Archive for the 1980s Category

Passion Theatre – Strange Desire/Mannequin 12”s

Posted in 1980s, 1986, passion theatre, US on July 14, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve had this pair of singles kicking around the collection for years now, and I’m not sure why it’s taken so long to post them, but here we are all the same. Here we have the two 12” singles from Passion Theatre, a trio from the US. Passion Theatre would gain a fourth member for their second single, though it seems like they don’t credit the female vocals on their first single, so perhaps they were always a quartet?  The band released two singles of exclusive material and were never heard from again, sadly. So it goes… Strangely enough, these records were released on an electro/hip-hop label which might be why they didn’t get too much traction in the new wave market? Also, it appears that the executive producer for both singles also worked with Stacey Q. on “Two of Hearts.”

…A lot of questions to be answered here.

Based on the cover art and rarity of these singles, you might expect some tried and true minimal synth sound (that’s actually what I expected when I picked these singles up ages ago) but they’re a little more on the breezy new wave/synth pop tip, maybe even a little power-poppy in spots. The real winner of the bunch is “Mannequin,” (aka “In Love With a Mannequin”) the title track from their second 12”. It’s a playful song about being in love with an in-store display figure, and it’s really a shame they didn’t make a movie about this exact premise, as I’m sure it would have been a hit…

Here’s the details for both singles, which were both released in 1986:

Passion Theatre- Strange Desire 12”
1. Strange Desire
2. International Love Affair
3, Menage A Trois
4. No For Answers

Passion Theatre- Mannequin 12”
1. Mannequin (Fiesta Mix)
2. Vacation Day
3. In Love With a Mannequin

*download them here*

Living Links – Discography

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 1985, baton rouge, indie, living links, louisiana, post-punk, US on February 25, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

To celebrate Mardi Gras- here’s another rare US entry from the post-punk pantheon, consisting of a two piece husband and wife duo from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Living Links originally started as a side outlet for Hans and Margie Van Brackle, who were first active in a band called Times (not to be confused with the Venus in Furs side project of the same name). Margie came from a background of opera, religious, and musical theatre, which can be heard in her playful, almost child-like soprano vocals. The pair recorded with a drum machine, layering overdubs for their debut single in 1983.

After picking up steam, the duo began occasionally performing live with a drummer, headlining regional shows and performing at the World’s Fair in 1984, which was held in New Orleans. This gig was followed up by their lone full-length record, 1985’s Gathering the Forces, which explored several styles outside of traditional post-punk. The duo would soon fade away, though allegedly the Van Brackles still play music together…

Fans of Talking Heads, The Wake, and more playful, yet still well-executed post-punk and indie pop will find much to love across these releases. I’ve included a fresh rip of the debut single (Every Sad Night) and the LP, and while it isn’t my personal rip, I’ve attached the a-side of their second single “Manger” just to sweeten the pot. I’d include the b-side, but it’s identical to the album version, so it’s a bit redundant to have here twice. The duo also released a final 7” in 1990, which also contained two repeat tracks from the LP.

So with that in mind, here’s the (pretty much) full discography for this excellent band. Enjoy!

Living Links- Every Sad Night 7” (1983)
1. Every Sad Night
2. You and the Unknown
3. I Stop Short

Living Links- Manger 7” (1983)
1. Manger
2. I’m Not Streetwise

Living Links- Gathering the Forces LP (1985)
1. I Live In Here
2. Gathering The Forces
3. I’m Awake When I Should Be Sleeping
4. Remember The Battle
5. For The Paramecium
6. Do You Dream In Color
7. Two Girls
8. Like An Animal
9. I’m Not Streetwise

Download all three here

Christiane F.- Final Church/Gesundheit! 12”s

Posted in 1980s, 1982, alexander von borsig, christiane f., Einstürzende Neubauten, german, NDW, synth on January 29, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

This pair of 12”s should be pretty familiar for most folks, but thought they were long overdue for a re-rip and a cleanup from my copies. For those unfamiliar on all levels, here’s the full recorded solo discography of , Christiane Vera Felscherinow, aka Christiana, aka Christiane X., aka Christiane F., most famous for her autobiography Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (and the subsequent movie that shares her name and features a Berlin-era soundtrack by David Bowie), which captures her troubled teenage years.

For our intents and purposes, she also recorded two 12”s of NDW-flavored synth music and was a member of Sentimentale Jugend, an experimental project shared with then boyfriend Alexander Von Borsig/Hacke, who would soon join Einstürzende Neubauten, where he is still active to date. The first 12” (released under Christiana), features Hacke, Los Microwaves member David Javelosa, and Neubauten heavy-hitter F.M. Einheit as part of the recording entourage. The main track “Suechtig” is Felscherinow’s main bread and butter, appearing across both singles in various forms (a dub mix on Final Church, and an extended/single mix, re-recorded and retitled “Wunderbar,” featuring additional members of Los Microwaves on Gesundheit!).

There are two exclusive tracks, one on each single, and both are of interest as an industrial highlight and a sleazy synth shuffle, respectively. Meanwhile, the main track(s) are excellent, both worthy of inclusion in any experimental synth or NDW collection. It’s really a matter of preference as to which version is best, and I tend to teeter back and forth between the two.

Christiana- Final Church 12”
1. Suechtig
2. Spinnen
3. Health Dub

Christiane F.- Gesundheit! 12”
1. Wunderbar
2. Heimweh (Homesick)
3. Wunderbar

*download both here*

Lyon in Winter- As Winter Falls LP

Posted in 1980s, 1986, new wave, post-punk, san francisco on January 13, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

Ripped this one to upgrade a while back and thought I’d share it for those who are unfamiliar. Here we have the lone LP from Lyon in Winter. This LP is an excellent slice of smooth new wave with some excellent post-punk bass grooves.  I’m reminded often of things like The Lucy Show, The Hurting, Dole, and Fiat Lux. Lots of saxophone, if that’s your thing (hint: as long as there are icy synths, I’m down with sax, too).

“The Haunting Moon” is the clear standout for me here, often appearing in some lounge DJ sets here in NYC, but the whole album is a solid listen from front to back. The LP came out in 1986 and is still pretty attainable, for those who might want to grab a copy of their own…

Hope y’all enjoy this one.

EDIT: It appears the Discogs entry on this album is incorrect, as this is NOT an album from former Negativeland member Richard Lyons, but by another musician with the same name, who operated out of the Boston area. It DOES appear (unless that tag is incorrect as well and the sleeve is referencing another guy by the same name), that Merle Allin, the brother of G.G., played bass on this LP. With all of this in mind, if anyone has any further info about this record, I’d love to hear more!

Lyon in Winter- As Winter Falls LP
1. I Dream
2. Summer
3. The Haunting Moon
4. Push! Pound!
5. As Winter Falls
6. Please Don’t…
7. The Change

*download it here*

RJ/8- Tomorrow Never Listens 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, post-punk, power pop, US on June 5, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

I can never get enough of rickety, DIY post-punk from 1981. This 7” fits the bill perfectly, two razor sharp energetic tracks from US band RJ/8. This is their only release, one and done, the way these things often go. The band recorded these tracks in Virginia, where they were likely from, also home to Fresh Tracks, the label responsible for pressing this 7”.

Early Sad Lovers and Giants vibes here, mostly due to the copious use of saxophone and call-and-response echoes. Overall, a very UK sound mixed with a smidge of power-pop energy, very rare to hear in the States around this period of time.

Wish I could tell you more about this one, but hope y’all enjoy!

RJ/8- Tomorrow Never Listens 7”
1. Tomorrow Never Listens
2. The Game

*download it here*

Emerald Vein – Existence & Land of the Living LPs

Posted in 1980s, 1988, 1990s, 1991, dreampop, emerald vein, ethereal, post-punk on April 9, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

Just spotted a photo of one of these LPs come up in a recent memories post, as I picked up a copy of this based on the cover art alone during my last trip to Boston a year or so ago. Here we have both vinyl releases by Emerald Vein, aka the solo project of Boston-based musician Robert Young. Previous bands of Robert’s included alternative band Uzi and post-punk band A Scanner Darkly, whose 1988 LP This Is the Way serves as a solid Sisters of Mercy-esque guitar record.

As for Emerald Vein, Young took things in a more ethereal direction, mixing a few post-punk tracks in with neoclassical and dream pop influences. Kind of my sweet spot for when the air has a bit of a chill in it still. Both of these LPs are unique listens, calling the likes of In the Nursery, Into a Circle, Breathless, Mark Renner, Eden, Black Tape For a Blue Girl, and maybe even a little Gilmour-era Pink Floyd to mind here and there. Land of the Living has a track or two with some co-harmonies from Colleen Nichole Jacobucci, and has an overall more experimental touch but is still very much in the vein of the first LP. Terence Donahue, drummer of A Scanner Darkly, also performs on a handful of tracks across both releases. Donahue was also involved with IPR stalwarts Deception Bay.

Here’s the details for both LPs. Note: will be taking better quality album photos shortly, please stand by!

Emerald Vein- Existence LP (1989)
1. Worship
2. Existence
3. Completely Nothing
4. The Messiah
5. Promise
6. Out Of My Head
7. Take Hold
8. In His World

Emerald Vein- Land of the Living LP (1991)
1. Land Of The Living
2. The Difference
3. The Living End
4. Memory Inside My Head
5. Breath
6. Father Of Lies
7. Light
8. My Maker
9. Bury This Void
10. Colors

*download both here*

Robert has also made a digital download of his favorite cuts from both albums available here, if you’d like to upgrade some of the tracks from vinyl rips to crystal clear digital copies. Definitely worth grabbing the link above for the full discography, and even though Robert’s Bandcampo is pay-what-you-want, I deeply encourage purchasing the tracks and supporting Young’s work.

Black September- Rainbow Kiss 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, goth, indie, post-punk, uk on February 22, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

Let’s get some guitars into the mix, shall we? Here’s a relatively cheap, but nonetheless obscure single from UK band Black September, who released this one slab of wax in 1986 via Lost Moment Records (Jesus Couldn’t Drum, Skin Side Out, B-Z Party, etc.).

The band were a four piece, led by Ian Hunter. While most folks might recognize the name from Mott the Hoople, though I’m not familiar enough with their catalog to confirm if this is indeed the same Ian Hunter, or someone with the same name. Otherwise, the music sounds suspiciously close to Death Cult, with a slightly more indie/commercial vibe. Other touchstones might include early Gene Loves Jezebel, Zero Le Creche, or Into a Circle – slightly anthemic, guitar-driven tracks with sweeping synths, through and through. I tend to prefer the b-side, but both tracks aim to please.

As of now, the single is a couple of bucks through the usual channels, so if you dig it, it’s well worth picking up!

Black September- Rainbow Kiss 12”
1. Rainbow Kiss
2. David

*download it here*

 

The Sophist- Subliminal Control LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, US on February 6, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve had this LP kicking around for ages, but never really thought much about it. One of my recent great purges had me reconsidering this record, and after careful consideration, I’m all in. Here we have a private press, gonzo minimal synth record from 1987, the lone album by an otherwise mysterious project from the NY/NJ area. There’s a tape edition of this album, as well as a single-sided flexi 7” of the title track, which in itself is worth the price of admission alone.

There are quite a few experimental pieces in play here, dark ambient passages mixed with short industrial landscapes, and a long, evolving piece that fills out side B. As mentioned though, minimal synth heads will love the title track, a furious 18-minute KR-55 workout that starts with gusto, begins to wear out its welcome, and by the time it finishes, comes back around again and commands the utmost respect. It’s one helluva ride.

With all that in mind, here’s the rundown:

The Sophist- Subliminal Control LP
1. Attention All People
2. Subliminal Control
3. Baby
4. Eternal Performance

*download it here*

Tableau Noir- Correspondances LP

Posted in 1980s, 1986, coldwave, france, french, minimal synth, tableau noir on January 15, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy new year, everyone!

I’d like to kick off 2019 with a record that just arrived in my mailbox just yesterday. This LP is a curious French obscurity from 1986, centered around the works of Charles Baudelaire. Each song on this LP pulls the title, lyrics, and inspiration from Baudelaire’s classic Les Fleurs Du Mal. The music is set to a minimal backdrop; cold synths, dry drum machines, angular guitars, and a mix of both male and female vocals across the board, often sung and sometimes spoken. It’s not as dark as you might suspect, given the subject matter, but there’s definitely plenty to love here, especially for fans of bands like Marquis De Sade, early Martin Dupont, Taxi Girl, etc. I’m especially fond of “Sed Non Satiata,” which I could easily imagine hearing in a club setting.

Since there isn’t too much more to tell about this LP, let’s jump straight to the details. Enjoy!

Tableau Noir- Correspondances LP
1. Correspondances
2. Le Voyage
3. Le Reniement de St Pierre
4. Lesbos
5. L’Albatros
6. Sed Non Satiata
7. La Mort des Amants
8. Le Serpent Qui Danse
9. Les Bijoux

*download it here*

Fourwaycross- Fourwaycross K7

Posted in 1980s, 1985, california, fourwaycross, post-punk, US on December 4, 2018 by Frankie Teardrop

Picking back up where our last post left off, here’s an album that’s been near and dear to my heart for many moons, hailing from the same general area and scene as Drowning Pool, Abecedarians, etc. While there seems to be a lot of activity in the area, there doesn’t seem to be as much love out there for Fourwaycross, who began in 1984 in Los Angeles. Though the main core of the band was Tom Dolan, Biff Sanders, Steve Gerdes and Courtney Davies, the band has shifted lineups and styles seamlessly over the years, most notably drafting Brad Laner and Beth Thompson, who would then go on to form Medicine upon the band’s demise.

Despite the lineup changes, the original core of the band offered up what is in my opinion, their strongest work, 1985’s self-titled cassette. The release is haunting, singular, and transcends genres to allow for neo-classical passages, Savage Republic-esque tribal post-punk, ethereal instrumentals with flutes in tow, and psychedelic, haunting folk. The cassette was reissued several times over in a variety of formats, including a vinyl pressing (affordable and essential), cassettes with alternate artwork, and even a CD-R issue in 2011 as interest in post-punk music was thriving. That said, this rip comes from an original cassette from 1985, in pristine condition.

This is the band’s earliest material, not counting a posthumous release of outtakes, demos, and rare tracks on Independent Project Records, released as Pendulum. The band would issue three equally strong albums following this debut, and have released a handful of excellent singles in the last year featuring the original core lineup. You can listen and purchase the new work via the band’s Bandcamp, and you can also find them all on Facebook. Courtney and Steve have also launched a new project called The Roogs, who are currently working on material.

Without any further ado, here’s the info on this cassette:

Fourwaycross- Fourwaycross K7
1. Intro
2. When Will You
3. Apologize
4. Sharpened Knives
5. Long Talk
6. Driving Thru Trees
7. MF
8. Strictly Morphine

*download it here*