Archive for the 1970s Category

Robert Rental- Paralysis 7” & Double Heart 7”

Posted in 1970s, 1978, daniel miller, minimal, mute, robert rental, scottish, synth, the normal, thomas leer on April 21, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s post features Scottish electronic music pioneer Robert Rental (real name: Robert Donnachie), who grew to prominence in the underground music scene in the late seventies/early eighties. Though he’s received a fair amount of credit for his live work with Daniel Miller (Mute Records, the Normal) and Thomas Leer (The Bridge LP, released in 1979 under Throbbing Gristle’s record label), he also recorded two 7” synth singles that are well worth a listen.

The Bridge was released on CD in 1992, but no further recordings appeared before or after. Robert Rental passed away from cancer in 2000.

Zipped up below are both of Robert’s 7” singles in one file. The details:

Robert Rental- Paralysis 7” (1978)
1. Paralysis
2. A.C.C.

Robert Rental- Double Heart 7” (1980)
1. Double Heart
2. On Location

*download them here*

Screamers- Demos ’77-’78 LP

Posted in 1970s, 1977, 1978, LA, los angeles, punk, screamers, synthpunk on January 4, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s band may not need much introduction, for even having not released a single full length record, their impact is immeasurable. Arguably the first synthpunk band (though perhaps Suicide and Devo may deserve further pioneering credit), Screamers hailed from the inner recesses of LA, and were among the first wave of the initial punk explosion. Unusually (especially at the time), the band incorporated tape loops, electric pianos, and synthesizers into their sound, mixing with the usual manic antics of the punk movement.

Screamers initially formed in 1975 as The Tupperwares, but were forced to change their name in lieu of legal action. From 1977 until their demise in 1979, the band became a LA sensation, selling out various clubs in California. Their trademark spiked hair and manic demon faces (both as their logo and part of the band’s image) became highly recognized symbols of the era. The band split before recording a proper full length (though they attempted to record a video record release, as their sound was arguably aided more by their visual presence), with Paul Roessler joining LA’s second synthpunk act, Nervous Gender soon after. Not much is known about the other member’s whereabouts, though singer Tomata du Plenty passed away in 2000.

Several bootleg releases comprised of live tapes or rehearsal demos were released in the band’s aftermath, as interest in Screamers rose as their followers (such as the Dead Kennedys, whose vocalist Jello Biafra sung their praises) gained more notoriety. I’ve uploaded one of these releases, the Demos 77-78 LP.


Screamers- Demos 77-78 LP
1. The Beat Goes On
2. Thru the Flames
3. Sex Boy
4. If I Can’t Have What I Want (I Don’t Want Anything)
5. She’s the Girl
6. I Wanna Hurt
7. 122 Hours of Fear (Part 1)
8. 122 Hours of Fear (Part 2)
9. Punish Or Be Damned
10. Government Love Affair
11. Peer Pressure
12. In a Better World
13. Vertigo
14. Magazine Love
15. It’s a Violent World

*download it here*

Neon Hearts

Posted in 1970s, british, paul raven, post-punk, punk, uk on October 29, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Just last week, influential bass player Paul Raven passed away, and today’s post pays tribute to one of his earlier bands, Neon Hearts.

A few years before Paul would co-form Killing Joke, he would join the ranks of fellow UK punk rockers to form Neon Hearts in 1977. The band would embellish upon the bare-bones punk structure, complimenting it’s furious rhythms with blaring saxophones, a precursor to the sonic experimentation that would soon birth the post-punk movement.

The band gigged regularly, saving up cash to record their first single, Regulations, released in December, 1977. After more relentless touring, the band gained a relatively large following and signed to Satril Records. However, the glory of a recording contract did little to stop the band from splitting at the seams far too soon, mostly thanks to Satril Records’ constant meddling in the band’s creative process. The band split just before their first full length, Popular Music was released in April of 1979.

I’ve uploaded both sides of their debut Regulations single for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

download Neon Hearts- ‘Regulations’
download Neon Hearts- ‘Venus’

Though the band’s records are tough to come by in their original form, Overground Records has compiled their discography (both singles and their full length) into one collection, also entitled Popular Music. Click below for a purchase link.

Purchase Popular Music from Overground Records.


Posted in 1970s, 1980s, akron, chi pig, post-punk, wave on September 28, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve heard about these folks for some time now, and have been itching to get ahold of more material. The band is Chi-Pig, a female-fronted wave trio hailing from Akron, Ohio.

The band formed in 1977, though members Susan Schmidt and Deborah Smith had previously been involved in 60’s girl group The Poor Girls. Chi-Pig got their curious moniker from a local barbecue joint and even curiouser, would take to wearing loud, Latin-inspired outfits, a style which had nothing in common with their jerky, post-punk sound. The band would come to some prominence in the wake of the success of similar-styled outfit Devo, but without securing a proper record contract, the band folded in 1982.

Until recently, only a handful of Chi-Pig tracks had been made available on various compilations and promotional discs. However, in 2004, the band released Miami, a full-length record consisting of 1979 recordings. From what I’m gathering from their official site, the band reunited for a one off-tour to promote a documentary honoring Akron’s music scene, but it’s unclear whether or not the band is still active.

For your listening pleasure, here’s a duo of Chi-Pig tracks, both featured on various compilations:

download Chi-Pig- ‘Apu Api (Help Me)’
download Chi-Pig- ‘Ring Around the Collar’

And here’s a few handy-dandy links for more on Chi-Pig:

Purchase Miami from
Official Chi-Pig site

Swell Maps

Posted in 1970s, art-punk, post-punk, swell maps, synth on September 11, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Swell Maps are among the most influential and chaotic bands of an early post-punk movement. The band originally formed in the early seventies by brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (Nicholas and Kevin Godfrey respectively) but waited until the punk explosion to become a full-blown force.

The band would further bastardize and obliterate the three-chord boundaries of punk rock, experimenting with expansive Kraut rock sounds, utilizing tape loops, and practically destroying synthesizers on tape. Both of their full length records include ambient soundscapes and short segments of noise in between shrill yet catchy lo-fi punk songs.

Though their tenure on record barely lasted over a year and change, the band would leave a spectacular trail of songs and sonic experimentation before their demise in 1980. Both brothers would join other outfits and pursue solo ventures, and compilations of single tracks and unreleased material would soon find their way to the market in the wake of the band’s budding influence.

I’ve uploaded a duo of tracks, the first is a personal favorite, a sprawling, clanging instrumental piece featured on their second and final record, 1980’s The Swell Maps In…Jane From Occupied Europe.. The second is a straightforward art-punk tune featured on 1979’s A Trip To Marineville. Enjoy!

download Swell Maps- ‘Big Maz in the Desert’
download Swell Maps- ‘Blam!’

No real footage or videos of the band exist in full form, but I’ve come across a live version of ‘Let’s Build a Car From the Tyranny of the Beat’ backed with assorted live bits and bobs.

Fortunately (and most refreshingly), the majority of this band’s official (and unofficial) output is available for purchase by clicking the following link:

Swell Maps on


Posted in 1970s, 1980s, chrome, experimental, industrial, noise, san francisco, synth on August 29, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s band was so truly innovative that most of their output sounds futuristic and ahead of its time even today…

Formed in San Francisco under the pretenses of making ‘scary, funny music,’ Chrome was created by a drummer/synth player and a lone guitarist in 1976. Though the band would start as a straightforward synth-driven psychedelic project, their music would quickly take a turn for the more experimental and strange as the band shifted lineups after their debut. Over the course of four years, the band, (mainly) consisting of Helios Creed and Damon Edge, would release a slew of albums, their development accelerated by their extremely prolific nature. Their songs were part science fiction epics, part pre-punk fury, and mostly deconstructed experimentation.

This short incarnation of the band would serve as a blueprint for the upcoming post-punk and industrial movements, Chrome joining the ranks of early innovators Suicide, Silver Apples, and Throbbing Gristle. When the band split in 1983, Damon Edge relocated to Europe and continued on under the same name, releasing records consistently until 1995, when he died of heart failure in Los Angeles. Upon Damon’s death, Helios reformed the band out of tribute, carrying on sporadically with new and original collaborators both live and in the studio.

Here’s two tracks I’ve uploaded from the original incarnation of the band. The first is a more rare but solid track, released in a more widespread form via recent compilations of the band’s earlier material, and the second is the lead-off track from their 1977 record Alien Soundtracks.

download Chrome- ‘In a Dream’
download Chrome- ‘Chromosome Damage’

and for your futuristic, acid-loving viewing pleasure, click below to watch the (very A Clockwork Orange-esque) video for the 1980 single ‘New Age.’

Most of their recorded output is extremely difficult to get a hold of, outside of anthologies and used bins. However, according to their official site, three early records have been re-released and remastered. For more information on all of this as well as more on the band, please click below:

Official Chrome site
Chrome 1979-1983 Anthology on Amazon