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Artist: XEX
Title: Change
Format: LP + DVD
Label: Dark Entries
Country: USA
Price: $22.00
"XEX were an all-synthesizer band from South River, New Jersey in the late 1970s. The band formed when a trio of high school misfits with funny names (WAW PIEROGI, THUMBALINA GUGIELMO and ALEX ZANDER) teamed up with some friends from Rutgers College. They released their debut album group: xex in 1980 which Dark Entries reissued in 2010. We were lucky to discover the master tapes of their unreleased second album xex:change in Waws basement. xex:change takes a leap from where the band left off at the end of 1980. DAVID ANDERSON left the group making xex a quartet. With the help of producer ZIGGY RODBERG, xex further developed the aesthetic of the first album. The seven songs here are more complex and hypnotic than the synthpunk outbursts of group:xex. Their new synthesizers, a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and a Minimoog, evoke the high-tech utopia of Patrick Cowley and proto-techno of Afrika Bambaataa. Thumbalinas vocals have a detached, icy quality. Lyrics revolve around species-specific adaptations for copulation, robot love and the Jersey shore. They titled the album xex:change, a multiple entendre that refers to the evolution of the group since its first album, group interaction in the creative process, and underlying sexual ambiguity. The group did not have the funds to release the album and it sat in obscurity for over 30 years. All songs have been remastered from the original reel to reel tapes for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in jacket created by Alex Zander for his senior art project in college in 1980. Each LP includes a double sided 11x11 cardstock insert with lyrics and photos. Also included is a full length DVD featuring a 9-song xex concert from 1981, recorded at Hurrah in New York. With the bonus DVD included in the new LP, more people will see xex perform than ever saw them play live. More than 30 years later xex:change finally sees the light of day and fits in todays world all too perfectly." - Dark Entries

Artist: XEX
Title: Group: Xex
Format: LP
Label: Dark Entries
Country: USA
Price: $20.00
"xex were an all-synthesizer band from South River, New Jersey who recorded their debut album group:xex in 1980. Formed when a trio of high school misfits with funny names (Waw Pierogi, Thumbalina Gugielmo and Alex Zander) teamed up with some friends from Rutgers College Performed entirely on then-state-of-the-art Arps, synths and electronic drums - no guitars anywhere - group: xex aims for the future, but comes across now like a time capsule from the deepest, darkest Reagan years. Each song burrows its way into your head with repetitive, undeniably catchy synth lines and vocal chants. "SNGA" ("Soviet Nerve Gas Attack"), "Cops" and "Delta Five" are doomy evocations of Cold War tension not far removed from very early Devo. But they were also capable of being quirky and whimsical. On "Fashion Hurts," "Svetlana" and "St. Vitus Dance," Waw and Thumbalina come across like a primitive B-52s, replacing the dance/party vibe with resignation and cynical humor. group: xex doesnt sound like its from New Jersey. It barely sounds like its from Earth. However, theres a certain residual murkiness that subliminally evokes the Central Jersey working-class suburbs. group: xex was all but forgotten until 1998, when radio DJ Tom Smith discovered it in the WFMU music library and tracked down the band members, which lead to a CD reissue in 2004 on Smack Shire Records. Just in time for the 30th anniversary of group:xex Dark Entries tracked down Waw Pierogi and restored the original master tapes with George Horn who remastered the tracks for vinyl at Fantasy Studios. All copies include a 16 page zine with never before seen photos, lyrics, bios, press releases as well as an original concert invitation from 1980!" - Dark Entries.

Artist: XEX
Title: group: xex
Format: CD
Label: Smack Shire
Country: USA
Price: $11.00
"For all the moaning Ive done over the years about growing up in a culturally detached small town in Pennsylvania though my formative years of discovering weird-ass punk and new/no wave music, the truth is simply that the most mind-boggling ideas and warped musical aesthetics sprung from these places. Amidst the sea of coked-up Cinderella wannabes who played my high school anti-drug rallies, the Kevin Cronin-of REO-produced big-fish-in-a-small-pond rock gods that walked down our streets, and the sheer overload of crapola, there were mutants who had it up to here with all of that silliness. For example: HB was a one man Magic Band who would tell stories for hours while whacking away on drums in a pierogi parlor like a cosmic Sam Ulano, The Delusions were what the Velvets coulda been in a coal mining town, and Psychatrone Rhonedakk made hobbit-like basement synth gurgle for years and years and never stepped on a stage. 100 miles from New York but not quite there, they never quite got recognized, and they sure confused a lot of locals. I sure appreciated em for merely existing in an oppressive musical locale where the towns one promoter was too busy hosting dance shows on TV where he got out of a Rolls flanked by hos and booking wheezy hair-metal reunions. xex must have been in a similar boat down in South River, New Jersey. Sporting black garb, blurting arps, and bizarro names like "Thumbalina Guglielmo" and "Waw Pierogi" (holy hell, more pierogis!) these guys represented a totally bonkers aesthetic that seems like it was taking its cues from what was being hyped in the NYC underground scene about that time: Eno, Talking Heads, etc., but in fact this music is choking under something more black, toxic, and totally Jersey. While they sang about mall rat zombies who ran around trying to catch up with fashion, they also addressed nuns and nerve gas. Musically, it sounds like it has more to do with German nuts like Grauzone and Californias zonked synth-gothers Factrix or Nervous Gender than anything else remotely in xexs radius. What gives? Tom Smith did radio shows for a while on WFMU, and was entrenched in the LP library listening to odd finds in backwards order starting at Z when he came across this lost gem. It totally blew our brains. Theres zilch about them on the web, as well (apparently not even the hip New York papers gave em a mention), and he has been threatening to reissue this baby for some time. Here tis at last. Turn up the minimal synth NJ underground!" -Brian Turner, Music/Program Director, Jersey City, WFMU.
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