Various Artists & Informatics :: Double review (Dark Entries)

Two sides of the globe and two very different sounds. But, undeniably the messages explored by the “Things” and Informatics are similar. Technological advance, the crowning of the individual, global paranoia and the desire for self expression painted with the guitar string and the synthesizer chord.

informatics-thing-from-crypt_featMaybe it is the San Francisco weather? Or it could be the wealth of musical obscurities out there? Whatever the reason Dark Entries have the releasing bug. For the latest duo, DE travels first to Britain and then on to Oz.

From the UK Dark Entries has not resurrected an artist or band, but a full compilation. The Thing from the Crypt came out in 1981 and featured a range of fledgling post punk outfits. Gritty from the outset, distortion and angst filled strings are central as amplifiers and layrnxs strain with acts like Mex and Flying Beechcraft. The album is brimming with early Thatcherite dissolution, the privatization of Britain and the destruction of the family unit summed up in tracks like “Tank” by Image in Ruin. S-Haters’ “Necromacer” tells the tale of semi—imposed emigration, an economic and emotional tightening with only one course of action. Soft Drinks serve up two beverage based pieces of anger-wave whereas Sad Lovers & Giants deliver hyped shoegaze. This history lesson is brought to a close with the Casio keyboard fury of Gambit of Shame and “She Lawn.” The miners may have lost, but the dole queues are just as long in 2013 as they were in 1981.

Informatics are part of Austrailia’s forgotten synth-wave scene. With the international image of Fosters and Surf Boards it’s hard to image the growth of underground electronic pop Down Under. But never believe a good stereotype, Oz not only had the acts but the labels too; Informatics released on Au Go Go in ’82. For Dance to a Dangerous Beat some twelve tracks have been re-discovered and re-mastered. The LP opens with the electrifying title piece. Fast pulsating beats and addictive Korg chords form around echoed vocals for an energy filled New Wave capsule. The D.I.Y. beauty of “Hungry Pets” follows, a fast paced piece of garage synthesizer pop. “Satellite to Russia”, amazingly sung in Russian, is post punk edged but smiling faced. But amongst the quirkiness is a raw experimentation, one often coupled with sobriety and sombre undertones. “Stop It, Don’t Dance” is coarse and unrefined whereas “Concorde Affair” is a dark sonnet. As the titles may suggest, Informatics constructed social, economic and political commentary with an electronic angularity. “Proximity Switch” is body jerk brilliance. Alienating, and dripping with early Human League influence, the track is bare and superb. “Underlife” sees the lyrics removed. The result is a powerful and thought-provoking piece of synthesizer music, inspiring early electronics. As the album closes, with later material, Informatics development is plan to see. “Factory Nightlife” closes and is a definite hit, burgeoning EBM brilliant. Words won’t do it justice, just get the ears around it and expect Djs to pounce. A fantastic finale.

Two sides of the globe and two very different sounds. But, undeniably the messages explored by the “Things” and Informatics are similar. Technological advance, the crowning of the individual, global paranoia and the desire for self expression painted with the guitar string and the synthesizer chord.

Both releases are available on Dark Entries.

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