TVD Radar: Dan Lacksman, three 1970s catalog vinyl reissues
in stores 10/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Three pioneering synth-pop classics from Dan Lacksman’s 1970s catalog will be reissued on vinyl, CD, and digitally on October 23 via Real Gone Music, featuring the albums Dan Lacksman and Electronic System: Vol. II (both from 1973) and 1974’s Electronic System: Tchip Tchip (Vol. 3).

In the early 1970s, Belgian recording engineer and synthesist Daniel Lacksman née Lanckmans recorded and released a series of pop music records, using early analog synthesizers as a central sonic element. Under an admittedly confusing array of names, Lacksman (who later founded the group Telex) created music that was equal parts innovation and ear-candy accessibility. Those often happy-go-lucky records gained some popularity throughout Europe, but their lasting influence can be heard in the music of Portishead, Massive Attack, The Moog Cookbook, and Air. And a casual survey online quickly reveals that these records are among the most collectible of their kind, with original copies commanding hundreds of dollars.

Real Gone Music is finally reissuing and restoring three pioneering Euro synth-pop classics from Lacksman’s 1970s catalog: Dan Lacksman and Electronic System: Vol. II (both from 1973), and 1974’s Electronic System: Tchip Tchip (Vol. 3) (also released Germany as Skylab). Though Moog-based electronic sounds would fall out of musical fashion in the 1980s, with the dawn of MIDI and digital technology, modern-day listeners and musicians alike have been rediscovering the music of Lanckmans and his peers; all three albums – as well as Lanckmans’ other records of that era and beyond – have been widely sampled by 21st century artists.

Real Gone Music’s reissues (which will also be available for streaming) have been mastered for LP and CD from the original tapes by the composer himself, and feature liner notes by Bill Kopp that include exclusive quotes from Lanckmans and photos from his private archive.

Lacksman already had an album (Flamenco Moog) and a minor European hit (“Coconut”) under his belt when he recorded 1973’s Dan Lacksman, which is a true outlier in his catalog in that it features him on guitar and voice along with his usual keyboard wizardry. As such, it’s probably his most accessible record for those approaching his music from a strictly rock background. An early version of “Skylab” hints at the grand version to come on Tchip Tchip; some of the album sounds like a Belgian version of Steely Dan, and at times you might even hear a little early Eno/Robert Wyatt/Kevin Ayers prog punctuated by a couple of drinking songs. Overall, it’s a progressive pop singer- songwriter album and a bit of a trailblazer at that, which explains why original copies go for a mint. Out on CD and a neon green vinyl pressing limited to 900 copies.

While the first album Dan Lacksman recorded in 1973 was an atypical singer-songwriter foray, the second album from that year—credited to his pseudonym Electronic System— featured the full flowering of his synthesizer mastery. His hit recording “Coconut” had enabled him to buy a modular synthesizer, which offered a vastly expanded tonal palette—if you had the patience to re-wire for each sound you wanted to achieve. Which was the perfect set-up for a studio engineer like Lacksman…the result is an album full of sonic surprises, with each track presenting multiple, unique synthesizer tones and attacks, even on such nakedly commercial moves as his cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.” Presented on CD and a yellow vinyl pressing limited to 900 copies.

Pretty much all of Lacksman’s ‘70s releases command a devout collector following, but none of them can measure up to the one he recorded in 1974 under the name Electronic System, Tchip Tchip (Vol. 3). While much of side one Tchip Tchip presents the composer’s signature blend of synthesizer kitsch and boundary-breaking creativity, ranging from the oom-pah sound of the title track to the wacky “Spider,” almost all of side two is devoted to the 14-minute “Sky Lab,” which sounds like it came right off an Air record recorded 25 years later, with maybe a little Dark Side-era Pink Floyd thrown in. A true marvel, this track is why original copies of Tchip Tchip are downright unaffordable. Released on CD and an orange vinyl pressing limited to 900 copies.

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