Archive for the synthpop Category

Private Blue- She’s Love 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, german, private blue, synth, synthpop, westside music on August 7, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Moving right along on the synthpop front, this has been a recent DJ obsession of mine. You can hear it pretty regularly at Jupiter Disco in Brooklyn, where Goutroy, Jane Koh, and I spin every first Saturday night. Come say hello if you’re ever in the area!

Shameless self-promotion aside, this track is MASSIVE. While it was released in Germany in 1986, it has a rather distinctive Italo flavor mixed with a bit of the Westside sound that the label was best known for. For those unfamiliar, Westside was responsible for Celebrate the Nun, MCL, Axodry, Moskwa TV, and the incredible Few Boys single posted here quite some time ago. These bands should definitely paint a picture of what you’re in for here.

With that in mind, here’s the details:



Private Blue- She’s Love 12”
1. She’s Love
2. Help Me Tonight (Radio-Version)
3. She’s Love (Radio-Version)

*download it here*

Superdude- Face the Music 7”

Posted in 1980s, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, New York, new york city, superdude, synthpop, US on August 7, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Apologies in advance for being sparse this summer and completely missing my official ten year anniversary! With that in mind, I’d love to offer up a few posts today, starting with an excellent slice of minimal synthpop- extremely rare and incredibly catchy- just the way you all love it.

Superdude was a pseudonym for NYC-based musician John Pergamo, who wrote the track with his brother Anthony. It was released in 1983 on Ace Records, which looks to be Pergamo’s own imprint, judging from the various latter-day Superdude releases that appeared. This is Superdude’s only release in the 80s, though it looks like he kept the synthpop feel for some of his later releases, though I haven’t heard them to confirm.

That said, please enjoy this little slice of electro-pop heaven, backed with an instrumental cut of the track!

Superdude- Face the Music 7”
1. Face the Music (Vocal)
2. Face the Music (Sound Track)

*download it here*

Various Artists- Faces and Images LP

Posted in 1990s, 1991, ebm, minimal, minimal synth, Schmaalhans Weltraumm, swedish, synth, synthpop on January 23, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Straight out of the mailbox, onto the turntable, and to your ears all within the span of a weekend, here’s a rip of the wonderful Faces & Images compilation, which features a slew of lo-fi EBM, synthpop, and minimal treats.

This comp. hails from Sweden and was released in 1991 on Limur, who also released the Schmaalhans Weltraum 7”. Their signature track appears here, as well as an amazing lo-fi synthpop cut from Sidewalk Cindy. Other highlights include the Bites-esque band + Christ (their only known track), Kiethevez’s “Female Trouble” (which is heavily indebted to Depeche Mode’s pre-Music For the Masses era), Art Domination’s “Remember,” which channels D.A.F.’s electro period, and the killer Pet Cemetery tune “Set Right All Right,” which also owes a lot to early Skinny Puppy. There are also a few experimental cuts by Grönlandsbruttan and Verschwende Deine Jugend, which remind me of Factrix and a more out there Nitzer Ebb, respectfully.

Despite all the traceable influences and genres, there’s not really a dud on this comp., so please press play and enjoy!

Various Artists- Faces and Images LP
1. The Outcast- White Coat Compassion
2. Boiling Brain- Real World
3. + Christ- Filtering Vision
4. Grönlandsbruttan- Häxans Otäcka Dröm
5. Kiethevez- Female Terror
6. Schmaalhans Weltraum- Montagne De Boeuf
7. Pet Cemetery- Set Right All Right
8. Sidewalk Cindy- A Hundred Things To Say
9. Verschwende Deine Jugend- Source Of Conflict
10. Art Domination- Remember

*download it here*

Litfiba- Yassassin 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, darkwave, italian, italo, italo disco, post-punk, synth, synthpop on January 13, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy New Year, ladies and gents! Been trying to shake the dust off of 2016 to begin what will be the TENTH year for Systems of Romance. Having started this blog in summer of 2007, I never thought I’d be doing this as long as I have been, while many other blogs have come and gone and interests have waned. It’s true, there just isn’t *as much* undiscovered stuff left to reveal.

Even with that being the case, my interests still lie in collecting and restoring things that have been posted elsewhere in higher quality, and I’d like to start this year off with more of the same. I’m choosing this particular 12” in tribute to David Bowie as well, for this week marks both his birthday and deathday all in one, so what better homage? In this instance, Italian giants Litfiba tackle “Yassassin,” a high point from the last installment of David’s legendary Berlin trilogy. While the original, featured on 1979’s Lodger, is a moody, Middle Eastern flavored track with a reggae tinge, Litfiba take the track into the Italo-drenched stratosphere, translating the awkward rhythms into heavy kick blasts and synth stabs. It’s an inspired choice, one that helped bridge the gap between their earlier post-punk releases and embracing the big beat dance sound they would become famous for in their home country. Both versions of “Yassassin” (an extended dancefloor mix and a shorter radio mix) sandwich an original track, chock full of a similar middle eastern flair that sounds equally inspired by Lodger‘s wanderlust. In general, the band would adapt a very Mediterranean-informed vibe from here on out, all but tossing their UK influences out the door.

For more on Litfiba’s rich and storied history, feel free to brush up here. Otherwise, hope you all enjoy!

Litfiba- Yassassin 12”
1. Yassassin
2. Elettrica Danza
3. Yassassin (Radio Version)

*download it here*

7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence)- 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence) LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence), coldwave, france, lyon, synthpop on December 16, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

Thanks to Nick from Crispy Nuggets for re-ripping this gem for me to clean up and share with y’all! This is the lone LP from French synthpop/coldwave project 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence), which translates to 7th Speech (For Better Existence). A little bit of a mouthful, but what we have here is eight killer tracks of lo-fi synthpop of the highest caliber. Every track here is a gem, most ripe for the dance floor, with a few moody coldwave numbers included for good measure.

The LP was self-released in 1987. The band hailed from Lyon featured Xavier Martin on synths, bass, guitar, and vox, Eric Arcil on synths, and Christophe Berthoux on synths as well. This is their only logged release, though the band’s Facebook page linked a few deleted videos with additional song titles, so perhaps there are demos or a self-pressed follow up in someone’s collection. Would love to hear more about that, if so! Otherwise, here’s the details:

7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence)- 7ème Discours (Pour Une Meilleure Existence) LP
1. Ruptures
2. Le Bébe
3. Cauchemars De Jour
4. Lait Caillé Et Peau Flasque
5. J’ai Cassé Ma Montre
6. Le Square
7. Vide
8. 7ème Discours

*download it here*

Jyl- Jyl LP

Posted in 1980s, 1984, angela werner, jyl, minimal synth, new wave, synth, synthpop on September 21, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

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Here’s one I’m sure you’ve all heard before but is due for a fresh rip at 320 for all you audiophiles out there! After years of playing most of these tracks out at the Wierd Party alongside some of my fellow DJs, I finally shelled out for my very own copy of this rare minimal/synthpop masterpiece from 1984. For those who don’t know it already, every track here is an absolute winner, hard-hitting, sexually charged, slinky synthpop just the way I like it. Not that I need to sell you on this any further, but for those who are unfamiliar, think Soma Holiday, Hard Corps, Propaganda, Six Sed Red, Silvia, etc.

Lots of great hands on this one from across the ocean. Fronted by Jyl Porch (pronounced Jill, naturally) from the US, this project featured additional lyrical and vocal contributions from fellow synthpop oddball Angela Werner, as well as electronics by Angela’s husband Ingo. Rounded out by Christoph Haberer on electronic percussion, this record also features impeccably glossy production from the legendary Klaus Schulze of Tangerine Dream/Ash Ra Temple. Plenty of other folks lent guitar and backing vocal contributions to the LP, so check here for the full list.

Assuming you haven’t already skipped straight to the download link, here’s the rundown:

Jyl- Jyl LP
1. Mechanic Ballerina
2. Universe
3. Computer Love
4. Positions
5. Dance and Death
6. The Computer Generation
7. Animation
8. Silicon Valley
9. Electric Lady
10. I’m a Machine

*download it here*

Can’t remember the last time we had a video up in here, so please enjoy this excellent (if but unembeddable) promo clip for “Mechanic Ballerina,” featuring lots of pectorals and body paint:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFV15M8Agiw

Glass Lady- Glass Lady 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, italo, italo disco, synth, synthpop, uk on January 6, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

By popular request, and with love from Nick at Crispy Nuggets (who hunted this one down, dropped the needle, and passed it over for a quick cleanup), we have a new and updated rip of the elusive Glass Lady 7”. This track was one of the highlights of the previous SOR comps, even at 128kbps, and I’ve been dying to share it in full high quality, even if the flip is a six minute spaced-out dub mix that pales in comparison to the gloriously Italo-esque, sleazy mid-tempo synth jam that adorns the A-side. Just take a look at the cover- you know right away what you’re in for, and it delivers, in spades.

Like the amazing Tocatta 7” (re-ripped recently for those who don’t follow SOR on Facebook), Nick and I first heard this track in the back of Sean/Martial Canterel’s car, played off a well-loved cassette sent by a fellow friend and collector. We’ve been obsessed with both tracks since and have spent years tracking these singles down. All things in due time, I suppose!

As for the details, there’s very little out there to report. According to the sleeve, Glass Lady was the working name for Marty Flynn, based in the UK. The record was made in Jersey and released in 1985, most likely in extremely limited quantities. Happy hunting and happy new year. y’all!

Glass Lady- Glass Lady 7”
1. Glass Lady
2. Glass Lady (Dub)

*download it here*

Various Artists- Systems of Romance Vol. 7 & 8

Posted in 1980s, coldwave, compilations, Intro, mélopée, New deutsche welle, new wave, post-punk, synth, synthpop, systems of romance, uk, various artists, Vibø, wave on September 1, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

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?

sor7

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

sor8

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

*download both compilations here*

Vol. 7 credits:
1. French band, released in the mid 90s, early 2000s. Also known as Beyond the Nightmare About Claudia.
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 the UK, 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!

Tone Set- Calibrate Mini-LP

Posted in 1980s, 1983, arizona, minimal synth, synth, synthpop, synthpunk, tone set, US on August 22, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Been slacking for a bit here, my apologies. Skipping to the top of my imaginary queue is a fresh rip of Tone Set’s classic Calibrate mini-LP/12”, released on Valentine’s Day in 1983. I originally covered this band in 2007, back when I was posting only a handful of tracks and maybe a video or two, and it took eight years to track a semi-affordable copy of this gem down. Man, time flies!

Click here for a refresher on this Arizona-based synthpunk band, who invoke the same spirit as Devo, The Units, Voice Farm, Oppenheimer Analysis, etc. It’s also worth noting here that the A-side features upbeat pop songs while the B-side features re-recorded versions of their earlier tape experiments.

Tone Set- Calibrate LP
1. Life Is Busy
2. Living In Another Land
3. Slim
4. Out Out!
5. What Good’s A Hit Song?
6. Wigglin Around In Middletown

*download it here*

More soon, I promise!

Colour Scream- 12” Discography

Posted in 1980s, 1988, 1989, new wave, synthpop, US on July 6, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve been kinda loving this band for some time, and finding a few cheap copies of their discography has solidified it over the past few weeks. Colour Scream were a US based new wave band from southern California that flirted with a variety of styles across one mini-LP and remix 12”, released in 1988 and 1989 respectively via Whet Reign Records.

I’d recommend starting with the Dance No More 12”, which features several similar remixes of the title cut, a synthpop SMASH that hits hard where it counts. Equally nasty as it is catchy, it’s definitely ripe for the dance floor. There are two additional tracks on this 12” (one that’s exclusive) that are more indicative of their overall style, a hybrid of Flock of Seagulls-esque wave with college rock leanings. Closest comparison I can come up with is the underrated Vigil LP from 1987.

If you dig the additional tracks from the 12”, there’s more to be found on the mini-LP. But even still, no track is the same, and while some are pure wave goodness, the acoustic dirge “So Long” is a standout for me, almost like a precursor to Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” as far as mood is concerned. The version of “Dance No More” from the mini-LP is very different, more dramatic and a bit darker than the remix version, almost beatbox-esque. Kinda took me surprise after playing the hell out of the remix!

Here’s the deets:

Colour Scream- Living and Dying (1988)
1. Will My Fear
2. Across the Sky
3. Jasmines Faith
4. Walls In the Way
5. So Long
6. Dance No More

Colour Scream- Dance No More 12” (1989)
1. Dance No More (Radio Mix)
2. Across the Sky
3. The Monster and I
4. Dance No More (Sir Arthur Mix)
5. Dance No More (Tiananmen Square Mix)

*download both here*