The only full-length from the West Germany trio known as Liaisons Dangereuses, this self-titled record (originally released via TIS records in 1981) is somewhat of a Holy Grail for fans of EBM and minimal synth. Thankfully, Soulsherrif Records has reissued this rarity! Comprised of members Beate Bartel, Chrislo Haas, and Krishna Goineau, Liaisons Dangereuses was only active for a couple of years. Beate and Chrislo played in numerous famous German electronic and goth projects over the course of their careers, while Krishna was associated with early Spanish experimental punk. After their collaborative release CHBB, Beate and Chrislo recruited Krishna for his “exotic’ vocal style. Musically, alongside D.A.F. (of which Haas was briefly a member), Liaisons Dangereuses pioneered the sound of EBM, laying out a blueprint for a sound that would be copied by late-’80s artists, such as Front 242, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and even early Nine Inch Nails.
Today, their influence can still be felt in the music of artists like the darkwave/electro duo Boy Harsher and Atlanta-based dark synthpop artist TWINS. The sound developed by Liaisons Dangereuses was achieved by mechanically sequencing the pulsing, simple bass lines from the MS20 synthesizer into simple yet effective floor-filling hooks. The bass lines combined with syncopated drum machine patterns and experimental industrial tape sounds are unique and driving. Then there are the vocals, which really sealed the deal.
Krishna and multiple backing vocalists repeat simple phrases in multiple languages, varying from screams to hushed whispers. After its release, the record was played throughout the ‘80s on a variety of dancefloors. Embraced by acid and house DJs alongside goth and industrial dance nights, it became a mythical piece of vinyl. Highly recommended! Make sure you track this reissue down before it, too, goes out of print! Out now via Soulsherrif Records.