Review: The latest instalment in Pinkman's white label Broken Dreams series is a collaborative affair with imprint affiliate Identified Patient joining forces with vocalist Sophie Du Palais, who has previously contributed to one of the producer's other EPs. Du Palais is in full on mascara-clad minimal wave mode on trippy opener "Peaceful Panic", a throbbing fusion of raw synthesizer riffs, mind-altering arpeggio lines and crunchy drum machine hits. Her stylish spoken word vocals come to the fore on dark and psychedelic electro number "Sleep Without Rest", before Lasznikoff joins in the fun on closer "Everything is Done", a fuzzy and up-tempo workout rich in macabre, low-register riffs, incessant percussion hits and trippy, late night aural textures.
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: Primitive Brumbeat is the order of the day from Minimal Wave on this weighty seven inch presentation of early Karl O'Connor material. Recorded under the Sandra Plays Electronics banner, Her Needs presents two versions of the same track from different periods of O'Connor's musical development and provide further enticing historical evidence of one of techno's most illuminating figureheads. Those who indulged in the brilliant White Savage Dance 12" from Downwards from late 2011 will be all over the DIY odes to O'Connor's childhood heroes such as DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses here. The 1999 version in particular which originates from the same recording sessions that ended in the seminal Diversion Group release A Man Has Responsibilities.
Review: Belgian retroverts Stroom are back, and have plundered the vaults of one Patrick Selinger: a pianist and visual artist based in Antwerp, known for his work in groups such as Logo, One O One and Electric Dream. Under his own name, he had one release - 1981's Passion In The Air. Much like said release, "Businessmen" is an icy cold expression in minimal wave, with deadpan vocals, and haunting synths accompanied by rusty rhythms. More relevant to Selinger's work at present are the evocative piano based pieces on the B side, such as "Between The Time" or "Nature Boy".
Review: Aside from the wide spectrum of gorgeous post-punk and italo material that Dark Entries have been reissuing as of late, they've been earning some serious points from our end for their revival of so much material from Australia's Severed Heads. While the band are up there as one of our favorites from the 1980's, Dark Entries have picked exactly the right 12"s to reissue; "Lamborghini" is incredibly contemporary in sound, and it's subtle 4/4 kick allows its mild melodies and odd acoustics to fit above pretty much any house tune today. The same goes for "Petrol", a mild-tempered dance tune with minimal background vocals and a whole load of filter-attack quality. So recommended...
Review: Amongst minimal wave and alternative synth-pop enthusiasts, short-lived London band Shoc Corridor has an excellent reputation. Although they released a pair of albums and a gaggle of singles in 1983 and '84, it is '82 debut single A Blind Sign that gets collectors drooling. On this Dark Entries reissue, it's easy to see why. Flipside cut "Sargasso Sea", a fantastically spaced-out combination of heavily dub influenced post-punk bass, minimalist drum machine hits and liquid electronics, is particularly special, while "On Reflection" is a fine slab of swooning, near Balearic electronica. The title track, a Gary Numan-esque chunk of mutant synth-pop that bizarrely includes some jangly acoustic guitars amongst the arpeggio bass and twittering synthesizer melodies, is also inspired.
Review: By Italo-disco standards, where artists often got one-shot at glory, Some Bizarre was relatively successful. The studio duo released three 12" singles, with 1983 debut Don't Be Afraid being most coveted by Italo-disco collectors. Here it gets a timely reissue from Dark Entries. The original vocal version actually still stands up well, sounding a little like a quirky European tribute to early Depeche Mode, with a little Visage thrown in. The drum machine handclap-heavy percussion and Yazzoo-style synth riffs make it more potent than some Italo-disco of the period, and the vocal is much stronger - and less heavily accented - than many Italian records of the period. As usual, it's accompanied by a dub-style Instrumental on the flip.
Review: Those in the know regard Space Art as one of French electronic music's most under-appreciated acts. Active between 1978 and '81, Synthesizer obsessive Dominique Perrier and drummer Roger Rizzitelli were famed for releasing killer chunks of "cosmic pop", before performing them live wearing specially made silver space suits. "Nous Savons Tout", which was recorded and released in 1981, remains one of their most potent singles. Creepy, strange, hypnotic and undeniably cosmic, Perrier's trippy synth parts seemingly rise and fall over Rizzitelli's metronomic, proto-techno drums. Flipside "Melodie Moderne" has an altogether different feel, coming on like a pitched-down, cosmic disco take on the artier side of 1970s progressive rock.
Review: Jolly Discs is a London-based label operated by Guy Gormley (Enchante) and Rory Gleeson. Here, Gormley teams up with David C. Gray as Special Occasion for some oddball downtempo weirdness on the Ibiza Redux EP - which was without a doubt one of the more interesting records we had to review this week. Featuring balmy tropical reductions as heard on "Rampling", through to the chilled-out bedroom balearica of "Let Me In" to a moment of hazy and dubbed-out deepness as heard on "@ Rupies". Tip!
Review: German electronic duo Staatseinde return to Enfant Terrible with what is their third release for the label, and what is perhaps their most complete piece of music to date. Unlike previous works, Neue Zyklus spans into more complete frameworks, taking plenty of inspiration from both coldwave and classic electro-pop. In fact, tunes like "Min Min" or "Kosmos" have the Kraftwerk DNA running deep in their systems, but the execution is a magnificent blend of ulterior pop sounds, with influences coming from as far as industrial and techno. "Just Chaos", for example, is a full-blown dance bomb, and "Volar" is the sort of gear you'd see the likes of Stingray blasting out on two decks. For the electro enthusiasts.
Review: In 1988, German siblings Ernst and Hans-Peter Stroer joined forces with Howard Fine and Nadeen Holloway to produce Kunstdisco Seoul, an EP of synth-pop/neo-classical/Euro-house fusion. "Night Falls", a cheery tribute to mid-to-late '80s Prince, was arguably the EP's strongest moment. Here, it gets the reissue treatment, with the tasty original version being joined by a trio of fresh remixes. Mudegg serves up two interpretations: the jaunty electrofunk-goes-synth-pop flex of the "Machine Mix" and the Balearic nu-disco inspired "Alpha Wave Mix". While these are both fine, the version that really stands out comes from German boogie revivalists First Touch. Their take - an authentic tribute to glistening NYC synth-boogie complete with vintage synthesizers and clattering drum machines - is almost worth the entrance money on its own.
Review: 'Nurse Surgeon Nurse' is the follow up to September's 'Your Body Is My Body' - the debut for both the Suspended In Gaffa band and the label. First up is Adam Rivet with his modern EBM reinterpretation, all rusty drum computers and grinding arpeggios like you'd hear from his great Kess Kill imprint in recent times. The early '80s aesthetic continues with Bronze Teeth's two awesome remixes: their first of "Your Body Is My Body" channels the decayed industrial aesthetics of early Cabaret Voltaire or Severed Heads, while their remix of "Fingered" goes for the same lo-fi techno vibe that they went for on their fab releases for Diagonal a few years ago.. or as they label would describe "a trancey club banger". On the flip is Opal Tapes head honcho Stephen Bishop under his Basic House guise, for a savage and terrifying noise experiment which is his rendition or 'corrosion' (as he'd call it) of "Fingered".
Review: Following up great releases by Jack Pattern and Hansen Windisch, Lustpoderosa now presents Leipzig based kosmische-kraut-punk live act Syncboy - who is said to have recorded these tracks live at an infamous squat in Zurich. From stunning melodic ambient journeys such as "Stolpern" through to slow burning psychedelic epics like "Green Market" or "Kiss An Elephant" respectively, or the po-faced cold wave inspired closer "Waterfalls". Recommended for fans of Vactrol Park, Vermont or Benedikt Frey. The German producer sure has a diverse repertoire musically and we're certainly intrigued by what Bodo Hansen has in store next for 2018.
Review: Much like their contemporaries, labels like Mannequin or Dark Entries, Barcelona's Domestica Records have become experts in sussing out rare and inaccessible gear from the 80s and 90s. We are, of course, talking about all things post-punk and dark wave, which makes the search for the perfect repress even harder, perhaps. This time, we've been graced with the presence of Lost Desert and Spleen Ideal, two acts from the late 80s and early 90s who both crafted the cold wave sound into the pearl of lust and romanticism that it has become known as. Between both outfits on here, there is so much glorious music to get stuck into - moving, melancholic and liberating all at the same time.
Review: It has now become the custom to receive a mouth-watering reissue from Dark Entries on a weekly basis. These guys have become the certified masters when it comes to resurfacing rare and experimental music form the '80s, and their latest treasure comes from West London's Shoc Corridor, a band who specialized in synth-pop and coldwave. Experiments In Incest was their debut LP, originally out on indie label Shout, and while the release covered that era's typical influences, Shoc Corridor went that little bit further into the realms of Kraftwerk-like electronics and synth manipulation. "Khartoum" has to be the masterpiece on here, a gorgeous drum-machine journey accompanied by subtle Arabic voices, warm bass, and a seductive swarm of synth flutes. "In An Empty Room" is the other stunner on here, and its glitchy 606 beats and ominous sonics would fit right at home on pretty much any Editions Mego release nowadays. This is special, don't miss it.