26
Mar
24
Mar

First album from LA New Wave superstars Berlin with vocalist Virginia Macolino.

The material on “Information” is similar in sound to the period of their popularity; acoustic drums, guitars and synths together, but is vastly different in tone. The material is far more “New Wave” in orientation; at times resembling DEVO more than the band who would record “Sex [I’m A…].” Chris Velasco, who would later leave the band, contributes strong guitar work and the biggest difference between this album and the subsequent “Pleasure Victim” EP was that John Crawford, only wrote a small part of this material instead of dominating the writing as he did going forward.

A large pleasure of this album is that the lyrics are more socially than sexually concerned. The classic New Wave tropes of future shock, new technology, and rejection of mainstream values abound on this album for the first and last time for Berlin. The band was composed of Jo Julian on synths [who also produced], Dan Van Patten on drums, Chris Velasco on guitar, the familiar John Crawford on bass, and Virginia Macolino on vocals.

The album was released in 1980, but fairly reeks of 1979 New Wave! Macolino’s vocals are full of defiant attitude for the most part. Her singing on the opener “Mind Control” recalls the New Wave swoop of Lene Lovich that you can hear as the foundation that über-bimbo Dale Bozzio probably drew upon when Missing Persons got their mojo working the following year. Macolino’s punkette vocals are also abetted and matched with various forms of vocal effects and vocoding for that all important technological New Wave emphasis that was in the air like pollen at the time. The variety of vocal effects employed here is far beyond what was usually the norm for this time.

“Overload,” which is familiar to those with the Renegade Records pressing of “A Matter Of Time” is a great number with a stuttering drum pattern courtesy of Van Patten. For the most part, rhythm is via a traditional kit, well played and recorded. A smattering of synthetic percussion appears, but this album was largely made with beefy, rock drumming that gives it a heft that would be missing from synthpop groups a year or two down the road.

The following number, “City Nights” has great staccato guitar from Velasco that meshes most excellently with Julian’s synth work. This track, more than any other, hits the Ultravox mark that Crawford and the band [all Ultravox fans; Foxx era] were clearly aiming for. It manages to echo the values of “Systems Of Romance” and Conny Plank’s production thereof where guitars and synths doubled for each other for a unified, synthetic hybrid that was neither fish nor fowl, but more powerful than both. That it takes its cues from that approach while not cloning Ultravox’s sound, per se, is a huge plus. Perhaps it’s not surprising that after this album was recorded, keyboardist/producer Jo Julian found himself engineering for John Foxx.

Side two has the debut single, “A Matter Of Time,” recut with Macolino singing lead. It doesn’t stray far from the Teri Nunn original vocal. It’s still a great song from the pen of John Crawford. The underlying synth riffs evoke cinematic James Bond soundtrack music rather successfully. It’s followed by “Middle Class Suicide,” a less-than-subtle attack on the Hollywood mainstream; called “Zone-H” here. I’m assuming that’s SoCal slang in any case. The tracks leaps into DEVO-space [or is that Zappa space?] with its herky-jerky consistently shifting time signatures in part of the chorus.

The concluding “Uncle Sam” really does the DEVO thing rather well to the point that it recalls “Race Of Doom” in its synthetic percussion, which was not released for a year afterward. Hmmm… I wonder? The lyrics seem politically charged but on closer inspection resist interpretation. The album is well played and produced and if it seems like it was cut by a completely different band than the group that released “Pleasure Victim” two years later, that’s because it really was. This is a vastly different group to the one called Berlin afterward. And therein lies its charm.

from

Post-Punk Monk blog

13
Mar
10
Mar
10
Mar
28
Feb
08
Nov

     PHONO SELECT SUPER SATURDAY SALE! NOV 16th 10am-2pm

Phono Select Records will be open to public once again for our Monthly sale at our new location on Saturday NOV 16th, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.!

The entrance is located on the 19th Ave side of the building!
 
The vinyl LP and 7” racks are full and ready to welcome you Saturday the 16th.

Along with a fresh batch of CDs, Tapes and dollar bin records.

Our new approach involves being open to the ONE Saturday each MONTH for a set amount of hours, otherwise you can make a private appointment during the remainder of the month or just call and see if we’re in the shop.

If you’d like to stop in and shop or set up a shopping appointment  text 916.849.3647 or call 916.400.3164, we’re at the shop most Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon-4PM.

Also contact us if your interested in selling or donating records, tapes, CDs, books or music related items.
 
Our new spot is located at 4370 24th Street, Unit “O” near Sacramento City College.
Plenty of free parking is available!
You can easily pull into the back lot off of 24th street across from Panama Pottery or park along 19th Avenue.
 
Thanks for all your continued support. Email me with suggestions and comments Dal@phonoselect.com

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, NOV 16th!
 
All the best!
 
Dal and the Phono Dudes!

PHONO SELECT RECORDS
4370 24TH ST UNIT O
Sacto, CA. 95822
916.400.3164
WWW.PHONOSELECT.COM

Photos courtesy of  Melissa Uroff Photography

Flyer design by John Conley/ BLXBRIK

05
Nov
29
Sep

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported Phono Select today at our new location 4370 24th street, the next public sale is Oct 26 10am-2pm, spread the word and we hope to see you again. In the meantime we’ll be refilling the racks with a bunch of new stuff!

A special thanks to Melissa Uroff of Tube Magazine and Sunita Bhardwaj for the photos!

12
Sep

THE BOYS ARE BACK BABY!

PHONO SELECT RELAUNCH!

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SAVE the DATE - SATURDAY SEPT 28, 2013 

SAVE the DATE - SATURDAY SEPT 28, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.!
Phono Select Records will be open to public in our new location on Saturday September 28, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.!
 
The racks are full and ready for you! We’ve got most of the new location built out and putting on the finishing touches to welcome you in a couple weeks.
Our new approach involves being open to the public ONE Saturday each MONTH to start; private appointments and special events still available during the remainder of the month.
 
Our new spot is located at 4370 24th Street, Unit “O” near Sacramento City College. Plenty of free parking is available! You can easily pull into the back lot off of 24th street across from Panama Pottery or park along 19th Avenue.
 
Thanks for all your patience and support. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 28th!
 
All the best!
 
Phono Dudes!

SACRAMENTO's BEST VINYL RECORD SHOP!
BUYING, SELLING & TRADING QUALITY NEW ANS USED VINYL RECORDS, TAPES/CASSETTES, CDS AND ZINES SINCE 2010

4370 24th ST UNIT O, SACRAMENTO. CA 95822


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