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".
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: Dark Entries are no strangers to profiling the prolific work Piscataway duo Mike Mangino and the late Chris Shepard committed to tape as Smersh, issuing a compilation of their material in late 2012 called Cassette Pets. It's fair to say a lot more people know Dark Entries now but might not be that familiar with Smersh so this new Super Solid Heavy Waste collection is a fine introduction to the US outfit. Reflecting the more beat-focused side to Smersh, the tracks were recorded between 1983 and 1993, covering the duo's most prolific period up to the year before Shepard passed away, with just "Under Your Hoop" having previously appeared on vinyl as part of the 1990 LP Emmanuelle Goes To Bangkok. Listening through it's no surprise Smersh appeared on the Borft label operated by Scandinavian pranksters Frak - there are definite sonic parallels between them.
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: Cute Heels is the solo project of Victor Lenis, the Brussels based founder of Black Leather Records and a producer who will be familiar to fans of Gooiland Elektro. Spend some time with Spiritual, the debut Cute Heels album and you'll realise Lenis is a perfect fit for San Francisco's relentless Dark Entries label. All eight tracks here were written and recorded throughout the course of 2013 and present Cute Heels as a powerful musical force wedged between EBM and primitive strains of Detroit electro and techno. If you can imagine James Stinson jamming on hardware with Beate Bartel then you're in the right frame of mind to appreciate the nuances of Spiritual. Don't sleep!
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: By the time they released the cheekily titled Deep House Anthems in 1991, Chris Shepard and Mike Mangino had been releasing thrillingly odd cassettes as Smersh for eight years. Despite the title, it's typical of their work, focusing as it does on a bombastic fusion of industrial attitude, EBM style vocals, ragged acid lines and obvious electro influences. Here, four tracks from that cassette appear on vinyl for the first time, thanks to the efforts of San Fran crate diggers Dark Entries. The quartet of cuts is as bombastic and full throttle as you'd expect, with acid-fuelled opener "Rhythm Crash" and techno slammer "Hard Wired" being our pick of the bunch.
Review: Digging deep into the Chicago Rave vaults to re-issue the debut EP from Billy Nightmare aka "Mystic Bill" Torres. Growing up in Miami, Bill was involved in various parts of the music industry, from working at Flamingo Record Pool, to playing guitar for the band Life In Sodom (80's Synth/Goth band). His interest in both House & Industrial music inspired him to make his move to the Windy City. Bill quickly became involved in the night scene with residencies at clubs like Shelter, Crobar, & Smart Bar. His studio work began with a remix of Kay Ladrae's "Lack Of Love" with Vince Lawrence, followed by a string of releases, including an LP on Trax Records. He has recently relaunched two record labels and several releases and remixes out each year.
'Reality Check' was released in 1996 on Woody McBride's label Sounds. Originally the project was to be titled " Billy's Nightmare", but to avoid being jinxed for life, Torres decided to switch it to Billy Nightmare. He put the Mystic Bill alias aside, got a hair cut, changed his sound and became this new persona. 'Reality Check' consists of 4 tracks, recorded at Mirage Studios in Chicago in 1996. Two tracks on the A-side are dark thumpers and will haunt your head for days. Side B has 2 versions of the same song, lighter and funkier in mood both show the diversity Mystic Bill is capable of producing. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Each EP is housed in a custom designed jacket by Eloise Leigh featuring a 90s photo of Billy Nightmare staring into TV static and includes a postcard with notes.
Review: Amongst those that keep track of these things, German trio Hyonobeat are considered proto-techno pioneers. While it's not known whether Detroit's Belleville Three were fans, you could argue that Hynobeat's rhythm-focused approach pre-dated both techno and Chicago house. Thanks to this fine retrospective from Dark Entries, you can judge for yourself. The material included was all recorded between 1983 and 1986, with the wild, off-kilter polyrhythms and ragged TB-303 lines of "The Arumbeya Fetish", mutant electro of "Kilian" and high-octane thrust of the decidedly out-there "Mission in Congo" standing out. Remarkably, Hypnobeat would chain together drum machines and bass synthesizers to create their tracks - a practice that would later become common during the acid house era.
Review: We are honored to announce the debut album from Vin Sol, who's taken club-goers on a trip with his tracks and sets for the past two decades. Vin Sol is a third-generation San Franciscan of Salvadorean descent who has released on Unknown to the Unknown, Clone, Delft, Honey Soundsystem, and Ultramajic. His DJ sets expertly span the genres of house, electro, techno, italo, disco, soul, funk, and whatever other finds he digs up. He's also a musical partner of Matrixxman, AKA Charlie Duff, with whom he started the Soo Wavey label. His current focus is on the wild monthly party and label Club Lonely, which he runs with Primo Pitino and Jeremy Castillo. 'Planet Trash' consists of 10 tracks spread across 2 slabs of vinyl and a bonus flexi disc. Vin started working on the album in the winter of 2017 while taking a break from making club tracks. Simultaneously he also wanted to disconnect from the grip of the internet and 24 hour news cycle. Spending more time outside, he became entranced by the Bay Area fog. Sutro Tower wholly enveloped in mist is a view that inspired the ambient tracks on the album. You will also hear hints of the Latin freestyle and classic acid that informed Vin's youth. By spring of 2018 Vin headed to Berlin to finish the album and work on a collaboration with Matrixxman, an homage to SF musical institution Bottom of the Hill that kicks off side C. Vin's musical approach is honest, using the tools of the trade to both innovate upon and pay respect to classic forms. All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy is housed in a jacket using photos by Vin Sol, and designed by Kevin McCaughey of Boot Boyz Biz. It includes a 4-color giant newsprint fold-out poster and golden flexi disc.
Review: Honey Soundsystem's Dezier comes correct with this immaculately detailed debut album. From the circuit board presentation to the album narrative itself Parler Music is a lavish affair that stretches the perception of everything we've learnt about him on labels such as Cin Cin, HNYTRX and Public Release. Back again on Dark Entities (where it all began for this alias five years ago) Parler Music is a fluorescent romp through tempos and emotions; the white knuckle synthwave of "Un Subalterne Insubordonne", the iced-out electro of "Teleconference", the sleazy off-beat slinks and triumphant chords of "Entr'acte", the pregnant cosmosis of "Une Salade Oblongue", the list of immersive synthscapes and stories goes on. A genuinely beautiful debut album.
Review: Luis Garban aka Cardopusher's raw, electro-infused take on techno has earned him releases on labels like Boysnoize and Super Rhythm Trax whilst running his successful Classicworks imprint alongside co-founder Nehuen. His Muscle Memory EP for Bay Area retroverts Dark Entries sees him ride on the winning formula of raw and jacking house and techno grooves from yesteryear with a touch of modern flair. It's all aboard the acid express on high octane thrillers like "Regress To Nowhere" or "Into The Motion" which feature the signature glide and resonance of the Roland 303, to EBM-infused electro bangers (title track "Muscle Memory") and the deep down and dirty bump of "Nambu Line Dub".
Review: We are proud to present the first ever vinyl issue of Jon Krocker's debut album 'Monolog' originally released on cassette in 1983. Jon is from Winnipeg, Canada and got his start as half of the synth noise duo Dialog. In 1981-82, while studying for a BA in Film Studies, he would go to the studio and practice. No writing or patch memories, composing on the fly. His set up consisted of a Minimoog, Oberheim Two Voice, Roland RS-202, Roland Space Echo, EML 400, Roland DR 55, Roland System 100 mixer. After playing some of the songs to Impulse Records store owner Roman Panchyshsyn, he agreed release the album on cassette on Contagious Records. Primarily influenced by the German school typified by artists such as Conrad Schnitzler and Kraftwerk, Jon's music exhibits the cold machine ethic of the neumusik. The 12 instrumental tracks are stark and minimal, at times anxious but overall space orientated and flexible. All songs are remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy includes an 8-page newsprint zine featuring ephemera, press clippings, photos and liner notes by Jon.
Review: Despite their obsession with unearthing and reissuing obscure gems, Dark Entries do occasionally release new - or, at least, nearly new - music. Meditation/Industry is the debut vinyl release from Austin-based analogue hardware enthusiast Bill Converse. Made up, in part, from one-take tracks originally released on cassette, it's an album that emphasizes hissing drum machine percussion, wavering synthesizer lines, and the kind of evocative, entertaining material that sits somewhere between cold wave, EBM, experimental Chicago acid and the far-sighted shuffle of Detroit techno. As debuts go, it's pretty darn good, and well worth further exploration.
Review: Matt Cheon & Co. unearth yet more rare gems from old school electro fiends Caroline Herve & Michael Amato here, on the second volume of Lost Trax. As story has it, after the French duo met at a rave in their native Grenoble in the early '90s, they made music heavily influenced by 80s synth, post-punk and Italo disco. Bored by the techno scene at the time, they set out out to lighten the serious tone and bring a campy sexiness to the dour musical landscape. From the sexy, four-to-the-floor EBM of "Upstart", the Drexciyan style "Love On" with its aquatic bass assault, or the classic Miss Kittin & The Hacker sound of old on the monochromatic" The Building" featuring the former's trademark deadpan vocal delivery.
Review: It's been some six years since Caroline "Miss Kittin" Herve and Michel "The Hacker" Amato last delivered fresh material together. While we await further news of their long-mooted comeback, there's this tasty EP of previously unheard archive material to enjoy. Made up of tracks recorded between 1997 and '99 - when their production partnership was in its' infancy - The Lost Tracks Volume 1 contains a number of fuzzy, stylish, floor-friendly bangers, from the S&M-themed madness of opener "Leather Forever" and stripped-back electro gem "Nightlife" (a tribute to Berlin clubs of the period, apparently), to the high-tempo acid-loaded freakishness of "Loving The Alien". Top-notch sleaze.
Review: 2017 has been a good year for fans of The Hacker AKA long-serving producer Michel Amato. Having already impressed via rock solid EPs on Stilleben and Bordello a Parigi, Amato delivers his first full-length excursion since 2014. As you'd probably expect, Les Theatre Des Operations tends towards the alien and intergalactic, with Amato serving up a range of tracks rich in bleeping electronic melodies, unfussy drum machine rhythms and angular, TB-303 style basslines. As usual, the eight tracks neatly blur the boundaries between techno and electro - both rhythmically and sonically - while regular collaborator Miss Kittin lends a hand on moody and mind-altering LP highlight "Time X", adding some typically sleazy and stylish spoken word vocals.
Review: We are pleased to present a 4-track EP from Austin, Texas analogue hardware enthusiast Bill Converse. Immersed in the early days of the 90s midwest rave scene, Bill began DJing at a young age in Lansing, Michigan. Luminaries such as Claude Young, Traxx, and Derrick May were key early influences. Techno, noise, ambient and tape processing are all part of his uncanny sound palette. His debut album 'Meditations/Industry' was released on cassette in 2013 and edited for a vinyl release on Dark Entries in 2016 followed by two 12" singles 'Warehouse Invocation' and '7 of 9' the same year. In 2017 Converse released his second album 'The Shape Of Things To Come' followed by the double EP 'Salt Of Mars'.
'Hulled' is a 25 minute journey spread across 4 tracks of glacial abandon. All tracks were recorded directly to tape with no overdubs, made at Converse's home studio. Bill says these tracks represent "ocean waves in stormy conditions, dark grey blue water, or more generally speaking something ominous and beautiful." The songs on this album reveal a sublime influence from Detroit techno, IDM, and Acid. Built around vintage synthesizer lines and gritty drum machine percussion, the tracks ebb and flow like the effect of sun shimmering on water, woozy, gauzy and ephemeral. All songs were mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each EP is housed in a die-cute jacket designed by Eloise Leigh with peachy pink patterns landing on an alien water planet and seeing mysterious playing forms under the turquoise water. and the. Each copy includes a postcard featuring photo of Bill with notes.
Review: We are pleased to present 'Hallways' the third full length from Austin, Texas analogue hardware enthusiast Bill Converse. Immersed in the early days of the 90s midwest rave scene, Bill began DJing at a young age in Lansing, Michigan. Luminaries such as Claude Young, Traxx, and Derrick May were key early influences. Techno, noise, ambient and tape processing are all part of his uncanny sound palette. 'Hallways' is an 80 minute journey spread across 12 tracks and 2 slabs of vinyl. All tracks were recorded directly to tape with no overdubs, made at Converse's home studio over the past 2 years. Bill says, "One idea for this album is 'through bardos', the gap or moment of transition between two things according to Buddhism. Like an experience in meditation and attempting to find realization/s on the way through the illusory and interdependent nature of good old fashioned REALITY." Built around crunchy synthesizers, harsh drum machines and jarring acid lines, the tracks share a darker tone than Bill's previous albums and one song features guest vocals by music gourmet Carlos Souffront, a true DJ's DJ from Detroit. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each 2xLP is housed in a jacket designed by Eloise Leigh with rich purple and smokey turquoise kaleidoscopic patterns.
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: Photonz is the alias of Marco Rodrigues a DJ, producer and driving force of Lisbon's underground scene. For little over a decade now, he's been crafting his own deeply personal style of Portuguese house and techno for labels such as Creme Organization, 20:20 Vision, Don't Be Afraid, Skylax, Unknown To The Unknown and his own One Eyed Jacks. As a DJ, Photonz grew a reputation for deep crates and intensely euphoric sets and in 2017, together with Violet (co-founder at his Radio Quantica) and Lisbon's own Rabbit Hole collective, he started the now infamous Mina parties - a monthly, sex-positive, queer and intersectional-feminist techno party aimed at using the dissociative potential of intense raving to create a temporary space of suspension away from patriarchal expectations.
Etheric Body Music is Photonz's debut 6-track EP for Dark Entries and a simultaneous reference to hermeticism and EBM (Electronic Body Music). Marco loves that "aesthetic when 80s industrial and EBM bands split up and start to make trance in the early 90s and all the ritual magick pushes them to zen stuff and they do ecstasy." There's this concept in theosophy and hermetic philosophy of the Etheric Body, which is an energy body superimposed and connected to the physical body, similar to the acupuncture idea of an energetic body. That idea manifests itself as six primal club cuts, which also channel early techno, Drexciyan rhythms, balearic & old school jack. Raw arpeggiated synth lines and bass blast jut against metallic stabs and highly percussive shakedowns to create mournful atmospheric warped house. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a psychedelic jacket with snakey green and purple velvet in an electric acid spewing weird biological alien energy form designed by Eloise Leigh.
Review: We are proud to present two new EPs from De Bons en Pierre, the duo of Beau Wanzer & Maoupa Mazzocchetti. Beau Wanzer spends the majority of his days sifting through paraffin embedded animal tissues and reading old issues of Fangoria, occasionally breaking his monotonous routine to record in various fits and bursts. As well as solo material, he is also in numerous projects including Streetwalker, Mutant Beat Dance, Civil Duty, and Corporate Park. Maoupa Mazzocchetti is the pseudonym of Florent Mazzocchetti, a French producer based in Brussels. His sonic vision is one which constantly straddles the line between wild experimentation and rhythmic compatibility, drawing influence from early concrete, 80's tape scene and Birmingham school techno. After working together on the 'Crepes' EP that we released in 2017, De Bons en Pierre reunited for a two day recording session in Brussels. The duo recorded 13 tracks that we've split across 2 EPs with 6 tracks on 'EP No. 1' and 7 tracks on 'EP No. 2'. Beau says, "We hooked everything up and just pushed play. We didn't really discuss much about the process....it was very 'spur of the moment'." The equipment set up included a Roland TR-808, TR-606, SH-101, CR-78, CR-8000, two Syncussions and effects. Each EP contains 25 minutes of dance floor perversions that tackle an array of rhythmic forms. Sludgy synths, serrated percussion and viscous distortion goops over leviathan rhythms. All songs are mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. 'EP No. 1' is housed in a sewage green jacket featuring a monster mask duo and spiky motifs designed by Florent Mazzocchetti, and 'EP No. 2' is radioactive orange with a different pair of monster masks.
Nothing Is True; Everything Is Permitted (instrumental) (4:54)
Breakin' Indistortion (instrumental) (4:16)
A Dirty Song (instrumental) (5:05)
Review: Dark Entries know their stuff when it comes to '80s synth pop reissues, and this latest reissue of Carlos Peron's Dirty Songs single is a sign of just how deep into the crates these guys get. Originally out over thirty years ago, these instrumentals are still total killers and will go down a storm in most DJ sets which venture out of the 4/4 formula. "Nothing Is True; Everything Is Permitted" and "Breakin' Indistortion" are particularly fresh and must have truly cut the edge back then: metallic drum machine beats and sparse melodies ring away into the cavernous ambience created by Peron. Wonderful and highly recommended.
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.
Meets The Bedlamites In Cassette Conference (3:45)
Slaves & Pyramids (live) (6:29)
Pure Power (demo) (5:45)
Subliminal Seduction (5:23)
Bedlam A Go-Go (4:54)
Liquid Metal (6:46)
Mad As Mankind (6:43)
Dream Web Of Maya (5:44)
Pure Power (4:00)
Review: We are honored to release 'A Boy Alone', a double LP set from Manchester electronic music pioneer Eric Random. Best known for his early recordings for New Hormones and Les Disques du Crepuscule and collaborations with Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks), Cabaret Voltaire and Nico. As an original member of The Tiller Boys with Shelley, Random injected a healthy dose of Krautrock into the dour Manchester post-punk scene in 1978/79 before going solo the following year. Random's first 7" "Subliminal"/"23 Skidoo" was released in 1981 via Les Disques du Crepuscule and explored ominous sonic surrounds. That same year also saw the release of a second 7" single on New Hormones, "Dow Chemical Company"/ "Skin Deep". Both tracks offered bubbling, rhythmic sound patterns, and were the first to feature other musicians that would become know as The Bedlamites. Consisting of Lynn Walton on vocals, Ian Runacres and Andy Diagram of Dislocation Dance, and bassist Wayne Worm, aka Wayne Sedgeman. Their debut 12" single "Subliminal Seduction"/"Bedlam-a-Go-Go" was released in 1982 through Plurex, mixing arid funk textures and sparse melodies. That same year the group contributed proto chill-out track "6.55" to Plurex compilation 'Hours' and the highly filmic track "In Cassette Conference" to the Touch cassette package 'Feature Mist'. In 1983, Random spent several months in the Himalayas with a group of musicians from the Kulu Valley and studied non-Western instruments such as tabla. On returning to Manchester, Random convened a new group of Belamites including Walton, Sedgeman and drummer Graham Dowdall aka Dids of Ludus. They released the 12" single "Mad As Mankind"/"Dream Web Of Maya" in 1984 on Cabaret Voltaire's Doublevision, embracing electronic, industrial and dub styles. In 1985 they contributed the soothing "Pure Power" to Food Records' "Imminent Episode One" compilation. Our reissue also includes 4 unreleased bonus tracks from Eric's archives recorded between 1981-1984. The whole set adds up to 115 minutes of sinister, somnambulant Random music. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Each copy is housed in a gatefold jacket designed by Eloise Leigh featuring a spread of ephemera, photos with liner notes by James Nice of LTM.