Plus or Minus Two compiles four songs from Kansas City wave pioneers Short-Term Memory’s first cassette album, Every Head Needs Cleaning, with two previously unreleased tracks recorded in the 90s.
This EP focuses on the group’s prescient dance-floor DIN-sync workouts which share sensibilities with contemporaneous early Detroit experiments by Juan Atkin’s Cybotron, Ron Hardy’s visionary Kikrokos tape edit, Shoc Corridor’s extended 808
exercises, and 90s Techno Pop by Haruomi Hosono. Rounding off the EP is the existential electronic soul ballad Words. Remastered from the original reels, 45rpm DMM pressing.
Kansas City, 1983: a band formed, wires connected and synapses fired. Three friends, tired of guitar/bass/drums rock started jamming with newly acquired synths and Roland TR 808. They called themselves Short-Term Memory. Thanks to the vanguard technology of the time, these electronic instruments spoke to each other, and Jim Skeel, John Paul & Robert Duckworth could program their instruments, riding the DIN-sync wave. Weekly jams became more ambitious, and in 1983 they released their first album Every Head Needs Cleaning on their own Silly Poodle Music label. Over the 80s members drifted in and out of the group, and they released two cassettes, an LP and a 7” EP. By the 90s Jim Skeel was at the helm, the only original member, and joined by Tim Higgins he continued to record in MIDI mode for a few years before pulling the plug, leaving recordings and memories that resisted the great fadeout of time, and today sound vibrant and more visionary than ever.