by the police to 333 since 1998. We had to comment on this disgusting statistic. Dubitatio Plane Monstrosa is an excessively tedious 13 minute tape montage that might have made an interesting 2 minute interlude if all the onerous sections were removed. Colin Murrell, who was in the final version of The Apostles, recently regained contact with Andy after a lapse of nearly 20 years with the result that not only does he appear on many of the tracks but he also co-wrote some of them.

 Recorded at Redchurch Studio from June 2011 to November 2011.


The Workshop  [2012]

12 page, full colour booklet.



A Blueprint For Success  [2012]

8 page, full colour booklet.



'godspunk' compilations    [2001-   ]

Unit is a regular contributor to the 'godspunk' compilation albums released on PUMF Records, (Visit www.pumf.net for more details, or ask us), run by Stan Batcow from 'The Ceramic Hobs'.  We normally submit four exclusive tracks per CD.  Other artists on the compilations include: Howl In The Typewriter, LDB, Hebetation, the taurus board, Litterbug, Stream Angel, Gays in the Military, Las Vegas Mermaids, pinkeye, Pissed Off, Higgins++, RooHmania, The 3 Ages Of Elvis, Norman, Razor Dog,  Time Flies!, Kate Fear & Nigel Joseph, and The Reverends.






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