A cool little album of instrumental work by the HumanLeague – mostly pulled from sessions for their first few big hits, and remixed slightly by Martin Rushnet! There's a spare electronic groove here that's very nice – not nearly as dark as the group's first few analogue-heavy singles, but a bit sparser than the vocal hits, and sometimes played with a bit by Rushnet. Titles include "Do Or Die", "Seconds", "Open Your Heart", "Hard Times", "Love Action", "Don't You Want Me", and "The Sound Of The Crowd". LP, Vinyl record album
Insane early work by HumanLeague – very different than their later hits, with a stark, cold sythn-heavy sound that we really love! The group at this time were just a bit more than punk rockers with some electronics – and the sound on the set is very much in the spirit of the Sheffield scene of the time, crossed with some of the darker pop of the Manchester groups. The drums are raw and jagged, the keyboards really eerie and mechanical, and the vocals have all the life and hope drained out of them – making for a beautifully moody approach that blows away most of today's young low-fi electronic groups trying for a similar sound. Titles include "Circus Of Death", "The Path Of Least Resistance", "Blind Youth", "Empire State Human", "Austerity/Girl One", and "Almost Medieval". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has some wear, an unglued bottom seam, and a light mark from sticker removal.)
Dare ... LP A&M/Virgin, 1981. Very Good+ Gatefold ...
Just Sold Out!
A masterpiece of synth pop – and a landmark album for the HumanLeague! The record took the group from the Brit post-punk underground to the charts of the world – with a stark blend of noisy keyboards, spare beats, and Phil Okey's wonderfully flat and monotone vocals. And although the record is a bit of a departure from the group's noisier first few albums, it's also still got a dark edge that we'd kind of missed the first time around. Includes a nice remake of the theme from "Get Carter", plus loads of little great synth tunes like "I Am The Law", "Seconds", "The Sound Of The Crowd", and "Darkness" – as well as the hits "Love Action", "Don't You Want Me", and "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the original inner sleeve.)
Crash ... LP A&M, 1986. Used Gatefold ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
The second album by HumanLeague – and one that has them really honing their craft a bit, sliding from a world of messed-up broken-down synthesizers into more song-based forms that hint at the genius pop of later years. Things are still pretty darn dark – with vocals that would scare a cat, and lots of prog/punk riffs on the keys and drums – and the album's a key link in a trajectory of European music of the 70s that's still plenty darn powerful today! Titles include "Gordon's Gin", "The Touchables", "Crow & A Baby", and "The Black Hit Of Space". LP, Vinyl record album
Very cool, very spare work from this UK duo from the early 80s – kind of a homemade take on electro pop modes of the time, but with a dark sound that's pretty striking all the way through! Most of the instrumentation is just keyboards and drum machine – and while these guys are going for some of the hooks you might find in HumanLeague or New Order, they also have a gloomier feel that comes not from their lyrics or style – but more from the spare setting of the tracks – a really great quality that goes way past the obvious! Titles include "Face To Face", "Tattoo", "This Side Of Heaven", "Fix The Mix", "Give It Back", "Aquarium", and "Kiss in The Rain". LP, Vinyl record album
Think Italian electro only means disco and club? Think again, because this excellent set shows that there was a much darker side to electronic music in Italy during the post-punk years – one that easily rivals the most compelling work from the UK and German scenes at the time! The electronics here are often noisy and dark, but wrapped around a nice sense of groove, too – kind of the spirit you'd find in the best early work by artists like Cabaret Voltaire or HumanLeague – when they could still be really spooky and creepy, but were also stepping up their beats and basslines way more than before. The whole thing's an amazing discovery – a huge batch of work that sounds like stuff we already love, but have never heard before – all compiled with the usual great Strut Records sense of history that holds the whole thing together. Titles include "Informations Of Death" by Neon, "I Am Strange Now" by Plath, "Senza Tregua" by LA 1919, "Please" by Rats, "Deep Skanner" by La Bambola Del Dr Caligari, "Romero's Living Dead" by Spirocheta Pergoli, "Norton Apple Software" by Doris Norton, "Edges" by Kirlian Camera, and "Against The Odds" by Atrox. 2CD set features a whopping 26 tracks in all! CD
A great but overlooked bit of crossover funk from Chas Jankel – guitarist for Ian Dury & The Blockheads during the late 70s! The real standout here is the original version of "Ai No Corrida" – a track probably best remembered from Quincy Jones' Dude album, but sounding even better here in Jankel's original! We're pretty partial to the cut "Glad To Know You" – which is a wicked post-punk crossover tune – almost in the HumanLeague mode, but with some of the playful qualities of Ian Dury's work! 12-inch, Vinyl record
A killer collection of early 80s electronic numbers – most of them in a post-punk sort of style, but often with a bit of a dancefloor groove as well! Most of these cuts were issued only on rare 7" singles – and are brought together here by the wonderful talents of Medical Records – a label we've really come to trust for obscure 80s electronica! The work here lies in an underground far below the best early material of artists like Cabaret Voltaire or HumanLeague – and the package brings together cuts from both sides of the Atlantic, all material we'd never have heard otherwise (and we actually used to buy this sort of stuff, back in the day!) Titles include "The Future Now" by Psychic Youth, "Let's Get Together" by Shazam, "Kwai Systeme" by Arto, "Le Chorale" by The Electronic Circus, "Betty Boop" by Arto, "Maske" by Berliner Strasse, and "Duty Calls" by Aaah. LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition – pressed on totally cool vinyl!)
The overlooked collaboration between HumanLeague singer Philip Oakey and producer Giorgio Moroder! The duo initially worked together on the outstanding "Together In Electric Dreams" single – a surprise hit from Moroder's soundtrack for a forgettable movie – and given The HumanLeague's move towards a dancefloor sound around the same time, the timing was perfect to team up! Moroder lays down a soulful synth backdrop that rarely lets up – in fact, the first five tunes flow together almost like a continuous suite! Ultimately, this is a sweet slice of quintessentially 80s sounds – in a style that's endured – especially when you consider its influence on groups like Passion Pit a good 25 years later! Other tracks include "Now", "Why Must The Show Go On", "In Transit", "Goodbye Bad Times" "Brand New Lover (Take A Chance)", "Be My Lover Now", "Valerie" and "Shake It Up". Bonus tracks on this CD version from Gold Legion include an extended version of "Together In Electric Dreams", "In Transit/Goodbye Bad Times (12" Remix)" and "Be My Lover Now (12" Remix)". CD
Moody electro pop from the UK scene of the early 80s – served up by a duo with roots in Drinking Electricity and Analysis, with a sound that's right up there with the dark early best of HumanLeague or Cabaret Voltaire! Given the dates of these tracks – 1982 to 1984 – Play have clearly gotten a later start, and feel maybe like some of the best second or third-generation Factory Records acts – those groups who only issued singles on that label, but created some really memorable moments before the Manchester explosion later in the decade. The vocals are nicely dark, with New Order qualities – and instrumentation is relatively spare, with lots of processed guitar and keyboards – yet somehow pretty tuneful, too. Titles include "Erase The Memory", "This Little Girl", "You Don't Look The Same", "In My Mind", "Chasing The Sun", and "Red Movies". LP, Vinyl record album