As longtime fans of Alan Vega, we were left speechless when our friend Jared Artaud, of The Vacant Lots, agreed to help facilitate an Alan Vega collaboration beer. He knew of our appreciation for Alan's art, and had previously shared that he was working on a new project with Alan's wife Liz Lamere. After talking further, they agreed. We are incredibly honored and humbled to release this posthumous collaboration, Wipeout Beat.
For the beer, we tried to create something we felt paid respect to Alan's work, a beer that was both confrontational and beautiful at the same time. Wipeout Beat is a Triple India Pale Ale dry-hopped with Nelson, Riwaka, Sultana and Bru-1. Featuring an aggressive dosing of those hops, Wipeout Beat manages to walk the line, saturated with hops while maintaining a certain elegance. We hope you enjoy.
Continue reading for some thoughts by our brewmaster, co-founder, and longtime fan of Alan Vega, Todd Haire. We highly recommend taking the time to check out the recent New York Times article and the first official release from the Vega Vault, Mutator. Mutator was produced and mixed by Liz Lamere and Jared Artaud, and released on Sacred Bones Records.
It's 2021 now but looking back, the mid 80’s the music landscape was different. Good music was hard to find. You do and don’t realize it when living in it, but reflecting when older you do.
I was a 16 year-old introvert and my music taste at the time was west coast punk rock (Minutemen, Adolescent, Descendents) and occasional Sunday matinee shows on the Bowery at CBGB’s, lots of great shows.
I will always be grateful to the people that turned me onto great music, from friends, to the produce manager at a local grocery store (later in life), to my friend’s older sister who at the time had a radio show on WFMU at Upsala College in East Orange, NJ.
They would be the one’s that thankfully turned my music listening habits on end.
Between local college radio, a few good record stores and local fanzines that was it if you wanted music consumption of something different. I fortunately lived where that all did exist.
A few albums at this time had a sound that inspired me, that made music with a machinery driven sound and nihilistic approach that still today resonates with me. It was my feeling of the times.
Three definitive albums from this period of my life in sequence
1. Suicide-The First Album 1977.
Purchased at Freebeing Records 2nd avenue south of St. Mark’s Place in NYC sometime in early mid 80’s. Alan Vegas’ voice was like the 20th century psycho billy rebirth of Gene Vincent and the minimalist droning repetition synth of Martin Rev’s synth creating looming tension was a turning point. Motorcycle Hero.
2. New Order-Movement-1981.
Perfect album between Joy Division and New Order to become. I’m so tired. I purchased this record at Pier Platters in Hoboken, NJ. I loved this little store, the first and last of the best in Hoboken. I think I recall seeing a lock of Thurston Moore’s hair for sale in a Sonic Youth single. That’s different.
3. Swans-Swans-12” 1982. Purchased at Sound Exchange Records. Wayne, NJ.
Manic music tension with Michael Gira’s mind spitting lyrics that paint the harshness of what New York felt like at the time. Talk to me in my sleep.
In life we’re always chasing music and it’s great to reflect on what has passed especially when you find yourself playing music from the past. It will surely bring up a memory or two, much like this did.