Very quietly working his way around Chicago's afterhours scene, Olin has been closing his sets with Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" for a while now. A few weeks ago, I told him that he should make some kind of remix of it, and was surprised to learn that it had already happened (not surprised that he'd done it, just surprised that I didn't know about it). Well, here it is, and even better, not so much a remix as an entirely new track. The minimal beats and barely-there samples of the original give the vocals a beautiful, ethereal feel they never had before.
Olin will have the honor of the first release on Forem, the newest imprint of Chicago label Dust Traxx. You can hear a preview of it
Fellow Chicagoans Hey Champ just put out this remix of Andy Bell's new single "Call On Me" and I quite like it. Keeping the disco elements and most of the lyrics intact, they give it a slick makeover that makes the track even more danceable.
Bell's new solo work has had it's fair share of problems, so it's exciting to see it finally released. Feeling the album sounded too much like Erasure, he at one point ditched producer Stephen Hague and all the songs they'd recorded, and started all over again with Gabriel Pascal. Given that both of them have a long history with synthpop artists and have produced Erasure before, I'm not quite sure I see the point, but then I haven't heard what Hague did to it, either. I'd argue that the end product does not even sound that different than Erasure, but I'm pretty sure that only Andy Bell thinks that's a bad thing.
Last night started off really slow--after all, a good portion of our crowd was at
Such is the case with the Yello classic "Bostitch". It blows my mind that this single was released in 1979. Typical of Yello's style, it's sophisticated, dark, and avant-garde. It's very new wave, it's really tech-house, it's vaguely industrial…and no, that is not Douglas McCarthy from Nitzer Ebb singing. Actually it's Dieter Meier [
Now in their 60s, Meier and Blank are still making music as Yello, and it's still just as good. Most of their current work is in soundtracks these days. Recently, they've worked with Audi and been the subject of a documentary. I hope I'm half as cool as they are when I'm their age.
Posted: February 26th, 2010
at 6:25pm by qbot
Tagged with 1979, arturo, atomic, audi, avant garde, bostich, dark, dieter meier, douglas mccarthy, house, insane sample libraries, millionaire singers, new wave, nitzer ebb, old guys, qbot, queen is dead, swiss, techno, the handsome devilz, yello
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In honor of the
This likely combo also dragged along Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys for the ride on their 1989 debut single "Getting Away with It." Rumor has it that the lyrics of the song were a parody on Morrissey's lyrics and public interviews, including the chorus: "However I look / It's clear to see / I love you more than you love me."
The first Electronic album of the same name is ranked highly among my favorite work of Sumner and is definitely worth pursuit if you are new to the band.
Hear this song and other New Order related tracks this week on Thursday, February 4th for Atomic at Neo... See you in the dark.
Portion Control are one of the most influential artists in the canon of electronic music, and name-checked by some of the biggest underground artists in electronic music, including Front 242, Skinny Puppy, and Depeche Mode. Even Trent Reznor cited them recently as a major influence. Yet for some reason, Portion Control are still virtually unknown to many; which is a crime, because they wrote some of the best hard rhythmic electronic anthems ever during the years of 1982-1986.
This south London trio started their rhythmic chaos in 1980. Their earliest cassettes resembled sounds of layered cut up industrial noise that the geniuses Cabaret Voltaire manipulated. As PC progressed further, their sound got harder. Imagine if you will the furious noise of Throbbing Gristle spliced into the electro funk of Grand Master Flash. Combine hard analogue keyboards with propulsive beats, noises, but several melodic elements. Add Dean Piavani's voice, rather punk and gruff to contrast the cold machines. It's the perfect foil that gave rise to a new genre of music coined by the UK music press in '84, "electro punk".
However, it was 1985 when Portion Control flirted with possible stardom with the seminal 12 inch single, The Great Divide. What was so great about this song was that it bridged a gap musically to very diverse sub-cultures. Nihilistic post-industrialists, B-Boy rappers, punk rockers, and house DJs all were mesmerized by how Portion Control used and abused the beat. In fact, back in the day, the cool kids used to break dance in the clubs to the "The Great Divide." Even to this day, one can go to a club, and chances are the DJ might have a copy of "The Great Divide". In 1986, after the release of "Psycho-Bod Saves the World," they stopped recording music under the name, and tried a different project called Solar Enemy. The legend grew around the band only for them to re-surface in 2004. Since their return to 'rapid response electronics,' Portion Control has been very busy releasing a double album, two full lengths, EPs, and a 7" rebuild version of one of their biggest hits, "Chew You To Bits. There are some people that would argue that Portion Control are better than ever. The counting continues once more.
Formed in 1989, Max Q was a collaboration between INXS singer Michael Hutchence and underground electronic post-punk composer Ollie Olsen, who met while working on the film Dogs In Space. Their single eponymous album was quite a departure for both musicians. Layering sparse lyrics with themes of politics and paranoia over industrial-tinged post-punk guitars, disco-inspired synths, and sweeping strings, it's closer to Depeche Mode than the alt-rock of INXS but much more commercial than Olsen's work with Whirlywirld, The Young Charlatans, and No. Chicago house aficionados might be surprised to find that the record's final mix was done by famous DJ and producer Todd Terry.
The album produced one top 10 hit in Australia, but it did not sell well and was never reprinted, and sadly seems largely forgotten by all but a handful of old INXS fans. Though Hutchence died in 1997, Ollie Olsen is still around, mostly doing sound design for films and art installations. If you're into experimental noise/punk, definitely
The 1984-esque lyrics of "Bucket Head" are delivered in soulful vocals over a minimal bassy background and pop synths that sounded a lot edgier in 1989, but it's still one of my favorites on here. "Monday Night By Satellite" is a futuristic ballad of long-distance love; pretty, dark, mysterious, and cynical.