SIDE A | by Gavin Guthrie
1. Absolute Body Control | Give Me Your Hands
This album has been in constant rotation recently and I still can't seem to get enough of it. Luckily for these dudes there seems to have been a recent resurgence of interest in their music which is great because I'm not sure how huge they were in the early 80's. This specific track just has that sick bubbly bass-line and phenomenal lyrics that I can never seem to get out of my head.
2. Future Blondes | P.I.R.O.S. Zone
I am utterly fascinated with this Houston,TX band right now, this song in particular. I hear these dudes do a lot of drugs so one would assume that from time to time some junk is churned out but in this case it was utter brilliance. I've been finding it hard to track down much of their releases as I feel most of them were put out on limited run cassettes and under their other band name A Pink Cloud. This song puts me in a complete trance-like state as I'm trying to understand what these satanic chant lyrics mean. In the last month I've listened to this song which lasts for just over 8 minutes at least 60 times.
3. Cluster | Hollywood
I feel that at some point in their lives anyone who has taken electronic music serious has done some intense research and reflection upon the music that came from Germany in the 1970's and early 1980's. This particular album actually was close to the end of my intense German phase and threw me for a serious loop. I had my idea of what Cluster was after hearing Sowieso and the record they did with Brian Eno. I was quite impressed with those records but I felt it was just in the vein of a lot of the output I had heard from others of that same time and place. Hollywood, is a phenomenal motorik minimal dance jam that is definitely worth your time.
4. Fad Gadget | Love Parasite
1982?!?! What?! Ahead of his time is an understatement when talking about Frank Tovey. Brilliant songs as well as studio mastery is what draws me to Fad Gadget, this song in particular. I actually used it as a measuring stick for mixing Florene's Homemade Extacy because this song is just sonically perfect in my opinion. Every chance I get to DJ this is one of the first tracks I throw on.
5. Giorgio Moroder | Utopia
What a flawless post/proto/primo/pre disco/techno or whatever you want to call it gem this is. Could listen on repeat for days. The robotic and mechanical nature of this song gives that feeling like your hearing music with no human involvement whatsoever, kind of like listening to early Tangerine Dream. Oh Giorgio you clever mustachioed man!! This was another song I was listening to a lot during the mixing process of our album as I could find absolutely no flaws within this entire album.
6. Liaisons Dangereuses | Los Niños Del Parque
For some reason all of my greedy musical friends with choice taste in music decided to hide this song from me, never to play it or mention it at all. What about a bunch of jerks! They assumed that I had heard it already and was aware of it being a dancefloor standard in the early to mid 1980's, going on to influence much house music and Detroit techno blah blah blah. But no they were wrong and the first time I heard this song was probably 4-5 months ago and I've been playing it for myself and others non stop since then. What's going on here? Industrial beats? A grooving sequenced out bass line that sounds more like a Hohner Clavinet than a synth? Germans singing in spanish? Members of Neubauten and D.A.F. working together to essentially invent electronic body music? Whatever all this is and whatever it all meant all I know is no one will write a song this good again ever...ever...ever.
7. Steve Moore | Fever Dream
I think Aaron and I can agree that Steve Moore is our personal modern day savior. He is responsible for all things that aren't percussion related in the Pittsburgh duo Zombi and creates phenomenal music all on his own as well. His complete synth mastery and his and our insane nostalgia for the soundtrack music created for films by Dario Argento, George A. Romero, Lucio Fulci, and to an extent John Carpenter and early Wes Craven. Steve Moore has no shame in admitting his undying love for the bands who brought these films to life such as Goblin/Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Frizzi.
8. Suicide | Wild In Blue
I had put my time in with Suicide's first two self-titled records but relatively recently discovered the greatness of their third record produced by The Cars' frontman Ric Ocasek. This song truly represents Vega and Rev's musical relationship. Dark and simplistic synth lines mixed with Vega's bluesy crooning lyrics. What really caught my attention the first time round on this song was the unorthodox drum programming that I'm still obsessing over to this day.
9. Tones On Tail | Twist
When Aaron and I embarked on our first tour ever about halfway through we find ourselves playing a place that purposefully keeps itself off the map called Medusa in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our buds in Clipd Beaks are originally from there and they hooked us up with this show big time. Apparently everyone in that town is obsessed w/ Tones and ever since then we have been as well. When we arrived and starting loading our gear in one of their records was thrown on and our love affair with them began.
10. The Units | High Pressure Days
Pivotal synthpunk from the bay area that came out in the late 1970's. Another one of those finds that blows your mind knowing when the album came out and how timeless it feels. These dudes took a chance on themselves by swapping guitars for synthesizers and in the process created something extremely original. If I could go back in time I'd probably be in attendance at some of the shows they played with Soft Cell, Ultravox, Gary Numan and OMD.
SIDE B | by Aaron Mollet
1. Clipd Beaks | Blood
There is a certain feeling of general badassness that certain songs can force one to emit. Night Clubbing by Iggy Pop and Blood by Clipd Beaks top this list for me. Here is the equation I use for self-esteem boost: Headphones, portable sound device, this track loaded to it, a cool night, a city street, fresh gear = swagger.
2. Damaged Good$ | Yo Righteous (Bassline Remix)
The synth that kicks this song off renders all human forms incapable of stillness. Literally, I have watched this hypothesis proven with hundreds of them as test subjects. The DJ couldn't even stand still. Hip-Hop saved music. Dallas based Hip-Hop is quite the now scene as far as radio play is concerned, this is the best representation of local bounce this side of the radio-waves.
3. Nirvana | Milk It
A fucking masterpiece.
4. Fake Babies | Do
This shit is GRIMY! Contained within are explosions of humanity which border on infection. Electro-pugilism at its greatest as this track pounds away. I have a healthy relationship with music...This? this bruise? Oh, its nothing...I slipped in the kitchen yesterday and hit the counter hard. I know, clumsy old me...
5. Melted Cassettes | Shock Sickness
Digi-destruction that left me sweaty on the floor after first listen, like a knowledgeable, experienced older woman had just taken my 15 year old virginity. She did not ask my name or how I would care to make love to her, it happened... and I was left to deal.
6. Growing | Limbo
Lord, this song causes my mind to liquify as I lay in a pasture and seep out my ears into the ground. There it acquires nutrients in exchange for daydreams...All on my apartment floor.
7. Phuture | Your Only Friend
I just looked up the term banger in the dictionary and this track is NOT listed (nor is the term in the context I am using here). Travesty. Stank-ass classic Chicago House is still one of the most important moments and movements in music. I let out a resounding Ohhhhhhhh! when I heard this track for the first time. The kind of noise you make when you get it.
8. Toutsy & Absa Coura Group | Weet Gore
Africa is a treasure trove of life-changing music. The clouds dance when I hear this song. Texas has one constant landmark and that is sky, we spend plenty of time watching it. Naturalism and maternity are what I seek in the outdoors and find myself seeking more and more often. We are blessed here in our home state of large patches of undisturbed land and I enjoy existing within them.
9. Psychic TV | Interzone
This song makes perfect nonsense...The sonic production of this era gets me all worked up. Psychic TV and Tones On Tail have recordings that I will forever try to emulate. I adore electronic records that sound raw and personal (see Adept's Adept) and hope we have captured something similar on our upcoming record. The modern blog-house movement could be seen as the opposite of what sound I desire. Oh yeah, and this song facilitates time travel (how could I forget!?).
10. Fabio Frizzi | Sequence 4
This record is, in my humble opinion, the best collection of music released...Ever. Proof that tones are universal and the best can be found in corners one would never expect. The film to which this music was written had such a shocking effect on my emotions at a much more tender age, my stomach still turns a bit when I hear any track from this collection. No music speaks to me in such an intrinsic manner and I think it might be somewhat to due with the first time I saw the film Zombi, alone and awake battling home-sickness at a foreign locale...I was truly branded.