Goth ‘n Roll

These are the shownotes for this episode of The Infected:

Good night, children of Necropolis. Hey, this is not a test. This is goth and roll! Time to rock it from the cradle to the crypt. We are the Infected, and tonight, we will infect you! Is that me, or does that sound like a The The Song? Hey, is it a little too late for being this loud? Hey, too late. It’s 01:00. What’s the “0” stand for? Oh, my God, it’s late. Anyway, this Infection is one for life… It’s the infection with the love of music. Let us infect you with…. Strange music. Wild music. Music you will want to share, and if you do, you join our legion and spread the Infection with us. Sweet music. Dark music. We have tracks lined up for you, so fresh that they still need their umbilical cord snipped, but first, we’ll take you back, further back to a distant past where post-punk’s seeds were sown. This is a song about disappointment, bleak but haunting. This is Pale Shelter.

Pale Shelter – Tears for Fears (The Hurting – 1983)

Written by lead singer Roland Orzabal, this song is about being disappointed in a relationship. It was originally released as a single in March 1982 under the title “Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love),” and failed to chart. It was re-released in April 1983 as the third single (After “Mad World” and “Change”) taken from the debut album The Hurting.

Although Orzabal wrote the tune, it’s sung by fellow Tears for Fears vocalist Curt Smith. Deciding which of the two leads would sing a particular song often came down to tone of voice. Smith told The Quietus in 2013: “If it’s a softer song it’s normally me. If it requires being belted, it’s normally Roland. My voice is a lot darker, a lot more melancholic, and Roland is more of a shouter. He’s trying to make a point. Which is very loud. So those are the differences in our voices, basically. ‘Mad World’ and ‘Pale Shelter’ and ‘Change,’ even though they’re pop songs, wanted to be more melancholic and softer, and that’s my voice.”

In the liner notes for the 1999 re-release of The Hurting, OrzabaI explained the tune is “kind of a love song, though more referring to one’s parents than to a girl.”

Orzabel on how the song came together: “I kept playing two chords for weeks and weeks, then one morning I woke up and sang the tune and the words, just like that.

It is inspired by the art work ‘Pale Shelter’ by Henry Moore:

Das M – Im Sommer

I was having a closer look at my ridiculously long Youtube playlist and re-discovered this track from 2010 after scrolling down for quite some time. I forgot about Das M and have been enjoying it extensively over the last 2 weeks.

The track is hard to describe, and certainly does not fit 1 specific genre label. So let’s just enjoy it in a moment.

DAS M is a solo project from Martin Haidinger from Austria. Martin released many cassettes featuring many electronic musical styles in the early 90’s. Under multiple names. There is little to no info on him. Together with a partner they founded their own recordlabel, Toytronic. A label that eventually stopped because they focused more on music and artwork, and not so much the business part of running a label. It almost sounds like the Factory Records story 😊.

Under the alias Das M, Martin produces a lovely mixture of catchy electropop with German lyrics. The songs have a strong reference to KRAFTWERK. What I mean by that is the minimal use of instruments, but a maximum of emotion and power though well thought out melodies and arrangements.

It feels like he simply recorded the music he likes. And it sounds so effortless, but of course, isn’t.

The lyrics can be translated like:

“In summer I like to lay on the grass and watch people passing by. Daydreaming about nothing. I don’t want to go to work anymore”. Light hearted and a bit melancholic. Very catchy stuff.

De Ambassade – Geen Genade (EP, 2016)

INSTA OUTCAST – Hey, if we can play Icelandic bands, we can play Dutch bands!

On Instagram I saw the 2021 white vinyl repress of Geen Genade being promoted. Mastered by Rude66. This is a celebration of the first five years of the band, since this song first surfaced on the debut EP in 2016. Geen Genade was on it, with its distinctive gloomy melodies, and echoing cold Dutch vocals. Back then, the band was just Pascal.

Today, De Ambassade are Pascal (Vox), Aniek (Keys) and Jippe (bass). Pascal is also active as an electronic DJ under the name Dollkraut, Jippe is also the bass player of a hard rock band, Aniek also performs as an electronic live act and DJs as Alberta Balsam.

The three of them unfortunately did not get much time to play together in 2020 as Pascal’s studio is in Amsterdam and Jippe and and Aniek are both from different towns. “We ended up cancelling our practices, it just felt too tricky.” Still, they have been writing new music.

Pascal’s lyrics have been described as ‘dystopian’ before, and many things that have happened this last year do fit into that picture of a dystopian world. “People’s reactions to it, conspiracy theories, and how conversations about important topics have been shaped by the fact that they’re happening on social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about how social media and how our phones affect our being, and we’ve been talking a lot about it amongst the three of us as well. We have our doubts about how ‘social’ social media actually is, one example is the polarizing effects of social media’s algorithms within social and political debates or issues. These phenomenons are all food for thought, and that means they’re good food for songwriting. The same goes for something like loneliness. It sucks, but once you start writing about it you get completely lost in it,” Pascal says.

De Ambassade has a strong preference for analogue gear over a more digitized set up. Anniek: “Our choice for analog gear is purely a choice for the sound of these synths. The sound we create and want to carry out on our records is very much a throwback to the past, so aesthetically I guess using analog synths is quite obvious.” Pascal adds “For Jippe, as a bass player, there’s no other option than going analog of course. Making music on a stage just gets some sort of authentic image through instruments, which fits the image we’re creating of De Ambassade, and how we are as musicians. I feel like we want to stay away from the easiness of technology sometimes, for the sake of the bigger piece we’re trying to create, which is a bit more human than electronic music in itself. Indeed, as Aniek mentioned, it’s the colour of the sound of synths that’s crucial in the end.”

Pascal; “I’m able to tell my story in a different way in Dutch. It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s my first language, it’s about the sound, it feels stiff and strict. Some of the consonants are remarkably harsh, our letter ‘G’ for example. I feel like I can put a bit more force into it.” That the story within the lyrics gets lost in no translation, doesn’t bother Pascal at all. “To me it’s fantastic that it leaves space for people to completely interpret my lyrics in their own way. The thought of it just makes me happy. Everyone should interpret my work as they want to, and if the meaning they take away from it makes them happy, my work is done.”

Source: Dekmantel interview (https://dekmantel.com/)

Check out De Ambassade here: INSTAGRAMBANDCAMP

I’m in love with a German Film Star – The Passions  (Thirty Thousand Feet over China 1981)

The Passions were a West-London band of the late 70’s and early 80’s. The Passions evolved from their previous band The Derelicts (which I’ve not heard of in all honesty). They were also signed to Fiction records with the Cure. And Polydor. Big labels with plenty of promotion power I would think.

I own all three of their albums, but it is a bit of a mystery as to why they were so soon forgotten. Their debut album “Michael And Miranda” showed their signature sound and potential early on. I’m talking about ringing, echoed guitars and great vocals. The Passions had a 2 boy, 2 girl line up. At the time, there weren’t many post-punk bands that had this mix. The band toured Britain and Europe extensively and also performed in America during 1983, making many new friends. However, lagging album sales and explosive personal relationships caused the Passions to implode on their return to Britain.

Their main accomplishment is the album “Thirty thousand Feet over China” and they had 1 hit (also from that album: “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”. The Passions is what you can call a 1 hit wonder band.

In the last few years there has been increasing interest in the band and an ever-growing collection of cover versions of German Film Star, at least a dozen to date including the Foo Fighters, the Pet Shop Boys with Sam Taylor-Wood and Dubstar.

South – Wu-Lu and Lex Amor (2021)

INSTA OUTCAST! South London’s Wu-Lu refreshingly bridges worlds of music like no other. In his work, I hear influences of lo-fi, psychedelic guitars and alternative hip-hop, but rerally, this is what I consider the latest evolution of post-punk. You see, sometimes people may think that this genre is not innovating, not finding new frontiers, new relevance. And yes, I admit, we kicked off this episode by indulging in a feel good Tears for Fears throwback that many listeners will have recognized, but there is more to post-punk than playing 80’s songs, forty years later. This is what happens when hip-hop and postpunk get cozy and end up with a love child. This is Wu-Lu’s latest single, with vocals by fellow Londoner Lex Amor. This is a track that was released this year, 2121, only 5 weeks ago. This is South by Wu-Lu and Lex Amor.

Wu-lu is at the vanguard of the UK’s underground post-punk scene. His musicianship has legendary status within the community. Having played iconic institutions like The Windmill in Brixton, Wu-Lu is as important to London’s soundscape as the venues he plays in. His undisputed roots in the City’s scene are highlighted through affiliations with other members of the London musical movement that dare to defy borders. Post-punk, the alternative music scne, they are alive and kicking in South London.

Kommunity FK – Something Inside Me Has Died (Close one sad eye – 1985)

The band was formed in 1978 by singer Patrick Mata, during the big punk explosion in LA. Patrick was influenced by musicians Throbbing Gristle, David Bowie and Joy Division as well as other artistic inspirations like William Burroughs, the poet.

Though initially named “Kommunity Fuck”, they soon shortened their bandname. The name was inspired out of frustration because talent scouts of recordlabels were constantly giving Patrick the cold shoulder. Because in the late 70’s, there was no such thing as Goth or industrial type music. Patrick’s vision was new, and the music was raw. He basically paved the way for many more artists that would become great in the goth genre. After years of hard work and trying to get noticed by label owners and scouts:

In 1983 they released their first album “The Vision and the Voice”. However it wasn’t until 1985 that they got significant attention with their second album. The videoclip of song “Something Inside Me Has Died” got plenty of airplay on MTV.

Throughout his musical career, Patrick has attracted people such as Phil Specter who jumped up on stage in 1975 when Patrick was performing with a previous band. Also he was a big influence on Perry Farrel (Jane’s addiction). There’s an extensive part on this in Farrel’s Biography. Farrel was a big fan of Patricks musical style and appearance. He was even asked by Vogue Magazine for a fashion shoot.

Anyway, to wrap this up: Since their incarnation they have released 4 studio albums, the latest one in 2015. And in all their existence Kommunity FK has performed with:

Public Image Ltd.
Killing Joke
Nick Cave
Peter Murphy
Modern English

Their biggest hit was ”Something inside me has died”

STAY STRANGE!

One thought on “Goth ‘n Roll

Leave a Reply to Goof Plesman Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s