Review: The judicious Minimal Wave clan deliver another brilliant compilation of rare and wonderful music from the 1980's, this time an anthology of the best work from Japanese artiste Tomo Akikawabaya. Sourcing these songs in their original format has become harder and harder over the years, so they've really done us a favour with this effort. The double LP is made up of loneseom drones, lo-fi drum machine grooves and gorgeous synth work, all coated in Akikawabaya's wonderful vocal stance. The Japanese artiste has a unique style that borders on the melancholic, yet her music is always charged by a driving, proto techno feel. This is one to check if you weren't in the know.
Review: A much needed repress for one of Minimal Wave's best and most impressive looking archival releases here. Originally issued four years ago, Synthesize pulled together some nine tracks from the archives of Autumn, aka Belgian duo Peter Bonne and Geert Coppens whose musical experiments together began in the 1970s and took full flight the next decade. This collection's inspiration comes from the 1981 &" of the same name that Autumn laid to tape in under seven hours, with both tracks featured and complemented by a further array of primitive electronics and supple synth experiments. It's worth it alone for the nervous energy of "Night In June" and "Laughter Of A Madman".
Review: With Minimal Wave at their current celebrated level, it's nice of them to occasionally dig into their archives and reissue some of their earliest releases for those Johnny Come Lately's who might have missed out first time around. Having done the right thing with an all too timely reissue of Das Ding's HSTA late last year, Veronica Vasicka's label now turn their attentions to Blackpool and revisit Spy Thriller by Das Kabinette. Originally released back in 2008, this eight track collection brings together material the trio of Michael Hall, David Bracher and Craig Hemmings recorded in the early 80s including the cult hits "The Cabinet" and "Fudge It" which appeared on a 1983 7". Fans of Silent Servant mixtapes will probably be familiar with these tracks whilst the remaining six tracks are typically unreleased studio productions that paint a fascinating picture of primitive synth music that's subtley touched by the death throes of New Romanticism.
Review: Initially released in 2010, Minimal Wave's retrospective of obscure French '80s outfit Deux remains one of the label's most sought-after compilations. Here, it gets a deserved re-press, allowing a whole new generation of listeners to fall in love with the quirky works of the Lyon-based duo. The album's ten tracks, which were drawn from various obscure cassettes and seven-inch singles, effortlessly join the dots between moody electro, cold-wave, new wave and eccentric synth-pop, reflecting the pair's esoteric approach to wayward electronic pop. This second edition comes in a hand-numbered edition of 999 copies, with Minimal Wave's usual attention to detail present on the weighty packaging.
Review: Originally released back in the early '80s, Veronica Vasicka's label has done its audience a fine service by re-releasing Portrait by Swiss duo Guyers Connection. Full of self-conscious vocals and in places decidedly lo-fi synth lines, it's surprising and disappointing that this collection wasn't a big hit first time round. After all, both "Pogo of Techno" and "Keep the City Clean" are as catchy as an oddball Yazoo, "Die Grille" is a jaw-dropping, windswept synth composition and "National Und Stander" sees the duo fuse ponderous piano lines with pulsing, rippling basslines. Best of all though is "Ein Glas Voll Gurken" a breathy synth-pop song that could have conquered charts had it been sung in English.
Review: Fans of mechanical techno-not-techno sounds will be all over Minimal Wave's latest transmission from 80s French underground heroes In Aeternam Vale. Having reissued several essential lost works from the outfit last year, most notably the proto-Sandwell sound of "Highway Dark Veins", Veronica Vasicka delivers another two tracks from the vault. Stylistically mirroring that previous two track release the title track is an equally brilliant synth-techno beast which could easily pass for a Function track today, while B-side "Calling Somewhere" sounds like a cold wave version of proto-halfstep. Needless to say, the fact that these tracks are 22 years old literally left us speechless.
Review: The combination of Richard H. Kirk and Minimal Wave was never going to disappoint, but the four tracks on this Never Lose Your Shadow 12" are still very special! Digging deep through the archives of the Cabaret Voltaire front man, Veronica Vasicka presents a quartet of solo recordings that have never been committed to wax before. The highlight is undoubtedly the A Side title track, a lolloping ten minute track of hypnotic industrial action made all the more memorable by Kirk's acerbic intonations about "the blind leading the blind". If you've caught a Vasicka DJ set recently you will have probably lost yourself to these ten minutes. On the flip are three tracks recorded in the same late '70s period which are distinctly more experimental in tone and just as vital.
Review: Minimal Wave's latest must-have release shines a light on the largely forgotten work of early '80s Belgian misfits The Misz, a duo who recorded and released off-kilter new-wave pop on limited edition cassettes via a variety of obscure labels. Their trademark sound - created using cheap and little-known synthesizers, lo-fi drum machines, effects-laden guitars and stylish vocals - remains hugely alluring, with this ten-track collection offering a superb introduction to their work. We're particularly enjoying the effects-laden trip that is "It Ain't All Garbage", the doomy shuffle of "A La Recherche De BL" and the alien synths and weirdo vocals of "Zastava Home", but there are plenty of other tracks across the LP worthy of lavish praise.
Review: Minimal Wave's 15th release is an LP by Stereo called Somewhere In The Night. The LP brings together the French band's best material recorded between 1982-1985, including the cult songs Somewhere In The Night and No More. The release is also available on CD, both formats are limited edition. The LP comes with a printed insert of photos and the CD comes with a mini poster. They both include full versions of each song, as well as an unreleased track from 1985 : Lover On The Run.