Martial Canterel – Austerton LP
Much-needed re-issue of this privately released 2007 album. Martial Canterel’s Sean McBride is the progenitor of American cold synth sounds of the 21st Century. He began under the moniker Moravagine before he started releasing limited edition cassettes and playing Brooklyn dives as Martial Canterel in 2002. Since then, McBride’s bleak intellectual exercises in the dark and danceable have flooded North America and Europe through the frosty fairwaves paved by Pieter Schoolwerth’s Wierd Records. With an inimitable minimal style merging bright, urgent melodies ornamented and punctuated by the noises of industry and McBride’s sonorous, stern vocals, Martial Canterel’s earlier releases (You Today, Refuge Underneath) have garnered both critical acclaim and a rapidly growing rabid fan base. Sean is also one half of the duo Xeno & Oaklander together with Miss Liz Wendelbo.
The album Austerton consists of some of his earliest work recorded in 2003. The ten minimal synth songs on the LP are reminiscent of music by bands like Dark Day, Snowy Red, A Blaze Colour, League Of Nations. Through the collision of a uniquely humanistic means of production via live analogue synthcraft expertly paired with vocals and lyrics that reflect the pitfalls and pleasures of our age, Martial Canterel provides a visceral kick best felt on the dancefloor, amidst a flurry of flesh in motion.
Frozen Ducks – Frozen Ducks LP
Frozen Ducks were the two brothers Hans Grauwen and Lex Grauwen. The short-lived duo had Hans behind the mic and playing synths, Lex also played synths and did the production of the tracks. The 9 electro / new wave songs sound a lot like the Tranquil Eyes “Walks” album (OS15) and this release can in many ways be seen as the accompanying release to the Walks album. The line-up of the bands is almost the same, the bass and the overall production is just as deep, rich and poignant; only this time the drum patterns are more apparent and the sphere is much darker with lyrics about a troubling childhood and vague view on what the future will bring.
During the mid-eighties Hans & Lex produced fifteen tracks of early electro / new wave songs of which only two ever got released. Beginnings and Lost Freedom were released on the legendary Dutch experimental compilations Contactdisc 4 and Contactdisc 5. Which included bands like X-Ray Pop, Twilight Ritual, Tranquil Eyes, Kapotte Muziek, De Fabriek. All other tracks are previously unreleased and come from the vaults of Lex Grauwen. With much dedication and joy these tracks have been unearthed and compiled into this posthumous album. A true pleasure to listen to and a must for every minimal synth, new wave and lo-fi Italo disco fan.
Onderstroom Records – Still Fresh