Jung Analysts – Here’s Lucifer
From Jung Analysts – The Wishing Balloon
Released on Hamster Records and Tapes, 1984, UK
After quite a long break, we’re finally ready to continue our journey into Hamster Records And Tapes‘ catalogue. This time, we have Terry Burrows telling us about his debut in the musical industry as a musician, under the Jung Analysts moniker. You can refresh your memory about the story of the label by reading the first interview we did with him here.
About the musical journey which took you to your first releases, what gave you the will and the desire to become a professional musician and to have your music released ? What were your main sources of inspiration ?
TERRY BURROWS: My dad had played piano professionally when he was younger and had also been an avid home recordist – at a time when it was a very niche and unusual hobby – so I had access to his gear from a very early age. I’d had classical piano lessons from the age of about five and then I took up the guitar and other instruments as a teenager. I did experiments with sound-on-sound, bouncing between tape recorders, from the age of about 12 or 13 – usually me playing the piano and overdubbing my voice or banging out rhythms on the sofa. I also started building instruments with my dad (who was an electrician) when I was about 15 and so gradually added electric guitar and bass to the sound, and later I had a cheap WASP synth – that had a huge impact on me. So I suppose my dad was my first and maybe most significant musical influence. He certainly always took a great deal of interest in that side of my life, right up to his death in the late 1990s.
What about the name « Jung Analysts » ? Something to do with your studies ?
TERRY BURROWS: Yes, it came from a psychology lecture – I still have the piece of paper somewhere where I first scribbled it down! I recorded like crazy at this time – dozens and dozens of hours of tape – but by the time I finally got something I was happy to unleash on the world I’d lost confidence in that name. I thought it sounded a bit pompous and so briefly changed it to Young Analysts. (That was after abandoning the idea of calling myself The Jung Ones, which probably wouldn’t have been any better!)
Jung Analysts was the first project with which you tried to get your music released, wasn’t it ? Can you tell us more about this project and what you wanted to do with it at the time you released the first Jung Analysts records and tapes – including this one, Wishing Balloons?
TERRY BURROWS: I can see now it was mainly me learning to be a musician/producer/engineer. And the music largely reflected the bands that I loved at the time – Wire, the Cure, Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk, 60s psychedelia… and then some of the American electronic dance stuff that was coming through, like Grandmaster Flash and those Crucial Electro compilations. I’d had a brief run-in with an established indy label that left me feeling a bit messed about, so I followed the examples of artists/labels like Scritti Politti, The Desperate Bicycles, Factory and Mute and went DIY. [Funnily enough, I’ve just had a book published that I wrote with Daniel Miller – “Mr Mute”.] But I struggled to see a way that I could ever make a livelihood in the long term from this, so while being a full-time “professional” was always a very vague aim, I knew it wouldn’t ever be easy to achieve.
So, onto The Wishing Balloons. By the the time we get here there have already been a couple of cassette albums, a split vinyl LP, airplay on John Peel and reviews in the press in the UK and Germany. As deluded as I was, I think it’s fair to say that in my head this album was going to be my magnum opus, where every last note was written, played and sung by me, a work that would boldly traverse the worlds of pop and experimentalism. It was going to be a masterpiece! … But it wasn’t! [A few years later, scouring junk shops and second-hand record stores in Notting Hill, I discovered Todd Rundgren albums like A Wizard A True Star and Something/Anything and saw that he’d been going for something conceptually similar well over a decade earlier. These *are* masterpieces.]
So the things that inspired The Wishing Balloons? One was certainly Holger Czukay, who was another of my junk-shop finds – the single Cool in the Pool lead to buying the Movies album and then working back through the Can catalogue. (I’m sure I must’ve heard Can before that but they certainly hadn’t registered strongly with me.) The idea of collaged short pieces would certainly have been influenced by a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention compilation that, once again, was relatively new to me. I think if I talk too much about this sort of thing I can easily come across as even more of a twat than I actually am … but the films of Buñuel, Tarkovsky and Godard were definitely significant influences in the construction of the album. (As were my dreams, which I used to log in an exercise book – see, how twat-like is that?!) I recall reading Buñuel’s autobiography around that time and being taken with his sense of mischief in films like The Exterminating Angel – loaded with symbolism but alongside a thoroughly absurd narrative. This particularly drove the lengthy « jump-cuttery” of Here’s Lucifer. [As an aside, like everyone else I knew making music at home at that time, the album was heavily affected by using a Boss DE-200 digital delay line that allowed me to freeze about a second of audio and trigger it from a keyboard or drum machine – thus making a very crude form of sampling available to the likes of me. And all of the drums sounds are from a Roland TR909 – terribly unfashionable then but later de rigour among dance producers.]
Here’s Lucifer is a peculiar track, because of it’s unusual length, structure (a kind of medley ?) and the fact that its boogie/dance-music flavour makes it stand out on the label’s catalogue ? Is it somehow reflecting your views on popular dance music ?
TERRY BURROWS: There was a time when the entire album was going to be two 20-minute parts of Here’s Lucifer – an approach I finally pulled off on two of the Yukio Yung albums (in particular A Brainless Deconstruction of the Popular Song in the mid-90s, which took advantage of the CD format to create a 75-minute pop collage). As for the “dance” aspect, well, to be honest, I’d always liked dance music of any type – I particularly loved Chic when I was a kid, and I think there’s plenty of Rodgers/Edward guitar/bass influence to be heard on stuff I was doing. I think it was only natural that I’d gravitate toward this at various stages. (In the 90s I did have a techno 12-inch get to No.9 in the German Network dance chart, you know! And I had letters from several people who had bought Jung Analysts and Terry Burrows/Asmus Tietchens albums accusing me of selling out! My own Dylan-goes-electric moment!) I don’t know… I’ve never particularly discriminated between different musical genres – I don’t think any of them are mutually exclusive – like Leibniz said, it’s all “unconscious arithmetic”.
Hamster Records & Tapes has a very strong visual identity, were you responsible for the artwork ? And what about that jigsaw-puzzle of a cover for Wishing Balloons?
TERRY BURROWS: I always hated perfunctory record sleeves, and thought that the content of the cover should be an integral part of the overall package – one reason the classic vinyl LP is, for me, innately superior to all other forms. Mark and I always just assumed that the artist would actively want to provide the artwork – there would certainly have to be a very good reason for me not to do my own covers. So, yes, I did all of the Jung Analysts and Terry Burrows/Asmus Tietchens sleeves, Mark did Enski Boski and Berbel Nobodius, and we did the Push-Button Pleasure albums between us. The patchwork of The Wishing Balloons is rigorous in that every image used in every square is autobiographical or personally significant – some are fairly obvious; some are obliquely symbolic; some only my closest friends or colleagues would understand; and a couple of them are so deeply personal that their secrets die with me!
The Wishing Balloons was my first proper LP, and having John Peel play it on the BBC and a review in The Sunday Times made me feel, in my own small way, as if I was making an entry into the “real” music world. Earlier this year (2017), the American cassette label Plastic Response reissued all three of the Jung Analysts albums, so for remastering I had to listen to them extremely closely for the first time in perhaps two decades, and it was strange experience. I’m proud of its existence, but I’ve made about 50 albums since then, and The Wishing Balloons has a sense of a young egomaniac firing off what he clearly thought was an impressive arsenal, simultaneously in loads of different directions – sometimes it hits a target but often I doesn’t. It’s almost like I’m trying too hard. I did calm down later. (Thankfully!) But, hey, your readers can judge for themselves if they want – and listen to the whole album. (https://onomaresearch.bandcamp.com/album/the-wishing-balloons) There are still a few copies of the second vinyl pressing available as well, actually…