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Bernard Szajner \ Some Deaths Take Forever [BOUCD 6620]

Originally released in 1980, Bernard Szajner's second album is an emotive and sometimes disturbing musical imagining of two prisoners on death row, initially conceived as the soundtrack to a short film by Amnesty International. The complete album places dark, angular and unnerving electronic textures within dynamic rock arrangements, guest musicians including Klaus Blasquiz and Bernard Paganotti of Magma.

This remastered edition also includes three bonus tracks recorded in 1982 (Thol Onsia, A Single Broken Wing and S-n-o-w-p-r-i-n-t-s), all previously unreleased. The CD booklet includes images, complete artwork and a detailed Szajner biography.


1. Welcome to Death Row
2. Ritual
3. Execute
4. Ressurector
5. The Memory
6. Suspended Animation
7. A Kind of Freedom
8. Thol Onsia
9. A Single Broken Wing
10. S-n-o-w-p-r-i-n-t-s

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"Some Deaths Take Forever is a series sharp refractions and angled reflections. Szajner's uninflected sequencers are counterpointed throughout by Magma's Klaus Blasquiz and Bernard Paganotti, bringing a Kobaian disco precision to Ritual and Execute. Dedicated to Amnesty International, Some Deaths Take Forever is a tortured meditation on the electric chair as killing machine" (The Wire, 06/2009)

"Szajner's music is anachronistic in the best possible way. His sound is the equivalent of steampunk in science fiction; where steampunk imagined a 19th century that was already computerized, Szajner's music is an early 1980s 'rock' that already seems to incorporate elements of house, techno and electro. It's as if he unravelled the standard sequences of 1970s-into-80s pop history even before they had properly been established. The world evoked by Szajner's synthesisers is dirty, brutal and broken. It's psychedelic, but in the urban, paranoid schizophrenic way that Cabaret Voltaire were. There is also a kind of serrated beauty here, too, particularly on some of the bonus tracks that didn't appear on the original vinyl LP" (Frieze, 10/2009)

"This 1980 album is a surreal amalgam of maniacal electro-pop (check out the Serge Gainsbourg-remixed-by-a-Speak'n'Spell vibes of Welcome To Death Row) and peculiar abstract sound sculpting, hitting on an especially odd sound with the Manuel Gottsching-esque guitar-led synth bashing of Ressurector. Bonus tracks are thrown in for good measure, with the impressive Thol Onasia and parting shot S-N-O-W-P-R-I-N-T-S standing out for all their ambient loveliness" (Boomkat, 05/2009)

"A modern electronic masterwork - one of the most exciting and innovative pieces of electronic music to be released this year" (Melody Maker, 1980)

"His frantic, outraged music shames the bulk of oscillator nuts peddling their dodgy little repetitions around" (Sounds, 1980)

"Unquestionably one of the decade's most accomplished fusions of sophisticated electronics and driving rock" (NME, 1980)

"Whether working in sound or vision (he sees the two "forces" creating a "third force that is stronger than any one of the two"), Szajner's genius is in making the act of storytelling as relevant as the story itself. The reissues both present journeys. Some Deaths Take Forever's layers of synths and distortion eventually reach a celestial, radio-frequency climax" (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 10/2009)