The Wolfgang Press

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These guys don't get enough love around here. Are you a fan? Stand up and be counted! There's only two piddly threads here with their name in, one of which is dedicated to The Burden Of Mules, an album I think is one of their poorest releases. It's adventuresome, sure, but always strikes me as boring for some reason.

Standing Up Straight and Legendary were two fave albums of my high school years but over time a strange thing has occured where Legendary has proven to be timeless but Standing Up feels like I've played it too many times.

I'm currently digging out Big Sex & Bird Wood Cage for the hell of it. I'd like to hear Queer again, too. I think I quit following them after that, but I found this track they did with Jah Wobble in 1995 called "Chains" that I'm going to listen to here in a minute. I seem to have a vague memory of Funky Little Demons being disappointing.

Of course I'm crazy about the Mass "Labour Of Love" album, and Rema Rema but I've already discussed that elsewhere on this board.

Here's a snippet from Wikipedia as to what these guys are doing now:

Michael Allen is now with the band Geniuser, who released an album Mud Black on the Danish Phisteria label in 2005, Andrew Gray records under the name Limehouse Outlaw and released an album Homegrown on his own label in 2003, and Mark Cox is currently working on music, but as yet, has no name for it.

Bimble's Gonna Tremble (Bimble...), Sunday, 16 April 2006 20:06 (eighteen years ago) link

mama told me not to come 12 inch and kansas 12 inch are all i really need, but i find them indispensable to me and my life. mama told me, especially, is a big part of my life. i know, right, wolfgang press, but there you go.

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 16 April 2006 20:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Brilliant, of course,

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 16 April 2006 20:42 (eighteen years ago) link

I totally need to hear Bird Wood Cage again..been forever and it's great.

cs appleby (cs appleby), Sunday, 16 April 2006 20:59 (eighteen years ago) link

i find it hard to believe that there is no s/d/c/d thread already.

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 16 April 2006 21:05 (eighteen years ago) link

I love this band. Such a weird approach - the funk thing, no one was really doing it like them at the time. Yeah, I still listen to them. They can't sing but they have 'soul' in some strange way. Love the cover of 'Respect', it's a hilarious 'drag' take.

yarn, Sunday, 16 April 2006 22:30 (eighteen years ago) link

I only had the weird first album, it's long gone from my stacks. still have the cool "Fire Eater" track from Abstract #5 which is from that era. Much more like a subdued artsy Rema-Rema than the later period smooth dance machine.

that later stuff is good too but I never had the albums. Should look for those...

sleeve (sleeve), Sunday, 16 April 2006 22:51 (eighteen years ago) link

I love both Bird Wood Cage and Queer. I ended digging out BWC after I listened to the LCD Soundsystem album. Everyone talks about the Fall but I think LCD sound like a mediocre Wolfgang Press cover band.

EZ Snappin (EZSnappin), Monday, 17 April 2006 00:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Another second for the briliance of Bird Wood Cage, which is IMHO the standout album, not least because Flood, in one of his early productions, polished the Metal Box sonics into sharp focus. Allen's bass is deeply dready here.


Micheal Allen has returned to music after a decades hiatus in a collaboration with Giuseppe de Bellis called Geniuser. Their debut, Mud Black (2005) on the Danish Phisteria label, is groovy glichy electronica with Allen in good vocal form. Sonically, its probably closer in feel to Bird Wood Cage than to any other WGP album.
I've only given one listen so far, but its definitely a keeper.

AFAIK, the only easy way to obtain a legitimate copy for US folks is through 4AD mail order.

Darryl Roy (35 Hertz), Monday, 17 April 2006 06:43 (eighteen years ago) link

I love WP, especially Standing up Straight. The first song of theirs I'd heard though was "Cut the Tree" off the "Lonely is an Eyesore" 4AD compilation (which I recall reading once was originally going to end up on the "water" ep but didnt? Dont know if thats right though). "Cut the Tree" is a brilliantly moody song, and has a suitably 4AD-of-the-time clip: off the wall and artwanky but with a perverse streak of humour, which I like a lot.

Although often he does caterwaul a bit off key, I find myself thinking Allen sounds like Cave in some things like "I am the Crime".

I have Bird Wood Cage on vinyl, have done for years, and havent given it a listen in ages. Might do so.

Trayce (trayce), Monday, 17 April 2006 07:39 (eighteen years ago) link

i absolutely adore wolfgang press. bwc is my favorite whole record. standing up straight and lengendary... (the comp) though are utter genius as well, if not for "i am the crime" alone on standing up straight. though i even have a soft spot for queer and funky little demons.

ehbenoit, Monday, 17 April 2006 11:59 (eighteen years ago) link

Heh. I heard Going South and loved it from a CMJ. My dad liked it enough that he bought the album, and we were both pretty disappointed. My dad dissed it as "too gay." Now that I've kinda gotten over all of the high school angst macho bullshit of what I was listening to when I heard it, I wonder if I'd like it.

js (honestengine), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:23 (eighteen years ago) link

I love that butch gay funk thing they have going on. I loved when they called their album 'queer'. I don't know if they're gay or not, but they sound 'queer'.

yarn, Monday, 17 April 2006 18:33 (eighteen years ago) link

"time .. its all a question of time."


mark e (mark e), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 14:11 (eighteen years ago) link

I am always astounded that more people aren't into these guys..

Pookas (Pookas), Thursday, 20 April 2006 13:03 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Oddly enough I just finally got the Mass album the other day.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 02:14 (eighteen years ago) link


Twitchety Twitch Manic Toy System (Bimble...), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 03:11 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...

just 'cause:

2 ears + 1 ❤ (Pillbox), Sunday, 22 February 2009 10:19 (fifteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

Been on a deep dive with these guys who I just discovered (only vaguely remember Girl Like You from that time) - some of the latter tunes on Funky Little Demons (eg Chains or Executioner) sound like funky Sisters of Mercy. Love it

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 2 October 2023 15:09 (nine months ago) link

nine months pass...

In 'news I did not expect'...

Ned Raggett, Monday, 8 July 2024 16:01 (four days ago) link

Relevant PR:

The new album features core members Michael Allen and Andrew Gray, joined by Stephen Gray, Andrew’s brother. Whereas their last studio release (Unremembered Remembered, a compilation of unreleased material from 1995 recorded by Allen and Gray) leaned toward ecstatic soul and a rhythmic palette typical of the time, A 2nd Shape finds the trio less concerned with anything approaching funky, opting instead for a brooding yet vital set of tracks, reintroducing a reinvigorated band.

Talking about the new album, The Wolfgang Press explain, “This album arrived naturally and organically. The tracks came about from a measured process, and we feel A 2nd Shape is timely and essential. We also feel Downwards Records has fitted in perfectly with this process, their enthusiasm for this project has been tangible and encouraging.”

The original post-punk era looms larger over these new recordings, which are sounding powerful and full of life. Allen's bass playing is as prominent as it has been since their debut, and though they're sounding moodier than they have since those early days, A 2nd Shape feels like music for these times, the only kind of statement a group can make after enduring the growing malaise of recent years. For all the moments of atmospheric contemplation, the trademark TWP confidence remains in place.

Talking about the recording process, they go on to say “For this project we wanted the record to be made without the use of computers. It was important for us that the tracks were recorded on tape and played live as a band, with very little tampering/overdubbing. We purposely limited ourselves in the number of tracks we could record by using an old ADAT 8-track machine and the result of how well this worked surprised us all.”

Known for drawing lines between his own techno and the post-punk groups that inspired it, Karl O'Connor's Downwards Records is a fitting label to launch this rebirth. He recalls witnessing The Wolfgang Press blow a few of his favourite bands off the stage in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and chose Bird Wood Cage when recently asked to write about a favourite sleeve for The Wire. The vibe evoked by the reinvigorated TWP has channelled the isolation felt by many into an album that sits alongside their best work.

A 2nd Shape will be released on Downwards Records on 27 September 2024

Ned Raggett, Monday, 8 July 2024 17:11 (four days ago) link


licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 8 July 2024 20:10 (four days ago) link


Bernard Quidbins (NickB), Monday, 8 July 2024 20:13 (four days ago) link

still play 'kansas' every once in a while, that sounds sick bumped up a few bpm

Bernard Quidbins (NickB), Monday, 8 July 2024 20:20 (four days ago) link

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