music review : minimal wave tapes volume one

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Warning : This CD may get you beat up just for listening to it.
Dragging back out of the shadows uber-nerdy cold synths and icy drum machines fed through a ring modulator, the folks at Minimal Wave have brought back a sound lost over the decades as better technology shadowed its predecessors. Presented here are not classic recordings, but ultra-rare items from the early 80s industrial/synth/post-punk era such as limited edition cassettes and small press vinyl that were probably never meant to be heard by anyone other than die-hard fans and friends. Minimal and lo-fi, it’s the kind of music only geeks, freaks, and Germans in black turtlenecks with monkeys on their shoulders could love, created by art-school drop outs and/or kids that could manage to plunk down the cash for top of the line electronics but had no idea what to do with it. The end result is an amazing time capsule which seems to explain the missing links between the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, Gary Numan, Joy Division, Devo, Kraftwerk and modern EBM/industrial. Highly recommended as both a history lesson for newbies and a surprisingly obscure collection for seasoned veterans.

Sample track : “The Cabinet” by Das Kabinette

– Paul Morin

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