So, anyway, trawling around my list of links, e-mails subscriptions and Blog reader whatsits I come across a lone line advertising a free download of a French band Camp Z’s 6 track ep. Whoaw…free, I gasp..”This last release mixes electronic
backgrounds along with dark feelings, raw guitars and post punk energy!” says the blurb…colour me interested – I’ve sort of rediscovered the whole French/Euro coldwave genre of the 80’s as of late and have subsequently kicked myself at being so damnably Anglo-centric in my musical gleanings in those bad old days – ok, there was no internet, and the genre was largely ignored by the (Brit/USA) press of the day any mention of which was probably quickly passed by by the likes of I (not being able to see anything in the flesh as it were, also didn’t help), I mean, I thought Plastic Bertrand was all there was!! So, consequently I devote the latest Bullets From the Belfry (and this blog) to Zorch!
Subsequent investigation led me to Zorch Factory Records and their eclectic stable of artistes from Europe (and other parts of the globe) in the dark indie/goth/deathrock/postpunk/coldwave/electronica field of things that i generally immerse myself in. Headed up by Manu, member of aforementioned CampZ, his dream to present a forum, a home, a promotional tool for some of the many truly independent artists forging out into the interwastes trying to elevate themselves to better things. All the material is published under Creative Common License free to download. His aim to create a fanbase for the bands so that interest is tweaked, demands made and the music industry swings their way, whether interest by some established label or enough interest is created to make music sales of future product viable. Manu’s dream is based on love, not profit, the artists free to move on to greener pastures whne their boat comes in!
After hastily glomming the CampZ goodies : a dark buzzsaw caterwaul of postpunk excess- with strong leanings back to coldwave, overlaid with Manu’s harsh, angry vocals – no fake Brit/Amerikan tones here….without meaning to sound condescending, the French accent is perfect for this music! I went for the rest with glee.
Joy Disaster, also from France have a recent live concert recorded in Italy up for grabs. I suppose any band described as postpunk and having ‘Joy’ in their name is going to be compared with, ah, Joy Division…well yes, the comparisons are there, perhaps an early JD, maybe even Warsaw rather, harsh, brash, angry (I entertain the notion that if Warsaw formed today and listened to Interpol a lot…) Cyclic, all music is cyclic but in doing so it does not have to immitate, re-invention is part of the game, re-interpretation, it does not have to cater to some fixed audience to ‘fill a dance floor’ ( She Wants Revenge….pheeggh!!!). I take emotion over polish any fucking day – I see big things for Joy Disaster.
Mmmmmm, Mexican goth/punk/deathrock, I love it, ever since I frightened folk off the dancefloor with the likes of Los Meurtes Vivientes and the Ultrasonicas! The Acid Bats have a couple of releases on Zorch Factory, an 8 track ep, ‘Exhumacion’ and a earlier demo recording…fabulous stuff, can’t wait to ever be invited back into a dj booth with this in my must play box!! (If I promise to play at least one She Whines Revenge track, can I ? Can I???)
The more eclectic Crimson Muddle do a wonderful cover of Joy Divisions ‘Means To an End’ on their ep, their sound veering into almost steampunk territory, but still with that endearing coldwave feel.Lamentations Psychotiques and Nuit d’Octobre round off the ep in a darkly whimsical manner.
On and on, it’s like stumbling into a sweet shop of delights, Les Modules Estranges evoke the spirit of Siouxsie Sioux on tracks like Crash, Cocteau twins on say Am I Blind. lovely vocals, fragile guitar, veering toeards but not drowning in shoegazer territory. More tracks including remixes are available here.
From Spain come the enigmatically titled Red Crayon Aristocratic Club, think Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets Ladytron whilst picking up The Cranes on the way… A splendid cover of The Clash’s ‘Stay Free’ is a gem on the cd.
Germany’s Monozid have 2 ep’s available on the Zorch Factory site, think postpunk, think Chameleons, early Psychedelic Furs, Wire here.
Rounding off the podcast this week- The Trespass, perhaps the most traditional goth/deathrock band on Zorch,’ traditional’ being a misnomer really in that their roots are solid postpunk, a bit of Echo and the Bunnymen lilting through their epical sweeping songs.
All in all, a valuable cause to support..and download, and hopefully, eventually, lay hard cash down for! Zorch Factory Records, Bullets From the Belfry salutes you!!
Listen to some of the amazing Zorch artists here on the BFB Zorch Factory Records Special Podcast