Sunday, July 17, 2011

ANTENA - Deep Cut 7" flexi (1989)


Side A
Bad A Fright
In The Dark

Side B
Deep Cut
Drug Patient

Hisashi Saitoh (vocals)
Bibarie (guitar)
Kazz (bass)
Sham-Tear (beatbox)

Released: 1989
Label: Conneca
Catalogue number: CON-10001
Format: 7" flexi

Lenght: 11:48
Bitrate: 320 kbps

As it's been quite a while since we've had anything gothic featured here, I do think it's time to remedy that situation. And what better way to do so than with this facemelter - the elusive "Deep Cut" flexi by Antena. Apart from a track on the even more elusive "All The Children Are Insain" compilation, this lil' sonosheet was the sole release by Antena. But what a release! This should be right up the alley for fans of stuff like Sodom, Nubile and Sadie Sads.

The latter in particular seems to have been the main influence for this obscure outfit. In fact, Sadie Sads classic "Angora"-track is more or less the blueprint for this entire EP, though Antena at times somehow manages to crank up the weirdness factor a notch or two beyond with some heavy studio trickery.

Said studio manipulations are most evident on the absolutely brainscrambling opening track "Bad A Fright". Set to a harsh, rhythm-focused background seasoned with semi-atonal guitar melee, the vocals contort, pans and permutates in a twisted, somewhat psychedelic (or, rather, psychotic) way, evoking a truly demented and sick atmosphere.

The following track, "In The Dark" also conjures a disturbing ambience with it's opressive churn and multi-tracked voices - unfortunately not as successfully as it's predecessor. The tape-delay effect at the end is a nice touch though.

As if Antenas main inspiration isn't 100% evident by now, the flipside reveals even more Sadie Sads worship with the title track. After a total rip-off of the intro to "L.H.O.O.Q.", "Deep Cut" bursts into a very compelling and surprisingly crisp and straightforward slap 'n' screech-groove, with some vocal manipulations thrown in for good measure. Really neat stuff - probably the most accessible (relatively speaking) cut of the lot.

"Deep Cut" fades out with some looped bursts of white noise and we're again plunged into a more disquieting place with "Drug Patient". Aptly titled, the processed vocals coupled with unrelenting drum machine and and bass bring forth images of both strong psychoactive drugs and straightjackets. The guitar is mostly absent for the duration of this song, but whenever it rears it's head it's with quite some impact. Just check out the creepy-crawly fret noises at the bridge and the panicked scree during the "refrain".

Even though it would be interesting to hear some additional output from this band, I do fear that more material than this brief EP (and the omnibus track) would turn out to be an exhausting listen, seeing as how prominent (and, frankly, a bit unflexibly) Antena wore their influences on their sleeve.

Nevertheless, this flexi has been a top want for me for a long time and I'm really happy to finally be able to share this with you, dear readers. I hope you'll enjoy!

Update 30/07/2011: In case anybody's interested in the abovementioned "All the Children are Insain" compilation LP featuring Antena, a cache of deadstock copies have recently surfaced and are being sold over at the Inundow webshop at a pretty reasonable price. Not sure just how many copies were unearthed, but I do get the feeling that this is a grip now or cry later situation - I've only seen two copies ever for sale previously. I got mine, and to be frank it's a somewhat uneven compilation. But the tracks by Chu-Doku, Mother Goose and Clock Work (what a great band!) makes it all worth it. As for the Antena track ...well, I guess it's all right enough, but not at all up to par with "Deep Cut".