Up next on Dark Entries is a 2LP box-set of archived material from Patrick Cowley, released in tandem with Cowley’s homoerotic journal of the same title.

All 13 songs on Mechanical Fantasy Box are previously unreleased, and were recorded between 1973-80. These are tracks that preceded his meteoric rise as a pioneer of Hi-NRG dance music—a time before drum machines and programmable, polyphonic digital synthesis. Sounds flows from funk to kraut to psychedelic ambient electronics inspired by Tomita and Kraftwerk.

The journal of the same name begins in 1974 and ends in 1980 on Cowley’s 30th birthday. It chronicles his slow rise to fame from lighting technician at The City Disco to crafting a ground-breaking 16-minute remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” to performing with Sylvester at the SF Opera House. Vivid descriptions are told of cruising in ‘70s SoMA sex venues to primal highs in Buena Vista Park and composing pornophonics in his Castro apartment. The entries are introspective and show a very out-front, alive person going through the throes of gay liberation.

Cowley was one of the most revolutionary and influential figures in the canon of electronic dance music. Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, he moved to San Francisco in 1971 to study electronic music at the City College of San Francisco. By the late ‘70s, Cowley’s synthesizer techniques had landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco diva Sylvester, including hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” Cowley created his own brand of peak-time party music known as Hi-NRG, also dubbed “The San Francisco Sound.” His life was cut short on November 12, 1982, when he passed away two weeks after his 32nd birthday from an AIDS-related illness.

Some songs on Mechanical Fantasy Box were mixed from 4-track stems by Joe Tarantino, and all songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studio in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl comes housed in a black and white gatefold jacket designed by Gwenaël Rattke featuring a photograph by Susan Middleton, liner notes by bandmate Maurice Tani, and an 8.5×11 insert with notes.

Proceeds from the album will be donated to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, who have been committed to ending the pandemic and human suffering caused by HIV since 1982.


01. Out of Body (Intro)
02. Right Here, Right Now
03. Broken Dishes
04. Breakdown
05. Moving Bodies I
06. Grisha’s Tune
07. Sensitivity
08. Shrouds
09. Lumberjacks in Heat
10. Mechanical Fantasy Box
11. Thrill of the Hunt
12. Before Original Sin
13. Sea of China

Mechanical Fantasy Box lands October 19 on Dark Entries. You can stream clips below.