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.
Lena Platonos is a Greek musician, pianist and music composer. Her third solo album, ‘Lepidoptera’ was produced in 1986 and reissued by Dark Entries in 2018. Inspired by a scientific book on butterflies she found in a trashcan one day, the compositions follow minimalistic motifs and carefully-staged soundscapes. Lena narrates each song in deadpan fashion, skillfully reciting her surreal Greek poetry. Now Dark Entries recruited 4 contemporary Greek producers to remix their favorite tracks from ‘Lepidoptera’. First up is ‘Cyaniris’ remixed by Anatolian Weapons who delivers an enchanted late-night journey through the New Wave forest. Next is ‘Araschnia Levana’ remixed by Pasiphae who speeds up the pace with machine driven melodic electro pulses. On the B-side we have June remixing ‘Cyaniris’ twirling the track into a complex deep sea dive with lush drum kicks and pads. Closing out the EP is a remix of ‘a Gee´a ´ Aporia Maturna’ by Morah who leads us to the underworld of Hades via sinister squelches and full-on apocalyptic rave breakdown.