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John Bender

Perhaps one of the most shadowy, mysterious statistics from the early-’80s experimental music underground, John Bender released 3 LPs and many cassettes of cool, sparse, abstract synth pop music that afterwards became the ultimate goal for aficionados of “minimal synth” or “minimal influx” music. Blessed in 1950 in Nuremberg, Germany, Bender relocated often as a kid, ultimately settling in Cincinnati. Motivated by experimental rock and roll luminaries like the Velvet Underground as well as the Motorik rhythms of Krautrock groupings like Can, but with a restricted supply of digital instruments readily available, Bender began documenting experimental synth pop music during the middle-’70s. He released his debut LP, I Don’t Keep in mind Right now/I Don’t Need to speak about It (which presented a cover of Faust’s “It’s a Rainy Day time Sunshine Woman”), by himself Record Sluts label in 1980. Plaster Falling adopted in 1981, as well as the aptly entitled Pop Surgery made an appearance in 1983. Bender also participated inside a overall performance project known as Johnny Vortex along with performers Jason Tannen and Kate Gallion; they released a tape in 1986. His recordings consequently obtained a cult pursuing among record enthusiasts and university radio DJs. His LPs have already been bootlegged, and unique copies possess fetched extravagant amounts within the secondhand marketplace. German label Vinyl-on-Demand finally granted Bender’s music the official reissue in 2012 using the release from the seven-LP package set Remembrances of Mindless Mechanised Monologues: 1976-1985. In 2016, First-class Viaduct released standalone reissues of I Don’t Keep in mind Right now/I Don’t Need to speak about It and Plaster Falling.

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