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: