Archive for June, 2008

7” grab bag no. 2

Posted in 1970s, 1977, 1979, 1980s, 1981, 1985, 7'', british, coldwave, french, grab bag, industrial, lars falk, metal urbain, post-punk, spk, synthpunk, twice a man on June 30, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for the delay here, folks…but to make up for it, here’s another one of those 7” grab bag posts, in which i’ve zipped up four singles for your listening pleasure, including one request from an Australian chum. Here’s the information and a quick blurb about each 7”.

SPK- No More 7” (1979)
1. No More
2. Contact
3. Germanik

This is the very first release by Australian industrial collective SPK, and certainly one of their most primitive and direct. This one was a limited run of 200 copies, and the a-side has yet to appear on a proper CD release, though both ‘Contact’ and ‘Germanik’ are featured on their Auto-Da-Fé LP.

Metal Urbain- Panik 7” (1977)
1. Panik
2. Lady Coca Cola

One of the very first synthpunk bands…French origins. This is their first 7” single, but most of their earlier work has since been collected on the Anarchy In Paris compilation.

Lars Falk- TV Eye 7” (1985)
1. TV Eye
2. Doors

Lars Falk is one of the ex-contributing members of Swedish coldwave act Twice a Man, who’s previously featured here. Though it shares the name with the Stooges classic, the a-side is an original number.

Where’s Lisse?- Talk Takes Too Long 7” (1981)
1. Talk Takes Too Long
2. You Stole My Gun

There’s something charming about this otherwise rickety and rough record from this British four piece. This is one of two releases (they followed this with an equally scarce 12” single), and is chock full of early post-punk energy. EDIT: cover scan provied by Rudeboy Noah! Thanks a ton!

*download all four here*

Moderne- L’Espionne Aimait La Musique LP

Posted in 1980s, 1981, coldwave, french, minimal, new wave on June 23, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Fulfilling a quick request for the second Moderne LP today, so look for a proper writeup on these guys and their first record here. Otherwise, here’s the info for the band’s second LP, 1981’s L’Espionne Aimait La Musique, which featured new vocalist Dominique Marchetti.

Moderne- L’Espionne Aimait La Musique LP
1. Switch On Bach
2. Mercenaire Solitaire
3. Judo-O-Dojo
4. La Romance
5. Qu’Elle Me Caresse
6. Eldorado
7. Video Idéale
8. L’Homme D’Affaires
9. Dilemma
10. Mode

*download link removed*

Minimal Wave, the fantastic NYC-based label known for collecting and reissuing obscure synth and wave gems has just recently released a double LP/CD, which contains both of Moderne’s groundbreaking records! Click here to nab your copy while the getting is good!

Algebra Suicide- The Secret Like Crazy LP

Posted in 1980s, 1988, 1990s, algebra suicide, chicago, minimal, poetry, spoken word on June 20, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s band is a curios anomaly that walks the line between minimal synth and beat poetry. Algebra Suicide formed in Chicago in the early 1980s. Essentially a two piece affair, the band combined the analog electronic sounds and thin, direct guitarwork of Don Hedeker with the beat-inspired poetry of Lydia Tomkiw, a published poet at the time of the band’s formation. The band’s unique style earned them some critical acclaim during their tenure.

The band’s discography consists of several EPs and a few full length records (mostly compilations) throughout the eighties and early nineties. The band seldom performed live, but often incorporated multimedia visuals for a trifecta of literary, visual, and musical approach. The band presumably split in 1994, and both Don and Lydia pursued solo ventures. However, in 2007, Lydia Tomkiw passed away in her home in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 48…

Here’s the information for the band’s first full-length record, 1988’s The Secret Like Crazy. The album originally appeared on vinyl and cassette, but was reprinted on CD in limited capacity in 1992 via RRRecords.

Algebra Suicide- The Secret Like Crazy LP
1. Little Dead Bodies
2. Somewhat Bleecker Street
3. Gist
4. Why No Action Is Taken
5. Father’s By The Door
6. Tractor Pull
7. Tuesday Tastes Good
8. In Bed With Boys
9. Sinister
10. True Romance At The World’s Fair
11. Tonight
12. Please Respect Our Decadence
13. Heat Wave
14. No War Bride
15. Let’s Transact
16. Lethargy
17. Amusing One’s Self
18. Recalling The Last Encounter
19. Seasonal Zombies
20. Agitation

*download it here*

Dark Entries records has just reissued a compilation of Algebra Suicide material, four tracks of which were sourced from this LP.  Well worth picking up if you want to hear more and support the band!
For a more suitable discography and proper biography of Algebra Suicide, click below:
Algebra Suicide on Trouserpress dot com
official page via Clive Barker’s website (a little outdated)

Moderne- Moderne LP

Posted in 1980, 1980s, coldwave, french, minimal, new wave on June 19, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Today calls for a little French electro-pop/minimal wave/whatever tag you want to put on these guys. It’s hard to classify, as some songs are cheery as sin, while there’s a hint of ice cold electronics throughout.

The band is Moderne, a French four piece formed in a town just south of Paris in 1979. Moderne released but two albums and a few 7”s, but each record featured a different vocalist. This is the first of the pair, a 1980 self-titled affair.

Moderne split soon after their second album L’Espionne Aimait La Musique was released, but have enjoyed some cult success with “Switched on Bach,” a single pulled from their swan song, also featured on 2004’s So Young But So Cold compilation.

Without any further ado, here’s the info for Moderne’s first record:

Moderne- Moderne LP
1. Indicatif
2. Séduction
3. Histoire Ordinaire
4. Electronique
5. Vers l’Est
6. Rock’n Roll Stars
7. Sans Signalement

*download link removed*

Minimal Wave, the fantastic NYC-based label known for collecting and reissuing obscure synth and wave gems has just recently released a double LP/CD, which contains both of Moderne’s groundbreaking records! Click here to nab your copy while the getting is good!

Various Artists- Some Bizzare Album LP/CD

Posted in 1980s, 1981, depeche mode, soft cell, some bizzare, the fast set, the the on June 16, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

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.

Various Artists- 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.

*download it here*

open debate

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Regular activity on this blog will resume shortly, but first, I’d like to spark a bit of a debate. Recently, I’ve gotten a few emails and comments from musicians involved with the projects I’ve been posting, some of which are amazed to see such interest in their art, while others who are somewhat peeved (though only one has threatened legal action, back in this blog’s salad days) to see their records offered up for free. As a musician myself, I definitely understand this concern.

Here at Systems of Romance, I make a point to push and encourage the lot of you to buy the records I zip up, and oftentimes include links to pick up the records if they’ve been re-released. I seldom post material that is still in print and easy to get ahold of, if I can at all help it (naturally, many of the coldwave discs I posted a few months ago would cost us $50 or more, with the depreciation of the dollar to keep in mind). Otherwise, most of what I post hasn’t even made the jump to compact disc, or if it has, it’s long since off the shelves and impossible to track down without paying heinous prices on ebay.

In the end, if any artist is upset about seeing their work offered up here, I entreat you to drop me an email and say so, but also if your record is still in print to please tell us where we can get a copy. The way I understand it, an ebay auction does no justice to the original artist, so if it means paying $100 to get a particular record, there’s no money involved that goes back to the creators, it’s pure profit for the lucky sod who managed to get a copy before it became scarce. At least more folks can enjoy it here. However, if anyone feels strongly against seeing their work posted here, a simple email saying so will suffice, and I’ll happily take it down and point people in the proper direction to purchase a copy instead.

These days, it’s hard to draw the line between blatant theivery and free promotion, when CD sales are dwindling and most classic obscure material remains so. However, a whole new resurgence of interest takes form in blogs like these and soulseek/limewire/etc. Personally, I find it to be great exposure for otherwise low-key artists during their tenure. As I mentioned above, I would prefer if folks paid for the Funeral Crashers album, but if the price tag stops folks dead in their tracks, I’d rather give our record away for free than let it remain unheard. It just doesn’t make sense to me to have a record collect dust, in print or even virtually, when it’s meant to be enjoyed…

Anyway, I’d hope some of you, musicians and fans of this blog alike, would chime in and express your opinions on these matters, for I’d like to hear what you all think. Regular activity will probably resume next week, but I’d like to hear something from you kids out there in the crowd.

*ps: if you’re reading this on livejournal or on your feed program, please visit the home page and leave your comments there, as your words will most likely go unseen.

Blue In Heaven- All the God’s Men LP

Posted in 1980s, 1981, blue in heaven, irish, martin hannett, post-punk on June 6, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Blue In Heaven were a band I covered ages ago, before Systems of Romance became more album-focused. However, as I’ve just nabbed a copy of their debut record off Ebay for a mere buck (a refreshing change from the usual prices most albums I post fetch), I figure it’s appropriate to revisit them for a full length feature.

A quick recap: Blue In Heaven formed in Dublin in 1982, and quickly gained a heavy cult following due to their post-punk edge, recalling the likes of early Bunnymen, the Chameleons, and U2 (who championed the budding band every chance they could). Their first record was produced by Martin Hannett, notorious for his production work with Joy Division/New Order and the rest of the Factory family.

The band’s discography consists ofr a handful of singles, two full length records (1985’s All the God’s Men and 1986’s Explicit Material), and a final EP (if anyone has this, please send it my way). The band split in 1989, and soon after, they reformed with a slight shift in direction as Blue Angels, who released one full-length record in 1993.

Here’s the info and link for Blue In Heaven’s debut:

Blue In Heaven- All the God’s Men LP
1. Sometimes
2. The Big Beat
3. It’s Saturday
4. Old Ned
5. All You Fear
6. Julie Cries
7. Like A Child
8. In Your Eyes
9. Slowly

*download it here* (RE-RIPPED 1/6/16)

No official videos from this era, but click below for some live footage of Blue In Heaven performing ‘Red Dress’ live @ Self Aid. This song, though a regular in their live set, has never appeared on any Blue In Heaven release…

Inca Babies- Evil Hour

Posted in 1980s, 1987, blues, deathrock, inca babies, manchester, post-punk, uk on June 4, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s something a little more explosive and guitar oriented than the usual fare. Today’s post features UK post-punk act Inca Babies, who formed between 1982-83 in the industrialized neighborhoods of Manchester. The band took several cues from the likes of the Birthday Party, the Cramps, and the Gun Club, influences which the Inca Babies proudly wear on their sleeve.

As the UK music scene shifted away from the initial wave of post-punkers into a more synth based dance direction (especially in Manchester with the rise of New Order and the Happy Mondays), the Inca Babies soldiered on for four years total, releasing four records and several 12” singles and EPs. The band split in 1987, and in 2006, a collection of favorites hand picked by the band was released on Cherry Red Records.

Uploaded below is their final LP Evil Hour, released in January of 1987, a few months before the band split. The details:

Inca Babies- Evil Hour
1. Evil Hour
2. Long Uphill Trek
3. Partisans River
4. A Madmans Demise
5. Bad Hombre
6. Artillery Switchback
7. Two Rails To Nowhere
8. Volts
9. Burning Town
10. Young Blood

*download it here*

For more info on Inca Babies, including an official discography and an image gallery, click below. Also linked below is a link to purchase the band’s retrospective, Plutonium via Cherry Red Records.

Inca Babies homepage
Cherry Red

Sleep Chamber- Musik For Mannequins K7

Posted in 1980s, 1984, 1990s, boston, experimental, industrial, musique concrete on June 2, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Sleep Chamber are an early 80s industrial collective consisting solely of John Zewizz and an otherwise revolving door lineup. The outfit formed in 1980 in Boston and was experimental in nature, yet as time passed the outfit shifted in styles several times over.

The late 80s saw a more EBM/synthpop direction, while Sleep Chamber began creating dark ambient music into the nineties, shifting between those two styles for the remainder of the decade. The band dropped from most radars in the new millennium as Zewiss’ personal troubles caused the project to self destruct, and it’s unclear whether Zewiss plans to record after a hiatus. However, a few collections of unreleased material has appeared and rumors hint at new material in 2008.

I’ve uploaded what seems to be Sleep Chamber’s third cassette release, entitled Musik For Mannequins, a more experimental/musique concrete release from 1984. Without any further ado, here’s the information:

Sleep Chamber- Musik For Mannequins K7
1. Victmm
2. Jungle Disease
3. The Lantern
4. A Distant Cry
5. Conversations In Between Walls
6. Left Side Of The Tomb
7. Twenty Three
8. The Last Fantasy
9. Rite To Death

*download it here*

This fan-run myspace page comes complete with a brief interview with John Zewiss, an interesting read for more information about the band’s whereabouts and future plans. Click below to take a peek:

Sleep Chamber on myspace