Author: electricityclub (Page 3 of 407)

“I don’t like country & western, I don’t like rock music… I don’t like rockabilly! I don’t like much really do I? But what I do like, I love passionately!!”: CHRIS LOWE

“Good taste is exclusive”: NICK RHODES

METROLAND Forum

Not content with their own solo adventures as 808 DOT POP and LECTREAU, those ever prolific passengers METROLAND are back with their new album ‘Forum’ just over a year after their last long playing opus ‘0’.

Embracing the slogan to “own nothing, be happy”, ‘Forum’ is conceptually connected to its predecessor and continues METROLAND’s exploration of the brave new future coined by Klaus Schwab in 2015 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

Starting with the profoundly titled ‘Co-operation In A Fragmented World’, the sparkle of KOMPUTER with a deep pumping rumble provides an appealing tension. The stark railway journey of ‘The Great Reset’ is catchy and melodic but prolonged. Ramping up the pace, ‘Activity As A Timetrigger’ pushes along with a barrage of percussive noise and hypnotic blips while ‘Happy Nothing’ backs a speech computer manifesto on a Utopian future and how to be happy.

‘Baukultur (The Davos Declaration)’ possesses a fabulous bounce and an array of enticing electronic sounds to savour before with a percolating sequence, ‘Infotainment’ comes over soothing with its accompanying computerised voice passages. Ominous and rhythmic, ‘Quantum’ states the case for a shift in mindset towards the possibilities of quantum computing while the futuristic ‘World Economic Forum’ would make a good TV drama theme.

To conclude ‘Forum’, there is a 6 part suite on the CD version which develops on the excellent ‘Industry 4.0’ from ‘0’; ‘Industry 5.0’ in particular comes over as a more layered radio edit variation of this slice of electro-motorik while ‘Industry 6.0’ takes the form of a short tone poem.

With concept, propaganda and honours, ‘Forum’ is more immediate and melodic than Passenger S and Passenger A’s past few albums and coming “recommended to all fans of the Düsseldorf synth stylz”, if there are to be no more KRAFTWERK or KOMPUTER records, then let them be like METROLAND ones.


‘Forum’ is released on 31 May 2024 by Alfa Matrix as a CD + download in a variety of bundles, pre-order from https://www.808dotpop.com/shop.html

http://www.metrolandmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/metrolandmusic

https://twitter.com/MetrolandMusic


Text by Chi Ming Lai
18 May 2024

KID MOXIE Close To You

Having taken a diversion in 2023 to work with German Queen Of Synthwave NINA on the ‘Lust’ EP. KID MOXIE is back on the soundtrack trail.

Recorded at her Lemon Tree Studios, the spine-tingling ‘Close To You’ is not a cover of THE CARPENTERS but a self-written song by Elena Charbila for the film ‘Don’t Open the Door’. An independent Greek horror movie by two brothers The Unboxholics has become massively popular in its home. Far from civilization, in a frozen forest on an inhospitable mountainside, a group of researchers is attacked by an unidentified figure. The sole survivor, a young biologist, takes refuge in the isolated cabin of a mysterious man…

Elena Charbila chatted to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about this latest commission as well as what else is on the horizon as KID MOXIE…

So was ‘Close To You’ specially written and produced for the film ‘Don’t Open The Door’ or was it a song that you’d had on your computer for a while?

Yes, it was very much specifically for the film, its’ the first song I’ve fully, written, produced, mixed and mastered ever. This film happens to be one of the most successful Greek movies at the domestic box office in decades. It was a scary process as I’d never fulfilled a whole song on my own before. In the past, I’d always done as much as I felt could and then given it over to a co-producer or mixer.

As this was a homemade film, I wanted it to be full home made at my end as well. I locked myself up in my studio and pulled all the blinds down… where I live, there’s a lot of sun usually so for about 3 days, I lived in complete darkness, this is a really dark film and this particular song was going into one of the most pivotal scenes of the film and it’s a really dark scene by subject matter because of the location so I wanted to put myself where the actors were… and that’s how the song was born!

“If you bleed, I die…” is quite a striking statement?

Yes, this might be my favourite lyric in the song, just because it is very striking… I’m into striking things whether that’s a statement or an image. It also goes very much hand in hand the theme of the movie which has to do with karma. It also has something very lethal yet very erotic as a statement, the play on words in that it has something to do with death and has something to do with sex, it’s just very intriguing to me…

… and very Shakespearean too! The Unboxholics have directed the video ‘Close To You’ although the visual aesthetic is quite different from the film trailer?

So part of it was shot on location where one of the film’s pivotal scenes was shot and part of it was shot at The Unboxholics’ home studio which makes it look like I’m in a Ridley Scott set, like I’m in ‘Blade Runner’ or Cyberpunk land or something… I would say half of it matched the aesthetic of the film and half of it matches what I love and what The Unboxholics love which is that neon / vaporwave aesthetic.

You’ve been on social media quite a bit of late, is this a modern “needs must” situation to maintain your profile? Is it pressured or do you actually enjoy it?

I have to say social media has been an acquired taste for me. I’m extremely private, I don’t post private stuff ever, it’s always fantasy stuff. I want people to know that I obviously don’t post very personal or vulnerable stuff for better or for worse. So what you see on social media is not really my everyday life *laughs*

It’s my life in neon, it’s how I would want you to see me. Having said that, it’s a bit of a “needs must” situation in order to maintain it, I’ve put some pressure on myself but then I sort of became an autopilot thing and I just kept it going…

You have a covers album planned for this Fall, can you say anything about its concept and what will be included?

It basically is a recap of all the covers I’ve ever put out and a bunch of covers that are yet to come out. They will be staring to come out in the Fall, one of them is going to be in the new season of the Netflix show ‘Maestro In Blue’ in which ‘Creep’ was featured. I’ve had this need to have all my covers in one chapter because they were all over the place. Call it OCD, I don’t know or call it opening and closing a chapter. I love covers but it’s not what I want to be doing forever. So to put them in one big chapter and call it KID MOXIE ‘The Covers’, that is what is happening.

I know you did a cover of Burning Up’ by Madonna once, will that ever see the light of day?

OH BOY! YES! I DID do a cover of Burning Up’ by Madonna! I was a baby when I did that, I wasn’t very proud of the production or my vocals actually. I had a listen to it maybe a year ago and it was cringey for me! So I will not be putting it out as it is unless it gets majorly reworked let’s just say! 😉


‘Close To You’ is released by MINOS-EMI/A Universal Music Company and available on the usual platforms via https://KidMoxie.lnk.to/CloseToYouEP

Other KID MOXIE releases are available from https://kidmoxie.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/kidmoxie

https://twitter.com/KIDMOXIEMUSIC

https://www.instagram.com/kid.moxie/

https://unboxholics.com/

https://www.instagram.com/unboxholics/

https://open.spotify.com/album/5JTCgRgnG6gqx5XRmaWq8S


Text by Chi Ming Lai
14 May 2024

Introducing MINDREADER

If ACTORS were fronted by DLINA VOLNY and went to a horror flick all-nighter with BOY HARSHER, that would be a good way to describe MINDREADER.

Like ACTORS, MINDREADER are from Canada, a Montreal-based quartet comprising Valerie Kirkwell, Edward Scrimger, Bryan Greenfield and Alexandre Duguay; their tagline is “Can’t spell MINDREADER without dread”. Since forming in 2023, MINDREADER have been developing their sound and visual aesthetic under the radar. Creating an air of mystique, they have also limited their social media presence as an antithesis to the “LOOK AT US! WE’VE AWESOME!” attitude of many of today’s fledgling acts.

With a stark propulsive tension, EP opener and MINDREADER’s first single and ‘The Kill’ really does put ACTORS, DLINA VOLNY and BOY HARSHER into an enticing melting pot of synths and effected guitar. Adopting a template of deep resonance, the superb gothic techno of ‘Leviathan’ points towards the alternative dancefloor menace of European acts such as NNHMN and MINUIT MACHINE.

‘Parasite’ explores more post punk territory with SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES being the obvious template here vocally while rhythmically, it is more JOY DIVISION. Recalling LINEA ASPERA, the more artful ‘Soft Pull’ returns to the dancefloor with it buzzy doom disco and haunting storytelling before with a more funereal skip, ‘Outsider’ brings in a unusual cross of fleeting dubstep rhythms, scratchy art funk six-string and bass drones to close.

With the familiar themes of loss, despair, and empowerment, nostalgia is a coat that MINDREADER unashamedly wear in their take on post-punk, synth and darkwave. But already with this debut EP, the quartet have shown with songs like ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Soft Pull’ that they are more than comfortable to musically twist and turn as they attempt to present “their unique version of the genre to life”.


‘Cope With Me’ is self-released as a digital EP, available on the usual online platforms and direct from https://mindreader.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/mindreader.music/

https://linktr.ee/mindreader.music

https://open.spotify.com/album/0T47AIXyFZz81YskqyJs4Z


Text by Chi Ming Lai
10 May 2024

BLANCMANGE Everything Is Connected

Celebrating 45 years of BLANCMANGE, ‘Everything Is Connected’ is a new career-spanning “best of” collection curated by co-founder and front man Neil Arthur covering between 1979 to 2024.

With Neil Arthur being one of the most prolific artists in the UK and BLANCMANGE having now released more albums since 2011 than in their hit heyday, it is appropriate that this compilation is a double and split into two distinct chapters.

The first half gathers tracks from when BLANCMANGE were originally a duo comprising of Arthur and Stephen Luscombe. They self-released their first EP ‘Irene & Mavis’ in 1980 where the duo took on the personas of the pensioners pictured on the artwork. Experimental in nature and very lo-fi, it is appropriate than a Eno-esque instrumental ‘Just Another Spectre’ ends this section.

But starting is Chapter One is their breakthrough ‘Sad Day’; a solemn instrumental with an almost-countrified guitar line and a bassline borrowed from Brian Eno’s ‘The Fat Lady Of Limbourg’, it was far more hook-laden than anything on ‘Irene & Mavis’. Pointing to how BLANCMANGE were developing, it was chosen for inclusion on the now-seminal ‘Some Bizzare Album’ which also showcased other then-unknown acts such as SOFT CELL, THE THE, B-MOVIE and DEPECHE MODE. It was support tours with the latter and JAPAN that led to BLANCMANGE signing to London Records in 1982.

Photo by Paul Slattery

The London Records phase is more than well documented, leading to three albums ‘Happy Families’, ‘Mange Tout’ and ‘Believe You Me’ as well as a string of hit singles. ‘Living On The Ceiling’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me’ brought in exotic Eastern flavours thanks to Luscombe’s love of music from the Indian sub-continent having lived in the London’s Southall.

‘Feel Me’ and ‘Blind Vision’ crossed TALKING HEADS with disco, the former remixed in 12 inch form by American dancefloor specialist John Luongo and the latter produced by him. Famously ‘Waves’ allowed Neil Arthur to indulge in his Scott Walker fantasies complete with string backing and drove Julian Cope round the bend in the process!

Photo by Deb Danahay

Meanwhile having immersed themselves in a cassette of ABBA’s ‘The Singles – The First Ten Years’ that Vince Clarke’s girlfriend had brought along while they were all holidaying in Tenerife, Arthur and Luscombe hit on the idea of covering the penultimate track; achieving a higher UK chart position than the original ABBA single, ‘The Day Before You Came is included on ‘Everything Is Connected’ in its superior 7inch single version produced by Peter Collins.

To put things into context, ABBA were considered passé at the time and not treated with the reverence they are today. BLANCMANGE’s take had more of a groove and added some cheeky Northern English melodrama. In some ways, this 1984 can be seen as the seed of the upturn in ABBA’s credibility and Clarke himself was to cover ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ with his new project ERASURE in 1985.

Arthur and Luscombe decided to amicably disband BLANCMANGE in 1986 and while both continued in music, it wasn’t until 2011 that a new album they had quietly made together ‘Blanc Burn’ was released; from it ‘Drive Me’ and ‘The Western’ showed the duo had not lost their touch. But almost immediately, Stephen Luscombe had to leave due to health reasons, unable to tour or work. It was mutually agreed that Arthur would continue with BLANCMANGE solo and so began Chapter Two.

The main selling point for fans here is the inclusion of ‘Again, I Wait For The World’, a song written in 1979 by Arthur’s art-school band L360; a vibrant slice of synth punk, it is a worthy addition to the BLANCMANGE tradition. Another treat is the previously unreleased ‘Wish’. The highlight though is 2018’s ‘Distant Storm’, an unusual but brilliant tune with its incessant dance beat, reverberant Moog bassline and dreamy processed vocoder aesthetic presenting an almost spiritual quality.

This solo phase of BLANCMANGE actually began with 2015’s ‘Semi Detached’ album, Neil Arthur’s first new material recorded without Stephen Luscombe and from this technostalgic offering is ‘The Fall’ which actually references Mark E Smith’s cult combo. Coming off 2020’s ‘Mindset’, ‘This Is Bliss’ provides a variety of percolating patterns and a deeper trance bass resonance with a repeated ranting chorus.

In 2022, BLANCMANGE returned home to London Records with 15th long player ‘Private View’ and this occasion is best represented by ‘Reduced Voltage’; echoing CAN in its groovy kosmische precision, although sequencer driven, the guitars get turned up during the second half.

Since the hiatus between 1986 to 2011, Neil Arthur has issued 12 albums as BLANCMANGE, while also undertaking side projects such as NEAR FUTURE, FADER and THE REMAINDER; ‘Everything Is Connected’ provides a chance for those who liked BLANCMANGE’s hits back in the day to catch up with those 21st Century songs, while it also acts as an entry point into the highlights of the back catalogue for younger listeners. That this compilation is able to be a packed double CD is a wonderful achievement.


‘Everything Is Connected’ is released by London Records on 10 May 2024 as a 38 track double CD, 38 track download + 10 track coke bottle green vinyl LP, available from https://blancmange.tmstor.es/products

BLANCMANGE 2024 UK tour with support from THE REMAINDER:

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Wylam Brewery (16 May), Glasgow Saint Luke’s (17 May), Birmingham O2 Institute (18 May), Nottingham Rescue Rooms (23 May), Leeds Brudenell Social Club (24 May), Manchester Academy 2 (25 May), Colchester Arts Centre, (26 May), Bristol Trinity Arts Centre (31 May), London Islington Assembly Hall (1 June), Hove Old Market (2 June), Southampton 1865 (3 June)

http://www.blancmange.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/BlancmangeMusic

https://twitter.com/_blancmange_

https://www.instagram.com/neilarthur/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
7 May 2024

KNIGHT$ Meets STEVEN JONES & LOGAN SKY

The best album of 2019, ‘Dollars & Cents’ by KNIGHT$ gets the 5 year edition treatment with two bonus tracks including a Flemming Dalum Remix of ‘Gelato’ on pistachio coloured vinyl.

Also featuring ‘What’s Your Poison?’, ‘Alligator’, and the vibrant title track, ‘Dollars & Cents’ showcased James Knights brand of vibrant Britalo in a long playing format to the wider public. With the involvement of Fred Ventura and Paolo Gozzetti of ITALOCONNECTION in the production and mix of three tracks, it was granted disco authenticity. Meanwhile, co-produced by Martin Dubka, ‘Hijack My Heart’ allowed KNIGHT$ to tighten his trousers for a rousing floor-filler to rival BRONSKI BEAT.

To celebrate 5 years of ‘Dollars & Cents’, KNIGHT$ will be undertaking a number of shows performing the album in full including a London date on Thursday 23rd May 2024 at The Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden. Special Guests will be modern day New Romantic duo Steven Jones & Logan Sky; the pair had been introduced by the late Steve Strange of VISAGE and over the 10 years since, have recorded six albums of moody Eurocentric art pop overtures, the most recent being ‘Sacred Figures’.

James Knights, Steven Jones and Logan Sky got together for a chat with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK ahead of their London show.

How did you become aware of each other?

James Knights: I think I first met Logan when HEARTBREAK reformed and performed at the Moth Club with ITALOCONNECTION in 2018. I performed my song ‘Alligator’ with ITALOCONNECTION that night and we started talking after the show.

Logan Sky: Before I started working with Steve Strange, VISAGE and Steven Jones, I was making tracks, with an Italo vibe. Listen to my first albums and also my latest subscriber-only cassette. I remember that KNIGHT$ were supporting HEARTBREAK (a dark Italo duo) and both acts filled the room with so much energy and got the crowd dancing. I picked up a vinyl of KNIGHT$ ‘Alligator’ EP at the performance and met James for the first time. I’ve seen KNIGHT$ play a few more times, supporting A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS and had good chats at each and we’ve kept in touch.

You are very influenced by Europe, although Steven and Logan are very Mittel Europa while James in more Mediterranean, how did the fascination with across the channel begin with you all?

Steven Jones: The Mittel Europa thing has its roots in my teenage suburban daydreams. I was into the novels of Christopher Isherwood and Stephen Spender (who offered snapshots of chic Bohemia). I watched French and German films, beguiled by their glamour and emotional complexity. Time spent in Düsseldorf at the age of 16 infused me with a sense of romantic possibility. German radio stations played electro pop hits I’d never heard before that left indelible imprints on my mind. On spontaneous trips to Paris (thank you, Charlotte!), I leafed through magazines effortlessly blending music, fashion and sex. I formed a habit for cafes and French torch songs. My fantasy Europe was grand, artistic, sexy, and colourful. Its smells were of coffee, cigarettes and cold sunlit beers. It was art and night-trains, girls called Kirsten, boys called Klaus. Its love affairs were volatile and sure to end badly. It was stylish, heartbreaking and a million miles away from my mundane English routine.

James Knights: Hard to say really. I’d never performed abroad until 2006! I always knew I wanted to perform my music there, since I studied Italian in secondary school and dreamt about this magical place I saw in all the books. In the early days, SCARLET SOHO used to go on stage to ‘Europe Endless’ by KRAFTWERK, the build is so good and it made for some positive tension before we went on stage.

What’s your favourite song that captures the essence of your love of Europe and why?

James Knights: Well I already mentioned ‘Europe Endless’, but there are some fun ones too and really too many to mention. Righeira ‘Vamos A La Playa’ from 1983, Sandy Marton ‘People From Ibiza’ from 1984. I always loved ‘To Germany With Love’ by ALPHAVILLE too, 1984. Of course everything by BOYTRONIC and THE TWINS.

Steven Jones: I could write a long list so I’m gonna choose two. A song that really captures this feeling for me is ‘Summer In Berlin’ by ALPHAVILLE. The sweetly evocative electronics, the yearning vocal, the imagery of a hot Berlin afternoon, the heavy machine, the sweaty body. All combine to evoke the complicated ambience of my Mittel Europa. Dark and light. Ominous and sunlit. A more contemporary expression of this sentiment is ‘Kisses’ by SLOWDIVE. Shimmering and impressionistic, it’s full of abstract longing and is accompanied by a video shot in night-time Naples in Midsummer.

The usual question, what is your favourite track by the other and why?

James Knights: ‘Summer Herz’ I think. I always love a trumpet or sax somewhere in the mix, and the track reminds me a bit of THE BELOVED vocally.

Logan Sky: ‘What’s Your Poison?’ is a stonker of a track, but I still have fond memories of ‘Alligator’ and love the lime green vinyl!

What is the plan for the upcoming London show at The Fiddler’s Elbow, what can attendees expect?

James Knights: I’ll perform the whole of the ‘Dollars & Cents’ LP, plus my other songs. It’s a huge celebration, and it’s going to be hot! Everyone’s welcome to come and party at The Fiddler’s Elbow on May 23rd and let off steam. The anniversary vinyl will also be available at the show.

Steven Jones: Logan and I have been recording and performing together for 10 years so we’ll be selecting some of our favourite songs from our entire catalogue, old and new. The gig offers an opportunity to let them manifest again in the live setting. It’s a good feeling to look back at all the songs we’ve written and perform some of them in a friendly low-key atmosphere. It’s also great to perform together again after a hiatus of several years. Expect style, irony and some smoulder!

What is next for you?

James Knights: In May, I will play at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig. It’s my third time there with numerous projects and always a great gig. I’m going to Munich to record a new song this summer, it’s called ‘Supernatural Lover’, I’m very happy with it. Then in the Autumn I will tour the UK with 80s legends CHINA CRISIS, and hit Europe again with TRANS-X. Looking forward to going to some new places like Odense, and Bury!

Steven Jones: That’s a deep and enigmatic secret. Obviously. But I can hint at a retrospective collection of our best songs and the early stages of some new material. There will be some artistic surprises too! Lately we’ve been collaborating with some of the luminaries of the dance music scene. We’ve released ’Come Back Tonight – The Remixes’ on Jaime Alguasuari’s label Anims. So expect more club orientated collabs and re-inventions.


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to Steven Jones and Logan Sky

KNIGHT$ plays The Fiddler’s Elbow, 1 Malden Road, London NW5 3HS on Thursday 23rd May 2024 with special guests Steven Jones & Logan Sky – tickets available from https://www.seetickets.com/event/knight-/fiddler-s-elbow/2940615

KNIGHT$ ‘Dollars & Cents’ is available as a pistachio coloured vinyl LP, CD + download from https://knights101.bandcamp.com/album/dollars-cents-album

http://knights101.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Knights101/

https://twitter.com/JPSKNIGHTS

https://www.instagram.com/knights101/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/07xFYhAkgObJY8VBkIy1O4

Steven Jones & Logan Sky ’Come Back Tonight – The Remixes’ is available at https://www.beatport.com/release/come-back-tonight-the-remixes/4466309 while their back catalogue including the albums ‘Sacred Figures’ and ‘European Lovers’ is available from https://etrangersmusique.bandcamp.com/

https://www.etrangersmusique.com

https://www.facebook.com/etrangersmusique/

https://www.instagram.com/stevenjonesmusic/

http://www.logansky.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/LoganSky

https://www.instagram.com/logan.sky/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2q5h7vR5Z3JbI1zyeedcRP


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
4 May 2024

« Older posts Newer posts »