Playlist: Thomas Ekelund

Thomas Martin Ekelund (b. 1977) is a musician, graphic designer and visual artist residing in Gothenburg, Sweden. Formerly active as Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words, now working under his own name and under a bewildering array of aliases as well as in several collaborations including IRNI (with Joachim Nordwall), Ogham (with Kevin Gan Yuen), Dökkr (with Matthias Josefsson) and Swollen SS (with Lina Baby Doll). For more information, please and

While I believe my taste in music is broad, it also has a tendency to come and go in waves. After a long winter and spring spent mostly in the company of Current 93, Death In June and Walknut, lately I’ve been in a cold wave/minimal/industrial mood. This is a playlist I’ve been listening to to and from work for most of summer:

Q4U - Böring (from Q1 12”. A recent find, Icelandic post punk, very catchy and kind of cold at the same time)
Klinik - Nautilus (from Attentie split LP w/ De Fabriek. I’d pretty much ignored Klinik based on what I heard of them at parties during the early 90’s. Their later stuff is just awful. But the first couple of releases are top notch. Minimal and ice cold)
Psychic TV - Unclean (from Unclean 12”. When I saw PTV3 a couple of years ago this was the only old song they did and it makes sense because it is quite a psychedelic track. I’ve always had a penchant for repetitive music.)
Haus Arafna - Social Automation (From Children Of God CD. Cold and aggressive at the same time. German precision perhaps.)
SS-Say - Care (from Fusion 12”. Its not often there’s any reason to listen to Danish music, but this is one of the exceptions. Simply breathtakingly beautiful synth pop)
Lust For Youth - Eternity Now (from Solar Flare LP. LFY have gotten quite a lot of hype in Sweden, but I never got it until this LP. Dirty and sloppy but somewhat mesmerizing synthetic music.)
Opus Finis - Havoc Heap (from Wierd Compilation 3xLP. A band that takes the minimal and the cold to their extremes. They tend to get a bit boring when you listen to them for any longer period of time, but song for song they always get to me.)
Ke/Hil - Hellstation (from Hellstation LP. Another recent favorite LP although it took a few spins before I got it. It’s got a subdued quality that I am a sucker for in industrial music. )
A Vague Disquiet - Heatshock: Type 1 (from Wierd Compilation 3xLP. I really wish this band would release more music. By far the best project involving Mark Solotroff if you ask me.)
Death In June - C’est Un Rêve (from “Nada!” LP. Although I think there are good records although Di6’s career, the early ensemble recordings are what I listen to the most. Nada is for the most part an exceptionally good and very varied album.)
Human Puppets - Chords Of Minore (from The Future From The Past LP. I’ve been listening quite a bit to Human Puppets in the past year. Fairly standard synth punk for the most part but they’ve got a bunch of stand out tracks, this one included.)
Throbbing Gristle - Six Six Sixties (from 20 Jazz Funk Greats. Do TG really need any comments? This and D.O.A. are my favorite albums, as well as a nice bootleg picture LP collecting all the singles that I stumbled across a few months ago.)
Anenzephalia - Thaum (from Ephemeral Dawn LP. Anenzephalia are very hit-and-miss. Their aggressive, in-your-face songs do more or less nothing for me, but when they hold back they are sensationally disturbing)
I-C-K - Mind Control (from Intrinsic Violence Re.Edited LP. I got to I-C-K through the splendid 7” from a few years ago on Enfant Terrible. Rhythmic and very minimal industrial)
Test Dept. - Compulsion (from Compulsion 12”. Apart from this 12” they only other record in the Test Dept. discography I care for is Beating The Retreat.)
Gertrud Stein - The Void (from untitled CD. This whole album is a must for any fan of minimal synth pop. It’s certainly more cheerful and quirky than what I normally prefer, but for what ever reason I’ve listened a lot to this lately)
Maska Genetik - Ernste Stunde (from Strada LP. Another great act from the intriguing Gallakthorrö continuum. While not all of the acts on the label sound similar, Maska Genetik certainly have a lot in common with Haus Arafna sonically.)
Geneviève Pasquier - Yearning (from Virgin Thoughts LP. I honestly don’t remember how I came across this artist. The album is quite uneven, but this one track keep popping up in my playlists quite frequently.)
Echo West - Nordstadt (from Minimal Baby II comp CD. In much the same way as Opus Finis, Echo West make great songs, but any longer stretch of listening will get kind of dull.)
Prurient - Bermuda Drain (from Bermuda Drain LP. A lot of people seem to hate this album and I guess I can understand that, but I am kind of enjoying it for the most part.)
Dive - Ghostcity (from Dive LP. I recently started investigating the Dive catalogue. Much like Klinik I’ve based my opinion on later material, and much like Klinik, the early records are quite good. )
Tommi Stumpff - Seltsames Glück (from Seltsames Glück 12”.)
Blasterkorps - Systeme Collaboration (from La Justice Des Hommes - Chapitre I 7”. I-C-K led me to Blasterkorps and they are not that different really. Minimal and rhythmic industrial.)

An abridged list of records I keep returning to year after year: The Inmost Light trilogy by Current 93, Spinal Injuries by Cortex, Pornography by The Cure, Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes by The Ronnettes, Christ The Album and Penis Envy by Crass (or just about any Crass record infact), first five albums by Black Sabbath, anything by Lille Roger and Brighter Death Now, Fetisch by X mal Deutschland, Les Blessures De L'Ombre and Devant Le Miroir by Dernière Volonté, Alles Ist Gut by D.A.F. Kollaps & Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T. by Einstürzende Neubauten, Discharge up to and including Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, X In Search Of Space, Doremi Fasol Latido and Space Rituals by Hawkwind.

Recent releases by friends I’ve enjoyed thoroughly (I separate these, because I find that I listen very differently to recordings by friends than I do other records): Förruttnelsen by Altar Of Flies, The Crystal World by Locrian, Cleared by Cleared, Luciform by Sutekh Hexen, Negative Space by Blue Sausage Infant, TXN by Ectoplasm Girls, In Teufel's Küche by Raionbashi and the forthcoming An Index Of Failure by Jasper TX.


john said...

Both links aren't working :(

john said...

nevermind. back again.

Robert Wictorzon said...

A quick fix youtube playlist of the songs I could find: