Review: Nitzer Ebb and Mute aside, if you're looking for some high-class EBM-style music then The Neon Judment should be your first port of call. Davo Da Davo and TB Frank made some utterly timeless music back in the 80s and early 90s, but what we really love about their style is that they effortlessly glided between synth-pop and odd, inimitably obscure strains of industrial tones. Cockerill-Sombre was originally released in 1983 and, of course, Dark Entries are here to reissue the gem in the finest of styles. The opener "Please Release Me, Let Me Go-Go" is the best post-punk nugget that's been reissued thus far in 2017; the tune is a bizarre blend of hip-hop vocalism rapped through a fuzzy, electro-like filter that has been playing on our turntable since Monday morning, while "Too Cold To Breathe" sprays a shuddery sequence of vocals over a nervy techno, 4/4 drum machine. "The Fashion Party" bubbles its wavy bassline over incessant analogue drums, and makes for a fine proto-techno joint, leaving "1 Jump Ahead" to provide us with a fast, tribal post-punk bullet that leaves us yearning for more TNJ material.
Review: The mythical Transdance from UK duo Night Moves is given a much needed official repress by Domestica Records and the Barcelona label have spared no expense. A limited pressing of 400 10"s come housed in hand screen printed sleeves accompanied by a leaflet with complete biography of the band. Despite the paucity of Night Moves discography, it's clear the duo of Michael Guihen and John Davis have had an everlasting effect on the canon of synth music with their much admired debut. Transdance was originally released as a limited 12" white label in 1981, finding favour on the dance floors of Europe and New York City yet never really gained the wider exposure it richly deserved. Original copies of the GC1 pressing of Transdance still command slightly ridiculous prices on Discogs so kudos to Domestica for this rather special presentation which features a previously unreleased demo cut "Life Up" on the flip.
Review: A seminal 81/83 record that epitomised so many sounds and melting pots: synth wave, Italo, New Romantic, electro, proto house... The list of worlds this groundbreaking song traversed is remarkable. Here Dark Entries compile the four versions that were cut during its two key release phases on GC Recordings in 1981 and 1983 in all their remastered glory. Smouldering, moody and still relevant to so much going on musically, this is true piece of history.
Review: Niv Ast only has one other release to their name, a self-released album that landed no less than five years ago. Now Snap, Crackle & Pop have tapped up the mysterious producer for a striking record that matches modern 4/4 styles with new wave grit, leading in with the seriously moody "Quebec / Makolet". "Disco Monroe" has a slower tempo to appeal to the chugger crowd, with a seductive French vocal hovering over the top of the steady trucking rhythm section. Khidja tackles "Quebec / Makolet" on the flip, injecting some spaced out processing into the original to create an otherworldly version that does a great service to the source material. Mr TC then pings "Disco Monroe" out into a heavily dubbed hinterland, where the delay feedback and reverb decays rain down heavy over a slow, fractured beat.
Neuzeitliche Bodenbelage & Sam Irl - "Faeden" (5:35)
Review: Earlier in the year, Fantastic Twins' Julienne Dessagne offered up the first volume in a new series of multi-artist EPs with a decidedly psychedelic electronic bent. Four months on, she's assembled another team of musical miscreants to deliver more audio "Microdosing". Oceanic kicks things off with the Steve Reich style melodic loops and gently pulsating electronic rhythms of "Parallel Lines Of Stripes", before Versatile Records founder Gilb'R dives deep into swirling ambient waters via the multi-speed oddness of "Cosmogonie". Over on side B, Lucas Croon fuses post-dubstep rhythms, skittish drum solos, twisted acid lines and intergalactic electronics on "Threshold Stimulus", while Neuzeitliche Bodenbelage and Sam Irl join forces for the kosmiche throb of "Faeden".
Review: Wolf Muller and Niklas Wandt's first official collaboration is a hot one, indeed, and by the time we've finished writing this message, we hope for everyone involved that there'll still be some copies on our shelves! The duo land on Hamburg's Growing Bin Records with Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World, a punchy blend of danceable non-music that is prone to causing mass levels of hysteria - both off and on the piste. Through catchy, wild-eyed blends of funky tribalism, house-tinged 4/4, and wayward electronica, these two have created a world of their own, and one which will undoubtedly appeal across fans and across genre fanatics. If you're into the whole Finnish/Norwegian connection, then this is for you.
The Sunlight Home (Passions Organiques version) (6:08)
Review: Dark Entries are clearly fans of British duo Nagamatzu, with this remastered and reissued edition of their LP, Above This Noise, the third time the San Francisco label has profiled the '80s synth act. Formed of Andrew Lagowski and Stephen Jarvis, Nagamatzu were active for just under a decade in the fertile period of UK music history where synth technology was met with experimental minds. Above This Noise sees Dark Entries hone in on the 5-year period between Nagamatzu's second album, 1986's Sacred Islands Of The Mad, and their third and final effort, 1991's Igniting The Corpse, and features a mix of unreleased material and tracks culled from various tape-only compilations. There is a primal, raw energy running throughout the nine tracks as brutish drum machine hits joust for attention with epic synth lines and the occasional post-apocalyptic lyric. Great stuff!
Review: As part of this year's Manchester International Festival, local legends New Order performed live in collaboration with NYC-based British artist Liam Gillick, who has previously presented solo exhibitions at venues such as Tate Britain and MoMA. It was orchestrated by composer-arranger Joe Duddell, a fellow son of Manchester and a frequent collaborator with the band. The live show was performed by the band with a 12 member synthesiser ensemble from the Royal Northern College of Music on 13th July 2017. This release includes the full show and encore plus 3 additional tracks recorded over the residency to give listeners a full representation of the breadth of material performed. Features timeless classics such as "Ultraviolence", "Shellshock" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" in addition to some Joy Division classics such as "Disorder" and "Heart & Soul".
Review: As one of the most important female pioneers in synthesis and early computer music, Doris Norton's career is celebrated with a trilogy of reissues on Mannequin. The Artificial Intelligence EP was originally released in 1985 and saw the the Italian-born producer pursue her trademark avant-garde style. Featuring powerful early electro and synthpop sounds in the same realm as Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra, Norton is said to have composed the album using the alphanumeric keyboard on her Apple Mac (as one of its first endorsers) which was hooked up to minimal equipment - namely the Roland JX-8P. This albums follows the reissue of "Norton Computer For Peace" (1983) and "Personal Computer" (1984) by the Berlin based imprint.
Review: Born in Tehran and raised in Berlin, Nima Chatrsimab aka NYMA utilises his heritage and melting pot of influences on this record. The album is made in collaboration with vocalist Noisy Vibration, sitting somewhere between house, techno and electro - with honest pop sensibilities. He began his career around 2013 with early affiliations with the likes of Items & Things and Desolat, but has since released mainly his own imprint IT'S ALL IN YOU. It's definitely more of the bleepy and bumpy minimal house you've come to expect from him, with highlights such as the classic acid house vibe of "Instinctual Lover", the sweaty jackathon of "Body Worx" and the brooding darkwave vibe of "XX". Also, the gnarly EBM stomper "I Know You" is worth mentioning, making for a diverse yet cohesive collection of tracks. Chatrsimab has also been involved with product design - along with Magda he was responsible for a custom MIDI DJ controller with German manufacturer Faderfox a few years back.
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