Sunday, June 19, 2011

Record of the Week: No Comment (Original CD)

Here we have the original versions of "No Comment" on CD, as issued on RRE (Europe) and Wax Trax! (America). "No Comment" would later be reissued with bonus content on Epic/Sony and RRE...but since I don't have it immediately in front of me, I will post it as a separate entry later!

Both versions of this release are very similar, with a few notable exceptions.
First up, the original CD release on RRE. It has the catalogue number CD MK2.
It features 6 tracks, including "S. Fr. Nomenklatura (Parts 1 & 2)" (Note 'S. Fr.' stands for "Special Forces").

The artwork for both releases is virtually identically except, for some reason, the RRE version lists the titles out of order in the liner artwork. It lists "S. Fr. Nomenklatura (Parts 1 & 2)" as second after "Commando Mix" but this is corrected on the disc itself. Of note, only on the RRE disc is the subtitle for "Deciet" given as "Deceit (Behind Your Face)".

The artwork for the RRE Disc is very plain and simple, which the Wax Trax! version makes up for. The Wax Trax! version has the catalogue WAXCD 010.

No Comment RRE Version picture sleeve front

No Comment RRE Version picture sleeve back (note track listing error)

No Comment RRE Version picture sleeve foldout

No Comment RRE Version jewel case insert

No Comment RRE Version disc

My favorite aspect of this release are the great pictures of early 242. While I don't understand the fascination with baseball gear, it does look cool. (And Richard plays the shotgun better than a guitar?)
We also get a glimpse of the mysterious Daniel B. in the lower picture, which was very rare for this era, as he continued to be portrayed as the mysterious and unseen "Member 0"

No Comment Wax Trax! Version picture sleeve front

No Comment Wax Trax! Version picture sleeve back (note correct track listing)

No Comment Wax Trax! Version picture sleeve foldout

No Comment Wax Trax! Version jewel case insert

No Comment Wax Trax! Version disc

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Poster of the Week: Art & Strategy 92

Here we have a beautiful and large poster from the "Art & Strategy 92" art exhibit.

"Art & Strategy" being the design and artistic vehicle through which Daniel B. and Patrick create the artwork, stage design, multimedia, and other creative forces behind the Front 242 image. (It also happens to be the name of a song on "Geography.")

In 1992, three exhibits where held in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York; showcasing the fantastic works of Art & Strategy. The shows consisted of numerous paintings and prints, which can be seen in the A&S Catalogue (a future post!) and an ambient CD was issued as well (yet another future post!) I will eventually get around to posting some reviews of the show as well.

This poster is a very large 24 inches by almost 36 inches on foam board, so it is quite sturdy. It sports a lovely gray with the brilliant red "242 Sphere" that was very prominent in 242 imagery of that time. The background also shows many other 242 symbols.

Not sure how many of these were actually made, but is beautiful framed and so I consider it "priceless." (Now to get the guys to sign it....)

Art & Strategy 92

A&S 92 Detail

A&S 92 Detail

A&S 92 Detail

A&S 92 Detail

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Compilation of the Week: Adam X on the one and two

Here we have a DJ Mix compilation from EBM/Techno DJ "Adam X" which features a stellar lineup of classic and current acid, techno, and EBM music. Of course it would have to feature a Front 242 track!
From the notes, Adam X states that this CD "was designed as a personal soundtrack to my everyday life..."

Released on Instinct Records, it has the catalogue number INS561-2

The choice of Front 242 track selected, "Controversy Between" to me is an unusual one, and is certainly not a typical and as well-known 242 selection. I think it rightfully reflects Adam's love and respect for Front 242!

Other standout tracks include selections from A Split Second, Chicks on Speed and Frankie Bones.

Track List:

  1. intro
  2. Vex: "Vex"
  3. Keynotes: "Let's Dance"
  4. Russ Gabriel's Audio Spectrum: "Korgan"
  5. G-Man: "Turtle"
  6. Christian Vogel: "Shoe Renounce Soul"
  7. The Mover: "Frontal Sickness"
  8. Galactica: "Red Eyes Red Lights"
  9. Genie: "Night At The Opera"
  10. Frankie Bones: "It's Good For America"
  11. Beroshima: "Domo Arrigato Mr. Roboto"
  12. Malaria! vs. Chicks On Speed: "Kaltes Klares Wasser Rmx"
  13. Adam X: "Long Drive Home"
  14. Chris McCormack: "The Maximalist"
  15. Chaz Vincent: "Dream Wave"
  16. Icarus: "Nightfly"
  17. DHS: "House of God DHS Rmx"
  18. Kevin Saunderson: "Powerbass"
  19. Reade Truth: "Explosive Force"
  20. Front 242: "Controversy Between"
  21. Directional Force: "One Thousand"
  22. A Split Second: "Muscle Machine"
Adam X "on the one and two" CD cover

Adam X "on the one and two" CD cover back

Adam X "on the one and two" CD liner notes

Adam X "on the one and two" jewel case insert

Adam X "on the one and two" disc

Saturday, June 4, 2011

T-Shirt of the Week: Re:Boot Polo

Not a T-Shirt in the strictest of sense, here we have the "Re:Boot Polo."
This shirt was available for sale during the "Re:Boot Tour" back in 1998-1999.

It is heather gray cotton with collar and sports a nice modern Front 242 logo on the left breast pocket area.
This is certainly one way to bring a Front 242 presence into the workplace or when the instance calls for dressier clothes!
I actually where this shirt quite often! This particular shirt was purchased at the Atlanta show, which I have posted much about previously.

Re:Boot Polo shirt

Re:Boot Polo shirt detail

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bootleg of the Week: Re:Boot Rochester, New York CD-R

After a bit of a hiatus/holiday...we shall return to the world of 242!

Here we have another of the many bootleg discs/recordings from the Re:Boot tour era. This was probably the first tour in an era where bootlegs became much easier to obtain, create, and circulate.

This is another fine recording made by a fan, as advertised as an "Audience Recording: CSC --> WMD-3 --> CDR from Master" from the show in Rochester, New York, August 14, 1998.

The sound quality is very good and is on par with other bootlegs from this tour and the official Re:Boot release itself.
The fan-made art is exceptionally well-made and captures nicely the Re:Boot theme and images of this era in 242 history. The noted exception being that the disc image itself is borrowed from the "Tyranny Tour" era!

Track Listing:

  1. Happiness
  2. Masterhit
  3. Motion
  4. Moldavia
  5. Melt
  6. Soul Manager
  7. Im Rhythmus Bleiben
  8. Crapage
  9. Religion
  10. Head Hunter
  11. Welcome To Paradise
  12. First In/First Out
  13. Punish Your Machine
Re:Boot Rochester, NY Picture Sleeve

Re:Boot Rochester, NY Jewel Case Insert

Re:Boot Rochester, NY Disc

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Memorabilia of the Week: Magnet 242

Here we have an interesting collection of "bootleg" Front 242 pins. These are actually very professional looking and are not of the "homemade" variety.

Each of the magnets measures approximately 3 X 3 inches, with a glossy texture and very nice, brilliant colors. Each magnet sports a different album "242 sphere" cover art for the Epic/Sony Front 242 Catalogue re releases. My personal favorite seems to be the "Front By Front", as the reds and yellows really stand out!

Perfect item for your 242 locker or refrigerator!

Front 242 Magnets

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Record of the Week: Interception CD

Continuing to look at Front 242's CD releases as "Record of the Week", here we have the EP/Single "Interception".
As is the case with most of Front's singles, two European versions are available on RRE Records/PIAS; and a slightly different version is available stateside on Wax Trax! Records.

The RRE Version comes in both the standard "slimline" 5 inch version and the 3 inch disc in cardboard sleeve. Both releases have the catalogue number RRE 3 CD.
The artwork is essentially the same, with the slimline version offering a slightly bigger image.

That image itself is striking! Although one can see it better on the 12 inch vinyl (a future post!), the painting is just brilliant in blue and reds. It is often mistaken as a photograph, which of course it isn't. Yet another one of those iconic 242 images!
The disc artwork (or lack thereof) is the same. The 3 inch disc comes with a plastic white adaptor.

Interception RRE "slimline" version front

Interception RRE "slimline" version back

Interception RRE 5 inch disc

Interception RRE cardboard 3 inch version front

Interception RRE cardboard 3 inch version back

Interception RRE 3 inch disc with adaptor

The Wax Trax! version has the same image, but on close inspection the blue hues are just more muted, undoubtedly differences in printing quality and technique.
The picture sleeve here folds out into another advertisement for the Wax Trax! catalogue.

The jewel case insert offers the back image rotated, with song titles in yellow boxes and a barcode.
The disc differs slightly with the RRE versions, offering a bigger Front 242 logo and the song titles without times, and the name of the single "Interception."

All three discs feature the same two tracks:
"Quite Unusual"

It has the catalogue number WAX CD 016

Although these are by no means rare, the 3 inch in cardboard sleeve would be the most collectible one.

Interception Wax Trax! version front

Interception Wax Trax! version back

Interception Wax Trax! version foldout

Interception Wax Trax! jewel case insert

Interception Wax Trax! disc (image is blurry due to scanner mirror effect...sorry!)

Poster of the Week: Moment of Terror

Here we have another of those iconic Front 242 posters, this time from the FRONT X FRONT era, and is titled "Moment of Terror".

This quote was used on much of the album and T-Shirt artwork during this time in 242 history.
I have written in the past about these items and the source of the quote:

The poster features classic 242 concert images, surrounded by the FRONT X FRONT era 242 logo, this time in blue (most of the time it is in red).

You can still find this poster on secondary markets, but it is sometimes hard to find in mint condition, as the glossy black is not very forgiving when it comes to pinholes and folds.

Moment of Terror poster




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Compilation of the Week: New Life 13 Years of Electronic Lust

Here we have an interesting compilation from 1996, with a virtual "who's who" of early industrial and electronic body music...

"New Life 13 Years of Electronic Lust" is not really a compilation or sampler per se, but what I gather "New Life" is billed as "The Ultimate Sound Magazine". So this is a CD representative of the music and artists featured therein.

Issued on the COP International label, it has the catalogue number COP 020.
The liner notes state that this collection was compiled by Uwe Rothhaemel.

The Front 242 track presented here is "Quite Unusual."
While it is easily one of my favorite Front 242 tracks, I'm not so sure that it is the most representative of Front 242's body of work. But I guess "Headhunter" or "Welcome to Paradise" should not be on every compilation!

In addition to 242, some of my other favorite artists are featured on this CD.
Laibach has the outstanding "Geburt Einer Nation" and other standouts include tracks by Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Die Krupps and Nitzer Ebb.

Track List:

  1. Laibach:  "Geburt Einer Nation"
  2. Front 242:  "Quite Unusual"
  3. Chris & Cosey:  "Driving Blind"
  4. Moev:  "Wanting"
  5. Skinny Puppy:  "The Choke"
  6. Click Click:  "I Rage, I Melt"
  7. Die Krupps:  "Machineries of Joy"
  8. Mussolini Headkick:  "Your god is dead"
  9. Numb:  "Hanging Key"
  10. Psyche:  "Brain Collapse"
  11. The Klinik:  "Cold as Ice"
  12. Frontline Assembly:  "Landslide"
  13. Cassandra Complex:  "One Million Happy Costumers" (Note this really should be "One Millionth Happy Customer")
  14. Nitzer Ebb:  "Let Beauty Loose"
  15. Severed Heads:  "New Life"
New Life picture sleeve (Front)

New Life picture sleeve (Reverse)

New Life picture sleeve liner notes

New Life Trayliner

New Life disc

Monday, April 25, 2011

T-Shirt of the Week: Wax Trax! Retrospectacle

As most 242 fans know, Front 242 headlined the fantastic Wax Trax! 33 1/3 Retrospectacle on April 15 and 17, 2011.
The shows were phenomenal and I hope to eventually post some video and pictures of this fantastic once-in-a-lifetime event!

Here we have one of the many 242 shirts for sale at the event.
This is an homage to the "Official Warfare" shirt that was for sale in the Wax Trax! catalogue for many years. It features the helicopter that can be seen on the Kommando Remix shirt still available at Transmission 242 today.

The reverse features the 242 numbers forming the word "2HI4AG2" which is a clever variation of "CHICAGO".

Patrick reported to me that perhaps some of these shirts might eventually make it for sale on the 242 site or on the Wax Trax! Retrospectacle website.

Wax Trax! Retrospectacle "2HI4AG2" shirt (front)

Wax Trax! Retrospectacle "2HI4AG2" shirt (back)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bootleg of the Week: Re:Boot Arvika Festival CD-R

With their "rebooted" sound, Front 242 toured extensively throughout much of 1997-1998, with the Re:Boot material continuing to be presented past 2000. This material was well represented with the official Re:Boot release in all its many formats.

But with the tour, came many opportunities for fans to collect their own material. Here we have one such item. This is a fan-made CD-R recording from Front 242's appearance at the Arvika Festival in Sweden on July 11, 1997.

This appears to be from a radio show that was broadcast, as both the "Intro" and the closing track "Body To Body" feature intro/outro commentary by a broadcaster. Along the way, we have brief commentary in the form of "Mellansnack". With my Swedish friends quick to correct me, Google translates this term as "between talking" or "between chat"...

The fan made artwork is very nice, with a wonderful picture of Richard 23 on the front, in his silver trench coat that he sported on this tour, and a picture of J-L on the back.

The sound quality is excellent!

Track List:

Intro                                   1:02
Happiness                    6:43
Masterhit                    4:43
Motion                            4:15
Mellansnack 1            0:12
Moldavia                    4:33
Melt                                    3:40
Soul Manager            4:26
No Shuffle                    5:33
Im Rhythmus Bleiben    4:32
Mellansnack 2            0:09
Crapage                            4:37
Headhunter                    4:15
Welcome To Paradise    4:57
Body To Body            3:28

Re:Boot Arvika Festival CD-R Picture Sleeve

Re:Boot Arvika Festival CD-R Tray Liner