Here’s one that I was turned on to by Goutroy, who brought the 7” over to my place for a listening party. I tracked my own copy down recently, and I’m still as nuts about it as I was that afternoon.
I can’t tell you much about this Swedish post-punk band, but I can say that if you like The Church, The Chameleons, Mighty Lemon Drops, and C86/Flying Nun stuff with a little grit in the mix, you’re going to love this one. It’s the kind of sound I can’t get enough of, so I’m always grateful for more in this vein. This seems to be their only recording, released in 1985 on Alchemy Records. Unfortunately, the sound quality is a little thin, since they crammed four songs here at 45 speed, but the quality of the songs makes up for the fidelity.
Guitarist Claes Westling also played in Swedish Indie band Drug, who had one single in 1991. You can grab that one here.
The Surpreme Court- The Supreme Court 7”
1. Ethical Crime
2. Watching Myself Go Down
3. Solid Ground
4. Between Love
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”!
U 137- Härifrån Till Evigheten 7”
1. Baksidan Av Ditt Öga
2. En Som Faller
Been a long time since we’ve had something on the minimal synth side of the spectrum, so after another excellent Thanksgiving break I offer up this little Swedish nugget from 1984. A simple two track 7” of very murky origin, on a label with no other releases credited via discogs, a slice of synth perfection with female vocals that is guaranteed to get your goose, or rather, turkey leftovers cooking… The A-side is best enjoyed by those who like sleazy, funky disco in the vein of Nancy Nova. The B-side is the real treat here, a must for minimal die-hards and worth the price of admission alone, if you’ve got the chowder to purchase your own copy. After downloading, mister Vanilla Face of Crispy Nuggets drew accurate comparisons to Rive Gauche & Carol releases. A perfect comparison, if I do say so myself!
Ania- Ma’king Love 7”
1. Ma’king Love
2. …On the Telephone
Taking a quick glance at the queue, we’ll be getting back to rare tapes over the next few weeks, with an exception here or there. A few hints about some upcoming posts: LC, PM, OD, SI, & LD. Stay tuned for more over the next few weeks!
Here’s a very rare cassette from Glenn Winter, courtesy of the ever-stellar Sean McBride. I was only familiar with this fantastic Swedish minimal synth artist via “Herrens Svar,” which appears on the near flawless Orgelvärk compilation, an absolute must-hear for any self-respecting minimal synth fan. This particular tape hails from 1986 and features several tracks in the same vein. Tor Sigvardson of 18:e Oktober (a similarly amazing project) plays bass on track 6. Definitely don’t pass on this one, folks!
Glenn Winter- Bruna Hundars Död K7 1. Prins Reimon 2. Vägg 3. 23:49 4. Beat 5. Slow-Sleep 6. En Diskussion 7. Bruna Hundars Död 8. Around And Around 9. Born To Loose 10. Fields
I’m pleased to offer the first Samedi 7”, a true Swedish synth masterpiece. You may have heard the a-side on the Retronics compilation, chock full of similar gems. I also posted their 1989 full length almost two years ago. However, the b-side to this 7” has remained unheard until now, and is a nice, short and energetic minimal synth track that should please quite a few ears.
Without any further ado, here’s the info:
Samedi- Between Two Hearts 7” 1. Between Two Hearts 2. World
Second on the slab we have Man Klan’s lone LP, released in 1987. Can’t seem to find much about these guys either, and their entire discography consists of two 12” releases in 1985, this LP, and a 12” single for “Wanting & Waiting.” I believe the band was Swedish, though this particular LP was released on a UK label and features vocals in English. Pretty fluent, to boot!
Some great female fronted gothic grooves on here, sort of reminiscent of Concrete Blonde, (Devils era) X-Mal Deustchland, or Missing Persons, with sexually ambiguous lyrics. Striking similarities to mid-period Siouxsie as well, though track six is not a cover of the Banshees hit.
Man Klan- Flesh Machine LP 1. Wanting & Waiting 2. Everytime 3. Love For Pleasure 4. No Time For Mercy 5. Redheads 6. Candyman 7. Getting Closer 8. Fisherman 9. Flesh Machine 10. Love Child
Here’s something from the other side of the K7 spectrum. Whereas my last post featured a rare post-punk/gothic cassette, this one contains a more experimental/minimal release from Ann Summer, a Swedish two piece.
The release contains several short bursts of experimental synths and cold, gloomy vocals, ending with the catchiest and longest of the lot. Definitely an out there release, but the final track does make for some great dance floor electronics. An interesting tidbit: this cassette was released in 1985 by Neuköln Records, the Swedish label also responsible for the majority of 18:e Oktober’s releases, as well as a pair by Glenn Winter. Both bands are like-minded peers to Ann Summer, combining experimental rhythms with catchy electronics.
With that in mind, here’s the info:
Ann Summer- Baby Doll – Play Suit K7 1. Ann Summer I 2. Gordisk Knut 3. Delirium 4. Ann Summer II 5. Hemisfären (Endymion) 6. Plastisk Population 7. Ann Summer III
Readers of this blog might have noticed several posts featuring Twice a Man, the Swedish synth group still active to date. Not only is the duo’s expansive discography rather solid (and rather genre hopping) from start to finish, one time contributor Lars Falk’s solo discography is just as captivating.
While Lars Falk was only a contributing member to Twice a Man, his three solo releases prove he’s an equally driving force in the Swedish wave scene. A great mix of gloomy synths, icy vocals, and jagged guitars calls both John Foxx and Fad Gadget to mind. Tracks such as “Hello Hello” and “See My Friend Fall” are dj staple around these parts, while the latter also been featured on the fantastic Retronics compilation, which collects several other Swedish acts including Lustans Lakejer, Samedi, and of course, Twice a Man.
That all said, here’s Lars Falk’s three solo releases, all wrapped up for your listening pleasure.
Lars Falk- Through K7 (1983) 1. Let Tomorrow Take Over 2. Hello Hello 3. Rainy Days 4. In The City 5. Through 6. Smell Of Chaos
Lars Falk- TV Eye 7” (1985) 1. TV Eye 2. Doors
Lars Falk- Lars Falk LP (1988) 1. In The Night 2. Kings And Queens 3. Nothing Is The Same 4. Painting Pictures 5. Elmer 6. Dum Dum Boy 7. See My Friend Fall 8. It’s Here Again
Yet another icy piece of Swedish minimal/coldwave for you, as this post features another solid Twice a Man record. We’ve already covered this glorious band several times over, so click here and here for more info and music. Otherwise, this particular LP sees the band experimenting with more atmospheric and ambient textures, all while keeping their signature synth-perfection intact. This particular record also features “Girl,” one of the band’s best known tunes, also featured on the Retronics compilation. Get that here, if you’re in need.
The LP was released in 1986, and was re-released on CD in 1993 with an extra bonus track added. This is the version uploaded below. Here’s the info:
Twice a Man- Works On Yellow LP/CD 1. Brave New World 2. Happy Life 3. Lapwing Territory 4. Girl 5. Back On Venus 6. Left 7. Backward Mode 8. Time 9. Africa
Samedi were a synthpop band hailing from Sweden. I first discovered their classic track “Between Two Hearts” on the fantastic Retronics compilation, which collects several of their peers. Whereas other Swedish synthpop bands like the Mobile Homes earned some cult success in the States, Samedi wasn’t able to achieve the same success despite a similar sound. Otherwise, the band formed in 1983 as a four piece, and fluxuated between three and four members throughout the course of the 1980s.
The band’s discography consists of three 7” singles and one full length record. All of their releases were pressed via Canned Music, the band’s own label. After calling it a day in 1990, members of Samedi focused their efforts on manning a recording studio, producing, writing, and engineering several more Italo-tinged bands over the years. Check their discogs page for some of the tracks the band worked on.
Without any further ado, here’s the information for their 1989 full length, Doubts & Beliefs.
Samedi- Doubts & Beliefs LP 1. Big 2. In Our Time 3. Above Me 4. Strangers In The Night 5. Say Say Goodbye 6. Winter’s Coming To Town 7. Touch 8. Give Me All 9. Oh Mother Earth 10. I’ll Fly 11. Lay Down Your Head 12. Open Up (Long Dist Dance Mix)
The band do keep an official myspace page here. Upon getting in touch, the band said they are working towards remastering and re-releasing the now out-of-print Samedi material for a possible reissue. If you dig this record, show yr support and encourage the process! Naturally, this post will self destruct when that happens.
Meanwhile, still been meaning to get started on the ol’ 8 tracks account, but in the interim, take a peek at this particular audio/Youtube track to take a listen to “Between Two Hearts” (not featured on this LP, mind you).
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.