Lè Travo :: Erring and Errant (Dark Entries)

Bollen quakes with the angst and anger that characterized the music of 80s synth wave. There is a pervasive sadness accompanying this frustration, but there are uplifting moments peppered amongst the discontent. Emotive and extricated, this lost artist has finally been revived for a new audience.

Lè Travo, aka Patrick Bollen, is part of forgotten Synth Wave. Between 1984-85 Bollen was active, writing and making music with a ragtag collection of like-minded would-be musicians. He released on the seminal Himalaya Records, an imprint that championed artists like Front 242, Trisomie 21 and David Harrow. Bollen featured on Himalaya with a split LP while Erring and Errant, a full length album showcasing Lè Travo’s burgeoning sound, was released in ’85. But after this release, silence. Now, nearly thirty years since that final LP, Dark Entries are re-issuing the Lè Travo back catalog under the banner of Erring and Errant.

EBM pours forth from the outset. Bass and beats judder with a snapping industrial echo. Vocals come from a different location, Factory Records and Joy Division influencing anguish-laden lyrics. That Factory style becomes more apart on lament filled pieces like “Something New” and the frenetic keys and strings of “Guernica.” Hope exits as despair begins to take hold. “Hips” is a soul-twisting dirge on the difficulties of being different. There is a wonderful musicality running through the record. “Amarcord” is a heart-wrenching instrumental work; a stand-out piece of soulful sorrow. The flip contains all three tracks from Bollen’s first stint on vinyl. “Caterwaul” balances the downtrodden with a certain amount of elation. The sidestepping drums and warm melodies are chilled by hollowed vocals. “Glow of Gnome” is steeped in traditions of The Cure. Fragile keys are supplemented by rich strings and a throaty beat but the lyrics are again pain-streaked. “E La Nave Va” closes the album, a final ache expressed.

Erring and Errant will be the first album from Dark Entries of 2014, and it is a fine beginning to what will undoubtedly be a productive year. Bollen quakes with the angst and anger that characterized the music of 80s synth wave. There is a pervasive sadness accompanying this frustration, but there are uplifting moments peppered amongst the discontent. Emotive and extricated, this lost artist has finally been revived for a new audience.

Erring And Errant is available on Dark Entries.

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