Units // History of the Units LP


Price: $16.00

white vinyl still in stock – black vinyl out of stock


History of the Units

A1. High Pressure Days
A2. Cannibals
A3. Work
A4. Bug Boy
A5. Town By The River
B1. Warm Moving Bodies HEAR IT!
B2. i-Night
B4. Digital Stimulation

Released January 25, 2010

Original Press Release:
The vinyl version of History of the Units which made dozens of year-end best reissue lists for 2009. While this vinyl version features a shorter tracklist than the CD, it includes a download card which redeems for all 21 songs that are on the CD. White vinyl and black vinyl versions are available from this site, but the white vinyl can only be found here!

Community Library is proud to bring you the first ever legitimate reissue of San Francisco’s synth-punk legends, UNITS! You can finally get rid of the crappy bootlegs: this is the definitive remastered collection of the band’s most sought-after early singles and selections from their first LP, Digital Stimulation. It also includes unreleased material culled from early demos, recordings made for art happenings and film, and more. This anthology is a view not only into the Units’ seminal years, but is also a step into the rich and under-reissued history of San Francisco’s punk, new wave and post punk years.

The end of the 1970’s saw Units and their compatriots (Pink Section, Voice Farm, Tuxedomoon, and Screamers) storming punk clubs like the Mabuhay with a new electronic punk sound. The co-opted, predictable guitar rock of the era had given way to aggressive synthesizers, film collage, and punk DIY ingenuity. Units were a cornerstone of this unofficial movement, later called “synth punk” and which would come to define a greater west coast DIY culture combining new synthetic sounds, ranging from Nervous Gender, Screamers and Monitor, to The Blackouts. Units’ tight keyboard riffing, raw electronic texture, monotone delivery, raging synth arpeggios and growling Moog basslines practically define synthpunk’s futuristic, alienated disposition. Thematically, Units’ music explored and exploded the very nature of “unit-like” conformity- perhaps using their synth blasts to tear away the very fabric of it. This compilation includes “High Pressure Days,” a testament to the loneliness and urgency of the times, and one of synthpunk’s greatest anthems.

Like other bands of their era, Units’ musical language did not end with the three chords of punk or the drama of new wave. Many of the songs here clairvoyantly anticipate the rise of underground pulse driven electronic dance music (“Cannibals,” “Warm Moving Bodies”). Others feature complex arrangements, almost embodying an epic prog-rock ethic (“I-5,” “Tight Fit.”) Unlike Suicide and DEVO–their contemporaries from the east coast–San Francisco’s Units are overwhelmingly Californian in their sound and ideas – whether it’s a satire of drag-racing car culture (“Go”) or a celebration of SF’s Mission district (“The Mission is Bitchin”). The demos and film soundtracks included here further highlight the band’s significant influence from experimental synthesizer music from a community that bore Buchla synths and Chris Burden’s performance art at the height of the 60’s, ten years earlier. Even Californian heavy guitar/hair rockers Trakstod Station get an ironic nod in the rare Units cover of “Contemporary Emotions.”

We hope you enjoy this anthology, the results of over three years of negotiation, selection, and remastering. Units will soon be the subject of several remix releases, including a 12” for the Relish label (Switzerland) from Headman and Rory Phillips, and an album from the Opilec label, on which Units are remixed by Italian dance music legends Danielle Baldelli, N.O.I.A, Und, and I-Robots!

Comments are closed.