synth-pop . alt-R&B . cold wave . industrial


Genre pick of the week Cover of Dream Baby Dream by Suicide.


Dream Baby Dream


    Originally released on Island Records in 1979, Suicide’s second single features two non-LP tracks including “Dream Baby Dream,” their best-known song and often covered by Bruce Springsteen. This first-time vinyl reissue and first-time domestic release comes with original sleeve design. Limited edition red vinyl.


    The Finishing Line


      Steven Clark (a.k.a Sci-Fi Steven from disco/punk legends bis) returns with his one-man-band project Batteries what seems like seconds after last year's self-titled snappy New-Wave debut. The debut's dystopian potential future themes remain, but this time both the musical and lyrical safety nets have been removed. With the "Devo plays Queens Of The Stone Age or vice versa" mantra still a loose guide, The Finishing Line opens with the vague reassurance of lost Punk 45 "The Fall-In-Love Club" before the safety is removed for the unhinged journey ahead. Remnants of Bill Nelson's Red Noise, Cardiacs and early Blur b-sides abound in "Mutual Enemies" and "Hidden Tracks" while there's edgy American metallic synth punk in "Pigs", "Pankhurst" and "Children Be Normal" which recalls Jesus Lizard and Brainiac. It's a restless itchy record, fleeting pop melodies are crushed by industrial strength guitars, but one that is a cohesive reward and illustrates Steven's unique musical vision. 


      Ltd LP Info: 500 only, 180g black vinyl, no download card.

      Blanck Mass

      The Great Confuso


        It was once suggested that everything we as human beings have ever achieved is merely the culmination of our refusal to acknowledge, or accept our own mortality: a vain, pathetic grasp at immortality via the fatuous notions of legacy, society, family, tradition, art. Whatever. In the greatest traditions of folklore, Blanck Mass summons forth the entity sardonically named The Great Confuso, to embody the taunting cruelty of death, and the unknowable beyond. This is the ambitious and gloriously uncomfortable aural propagation of looming disaster.

        Dark, glorious and by turn pulverising industrial metal and hypnotic synth-wash soundscape, this is Power’s most thrilling work to date. The obsession with human frailty so central to his previous work is focused here on the themes of confusion, anger and surrender. If Dumb Flesh depicted the frailty of the human body, this EP illustrates the fragility of the human mind. Dispassionate and candid, stark and bold, ferocious and tender, The Great Confuso stands as a new electronic masterpiece.

        Brand Image is a trio formed in Bergamo, Italy in 1983. Created by the same group of musicians as their previous project Some Bizarre. The line-up is Marino Scarabelli (music, producer), Tiberio “Tyber” Scarfone (arrangement, producer) and Stefano Brignoli (lyrics) and vocalist Mauro Farina. Originally, Stefano sang the song but his performance was too close to the brand new Some Bizarre single, so they recruited Mauro for distinction.

        “Are You Loving” was recorded at Regson Studio in Milan in 1983 and released on Il Discotto the same year. Similar in approach to Some Bizarre, the song’s music was composed by Marino as lyrics were written by Stefano with sitting on the sofa in the studio. The band created their signature sound using a Mini Moog, Prophet 5, Korg Synthesizer, Linn Drum. Mauro’s vocals are warm as he aggressively debates internally going out dancing or staying in and ordering take out. Where “Don’t Be Afraid” ”was the trio’s first experience at songwriting, ””Are You Loving”” became a popular hit and gave the group strength and enthusiasm to continue this musical path. Tiberio was a fan of the Italian pop group ”Pooh”” and their song “Non Siamo In Pericolo” ”had a solo break with an electric guitar and background bells that section inspired the guitar and claps solo in “Are You Loving”. Enrica Danesi makes a return appearance with her signature call-and-response back up vocals during the chorus. On the B-side is the instrumental version with extended breaks, drum claps and dubbed out bass lines.

        Both songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in an exact replica of the original 1983 edition with bright yellow and magenta line graphics against a black background. Each copy includes a double-side postcard insert with lyrics and notes.


        Some Lost Tapes EP


          Following the release of his third album Many Colours, Colder keeps on digging his post-punk approach to contemporary electronic scene, using the raw material of his album to come up with two remix EPs and a vinyl limited edition. Featuring both major and upcoming figures of the electronic scene such as Matias Aguayo, Christian S, Marc Piñol or Kasper Bjørke, these remixes showcase an open vision of electronic music as an entity living beyond borders of genres and countries.

          Colder’s music is seductive yet unobtainable, intimate yet peculiarly disorienting. It resonates like Joy Division or LCD Soundsystem yet occupies its own space, taking the listener out of their comfort zone and into a world of unsettling feelings and sensations, each more tantalising than its predecessor…

          Colder‘s future releases use lost material from his years in Trevor Jackson’s Output Recordings to come up with Some Lost Tapes, an exclusive EP set to be released for the Record Store Day. Later on this year, a double LP boxset named Lost Tapes: The Output Years will be released, including more exclusive material.

          Doomsquad bring psychedelic electronic dance music from Toronto, Canada.

          Having formed in 2012, siblings Trevor, Jaclyn and Allie Blumas soon began to explore trance and electronic beat making. Their shared fascination with dance culture, rhythm and the unknown, along with their lifelong immersion in the arts, began to manifest as a collective ethos. Before long, Doomsquad had mushroomed into a full-scale art project.

          Inspired by some of their favourite artists - Georges Bataille, Richard Tuttle, Tanya Tagaq and Genesis P-Orridge - Doomsquad travelled to the New Mexican desert to write and record ‘Total Time’, creating dark, pulsating beats interspersed with hypnotic, incantatory jams.

          Upon returning home the band continued to draw inspiration from the Toronto arts community. Their friendships and connections led to some fortuitous collaborations, including one with Canadian avant-garde legend Mary Margaret O’Hara, whose otherworldly vocals grace ‘The Very Large Array’.

          The driving, dirty basslines and analogue layers of effects come care of Graham Walsh (Holy F*ck), who produced and mixed the album.


          Barry says: Like a perfectly rounded hybrid of Trent Reznor finally listening to all his mates and 'Cheering Up A Bit', and the goth-tronica stylings of Tropic Of Cancer, 'Total Time' is a driving and energetic dystopian synth odyssey. Reverberated kick drums and distorted pads topped with distant vocals and frantic arps. Dramatic and gloomy, frenetic and claustrophobic, but at times hopeful. The more you listen the more it makes sense. Great stuff.


          Includes MP3 Download Code.

          John Foxx

          Burning Car

            This vinyl only release comes in a lavish gatefold sleeve designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, who designed the artwork for David Bowie's 'Blackstar'.

            The release is limited to 750 individually numbered copies.

            Inspired by a rare Japanese six-track mini album of the same name which included singles and B-Sides from the 1980 'Metamatic' era that weren't on the original album, this new release expands that concept into a full twelve-track LP featuring tracks such as 'This City', 'My Face', 'Mr No', 'Glimmer' and the title track, all mastered and cut for this rare release. This is the first time that 'Like A Miracle (Alternative Version)' and 'Young Love' have appeared on vinyl. 


            The trilogy of albums Grace recorded for Island at Compass Point studios in Nassau in the Bahamas in the early ‘80s are rightly regarded as three of that decade’s most essential records. Mixing icy new wave sensibilities with the poise and distance of high fashion and the depth, groove and warmth of dub reggae, ‘Private Life’ is actually a cover of a Chrissie Hynde-penned original from The Pretenders’ debut album. Meanwhile, the flip carries an insane reinterpretation of one of Joy Division’s darkest moments. Originally released in 1980 this double-header of extended club versions makes a welcome return to vinyl for Record Store Day, 2016.

            Includes previously unreleased dub versions of both tracks!!

            After pleasing ears here, there and everywhere with their dark wired debut, Glasgow's Junto Club return to Optimo Music with their second EP. Mining that rich seam of outsider electronics once again, JC up the tempo on EP opener "Nothing Above", fusing OMD sequences, techy drum programmes and sneering Alan Vega vocals into a slightly sinister synth pop sing-a-long for born again punks. "Mr. Kind Electric Man" slips off its army mac and stalks to the heart of the alternative dancefloor, throwing angular shapes to industrial beats, post punk bass and NDW synths while Steve Strange & Brigitte Arendt whisper sweet nothings by the bar. As ever, trouble's just around the corner, in this case taking the form of "Look Down", an entirely unhinged tribal-techno-goth seance primed for deployment at the Golden Pudel. It wouldn't be a Junto Club release without at least one Mogadon lullaby, and the lackadaisical, louche and lysergic "Isaac" puts us under with a combination of "Vanishing Point" Primal Scream, Severed Heads and early 90s Leonard Cohen. Outsider electronics for the Barbed Wire Kisses crew!


            Here In Iowa Remix EP - Inc. Peaking Lights Remix

            In autumn 2015, Swedish dream-pop duo Korallreven bid us all farewell by releasing the "round-the-world-in-a-day" sounding final single Here In Iowa, alongside memorable shows in New York City and Scandinavia. Now, they return for one last time with a disco dub dream remix of said song by the mighty Peaking Lights. This forms part of a 12" EP released by Be With Records. The record - limited to just 500 copies - will see its worldwide release for Record Store Day on 16th April 2016.

            The 12" will also, for the first time on vinyl, include Korallreven's breathtaking cover of Guns & Roses' 'November Rain' from 2014 as well as Shine On, the duo's rework of their own 2010 single Honey Mine, featuring Taken By Trees' Victoria Bergsman.

            From the guys:

            "Hard to say if Here In Iowa was an end or a start of something new. You'll see! Whether or not, we hold it as one of our highest heights and, after this beautiful season, we truly deeply madly felt that it was worth some extra limelight. And hey! Thanks for the remix, Peaking Lights! It's so wonderful! Life surely is."

            Neon Indian

            Psychic Chasms / Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed


              Transgressive are proud to present limited edition Record Store Day exclusives of the first two Neon Indian albums - augmented and expanded to double vinyl sets.

              Following his critically acclaimed masterpiece ‘VEGA INTL. Night School’ this is the perfect opportunity to compete your discography of one of the most impressive and visionary artists of our times.

              ‘Psychic Chasms’, his genre-defining debut featuring the timeless 'Deadbeat Summer' is released on vinyl in the UK and Europe for the first time, with a second 12" incorporating ‘Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed’ including nine unique remixes from the likes of Toro Y Moi, The Antlers, Twin Shadow and Bibio on deluxe gatefold vinyl.

              Both titles includes download codes and are limited to 500 copies each.

              Turin-based experimental-pop pioneers David Tomat and Gabriele Ottino return as Niagara for their third album, ‘Hyperocean’, out April 29th via Monotreme Records. Still retaining the band’s trademark pop edge, it is Niagara’s most experimental effort to date, combining alternative electronica, dark-tinted psychedelia and funk, with sweeping arrangements complimenting spluttering rhythms and booming electronics, akin to digital alt-pop peers Lapalux, Mount Kimbie and Nosaj Thing. The Italian duo have always had a driving concept behind their albums. Where their 2014 offering ‘Don’t Take it Personally’ focused on the struggle between technology and nature, ‘Hyperocean’ has allowed the band to conceptualise something that has inspired them from the start of their musical careers: Water. “Water is also the element from which Niagara started as a project, and so we felt the need to go back there to our beginning, to what really inspired us emotionally”, Tomat and Ottino explain. “Hyperocean is a pluri-dimensional planet almost completely covered in water. It changes continuously, reacting with whoever is visiting it by switching from one number of dimensions to another" At every turn the record is sonically considered; not only in concept, water also plays a central role in the production of the album, featuring hydrophone-recorded samples that help shape their "imaginary world made of water". ‘Hyperocean’ presents 11 expansive landscapes that sculpt Niagara’s oceanic world. Ebbing and flowing between the eerie calm of 'Drift' and the violent, visceral waves of 'Roger Water', it shifts itself into new forms, like water itself. Opener ‘Mizu', an eerie descent into unchartered territory, sets a fluid pace for the album, which surfaces for breath only at the delicate 'Firefly' before submerging again into a realm of aquatic ambience, decorated with textured synths and fluid basslines. Explosive cuts ‘Escher Surfers’ and ‘Solar Valley' force the running order to flow between moments of serenity and calamity, much like the unpredictable nature of the seas, and the epic 'Alfa 11' slowly transforms into an all-encompassing, grandiose conclusion. 


              Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

              Secret Circuit

              Moon Steppin'

                Freak Angeleno Secret Circuit flies the spaceship for the fourth offering from Vinyl On Wax, leading us on an interplanetary dance with three prime examples of tropical psychedelia. The optimistic chug of "Moon Stepping" sets the tone and tempo for the EP, treating us to a YMO-on-peyote widescreen (and wide eyed) synth symphony before dropping into a bubbling bass chug worthy of any decent acid session. The flip side opens with the decadent hit of "A Love Exotic", a spaced out slice of smack disco replete with alien voices and elegant bass hums. Transcendent chimes, stargazing synths and meaty clavinet ride a discoid bassline giving us a blast of space disco to rival the best of the Balihu output. EP closer “Code Breaker” raps together samba sensibilities with eastern guitars on a bed of creamy pads, carrying you through the hazier parts of your evening and well into the morning after.

                Some Bizarre are a trio formed in Bergamo, Italy in 1983. The line-up is Marino Scarabelli (music, producer), Tiberio “Tyber” Scarfone (arrangement, producer) and Stefano Brignoli (lyrics, vocals). Tiberio was a DJ at a local discotheque, where he met Marino. Initially they considered calling themselves Funny Marvin, but settled on Some Bizarre after recruiting Stefano, whose initials mirror the name.

                “Don’t Be Afraid” was their first composition, recorded in Milan in 1983 and released on Il Discotto the same year. Stefano, sitting on a sofa in the studio, wrote lyrics while Marino composed the music. They developed their sound with a Mini Moog, Prophet 5, Korg Synthesizer, and Linn Drum. Stefano sings of a romantic night with a lover, dancing into a dream world. Heavy percussion serves as counterpoint to the infectious melodies, which were inspired by Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Backup vocalist Enrica Danesi adds a powerful call-and-response for the chorus, elevating the dramatic tension. The B-side features an instrumental version.

                Both songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record comes housed in a newly designed jacket by Eloise Leigh, inspired by the song’s themes of liquid love, heartbreak, and moonlight against a Rococo column. Each copy includes a double-side postcard insert with lyrics and notes set against a disco parquet floor




                  Classic NYC duo composed of Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Their first single, originally released in UK in 1978, features a remix of the band’s very first song (“Cheree”) and the brilliant non-album track “I Remember.” This first-time vinyl reissue and first-time domestic release comes with original sleeve design. Limited edition red vinyl.


                  No Fantasy Required

                  Montreal recording artist Tiga releases the conclusion to a trilogy of albums with ‘No Fantasy Required’.

                  There’s always been a fertile creative tension at the heart of Tiga’s music. On the one hand he’s the underground techno don, on the other there’s a pop sensibility that enables him to write great songs. It’s this duality that makes him one of electronic music’s most engaging characters. He’s about as far from your faceless techno DJ as it’s possible to get. It’s also the power that drives his new album, only the third in a long career which has always favoured quality over quantity.

                  For longtime fans it will come as no surprise that Tiga has made a fantastic record. Working with key producer Matthew Dear and Finnish wizard Jori Hulkkonen (who also performs with him live), Tiga has made a record on which he says he feels “more honest, open and playful.”

                  ‘No Fantasy Required’ is a collection of inspired songs that just happen to be delivered via the visceral dance music he’s a master of. It’s a proper album with songs and real character, one that takes you on a journey but also packed with instant bangers. It’s interesting, involving and beautifully crafted but it’s also funny, sexy and charismatic.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Includes MP3 Download Code.


                  When A Women Is Around - Inc. Andrew Weatherall Remix

                  In a match made in musical heaven, Unloved meet Andrew Weatherall for some floorburning 12" remix action. The collaborative project of David Holmes, Keefus Ciancia and Jade Vincent garnered rave reviews earlier this year with debut LP "Guilty Of Love", a cucumber cool blend of 60s girl groups, Jack Nitzsche and the femme fatale rock of The Kills or Raveonettes. "When A Woman Is Around" pulls all those strands together perfectly into a fuzzy blend of fizzing guitar chords, mesmeric electronics, Phil Spector drums and smokey female vocals. Over on the flip, refined and revered dancefloor veteran Andrew Weatherall slices and dices the drums into a chunky, chuggy machine beat, adds a brooding, swelling bassline then wraps the icy vocal around some spaced out synth riffs. I can only imagine the total devastation this number's been reeking in Andy's ALFOS sets - chug loving brilliance from start to finish.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd 12" Info: Red vinyl edition

                  Various Artists

                  Belgica: Original Soundtrack By Soulwax

                  ‘Belgica’ is the new film by Oscar nominated director, Felix Van Groeningen. Its original soundtrack has been composed, recorded and produced by Soulwax.

                  The film sees Soulwax’s influence throughout from composing, arranging and recording the original score to creating each and every one of the fictional musical artists featured. A diverse collection of songs, performed by a similarly varied set of artists, has seen Soulwax create what is a unique soundtrack that continues to see them evolve as musical progressionists.

                  Recorded and mixed at Soulwax’s new Deewee studio in Ghent, the entire project has been over twelve months in the making.

                  As the group says: “We recorded the original music being played in the club, wrote the music, rehearsed and recorded live on set the tracks played by the bands - ranging from a live kraut techno band, White Virgins, bequiffed psychobilly trio They Live through to hardcore outfit Burning Phlegm (featuring Sepultura’s Igor Cavalera) whilst chanteuse Charlotte represents the other end of the spectrum with her neo soul pop.”

                  Cititrax's first Tracks 12" sampler did a good job in showcasing material from some of the Brooklyn-based label's favourite contemporary producers. This follow-up, arriving only a few short months after the first, aims to do the same. Returning for his second appearance, Tsuzing kicks things off with the razor-sharp shuffle of "Nonlinear War", whose intoxicating electronics and wild synth lines recall Brown Album-era Orbital, before London-based L/F/D/M takes a trip into bleak techno territory with the acid-laden "Mouth Holes". Flip for Silent Servant's deliciously grandiose, muscular electro-disco workout "The Touch", and the clanking industrial percussion, EBM attitude and humming electro beats of Maelstrom's "Lithium".

                  Various Artists

                  Close To The Noise Floor - Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984

                    Two years in the making, Close To The Noise Floor is a 4CD, 61-track set exploring the origins of electronica in the UK. Featuring tracks from key figures on the cassette label underground alongside early releases by future stars of the movement, this is part primitive rave, part synthesiser porn & part history lesson. Enthralled by the mysterious electronics of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Gong & German Kosmische artists such as Tangerine Dream, Harmonia & Cluster, & inspired by the DIY ethos of punk, a quiet revolution took place across the UK in the late 70s & early 80s. The rise of the microchip & the advent of affordable synthesisers enabled countless artists for whom guitars, drums & bass had become old hat, & in grubby bedsits, unremarkable living rooms & art school halls across the British Isles, UK electronica was born.

                    Exploring every corner of this fascinating & often overlooked chapter in musical history. For proto synth-pop look no further than 100% Manmade Fibre & Spoon Fazer, whilst British Standard Unit & Five Times Of Dust lay out techno templates which wouldn’t take full form until many years later. Elsewhere, the synthesiser laden ambient music of Zorch & the found sound collages of A Tent sit comfortably alongside early forays by familiar names – Blancmange, The Human League, OMD & Throbbing Gristle – in over four hours of futurist, entirely modern music.

                    This limited edition 12" EP (500 copies only) features 5 covers of tracks from John Foxx’s 'Metamatic' album by contemporary artists much admired by the artist himself. Wrangler (with lead vocals by Cabaret Voltaire's Stephen Mallinder) and Gazelle Twin team up for a new version of ‘He’s A Liquid’, giving the surreal atmosphere of the original a sinister, darker edge. Hannah Peel explores the psychedelic possibilities of ‘Tidal Wave’ with voice, electronics and music box, while LoneLady strips back ‘030’ to a starkly beautiful vision of ‘sunlit concrete’ built around voice, beats, guitar and cello. Side Two opens with the laser beam focus of The Soft Moon’s ‘No-One Driving’ - stomping mechanical beats, guitars and keyboards as intense as flickering strobes. The EP ends with another one of John Foxx’s favourite bands, Xeno & Oaklander, who create a ferocious analogue take on the title-track, complete with vocals by Liz Wendelbo which are part European art movie / part B-movie psychedelic horror flick.

                    LoneLady: ‘I live in a high-rise right next to a dual carriageway, so John Foxx’s music makes a lot of sense to me. I find his dystopias exciting and at times full of longing and romance. At first merely functional, the surfaces of the city become exotic, seductive.’

                    Xeno + Oaklander: ‘I love the unexpected violence of Foxx’s music’. Very urban, contemporary and apocalyptic. Metamatic is so fundamental as an influence on so much - from synthpop, new romantic, industrial dance, EBM, et al - its consequences are far reaching and still being felt.’

                    The Soft Moon: ‘'No-One Driving' is my favourite John Foxx track. It has everything I love in a song. From an emotional standpoint it’s dark, moody and yet somehow optimistic. From a musical standpoint it’s beautifully structured with melodic verses, a catchy chorus and I would still like to get that arpeggiated phaser synth sound.’

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