Hambi & the Dance- Heartache LP + 25 Tears a Day 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, 1984, new romantic, new wave, uk on August 17, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s one for the new romantics in the house!

I originally picked this up a while ago at the urging of a friend, but kept it on the shelf for many years. Not sure why, but I reckon some of you can relate. I recently dropped the needle and was surprised by a rather catchy pop record from 1982 that especially calls early Talk Talk to mind, with plenty of guitars for good measure. There’s a few other touchstones here, perhaps some bigger and more stadium-oriented Gene Loves Jezebel singles, mid-era Modern English, the pop perfection of The Outfield (hush, they’re great), and there’s even one track that kind of hints at a Modern Eon/Opposition sort of melancholy in the verses (#4), but it’s not terribly obvious. The final track in particular is a stunner, but I dig everything on this record from start to finish, so long as you guys can hang with something a little bigger and brighter than some of the other gems featured here.

This is the only LP from Hambi & the Dance, though a handful of singles were pulled from the record. Two singles followed, the former exclusive and the latter pulled from a second LP, which was released just as Hambi. There were quite a few big names involved in this project over the years, including ex-Adam & the Ants drummer Chris Hughes, second Frankie Goes to Hollywood vocalist Paul Rutherford, and even the Mission/Sisters of Mercy’s own Wayne Hussey (who must have been an early member, as there aren’t any credits I can find on their recorded output). Vocalist Hambi Haralambous previously worked with other members of this band in Tontrix, also notable for featuring a pre-Flock of Seagull’s Mike Score.

EDIT: Thanks to Jeffo! for sending over a rip of the exclusive 12” from 1984 as well! This one is a little more club-centric, but should also hit the spot. Without any further ado:

Hambi & the Dance- Heartache LP
1. Time After Time 4:01
2. Living In A Heartache 3:22
3. Madelaine 4:05
4. L’Image Craque 4:31
5. Spirits 4:31
6. The World 3:23
7. Dancing Inside You 4:08
8. Major Major 3:30
9. Too Late To Fly The Flag 3:30
10. Standing In The Rain

Hambi & the Dance- 25 Tears a Day 12”
1. 25 Tears a Day
2. 25 Tears a Day (Pink Version)
3. Taking My Life In Strides

*download both here*

Private Blue- She’s Love 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, german, private blue, synth, synthpop, westside music on August 7, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Moving right along on the synthpop front, this has been a recent DJ obsession of mine. You can hear it pretty regularly at Jupiter Disco in Brooklyn, where Goutroy, Jane Koh, and I spin every first Saturday night. Come say hello if you’re ever in the area!

Shameless self-promotion aside, this track is MASSIVE. While it was released in Germany in 1986, it has a rather distinctive Italo flavor mixed with a bit of the Westside sound that the label was best known for. For those unfamiliar, Westside was responsible for Celebrate the Nun, MCL, Axodry, Moskwa TV, and the incredible Few Boys single posted here quite some time ago. These bands should definitely paint a picture of what you’re in for here.

With that in mind, here’s the details:



Private Blue- She’s Love 12”
1. She’s Love
2. Help Me Tonight (Radio-Version)
3. She’s Love (Radio-Version)

*download it here*

Superdude- Face the Music 7”

Posted in 1980s, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, New York, new york city, superdude, synthpop, US on August 7, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Apologies in advance for being sparse this summer and completely missing my official ten year anniversary! With that in mind, I’d love to offer up a few posts today, starting with an excellent slice of minimal synthpop- extremely rare and incredibly catchy- just the way you all love it.

Superdude was a pseudonym for NYC-based musician John Pergamo, who wrote the track with his brother Anthony. It was released in 1983 on Ace Records, which looks to be Pergamo’s own imprint, judging from the various latter-day Superdude releases that appeared. This is Superdude’s only release in the 80s, though it looks like he kept the synthpop feel for some of his later releases, though I haven’t heard them to confirm.

That said, please enjoy this little slice of electro-pop heaven, backed with an instrumental cut of the track!

Superdude- Face the Music 7”
1. Face the Music (Vocal)
2. Face the Music (Sound Track)

*download it here*

Synthetic Dreams- 7” discography

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 1982, minimal synth, post-punk, synth, synthetic dreams on June 5, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s the full discography from UK post-punk/synth band Synthetic Dreams. The four piece band released two singles in 1981 and 1982, respectively. Their first release isn’t as well known as the Sulphate Suicide 7”, but is just as good (if not a little better) in my book. The first track, “Obsession,” has an excellent punchy wave sound with lots of post-punk influence. However, the B-side is the real winner here- gloomy and dirgy, dripping with buzzing analog synthesizers.

Speaking of their second 7”, I’ve decided to include someone else’s rip of it here as well for those who don’t know it, as the blog who originally uploaded it has since disappeared into the either. More of the same excellent sounds here- the A-side being a spastic near-instrumental, and the flip containing much of the same synth-heavy energy, with more vocals this time around.

Enjoy!

Synthetic Dreams- Obsession 7” (1981)
1. Obsession
2. U+500

Synthetic Dreams- Sulphate Suicide 7” (1982)
1. Sulphate Suicide
2. Voices

*download both here*

Inox- Tingle Tangle LP

Posted in 1980s, 1986, inox, italian, new wave, post-punk on May 11, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a generous donation from Antonio, a reader, collector, and label owner from Italy. I was definitely interested in hearing the full length Inox album after spending more time with the Segni Dal Fiume 12”. The full length is more of the same excellent female-fronted wave with a touch of gloomy post-punk thrown in for good measure. If anything, these tracks go a bit deeper and a bit darker, which is definitely right up my alley.

This particular LP came out in 1986 and completes the Inox discography… Antonio warns us that the pressing isn’t necessarily the best, so please forgive any anomalies you may notice while listening! I’m also pretty amused that the band featured a photo of the 12” on the cover for this LP. Gotta collect ’em all, I suppose?

Not sure if I mentioned in my previous post, but this band was from Torino/Turin, a city in north western Italy that is still known for post-punk today. Other bands from the region included Carmody, Chromagain, Monuments, Deafear, and many more. For a good overview of the region, check out this amazing compilation from 2015 that highlights many of the bands from the Peidmont region.

That all said, thanks again to Antonio of White#Trash for sharing this! Hope you all enjoy.

Inox- Tingle Tangle LP
1. Tingle Tangle
2. Valvole
3. Meno 6°
4. Colorama
5. Elisir
6.  Sonecka
7.  Regina Mab

*download it here*

An April March- Memory Gardens & Scarlett Bliss K7s

Posted in 1990, 1990s, 1991, an april march, canadian, dreampop, shoegaze on April 4, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

I remember the first time hearing Canadian dreampop band An April March. I was deep in my shoegaze phase in my freshman year of college, overdosing on Slowdive for the most part, posting on forums everywhere. I caught wind of this band and remember seeking out a lone mp3 of “Lava,” one of the bands early singles, on Audiogalaxy of all places… It was love at first listen. Just a few weeks later, I was digging in my college town’s record bins casually when I came across a gorgeous looking gothic cover. Sure enough, it was the Lava single, a red colored slab of perfection sitting there for a dollar, discarded among a bunch of sleeveless pop singles. I believe I posted the single in the very first year of this blog, as the obsession still ran deep.

Since then I’ve obtained all of their discography in various forms, with the exception of the elusive Scarlett Bliss demo tape from 1991, which I’ve always had my eye on. However, a kind collector by the name of Paul Evans offered to rip it for me, and included a bonus- a never before logged demo tape from 1990 called Memory Gardens, the band’s first official release. Funny enough, this is the real treat here, as the Scarlett Bliss tape features very similar (if not the same) recordings of these three tracks that would appear on 1993’s Impatiens, the band’s debut album.

However, the songs on Memory Gardens showcase a band just getting their feet wet, though the band’s trademark dark dreampop sound is still in full effect. Mostly I’m pleasantly surprised by the ample use of saxophone on this tape, a sound they abandoned after release, apparently. Saxophone player Ian would go on to play with The Dervishes, who I haven’t heard but sound like a more soul/funk band according to their discogs page.

Anywho, four of the six tracks on this cassette are exclusives, while “Gates Within Us” and “Of Leaves And Sweetness” are early versions that have since changed drastically in subsequent recordings.

Thanks again to Paul for ripping these! Hope you all enjoy them as much as I do:

An April March- Memory Gardens K7 (1990)
1. Justine
2. Misunderstanding
3. Of Leaves and Sweetness
4. Memory Gardens
5. Gates Within Us
6. Hollow House

An April March- Scarlett Bliss K7 (1991)
1. Scarlett Bliss
2. This Silence
3. Stains

*download both here*

Bikini Atoll- 7” discography

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 1982, british, new wave, post-punk, uk on March 10, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s the full 7” discography by UK wave/post-punk band Bikini Atoll, who takes their name from a nuclear testing site in the Marshall Islands, located in the deep Pacific Ocean territory. As for the music, you can expect a mix of gloomy and jerky melodies, stellar female vox, icy synths, and a solid discography across these six tracks. If you dig things like Altered Images, Au Pairs, The Limp, Industrie etc. this is definitely the band for you.

Sadly, I don’t know much about them, though it appears that their lineup changed between the first and second single, mostly swapping their rhythm section. The first of the three is my least favorite (though not at all bad) so this might very well explain the jump in quality with a quick personnel shift. With that in mind, here’s the info for these killer singles:

Bikini Atoll- Don’t Reduce My Heart (To Beating Meat) 7” (1981)
1. Don’t Reduce My Heart (To Beating Meat)
2. Lucy In Furs (Laissez Faire De Lucifer)

Bikini Atoll- The Wall 7” (1981)
1. The Wall
2. Russian Doll

Bikini Atoll- Tribal Radio 7” (1982)
1. Tribal Radio
2. Splinter

*download all three here*

Various Artists- Faces and Images LP

Posted in 1990s, 1991, ebm, minimal, minimal synth, Schmaalhans Weltraumm, swedish, synth, synthpop on January 23, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Straight out of the mailbox, onto the turntable, and to your ears all within the span of a weekend, here’s a rip of the wonderful Faces & Images compilation, which features a slew of lo-fi EBM, synthpop, and minimal treats.

This comp. hails from Sweden and was released in 1991 on Limur, who also released the Schmaalhans Weltraum 7”. Their signature track appears here, as well as an amazing lo-fi synthpop cut from Sidewalk Cindy. Other highlights include the Bites-esque band + Christ (their only known track), Kiethevez’s “Female Trouble” (which is heavily indebted to Depeche Mode’s pre-Music For the Masses era), Art Domination’s “Remember,” which channels D.A.F.’s electro period, and the killer Pet Cemetery tune “Set Right All Right,” which also owes a lot to early Skinny Puppy. There are also a few experimental cuts by Grönlandsbruttan and Verschwende Deine Jugend, which remind me of Factrix and a more out there Nitzer Ebb, respectfully.

Despite all the traceable influences and genres, there’s not really a dud on this comp., so please press play and enjoy!

Various Artists- Faces and Images LP
1. The Outcast- White Coat Compassion
2. Boiling Brain- Real World
3. + Christ- Filtering Vision
4. Grönlandsbruttan- Häxans Otäcka Dröm
5. Kiethevez- Female Terror
6. Schmaalhans Weltraum- Montagne De Boeuf
7. Pet Cemetery- Set Right All Right
8. Sidewalk Cindy- A Hundred Things To Say
9. Verschwende Deine Jugend- Source Of Conflict
10. Art Domination- Remember

*download it here*

Litfiba- Yassassin 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, darkwave, italian, italo, italo disco, post-punk, synth, synthpop on January 13, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy New Year, ladies and gents! Been trying to shake the dust off of 2016 to begin what will be the TENTH year for Systems of Romance. Having started this blog in summer of 2007, I never thought I’d be doing this as long as I have been, while many other blogs have come and gone and interests have waned. It’s true, there just isn’t *as much* undiscovered stuff left to reveal.

Even with that being the case, my interests still lie in collecting and restoring things that have been posted elsewhere in higher quality, and I’d like to start this year off with more of the same. I’m choosing this particular 12” in tribute to David Bowie as well, for this week marks both his birthday and deathday all in one, so what better homage? In this instance, Italian giants Litfiba tackle “Yassassin,” a high point from the last installment of David’s legendary Berlin trilogy. While the original, featured on 1979’s Lodger, is a moody, Middle Eastern flavored track with a reggae tinge, Litfiba take the track into the Italo-drenched stratosphere, translating the awkward rhythms into heavy kick blasts and synth stabs. It’s an inspired choice, one that helped bridge the gap between their earlier post-punk releases and embracing the big beat dance sound they would become famous for in their home country. Both versions of “Yassassin” (an extended dancefloor mix and a shorter radio mix) sandwich an original track, chock full of a similar middle eastern flair that sounds equally inspired by Lodger‘s wanderlust. In general, the band would adapt a very Mediterranean-informed vibe from here on out, all but tossing their UK influences out the door.

For more on Litfiba’s rich and storied history, feel free to brush up here. Otherwise, hope you all enjoy!

Litfiba- Yassassin 12”
1. Yassassin
2. Elettrica Danza
3. Yassassin (Radio Version)

*download it here*

7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence)- 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence) LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence), coldwave, france, lyon, synthpop on December 16, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

Thanks to Nick from Crispy Nuggets for re-ripping this gem for me to clean up and share with y’all! This is the lone LP from French synthpop/coldwave project 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence), which translates to 7th Speech (For Better Existence). A little bit of a mouthful, but what we have here is eight killer tracks of lo-fi synthpop of the highest caliber. Every track here is a gem, most ripe for the dance floor, with a few moody coldwave numbers included for good measure.

The LP was self-released in 1987. The band hailed from Lyon featured Xavier Martin on synths, bass, guitar, and vox, Eric Arcil on synths, and Christophe Berthoux on synths as well. This is their only logged release, though the band’s Facebook page linked a few deleted videos with additional song titles, so perhaps there are demos or a self-pressed follow up in someone’s collection. Would love to hear more about that, if so! Otherwise, here’s the details:

7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence)- 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence) LP
1. Ruptures
2. Le Bébe
3. Cauchemars De Jour
4. Lait Caillé Et Peau Flasque
5. J’ai Cassé Ma Montre
6. Le Square
7. Vide
8. 7ème Discours

*download it here*