Tag: Knight$ (Page 1 of 6)

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

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 SONGS OF 2023

Making up for lost time and revenue since 2020, the music industry really went to town on their various income streams in 2023…

Albums were being released in multiple coloured vinyl editions with the same content, sometimes as many as eight versions… while this helped in inflating physical chart positions for marketing purposes, it also gave an incorrect perception of success. As Stephen Morris from NEW ORDER once remarked to Smash Hits back in 1983: “If you believe in the charts, then you may as well believe in fairies…”

With Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino declaring that concert ticket prices were generally too low and that artists could easily “charge a bit more”, this was exactly what quite a few did and there was a noticeable price hike observed across all levels over the year.

But what about the music? This year’s song listing was quite straightforward to compile, with a smaller shortlist compared to previous years with DURAN DURAN, KITE, PISTON DAMP, LEATHERS, DELERIUM and LADYTRON missing the final 30.

Just a note that ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has never compiled an albums list, due to long form releases now having a much longer gestation period than in the past. Therefore, songs are a much better representation of the music from a calendar year. If you like the song, then check out the parent album or EP if applicable via your chosen music platform…

Selected from tracks available on the usual online retail platforms with a restriction of one song per artist moniker (so yes NINA, John Grant,  Finlay Shakespeare and Laura Bailey each appear twice but in different combinations), here are the ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 SONGS OF 2023 listed in alphabetical order…


BRIGITTE BARDINI Start A Fire

Hailing from Melbourne in Australia, Brigitte Bardini is the latest artist to embrace her dark side having begun as an acoustic singer songwriter. Moving away from the dreampop and shoegaze of her earlier material, ‘Start A Fire’ captured an alluring gothique on top of a gritty dance tempo while simultaneously haunting and melodic. The stylised rage was sinister stuff but aurally and visually absorbing.

Available on the BRIGITTE BARDINI single ‘Start A Fire’ via Ruby Valley Records

https://www.facebook.com/BrigitteBardiniMusic


BEBORN BETON Dancer In The Dark

Not a rework of Bruce Springsteen, the brilliant ‘Dancer In The Dark’ saw BEBORN BETON managing to out Camouflage CAMOUFLAGE with an infectious pop sensibility that more than likely came from front man and lyric writer Stefan Netschio’s love of DURAN DURAN. With another Cold War looming as if The Berlin Wall never fell, ‘Dancer In The Dark’ was a message to remain positive in the face of adversity.

Available on the BEBORN BETON album ‘Darkness Falls Again’ via Dependent Records

https://www.bebornbeton.com/


BLACKCARBURNING The Mirror

A product of lockdown, BLACKCARBURNING is the solo vehicle of Mark Hockings with the lead singer of MESH taking on multiple roles including programming and production. The spikey throbbing energy of ‘The Mirror’ provided a dark disco highlight away from the parent band’s template. “I’m just generally a fan of arpeggiated bass lines” he said, “I don’t think you can go far wrong with a repetitive sequence and a Roland drum machine”.

Available on the BLACKCARBURNING album ‘Watching Sleepers’ via COP International

https://blackcarburning.com/


LLOYD COLE The Idiot

With Lloyd Cole “excited to still be finding new methods, new perspectives, new sounds”, the standout song ‘The Idiot’ from his Chris Hughes’ produced album ‘On Pain’ gave a touching synth-laden narrative on the relationship between David Bowie and Iggy Pop as they relocated to Berlin in 1976 in an imagined conversation as the pair escaped their narcotic dependency while cycling to the studio and discothèque.

Available on the LLOYD COLE album ‘On Pain’ via earMUSIC

https://www.lloydcole.com/


CREEP SHOW The Bellows

A supergroup comprising of John Grant and the trio WRANGLER comprising of Stephen Mallinder, Ben Benge Edwards and Phil Winter, CREEP SHOW released their acclaimed debut album ‘Mr Dynamite’ in 2018. Utilising a punchy backing track, ‘The Bellows’ was like a blippy PET SHOP BOYS with layers of treated and vocodered vocals before being countered by enticing Middle Eastern resonances in the synth solo.

Available on the CREEP SHOW album ‘Yawning Abyss’ via Bella Union

http://creepshowmusic.com


DAWN TO DAWN Seventh Floor

Their first new track from DAWN TO DAWN since their 2022 debut album ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’, the Montreal trio of solo artist Tess Roby with THE BEAT ESCAPE’s Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee conjured images of headlights on night drives with the shimmering story of love and lust that was ‘Seventh Floor’. With dreamy synthscapes and hypnotic drum machine, this was a wonderfully understated dance number.

Available on the DAWN TO DAWN digital single ‘Seventh Floor’ via SSURROUNDSS

https://www.facebook.com/dawntodawnmusic


FERAL FIVE Silver Sky

Creating their own “Feraltropolis”, the palette of tools on ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ saw FERAL FIVE use traditional instruments, electronica and AI voicing in a quirky but accessible fashion for a commentary on today’s strangely dystopian post-truth world. Exploring the theme of light pollution, the fine squelch laden ‘Silver Sky’ saw great vocals and backing reminiscent of INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS OF POP and DUBSTAR meeting GOLDFRAPP.

Available on the FERAL FIVE album ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ via Reckless Yes

https://www.feralfive.com/


FRAGRANCE. Much More Like A Wave – M!R!M Remix

Matthieu Roche is the enigmatic Parisian behind FRAGRANCE. whose debut ‘Dust & Disorders’ was expanded in 2023 with five new tracks. The first remix from it came in the shape of an excellent ‘Much More Like A Wave’ rework by London-based Italian producer M!R!M. “I love his take on the song” said Roche, “I always felt that the chorus of this song could work as an anthem and he definitely achieved that with his remix”

Available on the FRAGRANCE. digital single ‘Much More Like A Wave – M!R!M Remix’ via Sugarcane Recordings

https://www.facebook.com/thisisfragrance/


GLÜME Dangerous Blue

Following the acclaim for her debut ‘The Internet’ and her first liev appearences, the second Glüme album ‘Main Character’ with high profile guests such as Sean Ono Lennon and Rufus Wainwright was set to elevate her to the next level. However, things did not quite work out that way with health and financial concerns by the end of the year. ‘Dangerous Blue’ was one of the sparkling highlights despite its cooing melancholy.

Available on the GLÜME album ‘Main Character’ via Italians Do It Better

https://www.instagram.com/babyglume/


MADELINE GOLDSTEIN Seed of Doubt

Formally of synth-tinged Portland band FRINGE CLASS, Madeline Goldstein presented her best single yet in ‘Seed Of Doubt’ to launch her ‘Other World’ EP. With a wider narrative on “the restlessness of alienation and isolation, the longing to move, to feel power, and to flee”, ‘Seed Of Doubt’ was a brooding slice of gothwave in a manner tinged with some ghostly allure thanks to a haunting soprano delivery.

Available on the self-released MADELINE GOLDSTEIN EP ‘Other World’

https://www.instagram.com/madelinegoldstein_/


JORI HULKKONEN featuring JOHN GRANT I’m Going To Hell

“For my 50th birthday I wanted to do something a bit special” said Jori Hulkkonen, “however, the list of realistic projects quickly narrowed down on yet another album. I did manage to invite some friends and heroes to be featured on it, though.” The album assembled an impressive supporting cast; displaying his love of PET SHOP BOYS, hearing John Grant with his rich baritone on a house-driven pop track like ‘I’m Going To Hell’ was pure joy.

Available on the JORI HULKKONEN album ‘There Is Light Hidden In These Shadows’ via Blanco & Tinto Recordings

http://www.jorihulkkonen.com


ITALOCONNECTION featuring JAIA SOWDEN On The Radio

ITALOCONNECTION’s long player ‘Nordisko’ came with a twist by paying tribute to pop from the Nordic region via a collection of cover versions. Written by Jay-Jay Johanson, his marvellous 2002 tune ‘On The Radio’ was given an airy feminine disco makeover featuring Jaia Sowden on vocals. With absorbent sequences and glistening keys, it was a fine disco friendly shapeshift from the artpop original.

Available on the ITALOCONNECTION album ‘Nordisko’ via Mordisco / Blanco Y Negro

https://www.facebook.com/italoconnection


JAAKKO EINO KALEVI The Chamber Of Love

Athens-based Finn Jaakko Eino Kalevi sought to find beauty in the chaotic nature of the everyday on his new double album ‘Chaos Magic’. One of its many highlights ‘The Chamber Of Love’ bore a resemblance to WHAM! “I wrote the song before I ever heard ‘Everything She Wants’ but the arrangement was different” the Finn said, “I love ‘Everything She Wants’ so I arranged this song sounding more like that. It is more electronic now…”

Available on the JAAKKO EINO KALEVI album ‘Chaos Magic’ via Weird World / Domino Recording Co

https://www.jaakkoeinokalevi.com/


KID MOXIE & NINA Lust

When artists are mutual fans, it can lead to collaborative possibilities and even ‘Lust’. KID MOXIE and NINA teamed up via Italians Do It Better to capture a seductive film-noir tension within a fantasy world with the EP launched by a cover of ‘Waiting For The Night’, a song made famous by Jennifer Lopez. With a cool air of enigmatic mystery, the downtempo synthwave treatment on ‘Lust’ exuded a sensual anticipation of consummation in their duet.

Available on the KID MOXIE & NINA EP ‘Lust’ via Italians Do It Better

http://www.facebook.com/kidmoxie

https://www.iloveninamusic.com/


KNIGHT$ What Planet Did You Come From?

The first new music from KNIGHT$ since 2021, the vibrant hook-laden Eurobeat of ‘What Planet Did You Come From? (Baby)’ threw in the kitchen sink with synth, sax and vocoder. With shades of Patrick Cowley’s work for Sylvester and Bobby Orlando’s Divine productions, it affirmed that James Knights’ Britalo was just the tonic in these difficult times despite highlighting existential issues closer to home.

Available on the KNIGHT$ EP ‘$auna Mu$ik’ via Specchio Uomo

http://knights101.com/


NATION OF LANGUAGE I Will Never Learn

From their third album ‘Strange Disciple’ themed around “toxic infatuation”, the fittingly titled ‘I Will Never Learn’ summed up life’s trials and tribulations in a wonderful example of why NATION OF LANGUAGE appeal so much in their glorious mix of synths, live bass, sequencers and electronic percussion. A haunting girly falsetto howl provided a beautiful touch alongside their usual NEW ORDER, OMD and ULTRAVOX influences.

Available on the NATION OF LANGUAGE album ‘Strange Disciple’ via PIAS

https://www.nationoflanguage.com/


NEU-ROMANCER Burning Eyes

Having impressed with her first NEU-ROMANCER EP ‘Neue Romantika’ earlier in 2023 while touring the world with ZANIAS, Berlin-based Australian Laura Bailey ended the year with the cowbell heavy Hi-NRG romp ‘Burning Eyes’ on CURSES’ enjoyable album ‘Next Wave Acid Punx DEUX’ compilation. It made use of both her vocal and bass prowess which were less prominent on her largely instrumental debut release.

Available on the compilation album ‘Next Wave Acid Punx DEUX’ (V/A) via Eskimo Recordings

https://www.facebook.com/neu.romacer.music/


NNHMN Soldier of Beauty

As NNHMN, wife and husband “non-humans” Lee Margot and Michal Laudarg have been encapsulating these unsettling times in music. Adapting their dark electronic body style with more varied dance elements on their appropriately titled ‘Circle of Doom’ album, courtesy of a particularly hypnotic bassline, the wonderful serene glory of ‘Soldier of Beauty’ gave the viewpoint that the only honest thing to fight for is peace.

Available on the NNHMN album ‘Circle of Doom’ via Young and Cold Records

https://www.nnhmn.com


OMD Look At You Now

Derived from a Paul Humphreys demo with the working title of ‘Zimmer Frame for Andy’, this came bursting with the usual OMD hooks and was perhaps only missing a Paul Humphreys lead vocal. Lyrics such as “When the energy is gone and the feeling is just wrong” and “The power in your hand is pouring out like sand” pointed towards the ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ album’s political themes on the blind stupidity of Brexit.

Available on the OMD album ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ via 100% Records

https://omd.uk.com/


PAGE Det Här Är Mitt Sätt

Although the ‘En Ny Våg’ album title song took the PAGE “Numanisation” process to its zenith by featuring Chris Payne, outstripping it was the excellent jaunty robopop of ‘Det Här Är Mitt Sätt’. Within its four chord progression, there were catchy riffs and some fabulous vintage Moog soloing in what was originally conceived as a homage to ‘Fade To Grey’, song which Payne co-wrote.

Available on the PAGE album ‘En Ny Våg’ via Energy Rekords

https://www.facebook.com/PageElektroniskPop


THE REMAINDER Broken Manhole Cover

As well as Neil Arthur, THE REMAINDER also comprises Liam Hutton and Finlay Shakespeare, both members of the live BLANCMANGE family. The excellent dance friendly ‘Broken Manhole Cover’ recalled LCD SOUNDSYSTEM and it was all intentional as Neil Arthur told ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK “you’ll hear me singing via a gated tremolo FX the words ‘LCD SOUNDSYSTEM’ most of the way through the song.”

Available on THE REMAINDER album ‘Evensong’ via by Blanc Check Ltd

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

https://www.liamhutton.co.uk/

http://finlayshakespeare.com/


R. MISSING All Alone With Seas

Fronted by enigmatic Sharon Shy, having released enough singles this year to make up an album, R. MISSING are in danger of falling under the radar with the bubbly electronic pop noir of ‘All Alone With Seas’ almost passing by unnoticed despite being one of their best songs of late. A long playing release, while old fashioned and not playing the modern streaming algorithms, may provide the focal point that the New York-based duo deserve.

Available on the R. MISSING single ‘All Alone With Seas’ via Terminal Echo

https://rmissing.com/


SALLY SHAPIRO Rent

Covered by acts as diverse CARTER THE UNSTOBBALE SEX MACHINE and Liza Minnelli, the latest interpretation of PET SHOP BOYS stark narrative of a kept woman came via this wispy account by Swedish duo SALLY SHAPIRO. Keeping the original theme of relationship dependency close to its heart but offering an icier Nordic vision from a female perspective, Neil Tennant said “We’ve heard it! The chorus in particular sounds good”.

Available on the SALLY SHAPIRO single ‘Rent’ via Italians Do It Better

https://www.facebook.com/shapirosally


DIE SEXUAL Bound, I Rise

From out of the shadows to under the strobe lights, DIE SEXUAL are the Los Angeles-based wife-and-husband duo of Rosselinni and Anton Floriano, the latter part of BLACK LIGHT ODYSSEY who remixed the DEPECHE MODE bonus track ‘Oh Well’. Their dark electronic influences examine themes of domination and submission with the seductive ‘Bound, I Rise’ seeing the bottom switch to the top in a hypnotic EBM friendly stomper.

Available on DIE SEXUAL EP ‘Bound’ via A System Exclusive / Hush Ltd.

https://www.facebook.com/diesex


FINLAY SHAKESPEARE Ready Ready

“It’s an absolute rip off of OMD’s ‘2nd Thought’!” admitted Finlay Shakespeare of his glorious ‘Illusion + Memory’ album highlight ‘Ready Ready’. Almost Motorik in presence with a wonderfully pulsing drive and gorgeous synth tones, our hero doesn’t refrain from thoughts about “feeling at home through just a voice on the shortwave, when in fact you don’t know where you are and you could be in the crosshairs at any time and place.”

Available on the FINLAY SHAKESPEARE album ‘Illusion + Memory’ via Alter

http://finlayshakespeare.com/


SIERRA Stronger

Parisian producer Annelise Morel has been quietly impressing audiences over the past few years as SIERRA with her brand of intriguing darkwave. After several EP releases, her debut album ‘A Story Of Anger’ was a major artistic leap forward. Including collaborations with Carpenter Brut and HEALTH, the standout track was her autobiographical statement ‘Stronger’.

Available on the SIERRA album ‘A Story Of Anger’ via Universal Music

https://www.facebook.com/sierra.synthmusic


SOFT CELL The Day The World Turned Day-Glo

Always adept at doing covers having had hits with ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘What’, SOFT CELL presented a brilliant electro tribute to Poly Styrene with ‘The Day The World Turned Day-Glo’. Taking a musical leaf out of ‘Sex Dwarf’ with Dave Ball making his syndrums and synths sound so menacing yet accessible, while Marc Almond delivers a vocal recalling the anguish of ‘Martin’ with sleazy sax passages resonating with the dystopian lyrics.

Available on the SOFT CELL album ‘*Happiness now completed’ via BMG

http://www.softcell.co.uk


SOFTWAVE Taking Life For Granted

Despite its positive pop sound, the reflective lyrics on the second SOFTWAVE album ‘things we’ve done’ highlighted the challenges of living in a modern world full of dualities. ‘Taking Life For Granted’ saw the Danish duo of Catrine Christensen and Jerry Olsen go all ABBA-esque with someone “lacking gratitude” under attack, although the rousing chorus and a particularly joyous instrumental break gave the infinite hope.

Available on the SOFTWAVE album ‘things we’ve done’ via Electro Shock Records

http://www.softwavemusic.com/


RICKY WILDE X NINA Lovers On A Beach

A fabulous cover of the Italo flavoured Kim Wilde B-side to ‘The Second Time’ from 1984, the throbbing ‘Lovers On A Beach’ is NINA sounding sexier than ever before. Ricky Wilde said “I just thought there was a little bit more that it needed that I maybe wanted to add back in the day”. With sharp spikey edges boosting the trancey template, he provided a superb extended end section that paid homage to Giorgio Moroder in the best way possible.

Available on the RICKY WILDE X NINA album ‘Scala Hearts’ via New Retro Wave

https://twitter.com/Wildericky

https://www.iloveninamusic.com/


ZANIAS Lovelife

Following one of the most traumatic periods of her life, Alison Lewis returned as her solo alter-ego Zoe Zanias to present ‘Chrysalis’.  As the title suggests, it was a rebirth. With glorious arpeggios and lush synth strings, ‘Lovelife’ was bolstered with bass guitar by live bandmate Laura Bailey aka NEU-ROMANCER while an array of pitch-shifted voice samples acted as an abstract lead vocal before the actual one kicked in.

Available on the ZANIAS album ‘Chrysalis’ via Fleisch

https://www.facebook.com/zoe.zanias/


A selection of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s favourite music of 2023 featuring 230+ tracks has been compiled for its ‘Initial After Brilliance’ playlist


Text by Chi Ming Lai
7 December 2023

KNIGHT$ $auna Mu$ik EP

After a successful tour opening for DRAB MAJESTY and numerous live dates in Europe as part of BOYTRONIC as well as solo, Britalo king James Knights is back on home soil with a new EP ‘$auna Mu$ik’.

Containing his first new music since ‘Boom Bang Boom!’ in 2021, the lead track of the ‘$auna Mu$ik’ EP is the vibrant hook-laden Eurobeat romp of ‘What Planet Did You Come From? (Baby)’, a tune that was premiered during his live shows in 2023.

Throwing in the kitchen sink with synth, sax and vocoder, it has shades of Patrick Cowley’s work for Sylvester and Bobby Orlando’s Divine productions. Mexican producers Ant-People who remixed ‘Boom Bang Boom!’ is back again to provide a more metronomic disco take while Franz Scala provides a body rhythmic instrumental reconstruction.

KNIGHT$ has previously displayed his love of BRONSKI BEAT via his own trouser tightening number ‘Hijack My Heart’ so it is no surprise that he has faithfully covered ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’ for the vinyl edition of ‘$auna Mu$ik’.

But an extra treat comes in the tongue-in-cheek new wave political observation ‘Hi-NRG Crisis’. With shades of THE FRESHIES but with electronic backing, it documents a Brexit Britain ruled by a revolving door of rich narcissists who nothing of real life or the plight of their citizens. ‘Hi-NRG Crisis’ will make the perfect soundtrack to the next video montage made to highlight the vile self-serving nature of this Tory government…

While dealing with the themes of infatuation, ‘$auna Mu$ik’ is also not afraid to highlight more existential issues closer to home now that ice cream season is over…


The ‘$auna Mu$ik’ EP is released by Specchio Uomo available as a limited edition white 5 track 12″ vinyl EP and download from https://knights101.bandcamp.com/album/auna-mu-ik-ep

http://knights101.com/

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

https://twitter.com/JPSKNIGHTS

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

http://knightstore.bigcartel.com


Text by Chi Ming Lai
3 November 2023

KNIGHT$ vs SNS SENSATION INTERVIEW

Despite Spring seemingly not arriving in the UK, plans for the Summer and lashings of ice cream are being made by some…

KNIGHT$ returns to London for a special birthday gig after a three show Mexican stand-off opening for Los Angeles darkwave duo DRAB MAJESTY; the glitterball Britalo vehicle of James Knights, his previous support sojourns have included A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS and HEAVEN 17. Featuring ‘What’s Your Poison?’, ‘Alligator’ and ‘Gelato’, his debut full-length album ‘Dollars & Cents’ was one of those fine immediate electronic pop records, ideal for these turbulent and uncertain times.

With a ‘Boom Bang Boom!’, James Knights will be performing songs from his SCARLET SOHO and BOYTRONIC portfolio as well as new KNIGHT$ material.

There will also be a DJ set by Berlin-based Dame Bonnet while opening the evening will be a live set from SNS SENSATION; the solo moniker of Argentine-born Sebastian Muravchik, he is perhaps best known as the charismatic front man of HEARTBREAK who shared stages with THE PRESETS, LA ROUX, LITTLE BOOTS and on their return, ITALOCONNECTION and BLANCMANGE. A support slot with FIAT LUX in 2022 fired up Muravchik to perform live more as SNS SENSATION.

In a joint interview James Knights and Sebastian Muravchik chatted to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about their first meeting, Italo Disco, the state of the modern music industry and much more.

The last time the two of you shared a stage together was in different guises in 2018 at The Moth Club for Hypnotic Tango in London when ITALOCONNECTION came over, what are your memories of that event?

James: I bumped into Sebastian at the train station before the soundcheck and we had a really nice chat on the way to the venue. That was the first time we’d met in person! I performed my song ‘Alligator’ with ITALOCONNECTION, then I was able to enjoy the rest of the night as a spectator, it was great.

Sebastian: An unforgettable night, it was fantastic. There was a unique energy in the room – the HEARTBREAK set was as if there had been no break at all! James and I met in person for the first time that day and had really good chats. Everyone was very impressed by James’ surprise performance with Fred and Paolo. I enjoy what James does on stage very much indeed and look forward to seeing a whole set at The Black Heart.

How did you become aware of each other?

James: Sebastian’s previous project HEARTBREAK was inspiring. To see people on stage pushing it to the max and challenging the audience is great. I always had the impression they didn’t give a damn what was in vogue at the time, and they would perform alongside almost any other artist, in any genre. Totally fearless and unapologetic, the way it should be!

Sebastian: It was via messages on social media. I think James was aware of some of the work I had done before I took a break from music, and we got talking. I was impressed with how involved he was with the Italo Disco world and how much influence he had taken from it in his own productions. He’s also a very nice fellow indeed, proof that you can be a great performer with no need for big egos.

So you both share this love of Italo Disco which is often unfairly maligned in the UK. Do you think there has been a renaissance as a result of documentaries like ‘Italo Disco Legacy’, ‘Dons Of Disco’ and ARTE TV’s Italo special?

Sebastian: I think the Italo scene is small but quite established now, certainly a lot more than it was when Ali Renault and I started HEARTBREAK, there was next to nothing in the UK back then. At the same time, some of us were moving in somewhat different directions, like DJ Casionova embracing Kosmische and ambient and other things, Ali’s emphasis on industrial electro, Road to Rimini generally doing less, me looking into somewhat darker territories etc.

Italo changed our lives and will always be loved by us, and still be an influence, but this artistic journey is unpredictable and you gotta go where you gotta go. And at any rate, we’ll always have Flemming Dalum 🙂

Personally, the pandemic had a huge impact on my music, and enhanced the darkness brought by Brexit and the rise of the far right, as well as my own existentialist preoccupation with death and oblivion, and the philosophical concern with living authentically through measures of poetry and abstraction.

James: I think the phenomenon is mostly down to the music itself being so good and a little bit innocent. It seems like it’s being appreciated and shared between people more and more, and for once the algorithm is working well, and serving people more hidden gems they haven’t heard yet.

What Italo Disco tracks (not necessarily your favourites) would you recommend as entry points for those who are interested because they like your music but not wholly familiar with the genre?

James: Den Harrow’s ‘Mad Desire’ in its 1984 12” version with vocals from Silver Pozzoli and not the album version (which was re-recorded by Tim Hooker), ‘Marinero’ by Lucia and also from 1985, ‘Late Night Satellite’ by BOYTRONIC…

Sebastian: Amnésie ‘Turas’, Blackway ‘New Life’, Helen ‘Witch’ and ‘Le Camion’ by DEUX (if I can get away with calling this Italo…)

What are your favourite tracks by the other?

James: I have a soft spot for SNS SENSATION’s ‘Discoboom’ because Sebastian was kind enough to submit the track for our Specchio Uomo ‘Trans-Global Excess’ compilation album. It’s massive and I love how raw it is! Then ‘Robot’s Got the Feeling’ from HEARTBREAK, because it’s amazingly dynamic with these amazing stop start rhythms.

Sebastian: ‘Miami Knights’, I love the bassline and vibe. ‘Alligator’, both the original and ITALOCONNECTION’s remix. There’s cool aggressive undertones to the singing and the energy of the productions. It’s the tune James sang with Fred and Paolo at the Moth Club, so it also left an impression that way.

What can audiences expect from your upcoming sets at The Black Heart?

Sebastian: I think having the talent that is Dame Bonnet DJ-ing on the night is a massive plus; he did a stunning remix of my ‘Your Door’ and James’ ‘Julia’, and his own stuff is excellent – as well as his bass work for CURSES. I look forward to playing some new tunes like ‘Diamond Dream’ and others, and I look forward to seeing James’s set and meeting music lovers in the audience. The fans of these kinds of music tend to be very positive people, so it should be a really fun night.

James: I’m sure there will be something, but not sure what! I was playing around with an Elton John track the other day…

Any new material or album / EP releases on the horizon?

James: Yes! I’m just wrapping up a new EP as we speak. The vinyl should be ready later this year, and I’ll be playing the lead track at the show on June 2nd!

Sebastian: I will continue to release singles for now, but I am beginning to consider an EP soon. A cassette release of some sort is definitely on the horizon.

How are you finding adapting to the ever changing music environment and the emphasis on metrics? What are your upcoming plans?

Sebastian: I love the opportunities that independent DIY artists have to release and promote their work, it’s so exciting! And there’s so much stuff released all the time that it inspires you to produce and release only your very best.

I’ve also found more of a sense of camaraderie and community via social media than ever before. At the same time, there seems to be less attention span for music that transcends or does not fall strictly within genre boundaries. ZANIAS recently tweeted about how she felt this affects her career progression. This playlist culture is discouraging for artists that remain committed to the process with no compromise; I guess the key is to keep doing what you do and not giving too much of a f*ck.

James: I’m always trying to get my head down and write as many songs as I can, whilst playing as many shows as I can. Everything else is noise in the end. I can only measure success on how I’m feeling, so if the writing and performing is going well, I’m happy.

Sebastian: My plan is to continue to release music I can be proud of, and keep developing as an artist – never stop learning and trying new things out.


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to James Knights and Sebastian Muravchik

KNIGHT$ + SNS SENSATION with DJ Dame Bonnet play The Black Heart, 2-3 Greenland Place,  London NW1 0AP on Friday 2nd June 2023, nearest underground Camden Town – tickets in advance from https://www.seetickets.com/event/knight-special-guests/the-black-heart/2632539

http://knights101.com/

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

https://twitter.com/JPSKNIGHTS

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

https://knights101.bandcamp.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/wearesns/

https://twitter.com/sns_wave

https://www.instagram.com/sns_discopop_noir/

https://wearesns.bandcamp.com/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/77pgZLgAxmVYtNaJm96m7P


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
4th May 2023

KNIGHT$ + THEO SAYERS Live at The Hope & Anchor

For KNIGHT$, his first London gig in nearly 3 years was a sort of homecoming.

The Britalo vehicle of James Knights, although now based near the South Coast of England, the capital was where he had spent his formative musical years in the more indie pop SCARLET SOHO.

Taking on a more optimistic and direct electro approach, KNIGHT$ began in 2016 and steadily gained a cult following in Sweden and Germany.

The worldwide pandemic affected all artists but for KNIGHT$ whose favourable reputation was gained from engaging live performances, this was especially difficult. He went down the home live stream route with varying degrees of success although it was not the same.

Come 2022 and things kicked back into action with a European tour supporting TRANS-X while a prestigious opening slot at Infest got things going again back home. KNIGHT$ appearance at The Hope & Anchor was his first London appearance since Halloween 2019; the venue is best known for hosting JOY DIVISION in December 1978, although only three people turned up! Despite a national train strike, KNIGHT$ had a very good turn out from those looking to forget the high energy crisis for a few hours.

Opening the evening just as he had done on Halloween 2019 was Theo Sayers. Little did he know at the time that his then-forthcoming single ‘My Nose Is A Little Runny’ would have such poignant resonance with lyrical quips like “sleazes cause diseases”.

The resulting video ended up being a scene or two short, something which the Cambridge lad dwelled on after his performance of the quirky but appealing SLEAFORD MODS-styled track.

Accompanied by KNIGHT$ family member Jasmine Jasmine on vocals, Sayers presented his playful humourous songs in a matter-of-fact manner like a blokey Kate Nash. New numbers such as ‘Ramen For Two’ and his streetwise cover of Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ outlined his brand of scampy English hip-hop; he releases his first full-length album also called ‘Ramen For Two’ in 2023.

Opening with ‘What We Leave Behind’, James Knights got quickly into his stride aided by a bottle of Benylin®. With some distance since the release of his debut album ‘Dollars & Cents’ in Spring 2019, what stood out tonight was how well his songs have lasted the distance, something that is not always the case with much of today’s independent British synthpop.

Produced by Italo disco legends Fred Ventura and Paolo Gozzetti in their ITALOCONNECTION guise as well as remixed by the notable Italo DJ Flemming Dalum, the wonderful ‘Gelato’ was given a sensual live boost by regular keys player Nina Casey on backing vocals. Her presence also allowed for the first live performance of the BOYTRONIC duet ‘Proving A Point’ with the diminutive German providing her own stamp on the feisty Holger Wobker part.

James Knights has been very open about the influence of BRONSKI BEAT on his sound and ‘Hijack My Heart’ was a fine example of him aping the Jimmy Somerville-led version of the band. But he paid tribute directly to the Mark 2 version of BRONSKI BEAT fronted by John Jøn Foster with a cover of the frantic ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’, aided by Julz J of CAPITAL X on guest saxophone.

‘What’s Your Poison?’ was a reminder of how it all started for KNIGHT$ while another ITALOCONNECTION produced track, the ‘Dollars & Cents’ title song doffed its shades to the disco-menergy of the late Patrick Cowley.

But it was time to celebrate the most recent KNIGHT$ single ‘Boom Bang Boom’ and while ‘Two Steps from Heartache’ was a look back to his SCARLET SOHO days, ‘Alligator’ prompted “Snap! Snap!” actions from the audience as it amusingly satirised the perils of modern dating.

A fine return to the London stage that entertained all present including an unsuspecting Arsenal fan who was curious as to the goings-on in the clearly marked “HOME FANS ONLY” venue, James Knights said afterwards: “Well, what can I say. The energy in the room was electric. So good to connect with the audience again and play some of the rarer songs we’ve not played live before. You couldn’t hand pick a better fanbase than the KNIGHT$ one! I’m currently working on a new EP / vinyl release for 2023, and I’m sure there will be more live shows to mark that. We also have the 40th anniversary gigs of BOYTRONIC’s ‘Working Model’ album to look forward to as well… It’s good to be back.”

KNIGHT$ is proof that pop is not a four letter word…


KNIGHT$ ‘Boom Bang Boom’ is released by Specchio Uomo in various formats, available from https://knights101.bandcamp.com/

http://knights101.com/

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

https://twitter.com/JPSKNIGHTS

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

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

‘My Nose Is A Little Runny’ by Theo Sayers is available as a digital single direct from https://theosayers.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theosayersmusic/

https://twitter.com/theosayers

https://www.instagram.com/theosayers/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/0iaqiCh8ozGLtdBjR7BdZJ


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Richard Price
4th October 2022

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