80s HITS: Philip Johnson


We recently wrote about the 1982 release of Twelve Cubic Feet on Namedrop Records. The same label, run by Paul Platypus of that group and of Exhibit A, also released a record by Liverpool artist Philip Johnson.

Youth In Mourning was the only LP released by the prolific producer of early industrial and ambient music, who released a long string of tapes himself. The first one came out in 1979 and the final one in 1991. The 9-track LP from 1982 also features vocals by Johnson and the track “C81” comments on the NME compilation of the same name. A compilation that was meant to sum up the state of counter-culture British music in 1981.

In the liner notes Johnson describes the LP as “the sound of a warm-air heater on a cold afternoon and a cassette being pushed into the deck and switched on”. An vinyl record that sounds like a cassette is an interesting idea. In 2014 Superior Viaduct reissued the album to a new generation of fans.

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