We love Mannequin Mailorder.
The label, which is principally concerned with the sounds of post-punk, industrial synth-pop and DIY electronics both old and new, has been responsible for some of our favourite compilations and reissues of recent times – including Taste Of Decay’s 1984-6 and Danza Meccanica, a compilation of rare, vintage Italian synth wave – as well as bringing out new and original material from the likes of Led Er Est and Newclear Waves. Their entire catalogue is curated not just with great musical taste, but also a real flair and attention to detail in terms of artwork, packaging and overall presentation. These guys are, in every sense of the word, proper.
Mannequin’s next release, out on Monday, is an album-length, 12″ split EP from Frank (Just Frank) and Soviet Soviet. The former are one of 2010’s most invigorating new bands, a Parisian duo whose music is a heady combination of spaced out, geometric electro rhythm, chiming guitars (think The Cure circa Seventeen Seconds) and vocals redolent of The Smiths at their most dolorous. For all the unabashed 80s references, Frank (Just Frank)’s music sounds curiously singular and fresh – be sure to check out their recently released album on New York’s Wierd Records, The Brutal Wave, particularly the anthemic ‘Mr Itagaki’. The band sing in both French and English on that album – inverse fascism appears to be a recurring lyrical theme – and also the Mannequin EP, to which they contribute a hefty five tracks. The highlights for us are the soaring pop minimalism of ‘Valerie’ and ‘Do The Soviet’; Mannequin have kindly furnished us with the latter for you to download in full.
Download: Frank (Just Frank) – Do The Soviet
The other side of the EP is given over to Italy’s own Soviet Soviet. Their strident music has more in common with darkwave and early gothic rock; a more muscular, reverbed guitar assault all in all, with cajoling vocals and high velocity, jackhammering live drums. Check out their track ‘Bulgary’, it’s incredibly addictive:
Download: Soviet Soviet – Bulgary
Mannequin are releasing the 10-track 12″ in a limited edition of 500 hand-numbered copies printed in glossy and silver paper, including two inserts. The cover for the first 50 copies is on hand-made serigraphy on hand carton closed with black sealing wax. We told you that these guys are serious about what they do. More info and orders here.
Keep your eye on Mannequin and Soviet Soviet, and look out for an upcoming interview with Frank (Just Frank) here on FACT.