Hula – in session for John Peel – March 12, 1985 – broadcast March 25 – BBC Radio 1 –
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Hula in session for John Peel tonight, the first of three sessions the group did for Peel. Recorded on March 12, 1985 and broadcast on March 25.
Formed in Sheffield by guitarist/tape manipulator Ron Wright, Hula furrowed a techno-industrial-multi-media path unmistakably influenced by Cabaret Voltaire (whose Stephen Mallinder produced their first single), yet fused with their own esoteric impulses into a unique strain of future- shock rock. Hula undercut its cluttered rhythms and flanged, ranting vocals with seriously funky bass and a disorienting melodic undertow; the media-overload of their live shows (employing at least a dozen film projectors) combined with the pulverizing music to build a mindbomb of epic proportions. Throughout its career, Hula released its best work on 45s, keeping its LP more deliberately experimental.
The press had a few words about them:
“Hula were an important band of the so-called enOf Sheffield and they had their legendary15 Minutes Of Fame climax in 1986 as a prelude to Depeche Mode at Wembley Stadium! Their publications were then only available in vinyl format and were not reissued since the 80s. (…) So the Paranoia Industrial White Funk from Hula shines with its whipping and feverish atmosphere finally back in the new, yet authentic shine. On the one hand, that sounds clearly after the Cold War era, but on the other hand, it’s also somehow highly topical. In addition to the 9 original album tracks Klanggalerie donated the three Maxis Fever Car, Get The Habit and Walk On Stalks Of Shattered Glass, whose sound compared to the nervous-experimental album material turned out clearly danceable.”
(Black Magazine, December 2018)
“Murmur. further progression. Refined, but no less virulent. Still abrasive and tensile, but there is more space. Sounds find their path and ceiling, tracks allowed to drift. Ghost rattle levers the pot and invisible rushes the edging, switchbacked to a pointing climax. Voice and rhythm melt and stagger into the dream-state paranoia of Delirium before the hard metallic onslaught of pleasure hates language. A barraging railroad before hitting the buffers. (…) Murmur is the most exquisite, listenable noise, perfect in just about every way and not many bands could progress beyond Hula did.”
(For All and None, February 2017)
If you remember bands like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, Hula may strike some very familiar chords with you. If not, hit the play button and settle in for the next Seventeen minutes and Twenty-eight seconds.