Friday, June 24, 2011

Instant Hit: Section 25- Crazy Wisdom

Section 25 released the brilliant EP 'Crazy Wisdom' in 1985. This 12" record included three songs, the title track "Crazy Wisdom" as well as the electro remake of "Dirty Disco", both produced by Be Music/DoJo team. The record was originally released by Factory Benelux (FBN 45) and it was also featured on 'Section 25 – From The Hip - In The Flesh: Live In America 1985'.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We Are Watching: Peter Murphy- I Spit Roses

Peter Murphy's has released his ninth studio album this month on June 7, 2011. The album is entitled 'Ninth' and here is the video for the first single "I Spit Roses" which was released in March this year. The video was directed by Justin Coloma.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In Conversation: A Terrible Splendour

A New Romantic Cabaret outfit A Terrible Splendour which has been featured here earlier this month are back for an interview. Last week they released they released their debut single "The Russians" / "Slaves to the City" and they are working on their first album. Find out more about the band, their upcoming debut CD, influences and a very special ATS style Poncewave. Enjoy the interview!



 1. What is the origin of your band name, who is A Terrible Splendour?
Lyle: We were practicing at my flat one day and we somehow got to looking at previous Wimbledon finalists on Wikipedia. This led us to Gottfried von Cramm, a gay tennis-playing baron who had the unfortunate task of representing Germany under the reign of the Nazis, whom he opposed. We became fascinated by his story as it contained all the things we’re interested in: blackmail, scandal, conflict and glamour. His biography is called ‘A Terrible Splendor’ so we named ourselves after that, changing the last word to British English spelling.
Martin: I seem to remember us quite early on contemplating a musical on the life of Von Cramm. Quite sensibly we abandoned that idea, and all that remains of this is a song called ‘Society’. Von Cramm, however, remains most definitely a firm inspiration for the band.

2.  In what way is your music related to your image and appearance?
Lyle: I think music and image are hard to separate: in all good bands, they reinforce each other. We don’t strive to adopt a fashionable look but we try and present ourselves in a way that expresses our personalities. For instance, I try and pick outfits that convey a certain genteel, formal androgyny - tailcoats, waistcoats, diamanté and make-up.
Martin: I agree with Lyle, if there is a particular aesthetic to ATS it arose naturally both from ourselves and from the personalities of our songs. We have always had a sense that performance is a strong part of what we do. How we present the songs is as important as the songs themselves, and this extends to our own presentation. I think the characters in our songs would be most at home in a shirt and a tie.

3. Who do you consider as a major influence at the start of your musical career?
Lyle: I love Duran Duran and I admire Nick Rhodes’ synth skills and sense of style enormously. Other influences include Ronny, who was a fabulous French singer of the early 80’s. She had a wonderful deep voice and amazing androgynous allure. The swooshing synths and darkly sensual atmosphere of songs like “Blue Cabaret” inspired me a lot.
Martin: Electroclash, Musical Theatre and F Scott Fitzgerald.

4. Is your music related to any specific genre?
Lyle: I get tired of a lot of bands going on about how ‘we’re not any genre, we’re just ourselves’. They all say that yet all sound alike. At A Terrible Splendour we are pleased to categorize ourselves as Poncewave, a genre we have invented. A bit new wave, a bit cold wave, more than a bit poncy!
Martin: Although I find it difficult to say, I think there is something of both the New Romantic and of the Old Romantic about A Terrible Splendour.

5. What are the main themes and topics of your songs?
Lyle: Drama, despair and personal failings. We are also interested in the grandeur and decline of Old Europe. I suppose that sets us apart from most electronic bands, who are more future-focused. There’s only so many songs you can write about computers though.
Martin: I’d like to think there is a weary dignity to the characters that inhabit our songs. Possibly a little disgust. I have always been fascinated by individuals who were ‘out of step’ with prevailing culture, I believe they may have crept into our songs…

6. How do you promote your music?
Lyle: Through carefully selected live appearances - no more gigging for the sake of it, I’ve learnt that doesn’t work from previous bands I’ve been in. Also we have a website, www.aterriblesplendour.com, and we are on the usual social networking sites. Martin has made some lovely business cards with a picture of Helmut Berger as Ludwig on them.
Martin: They are rather splendid, aren’t they?

7. Who are you trying to address and entertain with your music?
Lyle: Primarily, Helmut Berger. Connoisseurs of synth-pop/cold wave/electro are likely to enjoy us too. Ladies and gentlemen of taste who would rather sip a Martini while dancing to an epic synth track at a disco, than stand in a pub listening to guitar bands.
Martin: Also, I believe, Women in Trousers and Gentlemen in Braces.

8. What do you think of the Human League’s comeback?

Lyle: It’s always hard for me listening to ‘comeback’ albums by bands whose earlier records I love. ‘Credo’ has some enjoyable tracks on it, ‘Sky’ is the first that springs to mind. They have kept their sense of humour, which was one of the things that made them special. I’m afraid the album doesn’t have the same impact on me that ‘Reproduction’, ‘Travelogue’ or ‘Dare’ did though. Those albums still sound futuristic, decades later.
Martin: I have nothing but admiration for the Human League, but I haven’t heard the new album yet, I have to confess.

9. What is your all time favorite record, song, album?
Lyle: Record: ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran. Song: Er, “Rio” by Duran Duran! There is not one bad song on that album, every track is a finely crafted pop jewel. And the title track is an amazing composition, it’s got more hooks in it than most bands manage in their entire career.
Martin: Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque, especially Clare de Lune or the first Roxy Music album. My current favourite song is a Rogers and Hart number called “The Blue Room”.

10. What do you listen to these days?
Lyle : I have recently been getting into some of the more obscure, overlooked synth bands of the 80s - I was listening to Book of Love today for example. I often go to the Systems of Romance blog to listen to forgotten gems from European bands that maybe only released one or two songs, but sometimes produced amazing tracks, like ‘Marilyn en Jean’ by Tonic for instance. In terms of more current music, I am very impressed with the new French Canadian synth act Automelodi.
Martin: I’ve been listening to a lot of Cole Porter recently, and Irving Berlin. The Great American Songbook. I love how perfectly crafted the songs are, and how they may tell a bittersweet story or two.

11. What’s next for A Terrible Splendour, single releases, live shows, album etc?
Lyle: We are pleased to announce the release of our first single on 17th of June. I am bad at remembering dates so chose a date of historical significance, at least for Germans, as it is the anniversary of the 1953 East German uprising. It will be available as a digital release on iTunes and Spotify. We are also playing live on Tuesday 21st June at the Macbeth in London, with a band our fans may enjoy, Savage Furs. We currently have written enough songs for about two albums but we still need to record it all properly!

Martin: Yes, and we’re currently working on our second single, which we’re rather excited about, with the inestimable Jack Duckworth. The album is pretty much written. And is fantastic. If Lyle and I were to hit on hard times I think we could work together in a song factory. Churning out songs to order, songs by the hour.

12. How can fans gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Lyle : Fans should visit http://www.aterriblesplendour.com/, where they can hear three of our tracks, and the music is also available on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/aterriblesplendour. We are currently in the process of mixing some new material, so that will soon be available too. And of course there is the upcoming digital single release.

Martin: In addition to the above I do believe the music is best heard in a live setting. Our next show is to be on June 21st at the Macbeth in Hoxton, London. We shall be channeling the spirit of the aforementioned play into our performance. There will, indeed, be blood.

Top 10 albums or songs that inspired you or you just love.
Lyle : 10 albums I love:

1. Rio by Duran Duran
2. To Have and Have Not EP by Ronny
3. Quiet Life by Japan
4. Forever Young by Alphaville
5. #1 by Fischerspooner
6. Witching Hour by Ladytron
7. Nice Mover by Gina X
8. Sexor by Tiga
9. 3 by Indochine
10.The Garden by John Foxx

"Are We Not New Wave?"

A brand new New Wave study is out. The book is called "Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s" and it tries to give the definite answer to what New Wave really is. The author Theo Cateforis provides the first musical and cultural history of the new wave movement, charting its rise out of mid-1970s punk to its ubiquitous early 1980s MTV presence and downfall in the mid-1980s. The book also explores the meanings behind the music’s distinctive traits—its characteristic whiteness and nervousness. Three decades after its rise and fall, new wave’s influence looms large over the contemporary pop scene, recycled and celebrated not only in reunion tours, VH1 nostalgia specials. Find out more about the book here


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Next Wave: Soft Metals

Soft Metal is a duo from Portland consisting of Patricia Hall and Ian Hicks who met at the audition for a band. Their mutual love is early 80s synth pop, ebm, krautrock, post punk, and the first wave of industrial music set the course. After a few sessions together the partnership proved to be exactly what they had both been searching for and Soft Metals was born in 2009.


Their collaboration eventually grew  into a passionate love affair and the first result is a self-titled album release with Captured Tracks. They explore fantastical soundscapes which conjure the dramatic cinematic worlds of Dario Argento, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, and the Czech New Wave. Sounds very close to early William Orbit's outfit Torch Song.
The Cold World Melts by Soft Metals

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Soft-Metals/


Saturday, June 18, 2011

June Singles Round-up

June singles round-up is here, the last one before the summer break. The single of the month comes from one of the best albums from last year by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. Really a good choice for a second single, "Fright Night", perfect synth summer jam. The Human League have released "Egomaniac", a third single from their recent comeback album 'Credo' and from White Lies' 'Ritual' comes the new single called "Holy Ghost". Mirrors have re-released their single "Look at Me" which was originally released in 2009. Lover Lover make their debut with the groovy and catchy "Freebirds" and the last one for this edition, great news for Rapture fans as they have announced the new album for September. Meanwhile, here is their latest, "How Deep is Your Love?"

 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Junior Boys- 'It's All True'

Junior Boys have released their fourth studio album It's All True" this week on June 14, 2011 in the USA. The release date for Europe and UK is scheduled for the first week of July. The album is out on 'Domino Records' with "Banana Ripple" being the first song to be released as a single.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

80's Duets: David Sylvian & Sakamoto Ryuichi- Forbidden Colours

"Forbidden Colours" was the second collaborative single release for David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The song composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto with lyrics by David Sylvian was released in 1983 and it was the vocal version of the theme from the Nagisa Oshima's film "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence". Both artists have recorded several interpretations of the song, both instrumental and vocal and it appeared as a B-side to David Sylvian's release "Red Guitar".

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Poeme Electronique Then and Now

Then

Poeme Electronique was an electronic synth pop band from South London whose line up included Dave Hewson (synthesizers, production), Sharon Abbott (lyrics, lead and backing vocals), Julie Ruler (backing vocals) and Les Hewson(bass). The core of the group was Dave Hewson who was doing the musical production and whose brother and two other members, the backing singers Julie and Sharon, were associated with the London based group Stagestruk.


After the split of Stagestruk, Dave formed Poeme Elctronique with  Sharon Abbott in 1981. The group went on to record new material but only managed to release one single back then. They released their only single "The Echoes Fade" in 1982 and it became their ultimate brand record and a very important song in the early history of minimal electro. Poeme Electronique faded after the first and only release, Dave Hewson embarked on a career in TV music and set up another studio and started to concentrate more on his own work.


Now

Almost thirty years after their debut in music, the PE is back. In 2009, the whole recording material including 14 previously unreleased tracks have been reissued as a 2LP deluxe edition on Anna Logue Records under the name 'The Echoes Fade'. There is also a brand new Poeme Elctronique home on the internet where you can get updates on what the band is up to. The most recent news is that the label 'Attractive!' has released a remix version of the song "She's an Image" in May. Stay tuned for more.

www.poeme-electronique.com





Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Reissue: Jacno- Jacno

Celluloid has reissued the debut album by Jacno which was originally released in 1979. Born as Dennis Quillard, he has recorded his first album in collaboration with Elli Medeiros. After this album they continued to record and release album under the name Elli et Jacno. The albums mostly contains instrumental tracks and features soundscapes of synth pop minimal style. Jacno died of cancer in November 2009 aged 52.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talk Talk Tribute Project

As promised, here are further information about the Talk Talk tribute project which will be organized by Toby Benjamin and James Marsh and which will include a CD and book. The book will have written contributions by musicians DJs and record label owners, with the paintings and an interview with James Marsh. A lengthy Talk Talk Tribute album will feature bands and musicians who were influenced by Talk Talk and who will have their own take on classic Talk Talk tracks. Follow Talk Talk on Facebook to get regular updates of work in progress.


Here are the poll results from the recent Talk Talk best single poll:
The Winner is "Live's What You Make It"

Today 2 (5%)
Talk Talk 3 (8%)
It's My Life 9 (24%)
Such a Shame 7 (18%)
Live's What You Make it 16 (43%)
Living in Another World 3 (8%)


Monday, June 6, 2011

Mirrors on '4Play'

Channel 4(4Play) will feature a special documentary on Brighton's synth pop band Mirrors. The show which will be premiered on Thursday, June 9th, 00:35am was directed and produced by Yemi Bamiro and Alex Walters.
"Look at Me" is officially confirmed new single out today with "Perfectly Still" as a b-side.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Martin Rushent Dead At 63

The English musician and record producer Martin Rushent has passed away today in the age of 63. Martin entered the music business in the early 1970s as an engineer working on records by T. Rex, David Essex, Fleetwood Mac and Shirley Bassey amongst others. In the early 1980s, he started his own record label, 'Genetic' and he was producing albums for The Stranglers, Pete Shelley, Altered Images and many more. He's biggest success was Human League's album 'Dare' which gave the band the international breakthrough and which established him as a producer.
RIP Martin.

Instant Hit: One Thousand Violins- Locked Out Of The Love-In

The Sheffield based group One Thousand Violins which was mostly active in the second half of the 80's released three albums and several singles. They made their debut in 1985 with the single "Halycon Days" and two years later, in 1987, they released "Locked Out Of The Love-In" through 'Dreamworld' label. Like most of their singles, this song entered the UK indie charts.


Friday, June 3, 2011

In Conversation: Petroleum by Product

The Vancouver based trio Petroleum by Product who were featured here on Burning Flame earlier this year have stopped by for an interview. Here is what Vanessa, Sally and Robin told us about their influences, their image, musical style and further plans in music.



Q: How did you guys meet and what did inspire you to make music together?

Sally: In high school, Vanessa and I were always writing a lot of scripts, many of which were Sci-Fi abstract type films. We loved how in all the Sci-Fi movies the characters dressed so elaborate and fantastic and the visuals were very flashy, shiny and synthetic. We liked the idea of being something so non-humanistic. When we started our musical project, we saw it more like film where people discovered the new fountain of youth out of garbage, trash heaps and men would pay to watch large women wrapped in saran wrap and tin-foil eat mountains of jello. We didn’t even consider the music part of it, just the visuals. At first our music was just sound effects that we recorded that would be placed into the scenes of our ‘play.’ Eventually, we just focused more on the music part of it and our story-part of it simmered down.

We met Robin accidentally while auditioning a different drummer. Robin and this drummer were in a band together, and while we were playing some music in his basement, Robin came running down the stairs in skin tight girl jeans, black died straightened long hair and a gust of male perfume. He immediately yelled at his friend for messing around with us when it was THEIR day to have band practice. When Robin’s friend went out to get something to eat, Robin got on the drums to play around on and he was really good, so we decided that we wanted HIM to be our drummer instead. We could put up with his diva temper tantrums.

Robin: I actually do not remember meeting them.

Q: Who do you consider as a major influence at the start of your musical career?

Sally: Sci-Fi movies, humanity, technology, industry and ridiculous low-budget art movies.

Robin: One of my major influences at the start was witnessing terrible performances of bands in the music scene. After I saw a few of the "in" bands, I was convinced that I could create something that I like. I did not relate or connect to any of the material that was in the city at the time... I still can't.

Q: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Main themes and motives of your songs…

Sally: I always just say New Wave out of laziness. Main themes tend to be cynical, dissatisfaction, and artificiality of the North American values.

Robin: Our music has changed in direction since our "Superficial Artificial" record was released. I would say that our new sound is more focused and minimal.

Q: How do you promote your live shows and your music?

Sally: We don't usually promote our live shows. We don't even get around to inviting people through the Facebook invites. We just show up and hope maybe others will also.

Robin: We let the promoters do that for us.
Vanessa: What?! Wait a second, am I the only one who promotes our band? Haha. Well, I promote our music by all means necessary.

Q: Who are you trying to address and entertain with your music?

Sally: Ourselves. No one pursues music or art with the intention of addressing the needs of other people (at least not us). We write for ourselves; what interests, fascinates or annoys us, and the people who choose to listen naturally become our selected audience.

Q: In which way is your visual image related to your music?

Vanessa: Our band and music is the immersion of all the arts, it’s an outlet for visual arts, fashion, interactive, and industrial design. Our images are the visual embodiment of our music.

Q: What is your all time favorite record, song, album?

Sally: I’m not really sure what my ALL TIME favourite record is. I go through phases, really intensely, and then move on to something else.

Q: What do you listen to these days?

Sally: If I Could Only Stay Asleep by Patsy Cline, Shake Your Libido by Kuruki, Jungle Cathedral by Animal Bodies, New Gold Dream by Simple Minds, Blue Cabaret by Ronny, Unsatisfied Eyes by Petroleum By-Product: (come on, I had to throw in at least ONE of our songs, hahah), Love Dance by Vision.

Robin: ICB by New Order, Shallow then Halo by Cocteau Twins, You'll Never Own Me by Chaos UK, Exercise One by Joy Division, Unspeakable by Killing Joke, Cry Wolf by 1919, Face of Wood by Modern English, Keys to the City by Peter & the Test Tube Babies, Czerwony Pejzaz by Siekiera, Atmosphere by Joy Division.

Vanessa: Every song I’ve heard by Aaah...! and Tres, Self-titled by Visage, Epic Garden Music by Sad Lovers and Giants, Ce N’est Q’Un Début by Alexander Robotnick, Die Sunrise Tapes by Grauzone, Passion Factory by The Twins, and a lot of Tears for Fears, Simple Minds, Naked Eyes and Boytronic.

Q: Any plans of recording a new material, new record label?

Sally: Yes! Always! We have plenty of unreleased recorded songs. We just need to find the labels to put them out. Pass the word on.
Robin: We're in the process of mixing 7 songs that will be released on a series of 7"s. 

Vanessa: And Brian Moss of Vicious Pink is working on a remix of “Convenient and Cheap” soon to be ready!

Q: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?

Vanessa: We have a FacebookFacebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube, Myspace, and more. And that’s in the order of most to least updated.



Buy Product by Petroleum By-Product

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Retrovision: Siouxsie and the Banshees- Spellbound

"Spellbound" is one of the finest Siouxsie and the Banshees songs which was released in 1981. Thirty years ago, the song was the first single release from the album 'Juju' and topped the UK charts at #22.More important, both the album and the single were hailed by both critics and musicians. In 1995, Melody Maker placed 'Juju' as "one of the most influential British albums of all time" and Mojo honoured John McGeoch by rating him in their list of 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time for his work on "Spellbound".


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gary Numan- New Album and Tour

Gary Numan will release a new album later this summer. His 18th studio album will be called 'Dead Son Rising' and it will be co-produced with Ade Fenton. It will feature a mixture of new songs, instrumental tracks and specially commissioned remixes. The album release will be followed by a UK tour in September. For more news and updates go to http://www.numan.co.uk