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”
Greek artist June makes his debut on Mannequin Records with the ‘Silver Demon’ LP. The album explores a futuristic dystopian world where transcendence and oppression coexist, where claustrophobia and infinite openness coincide. A world of contrasts that is the product of the artist‘s active imagination and conscious effort to confront the subconscious. The album was recorded using original techniques from the golden era of electronic music (late 70s to mid 80s) with an arsenal of vintage analog synthesizers, drum machines and effect processors (originating) from the same time period. While the aesthetics of the classic precursors emerge through the minimal, deep, dark architecture of June’s music, Silver Demon prevails with the artist’s characteristic originality.
Exploring the balances between pop song writing structures, 80s cold wave bedroom style electronic production, and dreary gloom rock, Paris based Mathilde Mallen aka Dissemblance presents her debut lp “Over the Sand” for Mannequin Records. Over the ten tracks Dissemblance treads the fringes of a blurred dream world, using her bass guitar, voice, and drum machine as the backbone to create haunting yet soothing pop atmospheres in her songs.
Mannequin Records presents a rare lost demo tape recording of Caroline K – real name Caroline Kaye Walters – founder member of Nocturnal Emissions, one of the best UK experimental/industrial music groups in the 1980s. With the help of Beverley Ireland – a mysterious friend of Caroline, who nobody seems to know anything nowdays – on the vocals, Caroline used a full weapon gear made of Sequential Circuit Six Tracks and Drumtracks, Roland SH-101, Roland Tr-808, Powertran Vocoder, EMS Synthi, some Casio, all recorded on a Fostex 8 tracks reel-to-reel. Presented in 4 different versions – Original, Dub, Instrumental and Alessandro Adriani Edit – ‘Dont Believe It’s Over’ was recorded in 1983 at Caroline’s home studio in Brixton.
Mannequin Records presents an outstanding collaboration between Michel Amato (The Hacker) and Alessandro Adriani. What began as a B2B DJ set between two like-minded, seasoned veterans organically developed into a full force enthralling studio project and live set. Amato & Adriani is the new found project by Michel Amato and producer and Mannequin Records label head honcho Alessandro Adriani. The collaboration fuses contemporary ideas with the duo’s shared love for electro, EBM, Post-punk, Wave and the natural synergy to be found in the creative moment. Each artists production style and philosophy, when combined, elevates something new in one and other. The result, an innovative hybrid of classic sounds fueled by two creative forces working in pure synchronisation.
Founded in 1990 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cold Front were what you’d call early adaptors, their music at the time of its inception an oddity. This fourpiece, consisting of spouses Ayanna and Cam Muata, Jon Jon Scott and Ron Clark, were far ahead of their time and faded just as rapidly as they entered the stage, only playing a handful of local shows in support of Nine Inch Nails, Meat Beat Manifesto and such, alongside several cameos during early house nights and techno events. Beyond the Beat will burst dancefloors soon. In collaboration with Paris’ recordshop Dizonord, Knekelhuis will close the summer of 2019 with this amazing gem.
Acid techno experiments from the Italo disco master with Alessandro Adriani extended rework of Technologies.
Alessandro Adriani has become a trusted source for all kinds of beyond-the-grave minimal synth, industrial and coldwave delights. Aside from his work in releasing forgotten gems and up to the minute synth incantations, Adriani has also been quietly issuing out his own music as well. Originally released in 2016, ‘Montagne Trasparenti’ is now repressed on Mannequin Records with a full new graphic design.
The album ‘Montagne Trasparenti’ by Alessandro Adriani, originally released in 2016 on Monofonus Press, is now repressed on Mannequin Records with a full new graphic design. This is the preview of the album, an EP featuring the track ‘Fuoco’ and a remix by none other than Silent Servant.
Mannequin Records presents a new press of Decadance “On And On (Fears Keep On)”, one of the most iconic underground Italo-wave track ever. Produced by Franco Rago & Gigi Farina, the masterminds behind cult italo disco projects ‘Lectric Workers, Wanexa, Expansives, Atelier Folie, Peter Richard and many more, the single was originally released in 1983 by Proto Records.
Mannequin Records starts a series of re-presses dedicated to the legendary Nocturnal Emissions, one of the best kept secrets of the industrial genre since the 1970s. Led by Nigel Ayers and Caroline K, the band was one of the first to use tape cutting, avant-garde art, and underground video works to create a stage experience that was being cultivated by like-minded artists like Throbbing Gristle, SPK and Cabaret Voltaire. Originally self released in 1988 on Earthly Delights, ‘Spiritflesh’ is a masterpiece and a major reference for the early drone/dark ambient minds.
With just a few days from the current year left, I’ve compiled a list of 20 albums from 2018 that I enjoyed this year. Among these I have to highlight the much anticipated Mutant Beat Dance debut album, the first ever album from Gerard Hanson under the E.R.P. project, a new Gerald Donald project and a compilation of unreleased Heinrich Mueller remixes, a Silent Servant follow-up on Hospital Productions, a very interesting Fred Ventura compilation of unreleased house tracks, a new Lebanon Hanover, the beautiful debut album of Curses, the impressive Eindkrak album and the debut album of the Romanian producer Șerb.
The list is compiled in chronological order.
Eindkrak – Brullend Staal [Unknown Precept]
Mannequin Records and Platform 23 come together to start a series of stand-alone reissues of the music of post-punk / industrialists Bourbonese Qualk, starting with their 1983 album Laughing Afternoon. Formed in Southport during the late-70s, the band came to prominence out of South London’s squat scene via their own Recloose Organisation. Early releases including the band’s first experiments put to tape and the now highly sought after Sudden Departure compilation featuring luminaries Colin Potter, Eg Oblique Graph (Bryan Jones) and Lol Coxhill, laid the foundations of their burgeoning sound. Recorded and produced at the Recloose Studios in Camberwell in 1983, Simon Crab, Julian Gilbert and Steven Tanza infused their music with politically charged atmospherics, instrumental exploration, heavily laden reverb and dub, all projected by drum machine rhythms to assemble a musical collage which encapsulated strands beyond contemporary music. Track titles decipher little, as with the music, a discourse not belonging to a set style or movement, but crossing boundaries of supposition, pushing distortion and outernational leanings towards something else, a primordial discant. While tape loops warp the ears and spoken vocals propel songs like Blood Orange Bargain Day and To Hell With The Consequences and contrasting guitar acoustics pierce the mood on Qualk Street and Spanner In The Works, the overall embrace is claustrophobic, embedding a foreboding for the times. This unique, indulgent, cross genre melting pot where pounding rhythms, wailing trumpets, mournful melodica and electronic pulses all spiral in a contagious dissonance that heralded Bourbonese Qualk to the wider world.
Conceived by vocalist Gerrie Brand, the band Life In Sodom was starting out as performance art, and quickly became more as Gerrie surrounded himself with some of the best musicians from the club and art scene in South Florida, including Mystic Bill, who was playing the guitar with the band in the early stages. Originally self-released in 1991, the single ”The Stains” became an underground club hit and charted on many college radio stations, in both the extended and the original version. The single was distributed as a hard to get promo only release. The repress contains also the title-track of the single “Phantasmagoria” – another cult tune for early 90’s goth djs – originally released in 1992 and a friendly dancefloor cut of the title-track by Alessandro Adriani.
Mannequin Records presents a 2xLP retrospective compilation of the french electro/wave pioneer Le Syndicat Électronique, the historical electro/wave project by Alaxis Andreas G., founder of the seminal Invasion Planète Recordings – the first French minimal electro/wave/experimental label founded in late 1998 by the insurance proceeds of a car crash. Heavily influenced by the work of masters like Kraftwerk/John Carpenter/Front 242, Alaxis Andreas G. is responsible for many others dark electronic / industrial / neofolk projects – to name a few: A//, Bruta Non Calculant, Swesor Brother, La Séduction Des Innocents, It & My Computer, Eva VIII.
Mannequin Records presents the first of a new serie of compilations underthe ‘Death of the Machines’ serie, the dancefloor/experimental oriented side of the label, dedicated to new artists. Connecting music producers from all over the world, this new compilation will unearth names who are already building strong grounds for the future.