Trance Europe Express was a double cd or triple vinyl compilation of early 90s dance music that came with a 192 page booklet (or it was a 192 page booklet about early 90s dance music that came with a double cd). It was an offshoot of the Volume series of compilations which had a broader focus musically. Both series were excellent, high quality songs, often unreleased or different mixes/versions. Trance Europe Express wasn’t really trancey at all, more progressive house, ambient and techno. But none of them made sense in the title- Techno Europe Express ?

I think I’ve expressed this view before but it struck me again- at the time we took this music for granted, imagining it would always be this good, that the innovation and leaps forward taking place here would be sustained (for most of the artists the culmination of several years work, of getting the best out of new technology, of watching what was happening on the dancefloor in clubs and at raves). Across disc 1 there are easily 5 or 6 tracks that are as good as anything else released at that time in that area- Orbital’s Semi-Detached, Spooky and Billie Ray Martin’s Persuasion, Celestial Symphony by Scubadevils (a David Holmes project), a jaw dropping track by Xeper (The Black Dog) and Midnight In Europe by 030. Outstanding work from everyone involved but the one from disc 1 that has turned my head the most is this one from Bandulu.

Gravity Pull (Remix)

A different version from the one on their Guidance album (released on Creation offshoot Infonet). Oscillating synths. Clattering rhythms. Abstract but with a sense of forward motion. Mind popping stuff.

Here is their remix of The Times’ cover of Blue Monday, something I’ve posted before but which is ripe for a re-post. A remix that makes me feel like I’m gliding around underwater through bubbles and bliss.

Lundi Bleu (Bandulu ‘Smiling’ Remix)


Bleu Bandulu

In the second hand record shop the other day I picked up a 12″ of Lundi Bleu by The Times. The Times was Ed Ball’s (note NOT Ed Balls) acid house project and Lundi Bleu was his cover version of Blue Monday which I posted here several years ago. The 12″ had two remixes of the track by The Grid which were what caught my eye and at £2.00 I decided it was worth a punt, having heard none of the remixes before. The two Grid remixes are both good, dubby with vocal samples, chugging away nicely. Here’s The Grid’s World Communications remix. It’s a Youtube video only I’m afraid- my computer issues continue and ripping anything is a bridge too far at the moment.

I enjoyed both The Grid remixes, especially as being off this week I had the house to myself and could turn it up loud enough and sit back with a cup of tea. But the real treat is on the flipside with Bandulu’s remix. Bandulu were from London, also on Creation and made reggae influenced dub/techno. Their remix of Lundi Bleu is a delight which defies description really- bubbling sounds and bouncing bass with an otherworldly, underwater groove. Futuristic in ’92 and still sounding so today. Properly making something wonderful and new out of a track.

>Thanks Everyone


Thanks to everyone who’s left messages here over the last few days and to Ctel for the post over at Acid Ted. Sunday morning seems a long time ago now. I.T. went down to theatre at 9.20 on Monday morning and was in for five hours. The consultant said the cochlear implant was tricky to get into place due to I.T.’s ‘abnormal cranium’ (funny shaped skull in layman’s terms), but after getting an x-ray last night he told us it was ‘a perfect insertion’. A phrase you might want to consider using at some point. Maybe. He had a ridiculously big bandage on his head which only just lasted until this morning, and three courses of IV antibiotics during the night to protect his immune system (I.T.’s immune system has never fully recovered from chemo during his two bone marrow transplants in 2000). Anyway, we’re home now with a bag full of medicines and a boy asking if his new ear is ready to be switched on. It won’t be for a few wekks, so he must be wondering why he’s had an operation at all.

Since writing that paragraph I’ve had to drive him back to the hospital. He’d pulled his dressing off when no-one was looking. We’ve been sent home with enough steri-strips to patch up an army.

While blocking out the outside world this song came up on the mp3 player- Manchester by The Times (and thanks to Tedloaf for reminding me about it via the comment box recently after I posted their French language cover of Blue Monday last week). I may have been in a slightly emotional state but this track brought a tear to my eyes and a lump to my throat, with it’s then zeitgeisty tribute to and celebration of Manchester in 1989-90. Twenty years on it sounds impossibly nostalgic, the lyrics coming across as nicely naive (or gauche even, is that the right word?). There are some other mixes of this song that couldn’t sound more New Orderish if they came wrapped in tracing paper and added onto the end of Lowlife. At this exact moment in time, this is my favourite song.

The Times – Manchester (Radio Edit).mp3

Version Francoise

Ed Ball co-formed Television Personalities with Dan Treacy during the punk period, set about Bill Grundy, Part Time Punks, Syd Barratt amongst others and set up their own record label. Ball also formed The Times who released records regularly between 1980 and 1999. While finding a home at Creation in the 80s and 90s Ball found the time to record various (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) celebrations of acid house, drug culture and Manchester/London at the time. This is Lundi Bleu, his version of New Order’s Blue Monday with Bernard Sumner’s lyrics translated into French. It’s a post-acid house, 8 minute monster which finds time to turn into Neil Young’s After The Goldrush at the end. Very lovely and very of it’s time. Art Dept IAMT, currently in Nuremburg, this one’s for you.

The Times – Lundi Bleu (Man New Age Mod Mix).mp3