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POLYTECHNIC YOUTH

Richard Formby / Spectrum

Sweet Running Water / The Drunk Suite

    A first time release for 2 untitled demos from Spectrum’s 1992 classic “Soul Kiss (Glide Divine)” LP.

    Listed here as “untitled”, the pair of tunes here were penned by Richard Formby initially and were developed into the classics “Sweet Running Water” and “The Drunk Suite” for the LP which represented Sonic Boom’s first project as a band post Spacemen 3.

    Lovely stripped down minimal pieces which represent a fascinating insight into how the tracks were first laid down and presented to Sonic and Mike Stout in the band.

    Definitely one for all Spacemen (and post S3 bands) afficionados and released as a one time pressing of 500 45s dressed up nice in PY’s BBC ‘70s library ‘tip of the hat’ sleeves and additional backing card. 

    PH (Pete Hamilton)

    Slow Ballet

      5 track 7” EP from Irish minimal synth musician ph (Pete Hamilton), with 5 tracks from his (finally) acclaimed rich body of work in electronic music.

      From Dublin, Ireland, in 1982, ph emerged from the demise of the peridots (lower case p) that previously had arisen from the ashes of Modern Heirs, who first played live in 1978 with Pete Hamilton and ex-Radiators (from Space) Steve Rapid, sharing a bill with an early U2. The band line-ups in the small Dublin scene were fluid, as were the band names, becoming the peridots in 1981 with Steve Hamilton and Stan Erraught and during a brief period with drummer Pat Larkin (The Blades). In 1983 Steve would leave to form Stars of Heaven. Subsequently, ph was mostly Pete Hamilton with passing members Pat Larkin and Des O'Byrne.

      peridots released a single “Open Season”, on the Optional Good label in 1981. But it wasn’t until 2012 that peridots and ph appeared again on a vinyl release, on the compilation “Strange Passion: Explorations In Irish Post Punk DIY And Electronic Music 1980-1983”. In 2015, Manufactured Desire Records (Barcelona) began a series of limited releases on cassette, and very limited art editions on lathe cut vinyl, including ‘Slow Ballet’ (ph), ‘Precious Blood’ (peridots), ‘Chrome’ (ph), ‘Later that same day’ (peridots) and culminating in 2017 with a 5 cassette, 48 track, box set, “Pete Hamilton Anthology” described as a treasure-trove of classic minimal synth from early ‘80s Ireland, filled with growling analogue synths, hugely catchy melodies, striking punchlines and beautifully atmospheric minimal electronic music.

      Sadly, Hamilton gave it all up in 1984, overwhelmed by the underwhelming response from a public who would take many decades and a renewed interest in early 80’s minimal electronic music scene, before finally beginning to appreciate the beauty of his music. Polytechnic Youth hopes to do its bit in either furthering that rediscovery programme or perhaps act as a first time introduction to ph’s music.

      A pressing of 250 copies in PY’s BBC Library inspired tracing paper bags. Massively recommended to all minimal synth nuts, early mute, Transparent Illusion, Futurisk, Neural circus et al….


      Pye Corner Audio

      Circuit Rot / Pocket Disco

        A second release on the label for Martin Jenkins’ always amazing Pye Corner Audio. Riding high with acclaim for his current full length on Sonic Cathedral, Martin offers up 2 fantastic new pieces in tandem, unique to this vinyl only 45.

        As a longterm fan, label head Dom has always been intrigued by Martin’s love of label hopping and recording pieces especially geared to what he feels is each label’s aesthetic; and sharing a massive love for Spacemen 3 and Stereolab, it is always hugely exciting to receive new music from him. These two tunes were all we could possibly ask and then some; in his own words Martin says: “Pye Corner Audio return to the haunted dancehall with a brace of stripped back analogue tracks. Casio-tone rhythm meets Moog bass line on “Circuit Rot”, while “Pocket Disco”’s title speaks for itself”.

        Two absolute beauties, all dressed up nice in PY’s Red / Tracing paper homage packaging concept to the BBC’s library releases of the early to mid ‘70s. 

        Projet De Vie

        Tapis Roulant

          A first UK vinyl outing for amazing Normandy FR based, minimal synth musician Yann Lelias’ Projet De Vie. Following a number of cassette and digital only releases across labels such as Woodford Halse and wonderful French synth label and occasional PY collaborators, Err Rec.

          Two killer slices of icy cool, stripped down electronica- A side “Tapis Roulant” is a driving, sequence based monster of a post-industrial, DAF / Fad Gadget banger which ticks all yr boxes for your modern day vintage / analogue nut; drum machines, slightly edgy, neon strip light film clip etc etc…

          The flip moves more into early-days-of-mute synth pop territory a la early Vince Clarke with a sci-fi S/T kinda feel. 

          Another lovely PY 45 beautifully sleeved in its ‘tip o’ the hat’ red print tracing paper sleeves as a homage to ‘70s BBC library releases. Pressing of 300 and expected to sell out quickly. 

          Gabe Knox / Pulsliebhaber

          Gabe Knox / Pulsliebhaber

            The Gabe Knox side collects a trio of hard-to-find rarities and ‘lost’ gems; kicking off with “Student Disco ‘81”, previously available on a limited Record Store Day 7”, it’s a sickly-sweet Krautrock inflected synthpop confection, with just enough bite to fill the dancefloors of a bygone era. The other two cuts, fan favourite “Carbon Bubble” and the ultra-rare “Cosmic Debris”, which amply showcases Knox’s more expansive, experimental-but-still-melodic side, made available for the first time on vinyl.

            On the flip, Mat Handley’s Pulsliebhaber project was an exercise in super-fast recording with as little computer use as possible (for sequencing or processing). Although, as Mat explains : 

            “my keyboard playing skills are rudimentary (at best), first takes were used just about every time. Each of my seven tracks were written and recorded in a single session with not one of them taking more than a couple of hours to finish, some of them significantly less than 60 minutes. I think the original intention was to record a bunch of tracks and revisit them later, but after sending them to Dom PY it was agreed to release them as they are with just a little sheen provided by Jez Butler’s mastering.

            So yes, some of the timings are shaky with the odd bum note here and there, but the process was very refreshing especially after spending five years each on the first two Pulselovers albums. Drums were all provided by Volca Beats and the Volca Kick (with maybe one appearance of the Drum Brute). Synths used were the MFB Dominion X, the Korg MS20 Mini and my trusty old Bass Station 2. Everything was fed through a variety of noisy guitar pedals and recorded either onto tape or directly into Audition, whilst titles were all selected from a half hour spent down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and mean absolutely nothing. Thanks go to Gabe for agreeing to share this piece of plastic with me, to Jez for making my synth noodles (almost) presentable and especially to Dom for his enthusiasm and for giving us all Polytechnic Youth”

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Two of my favourites here, with Gabe Knox filling his side with typically gorgeous motorik synth fare, while the affable and talented Handley modestly describes his side as quickly pieced together, but the result is both brilliantly evocative and entirely at odds with the rushed creation. A talented duo on another beautiful piece of PY wax.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Gabe Knox - Student Disco 81 / Carbon Bubble 10:23
            2. Gabe Knox - Cosmic Debris 10:04
            3. Pulsliebhaber - Catching Buckets 02:27
            4. Pulsliebhaber - Synthetic Aperture Radar 02:55
            5. Pulsliebhaber - Domestic Fission 02:49
            6. Pulsliebhaber - NDT Bomb 02:28
            7. Pulsliebhaber - FFWD>> 03:20
            8. Pulsliebhaber - Transient Emotion 03:04
            9. Pulsliebhaber - Underground Architect

            Land Of YRX

            Forget The Lessons Of The Past

              New on Polytechnic Youth, a wonderful - and long overdue - vinyl compilation of key UK electronic pioneers LAND OF YRX’s work between 1982 and 1984.

              Released almost exclusively across a series of DIY produced cassette only releases, the bands’ output is now revered in that golden period of groundbreaking, home recorded 4 track experimental / minimal electronics releases, all of which are highly sought after and hugely influential on the swell of electronic musicians that followed at that point in the UK.

              The duo consists of Shrewsbury based Rob Andrews and Dave Gate (extended for live shows) and with their core discography being so utterly wonderful, honing in on a fair representation of their work with 20 minute-a-side time caps here, was no mean feat. So much of their greatest work featured across epic 15 minute plus jams- ideal for the cassette format, but trickier for wax. But we’ve got there; 7 beauties which highlight the bands’ love for experimental electronica, kosmische / krautrock and prog perfectly- all underpinned with Rob’s superb often Gottsching-esque guitar work.

              A superb band, totally worthy of further investigation- massively recommended to anyone into any of the above, or that core of early UK electronic underground / cassette scene of Colin Potter, Paul Nagle, Neural Circus as well as overseas heavyweights like Conrad Schnitzler etc…

              The duo are still very much busy and working today, as Dave says “Why stop just because you’re having fun?” 

              Free / Slope

              Blissful Repetitions

                The wonderful new full length from Swede, Daniel Brandt’s Free / Slope project. “Blissful Repetitions” features 5 extended kraut infused jams, inspired in equal measures, by the likes of Spacemen 3, “Lazer Guided Melodies” era Spiritualized, Manuel Gottsching, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Cluster / Harmonia, Morricone, David Crosby and Bo Hansson.

                …..”Through the haze of a warm summer night FREE / SLOPE emerges, painting in tones a lazy state of bliss and calm. By blending the enigmatic melancholia and pastoral tones of fellow countryman Bo Hansson, (with cues taken from many of the names above), Daniel improvises kosmische jams that evoke not only space but also the serene scenery of Swedish west coast nature, afternoon daydreams and otherworldly psychedelic landscapes.

                With a truly unique and personal melodic sensibility the music shines bright with its own special colours, ensuring the listener an experience both familiar and excitingly new. “Blissful Repetitions" will appeal both to the seasoned krautrock aficionado looking for some fresh jams to the casual listener seeking everyday escapism. Experimental but accessible, crystal clear yet blurred, organic but electronic - a fully formed vision brought to reality in a small bedroom studio.

                It’s a mellow yet adventurous trip, cut on gorgeous clear vinyl, a soothing remedy for anyone wanting to escape the anxiety-ridden current state of the world" - Daniel aka F R E E / S L O P E.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: You know it's a good week when two PY records land at the same time. First up is this beautiful selection of blipping oscillations and (ahem) blissful repetitions from Free / Slope aka Daniel Brandt. Whirring and cosmic, full of beautiful proggy guitar and snappy percussion. You always know you're in for a treat with PY, and this is one of my favourites so far.

                Listening Center

                Cybernetic Window

                  Up next on London synth label Polytechnic Youth, comes the fabulous new full length from Dublin born, NY based synthesist and instrumentalist, David Mason’s LISTENING CENTER project. Following a sold out back catalogue on labels as diverse as Ghost Box, Temporary Tapes, Texte Und Töne and Russian Library (not to mention various releases here on PY since 2016).

                  Nine killer cuts of wonderfully warm, richly melodic electronica; exquisitely crafted micro-beat analogue essays recorded directly to 2 track (the only exceptions being the occasional overdub of a string synth). Perhaps bearing a nod to a more Kraftwerk-ian feel than previous output but uniquely fresh and of the moment and still maintaining that old school BBC educational / testcard / soundtrack feel that David has within his music.

                  As with most of Listening Center’s albums, it’s the interaction of the instruments and the pathos of melodic and harmonic combinations which are foregrounded. The nine pieces here were composed and recorded during a period when it was possible to perform live shows and this album largely features the setup from that time: TR606, CSQ600, some modest modular kit, and synth-pop classics such as the Yamaha CS01, among others. The music -as has always been the aim- strives to convey a feeling of hope for a future tinged by the vicissitudes of the present.

                  David himself says: “The title ‘Cybernetic Window’ refers to the way in which the music on this album was recorded- a system of instruments which carry out different functions, steered by a composer/performer/engineer toward the realization of compositions which can suggest alternative musical frames of reference. It is also a curt nod to an evolving digital reality, whereby information and perception can be routinely controlled and manipulated by opaque vectors. ‘Cybernetic Window’ does not present synth nostalgia but draws on specific aesthetics and technology to create a flexible musical continuum which can be adaptable to listening for purposes of reflection, study or recreation”.

                  500 on vinyl only. 

                  Colin Potter

                  A Long Time

                    The second of Polytechnic Youth’s new releases for March sees a return to the label for Colin Potter, revered not only for his home 4trk recordings of experimental electronics, minimal synth and DIY cassette output from 1980 onwards, and his esteemed ICR label also of course his continued work as part of Nurse with Wound.

                    His celebrated back catalogue has -alongside a killer body of new recordings- been reissued on vinyl for a first time by labels such as PY, Deep Distance and Sacred Summits amongst others.

                    This release is a collection of first-time-on-vinyl tracks from the 1989 cassette only releases “Recent History Vols. I & II” on ICR. 8 fantastic experimental, synth pieces recorded at his then home of Tollerton nr. York at various points between 1982 and 1989 and remastered by Colin in 2020. He says of this collection: “Over 30 years does seem like a long time, but in terms of how I worked then and how I work now, it seems even longer. The way these tracks were made feels like another world. Yet I’m still very connected to them and when I remastered them I was taken back to when I was exploring new equipment and ways of working. Primitive sampling and looping had arrived, to use alongside older analogue machines, guitars and early digital synths and effects processors. Happy daze……”

                    The album features another beautiful sleeve from longterm collaborator Jonathan Coleclough, and is released as a pressing of 300 LPs on vinyl only. 

                    Le Cliche

                    Vicarious Life

                      Next up on Polytechnic Youth is the eagerly anticipated new full length from the mighty Le Cliché, the minimal synth project of Limerick born, Spanish based Gerard Ryan. 12 tracks of fabulous classic analogue, mono synth sounds showcasing Ryan’s obsession with minimal, lo-fi electro pop- as do his sleeve notes, which credit vocal samples by cult synth forerunners Boris Dzaneck, The Petticoats and Tara Cross, a collaboration with Ricard Anderson of ‘This is the Bridge’ and liner notes (an essay on vicarious consumption) edited by Danny Bosten of Das Ding.

                      Kicking off with the album’s title track- which, as a 45 last year attained plays on 6Music, reviews in “Electronic Sound” and “Record Collector” and sold out in a tick (as does all the LC back catalogue). Elsewhere on the record, tips of the hat to early Cabs, Fad Gadget, Transparent Illusion, Neural Circus et al, yet firmly sounding as fresh and current as any new electronica doing the rounds just now, lovely stuff and a superbly free flowing consistent set of tracks. Hugely recommended to anyone into any of the above and destined to sell out super quick….

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: I do love a PY record, almost all of them actually and while this certainly bucks the trend from the airy melodic synth we got from Melodien last month, it's another killer outing. Hypnotic synth stabs and echoic vocals twist around each-other in a high def minimal-wave/acid meltdown. Thoroughly superb, and quintessential PY.

                      Charlie And The Oscillator

                      Journey Of Echoes

                        Here’s a superb new album on Polytechnic Youth, the last of the label’s trio of recent CD releases, aimed partly at circumnavigating the crazy world of vinyl pressing just now. The third here is an absolute beauty- by a country mile the label’s most bonkers, whacked out release, sample heavy, dancefloor friendly and all interspersed with voiceovers / track intros from Charlie Pellett of NY subway system announcement fame!

                        17 tracks, clocking in at over an hour (the CD’s biggest saving grace?) including a bunch of extras not included on PY’s mailorder LP edition from a couple of years back that sold out same day and is now a £30+ record. This is a nice opportunity to hear the album in full and is released as a one time pressing of 500.

                        “Formed in 2018, the London based duo fuse breakbeats, synths and samples to create eccentric alternative dance music, twisting and bending sounds into their own distinctive style using a vast collection of vinyl 45s. Their endlessly intriguing world has already drawn comparisons to the likes of DJ Shadow and Death In Vegas. With a backbone of funk and soul they blend together many different genres including ambient, trip-hop, dance, disco and more, creating a new form of sample-heavy, dancefloor-friendly electronica. ‘Journey Of Echoes’ is exactly this: a fusion of analogue grit, psychedelic colour and a mass of ramshackle ideas, and in a world where it's almost criminal to be joyous and inventive this is the soundtrack of a rebellion!” 

                        Mitra Mitra

                        Hands Remain

                          A new year kicks off at Polytechnic Youth HQ, and it’s with an absolute beauty with which they re-enter the fray. The first new MITRA MITRA full length since 2018’s hugely well received “Marionettes” set (also on PY).

                          The band was formed in Vienna in late 2014 by Violet Candide and Mahk Rumbae. Originally from New Zealand, Violet Candide has been a fixture of the Vienna post-punk and minimal synth scene for many years as a DJ before making music with Mitra Mitra and her other projects Slow Glass (with Bobby from Low Sea), Peppy Pep Pepper and Violetiger. 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, the pair decided to continue writing and working together as Mitra Mitra, with the aim of writing electronic songs not tied by any particular influence or style – but combining elements of synth pop, electro and minimal synth to create a modern take on classic period electronic music.

                          Despite initial plans involving studio only work, the band were persuaded to take to the stage in 2015 and have since played shows in England, Germany, Belgium, Hungary and their adopted home country of Austria; quickly gaining a reputation for their unique presentation and interaction with the audience.

                          The new LP is their strongest set yet; 'Hands Remain' is perhaps darker in nature than previous MM releases; although mostly completed before the pandemic, it somehow fits the times we live in now…

                          The sleeve design is based on a work by Canadian artist/filmmaker Michael Snow, who kindly gave permission for a processed version of his image to be used on the cover. A wonderful 12 track collection hugely recommended to fans of classic era synth pop, early Mute, Cherry Red, Blackwing Studios etc etc…. One time pressing available now! 

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Javi says: Plug a fembot into a Moog, and you get Mitra Mitra's 'Hands Remain', a Polytechnic Youth gem caught between Spacer Woman boogie and Moonlandingz grim-pop. These are some synth-ridden end-of-the-world anthems, custom built for fans of yesteryear's German dancefloors - and the price tag ist ziemlich gut too!

                          Holy Fuck

                          Airport Dreams / Lost Cool

                            Moving slightly away from the label’s penchant for the classic minimal synth / synth pop sound, HF offer up two super dancey tracks; each with a guest female vocalist across a double A sided 45. “Airport Dreams” featuring Sarah Bonito vox (guesting from Kero Kero Bonito here in the UK), and “Lost Cool” with vox and added synth parts from Madrid based synth pop artist Lucia Tacchetti.

                            Upon “Airport Dreams”’ initial digital only release, Lauren Laverne’s breakfast show on BBC Radio 6 Music nominated the track as the ‘While You Were Sleeping’ tune of the week, whilst ‘Under The Radar’ called it “an unforeseen delight that brings together branching talents for something new and unexpected.” Sarah’s catchy vocal parts were initially intended for a different idea altogether, but further catalysed that which formed "Airport Dreams” in to a frenetic and energetic song that’s the antithesis of being held back or restricted.

                            As for “Lost Cool”, HF explain; “In the spirit of online collaboration, we sent song ideas out to some incredibly talented artists to collaborate. Lucia Tacchetti brought her amazing voice and jittery synth parts from Spain, cementing the perfect danceable vibe for "Lost Cool.” Lucia added "It´s been an honour to collaborate with Holy Fuck and being able to be part of the process. We had the opportunity to do everything remotely and communication flowed perfectly. I worked from Argentina with some ideas and luckily we understood each other super-fast. I'm really happy with the result. Our universes coexist very well. I loved putting some words in Spanish. I am very grateful to the band for making me part of this track and super anxious for everyone to hear what we have been working on, I hope people dance to it everywhere!” 

                            Lone Bison

                            Transistor Memory

                              An incredible 13 track, electronic project for Ramsgate UK based Nick Bonell. Inspired by a love for ‘70s German electronic music and the current golden age of synthesizer based film soundtracks, it’s key theme as Nick says is “Repetition. I just like to lose myself in interlocking arpeggios which transport me away from the stresses of the day job. The tunes came out of me moving increasingly away from guitar and towards using hardware synths like the Korg MS20, and, having made music as part of a band or a duo- I fancied something solo this time. The album was recreated very quickly, often with single takes and carefully choosing times when the family and neighbours were out!”

                              Hugely recommended to fans of Tangerine Dream / Klaus Schulze or Edgar Froeses’ solo work as well as Cluster and lots on (label favourite) Sky records’ output. Musically, the album is wonderful but the sleeve is pretty neat too; Nick adds “I will be forever grateful for the amazing linocut cover art by Ieuan Edwards aka The Black Gold Press. I originally asked if I could use an existing print, but he insisted on a bespoke piece and chiselled lino all night to turn around the print in 24 hours. Then Jules Bigg (one of the original team behind the launch of Ramsgate Music Hall) did the photography and graphic design, the man is a wizard. I am truly lucky to live in an area where, if you chuck a rock in the air, it will land on an artist or musician. I had pretty much given up on making original music, after the untimely death of my songwriting partner some years ago. However, living in an area where new venues have mushroomed and great gigs are so plentiful, has inspired me to dig out the synths and fx pedals again”.

                              Released in a one time pressing only of 500 with insert cards carrying more of Ieuan and Jules’ work, the album is released by Polytechnic Youth in December. 

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: This is just superb, a rich and beautiful collection of krautrock-inspired jams. Twinkling arps all slightly off-kilter and saturated into a wonderfully organic juxtaposition of glitchy filter artifacts and blissful, euphoric melodies.

                              The Prison Of Winners

                              Vols. I & II

                                ‘The Prison of Winners’ is a brand new project consisting of David Mason of Listening Center and Martin Jensen of The Home Current. Between them, they have issued a range of acclaimed releases for labels such as Polytechnic Youth, Castles In Space, Ghost Box, Deep Distance and Woodford Halse, to name but a few.

                                The collaboration’s two volume set contains a selection of music that came to life through a long-distance work routine back and forth across the Atlantic (David resides in New York and Martin is based in Luxembourg) between 2020 and 2021. Having been fans of each others’ work for years, it was only natural that they should eventually pool resources.

                                “Volume 1” had long been earmarked for a vinyl release with PY, but with the aforementioned problems of world vinyl production currently being on its knees, and with a boom in lockdown recording seeing “Volume 2” quickly materialize; all parties quickly realized that a super value-for-money, lavish 2 x CD set might just come together perfectly. Thus, the double disc set is released late October in a beautiful sleeve featuring artwork from acclaimed photographer Geneviève Cygan and David Mason.

                                Both volumes lean heavy on the pairs’ previous wonderful electronic experiments, minimal DIY pieces intercross with more uptempo synth workouts, which the artists themselves reckon “inhabit a space somewhere in between feeling lost in car parks and hazy memories of nights out clubbing, in what feels like a lifetime ago.” 

                                Hologram Teen

                                Géométries Insensibles

                                  The second of January’s brace of new Polytechnic Youth releases sees the return to the label for Morgane Lhote, with her post Stereolab project HOLOGRAM TEEN. A fabulous new 4 trk 7” EP entitled “Géométries insensibles” and released on pink wax in ace new Nick Taylor artwork.

                                  Morgane herself says of the project “the EP is the soundtrack to an imaginary 1980s dystopian sci-fi French movie in the vein of "Le Prix du Danger”, "Les Maîtres du Temps" and "Le Dernier Combat". The tracks follow the linear film narrative (at least my version of it!) of set up/conflict, "the chase scene", hope, and finding love. I kept the instrumentation simple and the songs short, with a handful of tracks and synths settings across the tunes, to keep a cohesive sound and narrative. it was really freeing to go for the "less is more" approach for once. That is until the last track which goes a bit "Xanadu" on you, but trust me, that's a good thing!"

                                  The EP, to these ears, recalls a passing nod to those early to mid ‘70s French cosmo-disco LPs, which at one point you’d struggle to give away, yet now fetch £50+ at Utrecht fairs- once thought as cheesy now highly sought after and in their own way, quite pioneering and often in whacked out, cosmic sleeve art. Regular PY (amongst others) art genius Nick Taylor reproduces this look perfectly for it’s sleeve, cemented further with the pink vinyl pressing…

                                  The second of the new PY releases sees the return of VORDERHAUS. Familiar, longterm label favourites and solo offshoot project to Mark Vorderhaus’ Detox Twins groop. 

                                  In Mark’s own words; “From a simple past, Vorderhaus recollects a decade living in Neukölln, Berlin. Dimly lit urban streets unfold as a backdrop to reveal the lives they contain and their stories within. Tales of love and loss, carved out destinies and shadows that despair, of driven ambitions and broken dreams all eventually consumed by time and the city to be rendered nothing more than a series of lights and faces stretching back into Berlin’s recesses. Simple lines and motifs collect the atmosphere in the music and melody for each life and each street - nowhere is ever home…”

                                  Once again, we strongly recommend the 45 to all fans of early Mute, Fad Gadget, Blackwing Studios, Minimal synth / synth pop. A pressing of 250 copies and another brace of perfect electronic pop gems and sure to sell out super quick style….


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A1. Lights & Faces, Faces & Lights
                                  B1. Tanz Tanz Tanz Oder Ich Bin Verloren

                                  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”.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry 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.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A. Hello World
                                  B. Taking A Break

                                  E+

                                  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….

                                    Sunray

                                    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…

                                      Alpar

                                      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….


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