Honecker Complex

Honecker Complex is a contender for song title of the year. It is taken from a 4 track e.p. out early next year called An Introduction To Consumer Electronics, produced by the magic hands of Timothy J. Fairplay. Synths at full throttle, a rattling kick drum, arpeggios galore.

Titles are a speciality of Tim’s. The final track on the record is a number called Birthday Celebrations At Utrecht Space Disco.

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All The Right Noises

Frankfurt’s Roman Flugel has been a resident on the German electronic and club scene since the early 90s. His head was turned by a Chicago house compilation his older brother gave him and he hasn’t looked back since. In 2016 he released an album, All the Right Noises, a record that went some distance from acid techno and trance, exploring a more ambient and contemplative sound- synths, ambient noise and analogue drum sounds. The title track is a perfect example.

All The Right Noises

In 2014 he remixed one of the tracks off Daniel Avery’s debut album, turning an already pretty tripped out modern techno track into an even more tripped out modern techno track. A masterclass of machine groove.

Feed Your Head

Continuing this week’s very loosely themed run of posts combining photos from German fashion magazines in 1995 found when searching for images using the search term ‘German techno 1990s’ with dance music- and just in case you’ve already worked your way through all of Steve Cobby’s City Of Vultures archive I posted yesterday- here is an hour long mix from Craig Bratley that kicks off with Jaydee (Dutch producer of the 1992 classic Plastic Dreams) and heads deep after that, ending with Bicep’s Aura (one of this year’s best records round here, without a shadow of a doubt). Driving rhythms and space age sounds fitted as standard. By the 38 minute mark it’s all very intense. Vorsprung durch technik.

Jaydee – Back Into Acid
O’Flynn – Pluto’s Beating Heart
Passarani -ICU
Rahaan – Move Out The Way
DMX crew – The Wiggly Worm
Option 4 – To Be Your Baby
Savage Hymn- Animals v2
Stephan Barnem – Flash Drama
Rebolledo – Discotico Plexico (Maceo Plex remix)
Ara Koufax – Natural States
Bicep – Aura

City Of Vultures

At the eastern end of the M62 is Hull, City of Culture 2017. Steve Cobby, dj, musician and producer and resident of Hull, has spent some of the year celebrating by playing records and inviting friends to do the same at City of Vultures. There’s a treasure trove of mixes to explore in the City of Vultures archive on Soundcloud, Steve plus guests like Ashley Beedle, Mr Scruff, Darren Emerson and Richard Dorfmeister- disco through to techno and most points in between.

The Visitation

Pic from the same source as yesterday’s German techno image (a German edition of Elle I think, mid 90s Deutsche fashion shoot).

Music from Steve Mason and Martin Duffy who as Alien Stadium have gone and released an end of year beauty, a four track mini-album called Livin’ In Elizabethan Times. Mason has had fun with the lyrics- on The Visitation imagining a conversation between the human occupants of planet Earth and some alien invaders. The visitors have had a look at us and decided we aren’t much cop.

‘Your leaders are arseholes
Your science is crap
And just for the record
Your planet is flat
We hate your religions
Your food is too weak
Your language confusing
You’re far from unique
DIE DIE DIE DIE’

The entire e.p. is a blast from start to finish, engaging and inventive- guitars and synths, driving drums and rhythms, Steve’s familiar doleful voice, the sound of two men having fun. My only complaint is the cost of the vinyl- fifteen quid, which for 4 songs is pretty expensive.

Come Into My Life

Early 90s German techno anyone? Admittedly some 1992 techno can sound a bit harsh on the ears at this distance. The techno kick drum and tempo of Come Into My Life place it firmly in 1992, as do the acidic edges. It also veers into trance but the vocal and the sweeping strings lift it elsewhere. Even if you don’t like techno (or think you don’t) you should give this one a go. The Youtube uploader has set it to scenes from Bladerunner which makes perfect sense.

Come Into My Life was produced by Torsten Fenslau, who had a record label called Abfahrt as well. His biggest commercial success was producing Mr. Vain by Culture Beat, number one in 12 countries in 1993. He died in a car crash the same year. According to Wiki Mr. Vain was the first number one record not to have been released as a 7″ single since the 1950s. Despite its Eurodance cheesiness Mr. Vain is a song that always makes me smile.

Hypnotise Us

Two slices of early 1990s dance music to whisk us away from December and all those pre-Christmas irritations. First up is a song I’ve posted before but only recently saw the video for the first time.

Released by Creation in 1990 Dream Beam is a wonderful slice of house music, bleepy and spaced out with vocals from Denise Johnson. It was this song that got her the gig with Primal Scream and led to her singing on Screamadelica. Tony Martin’s production is perfectly in tune with the times- he put an album out too, also called Hypnotone, which is worth pulling out from the shelf or looking out for if this kind of thing is your bag. Dream Beam is also on Creation’s definitive 1991 Keeping The Faith compilation, along with Fluke, Weatherall’s MBV remix, World Unite, Sheer Taft, Love Corporation, Primal Scream and a couple of others. Keeping The Faith is among the very best things the label ever released.

I saw Hypnotone perform at a mini-festival in Sefton Park, Liverpool (I think it was summer 1990). Larks In The Park was an annual affair starting in the early 80s. Famously in 1985 The Stone Roses and The La’s played the same night. Hypnotone went on way after dark. We were on a grass bank across the boating lake from the stage and the bleeps cameĀ  from the bandstand, drifting across the water towards us, followed by Denise’s voice. Everyone was very chilled and happy. It was one of those moments.

Dream Beam (Danny Rampling Remix)

I posted Papua New Guinea by Future Sound Of London fairly recently, back at the end of August. August seems like a long time ago now. This is another video I’d never seen before until recently, FSOL playing Papua New Guinea on Top Of The Pops in 1991. And playing it live. Papua New Guinea is one of those records that takes you away from it all.

Weatherall’s remix takes things up several gears, a thumping kick drum over that throbbing synths and the rushing rewind sounds. Tom toms. Seagulls. Chanting.

Papua New Guinea (Andrew Weatherall Remix)