We are excited for these two contemporary releases ready to ship for Leap Day. FRAK and Red Axes remixes of Lena Platonos.
Frak are Björn Isgren, Johan Sturesson and Jan Svensson, a trio of synthesizer lovers from Sweden. The band was formed when Svensson and Isgren’s older sisters were best friends and they introduced their little brothers to each other. Inspired by Severed Heads, DAF, Human League, Devo, Skinny Puppy, the boys began collecting analog equipment and started Studio Styrka. While the band were still in their early teens they released the first FRAK cassette album in 1987 on their own record label Börft.
Almost 30 years later, FRAK continue to release their bizarre brand of Scandinavian techno with their debut release on Dark Entries. “Sudden Haircut” was recorded in 2015, a ten-minute brooding, heavy hitting acid attack full of 808 drum claps aimed at the dance floor. The three remaining songs come from a studio tape the band found in their archives named ‘FRAK “After The Silence” 2001-2010’ “Synthgök” and “Synthfrilla” were recorded in 2010 and originally released on the ‘Börft’ EP by Sex Tag Mania in 2012. Utilizing a 808, 303, 101 and MS-10, both are supreme cuts of electro leaning acid techno that perfectly fit the sweatiest moments of any club land experience. The deliciously rugged final track “First Glimt I Ögat” is a vintage unreleased Frak song from 2001 recorded one month before the track “Second Coming” (later released as B1 on ‘Börft’ EP).
All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Designer Eloise Leigh has created a playful DIY jacket based on a mysterious black and white photo of the band in their classic tin foil masks. Each copy comes with a black and white postcard featuring a distorted back stage photo of FRAK in their teens. “Forget all you know about Swedish electronic music, this is Börft crew, the core underground of “söta bror’s” techno history – here represented by Frak – a full out techno acid punch.”
Lena Platonos is a pioneer of the Greek electronic music scene of the 1980s. She produced and released her second solo album, ‘Gallop’, in 1985 that we reissued in 2015. The album is made exclusively using analog synthesizers and heavily features the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine. Lena narrates each song, reciting her own surreal Greek poetry with unique skill. Lena says of ‘Gallop’, “It’s a study in the mythology of urban population of the contemporary metropolis and also a gaze into the future life of it.”
We’ve asked Red Axes to chose their four favorite songs from ‘Gallop’ and create remixes for each one. Red Axes is Tel-Aviv based producers and DJs Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi, releasing their own productions and remixes since 2009 on I’m a Cliché, Correspondant and Hivern Discs. The duo was raised on a steady diet of post-punk, new-wave and Italo-disco at fogged out warehouse and basement parties. They’ve transform “Witches” and “And We Hear “I Love You”” into solid dancefloor tools. “No. 9” and “Liqueur Ruby” transport the listener to a hypnotic state tripped out in a psychedelic mist, with the latter featuring middle eastern rhythms by fellow Tel Aviv musicians The Dirty Lizards.
All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The jacket riffs off the original ‘Gallop’ cover, isolating the photograph of Lena layered on a grid backdrop designed by Eloise Leigh. Each copy includes a two-sided postcard with a manipulated frame from one of Lena’s music videos. “In an era where we are obsessed with nostalgia, Red Axes achieved something against that grain while still paying homage to the underrated greats that came before them.” – Anthem Magazine
And next up are another teenage fantasy fulfilled: a collection of early material from UK post-punk stalwarts Sad Lovers and Giants just in time for the upcoming debut US Tour in March:
15 – Austin – SXSW
17 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
18 – Vancouver, BC – The Hindenburg
19 – Portland, OR – Blackwater Brewery
21 – Sacramento, CA – The Colony
22 – San Francisco, CA – The Elbo Room w/ DJ Josh Cheon
25 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
27 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo / Part Time Punks
When I See You
There Was No Time
Things We Never Did
Lost In A Moment
The Tightrope Touch Sad Lovers & Giants are a post-punk band from Watford, England who formed in 1980. The original lineup included vocalist Garçe (Simon) Allard, guitarist Tristan Garel-Funk, bassist Cliff Silver, drummer Nigel Pollard and keyboardist/saxophonist David Wood. They released their first 3-song 7” EP “Clé” followed by the “Colourless Dream” single both in 1981 and “Lost In A Moment” 7” single in 1982. They released two studio albums, “Epic Garden Music” (1982) and “Feeding the Flame” (1983) before disbanding and reforming in 1987.
“Lost In A Sea Full Of Sighs” is a collection of 9 songs recorded between 1981 and 1982. Compiling all seven song from their first three 7” singles plus one demo and one song recorded for a John Peel Session in 1981. Lead singer and songwriter Garce Allard was influenced by the works of Satre, Orwell, Huxley, Dali and Kafka and especially T.S. Elliot’s ‘The Wasteland’. The sense of alienation from reality in the stream of conscious-like prose, perfectly echoed his own experience. Many of the lyrics on this collection are vaguely autobiographical and tend towards melodrama and personal relationships. The music is moody, dense, cerebral, bass-driven, awash with synthesizer swirls and sax interjections like The Chameleons, Modern English and The Cure.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The jacket features a drawing of an espalier used for “horizontal training”,a technique to control the directional growth of plants designed by Eloise Leigh. Each copy includes an 8 page black and white zine booklet with lyrics, liner notes and drawings plus a 8.5×11” gig poster from the band’s archives. “This small anthology of songs, by a little known and perverse English band from the 1980’s means as much to us as I hope it will to you.” (Grace Allard)
On April 4th we are releasing 4 more Italo-disco 12″s on our Dark Entries Editions series:
DE-116 Ghibli – I’m Looking For You
DE-117 Some Bizarre – Don’t Be Afraid
DE-118 Brand Image – Are You Loving
DE-119 Dario Dell’Aere - Eagles In The Night