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Stephen Mallinder

Um Dada

    Stephen Mallinder, co founder and frontman of the iconic Cabaret Voltaire, has returned with his first solo album in over 35 years: Um Dada. Laced with leftfield house and cut up sound collages, Um Dada is a melding of energies that are an exercise in simplicity and motion. Sincere, playful realism that beckons your body to move, always reminding you to never take yourself too seriously without forfeiting your agency.

    While steering Cabaret Voltaire through the 1980’s, Mallinder was already busy piecing together his first solo album entitled “Pow Wow”, which would help define Mallinder’s interest in the more leftfield electro sounds shaping England at the time. It was this diverse and abstract hybrid that helped inspire generations of artists and musicians through steeping raw machine funk within the whimsical and absurdist ideology.

    Since the release of “Pow Wow” in 1982, Mallinder continued his pioneering work with Cabaret Voltaire, as well as recording and touring with his electro projects Wrangler, Creep Show, Hey Rube, Kula, and Cobby & Mallinder. In addition to his non stop schedule in electronic music, his professional life as a journalist, broadcaster, producer and now a professor of Digital Music & Sound Art at the University of Brighton, has lead Mallinder to a unique point in his career. Most in his position would be caught up in rosy retrospection, but Mallinder himself says, “There’s too much digital finger licking right now; every thought and desire at the turn of a dial... well a click of the mouse. And there’s a giddy, false nostalgia about the analogue past. Sorry to burst your bubble but the truth of history is more mundane: practical, pragmatic...Um Dada is about ‘play’ cut and paste, lost words, twisted presets, voice collage, simple sounds things that have been lost to technology’s current determinism. Let the machines talk to each other, let them dance .. they lead, we follow.”

    Um Dada opens up with the exact machine led surrealism that Mallinder recommends in “Working (You Are)”. A thick, stripped back dance floor groove provides the ideal foundation for Mallinder’s eccentric vocal cuts. The frisky chops present an almost twisted irony, subtly bringing to mind the role we’re all forced to play as just another cog in the ever grinding capitalist machine of life. Yet, somehow, the listener is left feeling optimistic. A prime example of simplicity at work. Tracks such as “Satellite” give a skillful illustration of Mallinder’s adeptness with his musical expertise while preserving his core historical context as only simple reference. The underlying bassline and percussion, coupled with the floating melodies and airy vocal refrain disclose the vulnerabilities of love and loss without a hint of irony or nostalgia.

    Um Dada is mischievously idealist, however never loses touch with reality. Offering structure while simultaneously dismantling any and all preconceptions. The spirit of sincerity that sustained Cabaret Voltaire’s lengthy career is abundantly present within founder Stephen Mallinder’s journey through his own whimsical utopian consciousness and staking claim to an identity that is solely his own.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: One of the most singular voices in English electronica returns for his first solo album in over 30 years. 'Um Dada' encompasses everything we love about Mallinder and while his most recent collabs (Creep Show with shop favourite John Grant was a particular highlight) clearly showed his influence, it's great to hear his own sound, undiluted and unadorned, and switching effortlessly between a huge range of influences and sounds.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl. Signed copies while stocks last!

    CD Info: Signed copies while stocks last!

    Body Of Light

    Time To Kill

      Birthed from Arizona’s regaled Ascetic House collective, Body of Light is a dark synth-pop outfit comprised of young brothers Andrew and Alexander Jarson. What began as a vehicle for their exploration of noise and sound during their early teens has evolved into an established production over the last decade, as Body of Light continues to carve out their own style of complex, structured, and moving dancefloor electronics. Their music is not only individually personal, but drawn from experiences shared between the two brothers – and calls on elements of new wave, freestyle, goth, and techno to create timeless and singular tracks without fear of trend or passing fashion.

      On their third album Time to Kill, Body of Light refines their brand of cold and driving synth pop with a bold pallet of sounds and a focus on uncharted technique and purpose. Like the pale digital stare of the modern devices surrounding our daily lives, the album weaves stories of love and obsession in an era of technical bondage and fleeting exhilaration. Written over a period of intense and profound change, Time to Kill stands as a startling reminder of how important our existence truly is. Haunting keys, swelling pads, and punching rhythms score their work as Alex Jarson presents an alluring and romantic dialogue with confident projection. The title single “Time to Kill” kicks off the album with a merciless signature beat, complimented by distorted sample patterns against an infectious, moving bass groove that invites you to “let the memories fade.” The follow up single “Don’t Pretend” invokes sparkling nostalgia and innocence over a dark and driving beat paired with vintage electronic movements. The haunting “Dangerous”, slows the pace with its pendulum-like rhythm and ominous intonation, falling between a hopeful synth pop ballad and shadowy dirge – a slow dance for the sunrise set.

      Produced by Matia Simovich at Infinite Power Studios in Los Angeles and mastered by Josh Bonati, Time to Kill shines with new direction and new intention through lustrous production and innovative songwriting. 


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition of 400 on clear red vinyl.

      Drab Majesty

      Modern Mirror

        Since the 2015 release of Drab Majesty’s debut “Careless”, and the release of the acclaimed sophomore album “The Demonstration” the following year, artist Deb Demure and collaborator Mona D. have firmly established themselves amongst the pantheon of dark synth-pop greats, establishing a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence.  Following intense and extensive touring in support of the first two albums, Drab Majesty escaped to the inspirational landscapes of Athens, Greece to channel the songs for their most ambitious album creation yet: Modern Mirror.

        Blowing the dust off the antiquarian myth of Ovid’s “Narcissus”, Drab Majesty uses its premise as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation. Each song tells a piece of the story, in which the listener’s own selfidentity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. Setting the stage as a romantic saga of antiquity, “A Dialogue” asks the listener if they are truly in love amid a building wash of guitars and reverb. Elements of classic tragedy weigh heavily in the reflection of Modern Mirror in songs like “The Other Side”, possessing a fundamental sound that is energetic, luminous and hopeful. Fusing the sonic aesthetics of predecessors like New Order and The Cure within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, Drab Majesty has birthed a hybrid of dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment.

        The first single, “Ellipsis”, romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt, while on “Long Division”, Deb’s resounding guitar cascades around the chorus shared with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz, wistfully warning us against our vanity and self-obsession. Even when hope for everlasting love peeks through in “Oxytocin”, a sparkling and stoic track sung by Mona D., we are firmly reminded our fleeting existence.

        Modern Mirror is a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world.


        VR Sex

        Human Traffic Jam

          Technology was meant to be humanity’s tool to combat famine, disease, confusion, and to facilitate life, culture, and innovation. Instead, we’re mired in a digital labyrinth that few care to navigate or even solve. Perhaps it’s not a ruse and the matrices coded by keyboard maestros are a path to liberation, but without querying the constructs we cannot ruminate on their affectations on humanity.

          VR SEX are audio/visual provocateurs who transpose the identifiers of death rock, synth punk, post-punk, ambient, and ethereal soundscapes into an audit on technology and its imprint on our collective psyche. Comprised of visionary mercenaries Noel Skum (Andrew Clinco of Drab Majesty), Z. Oro (Aaron Montaigne of Antioch Arrow/Heroin/DBC) on vocals and drums, and Mico Frost (Brian Tarney) on synths and electric bass.

          Their debut tome, Human Traffic Jam, focuses on lyrical themes that probe the possibilities of loss of autonomy through social media, the decline of human interaction, and celebrity favoritism. Skum believes in the stabilization of society and preservation of our planet by reducing its amount of procreators.

          Through PSRS or Procreation Simulation Reproduction Stimulation, humans can act on their hedonistic desires and not face the responsibilities and consequences that come with being an ill-prepared guardian. The future of our offspring will exist in virtual realms and population growth in turn will be stabilized. VR SEX is the cure to most societal ills.

          Thematically condensed into an eight song album, Human Traffic Jam was written and demoed by Skum in a flat in Athens, Greece during the winter of 2017. During a rigorous week long session at Figure 8 studios with experimental and dimensional production extraordinaire Ben Greenberg (Uniform/The Men), Skum solely committed all the instrumentation present on Human Traffic Jam.

          Rather than being emblematic of influences, each song on the LP infuses a dire tension that cuts shimmer with fetid frequencies, never establishing an aural hierarchy or urgency. Instead, we’re lead into punchy capsules of “dour pop”; the balance of saccharine and sour so emblematic of the VR SEX hive mind.

          DAIS Records releases VR SEX’s debut album “Human Traffic Jam” on April 26, 2019 on digital, vinyl LP (packaged in a thick matte stock jacket with a printed inner eurosleeve with lyrics and download card in various colored vinyl variants), as well as compact disc, housed in a matte digipack with lyric insert and features the bonus track “Corridor (Epilogue)”. Cover art by Brooklyn based artist Adam Helms. 


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Limited clear vinyl.

          Recorded between the release of Sand (1977) and Lost Secrets(1981), Symphonic Songs is a formerly unreleased work that chronicles the dynamic shift and development in experimental Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe’s canon.

          Following his seminal release Sandin 1977, Swedish experimental composer Ragnar Grippe worked on various art and performance commissions, often returning to Stockholm during the summer months to focus his efforts on his compositional practice. It was there at the famed EMS Studioswhere he began employing the Buchla synthesizer and the facilities multi-tracking capabilities as new instruments to map his mining of sound and movement.

          During the late 1970’s, Grippe formed a creative collaboration with choreographer Susan Buirge, specifically writing compositions for her works ͞Restes͟ and ͞Tamis͟, thus pushing Grippe to start working in a more intricate studio environment. These passages inspired Grippe into a more complex layering process that focused more on placement and structure, rather than the aural floods and flourishes of his previous Sand album, eventually germinating in his first full 24-track composition entitled ͞Orchestra.͟

          After debuting ͞Orchestra͟ in 1980 at the Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm, Grippe holed up at EMS Studios with those lessons and the fussy Buchla synthesizer, in which Grippe affectionately recalls ͞needed to be tuned and calibrated every 20-30 minutes.͟ He emerged with a new commission for Susan Buirge later formally titled Symphonic Songs and used in her avant-garde theater piece ͞Ci-Déla͟ which debuted in Paris in 1981.Symphonic Songsshowcased Grippe’s sound au courant, pushing dense against sparse, calm into cacophonous, using each track as its own intersecting plane. Using the machinations of studio and structure to drive Symphonic Songs’ voice, Grippe culled a haunting, often cinematic electronic work that dots and darts into unexpected corners with curious aplomb.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xColoured LP Info: Clear vinyl.


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