Dark Entries, that label that most recenly brought you Patrick Cowley’s School Daze, has announced its next series of re-issues. On January 14th, they will be be releasing Lè Travo’s Erring and Errant LP, Big Ben Tribe’s “Tarzan Loves the Summer Nights” 12″ and Victrola’s “Maritime Tatami” 12″. All the tracks have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkley.
Lè Travo is the brainchild of Patrick Bollen from Tienen, Belgium. As a teenager in the early 1980s Patrick would visit the infamous coldwave/gothic club “DeAtelier” in Leuven. There he would gather inspiration from Joy Division and other Factory releases, The Danse Society and Cocteau Twins. He gathered a some session musicians and a female backup vocalist. The set up was basic with live drums, TR-808 drum machine, Roland JX3P synthesizer, electric guitar and bass. Eventually Patrick bought a Greengate DE-3 sampler, using the brains of an Apple 2E with a keyboard bolted onto it. He crafted loops made from a deconstructed upright piano, hitting he strings directly with a drum stick.
“Erring and Errant” was originally released in 1985. This reissue contains 3 bonus songs that were released in 1984 on a split LP and produced by Luc Van Acker (Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Shriekback). Most of the songs are follow the French Coldwave style, similar to Weimar Gesang, Opera Multi Steel or early Clan of Xymox. The songs cover a range of sound and emotion. Vocals have a pumping feeling with a sense of urgency, while lyrics emulate teenage enthusiasm influenced by avant-garde movements such as futurism and constructivism, and by the literature of science fiction and existentialism.
Lè Travo is the brainchild of Patrick Bollen from Tienen, Belgium. As a teenager in the early 1980s, Patrick would visit “DeAtelier”, the infamous coldwave/gothic club in Leuven. He would be inspired by Joy Division and other Factory releases, The Danse Society and Cocteau Twins. He gathered a some session musicians and a female backup vocalist. They recorded with live drums, TR-808 drum machine, Roland JX3P synthesizer, electric guitar and bass. Eventually Patrick bought a Greengate DE-3 sampler, using the brains of an Apple 2E with a keyboard bolted onto it. He crafted loops made from a deconstructed upright piano, hitting the strings directly with a drum stick.
Lè Travo made their first appearance on a split LP with Fred A in 1984. “Erring and Errant” is their debut 7 song LP originally released in 1985. For the reissue 3 bonus songs from the split LP have been added. The songs are coldwave in the vein of Weimar Gesang, Opera Multi Steel, and Clan of Xymox. Guitar, bass and sample interplay with piano and synthesizers with dark and forbidding crescendos in the fast numbers, and elegaic melancholy in the slow tracks. The vocals are delivered with a sense of urgency, while the lyrics are inspired by avant-garde movements such as futurism and constructivism, as well as science fiction and existentialism.
All songs have been transferred from the original reel to reels and carefully remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a glossy jacket with original artwork as well as a fold-out poster with lyrics and photos. Lè Travo is derived from French word “les travaux”, which means : the works, a fitting name for this compilation of lost music from the Belgian underground.
A Game of Despair
For our 55th release we are launching a special series called Dark Entries Editions, dedicated to 12″ singles made for the dance floor. The first release in this series is Victrola, the duo of Antonio “Eze” Cuscinà and Carlo Smeriglio from Italy. The band formed in Messina, but later relocated to Florence to join the rich musical scene there with Neon, Pankow, Alexander Robotnick and Diaframma. Beginning as a 4-piece combo (two guitarists, bassist, drummer) in 1979, they slimmed down to a synthesizer and guitar-based duo a few years later.
Their sole release was the “Maritime Tatami”/”A Game Of Despair” EP, from 1983. Using an array of now-classic Roland synthesizers (TR 606, TR 303 Bassline, Juno 6) plus a Korg Polysix and Fender Stratocaster, they crafted two darkwave ballads. “Maritime Tatami” engulfs the listener with trance-inducing synth lines and melancholic vocals over its epic 8 minutes. Oblique minor-key bass lines provide an anchor while snappy, brittle 606 rhythms propel the track along. The lyrics tell the story of Tatami, a boy from a fishing town who yearns for a new life in the big city. “A Game of Despair”, on the flipside, is a haunting crawl through the eyes of a woman left by her lover. An angular guitar riff repeats hypnotically, as fragile icy synth lines chime emptily above it.
Each song has been carefully remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in an exact replication of the original jacket, and includes an insert with lyrics and never-before-seen photos. Victrola’s only release is a truly singular and timeless masterpiece—it’s from a dimension of its own.