Nirosta Steel – Foxy Pup


The sounds of yesteryear will always be emulated by musicians: there are a lot of new tracks that sound, or try to sound, old. But it is a lot rarer to find an old record that sounds new.

‘Foxy Pup’ is one such track, produced no less than thirty years ago, it might just as well have been recorded yesterday. That’s not to say it’s futuristic or even ground-breaking in its use of production techniques, but it certainly adheres to some of the more finely-spun, spacey sounds of modern ‘deep’ electronic music.

The three tracks in question were produced on tape by Bob Blank and mixed by Arthur Russel in 1985 for Steven Hall’s solo project, only now seeing the light of day on Hollie Records under Hall’s new alias Nirosta Steel. (Steven Hall and Arthur Russell formed the short-lived ‘80s disco outfit Loose Joints, whose classic jam ‘Is It All Over My Face?’ has survived the test of time).

‘Foxy Pup’ is killer in its simplicity, a minimalist improv groove built around an E-minor chord and a slim, metallic drum beat. There’s a gnarled analogue snarl to the bass, whilst Hall and Russell’s delay-laden vocals are as cool as steel, making for a stripped-back pop gem that is as catchy as it is groovy.

The remaining two tracks aren’t as captivating as the title cut, but offer an intriguing leftfield take on live rock music; their sometimes odd arrangement reportedly a result of the musicians’ haphazard joining of uneven lengths of tape whilst stoned off their heads.

Another weird and wonderful release from the vinyl-only Hollie Records.

Hollie Records | Released: April 20

01. Foxy Pup
02. So Unusual
03. Every Single Night

  • Steven Hall (Nirosta Steel)

    thanks for the the cool review guys–just to set two things straight–Loose Joints was Arthur’s studio invention mostly made up of session musicians plus some friends–although it’s me whistling on Tell You Today and singing backup I was just brought in as a musician friend on that and other sessions–Arthur and Steve D’Acquisto put that project together!

    also Bob Blank was the engineer and certainly helped to sculpt the sound but the tracks were mixed by Arthur with a little help from me!

  • Steven Hall (Nirosta Steel)

    oops–I realized that you got the wrong info from the Hollie Records website–on the 12″ Bob Blank is properly credited as engineer but they made a mistake listing him as mixer on the website–that will be corrected!


  • Pelski

    Thanks for the comment Steven, I’ve amended the review.

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