Archive for the australia Category

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

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:

Gulf Klub- What’s Cooking 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, australia, australian, gulf klub, minimal, minimal synth, post-punk on April 19, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Just realised it’s been a while since my last post.  Sorry, guys!  I have quite a few things on the plate, including a rare French coldwave 7” and a few more Italian goodies that I’ve been meaning to get to, but here’s something I’ve had uploaded for a while to whet your appetite until I can get that stuff all organized properly for you. 

This is a one-off 7” from Australia, released in 1984 via Vi-Nil Records. Despite being distributed by EMI, this one didn’t get a lot of attention when it came out. Not much about them on the net, but Geoffrey Stapleton was also involved with The Aliens, GANGgajang, and more.

Personally I don’t care much for the a-side (but of course, that’s just my own taste), but the flip is a great piece of Middle Eastern inspired minimal synth. While the geography is all wrong here, the sound still feels right at home for fans of Minimal Compact, Beograd, Max & Intro, etc. A short little piece of synth perfection that I hope you all enjoy!

gulfklub

Gulf Klub- What’s Cooking 7”
1. What’s Cooking
2. India

*download it here*

More soon, stay tuned!

 

Denial- California Dreaming 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, australia, australian, denial, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, synth on January 23, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Ever since I picked up an instrument, I have wanted to record a cover of infamous 60s pop hit “California Dreaming” and expose it for the haunting dirge it really is… While I’m sure it’s not a stretch to envision a darker world painted in the Mamas and Papas hit from 1965, the idea always appealed to me.  However, looks like the job was done already, thanks to Australian synth band Denial, who issued a stark, brutal cover of the tune in 1982, backed with an excellent original rickety post-punk track…

This lone 7” was released on the infamous M Squared label, who were responsible for Xero and Scattered Order as well…  This is the only release under the name Denial, but they were previously known as Aural Indifference, who appear most prominently on The Minimal Wave Tapes vol. 2 compilation from 2012 as well as a compilation on M Squared.

denial

Denial- California Dreaming 7”
1. California Dreaming
2. The Weathermen

*download it here*

Rule of Thirds- Demo K7

Posted in 2000s, 2012, australia, deathrock, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, rule of thirds on March 26, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Keeping with the cassette theme, here’s a demo from a new band from Adelaide, Australia, who were gracious enough to send me the tape and their blessing to post the mp3s for you all to enjoy. This one is so fresh, it’s barely three months old!

There seems to be a very modern interest in the deathrock/batcave sound, with all the young bands cropping up with strong demos and limited releases. While the sound seemed to creep back in as early as the turn of the century thanks to the folks at Drop Dead, it’s taken this long for it to finally break out into more public consciousness, and there seem to be dozens of new bands (Anasazi, Winter Severity Index, Population, Bellicose Minds, Pleasure Leftists, etc.) eager to inherit the throne. It makes me yearn for a forgotten era, having been in a deathrock band many moons ago, wishing for a few more peers out there in the ether. Sadly, many of the bands from that time period have long since faded away, with the exception of Entertainment, who are gearing up to release a new LP on Disaro sometime this year.

Ok, so I got on a little bittersweet tangent there, sorry about that. Back to the post at hand.

Taking their name from either a classic Death In June album, a guideline for photography, OR a basic military strategy (all three invoke some excellent imagery) Rule of Thirds explore the classic deathrock sound a la Skeletal Family, Christian Death, Corpus Delecti, Move, Dance Macabre, and others in that vein. A mix of incisive guitars and a confident and smoldering female vocal are the ingredients for success here, and the organ-esque synths (a must for me when it comes to this style of music) stand out with a sense of melody and the rhythm section is top notch, hitting that perfect blend of composure and rawness that works best in this style. A little taste of early Siouxsie can be heard on “Northanger Abbey,” which invokes “Playground Twist” with it’s unified grooves and gloomy atmosphere. My favorite track is the leadoff “No More Moon,” which adds some male vocals to the mix and is ripe for guitar-driven club nights. Really great stuff here, both a mix of uptempo and slow burn tracks, so thanks to Celeste and the band for sending it my way! Hope you all enjoy it!

Rule of Thirds- Demo K7
1. No More Moon
2. Total Disappointment
3. Mother/Master
4. Stuck
5. Northanger Abbey

*download it here*

While the band has graciously offered the mp3s here for free, you can get a copy of the tape via Major Crimes Records.

Industrie- H LP

Posted in 1980s, 1983, australia, australian, industrie, new wave, synthpop on October 27, 2010 by Frankie Teardrop

One of my favorite tracks from the first Systems of Romance compilation is Industrie’s “Secret Affair”- a playful synth jam with solid female vocals. Imagine my delight when I came across a pristine copy of their lone LP. I just received it yesterday, and I’ve already ripped and uploaded it for you all today.

This particular LP is the Australian band’s only release, hailing from 1983. While a handful of people contributed to the recording, only two appear in the photo on the back of the LP, so I reckon there were studio musicians involved. Not sure if the band ever performed live, so if anyone has any more info, please pass it along!

As for the LP, you can expect more of the same catchy new wave jams here, with only a few slower, less-interesting ballads. Everything else is pure new wave/synthpop heaven (for fans of Moev, early Berlin, etc.), so without any further ado, here’s the information:

Industrie- H LP
1. Heartbeat
2. Neon Neon
3. Second Death
4. Nothing Lasts Forever
5. Stay With Me
6. “H”
7. Secret Affair
8. You’re the One
9. Bedroom Eyes
10. Found You

*download it here*

Informatics- Dezinformatsiya 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, australia, informatics, minimal synth, reissued on March 11, 2009 by Frankie Teardrop

I have a few requests to tackle over the next few weeks (including some Malaria and some of the bands featured previously on the Oh Harry, You’re Such a Drag! compilation), but first, here’s a quick 4 song 7” EP for your persual from Australian minimal synth band Informatics, who existed for a brief period in the early 1980s.

The band would only release two singles throughout their brief career, both which though released three years apart, seem to contain the same tracks. However, a CD-R collecting previously recorded tracks as well as a slew unreleased material appeared in 2002. Without any further ado, here’s the information for the Informatics debut 7”, released in 1982:

Informatics- Dezinformatsiya 7”
1. What a World
2. Hungry Pets
3. Proximity Switch (Accidents in Paradise)
4. Satellite to Russia

DOWNLOAD LINK REMOVED:  please purchase the official Informatics reissue via Dark Entries records!

In the Garden of Euterpe
, the aforementioned 2002 compilation of Informatics tracks, is still available on CD-R through the band’s website, so if you dig these four tunes, be sure to upgrade to an official copy by clicking the link below!

purchase In the Garden of Euterpe

Severed Heads

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, australia, severed heads, synth, synthpunk, wave on August 27, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Hailing from Australia, today’s band Severed Heads relied early on tape loops and abrasive synthesizers, and over the course of several years perfected their noise-based craft into a blend of experimentation and pop music.

The band formed in Sydney in 1979 under the name Mr. and Ms. No Smoking Sign and changed their name to Severed Heads as they began recording their expansive discography. With their unique stage shows and noise-laced yet catchy tracks, the band developed a rather large following and by 1984, they embarked upon a rather large world tour backed by their single ‘Dead Eyes Opened.’

Unlike most bands featured on these pages, Severed Heads are still alive and kicking, having gone through several record deals and lineup changes (Tom Ellard remaining the only original member to date) since their conception and peak. The band would disappear from the music industry in late 1999, but continues to release underground and independent recordings and live collections on a semi-regular basis. Their most recent work includes a soundtrack to a DVD film entitled The Illustrated Family Doctor in 2005.

I’ve uploaded two of my favorite Severed Heads tracks from their earlier days… The first, ‘Triangle Tangle Tango’ is a favorite of mine to spin, featured on 1989′s Rotund For Success. The second track, ‘We Have Come to Bless This House’ is featured on their classic 1985 record City Slab Horror.

download Severed Heads- ‘Triangle Tangle Tango’
download Severed Heads- ‘We Have Come to Bless This House’

As for their biggest single, here’s the official video for ‘Dead Eyes Opened’ for your viewing pleasure:

Severed Heads official website- for more information, hilarious commentary by Tom Ellard, purchase links, and more.