You would think that a small country like the Netherlands has very few isolated places, but buried in the south-west corner you will find the region of Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen. Just before the Westerscheldetunnel was built in 2003, the area was only reachable by ferry or over land through Belgium. By the late 1970s, in the region’s small city of Terneuzen, a group of like-minded music lovers were inspired by punk music and formed a series of bands together. A number of the musicians first met in high school, and it is here where we find Danny Bosten (Das Ding) and his label Tear Apart Tapes. If you played music you had to have a label to release it and because you had a label you needed to make music. It was a logical and circular process, and despite being isolated, nothing stopped them from bringing new music to Terneuzen. Up till today the label releases cassettes just like in the olden days as well as a string of 7-inches with new music by Das Ding, Les Yeux Interdits and Ian Martin. Each of these releases carries a similar visual aesthetic to the label’s early 1980s output. All of them sold out quickly, but luckily they are now collected here on this LP.
Amsterdam, 1982. Smoke fills the streets, squatters clash violently with the police, uprising is in the air. In this disorderly mess, the worlds of activism, art, fashion, and nightlife converged into an explosion of creativity. Amidst all of this Electric Party, the brainchild of René van Rijn, released the ‘Work’ tape on Amsterdam label Fetisj, now a cult cassette for the few who remember. Forty years ago they created this unique blend of no wave, mutant disco, funk, and experimental music. This record consists of 3 of the best tracks from the ‘Work’ tape and 6 unreleased tracks from forgotten cassette tapes, all remastered and restored where necessary. Among them the unreleased anthem ‘Caribe’, which was recorded in Spain as the opening track for a Spanish discotheque in 1987.
New Swiss label Rababoo presents its first release coming from Marcel de Sie. Oscillating between melodic industrial and shaky psychedelic music, Mr. de Sie overcomes his first 3 tracks with a static approach of electronic low drifts – in that sense, we decided to call it a soundtrack “to schuss”, in dedication to all our skiing friends from here and there. For his 1st release, Marcel de Sie is joined by Greek producer Anatolian Weapons and Belgian’s Victor de Roo for the remixes.
Deathtrippers was formed by Sasha Raoul in Leeds, UK, 2015, his influences being classic 80s’ gothic rock / psych / electronica / 80s’ indie. They have also contributed a couple of tracks to compilations in 2020. Each song is a dancefloor smasher in its own style. Dead Wax Records have gathered all their recorded output (previously on digital formats only), some of which has been edited, some remixed and all of it newly mastered specifically for this vinyl, making it flow and sound better than ever.
This is the first instalment of the newborn white label series on Subject To Restrictions Discs. Zurich based DJ and producer Don Kashew delivers a dark dystopian journey that begins with the search for the last open ‘Supermarché’. It continues with the well-known lethargy of the past months translated in the track ‘Koto Nord’. At long last, we are successful and dance together to ‘Bamboo’ in united melancholy.
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.
Mannequin Records is welcoming back Le Syndicat Électronique with a collection of lost tracks raised up from the deepest vaults of the French synth-electro pioneer. Over a period spanning almost twenty years, ”Rebuts” (the French word for ”thrown away”, ”forgotten”) is bringing back to life 8 titles that have been put aside during the different moments of creation of Le Syndicat Électronique. Founder of the seminal Invasion Planète Recordings, the first French minimal electro/wave/experimental label founded in late 1998, and heavily influenced by the work of masters like Kraftwerk/John Carpenter/Front 242, AA// is responsible for many others dark electronic / industrial / neofolk projects – to name a few: Bruta Non Calculant, Swesor Brother, La Séduction Des Innocents, It & My Computer.
Oz Echoes peels away another layer of Australia’s ‘80s DIY hive mind. The Oz Waves successor exposes a deeper circuit of micro-run cassettes, community radio archives and irrationally abandoned studio sessions, as Steele Bonus sequences a 10-track compendium of drone pop, psyche-electronics and agitated tape cut-ups. From the Sydney cassette network, The Horse He’s Sick returns with an industrial car crash, alongside Wrong Kind of Stone Age’s pagan cacophony and primal riddims. M Squared dynamo Patrick Gibson appears in both Height/Dismay and Mr Knott, his respective studio-as-an-instrument collaborations with Dru Jones (Scattered Order) and ex-Slugfucker Gordon Renouf – the former’s worn out apparition hails from an instantly deleted 1981 7”, while Mr Knott entrust one of the compilation’s five previously unreleased tracks. Matt Mawson represents Brisbane music media-printed matter collective ZIP, as Adelaide’s Three D Radio grants access to their vaults of live-to-air recordings and aspiring demo submissions, rescuing the slap-happy punk-funk of The Frenzied Bricks and Jandy Rainbow’s prodigious beginnings in Les Trois Etrangers and Aeroplane Footsteps. Synchronously in Melbourne, Ash Wednesday (Karen Marks, The Metronomes) leads Modern Jazz’ improvised proto-techno and EBM pioneers Shanghai Au Go-Go home record their sardonic synth-wave. A cherry-picked cast of unusual suspects, Oz Echoes’ unfamed artist and non-band narratives are detailed by track-by-track liner notes with rarely published archival visions and artwork from Video Synth, prompting further rabbit hole ventures into this golden era of creative risk-taking and instant action.
With an Arturo Micro brute synthesizer put through psychedelic effects, Modern Ruin keeps the flame of Andrew Weatherall and Suicide burning through times of isolation and disarray. This Synth Wave/New Wave experience of an album, released on LP on Höga Nord Rekords, sums up 2020 with its dark and cold sound. The title speaks for itself: “Unemployment Disco Line” reflects the desperation in the sound and the reverb-drenched vocals in the back of the soundscape comes from deep within the Covid hole. Drawing influences from masters like the legends above, Rowland S. Howard, Johan Balance + Peter Christopherson et cetera, this debut album by Modern Ruin sums up four decades of underground club music and no matter how long this pandemic goes on we are in “Nothing Blues” until the dance floors open again.
E-MAN was the first project of Norwegian musician Geir Jenssen (electronics, well-known from being in Bel Canto and especially Biosphere) with guest vocalists Ragnar “Spiss” Larsen and Frank Jensen, and Per Martinsen on additional electronics. They only released one cassette on Likvider in 1984 (LIKV 4025) with tracks recorded in 1983/84.
Absolute Body Control is back with new material after more than ten years. The legendary minimal-synth-wave duo formed in 1980 by Dirk Ivens (The Klinik, Dive, Sonar) and joined a bit later by Eric van Wonterghem (Insekt, Monolith) has been working together again and got finished a new EP. Six songs that fuse their classic sound with a theme that reflects the times of change that humanity is going through.
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.
Theo Delaunay aka Panoptique aka Constance Chlore is releasing his first solo album on Macadam Mambo. Head of the Simple Music Experience label (dedicated to release punk experiment on tape), member of Violent Quand On Aime, Succhiamo, Simplists, Ono Omen and United Assholes, he had previously been part of the “Danzas Electricas” volumes 1 and 3, released a little single in 2019 and curated the “Simple Music Experience Vol.2” compilation in the house. Panoptique stick to what he knows to do the best, to present his stories, singing spoken words, gogolitos deliriums, whispers and rough voices on Minimal Synth Wave ballads or Drexciyan’s Electro bangers, it’s brut, mental, sometimes brutal and so so groovy in the meanwhile. Special mention to his guest Fiesta En El Vacio for her ‘caliente’ featuring on “Menta Y Regaliz”.
Since the early 1980s the Eureka, California based duo Psyclones freak out in music. As one of the most long-standing DIY duos, Brian Ladd and Julie Frith created a body of work, that flirts with Ambient, experimental industrial sounds, New Wave, Post-Punk, Synth-Pop, and all that electric jazz. Besides a few hard-to-find vinyl releases, they published their music regularly via cassette tapes on labels like their own imprint Ladd-Frith or other famed 1980’s underground tape labels like Cause And Effect from Indianapolis, legendary San Francisco based Subterranean Records, Sound of Pig from New York, Insane Music from Belgium or the Spanish label Auxilio De Cientos to name but a few. Now, Notte Brigante is dropping “Tape Music 1980 – 1984”, a detailed compiled sampler on Psyclones early output, that was scattered over diverse tape releases. A nine tracks long trip into the work of a highly underrated band, that never lost their drive to explore new avenues in sound.
Minimal Wave present the reissue of a rare self-released record by Plugpoint Music called ‘Last Chance’. Plugpoint Music was the minimal synth project of Reiner Ossmann, who recorded the 12 songs on this album in his home studio in Germany in 1987 and released them as an edition of 200 copies. This gem of a record was never properly distributed and so essentially disappeared until it began circulating amongst various collectors during the last 15 years. It’s a true minimal synth classic in all of its eccentricity and lack of self-consciousness.
This compilation from Oráculo Records is featuring five tracks of minimal / synth pop by Dancing Plague, Carlo Onda, Most Modern, Karl Kave and Deathrippers.