Scorpion Violente, The Dreams, Teenagers in Tokyo, Bronze

Jason Jackowiak

We're filling you full of synthetic delights this week on The Singles Collection, so get your minds out of the gutter (yeah, we know what you were thinking) and cue up that stylus, it's time to get down like it's Berlin circa 1975.

The first bag of scrap we've got for you this week comes in the form of a split between French bands Scorpion Violente & The Dreams, on the elusive-yet-awesome Enfant Terrible imprint. Scorpion Violente is up first, and seeing that they share members with The Anals, you might think you know what they're going to sound like, but they take a left turn into dizzyingly dour minimal electro with a dadaist flair, especially on “Force de Droite”, a filter-crammed blast of raw electronic gurgling and futuristic intent. On the flip, The Dreams trade in a similar brand of electronic fury, and their sole contribution here, “Tropique de Cancer” is a scorcher, filled with short-circuiting electronics and all manner of Hades-scraping atmospherics and harsh oscillating vibes. You can contact the label directly to grab copies of this, or there are a few distros here in the states (you can try S-S perhaps) that should be stocking it.

Our next blast of static-y fuzz comes from primed-to-explode Sydney quintet Teenagers in Tokyo, “Isabella” b/w “Long Walk Home” 7″ on Back Yard Records. While they hail from the Land Down Under, their sound is rooted in '80s UK gloom, most notably recalling Siouxie & the Banshees and X-Ray Spex, albeit spiked with a few post-modern flourishes to quell impostor queries and to make sure it has everyone from bespectacled indie geeks to full-on gothic gonks frothing at the mouth. “Isabella” is an impeccably produced slice of yearning synth-pop bedecked with forlorn minor-key guitars and a heartstring-tugging/dancefloor bothering chorus that explodes like a million chiming shards of a shattered stained glass window. The flipside “Long Walk Home” is a dour affair that revels in its morning after haze, all glassy-eyed regret and confusion played out over dark-hued synth swells and a waltzing, martial cadence. These should be out any day now, but if this sounds like your kind of misery, then we recommend visiting Norman Records or the label's site pronto as their past few singles are only available now via eBay.

Last up this week is a brace of cold, rainy spit from the West Coast, Bronze's “One Night in Mexico” b/w “Hymns of the Night Shepard” 7″ on Enfant Terrible. A new combo that counts members of former GSL synth-spuzzers Vanishing among its ranks, the band hollows out the inside of an ARP 2600 and rides its plastic carcass all the way into the pits of hell, picking up the bones of a million dead post-punk/synth-punk bands along the way. You'll be picking pieces of Throbbing Gristle out of your teeth as “One Night in Mexico” shifts gears from menacing to terrifying, a barrage of white hot synth shrapnel and lacerating guitars threatening to take you head off even before you can flip the record. The B-Side isn't any tamer, with a whiplash rhythm that can't sit still for more than a second, perhaps that's because it's getting poked, rammed and prodded with all manner of scorpion synth stabs and screaming that sounds like it was recorded through a trash compactor. These should still be available from the label, or for those of you in the states, give Permanent Records a shout and see if they still have any left.

We're cleaning up the mess we've made this week, and we'll be back next week with some softer sounds to cleanse your audial palette.

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