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).

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