instant karma: completely gone fishing

in the 1990s instant karma was a musical flea-market on fire: 4 great albums and a few dozen songs that still seek their equal in the world of unpopular pop music. in every show, 3 brothers and a drummer played hopscotch with fans and industry expectations alike, doing everything they should not do and very little they should. recording in germany, england, belgium and on malta, touring on their own and opening for acts as diverse as david bowie, zz top, and uriah heep, IK always played in its own pocket universe, drawing fans from every camp and denomination into the grand sweet orgy.

sadly, after the death of vocalist gordon in 2010, the bandwaggon has now gone fishing, but the music and the love remains. peace.

click to browse photos

sorry, wrong planet: videos

Birthday Suite (1993)
Silver Whale (1996)
The Making of "Silver Whale" (1996)
SXSW (1996)
Nookie (1996)
File Under Love (1994)
Live On (1992)


No Real Friendship (1991)
Love Pisses Me Off (Studio Malta, 1998)
Breathe (Live, 1996)
Nookie (Live, 1996)
We Won't Get Fooled Again (Live, 1996)
Marty (Live, 2002)


Recorded at Temple Studio (Malta), Gogo Studio (Hamburg), Fear Factory (Osnabrück), and at home. Mixed at Horus (Hanover), and at Jeo's . Produced by Franz Plasa. Engineered by Michael Tiebes, Jeopard, Marcus Praed, and IK. Brass arrangement by Anselm Kluge. Add. Vocals by Alison Galea. Add. Guitar by Franz Plasa. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Fort Knox.

lost album: 1998

Mystery Meat (4:59)
Marty (4:26)
Love Pisses Me Off (4:27)
Go Naked (4:13)
Ratboy (4:26)
You Might Be An Alien Abductee (And Not Even Know It) (4:58)
Whatchado (3:34)
Mummydog/Spaceecho (4:46)
The Sun Shines Out Of My Behind (1:09)
Michelin Man (3:41)
IRL (4:09)
A Word From Our Sponsor (2:09)
Three Cakes for Toad (3:06)
Herpes (1:31)
Planet Spain (3:32)
Dogcatchers Of Colombia (3:45)

Bonus Tracks:
Whatchado (3:19) - jeo mix
Michelin Man (4:32) - tom's demo version
IRL (4:09) - demo version

liner notes: mummydog/spaceecho

"Except for the real drums and vocals, which were added/replaced later, this song was recorded at home on the PC, using Cakewalk, Rebirth, SoundForge and the like. Pretty amazing what department store equipment can do these days. Whatever happened to Laika, by the way ... did she ever come down, the way Vince Hill did?"

A mummified dog is looking down upon me, and gravity sends him round. I wish it would do the same for me, the same for you. And I can do everything I want, yeah I can do everything. How much is that doggie in the orbit? (I'd like to throw a stick for you, I'd love to, wouldn't you too) the capsule might be alright, the radio and the lights. Forty years in the sky, a lonely dog on a million mile walk, on a million mile walk. How much is the doggie ... You're mine, mummydog.


Recorded & mixed in Hamburg, Germany, at Chateau du Pape Studios in May/June 1996. Produced by Franz Plasa. Engineered by Michael Tiebes, Jeopard & Harald Lepschies. String Arrangements by Stefan Pintev & Franz Plasa. Strings: G-String Quartet. Percussion: Marcio Doctor. Original Sleeve Design & Photography by Dirk Rudolph. Published by Goldrush/BMG. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Fort Knox.

grammy: 1996

Freaks (3:48)
Tattoo (4:22)
Silver Whale (4:30)
The World Starts Screaming (5:07)
Distorted (2:33)
Beef And The Blue Sea (4:50)
W (4:34)
Breathe (4:44)
Sleeper (5:32)
Nookie (2:34)
Invertebrates (4:57)
Submarine (5:45)

Bonus Tracks:
Silver Whale (3:42) - with brass (single release)
Tattoo (4:17) - alt mix
Submarine (6:41) - rough mix
Nookie (3:14) - single edit
Nookie (Raga 1) (4:20) - club mix
Masturbate! (4:20) - Gordon's demo for Nookie
W (4:53) - Demo
The World Starts Screaming (5:35) - Demo

liner notes: distorted

”One of IK`s little punk rock tunes in the tradition of `Bird´ (Mother Album) or `Herpes´ (Lost Album), only this time with Tom in the driver seat. Why only two and a half minutes? For us, stuff like this only works with hit & run tactics. Gary Toth, drummer in the original line-up of Chicago, said after listening to the whole album that `Distorted´ is really the only proper single on the album (Unbelievable ...). How do you meet people like that? Well, Gary is nowadays a colleague of my dad. Not all of them stay popstars, you know ...”

Higher than nothing, lower than everything. Crawl on the floor and wait for someone, someone to pick you up. And they´ll make a small boy grow, but did you do your homework? You say it`s nice of me that I care, wait till you read about my anger. Isn`t it far more important that you care? Start to care, straighten up, it`s not my turn to smash all the bottles for you. Times where everything is nothing. Where`s your place? Here? There? I used to betray myself like you do, I never liked damn aliens in me. I`m starting to act like I am funky, I always hated `sure, I`m fine´-talk. Higher than nothing, lower than everything. Laugh on your surface and you`ll kill your inner fun. Times where everything is nothing. Sweets you chew turn out to be deadly poison. Times where everything is poison. . Sweets you chew turn out to be deadly nothings. It`s all distorted.


Recorded in Brighton, England at Advision Studios in October 1993. Mixed in Brussels, Belgium, at ICP Studios in November 1993. Produced by Reinhard Falk. Engineered by Manni Struck. Assistant engineer: Mike Jeffries. Original Sleeve Design & Photography by Dirk Rudolph. Published by Chlodwig/BMG. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Chlodwig.

sweet orgy: 1994

Birthday Suite (4:52)
Pulp (3:08)
2 o Clockwise (3:17)
Ditch (3:01)
Starling (4:21)
Hail (3:35)
Seeds (4:50)
File Under Love (3:18)
My Jealous Head (3:09)
19 Chord Misery (3:21)
The Big Collector Says (6:30)
Gone Fishing (7:21)

Bonus Tracks:
Birthday Suite (3:45) - shorter, for single release
Starling (Bruno Martelli Mix) (3:45) - includes Tom's cut "fame" audition

liner notes: birthday suite

"The single of the album with a great, unusual animated video. A favourite for many, it's about an old man in a pensioners home, communicating with the bugs in his room. Slow forest, by the way, is the nice Thai word for cemetery. The highlight of the song , the elevating finale with Tom and Ollie on their best Pavarotti, was inexplicably culled for the radio single."

I'm not growing anymore, I decompose, I break my leg my shoulder, I lose my ears, I lose my nose, oops there it goes ... And she doesn't know that I'm not quite alone, I got friends on the ceiling, got neighbours in my bed, they're keeping me the company I never have, they're everywhere, and she won't care, that I see semaphores, they see moths, I receive morsecode, they see fireflies. They all tell me it's a slow forest, all the bugs and worms and maggots and butterflies, they're all friends of mine. I'm a giant, a whole world of their own. I'm all hills and valleys and forests and roads, they party on my pelvis and hide in my toes, and when the lights go down, they make music for me ... listen.


Recorded & mixed in Bochum, Germany, at Fairland Studios in Jan/Feb 1992. Produced by Reinhard Falk. Engineered by Manni Struck. Original Sleeve Design by CCCP, Cologne. Photography by Peter Boettcher. Published by Ariola/BMG. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Chlodwig.

small mother: 1992

Sorry, Wrong Planet (2:15)
Give Me A Deal (3:12)
Live On (3:38)
No Real Friendship (3:05)
Firehead (6:35)
Square Minded Jack (4:03)
Soul Goodness (4:47)
Bird (2:10)
No Song (6:08)
Digging Hippie Shit (3:28)
The Variety Of Sparetime (4:04)
Midwaveradiotrauma (3:36)
Love Grows (3:21)

Bonus Tracks:
Shrapnels Of Guano (3:21) - warm-up session for "Bird"
Square Minded Jack (4:13) - demo, 1991

liner notes: sorry, wrong planet

”I wrote and recorded the demo of this song after a good night out and rather too many toxic fluids. So there I was, 4 AM, totally drunk with this brilliant idea in my head, no microphone, just a metronome, an electric guitar, my 4-track tapemachine and headphones. Because I was living in a student home with paper-thin walls and hundreds of direct neighbours at the time I had to be all quiet as well. OK, I could use the headphones as a mic, just plug it in and record the metronome at 120 beats per minute. What do you do when you've got no guitar amp or fuzz and you still want a bit of distortion? You just use the transistor line gain on the 4-track and make due with the rather edgy outcome. Singing? All quiet? and just one set of headphones? I put the headphones on, left side on my mouth, right side on the back of my head, watched the VU-Meter of the metronome on the 4 track, counted my way through the song and whispered the lyrics. All done, I repulsed the phones to the appropriate input, noticed the recording level was near zilch, turned the volume to max and printed it to tape. You can imagine that this technique increased the overall noise level to unbelievable heights. And we even managed to recreate all this in a proper studio for the opener on `Small Mother´.”

Oh, I'm sorry this is the wrong planet that I put you down on. Though the clocks are ticking forward, time stands still for all but one. They all look like humans, yet nobody's sure the are. More than one. Beam us up, spare us the pain, all is hot, too hot to care for. Taken time, we feel the need to blank our minds and start to read. Books surpassed our deafened eyes and all that turns our heads are flies. Are flies ...


file under love: singles, b-sides, collectibles

Small Mother (3:34) - Vinyl EP, 1992
The Show Must Go On (4:23) - Leo Sayer cover for vinyl EP, 1992
Hoverlove (3:43) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
Polly Styrene (3:03) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
Bambi (3:59) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
River Boredom's Aquanaut (3:35) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
Summer Wine (4:06) - Ollie's 4-track recording, released on Silver Whale, 1996


Dummies Of The Mob (4:09) - Out-take from Sweet Orgy, 1994
Ode To Ernie (3:37) - Out-take from Sweet Orgy, 1994
And Bert (2:33) - Tom's 4-track demo of Ode To Ernie, 1994
Sick Today (2:55) - Tom's demo for Lost Album, 1998
Smile 8501 (3:04) - Tom's demo for Lost Album, 1998

Instant Karma / David Bowie show (1996)
Obit Gordon (2010)

the world starts screaming: links etc.

Our groovy old website
All Instant Karma lyrics
The Oldest Swinger In Town (2000)

Instant Karma are: Oliver Hoevels (drums), Tom Ivison (bass), Martin Ivison (key), Gordon Ivison (guitar). All content (c) 2011-2012 by Instant Karma. Contact: Martin Ivison