Monday, November 21, 2011

VA: Not Waving But Drowning LP (1983, Little Sister Enterprises)

This was once posted on Mutant Sounds back in 2007 at a low bitrate rip... so here it is again in higher quality with more info...

This is the follow up to the highly sought-after "Sing As We Go" compilation put out by Little Sister Enterprises, and includes 2 of the same bands from that compilation (China Moon and Vaguely Divine). This one is every bit as great if not better, containing several excellent and obscure minimal synth, post-punk, goth, and new wave tracks... There are a lot of strange, diy UK compilations LPs from this time period that contain one or two excellent songs, but few with the overall consistency of this one.

Marine Boy has a great dark synth dance floor hit. The Wait sounds like bands such as Skeletal Family with synths, you can grab their debut 7" at Phoenix Hairpin's blog here that is good too, or check out their web page. Mad Dogs & Englishmen play dark wave in the vein of I Scream Brothers. Blood Fetish are dark post-punk / goth. This band later morphed into Bzu-zu, who had another wonderful track off the obscure "Pulsebeat" LP compilation the following year. You can hear / download some additional recordings from both bands at Playground Association have a melancholy minimal track comparable to some material by Modern Art or Lives of Angels. Silent Swim are diy minimal synth / new wave with male/female duo vocals. Unknown Colours have a rocky, live-recorded indie / post-punk track. I guess most of us know Vex for their killer anarcho-goth 12" "Sanctuary"... though this earlier track demonstrates they were capable of great cold post-punk tunes as well. The Persistant Gods are indie wave with a little bit of synth, you can grab on their 7" at Vinyl Obscurity if interested. China Moon is David Bowie gone minimal. Aquila has a cool goth track with a female singer, also known from the "From Bromley With Love" compilation. Peacock Dance and The Untouchables are skip-able. Ego & Co. does moody, dark, diy new wave. Vaguely Divine ends it with some guitar-heavy post-punk recorded live.

Preview samples here:

VA: Not Waving But Drowning LP (1983, Little Sister Enterprises)

01. Marine Boy - Haunted
02. The Wait - Tomorrow
03. Mad Dogs & Englishmen - Trumpton
04. Blood Fetish - Blood Mistress
05. Playground Association - The Edge
06. Silent Swim - Blind Disease
07. Unknown Colours - Beirut (Live)
08. Vex - Pressure
09. The Persistant Gods - Curtain House
10. China Moon - Walk On Walk By
11. Aquila - No Point
12. Peacock Dance - I'll Say Goodbye
13. The Untouchables - Woman In The City
14. Ego & Co. - Closing In On Chaos
15. Vaguely Divine - Emotions (Live)
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Phantom Forth + This Is Heaven - Rare Tracks

Paul Lurker, who ran the New Zealand label Industrial Tapes throughout the 80's + was a member of bands such as Phantom Forth and This Is Heaven is planning on putting out a compiled CD in 2012 containing tracks from his various releases to celebrate 30 years since his first recordings. Luckily, he gave me permission to share some of the tracks that might be featured on that disc in their non-mastered/cleaned-up form (still decent sound considering many old tape recordings). The CD, when released, will contain a higher quality sound.

The two Phantom Forth tracks here come from an '83 demo session, while the This Is Heaven material here spans the following releases: "Self-Titled" K7 (1983), "Albert Northee" K7 (1984), "Above" K7 (1984), and "200 Variations" 7" (1985).

If you've heard the Phantom Forth MLP, these tracks are in the exact style. This Is Heaven is certainly more experimental. Some of their material sounds close to Phantom Forth, while other tracks are quite avant-garde, droney, or 80's lo-fi industrial. The track "Albert Northee" reminds me of modern bands such as Tropic of Cancer. Great stuff, sure to be an interesting release. Hopefully, I can keep you posted on details when it is available.

Phantom Forth + This Is Heaven - Rare Tracks

Phantom Forth - Fragments
Phantom Forth - See You

This Is Heaven - A Bit of Bother
This Is Heaven - Albert Northee
This Is Heaven - And Bullets Within
This Is Heaven - Circa 1941
This Is Heaven - Middling Messing Man
This Is Heaven - Mr Kingdom
This Is Heaven - Turkish Otter Time
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

VA: The Last Rumba LP (1983, Flying Nun Records)

Here is an early Flying Nun Records release (New Zealand's most famous indie label) all recorded live in one day at the Rumba Bar in Auckland, New Zealand, 1983. The bands vary quite a bit from post-punk, indie, experimental / avant-garde, alternative, and dark/cold tracks by Phantom Forth (actually listed as Phantom Fourth on this release) + Children's Hour. My main motivating factor to pick this one up was for the exclusive track by Phantom Forth (I posted their great lone 12" last July here). The track by Children's Hour on here is very good too.

Some good news, Paul from Phantom Forth is planning on releasing a CD in 2012 containing a lot of rare material from Phantom Forth + This Is Heaven. He gave me permission to share some rough/non-mastered versions of some of the tracks that are likely to be included on the CD. Should be one to pick it up for sure once it's released. Check the post above for more info if interested.

Samples here:

VA: The Last Rumba LP (1983, Flying Nun Records)

01. The Lesser Speckled Gottliebs - Gottliebing
02. Tall Dwarfs - This Room Is Wrong
03. Eight Living Legs - Tse Tse Fly
04. Flak - To Buy Food
05. Phantom Forth - Night Time Falls
06. "Where Have All The Ideals Gone" [No Artist Credited]
07. Kevin Hawkins - Song With No Future
08. The Heptocrats - One More
09. The Exploding Budgies - Paulsong
10. This Sporting Life - Wriggle Around
11. The Stones - Mother/Father
12. Children's Hour - The Mongolian Brothers Meet Their Match In The Man Mountain
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

Nordland - Just Keep It Away 7" (1987, Self-Released)

Very good single from Swiss-based Nordland. This was their second release, I've yet to ever hear their first 12", nor their final CD from the 90's... so don't know how they compare (kinda regret not grabbing their first 12" when I had the chance at a fair price). The title track later appeared on their '89 CD "Mystery" as well (that release has a few decent tracks, but certainly nothing amazing or incredibly memorable in my opinion). I once saw a demo tape on eBay quite a few years back, though it contained a hand-written sleeve / blank tape... so probably never official.

On this release, the title track is an excellent, memorable, polished dark guitar wave tune... general stuff like Sad Lovers & Giants, UV Pop's "Serious", or early Escape With Romeo come to mind when hearing it. B-side has a stronger synth presence and is quite bouncy.

Nordland - Just Keep It Away 7" (1987, Self-Released)

01. Just Keep It Away
02. Masquerade
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ravencathaus - Brothers of The Sun LP (1989, Lucifer Records)

Ravencathaus were a late 80's UK goth band... and like many from this time period, appear to have been incredibly influenced by The Sisters of Mercy and Fields of The Nephilim. Unlike many of the other similar UK bands from the time period, these guys seem to have been total outsiders and/or hermits to the goth community since their name remains so elusive. Somehow they managed to finance a full-length LP, though I have the feeling that very few actually heard it.

I was in communication with one of the members couple years ago (some still played together in a rock band - can't recall their name at the moment), and was told that some cassettes were released as well. Believe the guy also commented that this LP was basically garage-recorded. That said, the production can be a bit rough around the edges (adding its own charm), though the bulk of the songs themselves are solid, good quality goth rock tunes certainly better than many of the popular goth bands from the late 80's / early 90's. Perhaps a bit similar to bands such as the The Wake from the USA / Ohio.

Preview samples here:

Ravencathaus - Brothers of The Sun LP (1989, Lucifer Records)

01. Kingdom
02. Creed
03. Shade
04. Burning
05. Spirit
06. Khristianne
07. Tacnevar
08. Sleep
09. Drown
10. Obsession
11. Take Me Away
12. Reincarnate
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Move / Gronge - Split LP (1987, A&D Records)

I was about to post Afrodisia Città Libera's "Il Veleno Della Sottomissione" LP few days ago, which I uploaded to mediafire over two months ago (just never had got around to posting it)... and out-of-nowhere a limited remastered official CD edition popped up on eBay this weekend containing their 12" as well... Cool... moving on, here is the next Italian record I had in queue. I was pretty certain that this one had been posted before, but couldn't find it the other day (though the band names don't make it incredibly search engine-friendly).

This is a split between two Italian bands: Move and Gronge. I'm guessing the tracks by Move would be the main motivating factor to check this one out, as it is their follow up to the impressive S/T MLP once posted at Systems of Romance. Everyone I've spoken with agrees the tracks here are not quite as fantastic, but still good quality and in the same general style as the MLP... call it whatever you will: goth, coldwave, postpunk...

I've seen a few other releases by Gronge, but never was impressed enough by the tracks on this release to further investigate. They have an ethic sound with a female lead singer, avant-garde rock, occasional moments of 90's post-Dead Can Dance darkwave...I've heard a few bands in the past that sound similar, but since this isn't the style of music I typically listen to... comparisons are limited. Not horrible, simply not what gets me excited.

Preview Move tracks here:

Preview Gronge tracks here:

Move / Gronge - Split LP (1987, A&D Records)

01. Move - Guardati Intorno
02. Move - Lacrime E Sangue
03. Move - Poke At The Pope
04. Move - Silver Kites
05. Move - Miss Take
06. Gronge - Burocrazia.mp3
07. Gronge - La Torre Del Silenzio
08. Gronge - Prigioniero Politico
09. Gronge - Mentre Soweto Brucia
10. Gronge - Burocrazia
11. Gronge - Un Giorno Nasce E Uno Muore
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Théâtre - Ambiance Bar 7" (1983, F.L.V.M.)

Another rare French coldwave / post-punk single. Personally, do not think either song on here is as strong as their track "Film Noir" from the compilation LP "13 Rock À Caen"... but still decent enough. Their only release on vinyl (besides the compilation appearance listed above), know I've seen them listed on a tape compilation or two... A copy is on eBay right now here if anyone is interested with a few days left. I just got this copy a few months ago, but some years ago bought a test-pressing/promo(?) version lacking the sleeve with an embossed label similar to some of the Tonpress records. Strange...

Preview samples here (may not work on all web browsers):

Théâtre - Ambiance Bar 7'' (1983, F.L.V.M.)

01. NP/AD
02. Ambiance Bar
pass: kentuckyfriedwave

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ghosts of Dance - The Complete Ghosts of Dance CD (1996, Peppercorn)

Back in late June I posted Ghosts of Dance's lone 7" vinyl release here, and to my surprise their original drummer (Kevin Maynard) left a comment claiming the band had issued a CD release in the past collecting their recordings. Initially I assumed it would have been a limited to 30 copies, home-made CDR sent to a few friends that is sometimes the case in these circumstances since I had never seen or heard anything about it. Nope, turns out it was a professionally manufactured CD (even has a barcode) from 1996 on a UK label called Peppercorn (PCCD 003). The sound quality is very high as well, certainly not poor vinyl/tape transfers.... I'm assuming these recordings came direct from the masters.

The 1996 date struck me odd too because unlike nowadays when there are a handful of reissues out every month for obscure 80s minimal synth / coldwave / new wave / post-punk / goth / etc. bands, this certainly did not occur incredibly often throughout the 90s - especially with bands in minimal synth territory such as Ghosts of Dance. I began hitting the search engines trying to find information on this CD, locating 0 results... Luckily, Kevin made it possible for me to receive a copy of this CD in return that a review would be posted here. I do not know the entire story surrounding this release, though my obvious assumption is that it must have got very, very little distribution. Would be great if one of our favorite distros could pick up some copies to make it more widely available since I assume someone has some boxes of these collecting dust...

Ghosts of Dance were from the North Devon region in England, and took their name from the song "Ghosts" by Japan. Members included:

Mark Butcher: vocals and keyboards
Yvette Norris: vocals
Peter Heaton: lead guitar
Daryl Hunt: bass guitar
Kevin Maynard: drums

This CD contains ten tracks recorded in 1982, and five from 1983. Keven told me the band issued a cassette called "Finale", so not entirely sure if many/some/all/none of these tracks were initially included on that release. The two tracks from their '82 7" are featured here. Despite the short time-span between the recordings, some sharp contrast exists between the years where they practically sound like two separate bands. The '82 material has that great early 80s UK synth sound with a goth-girl vocalist... like discovering a bunch of unreleased recordings from some strange mystery band that only issued a single track off a limited/locally pressed compilation. I am certainly reminded a bit of bands like Hedone (UK), Cry of The Innocent's "The Haunting" 7", or maybe even if bands such as Coldreams and a gothier Poeme Electronique teamed up, Skating For Cover, N.A. Pop 2000, "Just A Friend" by Skeletal Family, minor Psychic Youth comparisons too... All the songs are synth-based containing sparse guitar/bass, live drums... (much like their 7") with many being quite dream/trance-like with some witchy / pagan / ghostly themes (or at least how I interpreted them). The only complaints I can muster up is that I initially felt like some of the songs sounded quite alike the first couple times I played the disc, and a few being a bit nonchalant meaning they could have been developed a bit further (hehe, though this normally isn't a complaint for collectors of this style of music).

The five tracks from '83 show the band moving into a better produced new romantic / synthpop direction with the keyboard player taking over the main vocals. Not sure what the story is for the change, or if the original singer left the band at some point (she does contribute backing vocals on one of these songs: "Inspiration"). Personally I prefer the earlier material, and these later tracks nowadays sound a bit more dated... though they are still quality songs that I can easily listen through without being annoyed or tempted to skip (I'm simply not a gigantic new romantic / synthpop fan). "Living With A Shadow" is my favorite from this period with it being somewhat melancholy and dramatic... the instrumental "Berlin" is a nice synth tune as well.

Overall a very good quality release and pleasant surprise from a band that often appears practically unheard even amongst 80s synth freaks. For now, I can only provide you with samples of the tracks that you can stream below (might not be visible with certain web browsers or under specific security settings). Hopefully, more information will follow on how to obtain the CD if interested. I'll keep you posted if I find out more details...

Preview the '82 period tracks from this CD here:

Preview the '83 period tracks from this CD here:

Ghosts of Dance - The Complete Ghosts of Dance CD (1996, Peppercorn)

01. Inspiration
02. Sunset Across Kyoto
03. Till I Wake
04. Calling
05. Living With A Shadow
06. Saigon
07. Compulsion
08. Walking Through Gardens
09. Berlin
10. Celebrate
11. Day Like I've Never Seen
12. Portrait of Eden
13. Images of You
14. Black Sheep
15. Ghosts of Dance

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Pleasure Cell - New Age 7" (1986, Self-Released)

Mega hard-to-find Irish rarity for post-punk, guitar cold, goth fans.You can read a short bio about them here if interested. A video exists on youTube for their track "She's Just A Girl" (not included on this release) that is quite straight-forward indie/alternative rock compared to these tracks. This is their only vinyl release... "New Age" reminds me of a restrained Passion of Ice with an early Cure guitar/bass sound. "Common Ground" is slower and moodier, but the all-around strongest of the two...

Preview samples here (might not work on all browsers):

The Pleasure Cell - New Age 7" (1986, Self-Released)

01. New Age
02. Common Ground
pass: kentuckyfriedwave