Mad Tea Party

A very obscure messthetics act from Osaka's now legendary Vanity Records label. All Vanity Records were printed in very few copies, hence they are collectors' favourites today.

Ma Gita

Magita Haberland is also known for being the violinist and vocalist of the band Abwärts from 1979 to 1981. She has a website at http://www.margita-haberland.de/

La Maison

Little is known about this Italian outfit that had no releases of their own, but were only included in the seminal “Milano 1980-83 New Wave” compilation. They sound a little like early Tuxedomoon or something that could have fitted the Ralph Records catalogue.

Malaria!

One of the more known bands featured on this site, Berlin band Malaria! is a legendary act from the anarchic DIY days of early-80s Berlin (wonderfully portrayed in the ‘Berlin Super 80’ series). Malaria! has been covered and sampled many times and they are frequently referenced as an influence.

Mannschreck

A relatively poppy cut (for this website!), Mannschreck are the kind of NDW example about what pop music could be. Repetitive and relentless, yet quirky and funny, it feels that it was really addressed to a relatively mainstream audience.

Man Ray Band

1979 minimal synth oddity from LA from an act that only appeared in legendary "Fix Planet" compilation curated by German band Der Plan.

Marge And The Marvellous

Largely unknown band whose only song was featured in a couple of new wave compilations. It is interesting how a silly-disco-referring verse breaks into a rather moody chorus – very minimal synth.

Marie And The Atom

Art-balladry from New Zealand, 1983. The band has made songs using not just their usual instruments, violin and banjo, but also bathroom sinks as percussion.

Marina La Palma

Little information can be found about post-punk LA heroine Marina La Palma (esperanto?) who appeared in underground punk clubs of the time and released a couple of songs in DIY cassettes (pictured)

The Marina Swingers

The Marina Swingers only released one 7” single in 1979, but their insane mix of sunshine pop, minimal electro and no-wave paranoia is so special. The whole history of pop music parades in 3 minutes.

Mark Soden

Rhythm boxes, dark humour, spoken-ish vocals, found sounds, messthetics. Not much info to be found, other than that this is from Southern California.

Martin O'Cuthbert

Martin O'Cuthbert has produced a number of "alien and alienated pop" (as he claims) records, under various aliases. John Lydon chose his record in 1978 as record of the year stating that "Martin O'Cuthbert is either a very evil person (just listen to the record) or a total fool (just listen to the record)"

Massacre

Massacre were an improvised super-band formed in 1980 by Fred Frith and Bill Laswell. They stayed together for only one year and released the album ‘Killing Time’, which is a post-punk gem. Since then they re-formed a couple of times.

Mathematiques Modernes

Mathematiques Modernes are an excellent example of the experimental side of Parisian electronics in the early 80s. Their wonderful stop-start / rhythmic weirdness style sets them quite apart from the other bands of minimal wave.

Mau Mau

A band formed by members of DAF, Mau Mau play such a wonderful minimalist/krauty new wave that it is almost impossible they are so obscure and still found in cheap bargain record bins.

Max Goldt

The singer of Foyer Des Arts, poet, spoken-word artist, cabaret-ist and comedian Max Goldt is one of the most influential figures of the German underground. His early 80s solo works released on cassette are so precious that they have recently been rediscovered and re-released.

Maximum Joy

Maximum Joy from Bristol was one of the most important post-punk bands and arguably the funkiest. Formed by members of Glaxo Babies and The Pop Group (both of which are also legendary bands) they created a very disco-friendly mix that would thrill the fans 1980-era Talking Heads.

Mekanik Kommando

When the whole early-80s minimal-synth works, then it really works! Mekanik Kommando is such an example, similar to something like Crash Course in Science, where simple electronics meet a spoken-DIY-ethos with wonderful dada-friendly results.

Men/Eject

Extremely obscure one-single only, non-official-label flexipo-type release, possibly from the UK. Abstract DIY messthetics.

Metal Boys

Some more strange minimal-synth from France, but of the kind that this site is primarily interested in: the theatrical, strange type, as opposed to the dark, industrial kind. An example of the casio-sounding projects that appeared like mushrooms and disappeared shortly after.

The Metronomes

The Metronomes was a minimal synth concept band from Australia, which was never particularly big in their country, but were considered somehow seminal in Europe. They play a very charming melodic minimal synth pop.

Mick Ness

In the early '80s Mick was part of the Ultra-movement, a Dutch post-punk movement which had an explicitly artsy aesthetic, and many of its participants were educated in art schools.

Los Microwaves

A synthesizer trio from San Francisco that created a fusion of noisy electronic weirdness and nonsense lyrics. Although they toured with major acts as Gang of Four, XTC and Oingo Boingo, they were probably just that bit extra strange for the mainstream.

milk from cheltenham

Priceless DIY from one of Britain’s most interesting messthetics labels, “it’s a war, boys”, this is another bizarre genre-changing, collagey beauty in the style of the Native Hipsters, L. Voag and so on.

Milovan Srdenovic

Extremely odd outsider artist from Yorkshire, described once as ‘the macabre yawp of an English folk artist who sings sweetly about slashing his wrists’. He's been releasing music under various aliases for over 20 years.

Ministry Of Marriage

One of the many “lost” female post-punk bands of the period and a great example of how much more open the structures of female bands were at the time: instead of the tight-rock structure of the boys, female bands frequently preferred a found-sound avant-garde aesthetic. The use of percussion is particularly notable in this band.

Missing Presumed Dead

If not for anything else this band needs to be mentioned for the title of their first record “How’s your bum for cracking walnuts?”! Another John Peel obscure sort of spoken word type-band.

Model Citizens

If you wouldn’t listen to this funny wave-pop band for whatever other reason, do it because they were the only post-punk band with a marimba in their set! They were also produced by John Cale and they came from New York. Enough said.

Moebius

Moebius (not to be confused with the German electronic music pioneer Dieter Moebius) was an American electro-rock-cosmic band that released one record in 1979. Their version of ‘Light My Fire’ is one of the most amazing covers ever produced.

Moebius, Plank, Neumeier

An incredible 1982 collaboration between three electronic music composers: Dieter Moebius, Conny Plank, Manfred Neumeier. Absolutely unique, this record sounds like the new wave cousin of Can.

Molto Brutto

Strange art-punk combo from Austria, composed of avantgarde musicians and fine artists.

Molto Stuhl

Fuzzy German experimental minimal synth from the '80s , progenitor sounds of what would come a few decades later

Monitor

Monitor is the short-lived result of an LA art collective called World Imitation Productions that operated between 1977 and 1982. The sound is the kind of electronic DIY madness of the Gadgets or anything that could belong to Ralph records.

Mono/45 UPM

This very obscure act for which little is known only released one single, “Romance Adieu”, but one that is a wonderful example of the early-80s cassette-culture free approach to the pop song. An almost improvised structure, an empty-sounding minimal atmosphere, a couple of weird noises, a surreal/repetitive vocal: done. “Romance adieu; Bienvenue realite”

Monofonic Orchestra

From minimal synth to italo-disco, with avant-garde elements and a specific taste for drum machines, Maurizio Marsico, the man behind Monofonic Orchestra, brilliantly crossed the tumultuous ocean of italian underground through the years, although he remained quite confidential outside of the italo-german axis.

Morgan Fisher / Hybrid Kids

‘Hybrid Kids’ is a genius concept-pop album by Morgan Fisher. It is a spoof compilation featuring a number of imaginary bands, which essentially were all recorded by Fisher. The result is a mixture of deranged cover-versions.

The Mothmen

One of a few experimental-dub outfits to come out of postpunk Manchester, consiiting of musicians from various other bands.

Motor Totemist Guild

Operating in the not so rare border between prog-rock/chamber-music complexity and DIY post-punkness, MTG are one of the most sonically challenging groups of the time.

Mr. Andrew

Minimal synth meets a sensitive and prophetic melodic electronica in this absolutely obscure italian minimal synth record from 1982.

Mr Partridge

Mr Partridge is nobody else but Andy Partridge of XTC, yet his one solo record as "Mr Partridge" remains largely unknown. 11 tracks of minimal-synth /post-punk beauty.

MTT

From the rich new wave scene of former Yugoslavia comes this Slovenian minimal synth punk outfit, combining coldwave spoken word and harsh keys.

Mutterfunk

Mutterfunk was an angular no wave new wave band in Dusseldorf in the early 1980s, consisting of Axel Grube and Ralph Albertini.

MX-80 Sound

This band’s sound stood slightly apart from many bands of the time, as they weren’t afraid to touch upon hard-rock heavy-guitar influences, but the way they approached rock was so deconstructive that it was more Zappa than Zeppelin.

Mykel Board's Art

Art was a concept-band from musician/artist Mykel Board. They cheekily described themselves as “the only band in the world” and played anarchic post-punk with absurd lyrics.