Nov 012014
 

Just in time for X-mas (or close to it), we have 3 new releases for your listening pleasure.  Preorders start now

MR-040  Bal Paré “Early Recordings” LP

MR-041  Mixed Feelings “Remnants” LP

MR-042  Le Cliché “Consumer Behaviour” LP

Here are the descriptions/links/covers:

MR-040  Bal Paré “Early Recordings” LP    $18

 

Medical Records presents a hand-picked selection of the early recordings of Germany’s Bal Paré. The band started as Jeanette & das Land Z in 1981 with a 7“ on Konkurrenz Rec./ Phonogram which included two cover versions  (“Raumpatrouille” soundtrack from a weird science fiction TV series and sixties Grand Prix Eurovision number one hit, “Poupe de cire, poupe de son“ by France Gall.). The 7” became an underground hit. Members were Kirsten Klemm (vocals), Jan T. Krahn (Synthesizer) and Matthias Schuster (Synthesizer, Beatbox). The band changed their name to Bal Paré and begin recording independently. In addition, drummer Jürgen Weiss joined the band. The band name was based on the song “Es war beim Bal Pare“ from the German chansonette Hildegard Knef, which was a musical influence beside bands like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Yazoo, etc. The first Bal Paré LP “Hamburg-Paris-Catania“ was released in 1982 on Konkurrenz Records.  The members performed under witty pseudonyms for that record.  Since they had a large fanbase in Sweden, the second release (“Metamorphose”) came out in Stockholm on the Krautrock label.  Around this time, a new member, Manfred Asmus , joined on keyboards and programming and Jan T. Krahn and Jürgen Weiss had left the band. There were many tracks produced during this time that ended up unreleased.  Much of the material from this selection of tracks were culled from unreleased sessions from the 80s with Manfred Asmus (and subsequently also collected on the “Best of” CD only release in 1996 on Tatra Records.   Interestingly there was only one and only gig by Bal Paré in Hamburg with Apoptygma Berzerk and Sabotage Q.C.Q.C.  Due to requests since 2000, Matthias Schuster has reformed Bal Paré and has released several new records with much success.   The original two LPs are long out of print and demand very high prices on the collectors market.  This is the first time this collection has been reissued on vinyl.   The opening track “Rien” is a perfect display of what synth pop is modeled after.  Rich lead synth textures, male/female interplayed vocals, and electronic percussion.  Though the entire record flows with ease and captivates the listener from beginning to end, other standout tracks include “Palais d’Amour”, “Die Idioten”, and “Meilleur Du Monde”.  This collection is absolutely crucial for fans of early new wave such as Deux, Moderne, Performance and other similar acts of the genre.  The tracks have been lovingly restored by Matthias Schuster.  Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight red/clear vinyl.

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MR-041  Mixed Feelings “Remnants” LP    $18

Medical Records in partnership with Crispy Nuggets Blog present the unreleased recordings of England’s Mixed Feelings.  Mixed Feelings grew up in Basildon which was also the home of Depeche Mode (in fact, they went to the same school).  In 1981, Sean Cooper met Martin Gore on holiday (around the time of “New Life”), and they instantly hit it off discussing synthesizers, school, teachers, etc.  Martin was inspirational for Sean to follow his dream of making music.  After a few bands, Sean started a band with longtime friend Geoff with influences like old disco (Chic, etc) and a bit of Bauhaus, PIL, etc for good measure.  The first incarnation was called Polyphonic Movements but changed to Mixed Feelings after their friends Mark, Alan, and Pete joined the band. They played shows at school and various locations until 1982 when they first entered a studio and recorded “Final Demand”, “Because Of You”, and “Ice Machine”.  These tracks received some local airplay, and they continued to play more gigs.  A year later, they entered the studio again to record a few more tracks (one of which was “Another Place” which ended up on the 101 Record Compilation).  Sadly, after a few more cheap recording sessions, the band split up in 1984.  Sean later worked in the 90s as a soundman for The Prodigy until 1993 until he relocated to New Zealand, and he continues to write music.  This LP is a collection of known recordings by Mixed Feelings.  It is a brilliant snapshot into the minds and talent of a group of young musicians on a mission.  The opening track “Another Place (Like Home)” sets the mood with melodic synth lines and punchy electronic accents.   Excellent songwriting and moody atmospheres prevail on this record.  11 tracks in total (including one cover and homage to their inspiration early on…).  Other notable tracks include “Because Of You”,  “They Told You So”, and “The Captain”.   Highly influenced by early Depeche Mode, Human League, and Soft Cell, this collection of tracks will certainly appeal to fans of the mentioned acts as well as classic new wave acts such as Gary Numan, Ultravox, and Thompson Twins.  Original tracks have been restored by Sean Cooper with remastering by Martin Bowes at the Cage Studios, UK.  Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight splatter vinyl.  Limited Edition.

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MR-042  Le Cliché “Consumer Behaviour”  LP    $18

Medical Records presents the debut full-length release of Le Cliché, entitled ‘Consumer Behaviour’. The album consists of 11 songs influenced largely by European synth pop of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s (The Human League, John Foxx, OMD, early Depeche Mode, Japan, Gary Numan, Propaganda and Kraftwerk.). More recent influences include the first album by Miss Kittin & the Hacker, Tiga, Benny Benassi, Erlend Øye and Ladytron. The music might be best described as minimal synth, synth pop, postmodernist, cold assembly line with neo consumerist themes, based on the use of synth sequences and virtual voices. The inspiration for the subject matter of the songs comes from the many inconsistencies and ironies of the current consumer and consumption centered society in which we live.  Le Cliché is the synth project of Gerard Ryan, native of Limerick (Ireland), Associate Professor of marketing and consumer behaviour at the Rovira I Virgili University in Spain and a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University, New York.  Le Cliché was initially established in 1984 when Ryan was a teenager, but later the project was put on hiatus in favour of a career in academia. Le Cliché was re-ignited in 2012, motivated by the appearance of new music from the 1980s that was being rediscovered and released by a host of relatively small but hugely motivated new record labels including Medical Records, and the like (and groups such as Dark Day, Mathematiques Modernes, Bal Paré, Ceramic Hello, and Experimental Products). When in 2012 the track ‘Waiting on the Internet’ emerged as a reflection of Ryan’s doctoral research on the frustrations and anxieties experienced by consumers when interacting with computer technology in the use of the Internet, the Le Cliché project was revived.  Since then the main source of inspiration has come from Ryan’s work as an academic, taking a critical view of the inconsistencies of the marketing centered approach to business and the all-pervasive reach of marketing activities in our daily lives as consumers (rather than citizens).  All of the tracks on the album are from the 2012-2014 period except for ‘I woke up this morning (like I always do)’, which is a reimagining of a 1984 demo of the track entitled ‘I dreamt I was dead’. Two tracks on the album reflect on the everyday mundane, often drab, act of waiting in line, whether in situ, on the phone or on the Internet (‘Thank you for holding’ and ‘Waiting on the Internet’). ‘Production Line’, is the mostly instrumental opening track to the album which clearly displays its Kraftwerkian influences. ‘Production Line’ reflects on the so-called sweatshops that produce many of our most beloved brands but often fail to adequately compensate workers for their labour or protect basic worker rights. It contemplates the fact that that most of these workers will never be able to afford the designer brands they churn out day after day in overcrowded factories and often-deplorable conditions. Other tracks deal with topics which are more personal and intimate such as Aquaphobia and Ventolin, thus giving some indication of the personality behind the music. The album was written and recorded in Catalonia, Spain  (2012-13) and during the harsh winter of 2013-14 in frozen upstate New York, USA. The Le Cliché sound is attained by combining a mix of old and new technologies. In this sense, both analogue and virtual instruments are employed thus obtaining a unique mix of old and new technologies. The LP is presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight colored white vinyl and features a bonus LP insert.  Mastered by Martin Bowes at the Cage, UK. 

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