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Paul Haig

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Biography

Paul Haig might be best known as the frontman of Scottish post-punk band Josef K, whose lone official record played a major role in the development of the C-86 scene that followed a few years after the group's disintegration. Haig continued with a number of involvements in the following decades, releasing a number of records on his own in addition to issuing several collaborative efforts. The early-'80s breakup of Josef K also saw him abandon some of the anti-commercial ideals that he previously stood for, as he also aligned himself with a number of musically varied names in the process.

Haig was most prolific in the years immediately following Josef K, releasing a number of singles and full-lengths under his own name as well as Rhythm of Life. Released in 1983, the synth-based The Rhythm of Life (recorded in New York) featured the handiwork of Pere Ubu's Anton Fier, Parliament/Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell, and the Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey. Compared to the Human League and the British Electronic Foundation, the record hardly resembled his earlier, frantically guitar-driven work, basing itself in slick pop and alienating many of his fans as a result.

A couple of 1984 singles were recorded with Cabaret Voltaire and Bernard Sumner before Haig teamed up more significantly with ex-Associate and live associate Alan Rankine. A full album was shelved due to label issues, but the recordings that followed were released as 1985's The Warp of Pure Fun. Stylistically similar to The Rhythm of Life, Rankine remained aboard and added his mastery of electronics and production. Meanwhile, the big band and torch standards curiosity Swing in '82 was released, which sat in the vault for three years before seeing the light of day. European Sun was issued in 1988, compiling singles and extras spanning six years. The self-funded Chain was recorded during 1988 with Rankine, with Virgin affiliate Circa picking up the recordings, but not releasing them until mid-1989.

Circa put up the money for a follow-up, enlisting the services of Lil' Louis, Mantronix, and the Chimes. A single from the sessions went nowhere in clubs and on the charts, so the album (Right on Line) was shelved. Crepuscle eventually bought the rights to the record, releasing it in 1993 as Coincidence vs. Fate. Haig began a label of his own called Rhythm of Life, issuing a second installment of Cinematique. He also released a number of posthumous Billy Mackenzie recordings, most notably the collaborative Memory Palace, released in 1999. In 2003 LTM reissued and remastered Coincidence vs. Fate and The Warp of Pure Fun with new liner notes and bonus tracks.

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Born:

1959 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporaries