sábado, 30 de noviembre de 2019

Din A Testbild

Few bands of the German post punk/new wave era can lay claim to "cult" status, but Din A Testbild most certainly can. Formed in 1978 by Mark Eins and Gudrun Gut, the combo played a significant role in defining the avant-garde music of Berlin and were among the pioneers of Electroclash, long before the genre even existed. In the year they started out, Din A Testbild played at the opening of the legendary Berlin underground club S.O. 36 and in 1980 they appeared at Hamburg's first "In die Zukunft" (Into the Future) festival, organized by Alfred Hilsberg. 'Abfall/Garbage', their first single, is emblematic of the entire West Berlin music scene from 1978–1982. The group also participated in the seminal "Geniale Dilletanten" event at the Tempodrom in Berlin (1981). Their contribution to German underground cinema and the art scene cannot be captured in a few simple words. Such is the measure of the cult and legend of Din A Testbild. [SOURCE: BUREAU B

viernes, 29 de noviembre de 2019

Mona Mur

Mona Mur (born 1960 in Hamburg, Germany) first entered the music scene in 1982, collaborating with members of Einstürzende Neubauten to form Mona Mur & Die Mieter (translated "Mona Mur & The Tenants"). The band consisted of Gode B., Mark Chung, FM Einheit, Alexander Von Borsig and Mona Mur. They released one 12", titled 'Jeszcze Polska'. After this, Mona Mur & Die Mieter disbanded, and Mur emerged into a solo career. 

From 1984 to 1986, she played live shows with a backing band consisting of FM Einheit, Alexander Von Borsig, Nikkolai Weidemann, Tomas Stern and Siewert Johannsen, with Raymond Watts working as sound engineer. Despite recording in Watts's Hamburg studio, this line-up eventually dissolved with no material released. 

Mur then went on to collaborate with producer Dieter Meier to work on her 1988 self-titled debut for RCA. A follow-up album, 'Warsaw', was recorded in 1990, but went unreleased at the time. After this, Mona then decided to take a break from music and turned her energy to Taekwondo, achieving the 3rd DAN. She entered the German National Team and became International German Vice Champion twice. 

In 1996, she returned to music, founding her company "Monamur Music Production", becoming a composer and audio designer. She went on to release a 20 year, career-spanning retrospective compilation, entitled 'Into Your Eye'. Mona Mur is now back to singing and performing live, as well as continuing her composing and sound design work, for both film and gaming. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

jueves, 28 de noviembre de 2019

Zvuki Mu [Звуки Му]

Led by singer, songwriter, poet, actor, and all-around artistic troublemaker Pyotr Manonov, Zvuki Mu was one of the few bands of the so-called "Russian Revolution" in late-'80s pop music that merited more than a casual glance from Western audiences. (As opposed to bands like the remarkably dull hard rockers Gorky Park.) Formed in 1981 by Manonov, who was already a published author in his early 30s, Zvuki Mu (literally "sounds of moo," an absurdist name that suits Manonov's playful lyrical style) performed increasingly above-ground gigs in Russia and Eastern Europe throughout the '80s. By 1989, as Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost policies were taking effect and the Iron Curtain was starting to crumble, Zvuki Mu began to make a name for themselves in the West, to the point that Brian Eno signed the group to his own Opal label and produced their first album, 1989's 'Zvuki Mu'. For this first album, the lineup was Pyotr Manonov on vocals, Lyosha Bortnichuk on guitar, Pavel Hotin on keyboards, Sasha Lipnitsky on bass, and Lyova Pavlov on drums; nearly every Zvuki Mu album has a different lineup than the one before, with Manonov the only constant. 

The group's unique blend of jazz, rock, Zappa-like weirdness, and subtle political content was quite popular among the more adventurous fringes of the Western pop scene, but a greater breakthrough never came. After the U.S.S.R.'s collapse, Russian rock & roll lost most of its exotic qualities and Western attention wandered elsewhere and all Zvuki Mu albums after that were released only in Eastern Europe, where the band maintain a rather large fan base. Some of these albums include 2000's 'Chocolate Pushkin', 2002's 'Electro T', and over a dozen others, many of which double as soundtracks to Pyotr Manonov's theater pieces. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 27 de noviembre de 2019


Xex were an all-synthesizer band from South River, New Jersey who recorded their debut album 'Group: Xex' in 1980. Formed when a trio of high school misfits with funny names (Waw Pierogi, Thumbalina Gugielmo and Alex Zander) teamed up with some friends from Rutgers College. Performed entirely on then-state-of-the-art Arps, synths and electronic drums –no guitars anywhere– 'Group: Xex' aims for the future, but comes across now like a time capsule from the deepest, darkest Reagan years. Each song burrows its way into your head with repetitive, undeniably catchy synth lines and vocal chants. “SNGA” (“Soviet Nerve Gas Attack”), “Cops” and “Delta Five” are doomy evocations of Cold War tension not far removed from very early Devo. But they were also capable of being quirky and whimsical. On “Fashion Hurts,” “Svetlana” and “St. Vitus Dance,” Waw and Thumbalina come across like a primitive B-52s, replacing the dance/party vibe with resignation and cynical humor. 'Group: Xex' doesn’t sound like it’s from New Jersey. It barely sounds like it’s from Earth. However, there’s a certain residual murkiness that subliminally evokes the Central Jersey working-class suburbs. [SOURCE: DARK ENTRIES RECORDS

martes, 26 de noviembre de 2019


Werkbund is an enigmatic industrial  / experimental band from Hamburg, Germany. The sound deals mainly with marine tales and myths from Northern Germany. So far it is not known who the artists are. It has been guessed that Felix Kubin and Uli Rehberg and other artists from Hamburg might be involved. Some people pretend that both Werkbund and Mechthild Von Leusch involve the collaboration of Asmus Tietchens and Uli Rehberg, though Asmus Tietchens repeatedly and vehemently denied any participation in the band. [SOURCE: SONM ARCHIVE

lunes, 25 de noviembre de 2019

Generation X

Although not as well as known as some of their peers (The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, etc.), first wave U.K. punk rockers Generation X burst onto the scene at the same time as the others. And while they enjoyed some moderate success in their homeland, Generation X would become better-known as the launching pad for their singer, Billy Idol, who would go on to achieve great commercial success come the '80s. Originally formed in 1976, Generation X (which was named after a book that focused on battles between the Mods and the Rockers during the '60s) was comprised of guitarist Bob Andrews, bassist Tony James, drummer Mark Laff, and fronted by Idol. The group was eventually signed up by Chrysalis Records, resulting in a self-titled debut album in 1978 (the U.S. and U.K. versions contained different track listings), as Generation X became one of the first punk bands to appear on the popular British TV music program Top of the Pops. 

Unlike other punk bands, Generation X wasn't afraid to turn a blind eye to the supposed "accepted" ideals by punk rockers as they covered a John Lennon song on their debut ("Gimme Some Truth") and even hooked up with veteran rocker Ian Hunter to handle the production chores for their sophomore effort, 1979's 'Valley of the Dolls'. Perhaps as a result, however, the group's musical direction became cloudy (some wanting the group to remain true to their punk roots, while others feeling that they should pursue a heavier rock sound) and bandmembers began to leave one by one, until Idol and James were the only remaining original members. Generation X managed to squeeze out one final album, 1981's 'Kiss Me Deadly' (which contained the original version of a song that Idol would later cover as a solo artist and score a massive hit with, "Dancing With Myself"), before splitting up. 

After the group's breakup, James later turned up as a member of '80s glam-punkers Sigue Sigue Sputnik, while Idol relocated to New York and embarked on his aforementioned solo career. As Idol's solo success created interest in his first band, numerous Generation X best-of and rarity collections began to crop up, including 1991's 'Perfect Hits: 1975-1981', 1998's 'Sweet Revenge', and 2000's 'Original Debut', the latter of which was a reissue of the U.K. version of Generation X's self-titled debut. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 24 de noviembre de 2019


Not so much a band as a side project supergroup comprised of some of the leading figures of the late-'70s/early-'80s French avant-garde, Video Aventures was a loosely defined collective under the leadership of musician, artist, and author Dominique Grimaud, whose first band, Camizole, had been a synthesizer duo somewhat like a French response to Cluster. Video Aventures was a much less clinical affair, with spontaneous improvisation and collaborative musicianship the guiding principles. [SOURCE: GETSONGBPM

sábado, 23 de noviembre de 2019


Total was the side project of Skullflower guitarist Matthew Bower, and actually predates his more well-known band (Total sprang into existence in 1982). It was originally the group that evolved out of Pure, with much of the early Skullflower's same lineup; some of them, particularly Alex Binnie and Stefan Jaworzyn, played in Zos Kia as well. Somewhere between 1985-1987, Total mutated into Skullflower, and Total subsequently became Matthew Bower's solo project. At that point it served as a more "ambient" counterpart to Skullflower's wall-of-noise approach; in recent years, however, the dynamic reversed itself until Total's releases were often considerably noisier and more chaotic than Skullflower's. Since Skullflower's demise, Total has become Bower's main vehicle of violent guitar expression. Total is essentially a solo project but he has drawn in the likes of John Godbert (reeds, mandolin, cymbal, etc.), Neil Campbell (A Band, Smell & Quim). There was even a big London show at Paul (Blast First) Smith's club Disobey which featured the Total Big Band; Bower (guitar/fan), Dennison (Violin), Campbell (Violin), Best (Oscillator) and Godbert (cymbal). More recently Total has been involved with more pure noise and has collaborated with Japan's Merzbow on a small run cassette and with Newcastle's Culver, an even smaller run cassette and even a live performance. Total has since packed it in and has been "replaced" by Sunroof. [SOURCE: KORPERSCHWACHE.COM

viernes, 22 de noviembre de 2019

Sleep Chamber

Sleep Chamber is an American industrial band fronted by John Zewizz. The band is known for using S&M, bondage and magic imagery on their artwork, during their performances, and within their lyrics. Formed in 1981 by high school friends Zewizz, Eugene Difrancisco, and Phil Brosseau, over the years the Sleep Chamber lineup has changed many times with Zewizz being the sole permanent member. Previous members of Sleep Chamber have included Thomas Thorn, Michael Moynihan, Jonathan Briley and Elaine Walker. Since the beginning, Zewizz has stated that the constant lineup changes are because Sleep Chamber is not a "band", but rather a "concept".

From 1982 to 1999, Sleep Chamber put out a considerable volume of music (releasing over 70 recordings, and participating in over 35 various artists releases). After an extended absence, Sleep Chamber returned in 2008 with a new lineup, a slew of new releases, and a revised name, SLEEPCHAMBER

Difrancisco and Brosseau had fronted a band called The Product; Zewizz produced their sole single. When The Product folded, Difrancisco and Brosseau began a band called Daze of Trance. Zewizz occasionally helped out with Daze of Trance, even playing on a cassette release as part of the band. Sometime between 1981 and 1982, Sleep Chamber came into existence, with Zewizz as the frontman. Their earliest works were experimental and electronic/industrial in nature. Live Sleep Chamber performances were quickly labeled as resembling a "Black Mass", with smoke (containing a special blend of incense) billowing out of machines, and the band donning black bondage masks while performing on stage. Their concerts scared some local club owners, prompting them to ban Sleep Chamber from playing. Local reviewers often accused the band of being Satanic. Zewizz, over the years, has denied this accusation. Those early concerts featured Zewizz in different combinations with Difrancisco, Brosseau, Thorn, Moynihan and also Malcom Smith (with whom Zewizz collaborated in the bands Dokument and Hidious in Strength), Darlene Victor, and Richard Gellar

During the 1990s, Zewizz incorporated bondage-fetish dancers called The Barbitchuettes into Sleep Chamber's live performances. With this addition, the band's popularity exploded. During live shows, the Barbitchuette dancers would perform S&M acts on the stage as well as caress and dance with other Barbitchuettes. During The Barbitchuettes heyday with Sleep Chamber, it was not uncommon for the band to travel with up to 11 Barbitchuette dancers. 

1990's 'Sleep, or Forever Hold Your Piece' started off that decade as Sleep Chamber's biggest hit yet. This new popularity also resulted in wider distribution for their music. Sleep Chamber saw their material expand from Inner-X-Musick to overseas and domestic distribution by the Italian label Musica Maxima Magnetica, the German label FünfUndVierzig, and Cleopatra Records in Los Angeles. Along with bigger sales came bigger opportunities. Sleep Chamber's local gigs required ever bigger venues. The increased popularity also allowed Sleep Chamber to do two quick tours of Texas in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These tours featured Zewizz along with Briley, Tione, Difrancisco, and Arthur PW. At the end of the Texas tour, Zewizz found himself again looking for a new collaborator with the departure of Arthur PW and Briley.

Elaine Walker entered the picture in 1991–92 to fill that void. Walker's band DDT had frequently played with Sleep Chamber at local venues around the Boston area. Walker was a Berklee College of Music graduate and impressed Zewizz with her abilities. Zewizz and Walker, together with the help of Ashley Swanson, began working on the CD 'Siamese Succubi'. Sales of this record were even better than 'Sleep, or Forever Hold Your Piece'. A successful tour of California resulted, featuring Zewizz, Walker, Swanson and longtime friend and collaborator Difrancisco. Although pleased with the lineup, Zewizz was aware that Walker's commitment was to her other projects and that she did not plan to stay with Sleep Chamber. Additionally, by the end of the tour, friction arose between Zewizz and Difrancisco. Upon returning to Boston, both Walker and Difrancisco left the band.

Zewizz then introduced another Sleep Chamber lineup, including new drummer Jay Keegan and songwriting duo Andrew Woolf and Craig Wien, as well as help from previous guitar sideman Swanson. This lineup was the last recording version of Sleep Chamber, performing on several releases, including 'Some Godz Die Young' and 'Sonorous Invokations ov Brian Jones' –the latter being solely Zewizz and Woolf. However, drug addiction, personal problems, and constant touring had ceased Zewizz's steady flow of new music by the end of 1995.

Real problems began earlier in 1995, when Zewizz was questioned regarding the murder of Karina Holmer, a Swedish au pair living in Boston. Holmer's body was found in a dumpster not far from Zewizz's home. The police considered Zewizz a suspect, but no charges were ever brought. The accusation, coupled with a growing heroin addiction, quickly began to destroy the band and drove Zewizz away from bandmates and friends.

Despite those problems, Sleep Chamber took on its most ambitious project to date in 1996, a tour of Germany. Unable to get commitments from the current lineup of Sleep Chamber, Zewizz took on two new members (Scott Walker and Tyler Newman) for the German tour, as well as Barbitchuette dancer "Lulu". The latter's job during the tour included dancing during the shows as well as recruiting dancers from local strip clubs. From the USA, Woolf organized the booking of the German tour. Many stories exist of Zewizz's escalating drug addiction during the tour, and although the band were deceived by the promoters, the shows were well received and the seeds for a large European fanbase were set because of the tour. Seeing his life beginning to spiral out of control, friends of Zewizz tried to help him when he returned from the German tour, putting on a benefit concert.

Despite the problems, releases continued on Musica Maxima Magnetica and FünfUndVierzig. Between 1995 and 1997, three more Sleep Chamber albums were released. 'Sopor', 'Sacrosanct' and 'Sirkus' kept up the appearance of productivity without any new material being recorded. After the German tour, Sleep Chamber only performed two more times. The first was a 1997 benefit concert (with Zewizz, Newman, and Walker, sans Barbitchuettes), followed by a last Sleep Chamber show on December 31, 2000 (featuring Zewizz and new collaborator B. Avikon as well as Barbitchuette dancer Semiramis). The final blow to Zewizz came in 2001 when Zewizz's girlfriend and Barbitchuette dancer Laura Graff died of an apparent drug overdose. Zewizz was questioned by police in the suspicious death before it was ruled an accidental heroin overdose.

Although out of the public eye, Zewizz never stopped recording. In 2004, he was able to overcome his heroin addiction and began remixing and recording Sleep Chamber material with a new enthusiasm. In 2004, he released a limited-edition CD titled 'Sleepsirkle'. In 2007, Zewizz changed the band name to SLEEPCHAMBER and announced a new lineup featuring Gimmie Sparks and longtime collaborator B. Avikon, featured on the 2009 release 'Stolen Sleep'. Since 2009, SLEEPCHAMBER has released over five CDs (on Klanggalerie, Old Europa Cafe, and Zewizz's own label Inner-X-Musick), a four-LP box set with a 7" single and booklet titled 'SixSixSix' (on Vinyl on Demand), and participated in several compilations.

SLEEPCHAMBER performed its first live concert in nearly 10 years with a live-on-air show on WBRS Radio One on January 1, 2010. The resulting recording was featured on the 'Stratocast' CD. This first live performance featured Zewizz, Avakian, and Sparks, along with percussionist Tick and backing vocalist Zora. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 21 de noviembre de 2019

Relèvement '82

Relèvement '82 formed in 1981, and apparently remained together until 1995, even though they don’t seem to have released anything else. Most famously, however, the band were asked to perform a U2 tribute set in 1995, which led to them changing their name to U2PIA. They appear to still be active to date.

They only released one single, with definitely heavy traces of 'Unforgettable Fire'/ 'War'-era U2 on display. The A-side is a driving slice of fast-paced post-punk bliss. The flip is no less essential, but a bit moodier and bass-driven, with an excellent whistle breakdown at the halfway mark. [SOURCE: SYSTEMS OF ROMANCE

miércoles, 20 de noviembre de 2019

Q. Lazzarus

Q Lazzarus (born December 12, 1965) is a former American singer, known for her 1988 song "Goodbye Horses", written by William Garvey, which was featured in the films "Married to the Mob" and "The Silence of the Lambs", both of which were directed by Jonathan Demme

Q Lazzarus is known for having an androgynous deep, husky contralto voice. She was born in New Jersey, married young, fled a marriage of domestic abuse which later would inspire her to write her song "Tears of Fear". After she fled her marriage, Q moved to New York City and became a nanny for an English man named Swan who did not encourage her musical gifts, trying to steer her towards a "practical occupation". Q decided to drive a taxi instead and continued making music independently with her band The Resurrection. She was discovered as a singer when she worked as a taxi driver in New York City. She picked up famous director Jonathan Demme, who heard her demo playing in the taxi. Demme took her to Hollywood, where despite his encouragement, record companies refused to sign her because they believed she couldn't be marketed. Q replied, "I market myself, I'm an African American woman who wears locks and sings American rock and roll." 

Q Lazzarus' music was featured in the films "Twisted", "Something Wild", and "Married to the Mob", where "Goodbye Horses" originally debuted. Q Lazzarus recorded a cover of the Talking Heads song "Heaven" for the 1993 film "Philadelphia". "Goodbye Horses", written by William Garvey, is most remembered from "The Silence of the Lambs" as the song playing during the famous scene in which Buffalo Bill performs his macabre crossdressing monologue. This garnered it the popular nickname "The Buffalo Bill Song". It was re-released as a single in 1991 with a longer duration after its appearance in "The Silence of the Lambs". The song has since been featured and parodied in film, television, and video games, including "Clerks II", "Fully Flared", "Maniac", "Grand Theft Auto IV", "Skate 3", "Family Guy", "The Last Man on Earth", and "Nip Tuck". 

Q Lazzarus' band was called Q Lazzarus and the Resurrection. The members included Mark Barrett, Garvey, Glorianna Galicia, Janicia, and backup singers Denise, Liz and Yvette W., Howie Feldman and Ron Resigno. Q Lazzarus and the Resurrection appeared at SoHo gallery parties and often performed at Boy Bar on Saint Mark's Place and the Pyramid Club. The band disbanded sometime before 1996, and Q Lazzarus dropped from the public eye. 

After decades of speculation about her status (including rumors of her death due to substantial unclaimed royalties), some news outlets were reporting that fans were able to track her down, claiming as of 2018 that she is a bus driver on Staten Island. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 19 de noviembre de 2019

Pink Section

Named after San Francisco Chronicle's pink-hued arts and entertainment guide, Pink Section coalesced at SF Art Institute and performed their first show at the legendary Deaf Club on Valentine's Day, 1979. These self-taught musicians existed on the fringe (even in the local underground scene), producing an unusual brand of off-kilter post-punk against a backdrop of Dadaist aesthetics. 

The group itself was strangely symmetrical: singer Judy Gittelsohn and drummer Carol Detweiler (both members of Inflatable Boy Clams), singer / guitarist Matt Heckert (Survival Research Laboratories), and bassist Stephen Wymore

While the hallucinatory layers of male / female vocals on "Shopping" conjure images of deranged domesticity and '50s Americana gone haywire, the fractured riffs of "Midsummer New York" deconstruct Yoko Ono's original even further, stripping bare Pink Section's fondness for angular rhythms and out-of-control oscillations. Recommended for fans of Suburban Lawns, Units, and Devo. [SOURCE: SUPERIOR VIADUCT

lunes, 18 de noviembre de 2019

The Ocean Blue

Known for their jangly dream pop sound, The Ocean Blue emerged out of their Pennsylvania high school in the late '80s. Drawing upon the guitar and keyboard stylings of bands like New Order and The Smiths, The Ocean Blue quickly became staples of college rock radio and MTV's 120 Minutes with albums like 1991's 'Cerulean' and 1992's 'Beneath the Rhythm and Sound'. Though the group's activity waned somewhat in the early 2000s, they continued to perform and returned in 2013 with their seventh full-length, 'Ultramarine'. 

Formed in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 1987, The Ocean Blue originally featured singer/guitarist David Schelzel, keyboardist Steve Lau, bassist Bobby Mittan, and temporary drummer Scott Stouffer. Friends since junior high, they came together bonding over their shared affection for bands like Echo & the Bunnymen, U2, The Smiths, and R.E.M. While still in school, they recorded several early demos that earned inclusion on local Lancaster Christian radio station WJTL's 'Preliminary Hearing' compilation album. Following the addition of drummer Rob Minnig, The Ocean Blue signed to Sire Records and within months of graduating high school issued their eponymous 1989 debut, 'The Ocean Blue'. Buoyed by the singles "Between Something and Nothing" and "Drifting, Falling", the album found favor on alternative and college rock radio, and reached the Billboard 200. 

The Ocean Blue's sophomore effort, 'Cerulean', appeared in 1991 and found the band further honing their lush dream pop sound. Included on the album were the singles "Ballerina Out of Control" and "Mercury." 'Beneath the Rhythm and Sound' surfaced two years later, with the video for "Sublime" becoming an MTV favorite. The band closed out their Sire deal with the EP 'Peace and Light', which was also Lau's final recording with the group as he left to form his own Kinetic label. 

Guitarist/keyboardist Oed Ronne came on board for the band's 1996 Mercury debut, 'See the Ocean Blue', which found their brand moving towards a more robust '60s guitar pop sound. Label mergers slowed the group's progress, and it would be another three years before they returned with 'Davy Jones' Locker' on their own Ocean Blue label. The album was reissued in 2001 on March Records. 

While the bandmembers' jobs and family responsibilities found them taking more time away from music, they continued to stay active, playing live and working on material. In 2004, they issued the six-song EP 'Waterworks', featuring drummer Peter Anderson, who had replaced Minnig. Around 2010, they began working in earnest on studio material before returning with their first full-length in over a decade, 2013's 'Ultramarine'. The band's seventh album, 'Kings and Queens/Knaves and Thieves', arrived in 2019. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 17 de noviembre de 2019

Nasal Boys

Nasal Boys were Switzerland's premiere punk band that only released a much acclaimed 7". Some of the wildest and fastest punk around in 1977. A unique and uncompromising sound that was ahead of its time -completely according to their slogan: 'Schneller, Harter, Langer' (Faster, Harder, Longer). "Hot Love" is a monster of a Swiss punk anthem while "Die Wuste Lebt" is a great song about being alive in the Swiss urban desert. In a TV interview from 1977, the band was asked why they didn't dress punky. 'We're against cliches,' the singer responded. 'Our main inspiration is U.S. punk, not U.K. punk.' Guess one can hear that. But still, the bands big break was opening up for The Clash when they played in Zurich in 1977. Shortly after, the band tried to make it big and changed their name to Expo. Former members went on to form a number of bands including Aboriginal Voices, Kraft Durch Freude, Blue China, The Bucks, several of which were highly influential bands. [SOURCE: FORCED EXPOSURE

sábado, 16 de noviembre de 2019

Mensen Blaffen

Mensen Blaffen is new wave band from Aalst in Belgium. They where often compared in music style to the post-modernist funk of A Certain Ratio mixed with new wave, post punk, and surrealistic dutch lyrics and beautiful female vocals. They did support-acts for bands like Virgin Prunes, Lavvi Ebbel and many others. Mensen Blaffen was original a five-piece band and later on a band with six members. Original members: Jan Van Den Brande (Bass Guitar), Mario Segers (Synthesizer), Sylvie Honnay (Vocals), Pascal Baeyens (Electric Guitar) and Steven Lorie (Drums). For the first record Koen Gisen played sax as a guestmusician. After the release of the first album Pascal Baeyens left the band. Jan Van Den Brande took over the guitar. Ludo Vervliet came in to play the bass. Eddy Valk (Edward V) joined the band with his saxophone. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

viernes, 15 de noviembre de 2019

Lou Champagne System

The only way to survive living in the yuppie void of Oakville, Ontario is by burying your head deep in the intoxicating sands of imagination. For Lou Champagne this meant filling his nose with the sting of solder, his eyes with a labyrinth of circuits, his mind with resistors and his ears with a virtual synthtopia of Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League, Chrisma and their analog ilk. Lou’s ‘Champagne System’ is a self-invented device that allows him to control his synths with his guitar so that he can perform as a modern day (pre-MIDI) one-man-band. The beast born of his engineering explorations, 'No Visible Means', sounds at times like a gristleized Swell Maps, at others like despondent Transparent Illusion produced by Rago & Farina. Although Lou’s vision is viewed through singular Chrome & Cristal glasses there is something in these songs that is familiar to anyone who turned to art, music and dreaming to escape the boredom of growing up surrounded by numb suburban slump. Lou’s words are just as true now as they were in 1981, “I’m like a man in a fantasy, and maybe I should just get stoned”. Throw your glass in the fireplace and gulp Lou’s brew straight from the bottle; legit reissue available from Medical Records. [SOURCE: WEIRD CANADA

jueves, 14 de noviembre de 2019

The Gears

Kidd Spike was a guitarist with one of L.A.'s first punk rock outfits, The Controllers, but by 1980 he was eager to do something a little more eclectic, and he joined forces with vocalist Axxel G. Reese to form The Gears. The Gears enthusiastically embraced the fast and loud part of punk, but they also threw in dashes of surf music, garage rock, blues, and cool sounds of the '50s, and their first album, 'Rockin' at Ground Zero', is a killer blend of punk speed and fury tempered with greaser cool. Reese is a solid vocalist with plenty of swagger in his voice but no wasted affectations, while Spike's thick, gutsy guitar work and the crash-boom-bang rhythm work of bassist Brian Redz and drummer Dave Drive keep these songs in forward momentum at all times. The Gears could sing about cars, girls, and good times with tongue just slightly in cheek on tunes like "Let's Go to the Beach" and "Darlin' Baby," but "High School Girls" and "I Smoke Dope" show they weren't afraid of more dangerous pleasures. "Don't Be Afraid to Pogo" is a great (and only slightly ridiculous) punk anthem, and they chronicle one of the most infamous real-life moments in the war between L.A. punks and cops in "Elks Lodge Blues." "Teenage Brain" is angst at its most enjoyable, and "The Last Chord" and the title cut both manage to make the end of the world sound cool. 'Rockin' at Ground Zero' is good, raucous fun from an unjustly overlooked band; the rise of hardcore made bands like this seem obsolete at the dawn of the '80s, but history and this album prove these guys truly had the goods. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 13 de noviembre de 2019

Кино [Kino]

One of Russia's most popular rock bands, Kino came to prominence during the Gorbachev era of glasnost and perestroika, and struck a nerve with many Soviet youths longing for a brighter, freer future. The group's legend was tragically cemented when frontman Victor Tsoi (sometimes Tsoy) was killed in a car crash in 1990, sparking a massive outpouring of grief rivaling that of icons like Kurt Cobain or John Lennon. Tsoi had formed the first version of Kino in his hometown of St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1981, along with Alexei Ribin and Oleg Valinsky; the group played the same venues as Boris Grebenshikov's Aquarium. This lineup debuted with 1982's '45', after which they moved to Moscow and splintered; Ribin left in 1983, leaving Tsoi to complete their second album, '46'. In 1984, Tsoi formed a new version of Kino with guitarist Yuri Kasparyan, bassist Alexander Titov, and drummer Georgi Guriyanov; they debuted on that year's 'Nachal'nik Kamchatki' ("The Manager of Kamchatka"). A performance at St. Petersburg's second annual rock festival heralded their return, and their next two albums, 1985's 'Eto Nye Lyubov' ("This Is Not Love") and 1986's 'Noch' (The Night), saw their reputation steadily growing; their sound was commensurate with American alternative rock, particularly R.E.M. and the icier side of The Cure. Tsoi began to pursue an acting career on the side in 1986, and bassist Igor Tikhoromirov eventually replaced Titov. In 1988, the band released its most polished album, 'Gruppa Krovi' ("Blood Type"), which started to increase their international audience (as did more frequent concerts outside the Soviet Union); it even got a favorable write-up in the Village Voice in America. 1989 brought 'Zvezda Po Imene Solntse' ("A Star Called Sun"), a tour of the U.S., and the group's biggest hit, "(We're Waiting For) Changes", which became an anthem for Russian youth after its appearance in the film "Assa". Unfortunately, Tsoi died in an auto accident in Riga, Latvia, on August 15, 1990. The band's unfinished album was released afterwards as 'Cherniy Albom' ("Black Album"). A wall of memorials dedicated to Tsoi still exists on Moscow's Arbat Street, and Kino's music is still highly regarded by teens all over the former Soviet Union. [SOURCE: APPLE MUSIC

martes, 12 de noviembre de 2019

John Carpenter

As the years passed, sci-fi/horror director John Carpenter earned nearly as much acclaim for his music as for his filmmaking. The son of a music professor at Western Kentucky University, he crafted a distinctive sound dominated by pulsing, arpeggiated synthesizers and atmospheric washes that echoed his stark visual style. From his beginnings as a film student in the early '70s, Carpenter scored all but four of his films ("The Thing", "Starman", "Memoirs of an Invisible Man", and "The Ward") as well as the television horror trilogy "Body Bags". During the 2000s and 2010s, artists such as Umberto, Zombi, Majeure, and Portishead's Geoff Barrow drew inspiration from the director's music for their own projects. After "The Ward", Carpenter began making music with his son Cody (who makes his own music as Ludrium) and godson Daniel Davies. Incorporating elements of Carpenter's electronic-based scores like 'Halloween' and 'Assault on Precinct 13' as well as later, more guitar-driven ones like 'Vampires' and 'Ghosts of Mars', the trio's improvisation-based songs became 'Lost Themes', which Sacred Bones released in February 2015. Just over a year later, 'Lost Themes II', which found the trio recording together instead of collaborating long-distance, arrived. Following Carpenter's first ever concert tours, he re-recorded a selection of his most well-known themes. Sacred Bones issued 'Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998' in October of 2017. The following year, Carpenter returned to the franchise of "Halloween" for the first time since he directed the orginal's sequel in 1982. He composed the official score for a new installment in the series that featured an updated version of the film's classic theme. The soundtrack was released alongside the film's arrival in October of that year. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 11 de noviembre de 2019

Hal McGee

Hal McGee is an American experimental artist and producer, active since 1981. He is widely considered as one of the most important and seminal members of an early homemade cassettes musical movement in USA. Together with Debbie Jaffe, McGee operated legendary Cause And Effect cassette label and distribution, releasing such artists as Merzbow, Nurse With Wound, Controlled Bleeding, Robert Rich, If, Bwana, Algebra Suicide and others. In the mid 1980s McGee recorded numerous works as a member of Viscera, solo as Dog As Master, and in collaboration with If, Bwana and JABON. In the late 1980s and early 90s McGee was operating Electronic Cottage label, simultaneously with an Electronic Cottage Magazine. This was restarted as an online zine and community in April 2018. In the mid to late 1990s Hal McGee released dozens of cassettes of homemade experimental music, solo and in collaboration with Jeph Jerman, Brian Noring (EHI), Big City Orchestra, Emil Hagstrom (Cock E.S.P.), Charles Rice Goff III and others. Also he produced a series of "Tape Heads" cassette compilations on his own HalTapes label. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Hal McGee started releasing homemade CDr albums. During this time he collaborated heavily with Brian Noring of the FDR Tapes, in person and via mail collaboration, and with his long-time partner Chris Phinney. In 2003-04 Hal McGee produced the five-volume 'Quotidian Assemblages' compilation project. In 2005 he recorded and released a 2-hour video film called "The Secret Life Of Hal McGee". In 2006, with the encouragement of Andrew Chadwick and Christopher Miller, McGee began performing live for the first time since 1987, joining the ranks of Florida's live noise/experimental music scene. From 2014 to 2015 Hal operated a new label, Kassette Kult Tapes. Hundreds of McGee’s solo and collaborative releases and compilations, both archival and recent (including many works created in 2012), are available for free from his official Bandcamp page. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

domingo, 10 de noviembre de 2019

The Hafler Trio

Prolific and enigmatic, The Hafler Trio masterminded some of the most challenging and innovative sonic experiments of their time -defining music as simply organized sound, their unique synthesis of electronics, samples, and tape loops probed the psycho-acoustic power of noise, exploring not only its sensory effects but its physical ramifications as well. Formed in Sheffield, England, in 1980 by Cabaret Voltaire alum Chris Watson and Andrew McKenzie, The Hafler Trio were never a three-piece in any actual sense -in fact, the third member originally credited to the lineup, one Dr. Edward Moolenbeek, was (according to an interview with McKenzie in the March/April 1991 issue of Option magazine) reportedly an expert in psycho-acoustic research who edited the journal Science Review during the 1930s. Much of The Hafler Trio's mystique stems from the deliberate misinformation the group consistently set forth -although their records regularly came packaged with deluxe graphs, diagrams, and essays detailing the purported effects of sound on the listener, the scientific authenticity of their "findings" is debatable; for example, their 1984 debut, 'Bang! An Open Letter', claims to be based on the studies of an acoustic researcher named Robert Spridgeon, complete with bibliography. Spridgeon later proved to be a complete fabrication, however, and over the course of subsequent efforts, including 1985's 'Alternation, Perception and Resistance -A Comprehension Exercise EP', 1986's 'Three Ways of Saying Two -The Netherlands Lectures, and Dislocation', The Hafler Trio continued baffling audiences with a deluge of propaganda, clouding perceptions to increase the visceral impact of their music.
By 1987's double LP 'A Thirsty Fish', Watson had exited H30, leaving McKenzie the sole constant member; its follow-up, 'Intoutof', heralded a new approach, rejecting the cut-and-paste noise and abrasive drones of earlier releases in favor of a more hypnotically ethereal sound. Released in 1991, 'Kill the King' announced the beginning of a trilogy that continued on with 'Mastery of Money' and 'How to Reform Mankind'; acclaimed in many quarters as The Hafler Trio's finest work, these three records diametrically oppose the soothing, placating effects of most ambient musics -'Mastery of Money', with its extensive use of low-frequency tones, is a particularly unnerving and discomforting experience. Subsequent releases include 1992's 'Fuck' and 1994's 'One Dozen Economical Stories', a collaboration with filmmaker Peter Greenaway. In 1996, The Hafler Trio also mounted "Who Sees Goes On", a series of thematically linked limited-edition releases. In the 2000s The Hafler Trio -in essence consisting only of McKenzie plus occasional collaborators- continued to issue limited-edition releases, often in the range of 300 to 1,500 copies, including 'Hljodmynd' (2000), 'Cleave: 9 Great Openings' (2002), 'No Man Put Asunder: 7 Fruitful and Seamless Unions' (2003), 'Normally' (with Blixa Bargeld, 2003), 'Exactly as I Say' (with Jonsi Birgisson, 2004), 'If Take, Then Take: Tricks, Half-Tricks & Real Phenomena' (2005), 'Exactly as I Am' and 'Exactly as I Do' (both with Jonsi Birgisson, 2005), and '3 Eggs' (with Colin Potter and Andrew Liles, 2006). As the first decade of the new millennium drew to a close, McKenzie was reportedly living in Iceland and had stopped his involvement with CDs and (for the most part) the Internet, and The Hafler Trio website had been shut down. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 8 de noviembre de 2019

Galen Herod

Galen Herod is one of the pioneering synthesis artists of American cassette culture. From 1979 to 1982 he produced several outstanding and creative electronic tape releases which he distributed either via Eurock or by himself in the Phoenix, Arizona area. His very early tape works are dominated by abstract, austere, experimental electronics in the vein of Conrad Schnitzler, using tape loops and completely homemade synth-equipment includes oscillators, filters, and sequencers designed and built by his friend Gary Dukarich. In late 1981 he met Greg Horn and formed the successful minimal synthpop band Tone Set. [SOURCE: FORCED EXPOSURE