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.