Archive for the synth Category

Eirin Peryglus- Bronson 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1987, eirin peryglus, minimal, minimal synth, synth, synthpop, uk, wales, welsh on June 27, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an old favorite that the postman just dropped off at my door the other day, so I thought I’d celebrate with a fresh rip of this Welsh synthpop classic.  Released in 1987, this is the first of five releases by the band, and my favorite that I’ve heard to date.   Seriously, the A-side is the perfect mix of powerful female vocals, chorus-heavy guitars, and a rollicking beat, which plenty of synth hooks to keep you coming back for more.  It’s been a regular in my DJ sets for some time, and I’d honestly rank it as one of my all-time favorites, through and through.  The flip is no slouch, either!

Vocalist Fiona Owen was also a member of Plant Bach Ofnus (translation- Timid Little Children), who were a little more on the esoteric side, but no less delightful.  Her husband, Gorwel, was also a member of the project, and the two still make music together to date.

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Eirin Peryglus- Bronson 7”
1. Bronson
2. Y Dyn Newydd

*download it here*

The Sensational Creed- Nocturnal Operations 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 1985, 39 lyon street, 7'', billy mackenzie, christine beveridge, jih, minimal, minimal synth, orbidöig, steve reid, synth, synthpop, the associates, the sensational creed on February 26, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

I spent the majority of last year re-ripping a lot of my 7” collection and delicately cleaning up the sound (you can find more evidence of this here), so to tide you over until I finish putting the finishing touches on a new VA compilation, I figured I’d post a few of these here and there.  I’ll have that VA comp up in the next week or two, so stay tuned!

This has always been one of my favorite semi-obscure 7”s, clocking tons of plays and spins over the years.  This single was originally released on Situation Two in 1981 under the name Orbidöig, and this particular version was released in 1985 on Beggars Banquet with an identical track listing (though Down Periscopes has become Down Pericomoscopes for whatever reason. though likely a misprint).  I’m not sure why the band changed their name in general, but Sensational Creed is certainly a little easier to type…  There’s a third Orbidöig/Sensational Creed song on the 12” version of this reissue, a killer instrumental track that clocks in at 10 minutes, but I don’t own a physical copy of the 12”, so I won’t include it here for the time being.

Otherwise, this single has strong Associates connections, with Billy Mackenzie often calling Orbidöig his favorite band, despite their relative obscurity at the time.  The a-side features heavenly vocals from Christine Beveridge, who sang backup on several tracks (and Big Country’s breakthrough!) and also wiggled another “side project” out of the affair under the name 39 Lyon Street, created by Mackensie and Alan Rankine to release a single outside of their contract, with Ms. Beveridge on lead vocals and a properly credited Associates cut on the flip.  Steve Reid was also the second guitarist of the Associates, playing on 1985′s Perhaps after Rankine and Michael Dempsey’s departure three years prior.  It was likely this lineup change that dug this single out of obscurity and prompted a re-release.  Reid also played synths in Nu Shooz and bass on two tracks for Jih.  As if that wasn’t enough, Mackenzie also played tubular bells on the a-side here (though he is incorrectly credited as doing so on the b-side on the sleeve), while he and Mike Hedges (The Cure/Fiction Records) manned the mixing board with Reid.   The result is a killer single that while very Associates-esque in execution, stands on its own as a classic.

There’s another Orbidöig single, released in 1982 under the name Mackenzie sings Orbidöig, which features Billy on vocals and Reid on instruments.   I believe this one is considered an Associates release, taking the lineup changes and timing into consideration, and the track appears on a recent Associates singles collection.

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Sensational Creed- Nocturnal Operations 7”
1. Nocturnal Operations
2. Down Pericomoscopes

*download it here*

Sally Patience- The Triangle Man 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, electro, electronic, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, sally patience, synth, synthpop, uk on January 15, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Before we get started on new posts for 2014, may I please direct your attention to the following re-rips and reuploads:

B-Movie- Singles (new rips of Nowhere Girl, Remembrance Day, Marilyn Dreams, & the addition of A Letter From Afar 12”)
Signal Aout 42- Pleasure and Crime (new rip)
U-Bahn X- Young Hearts of Europe (new rip, new 7”’ rip, + digitally inserting Jabba the Hutt on side B)

Otherwise, sorry for slacking!  I have a bunch of new, unheard posts in the works, a new various artists compilation, as well as a few re-rips of classics from my own personal collection to keep us busy for the first part of the year.  So with that in mind, let’s kick the year off with a minimal synth classic that I believe was posted before by the great BX, but has disappeared since.  I came across a cheap, sleeveless copy of this one in a dollar bin here in NYC, played it once or twice at WIERD, and promptly forgot that I had it until recently, when reorganizing and digitizing my 7”’ collection.  This one is a tried and true killer, a bizarre electronic romp from 1984 with thick synth bass, disco strings, and eerie female vocals.  The best analogy I can think of is dystopian disco- the kind of dance music that you’d dance to in Blade Runner or Logan’s Run, for example…  The chorus is especially killer, and pays off in spades (human is so humorless- love that line).  Fans of JYL/Angela Werner should also love this one.  The b-side is equally stunning, a more unsettling synth track with a flamenco flair and backwards masked vocal samples.

This is the only single Sally Patience released, and no one knows what happened to her afterwards…  Just a brief moment, as some of the best gems tend to be.

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Sally Patience- The Triangle Man 7”
1. The Triangle Man
2. Buried In My Boots

*download it here*

The Floor- Discography

Posted in 2000s, 2003, 2005, canadian, edmonton, post-punk, synth, the floor on November 5, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

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A good friend of mine recently gave me some sage advice.  To paraphrase, he mentioned that it’s a crime to dig too much into the distant past, for fear of ignoring more recent bands who are making incredible music.  By doing this, it only dooms modern bands to the same fate as their forgotten predecessors.

I can’t agree more, and while I’m still on the hunt for forgotten 80s treasures (and have plenty more coming in the mail, mind you), there are quite a few bands from the turn of the century that have already fallen by the wayside in lieu of their more Pitchfork-centric peers.   While the post-punk resurgence of the mid-2000s wasn’t the true second coming we all hoped it would be, there are still several bands who managed to make some incredible music, overshadowed by bands like Interpol, The Strokes, The Rapture, etc., who dominated the scene.

I received a lot of great feedback about Branches, another band that Jason recommended and shared a rip of here, and with his advice in mind, I plan to share a handful of more recent bands that we’re both fond of.  First up is The Floor, a Canadian band who flirted with electronics, classic post-punk bass tones, and shoegaze textures, mixing those timelessly great techniques with big hooks, solid musicianship, and killer songs.  I discovered their only full length back in 2006, shortly after it was released, and it’s a seasonal favorite.  Over the years, I’ve clocked more plays on Personnel than I have any other album from that era, and know the whole record like the back of my hand.  However, I hadn’t heard anything else from them, and as like many bands from that era (including many of my own), I presume they broke up soon after.

However, Jason was able to provide a rip of the two EPs that preceded Personnel, completing the official discography.  The EPs are just as good, as one might suspect…  In general, fans of bands like The Chameleons, A Flock of Seagulls, and For Against’s December should LOVE these guys, and I hope you enjoy these records as much as I do…

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The Floor- Doll (2003)
1. Catastrophe
2. Seconds Later
3. Feature 74
4. Doll
5. Warning Signs
6. Mistake to Make
7. Daffodil

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The Floor- Autonomy Off/On (2003)
1. Drown Inside
2. Isolene, I
3. Automation
4. Impossible
5. Noncom
6. Blank Reaction
7. Cloud of Blinding Light

personnel

The Floor- Personnel (2005)
1. Fallout Forever
2. Someone Else
3. In the New World
4. The Guilt of Silence
5. Personnel
6. Glass Heart
7. Freeze/Frame
8. What Do You Know?
9. Occur
10. Never After
11. Alone On Your Own

*download all three here*

The Chyldren- Mortis Hora

Posted in 1980s, 1987, darkwave, synth, synthpop, the chyldren, uk on October 29, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Now that blog culture has come full circle, there are very few “holy grails” left to uncover.  However, this LP has achieved near mythic status to me over the years after hearing a loose track ages ago.  I don’t even remember how I came across the track, and having it tagged improperly didn’t help much, as it took me some time to figure out that the band name was The Chyldren and not The Children.  Either way, I was always curious to hear the rest of it, and here we have it, another donation that comes courtesy of xerfrank.  Thanks again!

All talk aside, this record, like VHF and Eleven Pond before it, deserves it’s mythic status, less so based on the quality of the recording but moreso because it was never *officially* released.  Sure, there are copies of it out there, especially if you’ve got $700 to spare, but good luck finding this one in your local record store.  The story behind it is simple: band makes record, record goes to print in 1987, record does not make it past the test pressing phase.  It should be self explanatory, but in case you’re not a vinyl collector or of a younger generation, test pressings are simply copies of an album used to gauge the quality of a pressing, as anomalies, variables, and errors can be rather commonplace.  Now in my experience, there’s usually only four or five test pressings of a given record, mostly for individual band members or label personnel.  With that in mind, I’m not sure how 8 people (or more, since discogs records are never 100% accurate) came across a test pressing, but I suppose it could be possible that they pressed more of these than usual to be sold at shows or given away to friends.  Either that, or some people on discogs are theoretical collectors.  All copies of this album come complete with a (rather goofy) cover/sleeve that looks professional, but the inner label is handwritten, as shown here in photos.

Now, let’s talk a bit about the music.  You might expect this record to be a complete novelty, judging from the goofy cover, terrible font choices, and religious themed psuedonyms used by the three band members (my personal favorite is Lucifer the Cross, though your mileage may vary).  Well, it’s not.   The album is a rather good, if but a little one-dimensional synth-driven record that utlizes the same bombastic drum machine pattern and vocal melody on almost every track.  So, while the band certianly doesn’t take themselves too seriously, even on the compositional side of things, there are some nice gems to be found here, even if they all sound pretty interchangeable with each other.  The good news is that the album is rather short- 7 tracks in 25 minutes, so as long as you like the vibe, it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

You know, it’s funny that I mentioned both VHF and Eleven Pond up there, as this album almost comes across like a hybrid of both records, combining the synth-heavy, toe-tapping catchiness of VHF with the darkwave/Factory records vibes of Eleven Pond.  The religious themes also remind me heavily of Eyes of God, but in all honesty, this LP sounds like a long lost, fully synth-driven cousin of Sanity Plexus, but I digress.  Check this one out for yourself.

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The Chyldren- Mortis Hora LP
1. Private Crucifixion
2. Sin
3. Chase Me
4. Speed
5. Burn
6. Fade Away
7. You
8. Dope

*download it here*

Toccata- We Are the Sub-Machines 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1987, british, new wave, synth, toccata, uk on October 8, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I first heard this one on a cassette while sitting in a car outside the Wierd party with Martial Canterel and Nick from Crispy Nuggets, and we all couldn’t get enough of it.  I’ve been trying to track the single down since with no luck, but many thanks to Klumpa for providing a rip of this one to share.   We can expect a few more treats along these lines, including a handful of loose tracks just itching to be compiled and an Italo flavored 7” to come over the next few weeks.

Very little info to be found about this band (who shares the name with classical terminology, making it difficult to google), though the sleeve indicates that this was released in 1987 and featured the duo of Jan Sinclair and Pete Ward, with various guest musicans and backup singers contributing.  There are a few Pete/r Wards out there, some active around the same period, so I can’t really pinpoint which, if any, are responsible.  Believe me, I’ve tried!

However, here we have two excellent tracks, the a-side coming across like a Kissing the Pink/Eurythmics hybrid with a stomping, torch song rave-up, while the b-side has a very neofolk-esque frailty reminiscent of the Nature & Organisation record and other Rose Mcdowall contributions over the years…

Any more information on this one is welcome!

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Toccata- We Are the Sub-Machines 7”
1. We Are the Sub-Machines
2. Gypsy Eyes

*download it here*

Lama- Love On the Rocks 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1983, electro, electronic, italian, italo, italo disco, lama, lucio battisti, new wave, synth on September 24, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

While many of you are still digesting the latest Sequins and Spandex compilation, I’ll add this as an additional supplement.  This particular 7” became a WIERD party favorite towards the end of our tenure and I still break it out from time to time when I DJ, as it never fails to get the party started.

We kicked off the latest compilation with the 12” version of the track, but here’s a fresh rip of the 1983 7”, complete with the B-side intact. Certain versions of this single have “Nineteen Ninety Three” as the a-side and “Love on the Rocks” as the flip.   My 7” clearly has “Love on the Rocks” as the title track (with the cover art below), but grooms the flip for the rightful A-side placement.  Let’s just call it a double A-side, as both tracks are killer electro/italo tracks well worth their weight in gold.  I prefer the dark apocalyptic feel of “Nineteen Ninety Three” overall (written by Arcibaldo aka Antonino Cocco), but the other track is no slouch, and is apparently a more electro-fied cover of Lucio Battisti’s original disco smash “Il Veliero.” Curiously enough, this 7” was released on Numero Uno records, which boasts many of Battisti’s own releases from the late 70s and beyond. There also exists a 12/7” remix single for “Love On the Rocks” with several versions of that track, but I don’t have those here to rip.

lama

Lama- Love on the Rocks 7”
1. Nineteen Ninety Three
2. Love On the Rocks

*download it here*

Sequins and Spandex Part VIII

Posted in 1980s, disco, hi nrg, italian, italo, italo disco, mixes, new wave, sequins and spandex, space disco, synth, wave on September 18, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I meant to post this at the beginning of summer 2012, and put it off for some reason or another. Though the season is coming to a close here in New York, I figured the longer I waited, the more I’d keep pushing it back, so better late than never…

For those unfamiliar with this series, I have a semi-closeted love of Italo disco- a cult Italian-centric genre of music (though the influence can be heard all over Europe in the mid-1980s) with shameless hooks, catchy vocal lines, and drum machines/synths that push the gear to their robotic limits. As with any dance craze (see also: new beat & freestyle) the same law of diminishing returns holds true: for every truly great italo gem there’s a ton of terrible or overblown ones that flooded the market, so with these compilations, I attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I generally steer towards the darker italo, things that sound right at home in a John Carpenter flick or alongside the more club-friendly minimal synth tracks (and file right in line with some of the things I post here), and obviously, the less overtly corny the songs are, the better, though that’s not to say I don’t like a little sprinkle of cheese here and there.

So this is my eight installment of the series, the rest which can be found HERE. Some major favorites in this installment, including another Sensative track, the Disaster’s KILLER “Oh My God This Sound,” Ein-St-Ein’s mid-tempo romp through sleazy Italian streets, and Moskow’s epic “Come Back.”   I may say this every time, but this may be my favorite installment of the series…

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Sequins and Spandex Part VIII
1. Nineteen Ninety Three- Lama
2. Pendulum- Smiles
3. Oh My God This Sound- Disasters
4. Varsavia- Ein-st-ein
5. Don’t Be Afraid- Some Bizarre
6. Give Me- Sensitive
7. Red For Love- Grant Miller
8. A Love Again- Savage
9. Rise Up (For My Love) (Club Mix)- Yvonne Kay
10. Dreamland (Extended Vocal Version)- Mark
11. She’s Gone Away- Jimy K
12. Come Back- Moskow
13. Grace- Three Of You

*download it here*

I have a special 7” to post next that somewhat duplicates one of the artists on this compilation, so if this is your bag, stay tuned for more sleazy, sweaty nightmusic next week…

The Beloved- Demos & Peel Sessions 1983-85

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 1984, 1985, post-punk, synth, the beloved on August 28, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I’m pretty new to The Beloved, having been turned on to their early singles/Where It Is compilation LP late last year. I had originally heard their later material, generally more dance/club friendly affair in the vein of Cause & Effect, Anything Box, etc. While the UK band (now a duo) has enjoyed tons of success since embracing the electronic club scene, the Cure-loving post-punk kid in me was very surprised and excited to hear that the band’s earliest material had more in common with B-Movie, The Chameleons, Modern Eon, and other emotive post-punk bands from the turn of the decade. Sure, there were still synths around every corner, but the keyboards were more focused on mood and atmosphere, leaving the sparse hooks to the vocals, guitars, and bass. Songs like ‘Saints Become Us,’ ‘In Trouble and Shame,’ and ‘Slow Drowning’ (oh god, ESPECIALLY ‘Slow Drowning‘) quickly became all-time favorites, and moody Wierd barn-burners in the last few months of the party’s existence.

These tracks here predate even the earliest singles, and employ the same early post-punk vibes heard on the singles that followed two years later. The demos were recorded in 1983/1984, and the peel sessions were recorded in 1985, just before the release of their first singles.  Only two tracks from the Peel Sessions would appear on various singles, the aforementioned ’Trouble and Shame’ and the excellent ’A Hundred Words.’  ‘The Flame’ appears as both a Peel cut as well as a demo, while the rest of these tracks are new- two of which were recorded as The Journey Through, as the band was known until guitarist Guy Gausden joined.  My favorite of the entire lot is easily ’Privacy (Sometimes),’ which features the same sort of arpeggiated gloom explored in ‘Slow Drowning’– perhaps the track evolved from this early demo, but either way, I love that song so much it’s great to hear something that lives in the same world… 

All of these tracks (and more spanning the band’s career) were originally made available on The Beloved’s website, where you can also hear newer material and read up on the band over the years. So with that in mind, please excuse the bitrate. I normally handle my own rips and give you guys the best quality possible these days, but in light of what’s available, I feel these tracks deserve to be heard regardless, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

the beloved

The Beloved- Demos 1983-1984
1. The Flame
2. A Search
3. The Last Detail
4. Privacy (Sometimes)

*tracks 1-2 recorded as The Journey Through (though I have them tagged here as The Beloved for easy organisation)

The Beloved- Peel Session Jan. 1985
1. The Flame
2. A Hundred Words
3. Idyll
4. A Beautiful Waste of Time

The Beloved- Peel Session Oct. 1985
1. So Seldom Solemn
2. In Trouble and Shame
3. Jospehine
4. Up A Tree

*download everything here*

Luxus Bent to Scale- Smiling Daughters 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, luxus, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, ohio, synth, US with tags on May 21, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a 7” recommended highly by a few collectors out there.  This one hails from 1982 and features a dirgey, drum heavy minimal synth sound very similar to Pink Industry (with vocals that sound like a pitched down/drugged out Bowie or John Foxx) on the a-side.  The B-side is a little more new wave-y by definition, but still a great listen.  Fans of Fallout Club may like this one as well.

This is the band’s second single on Stork Records, the first released under the name Luxus.   I only have the A-side of that at 128, but if someone has this one and can rip both sides, feel free to chime in!  EDIT: Soul brotha Nick over at Crispy Nuggets just exhumed the first 7”, so head on over there to grab it.

Chuck from the band chimed in recently and had this to say about this excellent slice of synth goodness:

Recorded in a basement on a Dokordor Open Reel 4 track on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. I know this because I played bass, some keys, and audio manipulations. Smiling Daughters took months to record, I’m So Confused(I’m A Mess) took a weekend.

You heard it from the source, kids!

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Luxus Bent to Scale- Smiling Daughters 7”
1. Smiling Daughters
2. I’m So Confused (I’m In A Mess)

*download it here*