Actually hailing from Slovenia, New Wave Syria is Ursa Golob and Rok Pezdirc of Superheroes of BMX. Their rock background provides a more band-focused approach to this electronic side project that definitely comes across in the music. If you like Adult, you should probably just go download their whole album (link below).
"Random Logic" adds a layer of rough distortion over mechanical new wave, sounding like it was recorded in the middle of a factory. A delicate melody and Ursa's Ralf Hütter-style vocals provide just enough balance to keep the knob-twiddling from being overwhelming. This isn't necessarily the format that all of their songs follow; on some tracks, its the vocals that add the edge, at points the music feels almost ambient, at others poppy.
Available on thier album Hello, Yes, which you can download for free or purchase on cd via
Lying somewhere between Joy Division and Fad Gadget and sounding far more French than they actually are is a Dutch duo I'll almost guarantee you've never heard of: Nine Circles. I can say this with some confidence because most of their catalog, though recorded in 1982, was never even released until 1996. No, I'm not making that up. I have no idea why they sat on it so long, because they probably would've been a big hit in some alternative dance clubs 28 years ago.
According to their MySpace page (sorry, it's all I have to go on), Lidia Fiala and Peter Van Garderen are actually doing concerts still. I doubt we will ever see them here in the States, but I can always hope they'll open on the next Ladytron tour...
The particularly amazing thing is how while their early stuff still holds up pretty well after all this time, they've progressed so far as to sound almost nothing like those first albums--and yet still sound like the same band. To illustrate this, I've chosen to post "Monument", from the 1982 release A Broken Frame, a new wave track so minimal it can barely be danced to, whispering of techno and covered in fantastic '80s bleepy synths. In contrast, their recent single "Wrong" is loud and in-your-face, and the synths, now joined by guitars, are darker and harsher. This version is a remix by dubstep master Caspa [who coincidentally is playing at Smartbar on the same night]. The genre-overlay is really well done, and I think it says as much about the versatility of Depeche Mode's songwriting as Caspa's production skills.
Download and dig in, we'll see you on Thursday with a whole lot more!
Posted: March 22nd, 2010
at 3:44pm by qbot
Tagged with 1982, 2009, a broken frame, alan wilder, atomic, bleepy synths, caspa, dave gahan, depeche mode, dubstep, insane sample libraries, kraftwerk, martin gore, minimalism, monument, new wave, smartbar, sounds of the universe, synthpop, tribute, vince clarke, wrong
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I'll complete our series of New Order tribute posts this week with a look towards the future and an artist I have been dying to write about since we started this blog. The work of Parisian graphic designer Marc Nguyen Tan, Colder bears some resemblance to the fashion industry he works in by day; dark minimalism comes across as stylish and sexy despite it's mechanical synthesized structure and disassociated vocals. Is this meant to be heard on a dance floor, or alone at home with the lights out?
"To The Music" is a particular favorite of mine, an anthem to the solitary dancer, lost in the music and oblivious to the gaze of bystanders. I can think of few songs more appropriate for Neo, where it seems all eyes are on the floor. It's taken from Heat, but if I were to recommend only one Colder album, I'd first choose 2003's solid Again. Though the influence of Joy Division couldn't be more obvious, it's an equally fine example of modern French new wave.
Without an official website (or even so much as a MySpace page) and a now-defunct label, it's difficult to know if/when there will be another Colder album out. In
Finally, no post on Colder would be complete without including Nguyen Tan's unbelievably good remix of Depeche Mode's "Clean". I feel like Depeche Mode doesn't get enough credit for how spot-on they are with choosing the most perfect and current producers to remix their stuff, and they really nailed it with this one. Do I dare say it? I like it better than the original.
Coincidentally, Marc Nguyen Tan released a new album just last week; it's a collaboration with his long time friend Guillaume Ollendorff, under the name Scratoa!. Called Live en San Antón, it was recorded in the barrio of the same name in Alicante, Spain two years ago. It's improvised noisy experimental sound is quite a departure from Colder, and will more likely appeal to Nurse With Wound fans.
Posted: February 3rd, 2010
at 6:17pm by qbot
Tagged with 2005, again, chris and cosey, clean, colder, dark, depeche mode, designer, french, guillaume ollendorff, heat, joy division, live en san anton, marc nguyen tan, minimalism, new order, new wave, nurse with wound, paris, post punk, remix, scratoa, to the music, tribute
Comments: 1 comment
A lot of people get really upset when I say this, but I swear it's true; most of what we play at Atomic isn't technically new wave. Depeche Mode? Synthpop. Duran Duran? New Romantic. Joy Division? Post Punk. I could go on and on, but we're not that picky, and most people would probably be bored to tears with a pure new wave night anyway. When I think of real new wave, I think of the simple electronic pop that could be defined in no other way. I think of M, or even Devo, but personally I lean towards the darker stuff. And no one, I mean no one, did this better than the French in the early '80s.
Deux is a great example of this. The duo formed when Gérard Pelletier moved to Lyon and met art school student Cati Tete [her artwork is described as violent and grotesque, but sadly I couldn't dig any of it up online]. Their music is clearly heavily inspired by Kraftwerk and in current contexts is easily confused with Ladytron. Though they seem to have done rather well in France and at one point had their own imprint, the label went under after only a few years. After an attempt at more mainstream singles in the early '90s, Deux ceased to release anything. Too bad; I'd love to hear what they'd make now if they returned to the studio.
"Game and Performance" was their 1983 debut single, a pop song left naked, stripped of all but minimalist lyrics and melodies. Find it on their career-spanning 2006 compilation Agglomerat.
Available through the Deux
Ok, so… it's a bit hypocritical for me to post this, I'll admit it. I mostly make fun of
But I can't deny their influence, which is rampant everywhere from synthpop to Detroit techno and, of course, the industrial and EBM scenes that they had a hand in founding. Their style sounded very dated to me 10 years ago, but now the minimalism sounds fresh--all things come back again, of course.
I choose to post "Let Your Body Learn" from 1987's That Total Age release because to me, it relates well to new wave [and I'm sure the influence goes both ways]. I'm also including a new track from Neon Electronics vs
We're thrilled to be giving away tickets to their upcoming concert on Thanksgiving night. Though lacking in trees, Nitzer Ebb put on a great live show, and I'm sure they won't disappoint. Opening for them is my absolute favorite local-Chicago-via-way-of-Detroit band
Posted: November 19th, 2009
at 3:09am by qbot
Tagged with 1987, 2004, 2009, american, american automatic, better way, bon harris, british, chicago, concert, dancedelic d, david gooday, demento, detroit, douglas mccarthy, ebm, food, french, ghostly, industrial, kill memory crash, let your body learn, minimalism, mute, neon electronics, nitzer ebb, runestones, talking to trees, techno, thanksgiving, that total age, the hacker, tickets, witchcraft
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