arthur loves plastic : sperm warfare [t.e.q.music? 1995]
it always breaks my heart hearing this (which is why i don’t press play too often). released not long before the empty quarter’s self-induced finality, sperm warfare is one of those rare recordings to pass through my hands which had real crossover potential. and not only that it was fucking great music too. sadly, back then all of my knowledge and contacts were in the left-of field and we neither had the wherewithal or cash to do right by it. so, using the same network of distributors and shops who sold portion control, vanishing heat, lagowski and ghafran pretty much drew blanks. needless to say i took it personally and along with various other factors decided to call it a day with t.e.q. in my mind it shouldn’t matter how music sounds and in which category it (has to) fit(s), every release should be taken on merit and allowed every chance to succeed. obviously i was/am in a miniority. i do remember the day i first heard arthur loves plastic. from the ashes of a much-admired electro-pop outfit then there were none, a cassette popped into the po box from bev stanton, one-half of ttwn. i’d collected the mail as usual on the way to work (the empty quarter was a full-time task, but we had day-jobs to finance it) and planned to listen to this sperm warfare in my lunch-hour. within the first couple minutes of hearing i knew this was something very special and by the end eager for it to be a teqm release. the first pings of i love you and snazz-jazzy, rolling sample of souvenir gleefully shot at my synapses. i’ve never had a better lunch hour, this was my idea of the ultimate boozy work’s meeting! and to this day i have never ever been so excited on receiving and hearing a demo tape. sperm warfare had to be mine. it would stand out by a long-mile against the other material we were promoting, but as i only ever used my own inbuilt methodology i did not give one fuck what anyone else thought. surely i could make this gloriously happy house work within the empty quarter framework? it ticked the electronic boxes after all. but, it was mainstream. it was pop. every track screamed perfection, raging at me they deserved to heard by the masses. and that might be the problem. i always wanted teq releases to be received by as many folks as possible but deep-down knew they only served that small alternative sector of the record-buying public. that fact was wrong in my world, but sadly true if being honest. arthur loves plastic though, the cat who loved bags (yep, we had one too) and his musical narrator bev stanton had a set of songs which easily popped into populist dance blueprints, and without i might add, any damn cheese. tripping the merry lines of happy house and song-accelerated techno every track bristled with rolling percussion, highest-flight path sequential pleasures and pimped with juiced-up samples. this was enhanced brain-dance. this was euphoric and complete with a nine minute version of its standout souvenir, yeah yeah yeah.., the sundays’ sampled-one. sheer bliss. but my kind of bliss which didn’t fit the teq agenda of followers at the time. so, there it is, if ever there was a case of sticking to what you know rather than ploughing on blindly it’s this release. i had never really learnt this trade properly and as i’ve stated before i’m a control freak. i thought it would be possible to blag my way into the realms of commerciality with this set of sublime, solid-state material... wrong, with a capital w. and so, the ending of everything was just a stone’s throw away. i shall take to the grave how badly i let bev down. she was and still is an exceptional musician who continues to record and dj throughout america. sperm warfare should have been her entrance into the mass appeal of say, moby’s playground and if i had my time over on hearing the tape i would’ve jumped on a tube and taken it to mute’s offices. instead i chose to be a little idiot and blew it. all i can do now is urge you all to follow and support arthur loves plastic’s thrilling electronic music, old and new. in another lifetime bev i’ll re-release sperm warfare and the zero state and place in them in the hands of those who can.
available now on mini-cd in very limited quanitities from the for all and none shop
[this article was part of 25 ways to a john peel christmas december 2018]