Archive for the 1990s Category

The Unknown- Fall LP

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 1990s, baltimore, post-punk on August 2, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another joint post with A Viable Commercial- this time bringing you the full discography of Baltimore post-punk/indie band The Unknown.  Their first album is an excellent hybrid of Unforgettable Fire-era U2, early For Against, and Grapes of Wrath, with some slight Bolshoi vibes here and there.  They also remind me quite a bit of 86, an Atlanta band with similar influences.  Goutroy turned me on to the first record, especially the final song “Songinsee” and I was hooked instantly.  Seriously one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while, tested successfully at a night I just recently DJed at. Nothing like trying a new, obscure obsession out for the first time and receiving a positive response- the crowd kept dancing for all six minutes of the song.

The band was tough to trace at first, as their name is not only difficult to Google in general, but virtually impossible to narrow down on discogs due to the 30+ other projects with that name. After some finesse, I was able to find both albums for a fair price, and ripped them both.  You can get their debut, self-titled record (even harder to Google) from 1987 HERE via A Viable Commercial, and I’ll be posting the second record, released three years later.  While 1990 was an otherwise dark and barren period for this sort of sound (and perhaps that’s exactly why these two LPs couldn’t find a bigger audience), their sophomore record holds up as a worthy successor to the first.   The general vibe is the same, though the band plays slightly heavier on this record, perhaps a reflection on the indie/alternative scene that was just starting to break at the time.  There’s nothing on this album that’s as perfect as “Songinsee” but it’s still a good listen from front to back.

This album was released on Merkin Records, a rather…curious name for a record label, especially with bands such as Meatjack, Monkeyspank, and Buttsteak filling up the roster…  Can’t comment on any of those bands, but if they aren’t in the Jesus Lizard/Meat Puppets sort of vein, I’d be surprised.

Anyway, The Unknown split after this second record, but reunited in 2012, playing some shows in hometown Baltimore, most infamously at The Ottobar, which I’ve actually played at as well.  Not sure what the future holds for The Unknown, but hopefully these posts help the band find a new audience!

The Unknown- Fall
1. Empty House Of Night
2. Reasons
3. Route 99
4. Handwriting
5. Green Room
6. As They Sleep (Rachael)
7. Fall

*download it here*

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7

Posted in 1990s, 1995, bethany curve, california, dreampop, shoegaze, US on April 6, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

While I haven’t posted much shoegaze here, I’ve been a fan of the genre as long as I can remember… Aside from the classics, I’ve also grown to love more modern bands such as Ashrae Fax, Stella Luna, Tamaryn, The Autumns, the Claire Records bands, and of course, Bethany Curve.  With that in mind, I’ve been looking for a copy of this cassette for ages, pretty much a holy grail for me for many years, so it’s proof that good things come to those who wait.  This came to me as an anonymous donation at first but many thanks to the original collector who spent a lot of effort and time to track this down. 

Bethany Curve formed in Santa Cruz, CA in 1994, taking their name from a local street sign.  The band released four albums and one EP, going on hiatus in 2004 after the release of Flaxen.  Though they haven’t released anything since, the band played some shows in 2010, and their site hints at a new record, Murder, whose release date is still TBA.  There’s also talk of this tape being reissued with remastered sound, so this download will be obviously be removed once it’s available for sale.

As for the band’s sound, Bethany Curve often explored darker territories than most of their peers, citing Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode as influences alongside Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, and the like .  The influence is most apparent on this tape, released in 1995 as a demo.  There are a few experimental synth moments here as well, serving as interludes between the remaining tracks.  Either way, if you’ve been looking for this tape as long as I have, you’ve already skipped this text and have gone straight to the download, so let’s cut straight to the chase:

Bethany+Curve+MeeAux

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7
1. Sequence
2. Satellite
3. Mar
4. Walk In
5. 2 Minutes of Hate
6. Jalap
7. Sunned
8. Reversion
9. Out of the Clear
10. Me Voy

*download it here*

Sombre Septembre- Une Lune Une Hiver 7”

Posted in 1980, 1990, 1990s, coldwave, france, french, sombre septembre on March 20, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another quick post for another French coldwave classic, re-ripped from the archives for those who have already heard this one.  This post is a sister post of sorts to Sorrow Vomit’s latest offering.  While that self-released CD-R contains most of the band’s discography, it curiously neglects the A-side to this 7” and includes a low quality rip of the b-side.  Maybe the band were disappointed with this single or couldn’t locate the tapes.  Just a theory.   The songs are quite long for a 7”, which explains some of the murkiness that you may hear here occasionally.

Anyway, this 7” saw the band experimenting with heavier, synthpop inspired drums, though obviously the songs are still very synth/guitar/bass driven, melancholy tones, etc.  If I recall correctly, these two tracks featured a different lineup than “Le Nez Rouge” so that may explain both the new sounds and the aforementioned omissions.

Sombre Septembre- Une Lune Une Hiver 7”
1. Une Lune Une Hiver
2. Passée La Nuit

*download it here*

Coming soon- more collaborations from an Italian collector as well as some never-before-heard rarities I’ve been meaning to post for a while now.  Hang tight!

Ellysgarden- Demo K7

Posted in 1990s, 1995, coldwave, ellysgarden, france, french, post-punk on October 9, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another generous donation, this time from Jonathan. Here we have a demo tape from Ellysgarden, recorded in 19881995*.  If you haven’t heard their full length record, 1994’s Echoes, you can grab that here.

For those unfamiliar, the band shares members with Rosa Luxemburg, a band that appears on several classic French compilations.  The band employs a more jangle/dreampop sound than most of their contemporaries, recalling bands like Kitchens of Distinction, House of Love, and Catherine Wheel.   However, this tape leans more towards their post-punk roots and is an absolute must for fans of fans of Sad Lovers and Giants, Lowlife, and Comsat Angels circa My Mind’s Eye (an underrated latter-day classic).

The tape features eight unheard songs that were never recorded again.  No artwork for this one! Including a promo photo instead.

*EDIT: Thanks to Philippe Faraut for filling in the missing gaps!  I can now report that this cassette was meant to be Ellysgarden’s SECOND album, recorded in 1995 and not 1988 as originally posted.   The original master tapes for the pressing were lost in the mail, so all that remains of the album is this demo tape…

Ellysgarden- Demo K7
1. Pretty Accidents
2. Twice
3. Bleed or Shine
4. Reach Out
5. Heroes/High
6. Wrecked Skies
7. Ghardaia
8. Your Shammed Tears

*download it here*

Mémoires d’Automne- Gloria Victis k7, s/t k7, compilation tracks

Posted in 1990s, 1993, 1995, coldwave, france, french, mémoires d'automne, post-punk on September 18, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

I normally prefer to spread things out more these days, but when it rains, it pours. Three great friends have just passed on some incredible coldwave tapes that I’m just itching to share, so the next three posts will feature their generous donations. First up, Stéphane has donated a rip of the two previously unshared Mémoires d’Automne tapes, 1993’s Gloria Victis and 1995’s self-titled cassette.  I’ve also included a series of compilation-only tracks, including some alternate and live versions of the tracks that appear here.  These tracks originally appeared across the Exterieur NuitL’Appel De La Muse (volume 5), and Looking For a Life to Lose compilations, and should complete the discography.  1996’s Cliché cassette will not be included here, partially because it has been uploaded elsewhere.  More importantly, a vinyl reissue of this seminal tape will be released in just a few weeks on Meidosem Records.  Click here for a preview and some pre-order details.

For those unfamiliar, Mémoires d’Automne were a three piece band from France, active in the 1990s and continuing the French/Belgian style of guitar-driven, melancholic post-punk.  Of course, any regular here should be well versed in this sound by now, but for any newcomers, this is highly recommended for fans of Nuit D’Octobre, Sombre Septembre, Odessa, Asylum Party, Lucie Cries, Formes Nouvelles, and more well known bands like And Also the Trees & early Cure.

There’s a lot of excellent material here, so best to get to it:

Mémoires d’Automne- Gloria Victis K7 (1993)
1. Le Secret
2. A La Gloire Des Vaincus
3. Fatalité
4. Open Scars
5. L’Impossible Oubli
6. Finalité Absurde

Mémoires d’Automne- Mémoires d’Automne K7 (1995)
1. The Triumph of Time
2. Autumn Day

VA- L’Appel De La Muse, Vol. 5  (1995)
10. Fatalité

VA- Looking For a Life to Lose K7 (1995)
4. L’Impossible Oubli
17. Trauma

VA- Evanescente CD-R (1998)
10. Inmate Song (Early Reflexion – Mix)

VA- Exterieur Nuit (2000)
5. Dance of the Nothing
10. Blurred Pictures (Live Theatre De Roanne, April 1997)

*download it all here*

You can also find an alternate version of ‘Autumn Day’ (titled ‘Time of the End’) on 2007’s Ruines & Vanités compilation, which is still available to order online.  Thanks to Sorrow Vomit from Kentucky Fried Wave for donating the v/a tracks and again to Stéphane for the cassette rips!

Batz Without Flesh- No Memory LP

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 1991, ebm, electro, industrial, synth with tags on May 13, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s one I see around every now and then, but I’m surprised hasn’t been posted yet.  Here we have a LP from EBM/electro band Batz Without Flesh, released in 1991.  This is their third release, their last on vinyl.  The first two (A Million Bricks and their debut self-titled EP) are worth hearing as well, and were pressed to CD in 1994.

Pretty rough pressing here so I’ve gotten the best sound possible out of my personal copy.  There’s another rip floating around that has similar flaws, so my guess is that most of the copies sound like this (recycled vinyl?).  There’s just a little noise during the quiet bits, not that there are many on this LP.  Classic industrial/ebm in the vein of Klinik, Advanced Art, Data-Bank-A, etc.  The album kicks off with its best moment, the dancefloor ready “Repunish,” which is worth the price of admission alone.  “Electro Slut” is another clear winner.

Batz Without Flesh- No Memory LP
1. Repunish
2. Splinter
3. Priviledge To Kill
4. Single Stare
5. The Notion
6. Fenpor
7. Electro Slut
8. Can’t Speak
9. Bite It
10. Equinox

*download it here*

Silently Down- SAD CD

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 1992, coldwave, france, swiss, synth, synthpop with tags on May 5, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Great hybrid of synthpop and coldwave sounds here on this CD from 1992, very much influenced by the Lively Art bands as well as Depeche Mode.   Not much out there about this one man band, as this disc was released without a label.  There’s a Myspace page out there, which pegs the project as hailing from both France and Switzerland, but I’m not sure of the whole story there.  Likely a French-born Swiss transplant, if I had to make a guess.

This is pretty much the entire recorded output of Silently Down.  Another track, “Tired to Life,” appears on the fourth volume of L’Appel De La Muse, but I’ve included it here for you all as well.   There’s also a track recorded with Ursula Nun of The Vyllies on Myspace, but since that site still throttles its quality, you’ll have to listen over there.

Track 2 is my favorite here, but they all tread very similar turf throughout.  Enjoy!

Silently Down- SAD CD
1. Days Go By
2. Reflection
3. Alone
4. La-Haut
5. Strange Times
6. Welcome To A Suicide Day

Bonus Track- ‘Tired To Life’

*download link removed* – Reissue now available via Dead Wax Records!

Babel 17- Shamanic Tales LP

Posted in 1990s, 1992, babel 17, coldwave, france, french, touching pop on February 28, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Babel 17 were among the touching pop giants on the infamous Lively Art label (and one of my personal favorites of the era). The band released one full length LP and 10” EP before disbanding. A third record was recorded and was meant to be released in 1992, but Lively Art went bankrupt and folded, leaving the album in limbo.

…Until now!

Babel 17- Shamanic Tales LP
1. Ghostdance
2. Jouvence
3. Kiss of Storm
4. Ring on the Bells
5. Kiddie’s Gone
6. Shamanic
7. The Nightmare Goes On
8. Sense of Life
9. Virtual Vision
10. Watch 2 (Intercosmik Version)
11. Ghostdancer (Long way Remix)
12. Sense of Dub
13. Ring On… (Instrumental Mix)

*download it here*

Kevin O’Neill- Omega 8 & A Hostage to Fortune CD-Rs

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, ambient, dark ambient, kevin o'neill, remote viewing, synth, uk on January 18, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s some goodies from the Remote Viewing files. Here we have two CD-Rs from Kevin O’Neill, one of the more prolific artists from the compilation. Kevin was also the man behind Network 23, the label who released both volumes of Remote Viewing. I’ll let John Costello’s own words tell a bit of Kevin’s story:

Kevin founded N23 and as well as creating his own music he worked hard to promote independent electronic music in the UK. He played live at the UK Electronica in London in 1988 and organised this successful concert in his home city on March 18th the following year. The full billing was Kevin, Steve & Linda Hillman, myself and Greg Truckell. I’ll always be grateful to Kevin for liking my music enough to include it, as it’s a bit different from most synthambient and sequencer/progressive N23 artists.

Fans of the Remote Viewing cassette, Costello, and various synth-heavy ambient acts (Deca, Tangerine Dream, Carl Matthews, Black Tape For a Blue Girl, Klaus Schulze, Coil etc.) will certainly find lots and lots to love on these two CD-Rs, which were graciously donated by Kevin. Omega 8 is a collection of tracks from the 1988 Omega cassette, with the final two tracks missing. A bonus track, “Islands Suite” appears in its stead. “Islands Suite” originally appeared on the Islands K7, while an edited version appears on Remote Viewing Volume 1, released in 1986. The second CD-R collects all tracks from 1993’s A Hostage of Fortune K7, though the title track appears in edited form from its cassette counterpart.

All in all, there’s roughly an hour and a half’s worth of incredible ambient music contained within! Here’s the info:

Kevin O’Neill- Omega 8 CD-R
1. Another Morning
2. Eye Of The Storm
3. Guernica
4. Blodwen (The White Rose)
5. Speaker
6. Prometheus
7. Islands Suite

Kevin O’Neill- A Hostage to Fortune CD-R
1. Indefinite Divisibility
2. P-M H
3. Piano No. 4
4. Flutecho
5. Tetapi Itu Kesenian (For Leif & Rukmini)
6. Reminiscence (For Michael Neil)
7. Ghosts
8. The Massing Of The Shades (For Norman Jope)
9. A Hostage To Fortune Pts 3-6

*download both here*

Many thanks to Kevin for his blessing in posting these! I’ll leave you with some amazing video footage of Kevin’s performance of “Island Sweet,” sourced from the infamous Network 23 concert in Cardiff, 1989. Enjoy!

Schadstoff- Fly K7

Posted in 1990s, 1992, coldwave, german, post-punk, schadstoff on November 7, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for the delay here, folks. Still working on finishing up our new apartment, and haven’t been able to set up the ol’ turntable yet. However, I have a few tapes I’ve ripped recently so I’ll try to keep things going as I can. Here we have some excellent German guitar sounds here, from 1992. Very rough around the edges (the tape is actually a demo from the band, and seems to be the only thing they ever released), but there’s quite a bit of promise to be heard here, if only they had stuck around a bit longer and made some official recordings.

Don’t let the date fool you. Schadstoff very much falls into the vein of the mid-80s post-punk greats such as The Chameleons, Lowlife, Snake Corps, The Names, etc. It’s certainly raw and noticiably underdeveloped given the circumstances, but I have a feeling you guys are going to dig it, regardless. Here’s the info:

Schadstoff- Fly K7
1. Picture
2. Homeland
3. Walk Away
4. Fly
5. Butterfly
6. Happyness

*download it here*