Before there was RUDIMENTARY PENI, there was the MAGITS. Little seems to be known about them and the the two main sources I’m using here for this little text are Glasper’s “The Day the Country died” (London 2006) and Nick Blinko’s autobiographical “The primal Screamer” (London 1995), from which we seem to learn that it was mainly the later Rudimentary Peni bassist Greg who turned Nick (keyboarder in MAGITS; guitarist, singer and artist in Peni) onto Hardcore Punk, well, at least by assuming the character Nat in “Primal Screamer” is Nick’s literary alter ego. Nat, is says there, went to many Punk shows in his teen years, but “Greg is educating him with regard to recent developments, or regressions in the genre. They rarely go out for the evenig, but instead listen incessantly to Greg’s comprehensive collection of punk records. They also study “fanzines”, the literature of the subcult [p.64]“, the narrator (a psychiatrist) reports ironically. This would be the moment of birth for Rudimentary Peni in 1980.
Formed in 1978 by art school student Nick Blinko and Martin Cooper, the band was originally called the Magit Turds, before shortening the name to The Magits. The band practiced at Jon Greville’s parents house (he who later became the drummer of Peni and is probably the photographer of the MAGITS bandphoto on the sleeve). The minimalistic, amateurish “Fully coherent” 7″EP was recorded in late 1979. A second 7″, “Pawn in their Game” was recorded but never released and if my sources are reliable, this material will never see the light of day (including this first 7″) in form of a posthumous release. The Peni’s don’t seem to be interested in making this available again, the saying goes, but what are blogs like this one here for anyway. My sources report that there were only 300 copies made of this 7″ and indeed, it pops up quite rarely. Back in the old days, I have never seen it anywhere, nor had I know anybody who had heard it. I had always suspected this to be Punk but wasn’t disapointed at all when I got a tape copy from probably Rob of Amebix (if memory serves).
Most people don’t really seem to enjoy this four tracker and the attention it gets, it’s getting because of the Peni connection. Fair enough, but still I must insist. This is a great piece of minimal art! The amateurish, unfinished character of the whole production, the apparent spontaneity make these four songs very special and just like in Peni, they’re clocking in in under a minute mostly. As much pain and despair as you will find on any of the Peni releases from 1981 up to now, you will find on “Fully coherent”, although in a fragmented, embryonic state. Just listen closely and you will hear that although this is far from Rudimentary Peni at first glance, it comes already very close. Maybe these quality rips will help in revisiting THE MAGITS to those who already downloaded the crappy sounding rips that were on some blogs in the past two years.
A new Rudimentary Peni EP, tentatively entitled “No more Pain” is scheduled for release in early 2008 and after the monstrous, gigantic, overwhelming “Archaic” 10″ from a couple years ago, I can’t wait for it!
Two things before I leave you alone with the music: 1. If Jon, Nick or Greg is reading this, I would appreciate it very much if you’d drop me a line. I’ve been trying to get in touch with you a few times through Southern Studios over the past 25 years (!no kidding!), asking for an interview â€“ with no results at all. And secondly, if Nat Blackspear (Mike) is reading this, could he please return the “Cacaphony” presskit I sent him a few years ago to make copies? I’d be chuffed.
PS: Oh yes, this came with an insert, the “Magitzine”. I’m still missing it, but should hopefully be receiving it soon. If anybody wants to provide scans in the meantime, that’d be of a rather nifty nature.Â