Category Archives: Chaz Jankel

House of Ice

It might be too early in the great cosmic scheme of things to make such grandiose statements but maybe, just maybe, a revival of Chicago House will be the new Blog House (*spits*) for 2008. As evidence, The Juan Maclean’s “Happy House” is so super hot with iconic Nancy Wang vocals soaring into space across the backdrop of 1989 piano loops. Then, Hercules & Love Affair are set to release a disco opus LP in March that, whilst holding the hands of past greats like Mr Fingers, Nexus 21 and the don, Frankie Knuckles, stares teary-eyed and heartbroken towards shimmering silvery futurescapes where Antony awaits with 3rd eye wide open, shooting lasers of red into the subconscious of onlookers.

But back to the old skool:

Mr. Knuckles mixed this awesome 80’s pop-house crystal for Kevin Irving and it was released on seminal label Trax in 1987. It sits right in the middle of the 80’s pop explosion and the underground throb of the Chicago sound. Vocals on the subject of cool kids out on the dancefloors of dance-town loosely echo the demonic stomp of the video for “Thriller” if Diana Ross had replaced Michael at the last moment. Its like the Shakatak of an alternate universe (made up of actual real versions of the characters from Streets Of Rage) where they formed in a Martian acid house rave, then travelled back in time to the late 80’s and showed us all what bionic sound ninjas dipped in an acid and glitter broth can do to your disco limbs.

Kevin Irving – Children Of The Night

Check it in its 4 minute edited version for maximum pop-song appeal, and watch out for low flying piano loops made of jewel encrusted titanium that appear from nowhere between verses, twinned with rolling blasts of synthesised drums and heart-based bass.

Now onto our ’08 heroes of the moment, Hercs’ ‘n’ Loves’ (our pet name), who – after adding paradoxical neon-green voodoo trance to Goldfrapp, and stuttering hi-hat blue/purple pastel shards of ’89 bass & warp effect to Aeroplane’s new track, “Whispers” – is casting Chaz Jankel in gold and displaying him on a plinth in the middle of the VIP area in a Miami club, backlit with lurid pink light.

Chaz Jankel – Get Myself Together (Hercules HercHouse Mix)

There is a disco version of this remix too, a Studio 54-era bump ‘n’ flex-a-thon complete with pink-tracksuited trampolining ESG girls and Liquid Liquid rhythm-section back up. But its the glacial HercHouse mix that’s forming ice over our dance-brains and transporting us to sophisticated Arctic igloo-set club nites.

Its those special little sounds in Hercules & Love Affair remixes that make them so appealing; the “get-my-get-my-get-my” vocals puncturing this track like meteor fragments burning up in the stratosphere, or the cyber-Zulu chants on the Goldfrapp mix and then the warped totally tropical steele-drum effects on the Kathy Diamond assisted “Whispers”.

From the ‘Get Myself Together Remixes’ 12″, out soon on Tirk.

More Nostalgia for the better remembered 80s

Why do we go so much for the 80s? Besides the fact that, at least in my case, those were childhood years about which I reminisce with much emotion, it is also that it was then when many of our fave things like disco and new wave, as well as all the crazy experimental synth stuff came together in some sort of crazy pop nuclear reaction which might have been post-many-things, but not post-modern in the ‘oh yeah, whatever’ attitude you find in 99% of recent commercial music. It wasn’t too smart for its own good, and even when it revelled in its own disposability, or material things, it did so with intense over-the-top passion, perhaps even innocence. It’s the same thing with films, where is the modern day equivalent of John Hughes, for christ sakes? Wes Anderson? Oh please…

I think this might be a reason why the Electrocla$$h bubble, which merged a number of 80s cliches with the coldest, most detached attitude one can think of fell flat in its face after a few coked-up parties, while the kosmische wizards, all those disco nerds out there digging up obscure gems from the vaults, and of course our Italian soul brothers go from strength to strength, their music has inherited not just the warm analogic sound of the 80s, but also its romantic passionate feel, that’s the reason why even in our forward looking-ness we embrace their talented and honest nostalgia fully, the past becomes present and future in the best of ways, let these garish sounds envelop you in a cloud of pastel colours and neon flashing, and dance into the light.

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‘My Occupation’, a compilation of 80s disco hits by Chaz Jankel from Ian Dury and the Blockheads fame which has recently been released by very nice & caring label Tirk, synthesises in a nutshell what I was talking about above: open this box and be blinded by a treasure trove of delightfully crafted off kilter disco gems which glimmer with hedonistic energy and oh so 80s Fame-style individualistic competitiveness, just check out the lyrics of ‘Number One’, they would make Milton Friedman proud… funnily enough, I can’t think of a better environment to enjoy this killer than the collectivised environment of a sweaty disco dancefloor, party up and make it hot enough to melt the Berlin wall.

Chaz Jankel- Number One

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As part of their 10th Anniversary, our favourite purveyors of vinyl delights, Juno, have commissioned a bunch of remixes of classic tunes, here is one, where you find the sorcerer of breath-taking kosmische tango-disco, Lindstrom, pull an Arthur, and pick a bouquet of blossoming flowers from the beautiful garden which is Imagination’s ‘Just an Illusion’, to then fill the gaps with piano-key shaped silences and echoes, the outcome is a reverberating rainbow-coloured cloud of 80s Lover’s Rock Soul raining pink teardrops over the hairy heads of your wide-eyed-in-their-astonished-delight 20JFG nerds.

Imagination- Illusion (Lindstrom Vocal Remix)

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Finally, Aeroplane, who amazed us beyond what is radically possible with his lovely S/T 12” goes on to remix Balearic stalwart Coyote’s ‘Too Hard’, the result is another slice of heavenly disco that should be soundtracking your most beautiful romantic moments, sitting by the Miami waterfront holding hands in an emotional interlude as the neon lights draw imaginary laser constellations in the black sky, or french champagne spilled over the smooth sands of an Italian beach in the midst of which rests a red convertible like some toy abandoned by a Harryhausen style Greek Colossus, this is the sort of respectful, perfect, beautiful tribute to the spirit of the 80s we love, thank God we live in a world were music like this exists.

Coyote- Too Hard (Aeroplane Remix)

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And let us finish paying homage to one true 80s icon, this is, thee Eddie Murphy, particularly as Beverly Hills Cop, remember those stone-washed jeans, high-tops and bomber jacket and how he rocked L.A. with wacky streetwise flair? well, he also dabbled into the music biz with the epic results you can hear below, perhaps this song is not the ultimate apex of electro-pop brilliance, but it still shines with the sort of euphoric charm I was talking about before, there’s something in those trebly synth melodies, dramatic lyrics about hedonistic jealously (think of it as Bagarre’s hyperkinetic brother…) and inane repetition which make my heart swell like fantastic Air Jordan pumps, *wheezes*, how sweet.

Eddie Murphy- Party All the Time

This post goes with a big holla at Piers Martin off Vice’s Electric Independence for the lovely mention last issue, much respect & thanks for fighting the good fight, always smooth.

VISUALLY

Check this out, awesome Videokitten put together a collection of computer animated films from 84-8, which is just the right thing.

HOTT

COMING UP

One of the 20JFG ones will be playing some records at the most excellent Dan Deacon/No Age/Gay vs You Upset the Rhythm gig in London on Friday, together with people from 13 Monsters & Where To Now. You should come.

You should also go to Gay Against You at the Greenhouse Effect in Brighton on Thursday and give Lorrie a kiss before she goes to the USA on holidays.

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You should also DEFINITELY come to the Zombie Zombie gig in Brighton we are putting on with Dan and Lucy Tuesday next week- GREENHOUSE EFFECT 11TH DECEMBER- French horror dance party, in their own words:

We use Sound and Rhythm as a medium to explore the feeling of fear growing deep inside of you. You’ll go through different emotional stages with the analogic effects. The drumming will make your heart beat faster:”like in a horror movie when the car won’t start, you give it one last try

NEU! versus JOHN CARPENTER was always going to be ACE BLOODSPLATTERING MOTORIKK TIMES OUI? CHECK IT OUT, WAKING UP THE DEAD, STANDARD

Medicine and Duty and Tall One Behind support.

Get tickets (£5) in Resident, Rounder or Edgeworld

Putting the caring back into funeral since 2004.