Archive for the 1981 Category

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*

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*

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:

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…

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

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

*download all three here*

Pop Stress- So Good To Be In Love 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, canadian, montreal, pop stress, post-punk on November 19, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an excellent two track 7” from Montreal’s Pop Stress, a generous gift from Megon at Only Death Is Fatal. This single, the only release by Pop Stress, was released in 1981 on Micatube Records. At first glance, the band seems heavily inspired by Magazine’s first two pioneering records. The A-side is a nervous pop song with bouncy organ synths and rock ‘n’ roll rhythms. It’s perfectly enjoyable in its own right, but the real gem here is the flip; a dark, tom-heavy, claustrophobic number that really gets under my skin. The song was allegedly inspired by Janov’s Primal Scream.

Pop Stress- So Good To Be In Love 7”.
1. So Good To Be In Love
2. Neurotic

*download it here*

It seems like I’m not the only one who prefers the b-side for this one, as a video for “Neurotic” was shot prior to the single’s release and premiered on a Canadian music program, with a short interview with the band’s vocalist at the end. Check it here:

Moral- Dance of the Dolls K7

Posted in 1980s, 1981, denmark, minimal, minimal synth, moral on November 26, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a Danish treasure in cassette form. This is the first release from Moral, a female fronted, minimal synth three piece featuring primarily 606 & DR55 driven drum tracks, angular guitar, and sparse melodic synth alongside melodic female vocals. Their second cassette, the excellent Whispering Sons, can be found on the No Longer Forgotten Music blog. The band has also reissued their debut LP And Life Is, on CD with a handful of bonus tracks. They also made an appearance on the amazing Somewhere Outside compilation (and speaking of which, you can expect a post from Næste Uges TV to come in the very near future).

However, I’ve yet to see this tape posted in full, so this should be the final piece of the Moral puzzle. It was released in 1981 on Kubus Kassettes, an industrial and experimental cassette label run by Rob Smit. Moral, despite walking a fine line between hauntingly beautiful synth/guitar-based songs and ambient sound structures, were likely one of the “catchier” bands on the label. Fans of bands like The Vyllies, Vita Noctis, and even early Chris and Cosey should find lots to love here…

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Moral- Dance of the Dolls K7
1. Alone
2. I – My Enemy
3. Involuntary PositionI
4. A Break In The
5. Encyst Yourself
6. Dance Of The Dolls

*download it here*

The Limp- Marked Man 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, australia, australian, m squared, minimal, pel mel, post-punk, scattered order, the limp on August 4, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an excellent and incredibly rare post-punk 7” from 1981.  The Limp were from Australia and have ties to Scattered Order and Pel Mel, sharing many of the same members including guitarist Craig Robertson and drummer Dave Weston.  Vocalist/saxophonist Judy McGee was also in Pel Mel, splitting vocal duties with Graeme Dunne.  There’s some personnel differences between both Pel Mel and The Limp, but both bands sound very similar, the result of McGee’s moody vocals and otherwise post-punk aesthetics, though The Limp appear to be a little darker and moodier in contrast to Pel Mel’s angular and energetic take.  Both bands have played a handful of shows in 2012 as the Pel Mel Organisation, performing songs by both bands.

This is the Limp’s second 7”, the first being even more difficult to track down, self-released in a run of 100 copies with no picture sleeve.  “Marked Man” appeared on Primate Records, which also released the first Pel Mel 7” in the same year.  Otherwise, a handful of Limp tracks appeared on various compilations, including the One Stop Shopping K7 and the infamous M Squared studio/label compilation A Selection.  “Pony Club” was re-compiled on the excellent Can’t Stop It! compilation, which spans Australia’s fertile post-punk scene from 1979-1982.  The title track (my favorite on this 7”) also appears on the 5th CD-R tribute to Some Bizarre, which as with the Tribute to Flexi-pop bootlegs, is an excellent gateway to many obscure relics.

The Limp- Marked Man 7”
1. Marked Man
2. Ghost Train
3. Humans Beware

*download it here*

Indifferent Dance Centre- Flight & Pursuit 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, indifferent dance centre, uk on July 11, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

This is another 7” that I’ve seen posted in the past, but I’ve cleaned up a donated rip here for maximum listening pleasure.  Very lo-fi female-fronted post-punk here, two tracks that are as interesting as they are classic.   Very minimal arrangements, steady drum machine rhythms, mellotron, and well-anchored bass make up the center of both tracks.  Fans of the indie side of Factory (The Wake, Durutti Column) as well as bands like Marine Girls and Dolly Mixture should love this otherwise obscure single from 1981.

We know that the band hailed from the small cathedral town of Chichester, UK, but otherwise there isn’t much of a back story to this one.  The sleeve itself is as minimal and DIY as the band’s sound, complete with what appears to be a hand-printed cover.  There is reportedly an insert which reads “We’ve no Scotland, Martin Hannett, Paul Morley, Postcard or Factory to lend credibility to this record,” but you can tell their heart was in the right place with this one.  Here’s the rundown:

Indifferent Dance Centre- Flight & Pursuit 7”
1. Flight & Pursuit
2. Release

*download it here*

The Sensational Creed- Nocturnal Operations 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 1985, 39 lyon street, 7'', billy mackenzie, christine beveridge, jih, minimal, minimal synth, orbidöig, steve reid, synth, synthpop, the associates, the sensational creed on February 26, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

I spent the majority of last year re-ripping a lot of my 7” collection and delicately cleaning up the sound (you can find more evidence of this here), so to tide you over until I finish putting the finishing touches on a new VA compilation, I figured I’d post a few of these here and there.  I’ll have that VA comp up in the next week or two, so stay tuned!

This has always been one of my favorite semi-obscure 7”s, clocking tons of plays and spins over the years.  This single was originally released on Situation Two in 1981 under the name Orbidöig, and this particular version was released in 1985 on Beggars Banquet with an identical track listing (though Down Periscopes has become Down Pericomoscopes for whatever reason. though likely a misprint).  I’m not sure why the band changed their name in general, but Sensational Creed is certainly a little easier to type…  There’s a third Orbidöig/Sensational Creed song on the 12” version of this reissue, a killer instrumental track that clocks in at 10 minutes, but I don’t own a physical copy of the 12”, so I won’t include it here for the time being.

Otherwise, this single has strong Associates connections, with Billy Mackenzie often calling Orbidöig his favorite band, despite their relative obscurity at the time.  The a-side features heavenly vocals from Christine Beveridge, who sang backup on several tracks (and Big Country’s breakthrough!) and also wiggled another “side project” out of the affair under the name 39 Lyon Street, created by Mackensie and Alan Rankine to release a single outside of their contract, with Ms. Beveridge on lead vocals and a properly credited Associates cut on the flip.  Steve Reid was also the second guitarist of the Associates, playing on 1985’s Perhaps after Rankine and Michael Dempsey’s departure three years prior.  It was likely this lineup change that dug this single out of obscurity and prompted a re-release.  Reid also played synths in Nu Shooz and bass on two tracks for Jih.  As if that wasn’t enough, Mackenzie also played tubular bells on the a-side here (though he is incorrectly credited as doing so on the b-side on the sleeve), while he and Mike Hedges (The Cure/Fiction Records) manned the mixing board with Reid.   The result is a killer single that while very Associates-esque in execution, stands on its own as a classic.

There’s another Orbidöig single, released in 1982 under the name Mackenzie sings Orbidöig, which features Billy on vocals and Reid on instruments.   I believe this one is considered an Associates release, taking the lineup changes and timing into consideration, and the track appears on a recent Associates singles collection.

Sensational Creed- Nocturnal Operations 7”
1. Nocturnal Operations
2. Down Pericomoscopes

*download it here*

Karen Marks- Cold Café 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, ash wednesday, australia, australian, karen marks, karen marx, minimal, minimal synth, modern jazz, new wave, the metronomes, thealonian music on February 10, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Winter is continuing to beat me down here in New York, so here’s something as frigid as the weather has been lately. We’ll just ignore the fact that this cold, minimal gem comes from down under, where the temperatures are as warm as the reefs are deadly. I’m also drinking a cup of cold coffee as I drink this, so seems like an apt time to post. Thanks especially to Bruce for ripping his copy of this incredibly scarce single, which I’m told recently sold for over 500 Australian dollars! That’s one expensive cup of coffee…

This particular Australian gem was released in 1981.  The central character here, with a beautifully sad voice is Karen Marks, with The Metronomes/Modern Jazz/Thealonian Music’s Ash Wednesday appearing as a musical partner. He is credited as producer, but also co-wrote the b-side. As for Karen, there’s no information to be found about her, though she did sing backup on Ash’s equally scarce and equally cold but slightly more aggressive Love By Numbers 7” (occasionally credited as Karen Marx). Despite keeping a low profile, she still appears to be in league with Ash, appearing live in 2012 to perform “Love By Numbers” at the Crystal Bowlroom in St. Kilda. Check that out after the download link.

While “Won’t Wear It Too Long” features a more full arrangement and feels like more of an a-side, I go especially nuts for the title track, a melancholy love letter ripe with restrained desperation. That said, both song seem to tell a similar tale of lost love by the television, with a cup of coffee being the central metaphor. No matter which side you prefer, both tracks have that certain je ne sais quoi that makes these kind of singles so cherished, despite how off-the-grid they are.

As far as I understand, this single was issued without a picture sleeve, so all we have is a nondescript center label…

Karen Marks- Cold Café 7”
1. Cold Café
2. Won’t Wear It For Long

*download it here*

As promised, here’s a live performance of Ash Wednesday’s “Love By Numbers” from 2012, with Karen performing her trademark backing vocals: