Dee Madden | Nihilism Is Real

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Nihilism Is Real

by Dee Madden

A big slab of Synthpop / Synthwave / R&B / Krautrock / Darkwave electronic music from Dee Madden, formerly of Penal Colony and Ex-VoTo. Featuring longtime collaborator Jessica Abel.
Genre: Electronic: Synthpop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. De la Luz a un Laberinto (feat. Jess Abel)
4:17 $0.99
2. The Boar, the Leopard, and the Eagle (feat. Jess Abel)
4:12 $0.99
3. I Will Be Released, Pt. 1 (feat. Jess Abel)
6:21 $0.99
4. The Great Thaw (feat. Jess Abel)
4:28 $0.99
5. The Billy Club Puppets (feat. Jess Abel)
3:20 $0.99
6. Voyager One (feat. Jess Abel)
4:48 $0.99
7. En Recepción del Fantasma (feat. Jess Abel)
3:51 $0.99
8. Prana Ayama (feat. Jess Abel)
4:06 $0.99
9. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
4:00 $0.99
10. Recalled to Life (feat. Jess Abel)
5:54 $0.99
11. Do the Nihil (Todo Muerto) [feat. Jess Abel]
4:59 $0.99
12. Never Again (feat. Jess Abel)
4:16 $0.99
13. These Questionable Things
4:28 $0.99
14. I Will Be Released, Pt. 2 (feat. Jess Abel)
7:49 $0.99
15. No More Nihilism Because Nihilism Is Real (feat. Jess Abel)
11:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Dee was born and raised in Los Angeles, and began his musical life in the late 70’s as bass player of infamous early OC hardcore band The Uninvited. The Uninvited played shows with the likes of Social Distortion, Agent Orange, and played Bad Religion’s legendary first show at a warehouse party in Orange County. Shattered Faith even covered Uninvited anthem “Suburban Boredom”, which became a fixture in their set.

From there, Dee spent the next decade playing many different instruments in many different bands, including keyboards and later drums for post-punk/art-rock pioneers Primal Dream, drums for Huntington Beach, CA punkabilly combo The Sattelites, guitarist for legendary LA proto-goth troupe Kommunity FK for a time, and guitarist/vocalist for LA Death Rockers Ex-VoTo.

In the early 90’s, Dee joined forces with members of Inland Empire goth-glam punks The Texas Vamps to form Penal Colony. Penal Colony was quickly signed by Cleopatra Records, and released the seminal Post-Punk/Cold Wave LPs “Put Your Hands Down” and “5 Man Job”. Penal Colony also saw their recordings, remixes and remix work included on innumerable compilations and box sets, continuing through to present day. National tours followed the release of “5 Man Job”, with a touring lineup that included members of Skinny Puppy, Roz Williams’ Shadow Project and London After Midnight.

At the end of 1997, Dee began a new life in a new town, Portland, Oregon. He immediately got to work with childhood friend Brian Mars on “Jack In , Log On, Nod Out”, a collection of electronica jams under the moniker SimStim. SimStim performed live in support of the release, through a string of club dates, warehouse parties, outdoor raves, and college radio stations from Portland to Seattle.

2003 saw Dee’s return to Penal Colony, this time as an army of one. As Penal Colony, He released “Unfinished Business” on Albuquerque, New Mexico’s DSBP Records. With the help of his son and some friends, he also produced music videos for the album’s title track and the song “Hypothalamus Now!”

By 2007, screaming-electronic-noise-and-distorto-guitars burnout had set in. Looking for something new to try, Dee returned to his folk/old school country-western/hillbilly/rockabilly revival roots, and spent the next 9 years recording a series of 3 solo albums, all covers, recorded with little more than varying combinations of upright bass, a snare drum with brushes, a hollow body electric guitar. A smattering of other instruments - mandolin, lap steel, fiddle, accordion, and a washboard were employed for good measure. He dubbed it “The Mimeograph Series”. The first installment was even released with a companion chapbook that served as a guide through the track, through stories and anecdotes.

“Mimeograph.1: Songs I Sing To Myself When I Am Sad” was released through Toxic Shock Records, and Dee released the “Mimeograph.2: dm” and “Mimeograph.3: Red Devil Satellite” installments himself. A smattering of live appearances followed the 2nd installment, “Mimeograph.2: dm”.

At around the end of 2016, Dee began to slowly assemble a collection of classic-style analog synthesizers, analog drum machines, some boutique and semi-modular synth doo-dads, and a whole heap of guitar pedals. Thus began the return to another, farther-reaching era of Dee’s youth, the 80’s salad days of Primal Dream and Ex-VoTo, and all of the technology and production approaches that came with it. Software and emulating plugins were replaced with hardware, wires and Control Voltage. The laptop was no longer the instrument. It was relegated to little more than tape machine duty.

A whole pile of songs were written, and from that pile came Dee’s latest solo effort, “Nihilism Is Real”.

Three singles from “Nihilism Is Real” were released from Fall 2018 through March 2019 - “I Will Be Released”, “The Boar, The Leopard, And The Eagle”, and “The Great Thaw”. Former Water, Water bandmate Jess Abel helped out with vocals, and lifelong pal and early Penal Colony Engineer/Producer/Collaborator Michael Hateley mixed and mastered the entire collection.

These mark another foray into uncharted territory for the crusty, aging punk from Torrance, California. The singles, as well as the album, share the same DNA: The plastic soul of Roxy Music, mid-70’s Bowie, and early Prince. The early 80’s synthpop of YAZ, New Order and Joe Crow. The early 70’s electronic experimentation of Cluster, Brian Eno, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Kraftwerk. 1920’s Spanish Surrealism. The dark folk sensibilities of Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Polly Jean Harvey and Gillian Welch crept into melodies and arrangements.

Dee is very happy with how “Nihilism Is Real” is rounding out, and he’s very much looking forward to sharing it with the rest of the world.



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