jueves, 30 de noviembre de 2017

Whitehouse


Whitehouse formed in 1980 on the fringe of the industrial music scene. Created by William Bennett, they pioneered a branch of experimental noise known as "power electronics," a genre explored by Japanese artists such as Merzbow. Influenced by contemporaries such as Throbbing Gristle and composers such as Alvin Lucier, Whitehouse developed a unique sound mixing high and low frequencies with aggressive bursts of electronics and vocals. With their label Come Organisation, they released what they termed "the most extreme music ever made." Often subject to censorship by stores and distributors due to subject matter and graphic record designs, they never bowed to commercial pressures and remained in control of their music and label. Whitehouse has recorded with Steve Albini since 1989. 

William Bennett played guitar in the post-punk band Essential Logic. After leaving the group, he recorded the 'Come 1' single under the name Come. This groundbreaking release, sequenced by Daniel Miller, featured relentless synthesizer pulses that hinted at the sound that would later typify Whitehouse. The Come Organisation was created by Bennett to release like-minded artists, though the majority of the releases on the label involved the founder himself in some capacity. 

The Whitehouse project began with the full-length 'Birthdeath Experience' with William Bennett on vocals and synthesizer, Paul Reuter on synthesizer, and Peter Mckay credited as effects and engineer. Though relatively timid compared to their later material, it is important for the formation of their unique aesthetic. Their third release, 'Erector', was one of the first to fully take advantage of the dynamic potential of electronic music. Considered by many as the first power electronics record, 'Erector' set the standard for aggressive experimental noise.
Aware that they were staking new ground, several releases soon followed. They released eight full-length records in three years, each one being proclaimed by the Come Organisation as "the most extreme music ever made." During this period, William Bennett found time to collaborate with Steven Stapleton (of Nurse With Wound) as 150 Murderous Passions, a project inspired by the Marquis De Sade

Satirizing the music industry much like Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse went to great lengths for originality. While Throbbing Gristle operated Industrial Records as a corporation, William Bennett operated the Come Organisation as a radical libertarian political collective where personal liberty and personal pleasure was to be maintained at all costs. Referring to live performances as "actions," disseminating propaganda that praised serial killers, and expressing an extreme ideology of personal pleasure via the media, Whitehouse gained a cult following based on their growing mysterious status. 

Always controversial, anti-Whitehouse sentiments reached new heights in 1982. People misinterpreted the intention of William Bennett's article "The Struggle For a New Music Culture" published in the magazine Force Mental. Controversy surrounding the piece led to further censorship and distribution problems. Following their first U.S. tour, Whitehouse released two of their most shocking records to date: 'Right to Kill' and 'Great White Death'. These releases took sex and violence as lyric subject matter to unheard-of proportions with the equivalent in extreme electronic sound, and they also saw the addition of two new collaborators Kevin Tomkins and Philip Best

After a five-year hiatus, Whitehouse returned with a new label name and a new producer. 'Thank Your Lucky Stars', released on Susan Lawly in 1990, was the first for Whitehouse to be recorded by legendary producer Steve Albini. Rarely deviating from the themes outlined by 'Right to Kill' and 'Great White Death', Whitehouse released several more full-lengths throughout the 1990s. Sonically they have remained true to their original sound and are still quite extreme in nature. Slowly but surely, the coveted early records by Whitehouse are being reissued on CD, sometimes as special editions with bonus tracks. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 29 de noviembre de 2017

Vice Versa


Vice Versa is a electronic band that formed in Sheffield, England. Vice Versa originally consisted of Stephen Singleton, Mark White and David Sydenham, the former two of whom would go on to later found the successful 1980s pop band ABC. The band was active from 1977 to 1980 with the aforementioned line-up, and reformed in 2015 without Sydenham. Vice Versa are considered as one of the "Big Four" late-1970s minimalistic electronic/synth-based bands from Sheffield. They share this title with Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA and The Human League.

The band was formed in 1977, with Singleton and Sydenham on synthesizers and White on vocals. Their first concert took place at the Doncaster Outlook club supporting Wire. Their first major Sheffield gig was with The Human League at the Now Society at Sheffield University, called "Wot, no Drummers", in reference to the fact that drum machines were used by all participating bands in place of real drums.

In 1978 they performed supporting Human League. In late 1978 White and Singleton founded their own independent record label called Neutron Records to release their music, as synth-based music was still being ignored by the major music labels and music industry as a whole at the time. Their first release came in the form of 1979's EP 'Music 4', which was followed up by the release of a set of prints and a manifesto. 


In 1980, the band released a six-sided fold-out EP named '1980: The First Fifteen Minutes'. Vice Versa, Clock DVA, The Stunt Kites and I'm So Hollow (all then-local bands) each contributed one track to the EP, providing each of the bands their first proper vinyl exposure before getting their individual record deals. The EP was also named "single of the week" by NME, much to the surprise of the band. 

At that time and after Sydenham had decided to leave the band, the band played numerous gigs in the UK. Sydenham was eventually replaced by Martin Fry, who at that time was writing for his fanzine "Modern Drugs". He interviewed White and Singleton for the fanzine and then "never left". During 1980 Vice Versa made two more releases; the cassette-only album '8 Aspects', followed by their only single release, "Stilyagi" (with "Eyes of Christ" as the B-side). The tracks were taken from the aforementioned cassette album and remixed (apparently from the very cassette at the Backstreet/Backlash Studio in Rotterdam). This would prove to be the band's final release in their initial incarnation. 

When touring in the Netherlands they were invited to jam in a studio in Rotterdam, where Fry started to improvise on vocals. Everybody was surprised by the quality of his voice, and decided to make him the lead singer of the band. The band then spent about a year writing new songs and thinking of a new name and concept; this progress being the Vice Versa-to-ABC transformation. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 28 de noviembre de 2017

Ultra


The abstract nature of the term Ultra, when referenced to these monsters of experimental music, becomes more tragically concrete if the listener thinks of Peter Sutcliffe or Gary Ridgway standing before a mirror and flexing his murder muscles to the sounds of "New Centurion", "Letter of Introduction" or "Wackelpeter" before stepping outside the door to start on a killing spree. 

An American or European, perhaps even someone from Australasia, will almost always claim, "Impossible! Not in this town!"; "I knew him so well; he would never do that!; "This is a quiet community; such things never happen here." But Ultra's tracks, framed with vivid and dynamic textures of various sounds elements, exemplify what the late William S. Burroughs had written: "Art is making you aware of what you already know, but don't know that you know." What was thought unexpected and unwanted can occur, and often does, or will if you live long enough. When a mutilated corpse is found in your backyard one morning, you might want to ask yourself exactly what you and your house guests did the previous evening. Then you call a lawyer before the police arrive with a multitude of questions and forensic investigations begin. We all know the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. 


Tracks such as "Doll Rally", "The Process", and "Subway Etiquette" invade the consciousness with not simply a senseless violence, but with the kind of freewheeling and engaging manner that Ted Bundy played his own role -his arm in a sling, he stands next to his Volkswagen Bug and asks a fetching brunette college student (her long hair parted down the middle), "Would you like a lift?" It would have been the witty girl, indeed, who replied, "Do you have a letter of introduction?" Bundy's ejaculations with such a specimen would have continued well into the late stages of her decomposition. 

Ultra works with a feral intelligence and mysterious,satirical element that embraces themes of prostitution, abuse and immense obsession. A prime example is the 'Roman Holiday' version of "New Centurion", which pummels the ears with electronic intensity, female screams, and an abrupt, shameless, and primeval lyrical attack. But then there is the fearful drone ambience of "Malaria", a disease which remains one of the deadliest in the world. It arrives from a simple bite of the world's most efficient killer, the Anopheles mosquito, perhaps in the middle of the night as you turn over on your pillow. An unwelcome visitor indeed, like shy Ed Gein interrupting a slumber party and skinning everyone before the sun rises. Death is everywhere in many variations, and Ultra reminds the forgetful that it can rap on anyone's door at an inconvenient moment. 

The assorted soundscape manipulations that Ultra employs to accomplish its goals ask much of its audience. However, Ultra in return offers surprisingly rich, if sometimes disconcerting, rewards for the patient listener. [SOURCE: DOM AMERICA

lunes, 27 de noviembre de 2017

Tara Cross


Born in 1957, her interest in music awakes at age 13, when she begins to play the guitar. Later on she experiments with an Electro-Harmonix mini synthesizer and a primitive drum box. She finishes her studies at the Hunter College of New York, where she majors in Music and Psychology, yet she decides not to pursue her musical studies in an academic institution, since her primary interest is centered in the performing arts, and she joins different groups in this period. To her, the world of academic music does not really matter. Despite the opposition of her family, she devotes her time to her musical career, focusing her efforts in a very unconventional, experimental kind of music. She herself produces, composes and performs her own works, acts as her own public relations, takes care of the administrative and secretarial work, etc. Besides, she has had different jobs -ranging from librarian to shop assistant and typist, among other things, even though her favourite job is related to cosmetology. 


As a musician, she considers herself as some sort of sound structurer who experiments with sound the same way as a painter would experiment with colors. Some of her works have appeared in different compilations, as for instance in Japan ('Mineral Composition'), Spain ('Femirama'), France ('SNX'), a compilation CD in Japan called 'A Conculsion Of Unrestrained Philosophy'... Likewise, she has participated in compilations containing pieces by her appearing in 25 different tapes. Her first solo LP was 'Tempus Fugit', released under the label Permis de Construire. Tara Cross has performed live in several occasions, among which most remarkable is the one she gave in 1987, in “Fashion Moda”, at the Bronx, broadcast live via satellite to France and also by the radio station WNYC in New York as well as in another French radio station. Nevertheless, she dislikes live performances, since, as she has no supporting band, she herself must prepare the necessary recordings with the accompanying music, transport the equipment, etc., which is a true nuisance to her. Tara Cross has her own studio at home, equipped with two electronic keyboards, a guitar, a triple delay unit with a sampler, a Roland MC202, eight sonic tracks, three cassette tracks, and other devices she needs to make her own recordings. Even if she admits that this may look like a poor sort of equipment, she believes that creativity can always compensate for the apparent lack of means. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

domingo, 26 de noviembre de 2017

Quebrada


Group formed in Vall d'Uxó (Castellón) at the end of the summer of 1983 by Juanjo (voice), Juan (guitar), Rafa Madrigal (bass), Pasqui (drums) and Ramón (keyboards), with a sound that combined sinister pop and enough percussion arrangements with lyrics, an almost inimitable sound and a voice that made up their particular world. They presented themselves to the contest "Rock 85" of the Generalitat Valenciana and managed to be finalists of this contest, recording therefore a song for an album that appeared that same year. The album was edited by Val Disc, being "Te Mataré" the song of Quebrada. The success of the group in festivals was extended, that same year, to the First Pop-Rock Contest organized by the Diputación de Castellón, in which they also put a song, "Los Nuevos Chicos" in an album edited by Tuboescape Records as a prize for the contest. They recorded an LP, 'Siberia', their only record as Quebrada, in 1986 for the label Xiu Xiu Records. After the dissolution of Quebrada, it was at the end of the decade when Rafa and Ramón started the group Flores Caníbales, along with the vocalist Fata. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

sábado, 25 de noviembre de 2017

Scorched Earth Policy


Legendary band from Christchurch (and Flying Nun alumnus). From 1983-86, Scorched Earth Policy blackened the skies with a unique sound equal parts Southern no wave and post-apocalyptic surf, adding the trademark tinges of ’60s garage / psych that coursed through the veins of every great Christchurch band from that era. Not that this should come as a surprise, as their membership was a veritable who’s who of the city’s finest musicians: Peter Stapleton (Vacuum, Pin Group, Terminals), Mary Heney (25 Cents, Shallows), Brian Crook (Max Block, Renderers, Terminals), Mick Elborado (Terminals, Shallows, Gas), Andrea Cocks (Missing Piece Productions) and Andrew Dawson (Dedicated Human). During their existence, Scorched Earth Policy produced two 12-inch EPs for Flying Nun. [SOURCE: MIDHEAVEN

viernes, 24 de noviembre de 2017

Red Temple Spirits


Red Temple Spirits were an American post-punk band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1987, the group's original lineup consisted of vocalist William Faircloth, guitarist Dallas Taylor, bass guitarist Dino Paredes and drummer Thomas Pierik. Faircloth, an immigrant from England, had previously sung for trio Ministry of Love, who released the 'Wide Awake and Dreaming' EP in 1987 on the label Underworld. Paredes had previously played with Kelly Wheeler of Psi Com. Pierik and Taylor had earlier been members of The Web, along with bassist Johann Schumann (later of Christian Death). Red Temple Spirits' name was inspired by the song "Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)" by Roky Erickson, whom they admired. Other influences ranged from post-punk bands such as The Cure and Savage Republic to psychedelic artists like Pink Floyd (they covered "The Nile Song" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" on their releases), melded with Native American and Tibetan mysticism.


Red Temple Spirits released two albums on the Nate Starkman & Son label, distributed by Fundamental Records: double-LP set 'Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon' (1988) and 'If Tomorrow I Were Leaving for Lhasa, I Wouldn't Stay a Minute More...' (1989). Their sole single, an elaborately packaged release (a limited-edition, numbered edition of 1,200 copies) on Independent Project Records to benefit Tibet House, featured A-side "New Land" (recorded in 1987 as part of the band's first demo) and B-side "Exodus from Lhasa" (recorded in 1989). Red Temple Spirits began to garner more attention in late 1989 after a promo video for "City of Millions" was shown on MTV's 120 Minutes and they performed at the 1989 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. With new drummer Scott McPherson, the band toured the United States in early 1990 to promote 'If Tomorrow I Were Leaving for Lhasa', garnering significant press and a devoted cult fanbase, but lapsed into inactivity later that year following a serious van accident in California. They disbanded in 1992. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 23 de noviembre de 2017

Pale TV


To know the origins we have to come back at the end of 70's, to a punk rock band called Electric Nerves. Then the band lose the guitar player and changes the name in Pale TV, with an atypical formation of 3 girls and 1 man: Francesca "Blue Niagara" (keys), Valeria "Whip" (bass), Alessandra "Lady Adrenalina" (drums) and Alex (voice and sax). Their first 7'', 'Night Toys' got a tipical new wave inspiration. The name changed shortly in Pale and in 1982 'Blue Agents' LP is out. In this period they received a lot of proposals, including invitations from Caterina Caselli, Milva or a possible participation to the Festival of Sanremo. Pale rejected these offers, considering them as a compromise: after this waste, the label Italian Records decide to split with them. In 1983 they open the four italian concerts of Simple Minds and after few months, unable to get labels interested, they stop their career in music production. [SOURCE: 7" FROM THE UNDERGROUND

miércoles, 22 de noviembre de 2017

Opal


Opal were an American rock band in the 1980s. They were part of the Paisley Underground musical style. The group formed in the mid-'80s under the name Clay Allison, featuring guitarist David Roback (previously of Rain Parade), bassist Kendra Smith (from Dream Syndicate) and drummer Keith Mitchell. After one single, they released the remaining Clay Allison tracks under the band's new name, Opal, on the 1984 'Fell from the Sun' EP. Another EP, 'Northern Line', followed in 1985. These EPs were later compiled and released as 'Early Recordings'.

'Happy Nightmare Baby', Opal's first full-length album, was released in 1987. Smith left the group during the Happy Nightmare tour after a show in Providence, Rhode Island. Roback continued with vocalist Hope Sandoval, playing shows as Opal and planning an album to be titled 'Ghost Highway' but in 1989 this band became Mazzy Star and 'Ghost Highway' was presumably released as 'She Hangs Brightly'. Kendra Smith released a number of solo singles, EPs, and one album before retiring to the woods of northern California. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 21 de noviembre de 2017

New Shiny Things


New Shiny Things were primarily Sara Ayers and Billy Harrigan with some support from Richard Fuller and Art Snay on additional keys. They were shining from Albany, NY, USA, and released the beautifully haunting “Changing Colors” and the powerful “Breadlines and Dissidence” as a 7” single on Blotto Records in 1982 which nowadays is impossible to find. Anna Logue Records decided to re-release those tracks plus adding the slightly weirder and previously unreleased ‘post-punk’ track “Crayola Psychosis” (written in 1980, recorded in 1984) to the flipside which was composed and recorded by Billy under the name of Operation Pluto. [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES

lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

Aksak Maboul


Aksak Maboul began in 1977 as a duo of Marc Hollander (keyboards, reeds, percussion) and Vincent Kenis (guitar, bass guitar, keyboards). Marc Moulin (keyboards) and Chris Joris (percussion, keyboards) joined later, and with this line-up, plus guests Catherine Jauniaux (voice) and others, they recorded their first album, 'Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine' (French for "Eleven Dances for Fighting Migraine"). It was released in 1977 under the name Marc Hollander / Aksak Maboul on an independent record label, Kamikaze Records. 'Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine' was a playful mix of musical forms, cultures and genres. With drum machines and looping organ lines, it shuffled between improvised jazz, ethnic music, electronics and classical music. It was largely an instrumental album with snatches of singing and voices.

In late 1977 Aksak Maboul started performing live, during which time Frank Wuyts (percussion, keyboards) replaced Moulin, and Denis van Hecke (cello) and Michel Berckmans (bassoon, oboe) of Univers Zéro joined. In early 1979, Hollander invited Chris Cutler and Fred Frith of the recently defunct avant-rock group Henry Cow to join Aksak Maboul on their next record. They rehearsed together, performed in a few concerts and then went to Sunrise Studio, Kirchberg in Switzerland to record their second album, 'Un Peu de l'Âme des Bandits' (French for "A Little of the Bandit Spirit"). This was released in 1980 on Crammed Discs, a new independent record label Hollander had created to release the album. 'Un Peu de l'Ame des Bandits' was more intense and experimental than their first album. It contained complex written sections as well as improvised ambient pieces. It used sampling before samplers were invented and was a mixture of tangos, Turkish tunes, chamber rock, noisy punk rock and pseudo-Varèse music. Like the first album, it was instrumental with a little singing and voices. Back on the road again, Aksak Maboul joined the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement and in April 1979 they performed at an RIO festival at the Teatro dell'Elfo in Milano, Italy. Aksak Maboul were one of the last of the original RIO bands.

In early 1980, Hollander founded the Crammed Discs independent record label. A few months later the original nucleus of Aksak Maboul (Hollander and Kenis) and the core of a Brussels band Les Tueurs de la Lune de Miel joined forces to become The Honeymoon Killers. They toured Europe between 1980 and 1981, although still under the name Aksak Maboul. "Bosses de Crosses", one of the first pieces they composed, was included on the CD re-issue of 'Un Peu de l'Ame des Bandits'. In 1981, they recorded an album entitled 'Tueurs de la Lune de Miel / Honeymoon Killers', which attracted a lot of attention across Europe and Japan. The band toured for four years under that name. During that period, Hollander and Honeymoon Killers vocalist Véronique Vincent, aided by Kenis, wrote and recorded a series of electronic avant-pop tracks which were meant to become Aksak Maboul's third album. The release was announced in the first Crammed Discs catalogues (in the early 1980s), but it was not completed and was put on hold, until 2014.


The last Aksak Maboul recording to appear in the 1980s came out on a 1984 compilation album, 'Made to Measure Vol. 1', where the original duo of Hollander and Kenis contributed seven tracks of new material composed for a play by Michel Gheude based on the life of Maïakovsky. The music here has been described as "minimalist rock" and is very different from their two studio albums. By the mid-1980s Aksak Maboul ceased to exist as a permanent group, but Hollander and Kenis continued to play an active role in Crammed Discs' musical policies. In the late 1980s, Hollander and Kenis produced several electronic dance music tracks under the name Mr Big Mouse

In 2010, Aksak Maboul produced a new track for 'Tradi-Mods vs Rockers', the tribute album to the "Congotronics" series which came out on Hollander's Crammed Discs label. Aksak Maboul's contribution is "Land Dispute", a new take on a song by Congolese band Kasai Allstars. The song is performed by Marc Hollander, Clément Marion & Faustine Hollander. In 2014, Hollander resumed work on the unfinished 3rd Aksak Maboul album from 1981–83, mixing and editing tracks from demos and rough versions (some of them retrieved from cassette tapes). Entitled 'Ex-Futur Album', the album is released under the name Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul, and a first single ("Chez les Aborigènes") came out digitally on July 4, 2014. The song was released as a rough demo on Crammed Discs' compilation 'Crammed Global Soundclash 1980-89: The Connoisseur Edition' in 2003. In early 2015, encouraged by the enthusiastic reactions to 'Ex-Futur Album', Aksak Maboul started playing shows for the first time since the mid-80s, with a new line-up including Véronique Vincent (vocals), Marc Hollander (keyboards), Faustine Hollander (guitar, bass, vocals), Sebastiaan Van den Branden (guitar, bass, synth) and Christophe Claeys (drums, percussion), the latter two being also members of Amatorski

A full album of reinterpretations (covers and reworks) of the songs from 'Ex-Futur Album' is coming out in October 2016, featuring contributions by Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Aquaserge, Laetitia Sadier, Forever Pavot, Flavien Berger, Nite Jewel, Bullion, Burnt Friedman, Hello Skinny, Marc Collin, Bérangère Maximin, Lena Willikens, etc, as well as two "self-covers" recorded by the 2016 line-up of Aksak Maboul. On this occasion, the band created a live show entitled "Aksak Maboul Revue", for which they were joined onstage by Laetitia Sadier, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, and members of Aquaserge. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 19 de noviembre de 2017

Polansky Y El Ardor


Polansky Y El Ardor (sometimes written Polanski Y El Ardor) was a musical group formed in Madrid in 1981, in the context of Madrid's "movida". The group became one of the greatest representatives of the Spanish punk of the era. After several changes in their formation, it stabilized in 1982: Víctor Manuel Muñoz Vázquez (vocals and guitar), Sebastián Durán Limas (bass), Pejo (drums) and Carlos Álvarez Coto (saxophone and keyboards). This formation is the one that recorded all the vinyls published by Polansky Y El Ardor while they were active. Other musicians also collaborated with the group, such as Ramón Guzmán, Enrique Siera, Poch, Solrac, Jose Manuel Kentucky, Justo Bagüeste, Txeles Albizu, Carlos Torero and Juan C. González "Rocky". Their music could be placed within psychedelic and sinister rock / post-punk, and with the different touch that the presence of a saxophone gave. His lyrics were sometimes ironic, sometimes absurd. 


Polansky Y El Ardor soon get the attention of the label Spansuls Records, with whom they recorded some demos that ended up being published at the end of 1982 in an EP titled 'Ataque Preventivo de la USSR', which would ultimately be the greatest success of the group, and that also included "Y No Usa Laca" y "Chantaje Emocional". In 1982 they won the first prize of the II Madrid-Region Rock Competition, organized by the Provincial Council of Madrid. Thanks to this award they signed a contract with the Ariola record label. Already in 1983 Polanski Y El Ardor published with their new label their only album, 'Chantaje Emocional'. The album was produced by Paco Trinidad. Ariola had rejected the demos that the group had recorded with Peter McNamee for his second album, which in principle was going to be published in 1984. That caused that finally the group took the decision to put the end point to their career in the middle of that year. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

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