I’ve been talking a big game about this Various Artists compilation series for a long time. So many allusions to the next installment of loose tracks have been made over the past few years, always saying the same thing. Stay tuned, etc. Well, it just occurred to me that it’s been THREE (3) years since the last installment, which is just pathetic on my part. That said, in order to atone for these missed opportunities and empty promises, I’ve assembled not ONE, but TWO compilations, just like the old days. Some of these tracks were passed on by friends and allies of the blog, others by band members themselves, and as always, quite a few come from the record shelves. Little writeups to follow below, but for now, let’s get to the tracklisting, shall we?
Various Artists- Systems of Romance Vol. 7
1. Blood Brothers- Beyond The Nightmare
2. Unfamiliar Skies- Loveland
3. I Wish- The Name
4. 4711- New Holland
5. Glass Lady- Glass Lady
6. Lovers- Siam
7. Forever Till Never- When Kids Are Alone
8. Dancing On Your Own- Martin & Martin
9. Loss- Camouflage
10. Saison Fleurie- Cello
11. The Haunting Moon- Lyon in Winter
12. ふり返った男- Imitation Brain
13. Epics- Moravagine
14. Deutschland Brennt- D.U.R.
15. GG Man- Underjordiska Lyxorkestern
16. Pathetical Twat- Weaveworld
17. Ansassa- Tiistai
18. Symétrie (Live)- Pro Memoria
19. Zondagsplicht- Vibø
20. Pour Everyone- Irrelevant
Various Artists- Systems of Romance Vol. 8
1. The Tribute- Christophe Grelier
2. Sisters- Carter Burwell
3. Dancing to Kill- Almost Alone
4. Curtain of Love- Ce Soir
5. Ultraviolet- Fade to Black
6. L’Arbre- Mélopée
7. Frozen (Demo)- Yvonne
8. Uomini di Vetro- Sirtaki
9. Darkness- A Distant Echo
10. Clever Dancers- Paul Piacentini
11. Grey Day- Nick Haward
12. Nuclear Car- Chapter 13
13. Tornado- The Blue Law
14. In Your Window- Indians Fall In Love
15. Korea- European Toys
16. Grind- October Game
17. Stormy Weather- Systems of Romance
18. Apynee- Laughing Out Loud
19. Disunion- Baby Hotel Hunger
20. Is This the End?- Avo-8
Vol. 7 credits:
1. I can’t find a single thing about this track. Great way to start though, right?
2. Rare compilation appearance from these US-based synthpop greats, responsible for this trashy 12”. This track was released in 1993 on the American Independence- The New York Underground compilation. They were never heard from again.
3. Another track with virtually no information to be found out in the ether. Welcoming any tips on this one!
4. Incredible post-punk with cold synths from the Netherlands. They have a wealth of unreleased material, all available on Youtube.
5. Sleazy italo disco vibes from…New Jersey? This is their lone single, the flip being an instrumental dub version.
6. Not related to the Israeli band of the same name, but instead the second project from Jacqui Brookes, aka Shox and Intro, respectively. This is the b-side of their Catrix 7”, a much better song than the intended single.
7. The a-side from a killer post-punk/wave 7” from the US, released in 1985.
8. An old Wierd party favorite, donated by a friend some time ago. Has seen many a play on the NYC dancefloors, but I’ll be damned if I can tell you anything about this otherwise italo/synthpop smash.
9. Not related to the German synthpop titans, but instead the centerpiece of this Swedish wave band’s second record, released in 1986.
10. Neoclassical darkwave vibes from Portugal, released the mid-90s. This track hails from their third record.
11. Gloomy new wave track from a lone US 12”, released in 1986.
12. Japanese a-side, also from 1986.
13. Early Martial Canterel demo, recorded under the Moravagine alias and released on a 6 track cd-r of similarly early demos.
14. The A-side from a 1982 NDW single, released on Zenzor.
15. The standout track from this Swedish band’s lone LP from 1982. The rest of the album is a mixed bag of new wave/prog tracks, but this one is a cold gem.
16. Four piece UK band featuring frequent members and collaborators of The Chameleons, The Sun & The Moon, Black Swan Lane, etc. Features the same trademark sound as all three of these bands. Also appears in demo form under the name Music For Aborigines.
17. Standout track from this Finnish band’s debut LP, released in 1987.
18. Unreleased live track from this otherwise amazing French coldwave project, with heavy similarities to Cocteau Twins. Get their first demo tape here.
19. Unreleased demo track from these Belgian darkwave greats, whose 12” appears on these back pages as well.
20. Unreleased demo from Philippe Planchon’s post-Asylum Party project.
Vol. 8 credits:
1. Neoclassical track from the mid-90s, released on the Cantara I compilation. Christophe was mostly active in No Words.
2. Plucked from the Psycho 3 soundtrack and featuring Stanton Miranda, yet another killer collaboration between the pair that brought you Thick Pigeon and the killer Wheels Over Indian Trails 12” on Factory Benelux. This is Carter’s first soundtrack work, a world where he is still active today.
3. Unreleased demo from this UK synthpop duo.
4. Flip side from a Scandanavian synthpop single from 1983. This is the first of three singles by Ce Soir. The A-side is nice, but this is the real standout of the two.
5. Lone compilation appearance from these US goth greats. It’s by far my favorite track of theirs, with a menacing edge and a slightly questionable organ line. Released on an otherwise mixed bag compilation. Miller High Life wave?
6. Centerpiece of this French coldwave band’s CD release from 1995. Get their earlier material here.
7. Demo track from mid-90s Sweden.
8. I couldn’t tell you a thing about this one!
9. The only released track from this Belgian synth band, released on the Blitz Pop 2 compilation in 1983.
10. Standout from the 1985 Out of the Box LP, recorded in one continuous take. Another Wierd party favorite.
11. The a-side from an extremely rare UK minimal synth single, released in 1983.
12. The b-side from a US-based 7” from 1982.
13. Gloomy, standout new wave track from a lone US 12”, released in 1988. If I recall, this is the only track that sounds anything like this.
14. Unreleased track from this UK-based post-punk/goth band, originally featured on the band’s Myspace page. This one goes out to Michael B. Wood from Return of the East, who passed away recently, but not before sharing this obscure band with the world.
15. Title track from this rickety UK post-punk band’s second release from 1984.
16. Probably the most well-known band on here, if only because it features a young, pre-Nettwerk Sarah McLachlan on vocals. Originally released in 1986 on the Out of the Fog (The Halifax Underground 1986) compilation.
17. US-based 12”,
named after this blog just kidding, but still a nice slice of excellent new wave from 1983.
18. Another one I know virtually nothing about, and welcome any further information!
19. AKA Hotel Hunger, a Danish post-punk band. This track hails from their first 12”, released in 1986.
20. UK-based indie-rock/pop in the style of Shop Assistants, Flying Nun records, etc. This is the title track from their 1987 12” of the same name. Thanks to Goutroy for passing on an extra copy!