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POLYTECHNIC YOUTH

Various Artists

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.


    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…

        Polytechnic Youth blast past the competition and deliver an expanded and extended version of Parisian duo Cite Lumiere's cassette killer "Le Songe De Kepler". Originally released in December 2017 on fabulous French label Err Rec, it's taken almost a year for this first vinyl version to land, but here it is, filled out and expanded slightly with remixed tunes and with fabulous new sleeve art to boot….
        Eleven mighty pieces of minimal synth / electronique pop, which tip their cap to those trailblazing early synth pop releases via early Mute / Blackwing Studios, Some Bizarre, early Cherry Red and those great Celluloid label releases in France which paved their own minimal synth course from the late seventies.

        As the band themselves say: “At first, you must know one thing; originally as rockabillies / surf / punk rockers, we would never imagine one day releasing fully electronic music as you are listening to here! For us, this release is the result of a long path, and is by far the most accomplished thing musically, we have done so far. You will find every influence we could ingest from childhood to the present: film soundtracks, video-game music, 50's /60's rock'n'roll, surf music, not to mention our dedicated love to Joe Meek's work and much more….

        In our minds, as 20th century kids, "Le Songe De Kepler" is definitely an ode to that period of technologic dreams (“L'envol du Tupolev”) and tragedies (“Terminus pour l' Aerotrain”). So please take a seat and enter our world, taking in the sounds of this second version of Kepler's dream, on vinyl for the first time with brand new artwork and crazy reworkings from talented friends with their own visions and interpretations of our music.

        We hope you'll enjoy this electronic -and fully analogue- trip we made with our hearts, and, of course, with our lovely vintage synthesizers”.

        Florian & Alexis (Cite Lumiere 10/18)


        From Polytechnic Youth, “Phase” sees a debut outing on vinyl from Err Rec label head Gilles Mate’s Dialectric project. Impressed by the wealth of wonderfully varied analogue electronic music being released by this small, fiercely independent French label, it was surely a matter of time before PY & Errs’ likeminded paths crossed- and following a “cold wave” styled small run cassette release, Gilles releases a full length on PY for August. “Phase” is a timeless, minimal electronic record, heavy on hypnotic, emotional tonal arpeggios and sequences. Dreamily crafted introspective pieces, and short “Broadcastian” interludes, using a semi-modular system. Comprising of various analogue oscillators, effects and sequencers (Pittsburgh Modular, Moog, Arturia, Yamaha, Korg to name a few…). Mark Barton explains it as a cosmic carousel of sorts dreamily purred in hypno-grooving pulsar pirouettes, its analogue accents awash in intertwining corteges of softly dissipating kosmische spirals which aside appealing to our Tangerine Dream neuron receptors also arcs on the lighter realms of both the Pye Corner Audio and Listening Center spectrums to provide something that ultimately, ought to pique the interests of those tuned into both Ghost Box and Burning Witches frequencies.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Matt says: Naive, childlike, optimistic atmospheres & Melodies presented with a clarity and dreaminess that should appeal to fans of Solar Powered Buddha and Brian Eno.

        Mitra Mitra

        Marionettes

          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.


          Objeto

          Micromundos

            The first of two wonderful new full lengths for Polytechnic Youth for the first week in July. This is a debut release on vinyl for Spanish based Jordi Navarra whose musical oeuvre stretches between “Surf, Hippie / Space Rock and crude electronic music” often different yet coated in tons of reverb and echo for “it’s final catalepsy”!

            “Micromundos,” needless to say for PY devotees, concentrates on his cruder electronic soundscapes; incredible often ambient, drone themed pieces that on one hand dip their toes into the revered works of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, and the sky back catalogue whilst equally conjuring up a collision of Spacemen 3 psych meets Wire, early Cabs or Magazine darker more atmospheric, post punk industrial / experimental workouts.

            Eight abstract, kosmische fuelled pieces that act as an interesting sister release to the label’s other July offering, the more overtly “in-yr-face” synth pop themed Mitra Mitra LP. Two beautiful releases expected to sell out pretty swiftly, and released together first week of July.

            Following a trio of sold out 45s on Polytechnic Youth, between 2015 and 2017, The Home Current finally channels a full length album through the delectable UK imprint. “Another Way of Falling Apart” sees Martin Jensen, a Copenhagen-born artist delivery more highly textured electronics which skirt between traditional analogue and more modern digital signal processes. The mood traverses tense futurescapes and redolent, nostalgic imaginary: from drawn out sci-fi themes full of phosphorescent fire-flies or deep purple plasma lakes; to blurred VHS memories of optimism, rushed through a rose tinted lens and refracted back from happier times gine by. This is home territory for a committed and expert birder who joyfully connects as much with the planet in bijou record stores or when trying to sight great grey owls or azure-winged magpies in remote country locations! Hence, an almost subliminal, feminine aura to this debut work, and an existential stance that aims not to trouble but to thrill and stir, to convey the beauty that happens when Jensen exposes the adrenalinic tide rocking his angst and calms it with balsamic polyphony and poignant melody. Wonderful stuff! 




            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….

              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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