Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I wanna see you dance

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Minny Pops is one of the lesser known post-punk/darkwave/avant electro acts to be associated with the Factory/Factory Benelux labels. Forming as The Tits in their native Belgium in the late 70's, Minny Pops became Minny Pops (named after a Korg drum machine) in 1978.

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In 1980 they opened for Joy Division at a several dates in Belgium, catching the fancy of the folks at Factory. They were invited overseas to play at the Factory I/Russell Club in Manchester, and shortly thereafter were recording the Dolphin Spurt/Goddess single (FAC 31) with Martin Hannet. This single is what usually comes up when talking about Minny Pops, but in my opinion it's not as strong as Secret Story/Island (FAC 57), their other single with Factory, or some of their demos (it's just the "Hannet Factor" at work). Anyhow, "Secret Stories," released on CD by LTM in 2003, compiles both Factory singles as well as some unreleased demos and compilation tracks.

Below is the Secret Stories/Island single as well as two unreleased gems from the period between the Factory singles and their second and best album, Sparks in a Dark Room (FBN 15). All four tracks contain Minny Pops' characteristic motorik beats, left-field electronics, and gloomy vocals. Influences and similarities are immediately apparent -- Middendorp's dark, unadorned, gregorian vocals are strikingly Curtis-esque, and the Body Language demo smacks of early Cure, especially that guitar riff.

Minny Pops - Secret Story
Minny Pops - Island
Minny Pops - Time (12" mix)
Minny Pops - Body Language (Demo)

Secret Stories and Sparks in a Dark Room are both available on iTunes, or you can Buy direct from LTM here.

1 comment:

Britten said...

Unexpectedly enough, Minny Pops are going to perform live for the first time in 30 years in early 2012. There's some information about the dates on their website here: And Standstill to Motion, a live CD with a bonus DVD, will be released around then - it's a recording of an Amsterdam show from 1981, and it's mixed by Reinier Rietveld (who was once a little drummer boy in Quando Quango).