Despite its name, Cemental Health Records in its original incarnation was only ever a cassette label; plans to publish sets of graphics and other such non-musical product à la Factory Records came to nothing, with the exception of one slim volume of verse.

label mascot
The label name was partly suggested by its first anonymous release early in 1982, Lovemaking In Irish £200 Damages (EEG1). As well as a number of synthesized noodlings, this contained a few pieces of musique concrète, in the sense that they were thick, grey and lumpy.

Between then and mid-1988, CHealth released some 30 titles ranging from the bedsit pop of Ian Shuttleworth to the electronic eccentricities of Roy Watson, from the guitar jangle of Montréal combo This "Blue Piano" to the art terrorism of The Problem Of Pain.

We name the guilty men

Largely orchestrated by Shuttleworth and Problem Of Pain supremo Iain Walker, the small roster of house musos pumped out tracks in an often bemusing variety of styles, switching at the drop of a hi-hat between cyber-Goth, Europop and gleeful cussed-bastard noise, to name but a few of the genres they gave a thorough seeing-to. On the technical side, they fast learned to fake what they couldn't achieve with a front-room 4-track set-up, and produced some remarkable slabs of sound.

My name's Mike and I'm a third-rate god desperately creating cheekbones for the sick

CHealth's major claim to fame was having discovered and perfected the surrealist tape montage several years before DJ Steinski began experimenting with the same techniques in the field of hip-hop, and a good decade and a half before Cassetteboy became cult plunderphonic assassins.

We figure that, since the ceasefires in Northern Ireland seem to be here to stay, we can admit it after all these years...

In 1984, through the kneecap-protecting front label Constitutional Instability, a cassette single was released on which Ulster Unionist MP and Grand Master of the Orange Lodge the Reverend Martin Smyth was heard to declaim such gnomic gems as "I want to strain... strain... strain... so enthusiastically" and "I'm delighted to go boing boing boing boing" over a techno backing which included a scratch mix of Orange marching song The Sash.

Grandmaster Smyth (CON17) began changing hands surreptitiously in Unionist Party circles and was a succès de scandale, but was banned by Northern Ireland's independent radio station.

In revenge, the merry lads meted out the same treatment to the DJ who had banned it. After a single airplay, Get Well Soon, Bobby Ewing (SBAC(S)18) was voted to the top of the station's listeners' chart, displacing the mighty U2.

These and the label's other tape montages, from first faltering steps to Iain Walker's three-part meisterwerk The Vivisector, have now been collected on Useless Paraphernalia, Tea And Scones, A Musical Toy Pig And Three Oranges (EEG40). Plans to release a hardcore techno re-recording of Grandmaster Smyth were stymied by the loss of the vocal master tape, and anyway the good Reverend is no longer at the top of the Orange pyramid. (Makes it sound like he was perched on a supermarket display, doesn't it?)

Mortimer... we're back!

In 1995, fired by the acquisition of a workstationful of new technology, Shuttleworth reactivated Cemental Health Records with a selection of new titles, re-releases in CD format and compilations, as Thelma Cemental and Louise Health-Records slammed the pedal to the metal and hurtled over the precipice of a new millennium.  And now, to cater to hi-tech 21st-century boys (and girls, and those of us who reject such mediæval concepts of gender), almost all of the original catalogue is now available in sparkling remastered CD form with bonus tracks galore!

Currently available titles:

(click on cover to go to details of album)

EEG01 Ian S. [uncredited] Lovemaking In Irish £200 Damages
Label founder's initial experimental noodling.
Originally released January 1982; deleted September 1983.  Deservedly.
Now with 7 bonus tracks!
EEG02 Ian S. Chew Bastille Relevance
First bedroom-recorded songs. 
Originally released February 1983.
Now with 4 bonus tracks!
EEG03 Robert Ehrlich Radio Tiranë
Electronic research recordings by a now-professor of music at Leipzig.
Originally released April 1983.
EEG04 Red Ellipsoid Music For Blackmail
As-live selection of covers by the label's first supergroup.
Originally released August 1982.
EEG05 Roy Watson The Twinkie Plea
Primitive electro-funk grinds.
Originally released September 1982.
Now with 3 bonus tracks!
EEG06This “Blue Piano” Exhibit A
Early recordings by Canadian guitar-smart combo.
Originally released August 1982; deleted September 1983.
Now with 7 bonus tracks plus additional 16-track CD 
Exhibit B: The Sabrina Tapes with vocalist Liz Rapagna!
EEG07 Show Us Your Nuts sampler
First showcase of extant catalogue plus related output.
Originally released December 1982.
Now with 3 bonus tracks!
EEG08 Iain Walker Suffocating In Whitby
Demented nihilist's first bleak sound sculptures.
Originally released January 1984.
Now with 3 bonus tracks!
EEG09 Ian S. Another Day, Another Dolour
One side instrumentals, one side vocals.  In the days when albums had two sides.
Originally released June 1983.
Now with 4 bonus tracks!
EEG10 The Problem Of Pain Gentlemen Taken And Done For
Gleeful, pounding cussed-bastard noise-terrorism.
Originally released February 1984.
Now with 3 bonus tracks!
EEG11 This “Blue Piano” Dick And Jane Eat God
4-track recordings of jangular pop genius.
Originally released September 1983.
Now with 7 bonus tracks!
EEG13 More Songs About Christians And Flesh sampler
What a difference a year makes: lots more pseudonyms.
Originally released March 1984.
Now with 4 bonus tracks!
EEG14 Ian S. Imam?
Featuring multi-part concept song cycle Key Zero.
Originally released April 1984.
Now with 2 bonus tracks!
EEG15 Roy Watson presents Good Morning, Mr Bland
Collection of perverse cover versions.
Originally released March 1987.
Now with 4 bonus tracks!
EEG16 Iain Walker Black Animal Summer
More gloom, plus genius tape montage trilogy The Vivisector.
Originally released April 1987.
Now with 4 bonus tracks!
EEG19 Ian S. Bread And Combat (I Pin The Devil)
The most remarkable synth-pop ever captured on a twin-deck cassette machine.
Originally released April 1985.
Now with 4 bonus tracks!
EEG22 This “Blue Piano” Ciné-Royal
Canadian guitar band's chef d'oeuvre.
Originally released January 1986.
Now with 8 bonus tracks!  Some bonus tracks originally released on EEG33.
EEG23 Endel Öpik Surface Textures
Pre-Goth electronica from LibDem MP's now sadly deceased brother.
Originally released December 1987.
Now with 3 bonus tracks!
EEG26 Baissez Les Aveugles export sampler/birthday jamboree
The definitive first-phase CHealth compilation.
Originally released September 1986.
EEG29 Ian S. Close Enough To Fun
One man and his bedroom jangles.
Originally released September 1985.
Now with 5 bonus tracks plus side project The Re-Animators'
The Sainsbury's Translucent Soap E.P. (originally released January 1986).
EEG33 This “Blue Piano” Cut
Posthumous collection of rarities and classics manqués.
Originally released January 1988.
Now with 10 bonus tracks! Some bonus tracks originally released on EEG22.
EEG35 Music for Camp Concentration
Score for unstaged SF play.
Originally released January 1988.
Now with 2 bonus tracks!
EEG40 Useless Paraphernalia, Tea And Scones, A Musical Toy Pig And Three Oranges
The entire output of tape montages from the label that invented the form.
Originally released April 2000.
Includes former cassingles CON17Grandmaster Smyth and 
the Rock Steady Lodge Grandmaster Smyth originally released July 1984 
in the Constitutional Instability imprint; SBAC(S)18Get Well Soon,
Bobby Ewing: A Tribute to Davy Sims originally released August 1984 for 
the South Belfast Arts Co-Operative.
EEG48 Ian S. The Prime Number Shitting Bear (objectionable love songs)
A ’90s retrospective compilation.
Originally released November 2002.

Soon to be available:

EEG36 Ian S. A Wordy Guy
"A wordy guy" is the verdict of Radiohead's Ed O'Brien on the label stalwart 
whose solo and collaborative work is showcased on this compilation.
Originally released January 1995.
EEG39 Ian S. Get The Chalk!!
A dozen fine songs and some remarkable posturing.
Originally released September 1988.
EEG44 Ian S. Nailing Down Snowflakes
Because it's my ball and I'll damn well play with it.
Originally released March 1995.
EEG49 Ian S. Do You Have A Younger Sister?.
"Sinister humour is always a pleasure," reckons cult songwriter and Leviathan comic-strip artist 
Peter Blegvad of Chealth mainstay's last solo offering. 
Put more simply: Wile E., you are... a genius!
Click here to go to the Younger Sister page.
Originally released March 1996.
EEG50 The Silk Society Rorschach Poetry.
Ian S. teams up with disturbed young man Richard Hurst to create a dazzling, kaleidoscopic tiltawhirl of..., well, why not go to the Rorschach Poetry page for full details?
Originally released March 1998.
EEG54 The Hat Factory The Furiosity And Wodness Of Mind.
After all these years, CHealth's first all-new CD! Can you wait? Well, you'll bleedin' have to.
All-new release.

Each title comes with accompanying literature, and all re-releases have been lovingly repackaged to meet the exacting standards of today's consumers. (You never know, there might be some dim completists out there who'd want both editions of the little bastards.) CDs cost £3.00 each + 50p. UK postage & packing per title, by e-mailing here.

You may not have heard it here first, but now you can pretend you did.

Cemental Health Records: we are always cult.

Some other music-related links:

Mute Records.

A Peter Blegvad page.

Harmony Central: an Internet music resource.

Rubin's Rock 'n' Roll Reference Discography.

Return to the Shutters homepage.

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