torsdag den 13. marts 2008

Totem Goth

Totem Goth is a documentary that covers the Danish dark punk music of '84. It's all in Danish but there are good live shots of some great Danish bands.

Speaker: Michael Valeur.
Live band: ADS.
Places: Ungdomshuset, Nørreport Station, Copenhagen Central Station.

Totem part 2
Speaker: ?
Live band: Alive with Worms.
Places: Saltlageret, Copenhagen Town Square etc.

Totem part 3
Speaker: Martin Hall.
Band: Martin Hall.
Places: ?

Totem part 4
Speaker: ?
Bands: Sort Sol, Under For
Places: ?

Before - A Wish of Life

Before was formed in 1980 by Martin Hall and Fritz "Fatal" Bornfils, who got well-known for his wild live performances. Martin Hall left the band in the summer of '81, choosing to focus on his own band Ballet Méqcanique, whos' album "The Icecold Waters of the Egocentric Calculation" just had been appointed most important album of the year. In '82 Before released their first album "A Wish of Life" and it got honoured as best album of the year. Even though Martin Hall doesn't appear on "A Wish of Life" he still must be credited for his composing. Before broke up in 1983 due to Fritz "Fatal"s drug abuse.
"A Wish of Life" was re-released in 2003 containing all the original songs as well as some old live recordings from back when Martin Hall played the guitar in the band.

Download Before - Mental Dreams [Live]
Download Before - Wastefull Hours [Live]

For a Before discography with some good pictures, click here.

torsdag den 28. februar 2008

Purrkur Pillnikk

Formed in 1981 Purrkur Pillnikk was one of the first Icelandic punk bands. They only existed for 18 months but managed to release two studio albums and two EP's. The group disbanded in 1982 but made one last release in '83, a live LP called Maskínan. The members of the band later became successful in other Icelandic punk bands. Lead singer Einar Örn Benediktsson formed a dynamic vocal duo with Björk in the bands KUKL and The Sugarcubes. Also Bragi Ólafsson became a member of Sugarcubes. The other members of Purrkur Pillnikk was Ásgeir Bragason and Friðrik Erlingsson.

Tilf 7" [Released by Gramm Records '81]
Ehgji En 12" [Released by Gramm Records '81]
Googooplex 12" [Released by Gramm Records '82]
No time to think 7" [Released by Gramm Records '82]
Maskínan 12" [Released by Gramm Records '83]

Purrkur Pillnikk - Gluggagægir & Augun úti

V/A - Radioactive Decay

First up is the amazing synth punk group Strip Mall Seizures mixing their great electronic punk with Russian polka rhythms. Talking about great music, Dancing Did also found their way to the compilation. The Rhythm Section stick together is still one of the best, and unfortunately most overlooked, post-punk tunes out there! On track three hell breaks loose when New Collapse bring their A-team on Am I not. Anarchistic synth punk when it?s best. Theatre of Ice takes the tempo down a notch with the brilliant new version of Miron. The students from the Experimental Dental School deliver a bit plain song compared to the rest of their remarkable catalogue; still they managed to break my teeth?s very well. Next up is a good old friend of my stereo. The tribal drums cannot be mistaken; it?s time for good old western gothics Ausgang. Strip is a good song but not that remarkable. Again another pick of song would have been pleasing. After the Strip show it?s time for Din Glorious. To incoherent you might say. I would call it refreshingly abrasive! Panic Face also brings some beeps and bleeps now and then which make me shake my low pixel ass. In a violent way that is. Now it?s time for some minimal synth brilliantly delivered by Jean-Paul Yamamoto followed by a personal favorite of mine: Naked on the Vague?s All Aboard. Their sepulchral synth and gloom and doom lyrics give the compilation a great dark touch. It?s time for one of the good old bands again. Rubella Ballet makes you dream of 1977?s Soho with their delicious anarcho punk while SIDS takes you back to present time reminding you that great music is still being made.

Half way through it has become time for Sixteens. They contribute to the great collection of new music that this compilation offers. Call it new electronics, post-punk or gold wave, I don?t care. I call it amazing! French wave legends Charles de Goal won?t be left out of the CD and their classic Exposition have always sounded very fresh. Perhaps a too obvious pick but it?s still a first-class song. There has also been made room for Dandi Wind and the band brings one of the best tracks on the compilation. After the captivating Scott Wood it becomes noise time again. This time the clattering comes from Night Wounds and Marfa & Ne-Af. Both do their job well but have done better. I easily think of greater songs by especially Marfa & Ne-Af. Medio Mutante thinks it?s long since they last heard minimal on the CD and I agree. Corre is a fresh breath of air before continuing to one of the few new European bands who found their way to the compilation but they represent the continent very well with their music that?ll make you pogo till you puke. Din Glorious offspring Jellowaste brings back more of the great music that synth punk is while Yip-Yip delivers game wave straight from the mental hospital. Deaf Deaf screams their way into my heart before I can?t read closes the candy store with a neat instrumental song containing plenty of oddness.

Get it here

Interview with Sixteens

Introduce yourself. Who's in the band and what instruments do you play?
VEUVE: Hi my name is Veuve and I play bass, guitar, keyboards, 4-track, vox, and clarinet. Kristo plays bass, guitar, keys, samples, vox.
KRISTO: My name is Kristo Louise and i play exactly what Veuve said i play.

What inspired you to form a band? To make music at all?
VEUVE: I started when I was 16 in a punk band. I was the singer. After that I didn't play music for a few years but I knew I wanted to do it again. I started putting sounds together on a four track in my room. I found that I really liked experimenting with sound. I formed a band with two friends called The Vulvettes. I think we were a bit no-wave garage sounding, influenced by The Screamers, DNA, Crucifucks, Tuxedo Moon, Brian Eno, Swell Maps, The Fall, Nico, Pere Ubu, Chrome... It was pretty exciting. Kristo was doing Houses at that time and we had not met each other. I met Kristo, the Vulvettes played their last show and we liked each others music, so, we started working on sounds together, coming up with the first 16s songs. We dragged all kinds of crazy junk up into Kristo's room and started recording on her four-track. Nick lived there also and I had a crappy drum set, so he began playing drums. The band is just Kristo and I now, but we made three records with Nick. Sixteens, Casio, and Fendi. By the way Casio told us not to print anymore records with that name. I guess they don't know free advertising when they see it. (i.e. When the ticket says your seat number is A4 then you better bloody sit in A4 even if half the theatre is empty and someones' afro is making it impossible to see the film.) They are just doing everything by the book, and the book says, Thou shalt not use the name CASIO without permission. My inspiration to make music comes from a need to take the sounds from my environment and transform them into something pleasing to my ears, mind, body.
KRISTO: Why music? No matter what happens to anyone these days, EVERYone is oppressed. Every single human that breathes, is oppressed. People that are looking for love, are having a hard time, why? they are oppressed and visited by oppressed visitors. I've tried to hold a positive position recently, but i have re-understood the truth about us: Oppression (PERSONAL, SEXUAL, POLITICAL, WORLD). I stand for a life out side of that. A world with plusses and kisses, and wine and freedom. And I mostly drink wine so much more than i should because, I am oppressed. At least I am not tight.
Tell me about your latest album Into the Gold Wave of Future Non Rip-Off. What does it sound like?
VEUVE: It sounds like Post Alien-takeover colonization and Tourist trade in a holographically haunted electro-magnetic landscape. The songs themselves would be the alien species created through human genetic experi-mentation with DNA discovered on micrometeorites. The songs would then take on a life of their own and be sent spinning out of control into the opening atmosphere.
KRISTO: I think, if you give it a whirl, it will be a good album that with-stands time.

In what way does the album differ from your earlier work?
KRISTO: The difference in this album for us, IS Dance. Don't Dance. Think. Cry. Die. Smile. HOld onto what you see is right and what you know is right and be left handed and relinquish all forms of hell.
VEUVE: Well for one thing Nick is not on this album. He played some of the keyboards on Casio and Fendi. Gold Wave has an energy that reflects a freedom Kristo and I felt as soon as Nick was no longer in the band. Kristo and I were on a similar wave length.

How's the process when you make music?
KRISTO: My process of creating music is about making it. I don't really care THAT much about other bands, altho i listen to plenty other shit. I like to record some 16s and then listen to it on my mini-disc player and make up lyrics and go to bed with the head-set on and wake up wondering what the fuck just went through my head. I have to then jump up and get started on some kind of "day" but really, i am thinking about our music all of the time. I guess if you want to talk "gear" I don't really like that kind of conversation, but I would have to say i use many keyboards, synth rack, guitar, bass, oh, yah and weird vocal machines.
VEUVE: Listen to records, radio, sometimes talk-shows, documentaries, walks in the park, go to the library, drink wine, mix cocktails, vodka, limes, blood oranges, Cointreau. Did you know that the CIA would experiment with LSD on each other unsuspectingly as a joke in the 60s, by lacing the coffee. Reportedly one incident where after dinner Cointreau was laced resulted in a CIA officer jumping out the 15th floor of a high rise hotel in New York. They said he committed suicide. This imagery will maybe be part of a song. I also take ferry rides on the bay, travel to foreign places. read books, go to work. Then I start to have inspiring images in my mind. My imagination starts working on it. I might record a bit of sound from something somewhere or play a few notes and loop them. I might make a simple drumbeat first, sometimes with the drum machine or real drums sampled. Record it onto reel to reel tape and play part of it backwards, put that on the computer then add sound from other tapes. One of us might make music and show it to the other and then the other person adds instrumentation to it. Sometimes we just start playing our instruments together and we come up with a song immediately. Lyrics usually come from writing I am doing all the time. Sometimes my lyrics will exist as short phrases stolen from books. Kristo also writes a lot and is always coming up with lyrics. Music for me is usually accompanied by imagery.

You lived in Berlin for a while and I guess you toured a lot in Europe at that time. What does you think of the European culture and music scene. Is it any different from the American?
VEUVE: Europe definitely treats underground bands better. The band always has a place to sleep and food paid for. It is not like that when you tour America. In Berlin there wasn't a very big live music scene happening. In San Francisco you can see three shows a night if you want. There are too many bands here, and not enough places to play. It starts to seem like when you play a show that you are involved in a machine that chews you up and spits you out. Move them in and move them out. Everyone is just moving so fast like they can't wait for the night to end.
KRISTO: If I could ever get a house, it won't be here. (Oakland/S.F.)

You have toured together with Blixa Bargeld (Red: fra Einstürzende Neubauten). What was that like? How did you get the job?
VEUVE: We had some good shows. I probably said two sentences to Blixa the whole time. Some people you just naturally hit it off with and others you don't really need to talk to. It is all about context, intersection and timing. I believe he had recently arrived from Shanghai or Bejing. So that says alot right there. The show in Seattle was interesting. Our instruments looked like a collection of used rubbish on the enormous stage, with the zimmer frames holding up the keyboards which were attempting as usual to disable themselves.The place usually housed jazz and blues nights. The sound person had a computerized clip-board that could actually check the sound of each instrument while he stood there talking to the band on stage. Seating was arranged like an amphitheatre but with tables and people were ordering extravagant deserts while watching the band play. It was like a Jaques Tati film.
KRISTO: See? Funny! it is looked at as a job, isn't it? will someone realize this so that we can actually put food on the table via music? ha! This is a gigantic tribe we are dealing with and we are the witch-doctor-musicians-holistic GIANTS!

Are there any other bands or artists you would like to tour with in the future?
VEUVE: Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Yma Sumac, perhaps the music industry would learn how to loosen the screws a bit, turn the compression units down for a moment and let sound be heard...Hard question to answer.
KRISTO: OMD. Ha! We would like to tour with ourselves and someone else should join. ALL OPPRESSED INDIVIDUALS WELCOME.

Any plans to tour Europe again soon?
VEUVE: Yes we will but I don't know when. How about Denmark? We haven't played there yet.

The 16's Website


The Icelandic punk band Vonbrigði was founded in 1981 by members Jóhann Wilhjálmsson (vocals), Arni Kristjánsson (guitar), Thórarinn Kristjánsson (drums), and Gunnar Ellertsson (bass guitar). In September 1982 the group released a self-titled 7" which was followed by the Kakófónia 12" in November '83. Both records was released by the Icelandic label Gramm Records. A year after the release of Kakófónia the English label Shout re-released it with English translations of the songs. There were quiet about the band untill 2004 when they released the Eðli Annarra album.

Website in Icelandic
Review of a recent concert

Vonbrigði - Ó Reykjavík