bleeps & bloops


Electro-Magnetism: Episode 11 (Spring and Solvent!)

Is it really here? After so many false starts? The trees say yes, but I’m pessimistic. It’ll never come! Ever!

Well it’s sunny out, though I haven’t felt it on my skin yet since I’ve been trollishly indoors all day. I am heading out in a minute after I post this. I swear.

My original intention with this mix was to incorporate a theme. I wanted to celebrate the fact that one of my all time favorite musicians, Solvent, is performing April 29th at Wierd at 131 Christie. What a treat! Based in Toronto, Solvent (aka Jason Amm) has been hugely influential on my tastes in music and my attempts to make my own. Its unique even within the realm of synthesizer pop and after exhausting all his material I struggled to find other bands similar enough to him to fulfill my analog bleep-filled desires. There really weren’t any others that quite hit the spot! What to do? I explored a little and discovered his label Suction Records which is now kaput but offered me Lowfish, his other project Black Turtleneck and the Snow Robots compilations (though most of the tracks I love on the comps are side projects of his).

Shortly thereafter I came across the music of Roger Semsroth, aka Skanfrom and now Sleeparchive. He was also the synth mastermind behind Bakterielle Infektion. His music in B.I. and Skanfrom, melancholy and dark synthetic pop sometimes verging on noise, has really grown on me as has his new minimal material. Lovely.

So my choices for this mix today all stem from my fascination in some way with the instrumental-meticulous-analog-synth-warm-yet-chilly music of Solvent. I think. Well, a lot of it does anyway. And some of it I just thought was pretty and threw in for good measure. Like “Who is Kip Jones?” by Experimental Products. I am totally obsessed right now! That song has become a daily ritual….

Enjoy!

Listen to it here.

Download it for later.

Wanna get the podcast? Use this URL to subscribe:
http://www.larkisadora.com/electro-magnetism.rss

Tracklist:

1. Stephan Bodzin – Bremen Ost
2. Sleeparchive – QCD
3. Bakterielle Infektion – Verbindung
4. Jeunesse Fantôme – Księżyc
5. Solvent – Operating Ease
6. Lowfish – Fric Frac
7. Goudron – Art School Fuckheads
8. Skanfrom – My New 7″
9. Black Turtleneck – Step Sequencer
10. Reducers – Airways
11. Solvent – Wish
12. I Satellite – Bubbleboy (Instrumental)
13. Skanfrom – In 17
14. Beirut – No Dice
15. Experimental Products – Who is Kip Jones?

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Electro-Magnetism: Episode 10 – Too Much Coffee/ Die Audacity Die

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Hello my beloved listeners where ever you may be. It’s been a minute here with the podcasts/mixes…Thanks for holding out! I have come through at last with a new little mix. It’s rather short, but I was running low on time so, well, there it is. I hope you enjoy it. I’ve had some awesome positive responses about the mixes and I really appreciate it! It makes me feel like someone is actually listening to them. And not only just listening to them, but enjoying them, hearing new things, old things, loved things. Thank you!

Listen to it here.

Download it for later.

Wanna get the podcast? Use this URL to subscribe:
http://www.larkisadora.com/electro-magnetism.rss

Tracklist:

1. Perspects – The Accumulators
2. James Figurine – Stop
3. Opera – Emotion
4. I Start Counting – Still Smiling
5. Duet Emmo – Or So It Seems
6. The Future – Blank Clocks
7. Medio Mutante – Another Land
8. Chris & Cosey – Talk to Me
9. Duet Emmo – Friano
10. Linear Movement – The Linear Way

(Title explanation– I mentioned I was low on time.  And then Audacity decided to get all buggy on my ass and cost me another hour. Me wants to smashy smashy with annoyance!)



Electro-Magnetism: Episode 9 (of sweetness)

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I’ve had a long break with the mixes- but this one will make up for it! Totally rockin dark-as-all-get-out proto-EBM tunes, plus a wonderful track off of the new Vinyl-On-Demand re-release from Experimental Product’s Prototype and Garage Tracks- which, by the way, you should snag as soon as possible because it is really a gem! I bought mine through Michael Gross of EP and he clarified the back cover photo for me (see above) and signed it. Sweet! It’s been on the turntable for about a solid 48 hours…Joy. You can pick up a copy for yourself through their Myspace page (save on shipping if you’re in the US!), Germany’s Vinyl-On-Demand or Anna Logue Records.

In addition to Experimental Products and proto-EBM, I’ve been scouring the web for all projects involving the man who calls himself Abberline or Francois Remigi of Toulouse France. He’s done a few different projects- namely defunct Opera (so good), current Remiggi 5000 and Abberline. With his lovely hot vocals I want them all! I included one track off the Rock Machine compilation from Remiggi 5000. Unfortunately very little is available from them but hopefully there will some sort of full release in the future. He also works with a man who calls himself Assisted.Brain.By.O., also from Toulouse, who does a minimal synth project of the same name, A.B.B.O., that I love right now. If I could get some not-shitty quality MP3’s I would play some…Another darker synth project of his, Le Moine, has a track on the new Enfant Terrible comp Radio Resistencia

Speaking of hot french vocals, I also included a track (also off the Rock Machine comp) from Quebec’s Automelodi aka Xavier Paradis aka Arnaud Lazlaud. The man is talented! Everything he does is golden, I swear. And silky and highly danceable.

…….And! he’s going to be performing at NYC’s Wierd on April 8th next month at Home Sweet Home (at 131 Chrystie St.).  Not to be missed!

There ends my spiel. Enjoy the mix!

Listen to it here.

Download it for later.

Wanna get the podcast? Use this URL to subscribe:
http://www.larkisadora.com/electro-magnetism.rss

Tracklist:

1. Basking Sharks – Croatia
2. Experimental Products – Aviation
3. Automelodi – Schema Corporel
4. Remiggi 5000 – Ultra-sensitive
5. Electronome – S.I.A.S.G. (remix)
6. Skanfrom – Earth 11
7. Throbbing Gristle – AB/7A
8. Analysis – Connections
9. Sudeten Creche – Dance (Instrumental)
10. Front 242 – U-men (Instrumental)
11. Velodrome – Glasfabrik
12. Die Krupps – … Denn Du Lebst Nur Einmal
13. Metro Pakt – C.T.I.
14. Absolute Body Control – What is the Disease?
15. Daily Fauli – Speed
16. A Blaze Colour – Follow the Signs
17. Ensemble Pittoresque – Auratorium



Electro-Magnetism Special on Late 90’s Synthpop
December 2, 2008, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best of European Synthpop

Today I felt disappointed and sad so I asked myself, what makes a person feel better? What is crack for the soul on a wintery day of sadness? What can continually lift your spirits and never let you down, no hangovers, no withdrawal (well, maybe), no negative side-effects? Late 90’s Euro Synth-Pop hits the spot every time.

I haven’t broken out some of this stuff for a very long time and for good reason- the shit’s so powerfully perky that my old worn heart might suffer a cardiac arrest on a typical day. But today is no average day and I needed a good strong dose of the music that I loved as a teenager, the music that helped me stay afloat through my awful high-school years and gave me a reason to live. I’ve also thrown in just a handful of tunes that are more recent (Freezepop and Soviet) and a little older (Erasure) for good measure.

These are the very songs that introduced me to electronic music as a whole, believe it or not, back when I was 15. There was just something very special about those bleepy sounds and melancholic melodies… It feels really good to indulge in them again!

One of my very first purchases in the genre was Hard Records’ “Best of European Synth-Pop,” released in 1996, though I have to say I began stealing music over the web at a young age since European Synth-Pop was so damn expensive. To obtain it was quite a task- It had to be bought through obscure German music stores over the internet, across the sea! And a 15 year old teenager can not afford a $28 CD plus shipping! OK no way, so I spent a lot of time downloading songs through really crappy old-school peer-to-peer networks over a barely existent dial-up connection. One song might take a few hours to download, but when it was done you had a killer song from a far off land where people understood you and that was totally awesome!!

I learned about a lot of my favorite bands through a radio show called Subculture Shock (what?! what?! 90’s Cville goth scene!), and I have to say I owe my pursued musical direction thanks to that radio show. From their Myspace page (it lives on, no shit!):

Started in 1995 by Andy Dean of Bella Morte Subculture Shock was Charlottesville, Virginia’s first radio show dedicated solely to all music falling into the Gothic Subculture. After 10 years, and a list of DJs that includes Virginia Goth Greats SubShock is still going strong as Charlottesville’s Premier source for the darker side of radio.

God bless it. Where would I be? It was a life raft in a sea of Jazz and Classical programming and Top 40 in my little Virginia town.  The show was directly related to a thriving goth scene of freaks and punks who would coverge for dance nights at the local sushi bar (I love how this is the same old story across the US…). This is also where I learned the joy of dancing.

Late 90’s synthpop has this wonderful innocence about it. It lost a bit of that glow as the genre progressed into the new millennium. It got a little too trance-y, a bit too obsessed with the most advanced musical technology, the lyrics got worse (is that possible?). A decade later I still love the old stuff!

And so, without further adieu- here is the 90’s Synth-Pop Mix for the Dead of Winter.

….and I apologize, there is a 20 second pause in the beginning where I forgot to crop  the recording…

Stream it here!

Download it for later here!

Subscribe to my Electro-Magnetism podcast!

Tracklist:

1. Silke Bischoff- Waste of Time (Extended)
2. Children Within- Efemeris (Seal Mix)
3. Daily Planet- Shame
4. Freezepop- Tender Lies
5. Elegant Machinery- Myself With You
6. Wolfsheim- …Can Manage…
7. Iris- Lose In Wanting (Lovett’s Sonar Eclipse Mix)
8. Neuropa- Lifeline
9. Dark Distant Spaces- Space Age Love Song
10. Yendri- Life is Sad
11. Erasure- Hideaway
12. Soviet- Candy Girl
13. Frozen Autumn- Painted Girls
14. Apoptygma Berzerk- Non-stop Violence
15. Neuroactive- Wonders of the World (Fragments Mix)
16. X-Act- Nothing Will Change



Freezepop comes to NYC, finally
October 9, 2007, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

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Freezepop, a three piece from Boston and one of my favorite synthpop bands, is playing for free on Oct. 19 at the CMJ Rykodisc Showcase at the Slipper Room located at 167 Orchard. To get in for free, you are supposed to email Rykodisc and RSVP at info@rykodisc.com. I tried this and I got a returned reply that said that they’d be back by Sept 15th and to check back then. Yeah… So who knows if it’ll work.

Their first album, Freezepop Forever, is their best in my opinion. Incredibly simple and playful lyrics with beautiful melodies and synthesizer work (especially for using just one instrument to create and compose all the music- the hand-held Yamaha QY-70).

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I consider Freezepop to be one of the best modern synthpop bands because they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously or stray into swirly dance-club epic-ness very frequently (like so many new synthpop bands) as they tend to stick to straight pop without too much flair for computer-produced effects. The sound is ultra clean and minimal and Liz Enthusiasm’s voice sounds crisp, smooth and naive. It’s just great pop music, plain and simple.

Freezepop- Science Genius Girl (Hi Phive Mix)

Freezepop- Tracey Gold

Freezepop- Smoke Machine

www.freezepop.com

Their Myspace page has some new songs. I really like “Pop Music is Not a Crime.” I can definitely sympathize.



blood is going to flow from the place I love- New Mexico

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Listen here to Moonface Mike
Tell you all what it was like
To light the sky not so long ago
Not so long ago
In crimson red hills so dead
Sands that bled in burning red
New Mexico

See the rednecks watch the skies
Flying saucers myths and lies
Myths and lies
Snakes are rattling on the ground
Wriggling into what they’ve found
Gouged-out holes of ripped-out eyes
See the rednecks watch the skies
In the megadeath birthplace
The megadeath birthplace
New Mexico

The White Sands of time
Are losing face, running down and going slow
In the Land of Enchantment
The Land of Enchantment
New Mexico
-from “New MexicoOppenheimer Analysis 1982

Music with politically subversive content typically remains within the ghettos of the punk rock and protest folk music genres. Though it has been known to radicalize many a white suburban angst-ridden teenager, the revolutionary content tends to remain within its subculture. I guess I tend to think of bands like Crass where, damn, they sure were wonderful but I feel like there are so many people out there who will never hear their witty political lyrics and possibly decide to join an anarchist collective.

I’ve always been a peripheral part of the anarchist punk scene though I generally dislike the music for its lack of musical creativity, I love the message and the people involved. My dream, which I have wanted more than anything, is to one day uncover my beautiful little planet that will be a politically radical synth-pop wonderland (and it’s not the Erasure album). Really. And I have my heart set on creating it if it doesn’t exist.

Why are there so few political synth bands? Why do they just sing about love or other abstractions? It drives me crazy. I feel like a lot of recent electronic bands branched off of new wave which branched off of punk back in the late seventies but the message got lost somewhere along the way. I guess back then most of the creative groups, if they made it into the eighties, were snagged by record labels when new wave became popular. They were then churned into pop-vomit by 1982. Those bands spawned tons of others who made some incredible songs with some unfortunately vapid lyrics. They are great to dance to but wouldn’t a song with lyrics highlighting the roots of our oppression be even better? Why not explore the wellspring of our sadness and disappointment, that which inspires the gloomy synthetic beats and makes you want to wear torn lace and leather. Let’s go there.

Only a few synth bands make it into my Arcadia and I worship the ground they walk(ed) on. They broke out of the box that is electronic music as a whole- a widely unpolitical music genre where I don’t understand the people but I love the music…

Though lately I’ve been listening to Andy Oppenheimer and Oppenheimer Analysis. With poetic yet potent lyrics focused on the Cold War, nuclear arms, power and paranoia, they stand out as having created some of the most beautiful minimal synth-pop music with a great dance sensibility to boot. Andy Oppenheimer, a nuclear expert, created some brilliant songs alone and with Martyn Loyd as Oppenheimer Analysis in the early 1980’s.

An excerpt from “Cold War“-

Your blood runs cold
When you think you only did what you were told
Look what it leads to the race to the end
The race to the end
They’re running out of lies
Please don’t listen when they try to rationalize
Look what it leads to the race to the end
The race to the end

After all these years
Closer to disaster
It isn’t very clear
Just who is the master
It’s getting harder every day to keep control
Can’t you see the danger getting sold getting sold
Get a hold
Please get a hold
Get a hold get a hold get a hold
Of a world in your hands
A world in your hands
There’s blood on my hands

Another song, “Radiance,” contains eerie yet gorgeous lyrics-

If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst into the sky
If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One
I become Death
Destroyer of Worlds

A short lived yet incredible project. I believe they reunited in 2005 for a spell to do some live shows.
Check them out here:

Oppenheimer Analysis

Andy Oppenheimer



Show tomorrow- Fantasy Mirrors
September 27, 2007, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

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I am sleepy because I have worked really hard this week making the big money, but I just wanted to post this up real quick. I first heard this band off of a mix tape a friend made for me, back when I lived in North Carolina, and I could not get enough of this song.

They used to be called Cassette, which I think I like better, but it was hard to google anything about them, that’s for sure.

The song’s about being a prom dress. Brilliant.

Fantasy Mirrors-“Try Me On”

Their Myspace Page

It could be hipster synth-pop in the flesh, but I have a feeling its something more special. In any case, I’m going to go find out Friday night because they are playing at 200 Orchard at 10pm. I’m not sure what exactly is going on- I had a hard time finding any real information about the event besides its like a party for a hipster magazine or something. Yikes. But I’m willing to part the swoopy haired masses for a glimpse at this Boston-based mystery band that I have fetishized for some time.