zondag 27 december 2009

review: Poeme Electronique - The Echoes Fade

German label Anna Logue is mostly a re-issue label focussing on synthesizer music from the 1980's and mostly releasing synth pop and electro pop music from that era. Their catalogue features releases by Camera Obscura, Sudeten Creche, Design and Monuments to name a few.
Some the releases I liked best so far are the Carmody and Monuments cd's with some great synth pop music. A little but off center maybe for the label were the releases by The Hands Of Cain (batcave music) and Stranger Station (synth music but less pop).
Next to these 1980's releases with some obscure material the label also released a few contemporary bands like Sleep Museum (also known as After The Snow on my label), Sonnenbrandt (Neue Deutsche Welle / electro pop) and The Silicon Scientist (solo project of Sonnenbrandt member).
Also Anna Logue has released a few records by 1980's bands with remixes and new versions of old songs. In that way a 7 inch has appeared by UK based Poeme Electronique on which the band presented a new version of their classic cult single 'The Echoes Fade'/'Voice'.
Now there is this massive 2LP with no less then 16 tracks by Poeme Electronique. All original tracks so no remix/remaster/re-do whatever. The real thing. It is funny that this band never reached more people back then. The original 7 inch from 1982 was quite good and many of the songs on this 2LP are simply great.
Here is a band with real musical skills and singing talent. You cannot say that of many of the 1980's bands that are currently being re-issued. On this record Anna Logue shows us a band with all onboard to have made it. Strange they never became bigger...
Just listen to tracks like 'Rendezvous', 'Fragile' and 'Dilemma'. These would have been great A sides for singles and great tracks for some extended 12 inch versions. What you hear is a new wave synthesizer band that sounds in a way like a more poppy version of Kirlian Camera. Never as gothic, never as Italo disco but equally good and with a similar moody sound.
At times the tempo goes a bit more down and you get served some excellent dreamy pop tunes like on 'A Mourner's Lament' for example.
This 2LP is a fantastic document with all these tracks collected, the deluxe packaging and in this hand numbered limited edition of 500 copies. Still this could have been a simply fantasic LP by leaving some tracks away. Now it is more of a document then a real album. Besided this no complains here!
You can get this 2LP and some of the other Anna Logue releases at my webshop here... look under the 80's section...

maandag 21 december 2009

Live report: Crash Course In Science

Since some years there is the Belgian Independent Music Festival (BIM Fest) in Antwerp. The line-up always features some 80's bands performing live. Sometimes in a way of an exclusive revival one off show and sometimes as a real come-back after some years of silence.
Last weekend (saturday 19 december 2009) there was one very special band on the bill. I had expected much more people from all over the world for this band but maybe the bad weather discouraged some people. Anyway... legendary cult band Crash Course In Science performed.
This American band was more of an art group and performance group as maybe a true band (in the rock 'n roll sense). They were active in the late 1970's and early 1980's and released only one 7 inch and one 12 inch EP. A total of seven songs only thus.
In a way they never really split up but just went on doing other art stuff with other people. But during the years their music proved to be an inspiration for (electronic) art (punk) groups around the world and excellent tracks for dj's in industrial, punk but also dance scences. I think their music is for sure some sort of proto-techno with its machine and industrial sounds but done with a real punk attitude.
This year a 3 LP box appeared with next to the 7 inch and 12 inch also the never finished 'Near Marineland' album, which was never mixed and released before. Next to that demos, live recordings and remixes where added.
So, why not a live performance? Even though I never really like to see 1980's bands on stage, as mostly it is not that good and it damages my way of listening to the music afterwards, I simply had to see Crash Course In Science. I had been thinking about what they would do. Would it be like hitting the "on" button for a backing tape with the old sounds?
Well... it simply was a great performance. It showed the band had been thinking about how and what to do on stage. The female musician and singer had a dress with all sort of lights on it and some light toys to swing around with. This looked really well on the very dark stage.
Also the set list was built very well. It was quite short maybe (or maybe it only felt that way) but with a very good energy throughout the set. Opening with the industrial track "Crashing Song" and going into the 7 inch tracks and the other 12 inch tracks spiced up with some tracks from the 1981 period that were meant for 'Near Marineland'. Building up to the climax of cult hit "Flying Turns" and coming back for the encore "Pompeii Spared". A demo track recorded for 'Near Marineland'. This could have become another cult hit if released back then.
The good thing about the concert was that the music was not simply the tracks as recorded back then. Crash Course In Science served their music in an updated way. You could identify the original songs but the sound was thicker and sounding contemporary but without sounding kitsch or over produced or trying to sound too modern.
In a way Crash Course In Science sounded more techno but only as a logical consequence of being a proto-techno band before. As the band has proven to be artistically important and influencal before, they have proven this weekend to be all but outdated. So this concert leaves me eagerly waiting to see the band perform again and to hear their current sound recorded and released.

Set list Crash Course In Science at BIM Fest 19 december 2009:
1. Crashing Song
2. Second Glance
3. Cardboard Lamb
4. No More Hollow Doors
5. It Cost's To Be Austere
6. Jump Over Barrels
7. Force The Habbit
8. Factory Forhead
9. Near Marineland
10. Flying Turns

11. Pompeii Spared

zondag 13 december 2009

review: Digital Leather - Warm Brother

I came to know Digitial Leather as a one man synth punk project. Some of the songs I liked, some did not really stuck to me. But I kept an eye and a ear out for this project as still the good tracks are very enjoyable. So when I read about a new record I had a quick pre-listen and was suprised to hear (and see on youtube) a band with drums and guitars. Apparantly I missed out on some changes around Digital Leather. Changes that are for the better if I might add...

The latest release, "Warm Brother", is playing for some time now here. Due to the band sound I find the songs and the album as a whole much more interesting as some of the older material. Synth punk has changed to indie pop/rock and punk pop... but all for the better. The synths are still there in the background with some rocking melodies but all is much more lo-fi pop orientated now. Maybe the band even sounds like a Green Day that never became too poppy and too chart orientated. I know this might sound like a strange comparison but in a way it is quite fitting I think.

Just listen to excellent tracks as 'Your Hand, My Glove', 'Kisses' and 'Bugs On Glue' they will get you moving for sure. The most oustanding track is 'It Hurts So Bad' which comes quite close to some Patrik Fitzgerald... but has a nice wierd pop twist to it.

Digital Leather has become a much more interesting band with their band sound and current line-up. I am looking forward to get a change to see them live. Also if they keep their sound like this without moving further into pop terrority I am really curious about the next recordings.

donderdag 10 december 2009

review: Former Ghosts - Fleurs

It is funny... Cold Cave has a good rumor going on, Former Ghosts is following close after them (mainly because of sharing musicians and performing together) and Agent Side Grinder is just around the corner. This "neo wave" is nothing new at all... as followers of my label know. It is right now maybe just (again) the next hype for some journalists and labels... well I hope not... I rather see this music to be taken seriously and getting the credits it deserves. It is much more daring as the music from the contemporary gothic scene (also a sort of neo wave). Which is often nothing less as simple and cheesy Garageband/Fruityloops dancefloor music with some distorted vocals.

Anyway... Former Ghosts... what a debut album they have delivered. Too be honest 'Fleurs' did not attract my full attention when I first put it on. But... after the album was finished I put it on again and again and again... The thing is that the first few songs are not outstanding... compared to the rest of the album that is. Maybe it will appeal to some peope who are looking for a not everyday but still dancefloor type of song in the 80's new wave / cold wave tradition.

My advice is to skip the first three songs and then plunge into the dark, moody and eerie sounds of Former Ghosts. The thing that sets this band apart from many other bands in the neo wave scene is that the electronic music sounds fresh and crispy. It has some cuts and clicks moments and quite clear and nice melody lines. Most bands who play this style of music have a dominating analogue sound (do not get me wrong... I like that) with lots of distortion all over it. So, not Former Ghosts.

The vocals are rather eerie and in the background a bit muffled too. The combination with the music is like an updated version of Trisomie 21 to give at least one reference.

My absolute favorite tracks are those that feature the singer from Zola Jesus. It gives me shivers all over. 'In Earth's Palm' and especially 'The Bull And The Ram' would fit perfectly in a David Lynch film. You know in a scene in some strange and run down or otherwise unsettling bar or roadhouse. With a singer on stage who seems to be half fainting or anything... well I guess you get the picture.

To conclude... wow! What a record. I should get some copies for my webshop soon...

Gifgrond & Enfant Terrible: 27 feb 2010 live Adolf Filter, Monster Apparat, Kord + dj M.

On saturday 27 february 2010 Gifgrond and Enfant Terrible team up again for a festivity. This time there will perform three Swedish minimal synth, synth pop, wierd elektro pop acts: Adolf Filter, Monster Apparat and Kord.

I will be spinning some fitting tunes as DJ M.

For Gifgrond see here...
For Adolf Filter see here...
For Monster Apparat see here...
For Kord see here...

More information on time and such later...

dinsdag 8 december 2009

review: Undergangen - An Audio Companion To The End Tymes

What a suiting release to listen to at this time of the year... it is dark outside and this is a soundtrack to warm you up! This is a massive compilation indeed. Both in volume (it is a C120... oh yes for the unaware... that means it is a cassette tape) and in music: it is lenghty and goes into many aspects of electronic/noise/drone/and more music.

The main thing that speaks from this release is authenticity. Maybe not all tracks are a 100% my cup of tea... it does not matter as this release is true to its tradition and strong in showing real independent (and obscure) music. Due to this the whole selection is what really counts not the individual tracks. Even though some are really good and better as others... of course.

This compilation takes you from dreamy drones to harsh noise to electronic sound tapestry. It is in my opinion pointless to go through all the tracks here. It comes down to this: the sound is overall dark, experimental and only for adventurous and experienced listeners. There are a few acts that might ring a bell with some people (I hope)... like: Enema Syringe, Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words, Adolf Filter, Monster Apparat and The Skull Defekts. Next to that there are many more artists present to check out for sure.

Funny to note is that the more accessible bands like Adolf Filter and Monster Apparat deliver tracks that are much more experimental as their average output. It is very nice to hear this side of these artists!

I cannot say otherwise as that this compilation is a strong selection of sounds, moods and feelings. Perfect to enjoy in the nighttime and in the dark. Add some red wine and the waiting for the end had never been this pleasant.

Ah... I forgot to mention... I believe the tape is sold out already. Maybe there are a few left at some places. If not... well simply check out some other fine (ultra limited) releases by the Fukk Tapes Lets Erase label.

Have a nice End Tymes!

woensdag 2 december 2009

review: Low Red Center

Today a small pile of the debut 10 inch by USA based band Low Red Center was delivered. Since I opened the package and put a copy on the turntable I did not play anything else anymore this day.

Low Red Center is more of a performance group then a traditional band thing. The live shows I have read about seems to feature costumes, theatrical aspects and such... hopefully they are coming over to Europe some day soon... Also it is a group of musicians with some experience as members are also active in Medio Mutante and Zom Zoms for example.

Anyway the music... well you could qualify this as minimal synth but it is sounding less harsh and raw and is richer in sounds and textures. It has none of the clichés of the style and that is what makes it so good... even outstanding.

The sound is quite light and warm and playful. Still it is lo-fi and unpolished. Well basically it has all that good post-punk music should have... Maybe think about the experimental side of The Dreams and mix this with the melancholy side of Kim Ki O and put in a bit of Los Iniciados and you get pretty close to what they sound like.

This 10 inch is their debut vinyl release on S-S Records (there is also a 7 inch out now on another label) and it is simply lovely! I hope the future will bring more nice tunes from this band... meanwhile you can get a copy of this 10 inch in my webshop...

zondag 29 november 2009

reviews: Monster Apparat, Kord, Rodent Plague

Recently some nice 7 inches are spinning round here on the turntable. From Sweden came a big suprise as a band I had never heard from before called Monster Apparat landed here on the doormat. It seems this band came into existence somewhat like an accident, but it is a new act I keep an eye on for sure.
After some little examination of the sleeve and insert I discovered that Monster Apparat consists of the musician behind Kord (see below) and one of the guys from Adolf Filter. Well... since I like both acts nothing could really go wrong... but the music even surpassed my expectations.
You get the best from both world: the excellent more uptempo rhythms and synth sounds from Kord with the atmospheric elements of Adolf Filter. Really... this is pumping and energetic stuff but with a nice mood to it. Easily some of the best synth pop / elektro pop recently released! It comes in a very nice fitting sleeve as always with Kernkrach releases.

While the person behind Kord is doing nice things with Monster Apparat he also released a new 7 inch on Börft Records. As Kord he also released records in 1998 and 2006 so it is not a very active project as it seems. But who cares if the quality of his output is that good as with Monster Apparat and this new 7 inch!?
The A side is a killer track. It is a slow rather funny and druggy tune. I can imagine stoned people going crazy on this and seeing pink elephants or something. But... still even as a non user I am enjoying this tune so much. Like you are walking on clouds and the sun is shining so nice...
On the B side is a more uptempo track I can imagine being played on parties. The vocals are done well with a little twist and the melody takes the track onwards while the beat is running strong. Simply excellent!

More weird and fitting perfectly in line with the A side of the Kord release is Rodent Plague. This is a side project by one of the musicians from the guitar band A-Frames. With this Rodent Plague 7 inch on the Kill Shaman label (Factums, Pink Noise) the sound goes into wierd synth and strange surf music. The A side is like the Beach Boys being totally drenched in LSD. Nice... but far more excellent is the B side which goes much furthur... a procession tune done as an eerie circus theme... truly a small masterpiece...
Only I discovered recently after numerous playing turns the record should be played at 33 rpm and I play it on 45 rpm... well I checked but decided I prefer it on 45 rpm... it gives it that nice little extra wierd twist...

I have some copies left of all three 7 inches in my webshop...

dinsdag 24 november 2009

Tobias Bernstrup - 1984 EP expected around Christmas

Tobias Bernstrup – 1984 EP on Enfant Terrible

Around Christmas there will be first appearance of Swedish visual and performance artist Tobias Bernstrup on Enfant Terrible. His visual work is present at exhibitions world wide. Next to that he is a gifted musician. He is able to create extremely catchy elektro / synth pop tunes while never crossing the line of delivering overproduced tracks. The sound of his tracks is like a hybrid of the arty side of Klaus Nomi with the pop side of Pet Shop Boys.

This 4 track EP is built around the theme (and title track) ‘1984’. But this theme is extended and made up to date. Despite the rather serious theme of the record this EP features simply excellent decadent music for the dancefloor. It combines elements of classic elektro, synth pop and italo disco.

See here for soundclips...

Release date: December 2009
Cat. nr: ET002
Format: 12” EP
File under: elektro / synth pop / italo disco

maandag 23 november 2009

review: Accident Du Travail

Here is another record from the crazy and adventurous punk scene around Metz in France. But... this is not a punk music record as you might expect. This one is different... really.

Accident Du Travail are a duo consisting of a Julie Normal who also plays with Crash Normal and Cradle Of Smurf... both interesting bands to check out if you are not familiar with them... and Olivier 2mo from Chevue... This last band played at the Hex night and also contributed to the Hex compilation LP I put out on Enfant Terrible.

Here they come up with some great organ /electronic music. This 12 inch EP is a true trip. If you like 'A Rainbow In Curved Air' by Terry Riley this one is for you. One specific track is echoing that piece.

At some other moments the music can be reminiscent of the Kosmische Scene with music referring to Klaus Schulze and the likes.

Really a suprising record to come from musicians from this punk scene but all the more interesting and making me even more curious what will pop up next...

I have some of these records in my webshop...

woensdag 11 november 2009

review: Warpaint - Exquisite Corpse

A few weeks ago I came across the video for the track Stars by Warpaint. Instantly I was captured by this amazing song. Its dreamy sequences and melancholy mood really touched me in a way like not many songs are capable of.

After a few seconds of searching the internet I came to know about a self released 5 track EP on cd and a very recently 6 track 12 inch vinyl EP. Which I ordered straight away.

This vinyl is playing almost non stop here now. These 6 tracks are making up a record which will be high on my year list of favorite records, even surpassing some of the releases I released myself this year.

What makes Warpaint so good is that they have references popping in and out but still they have their own style and sound. The songs are very strong and have surprising hooks, original structures, excellent song writing and beautiful melodies.

Think about Cranes that stripped away all gothic clichés and adding some psychedelic 60's pop to the mix of new wave melancholy, shoegazer energy and heavenly voices beauty.

I am tripping away here with this, and on this record. Songs like the truely mind blowing Elephants and the Cure echoing Krimson are more then you could ask for when it comes to quality indie pop.

This 12 inch vinyl is released in US based Manimal Vinyl label but I just read the band signed to Rough Trade very recently. So maybe there will be an re-issue or a full album coming up... I don't know...

maandag 26 oktober 2009

review: Death Sentence: Panda! / The Dreams split

Some of the best post-punk music is coming from France these days. They are not bound by fake genre definitions. By defying all genre and style characteristics they go back to the roots of post-punk. In the early days post-punk was a free style type of music with a wide range of sounds from guitar based to electronic textures and any combination of those two spiced with any other sound the artists liked.

The Dreams made an impression on me when they performed at Hex in Amsterdam. Recently I released a split 7 inch of them with Scorpion Violente (from the same scene again). In October they played at the Enfant Terrible night and it was a great performance of raw ecstatic post-punk music.

They gave me this split 10 inch that night which I did not have yet. It featured many songs I already knew and I was (and still am) very happy with it. The opening is great with a sort of intro and a first real track in a sort of Throbbing Gristle way... if you like "20 Jazz Funk Greats" you will love this for sure.

After that there are two more songs in the more exotic way the band is known for. But again in a way this has references to TG... I always thought 'What A Day' has this tribal feeling... well The Dreams too... maybe more reggae as tribal but the same sort of mood is fused with raw music from electronic origin and primitive guitar abuse.

So, I played this side of the 10 inch on and on... and forgot to check the A Side... What a shame! The A Side if by USA based band Death Sentence: Panda! The opening caught my attention straight away... weird toy instrument sounds mixed with a destroyed beat echoing some hip hop infuences. The tracks explodes into chaotic strange post-punk somewhat like Les Georges Leningrad... ending in a drone / ambient sequence... wow! Yes, one long track but impressive as could be.

What is there left to say except you should get a copy of this as fast as possible... it will sell out fast for sure (if it did not already) just like the split 7 inch I did release...

woensdag 21 oktober 2009

Cold Cave versus Agent Side Grinder

As a big fan of Cold Cave I was surprised and pleased to see what webzine It’s A Trap had to say after hearing the promo versions of the new Agent Side Grinder albums. The official Cold Cave debut was sold out very fast but a re-issue is planned for next month. I was happy to find a still sealed copy. Also check out the ‘Cremations’ compilation cd. Anyway, here is what It’s A Trap wrote:

“To borrow the lexicon of the financial pages: I am downgrading Cold Cave to a Sell while upgrading my rating on Agent Side Grinder to Strong Buy. I believe that Cold Cave's market has reached saturation and become overvalued while Agent Side Grinder has nowhere to go but up, especially considering the upcoming Q4 release of both "Irish recording tape" and "The transatlantic tape project" (via Enfant Terrible, vinyl-only). The former is of primarily interest to me, as it shows tremendous growth over last year's self-titled release and I must also commend them for the recruitment Alexander Blomqvist (on live bass) as he appears to have brought many new strengths with him to the executive team. The fine qualities that first caught my attention when I rated them a Buy (ie, the driving, dirty industrial beats) are still very much in place, only now far more refined and developed. I expect 2010 to be a very good year for Agent Side Grinder and don't expect them to face much serious competition for market share.”

Source: It's A Trap

Check out Cold Cave
Check out Agent Side Grinder

dinsdag 13 oktober 2009

reviews: Krysmopompas, Adolf Filter, Peter Quistgard

Here are three nice small records I have been listening to the last few months...

Krysmopompas already pleasantly surprised me with their 2LP on S-S Records from the USA. This German based band plays excellent Neo Deutsche Welle music. You get on this 7 inch (released on the Italian Avant! Records label) two playful tunes (called 'Gesa' and 'Volker') in the best Neue Deutsche Welle tradition. While the tracks on the 2LP were more guitar dominated these two tracks are less typical rock influenced. Still the guitar is there but it is used in a different way (less rock) and more electronic elements pop up. The sound is now quite close to that of Punk Soul Loving Bill. And while this band has ceased to exist it is nice to have Krysmopompas around to fill the gap.
500 were pressed and they come in a sleeve with a very nice cover design. Still a few copies available at the Enfant Terrible webshop.

Adolf Filter released this two track 7 inch (entitled 'Storing Signals In Analog Form') on the small Tissel & Tassel label that also already released the excellent Close Diode 7" compilation (also featuring Adolf Filter and a great track by Swedish Twize My Size). These two melodic down/mid tempo pieces are simple great dark synth pop tunes. Funny thing is I got the tracks to listen to for releasing on Enfant Terrible and I was not sure about them back then. So the band released it this way in a small edition of only 100 copies. What a great idea this was and how fitting! And now... I hear the genius of it... I had some at the Enfant Terrible webshop but they are gone but I believe the band has a few left...

For those present at the Enfant Terrible night at STRP Festival 2009 or have seen the announcements for this night Peter Quistgard should be a name to know. This guy from Holland likes to take musical toys apart, short circuit them and then use them as instruments for this music. What you get is a mixed up sound of break beats, gabber house and weird playful elektro. The structure of his tracks might be hard to follow for the unfamiliar but if you listen to the tracks more often you will sort it out for sure. It is crazy and original and fantastic electronic noise! References are hard to give... expect maybe that Peter Quistgard sounds like a messed up and dirty and more trashy Kania Tieffer... well in that case you simply have to love this!
The 7 inches are released on a small Dutch label called Toztizok in which the musician is himself also involved. The sleeves are handmade and equally excellent as is the music. Only 300 copies where pressed and I have some at the Enfant Terrible webshop. And... if you get a chance to see Peter Quistgard live make sure to be there in the front row to see him play around with his partly destroyed toys...

The Enfant Terrible webshop is here...

vrijdag 9 oktober 2009

two new Agent Side Grinder albums OUT NOW

Two new Agent Side Grinder albums on Enfant Terrible

After the highly acclaimed debut album by Swedish electronic outfit Agent Side Grinder Dutch record label Enfant Terrible is presenting not one but two new albums by this band.

The band is now a five piece outfit (they started with three musicians). With this new line up they worked on a new album. This record is ‘Irish Recording Tape’. On this record the band has been perfecting their sound and song writing skills. Maybe the songs have been become more accessible in a way but they still show the typical style of Agent Side Grinder: drilling industrial sounds which may remind sometimes of Swans, hypnotic synth sequences that refer to krautrock and psychedelic music and post-punk influenced bass lines which will give you flashbacks to Joy Division.

Information and soundclips for Irish Recording Tape are here:

The true experimental side of Agent Side Grinder is shown in ‘The Transatlantic Tape Project’. This started as a way to keep working together while one of the members was in the USA. Sounds and music where put to tape and send over the Atlantic Ocean and re-worked their and sent back again to Sweden.

In the end this resolved into an unique album with amazing music. ‘The Transatlantic Tape Project’ is a blending of 60’s psychedelic music and 80’s experimental industrial muzak which is molded into original contemporary ambient music. Maybe it is better to call this electronic Chamber Music as it is much richer in texture then ambient music. Think about a soundtrack for a David Lynch film, think early Cabaret Voltaire and think elements of Velvet Underground and you can maybe get an idea of the actual sound of this record.

Information and soundclips for The Transatlantic Tape Project are here:

--> The photo shows a self built instrument used on the recordings and the new band line up.

woensdag 23 september 2009

review: Musamore Editions

Coming from France is the small independent label Musamore Editions. Since 2008 they have been putting out cd's in editions of only 100 copies with some excellent electronic music. Almost all cd's are by different projects but they share their dark electronic sound and experimental touch from time to time. All releases are somewhere in between elektro and experimental electronica. At times the sound is dancefloor orientated but also more ambient and experimental sort of pieces are popping up on all releases.

The cd's are mostly packaged in a cardboard sleeve and most of the time something else is added to the packaging like an enveloppe or a piece of rope. One of the highlights on the label so far is an exception. The Yabboq Penuel double cd release comes in a nice black cardboard box with an inlay card.

This way of packaging in combination with the small editions (which are hand numbered) and the fact the cd's are hard to find (only a few places sell them) make them real collector pieces.

Musically this will please fans of dark electronic music who like their elektro not mainly aiming at the dancefloor. If you like elektro in the style of Le Syndicat Electronique all of the releases are simply a must have. I can imagine some IDM lovers will also dig this. Especially if they like the things as early Autechre and Aphex Twin. Maybe also if you are into Clock DVA these sounds will please you.

Musamore Editions maybe releases music that has more of a rough edge as the bands named above (except for Le Syndicat Electronique which comes quite close) but in moods, sounds and structures there are some comparisons.

The first three releases (the trilogy by Stauros To Okema) is gone at the label and some last copies can be found by searching the internet for specialized webshops. All other four releases untill now are still available at the label (and again some specialized webshops).

Must haves? Yes, for for sure! All of them! Highlights? Well... personally I like the Yabboq Penuel double cd a lot. It has a great mix of tracks from ambient to pounding elektro beats. Also Im.Persona is excellent with it dark electronic pieces and the latest by Ruth's Monkey is more then excellent in the way the album is structured.

Behind all the releases and project names there is more to discover when it comes to the symbols used, the track titles and the artists names. But as all is presented in quite a mysterious way I leave it that way... find out for yourself... internet is a good source at times...

The Musamore Editions releases can be bought from the label directly: www.musamore.com or the Enfant Terrible webshop: www.enfant-terrible.nl (see under shop).

maandag 14 september 2009

2 video teasers for new Agent Side Grinder album

Video teasers for upcoming new Agent Side Grinder album on Enfant Terrible

Out now on Youtube are two complete tracks as video teasers for the upcoming new album by Swedish electronic outfit Agent Side Grinder.

The tracks ‘Life In Advance’ and ‘Die To Live’ can be heard in their final version as they will appear on the album that will be released in November 2009 by Dutch independent label Enfant Terrible. ‘Life In Advance’ shows the band at work in their studio and ‘Die To Live’ is a homemade video clip. Both video are made by the band’s bass player Alexander Blomqvist.

See here for ‘Life In Advance’
See here for ‘Die To Live’

Next to those video teaser there is also an new official video for the song ‘The Screams’ featured on the Radio Resistencia compilation. This video was done by Dutch visual artist Floortje Zonneveld. See here...

An USA based radio station did a very fitting description of Agent Side Grinder which is a great introduction to the band for those who did not hear about them before. Here it is: “Synths, pedals, drum machines, tape loops and weird effects help shape the overall electronic sound but Agent Side Grinder also seems to tap into a throbbing energy too. Their influence stems out of early industrial, no wave and post punk scenes. Joy Division, Alu, Throbbing Gristle, Primitive Calculators, Suicide, Alexander Hacke, Front 242, Tass 2 all plays their part but Stockholm, Sweden’s electronic band does flaunt their own style. It’s relentless but never overly aggressive. Still it has some bite as well as infectious groove appeal. The vocals can be almost deadpan but also sound periodically incensed and desperate. It sounds fairly simple and repetitive yet doesn’t grow redundant. Its spooky malevolence is compelling and vibrant, growing in intensity and tempered volatility. Killer presence without going overkill.”

donderdag 10 september 2009

reminder: Enfant Terrible label night 3 October

On saturday 3 October we will be having a party... three live bands will be performing:

-Distel (NL) - angst pop - www.myspace.com/disteldma
-Dolina (B/FR) - elektro chansons - www.myspace.com/dolinablanche
-The Dreams (FR) - DaDa synth punk - www.myspace.com/tropicold

Before, in between and after the bands dj M. will be spinning fitting music such as elektro, obscure 80's and weird pop from the past and present.

Location is Gifgrond in Tilburg, Holland. Perfect to reach by train (5 minutes from Tilburg Central Station by foot), car and even airplane (cheap flights to nearby city Eindhoven). Address: Gasthuisring 19B, Tilburg, Holland.

Entrance: 5 euros
Starts: 21:00
Ends: 03:00

See here: www.enfant-terrible.nl and here: www.gifgrond.nl

review: Siedlerheim - Westhafen

When WSDP (also known as Was Soll Das Schallplatten?) releases a new record I am always happy about it. True, sometimes I am more excited as other times but in the end the label never really did disappoint me. Some of the records I play the most are from this label.

So here we have Siedlerheim and WSDP saved another obscure German 80's band from being forgotten altogether with this vinyl release. They play in a way typical Neue Deutsche Welle / weird pop as it was done back then. The album consists of tracks recorded in 1981 and was released on tape that year on the Kompakt Produkte label.

The bands treats you with a very diverse album. At one time you get this weird pop track typical for the NDW era and the next moment punk music is poured over you and after that a great minimal synth piece is blasting from the speakers.

My favorite tracks are on the A side and have rather long strange titles... 'Das hässlichste Paar der Welt' is a great synth dominated song and 'Im Sommer war das Grass so tief' is a true highlight in music of this age. It is an amazing track with maybe a typical minimal synth touch but still with a sound of its own... it is swinging and it is melancholy. Only for this track the purchase of this LP is worth it.

And yes maybe this is music for a few enthousiasts of this style or substyle if you please and yes maybe this is not the best album by WSDP BUT... if you are into this stuff you just have to love it. It has the word authenticity all over it in capitals... and I mean the original music and this re-release by WSDP.

Get it at the Enfant Terrible webshop: www.enfant-terrible.nl

woensdag 2 september 2009

review: Plasto Beton 7 inch

I am not a 100% sure who are all in this band but at least it features people involved in The Dreams and Scorpion Violente. Those two bands both have their own style of synth punk and released recently a split 7 inch on my label Hex Grammofoonplaten / Enfant Terrible.

Plasto Beton is more obvious punk orientated as either The Dreams or Scorpion Violente. The synth is not the main instument as with Scorpion Violente and it has less of a bohemian and DaDa-istic touch as The Dreams have.

So yes it is punk but built around guitar, rhythm and vocals and all is sounding noisy. Opening track 'A 31' is indeed very noisy. ' Ete 1983' is slower and also more sleazy and sounding meaner. It reminds me in away of the ICK 7 inch I put out a few years ago.

The B side features two more trashy and noisy synth punk tracks in which the French elektro punk tradition is more then evident.

Plasto Beton has delivered an excellent uncompromising 7 inch EP. Possibly too noisy for some synth fans but if you like that dirty and weird French twist on punk and synth stuff you have nothing to fear.

A few copies are still left at the Enfant Terrible webshop: www.enfant-terrible.nl/

review: Das M - Ist Das Wirklich Nötig?

What a feast is this record! I could write on this record endlessly but I think I will keep it short. Das M released in the early 90's some cassettes with his music on his own label. The track 'Vergeude Nicht Deine Jahre' has become a cult piece due to the appearances on the bootleg compilation series of Flexipop.

Last year Kernkrach released an LP with new material. I liked it but was disappointed as I had hope for an official release of 'Vergeude Nicht Deine Jahre' on vinyl. The label told me a record with older material would appear in time... so I was very happy to see this record announced.

When I go my copy at home I was even more happy... it was packaged in a classic Kernkrach way... crazy and nice... in tracing paper (the special edition of the first 50 copies are on printed tracing paper... and yes I have one of those :) ) and the vinyl is pink... nice color for vinyl and even more for a 10 inch record like this.

But then... the intro... okay nice but an intro... and then 'Schneller Sein' kicks in... what a great minimal synth track!! It is a bit weird and very very tasty... I would go crazy on this track if any dj would play it ever. It has despite a rather happy sound also a melancholy touch... like basically all these tracks on this vinyl.

Even better is the next track 'Flohwalzer'... amazing... it is a minimal synth waltz with a perfect melancholy mood but still makes you happy with that crazy reggae rhythm... simply oustanding! It is that good you even forget to listen carefully to the next track... even picking up the needle and put it back at the beginning of this track... incredible addictive as it is.

The A side continues but I am still puzzled by the brilliant piece 'Flohwalzer'. The B side opens with another intro... sort of but much nicer as on the A side... more spacious synth sounds are used and give the record a nice varied feeling. 'Neonlicht' comes after that and it is another great track. A bit like Solitairen Effekten in a way... if they are doing their less rhythmic orientated thing... so lo-fi electronic pop with NDW influences mixed with some classic minimal synth touches.

'Kleine Märchenfee' is also something Solitairen Effekten could have done. It has the same neo romantic touch all over it and a nice playful rhythm. 'Vergeude Nicht Die Jahre' comes after this. Funny thing is that depsite it is still a great track with its raw touch and pumping but lo-fi beat it is not by far the best track in this record. Mostly this says something on how good the rest is.

For sure this is an instant classic and for sure any lover of this style and sound should not miss out on getting a copy... or maybe two copies. I am curious if Kernkrach picked all the best pieces of Das M or there are more great tracks on the original tapes. Anyway this nice 10 inch with 10 tracks is a must have. As simple as that!

Just putting on 'Flohwalzer' again...

Get it at the label or at the Enfant Terrible webshop: www.enfant-terrible.nl/

donderdag 27 augustus 2009

review: Johanna Liebhart's early works 1978-1980 - Damals...

Johanna Liebhart might not ring a bell by many people. She is a well kept secret in the world of electronic music and I think this record will not change this in any way. Do not get me wrong I like this record... a lot... it is just most likely that the music itself and this edition will find it's way only to the few people who really want to find it...

Anyway... released on 10 inch in an edition of 277 hand numbered copies with nice inserts you get an overview of the early works of Johanna Liebhart, also known as Anna. This musician was active from the late 1970's to 2000 and has released some music on the Advertance Editions label and the Gigabrosaurus Recs label besides her own Neo Muzik label. All very obscure labels and only for the true music archeologists among us. She was found dead in 2000 with 66 stab wounds.

Her music is romantic new wave, meaning slow and tranquil synth wave that can go into ambient territory but mostly stays on the synth side of the balance due to the nice melancholy synthesizer lines in the tracks. She has been called The New Wave Goddess, and why not?! Her sound is majestic and done with style and has an unearthy feeling at times.

Some of her work has been used as basis for tracks by Wermut and Ich Wollte, Ich Konnte (IWIK). As the musicians behind these projects run the Gigabrosaurus Recs label and the Treue um Treue label it is no surprise they have now released this hommage to Johanna Liebhart, or Anna if you please.

On this 10 inch are seven pieces among which the tracks IWIK and Wermut used for tracks of their own. The track 'Ich Wollte, Ich Konnte' is a beautiful sad piece that has the feeling of classical music but has this lo-fi electronic charm over it. The IWIK version is more spiced maybe but this orginal is simply excellent nighttime music.

'Nicole' was released as an uptempo elektro wave track by Wermut on the "Hoera! Een Hex Voor Thuis!"compilation on my Hex Grammofoonplaten/Enfant Terrible label. The version on this 10 inch is very different. It is down tempo and without a rhythm. The synth lines are pulsating but there is no beat. It is very interesting to hear this original or proto version.

Another highlight is the more ambient like '1 000 000 Worter'. Also closing piece 'Heut' Nacht' is more ambient orientated. It is a long track which comes over you like a slow wave of warm water. It is a sad piece but also beautiful with its melancholy mood all over it.

These seven instrumental tracks are the perfect soundtrack for a lonely night and will produce flashback of the past for sure. The title 'Damals...' refers to the slogan of Johanna Liebhart: "Damals war alles besser". And you may question that saying but listening to this music that makes you remember the past... at least for that moment all listeners will feel this way.

You can get this record at the Enfant Terrible webshop and of course at the Treue um Treue webshop.

woensdag 19 augustus 2009

reviews: Bal Paré 7 inch and 10 inch

In the recent re-issue rush there are more then often not one but two (or more) labels releasing material by the same artist. Mostly this concerns only 1980's stuff. For Bal Paré the great and sympathetic label NLW did not look into the archives but released contempory tracks by this 80's cult act. Almost at the same time on the other side of the great Atlantic Ocean the Minimal Wave label released some previously unreleased tracks from the 80's by this artist.

Bal Paré consisted among others of Matthias Schuster. A name not unknown to lovers of 80's electronic /alternative pop music as he was active in Im Namen Des Volkes, Geisterfahrer and also in Jeanette Und Das Land Z. He is still active in various projects today.

The 7 inch on Minimal Wave features four songs from 1981 to 1984 and is all what you might expect... I do not mean this in any negative way but well... the people who know... well they know what they get. Served are four pieces of typical 80's minimalistic electronic music. The A-side is more dark and robotic sounding. Mostly due to the vocoder sounds and the fact they are more rhythmic orientated. The B-side is more melodic with very nice melancholy synth lines and a cheerful note in the end.

Then we have the 10 inch on NLW which features six rather poppy analogue elektro tracks with great melodies. The melancholy mood is there for sure but the vocals and overall style is much more poppy as on the 7 inch. Of course you hear some 80's references but it is not as if the 80's style is copied. These songs stand on their own for sure.

Especially the B side is excellent. Both title track 'Sommerwind' as 'Welt am Draht' hit the perfect note for being perfect soundtracks for the summer. The pulsating bass line combined with a beat that is all but dominant and the melodic synth lines are working together to get you into this mood of lost dreams and hope for future loves, dreams whatever.

Both releases have fitting sleeves and are equally good... but what if I would need to make a choice between them? It is a hard one but I will go for the 10 inch. Maybe it is because on this record Matthias Schuster shows he did not loose his talent at all and this record is still more relevant in today's context. But in the end I think it is the collection of tracks in general and the superb 'Welt am Draht' song more specific. There is no song of such quality on the 7". In case you do not need to make a pick... take them both as if you like this kind of synth stuff neither will be disappointing...

The 7 inch is limited to 600 copies and the 10 inch to 500 copies. Both are available at the Enfant Terrible mailorder: www.enfant-terrible.nl (see shop).

donderdag 13 augustus 2009

review: Nature Morte - (nuées)

As a counter part to the more elektro / rhythmic orientated Treue um Treue is the sister label Reue um Reue specialized in post industrial sounds. Ambient is of course not always a post industrial genre as it depends where the musicians take their inspiration from and thus in what tradition they work.
Anyway this is the second release by Nature Morte on the label. The first one was a cd. For the people who thought that by listening to that release that Nature Morte was "just" another ambient act there is this more then excellent LP to show them wrong.
While the cd was more drone like and possible a bit more typical dark ambient with ongoing sounds building a structure slowly this vinyl release works more clearly and faster to certain climaxes. Therefore it is probably more "easy" listening as the other album and will most likely appeal to a wider audience.
The variation in sounds and structures is for sure more evident as with the previous album. Due to this also the different layers in the music are more easy to recognize. And because of this it is easier to get into the stream and let you drift away in the soundscapes.
Besides this the record is built on nice tranquil layers of sounds on which various noises, melodies, sounds and spoken and whispered words are placed. The overal mood that the tracks breath is dark and moody but majestic.
I am not a big fan of the genre as I prefer some more freaked psychedelics, krautrock and kosmische scene outputs BUT this ambient record does it for me in the same way.
The record comes on colored/marbled vinyl and in a very limited edition of only 222 handnumbered copies. Don't miss this trip!

dinsdag 11 augustus 2009

3 October Enfant Terrible label night

For the party heads there is a label night planned on saturday 3 October in Tilburg (south of Holland and perfect to reach by train, car, airplane/Eindhoven Airport).

This is the line up:
-Distel (NL): angst pop --> see Radio Resistencia compilation and upcoming 7" on Enfant Terrible
-Dolina (FR/B): elektro chanson --> see Festival der Genialen Dissidenten and the Radio Resistencia compilations and the upcoming LP on Enfant Terrible
-The Dreams (FR): DaDa synth punk --> see the split 7" out now on Hex Grammofoonplaten/Enfant Terrible

Dj M. (NL): elektro, weird pop & obscure 80's

This label is co-produced and organized by GIFGROND and takes place ar their great and intimate location. The address of this former metal workplace is: Gasthuisring 19G, Tilburg, Holland. Check their website www.gifgrond.nl for the route from Tilburg Central railway station (5 minutes walk).

If you want to attend this night please make a reservation by contacting us (go to www.enfant-terrible.nl) as only 75 people will get entrance...

review: Various Artists - La Forme Lente 1

First release of a new French label that is as far as I can judge focussing on contemporary French cold wave sounds. This first LP is a compilation featuring ten bands which are mostly rather new/upcoming/obscure.
The thing with compilation LP's is that not many people (read label bosses/A&R managers) are capable of making a real good compilation. Mostly it is a mere collection of individual tracks with mostly mediocre bands and tracks and only one or two really interesting bands. Also the sequence of tracks is often hard to follow.
BUT... that is not the case with this record! I was quite happy surprised with this release. It shows the label has ears for talent and knows how to produce a good record. Only opening track is not really the best start of this compilation for my taste. Thing is a first track is easy to skip. Starting with track A2 you are drawn into the world of both guitar songs and electronic sounds by bands like Neon Tie Club, Garcons Coiffeurs (watch out for this band!), Dazed, Coy (excellent!!) and Underbahns.
Also two a little more known bands are present: Pierre Normal and ADN 'Ckrystall (active since the 80's) and are with Coy also the most electronic orientated.
Of course the usual references are there: 80's goth/post-punk and retro bands: Joy Division, Siouxsie, Interpol, et cetera, but the quality of most of the tracks is outstanding so why complain?
Looking forward to more from this label and eagerly waiting to see if they will keep the quality at this level.
This record is available as limited edition of 500 copies and you can get it at the Enfant Terrible mailorder (www.enfant-terrible.nl)

review: Alone - Fossilized In Concrete 1995-2006 (Treue Um Treue Tonträger)

Here is a new release from one of my personal favorite labels Treue Um Treue/Reue Um Reue Tonträger (TuT/RuR). Alone is a the arists name of a musician from Eastern Europe. For many years he has been producing his own style of electronic music. His repertoire shows elements of EBM, elektro and electronic pop music.
This LP compiles some of his work (some has been released on tape and cd-r before) from a period of about 10 years. The selection has been done with care as the listening experience is that of a real album.
Listening to this record I hear some influences popping up from bands like Trisomie 21, Click Click and Lassigue Bendthaus. All of course highly original and excellent electronic bands. Still Alone is not just a band that exists on these references. His music is quiet unique in its range of moods and has a sound of its own. My only point is that the vocal delivery on some tracks is not that good. Weird enough on others I have no problem at all with how the vocals are done and sounding.

As always with TuT/RuR release the packaging is more then excellent and fitting the music. This time there is next to the nice retro kind of cartoon sleeve also a fold out cartoon with some surrealistic touches. The vinyl itself is crystal clear. Ah... and also as always it is a limited edition... a little more then 300 copies are available. So, get it while you can at the label website (www.tutrur.com) or the Enfant Terrible mailorder (www.enfant-terrible.com)

vrijdag 7 augustus 2009

new releases: Bronze and The Dreams/Scorpion Violente

Enfant Terrible news - August 2009

Two new 7 inches are ready. So if you need to
spice your summer/holiday up a bit these are
the perfect soundtracks for that:

-Bronze 7” (Hex#2)
-Scorpion violente/The Dreams split 7”(Hex#3)

Here are two wild 7”s on the Enfant Terrible
sublabel Hex Grammofoonplaten (after the
almost sold out and widely acclaimed
compilation LP released two years ago)…
one by neo psychedelic band Bronze (featuring
the drummer from Vanishing) and a split
record by synth punk / art punk bands The
Dreams and Scorpion Violente.

Listen to and read about Bronze:
Listen and read about Scorpion Violente/The Dreams: