Monday, January 28, 2008
Techno-Fetichisme 6: This is Electro-Tech
The podcast is here. I was a little surprised recently when young friend of mine, Warren, mentioned that “Dave Seaman is coming to town, and you know he is a great electro-DJ”.
Funny. I love Dave Seaman ever since his 96 set on Renaissance and not so much since the 2000 trance progression. But for me that 1996 CD was the pinnacle of “House” not Electro. I remember it being head-heavy candy, almost Deep Dish style, not necessarily the bumpy, dirty, speedy sound of a good electro track.
So Warren obliged and made a set available for me and, while very good, it was more Trance than anything else. Progressive Electro at most but really lacking in that airy quality that I remember electro as having.
But then again, 80’s electro was a definite sound that may have no parallel for my twenty something younger friends. So I decided I needed to share my definition of “Electro” I needed to recapture that urban speed and sexy intensity that characterized it for me. I needed to educate.
The following is mostly strong modern electro stuff with some techno and some pop. Most of the tracks, I have acquired in the last year. Being a bit of a Detroit classics snob, I manage to mix 2 timeless tracks from the Martian and a measure of Interstellar fugitives (UR). Just for good measure, I throw in 80’s pop in the form of Billy Idol (which my kids love) and another Michael Jackson classic, given the overwhelmingly positive feedback on TF5’s Acid Michael, why? Because I can!
1- Wind Slaves - Mist, DJ Bone, 2007
(line 1 & 3) A great start of a fast track. Within 30 seconds I supplement the tribal melody with a pure electro beat.
2- Electro Loop, DJ Tool, 2007
(line 2) This is a DJ Tool track. Meaning nothing more than a wicked electro loop that complement the more ethereal sounding Mist. This is an unpretentious loop served up straight for what it is.
3- Biomechanick, Wutam, 2007
(line 4&5) “We’ve done it before!” That ding! ding! sound? THAT is an electro beat, boys and girls! As heavy as it gets.. I like the mechanical voice and the melody on this. I heavily sample it throughout the remix. Speaking of remix, you start hearing “Mirage” which will kick in later.
4- Abduction v1.0, SpaceMen, 2007
(line 7) For such a heavy sounding title, the track is actually borderline fluff! I like the electro beat and with a nice vocal riff on it “the music feels good yeah!” this is an indulgence and your last stop before a strong Techno segment. What can I say, sometimes I really like cheese. In retrospect the title “abduction by spacemen” is a good transition to the Martian :)
5- Stardancer, The Martian, 1997
(line 8) you can start catching the martian on the break of the previous track, where I loop on the synth melody. First time I heard “Stardancer” was on a Juan Atkins tape and I was surprised by the messy sound and then the church sounding melody.
6- Ultraviolet Images, The Martian, 1997
(line 10) I particularly love this remix. I actually abuse the 30 second segment that carries signal for me. It takes off with the same unabashed synth riff but really carries it almost counter-intuitively with that bumpy sound that becomes the rythm. You can’t miss it, it is the main body! I flange it throughout for the last 3 repetition and then voila! a bit of Pop! I get goose bumps on that transition.
7- White Wedding, Billy Idol, 1984
(line 9) what can I say? why do I do it? again because I can! Skiing through Vail listening to this track was a fun experience. “it is a nice day to start again, wow!” I guess it also serves to show to my younger friends that a lot of the 80’s pop was really pushing the limits, what with the techno avant garde, the new-wave punks, and the electro elite. Billy Idol kind of rode a lot of those images to sneering stardom.
8- Mirage, Interstellar Fugitives UR.
(line 11). Interstellar Fugitives on the Underground Resistance label! Again Detroit at its finest. This sound is the harder urban electro fringe, but in great Detroit techno tradition, they manage to make this track particularly melodious. I hope you all get the melody here and don’t think I am smoking my dope finding melody where everyone else hear clanging trash cans. If you can’t... remember it might be a mirage.
9- Beat it!, Michael Jackson, 1982
(line 12). I remember this song from when I was a 13 year old teen in Paris. I was learning how to do the Rubik’s cube and MJ was hot! this song was hot! Heavily remixed here, appearing as a “mirage” really.
10- Moor Horseman on Bolarus 5, Interstellar Fugitives
(line 14). Another UR instant classic. I like the flute note that I isolate and repeat. I finish the remix with about 10 samples on top of it.