Saturday, May 19, 2007

Instant Hit: Stranger Station- Minutes of Silence

"Minutes to Silence" was the only single ever released by Stranger Station. The single was released in 1981 for the Superwop label in France with "Strangers" as a b-sides. It was one of the rare and pioneering minimal synth tunes from the early decade. Thirty years after, in 2011 that came back for another shot and released the mellow electronic "Cynthia" which was available as 7" vinyl on 'Attractive!'

Friday, May 18, 2007

Feist- The Reminder

'The Reminder' is the third full-length album by indie rock artist Feist. The album was released on 23 April 2007 in countries outside of North America, and 1 May 2007 in the United States and Canada. Following its release, it debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at number 16, selling about 31,000 copies in its first week, and debuted at number 2 in Canada, selling just over 18,000 copies.
Confirmed singles include "My Moon My Man" and "1234". Videos were directed by Patrick Daughters, who also directed the video for "Mushaboom".

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Contol, Ian Curtis

Control: The Ian Curtis film is a biopic film in the making about the late Ian Kevin Curtis (1956-1980), lead singer of the legendary post-punk rock band Joy Division. The screenplay will be based on the book Touching From a Distance, by Curtis' wife, Deborah, who is also a co-producer of the upcoming film.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Retrovision: Comateens- The Late Mistake

Friday, May 11, 2007


There is not much info on the only female performer that was part of the romantic movement in the early 80's. Never managed to find out the real name so we will address her with her artistic moniker. She was brought up in the grim Northern industrial area of France and left home at 14 to go to Paris, doing all kind of different jobs. She took dancing classes, used to model and then stopped everything and started to write songs.

 Club entrepreneur Rusty Egan met Ronny in the Paris club Privelege and introduced her to the whole New Romantic movement and she soon became a regular at the Blitz Club. Ronny released three singles co-produced with Midge Ure/Rusty Egan, Vangelis and Peter Godwin. The were all released in 1981/82 on Polydor, "If you Want Me to Stay" has grown into a an New Wave classic in the Internet era. She also appeared on the Ultravox 'Station' record sleeve.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Instant Hit: Paul Haig- Something Good

"Something Good" was released as the single in 1989 and it was the lead track from the album 'Chain' released during the same year. Paul Haig financed the recordings himself hoping for a release by Les Disques Du Crepuscule but when Crepuscule dissolved, it was released on Virgin subsidiary Circa. The single was co-produced by Alan Rankine by The Associates and the sleeve included the small Angus McBean portrait of Audrey Hepburn. Even today this remains as one of the most remarkable and memorable Paul Haig songs. "Something Good" is generally considerd as Paul Haig's best solo single.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Client- Heartland

Client have released their third album, ‘Heartland’, and it features 11 of their own tracks, including a couple of instrumentals, alongside a cover of Adam & the Ants ode to song thievery Xerox Machine. It has been released in Germany on the “Out of Line” label on 23. March 2007. The group was founded by Kate Holmes, formerly a member of Frazier Chorus and Technique, and Sarah Blackwood, whose previously gentle and enticing vocals for Dubstar are still instantly recognisable here.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Fra Lippo Lippi

Fra Lippo Lippi is a Norwegian band formed in Nesodden, near Oslo, by Rune Kristoffersen, Morten Sjøberg and Bjørn Sorknes. In the early 80's they used to experiment with music, released two albums under the post-punk influence. They scored their biggest hit in 1985 with "Shouldn't Have To Be Like That" after they changed their musical direction to more popier sound.

They released their debut four track EP on 'Private Records', offering short, funny and quirky stats of electro pop. Their first album ‘In Silence’ was an attempt to funeral rock of Joy Division. It was muted by incomprehensible vocals and dismal, meandering music. In 1983, FLL were joined by Per Oystein Sorensen who raised the bridge to cross from desolate goth rock to a piano-laden amalgam of sophisti-pop and light jazz. After a year, before their first single "Now and Forever" was released, their second album, ‘Small Mercies’ followed. It was still sinister, with funeral percussion, but with FLL now being a quartet and with the piano given an important role in the scheme of things, they continued towards a more defined pop direction, with a more personal style than previously.

In 1985, Fra Lippo Lippi were signed with Virgin Records in the U.K., releasing their third album, 'Songs’. Fra Lippo Lippi jettisoned the gloom of their earlier efforts on ‘Songs’, experimenting with synth-pop and romantic balladry powered by Kristoffersen's piano. Same year the latest member Øyvind Kvalnes and founder member Morten Sjøberg quit at the prospect of giving up their day jobs for the uncertain careers as professional musicians. This leaves FLL as the duo of Rune Kristoffersen and Per Øystein Sørensen.

In 1986 the first single for Virgin, "Shouldn´t have to be like that", was released. It reaches number 4 in the official Norwegian sales charts and the lower regions of the UK charts. It also remains Fra Lippo Lippis biggest hit. "Come Summer" and a completely reworked version of "Everytime I See You" are released as singles number 2 and 3. As a live band, FLL is extended with 4 musicians. They successfully tour Norway in the autumn, sold out concerts everywhere. They released another two album during the late 80’s 'Light and Shade' and ‘The Colour Album’

Fra Lippo Lippi became a huge hit in the Philippines in the late 80’s and were invited there for concerts. Ticket demand was huge and they sold out the 11.000 capacity Folk Arts Theatre in Manila 6 times over two weekends. In 1992, they released their sixth album ‘Dreams’ and after releasing few best of compilations they split. Kristoffersen launched his own record label, ‘Rune grammofon’ and Sorensen continued as solo artist. In 2000, Fra Lippo Lippi performed in the Philippines, a country where the band landed numerous hits during the '80s.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Instant Hit: The Beloved- A Hundred Words

"A Hundred Words" was the first single for the British duo the Beloved which was released in 1986. Back then the band was formed by Steve Waddington and Tim Havard and the duo went under the name The Journey Through. The band started with guitar driven indie sound and later adapted new elements and became The Beloved we know today. This record was produced by Michael Johnson and is considered as Leftfield New wave.

WAW: Feist- Inside And Out

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Stockholm Monsters

The youthful Stockholm Monsters came together in Burnage, south Manchester, in the summer of 1980, initially around the core of vocalist Tony France, bassist Jed Duffy and drummer Shan Hira. Their name representing a combination of Bowie's 'Scary Monsters' album and a pleasant-sounding Eurocity.

As a neglected part of the Factory Records scene, the Stockholm Monsters are a key link between the bristly art-funk of A Certain Ratio and the good-foot indie dance vibe of Happy Mondays and the other Manchester bands of the late '80s. Often seen merely as New Order proteges (Peter Hook produced all but one of their records) and victims of both record company indifference and unnecessary potshots by the cynical British music press, the Stockholm Monsters deserved better treatment than they usually got.

Then still in their teens, and with no settled guitarist, the band found it hard to find gigs and be noticed. After linking up with the Manchester Musicians Collective, the Monsters scored a few gigs at local venues such as the Cyprus Tavern, and struck lucky when supporting the Rezillos at Rafters. Both Rob Gretton and New Order bassist Peter Hook were in the audience, and decided that the outstanding song 'Fairy Tales' would make a good single for Factory Records. Hook in particular took the fledgling band under his wing, and would go on to produce almost all of their recordings, albeit disguising his identity behind the moniker 'Be Music'.
Just before the release of their first single, the Martin Hannett-produced 'Fairy Tales,' 17-year-old trumpet player Lindsay Anderson joined the band. Although "Fairy Tales" was a minor success, hitting the middle reaches of the U.K. indie charts, the Hook-produced follow-up, "Happy Ever After", was a sales disappointment. In April 1982 the band supported New Order on a European tour which took in France, Belgium and Holland.

They released a fine EP, 'Miss Moonlight', in 1983. Unfortunately, despite Hook's continued involvement, Factory Records apparently lost interest in the group and shunted them to their Belgian subsidiary label Factory Benelux, then seen as the label's dumping ground for vanity projects and failed experiments.
The Stockholm Monsters' sole long-player, 'Alma Mater', came out in September 1984. A low-key record blending jangly guitars and skittering electronic percussion, 'Alma Mater' bridges the gap between the British indie pop and dance scenes of the era much in the same way that New Order would on their next couple of albums.

In August 1985 the group played dates in Spain, but in September disaster struck when the band lost almost all their equipment in a theft from their Manchester rehearsal room. Although the kit was insured the claim was disputed, a dire state of affairs which left the band with little more than a drum kit. With the benefit of hindsight the ex-members agree that the theft knocked the stuffing out of the band, but at the time the Monsters struggled on as best they could with borrowed instruments. The following month the band traveled to Italy for a string of shows with the Durutti Column, and in November again traveled south to play a Factory showcase at the Hammersmith Clarendon in London, together with Section 25 and the then-unknown Happy Mondays (who failed to perform). According to Fidel Ghandi in the NME.

The release of "Partyline" was promoted with a couple of live shows in February 1987, including a support slot with New Order in Belfast and a superlative live rendition on Granada TV. A five- song studio demo was also recorded, with "Stupid" and "House is Not a Home" in particular showing that the band still had some of their best material ahead of them. However within a few months the band had effectively split, two years short of the Madchester explosion which propelled Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses onto Top of the Pops.