Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ocean Blue- New Album Announced

The Ocean Blue is back! The band’s highly anticipated new record, the first full length in 10 years, is scheduled for release on January 15, 2013 on Korda Records. The band will have two new songs on the Korda Kompilation which is out this week (November 27th)and they will playing the Korda Records label show in Minneapolis January 12th and their own show in Chicago on January 13. More shows and news coming in 2013.  

www.theoceanblue.com
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Flash and The Pan- 12-Inch Singles

Repertoire Records have announced the release of Flash & the Pan's 12-inch singles compilation. This compilation combines 18 dance mixes of 11 tracks that appeared in their original form on Flash & The Pan’s six albums. Highlights are ‘Waiting For A Train’ which reached Number 7 UK in the summer of 1983, and ‘Walking In The Rain’ – a club classic since being covered by Grace Jones. This compilation will be officially released on December 3rd and it is available on Amazon. 


Instant Hit: Thomas Leer- Private Plane

Thomas Leer made his debut in 1978 with his first single release "Private Plane". This song was recorded in his home and it is considered a seminal example of DIY electronic and the beginning of minimal. The song was self financed and it was released for Oblique Records. Together with Normal's 'T.V.O.D', this song opened new horizons and bedrooms became the new playground to experiment with sound and music.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Ceramic Hello- 'The Absence of a Canary' Reissue

Ceramic Hell's classic album 'The Absence of a Canary' has been reissued by Suction Records. The duo was formed in 1980 after the former member of Spoons joined forces with Roger Humphreys to produce at that time a very obscure and avantgarde minimal-synth album. Ceramic Hello made their debut in 1980 with the single “Climatic Nouveaux” and the album followed a year later in 1981. The German label Vinyl on Demand reissued the album in 2006 and it was sold out. Despite not being the first official reissue of the LP, it is the first time it will be reissued in its original single-LP format, with the original artwork. It is also the first time that the LP will be reissued in CD / digital download format. 

www.suctionrecords.com
 

WAW: Complicated Universal Cum- Beyond or Below (NSFW)

Frederik Valentin is back with his music project Complicated Universal Cum. Two years ago we were put under the spell of his magic dreamy ballad "I Can Hardly Wait". This time things got wild, weird and noisy. Influenced by British shoegaze and 90's American noise rock, this new song seduces us with some heavy bass line and expressive guitar noise. The video (NSFW) for the song "Beyond Or Below" was directed by Schwartz.


Retrovision: Shock- Dynamo Beat

The London based dance troupe Shock was in the vanguard of the New Romantic cult of the early 80's in company with Boy George, Duran Duran, Steve Strange and Spandau Ballet. The group performed in clubs like The Haçienda, The Blitz Club and The Venue(London). Alongside performing and working with other artists, they also released two singles in the early 80's. Their second single "Dynamo Beat" was produced by Richard James Burgess of Landscape and it was released in 1981 on RCA Records. The music video for this song was recorded around 1982 and featured Tik and Tok, Barbie Wilde and Carole Caplin. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Names' Debut 'Swimming' to be Reissued via Factory Benelux

Factory Benelux has announced the new Names reissues to be released in February next year. Their debut album 'Swimming' which was originally released in June 1982 will be reissued on both CD and Vinyl. Both versions will feature the original album, bonus tracks and band's February 1982 Peel session. This new editions also feature original artwork and poster design by Benoit Hennebert, and photographs by Marc Portée. 
More about the upcoming releases:
http://cerysmaticfactory.info/the_names.html
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spoons- 'Arias and Symphonies'- 30th Anniversary Edition

'Arias and Symphonies', the second album by the Canadian new wave/synth pop pioneers Spoons has been reissued for the first time. 'Arias and Symphonies' was originally released in 1982 and it was one of the ground breaking records for the Canadian music industry. To celebrate its 30th Anniversary, Sparks Music/Ready Records have created a special edition of the album - available now for sale on iTunes. This special iTunes exclusive version features a complete one hour live concert which was recorded at the El Mocambo in Toronto back in 1982. 

http://www.sparksmusic.com/spoons 



Disc 1
1. Trade Winds 
2. Smiling In Winter 
3. One In Ten Words  
4. No Electrons 
5. No More Growing Up  
6. Arias & Symphonies   
7. Nova Heart   
8. South American Vacation   
9. A Girl In Two Pieces   
10. Walk The Plank   
11. Blow Away   
12. Test Sample (Live at Barrymore's Ottawa, ON 1982)  
13. Tunnels For Testing Wings (Live at Barrymore's Ottawa, ON 1982)  
14. Broken (Live at Barrymore's Ottawa, ON 1982)    
15. Walk The Plank (Live at Barrymore's Ottawa, ON 1982)    
16. Symmetry (Live at Barrymore's Ottawa, ON 1982)    
17. Blow Away (Live at Barrymore's Ottawa, ON 1982)
18. Nova Heart (Singularity Mix) (Radio Edit)   
Disc 2
1. Nova Heart (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)     
2. No Electrons (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)   
3. One In Ten Words (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)   
4. Red Light (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)   
5. No More Growing Up (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)    
6. Arias & Symphonies (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)   
7. Ice Age (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)   
8. Walk The Plank (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)     
9. Western Romance (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)     
10. Friends In The Media (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)   
11. Symmetry (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)     
12. Annita (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)    
13. Spanish Eyes (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)     
14. Nova Heart (Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Canada 1982)  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Out This Week: Crystal Castles - (III)

Crystal Castles are back with their third studio album out this week. 'III' is the title of the new album which was produced entirely by Ethan Kath. The album's first two singles, "Plague" and "Wrath of God" were released during this summer and they were available for free download on the duo's Soundcloud page. The album cover features a picture by Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda. European tour dates to promote the album were announced on October 17, 2012, on the band's official website. 



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WAW: Actors- Nightlife

Actors is a five piece New Wave band from Vancouver. The group was formed around the core of the singer Jason Corbett earlier this year and they have released several singles including "Post Traumatic Love"/"​Nightlife" that was released in October. We thought that "Nightlife" would be perfect way to start with the music of Actors. You will love this tune, especially if you are a Gary Numan and Roxy Music fan. The video for the song was directed by Richard Pyra and the single is available as a free download via http://actors.bandcamp.com. We hope to have more on Actors soon.


Instant Hit: Blackway- New Life

Blackway was a three-song Italo Disco project involving roughly the same personnel as B.W.H. and Mr. Master. "New Life" was their second single released on Moon Records Association in 1982. This and two other singles were reissued on 'Blackway' EP which also featured the remix versions of the songs. This release was issued by 'Music Control Italo' in 2009.   
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Claudia Brücken Celebrates the History of Pop with 'The Lost are Found'

Claudia Brücken's brand new 'The Lost are Found' is out now. On this album she has worked with famed producer Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys, OMD, Robbie Robertson) on an exhilarating collection of intensely atmospheric songs by other people. These ‘other people’ are some of the favourite writers and artists of both Claudia and Stephen, expressing their particular obsession with the history of the pop song. Some might say it is definitely up there with the classic albums Claudia has been involved with from Propaganda’s 'A Secret Wish' to Onetwo’s 'Instead'. 
The album is both a celebration of the mood, majesty and mystery of a great pop song, and also a journey along an imaginary coast line of an imaginary country, a soundtrack to a view out to sea, and the thoughts of what lies ahead. 
 'The Lost are Found' is available on record in a limited edition of 500. The first 200 of these will be individually numbered and signed for extra specialness by Claudia Brücken and Stephen Hague and be available to buy only through our web site. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Next Wave: Savages

Savages is one of the finest post punk outfits which has emerged during this year. The group is from London and it was formed in late 2011. Savages are fronted by Jehnny Beth who is also associated with the duo John & Jehn and the line up also includes Gemma Thompson (guitar) Ayse Hassan (bass) and Fay Milton (drums). Their music is a mixture of all the different post-punk influences and also described as "the all-girl Joy Division". 
They had their first gig in January 2012 supporting rock band British Sea Power. They also released a live EP 'I Am Here' which includes songs from their live sets in Nottingham and Bristol. A great live band to watch out for in 2013. 



Kraftwerk- Eight Albums Eight Nights Exhibition

From 11th - 20th January 2013 the Electro Pioneers Kraftwerk will present their complete catalogue at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. Within the framework of the concert series „Der Katalog – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8“ Kraftwerk will perform at eight nights. 
Each night consists of a live performance and 3-D visualization of one of Kraftwerk's studio albums – Autobahn (1974), Radio-Aktivität (1975), Trans Europa Express (1977), Die Mensch-Maschine (1978), Computerwelt (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991) and Tour de France (2003) – in the order of their release. 
The program ‘Der Katalog – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8´ at the Kunstsammlung NRW is Kraftwerk’s first performance since 1991 in Düsseldorf. On the occasion of the concert series in Düsseldorf, the photo exhibition KRAFTWERK / ROBOTER / FOTOGRAFIE PETER BOETTCHER will open on 11th January 2013 at the Forum NRW. Furthermore a limited edition of Kraftwerk’s catalogue in a black box will be released: `Der Katalog – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8´ in the German version and digitally remastered. 
Official pre-sale for all the concerts will exclusively be operated via kraftwerk.tickets.de.

www.kraftwerk.com/



 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adam Ant to Return with a New Album Next Year

Pop icon Adam Ant is making his eagerly-awaited comeback with his first album and single in 17 years, a world tour and a film. The national treasure, who rose to fame as lead singer of post-punk group Adam and the Ants in the early 80's, before embarking on a hit solo career, earned ten UK top ten hits - including three number ones - and became a figurehead for the New Romantic movement in the UK. 

After overcoming a well-documented battle with depression and bi-polar disorder, the London legend has finally bounced back with the eagerly-awaited album - Adam Ant is 'The Blueblack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter'. His first single in 17 years, "Cool Zombie" will be fully released on November 19th - and the album will be released in on Monday 21st January. 
 



Tracklisting:
1. Cool Zombie
2. Stay In The Game
3. Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter
4. Vince Taylor
5. Valentines
6. Darlin' Boy
7. Dirty Beast
8. Punkyoungirl
9. Sausage
10. Cradle Your Hatred
11. Hardmentoughblokes
12. Shrink
13. Vivienne's Tears
14. Who’s A Goofy Bunny?
15. How Can I Say I Miss You?
16. Bullshit
17. How Can I Say I Miss You? (reprise)

Out This Week: Motorama- Calendar

One of the most acclaimed Russian indie acts in recent years, Motorama is back with a brand new album out this week. The five musicians of Motorama have inked a deal with 'Talitres' for the release of their second full-lenght "Calendar". This is a follow up to their 'Alps' which was released in 2010. The album was officially released on Monday, November 5th and it is available on CD and LP. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Abecedarians' Album 'Eureka' to be Reissued

On December 4th, 2012, Pylon Records will release, The Abecedarians 'Eureka' album in its entirety for the first time on vinyl and CD. The band fronted by Chris Manecke, John Blake & Kevin Dolan , have roots in both post-punk and atmospheric 4AD pop, much like the Joy Division/New Order axis. They are also the only American band to have a single on the legendary Factory Records. 
This release collects all the songs from the 'Eureka' era, including the demos, which were mixed down in the early 90s. Eureka will be a double vinyl, in a beautiful card stock gatefold jacket with a UV varnish of the memorable artwork, which has been restored, full lyric sheet and unseen photos of the band. The first 300 copies of the 'Eureka' album will be on blue colored vinyl, which will also come with a bonus CD, that will include rest of the 'Eureka' era tracks. This will be only available from the Pylon website, the bonus CD will not be available with the commercial CD or the regular black vinyl version. 
Pylon records has worked closely for the past year, with all three band members to make this release become a reality. 

http://pylonrecords.com/ 




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Retrovision: Fad Gadget- Life on The Line

Thirty years ago Mute released "Life on the Line" by Fad Gadget. The song was taken from Fad Gadget's third album 'Under the Flag' which was released in the same year. During this performance (Hotel Suburbia 1983) the group also performed their biggest hits "For Whom The Bells Toll", "Lady Shave" and "Back to Nature". The whole performance and a lot more was featured on Fad Gadget/Frank Tovey compilation which was released by Mute in 2006. 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

In Conversation: WAZU

Back in September we introduced the Australian/American industrial pop duo WAZU. Since their formation in 2010, they were building up their distinctive music style which tends to be alternative and pop at the same time mixing electro and rock with high level of a dark tones. Earlier this week, on Halloween they released their debut album 'Robobo' and they  are currently touring the USA. On top of all this, here is our very special WAZU interview where they reveal more about the band, their influences, their debut album and more. Enjoy!





1.WAZU was formed 2010 and have been around for quite some time. Who is the driving force behind the music of WAZU?
We both are. We have our roles as far as the writing, but generally that’s just a process that we go through. The inspiration part, well that comes from both of us living our lives and having our eyes open.
2.Where did you first meet and when did you decide to do music togehter?
We first met at music college, and we decided to start making music in a death metal band. I (Matt) played drums and Rizz sang lead. It was a pretty spontaneous thing, but our chemistry was obvious and we went from there. 
3.Which artist, band or genre has influenced your music?
That’s hard to say, exactly. We have a lot of extra-musical influences like certain films and film composers. Philip Glass, Giorgio Moroder & John Barry for instance. But musical artists, David Bowie, Bauhaus, Suicide, Front 242, Depeche Mode…. Then there’s the less stylistically direct ones like Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Talking Heads and such. 
4.You are originally from Australia and this is where you started making music. What other bands or musical projects were you invloved in before starting WAZU?
We both met at music school so we played around in a lot of College bands. I had started an experimental surf-rock band called Captains during high school that Rizz later joined so there was that. Rizz was composing sound design pieces for art shows and fashion runway shows with her college friends. We were always in about 4 or 5 different not so serious bands with our friends for fun. It was a period for experimentation.
5.When did you decide to move to New York and how did the New York's music scene affect your music?
We decided when we were in LA to move to New York. That was 2010. The New York scene hasn’t affected our music much...we tend to make the same music no matter what’s around us. We kind of can’t help it. But we have seen a lot of things in our time in the US that help give us material or inspiration to write about. Some of it has just been living our lives here and going through what we do every day. 
6.You full lenght debut album 'Robobo' is out on October 31st. This is you second release for this year and a follow up to your self titled EP. Is the EP the introduction to the album or can we expect different sound on 'Robobo'
It’s the same band, but the sound is a little different. We wanted to maintain the urgency we had on the WAZU EP, twist and refine the darkness, but add some pop to it. We’re huge pop fans, from Cindy Lauper to 2Unlimited. 
7.What can you tell us about Robobo, the album title, song topics and the release date?
Robobo just means what it sounds like. It’s a name, just like you would name your kid Simon or Rachel. The song topics are meant to be open to interpretation... they all mean something to us, but the point is it’s up to the listener to create their own meaning. I get a lot of inspiration from relationships, but a lot of it is larger than that, and also a lot of it’s metaphorical. With the release date, we just circled the scariest date on the calendar.  
8.You recently premiered the video for the song Councillor on 'Vice'. Will this song also be released as a single? Any other outstanding tracks on the album?
Yes, that’s the single so to speak, and obviously the video, but as far as releasing it, it’s just part of the album. Other tracks - we like It’s a "Trick", "Symbol System", and "Bones", but it always changes and there’s plenty of stuff to choose from on there so I wouldn’t want to play favorites.  
9. What music do you listen to when you are not WAZU. Any favorite albums so far this year?
Rizz has been getting into Belgian Electronic Body Music, and I’ve been getting into random stuff, actually rediscovering some of my old stuff that I never got into that much. Utah Saints, Boyz 2 Men, Arrested Development, The Shamen… And for some reason we’ve both been playing The Prodigy a lot.
10. What is your favorite source for new music?
Don’t have a favorite really. I’ll get it from anywhere. I’m pretty pragmatic about how and where I get it.
11.Any tour plans and further releases and future plans in music?
Just about to start an Eastern tour in a few days which will take up all of November, then we’ll be touring again for as much of 2013 as we can. We’re always writing, so a new release is not too far around the corner. 
12. Where can fans gain acces to your music?
www.wazuband.com, or on itunes worldwide. 
https://www.facebook.com/wazu 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Conversation: Xiu

Back in October i did a short feature on Milan based musician Xiu. At that moment she was on the verge of releasing a limited edition, 55 copy cassette of her official debut EP. Now that it's sold out but still available in a download version, i wanted to know more about the woman herself. It must be said that her sounds have captured my entire being in a way that very few have this past year. With that in mind, i decided to get in touch with her about the possibility of answering a few question. To my sheer delight she said yes and here it is.



1) Just so we can get an idea, could you tell us a little about who you are?

    The first question and such a difficult one. Who am i? Well, i'm a woman who loves music very much and maybe that sounds banal. Though it is an honest answer. I started to sing before i even started to speak. I started playing piano at the age of 2 years old so i really don't remember myself without music. I'm a musical woman!


2) Are there any particular artists who influenced your decision to persue music?

    There are so many! When i was a child, i loved listening to melodic songs with beautiful
voices. ABBA were a favorite as well as various Soviet and European folk and classical singers. I come from a family where most of the women were singers. It's a tradition that has carried on to this day. Also, it's a Russian tradition to sing Russian folk songs, at the table, when family gets together. I wrote my first song when i was 12 years old. It was just some silly lyrics with piano accompaniment. Tragically sad and melancholic from what i remember. Not much has changed since then.


3) What can you tell us about the writing and recording process of your music?

    2 years ago i bought my first analog synth and started learning how to use it. It has been a bit of a process as it is more technical than just playing a piano. I just try to unite my capacity to play with my emotional state, and programming. I find it all very interesting.


4) There seems to be more DIY female musicians taking control of their destinies these days. Writing, producing, and performing their own material. Do you feel they get the attention and credit they deserve as opposed to male musicians or even female artists who don't?

     Good question! Not every female artist can perform the difficulties that sometimes go along with using music technology and do it as well as a male artist would. I don't want to go off on a tangent that some might see as chauvinistic as it's not my intention. Though i will say i've experienced questions and assumptions concerning my music. Many people are always very surprised when i tell them i have no help and do it all on my own. Female vocalists have always received attention but there has normally been a man behind the scenes producing and writing. I've seen this in electronic music as well. It still exists but i do see the situation changing. More women are learning the process of writing and producing music by themselves and getting more attention. But still not in the way that males do.


5) Is there any kind of music scene in Milan? Do you venture out to local live gigs? Does it inspire you or do you find it from within and other sources?

     I honestly don't see any form of a concrete music scene in Milan. There are many good musicians and bands but i can't say i was inspired during my past outings. I realized that a musical underground culture doesn't exist here. Not even by way of the internet. Those who i know personally and share this mutual interest are very few.


6) The Berlin based [aufnahme + wiegergade] label is home to your most recent EP release. Their amazing roster includes Die Selektion and Lebanon Hanover amongst others. How did you get involved with them?

     I got in touch with [a + f] after their compilation, "Forward + Rewind: The Future Echo Tapes, featured Etromix. That is my side-project with Luca Morte from Die Selektion. I simply asked Phillip if he would be interested in releasing my Xiu material and he agreed. I'm very grateful to him for doing that.


7) And finally, what are your future plans for Xiu? More releases? Is there a possibility of any live performances?

     I have many plans for Xiu! In early 2013, i'll be releasing my second tape on the Swedish label Belaten . I'm also in talks with an American label called Night People Records . At this moment i'm preparing for my debut live performance. This will take place in Switzerland in January. And last, i've met a guitarist, here in Milan, who i've been collaborating with. So another side-project is sure to come.


I just want to say thank you to Oksana for for her time and answers. You can see and hear more of Xiu at the following links. Xiu @ Facebook , Xiu @ SoundCloud , and Xiu @ Bandcamp . We'll leave with the video for Xiu's forthcoming release on Belaten.


  

Instant Hit: A Popular History of Signs- Dancing with Ideas

The London based quartet A Popular History of Signs released two studio albums and several singles during the 80's. Certainly one of the outstanding tracks was their 1982 release "Dancing With Ideas" which was released as 7" single. It was backed by "The Traveller" and it was issued on Melodia Records in 1982. The music of the band was drifting between arty synth-dance and lightly played mood music.