- Just a quick post to mention that I am in a really motivated state regarding Super Eight Loop, and that I have finished the S8L11 re-mix/re-master and I am now working on tracks for S8L61. So, it looks like the November catalog will feature four new S8L items (10, 11, 60, 61). I have been pretty focused on synth stuff, in general, and I have primarily played analog synth for the last two The Fortieth Day sessions...
Friday, October 27, 2006
- I went to see some bands with a number of friends in them last night, at a show that was hosted by our pal, Mr. Fuckhead. The show was at Bar Vertigo, the space a few blocks south of The Empty Bottle, where I tried to move autosuggestion to, in vain. After hearing the sound there, I have no regrets that it did not work out. The PA is on par with The Mutiny and The Big Horse (R.I.P.?), and that is not a compliment. It was a chilly, rainy night, but a small crowd of mostly friends of the performers and the host braved the weather and the long night. Julia/Insect Deli played beats/electronics for Meg/Lil' Princess to primarily rap over. I think that Meg's bizarre style of music is kind of an obscene and strange, lo-fi compliment to the old Blast First group, Big Stick. Unfortunately, the mix/PA made it difficult to focus on Meg's lyrics, which I think is the biggest part of her show, knowing her writing, and all. Minotaur played next, with Right Eye Rita on keyboard, violin, and on one song, lead vocals. Again, the three-piece had difficulty with the sound, so I cannot really say too much, but when they gelled, particularly on Rita's intense vocal track, they had an interesting, unclassifiable style... part avant-garde cabaret, part experimental, part heavy metal funk??? Weird. EaVil were the headliners, and while they also battled poor sound conditions, they emerged from another interesting analog dirge intro, to go onto a solid set that came off a bit less upbeat than their recent Empty Bottle set, but which was still full of satisfyingly dark synth pop. They gave me a new demo CD-R that I am eager to listen to later today.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Here is what Other Music (NYC) had to say about the Wierd Records compilation in their latest update:
Wierd (sic) was an underground, coldwave/minimal synth "Cabaret Voltaire" of sorts that occurred every Tuesday night in the most perfect setting possible: a small, darkly lit old-fashioned Brooklyn bar where smoking was still allowed, filled with anywhere from ten to a hundred familiar faces, all dedicated in various levels to obscure, dark, romantic, REAL minimal/analog/synthwave. For most, the rarer the better. I almost hate to talk about it because, honestly, it was one of those secret spots that you could count on to be good, seemingly existing only for the people involved to enjoy. You could always come in and it felt like no other so-called "party" running in a city so hyper-aware of the trends. As well as various hardcore/darksoul DJs spinning their rarest, most beloved LPs and seven-inches, Wierd featured live shows, SO 36-style, in its stage-less space. Most of the performers were made up of regular attendees, DJs, and international supporters, some of them slinking on and across the bar in various stages of undress. Perhaps it's a good thing that the Wierd party has been rendered "temporarily out of print," on account of venue ownership changes and increasing police hassle. It burned bright and ended well before its spirit could be watered down or invaded by unwelcome "tourists." (Apparently, Wierd will resurface one day at an unknown location sometime in the future. There is also an underground, active chapter of this party in Berlin.)
Spread across three LPs and a seven-inch, all packaged in a beautifully printed gatefold sleeve containing a huge, color yearbook of sorts, this insane Wierd compilation of 32 unreleased studio tracks runs the gamut of minimal synthwave purism. Here you'll find the soaring Comsat Angels meets Sisters of Mercy coldwave of Blacklist; the analog dirge of A Vague Disquiet; the cold, dark, minimal Depeche Mode of Column; as well as the obsessively pure, icy analogue synthwave of Martial Canterel, Three to Forgotten and Epee Dubois. Many of these names might mean nothing to you, but some of you synthwave vampires might recognize these artists from extreme-cult, insanely limited, European-only vinyl pressings that eeked out over the last few years.
Fanuelle offers a beautifully wrought, surprisingly tender moment with "Here Is a Life," while Xeno and Oaklander come across like a minimal techno Liaisons Dangereuses with a cold bouncing beat, synth snare crash and floating Italian(?) female vox. The dark, martial mope of Epee Dubois' "Tracking Shot" also hits right on the mark, possessing the timeless dirge of slow Joy Division/Death in June. To me, the star of this compilation is Sean McBride for his masterful, full analogue contributions to Martial Canterel (solo), Epee Dubois (with Cheyney Thompson), Three to Forgotten (with Liz Wendelbo and Cheyney T.) and Xeno and Oaklander (Sean M. and Liz W.). McBride's general sound hits me like the darkest, unknown OMD B-side meets the coldness of a non-pop/non-new romantic/non-new wave John Foxx…which is one of the best things around!
It might go without saying but fans of the recent Lost Tapes compilation will find this immaculate collection absolutely essential -- Veronica Vasicka of Minimal Wave moonlights with Minus recording artist Marc Houle on this compilation as 2VM -- not only for the sound, but also for the beautifully obsessive, no-holds-barred packaging. The tradition celebrated in Minimal Wave re-releases is celebrated in modern times for the devoted. As expected, this is ultra-limited to 1,000 vinyl copies with no CD release planned at this point, and they've already sold half of the pressing at the recent opening party in Berlin (an NYC opening is coming soon in November!). Earns the highest possible rank in Wierd-speak: "Very Rare." [SM]
- From Robert Anthony of Sleep Museum:
Sleep Museum Announces Release of Two Limited Edition CDR's:
"Mask" & "Flower"
Released at the "Neon-Welt" festival in Bochum, Germany, October 2006: Sleep Museum presents a two-CDR release featuring 27 unreleased tracks which span a broad spectrum of Sleep Museum's music. Each CDR is a limited edition of 50, hand-signed and numbered cover, hand-stamped disc. For track listing, and to purchase, see: http://www.sleepmuseum.com/releases.htm
Also: See Sleep Museum play 9 November 2006 at Club Europa (Greenpoint, Brooklyn) as part of the Wierd Records compilation release party.
Ugly day. It is 44-degrees outside, with light rain and a dark grey sky. It is the kind of day where it only makes sense to pull on a heavy wool sweater, to sip espresso, to nibble on dark chocolate – especially if it is fine chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in London, and if it was brought back from there by my Rococo Records friends –-- and to listen to Fields of the Nephilim bootlegs all day. It is easy to be productive indoors on a day like this, to get some eBay work done, to work on some Super Eight Loop recordings, and to do some drawing. My Thursday run is best done earlier in the day, as the southbound route on Central Park can be pretty unpleasant in the afternoon. I had hoped to get out by 10:00 AM, and I managed to be out the door before 11:00 AM. You would think that on a miserable day like this, and in the late morning, there would be fewer dealers out on C.P., however, money calls, and the corners were still fairly busy, with guys in hoodies and parkas, acting like it was a nice day. During the outbound portion of the run, I started to notice a lot of Chicago Police squad cars, and even a paddy-wagon, driving slowly past me. It almost felt like I had a protective escort. Then, on the way back home, I realized that there was almost no one left on the street. I doubt the rain drove them in, as it had even let up a little bit.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
- I am working on eBay stuff today, along with getting the S8L releases ready for November.
- Isidro and I went to see the film, "American Hardcore," last night. I really enjoyed it, despite a good deal of bad press that I have read about it. I thought that it was a pretty balanced account of the various scenes that made up the early USA harcore era. No doubt, there will always be pissed-off people, because some band or city or person or something was left out, but I found it to have enough meat, along with a style of editing, and a type of animated graphics, that really suit the music. I was sort of surprised, in retrospect, by how many of the bands that I had seen. While Chicago was never a big "hardcore" city back then (1980-1986) - to me, at least - it was more of a "punk" stronghold, so many of these bands passed through either Cabaret Metro or The Cubby Bear - mostly. It was interesting that Vic Bondi of Articles of Faith had such a prominent part in the film, single-handedly representing Chicago. But it made sense. My local favorites, The Effigies, were definitely not hardcore - seeming more about a British sound (Oi meets Stranglers), and Naked Raygun, who by the mid-1980s could sell-out Metro, were far more anthemic, even "pop." I was really pleased to see Flipper featured as prominently as they were, and the inclusion of a non-traditional band like Die Kreuzen - who cross into industrial territory with their link to Boy Dirt Car - was also really cool. The Void footage has been up on YouTube, so while it was nice to see on a big screen, it was less impactful, than say, some intense D.Y.S. footage, which really hit me the right way, being a bit slower (like Flipper), and all. Some of the Bad Brains footage was undeniably mind blowing to see on a big screen, that is for sure. The film definitely gets my recommendation, and it has me wanting to pull out some records and CDs beyond Flipper and a few Black Flag things.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
- I have started adding more used/rare stuff on eBay, after a brief break to get caught up, and to focus on the M.O. single: http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZbloodlustchicago
- Super Eight Loop 10 has been re-mixed/re-mastered and Super Eight Loop 60 will be completed by the end of the week. Along with The Fortieth Day "II," these cassettes will be released on November 1st.
- Today, I am listening carefully to the excellent new (but also old) Sshe Retina Stimulants "Heaven 39" vinyl set on Diophantine Discs (info below/last week), which I strongly recommend to fans of SRS, Sigillum S, minimal frequencies, and Heaven's Gate, but probably not Heaven 17... This release sits really well next to the also fresh (but also old) "Colloidal Urban Semantika" CD-R on Old Europa Cafe.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
- The second cassette release by The Fortieth Day ("II") is being prepared for a November 1st release. We are also preparing for our first live performance on Sunday November 26th. It will take place on "Something Else," hosted by Philip von Zweck, on WLUW 88.7 FM. We will make an announcement regarding a special guest, once more details have been sorted out.