DENIZ TEK - CITADEL YEARS
The founding member and chief songwriter of the acclaimed Radio Birdman has created a large body of unique work over the last 20 years and a varied selection of it will be featured on this release. Tracks have been derived from multiple album and EP releases, many of which are currently out of print or hard to find.
Tek's songs are singularly unique, bridging the gap between the style of Radio Birdman and a totally new path of experimentation. We're sure this release will be of great interest to fans, aficionados of underground Australian rock, and anyone who appreciates unique songs - guitar and vocal style.
Track Listing - Disc 1 (46:03 m:s)
- Christmas Eve (D Tek) (5:31 m:s) - Deniz Tek
- Black Tulip (D Tek) (2:32 m:s) - Deep Reduction
- Last Cruise of the Owl (D Tek) (2:25 m:s) - Deep Reduction
- Tubular Dreams (D Tek) (3:01 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Heavy Air (D Tek) (2:28 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Workingman's Shoes (D Tek) (3:01 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Big Accumulator (D Tek) (2:56 m:s) - Deep Reduction
- Steel Beach (D Tek) (4:20 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Agua Caliente (D Tek) (5:04 m:s) - Deniz Tek
- Salted Leeches (D Tek) (3:20 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Bad Road (acoustic) (D Tek) (3:23 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Searching (D Tek) (4:30 m:s) - Deniz Tek
- Meantown Blues (J Winter) (3:37 m:s) - Deniz Tek
Track Listing - Disc 2 (51:38 m:s)
- Always Out Of Reach (D Tek) (4:56 m:s) - Golden Breed
- Billy Was A Cathar (D Tek) (4:08 m:s) - Deniz Tek
- Shellback (D Tek) (3:46 m:s) - Deniz Tek
- Dreaming Clifford Possum (D Tek) (5:03 m:s) - Golden Breed
- Lunatics At The Edge Of The World (D Tek / N Rieth) (2:21 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Novotel Blues (D Tek) (2:24 m:s) - Deep Reduction
- 100 Fools (D Tek) (2:42 m:s) - Dodge Main
- Ships In (D Tek / M Sisto) (3:31 m:s) - Deniz Tek
- What It's For (D Tek) (2:59 m:s) - Golden Breed
- Photo Album (D Tek) (3:50 m:s) - Radio Birdman
- Flight 19 (D Tek / B Masanes) (4:48 m:s) - Golden Breed
- 2 Pam Chloride (D Tek) (3:27 m:s) - Golden Breed
- Imaginary Man (D Tek / K Steedman) (2:05 m:s) - Deniz Tek Group
- Hand Of Law (D Tek) (5:38 m:s) - Deniz Tek
From the album Deniz Tek Group - Le Bonne Route (Citadel Records - 1996)
Tubular Dreams - Salted Leeches - Lunatics At The Edge Of The World - Imaginary Man
From the EP Deniz Tek Group - Bad Road (Citadel Records - 1997)
Heavy Air - Workingman's Shoes - Steel Beach - Bad Road (acoustic)
From the album Deniz Tek - Equinox (Citadel Records - 1998)
Christmas Eve - Agua Caliente - Billy Was A Cathar - Shellback
From the album: Deniz Tek - Got Live (Citadel Mailorder Services - 1999)
Searching - Meantown Blues - Ships In - Hand Of Law
From the album Deep Reduction - Deep Reduction (GetHip - 2000)
Black Tulip - Last Cruise of the Owl
From the album Deep Reduction - 2 (Citadel Records - 2003)
Big Accumulator - Novotel Blues
From the album Golden Breed - Glass Eye World (Career Records - 2003)
Always Out Of Reach - Dreaming Clifford Possum - What It's For - Flight 19 - 2 Pam Chloride
From the album Dodge Main - Dodge Main (Alive Records US - 1996)
Previously unreleased Radio Birdman demo (2002)
Deniz was born and grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a university town close to the industrial city of Detroit. Having acquired a host of 60's R&B, British invasion, psychedelia, underground, and local Detroit musical influences, he took up residence in Australia in 1972 to study medicine. Two and a half years later, with a like minded Rob Younger, he founded Radio Birdman, one of Australia's pioneering, and over time, most influential and enduring rock groups. In these early years Keith Richards and Pete Townshend, along with Ron Asheton, were cited as his most important influences.
After the demise of Radio Birdman in the late 70's, Deniz persevered with music, playing in a succession of Sydney based bands. New Race (with MC5's Dennis Thompson, The Stooges' Ron Asheton and Radio Birdman members Rob Younger and Warwick Gilbert), The Visitors, and the Angie Pepper Band all quickly acquired strong and lasting reputations.
In the early 80's he returned to the US to pursue other career goals and fulfill family obligations. While continuing to write songs and play guitar in relative isolation, he explored roots and continued to soak up influences, especially focusing on the older blues players such as Hubert Sumlin, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Son House and Robert Johnson. Attention was also paid to the newer experimentalists such as Sonny Sharrock, James Blood Ulmer and the ground breaking guitar work of Fred Smith. In reality, although a productive period, it ended up being a decade long hiatus from the spotlight.
From this solid, yet intricate foundation Deniz re-entered the public arena with a new batch of songs and a desire to pursue a solo path.
DENIZ TEK SOLO
Deniz began his solo career in 1992 with the recording of Take It To The Vertical. The assembled studio band included fellow Birdman Chris Masuak, Scott Asheton (The Stooges) and Dust Peterson (Syndicate of Soul). Released by Red Eye Records / Polydor, the album was critically acclaimed but never achieved airplay. An extensive Australian tour, with Bob Brown replacing Dust Peterson on bass, witnessed wildly enthusiastic crowds but was a disaster on a business level. Album sales were disappointing.
With the encouragement of Red Eye's John Foy, Deniz regrouped and redesigned a new band of all Australian players. This lineup, to become known as The Deniz Tek Group, featured Celibate Rifles Kent Steedman on guitar and Nik Rieth on drums, along with Jim Dickson (ex Survivors, Passengers, Barracudas, New Christs) on bass. They rehearsed, recorded and immediately began playing shows around Australia in mid 1993. Finding a solid hard rock groove, as well as a mutual love of travel and playing to new people, they toured successfully in Australia, America, and Europe over the next 2 to 3 years.
Red Eye went on to release the album Outside (1994) and the EP 444 The Number of the Beat (1995). Much to Deniz' and the band's chagrin, the EP's mislabeling as 4-4 was a bellwether for trouble to come.
The next album, Le Bonne Route (1996), was a complete departure from its predecessors. Recorded in Billings, Montana, it was eclectic and experimental. The band lived at Deniz' house, wrote together, rehearsed, and recorded demos. They took time off to travel across the West, playing shows from San Francisco to Bozeman, sharing many adventures including participation in traditional rituals of the Crow, Deniz' adopted Native American tribe.
The remote Montana location and entirely different environment led to new and unusual creative directions that were reflected in the recordings. The finished album was too much for Red Eye, who, under pressure from their parent company, declined to release it. A two minute walk away from Red Eye, a new home was quickly found with Citadel Records.
Before the release of the album, the group flew to Italy for what was a chaotic and highly unpredictable tour. A limited edition CD (Italian Tour EP '96) highlighting various Le Bonne Route tracks was released to coincide with these dates.
After returning to Australia and at the end of a national tour promoting the now released Le Bonne Route, Kent Steedman departed with minimal notice, forcing the decision to either cancel the remaining shows or carry on as a three-piece. Believing in the latter option, the group played on. With only three days to prepare, these last two Sydney shows at Caringbah and The Metro were great successes.
The Deniz Tek Group would continue on as a power trio for several more years, intermittently playing concerts around Australia, frequently with Birdman's Pip Hoyle as guest keyboardist.
Escalating costs of international travel now unfortunately prevented Deniz from touring overseas with them. From this point onwards he would rely on local musicians in the USA and Europe to form his backup bands. In 1997 Le Bonne Route had been released in America through Minneapolis based Prospective / TwinTone Records. It was received positively and Deniz did selective shows in the US with a new band featuring local Montana musicians, bassist Todd Eagle and drummer Tony Horton. This North American lineup also promoted the album with an extensive tour of Europe.
Citadel's final Deniz Tek Group release was the EP Bad Road (1997). It featured an acoustic version of the Le Bonne Route track Bad Road. Other rarities included a sonically pure live performance of Steel Beach, several songs that were recorded during the 444 sessions at Electric Avenue and a ripping demo version of 1968 from The Deniz Tek Group's very first rehearsals at Smash Studios.
Equinox (1998) followed. This album entailed a complete band change and reversal of Deniz' usually minimalist production philosophies. Adding drummer and percussionist Clay Green, Deniz would now record with engineer, co-producer, sonic explorer and electronic guru Dave Weyer. Once again Deniz had a release signifying a radical transition to a new phase which employed diverse instrumentation, multiple vocalists, the techniques of musik conkret and sampled sounds. The experimental side of Equinox would later be taken to its full blown conclusion and driven past the edge of sane sonic abstraction with Dave Weyer in the Glass Insects project, resulting in the exceedingly hard to find CD self-release, Cool and Unusual Punishment.
In Australia the greatest moments of the Equinox June/July '98 tour were captured on the limited edition, mailorder only CD release, Got Live (1999). Deniz Tek Group members Nik Rieth and Jim Dickson returned to play the dates. The sound quality of the original minidisc desk recordings were clarified and beefed up in Montana at Dave Weyer Systems. The results are an excellent document of a band at its peak. During the tour Rob Younger made a spontaneous one off guest appearance. His lead vocals can be heard on two tracks.
In 1996 Deniz had agreed to produce Pennsylvania based The Stump Wizards' album Contains Lead. While they were in the studio they cut a single (Black Tulip) using the moniker Deep Reduction, a reference to heavy truck gearbox terminology suggested by drummer Clyde McGeary, a trucker known for his exploits driving large rigs loaded with toxic waste across America. The single was successful enough that they decided that this blend of garage punk/pop, electric blues and psychedelia could be pursued as there was no conflict with their parent band's styles. The self titled Deep Reduction (2000) was thus recorded, mostly live, in 5 days using vintage Fender, Marshall and Ampeg amplifiers. Vocal duties were shared. Released by GetHip in the US, it was promoted with both US and European tours.
With ultra 60's-cool bassist Jonathan Sipes joining the lineup, a second album was initiated. Even with a more culturally and sonically consistent rhythm section, the group still had difficulty finding the right vocal approach. Multiple singers seemed to diffuse the focus of the music and the excellent backing tracks languished until a better idea came along. Rob Younger was asked to step in and take over the vocals. He agreed, and after being given the green light to rewrite lyrics and melodies as needed, traveled from Australia to Al Cox's Studio 213 in Mechanicsburg PA. The vocals were redone and several extra tracks added.
Rob's unique and strong vocal approach seemed to be exactly what was needed to unify the album. Simply titled 2 (2002), it was released by GetHip in the US and Citadel in Australia, where Rob and Deniz later toured with the band's final lineup which included Jim Dickson (bass), Clyde McGeary (drums), and Jonathan Sipes (now on guitar).
In the late 90's Deniz combined forces with the legendary twins, Art and Steve Godoy. The internationally famed skateboard champions of the 80's had now turned their limitless energies toward recreating late 70's punk mayhem as well as becoming world renowned tattoo artists.
Forming the rhythmic heart of Deniz' US touring band of the time, the Godoys had played dozens of concerts on several tours across America. Their intense energy and positive spirit proved to be a perfect match for Deniz, who then developed the idea of a new hard rocking band which would give the twins a more prominent role and wider creative scope. Deniz Tek And The Golden Breed, a power trio playing basic no frills rock with a brutal rhythm section and penetrating single electric guitar, played deceptively simple songs which often layered melody and unusual harmonic lines on top of the heavy undercurrent. The debut album, Glass Eye World (2003), was released in the US by Career Records.
Deniz and the Godoys' partnership continues to this day, in the form of West Coast based renegade punk group The Last Of The Bad Men, with singer Danny Creadon and bassist Troy Zak. They have released two albums, Nowhere Is Safe and Ride, on the Godoy's DHD label.
In the early '90s Alive Records' Patrick Boissel began a crusade to resurrect the Detroit Sound. When Deniz and Wayne Kramer were asked to lead the effort, both agreed. Dodge Main, named after the now defunct automobile assembly plant in central Detroit, was born.
Less than a week after returning from touring Italy with The Deniz Tek Group, Deniz flew to LA to record. Scott Morgan (The Rationals, Sonics Rendezvous Band) had been recruited to sing, with Paul Ill on bass and Brock Avery on drums and percussion. Recording was done at the Music Box, a small studio in West Hollywood. Some songs were written on the spot, others in Deniz' motel room. MC5, Radio Birdman and Sonics Rendezvous standards also made the cut. The entire album was ultimately tracked in less than 5 days. Released by Alive in 1996, it received rave reviews and a 4 star treatment in Rolling Stone.
The band has gotten together for occasional live shows. Currently there is an unreleased live concert tape waiting in the wings featuring the band at peak power in Cleveland with bassist Gary Rasmussen and drummer Scott Asheton. Deniz' association with friends Wayne Kramer, Dennis Thompson and Michael Davis later culminated with Deniz joining the pacific leg of the DKT-MC5 world tour, playing the MC5 back catalogue to sold out houses and festivals in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.