|Our favorite 4AD act re-joins the label March 26, 2021
Order: CLAN OF XYMOX – Peel Sessions
Clan of Xymox
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Catalog #: DE-280
After The Call
Agonised By Love
Dark Entries reunites with longtime idols Xymox, also known as Clan of Xymox, to reissue their Peel Sessions. Xymox was founded in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1983 by Ronny Moorings and Anka Wolbert, who were joined shortly by Frank Weyzig and Pieter Nooten. Melding the synthesizer-driven experiments of post-punk and New Wave with the doom-laden atmospherics of the burgeoning goth rock scene, Xymox were one of the key progenitors of dark wave. The success of their 1983 debut EP, Subsequent Pleasures (reissued by Dark Entries in 2014) paved the way for a string of epochal releases on 4AD, where they honed their lush, despairing sound. Following their 1985 debut LP, Clan of Xymox, DJ and tastemaker John Peel invited them to BBC studios to record for his Radio 1 show. These recordings were released in 2001 via the Strange Fruit label on CD and are now available here for the first time on vinyl and digital formats.
Side A of Peel Sessions was recorded on June 4, 1985 at Maida Vale 5. Ronny and Anka recount facing anxiety and technical difficulties that day, with their complicated MIDI routing and a necessary plug conversion eating into their scant studio time. But their craft shines on these recordings, unmarred by the stressful circumstances. A reverb-drenched rendition of “Stranger”, the brooding hit single from Clan of Xymox, opens the record. “Muscoviet Mosquito”, a cult number from Subsequent Pleasure, follows. It is reworked here in a more robust fashion, similar to the version that would appear on the 1987 Lonely is an Eyesore compilation. Anka’s vocals take center stage on side closer “Seventh Time”, allegedly the song that charmed John Peel. Side B was recorded during a second Peel session on November 3, 1985, and illustrates the band’s continued development with three tracks that would appear on their 1986 album Medusa. “After the Call” was written and sung by Pieter Nooten, and has subtle echoes of Morricone amidst its proto-shoegaze drone. “Agonised by Love” and “Mesmerize”, which would later be retitled “Medusa”, both point towards the smoother, softer anguish that would characterize their sophomore LP.
All songs were remastered by George Horn at Fantasy studios. The sleeve, by Eloise Leigh, evokes classic Vaughn Oliver designs for 4AD, and features a photograph of the band mid-performance. Also included is a 2-sided insert with archival photos and notes from both Ronny and Anka on their experiences recording at the BBC studio.
OUR FIRST CONTEMPORARY LP OF 2021 IS OUT FEB 26
Order: Dax Pierson – Nerve Bumps
Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Disappointment)
Release Date: February 26, 2021
For The Angels
I Slay The Pain
NTHNG FKS U HRDR THN TM
Dax Pierson’s debut solo LP is coming via San Francisco’s Electronic powerhouse imprint Dark Entries Records and Oakland’s Ratskin Records collective. Pierson, an Oakland-based underground legend, has pushed the boundaries of experimental electronic music with his soul-moving opus Nerve Bumps; A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction, an endeavor two long years in the making. On Nerve Bumps, Pierson blends hip hop, jazz, John Carpenter-esque arpeggios, trap/anti trap-influenced percussion, and musique concrete-informed experiments. Futuristic synthesizers cut through layers of fog as Pierson’s bombastic drum programming forges new worlds within themselves.
Pierson tells a complicated and inspiring story on Nerve Bumps, which is both a privilege and a gift to experience. Tracks such as “I Slay The Pain” reiterate that although Pierson has to live his life as a quadriplegic, this does not define him as an artist or as a person. The cinematic “For The Angels” plays as a masterclass in heart and body-moving rhythms and undulating synthesizers. Pierson directly confronts the listener on “Snap”, an act of solidarity with the disabled community. Sputtering orchestral swells become encapsulated by splintering shards of Pierson’s voice, evoking his relentless determination to learn new music production methods as well as share his experience with losing certain physical abilities. The album’s closing track, “NTHNG FKS U HRDR THN TM”, is a perfect distillation of the varied emotions explored on the album. Warm, heavy synths masterfully guide us down a psychedelic slope through the track’s twelve minutes. On Nerve Bumps, honesty, empathy, and humanity bleed through the speakers like a dark liquid just beneath the skin’s surface. For Pierson, music is his lifeblood, both as a creator and a listener.
Nerve Bumps was mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The front cover features a painting of pink and green horizontal stripes by Pierson’s partner, artist Chuck Nanney. A photograph of Pierson’s wheelchair by Lenny Gonzalez graces the back sleeve. Dax’s guiding mantra throughout this journey has been a quote from choreographer Martha Graham: “No artist is pleased… There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
PATRICK COWLEY RESTOCKED
Order: Patrick Cowley – Afternooners
TOBAIS BERNSTRUP BACK IN STOCK
Order: Tobias Bernstrup – 27
DISTRIBUTING THIS NEW LOS MICROWAVES RELATED REISSUE
VIDEO GAME MUSIC FROM 1995
David Javelosa – 31st Centrury Lounge Music LP
Banana Peel Samba
Thrasher In The Fastlane
Girl In The Random Dark
Una Noche En Tijuana
Space Jazz From Spazzmotica
Nu Roman Tek Ride
Weird Thrash Hop
World Of End
The Serious Metal Question
The SalsaTronic Theme
Funky Spy Suite
Theme Of The Heroine
Hummn’ With Mr. Synth
Original compositions for virtual game music recorded in 1995 by Los Microwaves founder David Javelosa. That period in the 90s was one of rare times that Los Angeles was sort of a fun. You’d go somewhere for a drink and hear the late 1950s-early 1960s quirky instrumental pop that became known that year by the “Space Age Bachelor Pad Music” sobriquet. Many of the 14 tracks you are ideally hearing now for the first time were inspired by that long-gone cocktail-glass-shaped crack in time. Made in a tiny Santa Monica studio, surrounded by bits and pieces of torn-apart game consoles, trashed Casios and forgotten keyboards, inventing this set of ephemeral computer-generated sounds. Javelosa remembers what begat the tunes. Thrasher in the Fast Lane, inspired by driving on Bay Area freeways, fast, after hours, an Astor Piazzolla melody blowing with the wind, a party in Mexico City, an exotic perfume, Chet Baker in the background. He’s always been fascinated by the concept of computer-generated jazz – still is. The sound of uncertainty, musical cut ‘n’ paste, excitement when something occurs that maybe has never happened before.