Vinyl Minded: David J and Torn Boys

David J

Tracks From the Attic (Independent Project Recordings)

3 LP, brown Kraft vinyl, limited to 850.

After we dug into the joys of pioneering UK electronic group Woo in this column last week, we're looking at two more releases from the exquisite Independent Project Recordings this week, starting with this incredible triple album from Bauhaus/Love & Rockets man David J.

Anyone looking for gothic rock in the vein of J's bands should look elsewhere. This isn't that. What we have here is 34 previously unreleased solo home demos that were recorded between 1984 and 2004. That's three decades of home noodling, on gorgeous gold vinyl for our pleasure.

Musically, this is J exploring his folky side. LoFi, chill and intimate, its wonderful to hear a man often associated with pomp and epic, stripped down. The music is great and, as one might expect from an IPR release, the packaging is beautiful. Embossed card sleeves, an essay by Jeffrey Clark -- it generally looks incredible.

Again, Bauhaus completists might seek this out. Keep your mind wide open and there's plenty to love.

Torn Boys

1983 (Independent Project Records)

LP with bonus DVD

Something that IPR is great at, besides the special packaging, is unearthing forgotten gems, and offering them up with a fresh format to a new audience. Torn Boys emerged from Stockton, CA in '82 and, by '83, they had split up. This really was a case of "blink and you miss them." And yet the music that the group made needs to be revisited.

One of the three men involved was Jeffrey Clark, the owner of Independent Project Records and a member of Shiva Burlesque. Also in the band was Grant-Lee Phillips (Shiva Burlesque, Grant Lee Buffalo) and Kelly Foly (Gary Young's Hospital).

But any thoughts that Clark is just using his label to release all of his old bollocks can be swiftly shunned. Torn Boys created dreamy and intense post-punk, captured perfectly here.

The sleeve art is glorious -- not the brown card approach that IPR often employs -- this is colorful and disturbingly hypnotic. Four new videos were created for some of the old songs, and they're here on DVD. It all makes for a sweet treat, and one that we didn't even know that we wanted.