Following hot on the heels of Angular Records’ Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics Vol.1 CD is another essential compilation dedicated to obscure synth-pop, this time from LA’s Stones Throw label.
The Minimal Wave Tapes is available direct from Stones Throw on two LPs and digital now, and will be officially released on vinyl/CD/digital on January 26. It’s an anthology of music released on Minimal Wave, an independent label run by Veronica Vasicka that has remastered and reissued countless cold wave classics and rarities on limited edition, high quality vinyl since its inception in 2005.
Cold wave, also known as minimal wave, is the loose term applied to stylized North American and European DIY synthesizer music from the late 70s and 80s, most of which was independently released in short cassette and vinyl runs. A note on the Stones Throw website elaborates:
“The Minimal Wave musical genre was hallmarked by the use of the analog synths and drum machines manufactured in the 70s and 80s, and characterized by simple music structures made by musicians working in the early D.I.Y. aesthetic: recording on tape in their home studios, creating their own album artwork, and often collaborating via postage mail. The fanzine CLEM (Contact List Of Electronic Musicians) was very influential in creating a worldwide community for this sort of music, before digital technology and the internet came into play.”
Stones Throw’s The Minimal Wave Tapes has been compiled and executive-produced by Peanut Butter Wolf and Veronica Vasicka, and features all the “stars” of the genre, from Oppenheimer Analysis and Bene Gesserit to Martin Dupont and Das Kabinette. It opens with Linear Movement’s ‘Way Out of Living’, one of the all-time great pop-hits-that-should’ve-been.
You can read PBW talking in-depth about his long-term love of minimal wave here, and there’s also a Stones Throw podcast mix of key tracks up for grabs:
Download: Stones Throw Podcast 53 – Minimal Wave Mix
The Minimal Wave Tapes tracklist:
1. “Way Out Of Living” Linear Movement
2. “Flying Turns” Crash Course In Science
3. “Radiance” Oppenheimer Analysis
4. “Who’s Really Listening” Mark Lane
5. “Tempusfugit” Tara Cross
6. “Blurred” Turquoise Days
7. “Mickey, Please…” Bene Gesserit
8. “Moscú Está Helado” Esplendor Geometrico
9. “Reassurance Ritual” Das Ding
10. “Just Because” Martin Dupont
11. “Game & Performance” Deux
12. “Things I Was Due To Forget” Somnambulist
13. “My Time” Ohama
14. “The Cabinet” Das Kabinette