Curses Presents: Next Wave Acid Punx – Eskimo Recordings

Luca Venezia aka Curses three chapter story linking the cause and effect between the riotous intersection of dangerous electronic and radical noise, from America all the way through to Europe and beyond, proves exceptional to the rules as if electricity got tripped-out, hot-wired in another direction. Like the altogether more unruly cousin of disco and its comparatively polite (MOR) aftermath these alternatives from the likes of Yello, A Split Second (whose Flesh still sounds pivotal), Front 242, In-D and Gina X appear rawer, more intensely human readily reflecting what was happening politically/ culturally in those times. Even the late night temptation of Trax Records’ Mystery Girl from 1987 brilliantly fits the bill and you can hear those exchange of ideas between the continents clear as day, all making up the first Classics CD.

Next is Chapter 2: Break A Sweat (Recent) highlighting the rich vein of influence cast by the artists on the first disc. The current day has produced a range of producers who sound just as good in the shape of Moderna & Theus Mago, Zombies In Miami, Paresse and Damon Jee & Darlyn Vlys amongst many significant others. Each echo the past but aren’t dictated to it by it employing a sense of freedom to explore and redefine.

The final CD compiles a series of exclusives as Maximum Heat including Curses own Discipline (listen below), the breathy sleaze of Amarcord – Spleen, Tronik Youth’s sizzling Spirit Dancer and Local Suicide & Skelesys outstanding Faster Faster. All of which joins up the dots between New Beat, Acid House, EBM, Post-Punk something or other and a whole host of various disciplines and exciting ideas which it almost feels aren’t heard as often as they should be. This release redresses the balance in explosive ways.

Release: June 4


Musik Music Musique – 1980: The Dawn Of Synth Pop – Cherry Red Records

Memories maketh the music…

I was going to begin by saying I never cared for the term Synth Pop, though I had forgotten just how brilliant Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Messages was/ is, containing those perfect opening bars which almost come to define the pleasure of these three discs. Also because the word Pop suggests certain words, phrases and melodies which can become less interesting, less relevant over time. However, nothing could be further from the intent of a lot of the music created here as you will soon hear. But before pressing play the accompanying sleeve notes by Electronic Sound magazine’s Mat Smith are temptingly thought-provoking, while his histories of the individual tracks are equally fascinating.

The proceeding intersection plays out between what evolved out of late seventies Punk in the UK and its prior USA counter-part, an awareness of the importance of Kraftwerk et el, synthesized Disco, alongside the more industrial, experimental ideas fizzing away across the globe, plus increased access to the employment of innovative keyboard sounds to speak the new language. Some artists took the influence of electronic music on board extending/ broadening their career, others became innovators, influencers in turn. Casting aside the overly familiar three chord structure a new horizon opened up for music with tracks such as these creating more international impact than was perhaps first perceived. The ideas and techniques heralded the dance music that was to come in the succeeding years, all of those loosely defined possibilities were entirely endless. Although, sometimes some of the numbers simply feel like rock n roll played by electronics. The compilation also demonstrates that electronic music could become something more than it was touching upon popular song, while also being radical if that was the path you wished to explore.

It being the 1980’s occasionally melodies cruise in certain directions but then you have the likes of Fad Gadget’s resolute Coitus Interruptus to correct the digression. In fact it quickly proves remarkable the breadth of wonderful, inspiring music there is on offer across each cd. And I’m not just referring to Gina X, John Foxx (of course), D.A.F, Visage, even a certain Phil Lynott’s exploration of electronic music, or The Residents delightfully dangerous Diskomo. As for every name that’s familiar there are those, forgotten, who this compilation pays tribute to as well.

In a sense this is music purely defined by its time that you probably won’t ever hear again, re-created elsewhere. I guess because the looser structure of recording analogue, alongside the injection of Punk attitude + the non-conformity of D.I.Y culture doesn’t seem quite as high on the agenda as it once did, creating a definitive, necessary ambience in the process.

Release: July 31