jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2018

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Featuring the core members Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey, the Liverpudlian synth pop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark formed in the late '70s. Humphreys and McCluskey began performing together in school, playing in the bands VCL XI, Hitlerz Underpantz, and The Id. After The Id split in 1978, McCluskey was with Dalek I Love You for a brief time. Once he left Dalek, he joined with Humphreys and Paul Collister to form Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The group released its first single, 'Electricity', on Factory Records; the record led to a contract with the Virgin subsidiary DinDisc. Using their record advance, McCluskey and Humphreys built a studio, which allowed them to replace their four-track, and recorded with drummer Malcolm Holmes (formerly of The Id) and Dave Hughes (formerly of Dalek I Love You). 

In 1980, the group released its self-titled debut album. 'Organisation' appeared the same year, which featured the U.K. Top Ten single "Enola Gay"; Hughes was replaced by Martin Cooper after its release. The band's next few albums -'Architecture & Morality' (1981), 'Dazzle Ships' (1983), and 'Junk Culture' (1984)- found the band experimenting with its sound, resulting in several U.K. hit singles. Recorded with two new members, Graham and Neil Weir, 'Crush', their most pop-oriented album, found more success in America than in Britain as the single "So in Love" hit number 26 on the charts. "If You Leave", taken from the "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack, was their biggest American hit, climbing to number four in 1986. 'The Pacific Age' was released the same year, yet America was the only country where it was popular. Shortly after its release, the Weir brothers left the band, followed by Holmes, Cooper, and Humphreys. McCluskey continued with the band, releasing 'Sugar Tax' in 1991; in the meantime, Humphreys formed The Listening Pool. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark returned with 'Liberator' in 1993. It was followed three years later with 'Universal', which saw Humphreys return for some co-writing credits. By the late '90s, McCluskey had moved into artist management, while Humphreys revived the OMD name for occasional shows. A full-blown reunion came in 2006, including both McCluskey and Humphreys, plus Holmes and Cooper. Initially, OMD toured around a full-album performance of 'Architecture & Morality', and released one of their performances as 'Live: Architecture & Morality & More'. While it may have seemed the band wasn't interested in making another studio album, OMD's first post-re-formation record 'History of Modern' appeared on the 100% label in 2010. 'English Electric' followed in 2013, with a guest appearance from Propaganda's lead vocalist, Claudia Brücken. Recording sessions for 'English Electric' proved to be quite arduous and left the band wondering if they would continue. The tour that followed proved to rekindle their desire to make more music and as soon as they were off the road they began writing songs for another album. Taking its name, and some inspiration, from Italian divisionist / symbolist painter Giovanni Segantini's work titled "The Punishment of Luxury", the band's 13th album was made by the duo of McCluskey and Humphreys and released by White Noise Records in September of 2017. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 26 de septiembre de 2018

Norma Loy

Usher (aka Anthon Shield) and Chelsea (aka Reed 013) met in 1977. They published books, organised exhibitions and performances and started up music with the band Metal Radiant (noise punk and Stooges’ spirit), then with Coit Bergman (more electronic and influenced by Suicide). 

In 1981 they formed Norma Loy (Alan Vega himself gave them the name), around which evolved different musicians. The band was connected to the french fanzine New Wave which set up a label, and launched a first EP called 'Romance'. In 1984, the band created their own label, CPM, wich developed and centralised all of the band different activities (musical and non musical: (photo)graphics, literature, video, dance etc., and manage all artistic production (recordings, artworks, sleeves...). In 1986, Norma Loy included Buto dance and performed with the Fovea group and Sumako Koseki. Concerts were then conceived as multi-media performances, mixing musicians and dancers, videos and pictures. 1991 / 1992 were years of several changes (musicians, record and publishing companies), and in 1993 Norma Loy decided to suspend their activities. 

Usher and Chelsea colaborated again on one-off projects such as making music for films as well as with the band Peep Hole, or the project Dyna. Usher also continued music on solo with his band Die Puppe. In 2006, Norma Loy reforms for a couple of live shows, until a brand new album was released in 2009. Current line-up includes Chelsea (vocals), Usher (keyboards, vocals), Hervé Scavonne (bass guitar), Mika Chrome (guitars), Guillaume Labaume (drums) and Helene (Buto dance). [SOURCE: DISCOGS

martes, 25 de septiembre de 2018

Max & Malcolm

What happened to the members of Metabolist? No-one really knows, except for one solitary Cold Wave tinged minimal electronic LP from 1982, featuring Malcolm Lane, main protagonist of said post-prog starlets. This venture into the murky world of guitar and drum ethnically enhanced minimal electronica is really very good indeed. It maintains the darkness of Metabolist's studio work, but stripped down even further to the bare bones,enhancing the misery and loneliness a notch. Music for anonymous urban bedsit dwelling. [SOURCE: DIE OR D.I.Y.

lunes, 24 de septiembre de 2018

Lives Of Angels

Lives of Angels was the brainchild of Gerald O’Connell from London, England. In 1974 he worked at CBS studios mastering recordings from tape to disc. During the early and mid seventies Gerald worked on the startup of the Virgin label, and also met most of the leading figures in German electronic / rock music. People like Klaus Schulze, Amon Duul II, Can, Manuel Gottsching, Edgar Froese and so on. Their music was obviously years ahead of its time and he was quite inspired by it. By the end of the 70s Gerald was playing in bands. In 1977 he joined his first band Mystery Plane, led by school mate Mark Harvey and later joined by his soon-to-be wife Catherine. Due to a lack of resources it was impossible to do the kind of music that was in his head. So he built his own studio. Gerald branched off in 1980 forming Lives of Angels as an outlet for his own compositions. He recorded, produced and played all of the instruments on 'Elevator to Eden' between 1981 and 1983, using a primitive set up of drum machines, one keyboard, guitar and a tape echo. 

Influenced by the Krautrock sounds of Neu! and Amon Duul II as well as US psychedelic rock, Lives of Angles crafted their own unique post-punk sound. Gerald says he has been influenced by, in no particular order: Van Dyke Parks; Tangerine Dream ('Zeit'); passing trains; The Grateful Dead (especially "Dark Star" in all its iterations); Ash Ra Tempel; Van Morrison ('Astral Weeks'); Steve Reich; Michael Rother; Albert Ayler; Neu! ("Hallogallo"); Glenn Branca; the sound of the city; Amon Duul II; distant playgrounds; late sixties San Francisco Psychedelia; Debussy; aircraft engines; Bulgarian folk song; Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Philip Glass; Wagner; Vaughan Williams; the dance bands of Zaire, especially Dr. Nico and Tabu Ley; Klaus Schulze; Schubert; Ornette Coleman; Arnold Bax; waterfalls; footsteps in cathedrals 

'Elevator to Eden' was originally released in 1983 on cassette by Color Tape Records, the label started by Gary Ramon of Modern Art. Then in 1986 Fire Records remixed and re-released the album on vinyl but the band was not happy with the mixes. By 1989 Gerald was so disheartened by the process of trying to make a living out of music that he gave up on it altogether. He started drawing and painting. Art and computers came together from 1996 onwards as he became immersed in the online / digital world. He still had a lot of music in his head, but didn’t give much thought to actually doing anything about it. Early in 2000 he remarked, in an offhand way, to a friend that he wished there was an equivalent to Photoshop for the digital manipulation of sound. The SoundForge software was all that was needed in order to re-awaken his active interest in music. With just a couple of thousand pounds worth of equipment (most of it the cost of a PC) it was now possible to have a setup that might have cost a half million twenty years previously. Gerald continues to make music to this day. [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES RECORDS

viernes, 21 de septiembre de 2018


The birth of this project was in the early '80s. Koto was an italian synth group, with tracks conducted and arranged by Anfrando Maiola and produced by Stefano Cundari and published by Memory Records, Italy. Together they have created some great tracks like: "Chinese Revenge", "Japanese War Game", "Visitors", "Jabdah", and "Dragon's Legend". 

In 1989, a German record label ZYX has bought rights to all Memory Records catalogue, allegedly including the rights to Koto music and name. They asked the Dutch producer Michiel van der Kuy to re-record and remix some of old Koto tracks. In 1990 original Koto member Anfrando Maiola came back with 'Champion's Cue', but the single didn't gather much popularity. In 2003 Maiola produce the single 'Planet X'. 

Lately, Anfrando Maiola has won back the rights to Koto name, but the music he produces in 2003 is far from synthdance genre, it's rather in Techno and Dance style. Currently he is working with Alex Cundari and Roberto Bisca for new synth songs. [SOURCE: DISCOGS]

(More info on WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2018

The Johnnys

The Johnnys were an Australian pub rock band from Sydney in 1982–1989 that combined country and punk musical styles. The Johnnys formed in 1982 in Sydney when bass guitarist Graham Hood tried out for the Hoodoo Gurus after quitting the Allniters. He met Hoodoo Gurus' guitarist Roddy Ray'da (aka Roddy Radalj) and they discussed an idea for a side project: playing pub rock in a country music style at a punk pace -which was labelled as cow punk. Ray'da left Hoodoo Gurus and, as a lead vocalist and guitarist with Hood and drummer Billy Pommer Jr, founded The Johnnys. The Johnnys performed its first concert at Palms disco on Oxford St, Taylors Square, Darlinghurst Sydney Australia in November 1982. New Zealand-born Spencer P. Jones joined on guitar and backing vocals. The four-piece released 'I Think You're Cute' in October on Regular Records; Ray'da left the group in early 1984 and formed Love Rodeo. Jones took on lead vocals and the band signed with the Green Label to release 'My Buzzsaw Baby (Really Cut Me Up)' and an extended play, 'The Johnnys', in November.

In 1985, the band had signed with Mushroom Records which released their single, 'Injun Joe' in November. '(There's Gonna Be a) Showdown' followed in March 1986 and then 'Bleeding Heart' in June. Their debut album 'Highlights of Dangerous Life' appeared in August and was produced by Ross Wilson of Daddy Cool and contained the three singles. Two non-album singles followed in 1987. Wilson produced their second album, 'Grown Up Wrong', released in August 1988 which included two further singles, 'Motorbikin' (July) and 'Anything Could Happen' (November). Michael Armiger (ex-Paul Kelly Band) replaced Hood on bass guitar. The band broke up in 1989 with Jones continuing in his side-project Beasts of Bourbon. They reformed for shows in 2004. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA]

miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2018

Intelligence Dept.

The Intelligence Dept. is a new wave band founded in 1982 in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. In the first years of activity there are a lot of changes in the formation, the group finds a definitive asset in 1984 when Susanna Zaghi joins the band as vocalist. The other members of the Italligence Dept. are: Stefano “Dedo” Panzera (bass), Gian Paolo Di Federico (keyboards), Davide Carlotti (sax and synth). With this formation the band records the first demo tape, with songs such "Sleeping City", "Too Late Too Love" and "Anger Inside". The same three songs that immediately later will be enclosed into the split record compilation 'A White Chance', together with tracks from Plastic Trash and Go Flamingo! (two other very good bands from the same city of the Intelligence Dept.).

In 1985 a new demo-tape is produced by the band: 'The Big Trouble'. With the new tracks they will play in a new edition of the Indipendenti festival managed by Fare Musica in 1986. They will arrive another time in the final stages with a very good appreciation of public and critics. The band with this new festival gains a lot of tv shots thanks to the Videomusic transmissions (the first important musical TV in Italy), partner of the festival. 

After this laudable partecipation, the band starts a new period of changes in the formation and ends the first period of activity in 1988. In 2011 the Intelligence Dept. are back with a new release: the collection 'Sleeping City' (on Anna Logue and Mannequin Records). Different remastered tracks from this selection will be used in different recent compilations. On the wave of these new releases the band decides to come back on the live stages. The reunion of The Intelligence Dept. happens in 2012. From this first new gig will be self-produced a video of the night, distributed by Anna Logue Records. [SOURCE: LAST.FM

martes, 18 de septiembre de 2018

Death Of Samantha

Inspired by hometown heroes Pere Ubu, Cleveland's Death of Samantha experimented with avant-new wave punk during the mid-'80s, but moved to more straight-ahead alternative rock later in the decade. Formed by vocalist / guitarist John Petkovic, guitarist Doug Gillard, and drummer Steve-O, the group recorded several singles for their own label, then debuted on Homestead in 1986 with 'Strungout on Jargon'. After the release of an EP later that year, Death of Samantha was silent for almost two years; the release of 'Where the Women Wear the Glory' in 1988 showed the trio embracing more elements of '50s rock. 'Come All Ye Faithless' appeared one year later, after which the band dissolved. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

(More info on Wikipedia

lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2018

Hugh Beaumont Experience

The Hugh Beaumont Experience was a punk rock band from Fort Worth, Texas. The band's original lineup was Brad Stiles on vocals, Tommie Duncan on guitar, Clay Carlisle on bass, and Carter Kolba on drums. Formed in 1980 by members of the private school, Fort Worth Country Day School, in Fort Worth, they toured throughout Texas in 1981-82, including dates with MDC and The Dead Kennedys. Their nascent success was short-lived, however; the band had broken up by 1983, having released just one 7-inch called 'Cone Johnson EP' (now a collector's item) and a cassette called 'Virgin Killers'. (This material was re-released in 1993 on Existential Vacuum Records; They also did a recording session with Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü).

Formed while the members were all under the drinking age (then 18 years, in Texas), the band initially had some difficulty securing gigs, and often played small local arcades and other places that would ignore ages, such as DJ's in Dallas. Despite only existing for three years, the band went through numerous lineup changes, with a corresponding diversity of styles; their earlier work is Sex Pistols-indebted punk (complete with British-accented vocals), their middle work is more hardcore / thrash influenced, and their later style flirts with psychedelic rock and experimental rock techniques. 

Drummer King Coffey was in the band at one point before going on to join the Butthole Surfers. The Hugh Beaumont Experience's notoriety increased significantly when the Surfers became a widely known alternative rock group. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

viernes, 14 de septiembre de 2018

Dead Moon

Dead Moon, a three-piece from Clackamas, Oregon, were known for their own particular brand of rootsy garage punk. Their music conjured images of hard-luck easy riders and lovers against the world. While their sound alternated between moody and aggressive, it was always remarkably genuine and energetic. The band was fronted by the husband-and-wife team of Fred and Toody Cole. Fred began his enduring musical career at the age of 15. Many years and many bands later (after living through experiences as varied as homesteading in Alaska, dodging the Vietnam War draft, and hunting bears), the two formed a punk band called The Rats. Later, after adding Andrew Loomis on drums, Dead Moon were formed in 1987. Frequently on the road in Europe where they had a huge and devoted following, widespread popularity in the U.S. continued to elude them. 

For almost a decade, Dead Moon released LPs on their own Tombstone label. All of those releases were vinyl-only and cut on the same lathe that The Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" was cut on back in 1963. In 1991, they began to re-release the vinyl-only albums on CD through Music Maniac in Europe and eMpTy in the United States, an effort that continued into the new millennium. Sub Pop released the retrospective 'Echoes of the Past', a collection of Dead Moon songs handpicked by Fred Cole, in 2006. The band abruptly split up later in 2006, with Fred and Toody quickly forming a new band under the name Pierced Arrows. The massive Dead Moon back catalog would see various re-releases over the years following their breakup. In 2015, an archival live show was released in the label Tales from the Grease Trap. The recordings were made at a frantic 1993 show at Portland's infamous punk venue Satyricon. Another archival live disc, 'What a Way to See the Old Girl Go', appeared in April 2017, documenting Dead Moon's set on the final night of another noted Portland punk haunt, the X-Ray Cafe, in August 1994. Drummer Andrew Loomis died in March 2016 at the age of 54, and Fred Cole died in November 2017 at age 69. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 13 de septiembre de 2018

The Stunt Kites

Stunt Kites are one of the lesser known postpunk bands from Sheffield. Their first appearance is a track on the '1980: The First Fifteen Minutes' comp. 7" on Neutron Records. Other Sheffield bands on this comp. are Clock DVA, I'm So Hollow and Vice Versa. Vice Versa ran the Neutron label and was the band who later morphed into ABC. They did a reunion gig in 2003 together with long time fan Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. They released two records: first one released on the well known punk label Pax Records and the second one, that was the first Criminal Damage release. [SOURCE: PHOENIX HAIRPINS]

miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2018


In downtown New York City, in 1979, painter Jean-Michel Basquiat and performance artist Michael Holman founded their industrial-sound band, Gray. Jean named the band after Gray’s Anatomy, a reference source for his paintings and to capture the haunting, machine-like ambient music the band wrote and performed. Besides Basquiat and Holman, other members of the original group were Nicholas Taylor and Justin Thyme (aka Wayne Clifford). Vincent Gallo was a member of the band for a short period of time nearer the end of their first incarnation. 

Just after Jean-Michel Basquiat’s death in 1988, Holman, Taylor, Thyme and Vincent Gallo, re-united as Gray and performed at Basquiat’s Memorial at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in the Citicorp Building. In 2010 Michael Holman and Nicholas Taylor reunited once again to produce the first Gray album ever, titled, 'Shades of…' on their own label, Plush Safe Records. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

martes, 11 de septiembre de 2018

Flash Strato

Vigorous pop, rapturous melodies and a convincing live performance. These were the main attractions of Flash Strato, a power-pop quartet from Madrid that, despite its obvious virtues, was not able to achieve success in the full eclosion of the Madrid movement. 

Flash Strato became known in Madrid in 1980, sharing stage with other pop bands from the capital such as Rubi y Los Casinos, Los Secretos, Mamá, Modelos, Fahrenheit 451 or Alaska y Los Pegamoides. Its best-known line-up included Enrique Bastante (guitar and vocals), Emilio Huertas (guitar and vocals), Víctor Martín (bass) and Toti Árboles (drums), coming from bands such as Prisma or Plástico

Flash Strato's good instrumental technique, his vocal mastery and a certain facility to compose accurate pop pills with catchy choruses soon brought the attention of the record companies. However, their first vinyl delayed its release for too long, being issued when the group was already in a state of exhaustion due to changes in the formation. 

Thus, in 1982, the Carnaby label (a subsidiary of Columbia) released a first single as a prologue of a future album that never saw the light. Instead, the following year a maxi-single was published including "Madrid en Tecnicolor" and "Bajo Tus Ruedas". The tracks, produced by José María Moll, foreshadowed a bright future for the group, but an almost non-existent distribution and vague media support soon ruined all their expectations. At this moment the group had changed drummer with the entry of Carlos Yebra

The quality of songs like "Cristales Molidos" or "Madrid en Tecnicolor" is not inferior at all to that of other classics, already consecrated, of the Madrid pop of the first 80. However, the presence of Flash Strato is conspicuous by their absence in the various musical compilations dedicated to those years.

After the dissolution of Flash Strato, Enrique Bastante played as live guitar and second vocalist for Gabinete Caligari. Toti joined Los Pegamoides, later going through all its musical ramifications: Parálisis Permanente, Los Seres Vacíos and Dinarama. Later he would accompany bands such as La Unión or La Frontera, passing away in 1993. Víctor was a back-line technician for Joaquín Sabina, as well as substitute bassist for Isma en Angel y Las Güais and, finally, playing with Germán Coppini. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

jueves, 6 de septiembre de 2018

Sickness of Snakes

In the early 1980s, shortly after the breakup of Throbbing Gristle, Boyd Rice went to London to record a one-off studio session with Jeff Rushton and Peter Christopherson, who had recently started releasing records as Coil. The trio called themselves The Sickness of Snakes, and the recordings were released on a split 12 inch, with Current 93 taking the opposite side of the album. [SOURCE: SOLEILMOON RECORDINGS

miércoles, 5 de septiembre de 2018

Even As We Speak

Even As We Speak is an indie band from Sydney, Australia. Formed in the mid 1980s, founding members Matthew Love (guitar, banjo, vocals) and Mary Wyer (vocals, guitar) were later joined by Rob Irwin (bass) Anita Rayner (drums, banjo, mandolin), Paul Clarke (guitar, vocals) and Julian Knowles (keyboards, guitar, production). After a series of vinyl releases on Australian independent labels including Phantom Records, and success on the Australian indie scene, they came to the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel who started to play the band's Phantom Records single "Goes So Slow" on his show. This brought them to the attention of UK audiences and began a relationship with UK indie label Sarah Records. The band released several singles and an album on Sarah Records, three of which reached the Top 5 of the Melody Maker and New Musical Express UK independent music charts in 1992 and 1993. 

Between 1992 and 1993, the group recorded three sessions for John Peel and one session for Mark Goodier for BBC Radio 1. They were among the few Australian bands to record Peel Sessions –others were The Birthday Party, The Triffids, The Go-Betweens and Laughing Clowns. These sessions were released as the album 'Yellow Food: The Peel Sessions' in June 2014. A session was also recorded for Radio France. The band's music is an unusual hybrid of accessible pop and more experimental elements.

Wyer formed a pop rock band, Her Name in Lights, which issued their debut album, 'Into the Light Again', in October 2004. Egg Records of Glasgow has compiled Even As We Speak's five Australian vinyl singles into a 17-song CD, 'A Three Minute Song is One Minute Too Long' (2007).

In recent years the band have reformed (minus Paul Clarke) to play some sporadic live shows to mark the release of ‘Yellow Food: The Peel Sessions’, and also NYC Popfest in 2016. The band have also begun recording again, releasing the 5 track EP 'The Black Forest' on 10" vinyl and CD through Emotional Response records in the USA in September 2017. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA