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NEWS 33 years ago, Nitzer Ebb released Belief!

33 years ago, Nitzer Ebb released Belief!

09th of January 2021, 07:00

On this day, exactly 33 years ago Nitzer Ebb released their second studio album Belief. On this album, released by Mute Records and produced by Flood, drummer Julian Beeston took over from David Gooday.

The album features one of NEB's most know dancefloor classics, Control I’m Here. This single was released almost three months before whilst the video got frequent rotation on MTV. Later that same year, the singles Hearts & Minds and Shame followed.

The track T.W.A. is said to be inspired by the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847. While listening very carefully one can hear a crowd chanting ”Marg Bar Amrika" which means "Death to America”.

Belief
Mute Records - STUMM 61
Released: 9 January 1989
Track listing:

  1. Hearts & Minds 3:45
  2. For Fun 3:03
  3. Control, I'm Here 3:52
  4. Captivate 3:57
  5. T.W.A. 5:00
  6. Blood Money 4:29
  7. Shame 4:03
  8. Drive 5:07
  9. Without Belief 4:16

Discogs


NEWS The Night The Alien Landed | Celebrating The Birth Of David Bowie

The Night The Alien Landed | Celebrating The Birth Of David Bowie

08th of January 2021, 07:00

Today we celebrate the birth of David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016) better known as David Bowie.

It is hard for people to comprehend what music would be like without the influence of “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, even harder again to comprehend life simply without David Bowie.
The effect on music that album has had pulses through even today's releases forty six years later.
One compact disc remaster had one of the most honest statements made by a record company, sometimes known to embellish how good a release actually is, it reads: 'Whether you know it or not, this album changed your life!’

On July the 6th 1972, at 7:30 pm, a time before video recorders, without Sky Plus, we can pinpoint precisely what the likes of Morrissey, Ian Curtis, Ian McCulloch, Gary Numan, Johnny Lydon, Boy George and Adam Ant were doing. They were watching David Bowie on Top Of The Pops performing the song 'Starman', dressed as a Punk-rainbow astronaut with a red mullet, looking like something that arrived from another universe, draping his arm across Mick Ronson's shoulder in a bromance meets almost homoerotic display. This must have sent quivers through the stiff upper lip post war generation. What the kids must have thought, when Bowie pointing at the camera sang the line; "I had to phone someone so I picked on you".

It only took those four minutes to transform David Bowie from a meandering folk style artist to the most scandalous rock star Britain ever produced. The future had finally arrived, every kid who watched that performance felt their calling to become a musician. In some respect this was the musical equivalent of a 'JFK' moment, an event which resonated around the world, a time engrained in people's minds. The kids who felt like outsiders, bullied or teased, now had their messiah, their role model and their friend when they felt alone.

"Let the children lose it,
Let the children use it,
Let all the children boogie."

The album itself, “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars", released a month before the Top Of The Pops performance is an unequivocal masterpiece, one of those rarities where every track could be a single, no filler. From the slow drum intro of 'Five Years' to the last orchestral breath of 'Rock N Roll Suicide', this is the album which would define what the decade was to become.

Bowies previous two albums with Mick Ronson,the garage rock 'Man Who Sold The World' and the mixed folk-pop-rock of his 'ode to influences' album 'Hunky Dory', were merely paving the way for what was to come. The lineup of The Spiders made up by Ronson, Trevor Bolder on bass and Mick Woodmansey on drums.As for the album itself produced by Bowie along with Ken Scott, some complained that it didn't sound heavy enough, the drums flat and the guitar at times not loud enough, without realising this was the intention as it was a glam rock album made by Ziggy and the Spiders, not by David Bowie. The character 'Ziggy Stardust',a composition of two of Bowies influences, Iggy Pop and the musician and LSD lunatic the Legendary Stardust Cowboy (Norman Carl Odam).

Ziggy became Bowie's alter ego and vehicle for the very loose concept album based on a bisexual alien landing to earth, who became a famous rock star and was eventually killed by his fans. In some ways Bowie saw Ziggy as a mirror image of himself, “Ziggy played it left hand”- the mirror image of Bowie,a right handed guitar player.
A dangerous mix for Bowie as the line between art and reality would sometimes become blurred and drive him to the depths of insanity. This may explain the short longevity of the Ziggy character.

The song cycle itself is strong and there again is evidence of tributes to other musicians, such as the song “Lady Stardust” a tribute in sorts to Marc Bolan,the pair friends as well as competitors. A surreal opener opener in “Five Years”, the time the earth had left before it's destroyed, the very reason Ziggy is sent to earth is to save it, but, instead he becomes a rock star.

This flows into “Soul Love”, what the alien sees his fate as being and his reasons for his saving the human race. All very sci-fi,and 'Moonage Daydream', a song which describes all parts of the alien is in fact one of the best examples of Bowies cut and shut lyrics,where he would once write lines out individually (cut them out and arrange them until they formed some sense); “I'm an Alligator,I'm a mama-papa”. “Suffragette City”, is a mixture of themes from the book 'A Clockwork Orange', again the sci-fi future is touched upon but here he also ask questions of his own sexuality.

But what holds the album together are the steady glam rock songs which lighten the sci-fi themes making the album more accessible, “Hang Onto Yourself”, “Star” and the cover version “It Ain't Easy”. These are the perfect non-complicated songs to break the serious mood and prevents the album turning into a meandering concept mess. The albums closer and one of Bowie's strongest songs is “Rock And Roll Suicide”, this closes the album by detailing the character Ziggy Stardust's implosion and becoming a burnt out, washed up rock star.

"You're too old to lose it, too young to choose it
And the clock waits so patiently on your song
You walk past a cafe, but you don't eat when you've lived too long
Oh, no, no, no, you're a rock 'n' roll suicide"

All the while the other band members and his ego are trying to tell him how he's not finished, "You're not alone!" and he reminisces about the legions of fans he once had; “Gimme your hands,cause you're wonderful". The perfect closer, the perfect end to the Ziggy Stardust saga.

David Bowie would continue changing styles from soul to electronic music, he would create better albums but none would ever be as appealing as the one surrounding his first alter-ego character Ziggy.

Kevin Burke Dec ‘18


NEWS Blondie - Heart Of Glass | 42 years Of The Number One!

Blondie - Heart Of Glass | 42 years Of The Number One!

07th of January 2021, 07:00

This month 42 years ago Blondie released their punk-pop crossover in the danceable “Heart Of Glass”, although eventually reaching the number one slot in both the U.K and U.S charts later in the year along with grabbing top spots in five other countries. The days of Blondie being simply a cult New York act ended and instead was replaced by mainstream stardom.

A perfect slice of disco was the release that would secure the legacy of Blondie, although not a new track its roots hail back to the mid-seventies. Inspired in some way by the dance floor filler “Rock The Boat”, it did appear on the bands seventy-eight release ‘Parallel Lines’, in-fact ‘Heart Of Glass’ was the third release from the very successful album.
‘Heart Of Glass’ was the result of Debbie Harry’s lyrics and Chris Steins experimentation, far from the sound which echoed within the walls of CBGB’s at the time.

Chris Stein:”When Debbie and I were living in our top-floor apartment at 48 W. 17th St., I often messed around on a borrowed multitrack tape recorder. It let me record a rhythm guitar track and then layer melody and harmony lines on top. I wrote and developed my songs this way. In the summer of 1974, I wrote a song and referenced the catchy feel of “Rock the Boat” by the Hues Corporation, which was a big hit then. Debbie and I began calling it “The Disco Song.”

Debbie Harry:”The words I came up with expressed a very high school kind of thing, of falling in and out of love and getting your feelings hurt. But instead of dwelling on the pain, the words sort of shrugged off the breakup, like, “Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.”

Blondie did come under fire for selling out as it was seen, although, they had covered 'Lady Marmalade' and 'I Feel Love' at gigs, even Debbie Harry proclaimed her love for disco's production superhero Giorgio Moroder, in the scheme of Blondie’s music this was a natural progression for the band.

The sound of Blondie hinged very much on the raw punk sound combined with R&B and the girl groups of the sixties such as the Shangri-Las, given the heights which German krautrock had on music in general by crossing that commercial barrier, unknowingly or not, Blondie and the song itself did help pave the way for EDM and the the future.


Lyrics;

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

In between
What I find is pleasing and I'm feeling fine
Love is so confusing there's no peace of mind
If I fear I'm losing you it's just no good
You teasing like you do

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I'm the one you're using, please don't push me aside
We could've made it cruising, yeah

Yeah, riding high on love's true bluish light

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out I had a heart of glass [radio version]
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass [album version]
Seemed like the real thing only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

In between
What I find is pleasing and I'm feeling fine
Love is so confusing there's no peace of mind
If I fear I'm losing you it's just no good
You teasing like you do.

DISCOGS



[Kevin Burke]
Stein/Harry quotes courtesy of WSJ


NEWS This month 49 years ago KRAFTWERK released their second studio album KRAFTWERK 2

This month 49 years ago KRAFTWERK released their second studio album KRAFTWERK 2

07th of January 2021, 07:00

Kraftwerk 2 is the second studio album that was released under the moniker Kraftwerk. The album was written and performed by founding Kraftwerk members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in late 1971, with the sessions produced by the influential Konrad "Conny" Plank. It was released by Philips in January 1972.

Hütter later commented in an interview: "Nobody wanted to play with us because we did all kinds of strange things...feedbacks and overtones and sounds and rhythms. No drummer wanted to work with us because we had these electronic gadgets."

Although one should expect the obvious, this album features no synthesizers, the instrumentation being largely electric guitar, bass guitar, flute and violin. The electronic tricks and experiments both gentlemen display here belong to the realm of 1960s tape-based music, with heavy use of tape echo, reverse playback and tape speed effects. Overall, the sound has a rather muted, twilit, dusky feel, similar in feel to "Megaherz" on Kraftwerk's debut album, as Hütter and Schneider explored the possibilities for electronic and auto-mechanical enhancement of their music.

The lengthy, almost side-long "Klingklang" which opens the album is notable for its use of a preset organ beatbox to provide the percussion track. A term which would later be used as their fifth virtual member in the shape of a recording studio.It starts with a clangourous Stockhausen-like metallic percussion montage and gives rise to the unmistakable Kraftwerk sound. Later, the song title also became the name of the band's own self-built studio, in Düsseldorf. "Atem" is a recording of breathing, while "Harmonika" features a tape-manipulated mouth organ.

The cover design, by Ralf and Florian, further hints at conceptual art, being a repeat of the first album's pop art design – except this time fluorescent green replaces the red and the number '2' is added.

No material from this album has been performed in the band's live set since the Autobahn tour of 1975, and to date, the album has not been officially reissued on CD. The band is seemingly reluctant to consider the release as a part of their legacy

In interviews, Schneider described the first three Kraftwerk albums as "archaeology".

KRAFTWERK 2

A1. Klingklang 17:36
A2. Atem 2:57
B1. Strom 3:52
B2. Spule 5:20
B3. Wellenlänge 9:40
B4. Harmonika 3:17


DISCOGS


NEWS Dark Ambient Act WITHERING OF LIGHT Unveils Their New Full-Length Album 'Reliquary'.

Dark Ambient Act WITHERING OF LIGHT Unveils Their New Full-Length Album 'Reliquary'.

06th of January 2021, 17:15

US dark ambient act WITHERING OF LIGHT has unveiled their new full-length album Reliquary.

Reliquary is available now on digital and CD formats. Vinyl LP format tentatively due in February.

"The concept behind this album became how each of the words that are the titles took me out of the mundane everyday and put my mind in somewhat of a different state.

For instance, "Reliquary" is a vessel that contains a sacred or holy relic of some kind. We as humans fetishize objects, moments, memories. Even your mind can become a reliquary harboring the sacred, profane and otherwise. Each of these words I found carried some kind of weight, a spectral resonance (hence that title) and the sounds here are the aural embodiment of these." - Todd Janeczek

www.facebook.com/LakeLabelMusic

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