NEP – Pop Not Pop (Songs For New Europe 1985-1989) [FOX005LP]

NEP - Pop Not Pop: Songs For New Europe 1985-1989

NEP was a loose multimedia collective formed in 1982 Zagreb, ex-Yugoslavia. The founder Dejan Krsic collaborated with various artists in a quest of re-thinking the stale concepts of art history, position of the author and the barriers between pop and elitist high culture. Heavily influenced by Walter Benjamin and Andy Warhol in theory and Brian Eno and Kraftwerk in music, Krsic created NEP as an umbrella term (meaning Nova Evropa or New Europe) of diverse rule-breaking activities, covering graphic design, music, photography, video, news-media and theoretical work. Musically NEP focused on experiments in ambient and tape-music, self-released and hard to find compilation tapes like “The Cassette Played Poptones” (1988). Deeply immersed in pop-culture, politics and art theory Krsic’s search for perfect pop music. For the first time Fox & His Friends team compiles best cuts from unreleased and rare NEP tapes, covering the period from 1985 to 1989 on POP NOT POP abum.

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NEP – Pop Not Pop (Songs For New Europe 1985-1989) [FOX005LP]

Bourbonese Qualk – Preparing For Power [PLA033/MNQ113]

BOURBONESE QUALK - Preparing For Power

Mannequin and Platform 23 Records reissue what is considered to many the most complete album by perennial anarcho-outsiders Bourbonese Qualk. The last recorded album at their South London squat, The Ambulance Station on the Old Kent Road, and again released on their own Recloose Organisation, saw the band develop further beyond the limits of the post-punk / industrial scene where genres increasingly became redundant. Ethno, jazz, funk and EBM are all buried deep in the album as it seeks independence. The title, a critique of the Labour movements ineffective and limited call to arms against the prevailing Thatcherism of the mid-80s, encapsulates this wider oeuvre. From opening Return To Order, the acoustic gloom is offset by tight musicianship and countering melody. The switch of Outcry precedes psychedelic anthem, Boggy Creek, with its VU remembrance. Blighted pulses Confrontation, Xenophobia, Backlash and closer, Insurrection, sense the darkness, but the ground has shifted forwards with the legendary 1.51 minutes of man’n’ machine that is Lies, the enwrapping symphonic dub vocal of Born Left Hearted and incongruously pretty, Is It As It Was?

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Bourbonese Qualk – Preparing For Power [PLA033/MNQ113]

VA – Another Cold World 3 [CBR015]

DILK/WLDV/DERNIER SEX/HANGING GARDENS - Another Cold World 3

Cold Beats Records announces the launch of series Another Cold World. This time with a 12″ EP the composed with 4 tracks including DILK, WLDV, Dernier Sex and Hanging Gardens, keeping the label’s philosophy, we have once again united groups and artists that stand out within the minimal/synth/coldwave scene.

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VA – Another Cold World 3 [CBR015]

Linea Aspera – Linea Aspera II [L//001]

LINEA ASPERA - Linea Aspera II

Linea Aspera return with their second full-length LP, combining analogue production techniques with evocative emotional authenticity that ties themes of inherently human experience to cosmological concepts of physics and astronomy.

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Linea Aspera – Linea Aspera II [L//001]

VA – Endangered Species Vol. 1 [DE262]

KING, John/THE ACTOR/BRAZIL/JAMAL KHE/NIGHTLESS - Endangered Species Vol 1

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.

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VA – Endangered Species Vol. 1 [DE262]

Portray Heads – Portray Heads [MW074/BL-015]

PORTRAY HEADS - Portray Heads

Minimal Wave Records and Bitter Lake Recordings are happy to present their first collaborative release, a double LP by mythical Japanese underground electronic trio Portray Heads. Their self-titled double LP spans all their recordings to date including the songs from their rare “Elaborate Dummy” flexi (1985) and follow-up “Oratorio” (1986) Influenced by early 1980s European New Wave and Japanese synth-pop, their songs range from circular poppy synth gems to moody dark new wave anthems – all led by strong female vocals.

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Portray Heads – Portray Heads [MW074/BL-015]

Exhausted Modern – Year of the Rat [ENDILLP02]

EXHAUSTED MODERN - Year Of The Rat

Exhausted Modern’s debut full-length titled The Year of the Rat is a proof of the thought-provocation that author’s name generates. Released on his own Endless Illusion imprint, the album doesn’t have all the answers, it simply offers Exhausted Modern’s perception of the modern times and also the energy to do something with them. The title, borrowed from the Chinese zodiac calendar, doesn’t slip to mere esoteric prognosis, it fittingly and provocatively comments on broken mechanics of society, capitalistic hierarchisation and emotional frustration of its victims. Despite the dystopian character of Exhausted Modern’s sound, which ranges from fast melancholia through suspicious calmness to slowly bubbling rage, it doesn’t feel like the end of the world. It’s critical artistic statement of a person who despite seeing all the darkness, also sees the way out of it.

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Exhausted Modern – Year of the Rat [ENDILLP02]

Human Figures – Footsteps [POP127]

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.

Human Figures – Footsteps [POP127]

Crossed Wires – Crossed Wires [LSD032]

Light Sounds Dark present ‘Crossed Wires’ an eponymous collection of music salvaged from a dusty cassette in the depths of the archives from the productions of an 80s psyche-experimentalist. Expect raw, unheard, previously unreleased music,. about as authentic as it gets.

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Crossed Wires – Crossed Wires [LSD032]

VA – Ecdisis Vol.3 [FRV033]

Ecdisis Vol 3 is fresh and ready to wreak some havoc. Up first is Vinilette’s rework of Flux of Pink Indians’ “Nothing Is Not Done.” A brood of beats, this rhythmic romp is inspired by the 1986 piece on Uncarved Block. Layers of kick drums, bongos and toms echo and judder as a cold line circles and closes ever tighter. Following we have the head honcho, Juanpablo with his extended edit of Mac Blackout’s “Do The Dance In Your Head”. The intro is given room, adopting a doom disco march, before the fearsome crash of strings. The lyrics, a lurid tale brimming with menace, are sweetened with twirling notes in this grisly stomper. The final attack sequence comes care of Mick Wills with his amazing cut of an unreleased track by Argentina’s great producer NGLY. Dark and looming this distortion streaked encounter will leave bodies and speaker cones raw.

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VA – Ecdisis Vol.3 [FRV033]