Absolute Body Control was formed by Dirk Ivens in 1980 influenced by the sound produced by the likes of Suicide, D.A.F. and the UK electronic scene. Eric Van Wonterghem joined the project next year just after the release of the debut 7″ “Is There An Exit?”. They released together just some cassettes during its brief initial run, but this was enough to gain a following in and outside Belgium. A compilation of tracks entitled “Eat This” was eventually done in 1993 and a first edition of the collection “Lost / Found” was issued on CD in 2005. Dirk and Eric took the project back on stage in 2006 and decided to re-activate it. They first re-recorded some of their classic songs for the album “WindReWind” and then continued releasing new material and touring all Europe and beyond. “Lost / Found” is the definitive collection of this minimal-synth-wave act and is now available for the first time on vinyl record with a total of 52 songs including 8 previously unreleased.
In 1986, the young Rickard Karlsson, Magnus Jönsson and Fredrik Bergman formed the all-synth band Etage Neun in Ystad, Sweden. Admittedly influenced by Depeche Mode and right in the middle of the Cold War, their lyrics were often dark, about human conflicts and the nuclear threat. In May 88 they self-released their first album “War And Emotions” in cassette format only. This album has been impossible to find for decades and has become a must have for synthpop fans all over the world. Time has proved that Etage Neun should have gained more recognition back then, but at least we have the opportunity now to listen to this synth masterpiece with far superior sound quality than ever before.
An album of intricate minimal wave/post punk from Daniel Holt’s new project Human Figures. Human Figures is a completely new and personal avenue of expression for Holt. “Footsteps” is liminal, lonely and misty with negative space between each instrument. Each note invokes a warm hypnagogic atmosphere, tinged with fluttering anxiety. Through these eight tracks, this multifaceted musician shows another side of his art with guitars, basslines and drum machines. The mournful “Lifted Burden”, with its cowbells and echoing vocals swaddled in warm strings, sets the tone. Haunting notes are supported by a staccato beat as Holt´s melancholic vocals sail in “40 Days” before the bare brilliance of “An Open Heart.” A spread of influences is drawn on for Human Figures: the post-punk rawness of “For My Angel”, the synth romance of “Footsteps” the cold reductions of “Passing Beyond Body.” Sombre, stirring and superb.
“Footsteps” was release also on cassette last year on Popnihil.
The second instalment on the Lux Rec 7″ series comes from Zurich based musician Nicola Kazimir. Fast paced, powerful yet dramatic, shaped by his interests for occult rituals, Japanese weird imagery and fringe politics of life, these four songs are the soundtrack of those long hours spent in haze in his studio next to the Limmat river.
The Swiss New Wave heroes Karl Kave & Durian collaborate for the album”Untergang und Finsternis” on Detriti Records. Dreamy synths, dreamy lyrics, dreamy people.
Karl Kave makes his appearance on Lux Rec for their first release in 7″ format. Four terse tracks influenced by his past experiences, high and low as they come, tumultuous thoughts and life events. The result is a sombre nostalgia for all that is not there anymore. Coming from Rheintal, a valley on the eastern part of Switzerland, he uses English, German and his native Swiss dialect to sing. Dive into it, meet sadness.
Minimal Wave presents ‘Recordings 1980-1982’ (MW077), a triple 7” box set by pioneering south Florida synth-punk band Futurisk, in honor of their 40th anniversary. Founded by Jeremy Kolosine in 1978, Futurisk recorded many songs and performed live throughout the early 1980s. Though they had released two 7”s that sold out, had a legendary live show, and even some videos, by 1984 Futurisk was history. Eventually, the main core of Futurisk would be the Jeremy Kolosine, Richard Hess, and Jack Howard line-up though much happened leading up to this point.
WRWTFWW Records reissue Swiss cult band Grauzone’s self-titled album in an expanded 40 Years Anniversary Edition packed with the original 1981 album plus 9 extra songs, as well as extensive liner notes by Swiss music historian Lurker Grand. The pioneering band from Bern (Switzerland) had a short-lived but highly-regarded career which birthed a cult discography that still fascinates and resonates today. Consisting of core members Martin Eicher, Stephan Eicher, and Marco Repetto, and on-and-off participants Christian GT Trüssel, Claudine Chirac, and Ingrid Berney, the elusive group broke new grounds in the early 80s, experimenting with punk and industrial music, early techno sounds, minimalism, new wave, pop, and various electronics. With an innovative and polished approach to design, visuals, performance, and all around style and philosophy on top of their superb music, the constantly transforming unit developed a whole experience – the Grauzone experience: wild and unpredictable, yet sophisticated and cohesive, or as Swiss music historian Lurker Grand would call it, “an Art band with a Punk attitude”. Completely rejecting the music industry rules and refusing to play the game of promotion, touring, release schedules, and TV appearances even though they had a multi-platinum international hit with the song “Eisbär”, the band quickly disintegrated in full convention-defying glory, leaving behind an inspiring music legacy for the world to discover and discover again, one generation after the other. This extended version of their debut (and only) album beautifully crystallizes the Grauzone miracle/accident – where pop and youthful experimentation meet at (new/cold/no) wave and industrial crossroads.
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.
Russian no wave / synth duo The Bleak Engineers seem a neat fit with the first 12″ release from Rotation Mecanique. It’s the new statement of the band, whose members are worth of attention: the grey eminence of the Russian electronic scene Alexander Moralez (Brokntoys/Gigolo/MSQ) and the horror and surf rock goddess Svetlana Zombierella (Messer Chups). The main track, “Unconscious”, is accompanied by 5 more new musical revelations: the fresh compositions, which will be the new hits and the mysterious instrumentals in their trademark gloomy electronic no wave sound. The isolation is not the reason to be silent. Hearing the bleak, sometimes hopeless and sometimes hopeful vertigo of synths, vintage drum machines, floating bass lines, frank and mild vocals without any rush and without any attachment to time and place. And that is the incomplete list of adjectives related to this release.
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.
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.
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.
Zona Utopica Garantita (abbr. ZUG) is a 2019 musical project born from the join of Frasco (Bloodygrave & Die Lust, SPO) and Jules (Cronaca e Preghiera, Nono) forming a Punk Electronic collective, that springs a vital live playing over electronic sequences. The joining of Danilo Fatur (CCCP – Fedeli alla Linea) with his charisma, experience and poetry and Misha on synthesizers stabilize the band with a solid musical estethic, direct and radical. ZUG’s music is a marriage between the machine-gunned punk of CCCP and the Body Music of the teutonic DAF, with his own poetry and experimental attitude.
Traxx(Nation) created a 6-hour selection dedicated to Danny’s in Chicago where he held his monthly party Passage. Curated and programmed musically by Traxx, transporting us to a full night of music from 9-pm til 2am. Passage focuses on the new wave/new beat era with a personal collection of music fashioned to alleviate your senses discovering different outtakes and unknown songs. It’s a lengthy journey that hopefully people will enjoy…
Rubber brings it back to home ground by diving deeper into Jan Duivenvoorden’s shoeboxes. Back in 1987, at a local youth centre in the ever-dull Zoetermeer, a group of seven non-musical friends started what could be considered a freeform band performing ‘”electronic ‘beuk’ music with noise guitar and lyrical texts”. This band was called MINIGOD and rose from the ashes of the performative act Aars/rugklachten. Their change not only meant an upgrade in instruments – from jerrycans, barrels and worn-out bass guitar to keyboard and synthesizers – but also from simply screaming into the void towards songs with something of a structure. The release portrays MINIGOD quintessentially – energy above professionalism. From a large number of tracks Rubber made a precise selection allowing punk and satire to dance cheek-to-cheek. MINIGOD is Jan Duivenvoorden (Unit Moebius), Richard van den Bogaert (Leuk & Ko), and Rob de Bakker played keyboard and synthesizer, Edwin Zuidwijk played guitar, and Siuli Ko and Bart Barendregt did the vocals.
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.
Musique Plastique presents Pop Negatif Wastad’s eponymous EP from 1989 as a 45rpm four tracker, including all of their self penned songs. This is the first release in a series of reissues from the height of the 80’s & 90’s Welsh music scene. Hailing from mid Wales, Pop Negatif Wastad emerged in the late 80’s as the sole collaboration between Esyllt Anwyl and Gareth Potter.
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.