Secretaries from Heaven/Wild Card

VOD 138-11-12LP VOD 138-11-12LP

Art Interface was a synth band uninfluenced by the direction of mainstream European synth stylings. A band from the American Midwest (except for the Swedish drummer), it was initiated in 1979 by Douglas Vasey, Steven Curran, and Claes Roswall, with Roger Deason joining later. They disdained Kraftwerk but loved NEU! and bands like The Stooges. Propelled by live drums instead of marching lockstep to the beat of a drum machine, they twisted knobs on impulse with no idea of what would happen. They recorded many songs in the studio with all members playing at once but recording on separate tracks, which gives them a looseness and a life contrary to the more robotic feel of the time. Some songs had a sociopolitical bent and thus a purpose; others were merely wild, unexpected accidents of immediate creation, ranging from melodic to ambient to noise to all of the above. Unlike many synth bands, guitar often figured into the mix -- sometimes in the background, and sometimes as a striking accent over the synths, but never as a traditional lead. Their first synth-based tape, Secretaries from Heaven, released on their own If Records in early 1982, was meant as a kind of parody. The combination of simple, self-playing sounds and Vasey's great lyrics was stronger than anyone expected. Two 7" (Secretaries from Heaven and Wardance) followed 1983 and '84, respectively. In 1986 they released their full-length debut, Great Big World of Noise and Shit, and another demo tape called It's Not the Way It Should Have Been But That's the Way It Is. This double LP collection, also available as part of the expansive 80's Minimal.Synth.Wave: Volume III box set (VOD 138LP), combines tracks from all of the releases described above.