Friday, May 29, 2009

MC²: Selftitled LP

It seems like there is an endless supply of German new wave bands. There was a huge
underground tape culture, and many blogs (most notably Mutant Sounds) have posted countless
NDW tapes and private releases. Personally, it's a genre that's hit-or-miss. There's almost always an element of silliness and quikiness in German new wave. Some releases are quirky and fun, and sometimes the silliness is detrimental, to the point of just being stupid.
Fortunately, this album falls square in the former - almost every song is a bouncy classic, with loads and loads of synths, choppy guitars, and German vocals that I can't understand. This is up there with Palais Schaumburg, Croox, Malaria!, Zero Zero, 1.Futurologischer Congress and others who combined their silliness with a bit of gloom and loads of straight- ahead electro-pop.

MC²: Selftitled LP
1982, Gulp Records
A1 Stadt Aus Stahl
A2 Gen-X
A3 Keimfrei
A4 E = MC²
A5 Kleine K├Âniginnen
B1 007
B2 Erde
B3 Ufos
B4 Schutzlos
B5 Du Willst Nur Mich

PRIMARY COLORS: Fact and Fiction EP

Here is an EP from a Boston, MA band that I have seen on eBay a couple times a year; it always fetches a modest price, but I have never seen it shared before. In my opinion, it is completely underrated, and chock-full of great synthpop that's slightly melancholy, not overly poppy, with a perfect amount of electronics and a touch of gloom. Two synth players, a bassist and a drummer (no guitars) are a perfect combination for synthpop. Fact and Fiction is a great pure synthpop track, and Original Sin should drive the fans of darker minimal synth carzy. Anyway, in summary: download this. It's great.

Primary Colors: Fact and Fiction EP
1982 Urban Noise Records
A1 Fact and Fiction
A2 Notorious
B1 Small World
B2 Original Sin
B3 Fiction (Reprise)

YOU: Neek EP

Well, since Mutant Sounds shared You's first LP, Are Coming, I thought I would share You's final release, the EP Neek. If you read that sentence aloud, it really makes no sense, huh? I think that's what the band was going for. Like, after the night of a show, a fan could say to their friend "I saw You last night! You is great!", and thoroughly confuse them. Grammatical irregularities notwithstanding, this band played some great new wave/synthpop. Cheesy and poppy and kitchy at times, of course, but it's mostly very good. They have a lot of similarities with fellow US new wave bands like Xex, Nullset, New Occupants, Units, and Computer Sex.

You: Neek EP
198?, Empire Records
A1 Technological World
A2 What's On Your Mind
A3 Untitled
B1 Rock the Night Away
B2 Line of Fire
B3 Untitled

Monday, May 18, 2009

MODE/IQ - Mind/Soul mLP

Here is a mysterious mini-LP from a New York band called Mode/IQ. I can find no info on these guys aside from what is on the jacket and insert. They only list their first names on the sleeve, which certainly does not help. The only info I found is that the producer and engineer, Albert Garzon, is the person who wrote all the songs & played synths on the Evening in Torpor LP that I posted a while back. So, that's kinda interesting. And apparently this band has some other releases out there (live tapes and some singles and EPs, but I don't know if those are on vinyl or cassette), but this is the only one that I have found online. As far as the music, it sort of combines electropop with the downtown-NYC punk funk sound (Del-Byzanteens, Bush Tetras, etc). Definitely a good record, and I personally would be interested in hearing more from them if anyone has anything...

Mode/IQ: Mind Soul mLP
1984, Modern Mode Music
A1 Competition
A2 Confidence
A3 Looking Through Your Mind
B1 Two Different Things/At Random
B2 I'm Immune

Click here to download this mLP!

HOLY TOY - Panzer and Rabbits LP & Why Not in Choir? LP

There is always a problem when record shopping with a friend who has similar tastes - especially when shopping in a foreign land, full of records you'll never see back in your homeland, not even in a million years. Inevitably, one of you will find a record that the other covets. Jealousy and envy will rear their ugly heads. Tensions will rise. And records will be thrown at high velocity.
...Well, perhaps that's a bit of a stretch. But still, I was pretty jealous when my friend and I were shopping in Antwerp, and he came over to me, holding a copy of Panzer and Rabbits, and said "Wow, I just listened to this album by Holy Toy. Have you ever heard them?" While I HAD heard them before (and had their first album and their Soldier Toy 12"), I was only a casual fan, playing their record once in a while for background music. But in the moment that he brought the record over, it was as if I instantly became their biggest, most fanatical fan ever.
"YES I HAVE HEARD OF THEM holycrapwheredidyoufindthatrecordIhavebeensearchingforitforYEARS!"
He was... taken aback. Needless to say, he loved the record and intended to buy it. My heart sank. Sure, I was holding a stack of 30 records that I intended to buy, some of which I had been looking for for years (Nuit Blanche compilation, anyone?), but that didn't matter. I needed THIS record as if my life depended on it!
"Um... I'm gonna go listen to this record, now", he said, pulling out a Das Wesen album. I hadn't heard them before, but the cover looked cool, and I winced. Ouch, buddy, I thought as he turned to walk back to the record player. Just twist the knife deeper, why don't you?
So, in the end, I did not get the Panzer and Rabbits LP. However, within 5 minutes of our little exchange, I found a copy of Holy Toy's third album, Why Not In Choir. And my friend let me borrow his album so that I could rip it. ...let's just see if he ever gets it back. MwaHAHAHAHA!
Well, if you have ever wanted to hear the second or third albums by this highly underrated industrial darkwave post punk synth noise experimental goth band, wait no longer. They sound like early Laibach, or mid-80s In the Nursery. Dark militaristic drumbeats, extremely atmospheric noises, synths, guitars, and dark, menacing vocals make this band one of my current favorites. You can find the first album and the Soldier Toy 12" on Mutant Sounds here:

Holy Toy: Panzer and Rabbits LP
1984, Sonet Records
A1 Fresh News-Larve
A2 Last Leader
A3 Doors Of Perception
A4 Armageddon
B1 Men And Dog
B2 Travel Agency
B3 Telegram I
B4 Many Of Them
B5 Captain Bom-Bom-Bom
B6 Telegram II

Click here to download Panzer and Rabbits!

Holy Toy: Why Not in Choir? LP
1985, Sonet Grammafon AS
A1 Under Skin
A2 Medals
A3 Dr. Wood
A4 Wosh Up
A5 Zone
A6 Men At Work
B1 Pray
B2 Empty Meat
B3 Last Act
B4 From Angel To Devil
B5 Why Not In Choir

Click here to download Why Not in Choir!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER: Industrial Poppies LP

I had no idea that ol' Nessie actually recorded an album, but here is proof that not only does he exist, but that he also knows how to use a synthesizer! Which is odd, since you would think that using an electric instrument in a lake would electrocute the poor monster.
Regardless of whether or not he was shocked when making this album, this 1985 record is a strange gem of electro-pop. In fact, it actually walks the line between electropop and industrial quite well. Perhaps this is early industrial dance? At times, it really reminds me of Gelatinous Citizen (whose sole album you can download from Mutant Sounds here.
It also has some sax, pianos, and an experimental bent on several tracks on side 2. I believe it's the work of one guy (or lake monster) from the UK; it was released on Hamster Records (cute!), with silkscreened covers, and no liner notes and minimal credits. So it's a bit mysterious, and definitely worth downloading.

The Loch Ness Monster: Industrial Poppies LP
1985, Hamster Records
A1 Cut Me Down to Size
A2 2D Sex
A3 Plastic Baby
A4 Renoir's Mother
A5 Mind the Gap
B1 Mobo
B2 Christmas Again
B3 Time Base Corrector
B4 Paint he Dado Red
B5 Nightmares

Click here to download this record!

THE LOCAL MOON: An Experience 7"

Well, here is the band with the laziest lyricist ever. The Local Moon released only one record, and the lyrics to all three songs were poems by the late American beat poet Bob Kaufman. And since they misspelled his name on the credits, I suppose that maybe it's for the best that they didn't try writing anything of their own.
Of course, since the band didn't spend time writing lyrics, they had plenty of time to write the music, and they did one hell of a job. The standard guitar and drums are accompanied by oboe, clarinet, ethno brass, and more. And while that sounds like it would be bad world music, it is actually incredibly gloomy, experimental, and atmospheric darkwave, especially the incredible "An Experience".
Apparently only a few hundred copies were pressed, and they were bundled with an underground magazine from Berlin called Verwendung - Heft4. I wish I had that magazine, but alas, I'll take what I can find. This is very recommended stuff!

The Local Moon: An Experience
Record Partner Hamburg, 1988
A1 A Experience
B1 Dolorous Echo
B2 Response
(please note: I ripped side B as one song since they flow into each other)

Download this 7" here!