XAM Duo / the Au Fait

A very, very special release, a three-way collaboration between Polytechnic Youth, Horror Pop Sounds and Norman records, the latter of whom found themselves, despite sterling services since its inception in the promotion of Record Store Day, unceremoniously excluded from the 10th anniversary celebrations by the powers that be. As a mark of respect and indeed defiance at such exclusion, both labels gathered to right the wrong offering this bastion of independent record retailing a chance to celebrate the occasion with their own unique Record Store Day release. Limited to just 100 clear lathe pressed 7 inch copies each wrapped inside a fold out poster sleeve, this sure to be highly sought after outing pairs together the talents of XAM Duo and the mysterious Au Fait.

XAM Duo of course need no introductions, members of Hookworms and Deadwall colliding and colluding in kosmiche bliss, sets for both Sonic Cathedral and Deep Distance have solidified a formidable reputation on the kosmiche / ambient arc. Described by the label as ‘straight out of Dusseldorf circa 82 with a hypnotic ping pong rhythm’, ‘Tisch Tennis’ offers a sneak peak of a future Horror Pop Sounds happening, you know the deal by now, following in the footsteps of limited cassette issues by the Assistant and Art of the Memory Palace, XAM Duo curate a nostalgic soundtrack for a cold war 80’s thriller centred around an East German table tennis team. Sounding like some vault disturbed find dusted down and polished up by those Bureau B folks, in truth taking its cue from a playfully impish Kreidler, ‘tisch tennis’ with its flippantly funky micro-chip chatters and binary bops comes bathed in a delightfully fond computer silver age vintage, its sights surveying future worlds to come as it seamlessly fuses the circuitry calibrations of Kraftwerk’s ‘computer world’ upon the luxuriant synthetic symphonic Europa chic chassis of  ‘Tour de France’. https://soundcloud.com/karennovotnyx/tisch-tennis-xam-duo/s-nQMz7

Described by the label as imagining ‘Serge Gainsbourg fronting Cluster’, the Au Fait occupy the flip side – or more precisely the Polytechnic Youth side of this split release with ‘Lutteur Francais’ (‘French Wrestler’), absolutely no information on this French duo, admittedly it’s a track that takes a wee second or three to emerge from its monochrome analogue fog with initial moments clearly revealing a sound well versed and shrouded in the artistry and craft of an early 70’s German electronic schooling whilst purred with elements of Broadcast and a typified cold war sparseness. Yet scratch away at the minimal murmurs and an alluring cosmic configuration blossoms of such starry swirled pop cool as to imagine the somewhat chilled reserve of Add N to X sumptuously freefalling into the lulling lunar air space of fellow Polytechnic Youth-ers Tomorrow Syndicate. https://soundcloud.com/karennovotnyx/french-wrestler-by-the-au-fait

The release goes live for ordering on Wednesday 19th April at 1pm wherein Norman Records will proudly celebrate their own ‘alternative’ Record Store Day.


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