Automatic II hits with Ian Curtis pronouncements from out of the fresh dusty rubble: the lazy work of laser equipped, nihilistic shock troop. Marching marching ever on through the ruinous concrete follies of Superpowers. Empty shells, empty windows, illuminated by the lattice of those oscillating death rays. Automatic.
Automatic II hits with simple synthetic melodies running up and down the creaking wooden stairs of a 19th century tenement. Anti-aircraft fire cracking in the background. Impotently fending off the stratospheric enemy. The invisible death from above, hidden behind veils of clouds, hanging, waiting. So much sound and fury in defence of the cold naked bodies below.
Automatic II was the last track on side 2 of Absolute Body Control’s 1983 cassette Figures. Absolute Body Control were a Belgian Cold-Wave band who kick things off on Angular Records’ new compilation Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics Vol.1. That compilation was curated by Joe Daniel (from Angular) and Pieter Schoolwerth. Pieter runs a club in NYC called Wierd Club. From the club came Wierd Records and from Wierd Records came this…
Fading in over the synthetic hum of a Giallo title sequence the drums rush through grabbing you gently by the hair and, flashing a seductive blank stare, beckon on. The souls of the Cold-Wave, briefly forced into the service of indie-pop rebelled, escaped their twee bodies and floated off to the celestial dive bar. Hair released you sit down. The band plays, blue light fills the air like you’re Julie Cruise. The beat lets go, its work done.
Delicate anthems for idealistic futurist corporations play in your head. The beat’s making a fool of itself at the bar, hyperactive and relentless. You focus on the singers, captivated, their words floating over each other with glistening efficiency, conspiratorial and filled with the restless souls of unloved Cold-Wave bands.
Xeno & Oaklander are awesome. They first popped up on 20JFG late in 2008 and have remained awesome since then (and well before I’d imagine). Their LP Sentinelle came out on Wierd Records at the end of last year and we would advise purchasing it at the soonest opportunity (see below).
Born out of an oscillating bass note this child skips along to the mechanised infantry’s beat. Double time. This is the marching music for the impeccably styled skinwalkers, crawling out of the night and looking immaculate. The child dances along in their shadows, head nodding with the infectious, pure riff that riffles through the throng and forms its soul. Her monsters are brief and beyond touch but they fill her with aeon-toughened joy.
Like Wim Wenders remake of Bladrunner, this is cyber-punk in hermetically sealed rooms used to study the ‘kids’ from Akira. Mutant Oi-Punk ripped from some gob splattered futurist’s utopian dreams. Led Er Est also reside in the wonderful world of Wierd Records. This is from their album Dust on Common which amazingly came out three days after Xeno & Oaklanders’ Sentinelle. Both are ‘modern’ classics, both can be brought from Weird Records here.
Three of your humble scribes will be playing records in London this Saturday in a rare concentration of the 20JFG cabal.