Schneebezen was formed in 1986/87 by Bart Plaskoff (vocals, lyrics, backing keyboard) and Glen Moller (keyboards, programming, backing vocals). They managed to build a small recording studio in West Los Angeles and started to compose their first songs. In 1989, with the assistance of producer Bryan Carlstrom (Billy Idol, PIL), they recorded the EP “Take Those Shades Off”. This release included two top-ten hits. “Magical Meeting Of The Minds” and “Can’t Remain A Friend” were beating out bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure on various dance charts thanks to heavy rotation on KROQ, LIVE-105 and other radio stations around the USA and abroad. In light of this success an EMI executive approached the band. Bart and Glen began doing some demos in 1990 but it was during this time they realized that from their perspective synth music was dead so creative differences began to occur. They knew they would go the way of most bands on the edge of getting a record deal with a major label. Schneebezen split. “Amnesia Lane” is a compendium of the short but fruitful career of Schneebezen including the complete “Take Those Shades Off” EP and lot of unreleased stuff with studio recordings, live outtakes and demos recorded between 1989 and 1990. Everything has been carefully restored and remastered from the original DAT and cassette tapes.
Artificial Dance announces the full archival compilation of work by Richard Zeilstra A.K.A. Genetic Factor. Recorded in different parts of the world, at different times – we hope this will give the world a glimmer of the mind of Genetic Factor. A mind that has been behind a variety of very influential operations during the years; including a string of radio programmes (Radionome & Spleen a.o.), working at Boudisque and running Barcelona’s first compact disc store. The songs featured are not an attempt of making a coherent ‘album’ but much more trials of interpretation of his world into ‘music’. His strong believe in non-musicianship makes it more thrilling than conventional musics, yet these recordings are not result of amateurism – they form a consistent reality of what excites him. Take a dive in the realm of the Genetic Factor…
Fortuna Records presents a post-punk shuffler from 1981, by Tel-Aviv-Brussels band Minimal Compact. The 12” includes an unreleased instrumental version plus a spaced-out extended dub mix by the living legend, Mad Professor.
“The One With the Eyes” by R. Gamble is Marguerite Records’ 13th release. The tracks were all written between the summer and fall of 2020. The pandemic was in its bewildering initial phase when daily life had come apart from its familiar rhythms. The tracks describe this disruption and the return to a musical primordial state by limiting the field of vision to locate the essential. In fact, the artist limited himself with one synthesizer, one drum machine, and a sequencer and the instinct guided him shaping these little vignettes. Now nearly two years later they’re being released into a world that has in many ways resumed its regulated flow. We hope people can still catch a glimpse of that other world outside of time, the vague fear crystallized, the shadows made by afternoon sunbeams gliding like continents across the floor. Marguerite Records owners the duo Bianco Negativo were strongly impressed by the last album track ‘Precious Arc’ and decided to make a remix in a dark cinematic key.
“The album is a dialogue between the inner self and outer, and romance of eternal and immortal existence. Hence the first single, ‘Miriam’ being a ballad to the Vampiress main character in The Hunger book and film from the 80s. How do we make an emotion timeless?“
Acclaimed saxophonist, producer and composer Yasuaki Shimizu will release Kiren, his unreleased album from 1984, on the Palto Flats record label. Kiren is Yasuaki Shimizu’s work for experimental dance music. Employing cutting edge production to create lush new wave soundscapes, it bridges the gap between his early 80s recordings and his later work with the Saxophonettes, filling a key lost chapter in his discography. By the early 1980s Yasuaki Shimizu had established himself on the Japanese new wave scene, producing many important experimental pop records and releasing several albums as the bandleader of Mariah. Following the release of his widely regarded solo classic Kakashi, from 1982, and the otherworldly Utakata No Hibi, by Mariah in 1983, he went into the studio the following year with frequent collaborators, producer Aki Ikuta and Morio Watanabe (bassist of Mariah), to record a mystifying collection of experimental dance music. Utilizing cutting-edge technology and studio trickery, Kiren showcases Shimizu’s trademark playfulness, marrying richly layered production techniques to off-kilter, sometimes traditional sounding rhythms and melodies. Portending his work with the Saxophonettes as well as forecasting trends in techno, new wave, and futuristic rhythmic music, this formerly lost album represents an important period of Shimizu’s artistic expression, an artist at his peak, while successfully exploring the intersections of fusion, synthpop, new wave, and jazz.
Detriti Records presents a next cassette release from Swiss artist Karl Kave.
Tabula Rasa is a deep and often wistful journey into the world of Daniel Holt’s project Human Figures. Transitive and ethereal, these eight tracks effortlessly fuse elements of cold wave, post-punk, and minimal electronics culminating in a pensive opus awash in faded dreams. Another classic from the visionary artist at his finest.
Artificial Dance spent a wealth of time going through the archived recordings of Richard Zeilstra, AKA Genetic Factor. Richard was a pivotal figure in the Amsterdam new wave and avant-garde pop music circles. Besides hosting the ever-influential Spleen and Radionome radio shows on the VPRO he also found time to conduct his own audible experiments. As a firm believer of music by non-musicians Richard has made the effort throughout the last decades to keep on recording in a variety of different guises on different parts of the planet. In these different times and places, the genetic factor was always there. The sampler contains 2 songs from a forthcoming 2×12″ full-length archival compilation and 2 exclusives. The archival compilation will see the day of light in 2022. Fully endorsed and in collaboration with Richard, compiled by Olf van Elden & Robert Bergman.
In 2012 Claus Fovea self released a cassette containing 10 tracks, he was at his Swedish beginnings. 9 years later Lux Rec re-discovered his tape and it still sounded so true and relevant to them that they decided to release it on vinyl. Claus then reworked some tracks, scrap some, and made few new. Florin Buchel mixed them down and Andrea Merlini mastered them. The result is a picture frozen in time, in between now and then, the struggle, and sadness, that fragile construction of hope shattered as time goes by, like nothing ever change. It is indeed, as he sings, just the same song playing all the time. Over and over.
Mannequin Records introduce you a brand new album by Johannes Haas aka L.F.T. (Love, Fist, Tears) – one of the hottest electro/wave names around the globe. Pursuing a stubborn DIY aesthetic with an extensive use of lo-fi technology, over compressed drum machines and tapes, over the last two years L.F.T. has released several records on different labels like Helena Hauff’s Return To Disorder and Elena Colombi’s Osaré Editions. Endorsing a distinctive contemporary sound, ‘Salz’ is moving forward to an highly authentic mixture of electro and synthwave, with a lo-fi analog power blended all over his tracks, somewhere between Liaisons Dangereuses, I-F and Bakterielle Infektion, bringing us back – and fresh as never before – the amazing early days of CBS Radio – now Intergalactic Fm.
SIRS presents a selection of edits in the memory of the East German music available for download on his bandcamp.
A roundup of positive nostalgia from Fontaine SMC: two French artists and friends who share the same vision of electronic music. They have several project under other names, often axed on IDM/electro, but this time the joined the forces for a synthwave and punk flavor project. I was a soldier EP is a social criticism/journey into human fears and hard relationships, synthetized into an 80s look, dusty and raw sounding. A mix of punk dementia and the most intense dance music, the one that takes the joints and makes you move them well.
On Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop, Dark Entries brings us 10 divergent tracks of Mexican electronics from 1980-1989, full of skittering analog drum boxes and saucy synthesizer hooks. 8 of these songs were culled from the 2005 CD-only compilation Backup: Expediente Tecno Pop on AT-AT records. Also included are two previously unreleased cuts. This release marks the first time many of these songs will have appeared on vinyl; it is also the first ever vinyl compilation of Mexican New Wave and post-punk. While synth pop and obscure electronics from Europe and the United States have been extensively documented, much less attention has been paid to such offerings from the periphery. Back Up serves as a vital document of Mexico’s flourishing DIY scene in the 1980s, surveying a wide range of styles and moods. By using home recording techniques, the bands featured here were able to circumvent relying on the expensive studios of the era. Tracks by Avant Garde, Vandana, and Silueta Palida mine the kind of dreary-but-infectious wave that long-time Dark Entries fans will celebrate. Meanwhile, Volti and Artefacto offer a floor-ready pop sound that has echoes of NY freestyle, with Latin percussion and boxy beats. But darker turns are present as well, with Decada 2s New Beat-inflections and electro experiments of Syntoma and their side project Escuadrón Del Ritmo.
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.