We are pleased to present a crown jewel of the early 80s Italian Minimal Synth scene.

The MONUMENTS came into being in January 1981 in Turin when Mauro Tavella (keyboards, programming) and Andrea Costa (keyboards, voice) pooled their artistic experiences. From the outset they produced exclusively synthesized music, following the natural evolution in electronic music from the early days with monophonic synthesisers to the latest virtual sounds generated with the aid of computers.

The MONUMENTS released in 1984 their only official record on Discordie, a mini LP called “Age” comprising six incredibly fantastic electro-pop tracks, here reissued by Mannequin Records with 2 bonus tracks, “Veiled Lady” and “The Seals”, which are out-takes from the same period. All the tracks were recorded on a Tascam 8-tracks, with external synchronization of the percussions, at the TKS Studio in Torino.

From 1987 onwards, they focused exclusively on music for theater, radio and independent film, writing scores for the opening sequences of programs for some of the most important Italian TV companies as well as soundtracks for documentaries.

Anna Logue Records released “XXVII” CD in 2009, an anthology of their music that contains the best of their early work from the years 1981-84.

Some critics thought of this mini LP as being the best electropop record ever coming out of Italy. A masterpiece!

Listen and order here

Posted on November 15th, 2013 under Releases, ,

Mannequin Records is simply elated to present the debut 12” EP from Light House.

Light House have been kicking around Portland for two years. The band contains Chris Relyea, an ex member from The Rapture, Dawn Sharp and Brooks Blackhawk from Atriarch. Excellent dark wave with spacious mixes, minimal synths, reverb drenched guitars and eerie malevolent vocals that either pierces your heart or your spinal cord (I haven’t decided which as yet, but Dawn Sharp is most excellent).

Originally released in United States by Freee record label in 2012 and recorded on pure analog tape, ‘In Their Image’ EP illuminates the romantic and elemental nature of Light House’s dreamlike sound, a moody, theatrical dirge which brings to mind classic 4AD acts such as Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil.

To celebrate this relaunch Light House will be touring America and Europe, hitting the West Coast in mid June to coincide with Warm Leatherette in San Francisco, then onto New York and making their way along the East Coast.

Light House is music that lulls the Etheric body awake, in a hypotetical world where Tropic Of Cancer meets Soft Metals.

Listen and order here.

Posted on July 14th, 2013 under Releases, ,

It’s quite unusual for an Italian band to get attention before its first full-length even comes to life. Ancien Régime from Rome might just be the exception to this rule. In fact, the band sole release before 2012 had been the quickly sold out limited edition split EP (Mannequin), released together with Brooklyn-based cold wave heroes Led Er Est.

Since then, Ancien Régime have been playing all over Italy along with outstanding bands such as Two Door Cinema Club, Is Tropical, The Soft Moon, Clan of Xymox, A Place to Bury Strangers and many others.

Their first album “The Position” evokes new wave and synth-pop memories, delivering epic vintage sounds and wrapping them all with catchy riffs and melodies. Still, despite this fascination with the past, the band’s work stands out as a distinctive, highly personal take on the genre.

The album is opened by the single “Negative”, with its dark gloomy vocals and war-like drumming. “Negative” is, in fact, the quintessential Ancien Régime composition: wave, biting snare, interweaving synths and guitars, reverbs, delays.

“The Position” was recorded and mixed by Alessandro Gavazzi of “Hell Smell” – Rome, and co-produced by Alessandro Adriani from Mannequin Records and Ancien Régime.

Ancien Regime – The Position – 01 Brief Encounter
[ca_audio url="http://xwaveradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/01-Brief-Encounter-Sample.mp3"]

Posted on February 13th, 2013 under Releases, ,

This white vinyl, limited to 300 copies, was released by Mannequin in February 2011. Mushy is a solo female project from Rome that has been around since 2003 and this seems to be the 3rd full length album.

I quickly got absorbed into Mushy’s thick and heavy atmosphere. Each of the 10 titles is colored of rich and dark pad textures with slow rhythms, reverberant drones and a touching vocal raising up from a deep cave. From the beginning to the end, it is depressing, hypnotic, neurotic and fatalist: definitely something reaching me deep inside. This is the perfect record to listen alone while thinking about the old skeletons hiding in your closet.

The song No More also involved Newclear Waves who accompanied with a drum machine and synthesizer.

Faded Heart is one of my favorite track. Listen carefully with sensibility to the details: you’ll notice divine rays of light cutting through Mushy’s obscurity.

Mannequin Label & Mailorder

Posted on June 5th, 2011 under Reviews, ,