miércoles, 28 de febrero de 2018

Incapacitants


Incapacitants (インキャパシタンツ Inkyapashitantsu) are a Japanese noise music group formed in 1981. It consists of Toshiji Mikawa and Fumio Kosakai, whose stated aim is to produce "pure" noise, uninfluenced by musical ideas or even human intention, using primarily feedback, vocals, and various electronics. Kosakai calls this sound "hard noise", as a nod to the jazz subgenre hard bop.

The group was formed in 1981 in Osaka, Japan, as the solo project of Mikawa, a member of the noise improv group Hijokaidan. Mikawa, a bank employee, later moved to Tokyo, where he joined with government office worker Kosakai (of C.C.C.C., and who would later become a regular member of Hijokaidan) to make Incapacitants a duo. Many of the group's track titles reference their professions, but because of their day jobs, the two have not often been able to tour abroad. Incapacitants are counted among the more well known of the Japanese noise bands formed in the 1980s, along with such names as the aforementioned Hijokaidan and C.C.C.C., as well as Hanatarash, Solmania, The Gerogerigegege, Merzbow, and Masonna. The group also recorded sessions with Vivian Slaughter of Gallhammer. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 27 de febrero de 2018

Hijokaidan


Hijōkaidan (非常階段, "emergency staircase") is a Japanese noise and free improvisation group with a revolving lineup that has ranged from two members to as many as fourteen in its early days. The group is the project of guitarist Jojo Hiroshige (JOJO広重), its one constant member, who is head and owner of the Osaka-based Alchemy Records. Other regulars include Jojo's wife Junko and Toshiji Mikawa (also of Incapacitants). 

The group began at the very end of the 1970s as a performance art-based group whose anarchic shows would often involve destruction of venues and audio equipment, food and garbage being thrown around, and on-stage urination. As the group's lineup changed over time, their focus became less performance-based and more musically based, fine-tuning their sound into a dense wall of noise. 


Hijōkaidan originally began in 1979 in Kyoto as a side project of Rasenkaidan members Jojo Hiroshige (JOJO広重) and Naoki Zushi (頭士奈生樹). They played an improvised session at a studio with fellow Rasenkaidan member Ken'ichi Takayama (高山謙一) (a.k.a. Idiot) in attendance. Afterwords, Takayama said "This is not Rasenkaidan (螺旋階段, "spiral staircase"), it is more like Hijōkaidan (非常階段, "emergency staircase")".

This Hijōkaidan played live twice and recorded a few studio sessions. Recordings of this line-up were later released as Original Hijōkaidan or Pre-Hijōkaidan. At the end of the year, Zushi left, and Jojo decided to quit all of his musical projects (Hijōkaidan, Rasenkaidan, and Ultra Bidet). Idiot and Zushi briefly continued Rasenkaidan, and Idiot later formed Idiot O'Clock. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

(More info on The Hijokaidan Story)

lunes, 26 de febrero de 2018

Fehlfarben


'Monarchie und Alltag', the 1980 debut album by Die Fehlfarben, is one of the key releases of the Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW), the German equivalent of new wave. Die Fehlfarben were never quite the same after 'Monarchie und Alltag' -constant lineup shuffling, intermittent streaks of band activity- and though the album fell upon deaf ears initially, it grew in stature over the years and rightly became recognized as a cornerstone of modern German rock, earning a deluxe reissue in 2000. Renowned for decades, the band nonetheless only ever scored one proper hit, "Ein Jahr (Es Geht Voran)," a song from 'Monarchie und Alltag' that became a surprise Top 20 smash belatedly in 1982, after EMI reissued it as a single during the height of the Neue Deutsche Welle. The roots of Fehlfarben reach back to the dawn of German punk in 1977. Formed by members of the Düsseldorf punk scene, the band began as a ska outfit à la 2 Tone, evolved to post-punk for 'Monarchie und Alltag', and then drifted toward new wave over the course of the early '80s before going on hiatus in 1985, by which time only one original member remained in the lineup. Beginning in 1991, Die Fehlfarben reunited with increasing frequency, relishing the critical re-evaluation of their contribution to modern German rock. It may have taken 20 years, but a consensus appreciation for the trailblazing of Die Fehlfarben, particularly on 'Monarchie und Alltag', did come, better late than never. 

In 1979 Die Fehlfarben were formed in Düsseldorf from the ashes of Mittagspause, an influential punk band comprised of Peter Hein (vocals), Franz Bielmeier (guitar), and Markus Oehlen (drums). The trio had previously established themselves in 1977 as Germany's first punk band, Charley's Girls, as documented in the 22-minute documentary film "Charley's Girls" (2005), which chronicles the burgeoning Düsseldorf punk scene surrounding the club Ratinger Hof circa 1977-1979. When Mittagspause split in 1979, Bielmeier -already a central figure in the Düsseldorf punk scene, with the first German punk fanzine to his credit, "The Ostrich"- went on to form an independent record label, Rondo-Label, which he maintained until 1981. Hein and Oehlen, on the other hand, went on to form Die Fehlfarben, a post-punk band, with some fellow musicians from the Düsseldorf punk scene: Thomas Schwebel (guitar), who had played with Mittagspause for a while, as well as the band S.Y.P.H.; Michael Kemner (bass), formerly of the D.A.F. collective; Frank Fenstermacher (saxophone); and Uwe Bauer (drums), who like Schwebel had also played with Mittagspause for a while. 

The idea for the band arose during a November 1979 trip to England, where Hein, Schwebel, Bauer, and Oehlen were greatly inspired by the 2 Tone style of ska-punk that was then taking London by storm. They decided to bring this style of music back with them to Germany. So they formed Die Fehlfarben upon their return and cut a double-sided 7" ska-punk single, 'Abenteuer und Freiheit b/w Große Liebe', releasing it in December on their own independent label, Welt-Rekord-Label. The band name ("Fehlfarben" roughly translates to "wrong colors" or, more accurately, "erroneous colors" in English) was informed as much by the 2 Tone graphic style (for instance, the cover art of 'Abenteuer und Freiheit' was an homage to the black-and-white checkers of 2 Tone) as it was by the trade of Hein, who worked for Xerox. In January 1980, after a few weeks of rehearsal, the band made its live debut in Mannheim, even going so far as dressing in authentic ska-punk fashion, that is, in suits. Further shows followed that spring, and new songs were written and performed along the way, with the band quickly broadening its style and moving away from the ska motifs. In July Die Fehlfarben were approached by EMI, which wanted to buy the rights to Welt-Rekord-Label and sign the band to a recording contract. While this was clearly verboten for a punk band -for EMI was one of the major labels, against which punk was rebelling, in theory at least- the guys went ahead with the deal anyhow and in turn were treated to a first-class recording studio. 


The result of these late-summer recording sessions at the EMI studios was 'Monarchie und Alltag' (1980), the band's full-length debut, released in October. (The Fehlfarben lineup had been shuffled a little by this point, with Bauer remaining as the sole drummer and George Nicolaidis and Kurt Dahlke, the latter also known as Der Pyrolator, credited for synthesizers.) Critical opinion of the album was almost universally negative upon its release, and the punk establishment remained sour about the EMI deal. Too, the album sold poorly, despite the major-label support. At this point, with a long tour booked to commence in early 1981, lead singer Peter Hein faced a difficult choice: stick with either his career at Xerox or the prospects of a seemingly unpromising band, for he couldn't tour for weeks on end yet still retain a job as professional as his. He chose to leave the band, and even more problematically, he did so just before the tour began. Dates had to be canceled. Saxophonist Frank Fenstermacher also left at this point. In the end, after some soul-searching and many unsatisfactory singer tryouts, guitarist Thomas Schwebel assumed the vocal duties and took charge of the band. He was able to do so in part thanks to the addition of guitarist Uwe Jahnke, formerly of S.Y.P.H., Schwebel's previous band. This new Fehlfarben lineup was securely in place by spring, at which time the band cut a new single to announce their return ('Das Wort Ist Draußen b/w 'Wie Bitte Was?!') and hit the road, arousing interest along the way. In May 'Monarchie und Alltag' entered the German album chart, buoyed by the rising interest in Die Fehlfarben

Then that summer Die Fehlfarben recorded a new album for release, '33 Tage in Ketten' (1981), and saw it enter the album chart as well. By the end of the year, both 'Monarchie und Alltag' and '33 Tage in Ketten' had broken into the Top 40, though bassist Michael Kemner had been the next bandmember to depart, leaving after the album recording sessions. Hans Maahn filled in his slot, and as before, this new lineup cut a one-off single ('14 Tage') to announce the return of the band in early 1982. NME (i.e., New Music Express) chose "14 Tage" for its coveted Single of the Week award; the British publication was a key supporter of the band, particularly championing 'Monarchie und Alltag' as a masterwork. Keenly aware of the influence wielded by NME, EMI reissued "Ein Jahr (Es Geht Voran)" as a single. The song, originally released in 1980 on 'Monarchie und Alltag', became a surprise Top 20 hit single in 1982. "Ein Jahr (Es Geht Voran)" is in fact an atypical Fehlfarben song, driven by a disco-funk riff reminiscent of Chic; in a way, the song was to Die Fehlfarben what "I Love a Man in Uniform" was to Gang of Four. The belated popularity of "Ein Jahr (Es Geht Voran)" was partly on account of the Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW), which was in style at the time. Die Fehlfarben toured throughout Central Europe in spring / summer 1982 in the wake of "Ein Jahr (Es Geht Voran)" and entered the studio that September to begin recording 'Glut und Asche' (1983), the band's third album. 

The recording sessions for 'Glut und Asche' carried on until December 1982. It was a bigger production than past efforts, for the diminished core lineup of Schwebel, Jahnke, and Bauer was augmented by a cast of studio musicians. Released in March 1983, 'Glut und Asche' was another hit for the band, charting at number 42 -not up to par with previous releases, but good nonetheless- and critics were pleased, with Musikexpress, an influential German publication, awarding it the honor of Platte des Monats (i.e., Album of the Month). There was no tour this go-round, however, perhaps giving to the studio-crafted nature of the album, and the band proceeded to build its own studio in Wuppertal that summer instead. Fits of touring did commence then and again throughout 1984 with a couple new bandmembers in place: bassist Hellmuth Hattler and drummer Martin Schwebel. Over time the relationship between Die Fehlfarben and EMI had grown unresolvably strained, and consequently the songs recorded by the band at its home studio over the course of 1984 went unreleased (for a decade, that is -an album comprised of those sessions, co-billed to "Thomas Schwebel & Fehlfarben" was eventually released in 1995 as 'Popmusik & Hundezucht'). A final 12" single, 'Keine Ruhige Minute b/w Der Himmel Weint', was the last Fehlfarben output to see the light of day for five years. 


The original Fehlfarben lineup (Hein, Schwebel, Kemner, Bauer, Fenstermacher) reunited to record 'Die Platte des Himmlischen Frieden' (1991), released by WEA. The album itself met mixed reviews, but there was interest in the reconstituted original lineup nonetheless, especially among old fans. A couple years later came a concert showcase, 'Live' (1993), sans Fenstermacher (and with the addition of Rolf Kirschbaum and Andreas Proff on guitar and saxophone / keyboards, respectively), and then the aforementioned collection of unreleased 1984 material, 'Popmusik & Hundezucht' (1995). Next came 'Es Geht Voran' (1998), a 17-track collection of highlights from the band's Welt-Rekord-Label catalog (i.e., 1980-1985). 

Around the turn of the century there was a revived interest in Germany (as elsewhere) in post-punk and new wave. Though coincidental, it was only fitting that 'Monarchie und Alltag' finally reached gold status in 2000, just as the album was being re-evaluated as a cornerstone of modern German rock. Indeed, to again draw a comparison between Die Fehlfarben and Gang of Four, 'Monarchie und Alltag' is the band's 'Entertainment!' (1979) -a full-length debut touchstone that saw its stock rise significantly during the post-punk revival of the early 2000s, when it was rightly deemed a long-underappreciated classic. EMI keenly came to this realization and reissued the album in October 2000; this new edition boasted remastered sound quality and a handful of bonus tracks, including the 'Abenteuer und Freiheit' (1979) ska 7" single. EMI followed with remastered editions of '33 Tage in Ketten' and 'Glut und Asche' in 2003, each appending relevant non-album material as bonus tracks. 

The bandmembers were well aware of the sudden resurgence in the popularity of Die Fehlfarben, and they capitalized on the moment by reuniting once again, this time for 'Knietief im Dispo' (2002), released by !K7, a French label associated with dance music. Most of the original members were in place for this album (Hein, Schwebel, Kemner, Fenstermacher), along with occasional members (Jahnke, Pyrolator) and a new drummer (Saskia von Klitzing). A measured success, 'Knietief im Dispo' was the first Fehlfarben album to chart since 1983, and though not everyone was crazy about the album -despite the similar membership, this understandably was a much different band than the Fehlfarben of 'Monarchie und Alltag', which in the opinion of some deserved to rest in peace as a classic -it was well received overall. In the wake of their comeback, Die Fehlfarben signed a major-label contract with V2 Records, debuting on the label with '26 1/2' (2006), a guest-laden album featuring collaborations with a long list of noteworthy German rockers. A standard album followed a year later, 'Handbuch für die Welt' (2007), along with a 19-date tour of Germany. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 25 de febrero de 2018

Essential Logic


Susan Whitby was 15 years old and had been playing saxophone for a little more than six months when she joined her friend Marion Elliot (aka Poly Styrene) and formed the great English punk band X-Ray Spex. At this juncture, Whitby renamed herself Lora Logic and brought her honking and squawking to X-Ray Spex's guitar-propelled punk rock, staying in the band long enough to record the seminal feminist-punk single "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!". Prior to the recording of their debut album, Logic abruptly left the band to follow her own quirky songwriting muse and formed the wonderfully named Essential Logic. Eschewing fast and loud guitars for off-kilter rhythms, "bluesy" sax playing, and forays into dissonance and atonality, Essential Logic created some of the most liberating, exciting music of the early post-punk era. Along with her primitive, exhilarating sax playing, Logic displayed a wildly imaginative vocal style that conflated the subtle eroticism of Patti Smith with the epiglottal spasms of Yoko Ono. Singing, braying, and screeching her implicitly (at times explicitly) feminist lyrics while her backing band crashed and bashed in the background, this was almost a punk version of that most despised of genres, art rock. And while the subjects of most of her songs were serious (alienation, sexism, poverty, urban isolation), there was a bratty tongue-wagging raffishness to Logic (and band) that placed them a cut above the rest. After one album as Essential Logic, Lora Logic disbanded the group to go solo. After one great solo record, Logic left music to join a London-based Hare Krishna sect with old pal Poly Styrene. Regardless of her current activities, Lora Logic's short recording career will always be marked by its intelligence, creativity, and fun. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 24 de febrero de 2018

David Westlake


David Westlake is an English singer / songwriter. He led indie band The Servants from 1985 to 1991. The Servants appeared on 1986’s NME-associated 'C86' compilation, and the band was from 1986 to 1991 the original home of Luke Haines. Haines describes David Westlake's first solo album, 1987's 'Westlake', as "a minor classic". Westlake's second solo album, 2002's 'Play Dusty for Me', was released in a limited issue that quickly sold out but was never re-pressed. Captured Tracks reissued 'Play Dusty for Me' in LP format on Black Friday, 2015. As chronicled in an interview in US music magazine The Big Takeover (issue 53, 2004), Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch was a huge Westlake fan and tried to locate him in the early 1990s in hope of forming a band with him, before launching Belle and Sebastian in his school class instead. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

viernes, 23 de febrero de 2018

Ceramic Hello


Ceramic Hello was a duo from Burlington, Ontario, formed by Brett Wickens in 1980 after leaving Spoons. He teamed up with Roger Humphreys who added a more classical bent to the minimal synthesizer tunes (in the mold of John Foxx and Mute Records). Their first release was the single 'Climatic Nouveaux / Theatre Matrix' (MAN003) on Mannequin Records in 1980, followed quickly by the album 'The Absence Of A Canary' (MAN LP1), which included the single's A-side. The 1000 copies have become a collector's item, so much so that in 2006 the German label Vinyl On Demand produced a two disc re-issue, named 'The Absence Of A Canary V1.1'.

The first two sides consisted of the album as originally issued. Sides C and D contained eight track demos Wickens prepared while in England for a never-issued second album (recorded between 1981 and 1983). Additionally "Theatre Matrix", and demos for a track from a Wickens / Jah Wobble collaboration 12" ("Between Two Frequencies") and a song from the collaboration The Partnership ("Sampling The Blast Furnace") were included. The version of "Sampling The Blast Furnace" that is included on 'The Absence Of A Canary V1.1' is a demo recorded in a studio run by William Orbit in London. Orbit also produced a 24-track version of the song with Andy McCluskey from OMD on vocals, which was never commercially released due to contractual issues with Virgin Records. 

Wickens lives in Northern California and is a partner in the design firm Ammunition. Wickens' design career paralleled his musical career in the 1980s, when he was in partnership with Peter Saville, and designed dozens of LP covers for Peter Gabriel, New Order, Joy Division, Ultravox and others. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 22 de febrero de 2018

Bizarre Unit


The dark glam throb of "Dancing" and the Ballardian sensuality of "Away From The Screaming Car" appeared on Bizarre Unit's one and only single, recorded in Walsall circa 1981. It's now a highly collectable item, but that's not where their story stops. Paul Nova has a stockpile of entirely unheard gear from that era Firstly, there's an unreleased 2nd single, the swaggering coldwave of "Lovers In Paris" and the Joy Division-esque "Frozen Wastelands Of Alaska". There's a "First Demo Session", dating to 1980 and featuring five remarkably accomplished and well dated cuts including the numbed eeriness of "The Image Of You" and the odd byzantine groove of "Factory Inmates" -a clear forerunner to Gary War. "Unreleased Recordings From 1982" shows another remarkable step forward, with cold drum machines, synths and pleading vocals strongly reminding of Soft Cell or Japan, while the final side of "First Rehearsals 1979 & 1980" takes us back to their skinnier, rawer roots, mixing scratchy guitar and emaciated synth instrumentals with funky sequencer experiments and surreal electro-blues bits. [SOURCE: BOOMKAT

miércoles, 21 de febrero de 2018

The Alpaca Brothers


On their sole Flying Nun album, the avant-punk trio The Alpaca Brothers created a paranoid and edgy brand of rock similar to labelmates The Gordons and Bill Direen. This recording from '84 is a precursor to their later incarnation in the '90s as Trash, where they continued to sound like a combination of The Velvet Underground and Motorhead as they had defined it a decade earlier. 'Legless' is antipodean slang for drunkenness, and the wall of Joy Division-like guitar noise cascade and skittering propulsive rhythm is certainly intoxicating. A post-punk obscurity that holds up over time as one of the more muscular releases on the Flying Nun label, a stable where delicacy and sophistication flourishes in the indie guitar world, it is curious that throughout the years would throw out wild card like this. Having the angular energy of Gang of Four style art punk, this is anomaly in the catalog along with The Dead C's 'D.R.503'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC


martes, 20 de febrero de 2018

A Number Of Names


A Number of Names was the short-lived group responsible for one of the first techno releases that came from Detroit. Thanks to their lone release, the Italo disco inspired 'Sharevari b/w Skitso', it could be said that A Number of Names, along with Juan Atkins' and Rick Davis' Cybotron, the outfit that released "Alleys of Your Mind" around the same time as "Sharevari" in 1981, were proto-techno as much as The Stooges and MC5 were proto-punk. Both techno and punk took roughly the same amount of time to become fully realized styles after the appearance of their forebears. Coincidentally, each of these forebears came from Detroit and the area surrounding it. 

In 1981, high schoolers Paul Lesley and Sterling Jones decided to finalize their long-brewing plans to form a music group. Inspired by Capriccio, the posh and clique-ish party club that they belonged to (one of many at that time in Detroit), the duo recorded "Sharevari" during the summer of the group's year of formation with the help of several others. While Lesley contributed the lead vocals and bass synth and Jones wrote the lyrics, the song was arranged by Judson Powell and Robert Taylor. Taylor also provided the vocals on the chorus, which were mutated by synth effects. Roderick Simpson, who also received a songwriting credit, played the main melody. Sheila Wheaton and Ira Cash provided the backup vocals that followed the chorus in a quasi-call-and-response manner. 


"Sharevari," as a song title, was a play on the name of another Detroit party club, Charivari. Additionally, the club Charivari took its name from a chain of upscale clothing shops, so Lesley and Jones opted to alter the spelling of their song in order to sidestep any possible legal issues. They took an unfinished version of the song into one of the Charivari parties, had it played by DJ Darryl Shannon, and -judging from the crowd's reaction- discovered that they had something big on their hands. Legendary radio jock The Electrifying Mojo was in attendance at the party and invited the unnamed group that was responsible for the song to WGPR to join him in the booth for one of his shows. The group obliged, and while they were in the studio with Mojo, they talked about not knowing what to call themselves. Mojo suggested A Number of Names. The moniker stuck. 

After the final version of "Sharevari" was completed, the group had 12" singles pressed up (with "Skitso" as the B-side) and released it on their own label, dubbed Capriccio. Not ones to miss the opportunity for a good reference, the group assigned the catalog number 928 to the release, 928 being the model of Porsche driven by the protagonist in "Sharevari." Thanks to the support of the Electrifying Mojo and party DJs, the song became an instant classic and a source of inspiration that has lasted decades, not just for Detroit producers, but for many scattered across the globe as well. 

The lasting value of A Number of Names' limited output resulted in the re-formation of the group for the 2001 Detroit Electronic Music Festival. The revival was kicked into gear due to Lesley's introduction to Keith Tucker (AUX 88, Optic Nerve), a Detroiter who has carried the torch for the city's techno scene since the mid-'80s. Tucker obviously knew about Lesley's pioneering involvement with Detroit's scene and through getting to know each other, Lesley made the admiration mutual. Puzzlebox, the label helmed by Tucker, issued a double-vinyl release in early 2002 that consisted of the original "Sharevari" with several remixes from Detroit and Detroit-area artists like Sean Deason, Adult., Eddie Fowlkes, Ectomorph, DJ Godfather, Scan 7, and Tucker himself. Lesley and Jones made another live appearance at the 2002 DEMF. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 19 de febrero de 2018

World Of Pooh


During their three-year existence in the mid-’80s San Francisco’s World Of Pooh manifested all kinds of reverent beauty-moves interwoven with darker mutterings and visual clews that seemed designed to confound and obfuscate. It wasn’t until much later that listeners would discover how bipolar the band’s actual wobble was. The music of World Of Pooh is some of the definitive American underground pop bastardization created in the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Maybe the vocal and instrumental glisten isn’t quite as pleasant as you’d originally thought. Indeed, their whole gestalt is pretty goddamn twisted, in such an empathetic and human way that it can’t but help draw you in. Because their ending was as rife with public commotion as their birth had been with the private variety, it always seemed highly unlikely that the exquisitely balanced songs would ever reappear in graspable form. But time is a universal salve. And we should be glad of it. Because hearing this music, using ears that have been bored stupid by endless gushes of null-minded pap, it is possible, finally, perhaps, to appreciate the indelicate tension and unholy stylistic alliances that made World of Pooh so special. [SOURCE: MIDHEAVEN

(More info on The Vinyl District)

sábado, 17 de febrero de 2018

Video


Vídeo is a Spanish synth-pop band from the 80s, best remembered for their song "La Noche No Es Para Mi", and formed by Carlos Solís (electric bass), Vicente Chust (guitar), José Manuel Moles (guitar), Pochi Balanzá (drums), Pepa Villalba (vocals) and Sissi Álvarez (keyboardist and choirs). Its first single was 'La Noche No Es Para Mi', produced by Tino Casal, which was a hit in 1983, boosting the recording of the album 'Videoterapia' and, inspired by Alaska y Dinarama, included also the song "Victimas del Desamor". 

In 2011 Video presented its new formation, led by José Manuel Moles and Vicente Chust, two originals members, accompanied by a new singer: Nita. In the first place, they do it remembering their great hits, updated in an album titled 'DosMilOnce' released in 2011. It contains a cover of the song "Embrujada" as a tribute to Tino Casal. At the end of July 2013, they released a new unpublished song called "Blue Jail". [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

viernes, 16 de febrero de 2018

Þeyr


The legendary group Þeyr (sometimes written as Theyr, or Peyr) contained two future Kukl / The Sugarcubes members and were the thinking man's favorite group in Iceland between 1980-1983. After releasing their first album 'Þagað í Hel', which was strongly influenced by dance music, the group underwent a change and discovered the new wave. Their music was now something very special, raw, and angry, sometimes compared with works of Killing Joke or Joy Division

Their music never has been re-released as the masters are believed to be lost. However in 2001 a compilation was released called 'Mjötviður til Fóta'. It contains songs recovered from the album 'Mjötviður Mær' and the single 'Iður til Fóta', two records released in 1981. Thus, the only recorded material of the band currently available is this release, as well as some Icelandic compilations which feature a few tracks. [SOURCE: DISCOGS]

(More info on WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 15 de febrero de 2018

Shock Headed Peters


Former Lemon Kittens leader Karl Blake started the Shock Headed Peters in 1983 with Clive Glover, Ashley Wales, Mark Rowlatt, and David Knight. The band's first single, 1984's Stephen Street-produced "I, Bloodbrother Be", caught a fair amount of attention for its subject matter which dealt with a romantic relationship between two men. The full-length 'Not Born Beautiful' was released in 1985 and, like its teaser single, came out on the El label. 'Life Extinguisher', a four-song EP, was released by Beach Culture the next year. Concurrently, Burns began releasing material as The Underneath. In 1987, an Underneath album preceded the half-studio / half-live 'Fear Engine' on Product Korps. For a couple years, the Shock Headed Peters went into dormancy while Blake busied himself on numerous projects with other acts, including Sol Invictus, Pump, Left Hand Right Hand, and ex-bandmate Danielle Dax


'Several Headed Enemy', the Shock Headed Peters' third album, was released in 1992. For that record, the lineup was pared down to Blake and Knight. Blake continued his involvement with several outside projects around this time; he played with Current 93, Spasm, Arkkon, Chrystal Belle Scrodd, In the Nursery, and Evil Twin (with David Mellor). He also had a whimsical anthology of previously unreleased solo material ('Paper-Thin Religion: Solo Archives 1977-1981') released through World Serpent. Shock Headed Peters again went into hibernation as Blake continued to record and release solo material; 1996's 'Tendercide' saw the duo of Blake and Knight revitalized in a quieter, less jarring fashion than before. Blake went on to operate with Ian Reed as Fire and Ice. He also began working on a project called Blake Sabbath, which most certainly takes most of its name from one of Blake's early influences. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018

Renaldo & The Loaf


An English duo whose experiments drew comparisons to The Residents -not least because they released albums on the band's Ralph Records label- Renaldo & the Loaf is the project of architect Brian Poole (aka Renaldo Malpractice) and pathologist David Janssen (alias Ted the Loaf). Coupled with an eccentric viewpoint, the group's inventive use of tape loops and acoustic instruments such as mandolin, bouzouki, and clarinet made Renaldo & the Loaf distinctive even within the realm of experimental music. 

Poole and Janssen met at school in the late '60s and bonded over a shared love of Tyrannosaurus Rex, The Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and folk music, and soon began making music together. They played a handful of dates in the early '70s, then went on hiatus for a few years due to their studies. When they began working together again, their music took inspiration from Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, and incorporated tape delay and prepared guitars. As Poole and Janssen's improvisations gained more structure, they began recording as Plimsollline. In 1978, they scored a record contract to release the album 'Tap Dancing in Slush' and the EP 'Behind Closed Curtains', but the deal fell through and both works remained unreleased until 2014. 


Poole and Janssen persevered, upgraded their recording equipment, and condensed their songs after seeking advice from Rough Trade's Geoff Travis. By 1979, they had enough material to issue their debut recording as Renaldo & the Loaf, the self-released cassette 'Struvé & Sneff'. The band came to the attention of Ralph Records later that year, when Poole dropped off a copy of the cassette while visiting San Francisco. When the label asked the duo for more music, Renaldo & the Loaf sent tracks as they finished them, culminating with the release of their Ralph debut 'Songs for Swinging Larvae' in 1981. That year, director Graeme Whitler made a short film of the same name set to a medley of songs from the album that also became a cult classic. Poole and Janssen continued to expand their sound, incorporating keyboard on their 1983 album 'Arabic Yodelling'. That year also saw the release of 'Title in Limbo', a joint release from Renaldo & the Loaf and The Residents that was recorded when the duo officially met the group in 1981. The rarities collection 'Olleh Olleh Rotcod' arrived in 1985 as a limited-edition release from Rough Trade, and a year later, the single "Hambu Hodo" offered an early taste of Poole and Janssen's next album. The royalties from 'Title in Limbo' enabled the duo to buy state-of-the-art studio equipment, and 1987's 'The Elbow Is Taboo' was Renaldo & the Loaf's most sophisticated-sounding music yet. However, the making of the album took its toll, and after recording the sea shanty "Haul on the Bowline" for a Ralph compilation, the duo broke up in 1988. 

Over the years, Poole released music as a part of Fiction Friends and The Shouting Hat, while Janssen issued solo material as Mr. Sneff and The Darkening Scale and collaborated with Sylvie Walder as The Tapeworm Vessel. In 2006, the launch of the Renaldo & the Loaf website reunited the duo, who wrote songs for the 2007 film "Kirk Mannican's Liberty Mug". In 2014, Klanggalerie reissued Renaldo & the Loaf's discography (as well as 'Tap Dancing in Slush' and 'Behind Closed Curtains') with bonus material. Two years later, the label released the duo's first album in nearly three decades, the early music-inspired 'Gurdy Hurding'. In 2018, Renaldo & the Loaf played its first live show in 38 years as part of Klanggalerie's 25th anniversary celebration. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 13 de febrero de 2018

Paul Chambers


Paul Chambers is an English singer-songwriter and musician. He was truly a pioneer of dark minimal avant-garde electronic music and vocalist, starting to solo record his music as early as 1978. He also played bass guitar in early post punk bands and then going on to front New Wave bands as composer, vocalist, playing guitar, synth and percussion. While in bands Paul was always continuing to compose and record his own more avant-garde experimental electronic solo music. In 1980 Paul recorded two solo songs “Steering Solo” and “Take A Ticket” which were released on 'The Apprentices Dance' LP compilation from 1981 (on US label Sounds Interesting Records, SILP 007) to much acclaim. In 2010 Anna Logue Records released Paul Chambers 'Stations' Vinyl LP with CD 'Absorptions' including much of Paul’s very early solo recordings. In 2015 'Ghost Office' was released and is a collection of 17 unreleased songs written, produced and performed by Paul Chambers from 1980 thru to 2015. [SOURCE: JANGO RADIO

lunes, 12 de febrero de 2018

Orchestre Rouge


Orchestre Rouge was a French post-punk band which released two albums in the early 80s. Both albums were later reissued on a double CD compilation in 2007. It is catchy and melodic post-punk with a distinctive voice. Even though the band is French, their singer and frontman is an American guy called Theo Hakola, who sings mostly in English. The music is somewhat different than that of other French bands of the era -not in the "cold wave" variant of post punk goth music. They disbanded in 1984 but Theo Haloka and some other members then founded another band, Passion Fodder, which released 5 more albums and can be thought as the continuation of Orchestre Rouge. Theo Haloka then pursued a solo career. Besides the music, the artwork of this album was made by Ricardo Mosner, an artist also responsible for most of Passion Fodder's artwork. [SOURCE: UNCELEBRATED MUSIC

domingo, 11 de febrero de 2018

Nine Circles


Nine Circles is a Dutch-German minimal electronic band. The name originates from the "Nine Circles of Hell" from Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy". Nine Circles were founded in 1980 in Amsterdam by Lidia "The Rose" Fiala and Peter van Garderen. Van Garderen played in the band Genetic Factor (together with Richard Zijlstra and Jan Snijders) and met Lidia Fiala, who already wrote poems and lyrics since she was 15 years old.

Richard Zijlstra worked at VPRO and presented a radio show called "Spleen". It gave new wave bands a chance to become known. Bands sent in their demo tapes to VPRO and some of them got the possibility to play live in the radio and to release their songs on the compilation LP 'Radio Nome'. Nine Circles got the live-radio-deal and also the possibility to be on the LP. In the meantime Van Garderen and Fiala became a couple and within 2 years they composed about 60 songs, from which almost half of them were released on several records until 2013. In 1982 the relationship broke up and with it also the band. Later Fiala lived in another relationship and took care of her new partner and her kids. She put away the music, but still wrote poems and lyrics. 


In 2009 Fialas youngest son Patrick surfed through the Internet and found out about his mothers former band. Much to her surprise Fiala found that people were interested in her music, that the 'Radio Nome' LP was sold for insane prices, and that even a whole CD of Nine Circles was released without her knowledge. More than 25 years she had neither talked about the music nor listened to it because she thought it was bad and people wouldn't like it. In 2010 she decided to revive Nine Circles. Since van Garderen lived a different life where music had no place, he couldn't join Fiala in the band, but he supported her by sending her most of the old recordings to be officially released on vinyl. So she engaged a new keyboarder, wrote new songs and played some concerts. Over time it turned out, that the keyboarder deceived her and ripped her off, so that Fiala had to split up with him and Nine Circles was on the verge of "dying" again.

In 2012 Nine Circles was revived a second time. Through Facebook and MySpace Lidia Fiala met Per-Anders Kurenbach (Psyche, Shock Therapy, The Eternal Afflict) and both recognized that they were on the same wavelength. They played their first concert in Lyon (France) at the end of May without having rehearsed together and even without having met in person before. Nevertheless, the concert was a success and so other concerts followed. An album with new songs was released in 2014. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

sábado, 10 de febrero de 2018

Karmas Colectivos


Karmas Colectivos formed in mid-1982, influenced mainly by bands such U2, Simple Minds or The Cure and headed by a veteran of the local scene, Vicente Comes "Paloma". The first formation was composed by Salva Ortiz (drums), Vicente Sabater (keyboards), Sol Rodríguez (choruses), José Luis Granell (sax), Salva Sanambrosio (bass), and Vicente Comes (voice and guitar). The beginnings of "Paloma" dated back to the mid 70's, when he founded bands like Stardust, Welcome or Doble Zero. Already in the 80s, he infiltrated in other bands such as Cabezones and Co., Fanzine, Tomates Electricos and La Base

In 1985, they became finalists of the Pop-Rock Competition 85 of the Valencian Community, recording a song for the vinyl compiled and edited by Val-Disc. In 1986 Karmas Colectivos won another contest, this time organized by the SER radio station on a national scale, so they managed to enter at the Kirios Studios in Madrid to record an EP, being the label of Servando Carballar, D.R.O., who edited their first solo album, a 12" titled 'Psicodependencia' and produced by the the band and José Godofredo, member of Ceremonia and sporadically collaborator of the sextet.


In mid-1987, they recorded what would be their first MiniAlbum, titled 'The Last Dream', produced by Jo Dworniak and Duncan Bridgeman from I Level. The album had an European version edited by Midnight Music, with the same songs re-recorded in English and produced by Nick Ralph, enjoying a great recognition in countries like France, Holland, Germany or Belgium, and even leading them to play with bands such The Essence, Front 242 or Sad Lovers And Giants.

The single 'Shu Enna' was extracted from this MiniAlbum, also as a limited promo edition vinyl that shared tracks with another Valencian group from Plataforma Discos, Carmina Burana. In 1987 Midnight Music edited a compilation with several groups of its roster titled 'Diamonds In Darkness', contributing Karmas Colectivos with "I Don't Want To Get Into This War".

Due to the comings and goings of some of their components, the quintet is gradually fading. Vicente Sabater and Salva Ortiz are already very involved with Presuntos Implicados and despite the fact that the they are already in their final stages, they still have time to contribute with the "Un Joc De Viure" song for the compilation 'Un Poc De Rock', dissolving definitively at the end of 1987. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

viernes, 9 de febrero de 2018

Mark Stewart


An enduring figure on the edgy frontiers of the British music scene, Mark Stewart first came to prominence as a member of the punk/dub noisemaking squad The Pop Group, and has been storming musical boundaries and making powerful, confrontational music ever since. Stewart was born and raised in Bristol, England and attended Bristol Grammar School; one of his school friends was Nick Sheppard, who later went on to join The Cortinas and the 'Cut the Crap'-era Clash. Emboldened by punk but not impressed with its stylistic hegemony, Stewart and his friends were eager to start a funk band, and in 1978 he teamed up with guitarists John Waddington and Gareth Sager, bassist Simon Underwood, and drummer Bruce Smith to form The Pop Group. Between their limited musical experience and Stewart's strident vocal style and accusatory political lyrics, The Pop Group's music took a considerable left turn from their original blueprint, bolting slashing guitar noise and fractured melodies to primitive funk and dub rhythms, and though their commercial success was limited, the band's influence would prove to be massive over time. 


In 1980, The Pop Group split up, and Stewart, Bruce Smith, and Waddington appeared on the first album by the New Age Steppers, whose music was a prescient fusion of dub and post-punk experimentalism. It was Stewart's first work with producer Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound, who would prove to be a valuable ally and frequent collaborator. Stewart released his first solo effort in 1983, 'Learning to Cope with Cowardice'; credited to Mark Stewart + Maffia, the album was produced by Sherwood and featured many of the same revolving team of musicians who had appeared on the New Age Steppers recordings. For the next album by Stewart + Maffia, 'As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade', Stewart and Sherwood joined forces with guitarist Skip McDonald, bassist Doug Wimbish, and drummer Keith LeBlanc, who had been the core of the Sugar Hill Records house band before teaming up with Sherwood to form Tackhead. This lineup of Maffia recorded Stewart's next two efforts, 'Mark Stewart' and 'Metatron', and reunited for Stewart's 1996 album 'Control Data'.


Through much of the 1990s and 2000s, Stewart devoted much of his energy to producing and collaborating with other artists, including Tricky, Massive Attack, Trent Reznor, and ADULT, and he immersed himself in the electronic music community, where his fondness for tossing different musical ideas at one another found a home. In 2005, Stewart released 'Kiss the Future', a career-spanning anthology of his many musical projects, and he completed a long-awaited new album in 2008, 'Edit'. A documentary about Stewart and his career, 'On/Off:', played at a number of international film festivals in 2009. In 2010, Stewart announced that he was re-forming The Pop Group with original members Gareth Sager and Bruce Smith for a series of reunion shows, and that the band would begin work on a new album. Stewart found time to release new solo projects in 2012: 'The Politics of Envy' (featuring guest appearances from Lee "Scratch" Perry, Richard Hell, Keith Levene, and members of Primal Scream and The Raincoats) and 'Exorcism of Envy' (featuring much of the same supporting cast, along with Factory Floor and Kenneth Anger). [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 8 de febrero de 2018

Limp Richerds


Limp Richerds were a hardcore punk rock band from Seattle, Washington which featured Mark Arm and Steve Turner (later of Mudhoney and Green River) in one of their many lineups. They formed around 1981, but ceased to be a serious band in 1984, and finally split in 1987. The original lineup was Dave Middleton (vocals), Ross Guffy (percussion), Charles Quain (guitar), and Greg Billings (bass). The band was centered on the vocals and songwriting of Dave Middleton. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

(More info here: Dementleiu Punk Archive: Limp Richerds)

miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018

Janitors


The Janitors were Andrew Denton (vocals), Craig Hope (slide guitar, keyboards), Pete Crowe (bass guitar), and Tim Stirland (drums). Denton, Hope and friend Phil Storey recorded demos in Leicester's Highfields which Yeah Yeah Noh's John Grayland brought to the attention of some indie labels. Described as "a mixture of Membranes meeting Captain Beefheart", they signed to Marc Riley's In-Tape label, releasing their debut single, 'Chicken Stew' in July 1985 (on which Hope played all of the instruments). It went on to reach the top 10 of the UK Independent Chart. In anticipation of the single's release, Denton and Hope moved to Newcastle to recruit bassist Simon Warnes, however Crowe took his place bringing along fellow art student Tim Stirland as drummer (replacing the drum machine of the first single). 

Second single 'Good to be King' was also an indie hit, reaching number 14, and debut album 'Thunderhead', produced by Jon Langford of The Mekons, peaked at number 6 on the indie albums chart. The band recorded three sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show, one each year between 1985 and 1987. Pete Crowe was ejected over a dispute with Denton and replaced by Jeff Murray. The band then moved to the Abstract label. In 1988 Phil Storey joined on rhythm guitar. After two further singles, their second album, 'Deafhead', was released in June 1988. The band released one more single and in late 1988, Denton left the band. American Bobo Nando picked up the mike, but the band dissolved in August 1989. 

Stirland went on to perform with My Bloody Valentine and The Mekons. Hope (Hoppy) is currently guitar technician for Chris Martin of Coldplay. Jeff Murray formed G.R.O.W.T.H. with Kev of Gaye Bykers On Acid and Tommo of The Bomb Party, but they split after one album. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 6 de febrero de 2018

In Trance 95


In Trance 95 are a duo from Athens, Greece. They were formed by Alex Machairas and Nik Veliotis in May 1988 and until Nik's departure in 1992 they released two singles,one 12 inch and one album,while they also appeared in a number of compilations of the time. Their debut 7 inch, the double A Sided 'Desire To Desire / Brazilia' was released in December 1988 and it is one of the few known releases of synthpop - cold wave that came from Greece in the 80's. After a period during which Nik Veliotis left to undertake other projects, Alex Machairas continued with new member George Geranios in various guises including a subtle change of name to Itenef. A full reformation took place when they were invited by ex Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder to open Recoil's Athens gig in April 2010. But already from 2006 there was a renewed interest in the band that was generated through the increasing popularity of the minimal synth / cold wave sound in the underground circles of mainly New York and central Europe. The birth of "Minimal Wave" as a genre brought many obscure electronic artists from the 80's in the surface including In Trance 95. Many of their early tracks eventually got regular airplay at the Minimal Wave program of NY's East Village Radio and eventually in 2010, the duo signed to the New York based label. With Minimal Wave's help, IT95 completed the album 'Cities of Steel And Neon' which is a collection of their early tapes compiled and remastered by the duo themselves and the label's founder Veronica Vasicka. In March 2011, In Trance 95 presented their album in a live set before Vasicka's first appearance in Athens during a three-day event dedicated to analogue synthesizers and D.I.Y. tape recorder music of the 80's.


In September 2012, Minimal Wave announced the release of 'Shapes In A New Geometry', an album of entirely new material from In Trance 95. The album first came out as a limited edition cassette on November 14 by the New York based label and included eight tracks, recorded and mixed by Alex Machairas and Nik Veliotis between February and May of the same year. The digital version followed internationally on February 5 of 2013. Since the album's release the duo did a number of live shows including dates in Germany, Belgium, Greece and their first ever gig outside Europe, in Russia on February 22 of 2013. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA