In 2016, Canadian label ARTOFFACT RECORDS will release a number of new and old Controlled Bleeding recordings in deluxe editions. Also in 2016, the new album, LARVA LUMPS will be available on double vinyl and CD. At times, fairly brutal, while at others, quite serene, Cont. Bleeding founder Paul Lemos feels this new music stands as some of the best the band's committed to tape in many years. Unlike a lot of Controlled Bleeding's more recent output, LARVA LUMPS is a unified set of five pieces. A limited edition bonus CD/LP will also be available, consisting of driving instrumental pieces the band had recorded live in Martin Bisi's Brooklyn studio one hot August day in 2012.
Also, a series of reissues will appear, starting with the triple vinyl version of the ancient Broken Flag cassette, DISTRESS SIGNALS. This release will also appear on CD in limited quantity, featuring the original version of Distress Signals as well as a radically alternate version that was only recently discovered in the Broken Flag archives. Lastly, double vinyl editions of KNEES AND BONES and BODY SAMPLES, the first and second albums, will be available. Each includes an additional LP of outtakes and unreleased recordings from the respective sessions. There will be limited CD versions of all four releases. These can be ordered through the ARTOFFACT RECORDS website.
Presently, the group is beginning rehearsals, hoping to perform live once again, presenting a selection of new and old songs, including a few from its Wax Trax! days... watch for live shows this summer!
The experimental band Controlled Bleeding was originally formed in Boston around 1978 by Paul Lemos, Jack Salerno and Dave Southerland. Later, returning to Massapequa, New York, Lemos joined forces with old school chums, Gary Pecorino and Tony Meola in the first recorded version of the band, creating instrumental music that has been described as a collision between The Ramones and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Their blazing performances at CBGB's and Stony Brook University in the early '80s, along with various demos, and studio recordings (including the group's first 7"), were recently released on the BEFORE THE QUIET CD (on MVD Audio).
Pecorino and Lemos would soon part ways due to musical differences over the presence of the three hundred pound scat singing eccentric that was Joe Papa. (Papa answered an ad for a singer in a local music paper, since the group was getting frustrated by the lack of response to their instrumental exercises). With the addition of Chris Moriarty on drums and a few other players, the band continued briefly, but soon imploded after their first disastrous show with the new expanded line up. (Excerpts from this performance with Papa and Moriarty can also be heard on the aforementioned BEFORE THE QUIET CD).
Frustrated working with others, Lemos soon started venting his inner poisons through solo experiments in pure screaming cacophony, first documented on the SWALLOWING SCRAP METAL cassette compilation issued in 1982. After receiving encouraging response to these first noise experiments, Lemos recruited Moriarty and Papa once more and soon embarked on a violent creative course that resulted in cassette releases on early noise labels like Broken Flag, XXX, and Swinging Axe. The band's classic first album, KNEES AND BONES which now stands as one of the earliest documents of American power electronics, was issued in 1983.
Through the course of the next few years, the group would issue a number of varied releases, moving away from pure noise into more textural areas. Albums like BODY SAMPLES, CURD, SONGS FROM THE DRAIN, and BETWEEN TIDES capture the group's raw, increasingly sophisticated aesthetic, blending elements of noise, prog rock, sacred music and musique concrete into something that was very much their own. Although most of their music has been fiercely experimental, Controlled Bleeding did work with Wax Trax! and Road Runner Records, issuing a handful of very visible, intensely rhythmic records. Recordings like TRUDGE and PENETRATION document this period and have dated surprisingly well.
Unfortunately, these more commercial endeavors never sat well with Lemos, and he soon moved away from the commercial marketplace almost entirely, issuing dark sonic experiments like those found on the group's best works, THE DROWNING, INANITION, DUB SONGS FROM A SHALLOW GRAVE, GILDED SHADOWS and THE POISONER CDs. Moriarty would soon leave the fold to pursue his own music in Body Clock, while Lemos and Papa would continue developing music of mournful, spiritual depth (MUSIC FOR STOLEN ICONS II, GOLGOTHA CDs). Today, we are sad to say that both Chris and Joe have passed away, leaving Lemos to go it alone.
Although various side projects came and went through the years (Joined at the Head, Fat Hacker, In Blind Embrace, Breastfed Yak and Skin Chamber), Controlled Bleeding still exists and has recently issued the massive four LP archive project, SONGS FROM A SEWER OF DREAMS for the Vinyl On Demand label. The expanded reissue of IN BLIND EMBRACE (MVD Audio), which includes "Tormentor's Song" and "Red Hands Waiting," was released in October 2009, and a CD of new music is promised 2010. Now available is the four CD Box, GIBBERING CANKER OPERA SLAVES (STUDIES IN MEDITATION AND EVISCERATION) VOLUME ONE from the Hong Kong based label Ultra Mail Prod. A fifth bonus CD appears with the first 250 copies.
Meanwhile, Lemos and Papa, along with Ruins drummer, Tatsuya Yoshida, had also immersed themselves in the free jazz madness that is The Breastfed Yak. Their debut CD, GET YOUR GREASY HEAD OFF THE SHAM, was released by Birdman Records a few years ago and remains one of the most completely OUT musical experiences you are bound to encounter. Bleeding fans generally despise it, but Lemos feels it's his finest work to date... (Most of the band's releases are available through Amazon and iTUNES).In 2012, mastermind Paul Lemos put together a new, stripped-down lineup of the group featuring drummer Anthony Meloa, who played in the very early formation of Cont. Bleeding nearly 30 years ago. To complete the new band, keyboardist/sonic sculptor Mike Bazini (aka DJ Butterface) also signed on, and a bass looper was comandeered. Sounding like a combination of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Fripp and Eno and Oneida, the group recorded with Martin Bisi and released some of the direct, guitar-driven progressive sounds of their early "pre-industrial" days as ODES TO BUBBLER on Long island's Winged Disk label.
Controlled Bleeding's sound is confusingly varied from album to album and has contained elements of dub, free jazz, noise, prog, sacred music, dark ambient, classical and music concrete. To their own detriment, the group has never cared much about generating or maintaining an audience, but just sort of does whatever inspires them in the moment.