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IntroAn early 2000s phenomenon focused on a revival of the early eighties in music and visual style. Closely connected to post punk revival and contemporary of micro house. Some key and less key acts and DJs include: DFA, Vive La Fete, Playgroup, 2 Many DJs, Larry Tee, Ivan Smagghe
DefinitionElectroclash is a contemporary music genre that fuses new wave, punk, & electronic dance music. The movement combines this 1980s sound (using synthesizers, drum machines, etc) with visuals from the post-1970s Westwood & Warhol fashion/art scenes. It mainly developed in the mid to late 1990s in New York City and Detroit. The official home to electroclash was Luxx in Williamsburg from 2000 - 2002, at a party hosted by Larry Tee, the man who created and owns the word "electroclash".
The name derives from the Electropop bands who provide the majority of the musical influence. Lyrics are generally punk inspired, often angry and more given to emotion than technique. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroclash [Feb 2005]
Swindle?Here's a simple Beginner's Guide on how to be "Electroclash", the coolest and sassiest fashion trend item of 2002! Just follow these easy steps to stardom, and you can't miss! --Erkki Rautio for phinnweb.com
- Buy, borrow or steal some old albums from Kraftwerk, Visage, New Order, Human League and Gary Numan. Some knowledge of the early 80s Italo disco and Giorgio Moroder doesn't hurt either.
- Buy, borrow or steal a cheap sampler/inexpensive keyboard and nick everything you can from the artists mentioned above. Add some one-octave basslines and disco beats.
- Buy, borrow or steal a vocoder to get some fashionable robot vocals in. Besides, said device comes helpful if you can't sing one bit (though remember, this didn't stop New Order's Bernard Sumner to have a go at some crooning... neither Madonna nor your current favourite chart superstar).
- For additional cult bonus points, buy, borrow or steal an old Commodore 64 computer to make some bleeps with. At least, this will guarantee you a cult status among nerds, if you're still otherwise short of groupies.
- Watch the 1982 cult film Liquid Sky repeatedly until you know it by heart. Then buy a skinny tie, a can of hairspray and some hair dye, plus some fluorescent make-up to go. Now, try to look as much as possible like the characters in Liquid Sky.
- Now the hardest part: you have to try to write some lyrics for your simple two-note tracks. To make the task easier, here's a short checklist of handy buzzwords you might pick up from: cocaine, glamour, glitz, jetset, sex, lipstick, sunglasses, champagne, night life, disco, 1982, space invaders, Pac-Man, trash, romantic, Euro, electronique, lifestyle, robots, computer, sleaze, auto, plaza, dancer, fashion, style, human, cars, magazine, TV, seduction, silver screen, plastic, passion, android, leatherette, suicide, porno, telephone, neon, futuristic, robots, robots and robots.
- Buy, borrow or steal some French and German dictionaries and pick up from them some sexy/authoritarian-sounding catchprases to make your lyrics more credible (a touch of Eurosleaze has never done any harm to anyone).
- Now announce in public that you're gay or at least bisexual, and that you give good head (remember, this approach did wonders to Bowie in the 70s).
- Try to manage yourself a record deal with International Deejay Gigolos.
- If you can't get yourself any musical instruments and can't play nor sing, don't worry about that either. Just take care to get yourself the fashion accessories mentioned above, and then get together with some fashionable producer (giving good head doesn't hurt either).
- When you're prancing around on stage like some stupid ass you are, tell all journalists about your high "concept" combining music, fashion, dance and performance art.
- An occasional DJ gig will add to your credibility. Don't worry if you can't really mix records. Just get yourself anything made in The Hague and Detroit, plus for cheap laughs some cheesy old new wave, Italodisco and 80s pop records you found from a junkyard sale, and pretend you're "ironic" when drunken and stoned idiots get into it, cheer and clap their hands. That always does the trick.
- When journalists at trendy magazines and glossies call you "electroclash", furiously deny this and tell you were into this stuff years ago before it became fashionable.
- Who killed Bambi? (Oops, the wrong one!)
Larry TeeLarry Tee's self-anointed genre which includes new acts like DFA, Vive La Fete, Playgroup, 2 Many DJs, Miss Kittin,Fisherspooner, ... and of course a whole slew of old electro and No Wave and post-punk acts.
Electroclash 2002It will be interesting to see how Larry Tee's self-anointed genre has held up with finicky New York clubbers since the festival's debut last year. Many of the same artists are also playing this go-round, including punk slut Peaches, A.R.E. Weapons, and artsy kitsch trio Chicks on Speed. New additions include indie band Bis, who recently dipped their toes into the electro pool, the cute but rather pointless W.I.T. project, Mount Sims, and Tracy and the Plastics. The opening night party at Webster Hall features Arthur Baker, 2 Many DJs/Soulwax, Erol Arkin, Tommie Sunshine, and Felix Da Housecat—whose album Kittenz and Thee Glitz should be used as a primer for all the nu-electro artists on how to properly take an old genre and make it new again. --www.electroclash.com
Fischerspooner - #1NYC duo Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner have stolen many a headline over the past year, representing — or misrepresenting — electroclash with a fashion-friendly face. From the group’s debut in an East Village Starbucks to their high-profile gigs at NYC’s Irving Plaza and on BBC’s Top Of The Pops, Fischerspooner are as much about the spectacle as they are the music. Small wonder that the band’s debut album, #1, would come packaged with a DVD of performances and videos. But is there any substance to Fischerspooner’s music? In the case of their single, "Emerge," the answer is yes. Although it treads no new ground, the song’s throbbing two-note bass line and slow-building tension deliver pure pleasure. It rekindles the percolating tension of Giorgio Moroder’s compositions, using a simple, pulsating synth arrangement to stimulate the libido. Alas, Fischerspooner prove to be a one-trick pony. "Sweetness" and "Natural Disaster" deliver a fraction of the excitement of the first single, while down tempo tracks "Tone Poem" and "Ersatz" plod along on skeletal arrangements. The remainder lies somewhere between empty arpeggiated dance grooves and by-the-numbers synth-pop. An inferior Junkie XL remix of "Emerge" closes out the disc. Darrin Keene for chartattack.com
Original Eighties No Wave CDs
- Nine O'Clock Drop - Andy Weatherall [Amazon US]
1. Nice mover - gina x performance 2. Dominatrix sleeps tonite - dominatrix 3. Coup - 23 skidoo 4. My spine (is the bassline) - shriekback 5. Genius - quando quango 6. Water line - a certain ratio 7. Vegas el bandito - 23 skidoo 8. Black and white mix up - 400 blows 9. P2E remix - torch song 10. Warm leatherette - the normal 11. October (love song)'86 version - chris and cosey 12. Looks lie we're shy one horse - colourbox 13. Warrior charge - aswad
- In the Beginning there Was Rhythm - Soul Jazz records[1CD, Amazon US]
1. Shack up - Certain Ratio 2. Coup - 23 Skidoo 3. To Hell with poverty - Gang Of Four 4. Being boiled - Human League 5. She is beyond good and evil - Pop Group 6. In the beginning there was rhythm - Slits 7. 20 jazz funk greats - Throbbing Gristle 8. Knife slits water - Certain Ratio 9. 24 track loop - This Heat 10. Sluggin' for Jesus - Cabaret Voltaire 11. Vegas el bandito - 23 Skidoo
- Liquid Liquid - Liquid Liquid [Amazon US]
Most of the groundbreaking no-wave funk released in the early 1980s on the 99 label is in limbo, but Grand Royal has seen fit to reissue three Liquid Liquid EPs plus live tracks. Who were Liquid Liquid? A bunch of white art-school types, whose "Cavern" formed the basis for "White Lines"--the following lawsuit sank both 99 and Sugarhill Records. This EP is as much Steve Reich as James Brown as Fela Kuti and sums ups most of New York City's musical obsessions of the period. Minimalist bass, trance-like vibes and occasional melodica and you're left wondering why anyone would choose to listen to acid-jazz, when we have godhead such as this. --D. Strauss
- ESG - A South Bronx Story [Amazon US]
The four Scroggins sisters (Renee, Deborah, Valerie, and Marie) and neighbor Tito Libran burst on to the music scene from left field in 1981 with the remarkable success of "UFO" and "Moody" off their debut 12-inch record. Thanks to the ascendance of hip-hop, the South Bronx was very much on the musical map at the time. But ESG's minimalist funk, which featured live instruments, was closer in spirit to what was coming out of the U.K. at the time--PiL, Gang of Four, and the Factory label (which released ESG's first three songs). Their approach also had kinship to New York bands Konk, Bush Tetras, and Liquid Liquid (the latter two would become their label-mates on the semi-legendary 99 Records). "Moody" entered permanent rotation at New York dance clubs such as the Paradise Garage, while "UFO" became a hip-hop building block, used as sample material for at least a dozen other records (and still counting). The appeal of the tracks lay in the taut interaction between Deborah and Valerie's bass and drums, abetted by Marie and Tito's congas as well as Renee's sparse but precise guitar and unadorned vocal style. The stripped-down nature of the sound lent itself to hip-hop producers' layering on top of it and has helped the music successfully weather the intervening decades--there's none of that "What were they thinking with that synthesizer sound?" problem that afflicts some early '80s music. The CD includes much of their 99 Records output and tracks from their self-titled 1991 release on the Pow Wow label. The 99 Records label itself went down in legal flames, and that Renee Scroggins' apparently owns the rights to the music is noteworthy in itself. But the historical significance and sheer listenability of the music make this a most welcome reissue. --Bob Bannister
- Disco not Disco[Amazon US]
1. Walking On Thin Ice - Yoko Ono 2. Cavern - Liquid Liquid 3. Tell You Today - Loose Joints 4. Spatisticus Autisticus - Ian Dury 5. Over And Over - Material 6. Wheel Me Out - Was (Not Was) 7. Kiss Me Again - Dinosaur 8. I Walk - Don Cherry 9. Voices Inside My Head - Common Sense 10. School Bell/Tree House - Indian Ocean 11. Macho City - Steve Miller Band
Three great Arthur Russell tracks, 'Tell You Today' and 'School Bell/Tree House', 'Kiss Me Again'. Ian Dury is a Sly & Robbie production.
- Disco Not Disco 2 - [1CD, Amazon US]
TRACKLISTING: 1. Bostich - Yello 2. Let's Go Swimming - Russell, Arthur 3. Timewarp - Grant, Eddy 4. Spectacle (Sean P edit) - Can 5. White Horse - Laidback 6. Problems d'Amour - Alexander Robotnik 7. Radio clash - Clash (2) 8. Ciguri - Material 9. Sting - Waits, Barry 10. Listen to the Rhythm Band - MD 20 20 11. Get down - Case, Connie & King Sporty 12. Fourteen days - Lex (2)
Conventional wisdom equates late-'70s/early-'80s disco with velvet ropes and coked-up supermodels, but Joey Negro and Sean P.'s ongoing Disco Not Disco series makes a convincing case for the N.Y.C. discotheque as a place where bold genre-blurring experimentation thrived under the guise of recreation. Where Disco Not Disco 1 spotlighted avant-funk bands, part deux works like an electroclash crash course, with a collection of tracks that suggest Kraftwerk was a more important influence on East Village culture than the Velvet Underground or Ramones. Several nations come together under one groove here: the Clash and Can get cross-wired with Yello's classic "Bostich" and Material's "Rapper's Delight" redux "Ciguri," and if much of DND2 sounds dated... well, isn't that why you're listening in the first place? -- Gern Blandsten
Electro Clash CDs
- This Is Tech Pop 21st Century Electro & New Wave [1 CD, Amazon US]
1. Emerge - Fischerspooner 2. 14 Zero Zero - Console 3. Nobody Knows (Part One) - Zoot Woman 4. Sunglasses At Night - Tiga & Zyntherius 5. Candy Girl - Soviet 6. Destroy She Said - Circ 7. Genedefekt - Green Velvet 8. You're My Disco (New Romantic Mix) - Waldorf 9. Overdose - Tomcraft 10. State Of Grace - Swayzak 11. Naked, Drunk, And Horny - Yellow Note Vs. Pukka 12. Rippin Kittin - Golden Boy with Miss Kittin 13. Happy Hour - Felix Da Housecat 14. Extensive Care - Crossover 15. Machine Says Yes - FC Kahuna 16. Pozition - Selway 17. Playgirl (Zombie Nation Mix) - Ladytron 18. Go! - Toktok Vs. Soffy O 19. Naïve Song (Dave Clarke Remix) - Mirwais 20. Ocean Drive - FPU -- [...]
- DJ Kicks - Playgroup [1 CD, Amazon US]
Playgroup producer Trevor Jackson has compiled the latest in the critically acclaimed DJ Kicks series.
"I never went to the Roxy or Danceteria, but I went to the British equivalent of those clubs," producer Trevor Jackson has said, discussing his Playgroup project. Essentially, it's an English kid's grown-up homage to his teenage fantasy of early-'80s New York dance culture, a vision—filtered entirely through records and the music press, but not inaccurate—of downtown Manhattan as a polyrhythmically perverse utopia of sexual/racial border-crossing, rootless cosmopolitanism, and all-night parties tinged with noir sleaze. -- Simon Reynolds
The next installment will hit the streets through Studio K7! on July 1, and features tracks from Maurice Fulton, Random Factor, Metro Area and Ralphi Rosario.
Previous DJ Kicks releases have been compiled by luminaries such as Nightmares On Wax, Truby Trio, Stereo MCs, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Carl Craig and Stacey Pullen.
Maurice Fulton presents Boof - We Ana Rago - You're God (I:Cube Remix) Material - Ciquri (Discomix) Harlequin Fours - Set It Off Impedance - Tainted Love Random Factor - Broken Mirror Cultural Vibe - Ma Foom Bey (Love Chant Version) Metro Area - Caught Up Tiny Trendies - The Sky Is Not Crying Smith 'N Hack - To Our Disco Friends Zongamin - Tunnel Music Charles Schillings - No Communication, No Love (Salt City Orchestra Mix) Nigo - March Of General (Chicken Lips Conquest Dub) Jay Walk - Buggin' Becky (Fully Bearded Mix) KC Flightt - Let's Get Jazzy (Dopy Dub Mix) Human League - Do Or Die (Dub) Parallax Corporation - Anti Social Tendencies Ralphi Rosario - Get Up Get Out Bobby O - Still Hott 4 U Dexter - I Don't Care Wanda Dee - Gonna Make You Sweat (Acapella) The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers Flying Lizards - Money B
Very enjoyable, harks back to early eighties electro music, mixing it up with newer shit, while sustaining the same vibe. 4/5
- Kittenz & Thee Glitz (2001) - Felix Da Housecat [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Finally, this album is released in the states! Various singles from Felix da Housecat got heavy rotation time on independent radio stations over the past year, most notably "Silver Screen (Shower Scene)" and "Madame Hollywood". The vocals of these two particular tracks were done in hilarious monotone by Miss Kitten, and along with the robotic beats and 80's synthesizer sounds, you are taken right back to the eighties - but in a good way! Other songs like "Harlot" and "Glitz Rock" are equally fun in a tongue-in-cheek way, while songs like "What Does It Feel Like" shun easy 80's parody and try to recreate a darker sonar world of the time period. This album is a relief from all the mind-sapping mediocre trance and two-step albums out there. "Kittenz & Thee Glitz" hearkens back to the 80's with a sense of both wry cynicism and earnest fascination, and in turn neither glorifies nor trivializes the era. What we listeners get is a great electronica that comes off beautifully on its own right, and it's a tribute to Felix da Housecat's musicianship that what should sound so old and hackneyed sounds so eerily fresh and new. --50cent-haircut for amazon.com
- Zongamin (2001) - Zongamin [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Zongamin, aka multi-instrumentalist Susumu Mukai, first caused damage on the dance scene with his take-no-prisoners, future-retro punk-funk cut "Serious Trouble". Taking on a raucously infectious disco-clash feel, the tune caught the imaginations of many different luminaries in the electro-retro avant-garde, such as Trevor Jackson and Andy Weatherall. This debut LP shows off a little more of the producer' skills, illustrating that Mukai is at least a four or five trick pony. Zongamin is happily diverse, featuring amongst other things Arrows covers ("Make Love Not War"), a few more excursions into his brand of grainy glitterball phunk ("Painless"), confused, robotic chaos ("Spiral"), a cheerful dash of folk-hop ("Street Surgery 2") and some weirdy-beardy experimentalia ("Tunnel Music"). With influences as disparate as Joy Division, Miles Davis and Prince, Zongamin was always going to be an interesting experiment, but the producer's main feat is to make it sound good as well. --Paul Sullivan for amazon.co.uk
- #1 (2001) Fischerspooner [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
First released on Munich's fashionable International Deejay Gigolos label back in 2001, Fischerspooner's debut album #1 was an immediate underground sensation. The creation of two New York fashion queens, Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner, it swiftly became the defining example of what clued-up onlookers began to know as electroclash--a brand of synthetic punk music using not guitars and drums, but the traditional tools of the 80s musician: synthesiser, vocoder, sampled handclaps, sequenced bass. Feted in the style press, Fischerspooner became immediate cult superstars--and at the beginning of 2002, signed to Ministry Of Sound for a hefty sum. "Emerge" is the record's defining moment: a seismic explosion of bass-powered synth-flurries accompanied by a nagging bon vivant mantra--"Looks good / Feels good / Sounds good"--it's up there with Donna Summer 's "I Feel Love" and New Order 's "Blue Monday" in the canon of all-time dancefloor classics. And luckily, the rest of the record is almost as good. "F***er" sounds like a fuel-injected Kraftwerk, all high-speed technoid blips and orgasmic vocoder moans, while "Turn On" finds Fischerspooner crafting their answer to a straightforward pop song--albeit, one that vogues more than Madonna, and preens more than Prince. It's a fantastic, accomplished debut. --Louis Pattison for amazon.com
- First Album - Miss Kittin & the Hacker [1 CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Kittin, a former French pole dancer, and Hacker, a one-time hardcore headbanger, combine forces in a decidedly sleazy niche, but it does make for disarmingly catchy music. Its simple New Wave synth beats and Kittin's (a.k.a. Caroline Herve) deadpan delivery make it easy to imagine you're lounging in a Eurotrash strip joint, circa 1977, as scantily clad dominatrixes torture willing customers. The 1997 single "Frank Sinatra" is more shocking for its spot-on electro atmospherics than for its lyrics, proving that Hacker's punk years were a valuable tutorial for success 2002-style. Throughout, Hacker spins weird little theramin squirms, horror halo tones, and chunky beatbox handclaps, while Kittin discourses about trading sex for cash ("Stock Exchange"), ambitious disco queens ("Nurse"), and, of course, the burlesque life ("Stripper"). First Album is really a one-song affair, but its alluring message is so kitschy, kinked, and campy, the song never sounds the same. --Ken Micallef [...]
- This Is Electroclash (2003) Various Artists [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
1. Discotraxx - Ladytron 2. Detroit Style - A1 People 3. Fashion - Effcee 4. Treat Me Better - Northern Lite 5. We Are Rock (The Faint Mix) - Joy Electric 6. Lady Shave - Fad Gadget 7. Mind Games - Technova 8. Bike Thief (Schnellspanner Remix) - Freezepop 9. Shes A Model - Ambra Red 10. Boys (And Girl Mix) - LTNO 11. Shards Of Glass - Travelogue 12. Beat You Up - Ping Pong Bitches 13. Sex (Rosetta Stone Mix) - Berlin 14. Ring My Bell (Kitty Kat Mix) - Anita Ward 15. Happy Hour - Felix Da Housecat 16. Youre My Disco (New Romantic Mix) - Waldorf 17. Asymmetric - Dirty Sanchez 18. Tainted Love - Soft Cell 19. Let Me Go (Rob Playford Mix) - Heaven 17 20. Dont Let The Rain Come Down - Bis 21. My Dying Machine (Italian 12 Inches) - Gary Numan 22. Whats On Your Mind (Pure Energy (Judson Leach The The Exhibi 23. Star - Effcee 24. Everybody Loves You (Tok Tok Vs Soffy O Mix) - Sigue Sigue S 25. Fade To Gray - Visage 26. Warm Leatherette - The Normal 27. Retroish - Kraftwelt 28. (CD 3 DJ SkOOby Non Stop Mix)
- Electroclash Mix (2003) - Larry Tee [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
1. extreme fashion (tobell von cartier ) 2. seeing is believing (david carretta remix) (scratch massive) 3. racer car (tgv join in the race mix) (fpu) 4. i'm not a sound (2raumwohnung remix) (sieg über die sonne) 5. satisfaction (benny b) 6. vision (vitalic remix) (slam feat. dot allison) 7. supermodel inc. (larry tee) 8. hate f@#k (mount sims) 9. hysterical sculpture (water lilly & st-plomb) 10. boys club (w.i.t.) 11. kissogram (don multisex) 12. true mathematics (ladytron) 13. bitter pill (siobhan fahey) 14. confusion (larry tee's electroclash mix) (new order) 15. sex life (krivoï rog) 16. joe le taxi (hanayo) 17. plastique (crème de menthe) 18. shack up (bis) 19. sexy mind (prance) 20. john starlight (z-trainer) 21. shout out (volsoc) 22. anthem (artist unknown) 23. airplanes (vostok) 24. silver screen (adult. mix) (felix da housecat feat. miss kittin) [...]
- Green Velvet - Green Velvet [1 CD, Amazon US]
Chicago's Curtis Jones (a.k.a. Cajmere and Green Velvet) is, by far, on of the top producers of house music in the world. In the mid-'90s, his self-run record labels, Cajual and Relief, spearheaded the continuing renaissance of the genre with distinctive tracks that delivered a powerful dance-floor rush and gave DJs a deep arsenal of guaranteed crowd pleasers. While his Cajmere tracks are upbeat vocal workouts, it's his work as Green Velvet that continues to fascinate and gain legions of new devotees. Jones sets his GV material on a bed of dark, relentless, dirty beats, while adding his own twisted vocal flourishes that are one part Gary Numan and one part Bauhaus. Each track has a distinct narrative (i.e., a tour of a night club or an imagined reincarnation as a drop of water); the results are both frightening and hilarious. Long out-of-print on vinyl, the new Green Velvet CD combines such "classics" as "Flash," "Leave My Body," and "Answering Machine" with more recent material, including the fantastic Giorgio Moroder-inspired drive of "Coitus." --David Prince for amazon.com
- Teaches of Peaches (2002) - Peaches [CD, Amazon US]
1. Fuck the Pain Away 2. AA XXX 3. Rock Show - Steve Keeping 4. Set It Off 5. Cum Undun - Steve Keeping 6. Diddle My Skittle 7. Hot Rod 8. Lovertits 9. Suck and Let Go 10. Sucker - Steve Keeping 11. Felix Partz Disc: 2 1. Keine Melodien - Jeans Team perf. By Peaches 2. Cassanova - feat. Mignon 3. Sex - Berlin perf. By Peaches 4. Felix Part II - Kid 606 Remix 5. Set it Off - Tobi Neuman Remix
Toronto native Merrill Nisker began her musical quest in a folk duo called Mermaid Hotel, later punking things up in Fancypants Hoodlum. Inserting herself into the Toronto in-crowd, she participated in a Canadian sub-indie supergroup called the Shit -- a side project that lives on in legend with its tales of Albert Ayler noise larded with X-Ray Spex attitude. This is where she found her voice and her new persona as Peaches -- a sex-crazed autonomous woman hurdling through the world seducing all in her path. She teamed up with a fellow Shit named Gonzalez in a memorable duo, Peaches & Gonzalez, renowned for sexy live shows that would still have sent Larry Flynt speeding for the exit elevator. Peaches relocated to Berlin, where her neo-disco sex-raps caught on big. The rest is history -- Elastica tour, "Lovertits" single, press hype at every turn. Taking a Weimar approach to stage performance, she could be either ruthlessly experimental and strange, or bravely solicitous and sexy. The reviews were mixed -- some critics even considered her the worst live performer they'd ever seen. Despite the fact that her songs were unequivocally about het sex, her audience included a healthy contingent of gays, queers, lesbians, transsexuals. She was clearly doing something right. The world awaited her debut album, The Teaches of Peaches. -- Mark Desrosiers for popmatters, accessed Apr 2003
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