Wladyslaw Trejo comes with a 7″ single dedicated to Warsaw. “Nuestra Voz” is a poem wrapped in sharp synthesizers about the silent threat of totalitarianism. The accompanying video clip amplifies its meaning and serves as a metaphor. “Tranzyt W” is an instrumental that portrays the walk of an inveterate observer, Wladyslaw himself, through the streets of modern Warsaw.
The NE-21 return to She Lost Kontrol after their first pitch-perfect 80s dark wave release in 2016. After releasing a collaboration with Donato Dozzy with the project ‘Men with Secrets’ at the beginning of the year, the duo lands on the label with their new work “In The Realm of Electricity”. The album is a collection of 8 tracks composed and recorded between 2012 and 2020 at the Sy6 studio in Boscoreale. The outcome is a perfect blend of synth pop and minimal wave, filled with icy synths, shuddering bass, and anthemic vocals, ranging from mumbled vocoder to arch talk-singing. While diverse in atmospheric scope, swells of ghostly synths circle the driving beat throughout, producing a haunting totality drenched in an ethereal midnight trance; the submerge of cold, spectral vocals sing within the darkest depths of a starry soundscape – the gloomy romanticism of low, distant vocals bursting with post-punk melancholia. The album in essence sounds unashamedly distinctive, unique and charming. Whether you fall in love with the whole act or you’re just stunned by the bizarreness of it all, one thing’s for sure – you’ll be compelled and gripped right to the infectiously smutty end.
Under exhausted lights of civil discontent the count has just began. What you parodied, what you scrutinized rears its pure gaze when punctured beyond performance. We cried for justice but instead found order, and now we face the chain. PC World comes through with a haunting EP on She Lost Kontrol to distort the view and warp the vision of industrial addicts and mutant punks with their second release “Order”, a discursive counterattack on four distinct forms of command. The South London duo disfigures the unconscious reduction of pleasure and fetish, the connective tissue between privatization and violence, the seduction of societal norms, and the neurotic tendencies of self-defeat. Like the surrender to a future shock, these four interwoven tracks are produced for the recognition of restraint and the demand for wanting more. B-side remixes of the title track “Order” come from Physical Wash (former member of High-Functioning Flesh) and Aktion Mutante (featuring members of Violent Poison and Unhuman), two additional perversions of protocol from synth-punk veterans on both sides of the Atlantic.
Cardinal & Nun returns to L.I.E.S. now with his debut LP, 8 songs of full on rotten stripped back, fuzzed out, synth punk mayhem. Straight to the head beautifully thrashing anthems, Cardinal & Nun goes in with catchy basslines, dissonant guitar chop ups, and vocals that creep from the shadows throughout the affair. Don’t gas out though, there are some somber cuts on the b-side’s ”Whats Goin On Tonite?”, ”Pandemonium” and ”Day After Day”. A true gem in the French scene, now get in the pit and slamjack.
Dark Entries reunites with longtime idols Xymox, also known as Clan of Xymox, to reissue their Peel Sessions. Xymox was founded in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1983 by Ronny Moorings and Anka Wolbert, who were joined shortly by Frank Weyzig and Pieter Nooten. Melding the synthesizer-driven experiments of post-punk and New Wave with the doom-laden atmospherics of the burgeoning goth rock scene, Xymox were one of the key progenitors of dark wave. The success of their 1983 debut EP, Subsequent Pleasures (reissued by Dark Entries in 2014) paved the way for a string of epochal releases on 4AD, where they honed their lush, despairing sound. Following their 1985 debut LP, Clan of Xymox, DJ and tastemaker John Peel invited them to BBC studios to record for his Radio 1 show. These recordings were released in 2001 via the Strange Fruit label on CD and are now available here for the first time on vinyl.
The first Electronic Emergencies release of 2021 is by Chris & Nogi, founders of the legendary Shoc Corridor. It reflects our love for minimal wave, simply called new wave back in the days. Released as a 10-inch, ‘Autumn Rituals and Refugees’ consists of eight tracks taken from 4-track-cassette tapes recorded in 1985-1988. Three of these are collaborations with avant-garde voice artist Sharon Gal. The original tapes, which had to endure a journey from London via Israel to South Africa, were beautifully restored by Ruud Lekx, who was able to retain the original sound and atmosphere. The cover art of ‘Autumn Rituals and Refugees’ was designed by Niels Vrijdag, exhibiting the DIY-mentality and modern living-fantasy of the music from the eighties.
Romanian producer and DJ Miruna Boruzescu aka Borusiade knows how to create ethereal tracks, somewhere between post-wave, techno and industrial vibes. “Purge”, the new EP for Tripalium Corp, is about heart-break in forced isolation, when the only way to stay sane is purging through music and lyrics. From the 80s synth of “Let Go” to the experimental ten-minutes-trip “Haunted Evolution”, these five tracks are talking about of one’s coping systems in extreme emotional situations, hope and power to move on and last but not least, learned lessons and empowerment.
Frontmaschine is a french band created by Hérve and Louis. The alchemy of a father/son duo who experience with the ambiance, the sounds and the samples. Front 242 and D.A.F are their main influences. The music offered fluctuates from industrial to old school, and from German to English vocals. Dark sounds (sounds of the 80s), rhythmed by rustic sequences, electronic drum sounds and samples such as machines, radio communication or metals.
Group Rhoda, the solo project of Mara Barenbaum, returns to Dark Entries with ‘Passing Shades’. An integral member of the Oakland electronic music scene, Barenbaum has been writing, performing, and plunging into oneiric depths as Group Rhoda since 2009. This is the project’s fourth LP, and the third time Barenbaum has collaborated with Dark Entries. Passing Shades is an investigation of the metaphysics of loss and the transitory nature of the material world. But it is not a grim collection; over 8 songs, Group Rhoda diverges through synthesizer-laden symphonics, four-to-the-floor inflections, and cosmic musings. Barenbaum’s striking voice and singular songcraft guide us through this labyrinth. Arpeggiated waltz “Flow” channels wisdom sought through martial arts; “Earthly Ark” sets a Margaret Atwood poem from the God Gardener’s Hymn Book to somber electronics. The vocoded canticle “Nevermore” is dedicated to the memory of a beloved cat. ‘Passing Shades’ is both mystifying and revelatory. Folk forms are echoed only to detour into the alien. Each song functions as both a fragment of a larger puzzle and a koan unto itself.
Influenced from bands such as Suicide, D.A.F and the early UK electronic scene, Absolute Body Control was formed in Belgium back in 1980, influencing and inventing genres ever since and achieving an underground cult following that strongly resists nowadays. After releasing a 7″, several tapes and contribute to many compilations worldwide, the band members went separate ways, with Dirk Ivens and Eric van Wonterghem finding success in other influential acts such as the Klinik, Dive, Block 57, S/HE, MOTOR!K, Sonar, Monolith and Insekt. After a very long break re-formed again and released “Lost & Found”, “Tapes 81-89” and “Wind[re]wind”, which contains newly recorded versions of their best tracks. Following these releases, they have returned in 2010 with the albums “Shattered Illusion” and “Mindless Intrusion”, a whole new set of classic tracks but featuring modern sound recording techniques. In 2016 “Forbidden Games” has been released, a selection of compilation tracks that points to the early roots of electronic pop and industrial. In 2020, 16 artists from around the globe pays this deserved tribute to one of the most influential minimal synth bands of all times.
Popnihil returns with an album of intricate postpunk from Daniel Holt’s new project Human Figures. Besides running Ardetha Records, Holt has impressed with dungeon synth and ambient projects, his dark synth duo Vault, and a mind-melting techno 12″ for L.I.E.S. Records. But Human Figures is a completely new and personal avenue of expression. “Footsteps” features hymnal, meditative post-punk from musical polymath Daniel Holt.
Elena Colombi’s Osàre! Editions presents its third vinyl release: Blood in the Grass, an EP of electro tinged new wave from Hamburg-based producer Johannes Haas, aka L.F.T. (Love, Fist, Tears), the title of which takes inspiration from a 1966 tapestry work by the late Swedish-Norwegian textile artist Hannah Ryggen (1894-1970). Prompted by Colombi and Haas meeting on the dancefloor of Golden Pudel, the eight tracks run the gamut of darkwave and punk sounds, with Haas utilising Korg MS20 and Roland SH101 synthesisers to meld mutant acid with slamming synth lines, ear-worm melodies and opaque lyrics that are left open to interpretation. The new wave aesthetic he draws inspiration from is most evident on tracks Die Geldsmachine, No Covenent and the glistening Chloe-Rose, and with its howling guitar riffs and driving energy geared for late nights, Manon is a rough and ready punk anthem and a tribute to Haas’ “gang” of favourite people in Hamburg.
Interstellar Funk & Robert Valera roll out a wealth of EBM, darkwave and acid leaning electronics in a new instalment for Olf van Elden’s (Interstellar Funk) label Artificial Dance. Devil’s Juice is a split twelve and the result of two analog recording sessions that took place in New York and Amsterdam in 2019. Van Elden and Valera met each other through mutual friends, sharing a love for deep and twisted bassline explorations, visceral melodies and analog machine funk. Robert Valera is a seasoned live performer but this will be his first release. Devil’s Juice is a testament of Van Elden’s and Varela’s fascination for analog instruments and how they are able to communicate in spontaneous and unpredictable ways.
Culminating in four years of recording sessions in Russia, Australia and Northern Ireland, ‘A Voyeur Makes No Mark’ is Nite Fields’ second LP. It’s the follow up to 2015’s ‘Depersonalisation’. If ‘Depersonalisation’ was an album of loss and self-destruction, ‘A Voyeur Makes No Mark’ embodies a self-possessed, buoyant, confrontational figure – though no less anguished with self and the world at large. More outward looking than the Nite Fields debut, and with a redefined aesthetic, themes of rebirth and redefinition carry throughout the album immortalised in principal songwriter and protagonist Danny Venzin’s delicate web of sound. Found within the 8-track LP are sounds rarely heard and even lesser played by the Western hemisphere. Utilising a sonic palette inspired by Venzin’s new surrounds whilst living in Moscow, a purposeful decision was made to incorporate local recording equipment and instrumentation. The results are stark yet richly atmospheric.
Exhausted Modern joins the Artificial Horizon family and delivers a caustic mix of brutish and combustible electronix in keeping with the style that has seen his productions supported by the new wave of artists from Europe and beyond that seek to bring the future sounds of Acid, EBM and Techno to the present. From the contorted modulations of Dysphoric Experience to the emotional and melancholic closer ’Seagulls in a Harbour’, Exhausted Modern’s Datura EP twists and turns at every step, each track capable of sending any listener into certain frenzy.
Oraculo Records presents the new side project of Blind Delon featuring and a special remix of Antoni Maiovvi of Giallo Disco Records. Dark Italo or minimal synthpop could perfectly define what FRUST is; hypnotic glacial synths and mesmerizing cavernous sad voices for darkwave lovers.