lunes, 30 de abril de 2018

Jacno


Jacno (3 July 1957 in Paris – 6 November 2009) was a French musician. Born as Denis Quilliard, he was a founding member of the first French punk band The Stinky Toys. In the early 1980s, after the group disbanded, he teamed up with former Stinky Toys singer Elli Medeiros to form the pop duo Elli et Jacno. Jacno had also released a number of solo albums since 1979. He took his professional name from the name of the graphic artist who drew the Gallic helmet logo of French Gauloises cigarettes brand. In 1999, the Italian DJ Gigi D'Agostino used the track "Rectangle" for his song "La Passion". The song was a hit in Austria and Belgium where it became a number-one single, and was very popular in other European countries. Jacno died overnight between 5 and 6 November 2009 from cancer, aged 52. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 29 de abril de 2018

Informatics


Informatics were a post-punk electronic band from Melbourne, Australia formed in 1981. Michael Trudgeon, Valek Sadovchikoff, Steve Adam and Ramesh Ayyar met in the experimental sound studio while attending the same art school. Philip McKellar later joined the band in 1983. Between 1981 and 1985, Informatics recorded numerous tracks, mainly in a garage, using a four-track tape machine and any electronic gear they could get their hands on. The band held a fascination for contemporary visual art and moving images and videos would accompany their live performances. The production elements in the videos reflected Informatics’ philosophy on sound composition: the footage was entirely pirated from television ads, manipulated and then collaged to create new narratives that reinforced the music. 


Informatics came to work together through a shared fascination in electronic music and the capabilities of analogue synthesizers. In early performances, long before the advent of samplers, the Informatics used a collection of synthesizers and other analogue and hand built equipment. These were patched together to create a unique battery of sounds. Between January and November 1981 Informatics recorded their debut 4 song 'Dezinformatzia' EP but it was not released until 1983. The track “Proximity Switch”, later renamed “Accidents in Paradise” became popular in parts of Europe and was re-released in 1985. Informatics early songs have a brittle, cold, disconnected feel made by a Roland SH-101, Korg MS-20 and a lot of processed guitar. The later songs utilize newer technology and ambient, synthesized melodies closer to their country mates Severed Heads. True synthpunk pioneers a world away from their contemporaries in America. [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES RECORDS]

sábado, 28 de abril de 2018

Hoffnung & Psyche


Stefan Winczencz gets this band ca. 1980. He played in this time in a second band with name Fröhliche Eiszeit. Hoffnung & Psyche is some of the greatest minimal-synth sound, recorded in the years 1981-82. "Sie Bleibt Kalt" is an absolutly fantastic sound with girl vocals (this girl came to visit him, and so they recorderd in his living-room 4 tracks, afterwhich he never saw her). The instrumental track "Das Auto" sounds like Der Plan. Both tracks came out in 1981/82 on cassette in a quantity of 50 pieces. [SOURCE: FUSETRON

viernes, 27 de abril de 2018

GRAF+ZYX


GRAF+ZYX are the duo of Inge Graf and Walter Zyx. They formed in Vienna, Austria in 1977. Committing themselves to the “aestheticisation of everyday life” in all fields of art, their works with video, photography, graphic design, and music are visually influenced by Pop Art, Constructivism, Futurism, Dadaism, Beat culture, and the electronic rock of the 60s and 70s. They are considered pioneers of multimedia art worldwide, and continue to remain active to this day. 

Trust No Woman’ is the debut album from GRAF+ZYX, and was released in 1981 on the label RCA Music. It was recorded, mixed and mastered from March to August 1981 at their own Sun Moon & Stars Studio Vienna. They designed short, punchy songs around a barrage of analogue synths, rock-solid electro beats and tempered, low-key vocals. Cold and claustrophobic atmospheres collide with mechanical rhythms The songs are sung in English with a heavy German accent, and lyrics channel obscure existentialist dialogues. Despite the sombre tone, there lingers a touch of the enthusiasm that accompanied the influx of affordable technologies and new media of the era. It is a album that advances on the ideas set forth by The Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Tuxedomoon and Yello. Faced with the increasingly blurry line between human and machine, they approach their art with a still-potent blend of ambivalence, optimism, and melancholy. [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES RECORDS

(More info on GRAF+ZYX - Picked Ventures)

jueves, 26 de abril de 2018

Five Or Six


Five or Six was a UK post-punk band, originally signed to Cherry Red Records by A&R head Mike Alway, who deemed them to be the act with the most potential from the scene he had helped create around the Snoopies club in south-west London. The line-up was fluid, and apart from their key contribution to the best-selling compilation album 'Pillows & Prayers', they are perhaps most notable for the various activities of most former members. 

John Yorke became a senior executive for both Channel Four and the BBC and is currently head of independent drama. Dave Harper is involved in the management of bands including Goldfrapp. His brother, Simon Harper, became head of international at 4AD. Dave Knight and Ashley Wales joined Karl Blake as members of the Shock Headed Peters, with Wales then proceeding to dance / jazz duo Spring Heel Jack. Knight later worked with Lydia Lunch and Danielle Dax, records solo under the name Arkkon, and with Stephen Thrower (Coil, Cyclobe) in UnicaZürn. Julia Gilbert writes scripts for "EastEnders". In 2008, Cherry Red released a retrospective anthology, entitled 'Acting On Impulse'. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

miércoles, 25 de abril de 2018

Eurocheque


Eurocheque was a trio from Bergisch-Gladbach founded in the summer of 1980 by Martin Trapphoff and Thomas Schreiner, both previously with the Cologne punk band De Bensberger, trying to get a record deal with a German major with new band Eurocheque and other style of music. Trapphoff set up a private recording studio in his parents' home. At this time Trapphoff / Schreiner still texted in English. When the triumphal march of the NDW began at the end of 1981, Eurocheque also thought about it and from that time only texted in German. 

Dissatisfied with their own singing and lyrics, Eurocheque sought reinforcement. From 200 applicants finally Matthias Klaas was selected, who completed the band. At that time Thomas Schreiner left the band. In 1982, the first single production at Teldec -with guest musician Norbert Weidmann that became a permanent member of Eurocheque- was 'Oh Wei, Oh Wei' ("Oh knows, Oh knows"). This single contains one of the cult lyrics of the NDW.

Eurocheque continued to make music pieces and sometimes played smaller concerts. Weidmann then left in 1989 and Trapphoff / Klaas continued in twos. Three years later, guitarist Frank Wester joined Eurocheque. In 2005 Eurocheque released a new album 'Die Runde Sache' on the small label Kernkrach. [SOURCE: NEUE DEUTSCHE WELLE: SKANDAL IM INTERNET!

martes, 24 de abril de 2018

De Fabriek


De Fabriek (The Factory) hails from the Dutch City of Zwolle and original founded by Richard van Dellen and Andries D. Eker at the end of the seventies. Now the spil are Richard van Dellen, Louise Nanuru van Dellen (his wife) and Klaas Mons. Not considering themselves a regular band (for one thing, they are a label too) they present The Factory as some sort of workmen-union, and the musicians they work with as labourers. Music is created through workman tools and machinery. Throughout years they were recording with the likes of Solenoid, O.R.D.U.C., Technological Aquiver, Brume, Vivenza, Klinik, and Gen Ken Montgomery. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

lunes, 23 de abril de 2018

Chandra


Chandra recorded her first EP in 1980 at age 12. Her father, artist / professor Dennis Oppenheim, was a teacher of Eugenie Diserio, whose bands played at parties at Chandra's family's loft. Eugenie was in Model Citizens, who split after doing one record produced by John Cale, and fractioned into The Dance and Polyrock, who then did an album with Philip Glass. Chandra's drummer, Fred Maher, was also a member of Material at the same time he was recording and backing The Dance and Chandra. Chandra grew up in the middle of the early 1980's New York City arts and music scene of that era and around many of the people locally involved then. 

Eugenie and The Dance wanted to do a project fronted by a child and Chandra was excited to record 4 song EP backed by one of her favorite bands, and to start playing in clubs like The Mudd Club and Danceteria while she was still a pre-teenager. She also started designing her own clothes, inspired by Eugenie Diserio's sense of fashion. 

The 12 year old girl fronting a dance band went over well in the New York arts scene with the band playing regularly in the local New Wave / Dance clubs. They also toured the northeast USA extensively, doing double bills of Chandra and The Dance

Chandra recorded a second unreleased EP with an all-kid band as The Chandra Dimension that was shelved until 2008 when Cantor Records released of both EPs together in a single vinyl reissue with new material as a full album, 'Transportation', in a limited pressing of 500 copies. She has gone on to do other work including music, art and performance art under her full name Chandra Oppenheim. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

domingo, 22 de abril de 2018

Bloodsport


Bloodsport were a lesser-known part of Chicago's post-hardcore punk scene of the '80s, which produced bands like Naked Raygun, The Effigies, and Big Black. Following the demise of his first band Strike Under, guitarist Chris Bjorklund got together with vocalist Dave Bergeron, bassist Tom Woods, and drummer Joe Haggerty (Haggerty's brother John played guitar in Naked Raygun). Drawing from a musical palette similar to that of The Effigies (The Ruts, Killing Joke, The Stranglers, Minor Threat, etc.), Bloodsport issued their only album, 'I Am the Game', on the prominent indie label Homestead in 1985. Dave Bergeron subsequently left the band, and while they continued to play as a trio, their recording career was effectively over. In 1987, Bjorklund and Haggerty joined a revamped version of The Effigies, with Bjorklund on bass; the following year, Woods also signed on as the bassist, and Bjorklund returned to guitar. The Effigies disbanded in 1990, and Haggerty united with his brother John in the punk-pop outfit Pegboy. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 21 de abril de 2018

Animals & Men


In the late '70s, numerous British acts followed the same trajectory as Animals & Men: they were initially catalyzed by punk, briefly made it onto vinyl, received airplay on the John Peel show, and then disappeared, leaving few traces. In 1978, inspired by punk's sound, attitude, and look, guitarist Ralph Mitchard quit his pub rock and blues outfit, The Bad Detectives, and formed a new band with drummer Geoff Norcott and bassist Nigel House. When the members of the fledgling trio (briefly called Psychotic Reaction) found themselves unable to shake the vocal influence of Dr. Feelgood, they added a new ingredient in the form of singer Susan Wells, whom Mitchard had met at an early-1978 Wire / Adam & the Ants gig. 


Settling on the name Animals & Men -after an Adam & the Ants song- the quartet drew on influences ranging from '60s American garage rock to contemporaneous post-punk. Their first single, 'Don't Misbehave in the New Age / We Are Machines', appeared in September 1979, followed by June 1980's 'Terraplane Fixation / Shell Shock'. The band underwent a makeover after House quit and Norcott received a Royal Navy posting to Gibraltar. In their place, Mitchard and Wells eventually recruited Andy Payne (drums) and Dave Mackay (bass) and reinvented themselves as The Terraplanes, a more R&B and blues-flavored act. They released the single 'Evil Going On / It's Hip' in May 1981 and experimented with a Burundi-inspired two-drummer setup when Norcott returned from the sea in 1982. Adam Ant's plans to make Mitchard and Wells stars (he had been a pen pal over the years) came to naught and they eventually settled back into their day jobs. 

A subsequent Mitchard project, Red Hot & the Sans Culottes (think rockabilly meets the French Revolution), didn't get much further than the drawing board. In 2003, Messthetics put out 'Terraplane Fixation', an Animals & Men / Terraplanes retrospective. An expanded and repackaged compilation, 'Revel in the Static', followed in 2005. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 20 de abril de 2018

Bourbonese Qualk


In constant operation from 1979-2003 on the fringes of the breakcore / extreme electronics scene, Bourbonese Qualk bang in the middle of the '80s, located in a South London squat / stronghold / studio amidst the The Miner's Strike, Falklands War, Thatcherism and Anarchism. 

They've always wilfully existed on the periphery, but haven't gone unnoticed, whether on their 1985 joint "Pogrom" or their continued support for the anarchist rave and squat scene thru the '90s. And in the best sense of industrial music, it's really not all about girders and scowls -they intersect a broad spectrum of styles from funky post punk dance gear to killer proto-techno, EBM and eerie ambient atmospheres, always with a unique fidelity from their DIY set-up. [SOURCE: BOOMKAT

(More info on BouboneseQualk.net)

jueves, 19 de abril de 2018

Y Create


Y Create is the solo moniker of Hessel Veldman, but was also used to refer to a changing group of musicians connected to Exart. A lot of their improvisations and compositions were recorded and several were released on the label. Apart from Veldman, musicians appearing on these sessions include Nick Nicole, Kees Beukelaar, Herman Te Loo, Jos van Ommen, Kees van Ede, Willem De Ridder, Jos Van Duijne, Peter Cornelissen and Gert-Jan Prins. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

(More info at djima.blogspot.com.es

miércoles, 18 de abril de 2018

The Wygals


New York guitar-pop combo The Wygals formed from the remnants of the short-lived art-pop unit The Individuals, founded in 1980 by Ohio-born graphics student Janet Wygal (vocals/bass). With her brother Doug on drums in addition to singer / guitarist Glenn Morrow and guitarist Jon Klages, The Individuals debuted in 1981 with the EP 'Aquamarine'; ex-dB's Gene Holder produced the session, and returned to the helm a year later for the group's first and only full-length effort, 'Fields'. After The Individuals dissolved in 1983, the Wygal siblings adopted the family's surname for their next project, with Janet switching to guitar; lead guitarist Eric Peterson also signed on, as did a seemingly endless procession of bassists including Rubber Rodeo's Doug Allen, Skunkadelic's Ilene Markwell, Let's Active's Faye Hunter, and even another Wygal, brother Jeff. Finally, Holder assumed full-time bass duties in advance of The Wygals' 1987 debut 'Passion'. After releasing the 1989 full-length 'Honyocks in the Whithersoever', The Wygals called it quits; Janet then teamed with yet another sibling, sister Tricia, to form the short-lived Splendora, issuing the Holder-produced 'In the Grass' in 1995. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

Voigt 465


Voigt/465 were an Australian post-punk band based in Sydney. They were a feature of the Sydney inner-city music-scene during the late 1970s and their music was critically acclaimed. Their sound was influenced by Krautrock and has been described by a band-member as an "unsettling mixture of song-driven rock elements and free-noise experimentation". Voigt/465 recorded an album, 'Slights Unspoken', before they disbanded in late 1979. With their self-funded recordings and determinedly uncompromising music Voigt/465 epitomised the do-it-yourself ethic of the alternative music scene of the late 1970s. 

Voigt/465 was formed in 1976 from a group of school-friends. The band was composed of Rod Pobestek (guitar), Lindsay O’Meara (bass), Phil Turnbull (synthesiser, organ and vocals), Rae Macron Cru (vocals) and Bruce Stalder (drums). They rehearsed and played sporadically during 1977. In 1978 Voigt/465 recorded four songs at Axent Studios at Kogarah, in Sydney’s southern suburbs. 


During 1978 the band performed more regularly and began to attract a following. In mid-1978 the drummer left the group and was replaced by Mark Boswell. Later that year Voigt/645 released a self-funded single made up of two of the songs they had recorded earlier that year –'State / A Secret West'. The band had a mid-week residency at the Sussex Hotel and regularly performed at other inner-city venues in Sydney. Voigt/465 also travelled to Melbourne to perform a series of gigs. Voigt/465 were highlighted as the "band of 1979" in Clinton Walker's influential book "Inner City Sound", a document of punk and post-punk music in Australia.

In 1979 the bass-player Lindsay O’Meara decided to leave the band to join Crime and the City Solution in Melbourne. With Voigt/465 on the verge of breaking up the band-members decided to record an album as a lasting document of their songs. The recordings were made at Axent studios and the album 'Slights Unspoken' was released in a limited edition in September 1979. O’Meara later returned from Melbourne and eventually joined Pel Mel. Keyboardist Phil Turnbull co-founded the band Wild West, which Rae Macron Cru also later joined. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 17 de abril de 2018

Unrest Work & Play


Unrest Work & Play were a British short-lived art rock obscurity, formed by Andy Wake (drums, percussion, bass, voices) and Chris Fraser (guitars, voices). In 1984, after two EPs ('Andy & Chris' in 1982 upon Art Hole Records, and 'Sound Every Day' in 1983 upon Political Underground Records) launched, they released the first (and only one) full-length album 'Informs' via Recommended Records, one of the authority labels of RIO founded by Chris Cutler and Mick Hobbs. Andy founded The Momes (with Tim Hodkinson and Mick Hobbs) and released 'Spiralling' in 1989, and in the same year Chris published his solo work 'Archaeology', after Unrest Work & Play disbanded. [SOURCE: PROG ARCHIVES

Those Attractive Magnets


Those Attractive Magnets were created early 1980 in a town called Tamworth, the heart of the English Midlands, as a vehicle for Rikk Quay (keyboards) and Andy Baldwin (vocals). They self-released a super limited cassette EP, 'Pictures on the Wall' in 1980 and the 'Nightlife / Love Chimes' 7″ in 1983 and appeared on a Futurist music compilation LP, 'Synthetic Romance' in 1982. 

Their music travels beyond copycat synthpop bands of the time into electronic realms of the 80s underground scene. There are some obvious parallels of the time –you can hear the commercial strains of The Human League, Soft Cell and Kraftwerk at times – but the band never wholly embraced commercialism as these tracks reveal. Although their sound takes a cue from the post-punk and early new romantic scenes, it still remains one step ahead in a unique futuristic world full of delicious dance beats! [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES RECORDS

lunes, 16 de abril de 2018

The Siddeleys


The Siddeleys were a London-based indie pop band, active during the late 1980s. Although they were relatively short-lived, they were influential. The band formed in 1986, comprising female singer Johnny Johnson, Andrew Brown (bass), Allan Kingdom (guitar), and Phil Goodman (drums). Andy Wake signed the band to his Medium Cool label on the strength of one of their three demo tapes, releasing their first single, "What Went Wrong This Time?" in 1987, described by NME as "A gentle teasing lament with cool female vocals and a lilting backing which trickles around the back of the nervous system with deceptive charm". Goodman left in 1987, to be replaced by former Jamie Wednesday and Bob drummer Dean Leggett, who was himself replaced by David Clynch. They moved to Sombrero Records for the follow-up, the John Parish-produced 'Sunshine Thuggery' EP (1988), which caught the ear of John Peel who invited the band to record a session for his BBC Radio 1 programme. Peel commented "the woman who's in charge of the band has a terrific way with words in almost the manner of Morrissey. There are lines in here which make me laugh out loud". After a second Peel session, they had planned to release "You Get What You Deserve" as a third single, but this fell through when Sombrero ran out of money. The band remained popular with fans of indie pop, and a collection of all of their recordings, 'Slum Clearance' was released in 2001. "What Went Wrong This Time?" was included on the 'CD86' album, a collection of definitive indie pop compiled by Bob Stanley. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 15 de abril de 2018

Rodion G. A.


In the late ’70s and early ’80s in communist Romania, Rodion Ladislau Roșca and his band Rodion G.A. created a hybrid of electronic music, psychedelics, and progressive rock that, decades later, has revealed itself to be remarkably ahead of its time. After years of obscurity, and only a handful of singles ever released officially, Rodion’s music is finally getting the recognition it deserves. 

The year is 2012 and a silver haired man in a v-neck jumper is moving nervously on stage before a hushed crowd at an electronic music festival in Bucharest. On a desk in front of him, two ’70s Tesla reel-to-reel machines are starting to run a set of magnetic tapes that are older than most of the people in the audience. Soon the sound of flanged, phased and fuzzed electricity is buzzing throughout the hall, connecting the hip young crowd to one of Romania’s true musical pioneers, and what is a forgotten chapter in their cultural history. The dark and mysterious psychedelic noise that emerges from the rudimentary equipment is as raw and futuristic as when it was recorded during the darkest days of Ceaușescu’s regime. 

It was back in 1975 that Rodion Ladislau Roșca founded a group that would create an electronic sound unique in the claustrophobic cultural landscape of those times. But with only two tracks ever released, the music of Rodion G.A. has been hidden away on dusty tapes ever since. Beneath the decades of dust, though, is a music that reveals an alternative Romania, one that inhabited a subterranean niche completely opposed to the polished surface of the local state-sanctioned rock. Rejecting the obedience of the old musical order, the music of Rodion G.A. created an impossible, dark and romantic utopia in the middle of the most disastrous dystopia engulfing the country. And now thanks to a new school of local music makers and archivists, the lost tapes of Rodion are about to reach their rightful audience. 

The son of a Romanian father and a Hungarian mother, he grew up Cluj in the North West during an optimistic time for the country. The early liberalisation of Nicolae Ceaușescu had brought a new openness to Romania between 1965 and 1972. His independent foreign policy and challenges to the authority of the Soviet Union (including a condemnation of its invasion of Czechoslovakia) had made Ceaușescu a popular leader in the West and something of a maverick figure in the Eastern Bloc. Nixon visited Romania in 1969 with a sign at Bucharest airport proclaiming: “Long Live the Friendship Between the Romanian and the American Peoples.” In turn Ceaușescu was invited to the US and UK on state trips. The easing of censorship liberated musicians as an open policy with Western Europe and the United States created fertile conditions for cross-pollination. Western artists including Blood Sweat & Tears and jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton began to tour in Romania, often collaborating with local artists. This was a golden age for East European jazz and the state owned record label Electrecord released a wide range of records by artists like roma gypsy bassist Johnny Răducanu and his Bucharest Jazz Quintet and female vocalist Aura Urziceanu. Also on Electrecord came bands like Phoenix, Sincron, and Mondial mixing Romanian folk and freaky psych in what was the beginning of a thriving prog rock scene. 


His hometown of Cluj had a healthy music culture at the time spawning its own prog rock groups like Chromatic and Experimental Quartet (later to become the influential jazz fusion band Experimental Quintet). As well as soaking up local sounds, Rodion made regular trips across the border in Hungary where records were easier to come by. He also expanded his musical horizons by corresponding with collectors in countries as far away as Norway and Japan through the latter’s Music Life magazine. “Life was like a Facebook for us in the 1970s,” he recalls. “You could connect with people from around the world.” He soon had an enviable and much in-demand collection, earning him the name “King Of Records” amongst the many friends he made tapes for. As well as the mainstream rock, he also started to collect the more progressive electronic sounds emerging from both the West and East. 

Inspired by the futuristic music he heard in groups like Kraftwerk and Romania’s Sfinx, he started to experiment with his own basic equipment, picking up ideas from a friend who was into electronics. His first sessions were recorded onto tape between 1969-72 and set him apart from the rock template that dominated Romanian music. These early recordings were sparse and haunting pieces with vocals, guitars and improvised drums recorded and often distorted through his innovative use of reel to reel. The tracks anticipated his later explorations into sound and his long-standing interest in echo. Listening back to this music now there is a menace and urgency that seems somehow prophetic. 

In 1971, Ceaușescu visited both the People’s Republic of China and North Korea. There he was inspired both by the programmes, and more worryingly the personality cult, of leaders like Kim Il Sung. On his return to Romania he set in course policies to emulate the North Korea system known as the Juche Idea, outlined in a Maoist speech that came to be known as the July Theses. It contained proposals such as the continuous growth in the “leading role” of the Party and most tellingly for musicians, an expansion of political propaganda and the promotion of a “militant, revolutionary” character in artistic productions. The liberalisation of 1965 was condemned and an index of banned books and authors was re-established. It wasn’t long before the fear and paranoia reached musicians. 

Rodion’s response was to look to the future with music that was as alien as it was defiant, echoing the DIY ethic of post punk movements across the world. He formed Rodion G.A. in 1975, the ‘G.A.’ taken from the forenames of the two other founding band members Gicu Fărcaș and Adrian Căpraru. By now Rodion had amassed a collection of basic electronic equipment and had become something of a DIY tech wizard, improvising with his own techniques of composing using reel to reels. Surrounded by four Tesla machines, he would record beats and guitars on one channel, then stop and add other instruments on the other -a raw means of multi-tracking mirrored by the early disco pioneers. He also used other methods to add effects and delays on both instruments and vocals, transforming a Tesla into an echo machine. Other tools in his sonic armoury included an East German Vermona drum machine, a toy Casio VL Tone and a little Soviet-made Faemi organ to which he added phaser, flanger and fuzz pedals. 


Rodion was not alone in advancing Romanian music through the use of electronics at the turn of the ‘80s. Adrian Enescu had graduated from the “Ciprian Porumbescu” Music Conservatory in Bucharest before releasing synth laden film soundracks and LPs like the cosmic leaning 'Funky Synthesizer Vol 1' & 'Dance Funky Synthesizer Vol 2'. At the same time, Mircea Florian had moved from a folk and experimental rock background to record both minimalist and new wave electronic music. Others, like the previously mentioned Sfinx and Progresiv TM, followed suit but nearly all leaned towards prog rock. The electronic music recorded by Rodion G.A. was different though: an urgent and defiant assault on the senses that remains forward sounding today. 

There were undoubtedly echoes of bands like Goblin, Kraftwerk and the more extreme end of krautrock. But the music recorded at his home studio in Cluj between 1978 and 1984, and presented here, was a unique and heady brew: dense, visceral synth sounds set against raw programmed rhythms, with intricate and unusual arrangements that touched on everything from prog and classical to freaky funk and electro. Listen to "Cântec Fulger" and you are transported to a dark and forbidding place where Giallo keyboards pierce your cerebral cortex. Or "Citadela" a bowel shifting slab of industrial funk that weighs heavily on your mind long after the last analogue hooks have let you go. And then there is "Diagonala" a brooding piece of electronic music with a mid section that wouldn’t be out of place on late night pirate radio. But most importantly this was music that could only have been made in Romania during this oppressive time: On "Alpha Centauri" it’s as if the ghosts of the country’s folk past are now locked in the circuits of the machine. 

Despite this futuristic music confounding and confronting the establishment in equal measure, Electrecord did release two of Rodion G.A’s more rock orientated tracks "Acolo Unde E Mister" and "Amintiri" on the 1981 compilation 'Formații Rock Vol. 5'. But five further live recordings for Radio Cluj remained unreleased, despite radio airings. Listen to the mutinous noise of cuts like "Stele Si Lumini" and you can understand why it might have disturbed the “Council of Romanian Radio and Television”, whose policy guidelines were received directly from the Party. Always the forward thinker, during the Cluj session, Rodion asked the sound engineer to allow him to record all of the instrumentals onto his own Tesla machine, directly from the main mixer. He would then use these samples to build new tracks on his own tape machines, in the home studio where the tracks on this CD were recorded. So on "Caravane" and "Disco Mania" it’s actually the beats of "Ore" and "Moment" that you hear alongside the drums of Gicu Fărcaș. 

Some of the band’s recordings were picked up by national radio and the group even hit the top of the Romanian radio and magazine charts. Beyond this brief exposure, however, there were no other releases. Undeterred, they toured extensively during the early ‘80s with various line-ups bringing the same DIY ethic to their live performances as to their recordings.Rodion made his own rig by hand, complete with ‘Rodion G.A.’-branded speaker boxes and amps. “I was fed up of speakers blowing and having to find new ones,” explains Rodion. “So I learned to make them myself.” 

Although the grip on culture became increasingly tight as political conditions worsened, a live rock scene continued to exist in Romania during the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Gigs mainly happened within a network of festivals around the country and at restaurants and clubs in seaside towns during the Summer months. By now music sung in English was banned but groups would break the rules by playing Western covers. This meant that venue owners had to be extremely careful, never knowing when inspectors might drop by. The censorship was often as absurd as it was unsettling. Rodion remembers one occasion when an inspector came to listen to another band sound check. “Despite singing in Romanian, the official pulled them up for singing ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ during a chorus,” he says. Rodion G.A continued to plough on, appearing at festivals and venues across Cluj, Buzău and Timişoara but were never invited to play in Bucharest despite their radio plays. 


In the mid-‘80s, Rodion wrote the soundtrack to an animated movie, 'Delta Space Mission', but the film company used Adrian Enescu instead. He also composed music for a theatre play and ballet both performed at Romanian National Opera in Cluj. Scores for gymnastic routines also helped provide some income. But all of these projects proved to be short-lived while bookings became more and more sparse. The group’s only remaining performances were a handful of shows on Romanian television, including a programme to celebrate New Year’s Eve in 1980. They eventually split in 1987 after a gig at the Mangalia Festival on the Eastern coast. Soon afterwards, Rodion walked away from music following the death of his mother and essentially withdrew completely from the public eye. 

An anonymous figure now, he travelled to London several times during the early ‘90s and worked as a labourer. His interest in music never wavered, though and with the money he saved from labouring he bought a Casio keyboard and recorded a few new tracks back home. His interest in sound also remained and since his withdrawal into obscurity he continued to run his own low-key business, servicing and repairing speakers and music equipment. 

But back in Bucharest, interest in this most enigmatic figure was growing amongst a new generation of Romanian music lovers. Blogger and film maker Sorin Luca had become intrigued by the mythology around Rodion. He finally found him after months of searching and posted a handful of his unreleased tracks online, along with video footage of the band’s 1980 New Year’s Eve concert. The links came to the attention of a young music collective called Future Nuggets. Based in Bucharest, this group of producers and musicians had been forging a new homegrown sound whilst mining Romania’s musical past. On hearing the lost tapes they were blown away. “When I heard this I could not believe how this music was not public,” explains Ion Dumitrescu. “We have such a very poor history in electronic music and this was there unexploited. And there was this feeling that we have to do something.” A live comeback gig in Bucharest was proposed, the first for Rodion in over 25 years with members of Future Nuggets making up his backing band. The venue was packed for the return of one of the country’s true pioneers. At the same time, the innovative fusion sounds of Future Nuggets had reached the inquisitive ears of Stevie Kotey. His Ambassador’s Reception label released ‘Sounds Of The Unheard From Romania’ in 2012 and the acclaimed psych-jazz project, Steaua de Mare this April. The buzz on the Romanian underground is strong with support from DJs like Andrew Weatherall who named ‘Sounds Of The Unheard From Romania’ one of his favourite LPs of 2012. 

And while the new school continue to take inspiration from the Godfather of Romanian electronic music, Strut presents this forgotten icon to a new audience with 'The Lost Tapes'. Re-mastered from the original reel to reel tapes, this revolutionary music serves as a document of an artist who would not surrender to the passivity of the mainstream. It will hopefully see the name of Rodion Ladislau Roșca take a prominent place in the unofficial museum of sonic oddities that lay hidden behind the iron curtain. Music made in the past but undoubtedly for the future, by a man right up there in the international pantheon of electronic music. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

sábado, 14 de abril de 2018

El Pecho De Andy


El Pecho de Andy was a spanish band from Toledo that enjoyed certain popularity in the second half of the eighties. Its name was a tribute to Lou Reed, and his song of the same title, "Andy's Chest".  It was formed by Miguel Ángel García (guitar and voice), Fco. Javier García-Zarco (guitar), María Eugenia "Maruge" Muñoz (bass) and Miguel Ángel Campos (drums). 

They premiered with the independent Rocco Records, which released their first album, 'El Pecho de Andy' in 1986. The song "El Arrozal" was a true anthem at the time. The single 'Fighting Temeraire' was published with some tracks ot the album. 'Fighting Temeraire' was also released as a 12'', with two unreleased live songs, and as a double 7 ". 


"Tierra salvaje" (later included in the EP 'Coartada') and "La Botella de Ron" (that only appears in this compilation), were included in the '1er Certámen Regional de Rock en Castilla La Mancha' album, released by the independent Rocco in 1986, with bands Los Dedos and Lasrratas

Already with Nuevos Medios, in 1987, they recorded their second and last LP, 'Llegará Octubre' as well as the EP 'Coartada'. That year they were again included in another compilation, 'Roccopilación 87', with bands Surfin' Lungs, Comité Cisne, Falsos Pies, Extrema Unción, Las Manos de Orlac and Satí de Crem

In spite of the carefulness of their melodies and the literary pretensions of their texts, the message of El Pecho de Andy was not able to transcend the circles in which, really, they came to be considered as a cult band. In 1995 Nuevos Medios issued the CD 'Llegará Octubre y Coartada', which included all the themes of the 1987 LP and EP. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

viernes, 13 de abril de 2018

Lineas Aereas


Líneas Aéreas was a duo from Barcelona formed by Francisco Palomo (aka Frank P.S.) and Jorge Gúber (ex-guitar of the legendary punk group Ultimo Resorte). They published only an EP in 1983, through the Discos Para Desayunar label, a subsidiary of Flor y Nata Records, in a 1000 limited edition with the tracks "Landschaften", "Benelux" and "Radiotron".

The three tracks of this EP, one of them sung in German, were recorded on an 8-track, and follow the wave of technological fiction promoted by artists like Kraftwerk, although their robotic and austere rhythms are closer to the sound of the first Human League

Unfortunately the project would not have continuity. Jorge Gúber is located 2 years later in Belgium, publishing as Metropakt a couple of issues in collective compilations, and in 1988 he joined Krishna Goineau (ex-Liaisons Dangereuses) to publish an EP under the name of Velodrome, one of whose themes, "Capataz", would become a classic of the "Bakalao Route" from Valencia at the end of the 80s. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80]

jueves, 12 de abril de 2018

Outskirts Of Infinity


The Outskirts of Infinity are a British Psychedelic trio who have been boiling away since the eighties. Their sound is a Hendrix scream of fuzz, flower power and syrupy acid blues, created to blow minds and wig-out squares. Guitarist Bari Watts is their not-so-secret weapon, his freely-freaking axe is a riot of "Purple Haze" and Cream-y slashing. 

The Outskirts Of Infinity were one of the earliest bands to release an album on Nick Saloman's Woronzow Label. Nick himself played bass with the band on the first two albums. The Outskirts first album 'Lord Of The Dark Skies' was one of the best on the label, with epic slabs of progressive rock and soaring guitar. [SOURCE: STEVE HOFFMAN MUSIC FORUMS

miércoles, 11 de abril de 2018

Nocturnal Emissions


Nocturnal Emissions is a sound art project that has released numerous records and CDs in music styles ranging from electro-acoustic, musique concrète, hybridised beats, sound collage, post-industrial music, ambient and noise music. The sound art has been part of an ongoing multimedia campaign of guerrilla sign ontology utilising video art, film, hypertext and other documents. 

The project was initiated in Derbyshire in the late 1970s by Nigel Ayers (b. 1957), a former art student who, in the period, lived in London. Together with collaborators Danny Ayers (b. 1964) and Caroline K (1957–2008). Since 1984 Nocturnal Emissions has continued mainly as Nigel Ayers' solo project. Nocturnal Emissions ran their own record label, Sterile Records. 

In 1990-92 Nocturnal Emissions collaborated on Butoh dance performances in Europe and the USA, with the Japanese choreographer Poppo Shiraishi. Around this time Nocturnal Emissions' Situationist-influenced practice became increasingly informed by magick, stone circles, techno-shamanism, neo-paganism, animism and Fortean research. There were many collaborations on animated films by Mancunian TV director Charlotte Bill. Bill was never an official member of Nocturnal Emissions, but admits to being one of the legion of members of The Fall

Nocturnal Emissions were later to be associated with the Kernow section of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts and to feature in a best-selling story by the novelist Stewart Home. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA


martes, 10 de abril de 2018

Mathématiques Modernes


Mathématiques Modernes was the project of keyboardist Claude Arto and vocalist / lyricist Edwige Braun-Belmore. Arto has also worked with French bands Artefact and Spions. Also, to note, the late French producer Jacno also worked on the only Mathématiques Modernes record, 'Les Visiteurs Du Soir', a very diverse blend of new wave, almost progressive arrangement, baroque melodies, complex rhythmic structures, and plenty of so called “cold wave” sprinkled in. The addition of horns was not a common finding during these times and is also represented on this eclectic record. Probably the most well known track, “Disco Rough” was a single as well as was later included on the popular comp, 'So Young But So Cold, Underground French Music 1977-1983' released in 2004 on Tigersushi Records. It is staple in many DJ sets with its sassy lyrics and jagged synth hooks. The album features string arrangements which was somewhat unique to the new wave scene. Most notably, the track “Jungle Hurt” displays the wonderful arrangements that interface well with the synth textures and percussion. The track “A + B = C” has also been featured on various “Flexi-Pop” comps and has a quirky melody accented by xylophone. The final track on the LP is an interesting medley of various tracks on the LP with interesting transitions. [SOURCE: LIGHT IN THE ATTIC

lunes, 9 de abril de 2018

Kiem


Kiem formed in 1983 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and disbanded in 1987; initially formed as Pleasant Time Trio to the occasion of raising the curtain for a performance of jazz artist George Adams And The Don Pullen Quartet. "K.I.E.M." is an abbreviation of "Klank Improvisatie Elektronische Muziek" (Sound Improvisation Electronic Music). Their immediate success led to performances on jazz, rock and experimental stages and festivals (Tegentonen, North Sea Jazz, Pandora's Music Box) and modest dance-hits in the Netherlands. Most remarkable about Kiem is Cees Meurs' metal drum-kit consisting of oil-drums, garbage bin, anvil, anchor-chains and other remains from the wrecked tow-boat "Corrie". This drum-kit –played like normal drums– accompanied by a squeaking saxophone (Ger Van Voorden), a synthetic keyboard and proclaiming vocals (Huub Kentie) result in a sound that might be type-casted as industrial, but also has jazz and experimental characteristics. Ger Van Voorden left the band in 1986 to play with poet / drummer Jules Deelder. He was replaced by Jos Valster. Growing into a more popular sound, bigger success followed in Southern Europe with "The Moneyman", in 1987. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

(More info at KIEM ROTTERDAM

Inertia


Time for some Minimal Wave low-budget electronica from 1980, the peak era for electronic music, before the atrocity of Midi made everything play in time; 1980 BD (before digital). Inertia was a Douglas Benford project that edited the single 'The Screen / A Submarine', that contains a catalogue / analogue synth playing along to a home organ rhythm box, with passionless vocals that verge on talking. Sounds awful doesn't it? In some aspects it is musically non-existent, no melody, no song-craft. This is the sound of Alienated youth, sick of the rock trip, finding their way in a new world of endless possibilities. Their best work was to come, but this is a charming moment in the birth pangs of minimal electronic pop, played by fingers not computers. [SOURCE: DIE OR D.I.Y.?

domingo, 8 de abril de 2018

H.N.A.S. (Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa)


H.N.A.S. (Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa) was founded by Achim P. Li Khan and Christoph Heemann in 1983. H.N.A.S.'s sound experimentation started in 1984 with a series of limited cassettes made for demonstration purpose or personal use. Their first LP release was 'Abwassermusik' in 1985 (together with german experimental band Mieses Gegonge). The group then recorded 'Melchior' with Steven Stapleton, released on the United Dairies label the following year. Subsequent H.N.A.S. releases were mainly on their own Dom label. All vinyl releases were reissued on CD in 2002. [SOURCE: DISCOGS]

(More info at Brainwashed)

sábado, 7 de abril de 2018

The Gordons


In March 1980, band-less art student John Halvorsen (bass, guitar, vocals) was booked into a gig at the Hillsborough Tavern in Christchurch –before he’d even found some other blokes with instruments to be the band. A week later, he had his new bandmates Alister Parker (guitar, bass, vocals) and Brent McLachlan (drums), and together they designed their logo, pasted up their posters over the main act’s (The Whizz Kids), practiced four times, and played the gig. 

Somehow smashing fully formed into their first show –just a couple of months after the release of the monumental 'AK79' compilation of NZ punk –the sheet-metal/stellar-core meltdown of The Gordons was a smack in the still-fresh face of post-punk. They had seven songs at that first gig, and the crowd was so into it that they played them all twice. 

Keeping up their hasty pace, The Gordons immediately went on tour, and when the van broke down in Wellington, they couldn’t afford to get it fixed and found themselves stuck there for six weeks. Rather than slowing down or giving up, they recorded their infamously lost ‘Sausage Tapes’ at Wellington's Sausage Studios, only to have the masters (accidentally?) erased. 

Famous for being the brutally loudest band in NZ at the time, sensitive souls complained of hearing loss while enthusiastic skinheads stuffed their skulls into the speaker boxes for an all-out audio assault. 

Very expensive high-quality sound systems were brought in from elsewhere to augment a venue’s setup and “reinforce the resonances”; a gig at the Gladstone in Christchurch required hiring in the best PAs from Auckland and Wellington. The band insisted that this was not loudness-for-loudness' sake, but for quality of sound reproduction, so that listeners to The Gordons became full-on experiencers of their sound. The terrific thunders and squalls were not dependent on guitar pedals, odd tunings and production; the guitars plugged directly into the amps, with standard tunings. 

Halvorsen and Parker both alternated between guitar and bass, depending on who wrote the song, and used loudness as their effect, overdriving their amps and letting sounds crash into each other. 

With their first EP, 'Future Shock', wherein white city lights recede in zoom-lens reverb into blackest black background, The Gordons tore open a black-(vinyl)-hole, centred roundly on the South Island. The Christchurch scene in the 1980s was a powerful and multifarious amalgam which has traditionally been dismissed in favour of –or more insultingly umbrella’d under– the nebulous 'Dunedin Sound' tag. 

The (initially, non-‘The…’) Gordons quickly sculpted 'Future Shock' in a cheap, midnight-to-dawn recording and mixing session on 8-track at Harlequin Studios in Auckland. The Gordons aimed for the best recordings they could afford. 


Struggling just to pay the bills for the sound systems, when it came time to self-release their planned 7-inch, The Gordons managed to set up a credit account with Polygram (with a small deposit) to press the initial 500 copies of the record. By the end of that month they'd sold enough records to pay off the account and press a second run of 500. 

This was an independent release on their own 'Gordonoid, Inc.' label in December 1980. Early copies were distributed via an indies network that included Propeller Records in Auckland and the band themselves. 

Later in 1981, in a 50/50 deal with The Gordons, Flying Nun distributed, then re-pressed the 7-inch in 1982-83 with a Flying Nun centre label (rather than the spinning Gordon of the Gordonoid, Inc. release). 'Future Shock' (along with the first LP) was officially re-released on Flying Nun in the 12-inch EP format in 1988

As for their punk cred, the sound was much more Stooges / MC5 era than rubber-stamp-simple Sex Pistols –there’s still a bit of boogie there. The astute listener can just about imagine some handclaps in these songs, particularly on "Adults and Children".

Within the year, The Gordons were back in the studio to record their first full-length album. The self-titled LP (aka 'Volume 1') is less immediate than 'Future Shock', loaded with artful noodling, krautrock-ish minimalisms, and psych-influenced timbres.

Amazingly, New Zealanders were ready for this stuff: No.1 hits on the NZ charts in 1981 included two Joy Division songs, as well as local New Wavers The Swingers and Screaming Meemees. RipItUp readers named 'Volume 1' the best album of 1981. 

After two years of non-stop sonic onslaught, with an album, an EP, a mysterious lost recording, and a tour schedule that would fray anyone's nerves, The Gordons disintegrated. In the grand tradition of musicians taking their art to the edge and beyond, Parker had a religious experience. Unlike earlier fellow travellers Doug Jerebine and Harvey Mann, who found enlightenment through Krishna teaching, Parker found Christ and lost his music. 


Two years later, The Gordons resurfaced, with new member Vince Pinker (ex-Proud Scum, ex-En Can Ma) taking over for Alister Parker, with a new album and a furious leg of touring. 

Once described by writer Andrew Schmidt as "The Gordons that Dare Not Speak its Name", 'Volume 2' is blessed with the famous cover art, but mostly forgotten by Gordons fandom (and apparently the band as well). After the ecstatic first two releases, it was no longer ground-breaking. The ‘straight-into-the-amp’ aesthetic had gone, and now the vocals (and sometimes everything else) were flanged, compressed or drenched in reverb, and the lyrics were real thin. (The band would make much better use of effects and production techniques later on with Bailter Space). But there are a couple of serious classics on here: the snaky guitar and This Heat-style truncated funk-drums on second track "Reactor", as well as re-worked Gordons classic "Quality Control" make up for the remaining third of the LP which is more in the mould of 80s hard rock / metal: HüsGor Düns meets Gordörhead. 

After this classic sophomore slump, the original line-up briefly reformed to re-record the songs from the Sausage sessions, for Jayrem Records. Like the original lost recordings, these were never released. 

These two versions of The Gordons –popularly referred to as Mark I and Mark II– only lasted a few years, with a big chunk of time off in the middle and an unsatisfying finish. But they are probably as influential on the sound and attitude of New Zealand rock as The Enemy / Toy Love. And they put down roots, and tendrils that grew throughout NZ music, most significantly blooming into Bailter Space, who –after a couple of line-up changes– could almost be referred to as Gordons Mark III. 

After Parker's brief but overwhelming religious conversion, he offered up an initial EP titled 'Nelsh Bailter Space' and some 7-inchers, which featured Hamish Kilgour (ex-The Clean) on drums, Ross Humphries (ex-Pin Group) on bass, and Glenda Bills (ex-Man Ray) on keyboards. Halvorsen and McLachlan had in the interim started Writhe Studios and joined The Skeptics (Brent producing, John guitar). Over the course of the next two years, the new band, now shortened to Bailter Space, attracted back the original Gordons line-up. The "New Gordons" Bailter Space combo continued for the next 10 years, and reformed in 2012 to release 'Strobosphere'. [SOURCE: AUDIO CULTURE. THE NOISY LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND MUSIC