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An interview with Keith Jones, owner of Fruits de Mer Records

In 2017 the postman delivered a promo pack for my Blackout Radio Show, Fuchsia‘s double single ‘Song’ and Sidewalk Society’s album “Strange Roads: The Songs Of Rolled Gold“.

Fuchsia’s first album was released in 1971, and it is widely regarded as one of the best examples of the prog folk scene of the 1970s. It has been hailed by Mojo Magazine as a “forgotten classic” and is regularly republished.

“Strange Roads: The Songs Of Rolled Gold” was a more bizarre case because Sidewalk Society is a trio from Long Beach, CA that took to the task to re-record the entire album of “Rolled Gold”, an album of the 60’s English mod band, The Action.

The sender of the package was the English label, Fruits de Mer Records and when I kept receiving more of their wonderful releases, such as the triple album “Three Of A Kind” on which Polish multi-instrumentalist Kris Gietkowski re-recorded the first albums of Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Egg, I told myself “there’s something’s going on here”.

After a few more awesome recordings such as Sendelica’s 3×10” “Cromlech Chronicles III“, the triple compilation for the celebration of the first 10 years of the label, Moon Goose’s album “Source Code” and many more, I asked Keith Jones, the man behind the Fruits de Mer Records, for an interview and he was kind enough  to take some time and talk about the “Fruits of the Sea”.

 

You founded Fruits de Mer Records with Andy Bracken in 2008. Andy was operating Bracken Records but did you have any previous experience with any record label?

None at all! I only got involved with Fruits de Mer because Andy was a mate and we had an idea for a label that released classic and long-lost tracks from the 60s/early 70s on vinyl and he wanted someone to share the pain!

After Andy left Fruits de Mer Records in 2012, I guess it must have been difficult for you in the beginning. How did you manage to continue with the label?

Yes, Andy had already spent a few years running Bracken and had taken things as far as he really wanted to. I was just warming up – and had retired from the real world – so taking on the running of FdM was perfect timing for me; I couldn’t have done it without being able to call on some key people – Nick Leese at Heyday Mail Order, producer Fran Ashcroft and the people at the Record Industry pressing plant and Clear Spot Distribution; but most of all, the people who found FdM through Andy and Bracken stuck with the label – it only works if people actually want to buy the records.

What is the mission of Fruits de Mer?

To release records that I’d buy myself if I saw them, to share some great music and artists that might otherwise be missed, to have some fun and hope other people who are music obsessives pick up on it.

Why only vinyl releases and how many have you put out so far? Lately, there is a feeling that the market for vinyl records is doing a come-back. Is it true? Are you a record collector yourself?

Actually, I’m releasing more and more on CD – I’m starting to feel nostalgic for CDs already! Vinyl always comes first, but CDs are an excellent way to share and store a lot of music cheaply and it’s possible to recreate some of the physical/tactile aspects of vinyl – they’re a second-best of course, but they do mean something, unlike downloads.

I’m not sure how many releases there have been in total – around 150 on vinyl?

I think the vinyl revival has been seriously overhyped – we launched FdM when vinyl was dead in the water, just because we loved the look, feel and sound of vinyl; it then became a fad a few years ago…collecting for the sake of it  – fed by Record Store Day and major label reissues – it’s all calming down again now, people buying records for the music.

And yes, I’ve been collecting records for 50+ years – I’ve got rather a lot of CDs too!

Which are the 5 non Fruits de Mer releases that you would take with you to a desert island?

Every day a different choice – but today: The Pretty Things’ ‘SF Sorrow’, Led Zeppelin IV, Pete Namlook & Richie Hawtin’s ‘From Within, Jethro Tull’s ‘Thick As A Brick’ and a very large Sandy Denny box-set.

Fruits De Mer Records has several imprint labels, including Regal Crabomophone, Strange Fish, Friends Of The Fish, Head Cleaner and Tiny. What is the difference between them?

We set up ‘Regal Crabomophone’ to release a single by The Chemistry Set that included a newly-written song, so it became the home for releases that include tracks that aren’t covers.

Strange Fish’ is for the more ‘out there’/experimental releases (I didn’t want people who liked to collect everything on FdM to feel they had to buy releases that didn’t necessarily match our psych/prog/acid-folk/krautrock slogan).

“Friends of the Fish” is a bit of a catch-all…for limited-run lathe-cut releases (usually produced as specials for gigs), some CD compilations and for records that artists self-release but I like enough to want to help on the promotion side).

Head Cleaner’ was a one-off for a Cranium Pie double cassette and ‘Tiny’ is home to (so far) three 5” lathe-cut singles.

It’s all got pretty confusing – but I like to think that just adds to the fun (that’s my excuse, anyway)

Do you believe that the music today misses something compared to the music of the ‘60s or the 70s?

I think the big difference is that music meant so much more, to so many more, in the 60s/70s, when I was growing up; it meant everything – owning records, seeing bands, arguing who was the best, reading the music mags…now it‘s a niche thing, a background to other stuff, it doesn’t matter in the way it once did.

Some of your releases are sold out before they are even released. How does this happen? Is there a members club that are lucky enough to put their hands on your releases first? How can one become member of this club?

The least interesting thing about running a record label is packing and posting records! I’m not trying to make money out of FdM, I’m trying to have fun – I’d sooner sell out and move onto the next release than spent weeks/months pushing the back-catalogue (although I do that as well!). The members club is free to join and there are no commitments to buy future releases, but it’s really there for people who like most of what we do, who want to get their orders in early and can cope with lots of irritating emails from me; there’s a longer email list for people who just want to dip in and out – I try to explain it on the FdM website!

Every year Fruits de Mer releases a double album recorded on previous year’s Dream of Dr. Sardonicus, a festival in which exquisite names of the scene appear. The 17th will be released in late July and it’s already sold out. Can you give us some information regarding the Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus Festivals that you organize every year?

It’s really organised by Pete Bingham from Sendelica – I just help with spreading the word, running a stall at the venue (The Cellar Bar in Cardigan) and pulling together the almost-legendary FdM goodie-bags – free to everyone attending. It’s got a life of its own – it’s become a gathering of the friends of the label – small, relaxed, a bit scruffy but very friendly (a bit like me), with some mazing bands agreeing to play, such as The Bevis Frond, Groundhogs, The Chemistry Set, Vibravoid and, of course, Sendelica. This year, Man were due to headline – but the virus has meant we’ve had to skip a year – we’ll be back in 2021!

Are the artists free to choose which songs to cover for compilations like “Goldfish – Fruits De Mer Records 10 years on vinyl” or “The Three Seasons – The Spring, Summer And Autumn Of Love”?

With ‘Goldfish’, that was a personal selection of some of my favourite recordings from the first 10 years of the label, but usually the artists come up with the tracks – sometimes I’ve suggested a ‘theme’ for a project and sometimes with artists I’ve known for a while I might subtly suggest specific songs – The Honey Pot are a bit like the FdM house band, they have been willing to take on some of the wilfully obscure tracks from the 60s I’ve thrown at them!

Which ‘60s psychedelic artist or band do you think is the most underrated and why?

The Pretty Things. Not just for SF Sorrow’,Parachute’ is a remarkable LP too. But they started as an R&B band and they came back to those blues roots in recent years, they were brilliant live and Phil May, who died earlier this year, became one of the best lead singers the UK has ever seen and heard.

Did Covid-19 made things more difficult for your label?

It put the mockers on our summer festival and I’ve had to delay everything by about three months and cut back on pressings – but if that’s all I’ve got to worry about this year I’ve been bloody lucky.

Is there a new psychedelic or prog scene in the UK?

Not that I’ve noticed. For there to be a scene, there needs to be lots  of psych/prog bands playing live regularly and lots of venues that welcome new psych/prog bands – I’ve not seen either; sadly, the number of venues seems to be declining steadily and the ones that are hanging on can get a bigger audience for a Bowie/Bolan impersonator than for a new band.

What’s next on your list for Fruits de Mer Records? What plans do you have?

We’ll be making up for lost time for the rest of 2020 – in the autumn there’ll be a big Sendelica retrospective, another fundraising project for Cardigan’s Cellar Bar and a couple of return visits to what is probably my favourite genre of music – krautrock…and quite a bit more!

Thank you very much for this interview

Fruits de Mer Records Website

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2020 in Prog-rock, Psychedelic

 

Love Sick – Remixed (Komplex Recordings 3 July 2020)

Felixity releases ‘Love Sick Remixed’ LP (with Barry Adamson, Danny Saber, Andy Spaceland, Martin Eden, James Sanger, Drunq, Black Star Liner, Thomas Gloor and Cenzo Townshend)

Amy Winehouse-inspired pop/neo-soul artist Felixity presents her new album ‘Love Sick Remixed’, hot on the trail of releasing her debut ‘Love Sick’ LP, both released via Komplex Recordings.

Taking advantage of the lockdown period, Felixity reached out to such epic music producers as Barry Adamson, Danny Saber, Andy Spaceland, Martin Eden, James Sanger, Drunq, Black Star Liner, Thomas Gloor, David Francolini and Cenzo Townshend, all of whom have come together to remix her original tracks.

Following up on her single ‘Twisted Love’, Felixity also presents her ‘Live in Lockdown’ video of this song, filmed in London and featuring Melissa Harrison on piano.

‘Love Sick’ is a collection of deeply personal songs that are part confessional, part exorcism and all infused with Felixity’s extraordinary voice and street-smart lyrics.

“On the whole, this music is a full stop on a part of my life. Written about personal experiences and laid over heavy drums and lots of strings, I wanted people to know that we all feel the same things and the hardest stuff never lasts. I wrote this about my past and the things that have happened. Sex, drugs love and addiction, it’s all in there,” says Felixity.

As of July 3, ‘Love Sick Remixed’ is available across digital platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.

TRACK LIST
01  Breathing – Andy Spaceland DF Remix
02  The Bad Guy – EMP Remix
03  Twisted Love – Fuck Me Remix
04  Lazy Boi – Black Star Liner Remix
05  On My Knees – Drunq DF Remix
06  Twisted Love – Andy Spaceland Remix
07  Crazii – Barry Adamson Remix
08  Seize – Drunq DF Remix
09  Vanilla – James Sanger DF Remix
10  Y&M – Oberkon Remix
11  Twisted Love – Danny Saber Remix
12  Mr Brave – James Sanger DF Remix
13  Lazy Boi – Black Star Liner In Dub Remix

Keep up with Felixity
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Soundcloud | Apple | Spotify | Press contact

Keep up with Komplex Recordings & Management / Komplex Studio
Facebook – Label | Facebook – Studio | Twitter | Instagram – Label | Instagram – Studio | Label Email | Studio Email

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2020 in Music

 

Mayflower Madame ‘Sacred Core’ from ‘Prepared For A Nightmare’ LP Only Lovers Records 3 July 2020

Nordic post-punk psychrockers Mayflower Madame present ‘Sacred Core’ from ‘Prepared For A Nightmare’ LP

Norwegian psychedelic post-punk outfit Mayflower Madame presents the third single ‘Sacred Core’ off their new second album ‘Prepared for a Nightmare’, released via French label Only Lovers Records in collaboration with Portland’s Little Cloud Records and Parisian label Icy Cold Records,

“Sacred Core is a song about getting lost, drifting away and trying to find the way back to your safe haven – guided by swirling, hypnotic guitars and an insistent, heavy beat. Compared to the shoegazey post-punk of the album’s previous singles ‘Vultures’ and ‘Swallow’, this track digs deeper into haunting, psychedelic territories, yet still maintaining our trademark dark and atmospheric sound,” says frontman Trond Fagernes.

The accompanying video was directed by Astrid Serck, who also created the videos for previous singles ‘Swallow’ and ‘Vultures’.

“To me, the song is like an open landscape – it’s grounded, but at the same time moving. I wanted to capture that feeling visually with footage from windmill fields and beaches, where there’s constant movement – like a rhythm, as opposed to the solid ground. A contrast between motion and stillness. Something to hold on to as well as something loose and vibrating,” says Astrid Serck.

“The core is what you hold on to. The motion is what you can let go. The sunbeams are blinding you, like a sacred light. The ceiling of a church is another symbol for sanctity. The moon is dancing, in disturbing ways, on the screen. In the video there is also an abandoned house, left with the door open. It´s a metaphor for the feeling of something that is lost, you can go back there, but only the memories are left. In addition there’s live footage of the band filmed from shows in Oslo and San Diego.”

‘Prepared For a Nightmare’ presents a dark and distinctive blend of post-punk, shoegaze and psychedelia. Here, the band delves deeper into their own distinctive blend of psych-noir and post-punk with elements of shoegaze and noise-rock.

Hailing from Oslo, Mayflower Madame is Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitars, bass), Håvard Haga (guitars) and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide (drums). Formed in 2011, they first rehearsed in a desolate industrial building, sharing space with a carwash company. Their hazy, smoke-laden sound was conceived naturally amidst these gritty surroundings. They soon recorded a four-track demo and became ‘Unsigned Band of the Week’ on a major Norway stations.

After a few years of touring, Mayflower Madame finally released their debut album ‘Observed in a Dream’ in 2016, followed by the ‘Premonition’ EP in 2018. Through eight tracks of theatrical psych-gaze exploration and dark romanticism, the album conveyed the wintry feeling of their home country – icy and gloomy, haunting and majestic.

Mayflower Madame has shared the stage with bands like Killing Joke, Moon Duo, Night Beats, Psychic Ills, Froth, The Underground Youth, Crocodiles, Cosmonauts and La Femme. They have also toured North America, the UK and Europe.

‘Prepared for a Nightmare’ was released on vinyl and CD on June 12. It is available through Bandcamp in all formats, as well as digitally via iTunes and Spotify.

CREDITS
Trond Fagernes – vocals, guitars, bass
Håvard Haga – guitars
Ola J. Kyrkjeeide – drums
Kenneth Eknes – synth on all tracks except 2, 6 & 7
Petter G. Marberg – bass on track 1 & 10
All songs written by Mayflower Madame / Trond Fagernes
Recorded by Trond Fagernes & Ola J. Kyrkjeeide at MaMa Studio, Oslo
Mixed by Bob de Wit (track 1, 5, 6 & 7), James Aparicio (track 2, 3 & 4) and James Trevascus (track 8, 9 & 10)
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio, New York

Keep up with Mayflower Madame
Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram | YouTube | Soundcoud | Spotify | Booking Press contact

Keep up with Only Lovers Records
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2020 in Post Punk, Psychedelic

 
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Various Artists – The 17th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus (July 27, Fruits De Mer Records)

 

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The Electronic Saviors Compilation

All things end. The first Electronic Saviors comp landed in 2010 on Metropolis Records and every two years since, the industrial music community has come together to stand against cancer.

The Electronic Saviors compilation series began as an idea in 2008 when scene promoter, DJ and musician Jim Semonik was diagnosed with stage 2B colorectal cancer.

What started out as an idea during radiation treatments blossomed into a musical project unparallelled in scene history.

ES has since raised and donated in excess of 75K for various charities including Cap For Kids, Bone Marrow Foundation, Gilda’s Club, Our Clubhouse,  Foundation For Cancer Research and Wellness, Darkest Before Dawn, The University of Pittsburgh Medical School and various GoFundMe campaigns.

In 2019, Jim was awarded the ASCRS (American Society of ColoRectal Surgeons) local hero award and was knighted in Chicago at the Coldwaves festival. Since then, he has focused on what lies ahead, Electronic Saviors Vol 6:Reflection. The new volume is a look back and celebration of the many accomplishments that ES has garnered. It is a chance to stare down cancer one more time. For the final boxset in this series, Semonik is joined my top scene greats such as Lead Into Gold (Paul Barker), Marc Heal with Chris Connelly, NOIR, Christ Analogue, Fires, Adoration Destroyed, Caustic, Null Device and many, many others. This compilation is special as it holds brand new material by artists like Flesh Field and 13mg who haven’t been active in many years as well as final recordings by bands such as Tenek.

ES6 is the farewell to a beloved series of compilations that changed lives. We laughed, cried, screamed and shouted together. Now it’s time for one last go. Electronic Saviors will continue on in the future with projects like the spin off Respect the Prime and Synthcore Dreams series so it isn’t a complete goodbye. The ES name will live on in many other forms and contine to save and change lives as we always have.

Electronic Saviors 6 will come in 3 forms:

Digital: 4 disc edition available through Metropolis Records

Physical: 6 disc Premium Edition available through Distortion Productions and includes the 6CD set in a gorgeous DVD style digipak with artwork by Jeff Confer and Samantha Johnson, a bumper sticker, wristband, a personalized autographed postcard and a Distortion Productions Postcard.

Physical: 8 disc Prime Edition available through Distortion Productions and includes everything in the Premium Edition plus 2 additional discs in a 2cd digipak, a special enamel pin, boxed warning’s “I Have Been Terrible” EP and Trade Secrets‘ “Golden Life” EP while supplies last.

Release Date: June 12th on Metropolis Records/Distortion Productions.

 

Tracklist:

Disc 1: Meditation

1. 13 mg – Soul Break

2. Rein[Forced] – No Desire

3. Deathline International – Spinzone

4. boxed warning – Fall From Focus

5. Ego Likeness – Ghost Sick

6. FIRES – Telecine

7. Lead Into Gold – The Sea The Sun The Past The Sum

8. The Clay People – Colossus (Uberholung)

9. Trade Secrets – Haze of Hearts

10. Leæther Strip – Stronger Alone

11. Abbey Death – Who Controls You

12. This Morn Omina Vs Pylon People- Starfall Common

13. Angelspit – Happy Coma

14. Jean-Marc Lederman Experience Featuring Tom Shear – Answer Me

15. Ambassador 21 – La Life

16. Klack – Discipline (12 Inch Mix)

17. Mindless Faith And Miscellen – Goodbye Blue Monday (ES Mix)

 

Disc 2: Contemplation

1. Flesh Field Feat. Ted Phelps – Forever War

2. Interface – Second Star

3. Adoration Destroyed Feat. FIRES – Failsafe

4. Tragic Impulse – The Code

5. Pig – Leather Pig (Traumabond Remix)

6. Glass Apple Bonzai – Mysteries (Feat. Jamie Cronander)

7. I:Scintilla – Tix3

8. Xentrifuge – Infernal Formations

9. Dogtablet – The New Cold War (2020 Mix)

10. Esther Black – Requiem For A Scene

11. Null Device – No Name

12. FGFC820 – Lost (Dracos Remix)

13. Bella Morte – Run Away

14. Caustic – By Crom

15. Seeming – The Wildwood (VaLHaLL Mix)

16. Conformco – Believe It (Mega-Oontz Mix)

17. And Void – This Ship Dreams

 

Disc 3: Rumination

1. Ashbury Heights – Lights Out

2. Spider Lilies – Witness

3. Christ Analougue – Black Apache

4. Tenek – Chameleon

5. Die Warzau – God Pusher

6. Mildreda Feat. Frank M Spinath – Without You

7. Blue Eyed Christ – World On Fire (OG Mix Feat. En Esch and Mea Fisher)

8. Wiccid-Grudge

9. Americlone – Sleep For Change

10. Standalone – What’s Up Is Blue

11. Chiasm – Durch Die Seile (silver walks remix)

12. Stoneburner – Lupus Invocat Lupus

13. Aesthetic Perfection – No Boys (Empirion Remix)

14. Finite Automata – Ablator

15. Third Realm – Torment

16. Iris – Silent (Interface Remix)

17. Coldkill – Leave It All Behind (Beborn Beton Remix)

18. God Module – Crossroads

 

Disc 4: Speculation

1. Encephalon – Crippled

2. NOIR – Death is Easy

3. Ghost & Writer – Not Us

4. Antiscion Feat. Mari Kattman – Human

5. Go Fight – Dead Girls

6. The Rain Within – Red Cells

7. Cyanotic – Still We Keep Moving On

8. Red Lokust – Point Of Healing

9. Antigen Shift – Superheavy Particle

10. Sensuous Enemy – Carry On

11. Panic Lift – Temptress (Interface Remix)

12. I Ya Toyah Feat. Traumabond – Funeral For Love

13. Inertia – Aviator (Rewind Mix)

14. Psy’Aviah Feat. Saydi Driggers – Dreamfever (Stripped Edit)

15. Skatenigs – Self Medicated

16. Marc Heal With Chris Connelly – Mission Accomplished

 

Disc 5: Manifestation (Premium and Prime Editions Only)

1. Flood Damage – Nightmares Are Real

2. Der Prosector – Subject Amnesty (Touched By 2Bit)

3. Geoff Pinckney – I Feel Nothing

4. Lloyd Price – Polemic (Scyia City of Stars Mix)

5. This Hollow Machine – Ten Thousand Years (Feat. Ships in the Night)

6. CYLiX – Devotion (Savior Edit)

7. Derision Cult – Sins Of The Father

8. Queen Neon – Exit Collider

9. Society Burning -Under Your Skin (ESaviors6mix)

10. Lorelei Dreaming – Nothing Left, Something More (Digital Gnosis Mix)

11. Loveless Love -Death Day

12. Solemn Assembly – Not What You Expected

13. Larva – To Be Myself Again (Toro Edit)

14. 7th Victim – The Wheel And The Knife

15. Genius Of Nefarious – Cursed In Purgatory

16. Die Robot – Virtual Life (Slighter Remix)

17. Ritchual – We Are Not Alone

18. Headless Nameless – Flash In The Dark

 

Disc 6: Expression (Premium and Prime Editions Only)

1. Negant – Cancer

2. IIOIOIOII – Face The Night

3. Left Spine Down – Bithead ($H1TH34D Mix By Gunmetal Grey)

4. Everplastic – Sanctuary

5. Jamie Cronander – No End

6. Angel Metro – Not Good 4 u

7. Cryogen Second – Monolith (2020 Rework)

8. Resident 24 – Reach Out

9. Razorback Hollow – Hey Buddy (Feat. Peter Turns Pirate)

10. Blut Reaktor – Nothing At All (Steven OLaf Mix)

11. Oscellus – Pristobrycon Maculipinnis

12. 30 Year Sick – Entropy

13. Your Life On Hold – Dead Tree (Merciless Version)

14. S Y Z Y G Y X – Don’t Look Back

15. Alias 86 – Oblivion

16. Namo Maitri Feat Andee Black Sugar of KMFDM – Shampoo Nights

17. W.O.R.M. – In This Life (If Only You Were Here Mix)

 

Disc 7: Attestation (Prime Edition Only)

1. Kill Minus Nine – Proof of Life (AI_ML Remix)

2. Ataxis – Gaslighter

3. Missing in Stars – The Call of Angels

4. Bellhead – Knife (Beware The Light)

5. The Russian White – Stalker

6. Era Nocturna – War Of The Worlds

7. M73 – Dishonesty

8. Croona – Forever Feat Jimmy Bergman And Anders Strom

9. daddybear feat grabyourface – teenage lust

10. Surveil – Madness Engine

11. Sawtooth – Shambolic (Fields On Fire Feat. Juliet Brownell-Lee)

12. Ghost In The Barn – Junkies

13. Stiff Valentine -Silence

14. Eva X – Empire On Sand

15. Doors In The Labyrinth – Reunion

16. Nothing But Sanctuary – Sip The Stars

17. Stigmata With Screwdrivers Feat. Gasoline Invertebrate – It Came Out and Saw the Burn

18. thoughtForm – Forest Thoughts

 

Disc 8: Consideration (Prime Edition Only)

1. Aimonia – Pig Farm

2. Scrape – Crush

3. Josie Pace – Fire

4. Viscera Drip – Dance Your Depression

5. Sister Sarin – Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

6. Next Up Robots – Save That Zombie

7. Hopeful Machines – Lights (Live In The Studio)

8. Machines With Human Skin – Simulation

9. Black Light Ascension – Atos War Crimes

10. Absynthe Of Faith – Slowly

11. Big Time Kill – Bit By Bit

12. Dead Agent – Black Network

13. Illusion Of Joy – Vector Christ

14. Sandi Leeper – Hot Air

15. DJ Kabel- Fucken Samplez

16. The Lonely Death – Truth (Cold Version)

17. MACE – Virus

18. Death Loves Veronica – Descent

 

 

Vision Video – In My Side (single, out now digitally)

Athens-based post-punk new wave outfit Vision Video present their debut single ‘In My Side’, a shimmery pop number reminiscent of early Cure, along with an equally impressive b-side ‘Inked In Red’.

Vision Video is vocalist and guitarist Dusty GannonEmily Fredock on vocals and keys, drummer Jason Fusco (Shehehe), and bassist Dan Geller (I Am the World Trade Center, The Agenda). These tracks were recorded and mixed by Tom Ashton (The March Violets, Clan of Xymox) at Sub Von Studios, and mastered by Joel Hatstat at High Jump Studio.

Not afraid of the dark, Video Vision pays homage to 1980s new wave and gothic-rock with heavy influence from 2000s emo and disco punk. They synthesize a masterful blend of gothic rock, shoegaze, pop and punk rock. With depth and originality, they aren’t afraid to write a hook, resulting in their own unique flavor of accessible and dancey goth-pop.

Having served in war-torn Afghanistan as an Army Infantry Officer, an experience that left an indelible mark on his psyche, Gannon returned home to serve on a new frontline as paramedic and firefighter. These experiences inform Vision Video’s songwriting, resulting in a serious look at the dark side of humanity processed through a retro-goth filter.

“Lyrically, ‘In My Side’ is about trying to find normalcy in relationships that are inherently toxic or detrimental. I think it’s easy to conceptually understand that someone isn’t right or healthy for you, but the reality is often so much more complicated because we don’t choose who we love. I likened this to being hunted down by a serial killer in the song. It’s also sort of my homage to 80’s horror and slasher flicks. The idea is that you can try all you might to get away from this person, but sometimes there’s no denying it, no running from those feelings, despite the red flags,” says Dusty Gannon.

“B-side ‘Inked in Red’ is a song I wrote about trying to find meaning in post-war life. I was trained to be a soldier, whose job it is to kill, for such a long time. Once that experience ended, I had a lot of difficulty seeing myself fitting into civil society. This is a song about feeling like you’re just in the wrong place and time, and that it’s just not ever going to change, even though you’re doing everything you can to find new meaning and contentment.”

Vision Video formed in March 2018, named for a now-defunct local video rental store out of nostalgia for a fave Friday night ritual of renting horror movies, thereby keeping a piece of Athens history alive through the band’s name. Their music is influenced by Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths, Type O Negative, The Clash, Washed Out and New Order.

Dusty Gannon explains how things came together: “I worked with Jason at the Georgia Theatre bar and told him about some goth-rock and post punk songs I had been working on. He was quick to offer to play some drums. Eventually we had quickly written 3 or 4 songs very organically and effortlessly. Dan heard about us through mutual friends. He had sworn to never play in another band, but we brought him out of retirement, so to speak.”

Emily soon joined and everything came full circle. “I used to sneak into Go Bar to see Dan DJ parties and play with his synthpop band ‘I Am the World Trade Center’. I was fascinated by how well they got a crowd going. It had a huge impact on my desire to play music. Little did I know I’d be close friends and in a band with him 12 years later,” says Gannon.

“I met Tom Ashton at a Goth Night that I DJed a few years ago. I have been a big fan of The March Violets since I was a teenager. Pretty bad-ass to record with someone whom wrote music that helped shape your musical taste.”

‘In My Side / Inked In Red’ is out now across digital platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. Their debut album is expected later this year.

CREDITS
Written by Dusty Gannon
Performed by Vision Video
Recorded and mixed by Tom Ashton (March Violets, Clan of Xymox) at Sub Von Studios.
Mastered by Joel Hatstat at High Jump Studio

Dusty Gannon – Vocals and Guitar, Emily Fredock- Vocals and keys, Jason Fusco- Vocals and drums, Dan Geller – Bass

7″ Single Cover Art by Ryan Dunn
Photos by Jaysen Michael of Secret Playground Photography

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An exclusive interview with Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps)

Jürgen Engler of German industrial metal/EBM band DIE KRUPPS is this week’s special guest of The Blackout Radio Show with Mike Pougounas.

Die Krupps formed in 1980 by Jürgen Engler and Bernward Malaka in Düsseldorf, Germany.

We discussed about the band’s latest album “Vision 2020 Vision”, the history of the band and the way he sees international politics now as well as many other issues.

AN INTRODUCTION

The following is taken from the band’s official website :

Critics worldwide hail them alongside KRAFTWERK and EINSTUERZENDE NEUBAUTEN as pioneers of Electronic and Industrial music, bands like FRONT 242 and NITZER EBB called them their inspiration, and their musical ideas found their way into the sound of a wide spectrum of music, from DEPECHE MODE to the innovative pioneers of Detroit Techno. Over 30 years and many internationally successful albums, DIE KRUPPS have developed an unmistakable signature sound that is meant to stay!

After monumental and industrial beginnings with the album ‘Stahlwerksinfonie‘, the foundation for Electronic Body Music was laid by the single ‘Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn‘ (both Album and Single Of The Week in the British NME), and the following albums ‘Volle Kraft Voraus‘ and ‘Entering The Arena‘, which created international interest in the band’s characteristic synthesis of hard electronics and highly danceable beats. European wide releases secured the band a large following, that was only meant to increase in the ’90s.

After a 3-year break, international chart positions of a remake of their classic track ‘Wahre Arbeit’, now called ‘The Machineries Of Joy‘, which was a collaboration with NITZER EBB (U.S. Billboard Dance Charts Top 10), marked the next chapter in the history of the band. The following widening of their musical spectrum, which saw the addition of a more metal inspired aggressive vocal style and guitar riffs on the album ‘I’, and the essential single track ‘Metal Machine Music‘, was like a slap in the face of conservative critics and listeners alike. The mini album ‘A Tribute To Metallica‘ underlined this daring step, gaining the attention of Lars Ulrich and Co., who helped to secure the band a deal in the U.S.

The highly successful albums (european-wide chart positions, Germany Top-20) ‘II – The Final Option‘, ‘The Final Remixes‘, which consisted of remix interpretations of DIE KRUPPS tracks by fellow bands such as NINE INCH NAILS, THE SISTERS OF MERCY, FAITH NO MORE, CLAWFINGER and many others, and the album ‘..III – Odyssey Of The Mind‘, were again inspiration to many upcoming new bands, such as RAMMSTEIN, whose song ‘Tier’ was a direct adaptation and tribute to DIE KRUPPS’ ‘The Dawning Of Doom‘ from the album ‘I’.

After several worldwide tours, and another chart-topping album, ‘Paradise Now‘ (Germany No.17), on which the band collaborated with Arthur Brown (‘Fire‘), it was decided to bring a temporary stop to the bands extraordinary career.

2005 marked the 25th anniversary of DIE KRUPPS, which was reason enough for the 2 original members Engler and Doerper to prove to the rest of the world that DIE KRUPPS are far from being dead. The reunited group played festivals across Europe and proved that their live shows are as energetic as ever. The audience response was overwhelming and proved that the band had not lost any ground during its absence.

In November 2007, DIE KRUPPS’ new album ‘Too Much History‘ was released. The album included re-recordings of the greatest hits from almost every album the band had released in the past, plus several unreleased new tracks, including ‘The Great Divide‘, ‘5 Millionen‘ and several collaborations, with Client B from the band CLIENT, and again Douglas McCarthy from NITZER EBB.

The end of 2008 saw the release of a remix album of the 1982 album ‘Volle Kraft Voraus‘, entitled ‘Volle Kraft Null Acht’. KMFDM, FUNKER VOGT, PROJECT PITCHFORK, LEAETHER STRIP, SPETSNAZ and MODULATE are only a few acts who besides many others contributed to the project. The 2 singles ‘Volle Kraft Voraus’ and ‘Ende Der Träume’ topped the German Alternative Charts for weeks.

In 2010 the mini-album ‘Als Wären Wir Für Immer‘, consisting of all new material, hit the stores. It also stayed in top positions of the Deutsche Alternative Charts for many weeks, and re-entered during the NITZER EBB/DIE KRUPPS European tour in April of 2011. The tour, which was launched under the motto ‘Join In The Rhythm Of Machines‘, was a huge success. A joint NITZER EBB/DIE KRUPPS EP, consisting of re-worked versions of each band’s favorite songs, was sold exclusively at the shows. Those songs were also played live, followed by the definite highlight for many fans, the anthemic ‘Machineries Of Joy’, which saw both bands perform the song together for the first time.

At the end of 2012, the first single from the upcoming album ‘The Machinists Of Joy‘ was released. ‘Risikofaktor‘ made it No.1 in the German DAC Charts again, and stayed in the pole position for a full month.

2013 was to become the year when DIE KRUPPS machinery went back into full swing. The machines were greased, the dust shaken off, the factory gates opened again. After shift operation was restored, the long-awaited new prototype ‘The Machinists Of Joy’ rolled off the assembly line on 25.10.2013. With this most recent effort DIE KRUPPS seamlessly picked up the streak of their genre-defining releases in the ’80s and ’90s. DIE KRUPPS still deliver ‘Metal MACHINE Music’ – heavy, danceable, sometimes epic machine-music, adorned with well-placed guitar attacks and the ever-onward hammering of the ‘steel-o-phone’, paired with critical contemporary lyrics, setting themselves off from what has become the norm today.

Referring to their top-10 Billboard-hit from 1989 ‘Machineries Of Joy’, the album title already hinted at a stronger focus on electronic sounds, rather than guitars, which dominated the current outfit of DIE KRUPPS. Nevertheless, hard guitar riffs were interwoven with the pumping signature sequencers. The album also made it to No.1 in the German DAC Charts, where it was holding the pole position again for several consecutive weeks. The second single of the album ‘Schmutzfabrik‘ peaked at No.2, staying there for 7 weeks.

In mid-February 2014, the factory bell rang in the night shift on European stages, to be known as ‘THE MACHINISTS OF JOY’-TOUR 2014. 12 dates on which DIE KRUPPS were going to present their first studio album of the new millennium in sweat-inducing manner!

On August 28th 2015, DIE KRUPPS returned with their new release ‘V – Metal Machine Music‘. Back to the distinctly guitar-based sound from the late ’90s, the new songs showed a much increased level of aggressiveness! DIE KRUPPS had never before combined such heavy guitars and powerful sequencers. The upcoming shows proved that this direction was well reserved by the audience Europe wide. Alongside mastermind Juergen Engler (vocals, steel-o-phone), the line-up was machinist Ralf Doerper on Korg MS-20 synthesizer, Marcel Zuercher on guitar, with Volker Borchert from former metal band Accuser on drums, and Nils Finkeisen on second guitar. The album ‘V‘ made the official sales chart in Germany and cracked the Top 40! The singles ‘Battle Extreme‘ and ‘Kaltes Herz‘ both made it to No.1 in the German DAC Charts, the latter stayed in the pole position for 6 consecutive weeks!

Steel, hard work, muscle strength, sweat, machines … but also structural change, unemployment, dislocation, xenophobia and anxiety about the future: powerful words that DIE KRUPPS have always used and filled with content, that they attach visions to, that they transform into a solid base for their music – their very own, unique sound that has consistently evolved over the past four decades and that continues to be unmistakable.

“Vision 2020 Vision” is their latest masterpiece, a concept album: music, artwork and lyrics are inextricably linked, they fuel and cross-fertilize each other. The world of Engler and Dörper is monochromatic and grim, but the imminent world they see through their lens, ought to, and indeed must, frighten you.

In all this, DIE KRUPPS’s themes are as topical and relevant as ever: “Extinction Time” and “Vision 2020 Vision” describe our world on the edge of the abyss. Chaos and violence rule the streets, governments are powerless. The great flood will come, wash everything away and leave nothing but darkness. “Alllies” and “Fuck You” are directed overseas; where egoism, borders and ruthlessness are dictated from the very top while Europe looks on passively, turning into a compliant minion. “Human” is a reckoning with the whole human race which has been regressing for several decades. Civilizations increasingly turn into hordes of wild, murderous barbarians.

The title song puts in a nutshell where this development is bound to take us: “Violence will soon explode, frustration reaches overload, revolution is imminent, we’re in the year of discontent” (quote: “Vision 2020 Vision”). What remains is the hope that Jürgen Engler will be proved wrong in this instance.

Side-projects: Die Robo Sapiens – Male

Apart from the songs of the new DIE KRUPPS album as well as a couple of old ones, I am spining tracks taken from the new releases of Rotersand, Adoration Destroyed, Cubanate and many more.

The show goes on air as follows:

Mad Wasp Radio [UK] – Saturday 19:00 – Wednesday 00:00
Wicked Spins Radio [UK]-Thursdays 19:00 – 21:00
KOWS 92,5FM [CA-USA]- Tuesday 22:00-00:00
Fasching Web Radio [CANADA]- Wednesdays from 17:00 – 19:00
Mercury Radio [Greece] Wednesdays – 22:00-00:00 (EET / UTC+3)

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Electronic, Interviews, Radio

 

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Under The Reefs Orchestra – s/t (Capitane Records, Release: 5 June 2020)

Some band names capture the sound they emit almost perfectly and Under the Reefs Orchestra is one such band. “The underlying poetic idea is that by drowning, being at the bottom, losing everything, we discover a new and hidden world,” says Clement Nourry. “Like walking at the bottom of the ocean.”

The Belgian trio is a band that ostensibly evolved out of the guitarist’s solo work, with him being joined by Louis Evrard on drums and Marti Melia on sax and bass to expand the sound. “My compositions became our compositions,” Nourry says.

The result is an instrumental debut album that spans genres, seamlessly gliding through jazz, post-rock, psychedelia and art-rock. Nourry himself describes it as: “An instrumental playground for melting folk influences, jazz from the 1950s and post-romantic music. A meditative trance fuelled by dark grooves, simple melodies and improvisations.” Yet amongst all of that it manages to retain a cohesive spirit, an album that feels intuitive and unpredictable but one that has captured the interconnectivity and personality of its three band members exploring new sonic terrains together.

What has come of this album is an extension of Nourry’s solo work but also something new altogether. “I wanted this album to catch all the involuntary qualities of a new band playing my music,” he says. “To capture what happens in my musical blind spot.” That has been achieved, with the band sounding very much like a unit. Whether it’s from gently unravelling guitar lines that glide from slick solos to fuzzed out tones (Tucuman) or to full band eruptions as drums crash and smash atop of accelerated noise (Une Île) the band gracefully manages to sound like they are travelling forward as one.

This has come from a focused yet trusting approach to direction from Nourry. “I am a really instinctive composer,” he says. “I use improvisation to develop obsessive themes and patterns and I like to give simple information and suggestions to other musicians and let them surprise me.” The relationship that Nourry has with Melia goes years back, so they share that intuitive spirit. “We used to play together in the streets, in marching bands,” he says. “I was always amazed by his ability to groove so hard that the whole band can just rest on him – no matter how many strong Belgian beers he drank.”

The band manages to sound equally loose and tight, structured yet expressive, and this stems from an approach that welcomes improvisation but then settles on a firm approach. “Once we find the sound and structure that works for us, we keep it but with slight variations,” says Nourry. “When we play live we are playing a really structured set but with very defined improvisation spots.”

Nourry went into this album with zero expectations but has come out with something that far surpassed any that he could have had. “I had no idea how I wanted it to sound,” he says. “I just wanted to experiment with these people.”

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Jazz

 

Aza Records – Tin Man (Free compilation)

Aza Records is a collective of Greek independent bands that came together in order to promote their music.

Every now and then, they put out a free compilation and they felt it was about time for their 6th one.

It is titled “Tin Man” and  features: 78N , Aggelos Efthimiadis , Adam Siagas , David Alex Sisti , Aza Lazy Jester , Smokemachines , Tasos Ritos , Runes , Grigoris Lafaras , Mark Corrin, Teo Aevin , Θόδωρος Πετιρόπουλος , Fadin’ Blues , Six Steps Above The Earth , Vaso Zissou , Lazy Aftershow , Sakis Gallo , Vasilis Peikos , Akil Zarrar , Johnny Notte , The Answer? , Caldera , Anastasios Karapapazoglou & Ilias Kakanis!

Συμεών Λερίου did the artwork .

You can download it for free from HERE

To keep up with Aza Records

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube | Twitter

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2020 in Compilations, Rock

 

You can watch here the documentary about Klaus Nomi, “The Nomi Song”

I discovered today a link for “The Nomi Song” the only Klaus Nomi documentary available out there.

 

The documentary is directed by Andrew Horn.

Andrew Horn was born on September 16, 1952. He is known for his work on The Nomi Song (2004), Doomed Love (1984) and We Are Twisted Fucking Sister! (2014). He died on August 24, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

Among the people that speak about Klaus Nomi is American singer, songwriter, musician, poet and artist Kristian Hoffman from NY, member of Mumps, The Swinging Madisons and Bleaker Street Incident bands that were active in late ’70s and through the ’80s.

Also Ann Magnuson, a performance artist and one-half of the founding members of the former psychedelic rock group Bongwater. The characters she has played before-the-camera include, David Bowie’s victim in the vampire film in “The Hunger” (1983), a cigarette girl in Susan Seidelman‘s independent film “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985), Mel Gibson‘s greedy, money-driven ex-wife in “Tequila Sunrise”, a madam in “Tank Girl” and a real-estate agent in “Panic Room” (2002).

Storyline taken from IMDB – Written by George Darley

Having failed to break into professional opera in his native Germany (where, as an usher in West Berlin’s Deutsche Opera, he would serenade the staff after the ‘real’ performances were over) the diminutive Klaus Nomi headed for NYC in 1972. The vibrant New Wave/avant-garde gestalt of the mid/late ’70’s East Village proved to be fertile ground for the development of his unique talents. Working by day as a high-end pastry chef, Nomi began to stage his outlandish performances, first launching himself upon an unsuspecting public at the New Wave Vaudeville in 1978. The hip and cynical young audience was stunned by this weird combination of falsetto arias, booming classical orchestration, Kraftwerk-style electronica, futuristic costumes and outer space imagery. An odd assortment of artists, choreographers, designers, songwriters and musicians jumped on to the Nomi bandwagon and the phenomenon began to take off – first attracting thousands to South Manhattan events (including performances at the legendary Max’s Kansas City) and culminating in a recording contract with the French division of RCA. With the release ‘Klaus Nomi’ in 1981 and ‘Simple Man’ in 1982, it looked as if Nomi was on the verge of superstardom. Having established himself in Europe, he made a triumphant return to New York City. But Nomi’s moment of glory proved to be his swansong. Within only a few months Nomi had succumbed to the ravages of AIDS. One of the first celebrities to be killed by this mysterious new disease, Nomi died a lonely death, largely abandoned by those who had seen him as a passport to their own success. Today, the otherworldliness of ‘The Cold Song’ and ‘Dido’s Lament’ is like an ethereal voice calling from beyond the grave.

Enjoy the documentary here