Berlin duo NNHMN – Lee and Michal Laudarg – creates moody and evocative music infected with dark synth sounds, eerie ambiances and mysterious female volcals. They return to Oráculo Records with “Deception Island” where fresh cold beats meets hypnotic techno and avant-garde of a ferociously experimental nature. We find Lee’s sultry vocals over synthwave classical bass and rhythm structures, from dark Italo Disco with touches of light EBM to classic post punk.
Tester Housing was the short-lived band consisting of mates Bill Tolson and Ken Olver. The duo met during the early 1980s in the burgeoning Southside of Melbourne, St Kilda. Pitched along the bayside, St Kilda at the time was full of artists, painters, writers, poets and musicians. The suburb was the type of place where dwellers wore their hearts on their sleeves; the sort to be found sharing a jug at the pub after a fist fight. The St Kilda music scene during the late ‘70s and ‘80s was infamous, breeding bands such as the Primitive Calculators and The Boys Next Door.
BOY Records was founded by Michael Zosel back in 1987 but it was after a few releases that he started to work with producer Arno Müller. “Brian” by Absurd was the first techno release on the label and a great success in the German techno scene. The cooperation continued with singles by Hypnopedia and New Scene that worked very well and put the name of BOY Records in the charts and clubs all around Germany and abroad. In 1990 another massive success came with the single “Kennedy” by Deep Thought and since there the label did not stop to release hit after hit by lot of names like Time Modem, “O”, Cybex Factor, Sonic System, Moskwa TV, MCL and lot more. “Timeless Technology 1988-1991” compiles a selection of classic tekkno traxx released on label’s most fruitful years.
Winter is coming, with ‘Archive Tracks 2005-2009’ by Newclear Waves as its soundtrack. For the album, Berlin-based and Italian-born producer, DJ and label owner Alessandro Adriani let us dive into the vast archives of his Newclear Waves project. The resulting collection of 8 tracks can be described as minimal wave pur sang, reminiscing of the darkness and doom from the cold war period. The exorbitant and jumpy synth lines and derailing revolving drum machines keep us moving, all analogue of course. With this album, Adriani confirms his musical excellence.
This selection of ultra rare tracks represents the sound of the postpunk Dutch band Necronomicon and their label Fetisj from the period 1981-1982. All selections have been mastered from the original released cassettes and unreleased demo-cassettes.
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.
Japanese industrial-experimental-synth outfit group A is formed by Tommi Tokyo (synths, drum machines, vocals) and Sayaka Botanic (violin, sampler, tapes). They create a unique mixture of dark minimal synth and avant-noise with striking visuals and stage performances. Group A carries on the very breath of early pioneers such as Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and the Japanese underground scene from the early 80’s. This is the vinyl edition of group A’s 2nd self-produced album released in October 2013 only in CDR format. 9 tracks of genuine experimental minimal electronics.
Sam de la Rosa of the band Led Er Est, and with Karen Sharkey of The Coombe, is back on Mannequin Records with his third release with 4 stunning tracks blending the finest TR-606 driven electro cold wave with expressive spoken wordy minimal synth instrumentals.
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.
To honor Stephen Huss and his impressive career as musician with Psyche (together with brother Darrin Huss) and as a solo artist, Artificial Dance decided to release his solo work on vinyl for the very first time. The Galaxy LP is a collection of 6 tracks recorded between 1983 – 2005 and selected by Artificial Dance, together with Darrin Huss, to give a complete overview of Stephen as a solo musician. These wide-ranging synth instrumentals were recorded between 1983 and 2005 and you can clearly hear the range of talent through the early Psyche influences to his further experiments in the electronic genre. Let Galaxy be your guide into this unique musical experience created solely by Stephen Huss.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
this is a new segment series focusing on rare vinyl from the basement/vaults, cd and music material from the headquarters and recording studio of Nation …
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.