Los Yndeseables Escapa del Control / Asquerosa Sociedad 7″

Raw mid-’80s electro-punk solo project from Kimba Vilis, who was simultaneously the drummer for Peruvian RAMONES disciples LEUSEMIA and Dangerhouse-ish punks DELIRIOS KRÓNIKOS, although the lo-fi industrial rattle he offered up as LOS YNDESEABLES couldn’t be further from visions of leather jackets and sniffing glue. LOS YNDESEABLES’ home-recorded 1985 demo is regarded as one of the first artifacts of Peruvian DIY but was never actually released until Buh put it on vinyl earlier this year, and this 7” completes the history lesson with two songs from the demo that were re-recorded in a studio later in 1985 for the landmark Vol. 2 tape comp. Both tracks are five-minute-plus creepy crawls through the same grimy electro-underworld occupied by fellow freaks like CHROME, SPK, CABARET VOLTAIRE, the NORMAL, etc., with menacing vocals, trebly no wave guitar strangulation, bass lines that would be eminently danceable if they weren’t so murky, warbling blurts of synth, and the monotonous tick of a rhythm machine—they could have easily come out on a label like Industrial or Mute or M Squared in the ’80s, while LOS YNDESEABLES were forging their own post-punk underground in Peru without the benefit of physical media. Really cool to see this rescued from the abyss of time.

Salón Dadá Ensayo 1986 EP

Rehearsal recording from a Peruvian band, playing post-punk that is delinquent, fragile in the best possible meaning. Four songs balancing on the sharp edge of melancholy and beauty, reminisces me of depressed Sunday afternoons that I spent in the piss-like yellow light of the setting sun in rotting post-Soviet buildings. It is that sort of post-punk where the band takes punk towards its establishment; the music starts to wobble and everything gets interesting. SALÓN DADÁ’s energy is between the sharp leads of their exploring guitar and the low-key singing that, due to the recording quality, feels sometime as whispers. The sound is dragged through and it’s hard to decide whether to dance to it or start chain smoking. I wish the sound quality was better, while I appreciate that music makes me wish, so I can relate to their struggle—listening to songs that should have been made into a proper recording so they could be played at dance nights for misfits, and now it only lives in my imagination, therefore it feels personal. I wonder if a rehearsal tape of a Peruvian punk band recorded in ’86 is praised in 2020 then what is not possible? Go start a band!

Varsovia Recursos Inhumanos LP

Originally released in 2014 on CD, this record from Lima, Peru’s VARSOVIA struck a nerve with synth punk fans, prompting its reissue this year for the first time on vinyl. Expertly-programmed synth compositions compliment beats that blend rugged industrial samples with tidy post-punk arrangements. The vocals cover a wide range, too, sometimes dramatic and haunting, other times yelling or concise and reserved. Some of the tracks land solidly in the truly experimental realm not unlike MEN’S RECOVERY PROJECT, while others offer a dancefloor-ready coldwave sound. Overall, this is a lot more slick than most records reviewed here (one of the tracks was featured on HBO’s Spanish-language comedy series, Los Espookys), but definitely a landmark in the synth-punk skyline; worth checking out!