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”
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:

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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*

The Archaic Smile- Last Words 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, post-punk, the archaic smile, uk on December 1, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for the delay, y’all. I have  few things ripped to wrap up the year, so I hope to trickle out a few more posts before 2016 comes and goes. First up, here’s an excellent two-track 7” from 1981. In true DIY fashion, this is The Archaic Smile’s only release, on an unheard of label featuring a two tone paper sleeve. Sadly, there’s not much I can tell you about the band itself, outside of a probable origin in Yorkshire, Englad, so we’ll have to let the music stand for itself.

With that in mind, I don’t care too much for the A-side, a spastic number that seems more influenced by the likes of XTC and early Elvis Costello. It’s sufficiently springy and energetic, and thus, your mileage may vary on this. The real winner here is the B-side, a heavier, darker, and more driving affair that seems more inspired by Bauhaus and Joy Division, as if the band was aiming to wrap up the two polar post-punk extremes into one compact single. If that was the intention, it definitely succeeds! The single reminds me quite a bit of the Pop Stress single overall- especially the dynamic between sides as well as the sonic textures explored on each.

On that note, here’s the details:

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The Archaic Smile- Last Words 7”
1. Last Words
2. Never Spoken

*download it here*

Razor Penguins- Discography

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 1986, cassette, demo, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, razor penguins, US on October 24, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

As the wind picks up and the sun sets earlier, I find myself clutching my post-punk records close to the chest. What better time than to post the full 7” discography by US goth/post-punk band Razor Penguins. Though they sound inspired by both the UK scene as well as the budding LA “desert-goth” scene at the time, the band hailed from Columbus, Ohio.

These two releases appeared with a five year gap in between, quite a long time to wait for a follow up… The first 7” is incredible, both tracks gloomy and incisive as ever. “Paris” sounds right at home with Lung Overcoat, another US band with a similarly UK-inspired sound. The flip is far gloomier, with a nasty churning guitar working its way throughout much of the backing track. The second 7” is a bit more of an instrumental affair, though their style hadn’t changed much in five years. The title track has a bit of spoken word vibe throughout, while the second song is a straight instrumental, akin to the likes of the recent Savage Republic reissues which stripped their otherwise classic material of vocals.

I’ve also included a demo tape that’s been floating around the web elsewhere, in case you may have missed it on other blogs… I can’t take credit for the cassette rip, which is extremely murky and is very likely a transcode, but in case you want more Razor Penguins, this cassette features seven unfamiliar songs that may have been slated for a full length record. The only track that appears in duplicate here is “The Math Professor,” which may explain the single’s otherwise demo-esque vibe… I don’t have a year on the cassette, but I reckon it was recorded between 81 and 85…

Paris

Razor Penguins- Paris 7” (1981)
1. Paris
2. Indifference

Razor Penguins- Demo K7 (???)
1. The Math Professor
2. Less
3. Tides and the Moon
4. Untitled 1
5. At All
6. Exchanges
7. No Expectations
8. Untitled II

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Razor Penguins- The Math Professor 7” (1985)
1. The Math Professor
2. August

*download all three here*

Jyl- Jyl LP

Posted in 1980s, 1984, angela werner, jyl, minimal synth, new wave, synth, synthpop on September 21, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

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Here’s one I’m sure you’ve all heard before but is due for a fresh rip at 320 for all you audiophiles out there! After years of playing most of these tracks out at the Wierd Party alongside some of my fellow DJs, I finally shelled out for my very own copy of this rare minimal/synthpop masterpiece from 1984. For those who don’t know it already, every track here is an absolute winner, hard-hitting, sexually charged, slinky synthpop just the way I like it. Not that I need to sell you on this any further, but for those who are unfamiliar, think Soma Holiday, Hard Corps, Propaganda, Six Sed Red, Silvia, etc.

Lots of great hands on this one from across the ocean. Fronted by Jyl Porch (pronounced Jill, naturally) from the US, this project featured additional lyrical and vocal contributions from fellow synthpop oddball Angela Werner, as well as electronics by Angela’s husband Ingo. Rounded out by Christoph Haberer on electronic percussion, this record also features impeccably glossy production from the legendary Klaus Schulze of Tangerine Dream/Ash Ra Temple. Plenty of other folks lent guitar and backing vocal contributions to the LP, so check here for the full list.

Assuming you haven’t already skipped straight to the download link, here’s the rundown:

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Jyl- Jyl LP
1. Mechanic Ballerina
2. Universe
3. Computer Love
4. Positions
5. Dance and Death
6. The Computer Generation
7. Animation
8. Silicon Valley
9. Electric Lady
10. I’m a Machine

*download it here*

Can’t remember the last time we had a video up in here, so please enjoy this excellent (if but unembeddable) promo clip for “Mechanic Ballerina,” featuring lots of pectorals and body paint:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFV15M8Agiw

The Bell Jar- Beginnings of Ends 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, indie, post-punk, US on September 16, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I have this ritual where I occasionally parse my shelves and purge a dozen or so records every now and then to make room for all the new things coming in. Quality over quantity in a city where every square foot is key. Sometimes, I’ve purged records I’ve re-bought later down the line, misjudging them, or changing my mind in a very expensive manner. In this case, this one made the latest pile of purges, but after listening one last time, I realized it’s actually better than I remembered!

That all said, this is the first 12” from The Bell Jar, a post-punk/indie band based from California who take their name from the Sylvia Plath novel. This record was released in 1986 on Out There Records, with a full length LP appearing a year later. I haven’t heard that one just yet. As for the sound, this one definitely fits in with a lot of the C86 things happening at the time, falling right in line with the Mighty Lemon Drops (especially in the vocals), Echo and the Bunnymen, Railyway Children, Icicle Works, etc. It also reminds me of a less bleak version of the Black Sea LP. I could do without the Dylan-esque “Kid Talk,” but “Walking Through Fire” is wonderful, and the prominent synths in “Where To From Here” are equally excellent.

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1. Walking Through The Fire
2. Kid Talk
3. Where To From Here
4. Jimmy’s Cold December
5. Water

*download it here*

The Lucy Show- Extended Play 12”

Posted in 12'', 1980s, 1984, canadian, new wave, post-punk, the lucy show on August 26, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve covered The Lucy Show here a few times before, and even after all these years, they remain an absolute favorite of the era, a band whose records I cherish deeply and would never leave home without. They’ve never been the rarest band on these pages, with most of their releases in mass production and easily found in used bins across the states, but it’s never really about the rareness, is it? Note for note, The Lucy Show deliver, and this EP is of no exception, featuring three exclusive tracks and what appears to be a slightly different and darker version of the “Resistance,” one of many highlights from their debut album Undone.

It’s hard to tell without exact release dates, but this EP appears to predate both the Electric Dreams 7” as well as their first LP, which might explain the more club-friendly sound from Leonardo Da Vinci still intact here. The lead-off track is a forever favorite, and appears in nearly all my post-punk focused DJ sets these days, though it’s always hard to pick just one from this band.

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The Lucy Show- Extended Play 12”
1. The Price of Love
2. Resistance
3. See It Goes
4. Is It

*download it here*

The Blessed- Taboo 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, goth, post-punk, the blessed, US on August 23, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I was out last night with a few pals, digging through my favorite NYC record store bin when I came across this one. At first glance, the cover piqued my interest, and after a ten-second preview at the listening station (I am often quick to judge), I was sold. This particular slice of wax is the second release from The Blessed, a US-based post-punk band. Their first 7”, a more traditional punk affair, fetches obscene prices, but this particular record can be found for just a few bucks. The stylistic change makes sense given the gap between releases (six years), as this record definitely adds a darker approach to an already incisive guitar palate.

As for the songs- I could do without the first track’s lyrics and vocal melodies (though I do enjoy the prominent synth stabs), but the following tracks definitely have a fair amount of bite to them, a welcome addition to the mid-80s goth/post-punk cannon. Hope you enjoy!

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The Blessed- Taboo 12”
1. Rubbernecking
2. Rags to Riches
3. Potter’s Field

*download it here*