original posted here http://www.clashmusic.com/feature/wax-analysis-1
Remember when record shopping was still in vogue and not so much a spectator sport?
There was once an age where you had an intimate relationship with your record dealer as a buyer, who you’ve ginned up and sweet talked every day on the off chance that he will get up off his stool, go down to the basement where he keeps his secret record stash and hand you an extra copy of that special edition record (with a holographic sticker to let you know it’s limited) that you’ve been eyeing for days. Memories of anticipation, scanning the whiteboard for a scheduled release date so you can count down the days to finally get your hands on that big fat slice of aural bliss. Added to the fact that you know he reserves that record for his high profile buyers, as a bonus, you get bragging rights along with an exclusive membership to a top tiered class of musical connoisseurs – a class that Discaire is secretly organizing and bringing back to life.
Discaire is born out of a friendship between gay socialites. It’s members are based in 3 cities: San Francisco, London and New York. Some have worked in independent record shops in a previous timeline and know the joys of opening a new record with unique, psychedelic artwork that conveniently goes hand in hand with the music – even to the point that the artwork was made to accompany the sounds you purchased. Feeling nostalgic for the limited edition, glossy, gate fold cover these boys decided to go full speed with their own record label that is currently attracting a cult following through it’s DIY perspective and gay aesthetic.
Although the first release was from gay duo Discodromo – the second release is C.L.A.W.S from San Francisco. Each release is carefully curated, stuffed with goodies and surprises and comes hand packaged with original artwork, not to mention a record with high quality pressing from the master Dietrich Schoenemann.
As most of the artwork is centered around gay iconography of historical significance, the first release included, as an added layer, an X rated video by Berlin based artist Gold~N~Sour that is accessed through a secret code, granted only to those who purchase the 12″. The shock value of some straight DJ inspecting the packaging and happening upon a video of a gay Berlin after hours is priceless.
Enter their shadowy world here…
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Sex Tags Mania – Norwegian hot wax from a Berlin bunker coming straight at your brain. Sex tags mania is more than your average dance label it works like a giant art project each release is an event in itself to the extent they have contributed to some art festivals with releases acting as conceptual events
Conceived in 2004 by Graffiti obsessed (hence the name sex tags mania) Acid House, golden era hip hop loving guys the label encompasses many sounds with offshoot labels inc sex tags amphibia, acido records and a central portal where they sell their wares and those of labels who are simpatico.
With close links with the Norwegian underground they are actually based in Berlin and have built a reputation for obscure yet immediate dance tracks. Personally the best release is Transylvanian Galaxi which is an alter ego of a guy called Skatebard who can also be found on the label – based on the vocal he is channeling some middle eastern ghost by way of Romanic Italo – play this at 5- 11am in a darkened room with some enlightened beings and you will either unhinge or close minds – undoubtedly a true test of the faithful!
Fiercely anti MP3 they insist on Vinyl and rightly so this is dense music and you need the bass that only vinyl gives most djs don’t have the money and a back of Hercules to lug the black gold but with every release its worth it – sex tags mania press only on really heavy vinyl and the quality of each release means you get great art and a little story about the track with a note (notes are often photo zine art in the style of those send away classified ads that used to appear in viz or the beano for whoopee cushions and such like) about the recording process and the artist. Usually releases are limited to around 300 – 1000 copies and if you like things hand made with a love for the process and appreciation for a good mistake – no abelton made in two minutes bollox here these tracks are raw and rough and you will have to ride the pitch like a real dj! – The finest acid, the eeriest digi dub, the best basic house – get the mania!
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Allen Alexis sit somewhere in the fields of disco and electronic music with a big emphasis on pop – big hooks, pounding beats and distinctive vocals. The duo formed in 2009, garnering a large chunk of euro attention with radio and video play in Austria and Germany and a carefully selected club shows and festival dates. Allen Alexis are DJ and Producer Philip Preuss (Dope Sagittarius / Afro Punk NYC) and Guenther Bernhart. … sounding like a less introspective Underworld and with a slightly sinister performance aspect – which comes as a direct link to his background with working with a god like genius of Industrial and Electronic music …
Said god of electronic music is Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget – who was the first artist to sign to Daniel Miller’s Mute label). A truly unique artist his live shows were legendary and quickly established Fad Gadget as one of the most exciting acts of the time. A consummate showman he used his whole body to convey the pulsating electronic rhythms and utilized a bizarre array of instruments and conventional household tools such as hand drills often his performances would feature a process of lathering up in oil and covering himself in feathers – truly artistic and confrontational yet in a playful way unlike other industrial artists who want to abuse the audience.
Frank produced Bernhart’’s first band Temple X in London at the infamous Blackwing Studios (Depeche Mode / Yazoo/ My Bloody Valentine and Ride amongst many to cut albums there) after his girlfriend put them in touch
Frank enjoyed working with Bernhart and Temple X so he asked him and the rest of Temple X to join as his backing band on tour for the Fad Gadget comeback supporting fellow label mates and fellow struggling synth band Depeche Mode on their Exciter Tour in 2001 (only 84 dates the workshy so and so’s!) – It was a grueling schedule besieged with mishap Temple X’s van was involved in a dramatic road accident somewhere in Europe, flipping over and ejecting their drummer out of the back doors and onto the ground outside. The broken collar bone he sustained in the accident meant that he would be unable to play the final, British, shows at Wembley Arena and Manchester’s MEN Arena such a spinal tap style incident only cemented their bond further and after a successful mini euro tour with the invigorated Fad Gadget Frank told them he wanted to record a new album with them however only days after Frank announced this the band were contacted to be told that Frank had passed away at home dying at the age of 45 from a heart condition… Frank had suffered with heart problems all his life and died at home in April 2002. It was a complete fallout for his family his many fans and friends worldwide and especially stinging for Temple X
Time marches on and styles and tastes evolved 7 years later and with various electronic projects under his belt including Collaborations with the Bloody Beetroots as part of previous group Beta Bow and a collaboration with another heavy bass electro producer Felix Cartel & joining as a member of the elusive and bizarre Gelatin Arts Group (recent collaboration with Youngish British Artist Sarah Lucas most noted for being a part of the Saatchi Sensation exhibition) this new project combines elements of performance art, sometimes in drag, dance floor orientated electronic music combined with beautiful modern pop sensibilities with two live shows the Pop version and the darker performance / trans-orientated darker techno set for the dark rooms – yah geiler Scheiße as the kinder say.