Archive for the synthpop Category

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:

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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

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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*

The Severance- Dreams Of Youth 12”

Posted in 12'', 1990, 1990s, ebm, synth, synthpop, the severance on June 24, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Sometimes I forget just how much I love synthpop. We’re talking giant beats, huge hooks, almost shameless use of electronics and a tremendous command of melody. Mostly I just love stuff that sounds like classic-era Depeche Mode. Meanwhile, I picked this one up in a cheap-o bin in the bowels of NYC, and with just one glance to both the front & back covers, I knew exactly what to expect and knew it would hit that sweet spot…

This particular German 12” kicks off with a killer four-on-the-floor track. This track could have fit nicely in a set with “Strangelove,” Cetu Javu, Few Boys, Secession, Celebrate the Nun, and so on and so forth. While hearing three tracks of solid synthpop without any variation would have suited the works just fine, there’s a bit more to this record than meets the eye. While “Dreams Of Youth” will satisfy even the most thirsty of palates, the second track is the clear winner in my book, a more aggressive track with a little EBM flavor. Fans of The Arch, Aimless Device, and A Split Second should adore this one. The third track falls back to the synthpop sound, but is just as catchy as the A-side, with a slower tempo and a chirpy arpeggiator running throughout.

This is the first of three releases from The Severance, released in 1990 (arguably the peak of this sound), and I haven’t heard their 1994 LP to see how the band evolved over the years. Two members would reconvene as Winterkälte in the mid 90s, with a harsher, more industrial/ebm sound.

That all said, hope you enjoy!

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The Severance- Dreams Of Youth 12”
1. Dreams of Youth
2. Electrocult
3. Crying Child

*download it here*

In other news, I just returned from San Francisco, which after a few days of record digging with Goutroy, I found some more gems to share, as well as a few to re-rip in higher quality. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for some West Coast goodies and some other surprises!

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*

Inbase- Christine 12”/7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, die toten hosen, german, inbase, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, synthpop on January 28, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another minimal synth classic that I believe has disappeared from the blogosphere, but also wasn’t ever shared in its complete form, as far as I can recall.  You can still hear this track at various clubs across the globe, and it was certainly in regular rotation in my own sets over the years. It also begs the question- who the hell is Christine and why does she have so many songs written about her?

Inbase was a studio project between three German musicians, Andreas Von Holst, Stefan Telegdy, and Herbert Böhme. They recorded this classic single in 1984, chock full of stabby guitar liness, driving electronic drums, and synth hooks at every turn (fans of Xoris Perideraio’s “48 Siopes” or Cinema 90′s “In Ultra Violet” should love this one, too). The single did fairly well at the time, garnering a pantomimed appearance on a German television show (linked below), but I don’t believe the trio ever performed live or recorded any further material together. Böhme would go on to record under several different monikers into the 90s, while I believe Von Holst is still active in Die Toten Hosen (under the name Kuddel), a punk band he joined in 1983.

There are three versions of “Christine” spread across various formats. I’ve included both 12” versions as well as the 7” single mix. I don’t happen to have the 7” instrumental edit, but if I come across it, I’ll be sure to include it in an update. That begs the question however- does anyone truly crave instrumental b-sides? It’s generally an italo phenomenon but I’ve seen it a few other times. I generally don’t listen to them myself, but I’ve always been tempted to make minimal synth/italo karaoke files with the handful of straightforward instrumental mixes I’ve acquired over the years… Any New Yorkers up for this? Anyway, I digress. Here come the downloads:

inbase

Inbase- Christine 12”
1. Christine
2. Christine (Instrumental)

bonus- Christine (7” Mix)

*download it here*

As promised, here’s an edited TV appearance of the track:

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*

Peggy & the Pills- Nobody’s Bride 12”

Posted in 12'', 1985, italian, italo, italo disco, peggy & the pills, synthpop on December 4, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

It’s been a very low energy week here at SOR headquarters, so here’s something that gets my blood flowing a bit more, and hopefully will have the same effect on you.

This is a one off Italo 12” from Peggy & the Pills, recorded and released 1985.   While some Italo records fetch insane prices (some of the highest I’ve ever seen, actually), this one can still be found for a few bucks, and is worth picking up for anyone interested.   While the sound is very much in the Italo disco vein we all know and love, this song also calls the sweet, sugary, and sharp edge of bands like Strawberry Switchblade, Pink and Black, and especially Book of Love to mind.  There’s also some guitar undercurrents throughout the track, little stabs of chorus-infused strings that add an interesting element to the track.  I’m also reminded a bit of Stephin Merrit’s Future Bible Heroes project a bit, the sardonic wit of the lyrics call to mind some of the best moments from Eternal Youth, an album I used to adore (but haven’t thought about since coming across this record).

As with most Italo projects, the creators of this track had their hands in other releases.   Keyboardist Marcello Ciao was also the engineer for an early Litfiba release, while Mario Natale (arrangement) also worked with Den Harrow, Clockwork, and dozens of other Italo artists.

 

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Peggy & the Pills- Nobody’s Bride 12”
1. Nobody’s Bride (Vocal)
2. Nobody’s Bride (Instrumental)

*download it here*

Sadly, Peggy Richardson, the wedding-dress donning diva from this 12”, passed away a few years ago, but drummer Andrea Contini has posted an excellent video honoring her life and the project.  This video appears to be the only “live” recording of Peggy & the Pills, and shows the three piece band backing Peggy in 1984, who swaps out her trademark wedding dress at the halfway mark.   Check it out below:

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*

Ania- Ma’king Love 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, ania, minimal, minimal synth, swedish, synthpop on November 26, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

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

*download it here*

 

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!

Six Sed Red- Shake It Right 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, b-movie, cabaret voltaire, electro, Marc and the Mambas, soft cell, synth, synthpop on November 13, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

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

*download it here*