Wednesday, September 30, 2009

(ELEVEN) POND: Bullets / Fate 12"

Well, it only makes sense that, for my 100-post (and roughly two-year) anniversary, I would share a follow-up to my first-ever post. Just a week ago, I was at my favorite local record store and noticed an album that looked oddly familiar. It was the same rough tan cardboard as the Eleven Pond LP. It was silkscreened. It was hand-numbered. The font was almost the same. And the band's name was POND... The credit insert confirmed what I was thinking: this is a pretty much completely unknown follow up to Eleven Pond's extremely sought after (and now reissued!) LP. After co-songwriter and bassist/keyboardist Jeff Gallea left the band (amidst quite a bit of tension, apparently), the rest of the band carried on and recorded this one last 12". I talked to Jeff at the Nina Belief/Ronin show at MRX last Saturday, and although he knew that they recorded SOMETHING, he has never even heard this! He's on better terms with his former bandmates now, and so this upload is as much for him as it is for everyone else. The 12" starts off with Bullets, which has great guitars, drums, and vocals, but the synths are quite cheesy sounding. Still, it's not bad. The song Fate, however, sounds like it could have easily have been on the Eleven Pond LP - it's just a bit more electro, and slightly better-produced, but otherwise sounds exactly like the Eleven Pond we all know and love. Plus, the lyrics and vocals are probably the best that James Tabbi ever recorded. This is a great 12" from a great band, and shows that they weren't even close to running out of ideas. One only wonders what other great music would have been recorded if they had kept it up...

Pond: Bullets/Fate 12"
1988, Metamerism Records
A1 Bullets
B1 Fate

Click here to download this record!


Here is a bit of an oddball record. It is the only release by Canadian electropunk band The Shriek, which was a duo consisting of Blair Petrie and Ben Gaylie, who later collaborated on a very underrated electropop/experimental album that you can find on Mutant Sounds. Before they delved into the realm of pure electronics, though, this duo made some very harsh, lo-fi, amateurish music as The Shriek... It starts out with the two most punk songs I have ever posted to this blog, All Fucked Up and Fuck Up. Judging by the names, you can guess how they sound, as well as their maturity level. But they are both great songs, and things get more artsy with "1980", a one-chord art punk spazout that sounds like Wire channeling NYC no wave. Side two is where the synths go into overtime, with "Lost Control", an amazing electro-punk song that reminds me of one of my all-time favorite bands, Lost Sounds. Kids is like a one-chord Wire song. The most bizarre song is Intermission, a sprawling electronic song that shifts from synths and vocoder to repetitive droney chanting from the point-of-view of aliens. And from the 2:35 point, you'd swear you were listening to a Transparent Illusion song (with loads of vocal effects, though). Overall, this is a very recommended record. I wasn't too impressed at first, but it slowly grew on me, especially side two. If there was ever a Canadian version of the Messthetics comps, this duo would be on it!

The Shriek: Sex Sells EP
1980, Rude Records
A1 - All Fucked Up
A2 - Fuck Up
A3 - 1980
B1 - Lost Control
B2 - Kids
B3 - Intermission

Click here to download this EP!

GT MODELL: Selftitled mLP

I can't believe it, but it's been 2 years and 100 posts since I first started this blog. How time flies and life changes! But at least music remains constant. This week, I have 3 very different records, starting with this one: the selftitled mini-LP from Dutch minimal synth duo GT Modell. Not a lot of info can be found about these guys, not the least reason for which is because they only go by "G" and "T". Both members sang and played synths and rhythmbox, as well as handclaps and razorblades (?). This sometimes veers into sort of poppy territory, but overally it's quite good. Side one is studio recordings, and side two are all live songs (but excellent soundboard quality). I don't think these guys ever released anything else.

GT Modell: Selftitled mLP
1983, Modulation Records
A1 - We Won't Let You Down
A2 - A Name
B1 - Turn On The Lights
B2 - Children Of The Future
B3 - We Are The Pioneers
B4 - Don't Close Your Eyes

Click here to download this mLP!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fred A & Le Travo: Works 1 mLP

This record is actually sort of a request by my girlfriend, who is unfortunately several hundred miles away for another month. I told her that I found this LP over the past weekend, and I ripped it after she said she was very interested in hearing it. I normally don't mix my private life with my public blog, but I figured that since she can't possibly be the only one who will enjoy this excellent album, I would share it!
Without further delay, let me introduce this record - it is a pretty rare split mini-LP from two wonderful Belgian bands, Fred A and Le Travo. It was released in 1984 on the Himalaya label (the same label as the Noh Mask LP I posted earlier in the year), and is one of the more obscure releases on the label. Fred A is very dark minimal wave with synths, sparse drum machines, piano, and somber singing. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the Esquisses LP that Phoenix Hairpins shared several years back. Fred is better known as Fred Angst, one of the two core members of minimalist/postpunk/avant garde band Aroma Di Amore. As good as Fred A is, Le Travo are the stars here, though - they contribute some amazing synth-heavy coldwave songs similar to Weimar Gesang or Opera Multi Steel. This is one of the only two or three records they made an appearance on. This is highly recommended - download this one immediately (you have my permission even if you're NOT my girlfriend)!

Fred A & Le Travo: Works 1 mLP
1984, Himalaya Records
A1 Fred A - De Donkere Dans (4:16)
A2 Fred A - November (4:30)
A3 Fred A. - Blauw Blauw (4:00)
B1 Lè Travo - Caterwaul (4:57)
B2 Lè Travo - Glow Of Gnome (5:13)
B3 Lè Travo - Chiaroscuro (2:45)

Click here to download this record!

Pinkie Maclure - Unman LP & Bite The Hand that Feeds You 12"

This week I have decided to share two releases by the British chantreuse Pinkie Maclure. She has been continually releasing albums since 1985. Here are two of her very first releases: a 12" with David Harrow (who released a VERY highly recommended solo album) and her album "Unman". She combines the feminism and political lyrics of her Ink Records labelmate Anne Clark, with the gloom of Danielle Dax and the raw experimental instrumentation of Diamanda Galas or Mona Mur (among many others) and rolled them all into a ball of dark, melancholy darkwave that was distinct and unique. Her voice is a constant high point - powerful, gothic, ominous and even soulful. I really cannot give enough praise for this album and single. They are strong lyrically, musically, and atmospherically. She is still making music to this day (more in the electro realm, but still great; check out She is definitely an artist who deserves much more wide recognition - download these records and see why!

Pinkie Maclure: Bite the Hand That Feeds You 12"
1985, Ink Records
A Bite the hand That Feeds You
B Don't You Go

Pinkie Maclure: Unman LP
1986, Ink Records
A1 Blue Chevrolet
A2 Subliminal Seduction
A3 Voice of the Silent Majority
B1 The Habit
B2 Different World
B3 Poem
B4 Red Tape

Download both of them here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Q - Cine De Miedo EP & Justine - Amor Acuatico EP

It seems like Spain is terribly underrated when it comes to synthpop and new wave music. I mean, El Aviador Dro is great; Diseno Corbusier is good, but more experimental, and Cetu Javu have a Spanish-sounding name but are actually from Germany, so they don't count. But there ARE gems out there, as evidenced by these
great rarities by Q (also known as Grupo Q) and Justine. And while these two groups share the same primary songwriter, Fernando Carmona, and released records on the same private label (Panoleta Records) and basically sound the same (except Justine has female vocals), they do a great job at lending some true legitamacy to Spain's ostensibly lacking synthpop/minimal synth legacy. Just one listen to Q's synthpop perfection of "Nada Nos Parara" or Justine's slightly dark and Neon-esque Amor Acuatico or ridiculously catchy and fun (if slightly cheesy at times) E.E.U.U.R.S.S. will confirm that these
releases deserve some true respect.

Q: Cine De Miedo EP
1984, Panoleta Records
A1 Cine De Miedo (3:50)
A2 Nada Nos Parará (2:18)
B1 Déjame Ahora Dormir (4:56)
B2 Muñeca Cibernética (4:07)

Download the Q EP here!

Justine: Amor Acuatico EP
1986, Panoleta Records
A1 Amor Acuático (3:48)
A2 Hipnotismo (4:52)
B1 Hoy Me Sobrevienen Cosas Extrañas (3:07)
B2 E.E.U.U.R.S.S. (4:19)

Download the Justine EP here!

Monday, September 14, 2009

THE COUPE DE VILLES: Waiting Out the Eighties LP

The term "holy grail" gets thrown around a little liberally these days when referring to synthpop and obscure 80s records in general. I remember seeing this one described as a "holy grail", and while there may be reasons to apply that term to it, the music is probably not the first reason for this. That's not to say the music is necessarily bad - it's just very much a product of its time, and has not aged particularly well. I decided to share it because I know that a LOT of people are very interested in hearing it. The album will remain a desired curiosity because it is legendary director John Carpenter's band; he is joined by Tommy Lee Wallace (forever known by horror fans as the man who created the incredibly creepy mask worn by Michael Myers in Halloween), and Nick Castle, who actually got to wear that mask as the creepy villain. Further ensuring its status as a rarity is the fact that it was never actually commercially released - it was ONLY given to friends and family. I wonder whose copy I have here?
As a band, the trio is best known for performing the theme to Big Trouble in Little China. Unlike the other actor-cum-musician record I posted a while back (13 year old Ben Stiller's wonderfully amateur electronic band Capital Punishment), the musicians in The Coupe de Villes were professionals using professional equipment, approaching their craft with a safe pop-rock sensibility rather than experimentation. As a result, the music is the kind that could ONLY have been made in the mid-80s - synth-heavy fare with a few good standout songs (the title track is particularly fun, and I'm always a fan of 80s songs that are referential to that decade). It's a curiosity and a relic, and should be approached not as the next lost synthpop classic, but as an obscure release of heartfelt pop music expression by a trio of accomplished horror and action film icons.

The Coupe De Villes: Waiting Out the Eighties LP
1985, RRRRRRictus Records
A1 Waiting Out The Eighties (3:10)
A2 1967 (3:44)
A3 She Has Friends In L.A. (3:38)
A4 Manhole (3:08)
A5 Hard On Me (3:35)
A6 She Doesn't Want You Anymore (2:18)
B1 Back From The Dead (1:47)
B2 On My Knees Again (3:58)
B3 I Really Need You (2:59)
B4 Hollywood (3:22)
B5 Darlin' (All Night Long) (3:25)
B6 Midnight Man (3:49)

Download this LP here!
(Link fixed)

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Well, my earlier post of Perfect Vision's Tongues Out mLP caught the eye of the band, and the synth player & singer (and sleeve designer) of the band, Steve Xerri, gave me recordings of all of the rest of the band's output and asked me to share them. He also geve me a bit of info about each release:

First off is the band's debut EP, ...Our Broken Crown... It was released by Backs and recorded in various studios: Hamster Studios was
a friend's home-based set-up (and the track recorded there, Drive Me,
was the first one John Peel played). Hyperion Studios was owned
by hippie band The Enid, and Spaceward, where Laugh At
Breakage and This Hook were recorded, was the haunt of The Stranglers.

The demonstration tape was recorded mostly on 4-track (Portastudio) in rehearsal rooms, friends' bedroom studios, etc. All the material was laid down before the band released anything on vinyl through Backs. The artwork is from an inlay to the cassette. Repetition is a Bowie song, the rest the band wrote themselves. At one time the band would open their live set with the song Great Figure, its long taped intro, complete with clarinet, played in the dark before they went on stage - heady stuff! It was released on In Der Tat Records and originally distributed by Peeved. Special thanks go to Steve Hartwell, who ran Peeved and was very generous in letting the files be shared.

The Coincidence 12" was financed by Backs; they were all recorded at
Spaceward studios.

If you like the Tongues Out mLP I posted a while back (or, hell, even if you don't), download these here. This is a truly underrated band who played some of the best minimal synth, new wave, electro, and post punk songs of the early to mid 80s.

Perfect Vision:

...Our Broken Crown... EP
1984, Backs Records
A1 Laugh At Breakage
A2 Drive Me
B1 This Hook
B2 Swim To Me

Demonstration single-sided tape
1985, In Der Tat Tapes, originally distributed by Peeved
A1 Play Red
A2 Worksong
A3 This Hook
A4 Bite The Bullet
A5 Repetition
A6 Labour Like This
A7 On Edge
A8 Great Figure

Coincidence EP
1986, Backs Records
A1 Coincidence
A2 Dream Ship
B1 Crossing Borders

Download everything here!


Global INtantilists were a goth/new wave band from Sweden that only released two records in their brief life. This selftitled album is their debut. One of the primary members was Mare Kandre, a writer who ultimately decided to dissolve this band in 1984 to concentrate on her literary craft. At 22, she released her first book, I ett annat land, which resulted in her being hailed as a genius; she would release several more books, many influenced by gothic fiction. Sadly, she died at age 43; it is largely believed to be suicide.
This group is where Kandre honed her writing - the lyrics are dark and gloomy, and the vocals are full of melodramatic shrieks and cries, sounding like Siouxsie Sioux if she was a drama geek. Apparently the band's second album is more straight-ahead synthpop, but this album is the perfect mix of doom and gloom and guitars and artiness and synths. This is the UK Abstract Records release, which had an extra track that the original issue did not have.

Global Infantalists: Selftitled LP
1983, Abstract Records
A1 This Music
A2 Passing
A3 Leaving
A4 Remain Untouched
B1 Crystal Ship
B2 An Inch Of Nothing
B3 The Flight
B4 The Garden

Click here to download this album!

BLUENOSE B: Forever Passing Trains 12"

There seems to be an endless supply of long-forgotten UK bands who are rediscovered on music blogs these days. I don't know what made the UK such fertile ground for great new wave, indie, and post punk music. Bluenose B are one of those bands that fall somewhere in between indiepop, goth, and new wave, with big, BIG guitars and somewhat dark vocals. The song Forever Passing Trains is features loud, driving guitars and loud, pounding drums, and loud, perfectly gloomy singing, and is, well... LOUD. Burning Up is quite a good track as well, and a bit more melodic. This band released this EP and another EP called My Diary (does anyone have this???), and I think they released a song on a regional UK comp as well. It's time they get rediscovered... download this gem and enjoy!

Bluenose B: Forever Passing Trains 12"
1985, Bluenose Records
Forever Passing Trains
Burning Up

Click here to download this record!

KNIGHTKLUB: Mixed Emotions LP

Well, I am back, and I've found quite a few rarities recently, so I figured I would share some!
Here is an obscurity from a US band called Knightklub. This LP was self-released on their own KnightKlub label, and as far as I know it is the only thing they ever released. Two members played synths, one played percussion and drum programs, and one played guitar. The music can range into kinda cheesy light pop fare on a couple songs, but for the most part this is great electronic new wave with a bit of silliness (especially on "Godzilla Apporaches Tokyo), reminding one of bands like You, Nullset, Null and Void, and Units.

Knightklub - Mixed Emotions LP
1984, Knightklub Records
I've Got My Heart on Right
All You Want is Her Body
The Tables Have Been Turned
Godzilla Approaches Tokyo
The Haunting for K
These Three Years
Talking That Terminal Jive
I'm Unwinding
Glad for Mom

Click here to download this record!