Dark Entries Label founder Josh Cheon is most noted for contributing to the legacy of electronic music pioneer Patrick Cowley through reissuing as well as unearthing unreleased material from Cowley’s short lived but groundbreaking recording career.
Cheon has a particular knack for discovery. Cowley is not the only artist who’s unreleased music Dark Entries have born to light. Other electronic artists like The Hacker and Severed heads also have previously unreleased material on the Dark Entries label that now have atleast 300 releases since setting up in San Francisco in 2006. Dark Entries also issue music from The San Francisco Bay Area.
Dark Entries have their foot in the book publishing world with the release of Patrick Cowley’s sex journals which was released in tandem with 13 Unreleased tracks which is also entitled “Mechanical Fantasy box.”
Dark entries have re-issued many of Patrick Cowley’s porn soundtracks for Fox studio.
How the Lost Recordings of Patrick Cowley Were Finally Released
Various releases from 2018 and 2019
Drag queen band The Wasp women performing in a nightclub scene from the film “Whatever happened to Suzan Jane.” The song is on the Dark entries compilation “Bay area retrograde vol 1”
Borghesia is an 80’s favourite and is one of many European electronic acts who’s previous tape only releases are now available in digital as well as vinyl format.
A project from a member of the No wave band The Contortions. The song perfectly captures the dark and seedy vibe of downtown New York in the early 80’s.
Bay Area retrograde – Vol 1
Various Artists – Ten across the board
Dark Entries Compilation celebrating a decade of album releases from underground bands across the globe
Deux Filles – Silence and wisdom
Lena Platonos – Lepidoptera
Eric Random – A boy alone
Algebra Suicide – Still life
Borghesia – Clones
Severed Heads – Lamborghini / Petrol E.P
Patrick Cowley and Indoor life vocalist Jorge Socarras collaborated on music together between 1975 – 1979. The resulting album “Catholic” was rejected by Megatone records in 1980 and the two musicians continued with their separate successful careers. Eventually the reels of this long forgotten album were unearthed in the basement of a Megatone co-owner in Palm Springs and released in 2009. According to its bandcamp page “Catholic” is a genre-bending concept album that ranges from minimalistic proto-techno to synth-driven post-punk.
Phillipe Krootchey was a rapper, prominent radio and tv host aswell as gay activist. Dark entries re-issued his 1984 debut single “Qu’est c’qu’il a (d’plus que moi ce négro là?)” which translates as “What does he have that I havent, this negro?” The idea was to confront and subvert the racism that he as a french citizen had experienced. By taking on the words of a self-entitled and embittered white man, he is able to make fun of bigots and turn racism on its head.
Mix for Self Titled magazine
Label boss Josh Cheon serves up a cyber punk set.
factrix – night to forget
executive slacks – the bus
borghesia – a.r.
velodrome – capataz
max + mara – no one
sumerian fleet – on to you
charles manier – sift through art collecting people
patrick cowley – pagan rhythms
smersh – beat this
psychic tv – alien be in
tom ellard – 303b the east is red
crash course in science – flying turns
anne clark – sleeper in metropolis
stanton miranda – wheels over indian trails
magnus II – space age
ims – dancing therapy
cetu javu – situations
ministry – i wanted to tell her
cabaret voltaire – the web
simona buja – passing masks
psyche – dreamstreet
martin gore – compulsion
victrola – maritime tatami
nagamatzu – magic
jeff and jane hudson – mystery chant
die form – re-search
Italo Disco playlist song selection and commentary by Black_Acrylic
East Wall – Eyes of glass
An offshoot of the coldwave band Kirlian Camera, their Italo side-project has an appeal going way beyond 80s subcultural niches. The contemporary DJ Intergalactic Gary recently told the Resident Advisor website that it’s the only record to never leave his bag, while the Dark Entries reissue comes with liner notes by the renowned Italo authority Flemming Dalum. As for the music itself, singer Wilma Notari’s keening delivery tells of her complex emotions in a performance of seductive detachment.
Wanexa – The Man From Colours, 1982
A haunting, ethereal masterwork of early Italo. This production from the renowned pairing of Gianluigi “Gigi” Farina and Francesco Rago I consider to be up there with the duo’s very finest work. Hits of groundbreaking early 808 percussion announce the intro before spooky washes of synth apply balm to a vocal from Lyana Galis “seeking a man who brings colour to this grey world.” Dark Entries are to be commended for making a lyrics sheet to settle a few arguments but the song’s essential mysteries remain forever intact. An early favourite of house and techno DJs in Chicago and Detroit. MBV and Vaporwave were way behind the curve on this one.
Garrasco’s – Love Sex For Sale, 1986
Presented by Dark Entries as part of a 4-song EP of songs by Domenico Ricchini and Joe Garrasco, this late-period Italo was an epiphany for me when I first heard it back in 2004 on a recording of I-F’s DJ set at the Bootleg Cafe in Holland. Jimmy McFoy’s heartrending vocals alternate between English and French as he searches for love after a night of dancing underneath the moon. I remember being struck by the force and sincerity of his emotions, and the music retains its luminescent power still.
Dario Dell’Aere – Eagles In The Night, 1985
Another selection on this blog’s recent Italo tearjerkers playlist, the former Fockewulf 190 singer here delivers a haunting, impassioned vocal with backing on the chorus from his sister Nora Dell’Aere. Formerly a Holy Grail for many Italo collectors, the 8 minute playback of this record represents a sublime operatic fantasia.
Helen – Witch
A popular record yet always prohibitively expensive, “Witch” was eventually granted a lavish release via the Dark Entries reissue programme. The prolific Italo session vocalist Elena Ferretti tells the haunted tale of a witch and her magic, as producers Piero Cairo and Massimo Noe contribute a driving, forceful rhythm. “Witch” remains compelling today, shot through with all the strangeness marking out the best early Italo cuts.
Clay Pedrini – New Dream, 1984
The arpeggio-heavy bottom end combining with Clay’s wistful lyrics mark this one out as a classic. A fusion of analog keyboards and electronic trickery helps create the anthemic sound.
Flying DJ – Marilyn, 1985
Another highly-sought-after rarity. As previously featured on this blog’s Italo tearjerkers playlist, Marilyn is an emotionally devastating hymn to unrequited love. The song saunters along at a mournful 100 BPM and the Dark Entries repress happily features the original iconic cover art.
Big Ben Tribe – Tarzan Loves The Summer Nights, 1984
Dark Entries credits the vocal here as being Clara Moroni, although a number of Discogs comments would beg to differ. Whatever the story, there’s no denying the strange beauty of this song about a woman’s fantasy life with a muscular lover. The Tarzan-style vocal effects here may be silly but it’s a unique sound, thankfully rescued from obscurity by this lush reissue.
p.s. Hey. This weekend d.l. Ferdinand (with the assistance of d.l. Ben ‘_Black_Acrylic’ Robinson) has concocted a great overview and crate dig of the legendary Dark Entries label. Expect both enlightenment and a gyrating seated position until Monday. Thanks for your attention and for any words of acknowledgement you can type in Ferdinand’s and Ben’s direction, and thanks mightily to our masterful host(s)! ** Misanthrope, I also considered titling it ‘Smoking’, but I thought that might signal a sexiness that the post couldn’t fulfil. Well, unless one finds smoke sexy in and of itself, and I’ve run across some slaves and masters who think so, but not often. I feel for you on the interrupted sleep. Our temperature finally dropped, so I’m somewhat bushy tailed. Enjoy the wine. And what it inspires. ** David Ehrenstein, ‘A gay softcore porn “One From the Heart”’ is a very good description of that film. Never met Huppert, no. Almost a couple of times. Happy/sad about your magical mirror. ** Sypha, Hi, James. I did like The Darkness’s first album. It was very funny. They totally lost it immediately after. I still love one song on that album — ‘Take Your Hands Off My Woman, Motherfucker’ — enough that I spin it every couple of months. ** _Black_Acrylic, If I was a very different sort of writer/person, I think going to Russia and tracking those ex-twink porn stars down if possible, and interviewing them, etc. would make for a totally fascinating and probably very depressing book. Dude, totally do whatever’s necessary to do that lockdown show! That’s a great idea! Did you sort it? ** chris dankland, Hi, Chris! Back in the days when I was kind of obsessed with Russian porn, and when it was popular — it has completely disappeared now for reasons unknown — I spent much time trying to figure out why it was the way it was. Did its depressive quality indicate a general Russian attitude about how depicted porn should come off? Was there some kind of overall calculation involved, i.e. creating a porn niche of grimness to stand out? Was everyone involved in making it from the performers to the makers just blatantly doing it out of a desperate need for money? Were the boys visibly miserable and were the settings almost always depressing, ugly cheap apartments by accident or was there a self-consciousness involved? Because asking a porn performer to look like he’s into it is a pretty normal approach. There were mysteries and seeming tragedies and so on there galore that I found really riveting. But, yeah, the whole genre just died out suddenly. Very strange. Thank you about the Smokes post. I don’t think I know about that cult. Curious. I’ll do a hunt. For the vast majority of the quarantine, there was no food delivery. I never partook. I cook, err, microwave food and eat at home about 97% of the time, I think. In fact, I’ve never had food delivered ever here, I don’t know why. I guess for the same unknown reason that I’ve never even considered getting an Uber account. My morning is not ruined by steaming hot weather, so it’s starting pretty damned well. How was your … well, weekend? xo ** cal, Hi, cal. That mesh of things does sound kind of magical. Huh. And I’m all for your study of film watching context, needless to say. Your brain seems to be in very good shape. Oh, cool, I’ll go read your thing today. Thanks! And … Everyone, Please read the following words from d.l. Cal Graves and consider doing what he asks/suggests, yes? Should be a win/win. Thank you. Cal: ‘I did this sorta experimental review for a Kate Bush album (Editor’s note: ‘Hounds of Love’) and I’d love you hear yours or anybody on here’s thoughts on it.’ Paris has cooled down. It won’t last, this being summer, urgh, but I’m cool for now. How is your summer starting? ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Everyone, Mr. Erickson has interviewed the excellent experimental filmmaking duo Daniel & Clara for kinoscope right here. Bigly recommended! Thank you for the report on the Munch. I’ll def. try to see it. I doubt it’ll open here, although it could be that the French are more appreciative of his films like they can be about American auteurs that Americans insufficiently appreciate. Wouldn’t shock me. I’ll try ‘ZBH’ again. It’s true his 80s were pretty much a non-stop meh fest. ** Bill, Have a most lovely weekend as much as circumstances allow and ideally transcending them! ** Okay. Your weekend is all introduced and ready for you. Please indulge heavily. Thank you. See you on Monday.
Today is the soundtrack for Gay Sex in the 70’s. Imagine this played low at bars, baths, sex clubs, et. al.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of Stonewall. Many myth about the place and the event. The “Stonewall Inn” (named after a Confederate General) was located in “Sheridan Square” (which was named after another Confederate General) As any place that openly catered to the LGBT was Verboten the Mafia and the NYPD ran the show. The Gambno crime family owned the pace and ran it and paid off the police. When payments didn’t arrive on time or were insufficient, such places were raided and their customers arrested. This is what happened that nigh — June 28, 1969. But the patrons (who as legend had it were in a very bad mood as Judy had been buried that day) fought back. A lesbian whose name has been lost to history threw the first brick. The cops were routed. For over a week afterwards we OWNED Sheridan Square. Street people began talking to one another and the Gay Rights Movement was born. Masha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera wren’ there opening night. Tommy Langdon-Schmidt, a pal of mine from those days, was. (He’s still with us, bless him.) I never went into the place. It was filthy dive where glasses were never washed. It was popular with some people because there was a jukebox and a space for dancing — which was also illegal. The place is now a Gay National Monument, and a legit bar. But because of the COVID crisis it’s teetering financially and there’s a move afoot to save it.
Bill and I are well, but COVID has decimated the U.S. and a great many parts of the world.
I’m happy about the mirror, but there’s much more to sell. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
That first Patrick Cowley video is hilarious! The Cowley book has illustrations by an old SF pal; we hang out occasionally when I’m in Berlin or he’s in SF.
I’m kind of embarrassed I’m totally unfamiliar with the Dark Entries label. Didn’t know Algebra Suicide had a Dark Entries release, wow. Haven’t thought of them since umm the 80s.
Pretty strange for things to be so quiet this weekend. Our COVID numbers are not pretty (but still a bit better than the LA area), I’m afraid. There are several unofficial march/rally events tomorrow; I doubt that it’ll be easy to be socially distanced, but I’ll definitely be wearing a favorite mask.
Dennis, in case you haven’t noticed, this Shane Carruth teaser just got posted:
Not that it’s any closer to being made, sigh.
p.s.: those early Robin Crutchfield/Dark Day tracks are pretty fine too.
@Bill–I just saw your message from yesterday. (Due to the site entering a wormhole that eats comments, I can’t see them posted here the same day.) I did see my doctor, and surgery’s scheduled for Aug. 3rd.
Ah, good to hear that. Hope the surgery goes smoothly!
Me, too, Steve! And I hope you don’t feel discomfort before the surgery.
Bill, thank you for kind words the other day. It sounds like you’re in SF right now. Stay safe while enjoying what you can at the time. Nyc is full of fireworks right now. I’m not bothered by it, but it just feels a bit off (dreamlike, maybe?) to hear it every day through window as I mostly stay in.
Dennis, can’t wait to read your new GIF novel on Monday. Have a lovely and fruitful weekend!
Ferdinand & Black_Acrylic, thank you for this very informative and cool post. I’m studying it right now. Congratulations and thanks!!
Thanks so much for hosting Dark Entries day Dennis. Its my happy place manifested and with Black_Acrylic opening the Italo disco doors for me – just really made this post. Very glad we were able to match up for it. Thanks Ben!
Latest FaBlog: Stonewall or How We Beat The Police
Wow. I knew about Cowley but now I’m revisiting and getting more of his stuff , along other stuff featured in this. the bart comp sounds amazing too. TY !!!! <3 for us music nerds that just can't stop exploring and getting shit. Maybe play some of this music while I write my story about two gay chubby guys falling in love. 😛 It is sad, imo, the lack of stories out there in the gay community, where characters aren't just skinny. Where's my chubby guys and bears and cubs? Eh ??? Now it has become my job!
Take care, sending love. Excited for your new big gif tomorrow, DC.
@ DC and Ferdinand, thank you for hosting this Day that is a worthy tribute to an essential label!
@ David, Bill and h (now j), cheers and I hope you enjoyed its various flavours.
This weekend was productive in that I wrote a brief thing for the ‘Not Going Back to Normal’ Disabled Artists Manifesto project. I also put together a playlist for the upcoming Tak Tent Radio DJ set next week, and ordered a USB lead to record the vinyl. Things are coming together quickly with that and I hope to have it all done in the next couple of days.
I loved seeing “They hate what they’ve become” again on Friday. I adore those photo only, sad porn posts. They’re so rich with so many things. Nice to see again.
Today’s post is excellent. I’m a fan of the label already – no surprise I found it thanks to their wonderful Patrick Cowley releases. I’ve been following since. Thanks for putting this together, Ferdinand (and Ben!).
I haven’t had time to listen to everything I want to check out here, but Borghesia are really interesting. If they had slicker production, I could see Wax Trax releasing their music.
Here’s a song I wrote today, “Minesweeper”: https://soundcloud.com/user-229390367/minesweeper. It’s mostly an exercise in using chords rhythmically and percussively, with little melody.
I saw the new Johnnie To film, CHASING DREAM, last night. It opened theatrically in China and Hnng Kong last December. I wondered why it didn’t immediately play AMC theaters in the US or make it to the year’s winter festivals, and now I understand. It’s a very mainstream Chinese comedy/melodrama, with a maximalist aesthetic that pulls from ROCKY, AMERICAN IDOL, Bollywood, and even To’s own THROWDOWN. Some of it works, but the tone’s all over the map, and it got pretty exhausting by the end of its 2 hours.