New York City is a world of shadows, thieves and con men, its chilling concrete landscapes are a fitting filmic backdrop for the aural futuristic pleasures of NOIR, a band whose deep electronic rhythms fuel darkened beats that conjure stark cinematic images from yesteryear merged with the cold machinery of the future. Conceptualized by vocalist Athan Maroulis, veteran of the pioneering electronic industrial act Spahn Ranch, NOIR is a sensuous electronic return to form for Maroulis, who also fronts dark cabaret legends Black Tape For a Blue Girl. The result was the 2013 critically acclaimed release Darkly Near. It all sounds like revealing his deepest inner thoughts transposed into electronic grace, musical poetry and simply finesse. NOIR’s latest release RE:MIT:TENT offers 20 remixes of songs from Darkly Near featuring a disparaging list of names from all over the electronic music field including ManMadeMan, Assemblage 23, Dead Voices On Air, Ludovico Technique, Decoded Feedback and many others. (Metropolis Records, US)

 

HIPPIBAG

A read along 7” book/vinyl called ‘What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?’ Internationally renowned sleeve artist and illustrator Nick Edwards (4AD, XL) went wild with Cornershop’s Tjinder Singh’s quirky lyrics & together they have created a wonderful world of mountains, spacecraft, dragons, Kurt Vonnegut… needless to say this is not your everyday journey. Original, Colourful, Educational, Singh-alongable, Memorable, Funkyful, and of course Collectable. (Ample Play Records, UK)

 

SCIENCE FICTION PARK BUNDERSREPUBLIK

West-German home recordings from the 80s. Compiled by German sound futurist Felix Kubin. This eccentric compilation features 25 rare and mostly unheard tracks by bands like Plastiktanz, Neros Tanzende Elektropäpste, chbb, Holger Hiller and Pyrolator, as well as several one hit wonders by the rural tape label Pissing Cow Tapes.

In Germany especially, that neurotic country whose dark Nazi past and subsequent East/West division filled its closet with skeletons, the electro-industry’s advance falls on fertile ground. The four-track tape studio becomes the medium of the collective unconscious; becomes the embrasure, the lighting rod and the magnetic witness to the fears of an imminent nuclear war. They are eruptions out of the crater of a society that had reached a deadlock during the so-called German Autumn with its failed RAF movement. Everyone was waiting… But for what? For the end of the world, approaching via an insane arms race? A new youth movement? A new kind of ice cream?
In their freshly established home studios the protagonists practice the new underground music, the “undirected aggression of liberated sounds”. Everything that isn’t nailed or riveted down is used as an instrument: baking trays, cartons, room lamps, toys, wooden flutes, whistles, cans, trays, record players, televisions, a doorbell, a telephone. Out of the living rooms of the nation drones an obsession with noise, sparing not even the children. (Finders Keepers Records, UK)

 

The debut LP of The No Tomorrow Boys (<< listen!) from Portland. Wild’n’frantic rock’n’roll. Sounding like the rabid love child of Little Richard and The Cramps with a healthy dose of Rip Off Records garage gunk shot straight to the jugular. (Hound Gawd Records, Germany)

 

Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem (US) present Patrick Cowley and Jorge Socarras “Catholic” 2LP. Featuring over 80 minutes of music, never before released on vinyl, this compilation contains two bonus tracks not on the CD.

Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the cannon of disco music, Patrick Cowley created his own brand of Hi­NRG dance music coined “The San Francisco Sound.” He moved to San Francisco and met Jorge Socarras in 1973. Patrick, who played drums, guitar and keyboards, provided the perfect match for Jorge’s vocal talents. Between 1975 and 1977 they recorded an album’s worth of material. In 1979, the duo would re­record some of the “Catholic” songs with Patrick’s newly accumulated equipment.  “Catholic” is a genre­bending concept album that ranges from minimalistic proto­techno to synth­driven post­punk, pre­dating the dance punk acts LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture by almost 30 years. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, the Velvet Underground and Roxy Music, “Catholic” fills in the gaps between these artists and preempts bands like Talking Heads, Units, The Human League or Chris & Cosey. Patrick forges his unique electronic sound from his collection of synthesizers, modified guitars and self­constructed equipment while Jorge’s vocals go from hypnotic to camp, singing about gay love juju and tackling classics by Donovan and Stoller & Leiber. Soundclips

 


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