Yesterday we presented the preferences of our readers from last year, now this is a list of 20 albums from 2019 that made an impression on us.
We have three pure electro albums from E.R.P., Jeremiah R. and Plant43 and the new electro-synthy album of veteran David Carretta, his first solo album for ten years. On the darker side of the synth palette we have two EBM/synth-pop albums from Boy Harsher and Years Of Denial, the debut album of Kris Baha, the third album of Greek producer June, a new one from Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers under his new moniker Opposing Currents and two more industrial albums from Autumns and Colombian Filmmaker.
On the other had we have two acid gems from DimDJ and Paranoid London, the first ever Gladio album, the second album from Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani and an experimental/ambient album from veteran Function on Tresor.
So, here it is compiled in chronological order.
2019 is coming to the end so it’s that time of the year when we look back and see what caught our attention the most. As the tradition is on our side, we look first at the preferences of our readers and this is a top 3 of the most appreciated albums, compilations, mixes and other stuff.
Tel Aviv born, Berlin based duo TV.OUT make their Dark Entries debut with a 6-track EP titled ‘Dust Till Dawn’. Doron Mastey Charly & Ori Itshaki have made a name for themselves the past few years putting on impressive live sets, DJing around the world, and running Parallax Records releasing various strains of rugged, well informed electronic music.
Celebrating a Decade of Dark Entries with a compilation titled ‘Tens Across The Board’. We revisit our roster and chose 10 songs from 10 bands from 10 different countries spanning the years 1981-1993. The songs flow in chronological order and have never appeared on vinyl, with 7 of the songs previously unreleased.
Photonz is the alias of Marco Rodrigues a DJ, producer and driving force of Lisbon’s underground scene. For little over a decade now, he’s been crafting his own deeply personal style of Portuguese house and techno. As a DJ, Photonz grew a reputation for deep crates and intensely euphoric sets and in 2017, together with Violet (co-founder at his Radio Quantica) and Lisbon’s own Rabbit Hole collective, he started the now infamous Mina parties – a monthly, sex-positive, queer and intersectional-feminist techno party aimed at using the dissociative potential of intense raving to create a temporary space of suspension away from patriarchal expectations. ‘Nuit’ is Photonz’s debut album and a simultaneous reference the Egyptian Goddess of the Stars or Night. Marco was really swept away by the concept of ‘freedom of form under the night sky’, the accepting embrace of Nuit. Ancestral, but also socially advanced and utopian; a deification of the night time. These ideas manifest themselves as eleven songs spread across two LPs that wax and wane like the moon. Photonz channels early techno, Drexciyan rhythms, balearic & atmospheric house; layering sounds, creating moments.
Patrick Cowley was one of the most revolutionary and influential figures in the canon of electronic dance music. Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco in 1971 to study electronic music at the City College of San Francisco. By the late ’70s, Patrick’s synthesizer techniques landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco diva Sylvester, including #1 hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”. Cowley created his own brand of peak-time party music known as Hi-NRG, also dubbed “The San Francisco Sound.” By 1981 Patrick had released a string of his own dance 12″ singles, such as “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”. That year, he co-founded Megatone Records to release his debut album Megatron Man. Meanwhile, Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with an unknown illness, which would later be named AIDS. Recovering for a spell, in 1982 he composed two more #1 hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester, and “Right On Target” for Paul Parker, as well as a second solo album Mind Warp. His life was cut short on November 12, 1982, when he passed away two weeks after his 32nd birthday from AIDS-related illness.
Mechanical Fantasy Box is a new collection of 13 unreleased songs recorded between 1973-80 released in tandem with Cowley’s homoerotic journal of the same title. What you hold in your hand is a collection of Cowley’s work from the years preceding his meteoric rise as a pioneer of Hi-NRG dance music. This was before drum machines. Before programmable, polyphonic digital synthesis, this is experimental music in every sense. Sounds flows from funk to kraut to psychedelic ambient electronics inspired by Tomita and Kraftwerk. As David Diebold stated in Tribal Rites, “Patrick Cowley parted the veil and entered a dark world of forbidden forces, wondrous musical panoramas and bold, strident, hopeful possibilities. Patrick brought the future to us and laid it at our feet.”
Proceeds from Mechanical Fantasy Box will be donated to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, who have been committed to ending the pandemic and human suffering caused by HIV since 1982.
vinyl / CD
Velodrome are the duo of Krishna Goineau (Electronics + Vocals) and Jordi Guber (Electronics + Programming). At age 15, Jordi played guitar in Barcelona punk band Ultimo Resorte, and formed Líneas Aereas with Frank Palomo after becoming interested in electronics. Krishna had been performing with Chrislo Haas and Beate Bartel in Liaisons Dangereuses. Krishna and Jordi met in 1979 through Jordi’s brother Raul, who was in the no wave group Xeerox. The idea of collaborating came when Krishna paid a visit to the rehearsal studio that Xeerox shared with Líneas Aereas. After dissolving Liaisons Dangereuses in 1983, Krishna, who was impressed by Jordi’s synthesizer skills, decided they should move to Brussels. There they formed the short lived Metropakt, releasing two songs on various compilations in 1985. Not long after, they re-named their project Velodrome and began to rehearse with greater discipline. Experimenting with the latest Roland machines, which were equipped with MIDI, was an exciting challenge for the duo. In November 1987 they recorded three songs, “Au Velodrome 141”, “Glassfabrik” and “Capataz” at ICP Studios in Brussels, with additional vocals from Annemie Gers. They found a home on German label Animalized, and the songs were released in 1988 as the ‘?? ????????? 141’ EP. The record is striking, dynamic, challenging yet accessible, with Krishna’s frenzied vocals sharply contrasting with the cool, angular production. In more recent years, the release has become much sought after by fans of techno, electro, minimal synth, and avant-garde music.