Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Top Songs

1. Pet Shop Boys- All Over The World
Just about anything off the astounding Yes could have claimed this spot but this ode to pop music found a special place in my heart when my daughter IDed the riff sampled from Tchaikovsky's 1892 hit as being from that song I liked as the classic featured in a Little Einsteins episode. Also the chorus is amazing to shout along with in the car.

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Zero
They had written amazing songs, just ask Kelly Clarkson, and flirted with electronics before but I never expected the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to take a left turn into my musical territory with such command. Truly the surprise of the year.

3. La Roux- Bulletproof
Earlier in the decade LCD Soundsystem sang about wanting to make a Yaz record, but Elly Jackson & Ben Langmaid followed through and actually made one. A good one too.

4. Tiga- Shoes
What's that sound? The most off the wall lyrics of the year, in a year that brought us "Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell", paired with the catchiest bassline of the year. Sheer genius.

5. Annie- Songs Remind Me Of You
Richard X returns in a big way on track that was apparently leaked years ago. The pure electro adrenaline of this song is timeless.

6. Calvin Harris- Flashback
It seems every few months over the past year there was another strong Calvin Harris single being released. After the dust settled "Flashback" ended up my favorite.

7. Little Boots- Love Kills
Found on the superb Illuminations EP this Freddie Mercury/Giorgio Moroder cover trumps Little Boots original material by thinnest margin as it directly connects the current wave of electropop to it's 80s roots with the cause of Mercury's death adding an unexpected poignant touch to a forgotten song.

8. Jay-Z- Death Of Autotune
The only entry on my list you can't tie into electropop on some level takes a killer backing track based on a funky jazz loop and add lyrics like "we facin' a recession/but the music y'all makin' gonna make it the great depression". Anytime you do that I'm hooked.

9. Röyksopp- The Girl And The Robot
I tend to be a bit hot and cold on both Röyksopp and Robyn which put me off this track when it was first released. Fortunately I gave it a second chance as I got into the rewarding Junior a bit late. Still they should have wrangled a Daft Punk remix to really make the song complete.

10. The Crystal Method- Drown In The Now
The Crystal Method tend to be very hit and miss (Divided By Night is heavily in miss column) and I generally dislike Matisyahu but this a strong song that was overlooked by just about everyone. Give it a listen.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Video: Pet Shop Boys "It Often Doesn't Snow At Christmas"

The Pet Shop Boys performing their new single nine years ago:

An amped up new version is available on the Christmas EP. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Top 50 Tracks Of 2003

Rescued from my now dead Geocities page is this list of songs featured on from my now dead internet radio station back in 2003.  Since that time I have decided that blogging is the new djing and that twittering is the blogging but I thought this worth posting for the sake of posterity.  Those interested in the 20042005 radio station lists can click on those links.  Here is what I had to say at the end of 2003:

Compiling a list of the most-worthy songs of 2003 that were featured on the Box proved to be a difficult task. An amazing amount of great music has been released in the past year, much of it a return to electronic pop from artists with different approaches and musical backgrounds. A technical note: Not all the songs on the countdown were originally released this past year, some tracks were singles, but all received plenty of "air" play on the Box. Enjoy and please let me know where I went wrong.

1. Ladytron- Blue Jeans
2. Tomcraft- Loneliness
3. Pet Shop Boys- Miracles
4. Audio Bullys- We Don't Care
5. Client- Rock And Roll Machine
6. Goldfrapp- Strict Machine
7. Electric Six- Danger! (High Voltage)
8. Primal Scream- Some Velvet Morning
9. Chemical Brothers- The Golden Path
10. Groove Armada- Easy
11. Richard X vs Liberty X- Being Nobody
12. BT- Somnabulist
13. Jay-Jay Johanson- Automatic Lover
14. Freeland- We Want Your Soul
15. The Droyds- Take Me I'm Yours
16. Cause & Effect- Into The Light
17. Dave Gahan- I Need You
18. Erland Oye- A Sudden Rush
19. Dandy Warhols- We Used To Be Friends
20. Fluke- Zion
21. Alpinestars- Burning Up
22. Pet Shop Boys- Somebody Else's Business
23. Beth Orton- Anywhere
24. Massive Attack- Special Cases
25. Junkie XL featuring Robert Smith- Perfect Blue Sky
26. Chicks On Speed- We Don't Play Guitars
27. Client- Price Of Love
28. Groove Armada- Groove Is On
29. Tomcraft- Overdose
30. The Streets- Weak Become Heroes
31. Ladytron- Evil
32. Erasure- Solsbury Hill
33. Johnny Marr + The Healers- Down On The Corner
34. Richard X- Rock Jacket
35. Benny Benassi- Satisfaction
36. Placebo- The Bitter End
37. Goldfrapp- Train
38. My Robot Friend- We're The Pet Shop Boys
39. Cloudless- Some Distant Memory
40. Blank & Jones featuring Robert Smith- Forest
41. Massive Attack- What Your Soul Sings
42. Camouflage- Me And You
43. Miss Kittin & The Hacker- Stock Exchange
44. Martin Gore- Loverman
45. Royksopp- Sparks
46. Moonlife- Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
47. Junior Senior- Rhythm Bandits
48. The Sounds- Dance With Me
49. Basement Jaxx- Cish Cash
50. The Dysfunctionals- Payback Time

Friday, December 11, 2009

Video: Hot Chip "One Life Stand"

Just a few years ago Hot Chip's unique sound was so far out there no one would have guessed how quickly it would be appropriated by acts getting heavy alt-rock radio play (see Passion Pit). Fortunately the band have the songwriting skills to match their roles as sonic innovators since "Ready For The Floor" and "Over And Over" are some of the finest electropop songs of the decade. "One Life Stand" follows in that tradition of great pop songs and has one of their signature quirky videos:

: "One Life Stand" is the title track from their forthcoming album which is due in February. More info is available at Hot Chip's myspace.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Unofficial Video: Annie "Songs Remind Me Of You"

Perhaps you have missed the much written about fuss over Annie's sophomore album Don't Stop as it has been delayed for over a year since it leaked presumably because of politics that none of us can ever expect to understand which led to her moving to a new label and altering the track listing. It is something I have been aware of but Annie's puzzling popularity with the US indie crowd that so often rallies around the cry of anything anti-synth and anti-pop has created a distrust of her in me even if there is nothing to dislike in her music. So it was with some trepidation that I clicked through one of several links in my twitter stream to see the "unofficial" video for her latest single but the first listen demanded a second and soon I was hooked. After laying low over the past couple of years it is clear that Richard X has returned in a big way because his distinctive fingerprints are all over this italo flavored track that, if I may steal from wikipedia (or their source MuuMuse), "Songs Remind Me Of You" is a perfect blend of "lush disco, breathy vocals, and intergalactic swarms of electronica". Filmed at the album's new photo shoot this unofficial video released by her management is a rather fantastic example of stellar execution of a simple concept:

: Among Richard X's recent projects he has remixed Pet Shop Boys & Dragonette but very excitingly Chart Rigger pointed out that it has just been announced that he is remixing the entirety of Saint Etienne's 1991 debut Foxbase Alpha which will be released as Foxbase Beta. Thinking back I remember when Annie's second album was going to come out in 2006, the latest reports say Don't Stop is due in the US this November.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Flashback: Daft Punk "Revolution 909" (1996)

On this date in history: “There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 a.m. on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots."

While it has been ten years since tragedy turned Daft Punk robots there is something else on 9/09 that comes to mind. Released in 1998 "Revolution 909" was the last single to be pulled from Daft Punk's debut album Homework. Sirens and police demanding over a loudspeaker to "stop the music and go home" are only the beginning to this stomping dance track. The song even has a Roman Coppola directed video that takes an unexpected turn early on:

: Long before their robotic accident and finding their electronic way Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo were in an indie group Darlin' whose sole release was a joint limited edition single. Fortunately there is now an unofficial myspace page for the group that allows you to sample their entire recorded output. Perhaps they were human after all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Video: The Juan Maclean "Happy House"

The third single from The Juan Maclean's The Future Will Come is the first single. The initial "Happy House" release in March, 2008 targeted the dj crowd with over 12 minutes of disco glory and now that same song has been edited down to a spartan 3 minute pop song. The video starts out with some too close close-ups of Nancy Whang before evolving into something quite mainstream friendly with apparent un-ironic choreography:

: The "Happy House" single is out now and features a slew of remixes. Get your fix of The Juan Maclean info at their fancy website.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Video: Vitalic "Your Disco Song"

Since his debut Poney EP in 2001 unleashed the hit "La Rock 01" on the world Vitalic has managed to become one of the most recognized electronica artists to emerge during this decade despite having only released one album. Maybe I've missed it but I was expecting a little more fanfare when I discovered when he returned last month with the Disco Terminateur EP. While the EP's other song "Terminateur Benelux" is equally strong, "Your Disco Song" is a fine track that adds a bit of 8-bit flavor to Vitalic's modus operandi. Not loving the video:

: Vitalic's full length Flashmob drops in late September.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Video: Calvin Harris "I'm Not Alone"

It looks like the new Calvin Harris album will be released in the US so why not post the video for "I'm Not Alone"? Previously unavailable in the land of the free the single nabbed the number one spot on the UK chart back in April with a unique combination of indie and "stadium rave". I tend to be a bit hot and cold when it comes to Harris but this one is sticking around my mind months after first hearing it:

: While I see nothing on Ultra Records website or on the Calvin Harris myspace confirming the release the label's youtube page gives 8/18/09 as the digital release date which is the typical one day delay over the UK unveiling of Ready For The Weekend. The CD is due in October.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Video: Jay-Z "D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)"

Are hip hop tracks ever featured on this blog? Hardly ever. But how often do tracks as incredible as this come out? The No I.D. and Kanye West produced track is largely a subtly edited sample of Janko Nilovic & Dave Sucky's "In The Space" but the beat is undeniable. Jay-Z adds the icing and "old-man grumbling" to the cake with some notable lines asking if "I’m a multi-millionaire so how is it I’m still the hardest here" and announcing that hip hop's autotune abusers music are "going make it the great depression". Despite claims that "this ain’t a number one record, this is practically assault with a deadly weapon" this is one fantastic pop record:

: Jay-Z's new album drops in September and myspace has all the info.
Related: Autotune on Nova

Friday, July 17, 2009

Video: BT "The Rose Of Jericho"

Things have been fairly quiet on the BT front since he released his "ambient symphony" This Binary Universe. The 2006 CD/DVD package was a unique project for the producer showcasing seven tracks mixed to be heard in surround sound all accompanied by specially commissioned short films. At the time of it's release BT announced another album that would be out the following year featuring collaborations with Imogen Heap and Stewart Copeland. Fast forward several years and we have "The Rose Of Jericho". BT is dipping a tentative toe into the water rather than jumping in the deep end with this understated sort-of-trance instrumental with a "Popcorn" lead synth. It's certainly an okay track but not something that inspires any passion in me. The video continues BT's recent tradition of marrying music to images with the most emotionally effective computer graphics seen since someone last turned on the random visualization mode in windows media player:

: BT's site seems to be the place to find all the latest on his still untitled album but stop by his facebook where his bio suggest it will be out sometime in 2006 before the release of This Binary Universe.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Video: Tiga "Shoes"

What is that sound? Tiga's "Shoes" is one my favorite songs of the year yet I continue to find myself at a loss to describe it. Lyrically the song is an off the chart bizarre virtual duet between Tiga and pitched up "female" voice that was rumored to be Madonna where the man tells her he wants to fix her messy hair, nails and, of course, shoes all of which is delivered in an odd parental tone. Tiga brings plenty of top notch talent to the table with Soulwax, Gonzales and Jesper Dahlback helping out on the track which features some great electronics like the memorable bass line while it stays in a pop friendly zone. Assuming you don't pay attention to the lyrics.
The video is another highlight of the year with a superb execution of it's concept. A couple of models play out the uncomfortable lyrics under the pretense of a 70s talk show with a few shots of psychedelic happenings thrown in the mix. Brilliance defined:

: Out now, Tiga's new album Ciao! "has ideas and songs and the production is always spotless". Stop by his myspace to hear more.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Quiz Time: Know Your Crystal Method/Chemical Brothers

With the release of the new Crystal Method album I got to wondering if they had ever broken free of the "America's Chemical Brothers" tag. They don't particularly sound similar these days but some of the two acts choices have a familiar ring to them. Here is a little quiz I threw together:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Quck Bits

Pet Shop Boys have been playing a version of "Viva La Vida" on their current tour. Geowayne suggests the song was chosen in solidarity with Coldplay's plagiarism claims given that PSB were accused of the same (involving one of the same parties) with "It's A Sin". Since Chris has called it one of his favorite recent songs I lean towards the idea that they are playing "Viva La Vida" because it was the inspiration for the backing track of their current single "Did You See Me Coming?". The chord structure and main rhythm of both are strikingly similar (link takes you to a not quite a mashup)even if the melody and styles are completely different. A better reason to pick up tickets is that Stuart Price, who oddly enough remixed "Viva" for Coldplay, worked on the live PSB arrangements. Also they are also playing "Two Divided By Zero"!

Much hyped UK electro acts Little Boots & La Roux are rather interesting. Sorry it took me so long to check them out but I can't be bothered to follow every one-track internet sensation. Lost in the 80's has a great post about the original Giorgio Moroder/Freddie Mercury version of "Love Kills" that Little Boots has covered for her Illuminations EP. Both versions are great.

An additional note on Hooky's Freebass preview track: He has always made odd choices when it comes to previewing material on media outlets. See evidence in this circa-1990 tv performance of NO's "The Happy One", a Technique-era track that can only be found chopped into fifteen second intervals heard during transitional segments on the Substance video collection. The band released their only number one single in the same year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Three Takes From The BPA

While housecleaning Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim, found a number of forgotten tapes containing unfinished collaborations with musicians who had stopped by his studio over the years. In an effort to tie up loose ends he created The BPA as an outlet for the finished product. Without a proper band Cook has been promoting the album I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat with Iggy Pop using the house bands of a couple late night shows to bring their take on The Monochrome Set's "He's Frank" to the masses.

Here is Cook on bass with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon:

: and playing the night before with Paul Shaffer & The CBS Orchestra On Letterman:

: Then there is the official BPA version:

: Stop by The Brighton Port Authority for all the info and some entertaining fake backstory.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Waiting For The Sirens Response

Peter Hook did a lengthy chat on XFM this week covering the many projects of his lengthy career. Hadn't heard before that he wrote the melody for "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and that the song was written in about three hours but pretty much everything else about his past has been fairly well documented. On the news front his all bass playing project Freebass, which he has been talking up for the past four years, finally has a completed album in the mastering stage and he played a track from the project. "Stalingrad" is a reggae track that lacks a distinct vocal or anything to really latch on to. NewOrderOnline suggests fast forwarding the archive to 1:41:00 to hear the track but it doesn't sound like something that will make the album.
Most importantly Hooky revealed that he has been talking with Stephen, as Bernard is consumed with Bad Lieutenant, about releasing the half+ album they completed while recording Waiting For The Sirens Call. Is it too much to hope comes out within five years of it's originally announced 2006 release date?
Hooky's book (autobiography?) How Not To Run A Club is due in October so stop by his myspace for all the latest.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Flashback: DeeJay Punk-Roc "My Beatbox" (1998)

After an introduction borrowed from LL Cool J's "I'm Bad" warns all cars to be on the lookout for mean fellow with dimples carrying a beatbox we are launched into one the great jams of the big beat era. DeeJay Punk-Roc amps up the track with robo vocals and truly break dance worthy "Planet Rock"-style electro beats that drive the track to extremes. To this day I am puzzled as to why more people don't know about the song.
Maybe it is the video which is definitely of the time when all electronic music video were silly because Fatboy Slim had such crossover success with the intelligently silly "Praise You". This one doesn't quite cut it:

: DeeJay Punk-Roc's debut album ChickenEye, now out of print, contained a wider range of styles than "My Beatbox" suggests adding a heaver dose of the turntablism and old school hip hop. There was some controversy at the time in some of the UK press suggesting that Punk-Roc was just a Milli Vanilli-type front man for his co-producer Don Sergic, who has only a few credts to his name like his remix of Ill Disco's "Keep The Jam Going", never had substance behind them and were dismissed by Sergic. Stuart Price turned in an early and utterly fantastic remix of the track that didn't make the single, which did contain a Big Audio Dynamite mix, but can be found on the Respect Is Burning compilation.
DeeJay Punk-Roc released his follow up album Spoiling It For Everyone a couple years later to a quiet reception. After putting out a couple of mix discs Punk-Roc has all but disappeared. I hope we hear a comeback soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Coming And Going

Bernard Sumner recently announced that his new project Bad Lieutenant will release an album this fall telling the BBC "I'm very proud of it, it's a very good album. It's pretty guitary too because we've got three guitarists in the band." He also spoke a bit about New Order's breakup "we split into two factions, there's me Steve and Phil. The other is Peter Hook." Ouch. Also of interest is that he made the initial announcement via fansite NewOrderOnline which got no press attention for a couple of weeks. See my previous post on Bad Lieutenant for more info on the project.

Founding Freezepop member The Duke, aka Kasson Crooker, is leaving the group to concentrate on his day job at Harmonix. His departure doesn't come as a huge surprise given he stopped touring with the band last year for the same reason. What music Kasson has time to make will be released as Symbion Project, an alias he has used for more than a decade as his outlet for electronia. As for the remaining members of Freezepop they have promised that new music is on the way.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Video: Depeche Mode "Peace"

Revisiting the electronic sound of Some Great Reward is something that DM have never done before and it works exceptionally well on "Peace". The punctuated bass line, helium fueled leads, sparse arpeggios and even the string pad of doom that underscores a few lines all stir something deep within my soul that remind me why I became a Depeche fan. However I can't help but expect something more from the song. Perhaps it is just heightened expectations from listening to Violator recently, but there was a time when you could expect Martin Gore's songs to take you on a trip around the world and back developing organically in the course of four or so minutes which doesn't happen here. I have been trying to put my finger on exactly what draws me out of the song and while I have discovered that I am not a fan of the aimless organ part what is the deal breaker is the build up in the middle eight that leads to a cop-out fade out. It is like loading up the car for a road trip getting on the interstate and turning back around because you forgot where you were going. What does it say that this is definitely one of the two tracks that Sounds Of The Universe will be remembered for:

: The "Peace" single is out this week in most of the world although in the US the release seems to be limited to an addition to the content of the DM itunes pass. I'm sure depeche mode dot com has details buried somewhere on it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Video: Felix Da Housecat "Kickdrum"

Near the beginning of the decade Felix Da Housecat had an amazing run of singles and remixes that tapered off with his album from a couple of years ago. Virgo Blaktro & The Movie Disco was only three tracks deep, one of those being a rewrite of a Stuart Price remix, with nothing that rivaled the heights of the material that made him an electroclash icon. Things might be turning around for Felix on his new single "Kickdrum" which finds him singing the praises of drum machines. It is loud, raw and could have been banged out with Reason in about 10 minutes but you leaves wanting more just like a teaser single should:

: July brings He Was King. Hopefully his old magic will be back. Felix Da Housecat's myspace is the place for more info.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Video: The Prodigy "The Warrior's Dance"

Prodigy's Invaders Must Die is a bit shy of standout tracks but their recent top 10 UK single "The Warrior's Dance" is definitely one of them. After the band's initial attempt at recording new material resulted in months of writers block things improved when Keith Flint challenged Liam Howlett to write something to be played live at last year's Gatecrasher festival. Howlett's retro track takes it's inspiration from two rave records released in 1989 with Final Cut's "Take Me Away" providing the vocals and a sample from Addis Posse's "Let The Warrior's Dance" helping the beat. The video is a self-aware edgy affair, they posted a preemptive notice of what to do when the video gets pulled from youtube, that features the band as literal firestarters, in the form of animated matchbook men, who controversially take on cigarettes:

: Visit Prodigy's site if the video does not work.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Video: Moby "Pale Horses"

Moby has been talking up the uncommercial nature of his upcoming album as he has been doing the press rounds. So far his singles choices bear that out. The vocals for "Pale Horses" were recorded in a completely unconventional way pointing to the words, which include the line "all my family died", to a friend singing the song for the first time. The effect is not unlike one of the quieter tracks on Play. The video is an sad little animated treatment of the song that brings Moby's alien sketches to life:

: The single release of "Pale Horses", due June 22nd, features remixes from Gui Boratto, Apparat and Jason Bentley. Wait For Me is out June 29th.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Video: Pet Shop Boys "Did You See Me Coming?"

The second single pulled from Yes is a rather nice example of PSB hitting their electropop stride with a generous touch of Johnny Marr guitar added to the mix. The single package should be amazing as it features three b-sides (one of which is the current Popjustice song of the day), Stuart Price's PSB Brit Award medley and a number of remixes including one from Richard X. However for the official video they take the performance video approach playing the song in front of the large video screen. Why shouldn't they remake the "Minimal" video a couple of years later and take out the interesting bits?:

: Actually there is a really great part where Neil works the jazz hands routine for a couple of seconds. "Did You See Me Coming?" is out June 1st (please release it digitally Astralwerks) and has all the info you need to keep track of the various formats.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Video: Rex The Dog "Bubblicious"

Rex The Dog might be stalking Vince Clarke. Rex developed his distinct sound after buying a Korg 700S because it was used on Depeche Mode's first album so one of his first moves was to turn in a storming remix of "Photographic" that was one of the few redeeming tracks on DM's cash grab Remixes 81-04. Rex's most recent video moves the timeline ahead a year or so later borrowing Alison Moyet's vocals from "Midnight", an album track on Yaz's (that's Yazoo to those outside of the US) debut Upstairs At Erics. "Bubblicious" is an exhilarating track that marries the essence of synthpop's age of innocence with the spirit of today's retro-flavored floor fillers. The video finds Yaz reconnected through the magic of stop motion cardboard albeit with Rex stepping in for the mysteriously absent Vince:

: I held off posting on this song for some months now because I had hoped to post news of Rex The Dog's album being released in the US. Unfortunately that still hasn't happened and nothing has been announced that suggests it will happen which is a terrible shame.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Techno From Unexpected Faces: UB40

Taking their name from a United Kingdom unemployment form UB40 were discovered by Chrissie Hynde who invited the politically minded reggae group to open for The Pretenders. Things really took off for the group in 1983 with the release their covers album Labour Of Love that featured their massively popular version of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine" giving the band a formula for success. They would go on to have hit covers of "The Way You Do the Things You Do", "I Got You Babe" and "Kingston Town" before having one of the biggest hits of their career in 1993 covering Elvis Presley's "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love With You" for the Sliver soundtrack. The song reached number one in seven countries including the UK and the US but the single was backed with a song that revealed a more musically daring side to the group. While the instrumental “Jungle Love” has been referred to as “an oddball "dub" mash up” it actually is an early drum ’n’ bass track that boldly wears it’s jungle influence down to the pitched up mc vocal sample. 808 State had released a “vs.” remix of the band‘s 1981 single “One In Ten” just the year before and UB40’s sound at the time heavily incorporated electronics so it was not a totally unanticipated move but discarding vocals and traditional songwriting to throw themselves into the deep end of the then emerging jungle scene is quite an unexpected move from a group that so often plays things safe. Ultimately the track didn’t quite hold up at the time and in the years that have passed it sounds really quite confused as if they attempted to distill an entire genre into a single track. However they do get points for trying:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Video: The Crystal Method featuring Matisyahu "Drown In The Now"

In the last five years The Crystal Method created the first nike/itunes epic running routine download, mixed a compilation, built a studio, wrote a soundtrack and re-released their first album while fans waited for them to recorded a follow-up to 2003's Legion Of Boom. The wait is almost over as we have the fist single from Divided By Night in our figurative hands. "Drown In The Now" finds the duo courting the alt-rock audience, as they always have done, bringing Matisyahu in for vocal duties on a track that is less about raw beats than a fully formed song. Despite my reservations about the vocalist's popularity, that the only reggae hit on rock radio in the last decade is by an overtly religious white guy suggests novelty act to me, the track works well taking TCM in a direction they have not explored before:

: Divided By Night is out May 12. The Crystal Method will be touring in support of the new album and their myspace has details.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Video: Pet Shop Boys "Did You See Me Coming?"

Even international major label artists can create low quality fan music videos. Shot on the lot of a German film studio, perhaps while shooting the official video, the Pet Shop Boys tour manager filmed this with his camera phone. According to Neil "It seemed like a good idea at the time":

: The "Did You See Me Coming?" single is out June 1st featuring three new b-sides plus remixes including the Richard X take on penultimate Yes track "The Way It Used To Be". You will undoubtedly find the official video at the Pet Shop Boys youtube page when it is unveiled.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Neil Tennant Silenced

The forthcoming Chinese release of Pet Shop Boys Yes will feature an instrumental version of the album's closing track "Legacy" because the lyrical content offended government officials:
"Governments fall/Glaciers melt/Hurricanes bawl"; "Resentment remain/both east and west/Police expect/an arrest"; "They're raising an army/in the North/from York Minster/to the Firth of Forth/A pilgrimage of grace/you won't believe it/Such a human face..."

: While this is hardly incendiary material in the West this is right in the mode of the Chinese government's reaction to Bjork performing the "unapproved song" "Declare Independence" last year and I'm surprised I haven't found more in the press about it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Super Synthpop Tuesday

Both Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode have new discs out today. Click on the links to stream both albums.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero"

Better bloggers than me pointed this out months ago but Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero" is rather amazing. Their new album It's Blitz! finds the band adding electronics to the mix to great effect when paired with strong songwriting. The video finds Karen O out and about on the streets of San Francisco dancing on the roofs of cars in a neighborhood I've parked in before:

: The band, um, blitzed the late night circuit last week and left me wondering how such a moody group ended up with such a pleasant drummer. Listen to more Yeah Yeah Yeahs at their myspace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Video: Moby "Shot In The Back Of The Head"

After a couple of months of hinting Moby made the official announcement about his next album Wait For Me today. Inspired by a David Lynch speech about creativity without concern of a commercial audience being a good thing Moby recorded the album in his home studio with a few friends as guest vocalists. I'm not expecting a pop record. The first single has a faintly disturbing video directed by David Lynch:

: Wait For Me is out June 30th.

UPDATE: "Shot In The Back Of The Head" is available as a free download at

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Video: Freeland "Under Control"

Adam Freeland made some changes to his approach before embarking on his second album of original material Cope™ imbibing a shot of rock and roll to loosen up his decidedly club oriented roots. Despite the changes there is something incredibly familiar about the album's first single "Under Control" because the project's new singer Kurt Baumann channels LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy (who you may have heard is massively influenced by Mark E Smith) so precisely that it seriously distracts from the song. Like Freeland's previous hit "We Want Your Soul" the lyrics work on a political level this time taking on the war on terror as the powers that be tell us to "relax 'cause nothing is under control" but all I hear is "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House":

Freeland - Under Control - Official Video from Freeland on Vimeo.

: Freeland offer a free download of the song in remixed form at their site. Cope™ is due this June.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

First Look: Bad Lieutenant "Sink Or Swim"

Last month Bernard Sumner did a lengthy sit down interview special for British television. Bernard Sumner Songbook is one of the best interviews I've ever seen with the legend as he opens up on his songwriting process and discusses the entire span of his career including how he & Hooky would fire early drummers with a box of chocolates to the demise of New Order being brought on by his love of electronics. Over the course of the special a song each from his major projects ("Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Bizarre Love Triangle", "Getting Away With It") was performed with acoustic accompaniment and they premiered a song from with his new project Bad Lieutenant. Here is the acoustic version of "Sink Or Swim":

: Bernard announced Bad Lieutenant at the Control premier a couple of years ago and it appears they have been logging some serious studio time. The group picks up where NO left off involving Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham while adding Jake Evans, Matt Evans (Rambo And Leroy), Alex James (Blur) and Jack Mitchell (Haven) to the mix. No word if the project will release any of the songs written for New Order's never finished 2006 album that would have included their work with producers Brian Higgins and Tore Johansson.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Flashback: The Trip Hop Test, Part One (1995)

The very definition of trip hop was in flux when Moonshine Music released The Trip Hop Test, Part One in January of 1995. The term had already surfaced in the US characterizing the downtempo music coming across the pond from Bristol producers like Tricky and Massive Attack but those listening closer to the underground also described rave music influenced equally by hip hop and psychedelic music by the same name. Was it the same movement? The Trip Hop Test doesn't answer the question but instead presents evidence allowing the listener to decide. Compilations almost always take related tracks to make a statement on a scene or time so taking the risk to ask questions about a scene is one of the most endearing things about the collection. Impressively the disc also manages to catch many of the major players of electronic music before they came to prominence in the later half of decade. Here is the track listing and some thoughts:

Saint Etienne "Filthy"
Originally the b-side to "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" the oldest track on the collection dates from the Saint Etienne's early days when they only had guest vocalists here featuring British rapper Q-Tee who was only 15 when she recorded the track.  The song was later remixed by Monkey Mafia and included on the band's Casino Classics remix collection.
The Dust Brothers "My Mercury Mouth"
Actually a track from The Chemical Brothers taken from the last EP they released as The Dust Brothers before going chemical for legal reasons.  The reason to buy the disc since the track is closer to delicate ambient techno than anything Brothers have released since becoming album artists.
Step Disk "Boing Dragon" 
The disc's first misstep from a group that faded away shortly after releasing this.  Notably "loose" production emphasising samples demonstrate the sound of the time but it is extremely repetitive.
Skylab "Sea Shell" 
This was a massive track on college radio at the time that introduces an unusual laidback beat to an ambient template. This group effort is the first time future Bjork and U2 producer Howie B appeared on my radar.
Paul Weller "Wild Wood (Portishead Mix)"
Who would have guessed the sole representation of the Bristol sound would come from The Modfather?  Portishead weave their Dummy-era sound around the original song's structure incorporating the best of both worlds.  A must for Portishead fans.
The Aloof "Society"
This group is probably better known for their work in other projects which include The Sabres Of Paradise, Red Snapper and the vocals to Luke Slater's 2002 electropop masterpiece Alright On Top.  This track is a bit shouty and has sirens but fails to effectively convey the talent involved.
Tranquility Bass "They Come In Peace"
More music branching out of ambient adding hip hop beats to the mix.  While they would go on to release higher profile albums this is as good as Tranquility Bass ever got.
The Crystal Method "Dubeliscious Groove"
American electronica's great hope turn in an early ambient techno track that sounds unfinished.  Try the far superior Fly Spanish Version from the Keep Hope Alive EP for something that will stick to your brain. 
Single Cell Orchestra "Transmit Liberation"
Another college radio hit here from San Francisco artist Miguel Fierro.  One of my favorite ambient techno tracks of all time.
Lemon Interupt "Minneapolis"
When Karl Hyde and Rick Smith left behind the gothic gloom of their first Underworld outing they added Darren Emerson and gained some techno edge but chose to release their initial offerings, and production on Saint Etienne's Tiger Bay, under the name Lemon Interupt.  This b-side to "Dirty" shows them working their new sound out even if it falls short of essential.
Tales from the Woodshed "Brainclog"
Proto-big beat from a duo that would shorten their name to The Woodshed before disappearing a few short years later.  

:  Moonshine Music would go on to release another two volumes of The Trip Hop Test before branching off into other ventures but they deserve credit for taking a snapshot of electronic music at the crossroads and not giving us the answer key.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hot Cover Alert: Faith No More "Glory Box"

Sometime before going on hiatus the best hard rock band of the 90s Faith No More played a version of Portishead's "Glory Box" live. It's pretty fantastic:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Video: Larry Tee featuring Mel Merio "Hipster Girl"

Larry Tee is one of those people who you expect to disappear from the face of the Earth who somehow manages to find a way to survive. From producing Rupaul in the 90s to trademarking Electroclash at the turn of the century Tee is nothing less than a true dance music survivor who has done things his own way without ever really becoming an album artist. His latest offering pairs him with Mel Merio, probably best known for working with Christopher Just ("I'm A Disco Dancer") on a cover of PSB's "Domino Dancing". Missed that one? Me too. Regardless, Tee & Merio have stumbled into something interesting here creating a new wave tune that strums along nicely before an insane middle eight brings the Justice rumble bass elevating the song to another level. Did I mention it features the cowbell? Give it a listen:

: Both Mel Merio and Larry Tee have myspace pages featuring their varied musical projects.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Video: The Juan Maclean "One Day"

The Juan Maclean return next month with The Future Will Come. Last year John MacLean was deep into rave territory on the more than twelve minute "Happy House" making the modern day new wave of the album's proper pre-release single "One Day" an unexpected turn. This is perhaps the most pop record DFA has released yet with a proper string part and a distinct Human League vibe as John trades off vocal duties with LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang. Did I mention that Whang is singing rather than working out of her standard shouting modus operandi? Yes, this is a synthpop record:

: Good news, the song is this week's itunes free download in the US so you can download the track for free. The Future Will Come is due out on April 21st, aka synthpop release, so keep up to date with all the latest news at The Juan Maclean website.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Still Happy

Röyksopp celebrate the release of their much praised Junior this week with this lovely alternate take of "Happy Up Here":

Monday, March 23, 2009

Video: Client "Can You Feel?"

There is something very familiar about the first single from Client's new album Command. At first blush Sarah Blackwood and Kate Holmes appear to be in top form on the driving "Can You Feel?" flavoring the strong vocal with a crunchy disco beat and the always welcome Peter Hook-esque melodic bass but the arrangement is keeping me from loving the song. After a month of attempting to pinpoint the problem I suspect the deal breaker is the combination of the octave bass and piano both of which have been featured many times over in the Client discography. This has created The Erasure Effect for me where it becomes difficult to differentiate between the songs that are of simply decent quality but sound similar to past favorites you have loved from the truly great new songs. If a bit ambivalent about the song I can recommend the video as one of Client's strongest visual efforts:

: Client Online is the best place to find info on the band at the moment and this interview with Sarah digs into how the duo work even if it doesn't answer what I would ask (Why did the Dubstar reunion fall through? You really believe everything on wikipedia? Really? What's up with the rotating third member of the band that never appears to write or record with band?). Command is out now. I hope to fall in love with it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Signing to Astralwerks in the US was the clearly the right move as billboards are popping up all over the Bay Area with "Love Etc." printed in huge letters. Obviously it is a bit cryptic as they don't mention the Pet Shop Boys by name but in this age of viral ad campaigns I'm sure of the public will catch on.

You can hear Yes in it's entirety with the widget below. It's rather good.

(photo from piperaudrey's photostream)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Thoughts

The most consistently thoughtful music blog ever XO's Middle Eight is turning five years old this month. I don't know how he maintains such high a level of excellence while working a day job but the blog is always a pleasure to read.

Does it seem odd to anyone else that the two surviving synthpop powerhouses (apologies to Erasure) of the 80's, both newly signed to the same parent label, are releasing albums on April 21 in the US?

Pet Shop Boys are hitting the press in support of Yes. Chart Rigger has a great collection of links to interviews and I highly recommend The Guardian's podcast with the Boys where they discuss how they write songs. "Love Etc." is out digitally in the US next Tuesday with all the b-sides intact.

The Modern are making another attempt at getting an album out. Life In A Modern World should be released within the next month.

My favorite itunes user review of the new Prodigy album includes the following line: "Don't get me wrong, Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned was a great album." Sure it was...

Voltage tipped me off to Thru You which is an amazing visual example of creating cut-and-paste music. Well I actually read about on Moby's myspace blog first but it is still worth watching even if it's not usually your type of thing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

One More Reason To Love Chromeo

I just can't get over this recent appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba!:

: It really brings home that Chromeo are that rare band that are likable. Even on bizarre television shows targeted at preschoolers.

(via Disco Potential)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Video: Röyksopp "Happy Up Here"

"Happy Up Here", the first single from Junior, uses their early single "Eple" as a jumping off point for a subtle pop song that is surprisingly catchy. While I am a fan of the track it does seem a bit premature, given this is only their third album, for Röyksopp to be recycling past hits as the lead in to new material. I'm all for postmodern art but this seems a bit extreme. The video is a treat which realizes Space Invaders as it might play out in a higher resolution reality. The director Reuben Sutherland has previously created an ad for a modern alien invasion game so he has probably been mulling this over for a while now:

: The song has inspired me to revisit Röyksopp's first album Melody AM which sounds utterly brilliant. Hear some of Junior ahead of it's March 23 release at their myspace.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Video: West End Girls "A Little Black Dress"

The pinnacle of PSB fandom must be West End Girls, the Swedish duo who perform nothing but Pet Shop Boys songs. Neil and Chris, clearly flattered by the tribute, have allowed the Girls to record a version of "Little Black Dress" which is the new single from their forthcoming second album. Originally written for the Boys musical Closer To Heaven the song failed to make the final cut although I have heard the original version had a vibrant life on p2p programs at the turn of the century:

: If you would like to see an incomplete site that tells you nothing current about West End Girls then please stop by their official website.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Video: Depeche Mode "Wrong"

The arresting new Depeche Mode video was officially unleashed on the internet today marking the complete roll out of the song within the week. The Depeche team, or Mute/EMI, have really played things right with "Wrong". The song didn't leak until the day of it's first live performance at Germany's Echo Awards last Saturday and they wisely got the track up on itunes on Tuesday just as the initial wave of excitement spread across the internet. The song finds DM returning to their sound of the Music For The Masses-era, as Electronically Yours noted there are hints of "Pimpf", so it is not as immediate as some of their better known work. Which is not to say it hasn't been stuck in my head all week. The video was directed Patrick Daughter, the man behind those fantastic Feist videos, taking us on an unpleasant ride that you just can't turn away from. At the risk of sounding too adolescent it is freaky:

: Depeche will be touring the Universe all year so you know I'm looking forward to seeing Andy clap off the beat. Sounds Of the Universe is out April 21st so visit Depeche Mode Dot Com for all the latest.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Video: Pet Shop Boys "Love Etc."

The first single from the Xenomania produced Yes is different from anything that the Pet Shop Boys have done before. Nothing in the Boys extensive catalogue sounds quite like the combination of unconventional structure, shouted male chorus and swinging synths. Fortunately it is still amazing.
Dutch artist Han Hoogerbrugge created the bouncing cut and paste video that creates a video game version of the song:

: Yes is due most everywhere March 23rd although no US date has been announced. Also the Boys just confirmed that their long talked about ballet, based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, is planned for 2011. Neil and Chris have written about a third of the score which is expected to combine electronics and orchestra.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Video: Ladytron "Tomorrow"

Ladytron have spent so much time over the past few years proving they can rock it is easy to forget that they can write pretty songs too. "Tomorrow" is one of those tracks that got lost in the sonic sameness of Velocifero but it is stunner when given a little room to breathe. The video is rather fantastic mixing folksy and futuristic as only a Ladytron video should:

: "Tomorrow" is released as a single on March 3rd. Ladytron continue to promote Velocifero on the road touring North America with The Faint in April in what I hope will be billed as The Monsters Of Electro-Rock before joining Depeche Mode on their Tour Of The Universe in Europe. Visit their myspace for more info.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sometimes You're Better Off Dead

Pet Shop Boys celebrated their Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the BRITs with an epic performance of their hits last night. In over the top award show fashion they appeared as giant talking heads first thanking everyone for the award as if they were unable to attend before taking the stage surrounded by surreal Very visuals, guest appearances and dancing businessmen. Importantly their medley was produced by Stuart Price who has been the most obvious choice to produce the Boys for a decade now. Hopefully this will lead to a proper collaboration on new material soon. Over a dozen songs were touched upon as we caught bits of "Love Etc" along with another taste of Yes with as they teased "All Over The World" before Brandon Flowers created a highlight dueting with Neil on "It's A Sin". The most problematic moments came from the bland Lady Gaga's involvement. I simply don't understand her appeal at all or what the Boys see in her. Catch the medley before it disappears from youtube:

Monday, February 09, 2009

What I Do Like I Love Passionately

Pet Shop Boys "Love etc.", the first single from the forthcoming Yes, was first played on the radio today and has been making the rounds since it leaked several days ago. It's rather amazing. Equally amazing is that the Pet Shop Boys Entertainment Tonight interview that was sampled in "Paninaro" just turned up on youtube:

: Get remixing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Video: The Prodigy "Omen"

The Prodigy have returned with new material ahead of Invaders Must Die, the album they originally expected to release in 2006. The title track was available last year as "non-single" limited time only free download from the band's site and didn't do much to raise expectations. There is a video for the song but people like Billy Suede have pointed out "Invaders Must Die" is essentially a remix of a Does It Offend You, Yeah? track which speaks to Liam Howlett's limited songwriting abilities.
The first actual single "Omen" is much better. There hints of melody with a vibe part and a "No Good (Start The Dance)"-style lead synth which play off Keith Flint's first Prodigy vocal since "Baby's Got A Temper". Give it a listen:

: Invaders Must Die is out March 3 so stop by their myspace for more information.

Monday, February 02, 2009

This Day & Age

"We live in an age wherein people usually listen to random tracks from an album, but... a beautiful and cohesive body of work will ideally make sense when listened to from start to finish." That is a bit hacked out of context from the blog announcement that Moby is beginning to mix his latest album, tentatively due in June, but it makes a point that has been floating around my mind recently. The technology that allows unlimited instant access to almost any song you can think of is amazing allowing us all to expand the limits of our musical knowledge but along with it we have lost something. Part of that is the journey an artist can take you on as an album that frames songs within a context that brings a greater meaning than they have alone but another important thing we have lost is silence. It has been an issue since the age of dual cassette players and multi-disc CD players but there the gravity that silence brings to a piece as it allows reflection on what just took place. Maybe it is just a question of how we view music today as Count Popula recently commented on a XO mixtape about how "people used to really LIVE with their music rather than treating it like a commodity". How do we get back there?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Late Review: Client Zerox Machine EP

(note: the following review was written ages ago)

Zerox Machine
Loose Talking
Zerox Machine (IDC Mix)
Zerox Machine (Jonny Slut/Atomizermix)
Zerox Machine (Robert Görl Strange Pistol Mix)
Zerox Machine (Club Mix By Covenant)

In a conspicuous break from the purely electronic pallet that colored their previous material Client have gone rock with their spunky version of Adam & The Ant's "Zerox Machine". Sarah Blackwood's vocal delivery reflects a consciousness that one does not expect to find in a run through a genre chestnut as she breaks up the phrasing of the word "copyright" so it becomes "copy, right?" turning the song into a response to the band's detractors that claim they simply imitate. The lyrics also touch upon ideas that Client have explored before such as identity, masking and control which further suggest the band's personal investment and ownership of the song. Despite the familiar lyrical touches the track's producer Youth plots a new course for the band musically as he brings a focus on "live" elements highlighting the work of Client's new bassist Emily Strange, the sharp rhythms of Blur associate Simon Tong's guitar and the machine-free drums laid down for the track. Even with the shift in style it is the theremin synth lead of Client's sonic architect Kate Holmes that brings the track to life during the chorus providing the link between old and new directions for the band.

"Loose Talking" finds the band using a lot more synths as they rework a number of familiar elements into a song that toys with sweet sadness. There are some promising bits but the song fails to follow through making for an unsatisfying listen.

Remixes of covers are always a dicey proposition because the distance from the original source material makes it difficult to find an unique angle but that problem is danced around here as parties from different scenes are given mixing duties. IDC play things straight incorporating much of the original while the confusingly named Jonny Slut/Atomizermix (thus named because they couldn't settle for just listing one alias that he records under) brings stutter edits and an electro flavor to the table. Recruiting D.A.F. member Robert Görl for a mix must have been quite a moment for Client as they list them as a major influence but Görl turns in an oddly unmusical mix that adds a bit of occasional 16th note trance synths to an uninspired beat leaving the affair a lost opportunity. Ultimately it is Covenant that bring the goods with their EBM flavored mix that takes the liberty to ignore much of the original as they form an effective dark dance track.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Late Review: Client Lights Go Out EP

(note: the following review was written some time ago)

Lights Go Out (Single Edit)
Northern Soul
Lights Go Out (Oliver Koletzki & Sebastian Meindl Mix)
Lights Go Out (Basteroid Mix)
Lights Go Out (Spetsnaz Mix)
Lights Go Out (Boosta Mix)

Client use "Lights Go Out" to tell the story of a woman who goes to extreme lengths to win the affection of an undeserving partner she finds herself "guilty of loving". Over the course of the song the narrator offers, in a pop friendly turn, to be the "guilty pleasure" of what we learn in the final verse is a promise breaking lover that forced her to "learn the hard way" that there are "no guarantees". Given the band's recent split with Toast Hawaii/Mute this redefinition of the band's mission statement, first laid out in Client's self-titled song that was their public debut, of "satisfaction guaranteed" suggests meaning for the band outside the song's narration. However as interesting as it is lyrically the song is musically a mishmash of ideas they have explored before. The swinging beat of "Pornography" and the ominous string sound of "Radio" are clearly echoed here but "Lights Go Out" lacks the clarity and melodic vision that was so vivid in Client's earlier material.

"Northern Soul" is better than average b-side fair flair despite noticeably recycling the riff from "Rock And Roll Machine". Really any song that had the audacity to declare "you need a bit of Northern soul" and that they "know the girls to give it" would be worth a listen and fortunately this tune has even more than that to offer.

If the original "Lights Go Out" lacks greatness then the single goes on to prove that a song cannot be saved with a little magic remix dust. Oliver Koletzki & Sebastian Meindl's deconstruction is full of stutter edits and vocals cut from the single version of the song which makes for some interesting moments but it is ultimately less than satisfying. Basteroid and Boosta flavor the song with their own respected arty electro seasonings but achieve uninspired filler at best. Spetsnaz begins his mix with enough promise that there is hope that a François Kevorkian-inspired spin on the song could develop but unfortunately the mix crashes and burns about a minute in quickly devolving into an amateurish mess. All in all it's the least appealing package that Client has assembled to date.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Video: Shinichi Osawa "Star Guitar"

I originally dismissed Shinichi Osawa's cover of "Star Guitar" without hearing it. If an artist covers a hit song as their lead single and they work in the same genre chances are they are hiding their lack of artistic merit and making a blatant cash grab in one swoop. Fortunately Crap For Genius recently reminded me of the cover and while I don't rate it as highly as he does the subtle update of the Chemical Brothers tune works really well taking the song out of the trance genre and shining a spotlight on the nearly hidden vocals of the original:

: The Chemical Brothers based the original song around a short guitar sample from David Bowie's "Starman" and have often performed the song live mashed up with the Brothers cover of New Order's "Temptation" so this really is just adding another layer. Shinichi Osawa's "Star Guitar" is out on CD single this week in the UK on Norman Cook's Southern Fried Records so stop by his myspace to get all the info.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pop! Chart

Erasure are shortly due to finally update their classic singles collection Hits: The Very Best Of Erasure Pop! with the eagerly anticipated Total Pop!: The First 40 Hits. Naturally the two disc collection contains 41 tracks, 39 songs and omits the Union Street single "Boy". It's not all bad because the title suggests an alternate universal where the top 40 charts would be dominated by Erasure tunes. It might look something like this:

1. Oh L'Amour
2. Chains Of Love
3. A Little Respect
4. Blue Savannah
5. Chorus
6. Who Needs Love (Like That)
7. Victim Of Love
8. Drama!
9. Ship Of Fools
10. Breath Of Life
11. Star
12. Love To Hate You
13. Take A Chance On Me
14. Always
15. Am I Right?
16. Sometimes
17. You Surround Me
18. It Doesn't Have To Be
19. Solsbury Hill
20. Rock Me Gently
21. Stop!
22. Breathe
23. Fingers And Thumbs (Cold Summer's Day)
24. The Circus
25. Stay With Me
26. Sunday Girl
27. Freedom
28. Heavenly Action
29. Don't Say Your Love Is Killing Me
30. In My Arms
31. Here I Go Impossible Again
32. Rain
33. Run To The Sun
34. I Could Fall In Love With You
35. Don't Say You Love Me
36. Moon And The Sky
37. I Love Saturday
38. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
39. Storm In A Teacup

: If we were to group those singles by the albums they were taken from and assigned a value of 39 to the highest ranked single and 1 to the lowest ranked then we would end up with a chart like this:

: Overall this indicates a slight drop off in amazingess in the I Say I Say I Say era which was Erasure's first album following the original Pop!. It is also worth noting that 85% of my top 20 appear on that first compillation despite my continuing to follow the duo after the general public lost their scent making this new greatest hits useless to all but the most dedicated fans. Still stop by Erasure's myspace to hear some flawless tunes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro

Electronic legend Florian Schneider recent announced his departure from Kraftwerk. When I saw the band play in San Francisco a few years ago it was almost a religious passage for the fans of techno, hip hop, synthpop and all things electronic who witnessed the show. Fortunately it was captured on film:

Monday, January 12, 2009

On The Radio

Freezepop just chatted with NPR's "All Things Considered" about being unapologetic in their pop, the paradigm shift in video game music and revealed that the lyrics to "Pop Music Is Not A Crime" were written while Liz was on jury duty. Listen the next time you've got a spare few minutes to get an insight to the band's personality.