Saturday, December 11, 2004

Regressive Aid
Effects on Exposed People LP
Rhesus Records, 1983

Before they became the Waddy Wachtel, Marcus Miller and Steve Gadd session-men of the post-punk indie crowd, E. William Tucker, Andrew Weiss and Simeon Cain played together in
Regressive Aid. Effects was their second release, first put out on cassette and then on vinyl, it still holds up fine, I guess. I'd label it one of the first attempts to catch the energy of punk and no-wave noise into an all-out instrumental jazz construct and do so without coming out sounding like some New York jazz students or a jam band (i.e., Gone). Simeon later said that they were trying to be "primal" versus "cerebral" and while they may be true (live, I'm told, they shredded), I'm not so convinced its true for ALL of this album. There's a bunch of that "cerebral" stuff that veers to close to much of those awful jazz-rock Return To Forever tribute bands that proliferated in the late 70s and early '80s and later mutated into shit like Spyro Gira or whatever. But take it for what it is. Three future greats schooling each other and coming up with some cool hallucinatory guitar playing and some tight rhythm riffing.

But there's also some cool headphone music that's almost delicate - if the jazz-rock fusion sound doesn't float your boat, then download "Slack Ave." instead -- my favorite cut on the album. Dig the initial stereophonic guitar build-up in "Slack Ave" and then the easy-going handoff to the drum-bass riff (and the slight use of the kalimba). Turn it up loud and stick on a pair of headphones. "Worromot" also works well in the phones with the only "vocals" on the record and despite having that meandering quality of most modern jazz. Listen for instance to the angel-like voice in the right headphone near the end of the track. "Years and Years" also mines that primal vein has some neat sounds even as it goes on a bit too long for my tastes.

Tucker was later quoted as saying that
Regressive Aid was his excuse for saying "been there, done that" when presented with proposals he didn't like. Of course, he went on to become a (some say the) house guitarist for WAX TRAX records appearing with or fronting Pigface, Chris Connelly/Swinging Junkies, Ministry, Thrill Kill Kult, Revolting Cocks, etc. He killed himself in 1999, supposedly despondent over the death of a friend. Weiss and Cain, of course, moved to LA and joined Gone, which lasted a few thankfully short years and then into the Rollins Band where they found another talented guitarist and a great singer. They're continuing to play around, popping up in the oddest places (they're longtime Ween collaborators -- Andrew Weiss produced some of their records).

| Download
Regressive Aid's Effects on Exposed People courtesy Matt D'amico of Demonsweat Blog


Posted by Hello


Anonymous said...

Hello Jim H.

Asking you for a favor here, if you have the LP handy.

I made a tape 20 years ago of "Effects on Exposed People" but have no access to the LP today.

Could you post any credits and copyright info that are on the sleeve and LP label?

I would really like to know songwriting credits and copyright info to "Anti Chair" but if there is anything that refers to all songs, music publishing company, anything would be helpful.

If you can.


John G.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for
Effects on Exposed People for years. I used to own the record but somewhere along the line it disappeared. I've googled regressive aid several times, but this was the first time I found this page, w/ yr link to the mp3's. I almost paid $70 for this album on ebay a few months ago, the only copy I have ever seen available anywhere. Regressive Aid were a great live band, I saw them many times in Princeton and Trenton, NJ in the early 80's. I didn't know Tucker killed himself. How sad. Anyway, thanks for yr insightful piece on this record, and the link to the mp3's.

Anonymous said...

I have a never played copy and just baught a turn table - I'll post it as a torrent / aiff file soon and update everyone so they can find it.

This record is as good as it gets.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these files. I too have been looking for a CD of Regressive Aid, but what were the odds of that ever happening? I actually have a vinyl copy and did get to see these guys play twice down at the Tin Lizzy Garage just north of Princeton on Rte. 27 back in the early 80's. What a show these guys put on, great and bizarre. As the band ripped through their set, a punked out group of fans gathered in front of the band in a trance and dancing! The energy these guys put out was intense and it seemed as though their energy was directly feeding the crowd in front. All band members were great, but oh that guitar! I am deeply saddened about the loss of Mr. Tucker, that is a real shame.

Anonymous said...

I contacted Sim Cain a few years ago asking about a possible cd reissue-- he was not very open to the idea, as Tucker had always been opposed to the idea of a reissue. He also mentioned that he still had the master tapes somewhere, but had no idea what kind of condition they were in (which doesn't sound good), and he had in fact lost several boxes of the original LPs in a flood (ouch). I figure if the surviving members don't do a legit reissue at some point the collectors market will force someone in Europe or Japan to do a "bootleg" reissue from a vinyl source, (which is actually semi-legal if the album was never registered over there.) Hopefully they'll include the rare 7" as a bonus, and maybe someone can dig up some live recordings to pad it out more.

Eric Thompson said...

I'm excited to find this post...but the links seem to be dead. I grew up in P'ton & saw RA many times when I was in high school. Andrew Weiss worked at the local record store and commented on my P-Funk purchases.

I have vinyl of Effects but don't have it digitally (and don't really have the means to convert). I also I have a 7" EP with 4 songs, "Why Settle for Less When You Can Regress".

Unfortunately no live recordings though they were amazing. The first time I saw them was in a tiny room in a show put on by the Princeton Arts Council. Tucker & Weiss just left their instruments on the floor to feed back while Sim pounded away for several minutes.

To the guy who was wondering about credits, if he's still on just says "All songs written, arranged, performed and produced by Regressive Aid". Not much help I guess.

I also have, and am looking for more, recordings by their compatriots and sometimes collaborators the me if you have any.


Zuma said...

matt howarth brought me by the band's NJ house in 1981 or thereabouts while i was visiting matt in philly for a month (up from miami, fl), and later in the evenin' got to hear them play antichair live at some gig. they later gave me 2 copies of the disc and sad to say i now have neither of them. played the hell out of 'em back in miami when i returned home.
john farwell (zuma)
okc, ok

newt said...

Eric if you are still looking for The Groceries album and have a way of copying it send me your email address.