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about

This EP features each of the acts playing the REPRODUKTION 13 electronic music event at The Roundhouse Studio Theatre, London, on Saturday May 4th 2013, doors 6:00pm. The name is derived from the seminal 1979 debut album by The Human League, a band that - alongside their major influence Kraftwerk and other groundbreaking contemporary UK acts like Ultravox! and Gary Numan - set the standard for intelligent, culture-influenced electronic popular music.

The artists have been curated with a view to showcasing the best of different electronic subgenres: darkwave (ATTRITION), synthpunk (NAKED LUNCH), dark edged art synthpop (JOHN COSTELLO), lounge electro (CULT WITH NO NAME) and uptempo sequencer instrumental (MILD PERIL).

The EP has a dual aim of introducing people to the event, and raising funds for subunitfour and evolve or die's ongoing collaboration to curate and promote live electronic music in the UK. We hope you enjoy it and we'd love to see you at REPRODUKTION 13.

View the event trailer here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXHEtFd2ycQ

Tickets £12 adv./ £14 door. Purchase from The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH or online at
www.roundhouse.org.uk or tel. +44 (0)844 482 8008

For further event information:
www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/reproduktion-13
www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg8JkiKUxLs
www.facebook.com/events/327304267371307/

Review of the EP:
'Not so much a release as a call to arms, or at least the opportunity to attend a night of electronic combat of the highest order. Five artists, of which ATTRITION is undoubtedly the best known, but to this writer who is of a certain age it is the name NAKED LUNCH which is making the heart beat that much faster. Having been groomed by Stevo’s Some Bizzare album, one of its standout moments was indeed ‘La Femme’ by NAKED LUNCH. Here in all its pulsing glory is this prophetic slab of prodding pulses, flailing phases and vox. It was the start of the 80s and Naked Lunch were a key element in Futurism/electronic-punkpop and in the development of the legendary Some Bizzare label itself. Sadly they did not survive the fall-out but “She’s a follower of fashion…” can now be heard in all its pristine rhythmic glory and later on the night rebounding off the Roundhouse walls.
ATTRITION need no introduction because Martin Bowes has been supplying us with intravenous electrodes for 30 years. Here he provides the Void Prototype remix of ‘Narcissist’ from the newly released The Unraveller Of Angels album. Bass-heavy and driven, it’s an assaulting club mover with sweeping, disturbed vocals. Surely played LIVE and LOUD for best effect.
‘Today’s The Day (redux)’ is a moving piece of treated piano, soft-spoken vox and fragments of percussion by duo CULT WITH NO NAME. In existence since 2007 they’ve collaborated with names as large as John Foxx and Tuxedomoon and released five albums of quality human electronica. Polished and precise, definitely a ‘listening’ experience.
Opening the EP is MILD PERIL. The brainchild of Chris Gilbert who is best known for presenting the EBM clubnight Endurance, his ‘Delta Zone first sequence’ pays pure homage to John Carpenter et al. It’s an instrumental journey of sequencing peaks and troughs, beats and beautiful analogues. Takes me back and there is absolutely nothing wrong with retracing the glorious past when in the right hands.
JOHN COSTELLO is the dude behind subunitfour who has worked previously with Martin of Attrition and released two cassette albums in the heady mid/late 80s. He easily puts a marker into EBM territories whilst updating its sound. ‘Lock Load Aim Fire (hard mix)’ does exactly that, cocks the trigger and blows. Forceful in movement, spewing with machined voices and pulses… Highly intoxicating. He should present some live set ... on the night itself.
All the artists here are worthy of admission, but I have to admit it’s the fact Naked Lunch are back which is making me so fucking excited! Pop over to Bandcamp, download now and then prepare to make the trek to London for Reproduktion13 where a variety of electronic excursions await.'
Review by Deadhead at Louder Than War
louderthanwar.com/reproduktion13-we-look-forward-to-the-event-and-review-the-accompanying-ep/

Review of the Reproduktion 13 event:
'I don't know what happened to the previous 12 Reproduktions - perhaps I missed them, in which case the cool kids can laugh at me now - but this Reproduktion sees a motley assortment of 'classic electronic' bands take over the Roundhouse Studio Theatre for a night of electronica in suitably un-rock 'n' roll surroundings ...
Either way, that's an interesting phrase - 'classic electronic'. As I've noted elsewhere, we're now a long way from the enforced primitivism of the late 70s and early 80s, when electronic music sounded the way it did because the limitations of the technology made it so. Now, that kind of style has become an aesthetic, an artistic choice.
It's wilfully un-cutting edge, but that in itself makes it paradoxically contemporary. You've got to have a certain maverick artistic vision to go so resolutely against the flow as tonight's bands do. And if there's one thing I've learned in my time hanging around the weirdo fringe of rock, it's that going against the flow can take you to some interesting places.

So let's see where Mild Peril takes us. To the city in Bladerunner, it seems - or some similar wide-screen version of the retro-future. Mild Peril is one man and an array of techie kit, which he pokes and prods and manipulates and picks up and puts down, maintaining an air of studied control all the while.
This serves to generate a sweeping sci-fi soundtrack that sounds like the kind of slow-build classical electronica that would play over the opening titles of some dystopian cinemascope vision of the future.
It's very Vangelis. A bit Jean Michel Jarre around the edges, even. Lush and warm and many-layered. Which is interesting in itself, given that a more usual point of reference for old-school electronica tends to be cold-eyed alienation.
Mild Peril takes a different route through the electro-cosmos, and you know he's got a first class seat on the intergalactic shuttle. Now all we need is for someone to make the movie.

John Costello is, apparently, the man behind this entire event, and an alumnus of the old school electronic scene ... Tonight he's one third of a three-piece band that includes - gasp! - Actual Guitars, while John himself, boffin-ish in the approved manner, stations himself behind the electronix pile in the middle.
We're immediately in the zone of classic old-school influences - not least on 'Artist Architect' which is so Kraftwerkian I think John Costello could probably run for mayor of Dusseldorf on the strength of it. I'm willing to bet he's a big fan of the first two Human League albums, too, for there's also a lot of 80s Sheffield in the sound (I'm sure tonight's event isn't called Reproduktion by accident).
But although you can hear John Costello's influences - frankly, they leap out at you, pulling faces and waving their arms around - he does good stuff with 'em. He has a winning way with wistful, pensive songwriting, set to sparse, uncluttered arrangements ... when the band pile in to 'Lock Load Aim Fire' - a vintage Slimelight industrial stomper, featuring 'nuff guitars - the show kicks up a gear and barges to a convincing finish.
Plot a triangle between Dusseldorf, Sheffield, and London and you'd find John Costello plumb in the middle. But he occupies the territory well.

The two gentlemen of Cult With No Name - one sitting at a keyboard, one elegant behind the mic stand - are suited, booted, and very Bryan Ferry. The singer remarks that the band are currently working on their sixth album. I have to admit I don't own any Cult With No Name albums, and I suspect I'm not about to rush out and buy any. Because Cult With No Name's lounge balladry, although performed with impeccable sang-froid, isn't my thing.
I dare say there's a market for an MOR version of the Pet Shop Boys - let's face it, if they're up to album number six someone must be encouraging them - but I find the Cult With No Name experience to be rather too smoothly anodyne for comfort.
It's not like I want every band to be full-tilt punkers, you understand, but there's something a bit too background-music about Cult With No Name for me. I like my music in the foreground, if not actually slapping me across the forehead.

And here's the slap across the forehead. There are, it seems, umpteen bands called Naked Lunch - including an indie covers band from Kentucky, a hard rock band from Austria, and a Steely Dan tribute band from Dallas. None of which, fortunately, are on stage now. This Naked Lunch formed in London in 1979, and thus have unimpeachable post-punk credentials. They also sound very now, of course, since post-punk, twenty-first century style, is very much the soundtrack of today.
Naked Lunch push the electro envelope: they have guitar and drums in the line-up, and this gives their sound a tough, don't-mess edge, particularly when the guitar digs in to a bout of no-shit riffing, and the drums set up a relentless, economical syncopation. It's chunky, punky stuff, underlined by the guitarist's bristling attitude and constant stalking around his area of the stage. Naked Lunch manage to exude a hint of back alley danger even as they construct clipped, brusque electro-dance thumpers with the offhand skill of a bunch of scaffolders going up a tall building. In the world of electronic music, where most bands adopt the image of studious technicians or contrive an air of cerebral detachment, Naked Lunch are rock 'n' roll, but pithy with it. I like their lean, mean, groove.

Lights down. Here comes Attrition. Like an electronic band styled by Aubrey Beardsley, Attrition inhabit their own world. There wasn't anything like Attrition when the band first emerged from the new wave undergrowth in 1980. There isn't anything like Attrition now.
Martin Bowes, Attrition's main man, around whom umpteen line-ups and collaborations have revolved over the years, cuts an enigmatic figure in his swirling cloud of joss stick smoke. The music is a swirling cloud, too, out of which emerges a deep, dark, freight train rumble of bass. Beats skitter like fidgety kittens. Sampled strings swoop and jitter. It's all analogue ambience, but naggingly danceable at the same time; a surrealist, sepulchral disco. Martin Bowes growls a vocal that sounds like a 45rpm record being played at 16, while his co-vocalist, TyLean, pulls fragments of forgotten operas out of the atmosphere.
There's new stuff in the set, from The Unraveller Of Angels, Attrition's 21st album ... and older songs that have obviously been given a good going-over by the mechanics. 'Acid Tongue', an Attrition live fave for years, has been souped up into a mighty thing now - prowling like a big cat, it's a slice of killer boogie, all the more effective for being delivered by a band so matter-of-factly defiant in their glorious oddity. Attrition seethe and swoop and convulse in the smoke, and if you let yourself be drawn into the band's serpentine flow, the sepulchral disco is a great place to party.
Nope, there's nobody else like Attrition. They might've called tonight's event Reproduktion - but some things, you can't reproduce.'
Nemesis To Go
www.nemesis.to/attritionlive.htm

credits

released March 31, 2013

All lyrics and music © 2013 their respective owners.
Mastered at The Cage Studio by Martin Bowes.

Design & cover image © John Costello / subunitfour 2013
R13 header logo © Patrick Currier 2013

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subunitfour is the production entity of john costello, creator of art synthpop darkwave electronica.

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