While still a member of the pre-eminent gothic rock band Bauhaus, David J had the brilliant idea to collaborate with René Halkett, artist/poet of the Weimar Bauhaus art school in the 1920s.
On July 28th, 1980, David took a trip to René's cottage in Cornwall. Using a portable cassette recorder, he recorded an 80 year old René reciting his own poetry. In 1981, David added musical accompaniment to two of the poems and released them as a one-off single for 4AD.
I stumbled across this valuable single at a record convention when I was 19 or so. I think I paid four bucks. My buddy has his turntable set up for ripping vinyl to his computer. Before heading over there, I figured I'd look on Soulseek to see if someone had beat me to it. I found the two tracks, plus three extras!
It turns out that in 2001 this single was rereleased as a Silver Anniversary CD, signed and numbered, limited to only 1000 copies. The two original tracks, "Nothing" and "Armour," are remastered and then followed by a newer track, presumably circa 2001. "The New God" is a longer narrative piece that was also recorded that day in 1980. In a fitting touch, David created the music with the help of a lute that he inherited from René when he passed away in 1983. As a final bonus, the original spoken word cassette recordings of "Nothing" and "Armour" are included. Although David's surname appears here as Jay, for consistency's sake I've tagged his name as David J, the name he's used for all subsequent releases in his career.
René Halkett & David J - Nothing . Armour (1981)
1. René Halkett / David J - Nothing (2:22)
2. René Halkett / David J - Armour (2:50)
3. René Halkett / David J - The New God (13:23)
4. René Halkett - Nothing (2:26)
5. René Halkett - Armour (2:53)
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supported by 25 fans who also own “David J - Rene Halkett (20th Anniversary Re-issue)”
I bought the 12 inch single for Bela Lugosi’s Dead at Fred’s records in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the eighties and it remained a treasured item in my collection until it was lost, left behind, stolen, loaned out, whatever. I accepted that that item was lost to time and likely irreplaceable. Hence my utter shock to see that I will once again hear this evocative masterwork on vinyl along with an extra three tracks. I recall Boys was included on the B-side of that long list single. Thank you! skritti
supported by 13 fans who also own “David J - Rene Halkett (20th Anniversary Re-issue)”
It's not the 1st time Daniel Ash reimagined his past music endeavors. He quite expertly used contemporary electronics, Stripped was my favorite example of that. But Poptone teleports you right into his sound roots for nostalgic euforia. So mesmerizing to hear these dearest to my ear songs being neatly enhanced & performed by new team, incl. David Haskin's daughter. Studio version of Slice of Life is a great surprise, since Ash performed it under Tones On Tail umbrella only live in 1984. Symbolic ‡ Tentacles