With his Black Mill Tapes series sewn up, Pye Corner Audio makes the move to soundtrack specialists Death Waltz as they continue to embrace original material alongside their movie reissue modus operandi. Anyone familiar with either label or artist will be on familiar ground here, as Martin Jenkins lays the warbling 80s bombast on good and thick, albeit with a little more extrovert tendencies in the bright and bold melodies compared to the spooky subtleties of some of the other PCA material. "Stars Shine Like Eyes" reaches a dizzying climax of searing lead lines, while "Quasar II" revels in melancholic arpeggios made for the heartbreak ball in the future of thirty years ago.
You have to admire Dark Entries for their dedication to sourcing obscure music. These tracks were recorded in a Copenhagen suburb during the early 80s and subsequently released in a limited edition of just 100 cassettes. Now the US label has re-mastered and reissued them on vinyl for the first time. Guld boasts a naive, lo-fi feeling, from the dreamy synths of "Fortryliet" and the sensuous "Bent" to the scratchy guitar and post-punk pop of "Alices Udvej" and the primitive rhythm of "Leifs Jamre". It's not all wide-eyed reveries though and the eerie synths of "Den Kolde Skulder" suggest that Guld had a more malign streak. Whether Dark Entries can unearth more of his material remains to be seen, but if anyone can do it, the San Fran label can.
Spacemaker and Leather E's Electronic Emergencies label has largely impressed since launching midway through last year. Following killer releases from Das Ding, SOS and Visonia, they turn to previously unheard NYC cold-wave combo Ceci N'Est Pas. The American trio's debut is an impressive one, too. There's something particularly confident about "The Last Time", which expertly combines New Order style guitar passages with rasping electronic lines, cheap drum machine rhythms and atmospheric vocals. "The Stranger" is a little woozier and dreamier, coming on like the soundtrack to a sleepy saunter through empty warehouses in the company of Cabaret Voltaire, circa 1983's The Crackdown.
A couple of years back, Death Waltz decided to pair up Umberto and Antoni Maiovvi for a live re-score of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That resulted in the brilliant - and now suitably hard-to-find - The Hook & Pull Gang 12". Here, they join forces once more, this time for a full-length soundtrack to an imaginary film, Law Unit. Unsurprisingly, horror influences, vintage synthesizers, frightening textures, John Carpenter references and thrusting drum machine grooves abound, as the duo focuses on being simultaneously creepy and riotously entertaining. For the most part, it works brilliantly, resulting in a wide variety of downtempo and upbeat mood pieces, heavy on evocative aural imagery.