Runaway Train

by Runaway Train

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This one is only vaguely Phÿcus-related…..

“Runaway Train” is a real-time recording of the captivating radio contact between Alfie, controller of the line and Wesley, the driver of a runaway train. Location: New Brunswick, Canada. Dateline: 9 March 1987. This tape had been circulating among CN and VIA Rail employees and a copy eventually reached Brian Damage’s dad, and then Brian Damage.

When Brian met Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) in the UK in 1994, Robin mentioned that his company, Ash International was looking for unusual field recordings. Brian passed him the tape and Ash released it in 1994 (Ash 1.9) as a one-sided record in an edition of 500 copies, with an additional 500 pressed the following year.

From the sleevenotes: This LP is the recording of the conversations that took place between Wesley, a driver on a runaway train, and Alfie, his controller, who taped the entire drama as it happened. While his colleagues work calmly and professionally to prevent a derailment, Wesley bravely remains on board. 55mph becomes 70mph. The dialogue between Wesley, and Alfie, grows tense. The train hurtles on threatening unsuspecting communities. At 95mph, with a doctor and ambulance standing by, Wesley faces disaster. Suddenly the line goes dead. Can Wesley survive?

More on the Runaway Train, and what happened to Wesley afterward available here:


released November 11, 1994


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Phÿcus Montreal, Québec

Phÿcus was a Canadian industrial / experimental band that existed from 1988 to 2000. Phÿcus transformed from the traditional band format into a network that included over 50 contributors in a dozen locales, with Montreal as its centre of operations. Phÿcus' success was minimal, but their output was prodigious. This page is a work in progress to document everything ever recorded by the band. ... more

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