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.
The Illegal Future LP by Infravision is the soundtrack to a (not so) imaginary future constructed with clear cyberpunk aesthetics, inspired by films like Strange Days, Blade Runner or Akira and of course by the current disturbing era. Through their titles, lyrics and sonic palette Kendal & Pablo Bozzi channel a dystopian narrative on themes of virtual reality, police brutality, ultra-authoritarian leadership, illegal nocturnal activities, border controls, ecological crises and space colonisation. It is their ambition to imbue the italo, EBM, early trance and breakbeat sounds of the 80s and 90s with an undeniably modern touch, making claim to their very own distinctive and powerful sound : Italo Body Music from another reality.
‘Next Wave Acid Punx’ is a journey across nearly 40 years of dark club music compiled and curated by Berlin-based Musician and DJ, Luca Venezia aka Curses. The first part takes early tracks from bands who came directly out of the punk and new wave scenes, that played a major role in forming Luca’s musical taste. The second part celebrates current music influenced by these early pioneers and exclusive tracks made for this compilation, with the passion for these genres in mind.
Reminiscent of all the slippery vinyl that glitched under so many sweaty wet fingers in a steamy basement before time – a picture that seems highly illegal in our current antiseptic climate of hopefully germ free adolescents. Vax-inate! Give them the needle! It’s time. Six tracks coming from Deti Vechnosti, Alexander Arpeggio & OhLandy, Rouge Mécanique, Automatenfall, Das Kinn and Alessandro Adriani.
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.
Platform 23 presents “It Was”, a collection of tracks from Colin Potter, chosen from his 1989 cassettes Recent History Volumes 1 & 2. After a burst of activity, mainly on his ICR label, from 1980 – 82, the tapes were the first released music in seven years and highlighted the intervening period. While much of his earlier recordings have now been reissued by Dark Entries, Deep Distance and Sacred Summits, It Was covers the period where Potter recordings were limited while working as an engineer at his IC Studio, and pre-date his work with Nurse With Wound. The ambience and guitar of The French Polisher leads to Diary Of A Nobody, an embodiment of Potter, sequencers and guitar against submerged, metallic percussion rising. Dense, claustrophobia follows in Solidarity At Wujeck Colliery towards the guitar refrains of Persistence. Side two starts with Green Fields, where plucked guitars are surrounded and consumed by arpeggios. Propulsion without percussion, the layers of arps shift and redefine before the scatter of Saw with reversed synths and guitar acting as counterbalance. Nine Months, a possible centerpiece, has an autumnal atmosphere; crashing cymbals and ambulant guitar, leading to the closing Ships That Pass In The Night, a hazy drift of slowly sequenced synths & primitive voice samples.
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.
Death Decay Magic Remixes Vol. 1 draws on the first three releases from the label: Black Light Smoke “Lines & Shadows”, Daniel Holt “Traveler”, and Man 2.0, Black Light Smoke “Holy Hammer”. With remixes from The Hacker, Cardopusher and others, DDM05 hits hard with EBM and electro vibes.
Celebrating one year of music From The Void Above third release consists of five cuts by the Spanish maestro Do Or Die. On the A-Side the record opens with Autoflanger, a driving techno track with trancey elements which gives no rest. A2, 25 Seconds, presents a biting electro cut where the vocals and synths take us on a apocaliptic journey. Heaven in Hell closes the A-Side with a tranquil but tense acid track where the interaction of the bassline, drums, leads and pads create an ascent into the enlightenment brought by the glimpse of this new universe. The B-Side opens up with Out Run 2020, a warped break-beat phantasmagoria where detuned synths constantly fight aganst the driving bassline. Finally, B2 gives us Overdose, a gloomy electro cut with sounds brought up from the darkest places of this new universe.
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.
Under exhausted lights of civil discontent the count has just began. What you parodied, what you scrutinized rears its pure gaze when punctured beyond performance. We cried for justice but instead found order, and now we face the chain. PC World comes through with a haunting EP on She Lost Kontrol to distort the view and warp the vision of industrial addicts and mutant punks with their second release “Order”, a discursive counterattack on four distinct forms of command. The South London duo disfigures the unconscious reduction of pleasure and fetish, the connective tissue between privatization and violence, the seduction of societal norms, and the neurotic tendencies of self-defeat. Like the surrender to a future shock, these four interwoven tracks are produced for the recognition of restraint and the demand for wanting more. B-side remixes of the title track “Order” come from Physical Wash (former member of High-Functioning Flesh) and Aktion Mutante (featuring members of Violent Poison and Unhuman), two additional perversions of protocol from synth-punk veterans on both sides of the Atlantic.
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.
Sed Blava is the Barcelona-based solo project of Daniel Boix, well known as Dj.Simplexia or also Ciutat Solitud, his ambient-industrial project. “Nit Sublim” is his first album as producer and may evoke the dark sounds from Valencia in the 80’s. But if you dive deeper, you will uncover a trove of intricate details elaborated with Sed’s touch. Ranging from catchy tunes and emotive passages to powerful dance-floor tracks, his vast music background and his long-time membership to the underground music scene should be highlighted. Both of these elements give rise to a broad spectrum of genres and influences in his music, bringing together a timeless mixture of old-school Electronic Body Music, New-Beat, Electro, Synth-Wave and even Ambient.
These tracks where included on a CD-R at the first 100 S.M. Nurse EPs “30th Anniversary 1980-1983” (Domestica, 2013) – now remastered on vinyl & including an extra remix version by Rude 66.
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.
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.