Archive for the coldwave Category

Azile- La Sainte 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1988, azile, coldwave, france, french, lyon, post-punk on April 29, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

It’s been a dog’s age, ladies and gents- or at least it feels like it’s been some time since my last post.  Life’s been a bit crazy here, but all is well, and I’m hoping to resume regular activity here soon.  With that in mind, here’s a new acquisition originally introduced to me by the always astute Stéphane B. of coldwave.fr.  Olivier, the singer and guitarist of the band was kind enough to send me a copy and to lend his permission to share the single here with you all.

This is the lone release by Azile, a French coldwave band from Lyon, home of some of the best bands of the era, including Gestalt, L’Enfance Éternelle, Opéra De Nuit, etc.  The latter is actually an excellent touchstone, as I find some sonic similarities between the A-side of this single and ODN tracks such as “Inviation” and “Karen Lloyd.”   It’s a short blast of excellent coldwave that I’m glad exists in this world, no matter how obscure.  The flip is no slouch either, combining acoustic guitar and churning synth stabs.

This 7” was self-funded and self-released by the band in 1988, though Olivier mentioned that the band recorded a few more tracks around the same time.  I hope to be able to share those with you soon, but in the meantime, here’s the details for this excellent single.

azileSOR

Azile- La Sainte 7”
1. La Sainte
2. L’Homme Qui Tombe

*download it here*

Hymn- Coming Home & Too Many Lies K7s

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 1984, coldwave, hymn, minimal, minimal synth, post-punk on April 2, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a generous donation of two rare cassette releases from Hymn, a French coldwave band who released a more well known 12” on Nova Express in 1984.  These two cassettes were recorded shortly before that record, the first of which was self-released in 1983, while the other appeared on Autoproduit a few months before the 12”.  While the band’s trademark Joy Division influence can still be heard here, the instrumentation is more on the minimal synth side of the spectrum, with the classic TR606 providing the backbone to the gloomy, Ian Curtis-esque vocals.  I believe the band was originally a trio, and added a drummer just before recording the 12”.

That said, don’t let the sparse instrumentation and the shorter track length fool you, these tracks are still as cold as ever, and there are just enough guitars in the mix to make things interesting.  Without any further adieu, here’s the info for these two gems:

hymn--coming-home

Hymn- Coming Home K7 (1983)
1. Danger
2. Die For You
3. I Guess
4. I Am The Absolute
5. Shock Of The Dates
6. Comin’ Home
7. Nos Pieds et Nos Têtes

hymn--too-many-lies

Hymn- Too Many Lies K7 (1984)
1. Never Show Me
2. Too Many Lies
3. I Can
4. Give Me
5. Like In My Dreams
6. Surch Me
7. Hymn
8. Hope I Dream
9. Lost World

*download both tapes here*

Various Artists- Treviso Underground Vol. 1: Nuovo Rock/Wave

Posted in 1980s, coldwave, italian, post-punk on November 27, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an amazing Italian cassette compilation from 1988, generously ripped by Carlo. This is the first in a two part series of homebrew tape compilations from the 80s featuring bands from the Treviso region of Northern Italy. This edition focuses on new wave and post-punk bands, while the second volume caters more towards experimental and ambient bands. You can get the second volume here.

I was originally drawn to this cassette via Wax Heroes and Scent Merci, two excellent post-punk bands that only have a handful of releases between them.  However, the entire compilation is awesome, with the exception of the Nicotine Spyral Surfers songs, which aren’t bad if you prefer things on the more garage-y side. However, the true standout to me is Inside Loneliness, a band who truly invokes the cold Cure-esque vibes of Seventeen Seconds as well as other bands of that ilk.  I can’t get enough of “It’s Over Again,” (which builds to the same simple, but perfect chord progression as The Chameleons’ “Second Skin”), while their second track here is no slouch, either.  Inside Loneliness also contributed more tracks (including an alternate version of “It’s Over Again” that lacks the synth intro) to the Opere Senze Ombre compilation, which features the German Shadowplay, Opera Multi Steel, and the Venus Fly Trap. As you can see, that compilation wasn’t as ethnocentric as this one is, but is still worth hearing and can be found here.

As for the rest of the bands here, Domus Tedii plays a darker, organ driven style of post-punk, while Em’s Dream all but sounds like Robert Smith singing.  In fact, Marathon’s contribution is also reminiscent of the Cure’s Head On the Door/Kiss Me period (see above), with the trademark keyboard flute sounds and sad, yet boisterous melody.  Turbe Psichiche Di Origine Dolosa are the most punk-inspired of the bands, with backing vocals that are both anthemic as well as slightly Byrds-esque.  Aside from Inside Loneliness, my other favorite track on this compilation comes from Lacrima Christi, with some great cold sounds and solid atmosphere.  I’m not sure if this is the same band that appears on a 1991 compilation, but I’d love to hear more from them either way.

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Various Artists- Treviso Underground Vol. 1: Nuovo Rock/Wave
1. Miky Mouse- Wax Heroes
2. Wake Me Up Wizard!- Wax Heroes
3. It’s Over Again- Inside Loneliness
4. Trees Out of My Way- Inside Loneliness
5. School Days II- Scent Merci
6. The Bright Moonlight- Scent Merci
7. You Make Me Fly (So High)- Nicotine Spyral Surfers
8. Are You Surprised?- Nicotine Spyral Surfers
9. Non Presenza- Domus Tedii
10. Rachele- Lacrima Christi
11. Bloodless (Not Buried)- Em’s Dream
12. Sun of the Awning- Marathon
13. Questo E’ Il Tuo Giorno- Turbe Psichiche Di Origine Dolosa

*download it here*

 

Thanks again, Carlo!

Vietnam- Vietnam LP

Posted in 1980s, 1985, coldwave, new zealand, post-punk, vietnam on October 22, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Vietnam1984v1

(Photo credit: Neil Monkhouse)

Sorry for the delay, it’s been a very busy time at SOR headquarters so I’ve been slacking a little bit.  Plus, it’s Fall in New York, so I’m trying to make the most of being outside before hibernating for the winter.  Anywho, here’s a post lovingly ripped and donated by xerfrank, a fellow friend and passionate collector from Spain.  You may have seen this back on Vinyl Obscurity a few years ago, but I believe the post was taken down immediately by some Mediafire bots looking for the latest Rhianna record, long before his blog disappeared into the either as well.  I also included the “best” track from this record on my last v/a compilation, so some of you may be interested in hearing the rest of it.  While ‘Victory’ reigns as my favorite track on this record, I enjoy this one as a whole.

There’s little to be found about Vietnam, yet another extremely difficult band name to Google, but I do know that they existed for a short period of time as part of New Zealand’s post-punk movement and released this record in 1985 on Jayrem Records, a catch-all label for local artists.  There’s the pre-requisite Joy Division influence present in the vocals (fans of De Press, The Opposition, Stranger to Stranger, and Dropopop should enjoy this one especially) but the music jumps from moody post-punk and flirts occasionally with jangle-pop progressions and dreamy, Cure-esque melodies.  ”China Tonight” is an excellent moody instrumental track with a descending synth/piano melody.  ”Behind the Paintings” is as gloomy, yet driving political anthem, a general theme in the lyrics that hints at a slight U2 influence, who were at the peak of their fire-y political leaning at that point in time.   Honestly, with a name like Vietnam and with artwork like this, it’s safe to assume that the lyrics have a little more spark to them.

EDIT 6/30/14:  I’ve since been in touch with Adrian Workman, the band’s bassist and synth player, who has shared some tales about the band’s inception and current whereabouts:

Four lads from the same High School in working-class town called Wainuiomata (pronounced Y-noo-ee-o-ma-ta , a suburb of Wellington, NZ).  We started writing/playing together in my parents garage and drove the neighborhood insane over a period of time. New Zealand in 1982 mirrored Thatchers UK; an ultra conservative government, poor economy and civil unrest. Wellington (the nations capital) was a volatile mix of public servants, politicians, university students ,and skinheads. The messages of the Punk and Post-Punk era emanating from the UK resonated strongly in the Wellington music scene and local musical acts discovered their own version of the genre. 

The legal drinking age was 20 years old, yet we performed in pubs, clubs and community halls from as young as 16 years, somehow avoiding detection from the authorities.
 
Vietnam was definitely a coming together of 4 very different people that shared a common malaise; suburban isolation in a depressed and oppressed society in the early 1990′s. We were a  weird combination of cultural/ethnic diversity, (unusual in that musical era), and ironically we all achieved well in school and sports…being working class was a badge of honour for us and  we strongly resisted being pigeon-holed into societal roles. Vietnam was a head-fuck for many people because, I believe, we delivered more than was expected of us given our collective backgrounds. We almost dethroned a significant corporate rock band in the national ‘Battle of the Bands’ comp, leaving them crapping their collective duds after we performed a kick-ass set, including  a Vietnam version of ‘Echo Beach’ and just missing the final cut. Anyways…this show got us attention from the right people.
 
It was a pretty intense music scene from memory. Vietnam was a square peg in that scene, mainly due to the stigma associated from the suburb we came from. We played a lot of shows,( including the Aerial Railway stage at ‘Sweetwaters’,  an annual 3 day Music festival, (just think Woodstock meets Lollapallooza). Supported some good acts of the era and made our EP in late 1984 (released in 1985). Radio with Pictures TVNZ picked up ‘Victory’ and the video was made at the cost of taxpayers monies. Shortly after the release I migrated to Sydney, Australia (18 yrs old) in mid 1985, Pete Dransfield followed about a year later. After several attempts to reincarnate a version of the band under different monikers we went our separate ways in 1988, and Pete returned to NZ.
 
Pete released some material in the late 1990′s under the name ‘The Thorn Field’ , became a semi-professional boxer, and continues to work in the live music scene in NZ in a technical capacity.
 
Shane went on to have a stellar career as a national spokesperson for indigenous programs relating to smoking cessation (Go Bro!). Leon has continued to perform political rap in various line-ups.
 
I joined Sydney Band ‘The Bhagavad Guitars’ in late 1988, and stayed with them until 1992. Releasing several recordings in this time on the Red Eye Label, including the belated release of an album produced by Toney Cohen (of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds fame) in 1995 (Lead vox  ’No News’). We almost made it to the States, but the band imploded exactly at the critical moment:(
 
I was also a founding member with ‘The Verys’ in the grunge era of the 1990′s, releasing the EP ‘That’s A Moray’ in 1993. Ran my own record label briefly and ventured into twisted world music with Bonepeople in the late 1990s. Recently recorded a reformation album with The Bhagavad Guitars in 2011 called ‘Unfamiliar Places’ (Lead vox ‘Autumn’). Check out my name on ‘Discogs’ website for refs. and/or reverbnation ‘Bhagavad Guitars’.

vietnam

Vietnam- Vietnam LP
1. Broken Doll
2. China Tonight
3. Behind the Paintings
4. Another Day
5. Victory

*download it here*

There’s also a video for “Victory” (!).  Feels like it’s been ages since we had one of those:

Thanks again to xerfrank for ripping this one!  I have some mail arriving over the next few weeks that may interest some of you looking for something a little seedier/synthier.  In the meanwhile, I picked up some rad stuff in Canada, one record in particular that deserves a re-posting ASAP.  I also have another post lined up from xerfrank’s expansive archives, as well as more from Klumpa’s collection to come in the near future.  Also, perhaps some modern surprises as this year winds down to a close.

 

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On a completely unreleated note, might I bring your attention to THIS?  I have a new project that you all may enjoy, and we just released a limited edition cassette (!) on fellow Brooklyn-based label Function Operate.  I reckon a few of you may enjoy it, and we’ll have plenty more news soon.  If you want to check in on us, we can be found HERE.

Decade- Diva Diva 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1987, coldwave, Decade, france, french, post-punk on October 1, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Originally posted by the great Dreams and Voices and freshly ripped from my own copy, this is one of my favorite mid-tempo French singles from Montpellier, a little romanticism in the B-side to get you through the week.  As he mentions, there’s a Little Nemo vibe in “Diva Diva,” certainly a welcome addition to the cold, melancholic French catalog.  “Conquistador” isn’t too shabby either, with a sinister synth undercurrent and a percussive-heavy melody.

This single was released in 1987 and is their only known recording.  Not much more to say about this one, other than enjoy!

decade

Decade- Diva Diva 7”
1. Diva Diva
2. Conquistador

*download it here*

Sculpteurs D’Ombres- L’Ange Noir 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1987, coldwave, france, french, post-punk, sculpteurs d'ombres on August 22, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Apologies for being sparse these days, but I’ve been keeping busy with a new project.  That said, here’s an amazing 7” from France, private pressing from 1987.  Great coldwave sounds on both tracks, gloomy yet driving- the perfect combination.  Both tracks are both dark and incredibly catchy, with deep French vocals.  Hooks all around, driving drums (edit-thanks for clarifying, Phil). Really, the perfect package.

There’s not much more I can tell you about this band, though I’ve been told that there may be more material out there waiting to be revealed.  I shall certainly update this post if and when there’s news or more info to be had!  Otherwise, I promise to be more active in the coming weeks…

Thanks to Phil for filling in a few gaps in the comments:
Our group became “In Extremis”. We composed some good songs in the southwest of France (Hossegor) then we separated some years later. I regret it now. Thank you for your compliments. I still have some 45 tours vinyl to me, if somebody is interested.

 

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Sculpteurs D’Ombres- L’Ange Noir 7”
1. L’Ange Noir
2. Later in the Night

*download it here*

Guardian Bird- La Poupée K7

Posted in 1991, coldwave, france, french, goth, guardian bird on June 23, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve received a few requests for this one through various channels so sorry for the delay on this one.  This was passed down to me by a few fellow collectors but to my knowledge, it hasn’t been shared yet, outside of a few tracks on Youtube.    Most people are mainly familiar with this obscure French coldwave/goth band via Extérieur Nuit, a more modern collection of French obscurities including Mémoires D’Automne.  The same track appears here, making this the band’s only known release.

I know very little about the band, except that they were based in Lille and had six members (two guitarists, drums, bass, vocals, and synth).  This tape was released in 1991, and features a more aggressive sound than most of touching pop bands that were heavily active around that time period.  The closest touchstones I can think of are Bauhaus (especially in the vocals), The Bolshoi, or early Gene Loves Jezebel, combining cold synths, powerful vocals, and big guitar hooks.   It’s a sound that was likely passe at that point in time, but nice to hear a French variant of it.  The centerpiece of the tape is the eight minute “Le Jeune et le Bleu,” which aims for Disintegration-esque highs and falls somewhere between the eponymous track from that record, and “Out of Mind”- the underrated b-side from the Fascination Street/Lullaby 12”, and would fit in alongside songs like Escape With Romeo’s “Somebody” as a lesser-known mid-tempo guitar epic.  And what better way to follow up an eight minute epic than with a ten minute track, which features a more guttural snarl.

T.T.I.C.C. Contingent also released tapes from Bunker Strasse and L’Avis G821.

R-864469-1166824971

Guardian Bird- La Poupée K7
1. Clumsy Gesture
2. La Poupée
3. Renaissance
4. Penombra Of Vice
5. Le Jaune Et Le Bleu
6. Parc Pour Fou
7. Sens

*download it here*

Various Artists- Dreams and Desires K7

Posted in 1980s, 1984, 4ad, coldwave, compilations, goth, goth-rock, minimal synth, pleasantly surprised, post-punk on June 12, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Have a few tapes here to share over the next few weeks… Some more rare Italian demos, a 2xK7 French compilation, and much more, but here’s an old classic as donated by Jeffo and re-ripped at VBR for maximum enjoyment.  You may have heard this over at Return of the East back in the day, an old favorite blog of all things dark that’s since purged from Blogger.  PS- You should all take a listen to The Anxiety of Love if you want to hear more from the excellent chap who ran that blog, here’s to more great sounds from them to come.

This tape, released in 1984, essentially reads like a who’s who of the classic 4AD roster, with some other amazing contributions from favorites such as Pink Industry (and a track by Ambrose working on her own), Vazz, Clair Obscur, In the Nursery, Band of Holy Joy, etc.    Many of the tracks that appear here are in demo form, some of which (like the sketch of Cocteau Twins’ sublime “Pearly Dewdrops Drops” and Dead Can Dance’s excellent demo of “The Arcane”) haven’t been compiled in even the most throrough retrospectives.   

Pleasantly Surprised, the Scottish label run by Robert H. King, eventually became Cathexis Recordings (Vazz and Clair Obscur vinyl releases), which then turned into Total, a music magazine, by the 1990s.  Pleasantly Surprised were notorious for these compilations, as well as for releasing a rare Dif Juz tape and providing reissues/alternate distrubition methods for an early Clair Obscur release, just to name a few standout credits.  I haven’t heard many of the other VA compilations so I can’t be sure if the versions on those cassettes are demos as they are here, or if they’re studio versions compiled for cassette.  If anyone can confirm or deny, please feel free to leave a comment. 

dreamsanddesires

Various Artists- Dreams and Desires K7
1. Side A Intro
2. Richard Killing- Nervous Choir
3. Tag Fur Tag (Demo)- Xmal Deutschland
4. Diamonds In the Mine (Live)- Artery
5. Silver- Vazz
6. Sex Gun (Demo)- Colourbox
7. Ecstasy (Instrumental*)- The Wolfgang Press
8. Pain of Pride- Pink Industry
9. A Glorious Morning In Orton Street- The Band of Holy Joy
10. Side A Outro
11. Side B Intro
12. The Pilgrim’s Progress (Instrumental)- Clair Obscur
13. The Arcane (Demo)- Dead Can Dance
14. Can’t Get Used to Losing You- David J
15. In One Move- Illegitimate Sons of Christ
16. Pearly Dewdrop’s Drops (Demo)- Cocteau Twins
17. Iskra- In the Nursery
18. Free At Last- Ambrose
19. Illustrated- Andrew Grey
20. Tree Top Club (Demo)- Virginia Astley
21. Smile- Patrik Fitzgerald
22. Side B Outro

*download it here*

 

*not really an instrumental at all.  But we all know the Rema-Rema gag, right?

Dropopop- Knuste Drømmer 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, coldwave, dropopop, goth, goth-rock, norweigan, post-punk with tags on May 23, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

This 7” was a recent discovery (on Youtube of all places), and it’s as cold as the night is long.  This one-off single from Norway was released in 1982 and bears a strong resemblance to the usual suspects, including heavy influence by Joy Division and early Cure, as well as sharing similar sonic territory with bands like the Dutch Neon, The Opposition’s amazing first record, and the U 137 single I just posted a few days ago.

The A-side is a recent obsession of mine with heavy drums and haunting melodies, but the two tracks on the flip are equally commanding, dark and intense listens.  The band have three more other songs spread across two different cassette comps. but I haven’t heard them.

As always, little to be found about the band.  It appears they were from Skien, a large shipping town in the Southeast of Norway. A four piece by defintion, there were two additional musicians on this single, one playing string synths and the other credited with additional drum work.  Their label, Uncle Remus Records, also released a 7” and LP by fellow Norweigans band Øresus, which you can grab here if you want some excellent anthemic punk a la Generation X or the KBD comps.  But I know you guys, you like it cold and dark…

dropopop

Dropopop- Knuste Drømmer 7”
1. Knuste Drømmer
2. Frykt
3. Giftige Lepper

*download it here*

U 137- Härifrån Till Evigheten 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, coldwave, post-punk, Stulna Begär, swedish, Total Musak, U 137 on May 10, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

U 137 were a Swedish band, also featuring Mats Larsson (alias Tage Jesus) of Stulna Begär. They took their name from a Russian submarine that hit a rock in Swedish international waters in 1981, causing further speculation of Soviet influence on Sweden.  It’s a very interesting incident, which you can read more about here.

It seems like this was a collaborative project of three like-minded Swedish musicians, who swapped instruments for each track. Vocalist Michael Andersson would go on to form Sacrilege, a death/black metal band in the 90s.  Andersson and Anders Nilsson (aka Nisse) also released a few singles as Andra Sidan in the late 1980s.  Most notably, all three members were involved in Total Musak, with a similar cold/post-punk style and a female singer.   Total Musak further explored the Cold War sentiment covered here, and are just as good.  BONUS: you can hear all their recordings (though sadly only at 128 kbps) here.  Awesome! 

Not sure how many copies of this exist in total (rough guess is 500), but the first 300 copies were pressed on blue vinyl with no center label. This is the version I have.

Both sides here have something different to offer, likely a product of Larsson and Nilsson swapping string synth/drum duties for each track. Fans of bands like Peyr, Killing Joke, and the Red Rain Coat 7” will dig the energy of “En Som Faller,” (A Falling) while those who prefer the the cold Seventeen Seconds, Names/Factory sound should go nuts for “Baksidan Av Ditt Öga” (The Back of Your Eye).  There is rumored to be an English version of “En Som Faller” on a compilation, re-titled “Trip and Die” but not sure where you can hear that version.  For now, here’s a fresh rip of this excellent 7”! 

R-1757272-1263496734

U 137- Härifrån Till Evigheten 7”
1. Baksidan Av Ditt Öga
2. En Som Faller

*download it here*

Thanks to the excellent B-Sound website for filling in the gaps of this otherwise mysterious 7”!