Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Techno From Unexpected Faces: Jesus Jones

Jesus Jones usually bring to mind a very specific time and place which I imagine for many is the fall of the Berlin Wall the collapse of 20th century communism. That's not exactly the case for me. Almost every time I hear "Right Here Right Now" I am reminded of an anti-drug assembly in high school that featured extreme athletic feats performed by a team of born again ex-addicts in front of video projectors playing hit music videos before the athletes slipped a rather overt Christian message past my school's administration during their testifying of the evils of drugs. Perhaps it's just that context that colors my thinking but Jesus Jones have never struck me as ravers and the All Music Guide agrees defining the band's sound as a "watered-down Madchester and dance-pop hybrid". While that less than flattering description fits the general impression of the band they did expand their pallet on their flopped followup to their breakthrough Doubt recording with midi-modified instruments in singer/songwriter Mike Edwards bedroom studio creating a tech heavy sound that brought world music influences to the forefront. "The Devil You Know" exemplifies the best qualities of Perverse but the single's b-side showed that they were willing to go beyond traditional song structures and embrace rave culture. "Want To Know" is a product of the band's keyboardist Iain Baker and a surprisingly effective no nonsense techno stormer based around a vocal sample that asks "what did you do today?". Shame it didn't make that greatest hits collection they shared with EMF.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Living For The Bottle

Dave Gahan just announced that his second solo album, written and produced with Depeche Mode's touring members Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott, is due out this fall. I'm going out on a limb and going to say this could be interesting. Paper Monsters was not a good album (nor was it worth the money that Mute or Sire kept giving to amazing remixers to rework mediocre songs for the single releases) but it was an album that demonstrated potential which blossomed when Gahan started writing with Eigner/Phillpott for Playing The Angel. So it puzzles me that all I've read is negative reactions on the web. I can't be alone in declaring "Suffer Well" the greatest DM single since "Precious"? I suppose all the haters will use the upcoming Recoil album as the standard to tear Gahan apart in the months ahead.