Angular Records release a new compilation on February 22, 2010, entitled Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics Vol.1.
It’s been put together by Angular’s Joe Daniel and Wierd Records founder Pieter Schoolworth, and showcases highlights from Europe’s synth-pop underground over the period 1981-85. The album will be released as a double gatefold LP, CD and digital download. For an idea of what to expect, check out this short mix that Joe recorded for Vice.
The press release tells the story of the compilation’s genesis, and is worth quoting in full:
“Nowadays the computer has largely replaced traditional analogue machines as the dominant generator of synthetic sounds,” we’re told in a press release. “This has brought about a loss of scope for man/machine interaction and human fragility in the face of digital precision.”
“This climate has inspired Wierd Records label and weekly live music party in New York (run by artist and DJ Pieter since 2003) to single-handedly revive the frosty ‘cold’ sounds of the minimal electronic groups of the early 1980s. Active largely in small towns and isolated, non-metropolitan areas of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands, the first wave of minimal electronic groups functioned at the time as a raw, aggressive, affirmative antidote to the superficial excesses of commercial new wave.
“Using analogue synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines the ‘minimal synth’ artists successfully combined the sounds of the German electronic bands of the 60s and 70′s (Amon Duul, Neu, Faust, Can) with the seminal early industrial bands largely active in the UK (Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Cabaret Voltaire) to produce a new form of electropop that went on to be crucially influential on European and American pop and dance music of the late 80′s and early 90′s (Italo, New Beat, EBM).
“Whilst Pieter had been immersed in this music since the early 80’s, Joe Daniel first came across the genre about two years ago when a friend played him some minimal electronic tracks. They contained analogue synths that sounded sharp and icy instead of the warm squelchy noises that a lot of people use them for, backed by the most primitive drum machines and oblique otherworldly vocals. This had an immediate and considerable effect on Joe. [continued overleaf]