Trek with Quintronic - Minimal Wave Revival Featuring Paul Wilcox and David Kane
Minimal Wave Revival into Pop Culture - Featuring Trek with Quintronic
It is almost difficult to believe that a new era of music from the late '70's and early '80's has experienced a revival period so many years later. For me, this is exciting, and I'm thrilled!
This genre of music began as new wave and has now been broken down into several categories that include minimal wave, synthpop, electropop, and others.
In this article I'd like to feature my favorite band and now, considered pop culture items, my set of vinyl LP records from minimalist duo Trek with Quintronic. Warning! I'm biased. :)
I'm particularly attached to this era of music, as I was raised in it. For me, this revival is no surprise, as I have always been a fan and appreciated the electronic synthetic sounds coming into the music world. My ears have always thanked those who were the first pioneers in creating this genre of music.
I've sat and observed band practices, recording sessions, and shows and concerts almost practically since my birth. Why? -because "Trek" of Trek with Quintronic is my father. I am extremely proud of my father's journey and accomplishments in music, and I happy to share the Trek with Quintronic story with you here. See, I told you I was biased. :)
Landing and the Black Album
Here's my personal set of the original albums.
These two albums are on their way to surviving three decades, and they are considered rare collector items. Therefore, I'm not about to completely tear away the protective film.
The guy peaking out with his hand on his hip is daddio. That's my dad, Paul Wilcox, a.k.a. Trek.
Introducing Trek with Quintronic
...if you don't know this pioneering duo
Trek with Quintronic was one of the first pioneers of new wave and electronic music in the world, and they were almost the very first within the United States. They have been labeled as "the grandfathers of their music genre."
The genre would later be further defined or labeled as minimal wave, synthpop, electropop, among others. (There are so many drilled-down genre labels for music these days. I can't keep them all straight, and there is much overlap!) This highly talented duo would help pave the way with other notable pioneers for all electronic music you hear today revolving around new wave, darkwave, post-punk, gothic, and other similar genres that have an electronic feel.
Trek with Quintronic is Paul Wilcox and Dave Kane. They are both from Buffalo, New York. My dad, Paul is "Trek," and Dave is "Quintronic." The name came about when my dad decided to "trek" along with "Quintronic." Dave had started a musical personal project. He gave himself the name Quintronic. Dave and my dad decided to pair up. Hence, Trek with Quintronic. Paul walked along with Dave in music. See. Pretty Clever.
On both albums my dad played the guitars, synth-guitars, pedals, wrote the lyrics, and sung the vocals. Dave plays all keyboards. Dave is an awesome synthesizer, keyboard, and piano player. He was back then, and he is to this day!
image credit - A few years ago, I was given a xerox photo of Dave playing keyboards live during a Trek w/ Quintronic show. I was given a lot of these photos to try to salvage and clean up. We needed any old memorabilia we could find for an upcoming re-release collector's edition CD. Old yellowing paper with poor quality xeroxed photos and coffee stains was nearly impossible to clean up. Here is one of the end results. At least, it looks "minimal." :)
I Can Usually Find Trek w/ Quintronic on Amazon
-which still blows my mind to this day
I have to say that it's pretty wild to see your own Dad's stuff on large sites such as Amazon or eBay. Trust me, it's weird for my dad too. We've talked about it many times. It's weird.............. but great! :)
My dad explains today that he had no idea this style of music would be recognized at all let alone have a revival period. He was only ever happy and grateful for being part of something where creativity and imagination were involved.
Currently, one can find the original vinyl records from '80 and '81, the re-released CD for Anna Logue Records as well as the new released vinyl of this year from Dark Entries. :) Pictured here is the Vinyl from Dark Entries Records out of California.
"Landing" and "The Black Album"
Two Albums Released, One in 1980 and the Other in 1981
Trek with Quintronic released two LPs. The first was "Landing," released in 1980, and the second was "the black album," released in 1981. The black album has no title and simply reads "Trek w/ Quintronic." Therefore, it's simply referred to as "the black album", and "Landing" is usually referred to as "the white album."
I remember my dad handing me my copy of "Landing." I was in 4th grade, and was I ever so very completely happy and proud. I was only 10 years old. I took it to school straight away and showed my teacher, Mr. Parker.
Mr. Parker asked if he could borrow it. To my amazement, Mr. Parker loved it. Looking back I would have surely pegged him for an upcoming new-waver easily. However then, he was just my teacher ( eheh sorry, Mr. Parker), and I was a bit shocked. After all, it was a completely new style and genre of music. I remember being very happy and excited that he liked it.
Mr. Parker ended up borrowing my album and recording the songs for himself. Later, when I told my Dad, he was laughing and shaking his head at the same time. "Perhaps, your teacher could have bought one?," was my Dad's comment.
I remember watching my dad and Dave write and play the songs that would be on the next album the best. I was a little older when these songs were written, a time when we can remember most childhood memories.
Two songs I particularly remember liking the best were "Wally and the Rich Kid" and "Zolian Space." I loved these songs (still do). The story behind "Zolian Space" is quite comical. Perhaps I'll share it here within this article at some point. It's just one of those things that you're not sure if "you had to be there." :)
I've included "Wally and the Rich Kid" and "Zolian Space" below for you to give a listen to. (Thank you to the fans who uploaded these songs on YouTube.)
"Wally and the Rich Kid"
A favorite song from the black album
Once I discovered that Trek w/ Quintronic was getting recognition and that there was a whole movement with reviving this type of music, I started to wonder if I could find my Dad and Dave on YouTube. Guess what? I did!
I check about a couple of times a year, and sure enough, more and more fans are uploading their favorite Trek w/ Quintronic songs. We have no idea who these people are. So, a big heart felt thank you!!
Another song from the black album
-"...they've got a little white pill so you won't get old ...." could have been titled "Zoli in Space," as the song was inspired by all the times of hanging out with Richard Zoli and listening to his crazy theories. ehehe (Hi Richard!)
I've determined that this is probably the most loved song by fans.
Friendly Fan Quote:
"AMAZING SYNTH POP ........... 1981 gems that are as timeless now as then!!! Paul Wilcox & David Kane actually played all the instruments, no pods back then!
These guys have been called the "'Grandfathers of synth-pop'"
The Story of Discovering the Revival of Minalmal Wave and the Respect and Credit Given to Trek with Quintronic
26 years later I discover world-wide fans
Twenty-six years later after the first album was released in 1980, I discover there are fans all of Europe, Canada, The United States, and South America.
Sometime in 2006, I did a random search online to see if Trek with Quintronic was getting any attention. I'm not sure what inspired me to do this. It was impulsive, and I realized I had never done it before. After 2 seconds of searching, I almost fell off my chair!
There were links leading to comments by people who were trying to collect the original albums. There were reviews and several people wanted to know what the heck happened to these two guys who were, "the grandfathers of electronic music" and who were "way ahead of their time." I was shocked. (If you ask me, they are still way ahead of their time in 2013. If you give the music a listen, you'll understand why.)
I wanted to shout to everyone, He's right here! I know where there are two unopened boxes of records - one for each album, 25 per box!, and Oh My Goodness, thank you all!" ehehe :)
I think I was most amazed by the number of different countries that were home to Trek w/ Quintronic fans. People from Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Israel, Russia, Canada, Brazil, the United States were talking about Trek w/ Quintronic. It's now 7 years later from my initial search, and the list has grown.
Trek with Quintronic on eBay
January 9, 2014 update - Ever since the new re-release of Trek w/ Quintronic through Anna Logue Records, Trek with Quintronic items on eBay have been selling quickly. Continue to check though, as I've already discovered sellers posting the new cd re-release. The original albums in vinyl will become harder to come by. They are both now considered "collectibles." Because of this, I've decided to keep this part of the article live.
One of the Funniest Things I've Found to Date - eBay Sale - "condition, never been played"
I found this video earlier on. I had completely forgotten about this 45. It predated both LPs. My dad had almost forgotten about it too! I can't even imagine who this person is let alone how he ended up with a copy. There were hardly any made at all.
The part that makes my dad and I laugh really hard, especially when I was showing him this video, is the part when the guy says "never been played." ehehehe We were both like, "Hey! What do you mean it's never been played!" >.< (Yes, I do realize that having never been played adds to the collector value. -wonder how much it went for?)
It's the one thing I'd really like to get my hands on!
By the way, the person the man is referring to in the video is my uncle.
Old Photos and MemorabiliaClick thumbnail to view full-size
26 years later and I'm all grown up - how cute is this:
".... when I watched you write it. Love, Melanie"
".... when I watched you watch me write it. Love, Dad"
Here is a discography of the newly released "Landing Plus" CD collector's package by Marc Shaffer of Anna Logue Records, Germany.
Links to More Information
Here are a couple of handy links for you if you'd like to learn more about and listen to Trek with Quintronic.
update - April 5th - Dark Entries Records link coming soon - Trek with Quintronic will be re-issued on vinyl through Dark Entries Records. *stay tuned* -expected launch date is April 15th!
update - January 25th, 2014 - All of the MySpace pages for Trek w/ Quintronic have been taken down. MySpace has just reached new depth levels of awful. So, unfortunately, they are gone now.