Take One

Front 242 Take One

You can bet I am going to try and buy one of these new red 7-inch Front 242 records when they play live in NYC this September. What I want even more is for the band to go back to their old sound. They know people love the older material. They can pick up where they left off after Tyranny for you. Ok guys? Please?

“Pressed on red vinyl and limited to 500 copies, the 7-inch is the second release from the relaunched Wax Trax! and the first Front 242 release on the label in 25 years. It will be sold only at Front 242?s three U.S. dates — in Tampa, New York and Chicago — this September, according to the label. The single will include a remastered recording of “Take One” performed on Sept. 28, 1984, at Medusas’s in Chicago — the group’s debut American performance — and a version of “Im Rhythmus Bleiben” recorded at the Wax Trax! Retrospectacle concert in 2011.” – slicingupeyeballs.com

For more info: waxtraxchicago.bigcartel.com

Flame Tame & DPO

Put this video on at about 6:14 in and it sounds like Front 242 during their Front by Front era. It reminds me of the basslines in Until Death or Welcome to Paradise. Sounds so wicked as he pitches the Make Noise DPO sequence using the Flame Tame Machine.

“The DPO is a voltage controlled oscillator designed for generating complex waveforms and implementing FM synthesis within the analog domain. Expanding on the classic arrangement of Primary and Modulator Oscillators, the DPO has both of the VCOs operable as complex signal sources. It is in essence a Dual Primary Oscillator.” – ctrl-mod.com

For more info: makenoisemusic.com and flame.fortschritt-musik.de

Dj Magal

My friend David Merlino who is one half of the famous Pet Duo techno act sent me some information and a wicked cool Cold Wave/EBM DJ Set from DJ Magal.

“This mix is from a very old school DJ from Brazil. Magal was the one who first dropped Ministry, Front 242, Clock DVA @ Hoellisch, a very underground club in downtown Sao Paolo, where i first heard many EBM bands…responsible for my everlasting electronic addiction… Nowadays he is resident at Madame Satã, another underground club but with very dark vibe…think they had A Split Second a few months ago there.” – David Merlino

For more info: djmagal.com.br

198X on eBay

Here are two nicely collectible pieces on eBay right now. A Front 242 flag used on stage during the Official Version tour and a Depeche Mode Music for the Masses T-Shirt (I own that shirt and wore it to death). I don’t have a wall for the flag and I won’t wear white and bright orange so unless I win the lottery and build a new wave/EBM museum collecting the photos of this stuff will be enough for today. Still… I almost clicked bid on both! Official Version and Music for the Masses are both in my top 10 albums of all time.

“Rare and hard to find backdrop / flag used on stage during the Official Version tour 1987. Size 138 x 94 cm (55″ x 37,5″ inches) These flags was sold through Front 242′s fanclub after the tour. Only a few copies made. Comes in a black Official Version plastic sleeve. (The live pictures are taken from the Gothenburg / Sweden concert in 1987.)”

For more info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988

Memorabilia

I have large boxes of music memorabilia going back to the early 80s. I have all the backstage passes and anything else I could grab from my time on the Depeche Mode 101 tour. Boxes of obscur fanzines featuring anything I could find on EBM acts. Huge boxes of flyers some going back as far as the “IT” club (above the World on Houston St…. remember that?). It’s impossible to get it all into digital form in one sitting so as I slowly get to it I will share it with you here.

“A souvenir (from French, for a remembrance or memory), memento, keepsake or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it.” – Wikipedia

See the full photo set: flickr.com/thingstocomerecords/7215…

Nothing But Noise

Imagine waking up, looking in your email box and finding an email from a member of Front 242. That happened to me today. DanielB reached out to me to let me know about his project Nothing But Noise. His email comes at an interesting time. Last weekend I ended up on Youtube watching November Növelet’s Misanthropy video. I realized for the first time that like any genre there is great and average. Misanthropy just blows me away so I started looking for more in the genre. I found more I liked and this morning after reading the email clicked to the Nothing But Noise website. I have to admit I was a little worried. I knew I had to honor one of my musical teachers by posting about his music on the blog. But what if I didn’t like it? I did a quick scan of the page. Images of silhouetted men coordinated in front of machines. They got this part correct. Image does matter and usually it’s a tip off if the music is going to be anything special. Before I hit play on the videos I noticed at the bottom of the page some gear. I found Livewire, Moog, MakeNoise and analog sequencers. I started to get excited. You see in the hands of these Belgians 80s Emulators or real analog works. Its the VSTs and such I’m not so sure they know what to do with. So I hit play and with great relief I am very pleased. It’s a serious effort. Yes I am starstruck but I never lie about music. This is good and as you can see by another recent 242 related post (link) I’m glad to be hearing from my old friends again.

“Nothing But Noise is the new musical project from Front 242′s mastermind Daniel Bressanutti, Dirk Bergen (ex Front 242) and Erwin Jadot. Upcoming is the project’s first album “Not Bleeding Red” (expected to be released… April 12, 2012).” – side-line.com

For more info: nothingbutnoise.be

Front 242 Helmet

After my recent post Front 242 Collector I was contacted by a person named Martin who collects 242 himself. He sent me some photos and history of a very unique and collectable piece: one of Jean Luc Meyer’s helmets. He paid about about 150 Euro for it but it turns out the helmet itself even without the 242 connection was originally expensive…

“A few months ago i have sent an e-mail to front 242 collector. But i didn´t get an answer. I think the blog isn´t updated anymore. I regret that there is no real actual f242 forum. I send you a photograph of an item i bought many, many years ago and an old article from a japanese music magazine to compare. Take a look at Jean-Luc. Please let me know what you think. I did a lot of research about this helmet (it is the version whithout the welding shield), i am sure it´s an original. And the story from the guy who sold me this helmet is plausible.

I have bought it from a former dj, who worked in an underground club in the eigthies. I used to go there from when i was 16 or 17 (at that time Depeche Mode released “Black Celebration”). The dj (i don´t remember his name) got a backstage pass for the Depeche Mode concert in Essen/Germany (Music For The Masses Tour), Front 242 were the opener (i was there, brilliant concert). After the gig he had the possibility to talk to Jean-Luc. Jean-Luc gave him some signed posters, as far as i remember a signed flag, and as a highlight his helmet.

You can see the helmets when you watch the beginning of the Front 242 Tape One Video (Paris 1987). While Jean-Luc on stage only used the basic version of this helmet Patrick and Richard wore the version with the welding shield. The helmet was originally manufactured by Racal Amplivox. Today you can buy it for example here: http://www.airwareamerica.com/3mhepaairstream.aspx, (list price: 968,77 $), you see, even today the helmet is to expensive to create a fake.

I have seen a lot of photos from the “f242 museum/exhibition” in Brussels to the band´s 30s anniversary, they showed a lot of stuff, even old clothes, but i haven´t seen any other of their helmets.” Martin

To read the newspaper clipping above in detail: front242articles.blogspot.com

Front 242 Collector

The Belgian electronic body music group Front 242 is one of my all time favorite bands. Anything before the album Tyranny for You was incredibly original and creative. Like many great bands that continue to make music there is a cut off where things changed. The early albums which focused on Jean-Luc De Meyer vocals and military aesthetics had me fully hooked. Anything after that time period I simply can’t listen to. The canon of “good stuff” they recorded is large so I’m really not complaining. In the late 80s I collected every piece of 242 music and memorabilia I could find. Back then there was no eBay so Manhattan record stores were the hunting ground. The most rare thing I own is a Front by Front DAT Cassette. Every few months I still check eBay to see what 242 stuff is there. Once I saw the arm bands then someone bought them and I never saw them for sale again. Some friends (Pet Duo) of mine went to see them live in Berlin last night so I decided to look around online for old 242 stuff. Amazingly I found a blog called Front 242 Collector that has great photos of the arm bands and all sorts of finds.

“this is without a doubt one of the most collectible and hardest to come by Front 242 items: the Front 242 armband! Back in the day, before Transmission 242 there was the 242 Propaganda Unit. This was one of the “Propaganda Supports.” You can see 242 sporting this armband on the Official Warfare Tour and in videos. The armband was offered for sale in the Propaganda Unit catalogue (I will post this someday as well). The cost for the 242 Armband was 50 BF in Belgium, 70 BF in Europe, and 100 BF in other countries (+ postage). Today, when they do come up for sale, expect to pay upwards of $200-$250 at times! The armband is made of leather with beautiful “242″ stitching and attaches to the arm with velcro. The Propaganda Unit logo is stamped inside and I believe they were numbered? This example happens to be #63.” – target242

For more info: target242.blogspot.com