Rewind: Klaus Stockhausen über “Party Boys”

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Artikel | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Im Gespräch mit Klaus Stockhausen über “Party Boys” von Foxy (1980).

Wie bist Du auf „Party Boys“ gekommen? Beim Plattenkaufen für DJ-Gigs? Du hattest ja 1980 schon mit Auflegen angefangen, als die Platte rauskam.

Die Platte ist, denke ich, von 1979, aber es war wohl 1980. Angefangen habe ich drei Jahre vorher. Ehrlich gesagt war ich in Amsterdam in einem Plattenladen, Rhythm Import, und es war der Nachfolger von „Get Off“, und „Get Off“ ging relativ gut ab. Ich habe in drei Clubs gearbeitet zu dieser Zeit. Donnerstags/Freitags in Frankfurt in so einem Armee-Schwuchtelladen, der hieß No Name. Da waren nur stationierte Soldaten, sehr amerikanisch. Samstag/Sonntag Coconut in Köln, und Montag in Amsterdam im Flora Palace, was hundert Jahre später zum It-Club wurde. Und du hattest drei verschiedene Musikrichtungen. In Köln war es diese Hi-NRG-Nummer mit sonntags Schwuchtel-Tea-Dance, Poppers etc., bei den Amis hattest du funky to Disco, und Amsterdam war britisch angehaucht. Diese Fusion war ganz gut.

Wie hat sich denn das Britische in der Musik in Amsterdam manifestiert?

Es war soulig, Hi-NRG, aber später auch so etwas wie Loose Ends. Es waren Elemente von Rare Groove drin. Und bei „Party Boys“ fand ich einfach diesen Hook so toll, der eben wesentlich eleganter war als zum Beispiel „Cruisin’ The Streets“ von der Boystown Gang. Eigentlich könnte man diese beiden Platten übereinander legen, es funktioniert perfekt. Und diese schrägen Stimmen. Ich mag Stimmen gerne, und wenn sie slightly off sind, mag ich sie noch viel viel lieber. Read the rest of this entry »

Rewind: Eric D. Clark on “Atmosphere”

Posted: November 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

In discussion with Eric D. Clark on “Atmosphere” by Funkadelic (1975).

How were you initiated to the Funkadelic world?

That’s rather hard to say; I believe I first heard Funkadelic… early 70’s? Seems as though I remember hearing “Maggot Brain” as my introduction to their music? And it would most probably have been at a party; maybe a cousin’s house or on a military base at a function? Don’t really know. However I seem to remember that piece first: I certainly had no idea what or who it was? At the time I thought the label art was somehow the band’s responsibility, therefore I would buy records according to the artwork; if I was at a friend’s house and they had something I liked I would go to the record store, usually with my father, and look for the same artwork and buy the record (we’re talking 7″ singles here). Needless to say it was often not what I was looking for. However, rarely did I return anything! This is how I ended up finding out about Led Zeppelin at age 5 or 6. I was looking for Rare Earth. When I finally witnessed Funkadelic’s artwork first-hand it cemented my high regard for their overall “thang”!

Was it a part of your childhood and youth in California?

There was a very strong and rich musical culture in our house. Every morning before school we were allowed to listen to music (no TV, only on Saturday mornings) that we selected from an extensive record collection procurred over previous decades and life in Kansas, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Poplar Bluff Missouri, Osaka, and wherever else our parents had been on their journeys with the military. This included 78 rpm shellac discs and 7″ children’s records recorded at 16 rpm. Father always loved Jazz and has an extensive collection of Blue Note recordings from the label’s inception until around 1970 something. Errol Garner was a big favourite, Booker T. & the MG’s. I did not really get into Jazz though until much later, though I liked Errol Garner! The rest was boring to me then. “Shotgun” and “Green Onions” I liked a lot but until this day I can’t stand James Brown for example?! Only one song that I can’t remember the title of, from around 1958. Mother was into Gospel and female vocal performers such as Morgana King, Dinah Washington, Mahalia Jackson, Dakota Stanton, Aretha of course, also some guys like Major Lance and Joe Simon both of whom I still love today. This collection still exists, excerpts of which you can hear in a set I uploaded to under the moniker “The OZ Effect”. When I’d go looking for what I liked and tried to share it with them it was not met well. They tried to form me with classical which I found to be very little of a challenge, especially as I could trick the teachers by learning pieces twice or even three times as fast by listening to them on vinyl (my component stereo system was right on top of the piano next to my father’s AKAI reel-to-reel, which he bought in Osaka three years before I was born and I adopted; when I am at our house in Sacramento I still use this machine!). Funkadelic were strictly off-limits (very enticing) but I kept the records anyway, even though they were considered to be devil music by Mom and Dad. I was still under ten? Read the rest of this entry »

@ A Night In Motion

Posted: November 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Rewind: Hardrock Striker on “I’m A Cult Hero”

Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

In discussion with Hardrock Striker on “I’m A Cult Hero” (1989).

Do you have a past acquainted with this music? Is this the compilation that nailed down musical preferences you already had, or did you have a different background and were you just looking for something in that direction?

This is clearly the music I was listening to as a kid. Back then, my biggest dream was to be in a rock’n’roll band, no way I wanted to become a DJ (“what a joke I could have thought”) as this meant nothing to me, imagine playing guitar and being on stage screaming in front of a crazy crowd or mixing records, even a monkey could do it! Obviously, it’s only when I started DJing that I understood the power of it and realized my immaturity.

I chose this compilation because even if it looks like a pure rock record, many of the bands inside are using electronic, though I had no clue about it while I was listening to them. I discovered house in Los Angeles in the late 90’s, I went there to form a heavy rock band but I ended up going out with some friends who were doing house, especially Peter Black who introduced me to Doc Martin, the Wax connection, DJ Harvey. We started being friends, speaking about art, music and I discovered that he was also into New Order, Front 242, Ministry, Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division and that he was doing house too, so I thought this music finally wasn’t that bad! I started digging, to sum it up, New Order leads me to italo, italo to chicago, chicago to techno. We did a record company called Parisonic / Square Roots where I was doing reissues (already in 2003) of obscure stuff such as It Ain’t Chicago’s “Ride The Rhythm”, Mickey Oliver “In-Ten-Si-t”, Ralphi Rosario “In The Night” etc. I educated myself through the records I was putting out.

“I’m A Cult Hero” is a bootleg compilation with 80’s dark synth pop music, originally released in 1989. Why do you think such a record was released at a time when acid house ruled the clubs? Was this a reminder to what was going on a few years before, or even a counter-reaction to what followed? What might have been the motivation of the label to do this record?

I think that even if house and acid were blowing up at that time, dark synth-pop and minimal wave were still huge. Remember in 1989, Depeche Mode was also on the verge of getting the biggest rock stars in the world with the 101 Rose Bowl concert and the release of one of the best trio of singles of the 80’s: “Strangelove”, “Behind The Wheel” (Mmmh, the Shep Pettibone Mix!) and “Personal Jesus” which was a combination of rock guitars and electronic so it makes totally sense.

The motivation of these guys was primarily cash I guess but I honestly think they did an amazing job! There are two categories of bootleggers: the creative ones and the thieves, I guess they belong to the first one. Read the rest of this entry »

@ Spank Me Disko

Posted: November 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The Flying Lizards – The Flying Lizards

Posted: November 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Rezensionen | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Die Sound-, Konzept-, und Stilideen der klassischen Post-Punk-Zeit, auf unzählige Veröffentlichungen auf Klein- und Großlabels verteilt, bilden einen solchen Riesenwust von Referenzpotential, dass die nachfolgenden Generationen mit der Aufarbeitung kaum hinterherkommen. Diese Bemühungen gehen schon seit den 90ern voran, und immer noch gibt es neue Aspekte, die es aufzugreifen lohnt. Erst konzentrierte man sich bei Electroclash auf die eher übergreifenden Hits, Mode, und Performance, dann folgten die Spezialisten und gruben bis in die entlegensten Winkel nach Vergessenem, Unveröffentlichtem, und möglichen Wiederveröffentlichungen. Und nun geht Techno allerorten zu seinen alternativen Wurzeln zurück, und man beruft sich eher auf Throbbing Gristle denn auf Kraftwerk, grieseliges Grau statt knalliges Neon, Haltung statt Pose, Konzept-Elitismus statt Pop-Gegenentwurf. Bevor man sich in diesen ganzen Verhältnismäßigkeiten verheddert, kann man aber auch einfach auf die Flying Lizards zurückgreifen, die auf einem Album eigentlich alles anticken, was die Musik in diesem Kontext so großartig macht: respektlose Pop-Dekonstruktionen etwa, möglichst desinteressiert von einer blasierten New Wave-Schönheit interpretiert (“Money”, “Summertime Blues”), Tschingderassabumm-Speed-Opern (Mandelay Song), zweckentfremdeter Rock ‘n’ Roll-Klassizimus (“TV”), verqueres Songwritertum (“Her Story”, “The Window”) oder Dub-Labortests (man beachte die brilliante Abfolge “The Flood”, “Trouble”, Events During Flood”). Man kann David Cunningham nicht wirklich einen unterschätzten Künstler nennen, aber was er hier mit u. a. Steve Beresford, David Toop, Vivien Goldman, Deborah Evans und Mitgliedern der Pop Group und This Heat verantaltet, ist wirklich außergewöhnlich. Das Nachfolgealbum “Fourth Wall” ist nicht so zerstreut, aber ähnlich genial, und ist eine merkwürdige, aber gern genommene Samplequelle für Detroit Techno (z. B. “Steam Away”). Das dritte Album “Top Ten” erschöpfte sich etwas in der Idee der gelangweilten Schepper-Coverversionen, auf den B-Seiten der Single-Auskoppelungen “Sex Machine” und “Dizzy Miss Lizzie” tummeln sich aber sehr bemerkenswerte und einflussreiche Proto-Techno-Wildheiten (“Flesh And Steel”, Gyrostatics”). Cunningham ist natürlich sowieso ein überragender Produzent von Palais Schaumburg, General Strike, This Heat bis Wayne/Jayne County & The Electic Chairs, anerkannter Avantgarde-Haudegen und, ich vermute mal vermutlich unfair, derjenige, der Michael Nymans Musik u .a. für Peter Greenaway zur Erträglichkeit dirigiert hat. Und dank Staubgold zum ersten Mal auf Vinyl im Erscheinen begriffen ist “The Secret Dub Life Of The Flying Lizards”, eine Sammlung von Dub-Aufnahmen von 1978, mit Jah Lloyd auf Jamaika aufgenommen. Ich finde das braucht man alles, wenn nicht mehr.

The Flying Lizards – The Flying Lizards (Virgin, 1980).

de:bug 11/10

Wheels of Steel – Pt.11

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »
Mark Rogers “Twilight For Some” [Freetown Inc.]

Nobody would probably expect anything else than deep emotional music on a label run by Robert Owens, but what Mark Rogers of Hollywood Beyond fame comes up with on the sublime “Twilight For Some”, is even more. Despite the gentle tone of the music and the understated vocal delivery, not too many vocal house tracks are as touching this. The lyrics are very melancholic, offering little relief to the troubled people they address, and the music is a companion that stresses rather than distracts. Everytime I listen to this, and the track fades out to a loop of the words “identity, identity, identity…”, I can’t help wishing this experience would last much longer, and more often than not, I put the needle right back to beginning.

Cabaret Voltaire “Searchin” [Parlophone]

A track lifted from the album “Groovy, Laidback and Nasty” from 1990, that most of the fans and critics of the UK electronic pioneers dismissed as mere attempt to cash in on the increasingly fertile house sound. Worse than that, nobody was really willing to accept Cabaret Voltaire venturing into musical terrain that was nothing else than pure pop, with one of post punk’s most recognizable voices crooning blissful melodies with uplifting messages, and one of post punk’s most adventurous experimentalists gladly supplying the according tunes and harmonies. But Cabaret Voltaire enlisted Marshall Jefferson at the time of full creative swing for the production, and he made this song his very own, even bringing in Paris Brightledge, on of Chicago’s most wonderful voices, for the background vocals. So this might be not the most original Cabaret Voltaire record, but they had proven their merits enough before and after, and I am really thankful that they took the chance of doing this album. Maybe imagine this track not being sung by Stephen Mallinder, but Brightledge all alone for instance, and not being by Cabaret Voltaire, but by Marshall Jefferson, and house’s history books would treat it like a bona fide classic. I at least do, no matter what constellation.

Shades Of Rhythm “Exorcist” [ZTT]

Shades Of Rhythm were better known for their rave anthems, filled to the brim with crowd noises, joyful diva vocals and plenty of pianos. And while there is nothing really wrong with that (but admitted, on many occasions it IS really wrong), they were also capable of doing something completely different. “Exorcist” is a pitch dark beast that establishes a really intense mood on nothing more than the basis of a break beat in moderate tempo and a plethora of sinister sequences that seem to spiral into the ether. This still makes any room go boom.

I-F “Energy Vampire” [Disko B]

Now that the UK bass elite is embracing an electro tinge to their latest dubplate, it is maybe a good time to drop a reminder for the Dutchman who already seemingly could look well into the future when he released a series of relentless and uncompromising classics in the past. The moody stop-and-go groove of “Energy Vampire” would not look out of place on a post-dubstep production of 2010, yet it already appeared on I-F’s album “Fucking Consumer” in 1998. Things go in circles, as they say, and the robots shall have the last laugh. And if sometime the italo disco groundwork will seep through the bassbins of the younger bass generation as well (there are already hints that this is not as improbable as it sounds), there is a good chance that I-F will be involved in something else entirely, and equally influential.

Cybersonik “Technarchy” [Plus 8 Records]

At a time when they had no interest in minimalism, conceptualism or fine wines, Daniel Bell, John Acquaviva and Richie Hawtin released “Technarchy” in 1990, the year their imprint Plus 8 came into being, and properly illustrated that techno could embrace the sound heritage of the pioneering industrial artists, acid house, and the emerging Detroit sound at the same time. The devastating result hinted at the hoovers, cornfields, and love parades to come but back then nobody would have predicted all that. What this record confirmed, however, was that there was a potential for all that. From the introducing metal beats, building a harsh yet funky groove, to the 303 squelches, and then, of course, to one of the most bone-crushing bass breakdowns in the history of club music. Most DJs playing the record at the time when it came out even emphasized the experience by turning up the bass even louder when the kick drum came to a halt and just the bassline was rummaging around in the intestines of the floor, but then again it was already doing its work untouched by any mixing antics. In any case whoever heard the track unprepared and for the first time in a club, would possibly never ever forget it. I certainly did not.

Whatpeopleplay 11/10

Playing Favourites: Silent Servant

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Doctor Mix And The Remix – Out of the Question (1979)

A lot of the music we’ve picked out to discuss comes from a similar background in terms of time period, style and sound, but I think this one is pretty obscure. How did you find it?

Through a friend of mine. There’s a label in New York called Acute Records maybe eight years ago or so. A few of my friends in California are really obsessed with The Jesus and Mary Chain, and one of the members of the band mentioned once that this was one of their favourite records of all time. The thing I like about it is the extremity of the music. It’s super high-pitched, with distortion and tinny drum machines but then it’s covers of, like, Stooges songs.

This track in particular has this really insane, rhythmic track that’s super metronomic but super heavy at the same time. It’s very aggressive, but not because of the levels of distortion. The first time I heard it I thought I was listening to [The Jesus and Mary Chain’s] Psycho Candy. The more I looked into it, the more I realized how much of an influence it had on them.

It’s funny. The Jesus and Mary Chain were always compared to The Velvet Underground, but apparently there’s much more to it than that.

Sure. There’s not a lot of stuff like this. The guy was in one of the first French punk bands. And, with this, they kind of combined the attitude of the Velvets with these misinterpretations from a different country. I love that because, for me, techno in California was always a misinterpretation of what was happening in Berlin and Detroit and Chicago just because we didn’t really have a big scene. We had a club scene, but not a techno scene. I just really love the weird interpretations of The Stooges and stuff like that.

Are you interested in bands that deconstruct rock tradition in some way?

At the end of the day it’s all about attitude. Willing to push things a lot and not really care. It was the same when I first heard Cabaret Voltaire’s “Messages Received.” I just didn’t know what to say, I was blown away. I thought, “It doesn’t get any more honest than that.” I think that’s the whole thing. There’s an honesty in the music that you can’t remove. There’s a visceral element to it. That’s how myself, Karl [O’Connor], Dave [Sumner] and even Pete [Sutton] interpret music in some way I think.

Cabaret Voltaire – Messages Received (1980)

There was a very heavy art slant on what Cabaret Voltaire did. I think it’s very, very art driven. They’d also have the influence of The Velvet Underground and all that ’60s psych rock, but they’d do all these awesome records and what came through the most was the attitude. “This is what I wanna do, this is how I’m gonna do it.” And they just went for it.

Is that a quality you try to pursue? Not thinking about what you can or can’t do?

Yeah, I talk to Karl every other day on the telephone, we’re in very heavy contact on a weekly basis, same thing with Dave. But it’s funny because when I make music it’s purely to see what he thinks, just for us to discuss… “Oh, I really like this. What do you think?” It’s more a conversation from an art base. I try to work in a very automatic response way. I work in art direction, so I work quite a bit on TV commercials and magazines and stuff like that. So when I work on music it’s usually very late at night and I have to work in headphones, so it’s usually like a weird mantra type state, kinda conscious and unconscious, while I’m working.

It’s nice because there’s a sense that I’m not really thinking about anything particularly. I’m able to work on music in that mindframe where I’m doing it purely just because I want to see what I can come up with. In a more artistic sense, sometimes I will make a visual and we will work to the visual. Like with the artwork for the album. That was made first. Then we made a record that matched that.

For labels like Factory, design labels were incredibly important. They were, in many cases, as important as the music.

When you get that double impact of visual and audio, you’re like, “Wow, this is really intense.” Cabaret Voltaire for me has always done that. All the artwork on their covers. The early ones especially had that handmade element, which I’m sure was some of the guys in the band literally cutting things out by hand and assembling collages. Read the rest of this entry »

Rewind: Tim Lawrence on “Go Bang #5″

Posted: November 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

In discussion with Tim Lawrence on “Go Bang #5″ by Dinosaur L (1982).

The work on your book on Arthur Russell, “Hold On To Your Dreams”, has probably made you quite an expert on his works, but when was actually the first time you heard “Go Bang! #5″? Was it the song as a single, or did you hear it in the context of the whole “24 – 24 Music” album?

I first heard François Kevorkian’s remix of “Go Bang! #5” when I bought the “Spaced Out: Ten Original Disco Funk Grooves” back in 1997. I was living in New York at the time, and being a bit of a house head, had been quite resistant to buying so-called “disco classics”. By then I had already heard Todd Terry’s sampling of Lola Blank’s crazed-girl-on-helium rendition of the “Go Bang” lyric, which appeared on “Bango (To The Batmobile),” a 1988 house track. I only got to hear the version that appears on the “24 → 24 Music” album – which is titled “#5 Go Bang!” – later on.

Arthur Russell was responsible for a whole lot of outstanding music. Why did you choose “Go Bang! #5″ over other of his songs? What makes it so important for you?

The first thing I should probably say is that “#5 Go Bang!” appeared on an album by Dinosaur L, not an album by Arthur Russell. Of course Arthur (if I can call him by his first name; at times I feel as though I know him, even though we never met) was the key figure behind Dinosaur L, and pulled all of the appearing musicians together. But Arthur was dead-set on the idea of collaboration, and believed that the relationships he formed with other musicians were meaningful, so he introduced different names for the different line-ups he formed.

Why is “Go Bang” so important? That’s the record that I’ve always thought his most complete, inasmuch as it seemed to capture Arthur’s utopian desire to combine the various sounds of downtown New York – disco, punk/new wave, loft jazz, and the post-minimalist form of compositional music known as new music – in a single piece of music. The record also combines complexity and simplicity; it contains scores of ideas, yet never relinquishes the centrality of the groove. I like all sorts of music, but I particularly like music that manages to combine these elements. I could have also opted instead for “Kiss Me Again”, “Platform On The Ocean”, the “World of Echo” album, “This Is How We Walk On the Moon”. “World of Echo” is an extraordinary piece of work, “Kiss Me Again” gets better by the listen. But “Go Bang” is the one that stands out, especially in terms of dance floor dynamics, plus Arthur was happy with the “Go Bang” turned out, whereas he hated the final mix of “Kiss Me Again” and seemed to feel awkward about the obscure quality of “World of Echo”. Read the rest of this entry »

Rewind: Oliver Ho on “Psychick Rhythms Vol. 1″

Posted: November 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

In discussion with Oliver Ho on “Psychick Rhythms Vol. 1” (1993).

Were you already familiar with the Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia, or was “Psychick Rhythms Vol. 1″ your first encounter with their music?

I was already familiar with their music, I think the first thing I had heard was the album, “Ov Biospheres and Sacred Grooves”. The thing on that album that really struck me was “Linkage”. The way they sampled Egyptian rhythms, and the fact that the track was purely made up of rhythms in a very stripped back way, that were also at a slow bpm. It had a purity and a different edge, very tribal, not techno or house in style at all.

Why did you choose this particular release out of their back catalogue? What made, or still makes, it so special for you? Is it a blueprint for aspects that interest you in electronic music?

The thing about this release that struck me at the time and what continues to be relevant to me is the is the purity of intention. It was an attitude towards music as ‘magick’ that was inspirational. The idea that a particular rhythm is like a spell, something that isn’t just about entertainment, but is operating on a more powerful level. There is a message on the record sleeve artwork that reads: “Warning! This object has nothing to do with art or artificial intelligence. This double package (12″ version) was designed for mixing, for breaks, for possession, for collectors.” This seemed to articulate that there were was something inside the music, that was waiting to released, some kind of energy, that had been placed there by the makers… Read the rest of this entry »