Friday, February 27, 2009

Heaven 17 - (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

Heaven 17

Heaven 17, "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (LP Version)" (YSI link)

Heaven 17,. "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (Full Length 12" Mix)" (YSI link)

Back with a bang, a classic 80s synth pop dance classic. Heaven 17 were a new wave-y band that was intimately connected to the amazing electronic rock music coming out of the UK in the early 80s. The band was formed by Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware when they split from their group called Human League. Perhaps you've heard of them? The duo formed a production company called British Electric Foundation (BEF), eventually adding Glenn Gregory on vocals and becoming Heaven 17. They never quite broke into the big-time, although they did enjoy a few songs that charted, including this one above.

"(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang," the band's first single, hit #45 on the UK Charts, despite the fact that it was banned by Radio 1 DJ Mike Read. I love this song so much, it makes me want to start a dance party with Emma Goldman in a huge warehouse with lots of love and organizing and fun. You get all here: rad political lyrics about the horrible political landscape of the 80s with Reagan and Thatcher, that great UK drum machine and synth sound, clattering percussion, some nice keys and horns filling out the sound. I cannot begin to explain how great it is to hear dance music with such an explicit political edge; as much as I love the booty shit and the disco and house calls for love and sex and happiness, there's something inspiring about hearing dudes who understand just how radical it is to make people dance. That abandon, that mixing of bodies, that's a revolution every night people! Download this! Organize! Yeah!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Theo Parrish - Ugly Edits #4

The Dells

The Dells, "Get On Down (Theo Parrish Re-edit)" (YSI link)

Minnie Ripperton, "Stick Together (Theo Parrish Re-edit)"
(YSI link)

Let's get back ready for the weekend with some disco . That's right, more Ugly Edits from Theo Parrish! We've posted up one or two other volumes of this series, essential music, some of the greatest edits that I've ever heard, as the Detroit techno third waver and Chicago house-man shows his disco side.

The "Get On Down" edit has sweaty dancefloor written all over it. It's an 11 minute soul workout that really never lets up, getting The Dells ready to take over at peak hour. Parrish has added a rubbery bass that keeps the whole thing moving; amazingly it never gets boring despite the length. I really love the strings on this one, they are out front and melodic. There's a really nice repetitive sound to this one, as Parrish brings a new disco style to the old disco sound. Great stuff.

I'm an even bigger fan of the Minnie Ripperton edit, as this one rewards close listening. There's so many little pieces that turn this one into a winner - piano vamping, Ripperton's whispers, finger snaps. Things stay on a slow burn for the first 5 minutes, then Parrish raises the flame by letting loose with some real vocal fireworks and brings it home strong.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Armando presents Robert Armani - Armani Trax

circus tent

Armando presents Robert Armani, "Circus Bells (Armando's mix)"
(YSI link)

Armando presents Robert Armani, "Circus Bells (full length original mix)"
(YSI link)

Okay, I lied about getting back into the swing of things. Seriously though, I'm getting back into the swing of things, starting....NOW! It's been a minute since we dropped any house music here, time to remedy that grave error. What better way to remedy it than with a stone cold Chicago acid house classic, Robert Armani's "Circus Bells"?

This one's the B side of the Armani Trax EP, a classic Dance Mania record, released in 1990. Longtime readers know that that label has guided so much of my listening, taking me from acid to ghetto in the span of an insanely productive decade. "Circus Bells" is one of the label's most famous and from the first peals of the bell on Armando's mix, you know you are in for something serious. It's like a call to arms or something for the dancefloor. After the last bell sound fades away, you get a devastating, 10 minute long acid tinged monster. Deep bass drums, hi-hats and clapping snares lay the foundation for a siren-like synth melody that worms its way into your head and will make you freak out. The original full-length mix is a few minutes shorter and lacks the bells-opening. You win with either one.