A one-off 7” single project, by Alexander Bard, who was to later form post-camp project the Army of Lovers. A wonderful example of the quirkier side of minimal electro of the early 1980s.

Baby Boom

Obscure female-fronted art-punk band that had one release in 1984.

Baby Buddha

A great band that operated in the first couple of years of the 80s. Similar to the Native Hipsters or Algebra Suicide, they put together an abstract electro soundscape – with 70s cosmic hints – and strange poetic spoken word. They recorded a number of bizarre cover-versions.

Ballistic Kisses

A largely unknown art-synth-punk quartet from the New York underground. They released two LPs, both of which are adventurous and unpredictable yet massively catchy at the same time.

Bal Paré

German / French band Bal Pare produced an incredible mix of new wave theatricality and post-punk anxiety, all with a minimal-synthpop production. How they didn't manage to make it is beyond this writer.


Alain Bashung was a musician and actor from France, who in the beginning of the 80s created a few post-punk cabaret-esque records that became somewhat legendary in France but not that much known outside the country.

Basking Sharks

An all-synthesiser Peel-favourite band from the UK that had a few releases in the early/mid-80s and toured extensively using multiple media on stage, even synced to their performance.

Bay of Pigs

Very obscure post-punk outfit from the legendary punk cabaret "Club Foot" in SF. Bay of Pigs only had a small output of fine art-sax-punk / spoken word-style songs, but their members had also multiple aliases in Club Foot.


Only in the early 80s would an art-punk band dedicate a record to Igor Stravinski. Bazooka from the Netherlands did that, as well as covered some of his music.

The Beakers

Very obscure and strange band from 1980s Seattle. Their setup is reminiscent of James White’s Contortions stuff, but they are a little more angry than dancy. Expect a wonderful mix of punky aesthetics and sax-driven paranoia.

Bee Vamp

Funk-wave in the style of Glaxo Babies, 23 Skidoo etc, a group that was short-listed by John Peel, but only released a couple of EPs before disbanding.

The Beepers

Not really a band, as it is an alias under which a number of disco producers composed the music for an obscure film called “War Games”. The result sounds like italo-disco meeting sci-fi ghost story arcade music.


Excellent dadaistic industrial / minimal band that released very little but had a very interesting, distinct sound.

Bene Gesserit

A minimal art/electronic-music duet from Belgium. The minimal-electro scene was thriving in Belgium in the early 80s, but Bene Gesserit were more performance-art than dark and industrial.


A side project of two members of Palais Schaumburg, Bergtraum are both more disco and more strange than PS - in equal parts. Their work received little attention at the time, although they actually put together a strange mix of avant-garde non-structure aesthetics and disco-influenced beats in that NDW effortless fashion.

Bernard Szajner

One of the most interesting figures of the kraut-turn-into-avant-pop early 80s period, Bernard Szajner should have really received much more attention. His works mix abstract trippy electronics and ethereal vocals, although the overall sound was more Brian Eno-esque than Magma-type prog-leaning. He also invented the laser harp!

bert barten

Bert Barten who is both a musician and a film/theatre director is the closest 80s dutch pop comes to the weirdness of NDW synthpop: that odd construction of catchy/poppy tunes and weird quicky noisy synth sounds.

Better Beatles

As far as cover versions bands are concerned, you don’t get any weirder than Better Beatles, as here we have a simple and singular concept: that of replaying classic Beatles songs in a minimal-post-punk fashion.

Big Hair

This short-lived project only has put together a few songs, but they are included here as they have scored some very fine gems of theatrical punk-cabaret.


Sound that oscillates between a visceral rap and convulsive and hysterical and unconventional funk, with large concessions to jazzy solutions.

Bitch Band No I

All-girl punk band from Hamburg. Little information can be found about them, other than that they released one album in 1981 and they seemed to have some following in Switzerland, possibly cos they sound like a dirtier/rockier version of Kleenex/Liliput.

Biting Tongues

An incredibly edgy as much as virtuosic art punk funk meets spoken word band from Manchester, one of whose main members was Graham Massey of 808 State. They sound incredibly fresh still.

The Blackouts

Short lived prog-punk band from Seattle, formed on the ashes of other local punk bands. Some of their members later joined Ministry. For fans of Cardiacs cabaret-punkness, this is a very interesting predecessor.

Black Randy & The Metrosquad

One of the more avant-garde acts to emerge from the LA late-70s punk scene, this band fused punk and experimental music, delivered with cheekiness and humour by frontman Black Randy (who wasn’t black).

Blah Blah Blah

Surrealist DIY blues from 1981 UK, releasing under Absurd Records, one of the strangest labels of the time.


Sax-fronted post-punk band that mixed punk edginess and free jazz experimentation into a genre that some called paranoid-jazz or mutant-funk. Blurt were very influential amongst the post-punk circles, even if that didn’t last long.


Wonderfully quirky weird-punk quartet from San Francisco in the Suburban Lawns-style of paranoid punk.

Bocal 5

Another obscure, though legendary in the cassette underground music scene from the early 80s, Bocal 5 sound like a number of other quirky minimal wave bands, like Mathematiques Modernes or Hypothetical Prophets, but with a dancier edge.

Body Falling Downstairs

Body Falling Downstairs is a minimal/casio nervy act that only appears in the seminal compillation the Seattle Syndome that showcases strange art-punk from the city's DIY scene.

Bombay Ducks

Naming your album “dance music” and delivering the music the Bombay Ducks do, just goes to show how much notions of dancing, fun and entertainment were up for grabs in the first half of the 80s. If you like Japanese band the Plastics, but you’d prefer them 30 bpm faster, then try those guys!

Bona Dish

Extremely obscure post-pop rarity from the tape recording generation. The band seems to link to a number of less obscure acts, but little can actually be confirmed, other than that they come from the UK and were operating around 1982.

Bottroper Hammerchor

The lengths of weirdness that the NDW reached in the early 80s are endless. This seems to be some children's minimal synth pop project, about which very little is known.

Bound And Gagged

A female art-punk outfit from Boston in the screamy no-wave style of the period. Not much info can be found about them, they remained largely unknown, yet their sound is confident and assertive.


BPA or By-Products of America from Cincinatti had a few post-punk/no-wave releases in the early 80s.

Brian Brain

Taking its name from an English Cricketer, Brian Brain is a weird disco-punk project by later PIL-drummer Martin Atkins. Imagine something dancier and more open-form than PIL.

Bring Philip

This Sydney band combines post/anti-punk madness with a lot of found-sampling studio work. Although they had two LPs they are generally unknown and their releases are hard to find.