“La Machine á Rêver is the B-side to the L’Eurasienne 7″ single by X Ray Pop released in May 1984. It will be re-issued on Dark Entries Records in July 2012 on a compilation of early material by this influential French band. This video first appeared on a collection of scopitones by X Ray Pop recorded at Elysee Sound March 1984. X Ray Pop are Doc Pilot: Casio PT20, MR10, Vocals + Zouka Dzaza: Lead vocals.” – darkentriesrecords.com
If you want to listen to music purely made from analog synthesizers and drum machine Solvent is a good place to start. Jason Amm has some nice stuff in his studio no? I like his honesty when he does into details how even though he’s a veteran at this point he is still largely unknown and gets ripped off my distributors and promoters. He will also be featured in the upcoming I Dream of Wires movie.
“Veteran Canadian producer and hardware lover, Solvent, gave StudioFeed an inside look at his Bloor-West home studio set-up, as well as discussed everything from why he makes music to the story behind his recent RDJ-CS5 EP.” – studiofeed
As record stores disappeared and cassettes disintegrated we lost access to some obscur electronic music from the early 80s. You can find tidbits on iTunes, Spotify and assorted blogs. Youtube on the other hand has become a treasure trove of underground material. Not only is a large portion of early recorded material being uploaded but it seems anyone that had a local electronic band is posting their demos. I’ve started a playlist of my findings. So far I have 35 videos in the playlist that runs over two hours. Of course there is a huge amount more that can be added. Feel free to post links of songs you think I should include. The more tape hiss the better!
“The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months.” – Wikipedia.org
Marc Houle is from Canada, lives in Berlin and is on the Minus label. Apparently is also has great taste in music. At least his taste matches with my own. You can decide for yourself if you want to live in a Liquid Sky soundtrack or not. He has this mix set with Downloads enabled so grab it while you can.
1) Rick Hicks – Dee Ex
2) Absolute Body Control – Is There an Exit?
3) AK 47 – Stop! Dance!
4) Nine Circles – Twinkling Stars
5) Aviador Dro – Telepatia
6) Rick Hicks – Beloved
7) Ciaran Harte – Love is Strange
8) Cinema 90 – In Ultra Violet
9) Fall of Saigon – She Leaves Me All Alone
10) Fiction Technology – In the City
11) Martin Lloyd – Equilectric
12) Iron Curtain – Condos
13) Rick Hicks – Rom Hero
14) Oto – Anyway
15) P1/E – 49 Second Romance
16) Polyphonic Size – Logione Polygonale
17) Scatterbrain – Crosses Over Verdun
18) Solid Space – A Darkness in My Soul
19) La Folie – Hew New Dress
20) Transparent Illusion – Demente
21) Cluster – Caramel
22) Twilight Ritual – Webman
23) Autumn – I Say Hello
24) Das Kabinette – The Cabinet
25) Moderne – Switch on Bach
26) Polyphonic Size – Mode
27) Raid Over Moscow – Yellow Finger
28) Oppenheimer Analysis – The Devil’s Dancers
29) Stereo – No More
30) La Folie – Portability
There are so many little gems from the 80s. If you could live a ten decades you could just about hear every underground electronic song from 1980-1989. That makes living ten decades worth it.
“Italo disco is a very broad term, encompassing much of the dance music output in Europe during the 1980s. It is one of the world’s first forms of completely electronic dance music and evolved during the late 1970s and early 1980s in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. Italo disco music has a distinct, futuristic and spacey sound, which was created using synthesizers, drum machines and vocoders.” – WIkipedia
Track: Plastic Love
Release Date: 1983
Label: Fuzz Dance Records
I’ve always thought Gary Numan was highly underrated. Go back today and listen through his albums and see if you don’t agree. Honest loud real analog synths and interesting vocals. They don’t make them like they used to.
“Gary Numan (born Gary Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (with Tubeway Army) and “Cars”. One of the first musicians to use electronic synthesizers successfully in rock music, his signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals. Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.” – Wikipedia.org
Every now and then I come across a vintage synthpop gem that I never heard before. I found today’s song via the Matrixsynth blog and it’s called Computer Games by a band called Mi-Sex. Apparently the song was a huge hit in Australia. I checked out other Mi-Sex songs on Amazon and discovered they are really a rock pop band and this was one of the few tracks they released that were synth heavy. Amazon link: Computer Games/Space Race
“Mi-Sex (also spelt ‘’MiSex’’) was a New Zealand / Australian new wave rock band active from 1978 to 1984. Led by Steve Gilpin as vocalist, they were best known for their singles “Computer Games” in 1979 and “People” in 1980. Their first single for CBS, “But You Don’t Care” / “Burning Up”, was released in Australia in June 1979 and their debut album, Graffiti Crimes was issued in July 1979 to coincide with their national tour as the support act for Talking Heads. The LP included their biggest hit, the synthesizer-driven “Computer Games”, a Burns/Stanton composition released in Australia on October 1, 1979. The single went to #1 in Australia, made the Top 5 in New Zealand, and also charted in 20 countries including Canada and South Africa.” – wikipedia.org/wiki/MiSex
So I’ve really been enjoying the new Depeche Mode song “Wrong“. As a superfan each new album floods my brain with memories of years gone by. One way I knew Depeche Mode were special was the fact that no other band could really sound like them. A few came close with a song here or there such as Camouflage’s The Great Commandment but in general the clones never arrived. Usually when you have a super strong band it’s creates a genre on it’s own… Nirvana as an example. It’s true you could attribute synthpop to DM but let’s face facts, most of that music is terrible.
I find it pretty amusing that one of the best Depeche Mode style songs comes to us as a joke. Take a listen below to Liam Lynch’s Fake Depeche Mode Song. If Liam ever wanted to be big in the German goth scene it would be pretty easy for him.
“Lynch also made the album Fake Songs, released in 2003, produced by his own company, 111 Productions. This album featured the song “United States of Whatever”, which charted in the Top 10 in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is one of the shortest songs to get to the Top 10 in both countries. The song did get Lynch a place in the Guiness Book of World Records for shortest UK song to go top ten. Liam Lynch is also known for directing music videos. He’s worked with Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Spinnerette, and No Doubt. In 2003 he directed the UK music video for the Foo Fighters single “Times Like These”, although it was rarely played in the United States.” – Wikipedia.org
Clearly the best lyric here is, “You can’t see me because I’m wearing black.”.
Today I found more obscure electronic music from the 80s I didn’t know about. Interestingly the artist “Frank O’ The Mountain” lived in Rockland County, NY where I grew up. He has a large amount of music on his website but what really has my interest are his two albums “The Ramapo College Sessions 1984-1985” and the “Casio Cassette Sesssions 1985-1987“. This is exactly the kind of music a hunt out and cherish. Something about the pure analog toys mixed to 4-tracks with vocals just has me, tape his and all!
“I took an electronic music class at Ramapo College in NJ. They had a Moog 12 modular synth, and two four track tape machines in a little room. This is where I started song writing and multi-track recording. I spent many hours there by myself experimenting with sound. All songs were monitored through headphones since the speakers were blown. Mastered to cassette tape, usually adding another live track and vocal during that stage. About 150 songs. 1984-1985.” – frankothemountain.com
One has to wonder if his name kept him from the big time. Besides his MySpace and website he also has a YouTube channel: click here. So my question is has anyone heard of him before? I like it… now where did I put my Stiff Stuff?