It’s close to impossible not to like Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. I picked up their first couple singles on a trip to Toronto in ’88 or ’89 upon recommendation of a record store employee there, but living in Georgia, they only came through once in ’92 (maybe ’91?) but otherwise, only returned with Jad Fair when they were called Phonocomb and played at the 40 Watt Club. I clearly remember Jad performing with a guitar that wasn’t plugged in.
I talked to Shadowy Don that night, we made quick buddies, and discovered we had many mutual friends most of whom were in Chicago. Upon asking if I could release a SMOASP song on a future Chunklet compilation, he smiled and said that he had 3 songs that the band recorded with Albini that might do the trick. The one he was most anxious about was "Autobahn" originally by Kraftwerk.
The tape featured "Autobahn," a dirgey drone entitled "Shake Some Evil (Version Fink)" and a beautifully perplexing tune/mash-up entitled "16 Encores". After eagerly asking Don if I could put "Autobahn" on a release, he politely declined stating that all the tracks were to appear on a compilation released on Cargo in the near future.
Well, that was 10 years ago, the compilation has yet to come out and I’ve probably made close to 20 dupes of this tape over the years and have still yet to see it any official capacity. So I’m putting two of the tracks up in the hopes that the surviving Shadowy Men are more happy than irritated that I’m posting them.
I should also add that I have an additional version of "16 Encores" from a Peel Session the band did in the 90’s and the ‘encores’ are completely different…. Ahhh, you gotta love how consumately playful they were with their music.
The person who shoots me an email who gets closest to citing all the covers that Shadowy Men cover in "16 Encores" will get a Chunklet care package free of charge shipped to their apartment, hotel room or prison cell! How’s that for a deal?
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet – 16 Encores
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet – Autobahn (Kraftwerk)