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.
The year is 1981. The Kiel-based PostPunk / Wave underground outfit NO MORE releases their second ever single „Suicide Commando“ and their world changes forever. Well, not only their world – THE world. What began as an independently published 7“ single became a cult classic, a genre defining – and defying – song, an all-time dancefloor favorite of many, a timeless signature piece that escaped its original realm of PostPunk x Wave x Indie x Alternative to also become engrained in the DNA of modern electronic dancefloor culture most prominently in the beloved late 90s permutation presented by DJ Hell which became a classic in its own right. Now the year is 2021. Four decades have passed and NO MORE’s „Suicide Commando“ is back once again. And staying true to the underground blueprint this 40th anniversary re-release edition once again is put out on the circuit through a small independent label: the Intrauterin Recordings offspring El Caballo Semental.
DAS DAS is a synth-punk duo from Berlin composed by Cosey Mueller (voice & Guitar) and Jo Schwund (synth & programming). “Leben in Bildschirmen” their second album, was release in April on Phantom Records and now it gets a release also on Detriti Records.
Mini-album collecting early work by Tennessee’s Human Figures. “After An Ordeal” sees HF’s Daniel Holt moving forward by looking back. These are no mere embryonic demos, these are intricate and majestic anthems of defeat from Holt.
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.
ABRAXAS is the activist techno side project of Damià Llorens , alma matter of We Are Not Brothers. Self-defined as “activism trough music, promoting social, political, economical and environmental changes in our fucking capitalist society towards a greater good”, his vinyl debut is about real punk attitude on the 21th century. Including collaborations by Nightcrawler, Univac and José Rodríguez”.
The debut album of the Greek one-man project HERE-X contains everything we could expect from a leading modern post-punk act. Cold wave ambiances fulfilled with sumptuous guitar riffs and beautiful synth lines surrounded by exuberant vocals.
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.
This very one Lost Boy from Brazil washed ashore the Lowlands’ ‘Finis Terrae’, a produce of first-generation ‘Shock Doctrine’ and a real ‘carioca’ borne on the New World’s ‘Bossa Nova’ and ‘Esplendor Geometrico’ of old ‘Ancien Regime’ para-military junta that delivers quite some maximally dark and manic minimal wave of late, at times even slightly reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees and of Joy Division, and all sung through old and charming, slightly dissonant ‘Samba’ melody lines vaguely hailing from certain sinister up-hill ‘Cidade de Deus’ margins of a distinctly distant ‘Vagamundo’ Purgatory past in either the Portuguese, the English or the Spanish tongues, rendering the paranoia ‘facsimile in Limbo’ of the coming Futurist Global Orderly State, this deep-state ‘Novo Estado Novo’ within the current ‘Nova Bossa Nova’, this ‘Guerra Nova Prometheida por uma Terra Nova Prometida’, the World’s Electronic New Wave ‘Fado’ of Digital Panopticon and similar forms of purely A.I.-bot-generated (nothing personal!) Totalitarian Torture ‘Technique du coup d’Etat’ in genuine random numbers as already foreseen and shown to all some long time before in the Magic Green on that ‘Funky Dollar Bill’, ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’.
Though the hallowed halls of Berlin’s nightlife excess now sit cold, the sounds that once haunted their depths beat ever onward, and colder still. Birthed in these hushed plaguelands, XTR HUMAN’s new full-length G.O.L.D evokes the frozen melancholy of a post-pandemic city, driven ever onward by the impetus of night’s primary currencies: sweat, release and change. The latest full-length from Johannes Stabel, G.O.L.D finds the German producer evolving as much as the rest of the world has had to. Taking his political and socially conscious lyrics into his native tongue brings a deeper and more powerful thrust to their weight—particularly at a time when Germany is weighing its own social consciousness after years of being seen as a leading world figure.
Nuovo Testamento is the Los Angeles & Bologna-based trio featuring members of Horror Vacui, Sheer Mag, Tørsö, Terremoto and Crimson Scarlet. With the addition of Chelsey Crowley on vocals, synthesists Andrea Mantione & Giacomo Zatti found that their initial coldwave tracks, originally written for the male voice, took on an undeniable synthpop feel. While still recording these songs for the debut Exposure EP in 2019, the band leaned into this evolution and their shared love of Italo disco, beginning to write what would become the New Earth LP. Recorded in isolation during a global pandemic, New Earth is a dark Italo record dappled with light. For eight new tracks, dancing synths perfectly balance the rich dream of a charmed life with melancholy. Guitars have taken a step back, allowing disco beats to flood the floor and joyful fun to prevail. The record anticipates a return to dance spaces, imagines shared experiences and celebrates personal power.
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.
Idlestates welcome Frankfurt-based Raw Ambassador to the label for their first solo album release. The Italian producer has gone from strength to strength over the last 4 years building up an impressive collection of 12″ and cassette releases, this debut solo LP is no exception. Drawing inspiration from a variety of genres, spanning from 80s sci-fi-inspired body music merged with harsher industrial and punk elements. Ultimately, we are delighted to share with you eight no-nonsense tracks that are sure to intensify the dancefloor.
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.
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.
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.
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.