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