Xymox, later known as Clan of Xymox, was founded in Nijmegen, a city in the east of the Netherlands, in 1983 by Ronny Moorings (Vocals, Guitars, Synthesizers) and Anka Wolbert (Vocals, Bass). Ronny saved up to buy a TEAC 144 four-track tape recorder and the duo relocated to Amsterdam in April of 1983.
They began to record songs utilizing a Yamaha CS-15, Korg MS-10 and MS-20, a BOSS Dr. Rhythm DR-55, guitar and effects pedals. Layering drone-like tones of monophonic synthesizers over tape loops, rhythm tracks, guitar, and bass, they created a unique fusion of lush psychedelia and dark, angular atmospherics.
The result was a 5-song EP, “Subsequent Pleasures”, was released in 1984 and limited to 500 vinyl copies. It was a precursor to the dark wave sounds of their self-titled debut LP on 4AD Records, which was released the following year. At the time, Anka was designing silk-screened posters for a music venue called Oktopus. She based the sleeve design on a drawing she had done of Ronny lying in the grass that summer and used some cutouts and details of other photos. Today, the record is highly sought after by collectors. One song from the EP, “Muscoviet Musquito”, was later re-recorded for the compilation album “Lonely Is An Eyesore” released by 4AD in 1987.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. All jackets have been silk-screened with pink and grey paint, using the original plates Anka created in 1984. Each copy includes a fold-out pink newsprint poster with never before seen photos of the band, lyrics and liner notes by Anka and Ronny. See the colors and waves in this deluxe 30th anniversary edition of a classic piece of Dutch history.
Available for PRE-ORDER, released on the 25th of August
Ikonika is in straight up banger mode on this EP, possibly her finest release to date. Confident, energetic and tough, these tracks are made from solid tour experience and made for big room dancing. The EP is made with an almost 3D sense of contrast, and a brilliant ability to balance dusty old school sounds and shinier new ones and reshape them into something that sounds really fresh.
‘Position’ kicks things off with rough kicks and snares that sound like they've been created in a foundry, mixed into rolling kicks lifted from a crumbling drum machine and vocals sliced and diced into sharp hallucinatory rhythms. ‘Praxis’ sounds like a track that could have come from her groundbreaking ‘Contact, Want, Love, Have’ debut album, except the straightforward melodies with droning synths and steamy drums over growling bass give the track a confident upgrade.
‘Strawberry Underlay’ builds melody lines over a single basic, repeating riff in quick succession while a series of interchangeable, tight old school drum patterns stop and start underneath in quick succession. It's a brilliant exercise in dynamics and tension. ‘Wakeup Sequence’ sounds like freestyle pop driven into strange Atari game shapes, bubbling arpeggios, rough, funky melodies, ancient drum machines, and distorted guitar synth and weird squeaks.
CD Packaging: Digipak, Vinyl Standard 12” LP + download card.
Sargent House is excited to re-issue both of Chelsea Wolfe’s first two albums, The Grime and The Glow and Apokalypsis, on CD and LP for the first time. Chelsea Wolfe's sound is best described with broad strokes: elemental, intense, radiant, ancient yet modern, intimate yet expansive, dark and sparkling. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever-evolving electric folk—a warm force that wraps itself around the listener, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph.
Her voice similarly haunts and soothes, with words that illuminate life's darker corners in order to reveal the unlikely truth and beauty hidden within. Originally hailing from Northern California, Wolfe's formative years were spent tinkering in her country musician father's home studio, however, she long lacked the confidence to share her work. Then, in 2009, an overseas excursion as part of a nomadic performance troupe ignited her passion for performing and initiated a renewed interest in writing and recording. After performing in cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants to whoever would listen, she returned home with a new drive.
She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into a breathtaking debut album, 2010's The Grime & the Glow. Marrying the gentle intimacy of folk, the atmospheric voodoo of death rock, and the bleak, sullen nihilism of black metal, Wolfe's sound effectively cast a genre all her own: a cavernous rumble, marked by stuttering drums, ethereal synths, and a wash of guitar, all very much in the service of one of the most hypnotic, celestial voices in modern music. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as a force on the rise. Inspired, Wolfe then relocated to Los Angeles and recorded her second album, 2011's Apokalypsis, which found her in an actual studio with her live band.
The songs captured therein maintained the strikingly visceral elements of her debut, further showcase Wolfe’s unique songwriting ability, while adding a serious heaviness of sound that balanced eloquently with her transcendent voice. Its release was subsequently met with critical adoration, and rightly landed on numerous best of 2011 lists.