The Holy Grail of electronica: Yello’s Boris Blank selling his original Fairlight sampler


Boris Blank with a Fairlight sampler in the mid-80s
 
Yello are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of the most influential acts in the history of electro, techno and electronica. The skillful blend of Deiter Meier’s witty vocals and Boris Blank’s avant garde-but-accessible production chops saw the duo gain critical and commercial success in the early-to-mid 80s, at a time when rock music was still king and electronic dance music was still confined to clubs. 

Well, if you’re an antique gear fetishist with a spare $13K (Aus) then YOU could relive Yello’s glory days, by simply acquiring Boris Blank’s original Fairlight sampler, a fake moustache and an even faker Swiss accent. Yes, Blank is selling his Fairlight CMI III on eBay:

Every Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument has a story behind it. Hugely expensive when new, their unique sounds and legendary user interface were used by music pioneers who changed the sound of music forever.

At a cost around $65,000 in 1985 (which could have bought you a very nice house) the list of Fairlight III owners reads like a who’s who of musical innovation of the time. Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, Thomas Dolby, Hans Zimmer and Pet Shop Boys were owners in the UK, with many studios catering for those who didn’t own one. For a complete list take a look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairlight_CMI

The particular system being offered here belongs to Boris Blank, the musical part of Swiss band Yello. One could argue that during the 1980’s Yello used the Fairlight more, and more interestingly than virtually anyone else. Every hit single they had (and there were quite a few) used the Fairlight CMI extensively.

So, if you ever lusted after one of these legendary instruments, here’s a chance to acquire one with some serious street cred! 

Yello Fairlight III. Signed front panel. There will be Boris’s sounds included, as well as all the libraries listed below, in 4 x hard drives. Boris is on holiday at the moment, however his assistant has promised some more photos and goodies when he returns!


The actual Boris Blank Fairlight CMI III that is for sale

I hope those “goodies” include a signed pic, Boris. MUCH more info is available on the eBay listing page.

I LOVE Yello, to me they rate up there with Giorgio Moroder in the development and history of electronic dance music, and I’m pretty sure some of our readers feel the same. Not only were Yello fresh and unique, they had a brilliant, intelligent sense of humor that put them at odds with nearly everything else happening in music at that time.

This Fairlight really is a hugely important part of dance music’s history: some of the noises that Blank managed to squeeze out of this machine were awe inspiring, and become signature Yello (and by extension, 80s dance) sounds. Having said that, I’m sure we’re all familiar with “The Race” and “Oh Yeah,” so instead of one of those classics, here’s a bit of mind-warping Yello electronica from 1981:

Yello “The Evening’s Young”
 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
I Am The Cosmos: Listen to the whole of their superb debut album ‘Monochrome’

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I Am The Cosmos was the title of a beautiful and groundbreaking album by Chris Bell, originally recorded in the mid-1970s, but not released until 1992 - fourteen years after Bell’s death in a freak automobile accident. While I Am The Cosmos is now recognized as a cult classic - the name I Am The Cosmos is now fast becoming more associated with a brilliantly talented duo from Dublin, Ross Turner and Cian Murphy.

Since their formation in 2010, I Am The Cosmos have been making considerable impression with their music. From their first release “Dislocate”, they have been cautiously producing material of such quality and originality that it promised I Am The Cosmos would one day release a masterwork. And now it would appear this day has come early, with the release of their sublime debut album Monochrome. I contacted I Am The Cosmos to find out more about Ross and Cian, theri backgrounds, what brought them together, and how they wrote and recorded their brilliant debut Monochrome.

Paul Gallagher:  How did you first meet and what drew you together as musicians?

Cian Murphy: ‘Ross [Turner] is a drummer by trade and was involved in the Dublin music scene from quite an early age, so I was a fan of bands he played with long before we started making music together. We would meet at gigs, or he would come into where I worked and buy records and we would talk about music. There was always a mutual interest in what the other was up to musically.

‘When it comes to making music, I think even though the desired outcome is the same, we do have different approaches. I would tend to be a little more gung-ho with my ideas while Ross is more restrained. There are times when Ross will tell me to keep it simple and not throw so much at a song, and he’s always right! Wherever that balance is struck - that’s usually where the good ideas are. There are similarities too though - we both love a good melody and wanted to explore the notion of songs being quite melodic while still being something people can dance to.’

Ross Turner: ‘Cian [Murphy] and I had mutual friends growing up when we were teenagers - we lived pretty close to each other on the outskirts of Dublin. Usually bumping into each other at parties or in “discos”, spending most of our time talking about very similar tastes in music.  Time passed along and some growing up took place before we actually did anything together, although I think we had always wanted to do something together musically. I was gifted the amazing opportunity to work out of and run a great studio space in Dublin, the owners had moved away for a short spell. When this came up I got in touch with Cian straight away to see if he wanted to come along and mess around with some music I was working on. Just previous to this Cian had done a remix of a very early version of “Look Me In The Eye” under the name Leisure Wear. I really liked what he did with the song, so I was eager to develop something after that.

‘The fact that our tastes are so similar we moved quite quickly into a process of putting tracks together.’
 

 
Previously on Dangerous MInds

I Am The Cosmos: EXCLUSIVE premiere of their album track ‘Lost Rhythm’


 
With thanks to I Am The Cosmos and John Kowalski
 
More from I Am The Cosmos and ‘Monochrome’, after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Peaches’ free ‘Free Pussy Riot’ track & video


 
When it comes to feminist-punk, there’s none more femme, nor punk, than the mighty Peaches.

So it’s no real surprise to learn that Peaches has been following the Pussy Riot trial closely, and has turned her hand to making both a video and a track in support of the persecuted Russian rock group.

A YouTube casting call went out last week, asking for fans to send in their own, pro-Pussy Riot footage to be included in the video. Well it is now done and dusted, and available to watch online. The track itself, called “Free Pussy Riot”, is available as a free download, and all Peaches is asking in return for her work is that everyone sign the Free Pussy Riot petition at change.org.

This is the statement Peaches and friends have made to go with the download:

Peaches, Simonne Jones, and tons of musicians, artists, activists, and free-thinkers are came together to make a video for this song in support of the russian punk feminist band PUSSY RIOT! Now that you have heard about the song and video, we want you to take action! Here is why:

In March 2012 three members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevitch, were taken into custody by Russian authorities for their participation as part of a protest at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Their punk prayer is and was an act of free speech and the charges of “hooliganism” and detainment of the three women are seen by the world as a cruel heavy handed act of oppression, are being carried out to discourage free thought and speech in Russia.

If Russia wishes to be a part of the modern globalized world it must adhere to the standards and principles of a free nation where its people have the right to have a free and open dialogue about all subjects. Discussion, debate, and action are the basic building blocks of a free society. By following through with the prosecution of these women Russian political bullies are currently making a mockery of free speech, free thought, and Russia’s own country’s constitution.

We, the citizens of the world and advocates for free speech, DEMAND the immediate release of Pussy Riot. The verdict is planned for August 17th - let’s show Pussy Riot our support!

The charges and punishments facing Maria, Nadezhda, and Ekaterina are nothing more than a political stunt by the Russian authorities and Russian Orthodox Chruch to retain control over the Russian people and instill fear into the free-thinkers, political activists, and artists of Russia.

The world is watching, and we do not like what we see.

I do, however, like what I see here:
 
Peaches “Free Pussy Riot!”
 

 
And here is the track itself:
 

   Free Pussy Riot by Peaches Rocks
 
You can sign the Free Pussy Riot petition at: www.change.org/freepussyriot

Donations are also accepted at: http://freepussyriot.org
 

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Gary Numan: The Touring Principle Concert 1979

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One day, there were photographs of him all over the sixth form common room. The girls had torn his picture out of Smash Hits and pinned them across the wall. Even the girl I fancied, black bobbed hair, cheeky smile and dimples, had Sellotaped her very own b&w Gary Numan icon over the notice board. ‘He’s my man,’ she said.

We boys didn’t get it. We were either in the denim-and-musk of Hawkwind, Motorhead and Gong. Or, reading Kropotkin with Joy Division, PiL, and The Buzzcocks. I watched Karen as she eyed her ‘man’, and wondered what it was the white-faced loon had that I was still to find?

Then, one week, some boys began listening to Tubeway Army, and that’s when the pictures of Gary started to be taken down, and Adam Ant went up instead.

Gary Numan in concert 1979. Quite an impressive selections of tracks, from the Thin White Look’s fertile period between Replicas and his astoundingly good The Pleasure Principle.

01. “Me! I Disconnect From You”
02. “M.E.”
03. “We Are So Fragile”
04. “Everyday I Die”
05. “Conversation”
06. “Remember I Was Vapour”
07. “On Broadway”
08. “Down In The Park”
09. “My Shadow In Vain”
10. “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”
11. “Tracks”

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Little boy gets wish to drive around in Gary Numan’s car (1982)


 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Hold Me Upsetter’: Free download from The Orb with Lee Scratch Perry


 
Lee Perry and The Orb? That’s a match made in psychedelic dub heaven!

Taken from the forthcoming collaboration album The Observer In The Star House, which is out in September, ‘Hold Me Upsetter’ is a neat little slice of bass-heavy shuffle-house. You can download it for free below, and if this is a good example of the rest of the album, then both electronica and dub aficionados have a lot to be excited about.

There’s more info on the album (and some funny pictures of a very young Dr Alex Patterson) over at theorb.com.
 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Sounds for the summer pt 2: Miaoux Miaoux is definitely ‘Better For Now’


 
More gorgeous electronic pop, this time from the Glasgow-based one-man-band Miaoux Miauox, aka multi-instrumentalist Julian Corrie.

Set to release his debut album Light Of The North on the celebrated Glasgow indie label Chemikal Underground on June 11th, with production from Paul Savage who has previously helmed work by Mogwai and WuLyf, Miaoux Miaoux has just released the first video from the long player, the rather beautiful “Better For Now”.

Light Of The North is an accomplished work. The songwriting couples the summertime breeziness of Hall & Oates with the adolescent yearning of Hot Chip.  The production, while rooted firmly in the one-man-in-a-bedroom aesthetic, has shades of trip-hop, post-rock and the psychedelic post-crunk of fellow Glaswegians Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, all riding over synth funk bass lines and samples and beats with a real 90s-dance feel. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this one - you can pre-order the vinyl and CD, and download the MP3s, from the Chemikal Underground online shop.

There’s a little bit more information about Miaoux Mioux on the site www.miaouxmiaoux.com, but if you want to hear more music, then check out his Soundcloud page. This is just one of the download tracks on offer:

Miaoux Miaoux “Hrvatski”
 

 
 
And here’s the above mentioned video, coming on like a no-budget Jodorowsky with a slowly decaying skull made out of flowers:

Miaoux Miaoux “Better For Now”

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Sounds for the summer pt 1: Silverclub release excellent ‘Your Headphones’ for free


 
Favorites of the Manchester alternative and electronic undergrounds, SIlverclub are releasing their debut album in a few weeks, and in the meantime are giving away a free, four track EP featuring one of the album’s highlights, the brilliant track “Your Headphones.”

Subtly reminiscent of Manchester’s golden age of danceable alternative pop, without being your typical retro-based cash-in, Silverclub have been slowly building a legion of fans with some excellent past singles and and a steady stream of quality live gigs.

I already have Silverclub’s debut album on promo, and it’s excellent, highly recommended for fans of quality music regardless of genre. “Your Headphones” is one of the album’s definite highlights, a shimmery wash of gorgeous synths and summery harmonies underpinned by what could almost be a “baggy” beat. It’s a tune about the sheer joy of music that thankfully manages to joyously brilliant in its own right.

You can listen to, and pre-order, Silverclub’s eponymous debut long-player from the website SIlverclubuk.com. In the meantime, here are the band themselves playing “Your Heaphones” live at London’s Saatchi Gallery a few months ago, and below that, the link to download the Your Headphones EP for free. It’s worth it. 

Silverclub “Your Headphones” (live)
 

 

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds: 
Silverclub: the sound of Manchester 2012

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
‘Dream On’ mix: a soundtrack for supermoon season


 
As I mentioned previously, I am transferring all my dj mixes and mixtape compilations from Soundcloud to Mixcloud (I have been having a lot of bother with Soundcloud lately, in fact it’s making me wonder if a premium account is really worth it?) But in doing so I came across this mixtape I made in late 2009, and thought it was worth sharing.

In contrast to my previously posted disco and 808-based mixes, this Is the more downtempo side of what I like to play and listen to. I guess you could call it “chill-out” (though I find there’s something cheesy about that term.) Dream On is a compilation of synthy, woozy, dreamy, lo-fi-kinda stuff that will appeal to fans of Ariel Pink, John Maus and other “haunted” acts. There’s also a smattering of lo-fi, post-crunk and alternative rock in there too. Remember, this mix was made two and a half years ago, back when Fleet Foxes were still kinda cool.

It’s also pretty fitting for the amazing night skies we have been having lately, what with that beautiful glowing supermoon and all. So don’t classify this mix as being “shoe-gaze”, think of it more as being “sky-gaze”...

Tracklist:

BEN BUTLER & MOUSE PAD - E-Ship
TODD RUNDGREN - International Feel
TODD RUNDGREN - Never Never Land
FRANZ FERDINAND - Ulysses (FoxGut Reshuffle)
BJORN TORSKE - Brus
BRUCE HAACK - National Anthem To The Moon
NITE JEWEL - Kamera Songs
EYES - Clown Lady
LOUTS - The Bubbles
THE BEACH BOYS - Fall Breaks and Back To Winter
MIAOUX MIAOUX - Hrvatski
CHROMATICS - In The City
DAFT PUNK - Night Vision
JOHN MAUS - Do Your Best
DESIRE - Under Your Spell
PHANTOM BAND - Island
FLEET FOXES - He Doesn’t Know Why
 

DREAM ON Mixtape by Theniallist on Mixcloud

If you want to hear more of my mixes, you can find them on this page on my blog Niallism, or you can follow me (The Niallist) on Mixcloud.

BONUS

Here’s a great video for “Under Your Spell” by Desire, as featured on the mix above and also the soundtrack to last year’s fantastic noir/thriller Drive (which tapped in to the whole haunted/synth/retro thing brilliantly.) This clip features one of the best scenes from the film, the staggeringly tender-yet-brutal elevator scene. If you have not seen Drive, be warned, this gets bloody:

Desire “Under Your Spell” (NSFW video)
 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Happy birthday Giorgio Moroder


 
The Italian music maestro Giorgio Moroder turns 72 today.

In a career that spans well over forty years, Moroder has a strong claim to being one of the most influential producers ever. His ground-breaking work with Donna Summer brought electronic music to the masses with the smash “I Feel Love” in 1977, while the duo’s earlier collaboration on “Love To Love You Baby” set in stone the template for the extended, orgasmic disco mix. 

Then there are his seminal pop productions for the likes of Blondie, David Bowie, Sparks and the Human League’s Phil Oakey, plus his revolutionary synthesiser scores for Scarface, American Gigolo and Midnight Express (which bagged Moroder an Oscar for Best Score in 1978.)

Often written out of “serious” musical history because of his poppy tendencies, Moroder’s incredible legacy speaks for itself and has defiantly stood the test of time.

Here’s one of my favourite Moroder tracks, the less well-known “Utopia, Me Giorgio” off the album Giorgio from 1977 (here given the extended re-edit treatment by Disco Beard.) 19freakin’77 - that means this track is now 35 years old, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound as fresh now as it did back then:

Giorgio Moroder “Utopia, Me Giorgio (Disco Beard Anniversary Edit)”
 

 
Tip of the hat to World Of Wonder.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Fun, Fun, Fun, On The Gramophone: Kraftwerk Release Limited Edition Box Set

kraftwerk_ltd_ed_boxset
 
Ah, the joys of the box-set, the artfully designed collectible that allegedly adds value to your music collection. Of course, sometimes it’s a damn fine thing, especially when it includes lots of unreleased goodies. Or when the set is cheaper than buying the individual discs. Other times, it’s little more than a cunning scam to sell you something you already own.

Last year, Elvis Costello warned his fans off purchasing his box of delights, claiming he was “unable to recommend this lovely item to you, as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire…” The price was $258.70 (£212.99) - ouch. Some bands are undeterred in extracting the cash - how many box sets have U2 released? (Too many?) While others see it as a way of celebrating their oeuvre - last week Blur announced the release of their mega box 21, out on July 31, this year. Yet, often the cost of these box-sets suggests they are really meant for the thirty-plus professional, who can afford to shell out the big bucks on such shiny trinkets.

Which brings me to Kraftwerk, who have announced the release of a limited edition black box set of their 2009 box-set The Catalogue. The main selling point here is it’s a “black box set” and it’s “a limited edition”, limited to “2000 individually numbered copies”. The box includes:

...all 8 remastered and repackaged albums in a 12"x12” box. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of their landmark electronic début, Autobahn, pioneers Kraftwerk re-release the digitally remastered of all of their albums. These include redesigned sleeves and all original titles restored. An absolute must for collectors and anyone with an interest in the electronic music culture. This edition also includes large format booklets and expanded artwork:

Autobahn (1974)
Radio-Activity (1975)
Trans-Europe Express (1977)
The Man Machine (1978)
Computer World (1981)
Techno Pop (1986)
The Mix (1991)
Tour de France (2003)

So, if you’re tempted, then follow the trail here to find out more. Or, maybe you can hang on until the 40th anniversary of Autobahn comes around?
 

 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Getting ‘Bent’ with SSION: an interview with Cody Critcheloe


 
Last Friday I posted the new video from the band SSION called “My Love Grows in The Dark.” If you haven’t watched it yet, then go and do so right now. It’s a little bizarre and rather brilliant. The album that song is taken from, Bent, was available as a free download release for one month only last year, and it was one of my favorites. This year too in fact, as it is being given a physical re-release soon by the Dovecote label.

SSION, which has existed in various forms over the years, is essentially the brainchild of Cody Critcheloe. Cody is a visual artist and video director by day (he has directed clips for Peaches and Santigold) but by night he transforms into a gender-and-preconception bending performer whose live shows have been picking up a lot of acclaim. I spoke to Cody a short while back about SSION, and his decision to release such an excellent album for free. Here’s a little taster:

Bent is a great pop album. In fact, I’d say it is surprisingly great for a free download release. How did the idea to release it for free first come about?

I have always worked outside of labels, and the way it goes I’ll put out a record every four years. I’ll take a while to develop it and work out what I wanna do with it. At the time there’s wasn’t anyone anxious to put it out, so it seemed like the right thing to do. I thought if a label really wants to be a part of this they’ll figure out a way to go about this, because SSION is such a different kind of project. It seemed like a big FU to put it out and let people get it and listen to it, and I like the idea of people being able to get it, so people who aren’t even your fans can still get into it.

What has your fans’ reaction been to the download release?

It’s crazy ‘cos I think in the long term it’s gonna pay off. The shows we’ve played in New York have all been really amazing, and everyone knows the words to the songs already. It’s been instant, like this has already had an effect, an effect outside of any label being behind it to pump it up or publicize it. Everything that has happened to SSION is because of people who are genuinely interested and really into the music. I love the fact that there’s gonna be a physical release ‘cos I put a lot of work into the art work, but I could also take it or leave it. If it doesn’t work out I can still have a life. I still somehow survive off doing these things and other projects. I’m just into it as a very punk way of going about things.

But what about an effect on sales?

The thing about it is, the last record we had you can find it online for free, so why not make it available for everyone? And it’s crazy too because our other records are on iTunes and we still make money of them every month, even though people could easily get them for free.


You can read the full interview after the jump, and here’s one of my favorite SSION videos to keep you going, in which Cody gives his “mother” a particularly icky makeover:
 
SSION “Ah Ma”
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘My Love Grows In The Dark’: SSION’s springtime pop perfection
Get SSION’s new album ‘Bent’ free for a month

 
After the jump, that whole interview in full.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Dance music classics turned into jazz songs by 3iO


3iO’s Robert Mitchell
 
Music that has a sense of humor tends to get a hard time among people who consider themselves “serious” music fans. Why is this? Is it because music itself has to be seen to be serious? That the music makers have to mean it (maaan) and it’s impossible to wear your heart on your sleeve if it’s matched by a raised eyebrow and a smirk?

3iO are an acoustic jazz band who last year released an album called Back To New Roots, which features jazz-style covers of a host of big dance tunes from the last 15 years. LOL!! Right? Or is this an acceptable style of guffaw on a par with coffee table favourites Nouvelle Vague? Here’s a bit of info on the band via the Soundcloud page of their excellently named record label Hell Yeah

Let’s keep it simple, this dance meets jazz concept started as a joke: take a bunch of friends, discover that they are highly talented jazz musicians and propose them to do something a bit different, play and perform your favourite E-dance / alternative hits / chill out timeless classics into their contemporary jazz style…. shake it as it was your cocktail of choice and you have Serotonin Fuelled Jazz Covers.

3iO are Richard Maggioni (piano), Juan Manuel Moretti (double bass) Matteo Giordani (drums), they are not newcomers in the italian jazz circuit, they have already two albums on their back and with BACK TO NEW ROOTS they challenge themself with a new repertoire: Fat Boy Slim, Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, Royskopp, Underworld, Spiller, DJ Shadow… just as you never heard them before.

So is this “serious” music? Or is it just a big joke that can be easily dismissed as not being worthy of much attention? While there is definitely a smirking knowingness about this project, the lol-factor is not all that great and I think some of this album actually sounds really good. But I will leave it up to you to decide whether this is “real” music or not (bearing in mind that we’re big fans of both Zappa and Sparks here, two acts who feel no fear of adding humor to their work): 
 
3iO “Right Here Right Now” (original by Fat Boy Slim)
 

 
 
3iO “Born Slippy (nuxx)” (original by Underworld)
 

 
 
3iO “Organ Donor” (original by DJ Shadow)
 

 
 
You can hear (and purchase) 3iO’s album Back To New Roots in full here.

Thanks Tara!

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Manuel Göttsching’s classic ‘E2-E4’ was recorded 30 years ago today


 
And that’s a good enough reason to post this fantastic piece of music. The Ash Ra Tempel guitarist’s early 80s solo album has been a massive influence on house, prog rock, techno, ambient, kosmiche and electronica but is worth hearing in its own right too. It still sounds remarkably fresh to this day.

E2-E4 was re-released by Gottsching in 2007, and there are still some copies of this edition floating around if you have the money to spare. It’s worth it - the album is a crate-digger’s classic and I am ashamed to admit that I only have a bootleg vinyl copy.

You can still hear it online, though. At over an hour long E2-E4 is the very definition of “epic,” but if you have the time to spare, and can get past the 6 parts YouTube hurdle, it’s a journey I highly recommend:

UPDATE:
Thanks to Doctor Oxygen for posting the full, unbroken E2-E4 in the comments:
 

 
Thanks to Brian Morrison and Barry Walsh.
 

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
‘Dare’ Producer Martin Rushent has died

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It’s been a bad week for music with the passing last week of Gil Scott-Heron, and on Friday Andrew Gold. Now we have the sad news that producer Martin Rushent has died at the age of 63.

Rushent was one of the most influential producers of the late 1970s and 1980s, who created the soundscape that defined the era. If you turned on the radio back then, you were guaranteed to hear a Rushent-produced track within minutes, for Rushent was the touch of genius on some of the best work released by The Human League, Altered Images, The Stranglers, Generation X, The Associates and The Buzzcocks.

Though Rushent may be best remembered for his work producing (and performing on) the Human League’s album Dare and its hit single “Don’t You Want Me”, for which he won Best Producer at the 1982 Brit Awards, his influence was not kept to one band.

There was a trick I once heard, which claimed: if you ever travel around London, vaguely point in the direction of old churches and say Hawksmoor, you’re bound to be right, so prodigious was that architect’s work. The same can be said for Martin Rushent, hear any track from the late 1970s and especially the early 1980s, and if you can’t name the band just say, Martin Rushent and you’re bound to be right, for so prodigious, and impressive, was his output.

Dare proved “that synths and drum machines could be used to create mainstream pop.

Rushent also produced The Stranglers first three albums, which as Louder Than War states:

Rushent, born in 1948, produced the Stranglers first three albums – creating that classic sound that was clear, punchy, dark and sleazy and groundbreaking all at the same time. With The Stranglers third album, ‘Black And White’ Rushent with engineer Alan Winstanley created a soundscape that was post punk before the term was even thought of.

He had a trademark sound. Each instrument had its place. he could make the complex sound simple and harnessed The Stranglers weird imagination and pop nous into something totally original and very commercial making them the best selling band of their period with a bass sound that launched a generation of bass players.

In an interview with Uncut Rushent recalled recording The Buzzcock’ biggest hit:

“Pete [Shelley] played me ‘Ever Fallen In Love…’ for the first time and my jaw hit the floor. I felt it was the strongest song that they had written-clever, witty lyrics, great hooklines. I suggested backing vocals-to highlight the chorus and make it even more powerful. No one could hit the high part-so I did it. I’d sung in bands in my youth and I also worked as a backing singer.”

Before his career with Punk, New Wave and Electronic bands, he worked on records by T Rex, David Essex and Shirley Bassey.

Rushent was said to be working on a 30th anniversary edition of Dare at the time of his death.

A Facebook page has been set up by Martin Rushent’s family to collect memories of the great man, which you can add to here.
 

The Stranglers - ‘No More Heroes’
 

Human League - ‘Open your Heart’
 
More Rushent-produced classic tracks, after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion