Stratis is an electronic duo from Cologne, Germany, formed by Antonios Stratis and Albert Klein in 1981. They took inspiration from the progressive electronic synthscapes of Tangerine Dream & Vangelis and the proto-techno of Chris & Cosey and Yello, as well as jazz and funk. The duo recorded 5 cassette-only albums between 1982 and 1986 – Exotic, New Face, Musica da Ballo, Film Musik, and Raging Beauty – which were released on their own label Creative Tapes (later called Temporary Music), and which were also licensed to Colin Potter’s Integrated Circuit Records (ICR) label. We are pleased to announce the first ever standalone vinyl reissue of their sophomore album “New Face’, which was recorded and released in 1983. It consists of eight future-fixated tracks that could have been composed for movies like Blade Runner or Tron. A wide range of minimal electronics are presented, from robotic synth pop to melancholic cold wave to Neue Deutsche Welle electro.
Victrola is the duo of Antonio ”Eze” Cuscinà and Carlo Smeriglio from Messina, Italy. The band formed in 1979 but shortly thereafter relocated to Florence take part in a rich musical scene alongside Neon, Pankow, Alexander Robotnick, and Diaframma. Beginning as a 4-piece (two guitarists, bassist, drummer) they slimmed down to a synthesizer and guitar-based duo by 1982. Their sole release was the now classic ”Maritime Tatami”/”A Game Of Despair” EP from 1983, which we reissued in 2012. ‘Born From The Water’ is a 12 song collection of unreleased demos recorded between 1983 and 1985. The band sent us over 100 cassettes, through which we dug to compile the first volume of their archival darkwave ballads. They used an array of Roland synthesizers (TR-606, TB-303, TR-909, Juno 6) plus a Korg Polysix, Yamaha DX7, Casio VL-Tone VL-1, DR-55 Dr. Rhythm, and Fender Stratocaster and Jazz Bass. Some of the songs would later appear on various compilations, but the versions presented here are unique. Victrola engulfs the listener with trance-inducing synth lines, oblique minor-key bass lines, angular guitar riffs, and melancholic vocals. The songs tell tales of youth, love, karma, and the decline of civilization in modern times.