La Mystique Féminine vol. 1

Frankie Teardrop of the fantastic Systems of Romance music blog has created a mix of entirely female-fronted projects in the coldwave, minimal and post-punk vein. It’s a great mix so I highly recommend giving it a listen, and check out the tracklist here for any artists you don’t recognize.

Kym Amps

In preparation for Veronica Vasicka coming to Vancouver for a DJ gig, I’ve been listening a lot to one of my favourite Minimal Wave compilations, The Hidden Tapes. One track in particular that’s been haunting me has been You Don’t Know My Name by a mysterious artist named Kym Amps.

I’ve tried to do some research on Kym Amps to see if I could find out more info about her, and see if she has any other releases. The always awesome Systems of Romance posted the one single that she definitely released, which you can find here. However, trying to find info on her background and any other releases has been a bit tricky. As for minimal wave songs, that single seems to be all she ever released. However, there also appears to be a soprano vocalist with the same name. I’ve listened to a couple of her songs, and while the non-coldwave songs have a much more polished vocal style (not to mention higher notes), I feel like I can hear a similarity. Her photo from the above biography page and the photo on the cover of the minimal wave single also have some interesting similarities.

If you happen to know any info about Kym Amps feel free to let me know – is she now happy and thriving in a soprano career? Does she still fondly listen to synthy beep boops and dream of releasing some new material in that vein? I’d love to hear what she’s up to these days. Until then, I’ll give You Don’t Know My Name a listen every so often and enjoy the melancholic charm.

Edit: A commenter kindly pointed out that there are two other Kym songs available for purchase on iTunes and streamable on Spotify: I Must Have Been Seeing Things and Days Like These. Her voice is really heavenly and I’ve been loving them!

La Fete Triste and the aufnahme + wiedergabe label

 It being my first post, I thought it would be fitting to dedicate the entry to the band who inspired this blog’s name. La Fete Triste is a coldwave/post-punk band from Berlin, and my first listen to them was their energetic cover of ‘Kühle Lippen’ by Die Selektion. ‘Lèvres Froides’ caught my interest immediately – the song is filled with otherworldly, upbeat synth sounds that made me visualize secret caves filled with glittering stalagmites (I don’t know – I get weird mental images when listening to some songs). The vocals are cooly languid and dreamlike, which really adds to an already interesting series of instrumental twists and turns.

The label to which La Fete Triste are signed, aufnahme + wiedergabe, is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in coldwave and experimental synth music. Some other notable artists I’ve checked out and loved have been In Death It Ends, Lebanon Hanover, Frank (Just Frank), Xiu, and many more. I hope to cover the above bands in more detail as I continue blogging, but by all means go check out what aufnahme + wiedergabe have in their catalogue now and let me know what you think!

Also while writing this post I noticed La Fete Triste has a split release coming out with NYC’s The Harrow on May 14th – check out the tracks here before they’re released: Giant/Axis. I’m excited! The Harrow is another great band to check out and one of the members, Frankie Teardrop, is the man behind the awesome Systems of Romance blog I’ll probably talk about from time to time. His blog is an awesome way to get introduced to out of print coldwave/synth/post-punk/italo disco gems, and I had the pleasure of attending a Wierd Party in October 2012 that he was DJing. It was my first trip to New York, and my first club night hearing all of this music I deeply loved get played loudly amongst strangers who were also loving it. I shyly approached the DJ (who, it turns out, was Frankie himself) and asked if he would by any chance be posting his setlist online later, as there were a lot of songs I hadn’t heard before and really enjoyed. He kindly told me all setlists are posted on the Wierd Party website, and there it later appeared. Thanks for the music, sir!

Like the music? Buy La Fete Triste music directly from the aufnahme + wiedergabe catalogue Bandcamp page here.