In eleven years of deep digging, Dark Entries has uncovered many curiosities, lone exemplars of the scarsest breeds. They are lurking in Croatia, on the streets of New York, maybe in the back of your own dusty closet – these odd-ball Italo and synth-wave monsters are too rare to live, too divine to die. Once-lost creatures now have a home with Dark Entries’ new Endangered Species series. The inaugural edition features five specimens previously deemed extinct, only mentioned passingly in lore and speculation, but now safely preserved on vinyl. The first cut on Endangered Species Vol. 1 is the previously unreleased electro-New Wave gem “Munich” by John King, an artist best known for his work as one half of the Dust Brothers, lauded producers of the Beastie Boys’ legendary Paul’s Boutique. “Munich”, a Danceteria-ready cut produced in 1983, sheds some light on King’s earlier interests, bridging between freestyle and emotive synthpop. Next up is a rare demo version of The Actor’s “Picture 210”. The Dutch duo here channel both the minimalism of Kraftwerk and the Surrealism of Throbbing Gristle to create one of the finest teary-eyed Goth club anthems. Brazil is a synthpop band from Croatia, and they feature with their 1990 cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World”, which is sure to turn some heads on the dancefloor. The eerily faithful production belies Brazil’s re-working of the song’s lyrics. “L’Étranger (Ana Gharib)” by Jamal Khe follows, a pearl originally only available on an impossibly rare French 7” from 1983. Khe is from the Ain Beida region of Algeria, and his Arabic vocal melodies perfectly complement the propulsive percussion and airy arpeggios from producer Jacky Bourgogne. Closing the record is the previously unreleased “Abemus Mind” from Marzio Benellil’s project Nightless. Recorded in 1983, this moody, low-tempo Italo groover features Gregorian chant-inspired vocoders and jazzy piano courtesy of Benelli’s collaborator Marco Falagiani. All songs were mastered for vinyl by George Horn. The sleeve is the first in a series of endangered animal designs by Eloise Leigh, featuring the glam tiger in its natural, 1980’s habitat. Also included is an insert with lyrics, photos, and notes. Please assist us in our efforts to preserve this planet’s weirdest beasts.
Dark Entries unveils the debut of Berlin-based, Dutch-born Steffi new project Crushed Soul, a moniker she had used only once in 2013 for an Ostgut Ton compilation track. ‘The Family of Waves EP’ represents both familiar and novel pastures for Steffi. While her love of electro and classic Detroit techno have been oft-evident, here we witness the darker shades of new wave and industrial creep to the forefront. This turn for the twisted feels not just natural, but predestined, an inevitable succumbing to morbid forces.
Dark Entries presents their first digital-only compilation, featuring reissued rarities and new songs from 10 key artists on the label (Bézier, Bill Converse, Billy Nightmare, Borusiade, Doc Sleep, Group Rhoda, Magnus II, Max Mann, Patrick Cowley and Sepehr).
2020 marks the tenth of collaboration for Red Axes, the Tel Aviv-based duo of Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi. Informed by post-punk, new wave, and a plethora of club sounds old and new, they have cleaved a singular path with their hefty discography. To celebrate their anniversary, they reunite with Dark Entries for an eponymous 11 track LP brimming with jagged guitars, spacy arpeggios, and hypnotic vocals. ‘Red Axes’ is their first effort written and conceived of as an album-length listening experience. This work flows effortlessly through a variety of stylistic detours, highlighting their ears as both keen listeners and skilled DJs. Opener ‘They Game’ is a grooving number that unifies the psychedelia of cosmic disco with the early 90s ‘baggy’ sound. The energy mounts further with “Shelera”, a guitar-driven acidic banger, and “Sticks and Stones”, a certifiable club hit fueled by sassy vocals courtesy of Adi Bronicki. Launching Side B is “Break the Limit”, an EBM-laced number that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Razormaid compilation. The following tracks wax moodier, with “Brotherhood (Of the Misunderstanding)” touching on darkwave territory. “Udibaby” and “Arpman” close out the album with their respectively dense and sparse takes on kosmische lysergia.
Vinyl / CD
Dark Entries welcomes back San Francisco based DJ and producer Sepehr Alimagham for his debut album ‘Shaytoon’. Drenched in nostalgia from his upbringing, ‘Shaytoon’ pays homage to 1970s Iranian albums that were on rotation throughout his youth. Eight tracks of twisted acid, left-of center electro, sludgy psychedelia, and things-you-can-maybe-call-techno are a few of the sonic elements found within. Regular listeners will find Sepehr’s signature perspiratory dance-floor vibe, but some songs also showcase a low-slung, cerebral approach. Sepehr’s unique sonic palette carves an interesting space in the dance music world by harnessing the spirit of his cultural ancestors. The artwork pays tribute to ‘70s Iranian pop and funk albums with bold Farsi calligraphy and portraits by Sahra Jajarmikhayat. In relation to the music, the album cover creates a dichotomy much like Throbbing Gristle’s ’20 Funk Jazz Greats’.
A segment from Passage, a party at Danny’s in Chicago curated and programmed musically by Traxx on the last Wednesday of every month. Passage focuses on the new wave/new beat era with a personal collection of music fashioned to alleviate your senses discovering different outtakes and unknown songs from far off countries.
Fear-E makes his Dark Entries debut with ‘Grey Skies In A Dear Green Place’. Fear-E is the moniker of Scott McKay a Glasgow based DJ and producer. ‘Grey Skies In A Dear Green Place’ contains six club-ready tracks to “smash sound systems and illuminate sweaty warehouses.” The title is a reference to a nickname that Glasgow has, coming from Cumbric, means ‘green hollow’ or (dear) ‘green place’. Layering cut-up vocals with warm thumping beats, Scott creates a stripped-back yet deeply jackin’ vibe.
Dark Entries Records presents ‘Fortunate Isolation’ the sophomore album from Borusiade. Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Borusiade aka Miruna Boruzescu started dj-ing in 2002 as one of the very few female DJs in the city’s emerging alternative clubbing scene. Influenced by a classical musical education, a bachelor in film direction and fascinated by raw electronic sounds, Borusiade first combined these universes in the construction of her DJ sets and starting 2005 also in her music production. A sound of her own has slowly crystallized, often dark with poignant bass lines, obsessive themes and by all means melodic. ‘Fortunate Isolation’ is perhaps Borusiade’s most personal release to date. Eight songs that capture a bystander witnessing the world as it undergoes drastic changes. We have disconnected ourselves from ecology, humanity, preservation, care for what surrounds us, for what is still alive. Borusiade adds, “| know that this place, our home has went through so many other extinctions, but | believe things will find their own way on this planet only once we are gone. Entropy creates a time-line but also a transformation – a new beginning.” The album’s sound is gloomy and powerful mixing sonic film sequences, rhythmic excursions and soothing yet obsessive vocals that touch one’s deepest senses. Lyrically the songs tackle themes of forgotten memories, spirituality, mortality, and destruction.
Dark Entries’ first release of 2020 is a deluxe 2xLP reissue of Severed Heads’ debut 1981 album ‘Clean’. One of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the Australian post-punk independent music scene, they began in Sydney in 1979. Severed Heads is basically a nom- de-plum for Tom Ellard, who incorporates elements of ‘industrial’ noise-generation, tape cutting & looping and electronic sound synthesis. As the project developed song-structures and vocals were employed in a more-or-less recognizable mutant electro pop style. ‘Clean’ was amongst the first vinyl releases under the Dogfood Productions banner of Terse Tapes, previously a cassette-only label. For this records Tom used an array of synthesizers (Kawai 100F, Casiotone, Roland CR78+SH1+CSQ100), sequencers, tapes and occasional guitar and violin played by Garry Bradbury. Severed Heads have a language of their own, music that juxtaposes all sorts of noise, in all sorts of ways so that a structure evolves, (fragmented) melody and rhythm being almost a by-product. As one reviewer said in 1981, “It is an ugly album that you simply cannot ignore, it thuds and screeches and makes you stare just to wonder what kind of people would procure such an album.” For this deluxe reissue we’ve included a bonus disc featuring 13 songs, 5 of which have never been released before, culled from live performances, the ‘Side 3’ cassette and a ‘Clean’ demo tape that only surfaced last year, plus “Food City” missing from previous reissues. All songs have been remastered by Tom Ellard, with vinyl EQ and lacquer cutting by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley.
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.
Continue reading “20 Albums from 2019”
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.
Continue reading “2019 Top 3 – Readers List”
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.
Konstruktivists is the Industrial project of Glenn Michael Wallis from Kent, England. In the late ’70s Wallis was a “control agent” for Throbbing Gristle and the Industrial Records crew. Glenn began to record his own material and after several cassette releases, Konstruktivists’ first LP ‘A Dissembly’ was released in 1982, followed by ‘Psykho Genetika’ in 1983 and ‘Black December’ in 1984. In 1985, Glenn spent a week at Chris and Cosey’s studio recording 11 tracks that would become the ’Glennascaul’ album originally released on Nigel Ayers’ Sterile Records. Produced and mixed by Chris Carter, it marked a complete change in style for the band towards a beat-orientated rhythmic sound. ‘Glennascaul’ is proto electro at its very best, with Glenn’s hallucinogenic vocals on top. A musical collage designed to invoke images in the mind. The back cover clearly states “No guitars. No Fairlights.” For this deluxe reissue we’ve added two bonus tracks recorded around the same time, now vinyl for the first time ever. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley.
Dark Entries continues celebrating our 10 year anniversary with ‘Preservation Bias’, a compilation of lost songs and rarities from Linea Aspera out June 28th. The group formed in London in November 2011 by Ryan Ambridge (Synths/Programming) and Alison Lewis (Vocals/Synths). Within the duo, Alison writes and performs all vocal elements, while Ryan is responsible for producing, recording and mixing the electronics. We released their debut self titled album in June 2012 that was followed by a posthumous vinyl reissue of their tour cassette “II” on Weyrd Son Records in 2013. For all recordings Ryan utilizes an analog synthesizer set up: Roland SH-09, Roland Juno 6, Vermona DRM MKiii, Korg Poly 800 and Analogue Solutions Semblance. Linea Aspera’s sound includes clear influences from 1980s electronic body music, synth-pop, industrial and noise. Lyrically the band incorporates the sciences of osteology, neuroscience, and anthropology weaving a new medical language around themes of desire, despair and renewal. Linea Aspera is the muscle attachment on the back of the femur and translates to ‘rough line’ in Latin. ‘Preservation Bias’ features all three songs from the limited ‘II’ tour cassette EP, four songs from the 2012 self-titled limited cassette EP and one song from the Desire Records 2013 compilation ‘And You Will Find Them In The Basement’. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each LP is housed in jacket designed by Niall Greaves and includes a double-sided insert with lyrics.
Dark Entries presents two new EPs from De Bons en Pierre, the duo of Beau Wanzer & Maoupa Mazzocchetti. Beau Wanzer spends the majority of his days sifting through paraffin embedded animal tissues and reading old issues of Fangoria, occasionally breaking his monotonous routine to record in various fits and bursts. As well as solo material, he is also in numerous projects including Streetwalker, Mutant Beat Dance, Civil Duty, and Corporate Park. Maoupa Mazzocchetti is the pseudonym of Florent Mazzocchetti, a French producer based in Brussels. His sonic vision is one which constantly straddles the line between wild experimentation and rhythmic compatibility, drawing influence from early concrète, 80’s tape scene and Birmingham school techno. After working together on the ‘Crepes’ EP that we released in 2017, De Bons en Pierre reunited for a two day recording session in Brussels. The duo recorded 13 tracks that we’ve split across 2 EPs with 6 tracks on ‘EP No. 1’ and 7 tracks on ‘EP No. 2’. Beau says, “We hooked everything up and just pushed play. We didn’t really discuss much about the process….it was very ‘spur of the moment’.” The equipment set up included a Roland TR-808, TR-606, SH-101, CR-78, CR-8000, two Syncussions and effects. Each EP contains 25 minutes of dance floor perversions that tackle an array of rhythmic forms. Sludgy synths, serrated percussion and viscous distortion goops over leviathan rhythms.
part 1 / part 2
Lhasa is the brainchild of Alain Raes from Siegen, Germany. As a teenager he was inspired by Tubeway Army’s ‘Are Friends Electric’ and Art Of Noise’s ‘Beatbox’. In 1985 he began collecting analog equipment (Prophet-5; Oberheim OB-X; Linn LM-1) as digital synthesizers had started to become more popular. In 1986, New Beat was born in Belgium. Dancers tapped into the darker side of synth pop, and DJs would play 45 rpm records at 33 with the pitch control set to +8. Alain was playing in New Wave bands and had started production work and synth programming for other acts. In 1988 he self-released the debut Lhasa single ‘Acetabularia’ / ‘Acetatechno’, with help from Kris Tremmery on vocals and concept. The record combined the icy melodies of Gary Numan and John Foxx with with the mechanical rhythms of Detroit techno and EBM. Thematically, both tracks revolve around the end of life on Earth, and include samples from ‘Dr. Strangelove’. For this first time reissue, we’ve added 4 bonus tracks rescued from a 1990 recording session DAT tape. These demos show further development of the Lhasa sound with updated instruments (Roland D-20, Yamaha TX16W, Korg 707), faster tempos, and menacing proto-rave energy.