Various Artists - Outer Himmilayan Presents
Dark Entries and Sacred Bones team up to release the early discography of UK synth-punk and Deathrock label Outer Himmalayan Records. Between 1979 and 1982, Nick Blinko and Martin Cooper’s Outer Himmalayan Records released 7-inches by three short-lived bands – The Magits, Soft Drinks, and S-Haters – who would nonetheless cast a massive shadow on the UK’s burgeoning post-punk/anarcho punk scene. Outer Himmalayan Presents collects all of the music found on those original records, along with rare and unreleased tracks by all three bands. It’s a snapshot of a period of frenzied creativity by some of the UK’s most thrilling experimental punks.
Before Blinko went on to found the essential anarcho band Rudimentary Peni, whose storied body of work also appeared on Outer Himmalayan, he and label co-founder Cooper were The Magits. The lone release by the minimal synth-and-vocals duo, Fully Coherent, was the inaugural release on Outer Himmalayan — and, in fact, Blinko and Cooper’s impetus for starting the label. The four tracks on Fully Coherent are short, sharp bursts, comprising a total of four minutes. Here, they’re presented alongside the five-and-a-half minute “A Pawn in the Game,” a song that sees Blinko and Cooper get truly weird with the extra space the longer runtime afforded them.
The next release on Outer Himmalayan was S-Haters’ Death of a Vampire 7", which the quartet quickly followed with Stories as Cold as the Irish Sea. The band was recognizably a deathrock act, their gothic punk in the same lineage as Joy Division and PIL’s Metal Box, but it showed the same sonic adventurousness that characterized the rest of Outer Himalayan’s output. “1980,” an oddity taken from the rare Another Bouquet on the Grave of Free Enterprise cassette comp, shows the most experimental flourish, with dueling male/female vocals and a prominent acoustic guitar.
The final Outer Himmalayan release before it became strictly a Rudimentary Peni label was Soft Drinks’ Popstars in Their Pyjamas 7". Popstars ended up being the tongue-in-cheek synth-punk trio’s only release before their breakup, though they would also record “Dangers of Drink,” for the Bouquet of Barbed Wire comp and included here, as well as the one-off track “Misconception,” previously unreleased but now available exclusively on Outer Himmalayan Presents.
All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Cover artwork features a collage by Eloise Leigh and each copy includes a 20-page zine featuring liner notes and ephemera associated with the original pressings plus never before seen photos.