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Barbed are Alex Burrow and Alex McKechnie. They formed in London in 1988, and spent the next six years working on their “album”. During that time they worked pretty much 14 hours a day, seven days a week. They didn’t go out or see anyone. Their high concept was to avoid cliche; create a music they’d never heard before and which worked completely in its own space by its own rules. Thanks to the amazing patience and encouragement of These Records (or Recommended Records as they were known then) the album finally appeared in 1994. Where it got reviews, it got great reviews, but otherwise it fell on deaf ears. Shortly afterwards, the term ‘plunderphonics’ came into being (or shortly before - who’s counting?) and Barbed were taken in by this new gang. Happy to be accepted somewhere (even though they had no interest at all in the genre) Barbed tagged along and collaborated in arduously long concerts with Negativland, People Like Us and the Tape Beatles, resulting in a few live recordings and some subhuman contact. Meanwhile, they continued producing low quantities of high quality material, and generally wasting time on dead ends. That’s the trouble with experimental music: not all experiments are successful. Around 1998 disaster struck and Barbed joined the band Add N to X (it was supposed to be just one concert but they ended up staying a year). No recordings survive from this period.