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.
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.
Frontmaschine is a french band created by Hérve and Louis. The alchemy of a father/son duo who experience with the ambiance, the sounds and the samples. Front 242 and D.A.F are their main influences. The music offered fluctuates from industrial to old school, and from German to English vocals. Dark sounds (sounds of the 80s), rhythmed by rustic sequences, electronic drum sounds and samples such as machines, radio communication or metals.
After the repress of their single “Eyes / Morning Rain”, Camisole Records announces the reissue of Coldreams tape “Crazy Night”. Recorded in 1984-1985 by a gang of young students passionate about Post-Punk this record represents the culmination of the band first period. Haunted lyrics and melancholia were already the basics of their sound and from “Don’t Cry” to “Crazy Night / Burning Passion” it’s difficult to imagine that they were only 18 to 19 years old at that time. “Bulbs and Bubbles” and “Turn the Button” show their pop appeal which definitely takes them apart from their contemporaries and all-around gloomy feelings infuse these six tracks which unveils another part of Coldreams history.
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.
Popnihil returns with an album of intricate postpunk from Daniel Holt’s new project Human Figures. Besides running Ardetha Records, Holt has impressed with dungeon synth and ambient projects, his dark synth duo Vault, and a mind-melting techno 12″ for L.I.E.S. Records. But Human Figures is a completely new and personal avenue of expression. “Footsteps” features hymnal, meditative post-punk from musical polymath Daniel Holt.
Polytechnic Youth return with the whacked out synth-punk mini LP “Es Una Bestia” by Wladyslaw Trejo. Trejo is a Spanish musician, and a key figure in the European underground electronic scene; and despite this being his first solo album since 2015’s self titled debut, he is eternally busy, especially as part of ‘avant-wave’ dueo Slovenska Televiza. Trejo says of the record: “Es Una Bestia is a settling of personal accounts with the ghosts and fears of youth. Digging through the wounds, exploring the cursed soul, inviting his monsters to come to the surface and they do so in the form of vitriolic and hallucinated synth-punk. For this bloody task he has aquired the best possible help, the complicity of the prestigious (and Nick Cave favourite) Polish painter Aleksandra Waliszewska, who provides vocals, as well as the director and musician Wiktor Stribog, the brain behind the ‘Kraina Grzybów’ phenomenon, who collaborates on the lyrics. In his solo project Wladyslaw reveals himself as a crooked line, a faustic anomaly that invites to a dark and psychotropic journey in the form of feverish electronics, industrial rhythms, and almost paranoid sound walls through certain life risks”.
Ecdisis Vol 3 is fresh and ready to wreak some havoc. Up first is Vinilette’s rework of Flux of Pink Indians’ “Nothing Is Not Done.” A brood of beats, this rhythmic romp is inspired by the 1986 piece on Uncarved Block. Layers of kick drums, bongos and toms echo and judder as a cold line circles and closes ever tighter. Following we have the head honcho, Juanpablo with his extended edit of Mac Blackout’s “Do The Dance In Your Head”. The intro is given room, adopting a doom disco march, before the fearsome crash of strings. The lyrics, a lurid tale brimming with menace, are sweetened with twirling notes in this grisly stomper. The final attack sequence comes care of Mick Wills with his amazing cut of an unreleased track by Argentina’s great producer NGLY. Dark and looming this distortion streaked encounter will leave bodies and speaker cones raw.
Culminating in four years of recording sessions in Russia, Australia and Northern Ireland, ‘A Voyeur Makes No Mark’ is Nite Fields’ second LP. It’s the follow up to 2015’s ‘Depersonalisation’. If ‘Depersonalisation’ was an album of loss and self-destruction, ‘A Voyeur Makes No Mark’ embodies a self-possessed, buoyant, confrontational figure – though no less anguished with self and the world at large. More outward looking than the Nite Fields debut, and with a redefined aesthetic, themes of rebirth and redefinition carry throughout the album immortalised in principal songwriter and protagonist Danny Venzin’s delicate web of sound. Found within the 8-track LP are sounds rarely heard and even lesser played by the Western hemisphere. Utilising a sonic palette inspired by Venzin’s new surrounds whilst living in Moscow, a purposeful decision was made to incorporate local recording equipment and instrumentation. The results are stark yet richly atmospheric.
Minimal Wave presents The Sound of Indifference, a rare cassette released in 1981 by Aural Indifference. Aural Indifference was a post-punk studio collective from Sydney, Australia. The two principal members were Brian Spencer Hall (the M Squared in house producer) and Kevin Purdy. The cassette album, The Sound of Indifference, was released in 1981, featuring tracks such as “Theme”, “Park, and “Man Am I Progressive”. Their sound ranges from minimal synth, to post-punk to quirky guitar-driven electronic folk music, some of it resembling John Maus. “Theme” appeared as the closing track on The Minimal Wave Tapes: Volume Two compilation and “The Park” appeared on The Bedroom Tapes compilation.
Malka Tuti delivers a new 7” by mysterious artist ‘Lena Muir’. Two cuts of Post Punk infused dance floor bonanza for your weirdo selectors set, or your next car chase. Sounding like they were taken out of a Robert Rodriguez movie, the 2 tracks push relentlessly forward, with a quirky drum machine, heavy bass and kick-ass guitar riffs.