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September 29, 2013 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Flexi discs are thin, flexible vinyl records designed for incorporation into books and magazines. Popular in both the USA and USSR during the 60s and 70s, production of these discs underwent a ten year hiatus in 2000 before being reintroduced. In January 2011 extreme metal magazine Decibel began incorporating flexis featuring rare and unreleased tracks from the most influential bands in the underground. All the Flexi-Series tracks may be streamed via SoundCloud.

Among the more bizarre entries in the series is a cover of The Specials tune Man At C & A by harsh industrial black metallers Anaal Nathrakh, which sounds very wrong and but really works, particularly if you listen to the original first. Other ear-catching tunes include a G.G. Allin cover by rotted meat enthusiasts Watain; the reintroduction of a revered institution in Godflesh after a 12-year hiatus; and a surprising acoustic rendition of Whispering World by Royal Thunder.

Other choice cuts from the full list:
Brutal Truth: Walking Corpse 2112/You Should Know Better
Revocation: Pull The Plug (Death cover)
Napalm Death: Legacy was Yesterday
Agoraphobic Nosebleed: Merry Chrystmeth
In Solitude: Mother of Mercy (Samhain/Danzig cover)
posted by Existential Dread (37 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Woah. I was just thinking about Godflesh last week, and had been listening to some Techno Animal, and now you tell me they're back together?
posted by Hoopo at 8:25 PM on September 29, 2013


Not only that, they're touring the states!
posted by Existential Dread at 8:29 PM on September 29, 2013


HOLY SHIT GODFLESH IS BACK TOGETHER HOLY FLYING SAUCER SHIT

im a little excited dont mind me
posted by elizardbits at 8:30 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


I guess Justin has found a good balance between sad/pretty/sludgy and droned/angry/sludgy. Which is good, because I love both bands.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:36 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, flexi disc is such a ridiculous format to love but I don't even care. I've gotta check these out. My favorite flexi is still National Geographic's SpaceSounds though. Crazy 1980 sciencey sound collage (Google is your friend for a listen, probably not cool to link a download here though). Protip: if you take up flexi disc collecting, make sure you get a conical stylus for your turntable because elliptical or thinner stylii can mess them up (same goes for old styrene 45s).
posted by jason_steakums at 8:37 PM on September 29, 2013


One of the best flexidiscs ever was Billy and The Boingers featuring Bill T. Cat of Bloom County fame.
posted by planetesimal at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2013 [24 favorites]


I just realized I still have my flexidisc from Billy and the Boingers Bootleg but I have nothing to play it on cause the sl12's are in storage somewhere.

sob
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


DUDE THAT'S AWESOME

I often refer to my dog as Mucky Pup in honor of that track (and the fact that she likes to get muddy)
posted by Existential Dread at 8:46 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The label Joyful Noise has a monthly subscription series for flexidiscs.
posted by dobbs at 8:46 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came here to discuss Billy and the Boingers. Was not disappointed.

Metafilter, I fucking love you.

I was dressed up and out for dinner at a nice restaurant with my girlfriend a few years back when a guy came in wearing a spiked leather jacket and a ripped Billy and the Boingers t-shirt. We both glanced over at him, then back at each other, and she said, "So ... do you feel like a huge sellout too?"
posted by Myca at 8:48 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]




I just realized I still have my flexidisc from Billy and the Boingers Bootleg but I have nothing to play it on cause the sl12's are in storage somewhere.

I don't even know where mine is :( Although thanks to this post, I now know via wikipedia that "U-Stink-But-I-♥-U" was recorded by Mucky Pup.
posted by heathkit at 9:00 PM on September 29, 2013


"must be able to grimace musically"
posted by elizardbits at 9:16 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The coolest thing about flexis is how transient they are. One play damages them; three plays and it's close to ruined. We have a box full of them somewhere, not extreme metal but obscure indiepop. Sha-la-la forever!
posted by Fnarf at 9:17 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had MAD Magazine's "Makin' Out" flexi-disk when I was a kid. I had to place a coin on it so that the weight of the arm & needle didn't pin the flexidisc down while the turntable kept spinning.
posted by not_on_display at 9:32 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who can forget the Billy and the Boingers flexi-disk?

Mucky Pup.
posted by nevercalm at 9:33 PM on September 29, 2013


And by that I don't mean they can't forget it, I mean it was them. It doesn't seem to be publicized that much.
posted by nevercalm at 9:34 PM on September 29, 2013


My favorite flexi is still National Geographic's SpaceSounds though. Crazy 1980 sciencey sound collage (Google is your friend for a listen, probably not cool to link a download here though).

I don’t think this is the same one, but how cool is the NatGeo flexi-disc player?
posted by bongo_x at 9:39 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


THE COOLEST
posted by jason_steakums at 9:44 PM on September 29, 2013


You can move the tone arm to skip around.
posted by bongo_x at 9:47 PM on September 29, 2013


I have 3 of these in my vinyl collection.
The Mad Magazine disco flexi (which is actually legitimately not bad)
R.E.M.'s Dark Globe flexi
R.E.M.'s Femme Fatale flexi
And I love each scratchy, warbly, poppy second of each.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:14 PM on September 29, 2013


Tom Scharpling / The Best Show just released a flexi last month (though it was for pledging in the WFMU 2012 marathon), featuring Kurt Vile and Reigning Sound. Sounds pretty good!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:48 PM on September 29, 2013


I couldn't have been the only one who had Songs of the Humpback Whale?
posted by Houstonian at 12:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nope, Houstonian, I specifically ordered that one the first time I heard of these. Unfortunately it mostly sounded like haunted house sound effects.
posted by 23 at 1:45 AM on September 30, 2013


Uth Das Bethud, Dien Doch Dientaes.
posted by Samizdata at 2:48 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Once again, no Googling necessary. I sadly have that memorized.)
posted by Samizdata at 2:49 AM on September 30, 2013


One of the best flexidiscs ever was Billy and The Boingers featuring Bill T. Cat of Bloom County fame.

And the best flexidisc that never was is The Clash's Train in Vain. The song was recorded to be on a flexidisc and to be given away free with NME, to promote London Calling. It fell through, and Train in Vain was stuffed onto the end of the second record. That's why it's a 'hidden track'-- the sleeves has already been printed.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:53 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


HOLY SHIT GODFLESH IS BACK TOGETHER HOLY FLYING SAUCER SHIT

im a little excited dont mind me


Yeah, they played the Maryland Death Fest last year.
posted by NoMich at 4:52 AM on September 30, 2013


Some band called Creative Recording and Sound Services recorded one of these.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:47 AM on September 30, 2013


HOLY SHIT GODFLESH IS BACK TOGETHER HOLY FLYING SAUCER SHIT

Saw them with Napalm Death in the early 90s!
/brag
posted by orme at 6:38 AM on September 30, 2013


Somewhere around the house, I probably still have a (small, flexible) stack of Trouser Press flexi-discs.
posted by maurice at 9:16 AM on September 30, 2013


The coolest thing about flexis is how transient they are. One play damages them; three plays and it's close to ruined.

Not with a laser turntable! endorsed by Jazz Legend Keith Jarrett!!

(Record must be black.)
posted by Twang at 11:50 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel obligated to point out that They Might Be Giants' first release was a flexi-disc.

Everything Right is Wrong
You'll Miss Me
posted by mykescipark at 12:54 PM on September 30, 2013


Godflesh Oct 22, Metro Chicago. Got my tix!
posted by Max Power at 1:57 PM on September 30, 2013


I used to have a Archies Flexi that came on the back of a cereal box. I think the song was Sugar Sugar. Due to some odd train of circumstances I believe it is now in Mogadishu.
posted by boilermonster at 2:40 PM on September 30, 2013


Yup. I have the REM Dark Globe flexi, and the Billy and the Boingers flexi, another flexi I can't remember what it is, and the new John Vanderslice flexi that the Native Sound just put out.
posted by bibliogrrl at 3:10 PM on September 30, 2013


Man, who knew that MeFi had a secret underground Godflesh army? I love it.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:12 PM on September 30, 2013


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