Sunday, June 27, 2004

Crate Digging

I've got an old fruit crate full of 45s that encapsulate the years 1979-1985, the years I lived in the UK and bought 7" singles every week. This week's mp3s are all ripped from that crate...

From 1980 come two tracks - New Musik's Sanctuary. Fronted by producer Tony Mansfield they were a slick blend of live instruments and synths. They had some minor success in the charts - I always thought they were under rated and deserved beter. Sanctuary was not a big hit but should have been - it's super catchy new wave pop, shiny and full of those excellent '80s synth claps. Check out Tony's resume - Aha, B52's and The Damned. A great tune.

Department S were fronted by the most eloquently named Vaughn Toulouse, and were one hit wonders. Is Vic There? is the hit - a cool guitar riff, lyrics about a mysterious phone caller, and the classic break where Vaughn repeats the title over the beeping of a phone. A novelty song that rocks and is actually good!

From 1982 comes Bauhaus' Kick In The Eye. Take a kick ass bass riff, mutant disco beats and sharp post punk riffing and you get the band's funkiest moment ever - very refreshing considering their usual goth output. Even Peter Murphy's croon is curtailed - much more of a shout on here. This tune holds up very well, and would sound just fine mixed in with much of today's post punky funky stuff.

Orange Juice released What Presence in 1984 to great acclaim but not a lot of success. One of the best songs they ever did, it rides a huge twangy riff, features fab gospel back up vocals (What you gonna do when the river runs dry?) and a searing guitar solo from Edwyn Collins. The band broke up after their self titled album featuring this single came out - the label dropped them and it was over. Ironic considering that it's one of the best things they recorded.

This is the first time I've ripped from vinyl to mp3 so I hope these tracks aren't too quiet. If you peeps like 'em I might dig back into the crate for a future installment!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

!!!'s (say Chik Chik Chik) Shit Schiesse Merde Part 2 is a killer dubby groove that builds slowly towards a big guitar riff driven break - these guys are masters of building up to the break. Lots of clicky percussion, keyboard blips and a fat bass line all add up to mid tempo rump shaker.

Minneapols' The Soviettes' bring the power-pop-punk flava with Channel X - a great little tune with post punk-y riffing, and cool girl-boy-girl vocal dynamics - the way the guy sings on here reminds me a bit of Bloc Party's shouty vocals. Short and sweet.

Lansing-Dreiden are some crazy Floridian art rock collective or something. Glass Corridor starts out driven by a cool bass riff and chiming guitars and then all of a sudden its synth-pop - pure '80s key and drum sounds until a My Bloody Valentine riff ushers back the guitars. The vocals are a chorus of sunny harmonies. These guys have a kind of timeless quality to them - much like I feel about Clinic, they sound fresh and exciting yet familiar at the same time. Their LP is all over the place - synthpop like New Order, metal riffs like Iron Maiden - and is very good.

10CC's I'm Not In Love reached #2 on the charts in the summer of 1975. I remember hearing this tune as an eleven year old and being fascinated by it - it's "electronica" about 20 years before the term was invented. Lush and dreamy, with voices floating around the speakers like clouds, I imagine that this is the kind of thing Air were aspiring to create when they were writing Moon Safari. I love this song, and you should too.