July 9, 2024

Cultivated Bimbo revisits the past in one MASSIVE album with 222 tracks: ‘Prequel Extended’

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Out right now is the massive collection “Prequel Extended” on which the Swedish cult act Cultivated Bimbo revisits its past. The compilation includes 222 tracks from before Cultivated Bimbo became Cultivated Bimbo, so we are speaking about the period between 1985-1990. It spans over 12 hours and includes 14 remixed, remastered and reconstructed tracks made during the last year as well.

Joacim Thenander: “This is a huge collection so allow some time and space for the download (8 GB Wav or 1 GB mp3).”

Included in the set are short song ideas, original versions of Cultivated Bimbo songs, complete demos from a time when cassette tapes were the only recording option. You will find versions that later became Cultivated Bimbo tracks, and notice samples you might have heard on Energy Rekords releases later on.

Also included as mentioned above are the 12 tracks that were released on CD (“Prequel”) earlier this year. They are now remastered and edited especially for this compilation. Two bonus tracks decorated 2020 are included as well. The quality of the recordings will vary wildly because of the recording equipment used, good or bad song ideas (the band’s words, not ours), instruments and so on.

But what was there before Cultivated Bimbo?

Early 1985, in a small village outside Uppsala, Sweden, two young boys (Joacim Thenander and Jonas Österdahl) start making music using an old Tandberg Reel-to-reel and a cheap keyboard. Their parents seems to like their new interest and start helping them financially with equipment for their “studio”.

Musically the band would switch from synth pop to EBM heavily influenced by bands such as Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and à;GRUMH… The demo ”Pest” for instance features quite a few EBM tracks and they continue this on the cassette ”Die Die Mauer Bau” which also became their new name at that moment. Notice that the track “Corruption” would later be featured Cultivated Bimbo’s debut. The track was recorded first in 1988, re-recorded in 1990, re-re-recorded in 1991 and eventually re-re-re-re-recorded in 1993 as ”The Final Attempt” on ”Blasting In Progress”.


But let’s go back to the 2 young boys. A few months after starting to make music the first tracks are made and recorded and the duo decides to record under the name Buddhas Besättning, suggested by a good friend of Jonas – Henrik Araviadis. Henrik will be very involved with the band later on, especially on Cultivated Bimbo’s last album “Album. 1995.” as the third member.

Joacim and Jonas would do a last live gig under the name Buddhas Besättning in early 1990. One of the new tracks were very well received: ”Body-Mechanic”. One of the members of Systema The Affliction – Wiktor Wong – suggested a change in the chorus after he heard it. Back in the studio they made the changes and wrote some real lyrics (instead of the fake ones they used on stage). They then included the track on the new cassette ”This side of the terror”. This time the name of the band was Herr Capitan. The cassette also included a new version of ”Erleben Nicht Aus”. All tracks on this cassette except for ”Impulzus” were later included on different Cultivated Bimbo releases. ”Henry Spencer and the garden of evil” was renamed to ”Qui est quoi?”, and one of the tracks – ”Brutalize” – was re-sculpted and renamed to ”In Brief” when released on ”Tunes from a high wire”.

As Herr Capitan they re-record some stuff for a demo cassette and give it to Krister Svensson (Electronic Beat Association) in May 1990. The demo led to the band being signed just a few weeks later.

In the meantime (1988-1989) Joacim had also been picked up by the industrial synthetic band Angsttraum and toured Sweden. The year after the band changed their name to Systema The Affliction and released an album on Strontium Records. Most of the tracks were written and co-written by Joacim.

Joacim and Jonas were never really satisfied with the Herr Capitan-name, so when it was time to release the debut single on Electronic Beat Association they took the name Cultivated Bimbo. The story about where the name come from varies, the band themselves for instance told several made-up stories, but the truth is this: In 1987 the label Front Music Production released a compilation cassette featuring a bunch of small Swedish industrial electronic bands. One of those were Sound Manufacturers. Joacim absolutely loved their songs – especially one called ”Cultivated beauty”. Joacim talked to a good friend of his – Michael Janvid – about taking the name for his band. Michael, who was studying philosophy, suggested that they should replace ”beauty” into ”bimbo”. That would be paradoxical and much more interesting.

Late in the autumn of 1990 Cultivated Bimbo released the ”Configuration 1″ EP on Electronic Beat Association. This would be their only release on that label. A few weeks later the label would be merged with two other labels – Energy and Front Music Production – and Energy Rekords was born.

Another EP “Configuration 2” followed in 1991 just like the band’s debut vinyl album “Tunes From A High Wire”, which later in 1992 was re-released on CD holding the Depeche Mode cover “Something To Do” and some other extra tracks. Also in 1992 the EP “Blasting In Progress” was released followed in 1993 by the full album “Your Useful Guide To Life” in 1993. In 1995 we got the “Album. 1995.”

Since then it became silent around the eccentric band, until 2020 when “Prequel” was released, a very small teaser for this mastodont of a back catalogue release which is out now.

Check out the 222 tracks below!

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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