Though boasting a fairly large rotating cast of members, C Cat Trance was primarily the project of John Rees Lewis, previously of the band Medium Medium. Combining British post punk (hey, they're from Nottingham) with more traditional Middle Eastern and African influences and an artistic, vaguely experimental sound seems like it might be a recipe for disaster, but it certainly wasn't. C Cat Trance pulled it off with an aesthetic that is at once worldly and intelligent while still being infectiously danceable. Often referred to as "ahead of their time", it's debatable whether that time has or ever will come.
C Cat Trance released five albums on Red Flame and subsidary Ink Records in a fairly short span of the late '80s, followed by a retrospective collection released in 2005. "Shake The Mind" is one of their better known singles.
Posted: May 9th, 2011
at 5:06am by qbot
Tagged with 1986, british, c cat trance, dave walker, ink records, john rees lewis, john thompson, kevin sanderson, mark walker, medium medium, middle eastern, nigel kingston stone, nottingham, peter clark, post punk, red flame, shake the mind, steve harvey, steve mitchell, trevor naylor
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You know this band. You've heard "I'll Melt With You" about a million times in your life, but you probably can't remember a single other Modern English song, can you? It's ok, neither can anyone else. And that's a damn shame, because they have a really nice catalogue if you want to do just a little digging.
Signed to 4AD in 1980, their other material borrows more influence from post punk than you'd suspect from their biggest hit. "Life In The Gladhouse" is by far my favorite Modern English song, and if you know what a fan of Gang of Four I am, you'll not be surprised. Taken from their 1982 release After The Snow, the title track for which I highly recommend to New Order fans.
Posted: January 15th, 2011
at 5:03pm by qbot
Tagged with 1982, after the snow, british, gang of four, gary mcdowell, i'll melt with you, joy division, life in the gladhouse, michael conroy, modern english, new wave, post punk, richard brown, robbie grey, stephen walker, this mortal coil
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It seems like I've been posting a lot of covers lately. I hope you don't mind, but here's another, a bit inspired by
In a statement about their most recent album and criticism of its tone, Tom Smith wrote, "dark is interesting, dark is exciting, dark can be funny, there’s real life in the dark, real life IS dark...I am so fucking bored of people asking us why we’re so “dark”, or worse questioning our integrity for being this way, this is how we do it, it excites us to express ourselves like this, to be honest we don't even understand what the alternative is and the alternatives we can imagine are too boring for us to even consider". Did he just write the
Who better to rework a Cure song, then, than Editors? Smith invokes Ian Curtis to make Robert Smith's lyrics a little more paranoid, but I'm still not buying that he's really afraid of "the spider man". In fact, I suspect that he might just be inviting him over for dinner.
This track is taken from the
*I prefer the word "grufti" because it's much more inclusive than "goth". I encourage you to use it as well!
This blog entry is something has been an item that's been a long time coming, aside from the fact that I've been pushed the passed several weeks to do so. Through technological failures, and alcohol issues, I've pretty much sidelined this project (that and I'm a lazy son of a bitch, one must note). What makes this particular post all the more pressing is the necessity for A Certain Ration to be known by YOU!: the common people, the beautiful people, the wondrous, glorious readers of this blog, and fellow patrons of Atomic.
In a perfect world, ACR would have shared some of the notoriety of fellow label mates, Joy Division. Not that I believe they're more deserving of it than say later acts :cough: Happy Mondays :cough:, but ACR would find its audience. The band would find popularity in NYC clubs, falling in with the post-disco/punk, and the short but influential no-wave movements; with other funk-stylized acts, ESG and Liquid Liquid (to name a shallow few).
So, here is where I serve up one of my favorite tracks (there's also a pretty outstanding remix that should be sought after). Enjoy!
I'll complete our series of New Order tribute posts this week with a look towards the future and an artist I have been dying to write about since we started this blog. The work of Parisian graphic designer Marc Nguyen Tan, Colder bears some resemblance to the fashion industry he works in by day; dark minimalism comes across as stylish and sexy despite it's mechanical synthesized structure and disassociated vocals. Is this meant to be heard on a dance floor, or alone at home with the lights out?
"To The Music" is a particular favorite of mine, an anthem to the solitary dancer, lost in the music and oblivious to the gaze of bystanders. I can think of few songs more appropriate for Neo, where it seems all eyes are on the floor. It's taken from Heat, but if I were to recommend only one Colder album, I'd first choose 2003's solid Again. Though the influence of Joy Division couldn't be more obvious, it's an equally fine example of modern French new wave.
Without an official website (or even so much as a MySpace page) and a now-defunct label, it's difficult to know if/when there will be another Colder album out. In
Finally, no post on Colder would be complete without including Nguyen Tan's unbelievably good remix of Depeche Mode's "Clean". I feel like Depeche Mode doesn't get enough credit for how spot-on they are with choosing the most perfect and current producers to remix their stuff, and they really nailed it with this one. Do I dare say it? I like it better than the original.
Coincidentally, Marc Nguyen Tan released a new album just last week; it's a collaboration with his long time friend Guillaume Ollendorff, under the name Scratoa!. Called Live en San Antón, it was recorded in the barrio of the same name in Alicante, Spain two years ago. It's improvised noisy experimental sound is quite a departure from Colder, and will more likely appeal to Nurse With Wound fans.
Posted: February 3rd, 2010
at 6:17pm by qbot
Tagged with 2005, again, chris and cosey, clean, colder, dark, depeche mode, designer, french, guillaume ollendorff, heat, joy division, live en san anton, marc nguyen tan, minimalism, new order, new wave, nurse with wound, paris, post punk, remix, scratoa, to the music, tribute
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I still get excited every year when we do our
The two songs here represent two completely different New Order styles, but they share that sentimental touch that ties the history of the band together. "Dreams Never End" is from their debut album
I knew someone was going to ask me this. If I didn't know better, I'd probably think it was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, too. Given the current resurgence of post-punk and new wave, this song doesn't necessarily sound like it was released in 1981. And I'm pretty sure that at least one of Karen O's personalities believes that she actually is Sarah Osborne*. Listen, though, and you'll hear the band's name chanted throughout the song. They want you to know that they're not Tegan and Sara, or Ting Tings, or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or all that was to come after...
From their album African Queen, and also available on their
*A bit of '80s new wave trivia: Sarah Osborne left Allez Allez when she married the lead singer of Heaven 17.
• Write good songs: "I could write songs as bad as Wham's if I really felt the urge to, but what's the point?"
• Don't worry about status: "I'm not going to worry about the Cure slipping down into the second division; it doesn't bother me because I never expected to be in the first division anyway."
• Don't do it for the money: "I've never wanted a group to ever fall out about money. It's not important. We earn far more than we should anyway."
• Be inspired and love what you do: "I do a job I really, really love and I kind of have fun with. People think you can't be grown up unless you're moaning about your job."
• Do things in moderation: “I think the rock'n'roll myth of living on the edge is a pile of crap.”
• Don't worry about what people say or think about you: " Most of the time I'm a professional idiot. I really don't care about what other people think, which can be a bad thing."
• Know when to quit: "If any of our songs ever did make it on the top ten, I'd disband the group immediately."