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.


Post-Punk Monk blog



Polyrock was an American post-punk/New Wave band formed in New York City in 1978 and active until the mid-1980s. Strongly influenced by minimalism, the group was produced by the composer Philip Glass and Kurt Munkacsi. The band, led by singer/guitarist Billy Robertson (formerly of the group Model Citizen), had a keyboard-heavy, pattern-based sound strongly reminiscent of Glass’s work; in fact, Glass performed on their first two albums.


                              DECIMA VICTIMA 1981-1984

Awesome Spanish Post-Punk band who’s records are up there with releases from The Sound, The Chameleons, Echo and The Bunnymen, Joy Division, For Against, Savage Republic, PIL and countless other awesome bands. With the box set being available again in limited quantities everyone can hear this band.

Decima Victima bio from their site:

Story by Paul Martinez Cowboy

TENTH VICTIM Spanish revolutionized the music scene in 1981 through a dark and intimate musical approach that reached its peak through songs like ‘So Far’. Undoubtedly, this Spanish-Swedish quartet was the championing of the so-called maximum wave pop gloomy or sinister state of the eighties.

The year we lost our innocence

Blessed darkness. Strindberg already said: "We have to find the joy of life in the cruel and powerful conflicts of life itself".

In 1981 the pop Madrid entered a stage of ‘dark’ thoughts, and innocence lost and colorism that had characterized his early days. The color black began to prevail in the costumes, while the musical references pointed to the striking dark British pop. Bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen and others, began to be reflected in the proposals made by new bands began to emerge, first in Madrid, and soon the entire peninsula. The ‘after’ punk began to take hold in Spain, and in the concerts of the new formations and mourning reigned, there was no place for displays of joy. Moreover, through the rediscovery of old recordings of The Doors and Velvet Underground began to assert more intricate psychedelia and musical hieratic.

Ironically, three of the first bands who took these musical concepts Spain (Tenth Victim, Gabinete Caligari and Demolition Arias) emerged after the split of two separate groups of colorful and playful pop: Aggressive and Ella Executives and tires.

Gender Squaring the ‘dark’ at that time was completed with Permanent Paralysis mythical also, though perhaps aesthetics always sought Tenth Victim impact from austerity, cold on stage and always dresses narrow old costumes and coats and raincoats dark or muted colors, but never with leather and studs, or affectation. In fact, on more than one occasion, the brothers were mistaken Mertanen Mormon preachers in the streets of Madrid. Also, unlike the other groups mentioned-Tenth Victim provocation never sought nor aesthetic, ideological or otherwise; theirs was an unlimited expansion of emotion via artistic.

Dark Rider

Precedents shortly before the group appeared in Madrid in late 1980, with one of the first groups that came under the premises tenebristas novel, Dark Rider, composed instrumental duo Lars and Per Mertanen, two brothers of Swedish nationality living in Spain since the 70s, at the time Lars had gone through the group She and Tires.
For his part, Carlos Train, after separation by mutual agreement of the Group Executive Aggressive begins to rehearse with them.

In the fall of 1981 was presented the group permanently Tenth Victim, caption inspired the title of a novel by Robert Sheckley, with Carlos (voice), Per (bass) and Lars (guitar, keyboards and drum machine) as members .
The ephemeral pub Quadrophenia, Alberto Aguilera Street, and the indefatigable (but brief) Golden Village Chamartin Madrid were the first premises in which reaped its nascent repertoire, led by great songs like ‘November’. Their initial sound, based on fine guitar and bass games inspired by British icons trio eventually rely heavily on the serious and engaging voice of its singer.

Recordings … emotional

Some months later, after amaze audiences with their live Madrid-yet unused to exercise claims, the trio was considered and prepared to record their debut album, which will materialize months later by editing a single with Accidental Recordings (GASA ), a new independent label founded by them with friends Esclarecidos pop group and other relatives.

That simple (the first reference cited plasticized by the independent label) contained the subjects ‘Emptiness’, ‘Plunged into depression’ and ‘The reason of discord’, three tracks full of haunting harmonies and obscure texts and tormented, with fine guitar games and low key, always in the foreground, the British style of Joy Division, but this time it was executed by Lars due to the temporary absence of Per.
The album was co-produced by the own trio and Paco Trinidad (former Executive Aggressive) under the technical control of the sound engineer Jesús Gomez in the new studies Doublewtronics of Madrid, while intriguing and refined design was carefully insert photographic work of Lars , a staff that would remain almost unchanged during the entire discography of the group.

"Music somewhat obscure but interesting. The group, which claims to dramatically live a battery, electronics knows very guapamente use when he gets into the studio," he said on the debut vinyl José Manuel Costa from his indispensable, prestigious, revered (and dreaded) music criticism page in The Country. By then Lars was in charge of the batteries in the recordings, live while Carlos ran a very limited Roland drum machine.

So far

After managing to become one of the most interesting pop capital, and in 1982 he was released a second EP group, a job that has a masterful composition that would soon become one of the great landmarks of Spanish pop of the eighties , ‘So far’; sweeping song-with captivating bass lines-that evokes dense environments, deep, melancholy and, melodically, reveals far more accessible than the rest of the album, which was completed with the most intricate ‘November’ and ‘The sign of the cross’.

This new vinyl "a very interesting group" does not go unnoticed in the select reviews JM Costa, who defined it "away from surface currents opportunists swarm Madrid," stressing that Tenth Victim was "amazingly prolific group that wait with some anxiety their first LP ".

By then the primal trio had decided to replace the drum machine by battery Jose Brena, a musician newcomer who got off the sound searched for a band that looked like new state formations were the gap they had opened a case of Surveyor K ( San Sebastián), KGB (Granada), Claustrophobia (Barcelona) or the locals The Monaguillosh, The Foundation and The Last Dream.
So wrapped by a minority faithful and praised by critics finest radio and the print media, the new quartet was delivered that same year to the recording of an entire album that would be published a few months later.

The voice haunts me

The first LP of Tenth Victim (self-titled) was recorded again Doublewtronics studies in Madrid with Jesús Gómez as sound engineer and co-producer Paco Trinidad. It was published in late 1982 and consisted of twelve tracks that resulted in dense atmospheres that had already been investigated by the group in previous works, but also seemed descarmarse of them with some lyrical winks scathing social criticism (‘Another future ‘), a veiled glimmer of optimism (’ Faith in yourself ‘) and some deep subjective description,’ From the cliff ‘. In addition, the album included a high quality instrumental composition, ‘Beyond Silence’, which revealed some length in the usual quartet’s musical vision.

"One of the best LPs who has recorded a Spanish pop group", returned to solving Costa in the pages of the weekly newspaper El Pais.

But, paradoxically, despite being regarded as one of the most promising formations of his time, lavished Tenth Victim hardly live during that year (even made some trips outside of Madrid).

However, later, and in 1983 finally settle accounts with the public by editing two new recording projects: one composed maxisingle issues ‘Garden’, ‘A place in the past’ and ‘Out of reach of sight’ , and the corresponding single-support a luxury in its field-starring ‘A place in the past’ and the unreleased ‘Panorama hopeful’ as appetizing and unreleased second side.
On this occasion, for the cover of maxi Lars did a distorted portrait Mertanen perhaps Charles Train, work of dramatic air of decadent splendor.

At the end of the trip

Unexpectedly, the same year of 1983 became adverse circumstances for the quartet, the announcement later this year for a future change of family residence Mertanen threatened to abruptly terminate the career of Tenth Victim, who came to announce its dissolution through a memorable farewell concert held later this year in the living Rock-Ola in Madrid. During the first months of 1984 there was speculation about a possible change in the band’s return to later, but that same year reappeared with its original lineup for joy of his followers, bringing out a second album: ‘A single man’ . Again, Trinidad was in the landmark co-production and took over the care Lars graphic design, but this time the songs were recorded and mixed in the renowned Madrid Track studies with Juan Ignacio Cuadrado and Eugenio Muñoz as engineers.

It was a collection of 10 songs that are provided with a more refined sound and a melodic richness, which laid bare the maturity of the band, who managed to complete a work developed organic and coherent. Elite critics praising the moment arrived with true admiration the topic was held title to vinyl, which also contained other intimate pop gems like ‘is just the beginning’ or ‘black earth’, among others. Unfortunately, ‘A single man’ (also affected by the crisis of the independent labels after the bankruptcy of the distributor Pancoca) also meant an end to the career of Spanish-Swedish quartet that broke up definitively at that time.

Debris of a triumph

Years after the dissolution of Tenth Victim, his brilliant song ‘So Far’ was included in some anthologies devoted to La Movida labels or Spanish pop of the 80s. Also, the label DRO released in 1994, recommended CD compilation ‘Summary’, which includes most of the work of the quartet.

Moreover, in 1991, some members of the group joined in a timely manner and Alejo Alberdi Juan Verdera under the name Tenth Victim + Demolition Arias to run a version of the old theme ‘Europe’ (original latter) within the album ‘The boy paler Gros beach’, an album that was released as a tribute to Poch (former leader of DDAA, Huntington’s Chorea sick, perish degenerative disease than seven years later) which also included other great bands Spanish eighties. But hope to see again all the members gathered Tenth Victim faded with subsequent death of Jose Brena.

To the limit

In short, Tenth Victim undeniable personality contributed to Spanish pop, reflected in texts produced, clothed by dense instrumentation, as disturbing as exquisite melodies. Music of situation, full of nuances. A circle group, minority, perhaps today could fill large venues, which fortunately they never intended, which meant that his message has ever been disproved. "Now so far I believe it hurts, I miss you heart . know it’s too late to start again. "Or not.

We thought these were all sold out. We were wrong we just found a box of these while we were unpacking today at the new location. Get them while you can, the person we were getting these from may not be making more.You can order them online over at PhonoSelect.com.
Work on the new location is still proceeding, we’ll get some pictures up in the next few days. 
Phono Dudes

We thought these were all sold out. We were wrong we just found a box of these while we were unpacking today at the new location. Get them while you can, the person we were getting these from may not be making more.You can order them online over at PhonoSelect.com.

Work on the new location is still proceeding, we’ll get some pictures up in the next few days. 


Phono Dudes



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