big thanks to R
Archive for February, 2008
i will not post for a couple of days – a good occasion for you dear reader, to take deep breath – and maybe get back to some older posts, read my avalanches of words, might even comment on something and discover the many pearls hidden in some older posts.
i take this post as an occasion to throw up some stuff i somehow wanted to post in the et hop! series, but did in effect not post. until now. so you first might want to take a look back. so i have a free mind to write the final et hop!-posts that are still to come…
so what do we still have?
first let’s get to some oldschool hip hop / electro, new york vs. l.a. beats – a mix of some of the most important tracks (some i mentioned in earlier posts) at the time that came out on vinyl on the streetsound label. for the tracklist you can go here. and for the music go here. since i did not digitize it: thanks to the original uploader!
so we are in l.a. – so i can post now dr. dre‘s compton swap meet tape no.1 – yeah, he did mix tapes back in the days. they started to pop up on the net lately, called either compton swap meet tapes or roadium (swap meet) tapes – i got number one and loaded it up here. there are a couple more floating around the www… but you’ll have to source them yourself, i’m afraid. well – one of them from 1986 is up on mic check – i did not listen to it, yet – but the blog is in any case worth a visit!
let’s stay in the 80′s but change the coast again: i found in my boxes an early example of miami bass from the then quite known gucci crew II, truz ‘n’ vogues. maybe not the best miami bass record – but it certainly gives you a good idea. to get the four mixes (if you don’t like the lyrics, there is an instrumental version), go here. and if somebody could finally tell me what truz ‘n’ vogues means…?
something newer? then i have something very fresh: the actual mix from rob hall (yes, the one from skam records), called chillin’ with the wrong b boy. not your usual hip hop mix – well, get it at his website and have a listen. definitly recommended.
and so we are already in the u.k.. since i just brushed over “real” hip hop in the u.k. (well, my point was something else), i thought it might be nice to give you an example of early english hip hop: hijack. quite known at the time, i remember they had some problems with their record company not wanting them to publish them in the u.s. – their accents were too british…whatever. if you want to have a listen how they sounded, here a short concert of theirs from the jazzfestival montreux in 1990.
as a supplement to my post about hip hop in england i can point you in the direction of some more…eeer…japanese hip hop (yeah, it is puzzling, i know). more precise: dj krush. here you’ll find a nice site with some sets of his and even some videos to have a look at his stunning technique.
relating to that same post i decided to also rip for your pleasure something from the label ninja tune. something very good, indeed. as with many ninja tunes releases, also this ones lets you think of movies: of not really scary scary movies, on one track you have some spaghetti western and then you have a lot of blaxploitation – aaah, this gnarling bass! it is a very pleasant, very musical, very wicked aural journey. so let me recommend something wicked this way comes by the herbaliser. ripped from vinyl@224 in 4 mp3-files: for each side one file… and don’t worry: the tracklist is included. get it here.
then i would like to point you in the direction of the france & hip hop post. more precise: to the comments section. besides bragging on that lethal skillz left a comment on my blog you will also find some links he gave for everybody that is interested in some more lebanese hip hop. und @9 is calling out to everybody knowing more about arab hip hop to share her / his knowledge.
so – to conclude this mixed bag of stuff i propose you now something different and rather unrelated to my previous posts. but then it is a record i quite enjoy and that @9 has not yet posted (yep, i checked this time), but something he most probably knows. so how about some swiss hip hop? lpr (that stands for les poétes rapides) hail from berne and made an entertaining record with a charming touch of silliness. not much i know about them (but then i do not follow the swiss hip hop scene closely) – it seems they are at the moment rather inactive. at least their website hasn’t been updated for quite a while. definitly fun, you can get their record bäredräck here.
to give you an idea of their sound, here the rather cool video to their single extro:
pfuuuh – so that’s all for now, folks. enjoy – and see you around…
and suddenly we have a trilogy of french underground sounds from the 80′s… well – i am sure i will in the future come back to the topic – some great music still waits to be unearthed.
for today i propose to – groove and smile with les satellites. also coming out of the french underground of the 1980′s, they actually enjoyed quite some success. to describe them is rather easy: they sound like the hysterical french version of the b52‘s with the added bonus of having a horn section. funky, danceable music with that kinky 60′s cocktail party-touch. i see the girls dancing in tight cocktail dresses shaking their bob and boys in black, tight suits shimiing along in pointy shoes… and appropriatly enough they finish their record with a surf instrumental. so i hope this record might give an idea of the rather big musical scope of the french (punk)undergound at the time. after all, their first records came out on the label bondage (“play me sexy”), which also published bands like washington dead cats (psychobilly à la king kurt), ludwig von 88, and most famously: bérurier noir. with some of these bands les satellites not only shared the label, but also went on tour.
lyrically les satellites drew from a big range of inspirations: annoying neighbours, strange families, invasions of crawfish, tv-series (steed wanting to retire), and of course: parties! be it the dancing to devilish rhythms, be it showbizz-parties, where: “…on se prend par derrière on se prend par devant…la la la, tu le sais que j’aime ça…”. aaah – i just love these lines…
so if you are in the mood to slurp some cocktails and shake your body, get their first record les satellites – du grouve et des souris, here (ripped from vinyl@224). and although they do not exist anymore, they do have their own website – for some more information you might want to go there. if you want some more information on the artist who did this very nice cover, jean-christophe menu, go here. and now
“what dou you mean? i rhythm mean blues!
what do you shake? i shake my hands!
what do you move? i move my body!
what are you dancing with? i’m dancing with my feet!
ah! ah! ah! shiliba, shiliba, shiliba”
after the intro of the last post i do have to post at least one french rock band actually singing in french, right? and then there are more parallels: it’s the same period, i’m posting, well not their first LP, but their first EP and as an additional treasure a live tape. and i’ve seen them live, too – and it was a great evening, too. so let me introduce you to les rats. and in case you wonder: “rat” means the same in french as in english.
so what are the differences to les thugs? les rats are more punk rock. or rather rock punk – even quite a dose of rock ‘n’ roll you’ll hear. all delivered with punkish stamina, though. i would like to point out that the french underground scene was in the eighties, early nineties very open minded: musically people had hardly any reservations, it seemed. it could be punk, it could be psychobilly, it could be ska, it could be rock ‘n’ roll – all in one evening or on the same label. i do have the theory that french rockmusic in the eighties was more innocent – and in all its forms more rebellious since they did not really have a rock tradition like especially the u.k. and the u.s. (yes, there was téléphone and there is johnny halliday – but seriously…). so strange enough i always had the feeling that the french first did new wave (ha! l’age d’or – does anybody have some recordings to share?) and then punk rock and hardcore… and well, the whole (punk-) underground scene just seemed to have more humour then the english and germans and did not take themselves that seriously all the time (and they also avoided this division into “political punks” and “fun punks”). and the had much nicer record covers. loads of great comix artists.
but back to les rats now. don’t be fooled by their rock ‘n roll rhythms and their tight play – the lyrics are actually rather gritty, describing sometimes even cynically the situation of the satellite towns of paris (where they came from). yeah, gangsta rap before its time – just without the bling bling…
so if you like your rock tight, rolling, and with a lot of pressure do have a listen!
first their first EP (not their first record, though) c’est bien parti pour ne pas s’arranger!!! the first song, paris s’éveille, is actually a jaques dutronc cover. ripped from vinyl@224, you can get it here.
and now the little gem – not that i remember where i have it from (hey, i can not remember everything that happened back in the days…) – but it is a lot of fun: les rats en concert. obviously it came only out as a tape and has been recorded in 1989 in lyon. ripped@224, including not only a scan of the nice inlay, but also of the little booklet that came with it, you can get it here.
so not much more information i can give you about this band – obviously they do not think (yet) about re-uniting (what i did find out while researching was that parabellum still exist, though!). what i can give you is this link to a very nice fansite with biographical information about the band, videos (some of theme unreleased), mp3′s (to lure our american friends there: you’ll also find a pixies cover), a full discography (have a look at the covers!) and some more stuff. very nicely done indeed.
yeah – c’est bien parti! enjoy!
it really is overdue: time to post some dirty guitars!
the singer of french pop band les rita mitsouko had back in the days this theory that the french can not play rock – the language supposedly does not fit harder music and therefore it would always sound ridicioulus. yeah, quelle conne. especially since in the eighties there was a huge number of really great harder bands coming out of france: from more ska influenced to their unique brand of actually funny punk to hardcore to dirty rock. ironically today i would like to present you one of the few french bands that mainly sung in english: les thugs.
first: the name refers to the followers of a cult of indien goddess kali and has been inspired by…errr…a micky mouse story.
second: their music is way too often called hardcore, psychedelic hardcore, or that really ugly name “melodic hardcore” – well, i think it is just really good, dirty garage rock that learned how to be fast and short from hardcore. but they are just not trashy enough. i mean, they have melodies and actually sing, you know, with harmonies. but that maybe just shows that i did not listen to that much hardcore or only to the really sick “someone screaming out her / his lungs over totally crass noise” kind of stuff…
i guess les thugs are the internationally best known french underground rock band of the eighties / nineties. this is certainly partly due to the fact of singing english and certainly also because their records not only have been published in the united states, but published by the label sub pop (except for one record that has been published by jello biafra‘s alternative tentacles, i believe). additionally they have also worked together with a certain mister albini, which brought them even wider attention.
i exactly liked them for their hardcore and punk energy mixed with a more, hm, musical approach. and i think their records are still really good. what i always found interesting is that they mixed the voices quite in the back, giving the music in my opinion a slightly darker touch. and well, they were always proving to have a good eye for a cool visual represantion (i.e. they have great covers). something they shared with the french band dazibao (where some members played before being with les thugs). and yes, i’ve seen them live – and oh yeah, that was a good evening.
which brings us to the here and now: les thugs will play a couple of concerts again after years of absence. they have been asked to participate in the 20 years of sub pop festivities and will therefore play in seattle in july. so would somebody please tape that for me? or even better: send her / his jet over to pick me up, huh? and for everybody being in france this summer: they will also play a couple of gigs there – more infos should be soon on their website.
time for the music: how about some radical hystery? if you would like to listen to their first lp of that title, you can get it here. ripped from vinyl@224 with a lot of scans (cover and inside cover) included.
“How could we ignore
The world we’re livin’ in
When we feel the hate
And danger round the corner
And to survive
here is what we need:
and here the video to the opener of that record, never get older:
hey, where are you going? we’re not finished yet!
i do have a little surprise still waiting. to give you a better idea of how they sounded live i propose you some…les thugs live!
this comes off a tape that has been distributed together with a special edition of the french fanzine le légume du jour (the vegetable of the day) dedicated to les thugs. it is three parts: part one from a concert in may 1988 in clermond fd, part two a couple of songs from capsul rock in june 1988 and part three is an interview with the band (in french, though). ripped at the ridiculous bitrate of 224, the file includes also the inlay of the tape and the certificate that this has been a limited edition of 200 copies (they did later reprint another 300, though). get it here.
not enough? well, les thugs were on a couple of samplers, too. most famously on the tribute to dead kennedies – sampler. but i would like you to propose a sampler of the french label closer, which also published les thugs – and a wide range of other interesting french rock bands. so go and have a look over at eternally yours.
and if you still have not enough, and if you are closer to garage rock then hardcore and appreciate also the stranger stuff, then it is finally time that i direct you to the twilightzone! an excellent blog for all things garage, beat, surf and so on and the generally obscure in these and affiliated genres. highly recommended! and you just have to love a blog that uses “rideyourpony” as a password…
so – that should be now really enough for the moment. and don’t forget: what you need is RADICAL HYSTERY!
ehi ragazzi! ho ancora trovato delle vecchie k7 – e sorpresa! una k7 col concerto di gianna nannini al jazzfestival montreux in 1984…aaah!
yep – coming out of a box with really old tapes is a concert of gianna nannini, which i would like to share with you. live from the jazzfestival montreux in 1984 (the tape is more the 20 years old…). a tight performance with a lot of pressure, gianna in great form and the public loving it…yeah!
the quality is good – it’s taped from the radio, unfortunately in mono – and well, you do hear that the tape has a certain age. it’s ripped in three parts – and part of ragazzo dell’ europa/california is missing. in any case well worth a listen (or two, or three, or…). gianna nannini at the jazzfestival montreux in 1984: get it here. enjoy!
so i presented you in the little et hop!-series a trip through hip hop – very subjective and partly in a very short fashion. but more or less it follows my experiences with hip hop and its many different formulations. but i left out two topics that i will explore in this and the next post. in this post i would like to present a somewhat different story of hip hop, to a degree even leaving the genre of hip hop.
so let’s go back to the beginning, again. this time i would like to explore a different kind of hip hop – a substyle that then partly left the home of hip hop and wandered the world finding another home – techno. this time i would like to present you the difficult child of hip hop: electro.
i would like to start with planet rock by africa bambaataa – if you would like to have a look and a listen again, i posted the video in my first et hop!-post here. it is a good starting point, because i will now (somewhat artificially) try to pitch three strains of hip hop against each other. first we have something i would like to call “party-hip hop”. maybe the original version of hip hop – after all hip hop was first party music, developed end of the 1970′s at block parties. using a wide range of influences, i would like to point out especially one influence: james brown. the godfather of funk and soul. i guess james brown must be the most sampled musician in hip hop, he was and still is highly influental – well, he was just a great artist. lyrically “party hip hop” is about, well, parties, girls, and bragging, and more parties…
a second strain i would like to call “cnn-hip hop”, this going back to the saying of public enemy (if i remember that correctly) that hip hop is the cnn of the black people of america. the iconic track here is certainly grandmaster flash‘s the message. and of course everything by public enemy. musically pretty close to “party hip hop” (although over time getting harder) i would like to put it also in the tradition of the funk of james brown. lyrically it is political, be it already through the description of daily life, be it by directly teaching history and politics (yep, that’s where “infotainment” comes from).
and the third early strain i would like to call: electro. and africa bambaataas is the prime example for it. musically it is for me less in the tradition of james brown, but in the tradition of sly stone and especially parliament and funkadelic. what’s the difference to james brown? i do not want to go into the musical differences but point out to other differences. first is the presentation. while james brown was certainly a master of ceremony with a fantastically tight backing band, parliament / funkadelic were more something of a collective. in the person of george clinton they also had their bandleader, but in concerts it looked certainly less focused on one person. the second difference is the inventing of stories. while james brown was singing about life “as we know it” and presented himself as james brown, especially funkadelic invented characters and also a whole universe of spaceships and aliens and so on. to my observation africa bambaataa is the first to take this up in the early hip hop days. the idea of a collective, of a special social group that comes together thanks to the music (one nation under a groove), a group that shares beyond the same music ideals of how to live (together). and africa bambaataa also took up the rather, hm, eccentric way to present his music. we will see later on that these elements surface again in some other place.
so where “party hip hop” and “cnn hip hop” are rather in a tradition of james brown and then also of other soul and funk acts as well as disco and reggae, the electro tradition seems closer to the funk of parliament / funkadelic (and in case you wonder: i would put most gangsta hip hop in the category of “party hip hop”, even if it tries hard to mask as “cnn hip hop”).
but then to electro there has been another source of inspiration: kraftwerk. the german band that made already in the mid-seventies electronic music. their musical aesthetic has obviously been a huge influence – and on africa bambaataa’s planet rock you hear bits of two tracks of them. let me say a couple of words on kraftwerk, then. often referenced as pioneers of electronic music and even idealized i do have some problems with descriptions of kraftwerk as the inventors of electronic music and or a revolutionary band as well as with the band and their music. obviously hearing their early work has been something of a shock to a whole generation of artists in america. kraftwek always pops up in quite some interviews especially with pioneers of american electronic music as a major influence. fair enough. it is interesting to note, though, that this is far less the case in interviews with european artists. this might be due to the fact that kraftwerk were not the only ones doing electronic music at the time. electronic music actually has been made as early as in the fifties (if you take the theremin, a strange instrument as the the beginning of electronic music it is actually early 20th century – but i’m being a smartass). but there was a problem with using electronics: it was expensive and therefore usually only available to repectable avantgarde composers/musicians being allowed to use the infrastructure of “labs” at radio-studios or universities. of course that music did not have a big audience and i guess it was not easy to get to hear it. but starting in the seventies, quite some european bands out of a more “popular” context, and especially german bands, started to experiment with electronica. here we should not forget pink floyd, and certainly mention tangerine dream and (connected to them) klaus schulze as well as some recordings of can. and in france a certain jean michel jarre started to make rather strange records for his time, too. so kraftwerk were certainly one of the early ones – but not the only ones. but they actually did something quite unique: first they insisted on “the machine”. the idea is that man is actually an extension of the machine. this was certainly quite a provocation to the psychedelic groove of the seventies – imagewise it meant that they cut their hair and dressed in suits when everybody else was still doing the the hippielook. together with that they established and perfected their sound aesthetic which they are famous for: the cold, machinistic sounding music. in a way they sounded digital before digital music existed. but then also the monotone aspects and the topic of the machine in music were not really new: the monotone and repetitive had been explored by comosers already (minimalism and “serielle komposition”), and the topic of machines, the humans, modern society has been an important topic already for the futurists in the early 20th century. so for me the new thing that kraftwerk brought to music is their aesthetic, their sound-design – and then they made something possible: the crossover of all the above mentioned ideas and influences, which are primarly high-brow art into popmusic. certainly the adding of a harder beat then let’s say tangerine dream as well as their talent for catchy little melodies was doing the trick. so i do appreciate and respect them for that. and only for that. because then my problem with kraftwerk starts: relistening to their records, i find them again not that stunning. i do find it partly silly (radioactivity) and the good parts are actually pop with little and usually quite simple melodies and some rather, well, simple lyrics, too (the model). but then kraftwerk always cultivated their image as making something like high art. and that’s where for me it gets just plain boring: they are not. for me they are much closer to depeche mode then to stockhausen (although they do share with stockhausen the strong tendency to be delusional). the comparison to depeche mode is for me a good one: both bands manged to survive with an actually slightly outdated electronic sound – avoiding the sad fate of bands like front 242 or d.a.f. that made some fantastic records, but seem to have been eaten up by the fast evolution of music-making technology. so while depeche mode seem to very conscious of what they are, what they do and where they stand and keep on being creative and writing catchy popsongs, kraftwerk just put on that big air of the mysterious artist that came out of nowhere, is a genius and creates ART. well, the only fun record they made since the early 1980′s was tour de france – and this because it amused me how extremly homoerotic this track and how nobody seemed to want to notice. to make it even uglier, kraftwerk seem to be more busy suing the illegitime use of “their work” then with anything else – in germany they even threaten to sue you if you sell your old kraftwerk records on ebay. so to stop me now ranting on and on: kraftwerk should be appreciated for popularizing certain aesthetics and topics and for influencing some truly great artists – but in 2008, they make it very hard for me to still respect them.
so – let’s get back to the original topic of this post. how about some music? africa bambaataa was not the only one: interesting enoughsome great electro records came out all around the same time. the ones i would like to mention is hashim‘s al nayifish – a classic from the early eighties. and i found on youtube a nice little snippet of the song with some early breakbeating to it. enjoy:
then there is this other track from around the same time – a great rack, a track that still excites me. unfortunately there is no video to it, so you get the next best thing: it’s use as a sample in a much newer track. i am talking about cybotron‘s clear. great stuff. and please note that one member of cybotron was juan atkins, who later rase to fame as one of detroits finest artists. as a reminder here missy elliott’s loose control, that is based on a sample of clear. it is interesting that this is one of the few re-entries of electro into hip hop:
and if you want to hear the original, you can get the whole record of cybotron, also called clear, over here.
juan atkins quite early left the group again, but not only raised to fame as a techno producer, he also continued and continues to make electro, very classic electro under one of his aliases: model 500. here the track night drive, taped live last year in japan:
and if you would like some more model 500, here a short live recording from 1998.
in general electro was only successful underground – somehow the vocoder-voices and the topics of robots and aliens and abandoned cities at night, as well as the cold aesthetic of the music never reached mass-appeal. and even as dance-music it is difficult. i guess it is also due to the factthat an electro evening will usually not generate the same euphoria and extasy as other styles of dance music. but the influence has been there and is still there: in hip hop, there is miami bass taking up some of the aesthetic of electro. and in the u.k. its aesthetic (like other hip hop) influenced various artists. as a kind of pop-hybrid electro even saw a chart success: remember paul hardcastle‘s 19?
and yes, the man is still active – you can visit his website here.
you can follow the influence of electro in the electronic music especially in the u.k. through many styles: be it breakbeat and then in the darker side of drum ‘n’ bass (that at times shared also the thematic obsession of the extraterrestrial and technology) to techno, of course (the highly respected artist dave clarke, better known for his hard techno tracks, published quite early on an electro mix called electro boogie in the then famous x-mix series) to the beat experimentation of some of aphex twin and squarepusher’s work.
but electro found his home back in america, in detroit. not only have quite a lot of artists especially in detroit stayed true to the original aesthetic of electro, but also took up the ideas of community and of inventing their own world / narratives in the tradition of kraftwerk / funkadelic / afrika bambaataa. a first mention should go out to tommy hamilton and keith tucker, better known as aux 88. as their website states: detroit electro elite. not much i can add to that. maybe just one thing: they are for me exceptional because they really stayed “with electro”. most artists produce not only electro, but also detroit techno or more general electronic music. but aux 88 are really disciples of electro… so i propose you a recording from their live performance at the detroit electronic music festival from last year. here you get aux 88 live at the demf 2007.
then i had the chance once to meet keith tucker (one half of aux 88) in person. a very nice man. he also records as a solo artist under the names of keith tucker, dj k1, kt19941, and optic nerve. yeah, he is quite a bunch – but he always stays true to electro. his brand of electro although seems to me more naked, more dry – while the electro of let’s say model 500 evokes for me drives through empty industrial areas, keith tucker’s music would for me also fit for a drive through the desert of nevada at night. to illustrate that i loaded up his lifeform ep that also includes a track called area 51. so here you get the lifeform ep by kt-19941, ripped from vinyl@224. enjoy! and please do visit his website.
and now i would like to present the ideological succesors to what i called the third line of hip hop. they invented a whole mythology of being from outer space. that might seem some kind of silly retro science fiction fantasy: but it is not. it is rather an alternative political narrative. inventing another history for its own minority, escaping. it is not exactly escaping history – these artists are very history-conscious and do know their history. it is therefore more precisely escaping the dominant narratives, these narratives that put members of a minority (here black americans) in a certain context and assign specific identities and roles. and to create a new context, one has to invent a new narrative, a new history. this history allows therefore for a freer play with identity and roles. and it additionally does not only reframe the history of a minority, it also puts through the theme of aliens and space the emphasis on the future then rather on the past. there we see even a connection to the beat generation, which also saw going into space (also quite literally) as the possibility for human kind to raise to a new level. connected to that is the positive attitude to technology – as long as it is used by the people to advance human kind. while kraftwerk had the attitude that humans are just the extension of the machine (which then became more elaborated in the idea of the cyborg), technology and music-machines are now seen as weapons, too. weapons for social change. embodied is this ideology in one of the most mythical collectives of detroit techno, underground resistance. musically definitly techno they also recorded quite a bit of electro tracks. founded originally by jeff mills, robert hood and mike banks, it became after a couple of years the project of mike banks and a lot of associated artists. besides inventing their own universe and their own identities, undergound resistance has always been outspoken on political issues – and put their ideology also into action. besides participating in projects for their local community, they also showed it through their dealing with was is called the music industry and media: radically independent in production and distribution, also interviews have been rare and identities are often hidden: the focus should be on the music and on the context that is usually provided on the sleeves of the records, the tracktitles and in the music itself. yes, demanding music. but worth getting into it: showing a rather unique way to connect music, the social, and the political. and on top of it the music is very good. for both (music and their specific context / ideology) underground resistance are highly respected and continue to be very influental – and are ironically something like stars of electronic music . to give you a better idea, i would like you to listen now to their great release interstellar fugitives. tracks of different artists under different disguises are collected on that record. musically there is quite a lot of electro: but a lot harsher and harder version then from the artists presented above. also it is interesting that this record provides a wider musical context, too: there are some techno tracks, something you could file under “experimental electronica” and also one house track, building a bridge to the history of black music. another obvious reference is again to kraftwerk: one track is called afrogermanic. i highly recommend you have a listen – for me this record is definitly a classic. so get underground resistance, interstellar fugitives (ripped from vinyl@224) here. and please visit their website.
more? more underground resistance? for an early live recording you can go here. if you would like to have a listen to a newer liveset i recommend you visit this excellent website. and if you scroll down on this great site you will also find a set by optic nerve (keith tucker). and there are a lot more reasons to visit this site…
and electro might not be the most popular of musical genres, but it continues to be made: for some newer and lesser known artists i recommend the website of the label transient force, where you can also get an earfull – i.e. get some mixes and live pa’s.
A SUDDEN PULSE OF VOLTAGE OR CURRENT
PHYSICAL POWER OR STRENGTH POSSESSED BY A LIVING BEING
ENERGY THROUGH MECHANICS THAT PASSES THROUGH ALL LIVING MATTER.
THIS ENERGY IS NEITHER CONTROLLABLE NOR PREDICTABLE BUT YET
SYSTEMATIC. WE ARE HERE TO RANDOMLY EXTRACT SOUNDS OF FUTURE THOUGHT, CREATING MUSIC THAT IS EVERLASTING FOR ALL TO PROCESS.
and what happened with electro in the rest of the world? it was always around. many electronic artists do produce also electro tracks – although quite often hidden on some b-sides. but to my knowledge there aren’t any artists focussing only on electro (anthony rother in his beginnings maybe – but definitly not anymore). but every couple of years there is a track that raises awareness again for electro.
one of the big tunes was certainly i-f’s space invaders smoking grass:
and a couple of years later it was tiga‘s sunglasses at night:
both examples show that electro underwent especially in europe a couple of transformations, got combined with other influences: in i-f‘s case there is a strong influence of early techno pop (visage‘s fade to gray comes to mind), in the case of tiga he actually was one of the artists responsible for the trend electro clash. he consequently got signed on the label international gigolo records of the german dj hell – and here we see electro standing rather in a tradition of “the munich machine”, of the disco productions of giorgio moroder (most famous for donna summer‘s i feel love). so electro stayed in europe far less “pure” – this might be also due to the fact that the tradition of (popular) electronic music seems to be a lot more varied in europe.
and in one genre of electronic music electro made quite an impact, too: in ambient. the use of the typical electro beats is quite strong in the field of ambient, or better “electronic music to listen to” (ambient is for me even quieter), i.e. not created for the dancefloor. there are quite some examples for that – in the last years there has been especially the german label electrolux fostering that hybridisation.
so as a final acoustic example and to (finally) conclude this post i would like to propose something more quiet, something soothing from an artist that also published on the label electrolux. if you would like to hear the more quiet side of electro, i propose you get ruxpin‘s record radio here (also ripped from vinyl@224). how to describe his music? well, the cover for me transmits quite well the mood of this recording…
if you would like to listen to a newer live-set, i propose you head over to another very good website providing high quality electronic music for your listening pleasure here. and you find ruxpin also on myspace.
a while ago i found something i knew was around, but did not know where: a box with some old tapes of mine. aaah – a real treasure chest!
there has been quite a lot of stuff i did not even remember i had – yep, it was like some kind of late christmas (and showing me what a good taste in music i had already as a young one). so in the future you will see some of that stuff pop up here – be afraid!
the first is a live-recording by one of the first artists i posted on this blog: santrra.
the concert is a real early one: from 29.03.1987 at the rote fabrik in zürich, switzerland. it is very charming – and yes, she still reminds me of nico – it is the stubborness of standing alone on stage, in this case with just an accordeon – she comes across as very vulnerable and at the same time as very strong. nice.
so definitly something not to miss! ripped from tape@128, since the recording is in mono (remember mono, huh?). at the beginning and at the end there is some talking (it obviously has been taped from radio). in the first one and a half minutes you also hear the tape squeal – but then the quality is good. unfortunatly they did not transmit the full concert – so it is only about 20 minutes long. yeah, it leaves you wanting for more…
and she has now also a myspace profile. yeah, not only huun-huun-tur and die ärzte are their myspace friends, but also marc almond… so you might want to drop her a line and say thank you for the great music…
and now: enjoy!
to get you in the mood for the next et hop!-post which will be rather big (it will be closer to “my turf”) here a mix that foreshadows what i will be talking about and what i will propose you to listen to.
it is one of these rare mixes that stayed over the years with me. i do listen to quite some dj-mixes – most mixes i listen to once or twice – then there are the mixes i take a liking to and listen to quite a lot over a period of time. and then there are very few mixes that never leave, that i listen to over and over again over the years, that become iconic for various reasons. the mix i present today is one of them.
it is a mix that is uncompromising in its musicality – it has quite a scope and a strange flow that seems somehow odd but is at the same time compelling. and being so focused on being musical, it seems to me in an interesting way an elusive mix: somehow i always think i get it – but i do have to relisten to it again and again. the beauty in it all is that i never get it: it seems that this mix is made to make sense in many ways and manages everytime to shift its sense depending on when and where i listen to it.
not a stranger to this blog, it is a mix by d.k.b. (yeah, really one of your best ones!) called el electro. i do not know why “el” (related to the cover?) – but the “electro” points you into the direction of the musical genre, loosely…
get it here. i ripped it from tape as 2 mp3-files (side a / side b), the coverart is inluded. and you better listen to it on a good system / with good headphones: it has quite some bass…