Review: Dark Entries are simply a good record label, enough said. However, we will give you a touch of context on this latest killer, a four-tracker by the mythical Frak trio, still wearing their aluminium hats after twenty years of head-banging. "Sudden Haircut" has been recorded exclusively for the label, and it's a delicious techno lick with a crescendo of XOXBOX acid, while both "Synthfrilla" and "Synthgok" were recorded in 2010, and have previously appeared on the much coveted Sex Tags Mania label out of Bergen, Norway - both essential bangers. The finale is in the shape of "First Glimt I Ogat", another of Frak's classic drum-led house weavers that works both on its own and mixed into just about anything. Recommended gear - be quick!
Review: If you've ever wanted some straight-up italo disco but then wondered where to find it, where to start, who to ask, then Dark Entries have sorted you right out. As usual, the label come through strong, and this time they reissue an italo disco classic by Brand Image (T.Scarfone and M.Scarabelli) originally released in 19983, and representing the genre with flying colours. "Are You Loving?" contains the 1980's in every sense of the word: quirky, melancholic vocals riding over a grainy drum machine beat, and accompanied by massive synth stabs and an inimitable sort of groove - simply lovely. There's an instrumental on the flip just in case you love the sounds but are slightly scared by the power of the vocals...
Review: Dark Entries has always been rather canny when it comes to their Italo-disco reissues, often unearthing obscurities from one-shot artists who disappeared just as quickly as they arrived. Ghibli was one such artist. He only ever released one single, I'm Looking For You, back in 1985. That it still sounds fresh, despite its' obvious period features - bubbling, Bobby Orlando style synthesizer sequences, bold chords and a heavily accented Italian vocals - is testament to the skill of the record's original producer, Alfredo Baraldi. As with the original pressing, this Dark Entries edition comes back with the superior Instrumental version.
Review: By Italo-disco standards, where artists often got one-shot at glory, Some Bizarre was relatively successful. The studio duo released three 12" singles, with 1983 debut Don't Be Afraid being most coveted by Italo-disco collectors. Here it gets a timely reissue from Dark Entries. The original vocal version actually still stands up well, sounding a little like a quirky European tribute to early Depeche Mode, with a little Visage thrown in. The drum machine handclap-heavy percussion and Yazzoo-style synth riffs make it more potent than some Italo-disco of the period, and the vocal is much stronger - and less heavily accented - than many Italian records of the period. As usual, it's accompanied by a dub-style Instrumental on the flip.
Review: Dark Entries has truly become a sensational imprint over the last few years, and they are showing no signs of stopping. In fact, they've just gotten better and better with each new release. We have a special one on our hands this time and, although the label have reissued a whole heap of glorious material, this is NEW music from the very best out there. Chicago industrial-tech-goth Beau Wanzer teams up with Unknown Precept's Maoupa Mazzocchetti, and the dup get on like a house on fire under their new De-Bons-En-Pierre moniker. Crepes is a gnarly little EP, blurring the lines between techno, EBM and industrial, but doing so in a way that makes the three genres sound like they should never ever be apart from one another. "Whole Body Irradiator", for instance, has all the beat elements of techno and yet the sounds are drenched in a punky, fuck-you kinda style that would make the Berghain faithful run for their lives, while we could easily imagine the torn, glitchy beats of "Francine" residing on some long-lost post-punk 7 inch from the likes of Pete Shelley. This is some mad gear - don't miss it.
Review: Nitzer Ebb and Mute aside, if you're looking for some high-class EBM-style music then The Neon Judment should be your first port of call. Davo Da Davo and TB Frank made some utterly timeless music back in the 80s and early 90s, but what we really love about their style is that they effortlessly glided between synth-pop and odd, inimitably obscure strains of industrial tones. Cockerill-Sombre was originally released in 1983 and, of course, Dark Entries are here to reissue the gem in the finest of styles. The opener "Please Release Me, Let Me Go-Go" is the best post-punk nugget that's been reissued thus far in 2017; the tune is a bizarre blend of hip-hop vocalism rapped through a fuzzy, electro-like filter that has been playing on our turntable since Monday morning, while "Too Cold To Breathe" sprays a shuddery sequence of vocals over a nervy techno, 4/4 drum machine. "The Fashion Party" bubbles its wavy bassline over incessant analogue drums, and makes for a fine proto-techno joint, leaving "1 Jump Ahead" to provide us with a fast, tribal post-punk bullet that leaves us yearning for more TNJ material.
Review: Having spent much of the last 12 months furiously re-issuing classic Italo-disco bombs, Dark Entries has finally got round to releasing some more contemporary cuts. The man behind this EP is Victor Lenis AKA Cute Heels, a Barcelona-based Colombian who last appeared on the imprint in 2014. As usual, the two new productions showcased here see him explore a range of vintage electronic music influences, presenting them in a typically stylish and authentic way. "Third Skin" melds the muscular sweatiness of EBM to the jackin' energy of Chicago acid, while "Lipstick Information" offers a master-class in dark Italo-disco and early Detroit techno fusion. Steffi and The Hacker both give the title track a thorough going over, with the former's deliciously hypnotic, psychedelic take being particularly potent.
Review: It would be fair to say that Series-A's Evolution Technology is something of a long-lost electro classic. Written and produced by Detroit friends DJ Maestro and Kid Fresh in 1987, 50 promo copies of the record were pressed before the label they'd signed to, California's Satellite Records, went bankrupt. This was always a shame, as "Evolution Technology" is something of a killer: a spellbinding chunk of futurist electro that updated the Cybotron blueprint for the emerging Motor City techno generation. As well as the original 7" and Dub versions, this first "proper" release also features a brand new rework from Tad Mullinix (under the JTC pseudonym), which appropriately re-casts the track as a spacey Detroit techno shuffler.
Review: Having plundered the cassette archives of Bill Converse for the psychedelically-charged album, Meditations/Industry, earlier this year, Dark Entries score another hit from the Texas-based hardware exponent for their latest 12". Three of the four tracks on this 12" originate from that same Obsolete Future cassette, with the fourth originating from studio sessions around the same time. Title track "Warehouse Invocation" sets the mood, with minor key synthesizer refrains and undulating acid lines weaving their way in and out of a druggy, off-kilter electronic groove. Converse moves further towards straight-up techno territory on the fizzing analogue funk of "Senys Magick", before fusing crystalline synthesizer riffs and a sludgy, distorted drum machine groove on the impressive "Riverbank".
Jump Over Barrels (early rehearsal version) (3:07)
Review: Post-punk aficionados may already by familiar with Crash Course In Science, a Philadelphia-based band who released two acclaimed singles between 1979 and '81, before going their separate ways. Here, one of the band's previously unheard 1981 demos gets mixed and released for the first time. "Jump Over Barrels" is a song about overcoming adversity, and in newly mixed form sounds like a lost post-punk classic. It's accompanied by a couple of demos - their initial 1981 recording, and an earlier, deliciously skeletal and heavy rehearsal version - and a fresh remix from Tadd Mullinix under his now familiar Charles Manier alias. The Ann Arbor-based producer does a good job of toughening up the track for modern dancefloors, whilst retaining the free-spirited essence of Crash Course In Science's original.
The Man From Colours (instrumental version) (6:43)
Review: This timeless and utterly singular slice of italo disco magic was bootlegged a little over a year ago, but Dark Entries have decided to reissue it properly, with a remastered set of tunes for maximum playback effect. The 1982 bombshell, originally out on Discomagic Records, goes by the name of "The Man From Colours", and it is a special track indeed, one that's full of romantic charm, mystery and plenty of proto-house vibes. Its vocals will be embedded in your mind forever upon first listen, and you get an instrumental cut on the flip, too. Highly recommended - DO NOT SLEEP.
Review: We are proud to showcase more Bay Area family with the release of a new EP by Doc Sleep who cut her chops as a DJ in San Francisco's vibrant scene the past decade. In 2016 she made the move to Berlin and became a resident of Room 4 Resistance. Since 2013, she's been the co-owner of Jacktone Records, which specializes in techno, ambient, and experimental electronics. In 2016/2017 she released her first 12's on the Hot Mass-affiliated Detour Records and Bottom Forty. She also co-wrote a track with Bezier and Nicole Ginelli, titled "Stranger," that we released on the 'Primes' EP in 2017. Her latest release, 'Your Ruling Planet', was released on Jacktone in March 2019. We first heard "Creme Fraiche" on Doc's soundcloud page and begged to release it. The track has the feel-good vibes you get on early morning dancefloors as things are winding down or up. Paired on the A-side is the pulsating dark jam "Never Eating Again" that previously appeared on 'Run The Length Of Your Wildness V.2' and, like that compilation, proceeds from this track will be donated to Ghost Ship Fire victim Cherushii's family. On the B-side are two remixes from close friends of Doc. First up is a fresh breakbeat remix from Violet: DJ, producer, boss of Naive records, co-founder of Radio Quantica, and mina resident shaking up Lisbon's nightlife. Second is Berlin-based producer and fellow R4R resident, rRoxymore, who presents an innovative remix of future-facing techno and bass variations adding her own vocals on top. For this release we've teamed up with Jacktone to release a cassette version, our first in this format, featuring two peak-time bonus tracks. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy is housed in jacket designed by Eloise Leigh with neon pink and lavender gradients echo morning sunrises with a collage of dreamy elements using a photo by Doc of Club Toilet in Detroit.
Review: To accompany their re-release of East Wall's superb 1991 debut album, Silence, Dark Entries has decided to put out the Italian band's forgotten debut release, 1985 single "Eye of Glass". Tending towards the darker end of the Italo-disco spectrum, but blessed with typically cheery synthesizer melodies and skewed female vocals, it's a record that seems far more inspired by the earlier British new wave synth-pop movement than pleasing the clubs of Rome or Rimini. The vocal version is accompanied by a subtly different instrumental, which includes waves of warm synths and offers more prominence to the band's bubbly electronics, throbbing arpeggio bassline, and delay-laden drum machine hits.
Review: Dario Dell'aere cut his teeth in obscure Italian synth-pop outfits Ice Eyes and Fockewulf 90, before attempting to launch a solo career in 1985. While that didn't go all that swimmingly, his lone solo single, Eagles In The Night, has long been considered a hard-to-find Italo-disco classic. Here, it gets the re-issue treatment from Dark Entries, who as usual replicate the original track listing and artwork. Slower and more atmospheric than many Italo-disco tracks of the time, Eagles In The Night draws influence from eyeliner-clad new wave pop of the period, with Dell'aere's unusual English vocals stretching out over chiming melodies, bubbling synth lines and dreamy chords. The potency of the original production is confirmed by the superior Instrumental version lurking on the flip.
Review: Smersh was the New Jersey duo Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard, who started out in the late 1970s. By 1981, their improvised live jams had already produced countless recordings and the duo began releasing cassettes via their own Atlas King label. Smersh developed a devoted following in places far beyond their native Piscataway, N.J. as their tapes made their way across the world and led to releases on dozens of other labels internationally. Josh Cheon & Co. describe the pair's sound as 'a lush hybrid of techno, industrial, dance, and experimental' although "Sideways" is an 18 minute long epic that dwells on the border between acid techno and breakneck electro in our opinion. There's a couple of modern reshapes too that are worth mentioning: James T Cotton's rave rendition injects some Amen breakbeats into it and comes off sounding like early U.R. circa '92. After all, he is from Detroit himself and would have lived through the period. He then dons the Charles Manier alias once again for an early EBM styled remix which was the winner for us.
Review: Having released over fifty records since their foundation back in 2009, Dark Entries use the widened exposure afforded by that excellent Patrick Cowley compilation released in the last quarter of 2013 as a springboard to launch a new dedicated 12" series. Retaining their archival approach, the first release focuses on the short-lived Italian act Victrola; formed as a four piece combo in Messina, Victrola slimmed down to the synthesizer and guitar-based duo Antonio "Eze" Cuscina and Carlo Smeriglio and moved to the fertile music scene growing in early 80s Florence. In 1983, the pair issued their one record-shaped contribution to the early 80s Italian synth scene in the shape of Maritime Tatami, a two-track 12? issued on the Electric Eye label. Recorded using the Roland TR303 and TR606 at a time when these models had only been made available, so this reissue of Maritime Tatami from Dark Entries offers a chance for people to assess a slice of analogue experimentation at its most nascent.