Pioneers in the Post Punk Industrial and New Wave scene in 1980’s San Francisco, Gary Miles (Voice Farm) and Blaise Smith (Minimal Man), met at San Francisco’s notorious 181 Club in December of 1982. This straight/same sex/swing-both-ways late night dive bar was tucked away in one of the city’s most risky, drug riddled neighbourhoods. Stationed near the SF Museum of modern Art it attracted a wild audience of local patrons, aspiring young artists and music heads. In the thick of all this the duo felt impartial to a lot what was going on musically and set out to produce electronic music that could break through the “somewhat exhausted post disco sound that was then competing in the local San Francisco clubs”. Enlisting soul vocalist Celeste Miller, the duo were also inspired by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry / Upsetters dub tracks being produced in Jamaica and created a unique breed of avant guard hybrid New Wave/Electronic Funk.
With it’s influences seemingly as much rooted in the past and the present as it was focused on the future; Dub Oven formed a distinct, mystical approach to music intended for the dance floor. All three tracks on this 12″ embody a signature groove and an inventive synthesized abstraction to express a languishing urban unsettledness and spiritual awareness.
Recorded at L7 Studios in San Francisco with the assistance of the the studio’s in house producer Marco Perry (who currently now works with Bjork) “Skin ‘N’ Bones” was unfortunately overlooked by A&R at several major and even local labels and was finally self-released in very limited quantities. Utilising analog electronics and instrumentation, the record draws on elements of dub, new wave, soul and funk to create a sound that is uncategorizable and one that was perhaps simply too forward thinking for it’s time.
Music From Memory