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DARK ENTRIES

Dark Entries Editions is proud to reissue "Perfect High" the 1983 debut 12” by Peppermint Lounge from Germany. The group consisted of Matthias Elvers (synthesizers, bass), Regina Petersen (vocals) and Jorg Burckhardt (drums, strings). They took their name from a popular 1960s discotheque in New York City. Treading the lines between Italo Disco, Electro, and New Wave, the trio crafted a unique sound difficult to classify. Regina’s powerful vocals command attention as they tell the sad tale of a boy searching for the perfect high. The lyrics are based on the poem “The Perfect High” by Shel Silverstein. Melancholic arpeggiators, a throbbing baseline, stuttering samples, vocoder and the classic Roland TR-808 drum machine run throughout the track, which builds to a majestic crescendo, ala Klaus Schulze or Jean-Michel Jarre. This reissue includes the original vocal version, backed with a shorter instrumental version.

All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The 12” is housed in an exact replica of the original sleeve with black and white Dali-esque drawing. Each copy also includes a 2-sided postcard lyrics and notes. 

Dark Entries showcase more Bay Area family with the release of a new EP by Doc Sleep who cut her chops as a DJ in San Francisco’s vibrant scene the past decade. In 2016 she made the move to Berlin and became a resident of Room 4 Resistance. Since 2013, she's been the co-owner of Jacktone Records, which specializes in techno, ambient, and experimental electronics. In 2016/2017 she released her first 12's on the Hot Mass-affiliated Detour Records and Bottom Forty. She also co-wrote a track with Bezier and Nicole Ginelli, titled “Stranger,” released on the "Primes" EP in 2017. Her latest release, "Your Ruling Planet", was released on Jacktone in March 2019.

The label first heard “Creme Fraiche” on Doc’s soundcloud page and begged to release it. The track has the feel-good vibes you get on early morning dancefloors as things are winding down or up. Paired on the A-side is the pulsating dark jam “Never Eating Again” that previously appeared on "Run The Length Of Your Wildness V.2" and, like that compilation, proceeds from this track will be donated to Ghost Ship Fire victim Cherushii's family. On the B-side are two remixes from close friends of Doc. First up is a fresh breakbeat remix from Violet: DJ, producer, boss of Naive records, co-founder of Rádio Quântica, and mina resident shaking up Lisbon's nightlife. Second is Berlin-based producer and fellow R4R resident, rRoxymore, who presents an innovative remix of future-facing techno and bass variations adding her own vocals on top. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy is housed in jacket designed by Eloise Leigh with neon pink and lavender gradients echo morning sunrises with a collage of dreamy elements using a photo by Doc of Club Toilet in Detroit. 


Λένα Πλάτωνος (Lena Platonos) is a Greek musician, pianist and music composer. Her third solo album, ‘Lepidoptera’ was produced in 1986 and reissued by Dark Entries in 2018. Inspired by a scientific book on butterflies she found in a trashcan one day, the compositions follow minimalistic motifs and carefully-staged soundscapes. Lena narrates each song in deadpan fashion, skillfully reciting her surreal Greek poetry.

Now Dark Entries have recruited 4 contemporary Greek producers to remix their favorite tracks from ‘Lepidoptera’. First up is “Cyaniris” remixed by Anatolian Weapons who delivers an enchanted late-night journey through the New Wave forest. Next is “Araschnia Levana” remixed by Pasiphae who speeds up the pace with machine driven melodic electro pulses. On the B-side we have June remixing “Cyaniris” twirling the track into a complex deep sea dive with lush drum kicks and pads. Closing out the EP is a remix of “Τα Γενέθλια Ή Aporia Maturna” by Morah who leads us to the underworld of Hades via sinister squelches and full-on apocalyptic rave breakdown. All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The jacket is a reinterpretation of the original ‘Lepidoptera’ cover, isolating the illustration of the butterfly/woman designed by Eloise Leigh.

Stratis is an electronic duo from Cologne, Germany, formed by Antonios Stratis and Albert Klein in 1981. They took inspiration from the progressive electronic synthscapes of Tangerine Dream & Vangelis and the proto-techno of Chris & Cosey and Yello, as well as jazz and funk. The duo recorded 5 cassette-only albums between 1982 and 1986 - "Exotic", "New Face", "Musica da Ballo", "Film Musik", and "Raging Beauty" - which were released on their own label Creative Tapes (later called Temporary Music), and which were also licensed to Colin Potter's Integrated Circuit Records (ICR) label. Dark Entries now deliver the first ever standalone vinyl reissue of their sophomore album "New Face', which was recorded and released in 1983. It consists of eight future-fixated tracks that could have been composed for movies like Blade Runner or Tron. A wide range of minimal electronics are presented, from robotic synth pop to melancholic cold wave to Neue Deutsche Welle electro. The masters for this reissue came from a new transfer made by Colin Potter at ICR in May 2018, and each song has been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in jacket designed by Eloise Leigh using motifs of the cassette artwork on a neon red background, and includes an insert with lyrics and photos.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Originally a mid 80s cassette release from Cologne, "New Face" surprisingly isn't a set of snarling NDW, but rather a lost cosmic gem perfectly situated between Klaus Schulze and Chris & Cosey. If you dig on those obscure synth jams on the Loda / Baldelli tapes you'll love this.

Victrola is the duo of Antonio "Eze" Cuscina and Carlo Smeriglio from Messina, Italy. The band formed in 1979 but shortly thereafter relocated to Florence take part in a rich musical scene alongside Neon, Pankow, Alexander Robotnick, and Diaframma. Beginning as a 4-piece (two guitarists, bassist, drummer) they slimmed down to a synthesizer and guitar-based duo by 1982. Their sole release was the now classic "Maritime Tatami"/"A Game Of Despair" EP from 1983, which we reissued in 2012.
'Born From The Water' is a 12 song collection of unreleased demos recorded between 1983 and 1985. The band sent the label over 100 cassettes, through which they dug to compile the first volume of their archival darkwave ballads. They used an array of Roland synthesizers (TR-606, TB-303, TR-909, Juno 6) plus a Korg Polysix, Yamaha DX7, Casio VL-Tone VL-1, DR-55 Dr. Rhythm, and Fender Stratocaster and Jazz Bass. Some of the songs would later appear on various compilations, but the versions presented here are unique. “Victrola” engulfs the listener with trance-inducing synth lines, oblique minor-key bass lines, angular guitar riffs, and melancholic vocals. The songs tell tales of youth, love, karma, and the decline of civilization in modern times. Each song has been carefully remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The records come housed in a jacket designed by Eloise Leigh, which uses motifs from the band's sole release and includes an insert with liner notes and photos.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Dark Entries look past algorithm classic "Maritime Tatami" to give us a gnarly collection of unreleased material from Italian synth-goths Victrola. If you're in search of the sublime I'd suggest hitting the clips for "Tenderface"...

IMA (Intense Molecular Activity) is the duo of Don Hunerberg (synthesizers) and Andy Blinx (drums and percussion). Based in New York City and active between 1979 and 1982. Don, a studio Sound / music engineer and musician, Andy an electronic clothing designer, drummer and sound reinforcement engineer at downtown clubs like Max's Kansas City, Mudd Club and CBGB. In between doing sessions at Radio City Music Hall Studios for groups such as Ramones, Richard Hell, Sonic Youth, Liquid Liquid, John Zorn, Glenn Branca and many others, IMA took advantage of off hours to create their own music. As far as influences go, Don's background was in electronic music and Andy's in prog rock.

To produce the songs, Don used his own method of creating patterns from 2-track tape loops and then edited them together on to a 24-track recorder adding more tracks of overdubs, In a very similar way that sequencers are used today. By 1980 the duo honed their own unique sound and version of post punk and no-wave with the tools of the trade of the early 80s. Situated above the proscenium of the Radio City Music Hall stage, the studio was outfitted with a variety of orchestral instruments (timpani, bells, xylophone, etc). They self-released a 4-song EP titled “IMA” on an 8” flexi-disc which was distributed by Ed Bahlman of 99 Records. The music bridges the wild psychedelic-rock of the 60s, the synth-punk of the late-70s and the elaborate constructions of progressive-rock. There are nods to the freak-outs of Chrome and the super neurosis of Suicide, but IMA takes a more clinical approach which also takes notice of Hawkwind and Pink Floyd's interstellar overdrive. Dark Entries have added 4 bonus tracks recorded during the same studio sessions and included them here for the first time on vinyl. DJ Hell lifted elements of IMA's song "Blurb" virtually intact and unaccredited for his electroclash club hit "Keep On Waiting" 20 years later. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. 


Villa Åbo is the alternative solo project of Swedish musician and producer Jan Svensson, who has been making electronic music for the best part of 30 years. The artist behind such aliases as Frak, Studio SS and Alvars Orkestra, Svensson also runs legendary Swedish dance and experimental music label Börft, the product of a mutual appreciation for Severed Heads and Terse Tapes. As Villa Åbo he released two records in 1997 on Börft and remained inactive for 17 years until the Dutch label Bio Rhythm coaxed him into revisiting the project and released a double 12″ in 2014. Jan has since followed with a steady stream of 12” singles for Kontra-Musik, Noise In My Head and Radio Lundberg.

“Magnetic Moves” is Villa Åbo’s debut album, originally released in an limited edition of 65 hand-numbered cassettes by Funeral Fog in 2016. Clocking in at over 46 minutes, this first-ever vinyl edition spreads the 8 ragged techno tracks across four sides for maximum loudness. Some songs are aggressively potent, with cyclical synth riffs and razor-sharp acid lines riding a heavy, funk-fuelled techno groove. Others tracks are more fluid, vintage Underground Resistance or Derrick May with killer drum machine workouts that come in handy as DJ tools. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is housed in a custom made jacket designed by Eloise Leigh, featuring a photograph of Jan’s mother’s house, the meaning behind “Villa Åbo”. Each copy includes a double-sided postcard with notes. 

Calendar Crowd was the duo of Alan Heaton and Terence Tiernan who met in their hometown of Widnes, Cheshire as schoolboys and played together in various bands in the ‘70s. In the ‘80s they formed a 6-piece band called Room For Humans and recorded one single “Telephone Telephone / Girlfriend”. When the band split and Alan and Terence continued as Calendar Crowd in a more experimental direction. Their influences were wide reaching: Kraftwerk, Neu, Cabaret Voltaire, Eno, PIL, and Joy Division. In 1982 they released their debut single “Perfect Hideaway / Perfect Hideaway Dub” on 7”. Guitarist David Knowles joined them as they toured the UK and recorded and released their follow up EP “Listen in to the Heart” in 1985.

A reviewer at the time called Calendar Crowd 'A Moody Merseyside trio with strong atmospheric tunes and haunting lyrics.' For this reissue Dark Entries compiled both singles on one EP featuring all four songs. "Perfect Hideway" is evocative and dreamy, the music escorts you on a tour of icy landscapes, with Terrance’s squally, vocals guiding the way through volatile synthscapes accented by bright brass stabs. Meanwhile the dub strips back the vocals, adds delayed samples and heart beat pounding drums. On the B-side “Listen in to the Heart” and “Questions Answers” are darker electronic rhythm tracks with layers of ethereal keyboards and guitar melodies. Another synth classic given a new lease of life from the good folks at Dark Entries. 


Krootchey

Qu'est C'qu'il A (d'plus Que Moi Ce Négro Là?)

    Philippe Krootchey was a musician, DJ, radio and television host born in Versailles, France in 1954. In the early 1970s he joined political gay liberation movement Revolutionary Homosexual Action Front (Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire) that gave radical visibility to homosexuals. Turning to the decadent nightclub scene of Paris, Philippe became one of the most important disc jockeys of the late 70s and early 80s holding residencies at les Bains-Douches and the Privilège. Philippe’s look was striking and his elegance and charisma massive. In 1981 he formed the band Love International with Philippe Chany and Fred Versailles and released the hit disco single “Dance On The Groove (And Do The Funk)”. He also sang back up on both “Jungle Hurt” by Mathematiques Modernes and “ Les Baisers D'amants” by Lizzy Mercier Descloux in 1981. Between 1984 and 1988 he released three maxi 12” singles under his surname ‘Whatazzy’ (1984), ‘I Hear My Ears’ (1986), ‘Cruel Justifier’ (1988).

    In 1984 Krootchey released his debut single “Qu'est c'qu'il a (d'plus que moi ce négro là?)” on disco label Casablanca Records. Subsequently the single was re-released the same year but sung in English as “Whatazzy”. For this release he teamed up with former Love International bandmate Fred Versailles, who shared his love for Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra as well as glam rock and 70’s black American soul music. Fred remembers, “The idea was to send a message about racism against black people with a humorous tone. The French title translates to “What has this nigger got, that I do not have?” Reversing the racial scales, Philippe (who is black) would get the girls and the fame, making white people jealous. It was Philippe’s tactful way to joke about racism he had experienced and overcame.” The result is a slick synthetic funk and electro boogie reminiscent of Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambata. Philippe rap and subverting racism at the same time. On the B-side is “Voodoo” a slowed down instrumental dub version that stretches out the original to over 7-minutes. Sadly on September 2, 2004 Philippe Krootchey died of a cerebral aneurysm, just short of celebrating his 50th birthday.

    All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. For the jacket Philippe asked his friends Pierre et Gilles to do the cover artwork. They made a portrait of Philippe as chocolate powder mascot "Banania" inspired advertisement with a wide grin and red fez cap. This was a radical criticism on the embodiment of racism still present in the 1980s from the colonial Era in France. Each copy includes two postcards with lyrics, photos and liner notes by Fred Versailles. “He belonged to nothing, no clan, he was light in the good sense of the word and his supple resistance persisted.” - Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

    X Ray Pop are the synth-pop duo of Doc Pilot and Zouka Dzaza from Tours, France. They got their start in the no wave art group Bocal 5 in 1981 and split off in 1984 to focus on their own brand of quirky synthesized electronics. Influenced by Erik Satie, Brigitte Bardot, Suicide and Young Marble Giants, they call their music “minimum naive new wave.” Armed with a Casio PT-20 keyboard and a rudimentary Yamaha MR10 drum machine they recorded their demo cassette and first 7″ “Eurasienne”/ “La Machine à Rêver” in 1984. Upgrading their synthesizers and adding some saxophone and guitar, they recorded the “Alcool”/ “Amazone” 7″ in 1985 and the “DS”/” El Gato” 7″ in 1986.

    “The Dream Machine” collects X Ray Pop’s first three 7″ singles plus 8 songs from their demo cassette, never released on vinyl before. Their songs are short, concise and well structured; richly textured, moving at a quick speed with hardly a pause. The demos show a sense of humor, vitality and carefree playfulness. Zouka’s pouting, tongue-in-cheek vocals (sung in French) come together for a catchy, sensuous, danceable, eccentric psychedelic ride. Reminiscent of the Mo-dettes, early OMD or Algebra Suicide, X Ray Pop could be the missing link to Stereolab.

    28 years later, this is the first time since the original issue that the songs of X Ray Pop are reappearing on vinyl again, but is the world ready?

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley directly from the original master tapes. Each LP comes in a neon yellow jacket with an 8 page booklet full of unreleased photos, original artwork and lyrics.

    Stress is the duo of Alan Rider and Phil Clarke from West Midlands, England formed in 1981. Alan was editor of Coventry fanzine "Adventures in Reality", and Phil was editor of Nuneaton fanzine "Damn Latin." Stress combined electronic rhythms and keyboards with bass guitar, vocals, percussion, and cut-up samples. They created catchy electronic pop songs that fused accessible & experimental elements with a pointed lyrical edge in the vein of Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode and Joy Division.

    Their first two albums were cassette releases on Alan’s own Adventures in Reality Recordings label. "Help Comes Too Late" in 1982 followed by "Restraint" in 1984. In July 1985 Stress released "The Big Wheel" album and appeared on numerous cassette and vinyl compilations worldwide. More gigs and press followed and the album took the Number 1 spot in the NME’s electronic charts. Stress split in September 1985 and reformed briefly in 1991 to record two tracks.

    “Conspiracy Theory” is an 11 song ‘best of’ compilation album featuring tracks from the first two cassette albums with "The Prayer Clock" from Third Mind Records' ‘Life At The Top’ compilation LP and "Tear It Down" from the ’Compulsory Overtime’ compilation LP. Each song has been carefully remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Each LP also includes a 16 page booklet “Stress Edition” of Adventures in Reality fanzine with photos, equipment list, press cuttings and lyrics.


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