Leven Signs – Hemp Is Here

Leven Signs – Hemp Is Here, cassette cover
Leven Signs – Hemp Is Here, side A

Leven Signs were a duo from London composed of Maggi Turner and Peter Karkut. Their unique release was the Hemp Is Here cassette published on Robert Cox’s label Unlikely in 1985 (on Unlikely, see here), reissued in a slightly different version on Cordelia that same year with different track order, omitted and new tracks (on Cordelia, see here). In 1986, Alan Jenkins also included a track from this album on Volume 2 of his Obscure Independent Classics series on Cordelia.

Leven Signs belong to that British breed of avant-synth/new wave experimentalism including the Flying Lizards or General Strike – i.e. bands regurgitating their ethnic, ambient, new wave, avantgarde and systems musics influences into a highly creative musical hotchpotch where each song is a sonic playground crammed with musical ideas. Thanks to a choice of synth sounds emulating acoustic instruments like percussion, organ or flute, as well as Turner’s ethereal vocals, Leven Signs’ music has a timeless quality, something further exacerbated by the many Medieval touches in melody and rhythms – some tracks indeed sound like an electronic version of Officer‘s Kalenda Maya. Sequencer programming, synth playing and drum machine are brilliantly taken care of by Peter Karkut, while Maggi Turner is on vocals.

01 This Motion Will Never Stop (5:32)
02 Iraj 11 (3:15)
03 La Luna (5:24)
04 Sedes Sapientiae (3:57)
05 Drain Melsh (7:14)
06 Held In Arms (3:29)
07 Carry The Torch (3:13)
08 Morse Message (1:31)
09 This Inner Space (3:32)
10 Rumi (3:38)
11 Das Seal (4:02)

Total time 44:45
Cassette released by Unlikely, ref. URT90, UK, 1985


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13 Responses to “Leven Signs – Hemp Is Here”

  1. 1 spooky May 17, 2012 at 7:35 am

    thank you, continuo. you must mean “kalenda maya”, which means the 1st of may

  2. 2 continuo May 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

    That’s right, Kalenda Maya.

  3. 3 Godard May 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    very nice, thank you Continuo

  4. 4 continuo May 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Glad you had the curiosity to try this one, Godard.

  5. 5 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián May 18, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Downloading, I feel curiosity about this album =) Thanks as always for sharing my friend!


  6. 6 continuo May 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

    You’re welcome.

  7. 7 soundhead May 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Didn’t know there was another version besides the LP on Cordelia. Thanks as always, continuo!

  8. 8 continuo May 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Note I didn’t say you needed both versions!
    Thanks for dropping by, Soundhead.

  9. 9 Moon June 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    This is awesome, thank you !

  10. 10 continuo June 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    This cassette stood the test of time pretty well, I think.
    Thanks for your comment.

  11. 11 Pete Karkut November 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Hemp Is Here is going to be reissued on vinyl by digitalisindustries.com in Jan.2013 It has been remastered with 2012 technology and sounds much clearer than the original. I am working on several remixes together with Maggie Turner.

  12. 12 Pete Karkut November 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Check out my site tonalscan.com for video and sounds

  13. 13 Pete Karkut February 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hemp is Here reissue out now released by digitalisindustries.com distributed by Boomkat. I’m currently working with Maggie Turner on remixes of every track on the Album, will post when tracks are available.

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