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.
There’s a mystical place in the heart of Rotterdam, oddly tucked in between the corporate buildings. Bright light boards and red velvet carpets, it’s a small cinema that still breaths its old-school grandeur. That’s where the Cinerama Adventures project was born, lead by its staff supervisor DJ Overdose. The result are two tracks that go from modern flavored freestyle to sleazy darkroom experiments, both accompanied by the instrumental versions.
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.
Following his Red Pyramid EP, L.F.T. returns to Mechatronica with fearless visions, Nils Fock on vocals and a cold-blooded Dollkraut remix on the flip.
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.
Romanian producer and DJ Miruna Boruzescu aka Borusiade knows how to create ethereal tracks, somewhere between post-wave, techno and industrial vibes. “Purge”, the new EP for Tripalium Corp, is about heart-break in forced isolation, when the only way to stay sane is purging through music and lyrics. From the 80s synth of “Let Go” to the experimental ten-minutes-trip “Haunted Evolution”, these five tracks are talking about of one’s coping systems in extreme emotional situations, hope and power to move on and last but not least, learned lessons and empowerment.
The new Phormix Tapes release comes from a Greek artist based in Trikala, Tatat.
With retro sensibilities, complementing it with some mid- to -late ’80s sonic influence. Everything is written live, with hardware synths, drum machines and pedals, out in one channel. The album consists of 10 inner emotional musical vignettes which meant to catalyze a wave in sense of nostaligic enchantment that synthwave die-hards will love.
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.
Drenched in gloom and gloss, OorsprongPark’s soundscapes hexed our minds once again, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome back the Utrecht-based producer for his second release on Mechatronica. Dark Marble is bleak, gleaming and doubtlessly fluid, a sublime followup to his 2019 debut album Velvet Curtain.
Half of Manie Sans Délire, June, turns up on Artificial Dance with his anticipated new mini-album, ‘Horizons’ – following on from his studio companion Trenton Chase’s ‘Planar Array’ released earlier in 2020. True to the signature synth-splattered sound of his and his duo, June’s newest wave-imbued manifesto has us swimming amidst an organized chaos of roughly extruded keyboard wizardry, punk-minded drum programming and a retro-futuristic headspace. Scanning out the gap between Italo, new wave, EBM and new beat, ‘Horizons’ shifts seamlessly from forward-moving, arpeggio-laden circuitry (‘JW’, ‘Infinity Room’) to hi-intensity body music (’New Horizons’), through ambientoid spaced-out sonic explorations (‘Uncharted Territories’) and quirky downtempo chuggers (‘Reverie’, ‘Psychic Process’). A kaleidoscope of rhythmic tricks and shape-shifting mirages, June’s scope-expanding six-track voyage vows to play mind games with its listener till all lights have gone off.
Magnetron Music presents Karel’s second EP “The Work”. Karel is known for climbing up things, swinging in on a rope and other signature moves. He has a John Maus like, synth-pop/ wave/ 80s sound and creates a warm vibe wherever he is playing.
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.