Category Archives: Xeno & Oaklander

Concrete, Earth and Far Off Voices

Glistening vistas of crystal lakes and lush purple mountains fringed by the light of twin suns bombarding their far sides with life.  The cool moist air drifting up from the scattered lakes and brushing against the concrete bunkers rupturing the ground along a long grassy mound.  The mass of troops laying on their backs staring at the orange sky listening to the faint hiss of ghost tapes emanating from their concrete holes.  It’s all so wistfully out of reach, as if a narcotic slumber has descended upon the short-term memory of their bolt-holes.  One by one they sink slowly under the smooth blades of grass, the earth reaching up invisible figures, gently sucking them under.  Yet concrete, earth and far of voices are all lost under the perpetual stare of the orange sky.

Horrid Red’s MySpace location rather wonderfully mirrors the most obvious touchstones for their sound, Germany (Aachen) and the West Coast (San Francisco).  A watery blissed out guitar snakes through the fuzzy austere bass and Cold-Wave hand claps all knitted together with German vocals recorded in the red.  Easy point of entry #2: I wrote the above Sci-Fi fever dream before discovering that the lead singer goes by the name Bunker Wolf. You can find out a fraction more about the band here and thanks to Matt from Where To Now? for the tip.

Horrid Red – Transparent Streets

Diamond Vampires return to the pages of 20JFG once more to remind us all of why we lavish so much of our time on the celestial tones of neon flecked streets and the theological enormities of intergalactic physics.  Well, the soundtrack to those things…

The Mineral Room revels in the pleasure of the build, each element beautiful, sliding into place like Cunningham’s robots to form something greater, cumulative, beautiful.  Looping synth pulses slide around the space that’s carved out with every layer of sound, every filtered vocal breath.  It’s a rush, there’s no kickdrum to relieve you, the pleasure of the build is all.

Diamond Vampires – The Mineral Room

Diamond Vampires have a 12″ of different songs out now on Amateur Recordings which you can get from Phonica.

Bonus vid: Xeno & Oaklander playing Sex is Disgusting‘s 17th show at Brighton’s incomparable The Cowley Club.  If you haven’t, we humbly recommend you see them (and their label mates Led Er Est).

Totally Wierd

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.

Absolute Body control – Automatic II

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 – Shadow World

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.

Led Er Est – Laredo

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Three of your humble scribes will be playing records in London this Saturday in a rare concentration of the 20JFG cabal.

Atrocity Expedition

Featuring : Xeno & Oaklander

I’d like to imagine that everyone reading this out there has seen Crash, father to us all David Cronenberg’s epic (anti)pornographic meditation on human compulsion and the aesthetics of sexual obsession, wherein a group of rather insane individuals make a series of quite literal connections between erotic satisfaction and motor accidents with unsurprisingly grisly results. Well imagine if Throbbing Gristle associates Chris & Cosey and electro grim reapers ADULT. were the film’s key protagonists.

Picture the scene. On a quiet highway at night, two cars miles apart but hurtling towards one another with critical velocity like a fist and a face about to make bloody contact cut through the mists that blanket the darkness that lies before them. In one car Chris and Cosey caressing their scars acquired in previous escapades salivating over the thought their scars will soon be open wounds again, blast their pin-prick industrial pop into the atmosphere, filling the air with malevolent electronic aggro and synthesized broken glass, whilst in the other car ADULT. finger one another’s wounds, delicately tearing in twisted bliss at one another’s flesh as their jagged, ice cold tekno murder balladry cuts and penetrates with supernatural precision like a knife through everything in the local vicinity. And as they near closer to one another and commit to the deadly climax they‘ve all licked their lips over for so long, just before their bodies rupture from their metal contraptions and ejaculate through window shields to adorn the ground like broken dolls, the sound clash created between the two will create something wonderful and that sound will be the sound of Xeno & Oaklander’s “Blue Flower”.

Xeno & Oaklander – Blue Flower

So at the weekend I went to see Psychic TV do their ever so unique thing on stage, and which aside from almost being suffocated in clouds of projectile smoke that temporarily made my spine feel hollow with the fear that in a blink of an eye I may look down to find my guts being ripped from my body by a phantom pirate with glowing eyes and maggots spilling from underneath torn cuffs, it was a fun time although I confess I missed the electronic screech and magikkk acid house delirium sonics I’ve always preferred of Genesis P-Orridge’s ever mutating musical Hydra and could have done with a lot less of the jam band stuff. Nonetheless the love is still there and for your listening pleasure is Psychic TV’s pretty awesome reinterpretation of The Beach Boy’s “Good Vibrations”. Enjoy!

Psychic TV – Good Vibrations