Most of the artists and labels involved have been more than happy to license their tracks, share stories and link us up with their contemporaries, yet despite an online presence, some seem damn near impenetrable.
That’s fair enough of course, I’m not begrudging anyone for ignoring a cold caller, I just felt like I had to get it off my chest to save feeling like a wrong’un, peering through the murky windows of someone’s punky reggae past. But then it occurred to me that this is exactly what I do everyday, every time I write one of these blog posts or even simply listening to a long forgotten track or a demo that somehow wound up doing the rounds.
Born out of the back end of the punk scene as Hardcore was taking shape, Modern Clix came together when punk rockers Fran Powers and Madonna Archer teamed up with a trio of Trinidadians to meld their Caribbean roots with that downtown DIY ethic.
As stated in their biog “the Trini’s wanted to play punk and the Americans wanted to play roots” which explains the sonic dichotomy between the percussive punk rock of Youth Of America and the disheveled dubbing on tracks like Order In The Court Room and the Ronseal flex of Reggae Beat.
As far as I know Modern Clix only put out one record, a self released 12″ from 1983 featuring 3 tracks stripped back from their earlier 5 piece live outings, replacing drummer Glen “Dog” Grant with a drum machine which (once again) pre-empted the digital dancehall of Sleng Teng by a couple of years. For a fine, all be it feral example, check their revision of Eric Donaldson’s Cherry Oh Baby sending it into deep space as Is Spock Dread?
And for an insight into their earlier sound I’ve uploaded their calypso meets punk meets reggae meets afro funk hybrid Time Has Come.
If any of the Clix do happen upon this post, please feel free to drop me a line or a comment below as I’d love to help spread the word some more. In the mean time, everyone else should check out this live clip recorded at The Peppermint Lounge back in ’83 because “unfortunately this is the Modern Clix…”