Dark Entries Records is back with not one, not two, but three new releases for May 8th. First up is the debut EP from contemporary band INHALT, a synthesizer trio from the San Francisco Bay Area. Then our 25th release the debut album from no wave pioneer Robin Crutchfield’s Dark Day – “Exterminating Angel” and finally a 4 song maxi EP from Spain’s New Wave/Tecno Pop legends Vocoder! We have spent extra care restoring and no-noising the tapes for these releases to create the highest quality vinyl editions. Prepare to dance into the summer!
DE-024 INHALT – Vehicle EP
Dark Entries is proud to release the debut EP “Vehicle” from San Francisco based synth trio INHALT. Consisting of European and East Coast natives– Matia Simovich, Bryan Gibbs, and Philip Winiger– INHALT’s core operative strategy is of sonic fidelity and integrity rather than nostalgia. Having experienced the downfall of the music industry and professional studio system while working at Asphodel Records/Recombinant Media Labs, INHALT needed to create their own creative working environment. Thus, they designed and built The Bunker Studio, developed around an integrative ideology and employing the best of vintage and modern technologies and techniques. Here, they’ve honed their sound–sometimes referential to the raw electronics of Kraftwerk or the drive of Moroder disco–but ultimately their own interpretation of the border between the past and the present. What started with the split 12″ for Andy Blakes’ World Unknown imprint now continues with the “Vehicle” EP, where the brutality of the analogue transistor rhythm section meets the sincerity of the human voice.
All tracks were written, produced and mixed by the band at The Bunker Studio, San Francisco, California between 2009 and 2011. Everything was recorded to a 24 track 2 inch reel to reel tape machine and mixed down to a 2 track 1/4 inch tape. The tracks were then mastered by Paul Lavigne in London, England at Walls of Sound Mastering. All songs have been EQed for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Each LP includes a special two-sided tabbed cardstock insert.
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DE-025 Dark Day – Exterminating Angel LP
Dark Entries is working in reverse order to re-issue Dark Day’s first album “Exterminating Angel” originally released in 1980 onLust/Unlust. Dark Day is the minimal electronics brainchild of Robin Crutchfield following his separation with no wave band DNA. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Crutchfield was fascinated with both performance art and the most esoteric edges of pop music. After making his escape to New York City in the mid-seventies, he was inspired by Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band and Lydia Lunch’s Teenage Jesus & The Jerks. He made the transition into the new music of downtown Manhattan and formed the “no wave” band DNAwith Arto Lindsay and Ikue Mori in 1977.
In 1979 Crutchfield left DNA to pursue a series of musical projects under the name Dark Day. His first album, “Exterminating Angel” is named after the Luis Bunuel film of the same name. On this album the band is Robin on synthesizers and vocals, Phil Kline on guitar/bass, Barry Friar on drums and guest Steven Brown of Tuxedomoon on saxophone. All 13 songs on “Exterminating Angel” use cheap synthesizers to create cyclical, machine-like keyboard riffs as a foundation for the moody, Teutonic music. Crutchfield sings like a lost member of Kraftwerk with a dry detachment creating a starker and chillier atmosphere. Lyrics were derived from cut-up methods similar to those used by the surrealists, fluxus artists, and William Burroughs and Bryon Gysin and pit the subjected against their torments and tormentors.
All songs on “Exterminating Angel” were originally recorded at Sorcerer Sound, NYC. 1979 and produced by Charles Ball. This re-issue has been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Each LP includes a two-sided fold out poster containing lyrics, photos and lyrical explanations by Robin Crutchfield. Dark Day continue to inspire the current wave of stark, eerie, processional synthesizer music more than 30 years later.
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DE- 026 Vocoder – Cuadro Sinóptico EP
Dark Entries is thrilled to present a 4-song compilation from one of the finest groups of the Spanish New Wave/Tecno-Pop scene of the 1980s. Vocoder were a quartet from Zaragoza, Spain formed in 1981. Keyboardists Antonio Laval and Alfonso Olarte attended the same university and fell in love with a Korg MS-20 synthesizer in a music shop window. They met keyboardist Antonio Tenas at a local radio station and were later joined by vocalist Pilar Pellicer. They recorded several demos with synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines, creating a soundtrack for the clubs and dance floors. Inspired by the “Movida Madrileña,” they sent demos to various record companies. The band signed a deal with Aviador Dro’s sublabel Neón Danza and released two EPs, “What Happens Now”/”Radio” in 1984, “Mindanao”/”Amor de Robot” in 1985 and a self-titled LP which was produced by Michel Huygen (Neuronium) in 1987. Vocoder also appeared on the TV program “La Bola De Cristal”, presenting their music video for “What Happens Now”, in which the band danced in a supermarket with a shopping cart full of synthesizers. The group mutually disbanded in 1988 and continued to organize concerts for other groups touring in Spain.
“Cuadro Sinóptico” compiles both 2-song 12″ maxi singles as one 4-song EP. All four songs were recorded during 1984-85 at Doublewtronics Studios in Madrid, Spain, using the most advanced and sophisticated techniques of time in digital recording and Direct Metal Mastering (DMM). The band utilized many professional synthesizers of the time: Roland Juno 60, Prophet V, Korg Poly 61, Yamaha DX-7, Roland TR-909 and the Linn Drum, which was used by most Italo Disco artists. These songs were recorded in the highest fidelity with disc jockeys in mind. Genuinely catchy, Vocoder combined soaring melodies with cybernetic coldness. A futuristic sound for the modern age topped with Pilar’s charismatic vocals. Lyrically they address robotic love, disco dancing, and the tropical island of Mindanao, and sing in Spanish, English and French.
All songs on “Cuadro Sinóptico” have been remastered from the original reel to reel master tapes for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Each LP includes a double-sided insert with photos, lyrics and liner notes by Flemming Dalum, a Danish DJ who introduced much of the world to Vocoder in 2008 on his “French Spanish Italo Connection” mix. Vocoder want you to barricade yourself in the discotheques and dance away the depression.
[soundcloud width=”500″ params=”color=222222&theme_color=000000″]http://soundcloud.com/darkentriesrecords/sets/vocoder-cuadro-sin-ptico-ep[/soundcloud]
We’ve also decided to repress some of titles that are out of print, starting with
DE-006 Dark Day – Window LP
Dark Day was the brainchild of Robin Crutchfield formed after leaving New York’s seminal No Wave band, DNA. Following the first few incarnations and various lineups, 1981 saw the direction of the project morphed into an electronic keyboard duo where Robin was joined by Bill Sack. Together they recorded an album of nine songs entitled Window that was released on Plexus Records. Lyrics were inspired by various sources including occult texts by Colin Wilson and art by Leger, Bruegel, Malevich, Man Ray, Duchamp and Jean Cocteau. The mechanized sound of Window is less one of the man machine robots in charge of Kraftwerk than man at the mercy of his machines. The infectiously-engaging toy-like instruments captured the ears of fans worldwide with popcorn drum rhythms. A Synare borrowed from Jeff and Jane Hudson lent a “Bette Davis Eyes” crack to the percussion on the percolating tracks. The instant polaroid images, an homage to Japanese recording artist Susan of “The Girl Can’t Help It,” adorned the album sleeve in two stark headshots of musicians at work, haunted by the unseen. The front cover, a Crutchfield-designed collage in two tones of salmon flesh and Mediterranean watery blue show a string of rickety children in diaper togs, forced much like the children of “Cat In The Hat” to spend a dreary day indoors. The look on the children’s faces asks you to determine whether they are needing to be rescued from their enclosure, or inviting you to join and play. Is the window something you look out, or in? You must answer that question.
Carefully remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley and limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. This re-issue also includes a 24-page newsprint zine “Darker Days As I Recall Them” by Robin Crutchfield and an 8×11 lyrics sheet with song meanings and reflections from Robin Crutchfield and Bill Sack on the making of Window.
[soundcloud width=”500″ params=”color=222222&theme_color=000000″]http://soundcloud.com/darkentriesrecords/sets/dark-day-window[/soundcloud]
Our next three releases will be ready in late July:
DE-027 Stress – Conspiracy Theory LP
DE-028 Borghesia – Clones LP+DVD
DE-029 X-Ray Pop – The Dream Machine LP
Thanks for your support!