We are digging deep into our formative years of attending dark dance nights in at the Bank club nights in New York City. Wolfsheim and The Frozen Autumn were constant staples on the weekly playlists and are a dream come true to reissue. Plus the updated remix by Ancient Methods will obliterate any dance floor.
Wolfsheim are a synthpop duo from Hamburg, Germany consistsing of Markus Reinhardt (music) and Peter Heppner (lyrics and vocals). The band was founded in 1987 by Markus Reinhardt and Pompejo Ricciardi and was named after Meyer Wolfsheim, a fictional character from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’. Ricciardi soon left the band and was replaced by Peter Heppner, a childhood friend of Reinhardt’s. Together they produced their first demo tape, “Ken Manage”, in 1988.
After making a second demo tape, “Any But Pretty”, in 1989, Wolfsheim applied at various labels until they caught the attention of independent record label Strange Ways Records. They are best known for their debut breakthrough single, “The Sparrows and the Nightingales”, the first single to be released on Strange Ways in 1991. The band’s musical style takes cues from the 1980s New Romantics, new wave, synthpop, and darkwave. The track’s sombre synths were produced by Carlos Peron of Yello. Reinhardt says the lyric was inspired by ‘The Great Gatsby’, “in the ‘onomatopoeic tension’ between predator and security.” Over six minutes, the narrator describes being lost, unsure of where his life is heading, using highly metaphorical language. On the flip is a brand new remix by German producer Ancient Methods, a pseudonym of Michael ‘Trias’ Wollenhaupt, who provides a driving, EBM-leaning, amphetamine-laced club ready cut.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Designer Eloise Leigh has updated the record’s original design with two sparrows enclosed in a blood moon circle against a deep black purple backdrop. Each copy comes with a black and white photo postcard notes by Carlos Peron and the song’s lyrics. This release comes in time to celebrate the single’s 25th anniversary.
The Frozen Autumn is an Italian darkwave band, formed in May 1993 in Turin, Italy. Originally the solo project of singer, keyboardist and synth programmer Diego Merletto, guitarist Claudio Brosio joined on during early studio sessions and live performances. Together they recorded and released two albums, “Pale Awakening” in 1995 and “Fragments of Memories” in 1997. In 1998, Claudio left the band and Diego recruited Arianna (aka Froxeanne) who sings, programs and composes. After 18 months of work, The Frozen Autumn’s third album, “Emotional Screening Device”, was released in April 2002.
“Time Is Just A Memory” is a 6-track overview of songs from The Frozen Autumn’s first three albums. Characterized by a blend of melancholic vocals, atmospheric gothic-wave and 1980s-style electropop, the duo call their style “frozen wave”. The Frozen Autumn have stated that labelmates Clan of Xymox have been their main source of inspiration over the years. Other influences include Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, The Sisters of Mercy, Xmal Deutschland, David Sylvian and Depeche Mode. These six tracks stand out for their rich melodies, from the guitar-laden early tracks “Dusk Is Like A Dagger”, “Wait For Nothing”, “There’s No Time To Recall”, and “This Time,” to the electronic sheen on later songs “Is Everything Real?” and “Silence Is Talking”.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The release is housed in a custom-made jacket by Peer Lebrecht, from German electro/synthpop band The Dust Of Basement, incorporating a photograph by Diego over a textured background that recalls early 4AD designs. Each copy comes with a double sided 11×11 insert with lyrics and notes.
We are excited to release 2 more contemporary releases for February. FRAK and Red Axes remixes of Lena Platonos. Both are out FEBRUARY 23rd.
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.” Juno Records
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