I know YouTube is available to everyone, and i realize this makes re-posting YouTube videos in your blog a rather pointless activity.
But I'm going to do it anyway, as I happened to stumble over something really interesting. It's Wolfgang Flür's Electronic Press Kit, from the release of Yamo's "Time Pie" album. The EPK contains some video footage I hadn't seen before, including a 1993 interview from MTV where longtime Kraftwerk collaborator Emil Schult also appears.
And part 2:
The new Kraftwerk single is out now. This is what it looks like, at least if you get the cd version.
As I am sure you know, Hot Chip has split itself into two pairs to make the remixes. Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard did Aerodynamik (Intelligent Design Mix), while Al Doyle and Felix Martin did La Forme (King of the Mountains Mix).
The truth is, La Forme is not quite perfect. There could be an idea or two missing, leaving the remix not quite a complete song. The Aerodynamik remix, on the other hand, could most likely get a dancefloor or two moving.
OK, so I recently published Big Black's version of Kraftwerk's "The Model", and Zeni Gevas cover of "Sex Object". I also hinted about the connection between Big Black main man Steve Albini and the japanese KK Null/Zeni Geva crowd. So I might as well...
In 1992, Steve Albini and Zeni Geva played two shows together in Japan. These concerts, as far as I know the only two they ever played together, are documented on the album "All Right, You Little Bastards!", that was released the following year. And on that album, we find another cover of "The Model", recorded at their second show, at the Fandango in Osaka , on April 3, 1992.
Right now, you can download it here.
There are many weird Kraftwerk-related records out there. Classical, metal, hiphop, U2... But this, a Kraftwerk tribute medley 7" "Late Night Radio" by a band called Late Night Radio, must be one of the weirder ones.
The copy I have was released by Beat Box in 1984. This label, as far as I understand and/or remember, was somewhat related to the Vinyl Mania record store in Stockholm, Sweden. Beat Box released italo disco (artists like Koto, Scotch and Den Harrow), typically on 7" or 12" vinyl, and predominantly songs that was already released by other labels. But Beat Box added their own remixes, making the records unique anyway. Almost all of their remixes were called "Swedish Remix" and were created by someone called Fredrik Ramel.
And then there's this. A strange italo disco medley of Kraftwerk covers, completely surrounded at all ends by Vangelis "Chariots of fire" (which is also a cover, in italo disco style). According to the label, the producers of the record are Svengile and Puzzle. I don't have much information on any of them, but they appear to be Italian, and Puzzle's given name might be Silvio Puzzolu. The two of them also produced the LP "Night Heroes", also released in 1983, which contains a medley of tracks by Giorgio Moroder, Japan and Sparks.
The Kraftwerk medley was also released in an extended 12" version.
I recently read this post about the Deadly Dragon Soundbox. The box, pictured above, is a new tool for soundsystem use, cleverly engineered to add siren sounds to the reggae set by pushing it's rasta coloured buttons.
But then I felt I had seen the thing before... And well, I was almost right. Look what Conny Plank is reaching for in the picture below.
Uncanny. Sure, it's a bigger model, but the picture ought to be at least 25 years old and nanotechnology hadn't yet been invented.
I’m obviously a bit late on the ball here, but I still thought I'd write a few lines on Von Südenfed. And then drift away towards the Kraftwerk territories you've gotten you used to. Right:
Von Südenfed released their debut album, called "Tromatic Reflexxions", in May. They are a newly formed band, consisting of the two members of Mouse on Mars, Jan St Werner and Andi Toma, and Mark E. Smith, main (or only) man of The Fall.
The trio has collaborated briefly once before, when Mark E. Smith provided vocals on the Mouse on Mars' 12" "Wipe That Sound". But that was different. This time, they've formed an actual trio, and you can hear the difference.
Musically, the album is quite varied. There is a certain leftfield quirkyness throughout, but at certain points it leans more towards broken beat. But in a non-standard way. And there's strumming of guitars, probable field recordings and a big chunk of electronic trickery. In "Jbak Lois Lane", a brilliant interlude, someone basically handles a lawn mower and a lawn edger/trimmer (or both at the same time), and MES seems to want the guy to stop.
Von Südenfed is the second major celebrity collaboration for Mouse on Mars. In 1995, former Kraftwerk drummer Wolfgang Flür helped the duo by adding a drum track to a song on their second album, "Iaora Tahiti". Mouse on Mars repaid the debt the year after, working together with Mr Flür to create his first, and so far only, post Kraftwerk album "Time Pie", which was released under his still active Yamo alias.
I dug out an old issue of The Wire magazine today, issue 159 from May 1997 to be specific (that's right, never throw anything away), since I vaguely remembered it containing an article on the Cologne scene of the time, in which Mouse on Mars spoke out about their experiences with Flür during the making of the Yamo album. And it did.
"He brought us to collapse", says Jan, wincing at the memory. "I think we all met at a level of what we call schlager [crass pop hits] in Germany. Not even Easy Listening, more like Easy Thinking".
In reality, the schlager reference might be a bit to harsh. The vocals on the album are irritating, and so are the lyrics. But that is the main flaw, as the music is not half bad. It is basically pleasant techno pop, and almost all of the tracks has a sense of that deep electronic dub that Mouse on Mars did so well back then. Actually, the brilliantly dubby "Stereomatic (Stereomagic)" from "Time Pie" is lifted almost exactly as is from Mouse on Mars "Iaora Tahiti" album. The main differences are that the Mouse on Mars version is called "Stereomission", and that the Yamo version has vocals on top.
Listen for yourselves.
Download Mouse on Mars - "Stereomission" here.
Download Yamo - "Stereomatic (Stereomagic)" here.