This one goes out to Tamaryn, who’s currently touring behind Tender New Signs, my favorite record of 2012. It’s been a while since we had anything club-friendly here, so here’s a fresh rip of one of my favorite WIERD DJ staples. You may have seen this circulating around as bx-59cppw’s debut post, and there he sheds some light on this mysterious 12” from 1984. Released on Sire, this single was produced by Cabaret Voltaire and features two tracks by the duo of Cindy Ecstasy (Soft Cell/Marc and the Mambas) and Rick Holliday (early B-Movie lineup). It’s as good as it gets for club-ready, sex-dripping electro, and sounds to me like Prince and the girls from Strawberry Switchblade decided to record a cover of “Sensoria.”
Seriously. You guys are going to love this one.
Six Sed Red- Shake It Right 12”
1. Shake It Right
2. Bang ‘Em Right
This one comes as a generous donation, and supplements Dave Ball’s full length LP, which you can nab over at Mutant Sounds.
For those unfamiliar, Dave Ball was most famous as the second half of Soft Cell, but also was a member of The Grid as well as an esteemed producer. Though Soft Cell didn’t split until 1984, Ball released a solo record and a string of 12” singles in 1983, collaborating with the likes of Gavin Friday (Virgin Prunes) and Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle, etc.). In fact, this particular 12” features each of the three collaborative tracks, with Friday on the first and P-Orridge on the remaining two. The version of “Man In the Man” on this 12” is slightly different from the LP version (mostly clipping ten seconds of strange sounds at the beginning), but it looks like the other two songs are identical to their album counterparts, but might be a bit cleaner and crisper than the album provided above. Either way, it’s a nice additional nugget to any self-respecting synth collection! Here’s the information:
Dave Ball- Rare Tempo 12” 1. Strict Tempo 2. Man in the Man 3. Sincerity
As promised, here’s the second post for today, a stark contrast to the heavier sounds posted below. I’m not sure if someone requested this one per se, but it came up in a recent discussion, so it’s fair game one way or the other. The band: Vicious Pink, a synthpop duo formed in 1981 in the UK. Though the band was active for five years, their lone full-length is a self titled release, culled from the band’s numerous singles.
Originally, the duo of vocalist Josephine Warden and keyboardist Brian Moss began as backing vocalists for Soft Cell’s early years, and were known as the Vicious Pink Phenomenon. The duo began targeting dance clubs with their highly infectious blend of synth-pop, and though their singles didn’t earn a massive amount of chart success, they were in heavy rotation in most of Europe’s dance clubs, and were highly influential in a budding electronic scene.
The band split in 1986, collecting nine tracks from their various singles for release as the band’s first and only record. A few demo records are rumored to exist but remain unreleased, and since the band’s split, their various singles and extended remixes have been collected in both an anthology and a single disc hits package.
Here’s the information for the 1986 s/t record:
Vicious Pink- Vicious Pink LP 1. Cccan’t You See 2. Spooky 3. The Spaceship Is Over There 4. Blue (Love Mix) 5. Fetish 6. Take Me Now 7. Always Hoping 8. 8:15 To Nowhere / Great Balls Of Fire 9. Cccan’t You See (Exxx-tended Re-Mixxx)
Firstly, thanks to the responses to the debate, and for everyone’s support. I was a bit disappointed not to hear much from the other end of the spectrum, but the topic remains open if anyone has more to say on the subject. Otherwise, I’ve got two requests on my plate. The first is for Blue in Heaven’s second LP, but I’ll need to rip it from my vinyl copy unless I can track down a better digital source than the one I’ve got kicking around my computer. Stay tuned for that over the next day or so.
This second request hails from Australia, and it’s for the Some Bizzare Album, a 1981 compilation from the British independent label of the same name. This comp. announced the label’s launch with twelve tracks of unsigned minimal synth/early new wave artists compiled by label head Stevo Pearce. Of this early crop of artists, few stayed with the budding label, while others prospered under their guidance. As the label progressed, they signed a series of early industrial artists including Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Coil.
The collection was originally released in 1981. It was pressed to CD in 1992 with a flipped running order: Side B plays before side A on the CD, which is the running order uploaded below. Though the CD is out of print to date, Some Bizzare will be re-releasing and expanding the collection sometime this year, so be sure to nab a copy when it hits the shelves! Otherwise, here’s the compilation details.
Some Bizzare Album 1. Blancmange- Sad Day 2. Soft Cell- The Girl with the Patent Leather Face 3. New Electrikk- Lust of Berlin 4. Naked Lunch- La Femme 5. The Fast Set- King of the Rumbling Spires 6. The Loved One- Observations 7. Illustration- Tidal Flow 8. Depeche Mode- Photographic 9. The The- (Untitled) 10. B-Movie- Moles 11. Jell- I Dare Say It Will Hurt a Little 12. Blah Blah Blah- Central Park
~Blancmange: Early new wave act, found some chart success on London Records. Split in 1987, but has since reformed and is rumored to be working on new material. ~Soft Cell: This synth-pop duo should be old hat to the lot of you by now…The track featured on this compilation was almost deleted, cut in half by a studio mishap. ~Neu Electrikk : Formed in 1978, this more experimental wave outfit has a slim discography (I’ll track it down shortly). Their sax player joined The The for a short period of time. ~Naked Lunch: Short lived wave outfit with three 7” singles under their belt. Formed in 1979, split by 1984. ~The Fast Set: Very first 4AD act, this track is one of three tracks the band released during their short life. The other two can be found here. ~The Loved One: Two man experimental synth project with one 7” and one full length record under their belt. Remastered versions are in the works! ~Illustration: Can’t find a ton of info about these guys…This track seems to be their only release. ~Depeche Mode: Not much I can say about these guys that hasn’t already been said. This track was recorded live in one take, and was the first track the band ever cut before signing to Daniel Miller’s Mute Records. This version’s a particular favorite of mine… ~The The: Ever changing critically acclaimed act formed in 1978, and still active to this day. This particular track is a bit darker and more experimental than their successful records to follow. ~B-Movie: This band stuck with Some Bizzare and earned some serious chart success in the UK, but split in 1985. Guitarist Paul Statham joined up with Peter Murphy to record Love Hysteria and Deep. ~Jell: Female fronted act, seems to be a studio collaboration consisting of some regular Clock DVA/Cabaret Voltaire contributors. This is their only release. ~Blah Blah Blah: More of a story set to music than an actual tune. Blah Blah Blah released one 7” in 1979 and one full length LP in 1981.
A bit of a nostalgic kick and a semi-request for today’s post; another name known for but one splash song to many and for several classic recordings by those who followed them further.
Soft Cell were a sleazy electric music duo featuring singer Marc Almond and multi-instrumentalist David Ball. The band formed in Leeds in 1980, recording a few one off tracks for compilations alongside Depeche Mode, OMD, and The The. When the Daniel Miller produced single ‘Memorabilia’ hit the charts and the dance floors soon after, the band was given one last shot to fully break into the UK charts. Whereas most bands featured on these pages would fold or fail in the wake of such a challenge, Soft Cell would succeed; their cover of Gloria Jones-by-way-of Ed Cobb song ‘Tainted Love’ would become a smashing success. The song was then featured on their 1981 record Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, which also caught fire in the US. Marc Almond would also appear in a video for Coil’s dirge-tastic version of the song, and would contribute vocals to their following record The Horse Rotorvator.
Soon after the buzz, the band began a quick descent. Two records later, internal problems between the pair had forced the band apart, though each member would further record with new projects and under collaborative efforts. Though Marc would enjoy a fruitful solo career and David would form and re-form a band called the Grids, neither would reach the triumphs they shared with thier brief flirtation with chart success.
In 2001, the pair reunited for several well-received gigs and have since resumed recording, releasing a record in 2002 and several live records. A remix record is slated to be released this year.
I’ve uploaded two early Soft Cell gems for your listening pleasure. The first is their initial club splash ‘Memorabilia’ and the second, the sordid and debaucherous fan-favorite ‘Sex Dwarf,’ featured on Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.
I could just as easily post the regular round of Soft Cell videos, but since the videos for ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘Bedsitter’ can be found from several immediate sources on Youtube, here’s a special treat instead- a video of Soft Cell and Clint Ruin/Foetus/Jim Thirlwell performing a cover of Suicide’s ‘Ghost Rider’ in 1983:
Ok, ok, and to watch the original video for ‘Tainted Love,’ click below:
Systems of Romance was created in mid-2007 to serve as a dumping grounds for all great things coldwave, minimal synth, post-punk, synthpunk, industrial, synthpop, and various other combinations of these styles. Feel free to make requests, noodle around, and discuss all you like...
Otherwise, this blog is dedicated to showcasing material that has long since been out of print. If you are aware of any of these items being readily available from the artist or label, or take issue with these tracks being uploaded, please let me know so I can amend the post or remove the links.