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

WEEK STARTING 26 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of Sex Miami by Deux Control.
“Sex Miami”. Let those words melt into your soul like creamy, creamy pink ice cream in on your tongue. This album by Deux Control is a smooth genre crossover paradise of 808s, Yamaha keyboards and deep mesmerizing vocals side by side with more hardcore synth elements found in bands like DAF or Nitzer Ebb.

Deux control’s sound is a mix your favourite soundtracks of electronic music with a large portion of body synth. It is sexy, cool, and a bit frightening. The music on “Sex Miami” is familiar and goes out to all listeners of all ages but especially to those in the French/Italian disco fandom out there. This is the kind of music an eighties international business traveller would listen when kicking back and clubbing after landing a fat new contract.

Deux control is the act that got bumped from the Miami Vice soundtrack last minute because being a bit to edgy for mainstream USA. They are the group that Gorigio Moroder tried to copy when he wanted to update his sound. Deux Control are the new rulers of psychedelic electric body-disco!

STAFF COMMENTS

says: A little weird, a little sexy, very cosmic and very dark - what more could you possibly want (from Hoga Nord)? One for the dark and dingy night clubs - not long now peeps!

Aili / Transistorcake

Dansu

    Making her debut Belgian-Japanese artist Aili teams up with one of Eskimo Recordings' most exciting new Belgian acts Transistorcake for the mesmerising ‘Dansu’. Sung in a mixture of Japanese and English, ‘Dansu’ is a hymn to dancing the night away, the track’s taut Motorik rhythms and lambent washes of synths blending perfectly with Aili’s hushed vocals to create a hypnotic, languorously funky, track with echoes of artists like Can or Stereolab.

    "I left Tokyo for Belgium when I was 7 years old. In many ways my Japanese stayed at that level. When I sing in Japanese it puts me into this naive, almost childlike mindset that allows me to express what I feel right away. You don’t need to understand the words just the feeling that they convey." - Aili

    Culminating at 430m of altitude, mount Aïdour has been looking over the city of Oran for centuries. Legendary tales and myths are born in this place that have been inspiring writers through generations. It is there that the seeds and the roots of this record were planted, inspiring me to tell a story as well. 4 tracks about 4 destinations through a country of splendor. From North to South, East to West, from one century to another. Based on local field recordings associated with modern machines, this is the continuation of the legends started generations ago.

    Bab is a member of French collectives 404 and Pardonnez Nous. He's currently making a documentary about Algerian Raï music which led him to visit the country multiple times recently and inspired him to do this dark and haunted EP, reminiscing of Muslimgauze.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: For fans of tribal electronics, shamanic shit and witching hour weirdness! Bab from 404 takes a little inspiration from Algerian Raï and early Muslimgauze to create the loose, lysergic and low tempo pulse of this solo EP.

    Blanck Mass

    In Ferneaux

      What is the utility of pain? Can it do anything but fester? In Ferneaux explores pain in motion, building audio-spatial chambers of experience and memory. Using an archive of field recordings from a decade of global travels, isolation gave Blanck Mass an opportunity to make connections in a moment when being together is impossible. The record is divided into two long-form journeys that gather the memories of being with now-distant others through the composition of a nostalgic travelogue. The journeys are haunted with the vestiges of voices, places, and sensations. These scenes alternate with the building up and releasing of great aural tension, intensities that emerge from the trauma of a personal grieving process which has perhaps embraced its rage moment.

      An encounter with a prophetic figure on the streets of San Francisco presented the question of “how to handle the misery on the way to the blessing.” This is the quandary of the impasse we now all find ourselves in, trapped in our little caves, grappling with the unease of the self at rest – without movement, without the consumerist agenda of “new experiences.” The possibility of growth, always defined by our connections with others, held in limbo. Sartre said that “Hell is other people,” but perhaps this is the Inferno of the present: the space of sitting with the self.

      A blessing is often thought of as a future reward, above and beyond the material plane. With In Ferneaux, Blanck Mass wrangles the immanent materials of the here-and-now to build a sense of transcendence. Here, the uncanny angelic hymn sits comfortably beside the dirge. The misery and blessing are one.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: If you know Blanck Mass, you know that his uncompromising mix of hypnotic synthy OPN business oft turns into an all-encompassing wall of tectonic noise and spine-tingling euphoric washes. Those of you who don't will find exactly that here, but constantly and perfectly progressing in both timbre and scope. It's intoxicating and unmissable stuff, Blanck Mass is never anything but.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Magenta LP.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      “Do you feel what I feel too?” Brijean Murphy floats the question at the start of Feelings, the full-length Ghostly International debut from Brijean, her collaborative project with Doug Stuart. Guided by a lush mix of charismatic keyboard chords, grooving bass lines, and radiant bongo-driven rhythms, the “Day Dreaming” lyric doubles as an invitation and a statement of intention. Brijean want you to move, physically, mentally, dimensionally; this is dance music for the mind, body, and soul. With Feelings, they’ve manifested a gentle collective space for respite, for self-reflection, for self-care, for uninhibited imagination and new possibilities. The album cultivates a specific vibe, a softness Murphy has come to call “romancing the psyche.”

      Growing up in a family immersed in jazz, Latin and soul music, Murphy would become an accomplished DJ, session and live player in Oakland’s diverse music scene and one of indie’s most in-demand percussionists (Poolside, Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls). In 2018, she began recording songs with multi-instrumentalist and producer Doug Stuart, who shares a background in jazz and pop in bands such as Bells Atlas, Meernaa, and Luke Temple. Following their first sessions, which resulted in the mini-album Walkie Talkie (released in 2019 on Native Cat Recordings), the duo continued freeform hangs in Oakland, inviting friends Chaz Bear, Tony Peppers, and Hamir Atwal. “We improvised on different feels for hours,” says Murphy. “Nothing quite developed at first but we had seeds. We re-opened the sessions a couple months later, after returning from tours, and spent a month developing the songs in a little 400 square foot cottage.”

      Aforementioned album opener “Day Dreaming” is a dynamic celebration of newness: the excitement in finding deeper understandings of yourself as you get to know someone, something, or somewhere new. “Wifi Beach” drops a pin in pure psych-pop exotica. With Atwal on drums, Stuart on bass, Peppers on keys, and Bear engineering, the group impro- vised the track’s intro sequence based on the vision of a lavish 1970s pool party. Establishing the scene is a mid-frequency drum kit disco shuffle augmented by tight congas and timbale effect, as Murphy sings in spurts: “I want to be / Deep in love / I want to be / Say you love me too / I want to be / Honey.” The stanzas cut between “reflective moments of wants and being overwhelmed by feelings of the present,” she explains. “A lot of the ‘love songs’ I write are to my psyche, self-reflections on how to encourage tender perspectives and make more time for the sweet stuff.”

      Though there is a loose, dance-oriented motif throughout, the material gives way to somnolent turns. On “Ocean,” Brijean’s anodyne lyrics, remi- niscent of Astrud Gilberto’s airy croon, float atop a brushed drum pattern, sparkling rhodes lines, and pittering and softly funky woodblock bops. The opening line sets up the rest, “In this gentle space we lay” — among the album’s propensity for movement, tracks like “Ocean” stand out by leaning back for momentary sways of blissful introspection. Murphy calls the charming “Hey Boy” a “psychedelic guide — the exploration of finding what feels good — through sorrow, anxiety, apathy.” This mentality ap- plies to Feelings on the whole: in these nebulous and verdant worlds of hazy melodies, feathery hooks, and percussive details, the songs simply want us to feel alive. They radiate in wonderful abandon and with a sense of devotion to the self.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Lava lamp - blue and pink swirl vinyl. Limited to 200 copies.

      Cabaret Voltaire is Richard H. Kirk and "Shadow of Fear" was the band’s first studio album in 26 years and was released in 2020 to critical acclaim.

      The single "Shadow of Funk" delves deeper into Cabaret Voltaire’s arsenal of 'vocal samples, harsh rhythms and threatening detonations' (Classic Pop).

      Industrialized dancefloor darkness for the shadow lurkers and futurist primates.

      Limited edition coloured vinyl with hi-def downloads as accompaniment.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured 12" Info: Curacao coloured Vinyl.

      Self-styled ‘house husband, record producer’, DMX Krew, continues his effortless stretch of releases that date back to the early 90s, with a new album for Hypercolour.

      His deft melodies and mechanical, electro-tinged beats have made for some classic albums in his repertoire, from his incredible run of albums for Rephlex Records, up to 2020’s ’Ghost Bubbles’ long player for Terrestrial Funk. And so ‘Loose Gears’ marks DMX Krew’s fourth album for British stalwarts, Hypercolour, and fans will not be disappointed.

      Armed with an arsenal of hardware, and a head full of futuristic visions, ‘Loose Gears’ collects eleven tracks of the customary quality we have come to expect from DMX Krew.

      From the funk laden ‘Solar Transit’ to bleepy chugger ‘Dejected Ambient Twerp’, the vibrant synths and spongy rhythms of ‘Torpedo Tube’ to the beatless wiggle of ‘Xpansion 2’, there’s much in store to be savoured on ‘Loose Gears’, as DMX Krew serves up another fine selection of electronic goodies.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: Producers as prolific as Ed DMX are a rarity; but often have the luxury of simply dipping into their hard drives when a label come knocking for releases. It's more a question of curation than actually mining for content. Here, Hypercolour have done an excellent job of sequencing a plethora of tracks across an extensive period resulting in a tasty double pack from this industrious workhouse.

      Dubstar

      One

        It was the end of a century, and as the 1990s inevitably applied its brakes, Dubstar were sent flailing through the windscreen of popular music. Their third album, the unfortunately-titled Make It Better, lay bleeding at the side of the road, itself a casualty of one-too-many personal and professional traumas.

        In the following years there were some half-hearted attempts to record more music- even the occasional, low-key live appearance here and there- but it wasn’t until 2015 that Sarah Blackwood and Chris Wilkie found themselves formally reconstituted and writing new material in dedicated earnest. Not because it was expected, but because they couldn't help it.

        With the support and encouragement of legendary producer Youth, they began sessions for One, which represented the beginning of a new chapter in the Dubstar story, and one which has audibly benefitted from the passing of time. The album is generally considered to be the first worthy successor to their platinum-selling debut Disgraceful, and serves as generous compensation for the wilderness years, while promising even better things on the horizon.

        Turbulent synths ooze and oscillate, roaming like searchlight beacons across darkened shores. The experimental and idiosyncratic sound of duo Inkasso explores the feeling of being cast adrift in disorientating, mechanical worlds. In the studio, the pair jam with drills, string instruments, field recordings and everyday objects to create a hypnotic cacophony. Hear the penny drop on ‘Asso,’ chains rattle on ‘Träume aus Draht;’ the junglist murk of ‘Tag der Imker,’ and the sharp, crystalline beat of ‘Punkervirtel.’ Inkasso invites you to get lost in the uncanny spaces between dub, drone and techno; static introspection and the primal desire to dance.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: I first encountered Inkasso through a couple of killer contributions to the essential Kashual Plastik imprint, and it makes perfect sense for the equally fearless Osàre! Editions to host their debut LP. Drifting between dub, experimental electronics, cosmic chaos and that next gen club shit a la Canomdomblé and OK! Spirit, this is what you should be listening to instead of those IDM reissues...

        Geneva Jacuzzi

        Lamaze - Reissue

          Lamaze is Geneva Jacuzzi’s 2010 debut—a full-length pressing of analog 4- track and 8-track recordings that document the development of her musical style from her first appearance in 2004 up to 2009. It is a selective introduction gleaned from a body of over 200 recorded tracks. The recordings from this period are largely synth pop songs that are typical minimalist constructions with dance floor tempos. Use of experimental recording techniques and varying arrays of equipment produce differing electronic atmospheres—soundcrafting in the spirit of Chrome, Devo, Cabaret Voltaire, and Gina-X. 

          There is also an exploration of format in her playful use of alternating theatrical interludes and instrumental treatments. Lamaze is essentially a collection of demos, which is an atypical debut, but it is among the first lo-fi pop recordings that became the lexicon of the emerging music frontier, today’s “hypnagogic” jukebox—chillwave, bedroom pop, witch house, vaporwave, and more. The sound of the future, but the present of Lamaze is a world that has vanished. The collection is venerated as canon among her devotees and has become a coveted relic among fans and collectors of pop artifacts and rarities.

          Planningtorock

          PlanningtoChanel

            Collaboration between Planningtorock AKA Jam Rostron and Chanel sound director Michel Gaubert, the songs found on ‘PlanningtoChanel’ soundtracked the legendary Parisian fashion house’s Autumn-Winter 2020 show earlier this year.

            “I always felt that Jam incorporates operatic and cinematic elements to their unique sound,” Gaubert explains. “The Chanel show was inspired by French cinema from the 70’s and 80’s and Planningtorock blessed the show with their sound and gave birth to ‘PlanningtoChanel’.”

            “I love working with Michel. He’s a such legend with a brilliant ear for music and a very big heart!” says Rostron of the collaboration. “Creating the music for the Chanel show was such an exciting challenge. From the inspiring references that Michel gave me I set out to make music that had a sense of urgent elegance that was then punctuated with dramatic pitched queer voices driving the drama.”

            Smerz

            Believer

              Norwegian duo Smerz have announced the release of ‘Believer’, their forthcoming debut album that pushes Smerz far beyond their previous EP releases, 2017’s Okey and 2018’s Have Fun. Since releasing the ‘Believer’ trailer back in October 2020 followed by a video for the tracks ‘I don’t talk about that much/Hva hvis’, the duo of Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt have slowly revealed a new auditory world. The duo meld sonic touchstones from their youth, like musicals and classical music, with swirling, trance-indebted synth lines and hip-hop plus R&B vocals that is distinctly Smerz.

              Last fall the duo performed at Oslo’s Ultima festival; in early 2020 they scored a performance by Carte Blanche, the Norwegian national company of contemporary dance, as well as performed at Mira festival in collaboration with legendary visual maverick Weirdcore.




              Pauline Anna Strom

              Angel Tears In Sunlight

                Angel Tears in Sunlight is Pauline Anna Strom’s first album in over thirty years; an assemblage of music that refracts the expansiveness, and minutiae, of imagined realms while embracing the kaleidoscopic echoes of our distant epochs. The capacity to collapse time might elucidate the enigma of Pauline Anna Strom. A mystic force in music, emerging during the dawn of new age as the Trans-Millenia Consort, the pioneering synthesist channelled primordial energies into future-facing sound through a series of full-length releases between 1982 and 1988.

                Little was known about her, except by a constellation of devoted followers who saw a unique legacy forming amidst the (mostly male) synthesist canon of the time. Following the 2017 release of Trans-Millenia Music, an anthology revitalizing the most evocative parts of Strom’s catalog, the Bay Area visionary sensed the universe telling her to return to music. As with her work in the 80s, Angel Tears in Sunlight was composed and recorded in the same San Francisco apartment where Strom has lived for almost four decades in synthesis with her machines and “dinosaurs.” Populated by a compact array of modern instruments that streamline the sound of her analog past and her beloved iguanas, Little Soulstice and Ms Huff, the terrarium of her home forms an intimate yet limitless ecosystem that defies the constraints of the outside world. Within this sanctuary, Strom becomes lost in time, drawing on the ancient energies of her inner visions. Her hardware forms the crux of translating these ideas into sound. “It’s the only way this stuff can be pulled out of myself, the universe, Little Soulstice, an ammonite…,” Strom notes. “It couldn’t be done without this machinery, because there’s no other way to draw and capture these frequencies into sonic interpretation.” Strom’s process of recording transient live-takes enriches the mystery of her work. She renders the machinery a composer itself, a cohabitation with a living other. “Many musicians wouldn’t go that far because of ego,” Strom muses. “The equipment has to become part of you and your creativity.

                That’s how I think it all comes together.” Music-making becomes a harmonic language of intuition with an instrument, where Strom cultivates sound for a harvest that defies season. Shaped by circadian contours, Angel Tears in Sunlight is a celestial observatory of earthborn phonic mosaics. Strom uncovers a symbiosis between hardware frequencies and apparitions of nature in the record’s arena of organic tones, emulating the melodic pulses of primeval terrain. The album transcends both shadow and light, falling to hushed stretches of sound as if not to awaken antediluvian animals, before soaring through the treetops where ancient skies peer over reptilian traffic and unsparing rains. Where Angel Tears in Sunlight opens a new passage in the transportive power of Strom’s work, the synthesist also nurtures space for restorative listening. During her absence from composing, Strom turned to a practice of spiritual healing, which she recognizes to have deepened her understanding of music as “the connective link between the source and us.” Dedicating the album to her dear friend John Jennings who passed away during the making of Angel Tears in Sunlight, Strom titled the work to reflect the summation of processing life and loss, collapsed together in an eternal spectrum. “Sunlight represents what we’re coming into.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition clear / red / yellow swirled vinyl.

                Tadi Feat. DJKR

                Seven Diamond Lines

                For the first Offen release of 2021, Vladimir Ivkovic introduces us Piccadilly pickers to the sublime sound design of Tadi Yan. Vlad originally heard this in a Lena Willikens set in Warsaw back in 2019, and was hooked, seeking out Tadi in Shanghai to secure a proper vinyl release. 

                Taking Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche's recitation of a Guru Rinpoche Prayer as a starting point, Tadi conjures an intoxicating plume of ominous synth swells, echo laden percussion and blinking electronics, achieving a truly arresting effect. Backed with the original chant recording, this is true trance music, perfect for turning a club on its head.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Sonic chakra re-alignment surgery here. In its original form, Rinpoche's prayer vibrates with your body tones and celestial hum (toad smokers will get this straight away); while the remix should inject some much needed electro-voodoo into even the most heathen of audiences.

                Throughout music history a few bands and artists have succeeded in creating their own universes for their on stage-personas and music to evolve within. Ultra Satan is one of those bands: in their anti-rock, packed with rock aesthetic in a classic DIY-format, you find a distinct but also defiant concept which frames the bands revolutionary and anarchistic output. You could say that Ultra Satan has created an own space to be unpredictable within.

                Golden Bug and Peaking Lights, friends with and released on Höga Nord Rekords, have made remixes of Ultra Satans second 7” and the result bares traces of Patrick Cowley, Brian Enos World Music explorations and some hints of dub. The lonely reverberating and echoing guitars contribute to the apocalyptic vibe that comes clear to you in these remixes - Golden Bug and Peeking Lights have both drag out more darkness of the songs than you get in the original versions. Still, none of the polyrhythmic excellence of the original versions is lost in the process - you can still dance through the apocalypse.

                Ultra Satan is one of few concept bands today that manages not to be ridiculous or pretentious and always stays on the right side of the abyss, not falling in, getting eaten by darkness. The good always wins in the end!

                Rik Van Boeckel

                Deze Hoofden Praten

                New label on the block Raakvlak returns for its second release, this time branching out into more local territories. Deze Hoofden Praten is a vast recollection of the idiosyncratic work of spoken-word guru Rik van Boeckel.

                Next in line for Raakvlak is a recollection of the wicked work of poet, spoken-word expert and all-round expressionist Rik van Boeckel. Deze Hoofden Praten is the result of two mid- eighties tapes released on Kubus Cassettes, the same label that accommodated the work of the mind- stretching ambient of subterranean-chill pioneer Enno Velthuys. Although van Boeckel’s oeuvre contains some similar elements, the outcome here is much wilder; a musical hodgepodge of new wave pop, ambient and quirky dub. What’s more, emphasis is just as much on the Dada- bordering poetry at present as on the sonical equivalent. Think Ton Lebbink’s cousin if he would’ve been into new age instead of punk. Certainly one to turn heads and ears alike, this may serve as a (re-)introduction of a singular mind to the wider universe.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: After turning us on with the kosmische grooves of that Overflow reissue for their first release, Raakvlak are back with more archival excellence, combining a couple of mid-80s cassettes from Rik Van Boeckel. Operating in dada-ist mode, Rik stiches spoken word vocals over experimental compositions which drift between dub, wave and C86 guitars.

                Luis Vasquez

                A Body Of Errors

                  Venturing off course from his Post-Punk / Dark Wave project, The Soft Moon, Los Angeles born composer and multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez, embarks intonew territory with A Body Of Errors, a bold reimagining of the soundtrack genre.With this album, Vasquez felt the urgency to break away from The Soft Moon realm and deliver an even more intimate, self-reflecting body of work, while further unveiling inner demons & vulnerability. He continues to explore his notorious angst and visceral pain, but places them in the context of his own physical being, creating the deeply personal, yet relatable and compelling oddity that is A Body Of Errors, which Vasquez describes as a collection of themes to living in the human body.

                  Opening track “Interno” with its crushing synthesizers, is a blast off into the abyss of self. Sinister gasps introduce “Poison Mouth” stomping you with relentless torment before spiraling into oblivion. Halfway, we reach the mechanized rhythms and throbbing cardiac pulse of “Surgery” expressing Vasquez’s phobia with the body itself. “No Longer Human” with its hallucinogenic flutter and distant cries, imagines a fantastic universe beyond, with a nod to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. The only lyrical appearance on A Body Of Errorsis “Used To Be” a gut-wrenching wall-of-sound ballad romanticizing the struggle between one's good side & bad side. Pulling you into armageddon, A Body OfErrors closes with “World On Fire” an epic post-apocalyptic battle-storm painted vividly through symphonic devastation.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Crystal clear vinyl.

                  Alan Vega & Revolutionary Corps Of Teenage Jesus

                  Righteous Lite

                    Alan Vega – voice/Stephen Lironi – machines. Alan Vega (Suicide) and Stephen Lironi (Altered Images) released an iconic album in 1999 as Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus. Righteous Lite is even more prescient today than it was over 20 years ago, Alan’s lyrics foresaw where society seems to be now, with corporate government utilising mass media to control the mass market and populace. Stephen’s production and music echo the analogue vibrations of the debut Suicide album, and in tandem with Alan’s primal scream, create an album that works as a raw conceptual piece.This is the first time that Righteous Lite has been released on vinyl, on a deluxe gatefold sleeve featuring new artwork (with cover art by Alan).

                    The album was originally released only on CD by The Creeping Bent Organisation. The link between Alan Vega and The Creeping Bent Organisation was born in the mid 1990s when the label released the debut single by Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus, a 12” techno recasting of Suicide’s Frankie Teardrop (which quickly sold out after being awarded the coveted NME Single of the Week). The single heavily featured samples from the original version by Suicide, and contact was made with recording copyright owner Red Star to obtain permission to clear the sample. Creeping Bent quickly received a fax from Marty Thau granting not only permission to use the sample, but to inform us that Alan and Martin Rev loved the RCTJ techno demix. Further to that, Mr Thau informed Creeping Bent that Alan would love to join the Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus, which Creeping Bent quickly set in motion. It wasn’t long before Alan Vega and Stephen Lironi were ensconced in a Brooklyn studio working on tracks. Protection Rat was released as a 12” single, followed by Who Cares Who Dies (as a split single with The Nectarine No9). Both releases were also Singles of the Week in the UK music papers, ensuring they too quickly sold out.

                    Righteous Lite features some of Alan Vega’s best work, he was extremely happy with the outcome of working on this album with Stephen. The production is claustrophobic and intense, matched by a dystopian lyrical outlook that feels incredibly topical.
                    Stephen Lironi: first appeared on vinyl as drummer with Article 58 and played on their only single, Event To Come, which was produced by Alan Horne and Malcolm Ross and released on Josef K manager Allan Campbell’s Rational Records label. He then joined Restricted Code and drummed on their recordings for Bab Last’s Pop Aural label, before going on to work with Last at Fast Product (which led to him being asked to drum on the final Fire Engines’ single, Big Gold Dream). Lironi then joined Altered Images for their Bite album, on which he drummed, played guitar, and co-wrote the material. He worked with Tony Visconti and Mike Chapman on the album, and got a taste for production that later manifested itself when he became a successful producer on hits by Hanson, Space, Black Grape, among others. He had the opportunity to work in the studio with Jah Wobble, Tom Verlaine, Brian Wilson, but the collaboration with Alan Vega on Righteous Lite was a pinnacle. 


                    Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

                    Interim Report, March 1979

                      “Interim Report, March 1997” by Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is Gordon Chapman Fox’s hymn and homage to the brutalist beauty of Cheshire’s designated new towns of Warrington and Runcorn.

                      Chapman-Fox grew up in Lancashire, and having been a frequent user of the famous Preston Bus Station in his youth, he was struck by the enormous chasm between the sixties architects utopian vision for what new towns should be and the sticky-floored, piss-streaked reality. He explains: “The more I looked into it, the appeal of these visionary architects grew. It felt like perhaps the most visionary building projects of all post war Britain were some of the estates built in Warrington and Runcorn new towns, these twin towns on either side of the Mersey. The estates of Runcorn were space-age futurist with external plumbing, rounded windows and raised walkways. But as housing, they were a failure. Runcorn was the last great UK modernist, futurist building project built with a community in mind. “Interim Report, March 1979” looks at this interim, this gap between vision and reality.”

                      At the time of recording the album, he says, “It seemed like there were a lot of ersatz-soundtracks to lost John Carpenter films, or obscure giallo “classics”. I preferred to find inspiration from the surreality of the mundane, hence the creation of Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan. 1979 seemed the perfect point to be located in time, sitting on the razor’s edge between the post-war consensus and the dawn of Thatcherism. As the concept took hold, I tried to format the music according to the capabilities of a small, provincial recording studio in 1979. I limited the number of instruments available, the number of tracks available and so on. This really helped to shape the album and anchor the concept. As a teenager, I was into rock and looking for ever more extreme sounds - AC/DC gave way to Metallica gave way to Carcass. But by the 90s I heard Warp artists and that was me hooked. What they were doing could be far more brutal than anything by four sweaty long-haired guys with guitars. But it could also be funky, beautiful, ethereal, melodic and so much more.” It’s that ethereality and true sense of time and place that Chapman-Fox has captured so well here. “1979 marked a change in the political and wider culture of British society. The Warrington- Runcorn development marks the swan song of post-war urban planning in the UK – soon the ethos of building better communities would be replaced by Thatcherite “no such thing as society” and “Greed is good” mentality. And look where that got us…“

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Ltd yellow vinyl with insert.


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