DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks

San Francisco's Josh Cheon runs the darkwave revival label Dark Entries and is a member of the Honey Soundsystem DJ collective. This Saturday, July 26, Macho City switch out of disco mode and get a little gothic, bringing the Dark Entries 5th Anniversary Tour to town. Synth bands Bézier, Max + Mara, and Redredred will play, and Cheon will spin select cuts in between sets. We asked Cheon to share a playlist of some of his favorite tracks:

Martin L. Gore — "Compulsion": "I first heard this song at The Bank, a goth club I used to go to every weekend in New York as a teenager. I love the synths that sound like brass instruments and of course Martin's distinct vocals.When I bought the EP, I discovered it was actually a cover of a song by Joe Crow, who used to play with UK post punk group The Nightingales. The rest of the covers on this EP turned me onto so many other great bands like Tuxedomoon, Sparks, The Durutti Column and Comsat Angels."

Clan of Xymox — "Call it Weird": "This song was also part of my teenage soundtrack after it was reissued in 1994 on CD. I never imagined I would reissue it then, but when I started my label it was one of the first records I wanted to reissue. Clan Of Xymox had it all — the gloom, the haunting compositions, the lyrics, and Ronny and Anka's vocals. This song is from their debut EP Subsequent Pleasures and shows the band at their most primitive, stripped down to early analog synths and drum machines beats."

Ministry — "Revenge": "Early synthpop Ministry is underrated and frowned upon by many people. Of course I grew up listening to the popular industrial version too, this was my introduction and guilty pleasures. With Sympathy was a landmark album in my teenage years. It contained all the components I love — catchy melodies, strong synth lines, camp lyrics, and fake British accents."

Cetu Javu – "Situations": "The other Depeche Mode. Cetu Javu were another staple at The Bank the DJ would play when people requested more Depeche Mode. I remember humming this song for days after the first time I heard it and the next time I went to The Bank, I asked my cousin Kara who the band was. They were from Germany but the vocalist was Spanish and sometimes he sings in his native tongue."

Sad Lovers and Giants — "Things We Never Did": "One of my favorite songs from dancing in the smaller back room at The Bank, and impossible to find since it was a B-side only found on a UK import 7" from 1981. The tempo change midway through the song was pointed out to me by Jeff Gallea of Eleven Pond when I played it for him 13 years after I first heard it. Another band I never dreamed of reissuing but did, since they appeared on post-punk "The Thing From the Crypt" compilation LP alongside other Watford, England bands."

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in Hour Detroit, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged...
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