Exclusive Premiere: Joy Before The Storm – Quiet Past (Re-Mastered)

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The year is 1985. A year, and specifically a decade, where synth-pop and minimal synth are thriving – all over the world. Making it a quite pleasant decade for those whom indulged themselves with music from these genres. I’m keen to mention the US as one of the more underrated bastions, delivering solid acts like Near Paris, and their one and only EP titled “Visions” that was released on Imperial Records in 1985. This group got revived through Medical Records, who in 2013 released a limited edition, self-titled LP that included never before heard tracks. A compilation, if you will. I’m primarily talking about Near Paris as an exquisite and rare exception to the more popular groups and solo-project around this time, because it’s relevant to what I’m about to bring you. But it’s also relevant in a world where re-issues and re-releases seem to be popping up here and there, like mushrooms through the ground. As I mentioned, Medical Records is simply one bastion, in a fragmented world where these record labels serve as a beacon – and perhaps also a guide to how you’re supposed to do it – when re-releasing and re-issuing records. Especially if we mention those rare gems of the past, which people haven’t really heard about until they pop up on these labels. Dark Entries Records is another one of those beacons, mostly catering to your more experimental and dark needs, as they’ve recently pumped out Lassigue Bendthaus, Crash Course In Science and Psyche – the latter being one of the more melodic exemptions.

But there are more labels out there who do these kinds of things, from every genre that you can think of, to every genre you’d never think of. Bunkerpop is one of those more unknown labels that have up until now re-released the Coïtus Int. gem from 1982, “Dead Excitement E.P.“, which I reviewed over here. They also gave the same treatment to Null and Void, putting out material by them which was recorded in 1980-1982, under the guise of “Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)“. Unfortunately, Bunkerpop seem to have taken a minor hiatus since then, but they might be coming back very soon – you can always speculate. Another re-issue label that I wanted to mention is Domestica, which is one of those labels that release a lot of interesting, and different stuff from the past. This Barcelonian mammoth that seem to be steaming onwards like never before, have just recently re-released Son Of SamThe Collapse Of Ancient Funk (1984-85 A.D.).” – under the name of “The Collapse Of Ancient Funk (Vol​.​1)“, Little Nemo and their “Past And Future“-album, but also the Barcelonian synth-group Terminal, with their album “La Vida Es Como Un Gel”. There are many more labels that could’ve been included, but I’d like to mention them a little off-hand over here, instead: Emotional Rescue, Anna Logue Records, Infrastition Records, Avant! Records (both new and old), and many – many more. But these record labels are basically those that I’ve appreciated the most.

Well, we should continue. What we’re about to give you is an exclusive track from a forthcoming re-issue of the album “Silence Ever After” by Joy Before The Storm. This album was originally written, recorded and mixed in 1984 at High Noon Studios. Spanning in between dark wave and synth-pop, delivering both the cheesyness that I so adore, but also the seriousness and complexity that a lot of these crossover acts had, especially those that were rare – as is the case with Joy Before The Storm. Together with the independent record (and re-issue) label Atemporal Records, we’re prepared to give you the track “Quiet Past” from this album. This track is a re-mastered version of the original, and is featured on “Silence Ever After“, the re-issue that is going to be the fifth release on this record label, and that is going to be released in the very near future. You can stream this track down below and check out Atemporal Records, for more information. Joy Before The Storm was Matthew Anderson, Kevin Kaulson and Dan McKay.

Label: Atemporal Records – Cat#: AT-005 – Artist: Joy Before The Storm

Exclusive Song: Quiet Past (Re-Mastered) – Title: Silence Ever After (RE, RM) – Format: Limited Edition 12¨ LP (320 copies)

My New Fascination (Special Ed. 2): Null And Void – Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)

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This is a special-edition of My New Fascination which is directed at the wonderful guy who owns Bunkerpop. It will contain one of two reviews, one of the re-issued version of Coïtus Int. first release “Dead Excitement E.P.” but also of Null And Void and their brand new release of material recorded in between 1981-1982 titled “Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)“, which will be featured in Special Ed. 2. In this edition, I’ll go through the Null And Void release. You should support Bunkerpop by venturing over to his website and ordering these two gems, which will aid the label-owner in his quest of seeking out and preserving old gems.

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My New Fascination (Special Ed. 1): Coïtus Int. – Dead Excitement E.P. (Re-Issue)

This is a special-edition of My New Fascination which is directed at the wonderful guy who owns Bunkerpop. It will contain one of two reviews, one of the re-issued version of Coïtus Int. first release “Dead Excitement E.P.” but also of Null And Void and their brand new release of material recorded in between 1981-1982 titled “Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)“, which will be featured in Special Ed. 2. In this edition, I’ll go through the Coïtus Int. re-issue. You should support Bunkerpop by venturing over to his website and ordering these two gems, which will aid the label-owner in his quest of seeking out and preserving old gems.

Coïtus Int. – Dead Excitement E.P. (Re-Issue)

Ever wanted to hear the first phase of Coïtus? With their own unimaginably quirky, but dark version of punk. This was way before they ever got into the more alternative-sounding new-wave kitsch. I must say that I’m impressed about the sound, it’s been improved a lot. There are still some questionable noise, but that’s how they were originally. A gradual improvement from the original 7¨, it’s just that our postal service don’t handle these gems that well, so that might be why. However, the first song “Run To The Station” is a piece of interesting punk. Totally different from the later Coïtus Int., packing much more of a punch and an attitude of apathy. Pretty much sounds like some of our old school punk from Sweden, they’ve got some of that scandi-sound. But I think they’ve adopted the general punk-attitude from the regions of the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the likes of it. They had a sharper and more odd edge to their sound than anyone else, especially when it comes to punk.

Not so comparable to the UK, Sweden or the US for that matter. But I like the sharp blend of different attitudes from different countries, when it comes to sound and the darker edge delivered in this song. A pretty straight-forward one at that, too. I believe that the second track “I Shouldn’t Go” is a predecessor to their later post-punk sound, here you can hear the blend of both punk attitude and the more baseline driven post-punk that came with their first release. There’s also some kind of new-wave edge to it in the background at least, but they’ve kept the darker punk sound throughout. It’s got a much tighter sound, since there’s a high prevalence of both these genres in this song. Also, it might not be as straight-forward as the first song, but it surely sounds perfectly fitting on the same side. I feel like there’s a huge slab of timelessness attached to this song, it’s better than the counterpart on this side, which is the first song. It’s because I think it delivers that notion of what’s to come, but still keeps the playfulness. The first song is more of a basic, straight-forward blend of different punk-sounds. But the great thing about this song is that it keeps the punk-edge going later on, as it embargoes on a rock-oriented trip through punk as it would’ve been played at the start of the 80’s, still very much influenced by the 77′-punk sound.

The other side of the coin, namely the B-Side, continues in what I think is a morphed version of post-punk. With more straight-forward and apathetic punk-influences. First song “Trap Questions” really sounds like something that could’ve easily been a classic in the UK. As it speeds up to the tempo of punk, it releases an avalanche of hurt, but with the same instrumentation throughout. The catchy rhythms and melodies is what keeps this beast afloat and ensures what could be a classic endeavor of the early UK-punk sound. But there’s a noticeable difference to it, since they’ve had their own touch on it. I think the accent is charming, even more charming than a regular UK-sounding punk record. It brings a whole other dimension to the track, it also feels like it should be bordering to a whole other genre. Quickly reminding me of all the great cold wave classics out there, which surely have been the case with Coïtus later on but is developed through this phase of their lifetime.

Next up the track “Dry Up Soon” keeps up the tempo and ravages every sound-canal available, as the noisiness of the vocalist is portrayed throughout the sound-scape in an utmost menacing way. There is still a long way to go, but it seems like they’ve been more concentrated on the structure of the songs rather than a basic punk-template of fast and furious. Even though there might not be much variation, there’s a sense of things ending the further in to it you get, as can be felt with the last track “On The Escalator” which turns up the tempo a little bit and puts away the slowly developing post-punk pastiche and puts on the punk-overall and just starts shouting at the wall. A perfect ending for an almost perfect E.P., which I hoped of hearing sometime. I have been stuck with their first release on vinyl, which didn’t really have much of the earlier punk-vibe to it. But now that I’ve heard this release, I can feel how this have influenced their first self-titled record. There are remnants of the old Coïtus smeared on the wall, but no matter how you picture it, they’re still as great as a punk-outfit.

You can and should buy this record over at Bunkerpop, you’ll find the link over here.