The Softest Form of Wit

oobsWhat a 2013 it’s been thus far, dear friends… Wildfires, fiscal cliffs, flu epidemics, and now, perhaps most importantly of all, a fresh glass of Skanky elixir with which to slake your musical thirst.

Regular readers may remember the Icarus track from the marvelous Moonlight Radio compilation we featured recently, and we are now proud to present to you an equally sizzling number from Moonlight’s follow-up LP, Fear & Fantasy.

The sizzler in question is brought to us by an exquisitely acerbic post punk posse by the name of Out on Blue Six, who prowled the streets of Manchester for a brief period in the early 80s.

Barrelling onto the scene with their bewilderingly brilliant self-released e.p. Party Mood in 1981, OoBS immediately garnered the attention of various hip labels wanting to snap them up. Among the snappers was the London-based avant-pop imprint Armageddon who quickly snared two of the band’s tracks for the above LP’s, the second of which places them squarely into our spiky dread territory.

oobs2Soft Sarcasm, like most of the songs from Out on Blue Six’s maddeningly slim back catalogue, blends sharp, icy post punk instrumentation with wry observational social critique delivered in a voice that constantly skitters between yelping mockery and posh insouciance.

Harnessing funky as well as punky reggae, Soft Sarcasm might be a little reminiscent of Pigbag if Pigbag were to appear in the midst of a very bad dream. Skanking along with a highly infectious funk bassline, slightly atonal organ and, like so many great post punk tracks, a sense of unseen menace, it’s records like this that our blog truly was made for.

oobs3Unexpectedly, OoBS vocalist Kate Sekules went on to enjoy a brief career as a professional boxer – about which she penned this colorful memoir – http://www.salon.com/2000/10/04/sekules/ and now runs a vintage clothing business in New York. In 1981 however, the microphone was her punchbag, and so, dear readers, please – prepare to witness a pummeling…

(Dread Zed)

The utterly blistering Party Mood:

And finally a Peel Session version of Sarcasm:

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