The first time I heard Psychic TV I was hanging out at a friend’s house absolutely out of my mind on acid and weed. It was 1989. I was maybe 16.
Someone had switched on a tape in the basement den and wandered off, and I — barely able to walk — stumbled in. What the hell was this music, I thought. How could a human being have made this?
Turns out I was listening to Psychic TV’s legendary Tune In (Turn On Thee Acid House) EP. I was glued to the speakers. It reprogrammed my brain in ways I’m still trying to figure out.
Years later I learned that these were remixes of the original single, first released with a very illegal Superman image on the dubplate cover, a reference to a type of acid popular in the late 80s.
These were all gems from the prolific Fred Giannelli period in Psychic TV’s long history, probably most widely popularized by the Tekno Acid Beat and Jack the Tab compilations, which I quickly snarfed up as soon as I could find copies in my favorite local record stores.
Granted not every song was a winner, but Jack The Tab nevertheless became the quintessential soundtrack to the summer of 1989 for me and my friends. A couple of years later the legendary Wax Trax released a quirky remix EP under the name High Jack, which I also devoured with glee.
(By the way, fans of this music will love my Techno Acid Meltdown mixtape)
I’m proud to recall that fateful night that I made out with a 303 well before 303s were cool (at least in America). It was a little taste of acid during what I now know was the real acid era of electronic music, one I just barely missed — barely.
I hope the flashbacks never, ever end.