Medical Records is back to announce three new exciting releases for pre-order! First up is a reissue of Paul Nelson’s Vortex, originally released in 1981 on Paul’s own Optiman Systems Inc imprint. Paul grew up around Portland and had a strong background in music and music theory. He built a PAIA synthesizer when he was in junior high and developed a keen intuition into analog synthesis. Eventually he purchased a Mini Moog and became very influenced by Alan Parsons, ELP, and ENO. Armed with more gear as time went on (Sequential Circuits 600 sequencer, Oberheim DS-2, etc), Paul was offered an opportunity to record his own album which led to the Recording Associates sessions during which Vortex was born. The LP was also half-speed mastered at JVC Studios in CA. Only a 1000 copies were originally pressed and self-distributed. The opening track “Automated Man” which also happens to be the only track with vocals, is a slab of genuine electro greatness with it’s sharp synth hooks and vocoded vocals. The LP takes many twists and turns with many tracks of sequenced pulsations, electronic drums, and rhythms reminiscent of the Sci-fi soundtracks mixed with a healthy dose of almost proggy space/cosmic disco crossed with later-age Tangerine Dream. All tracks have been restored and remastered by Paul Nelson for this release. Over the last decade Vortex been become quite rare, fetching rather high prices on the collector’s market. This record is made for fans of library synth, sci-fi soundtracks, and other more sequenced electronic acts such as Tangerine Dream, Axxess, and minimal synth.
Up next from the good people at Medical is Undisciplined Strips Of Emotions, from their first contemporary artist, Paris-based Illustration Sonore. The duo, consisting of Dasz (also in Dolina and Ame De Boue) and Christina (aka Froe Char), expertly craft dark and atmospheric songs laced with unbridled passion in the context of synth-laden melodies, dominant percussion and pensive vocals. Illustration Sonore started in 2010 and have played many concerts in Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy. The group uses variations of electricity to control oscillators and frequency modulations. Best described as synth-gaze, dark-wave, or no-future pop, Illustration Sonore recorded this full length LP in 2013. The opening track “Ulysses,” sets the mood with uncompromising intensity and passion with serious low frequency tones and catchy synth drenched hooks. The dreamy and brooding “Our Bodies” starts the B side and is a definite standout tracks. The wonderful and melancholy pop track “Flying Lights” is also included on the LP and was previously featured on the lovely compilation “Circuit D’Actes 3” on the French La Forme Lente imprint earlier this year. The relentlessly apocalyptic “Cannibals” is yet another magnificent track worth mentioning here. For fans of EBM/synth-heavy industrial crossover, lovers of Cabaret Voltaire, Chris and Cosey, modern synth-wave and the like, these tracks will not disappoint. Illustration Sonore has no fetishism for the old nor obsessions for the new, and they draw their inspiration in synth pop and surrealism.
Lastly, Medical Records is set to release their first compilation LP, Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol 1., in association with Crispy Nuggets blog. They have carefully curated a collection of extremely rare and sought after singles and rare tracks. This compilation includes 5 complete A + B sides as well as 2 other tracks that only appeared on obscure compilations in the early 80s. The first 2 tracks are by UK’s The Electronic Circus. Featuring Chris Payne (who also performed synth work on the iconic “Pleasure Principle” by none other than Gary Numan), the track “Direct Lines” is pure synth pop perfection. The second featured artist is Boston’s Psychic Youth who released one lone 7” in 1982. One of the members, Perry Geyer, was also a founding member of the industrial outfit Manufacture. “Step in Time” and “The Future Is Now” are both dense minimal synth hits that have been remastered by Mr. Geyer himself. Another excruciatingly rare 7” is the self-titled single by UK’s Aaah…! “Slip Away” and “Duty Calls” further fit the bill for moody minimal synth pop greatness. Possibly even more rare is the Shazam single released in 1983 in the UK. Both tracks from the single are included here. The 2 “wild card” tracks on the record are “Panic In Your Mind” by N.A. Pop 2000 (UK) and “Maske” by Berliner Strasse (Yugoslavia). Both tracks were plucked from rare wave compilations from the early 80s. The final single featured is the solo outing by Claude Arto from Mathematiques Modernes. Released in 1981 on Celluloid (France), the 2 tracks drip synthetic bloops and blips while being propelled by rhythmic electro sequences. A perfect closing of each side of the LP. This collection will certainly appeal to fans of the rare minimal synth culture, early stripped down synth pop, or anybody else who has wanted even one of these tracks on wax again as they are all quite rare.
Tags: Claude Arto, EBM, Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol1, Illustration Sonore, Mathematiques Modernes, minimal, Paul Nelson, synth, synth-wave, The Electronic Circus, Undisciplined Strips Of Emotions, Vortex