How about some Russian synthpop from 1984? This is the band Forum and their song Let’s Call Each Other. It’s good to know while our governments each had hundreds of nukes aimed at each other most of us were doing far more important things such as synthing out.
“USSR: utterly sick synthesizer rhythms” – Jack Saba (Youtube)
Philippe Laurent is from France and Distorsion was recorded sometime in the early 80s. It was re-released in 2011 on Minimal Wave Records. Be sure to head to Philippe’s Facebook page to see some of his great live show photos as they have a super 80s aesthetic: click here
“Philippe Laurent is a plastic artist, musician and designer. Whether working with graphic codes or digital codes, plastic arts or music, Laurent’s approach is one of research, specifically having to do with people’s perception of signs and symbols. As a multi-media artist, he has always been open to new technologies, whether he is composing musical works or creating graphic works. During the 90s, he reached a landmark with his inter-disciplinary work via shows in France and Germany, by designing complex pieces that mixed various advanced techniques. His paintings, the illusion of calligraphies on monochromic funds, pose a question about the relationship between signs and meanings.” – minimalwave.com
In the video above you see the emerging dance scene in NYC. If you ever listen New Order’s Confusion and thought wow this is well produced and really works well in a nightclub now you can know the reason. Producer Arthur Baker tells how he tested the track in club specifically to sound good there. At that time most music heard even in clubs had melody and lyrics. At 13:58 in the reporter amazingly has an epic thought and asks Baker if he thinks if eventually dance music will just be rhythmic without vocals or melody. He knew the future!
“The other question is what would be the next? Because things are becoming more and more rhythmic. Do you think we will end up with just complete rhythm records with no melody whatsoever?”
I found this band Claps randomly on Spotify last night and quickly fell for them. In my book the song Wreck is a 10/10. Can’t tell if every step that I’m taking is one forward or another one back.
“Cemented in their belief to play analog instruments without the aid of computers, Minnesota-based Claps are a trio with strong ideals. Channeling the ‘70s synth sounds of Depeche Mode and Joy Division, they perform minimalist measures with dark, foreboding themes…” – popmatters.com
25 years ago today Depeche Mode stood in front of 70,000 people and performed their most important concert. This is when music mattered. This is when underground synthesizer music took over. Depeche Mode showed the world that they were no niche. I was in the front row and backstage. I never heard a crowd so loud. I doubt a crowd ever loved a band as much as on that night in California.
“The largest but also the most prestigious concert we’ve ever played as a headline act.” – Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode)
I am pleased to announce I am working on a new EP with Radical G. You can hear a clip of the first song we are working on called Here Comes the Storm above. Glenn is from Belgium so he has Electronic Body Music rhythms in his blood. I think we will have another two songs finished by August and soon after we will take the stage together here and there. I expect this EP to be a big one.
“Dark electronic madness founded in 2002 by Glenn Keteleer with pounding Rave sounds and techno hooks. No excuses regarding styles, Gloomy atmosphere’s, Wave & Elektro infuences by legendary bands as TNJ and Front 242 are part of the game… There’s no denial the Belgians have a fond taste for the darker side of the spectrum.”
Today we have the 80s synthpunk band from Philadelphia called the Executive Slacks. I love the Limelight and Cat Club flyers as they look so familiar to me. I like this mix of synth, sharp guitar as effect and monotone punk vocals.
“The Executive Slacks were an industrial/goth band formed in the 1980s in Philadelphia (USA) and were fronted by lead Matt Marrello (guitar and vocals). He was replaced in 1987 by Athan Maroulis until 1991 when the band broke up. The other band members were Bobbie Rae, John Young and Stuart Levy. Their album “Fire and Ice” (1986, Cleopatra records) included an electric cover of the Gary Glitter cover “Rock and Roll”.” – Last.fm
Here’s another wonderful time machine find. Disco Volante is music project based in London from songwriter Terry Tanx. The single No Motion was released in 1984.
“In 1984 Disco Volante released a single “No Motion” C/W “Click” and “Punishment Tank”. The single did not do well commercially and due to a strike in the music press didn’t receive any publicity at all. The whole Electronic Music landscape has changed since the early 1980s. When Disco Volante recorded No Motion, the studio engineer was shocked, when arriving at the studio all of the equipment used on the single could be put into a couple of hold alls. For those interested in the technology the equipment used on the single was: Roland TB 303 Bassline, Roland TR 606 Drum-matix, Roland MC-202 Sequencer, Roland SH-09 Mono synth.” – discovolanteonline.com
Skinny Puppy’s new album is about to be released. Like a lot of old Industrial or EBM bands I lost faith that I would hear much new stuff that I would be interested in. However, when I heard the song 101 (2011) by the SP related Ohgr project I knew somewhere the old fire existed. Well here we have the new album Weapon and Skinny Puppy bought some of their old equipment back, dusted off other toys left in closets and return to their roots. You can hear a full preview of the new album at Revolver Mag (link). Listen to the songs Wornin’, saLvo and the new version of Solvent and you are transported.