The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Betamax Format

There is not much Betamax Format material available to listen to online, but what is there is intensely infectious. This is new wave electro-punk that originated from the Dublin underground a few years back, but played with old-school lo-fi electronics, serrated guitars, 80s synthesizers and loaded with sleaze and psychotic compulsion.

Their limited edition debut single 'XXX Robot' released in 2005 was a frantic onslaught of guitar driven electronica, sounding like what The Contino Session might have done if Death In Vegas has collaborated with frenzied robots instead of with Iggy & Co. It's flip-side instrumental 'Raus! Raus!', a deranged krautrock groove that descends into psychotic chaos is equally infectious, but their best moment to date is perhaps the live recording of 'The Knife' available for download from their myspace, an immense track with 80s Gary Numan style synth-punk sounds, sleazed vocals, pent-up frustration and dark stage adrenalin.

As far as I'm aware, there has been no studio recording release of 'The Knife', or at least none that I can find. A track titled 'Nothing With A Face Is Safe' featured as the lead track of a compilation of mainly leftfield electronica oriented bands from Ireland released by Risc Records in 2005, while Betamax Format also featured on the 'Music for People with Long Ears' double CD compilation of underground independent music in Ireland released in 2006 on Softa Records.

Their debut 7" single 'XXX Robot' was a limited pressing and is long since sold out, but can be downloaded from their website, while the follow-up 12" tentatively titled 'I was Fist-Fucked By The Wannadies' was due to be released earlier this year on an NYC label but does not seem to have materialized as yet. Seemingly on the lookout for a new guitarist, perhaps it will be a while before a release will be seen now, although one thing is for certain, Betamax Format are too good to stop here.

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