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Wladyslaw Trejo

Es Una Bestia

    After a productive lockdown period spent releasing 5” mailorder 45s (each of which sold out within an hour of release), Polytechnic Youth return to more widespread action now that shops and distros are slowly re-opening, and the first 2 up are absolute beauties…

    First up is the riotous, whacked out synth-punk mini LP “Es Una Bestia” by Wladyslaw Trejo and follows the gold wax, split 45 w/Alexander Bazin earlier in the year. Trejo is a Spanish musician, and a key figure in the European underground electronic scene; and despite this being his first solo album since 2015’s self titled debut, he is eternally busy, especially as part of ‘avant-wave’ dueo Slovenska Televiza.

    Trejo says of the record: “Es Una Bestia is a settling of personal accounts with the ghosts and fears of youth. Digging through the wounds, exploring the cursed soul, inviting his monsters to come to the surface and they do so in the form of vitriolic and hallucinated synth-punk.

    For this bloody task he has aquired the best possible help, the complicity of the prestigious (and Nick Cave favourite) Polish painter Aleksandra Waliszewska, who provides vocals, as well as the director and musician Wiktor Stribog, the brain behind the ‘Kraina Grzybów’ phenomenon, who collaborates on the lyrics. In his solo project Wladyslaw reveals himself as a crooked line, a faustic anomaly that invites to a dark and psychotropic journey in the form of feverish electronics, industrial rhythms, and almost paranoid sound walls through certain life risks”.

    A quite brilliant and utterly immediate record, released as an edition of 250 on red vinyl via Polytechnic Youth mid June.


    says: It's a good week when I return to my desk after a prolonged absence and there are a couple new PY releases to get stuck into! This one is full of classic motorik beats and shadowy delayed vocals cut with a satisfying streak of post-punk synths. It's a superb return for PY and one to snap up quickly!


    Coloured LP Info: Limited pressing of only 250 on red vinyl.


    Production Line

      Second of this June’s PY releases as another absolute gem; a killer double A side 45 on clear wax, again released as an edition of 250. This time from the mighty LE CLICHÉ. “Production Line” with its (aptly timed) homage to Kraftwerk, and it’s flip, “Vicarious Life”, a tribute to the best of early 80’s minimal synth DIY cassette culture, (so revered and key to PY’s existence in the first place).

      Le Cliché is Barcelona-based, Limerick-born, Gerard Ryan; who studies consumers by day as professor of marketing at the Rovira & Virgili University, and writes music about consumer behaviour by night. Ryan released his first LP on Seattle’s finest independent label, Medical Records, in 2014. He followed that with a collaborations album on Barcelona's Cold Beats Records, which saw him work with some of his cult synth heroes such as Gay Cat Park, Mick Milk, Moss Garten, Mark Lane and Effetto Joule. After two further albums of songs about observations on consumers and academic life (“The Product is You” and “Look at my Powerpoint”), a support slot for Wolfgang Flür, a conference on the future of electric music- and a warm up for Andy McCluskey (OMD), the Le Cliché sound evolved from clear crisp synth pop to more obscure, lo-fi, minimal synth.

      In 2018 he released “Nothing is Original” on Berlin’s Detriti Records, followed by 2019’s Post Plagiarism on Belfast’s TONN Records. Ryan is also notable for his artwork, in particular the lavish limited editions he prepares of his music releases. In 2019 some of his work appeared in a V&A Museum exhibition at the National Museum in Belfast on 'The art of selling songs'. This new single on Polytechnic Youth places both sides of Le Cliché back to back, with the clean electronic, Kraftwerkian melodies of “Production Line” on one side and the colder, experimental, minimal synth of “Vicarious Life” on the flip.

      Gabe Knox

      Hello World / Taking A Break

      Two fabulously infectious synth pop gems that contain Gabe’s uncanny knack for killer hooks and unerring ear for playfulness within his amazingly melodic electronica.

      These two tunes precede a 10” mini LP with PY later in the year and contain an interesting back story which we’ll allow Gabe to explain: “In 1982 at the height of the first Personal Computer boom, I was commissioned by a company called Automated Micro-Systems to compose and record some demonstration music on a prototype of what was going to be a home computer/music studio aimed at musicians called "MusiComputer". The system was a combination of analog synth, drum machine, and 4-track cassette recorder all housed in and controlled by an 8-bit computer. From what I understand, certain world events and a recession disrupted the supply chain, and it became unfeasible to bring the product to market, so the project was scrapped. I was recently sent the master tapes by someone involved with the project and have done my best to duplicate the concept artwork for the cover”.


      says: Another absolute classic from Polytechnic Youth, with this rich synthesis retropspective from the ever excellent Gabe Knox. Soaring krautroctaves and swirling oscillators work their way around blipping melodic hooks and a driven, CR-78-y backline. 'Talking A Break' is a particular favourite.


      Poison Control EP

        The second of January’s new Polytechnic Youth releases is a 6 trk 7” EP of lo-fi, 4-track home recordings of minimal synth | primitive drum machine goodness. With heavy leanings towards PY’s favourite era of killer small run, often private press experimental electronic releases, dressed in hand assembled, very DIY packaging. This one not only sounds the part but looks it too.

        Debuting here, e+ is the performing name for this enigmatic Ontario, Canada based solo, electronic project. 6 dark pieces of exploratory electronica, delivered in the kind of lo-fi tape hiss you’d find those early Flying Saucer Attack drenched in, this in a way is the electronic equivalent; nice n murky and lo-fi and the sleeve it’s delivered in also harks back to those glorious post punk, DIY days- a hand stapled, numbered pressing of 250 in flipover style sleeves just like the old days…. Lovely record, and quite reaffirming in a way, that you still see 7”’s like this….


        Barriere In Movimento

          The second LP for Polytechnic Youth this September, is slightly darker- representing a more industrial edged, slow burning listen, than the Dream Division. Promised for awhile now and packing no less a punch than the other PY LP it is released alongside, this is the debut full length from Stuttgart based PERRACHE.

          Having appeared on the “Popcorn Lung” compilation LP earlier in the year, this is one PY have been keen to unleash for awhile now. Four fabulous electronic pieces, arguably in a vein not dissimilar to some of the works of Conrad Schnitzler or Cluster perhaps; It is possibly best left with Joachim Henn, (whose first solo work this) is to explain further:

          “Almost all of the noises on the album emanated from the moog I fell instantly in love with – a true ‘love at first sight’ encounter when recording in the studio with E Jugend (one of my projects some two and a half years ago). I never intended to record, let alone release any solo stuff but when I was seduced into bringing this beautiful moog home, this suddenly changed. Bringing out my old Fostex 4-track and using an array of effects pedals, this almost punkish approach of impromptu recording was hugely appealing and intuitive.

          Most of the layers on the album are first takes, as are the mixes (bar one or two cases of overdubbing); “Dustflag” represents a good insight into my recording process- being the first track I recorded on the moog. It reflects the character of the whole process: I just tried to capture and loosely structure what I came across- before I even realized it was already finished. If several people hadn’t urged me to stick at it, the track would be buried peacefully somewhere on a tape for good, probably…”

          It's title was inspired by signs dotted around the parking bays in Milan central station, the record is a beauty and is expected to sell out quick. Brought to you on tasty cream coloured vinyl in top loading sleeves, to move quickly is suggested on this one. 300 on vinyl only…


          Coloured LP Info: 300 copies on cream coloured vinyl.


          Music For The Dreamachine II

            PY label head, Dom initially released Phase One of this killer drone dream / psych collaboration, on his Earworm label in 2000. It was always at the back of both his and Sunray’s Jon Chambers’ minds’ that the unreleased Phase II (not to mention Sonic Boom’s unreleased remix here) would see the light of day somehow; and lo-and-behold, here it is kids; a whole 19 years later!

            Although, never one to shirk the opportunity of releasing a musical curveball of types; it could be argued that this one strays from “usual” PY territory; the darker nature of ‘Phase II’ with its’ edgy, pulsing electronics and heavily treated guitar effects pull this closer to Throbbing Gristle, Conrad Schnitzler and Heldon territory (all PY heroes!) than the original version; so perhaps on closer examination this comes as no major surprise. Sonic Boom’s purely electronic remix on the flip expands on this theme and is suitably meditational, hypnotic and intoxicating, and is an absolute must for Spacemen and Spectrum aficionados.

            In Jon’s own words: “The version released in 2000 through Earworm (‘Phase One’) is really the definitive version as far as I am concerned. The original version was influenced by the sound experiments carried out by bands like Kraftwerk, Suicide and Spacemen 3 and I was keen to work with a sympathetic producer/remixer. Sonic Boom seemed the obvious choice so I approached him and he agreed. Sonic said he thought the track sounded like something off Suicide’s second LP.

            All the tracks were recorded at Great Central Studios in Rugby over two days using some nice old analogue equipment including a Fenix modular voltage synth, EMS Synthi, Korg Electribe and a modified Speak & Spell from Texas Instruments which provided the weird ‘click’ on the record. Initially, we did three mixes, the first (Phase One) is the Earworm 12" and CD EP- I might get round to releasing Phase II and the second Sonic Boom mix soon”

            Wait no longer, both versions are just great and appear as a 300 copy pressing on SILVER wax in a Nick Taylor sleeve that tips it’s hat to (as eagle eyed library record obsessives may spot) the ‘Audio Obstacle course – era III’ sleeve from ’73…



              This release sees Liverpool based, Harry Sumnall’s MELODIEN debut on PY after releases on sister label Deep Distance amongst others. Eight kosmische flavoured synth pop nuggets, heavy on nods to the sky label oeuvre of later Cluster, Wolfgang Reichmann, Harald Grosskopf, Deutsche Wertarbeit and co; yet with a freshness and boldness very much of today.

              Each track is underpinned in the most part by driving, sequenced motorik rhythms hugely recommended to all fans of the above…

              The LPs’ title “Enanriodromia” is the constancy of change and the emergence of the unconscious diametric in the course of time - everything that exists turns into its opposite (Carl Jung); and Harry himself describes the album as an idyllic backdrop to an imagined world where “Iasos’ Crystal Vista is repeated on loop across all TV channels, where Luboš Fišer composes Olympic gold medal anthems, where Marcel Schwob and Jane de La Vaudère works are free from your local book exchange, where Josef Svoboda designed your local shopping center, where Richard Pinhas plays at your village fete, and the most popular YouTube channels give advice on sequencer ratcheting and psychopharmacology!” So there you have it….

              A wonderful record released on tasty transparent ochre wax in a pressing of 250 so be quick….


              Coloured LP Info: Transparent ochre wax in a pressing of 250 so be quick.

              Bernard Grancher

              Troublante Tournure

              The killer new full length on Polytechnic Youth from ace experimental electronic musician Bernard Grancher. Coming to the attention of the label via his last record on ERR.REC; PY is mining much of this current wave of incredible French electronic music (as previous releases by Dialectric, Alexandre Bazin, (Arc en) Ogive and the mighty Cite Lumiere attest to) and is in hindsight, somewhat an extension of label head Dom’s own record buying and digging habits just now (70s French synth LPs featuring heavily in his Utrecht fair baggage twice yearly!)

              Grancher himself began his “career” as a somewhat under the radar, host / director of “mostly forbidden” radio programmes, where in Bernard’s own words, he created “incongruous sound collages, that gradually slip towards noisy or disturbing sounds intended to replace the music of others’, within its broadcasts”. Then, armed with a large accumulation of “machines I found at low prices, with an unknowing of quite how they function” he sought the help of friends Yan Hart-Lemonnier and Eric Lumbleau (from the hugely respected “Mutant Sounds” blog, and his project Vas Deferens Organazation).

              Then, having released what he describes as two “rather talkative” LPs by taking again “the concept of it’s emissions: Hallucinatory slogans and Electro punk”, Grancher, then released with ERR.REC, leading in turn to the PY full length here.

              A fabulous LP hugely recommended to all kraut heads, experimental electronic sound collages, motorik grooves and minimal synth all figure strongly. To use one final quote from Grancher; “Abandon any idea of listening comfort; this record leads you into a dangerous race that will be impossible to jump on”.

              300 copies on vinyl only.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              says: Cracked synths and fuzzy drum machines work together into a cacophony of noise, mixing elements of krautrock, ambient electronics and even hints of freeform jazz structures. It's a beguiling and enthralling listen, and one that's rewarded tenfold.

              Various Artists - WAREHOUSE FIND!

              Popcorn Lung: A Polytechnic Youth Collection

                Barring any last minute curveballs like Christmas Day released lathe cut 45s, the last release for 2018 on Polytechnic Youth is an absolute beauty. The long planned “Popcorn Lung” compilation brings together a richly assembled cast of exclusives and a previously released lathe cut only, gem.

                Rare are the free flowing, fluid compilations that flow effortlessly as opposed to some hastily cobbled together assorted odds n’ sods full length. This -much like it’s predecessor label collection “They Make No Say” that sold out 2 pressings in 2017- does exactly that. A heady mix of full on synth pop, darker more industrial electronic textures through kosmische / kraut grooves to whacked out electronic pop then back; ie styles may alter but it enhances the seamless feel, the free flowing vibe in no small part and quality remains incredibly high throughout.

                Highlights include exclusives from Australian Testing Labs Inc who follow their ‘underground hit’ full length “Music for Air-Cooled Motoring” with their first new music in 2 years, (the majestic motorik of “Alpenstrasse”) to smash 6music ‘hit’ “Tisch Tennis” from Matt Hookworms’ side project Xam Duo (Gideon Coe’s single of 2017 no less, and a £70 discogs 7” A side made available again), East London’s mysterious Karen Novotny X with a previously unreleased gem straight outta’ Mute / Blackwing studios 1980 territory, teasers to future PY full lengths from Canada based Gabe Knox with ace LP opener “Look and Listen”, and Bernard Grancher, Stephen Buckley’s fab Polypores project, PY old hands Detox Twins with another Germanic nugget of minimal synth- alongside many more treasures culminating in the -wait for it, as you’d never guess- trombone freakout of closer by Kendo Nagasaki (all be it heavily treated, synth aficionados rest easy!)

                A fabulous album, which on one hand acts as a perfect intro to the label for newcomers, it also more than pleases older hands in equal measure; and comes in a sleeve designed by label head Dom with tasty Nick Taylor designed insert. One time Pressing of 500 copies on vinyl only.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd LP Info: Only one copy unearthed! Awesome Comp from the venerable Polytechnic Youth. Long gone at source.

                Cearley & Dwinell

                Fake Time

                  The second of November’s Polytechnic Youth releases was a chance outing that came about from a discussion with Long Distance Poison’s Nathan Cearley (LDP having released two LPs on PY sister label, the more kraut / kosmische themed Deep Distance). Realising a love for early Cabaret Voltaire and TG, and more darkly themed industrial grooves than you’d associate LDP with, these collaborative recordings were instantly given the PY thumbs up- a nice change of style from it’s usual synth pop / minimal leanings we thought! Where some might consider this perhaps a PY curveball, we personally think it sits in nicely with previous output…

                  3 ace tracks containing in Nathan’s own words: “Stereo live recordings in front of an audience and in private. Featuring Mark Dwinell (Forma) and Nathan Cearley (Long Distance Poison) on modular synthesizers. Utilizing repetition to unnerve and destabilize rather than coddle and sooth. Rejecting the notion that an urban beat driven music is necessarily escapist and an expression of consumption and lifestyle. Creating a music of no escape.

                  Mark Dwinell is a multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the Brooklyn electronic band Forma. He has releases on Spectrum Spools and Kranky and solo releases on Ba Da Bing! and Amish Records.
                  Nathan Cearley is a founding member of the Brooklyn experimental electronics duo Long Distance Poison and has releases on Digitalis Ltd, Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace!, Hausu Mountain and Deep Distance. He was the organizer of the long running outsider electronics performance series Modular Equinox/Modular Solstice”

                  In sleeve art designed by Dom PY, and in an edition of 300 copies on vinyl only- speed off the blocks is advised as this could go quick….

                  Adderall Canyonly

                  Museum Of Fire

                    The killer first release for the Polytechnic Youth label by the wonderfully named ADDERALL CANYONLY. “Museum of Fire” contains 8 tracks of uptempo kraut themed, occasionally whacked out electronica, with sporadic nods to a darker more industrial TG groove in places, aligned with classic late 70s / early 80s minimal synth flourishes. In a nutshell, it ticks all the boxes for yr modern day synth nut!

                    Little is known about Mr. Canyonly himself, preferring to step out of the shadows intermittently with a number of aliases for different musical projects. Let’s leave it to the man himself to shed a little light on this new one and his background:

                    “Adderall Canyonly is a synthesist and string wrangler named Wayne Longer, formerly of Portland, Oregon. In ‘Oxykitten’ he is named Justin Case and is an entirely different person. Sometimes these people overlap, such as the (previous) album "The Cutting Room". A lifelong fan of analog synths and brooding soundtracks but equally raised on a steady diet of post-rock and krautrock, it's generally a confusing time when the “record” button is hit. Much goes in, little comes out, and then much is added later, sometimes without good reason. But that's exactly why someone invented the “fast forward” button”

                    Happy to keep his enigmatic persona intact, PY strongly recommends this wonderful length; it’s a pressing of 300 on vinyl and only and is dressed in fabulous cover art. Sure to sell out in super quick style…

                    Mitra Mitra


                      The second of Polytechnic Youth’s ace new LPs for July, sees a mighty set from Austria based synth pop duo Mitra Mitra. Following previous releases on Peripheral Minimal and their own Micromort label, not to mention a lathe cut right here on PY that sold out in 20 minutes in Dec. 2015.

                      The band was formed in Vienna in late 2014 by Violet Candide and Mahk Rumbae. Originally from New Zealand, Violet Candide is a founding member of the Crazy Hospital DJ collective, and one of the organisers of the legendary “Future Echo” club night in Vienna, and is one half of ‘Anesthetic Hairpins’; whilst British musician Mahk Rumbae is known for his work as a member of the industrial/experimental project ‘Konstruktivists’, ‘Oppenheimer MkII’ (with Andy Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Analysis) and his solo techno project ‘Codex Empire’.

                      After working together on one of Violet's solo songs, “Heat”, the pair decided to continue working together and formed Mitra Mitra as a more full time project, with the aim of writing electronic songs not tied to any particular influence or style. However, if there was such a thing as a signature PY sound- arguably this LP (alongside last year’s Vorderhaus full length), encapsulates it most. Beautifully icy cold synth pop straight outta’ early prime era Mute / Blackwing studios output. Serene yet melodic, edgy, dry icy hooks and delicious grooves aplenty all over this record. Eight wonderful tracks where quality and sheer melodic guile of the song writing never dips and attention truly is held across the whole set, ….no mean feat indeed.


                      Wakayama / Mejiro

                        Polytechnic Youth enter the fray once again, continuing an already productive year (these new 45s are 4/5/6th releases in 2018 already!) with a trio of quite brilliant yet totally different 45s.

                        Alpár aka Hungarian Bálint Zalkai, is the co-founder of ‘Farbwechsel’, the Budapest based record label, and his own recordings of electronic compositions (often built upon random looping sequencers in a minimalist style) are key to the label’s release output thus far. His goal as he sees it is to “catch a random pattern, loop it and build up a piece with that randomly pulsing theme. Just let to flow the voltages and sound waves and try not to disturb them or change their basic behaviours”.

                        The two tracks here were recorded with this approach very much in mind. The atmosphere of 'Mejiro' is “not unlike a bird observation. Attempting to find the right spot, getting closer and closer to the bird, which almost controls you and your movements as you attempt to near it”. Whereas 'Wakayama' is a more direct piece, and maybe the most melodic song Alpár ever recorded. While 'Mejiro' is a woozy, cautious piece, ‘Wakayama’ is like a tropical fruit or the ume, (the japanese apricot); colourful and full of flavour yet -with thanks to- the slowly humming theme in the background, an element of sourness grips you at the back of your tongue as it ends!

                        A beautiful pair of tracks released as a double A side 45 early March 2018. Pressing of 250 numbered copies….

                        Adam Leonard

                        Entkommen - Pt. I & II

                          The second of March’s trio of killer Polytechnic Youth 45s is a mighty extended piece of slow building Berlin school-esque electronica extended over 2 sides of a 33rpm disk, recorded by Adam Leonard; initially from a batch of 18 tracks recorded at varying times over the last six years.

                          ‘Entkommen’ is his first release for the label here, and both artist and label rather liked the idea of one extended track across two sides of a 45, whereby the listener must flip the disc at a half way point to continue the piece. It struck us as increasingly unusual and works a treat here…

                          Adam has amassed a number of acclaimed releases in varying styles, and across a number of esteemed labels over the years. Last year’s full band release (Invaderband) being shortlisted for a Northern Ireland music prize 2017 and was 6Music recommended. Not to mention previous releases in collaboration with The Owl Service and P.G Six.

                          His electronic home recordings are all well worth investigating and Polytechnic Youth proudly releases the first fruits of those sessions right here. A numbered, limited edition vinyl only 7” hand numbered to 250 copies.

                          Detox Twins

                          In The Hospital Garden / Transformation

                            The third of March’s trio of PY 45s, is a revisit to the always enjoyable dark electro world of Berlin’s mighty DETOX TWINS.

                            The new record offers up a pair of killer synthpop gems which, in the words of the bands’ Mark Vorderhaus “drift into the arena of the unwell with their latest outing 'In the Hospital Garden', and pose the curious questions: Is it so unfortunate to surrender your mind to a permanent altered state? Can losing oneself irreversibly to a manipulated insanity, actually prove to become a rare and wonderful freedom? Attraction battles control as the transformation completes itself. The b-side, 'Transformation' depicts the liberated insanity without challenge, now thriving and pulsating beyond the point of any return.”

                            Two more ace tunes which precede a full length later in the year for Polytechnic Youth. Killer hooks from synth maestro Mark, aligned with glorious effect to Devi’s icy Nico-esque vocals. Another winner for both artist and label!

                            A pressing of 250 copies. Hand numbered with sticker insert and destined to fly out super quick.

                            Australian Test Labs

                            Music For Aircooled Motoring

                              “Music designed to cope with the noise of motoring in the VW Type 2 and Type 25 Transporter.

                              Recordings of highway driving were made inside the cab of a 1981 VW T25 Kombi travelling at 80kmh and used to test, compose and mix music that could be heard above or in harmony with the noise of the road and the air-cooled engine.

                              The frequencies used have been carefully selected and rigorously road tested and when played in a moving van, will blend with the ambient sound of the vehicle and create a unique and harmonious driving experience. As each van will differ slightly, so then each user’s experience will differ accordingly, making this a truly unique pleasure for each driver or passenger”.

                              There is a ridiculously strong consistency, and motorik continuity to the set here. A truly wonderful album where the beloved Neu! blueprint groove, sits perfectly amicably between 30 second 70’s kids TV quiz soundalike soundbites, then passes on through the delicious tunefully, Dinger-esque thump of “Moto Moto”, through the industrial drive of “Zundapp Joyride” and sheer electro danceability of “Interflug 82” concluding with the epic super scaled “Autostrada Olympica“. just killer stuff…

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Ltd LP Info: One off repressing on black vinyl with postcard inserts, hand numbered to 300 copies.

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