lunes, 1 de junio de 2020

Jeunesse D'Ivoire

Jeunesse D'Ivoire was a Minimal Wave band from Milano, Italy. They only released a self-titled tape in 1982 with three songs: “Silent Imagery”, “A Gift Of Tears” and “Praise”. Members were Danilo Carnevale, also in Ivories -a reunion of ex-Jeunesse d'Ivoire members- Lunaires, Other Side and Plugmen), Patrizia Tranchina (Ivories, Lunaires), Riccardo Frateschi (Other Side) and former member of new wave band Le Jour Prochain and dance music producer Stefano Comazzi (Area 106, Basic Hip, Beat 4 Life, Grey Area, Groove Instinct, NU Perspective, Plugmen, Visions Factory). 

domingo, 31 de mayo de 2020


Monuments were founded in January 1981 in Turin, Italy. The band emerged from the ashes of the new wave band Teknospray (1978–81), where the founding members played side by side as guitarist / keyboardist and bassist / keyboardist. In the new line-up Mauro Tavella (synthesizer and programs) and Andrea Costa (synthesizer and vocals) immediately decided to dedicate themselves exclusively to electro-music. Their aim was to blend traditional pop melodies with the latest synthesized sounds. 

Live concerts were performed on a “synthesizers and percussion” recorded base coming from a 4-track tape player. This was normally supported by visual material (slides shows and 16mm film clips). The melodies, the main instrumental parts and vocals were always played live. The four most important tours were: "Ice Age" (40 dates in Piedmont and around Italy, from 1981 to 1982); "Monuments from the Future" (60 dates from 1983 to 1984, with 8 shows in Germany; "Nite & Lite" (50 dates spanning 1984 and 1985, with 10 shows in France and Belgium); "Per Mangiare Le Nuvole" (about 40 dates from 1985 to 1986, including a show in which they represented new Italian music at the first Mediterranean Biennial in Barcelona (1985). In the same years they also did some impromptu sound performances. These included "Sunset Boulevard" in 1984 during which Monuments played a two-hour improvised sound track to accompany a sunset at 2,400 meters in the Alps. 

In 1986, Monuments decided to abandon the live set, but they held on to their synthesizers and music. In previous years they had often been commissioned to write music and now decided to return to their private studio to work on soundtracks for the theatre, radio and independent cinema. In 1987, they pooled economic and physical resources by joining forces with Carlo Ubaldo Rossi and Andrea Lesmo to create a professional recording studios (Transeuropa Recording Studio). This new lineup mixed and produced a lot of independent music for artists such as Litfiba, Neon, Moda and others, as well as composing new material on commission. In 1995, Monuments start working on a new live experiment, "Electronìa Alchemica", which would see them working exclusively with sound (bringing the mixer on stage, too) to produce a quadraphonic concert. The show was only performed in a few select venues and then dropped. 

In 2002, the duo agreed to have a break. Mauro Tavella devoted his time to working as technical director and occasional producer on projects for Africa Unite (Italian reggae band) and also worked as a freelance in many different recording studios in the city. Andrea Costa worked on a few experimental solo projects and also began providing technical and artistic support for fashion shows and conventions. 

In 2006, the story seemed all over when Costa and Tavella felt like giving it another go. They rekindled the Monument project by inviting the singer/composer Marino Paire to work with them. They had already collaborated with him over the years in parallel experiences. Marino Paire should have joined the lineup in 1986, but the change in direction of the duo placed the idea on the back burner. In 2007 Anna Logue Records contacted them to discuss reissuing some of the old material and some previously unheard tracks. This resulted in 'XXVII' coming out at the beginning of 2008. This CD is an anthology containing the best of the group’s early years (1981–84). The first ever piece by the duo, "Die Denkmäler" (1981), was specially rearranged for the occasion in a more modern guise, and represents a crossover point towards their most recent work. Between 2008 and 2010 Monuments tested the new line-up in Turin with an improvised live performance ("Electronìa Alchemica 2"). They also reinterpreted some pieces by Mozart for a live performance by Italian artist Maurizio Vetrugno. They produced an multimedia installation called "Up/Down" for a contemporary art exhibition. At the same time, a number of compilations came out on the market containing tracks by Monuments. In 2012 Marino Paire leaves the band and Andrea Costa and Mauro Tavella continue to work together.  [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA]

sábado, 30 de mayo de 2020


The Mississippi-based power-pop group The Windbreakers primarily comprised the duo of singer / guitarists Tim Lee and Bobby Sutliff. After debuting in 1982 with 'Meet the Windbreakers', a seven-inch EP issued on their own Big Monkey label, the band enlisted the aid of producer Mitch Easter for the follow-up, 1983's 'Any Monkey With a Typewriter', which featured an appearance by The Bongos' Richard Barone. Two years later, The Windbreakers released their full-length debut 'Terminal'; among the guests were The Rain Parade, who produced and played on a cover of Television's "Glory." (In 1986, Lee and Rain Parade member Matt Piucci also teamed in the side project Gone Fishin'.) After Lee and Sutliff reconvened in 1986 for 'Run', recorded with Easter and long-standing associate Randy Everett, The Windbreakers disbanded, although the following year's 'A Different Sort...', essentially a Lee solo project, appeared under the band's name. After a handful of solo projects, The Windbreakers reunited in 1989 for the self-produced 'At Home With Bobby and Tim', followed in 1991 by 'Electric Landlady'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 29 de mayo de 2020


Visible was a synth-pop and minimal wave duo formed in Troyes, France, by Pascal Tritsch (Guitar, Bass, Vocals) and Yves Thibord (Keyboards), that released two 7", 'Essor Assuré' (1981) and 'Indicible Fréquence' (1982) and a 12'', 'A Fine Aim In Life' (1983) all on the Hawai label. In 1982, Yves Thibord produced the EP 'Shangaï Express' by the French band of the same name, and in 1989 he collaborated by adding effects and samplers to the rai album 'Hana Hana' by Chaba Fadela and Cheb Sahraoui. They have appeared on compilations such as 'BIPPP: French Synth-Wave 1979/85' (2006) and 'Des Jeunes Gens Modernes' (2008). 

jueves, 28 de mayo de 2020

Tracey Thorn

One of the most enduring English singer/songwriters, Tracey Thorn began making music with Stern Bops and then, more notably, Marine Girls, a minimalist pop group that released a pair of albums inspired by Young Marble Giants and The Raincoats. While Marine Girls were active, Thorn released 'A Distant Shore', a relatively moody, if similarly skeletal solo album, on Cherry Red in 1982. Around that time, she met Ben Watt -who was also signed to Cherry Red- and formed a partnership as Everything But the Girl. From 1984 through 1999, Thorn and Watt released ten albums that shifted from indie pop to slick sophisti-pop to downtempo club music. Additionally, Thorn appeared on recordings by the likes of The Style Council, The Go-Betweens, and Massive Attack. Shortly after having twin daughters together, she and Watt put EBtG on ice, as Watt DJ'ed and operated his Buzzin' Fly label while Thorn stayed home with the children. They had a third child, a boy, in 2001. 

After several years away from music, Thorn began writing again and recorded her second solo album, 'Out of the Woods', which was released in early 2007. Instead of working with Watt, she collaborated with a number of producers, including Ewan Pearson, Charles Webster, Cagedbaby, Sasse, and Martin Wheeler. A year later, Thorn and Watt married. Pearson returned as sole producer of Thorn's 2010 effort 'Love and Its Opposite', released in the U.K. by Watt's Strange Feeling label. In 2012, Thorn released 'Tinsel and Lights', a holiday album featuring songs by contemporary composers. A well-received memoir, "Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star", was published in 2013. Following that were a couple low-key releases, including the two-song 'Molly Drake Songs' (recorded with Watt for a BBC 4 documentary about the mother of Nick Drake) and "Under the Ivy" (a Kate Bush cover). Thorn was sought out by screenwriter and director Carol Morley to provide the soundtrack for "The Falling", a drama that debuted at the BFI London Film Festival in 2014. Just prior to the film's wider release the following April, Thorn's contribution -eight short songs- was issued as 'Songs from the Falling'. 

Thorn's career as a writer kept going strong. In 2014, she started writing a column for The New Statesman and in 2015 published 'Naked at the Albert Hall', a book delving into the art of singing. Her own voice was heard again later that year on a compilation of her work as a solo artist: 'Solo: Songs and Collaborations 1982-2015'. She also appeared as a guest vocalist on John Grant's album 'Grey Tickles, Black Pressure'. She stayed quiet on the musical front for the next few years, only appearing on Jens Lekman's 2017 album 'Life Will See You Now'. She had begun writing songs for another album in 2016, however, and in 2017, began recording them with producer Ewan Pearson, bassist Jenny Lee, and drummer Stella Mozgawa (both of whom play in Warpaint). Along the way, vocalists Shura and Corinne Bailey Rae stopped by to add contributions. The record, simply titled 'Record', was issued in March of 2018 by Merge in North America and by Unmade Road everywhere else. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 27 de mayo de 2020

The Snails

The Snails were an early 80's anarcho-punk band from London. There were a whole host of anarcho-punk bands out there in the early 80s, but it seems they're all forgotten -APF Brigade, The Apostles or The Snails. They only released the 'Shitting Bricks' tape. It's very, very lo-fi indeed, and most of the time all you can hear are the drums and vocals, and our vocalist is no Steve Ignorant with his second-rate Johnny Rotten sneers. The most obvious criticism of anarcho-punk is that many of the bands put message before music, and that's the case here as many of the tracks on here are more on-record rants than songs. Yet anarcho-punk lyrics never fail to be interesting, indeed "From Foxhunts to Oblivion" is a very thought-provoking affair that starts with fox hunting and ends with an image of nuclear apocalypse. It's that typical Crass thing where you begin with one topic that you present as a microcosm of a bigger issue before hitting you over the head with said bigger issue. The sparseness of this tape is intriguing, and though it never really 'rocks', you certainly feel it. Not perfect, but recommended. [SOURCE: RATE YOUR MUSIC

martes, 26 de mayo de 2020

The Rentals

Jeff and Jane Hudson were two of the three original Rentals, Pseudo Carol was the third member. The Rentals formed in the fall of 1977 in Boston, and released their first single 'Gertrude Stein'b/w 'Low Rent' which were produced by Oedipus (former program director at WBCN, Boston). The Rentals opened for The Clash at the Harvard Sq. Theater on Feb. 16, 1979 (on the same bill with Bo Diddley). After moving to New York, they signed to Beggars'Banquet Records at Max's Kansas City in 1979 at four in the morning in their dressing room. They released the cult single, 'I Got A Crush On You', that charted in NME London 1980. The Rentals broke up in 1980. [SOURCE: JEFF AND JANE

lunes, 25 de mayo de 2020

Plan 9

Featuring four guitars and a sound straight from those psychedelic '60s, Rhode Island's Plan 9 dealt with little except period covers on their first album, 1982's 'Frustration'. The group added a batch of originals on 'Dealing With the Dead', and spent the next two albums compiling early singles ('Plan 9') and documenting their live show ('I've Just Killed a Man, I Don't Want to See Any Meat'). Plan 9 began to add remnants of hard rock with 1985's 'Keep Your Cool & Read the Rules', but after switching to Enigma, the group stripped its '60s influences and began sounding like a plain old rock band. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 24 de mayo de 2020


In 1982, Sven Väth was asked to play a residency at the club Dorian Gray in Frankfurt am Main. It was there that he met Michael Münzing and Luca Anziloti and got into music production. In 1985, the three came together as Off ("Organisation For Fun") and produced the single 'Bad News', which he brought with him to Ibiza and proffered it to Alfredo, Pippi, and Cesar –Ibiza’s popular DJs at the time. The following year, in 1986, Off broke ground with their new record, "Electrica Salsa” from their debut album, 'Organisation For Fun'. The track became such a hit across Europe that Sven found himself as a pop sensation performing with stars such as Vanessa Paradis and Axel Bauer at the age of 22. It sold one million copies. Off released a series of singles and a second album, 'Ask Yourself', in 1989. Their final single, 'Move Your Body' was released in 1990. Münzing and Anziloti moved on to their new project, Snap!. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

sábado, 23 de mayo de 2020

Nautilus Pompilius

Sverdlovsk-Leningrad hybrid Nautilus Pompilius became legendary for its abrupt ascension to celebrity at the end of the 1980s, making a name for Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) as the third capitol of Soviet rock. Its sound originated in the Ural Mountains but found a home among innovative Leningrad groups like Akvarium and Kino. Charismatic frontman Vycheslav Butusov and songwriter Ilya Kormiltsev were the two constant members of Nautilus. Other musicians, mostly fellow disciples of the Sverdlovsk scene, came and went throughout the group's almost 20-year history. 

The seeds for Nautilus Pompilius were planted in 1978 by Vycheslav Butusov and Dimitry Umetsky, two students of the Sverdlovsk Institute of Architecture. The pair performed at dances, entertaining patrons with renditions of Western rock hits, only in 1983 recording their debut with a Led Zeppelin-like stab at hard rock called 'Pereyezd' ("Crossing"). In 1985 they become known officially as Nautilus Pompilius, (they had previously called themselves Ali-Baba I Sorok Pazboynikov ["Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves"]). That same year, songwriter Kormiltsev, also of the group Urfin Juice, tagged onto the collective. Following the group's first visit to Leningrad in 1984, Nautilus Pompilius radically changed its aesthetic, making itself over as a new wave trio: the two founding members added keyboardist Viktor Komarov. 1985's 'Nevidimka' ("Invisible Being") marked a re-orientation towards the Leningrad rock scene, with Butusov's jumpy vocals tightly strung over monotone bass and keyboard accompaniment. That year, the group's destiny overlapped briefly with fellow Sverdlovsk rocker and Trek vocalist Nastia Poleva, who performed with the group, but quickly dropped the project to pursue her own solo work. 

In 1986, 'Razluka' ("Separation") detonated their fame in the Soviet Union from one end to the other. The group tried on a new image, donning military uniforms and welcoming a crew of new musicians from the Sverdlovsk stage. One notable addition was Nastia Poleva's husband and longtime bandmate, Egor Belkin, also guitarist for Urfin Juice. A slew of triumphant concerts followed, including a legendary performance at Moscow's televised Rock Panorama, where the provincial group managed to turn the capitol upside down, staggering audiences and media, and instigating full-blown Nautilus-mania. In the same trip, Nautilus found time to record an album, its first to be released on the official state label Melodiya. In 1989, at the pinnacle of their fame, 'Knyaz' Tishyinyi' ("Prince of Silence") was a bona fide hit. The group took its charisma onto the silver screen, appearing in two films by Ural director Andrei Balabanov, "Ranshe Bylo Sovsem Drugoe Vremya" ("Before Was a Different Time") and "U Menya Net Druga" ("I Don't Have a Friend"), and a Finnish documentary about Soviet rock, "The Sickle and the Guitar". 

In 1989, life under the microscope was wearing on some bandmembers, coming to a head when co-founder Umetsky exited the lineup, leaving the group to unravel completely. But in 1990 Butusov moved permanently to St. Petersburg, reincarnating the group with new musicians and a new sound: harsh minimalist guitar rock that was met with skepticism, at best. Two albums, 1990s 'Naugad' ("At Random") and 1992's 'Chuzhaya Zemlya' ("Foreign Earth") demonstrated new lyrical trends as well; Butusov and Kormiltsev had traded in the social themes of previous years for textual contemplations of philosophy and religion that seemed more relevant amid the moral and aesthetic crises of the newly freed economy. Few enthusiasts of the military-clad Nautilus of the '80s followed them into the '90s, but the group found new audiences, in 1994 releasing their most commercially successful album of the new period, 'Titanic'. From then on critics noticed a steep decline in the group's work, reflected in 1995's 'Kryl'ya' ("Wings"), which even the musicians admitted was forced. Hoping to find a way out of their artist sinkhole, Butusov and Kormiltsev flew to England to record their new album 'Yablokitay' ("Apple-China"), a collaboration with Boris Grebenshikov as well as local producer Bill Nelson. They returned to Russia to promote and tour the album, but shortly after its release, the group scattered. Their final triumph was the soundtrack for Andrei Balabanov's cult classic "Brat" ("Brother"), a representation of '90s mob culture that became iconic in the post-Soviet era. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC