sábado, 18 de noviembre de 2017

Lena Platonos


Pianist, composer, and vocalist Lena Platonos is a pioneer of the Greek electronic music scene, with over a dozen albums and numerous music videos dating back to the early '80s. She was responsible for some of the first Greek pop recordings to primarily utilize synthesizers, and her otherworldly songs combined minimalist electronic soundscapes with poetic, surrealist lyrics about relationships, dreams, and the societies of the future. A piano player since childhood, Platonos played in band called DNA during the '70s and composed music for popular Greek children's radio program "Lilipoupoli" during the second half of the decade. In 1981, she collaborated with Marianina Kriezi and Savina Yannatou for an innovative electronic album titled 'Sabotage', released by the Greek label Lyra. This was followed by an album of Kostas Karyotakis poems set to music and an LP of Manos Hadjidakis compositions, both also in collaboration with Yannatou. Platonos made her solo debut in 1984 with 'Sun Masks', followed by 'Gallop' (1985) and 'Lepidoptera' (1986), which included lyrics based on nursery rhymes by Giani Rontari. An adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Emperor's Nightingale' appeared in 1989. 


Following collaborations with Dionysis Savvopoulos and Dimitra Galani during the early '90s, Platonos retreated from the public for most of the decade, returning in 1997 with another collaboration with Yannatou, this time interpreting traditional love songs with orchestral arrangements. An album called 'The Mixer' also appeared that year, featuring Greek electronic artists interpreting her work in styles ranging from trip-hop to drum'n'bass. Platonos' 2000 album 'The Third Door' (in collaboration with Maria Farantouri) was based on poetry by Thodoros Poala, and the album was adapted into a stage production, which took place at the Athens Concert Hall in March of 2003. Platonos returned to electronic music in 2008 with 'Imerologia', which spawned two hit singles. The double CD 'Live at the Palace' followed in 2010, and '13 Songs', a collaboration with John Bonito interpreting the poetry of Constantine Cavafy, arrived in 2011. Fans of vintage new wave and synth pop eventually began to discover Platonos' work from the '80s, and one of her songs appeared on the 2012 compilation 'Into the Light: A Journey into Greek Electronic Music, Classics & Rarities'. Three years later, American label Dark Entries reissued 'Gallop' on vinyl, and an EP of remixes by Israeli techno duo Red Axes was issued by the label in 2016. By the end of the year, the label also reissued 'Sun Masks'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 17 de noviembre de 2017

Klinik


Klinik, (sometimes called The Klinik), is an industrial music band from Belgium, originally formed around 1982 by electro-synthpop practitioner Marc Verhaeghen, who is the only constant member. Marc Verhaeghen originally formed Klinik in the early-to-mid 1980s; the exact date varies depending on the source. The group is normally described as one of the most influential Belgian industrial bands in history. In 1985, Verhaeghen joined forces with two other bands, Absolute Body Control (with Dirk Ivens and Eric Van Wonterghem), and The Maniacs (Sandy Nys) to form one "super group", Absolute Controlled Clinical Maniacs. This rather unwieldy name was soon dropped in favour of the shorter name The Klinik. Nys soon left the band to form Hybryds, followed in 1987 by Van Wonterghem, leaving The Klinik as the "classic" duo of Dirk Ivens and Marc Verhaeghen. The Klinik soon made a name for themselves with their cold and harsh EBM sound and their live shows, where both Ivens and Verhaeghen performed with their heads wrapped in gauze, wearing long black leather coats. Ivens' hissing vocals and minimalist lyrics were complemented by Verhaeghen's synthesizer skills and distorted trombone playing. This however, did not last forever; after 'Time', an album neither member was fully pleased with, musical differences became too great, and they decided to go their separate ways. 


Ivens concentrated on his own project Dive, and Verhaeghen continued as Klinik (dropping the definite article from the bandname at this point); sometimes as a solo project, sometimes with various other members. Most Klinik members have also been active outside the band. Ivens has been in bands such as Absolute Body Control, Dive, Sonar, and Blok 57; Eric Van Wonterghem played with Ivens in Absolute Body Control, and has later been part of or collaborating with bands such as Insekt, Monolith, Dive and Sonar. Sandy Nys formed Hybryds already around his departure in 1986, a project which is still active. Verhaeghen has been involved in several projects outside Klinik, including Noise Unit (with Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber of Front Line Assembly), D.Sign (with Philippe and Eliane Fichot of Die Form), X10 (with Niki Mono, Marc Ickx of A Split - Second and Vidna Obmana), and Para (with his own wife Sabine Voss). Ivens and Verhaeghen briefly reunited for a few concerts in 2003/2004, one of which was released as a CD in September 2004. The band's first album in 22 years, 'Eat Your Heart Out', was released in a limited pressing of 150 black vinyl copies in April 2013. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 16 de noviembre de 2017

Jeff And Jane Hudson


Jeff & Jane Hudson are a husband/wife duo from Boston who got their start in the art punk band The Rentals in 1977. The Rentals broke up in 1980 and Jeff & Jane relocated to Manhattan where they opened for Suicide and quickly signed with No Wave label Lust/Unlust. Their first single 'No Clubs' was released in late 1980 and showcased a lo-fi avant garde all synthesizer band. The 'World Trade' EP came next in 1981, expanding their brand of post-nuclear electronic pop. Their vocals qualities were distinct; Jeff quivery and drug-addled while Jane more detached and icy. The duo reached their pinnacle with 1982′s seminal 'Flesh', perhaps one of the United States biggest achievements in the entire “synth” movement of the 80s. The music was electro-pop employing early Roland synths and the TR-808 drum machine. Jeff’s lyrics flirted with technology and politics, while Jane wrote about cultural and psychological situations. Completely self produced by the band, the record has since been oft-cited as a groundbreaking and pivotal LP of the post-punk era, who’s original copies are now heavily coveted by collectors. Completing the discography is the 'Special World' 7″ released in 1983. In 1985 the band stopped performing and recording. In 1986, Jeff started to direct music videos and Jane produced video art. Both were teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1995, Jeff and Jane reformed and performed for a couple of years and recorded again ('Zeta Brew'). The new music was more guitar-based and psychedelic. Jeff’s project for 1998 was "Gigantor", a trip-hop techno 3D video multimedia show. This show was performed at The Bank in New York and the Middle East in Cambridge. In 2002 the band completed the 'Burn' album where they covered some of their classic hits such as “Los Alamos” and “Pound Pound” with a punk rock atmosphere. As of 2011 Jeff and Jane have begun performing in Massachusetts and recording material for various labels, including Electric Voice Records. [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES RECORDS

miércoles, 15 de noviembre de 2017

In Aeternam Vale


There are bands that have been acting ruthlessly in the shadow for years, in a completely confidential manner, then one day chance makes you find one of their recordings, listen to it, and at that moment you could kick yourself for not having discovered these soundscapes earlier and you try to find all of them. That is exactly what happened to In Aeternam Vale, a strange name that will surely remind you of nothing in particular, and that is really a shame. At the basis of this band, a guy named Laurent Prot, a kind of equivalent to what Frank Tovey represented in England or Dirk Ivens in Belgium, an electronics fanatic who experimented all the sounds that you can obtain from analogical synthesizers and rhythm´n boxes. 

With the passing of time, In Aeternam Vale´s work remains astonishingly powerful, cold and caustic with its uncompromising minimalism, but also provocative and capable to smash your ass on the dance-floor. In Aeternam Vale was created in Lyons (France) in 1983 and is very much influenced at the beginning by punk-rock nihilism and aggressiveness. In these years, there were a guitar-player and also a bassist but, from 1985 onwards, Laurent Prot starts to lead the band alone with some collaborators appearing punctually. That same year, the 'Far' tape comes out in a very limited edition, and let me tell you that even listening to it today is a real slap in the face. It begins with an incredible cover-version of PIL´s “The Suit”, appearing on the famous 1979 'Metal Box'. The rhythm is hard and robotic in the Kraftwerk style, the synthesizer sounds like an obsession, the notes appear in dribs and drabs, and the singing is terribly haunting, a threatening and nasal groan. A dehumanized universe closer to neurosis than to the electronic grandiloquence so prevalent in the music of the eighties. An unwholesome and claustrophobic world such as the litanies of a Monte Cazzaza who would have made music with just a keyboard. The tape goes on with the song “Dans le Métro” in which the words of the title are repeated during almost ten minutes until it becomes only a cry of pain on a rhythm that foreshadows the Electro Body Music and perhaps even more the sound of Le Syndicat Electronique´s first songs. 


However, if In Aeternam Vale´s universe is quite nightmarish, even suffocating (the song “Holocauste” possesses an unbelievable violence, very close to industrial music), a below-the-surface humour is omnipresent, because Laurent Prot is also a ferocious and cynical satirist, a little bit like a Jean-Louis Costes who would have listened to too many new wave songs. Nevertheless, through titles such as “Sailor on the Sea” or “Voyage pour Violon Atmospherik”, Prot proves that he can create melancholy, psychedelic and dreamlike atmospheres. The following tape, 'Première Rétrorythmie Cardiaque' (1986) announces the beginning of a long collaboration with Organic, a very good label from Grenoble (they signed Palo Alto or Klimperei among others). 

The songs are shorter and much “easier” to listen to and represent a kind of sublimation of what was initiated in the 'Far' tape. The song “A.l.W.” can be seen as a real apogee in Prot´s career, the singing becomes an everlasting sob, no need for words any more. No vowels or consonants are detectable, and the voice sinks into a bloodless complaint but not really desperate. It is as if we had lost the war, we were among debris and dead bodies, but it doesn´t matter. There is this kind of acceptance of disillusion as a natural state. This feeling is emphasized by the sound of solemn and dim organs as inspired by a John Carpenter movie. The jerky and lively rhythm makes this title one of the best “cold wave” songs, a tragic hit to dance on despair. The overall tonality of the tape is quite experimental and moves from harsh and painful titles (“Haine”) to much more peaceful atmospheres (“M-7”) or to fierce and restless songs reminiscent of the early DAF (“La Lune Explose”). Even further, even stronger, the 'Dub' tape (1988) turns In Aeternam Vale´s minimalism into a sonorous nightmare. It is at least the case in the first songs of the tape. There only remain shouts, a warlike rhythm´n box and no longer any sign of melody. Prot starts to use the sampling, opening his music to new horizons closer to industrial music than to techno-pop. The second part of the tape is more sophisticated, we no longer feel the punk-rock spectrum, and explores slow rhythms sometimes similar to the New Beat of the time, but still very cold, not reassuring but playful. 

The two following tapes, 'Recovered Flesh / Out of Terror' (1989) are in this same research for a music to dance to but very dark. There are even titles close to what we can call “dark ambient” (“She Said”), nightmarish soundscapes foreshadowing the Cold Meat Industry style, but the essential things to remember from this period are the collaborations with the female singer Chrystelle Marin and her astonishing voice recalling nocturnal goddesses such as the early Siouxsie or the sensual Mona Soyoc from Kas Product. Laurent Prot went on recording tapes in the 1990´s, going from trance-techno to ambient and now to house music, but with still a lot of analogical sounds. [SOURCE: MINIMAL WAVE RECORDS

martes, 14 de noviembre de 2017

Headhunters


Headhunters were from London and they only released a full length and three EPs, mainly on Shout Records. Shout Records is an interesting label that also released records by Peyr, Hack Hack and Wicked Kitchen Staff. Here's a discography: 'Wipe Out The Funk' 12" (Shout Records); 'Industrial Warfare' LP (Shout Records) 'Impossible' 7" (Shout Records) and 'Way Of The South' 12" (Quiet Records) [SOURCE: PHOENIX HAIRPINS

lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

Gerechtigkeits Liga


Till Brüggemann started the post-industrial project Gerechtigkeits Liga in Bremen, Germany in 1981 to create an outlet for the neurotic obsessions of its members. The group produce and release their recordings on Cassettes, VHS-Videos and the 12″ Vinyl 'The Games Must Go On'. SPK’s label Side Effects release their first conceptual album 'Hypnotischer Existenzialismus' in 1985. In 1986 the album is re-released by the North American label Thermidor in San Francisco. Gerechtigkeits Liga move to London in 1987 and the band/project decides to become self-sufficient in Music, Film and Video production. Throughout the 80’s Gerechtigkeits Liga perform multimedia Concerts in Europe and North America. They’re part of the Cassette Culture and Mail Art underground movement in the eighties and receive invitations to record and release tracks on various international Cassette and Vinyl compilations. Gerechtigkeits Liga stop their activities at the beginning of the 90’s and re-emerge again around the beginning of the millenium. 


Till decides to inject new ideas into Gerechtigkeits Liga and changes the line up of the band for live performances. In 2006 he begins to work with musician and producer DJ Ragnar from Berlin. Gerechtigkeits Liga performs new live shows as well as record tracks for compilations and other new releases. In 2006 Isegrimm records releases an anthology of earlier Gerechtigkeits Liga albums and bonus tracks in form of a digipack. New and un-released recordings from the 1980’s are also released by the German label Vinyl on Demand in 2008. The release includes two 12″ vinyl albums, a 7″ bonus single, as well as a DVD with early film and video clips of the band. Since then several new recordings have been released on 7″ Vinyl as well as tracks on international 12″ Vinyl & CD compilations. In 2011 Gerechtigkeits Liga’s new album 'Dystopia' was released as a 12″ Vinyl album on Gerechtigkeits Liga’s own label Zyklus. It’s also become available as a digital download via the German label Aufnahme + Wiedergabe. 'Dystopia' features guest musician John Murphy who was a good old friend. John played with bands such as Last Dominion Lost, Shining Vril, Knifeladder, Krank and SPK, to name just a few. [SOURCE: gerechtigkeitsliga.com

domingo, 12 de noviembre de 2017

Ceremonia


Ceremonia formed in Valencia in 1981, one of the most talented groups that enveloped those first years of the 80s. Influenced by King Crimson, Bauhaus or The Cure, Ceremonia became, with good reason, the first Valencian group to practice sinister and dark music in that land. The first formation of the group was composed by José Godofredo (voice and guitar), Adolfo Barberá (guitar and voice), Javier Morant (bass and voice) and José Payá (drums). 

Adolfo Barberá and José Payá had coincided in two of the bands where a large number of significant groups were forged: Doble Zero and Glamour. On the other hand, José Godofredo participated actively in Ultima Emoción, and previously was part of such emblematic combos as Tomates Eléctricos or Fanzine. Javier Morant also put his signature in bands like Cuixa or the introverted allegorical La Morgue. In 1983 published their first EP, 'El Sotano', edited and produced by Citra, and recorded at the beginning of August at Audiofilm in Madrid. 


In 1985, Ceremonia are finalists of contest "Rock 85" of the Generalitat Valenciana, recording therefore a song for the LP edited and shared with other bands of the Valencian Community. "Sara" was the chosen song, another sinister pop jewel signed by José Godofredo, Javier Morant and Adolfo Barberá. In those moments Ceremonia no longer had the drummer José Payá, who left the quartet to be part of Io and, later, in the last thumps of Video or Mania.
 
After a parenthesis of five years in which their components collaborated in other bands like Terminal Sur, Diagonal, Mogambo or Karmas Colectivos, their last work was issued in 1991 in the form of EP, being the collective N.O.S.E. (Nueva Oleada de Sonidos del Este -"New Wave of Eastern Sounds") responsible for the editing of this vinyl with four cuts. Ceremonia, now turned into a duo after the departure of Adolfo Barberá to Madrid, cultivate a more peculiar pop, sullen, and much more, worth the redundancy, ceremonious. The end of the days of Ceremonia came in 1992. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80]

sábado, 11 de noviembre de 2017

Farenheit 451


Farenheit 451 was one of the most interesting groups of the second batch of bands that emerged during the "Movida madrileña". Effective and imaginative musicians, they managed to create brilliant songs that were never used correctly by the record industry. Farenheit 451 formed in Madrid in 1980 around Jorge Grundman (voice and keyboards), who was accompanied by Juan Carlos Oliden (guitar), Carlos Ibáñez (bass) and Oscar Bergón (drums). 

Jorge was fascinated by the musical structures of the New Zealanders Split Enz and the electronic pop of Brian Eno. The specialized critics soon aligned them in the "cultured"' side of the Madrid pop, along with other groups such as Alphaville or La Mode.

1983 was a good year for Farenheit 451. At that time, the newly created independent label MR by Paco Martín edited the song "Taxi al Aeropuerto" on the Madrid compilation album 'Maquetas', a beautiful and catchy jewel of electronic pop. Shortly after, a maxi-single was released with four tracks, an excellent work of elegant pop, although it was missing some song that had the same commercial hook that the one published before. 

It had to wait for a year to hear something new from Fahrenheit 451, and the expected return came -again- through a compilation album, '4473910', which included the vibrant "Ojos a tu Alrededor". This song also appeared in the MR label compilation, 'I love MR'. But far from being consolidated as one of the products with more future on the spanish pop, the group ended up dissolving before the impotence of MR to adequately exploit the potential of its already overloaded (and irregular) roster. In 1985 Jorge Grundman would reappear with Trópico De Cáncer, a duo of refined electronic pop that released an album on the multinational Virgin (recently landed in Spain). [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

viernes, 10 de noviembre de 2017

Betty Troupe


Betty Troupe was a Spanish group active between 1983 and 1984, representatives of the so-called "movida valenciana" that flourished between 1982 and 1986 with bands like Glamour and Video as well-known references. This particular "movida" was defined by the synth-pop style and by giving a major importance to the image and staging of its productions. Group of a single album titled 'Nuevos Heroes' (1983) and of short life (1983-1984), formed by three girls and three boys with a striking visual aspect in the line of the new romantics with profusion of synthesizers and mechanical rhythms, they have left one of the best maxi singles from the Spanish pop of the eighties: 'El Vinilo'. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 9 de noviembre de 2017

End Of Data


End of Data were a four piece coldwave outfit who formed in 1983 and split just a few years later. Live setups for the band included ex-members of Tanit and Orchestre Rouge. The band’s discography consists of two solid records, 1984’s 'Sahrah' and 1985’s 'Dans Votre Monde'. During their tenure, the title track "Sahrah" became a slightly prominent club hit, and has since been featured on several coldwave/French wave compilations. [SOURCE: SYSTEMS OF ROMANCE