Boy From Brazil – Lamour, Le Sexe, La Drogue, La Mort – 95, Emin, Lamour, Le Sexe, La Drogue, La Mort, Pale Music IAMX – Nature of Inviting (Black Light Odyssey Remix) – 125.0 / Ascii.Disko and Oliver Huntemann – Black Metal – 130, Emaj, Black Metal, Ladomat 2000 / Franz & Shape and N.O.I.A. – The Man Who Paid Before – 126, D#min, Relish Compilation EP, Relish Recordings / James Mowbray and Oliver Huntemann – I Choose Anger – D.Ramirez, 125, Gmin, Music01, FourTwenty Recordings / Alexander Kowalski – House Of Hell feat. Khan, Kiko – 123, Fmaj, House Of Hell, Different / Fagget Fairys – Black Hole – 123, Dmin, Black Hole, Palms Out Sounds / DJ Hell and Anthony Rother, Electronic Germany, DJ Glen, 124, D#min, Teufelswerk House Remixes, Embassy Of Music / Louderbach – Grace (Anxiety) – 123, Amaj, Enemy Love LP, Underline Xenia Beliayeva – Stripclub – 125, D#min, Stripclub, NB Records / Depeche Mode – I Want It All (Roland M. Dill Remix) – 126.0 / IAMX – Tear Garden (Unfall ChocolateFurWine Remix) – 127.0 / Gui Boratto – Striker – 122, Cmaj, III, Kompakt Louderbach – So This Is Control – 123, Amin, Autumn, Minus / David Carretta – Colors – 130, G#min, Kill Your Radio, International DeeJay Gigolo Records / Motor – Man Made Machine feat. Martin L. Gore – 128, Dmin, Man Made Machine EP, CLR Neon Electronics – Over And Over (Millimetric Mix) – 118, C#min, Keylogger 01 EP, DanceDelic
Down On Your Knees Nitzer Ebb 3:01:00 Wrong (Thin White Duke Remix) Depeche Mode 6:56:00 Not In Love (Robert Smith Mix) Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith 3:18:00 Shooting Stars Bag Raiders 3:27:00 Just A Friend Of Mine (Original Mix) Zoot Woman 2:27:00 Supply & Demand Fischerspooner 3:15:00 In For The Kill (Lifelike Remix) La Roux 4:12:00 Heads Will Roll Yeah Yeah Yeahs 2:59:00 Ghosts N Stuff (Extended Mix) Deadmau5 featuring Rob Swire 3:45:00 Ego Death (Figo Remix) A Place To Bury Strangers 3:47:00 Out Of Control She Wants Revenge 2:07:00 Somewhere In The Night Stereo 2:10:00 Monolog Defekt (Original Mix) Xenia Beliayeva 4:00:00 Grave Mount Sims 3:05:00 You Wanted A Hit LCD Soundsystem 2:58:00 Between Stars Underworld 3:10:00 Colouring Of Pigeons The Knife in collaboration with Mt Sims and Planningtorock 6:19:00 Sea Talk Zola Jesus 5:03:00
Thanks to DJ Hell for various inspirations. We’ve been spoilt here in Melbourne recently. Not only Hell, but Xenia Beliayeva, Oliver Huntemann, and Stephan Bodzin, not to mention Gary Numan and Ade Fenton.
It’s kept a few of us out of mischief, or in, depending.
Aside, of course, from various ghosts in the new machinery. To which I attribute much of the absence. Happily, the records keep coming.
2008, The Bravery (The Corner): Scored a ticket after its original bearer couldn’t attend. Similar gig to the last one at the P.O.W. a couple of years back. Somehow, this time, they all looked younger. At We Love Sound festival, same week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfMFPwxfZiM
2008, Monolake (Miss Libertine): By most account, ML went a little too abstract on this night. This wasn’t perfect dance floor fodder, but may have worked better in a different context. MIss Libertine is neither dark nor atmospheric enough to house any kind of deep electronica. Monolake ‘Linear’ music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O4Qjeax7TU
2008 Sunday April 6 Nick Cave (Q&A at the Melbourne Arts Centre). Centred around Nick Cave taking shots at the slightly awkward host from RRR. Other than that, managed a good balance between studied nonchalance (and/or bewilderment) and artful use of the work fuck.
2007, Peter Christopherson video seminar (Toff in Town): World weary was Pete’s angle, but it was all a beautiful and entertaining mass of Ice T and NIN videos punctuated by the questions of a handful of TG obsessives.
2007, The Cure, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne: I am not sufficiently impartial to be able to capably review a Cure concert. Key observation is the general change in the feel of the tunes with this lineup, which seems to be reflected in the new singles. As is well know, keyboards are gone, drums are almost entirely unprocessed, style of drumming is looser, jazzier and more chaotic, guitars are fuzzier, and Robert’s vocal delivery seems somehow more ‘relaxed’, somewhat chirpier and less angular than in the past. Simon’s bass is more buried in the mix, as are more percussive, dance driven elements; the mix is bright and mid-range dominant. Atmospherics and tension are still there, if a little less pronounced. An interesting taster for the new album, 4.13 Dream, now only weeks away.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFksnRiD-wc
2007 October, Grinderman (The Forum): The bushrangers came to town. Then they went backstage, Nick popped out, and asked, ‘what do you want to hear?’. People yelled things out, then NIck sat down and made it up for himself. Nick made a joke about Google, then the bushrangers reappeared. NIck spend the rest of the gig sipping water and glancing furtively at Warren Ellis, who seemed to struggling to maintain verticality. A good night. (Not my video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsa2TrBaERs
2007, White Rose Movement (Brown Alley, Melbourne): White Rose Movement seemed to be living a dream I once had. If they don’t end up dominating the world, it may only because they end up being too cool to be understood far beyond the bars of Hoxton. But if only there were more music like this. A Sydney gig (not my video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQmP5QRzK7I
2007, Rex The Dog (Bootleg, Geddes Lane Melbourne): No one turned up. The whole thing, including Rex, seemed a little perfunctory. Still, when he gets the ingredients right, what a producer. At Future festival, same weekend (not my video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC6zI0cFMR4
2006, Black Strobe (Lounge, Melbourne): Just when it seemed like they might spearhead a new wave of alternative music, no one turned up. Well, enough to make for an appreciative audience, but not to add up to an event. Serves them right though, I spoke to Arnaud Rebotini, who was less than responsive. No Ivan Smagghe. The rest of them seemed humble and genuine. A Sisters of Mercy t-shirt on the keyboard player. Here’s hoping they make it back some time. An Edinburgh gig (not my video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJaPE8hkZ3g
2006 September, Nitzer Ebb (Evelyn, Melbourne): Heroes came to town. Turn out was mostly goths. First two rows of people clearly went to heaven. Aviator wearing Douglas McCarthy looked slightly like Robert Patrick in Terminator 2. Bon Harris and a female accomplice each on percussion. The period of separation has given the time to pinpoint the parts of Nitzer that work best. Ascetic, synthetic, cutting, controlled. Join in the chant. A London 2006 gig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwZCftAT31E&feature=related
And it’s been a while. Allow me to blame my (ever so ephemeral) lifestyle of international jet-set. And while we’re at it, take me back to Berlin…
I’m buoyant on an Ascii Disko / Franz & Shape wave right now, and it feels good. The Baby Daddy Remix of VHS or Beta‘s ‘You Got Me‘ is a particular highlight for me here… on a dancefloor called life, standing naked at it’s centre, this serves like a slice of sweetest, pure oblivion…
Fortunately I’ve also been riding high on the excellent and most inspiring Monday night Tiga DJ set at T-bar in Shoreditch that Clare and I were lucky enough to catch just a month ago. This may have something to do with the multiple touches of Tiga in this set…
All we need now is some support for this kind of music here in Melbourne. Whilst there are a couple of DJs here and there that make the occasional nod in these directions, there is, potential for a genuine geist to emerge. But in the mean time, what is here, alas, if understandably, often seems quickly to emigrate itself to Berlin or London…
The core of this mix might be considered to end with the (new!) Miss Kittin & The Hacker track. The final three tracks are intended as an epilogue, a way to end with a little smile…
Meanwhile, my entry in the Bloc Party remix competition is live at JJJ Unearthed. New track “Turn” is up at the Infix myspace.
What was/is electroclash? Wikipedia offers some suggestions, including a rather Sydney-centric discussion of the Australian manifestation of the movement [cue, please, Victorian editors setting the record straight asap]. Many would no doubt balk at the use of such a laboured and perhaps slightly meaningless term. Just as ‘New Rave’ seems to have come to mean “Klaxons, Klaxons remixes, and bands a bit like them”, ‘Electroclash’ seemed only ever to be readily applicable to Fischerspooner – and perhaps, bands a bit like them.
But for ‘electro’, or ‘electrohouse’, or whatever the rest was, is, or should have been called, there was no shortage of creative output or enthusiasm from punters in the first half of the 2000s. The nexus (though by no means the limit) of activity in Melbourne was indisputably Meccanoid, which, still going strong to this day, characterised in feel everything one might have expected electroclash to represent – glam, dress ups, interpretive dancing and of course (contra the ‘all style no substance’ press line), great music.
The praises of Fischerspooner sung far and wide, the real success story of this era, at least one the pop side, was arguably one Miss Kittin (with no small part of assistance from The Hacker, as well as Felix da Housecat – being argubly the producer who gave the scene its original break into semi-mainstream consciousness with the classic “Kittenz and thee Glitz’ LP). It’s difficult to put together any kind of survey or representation of this era (even one as subjective as this) without including several that carry a Miss Kittin vocal; hence the five tracks here.
Where to from here? The nights keep rolling and the releases keep coming. Some of the producers featured here have moved on a little – notably, the Hacker and Carretta into increasingly EBM flavoured productions, whilst Miss Kittin has since dabbled in breaks and various other forms of electronica. It remains to be seen to what extent the new wave of indie electro will represent a genuine split in musical trajectories (and/or scenes) or will alternately contribute as simply one facet of the continuing electro sound. The mixes of more recent material that have appeared are I would hope at least partially suggestive. Regardless, and despite the intense commercialisation of some aspects of electrohouse, electro, of both -house and other varities, still feels convincingly vital.
Every reason then to hope for, and anticipate, interesting times ahead.