Out Now: Lena Platonos, Smersh, Cupol

December 20, 2016

SHIPPING NOW:

SIDE A
Like This For Ages
Anchors
Norde
Quicken Your Step

SIDE B
Kluba Cupol

Cupol was an English post-punk band that formed during Wire's 1980-1984 hiatus. The duo consisted of Bruce Gilbert (guitar, vocals, synthesizer) and Graham Lewis (bass, vocals, synthesizer). Building on Wire’s more experimental work, their dark, minimal pieces were devoid of pop structure and filled with atmospheric twists. Having already established the side project Dome, the name Cupol came from "cupola”, following an architectural theme.

The "Like This For Ages” EP was an homage to the Master Musicians of Joujouka, released in 1980 on 4AD. The A-side, "Like This For Ages", is a concise four and a half minutes of crunchy synth sounds, pained vocals, and eerie atmospheres. The B-side, "Kluba Cupol" is an instrumental percussion-driven companion piece full of trance-inducing rhythms that stretches over 20 minutes. “What sounded oddly danceable on the A-side becomes bleak and cold, putting this more in line with Current 93, Sleep Chamber, and other purveyors of ritual industrial and dark ambient. "Kluba Cupol" can even be considered the first example of isolationist music.”, Richie Troughton describes. The title 'Kluba Cupol' was inspired by current affairs. "It was an anagram of Kabul,” says Graham Lewis. We’ve included three bonus tracks to the A-side for the first time on vinyl, Gilbert and Lewis’ sole John Peel session from 1980.

All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is housed in an exact replica of of the original jacket featuring a painting of Bruce Gilbert’s, inspired by Arabic mosaic. Each copy includes a double sided insert designed by Eloise Leigh with with liner notes by Graham Lewis and Cupol collaborator and photographer Russell Mills. Also included are two color postcards of Cupol performing live at Notre Dame Hall in 1980 taken by Mills.

SIDE A
Rhythm Crash
The Home Circus

SIDE B
Motor Hum
Hard Wired

Dark Entries returns to the New Jersey basement studio of Smersh to unearth a 4-track selection from the ‘Deep House Anthems’ cassette. Smersh was the duo of Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard, who began making music together in 1978. They were uninterested in traditional notions of songwriting or live performance. Recording in a domestic setting necessitated the abandonment of live drums for rhythm machines, and the Smersh sound would gradually change with each new bit of gear they acquired. The Electro-Harmonic Rhythm 12 gave way to TR606, TB303, and SH-09. Most Monday nights, they would write a new song from scratch. A couple hours later, the song was recorded, never to be performed again.

By 1988, they had already put out at least 16 different tapes on their own Atlas King imprint. They would be followed by as many more. “Some of those [subsequent] tapes there were less than 10 copies that got made because nobody wanted them. They couldn’t get reviewed,” says Mike Mangino. As these tapes traded their way across continents, Smersh developed a devoted following in places far beyond Piscataway, leading to releases on dozens of other labels from around the globe. Smersh’s sound is a lush hybrid of techno, industrial, dance, and experimental. Most songs revolve around driving EBM style beats, intricate industrial noise manipulation and synth melodies. For ‘Selected Deep House Anthems’ we selected 4 tracks of pulsating acid techno, which were recorded live, direct to DAT. All songs were originally recorded and released in 1991, and this the first time all but one of these songs are appearing on vinyl.

Each song has been carefully remastered from the cassette originals for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a replica of the ‘Deep House Anthems’ sleeve which designer Eloise Leigh modified using art motifs and textures sourced from the original cassette, plus an oversized postcard with notes.

SIDE A
Το παιδί της παραμονής (Child of the Eve)
Η Κυψέλη (The Beehive)
Μπλε (Blue)
Μιραμπίλλια (Mirabillia)
Στοπ (Stop)
Άλλοθι με 39° καλοκαίρι (Summer Alibi in 39° C)

SIDE B
Lego
Η λάθος αγάπη (Mistaken Love)
Διάλειμμα το Σάββατο (Saturday Break)
Hoping by Shopping

Λένα Πλάτωνος (Lena Platonos) is a Greek musician, pianist and music composer. One of the pioneers of Greek electronic music, she remains active today. Lena was born in Heraklion, Crete, and grew up in Athens. She began learning how to play the piano at the age of two and became a professional pianist before turning eighteen. Soon afterwards, she received a scholarship to study in the the Berlin and Vienna Academies , where she was exposed to jazz, rock and Middle Eastern music. She returned to Greece in the late 70’s and began working with the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation.

Released in 1984, ‘Μάσκες Ηλίου’ (‘Sun Masks’) was Lena Platonos’ first record to feature her own words and vocals. All instruments were performed by Lena herself.. ‘Sun Masks’ was inspired by Argentine writer, Julio Cortázar as well as the film ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd. "I began to reverse my thought process, to let melodies fade out, to turn to minimalism, to experiment on my Yamaha C60 synthesizer and a variety of “boxes” which I used to change the sound of my voice as well as the sound of the synthesizer” says Lena. The album featured experiments with different sounds and a new batch of electronic equipment, such as the legendary Roland TR 808 drum machine. Lena narrates each song in deadpan fashion, skillfully reciting her surreal Greek poetry. Her lyrics deal with the futility of love, the gap of human relationships, consumerist alienation in the bourgeois lifestyle of the 1980s.

All songs have been remastered from the original master tapes for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The jacket is an exact replica of the 1984 edition, featuring a photograph of Lena wearing sunglasses or “sun masks”. Each copy includes a two-sided 11”x11” insert with lyrics in both Greek with English, and liner notes by Lena.

COMING JANUARY 2017:
DE-139 De-Bons-en-Pierre (B. Wanzer/M.Mazzocchetti) - Crepes LP
DE-143 Kirlian Camera - Helden Platz 12"
DE-144 East Wall - Eyes of Glass 12"
DE-145 East Wall - Silence 2xLP

Recent Posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram