I have a pretty huge backlog of things I’ve been meaning to post, so I’m going to chip away at them over the next few days, so bear with me, folks! To kick things off, I’ve had several requests to post some more tracks by Chrisma/Krisma, so here’s my two favorite LPs from this Italian synthpop outfit. Contained within this zip file are 1980′s Cathode Mamma (the band’s debut after switching from a ‘Ch’ to a ‘K’) and 1983′s Nothing to Do With the Dog (aka Fido on some releases), their third LP. There are still three more out there, but these two should keep you satiated for now! Here’s the info:
Krisma- Cathode Mamma LP (1980) 1. Cathode Mamma (Neue Version) 2. Many Kisses 3. Peggy Guggenheim 4. Rrock 5. Rien Ne Va Plus 6. Cathode Mamma 7. Telegram 8. White Knife 9. Last Chance to See Man
Krisma- Nothing To Do With the Dog LP (1983) 1. Nothing To Do With the Dog 2. I’m Not In Love (10cc cover) 3. I Must Know Your Name 4. Girls Drumming 5. Eye to Eye 6. Boys Drumming 7. Carefully 8. Find a Friend 9. Heroes of the Sea 10. Everybody Drumming
Here’s one of two posts lined up to get you through the weekend. First, we have what I believe to be the complete discography of Italian band Chrisma, a synthpunk outfit active in the late 1970s. The band combined a Marlene Dietrich kind of vibe with krautrock, Chrome-esque guitar lines, disco rhythms, and primitive synthesizers for a futuristic and incredibly eclectic sound. Very ahead of their time, as far as I’m concerned, especially when you hear the drastic jump in styles between the first 7” and the debut LP.
The band takes its name from combining the first names of members Christina Moser and Maurizio Arcieri. Their earliest recordings were made in Vangelis’ home studio, which more than likely explains their futuristic sound. There’s even a rumor kicking around that Vangelis himself performed on Chinese Restaurant, but he is not listed in the album credits.
While the band was formed in Italy, they sang the majority of their songs in English, which helped earn the band a few fans stateside. You can still hear “Black Silk Stockings” (IMO, the band’s best track) in various clubs to date. In 1980, the band changed their name to Krisma and took a more synthpop turn, releasing five LPs and a slew of singles. Perhaps I’ll cover them someday in the future, but otherwise, here’s the full Chrisma output- two LPs and two 7” records. I didn’t include a few of the other 7”s, as the band would double up on album cuts for b-sides. Here’s the rundown:
Chrisma- Amore 7” (1976) 1. Amore 2. Sweet Baby Sue
Chrisma- Chinese Restaurant LP (1977) 1. Thank You 2. Black Silk Stocking 3. Lola 4. C-Rock 5. What For 6. Wanderlust 7. Lycee 8. Mandoia 9. Thank You
Chrisma- U 12” (1977) 1. U Part I 2. U Part II
Chrisma- Hibernation LP (1979) 1. Calling 2. Aurora B. 3. Rush ’79 4. Hibernated Nazi 5. Gott Gott Electron 6. We R. 7. So You Don’t 8. Lover 9. Vera Platz
In case you’re not sold on downloading this discography, peep a performance of “Black Silk Stocking/Lola” here, complete with a latter day interview with the band, for those fluent in Italian. Awesome.
If you dig on these records, feel free to purchase the excellent reissues from Medical Records!
Hey kids, I’m back! Got a few treats lined up over the next few days, but first we have the entire discography from UK band Home Service.
There’s an unfortunate discrepancy in the band’s discogs bio, which claims they have roots in the UK folk rock scene, but I believe there may have been more than one band masquerading with that name. However, a little digging has revealed that this particular project consists of only two members, David Motion and David Fraser. Many may be more familiar with David Motion’s work as both a film/jingle composer and the producer for Strawberry Switchblade from 1984-1991. Behind the scenes, he was responsible for some of the band’s best tracks, including “Since Yesterday” and “Little River.”
That said, Home Service’s own music was a bit of a curious anomaly in the new wave spectrum. The band mostly toys with a more quirky sound, seen more famously in bands like Units and Devo, but instead featuring a more detached and minimal approach. Their first two singles were released on Motion’s own Crystal Groove records, while their final 12” was picked up by Situation Two/Beggar’s Banquet. There’s a definite progression in style between the three singles (starting with more guitars and changing over to a mostly synth-based sound), all unified by the band’s unique voice. My favorite of the lot is easily “Only Men Fall In Love,” an uptempo track that you can still hear in the occasional club to date.
Here’s a classic early Richard Bone 12” for your listening pleasure. Born in 1952, Bone is considered an influential figure in the New York music scene in the early 1980s, a huge pioneer of electronic music. He began exploring the early art of the synthesizer, driven by the works of Brian Eno and Harold Budd, before moving into more poppier territory. He was also a member of experimental electronic band Shox Lumania in 1981.
A good portion of Richard’s early singles were on Survival Records, the same label that brought you Drinking Electricty, Faith Global, Hard Corps, and Play, to name a few.
Though he ceased to make pop records as of the 1990s, he still creates ambient music to this day. This particular 12” hails from 1984, just a few years into his solo career. Here’s the information.
Richard Bone- The Real Swing 12” 1. The Real Swing (Extended 12″ Re-Mix) 2. The Real Swing (7″ Edit) 3. Heartache History
Here’s a little something different for any more open-minded readers of the blog. I’ve flirted with ambient and neofolk-esque material before on these back pages (mainly by way of Les Joyaux de la Princesse), but haven’t develed in completely. But here’s a rare pioneering gem from a band that predates the movement, and serves as a huge inspiration to any future projects, especially Current 93.
Comus formed in England, taking their name from both a Greek God and respective John Milton piece. The band received an early boost from David Bowie, who picked the band to open for the singer back in 1969. Two years later, the Comus’ debut album,First Utterance appeared. Blending psychedelic music with folk rock, and adding a bit of dark edge, the band has since inspired the likes of Current 93 (who covered the album’s opener and single) as well as a legion of Black Metal bands.
Comus released one more record before disbanding. Released three years later, it was a far more commercial, yet still captivating affair. However, the band has since reunited in 2009, and are planning to release a new record as soon as it is completed.
With that said, here’s the information for the band’s haunting 1971 debut.
Comus- First Utterance LP 1. Diana 2. The Herald 3. Drip Drip 4. Song to Comus 5. The Bite 6. Bitten 7. The Prisoner
A bit of a request for today, ladies and gentlemen, as I’ve uploaded a rather stellar mix of early synthpunk/new/minimal wave tunes. I can’t take credit for creating it, as this mix was originally constructed by Miss Amy Sammartino, a friend of mine from California. It’s both a great introduction to the wonderful synth-based rock world, offering a few choice cuts spanning the late seventies/early eighties. The name derives from the 1966 satircal comedy Lord Love a Duck, the dialogue which is sampled on one of this mixes’ best tracks.
Some of these artists have been featured on these back pages (mostly in earlier days), while others are both favorites old and new, so be sure to give this mix a spin and let me know what you dig. I have full records by most bands on the mix, so I’d be happy to upload a few for curious parties. Here’s the tracklisting, without any further ado:
1. People Like You- Nervous Gender 2. Uncircumsized Twin- Plastic Idols 3. Appeal to Them- Tone Set 4. Elevate (7” Version)- Voice Farm 5. Alien Day- Radio Free Europe 6. Hold That Coed- Dow Jones and the Industrials 7. The Beat Goes On- The Screamers 8. Integrating Circuits- Standing Waves 9. The Politics of Ecstasy- Body Falling Downstairs 10. The Things That You Do- Bob 11. Breakout- Drinking Electricity 12. Microbes- Mekanik Commando 13. Out of Order- The Skinnies 14. Happy Funeral- Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons 15. G-Stalt- Scientific Americans 16. Lawnchairs (Remix)- Our Daughter’s Wedding 17. Be A Zombie- Los Reactors 18. Shopping- Pink Section 19. 49 Second Romance (Disco Mix)- P1/E 20. Forever- Los Microwaves 21. We Need More Power- Geza X 22. Avorton- Edith Nylon 23. Nuclear Tofu- Amoebas in Chaos 24. Digital Stimulation- Units 25. Cardboard Lamb- Crash Course In Science 26. Chango- Devo
Some classic post-punk on the slab this afternoon, half of this post which comes as a generous donation from Jeffo!, a good chum, stellar dj, and otherwise obscure expert here in the heart of New York City. He’ll be spinning a set at this week’s weekly Wierd Records night, if anyone’s in town.
That said, today’s band is Foreign Press, a UK based post-punk act originally formed in 1978 umder the name Emergency. Within a year, the band shifted their sound from a more standard punk aesthetic to incorporate more post-punk leanings, inspired by the likes of Joy Division, Magazine, and several of the Factory Records bands. The band would even bring Joy Division’s devoted manager, Rob Gretton, in for production on their first 7”, uploaded below.
Foreign Press would release four singles before their demise in the mid-1980s, exploring a more commercial, yet no less gloom-ridden direction over time. For your listening pleasure, I’ve uploaded their first two singles, both their 1979 debut 7” (Downpour), as well as their excellent 1982 follow up, Climbing. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?
Naturally, these two records are long out of print, but there seems to be a copy of the Climbing 12” on Ebay right this very second. If you’re hip to it, happy bidding!
Otherwise, no new reuploads just yet- haven’t been able to devote enough time to the blog’s backlog. Hopefully this week I can get all the old posts back up and running, so please continue to be patient in the interim. Keep your eyes peeled, however, for several posts to follow this week…
Sorry for the delay here, folks…but to make up for it, here’s another one of those 7” grab bag posts, in which i’ve zipped up four singles for your listening pleasure, including one request from an Australian chum. Here’s the information and a quick blurb about each 7”.
SPK- No More 7” (1979)
1. No More
This is the very first release by Australian industrial collective SPK, and certainly one of their most primitive and direct. This one was a limited run of 200 copies, and the a-side has yet to appear on a proper CD release, though both ‘Contact’ and ‘Germanik’ are featured on their Auto-Da-Fé LP.
Metal Urbain- Panik 7” (1977)
2. Lady Coca Cola
One of the very first synthpunk bands…French origins. This is their first 7” single, but most of their earlier work has since been collected on the Anarchy In Paris compilation.
Lars Falk- TV Eye 7” (1985)
1. TV Eye
Lars Falk is one of the ex-contributing members of Swedish coldwave act Twice a Man, who’s previously featured here. Though it shares the name with the Stooges classic, the a-side is an original number.
Where’s Lisse?- Talk Takes Too Long 7” (1981)
1. Talk Takes Too Long
2. You Stole My Gun
There’s something charming about this otherwise rickety and rough record from this British four piece. This is one of two releases (they followed this with an equally scarce 12” single), and is chock full of early post-punk energy. EDIT: cover scan provied by Rudeboy Noah! Thanks a ton!
Here’s a request of sorts for a classic minimal synthpop gem. Xex were a more experimental wave band, formed in South River, New Jersey. They were a mysterious affair, releasing one record in 1980 and disappearing soon after. The band “began” as a high school kazoo trio. Member Waw Pierogi’s interest in science led to several unique delay and echo experiments in the early years, most of which were employed on the band’s debut. However, though outfit had little musical technique, their trials and experiments yielded several songs, and after their first performance, the original trio of Waw, Thumbalina Gugielmo, and Alex Zander brought in two of their friends/fans to round out the lineup. Thus, after several experiments and debates, Xex was officially born in 1978.
The band spent the next two years constructing several tracks utilizing minimal synth techniques, semi-conventional song structures, and male and female vocal experiments. Due to the nature of their project and the band’s limited abilities, live shows were often inconsistent and humanistic, and often featured performance art and video accompianments.
The original pressing of Group:Xex sold little over a thousand copies. Soon after its release, additional members David Anderson and Jon-Boy Diode departed as Xex completed work on a second record, which due to limited funding and a since-deteriorated master tape, has not yet seen the light of day, and may never will. The original trio continued to work together along with new member Cookie Ruggerio (who previous involvement with the band was limited to walking a stuffed cat during a performance of ‘Kitty’). Only a few tracks have surfaced, and mid 80s performances of the band did not include Waw Pierogi.
In 2004, cult interest in the band culminated in a proper reissue of Group:Xex, complete with several demo cuts from the band’s original sessions. Just a year before, Alex Zander passed away from a heart attack.
Here’s the information for the CD release of Group:Xex.
Xex- Group:Xex (reissue) 1. Fashion Hurts 2. You Think 3. Snga 4. Rome On $5 A Day 5. Party 6. Saint Vitus’ Dance 7. Svetlana 8. Don’t Blame Me 9. Holland Tunnel 10. Kitty 11. Cops 12. Delta Five 13. Fashion Hurts (Demo) 14. Svetlana (Demo) 15. Saint Vitus’ Dance (Demo) 16. Cops (Demo) 17. You Think (Demo) 18. Snga (Demo)
*DOWNLOAD LINK REMOVED- see below for official purchasing options*
I’m not sure how official this is, but a youtube search comes up with a clipped together video for ‘Kitty,’ so take a peek below:
This is one of the few available records I’ve posted as of late, so if you dig on these tracks, be sure to trash these mp3s post-haste and pick yourself up a copy of the cd reissue, which comes complete with extensive liner notes and further information about the band. Click below to order a copy!
Today’s post features Scottish electronic music pioneer Robert Rental (real name: Robert Donnachie), who grew to prominence in the underground music scene in the late seventies/early eighties. Though he’s received a fair amount of credit for his live work with Daniel Miller (Mute Records, the Normal) and Thomas Leer (The Bridge LP, released in 1979 under Throbbing Gristle’s record label), he also recorded two 7” synth singles that are well worth a listen.
The Bridge was released on CD in 1992, but no further recordings appeared before or after. Robert Rental passed away from cancer in 2000.
Zipped up below are both of Robert’s 7” singles in one file. The details:
Robert Rental- Paralysis 7” (1978) 1. Paralysis 2. A.C.C.
Robert Rental- Double Heart 7” (1980) 1. Double Heart 2. On Location
Systems of Romance was created in mid-2007 to serve as a dumping grounds for all great things coldwave, minimal synth, post-punk, synthpunk, industrial, synthpop, and various other combinations of these styles. Feel free to make requests, noodle around, and discuss all you like...
Otherwise, this blog is dedicated to showcasing material that has long since been out of print. If you are aware of any of these items being readily available from the artist or label, or take issue with these tracks being uploaded, please let me know so I can amend the post or remove the links.