This is actually a lot better than you’re expecting it to be. It’s really kind of good.
Via Disko Akademin
This is actually a lot better than you’re expecting it to be. It’s really kind of good.
Via Disko Akademin
How far would you go for love? Would you give up all your possessions? Renounce this world and all its cruelty? Would you die for love? Would you kill for love?
Kill For Love is the new album by Chromatics, a band from Portland, Orgeon led by the producer Johnny Jewel of Italians Do It Better renown. I’ve written about the Italians Do It Better label before, drawing a comparison between the IDIB roster’s sound, and the lo-fi, tripped-out, “haunted retro” aesthetic of acts like Ariel Pink and John Maus.
The Italians Do It Better sound is rooted very firmly in late 70s and early 80s disco music, particularly the more soundtrack-oriented work of Giorgio Moroder, Claudio Simonetti and Patrick Cowley. As those names would also suggest, Johnny Jewel (who produces practically everything on the label) LOVES the sound of analog synthesizers. Jewel was the original choice to compose the soundtrack to last year’s 80s-noir sleeper hit Drive, and with his trademark throbbing, moody sound, it’s not hard to see why.
Chromatics are one of Italians Do It Better’s flagship acts, and one of its most popular, so expectations for this new album are high (particularly as it was originally due for release in 2010.) Thank god then that it doesn’t disappoint. It goes without saying that there’s nothing radically new here, no re-invention of the wheel, but when a form and function are just so perfect, why would you want to reinvent them?
Having said that, there is less of a reliance on arpeggiated synth lines on Kill For Love as there has been on past Chromatics releases. Of all the IDIB acts, Chromatics seem most like a “real” band, in that they aren’t afraid to adopt the “traditional” band roles of bassist, guitarist and drummer. In fact, the addition of live electric guitar on a lot of Kill For Love is perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the album.
Still, that chilly John Carpenter-vibe is present and correct, like a sliver of ice through a beating heart, as are the hauntingly distant female vocals of singer Ruth Radelet. The opening cover of Neil Young’s “Into The Black” is simply stunning, one of the musical highlights of the year so far for me, and as an opener it sets up the rest of the album perfectly. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Jewel explained the rationale behind that particular cover version:
It was very, very intentional in terms of rock mythology. You can’t underestimate the power of the guitar for an American audience. It’s a really strong symbol—just everything the guitar and Western culture represent—and Chromatics is part of that fantasy. The Neil Young song was recorded in 2009, and I knew I wanted to open the album with it, for multiple reasons. Part of it was a challenge to us as beatmakers or mood-makers, to see if we could actually write songs that could stand up in a pop sense. Because if you cover a song like that, you’re biting off a lot. You can’t touch Neil Young, but I wanted to challenge us to go beyond the loop and think about songs more.
The rest of that interview is well worth a read.
You can hear (and download) the Chromatics cover of “Into The Black” right here:
Here’s another free download from the album, the single “Kill For Love”:
And here’s the “Kill For Love” album in full:
For LOTS more great music, visit Johnny Jewel’s Soundcloud page.
To order Kill For Love, and for more info on Italians Do It Better, visit Viva Italians.
Snoop portrait by Rodney Pike
Now here’s a turn up for the books: last weekend Snoop Dogg dropped a new mixtape via his Soundcloud page called “01 Tekno Euro Mixx”. That Snoop would put together a mix of European techno is in itself surprising—if he did actually mix it himself, and the lackadaisical style makes it seem plausible—but the real surprise here is, in fact, that the mix contains no European techno at all.
What we get instead is a mix of deep house, nu-disco and boogie/disco edits. Artists and remixers featured include Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, Guy Monk, Miguel Migs, 6th Borough Project, Tensake, Crazy P and Michael Jackson (there is no official tracklisting yet.) None of which have much in common with the likes of Benni Benassi or David Guetta, and even less with Dr Dre or Timbaland.
While I wouldn’t have pegged Snoop as a Body & Soul-head, there is a common theme. Back in the late 90s and early 00s, when I was playing a lot of this kind of stuff (hit me up for some mixes, Snoop!), me and my dj friends liked to refer to this type of music as “stoner house”. That did away with slightly tired prefixes “deep” and “disco” while encapsulating the music in simple, understandable terms. This is house music at its most horizontal, yet it remains functional and deeply funky. Snoop gets it, and actually this mix ain’t half bad. Light one up, lie back and boogie:
In memory of the late great Paradise Garage dj here’s a mystery set that has turned up on Soundcloud and is credited to Levan from the early 80s. Uploader R_co hasn’t been able to locate a playlist, but he has found a list of (nearly) every song played during his run as resident at the Garage - that’s quite a lot of music if you care to have a look. The mixing on this set is a bit hit and miss, but the crowd audibly loves it and the drop into Loose Joints’ “Is It All Over My Face” (from an excellent mystery track) at around 6 minutes in is heavenly:
Larry Levan Live @ The Paradise Garage, New York (Early 80s) by R_co
Of course, Levan was more than just a dj - he was a remixer of no small talent, and some of his remixes are guaranteed dance floor fillers more than 30 years after their release (such as the previously mentioned Loose Joints track, one of my desert island discs). As a special bonus, here’s Levan’s first ever remix, which he mixed as a try-out for the Sesame Street disco album project, and which remained unreleased for almost 30 years:
Cookie Monster & The Girls “C Is For Cookie (Larry Levan Special Version Funky Disco Mix)”:
Thanks to Tara McGinley
After the jump more of Larry Levan’s best remixes, including the Joubert Singers, Grace Jones, Gwen Guthrie and more…
So buzzed was I by the reaction to my first Disco Argento mix (downloads maxed out on Soundcloud* - thanks guys!) that I decided to go digging through the vault of horror/disco cash-in records yet again to put together a follow-up. And so I give you… Disco Argento 2: The Sequel! As with most sequels, it feeds heavily off the original’s success while boldly pushing the concept into uncharted waters (the 1980s). I feel as if this time I got to truly express my vision, though it could be argued that I am over-indulging myself (twelve minutes of Pat Hodges?!).
I’m pretty chuffed to be able to put a few real gems on this mix - tracks like Stelvio Cipriani’s theme for Tentacles (actually called “Too Risky A Day For A Regatta”), Riz Ortolani’s energetic jazz-funk workout “Drinking Coco” from Cannibal Holocaust and the simply divine “New York One More Day” by Franisco DiMasi from the score for Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper (possibly the only passable excuse for that super sleazy film to exist). What is with these Italians and their fabulous soundtracks? It’s also the second appearance of the day for DM pal Matt Berry, heard here in his Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace guise as Todd Rivers, with an electrifying remix of his ode to thwarted passion “One Track Lover”. Here’s the tracklist in full:
FABIO FRIZZI Zombi 2 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters)
FRANCISCO DI MASI New York One More Day (Disco Beard edit)
ROBERT RODRIGUEZ Police Station Assault
RIZ ORTOLANI Il Corpo Di Linda
TODD RIVERS One Track Lover (Synthia Remix)
FAT BOYS Are You Ready For Freddy?
FRANCIS HAINES The Trioxin Theme (aka Return Of The Living Dead Theme)
JOHN CARPENTER & ALAN HOWARTH The Duke Arrives/Barricade/Snake dialog
PAT HODGES Fly By Night (Midnight Mix)
RIZ ORTOLANI Drinking Coco
STELVIO CIPRIANI Tentacoli (aka Tentacles)
THE CHAMP’S BOYS ORCHESTRA Tubular Bells (Cosmic Mix)
*You can now download Disco Argento Vol 1 here:
‘Tis the season, and all that jazz. Halloween is my favourite time of year, so to help people get into an undead festive mood here’s the first of a couple of spookalicious mixes I will be sharing over the next few days. First up it’s my Disco Argento mix, a compilation of late 70s and early 80s horror movie-inspired discomania put together for Glasgow’s Menergy club. It features dancefloor versions of the themes from Phantasm, Friday the 13th, Dawn Of The Dead, Amittyville and Demons, some score tracks and a few soul horror cash-ins. It also comes with a rather snazzy (and exclusive) Thriller-inspired sleeve by top comic artist Frank Quitely too. Here’s the full tracklist:
Halloween II - John Carpenter
Cannibal Ferox - Fabio Frizzi
Zombi - Goblin
Amityville Frenzy - Lalo Schiffrin
Prom Night Theme - Zaza & Zitter
Phantasm - Captain Zorro
Phantasmagoria / Silver Sphere Disco - Fred Myrow & Malcolm Seagrave
NYC Theme - Budy-Maglione
Demons (Disco Beard Edit) - Claudio Simonetti
Friday The 13th Part III - Manfredini & Zager
Lust - Rinder & Lewis
Doin’ It In A Haunted House - Yvonne Cage
Disco Blood - The Vamps
Soul Dracula - Hot Blood
THE NIALLIST Disco Argento Mix by Menergy Mixes
The download limit for Disco Argento has been reached on Soundcloud - but you can also download the mix from this link:
This is some serious disco history right here! A recording has recently surfaced of DJ Larry Levan mixing live from the 1979 2nd birthday party of the legendary New York night spot the Paradise Garage. The 4 hour set was broadcast live on NY’s WBLS station (hence the occasional MC commentary from the recognisable voice of Frankie Crocker) and was taped off the radio by producer Lenny Fontana as a kid. He had the foresight to transfer the original tapes to DAT in 1990, and to put the mix away into storage.
Recently unearthed by the BBC’s Eddy Gordon, who has described the tapes as “broadcasting gold”, the set was broadcast on BBC Radio 6 as part of a “A Taste Of Paradise” season, which ran over a series of nights and featured interviews with some of the key players in the Garage’s history. Props to the folks at the Irish disco website isodisco.com, who have uploaded all the interviews to their site - these are worth checking out too as they are fun and informative, and have some cracking underground disco soundbeds.
But the main attraction is Levan’s dj set itself. For many people like me, whose number one time travel destination would be the Garage at its late 70s/early 80s peak, this is as close as we’re ever going to get. You can really feel the party atmosphere in the broadcast - which opens with live PAs from Loleatta Holloway, Dan Hartman AND Sylvester, reason enough to be excited - and Larry’s selection is damn near flawless. Sure, the mixing could be tighter, but this is 1979 fer Chrissakes - just check the massive booming bass on some of these tracks! Obviously dub was an influence, as was the Garage’s legendary PA. If you’re not dancing by the time Tribe’s “Koke” kicks in (arf) at 2:49:10 - straight after Candido’s club classic “Jingo” - then you’re most probably dead.
Here’s the set, as hosted on Underground NYC - skip straight to 01:11:00 for the the broadcast to begin, and 01:52:00 for Levan to take over:
Just to make clear, this is NOT the set released on CD by Strut in 2000.
Robert Mapplethorpe image for The Saint’s “Black Party” 1981 via OrangeMercury.
Thanks to Tony Dunne for the sterling work on this - stitching together various tapes to create a four-and-a-half-hour continuous mix of the DJ Warren Gluck from the closing night of the legendary New York nightclub The Saint in 1988. Tony says:
“There may be slight differences from the originals because of the tape endings. Sound quality could of course be better but the recording was taken from cassette tapes.”
The Saint was a members-only gay club opened in 1980 by New York club owner Bruce Mailman (St Mark’s Baths), and the architect Charles Terrell. It gained legendary status almost immediately, due in no small part to the huge planetarium-style dome over the dancefloor (which hosted massive light shows and also served to hide and amplify the club’s sound system) as well as the notoriously permissive attitude to sex in the club, in the upstairs areas and at special events like “The Black Party”. Unsurprisingly the AIDS epidemic decimated the club’s clientele, leading to its closure in May 1988 (a year after both Studio 54 and the Paradise Garage). The Saint never received the acclaim for its music in the same way the Garage did, despite mixes like this proving it was just as excellent (the music may have been different but gays were raving long before acid house). University of East London lecturer, disco historian and author Tim Lawrence sums it up in his thesis “The Forging of a White Gay Aesthetic at the Saint, 1980-84” (a must read for fans of disco, gay history and New York nightlife):
...whereas historians of dance culture have hailed the Garage’s Larry Levan to be the most influential DJ in the city during the 1980s, the shifting roster of selectors who worked at the Saint have merited barely a single mention—an unlikely scenario given that privileged white groups often receive more attention than disadvantaged subaltern groups. Based on numerous interviews with key protagonists, documentary material held in the Saint’s archive and recordings of DJ sets from the Saint, this article redresses the imbalance by outlining the contributions of Jim Burgess, Alan Dodd and Roy Thode, the Saint’s principal DJs during the opening 1980–81 season, as well as Shaun Buchanan, George Cadenas, Michael Fierman, Michael Jorba, Robbie Leslie, Howard Merritt, Chuck Parsons, Terry Sherman and Sharon White… their collective impact was considerable, even if their very collectivity also meant that each was ultimately disposable.
For more information on the history of The Saint, and the ongoing “Saint At Large” reunion parties, visit Saint At Large.com. But for now lose yourself in Warren Gluck’s awesome final dj set at the club:
Meet Ssion, the gender bending electro-punk dance band from Kansas City, led by front person Cody Critcheloe. Is Cody a man or a woman? I’m not completely sure, but it’s not important - s/he can be whatever you want hir to be. And as with other current queer artists like JD Samson, Cody likes to play with people’s traditional perceptions of style and beauty - witness the trademark combo monobrow and mustache, a pretty risqué fashion move in these anti-hair-biased times
Ssion (pronounced “shun”) are a full on audio/visual/performance-troupe well known for their live shows and support slots for the likes of Gossip and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Critcheloe has been making a respectable career as a video director on the side, working with Peaches, Liars and Scream Club. Ssion formed in Kansas in 1996 and released their first material in 2003. The band released their last album Fools Gold in 2007 and with it the full length feature film Boy which compiled all their music videos and has been described as a “gay, punk rock equivalent of Forest Gump.” Ssion have taken the step of releasing their new album Bent as a free download for a limited time, and it’s definitely worth downloading. As with Tyler the Creator’s first album Bastard, it’s surprising to hear music released for free that is of this high quality.
Make no mistake though - Bent is pop music. It’s party music, it’s designed for dancing - for those moments at a friend’s house when the sun is coming up, you’ve had a ball, but you’ve got that melancholic feeling that to quit now as it’s can’t get any better. There are shades of very early Madonna here, coupled with the classic mid-80s synth driven sound of the Pet Shop Boys and Eurodisco, all refracted through early 90s NY dance pop like Deee-Lite. Bent is basically the album the Scissor Sisters should have made by now, classy dance music stripped of the chintz (and Elton bloody John references) and honed to a sharp electro-pop point. It’s pretty damn good. So my advice to you dear readers is to let a little bit of Ssion into your life - get Bent.
Ssion - “Clown”
Ssion - “Psy-Chic”
Ssion - “Luvvbazaar”
Ssion - “Credit In The Straight World” Excellent cover of
Young Marble Giants.
Glamorous Romy Haag is one of the most famous transsexuals in Europe and a cabaret performer of some renown. She is also well-known as a former lover and muse of David Bowie during his Berlin years (and indeed was the apparent reason for his move to the city in 1976). Her influence on his work is clearly evident in his “Boys Keep Swinging” video, where Bowie appears in triplicate as a chorus of drag queens.
Haag was born in 1951 and early in her life, the issue of gender reassignment was discussed. She developed breasts naturally. Haag left her home at the age of 13, working as a clown, then a trapeze artist with the Circus Strassburger before becoming a female impersonator in Paris. At this time, Haag began living as a woman.
In 1974, she opened what would become Germany’s most popular nightclub during the disco-era at the age of 23, “Chez Romy Haag.” Celebrity guests included Bowie and Iggy Pop, who were regulars, Bryan Ferry, Freddie Mercury and Lou Reed. Mick Jagger was another patron and had a brief affair with Haag.
Haag began her musical career in 1977. In 1983, when she was in her 30s she had a sex change and in 1999, published an autobiography with the great title, A Woman And Then Some. She’s still an honored performer and going strong at the age of 60. Follow Romy Haag on Twitter.
Below, Romy Haag discusses her relationship with David Bowie.
Romy Haag in 1978 performing her disco single “Superparadise” on the Musikladen TV show. Compare this to “Boys Keep Swinging.” He was basically just copping her act!
Keith Haring’s portrait of the DJ Larry Levan
In the history of popular music, disco and dance culture generally get a raw deal when it comes to talking about of social change. Sure, some massive changes happened in the Sixties, but to paraphrase Nile Rodgers, the Seventies was when people started to enjoy their new social freedoms. It was an age that saw huge breakdowns of race, class, sexual and social boundaries that were not just confined to small social groups, and much of this was down to the disco and party scenes.
Maestro, a 2002 documentary by the director Josell Ramos, tells the story of the legendary New York club the Paradise Garage, and its equally legendary resident DJ Larry Levan. Levan is often cited as being the best DJ of all time, particularly by some of the most popular DJs in the world, and the music he played at his club spawned a whole genre named in its honour. The Garage’s cultural and musical legacy has been global, influencing some of the world’s best known nightspots, but Maestro is also careful to explain where the roots of the club and the world that developed around it lay - in the seminal underground New York nightspots of the very late Sixties and early 70s.,
Levan in the DJ booth at the Paradise Garage
Many of the characters still left standing from the era are interviewed in the film. Among these is David Mancuso, whose own private loft parties in his living space kick-started the serious dancing scene and gave birth to the modern idea of clubbing..There is the late Francis Grasso, the first man to ever mix two records back in the late 60s at the Sanctuary; Nicky Siano, who in 1972 and still a teenager opened the night spot the Gallery; Frankie Knuckles of Chicago’s Warehouse (the birthplace of garage music’s broodier twin house), reminiscences on his close childhood friend Levan with stories that are both funny and sad. Most movingly of all respected DJ and remixer Francois Kevorkian remembers how the AIDS epidemic swept through his social circle killing many of his friends and decimating the party scene.
The Paradise Garage was a true melting pot where black, white, gay, straight, male, female, old and young mixed, got high, danced, and had sex. The footage of the Garage, the Sanctuary and the Loft in Maestro is great, and really makes you want to grab a time machine to visit these incredible parties. While this film is flawed, it’s good to have the story of this era told from the perspective of the people who were there and helped shape it. Oh, and needless to say, the music is FANTASTIC:
The rest of Maestro, after the jump…
Seminal electronic disco pioneer Bernard Fevre, aka Black Devil Disco Club, has returned with an album of all new material featuring a stellar cast list of guest vocalists. Lending their dulcet pipes to the spectral four-four funk are Nancy Sinatra, Afrika Bambaataa, Jon Spencer, The Horrors’ Faris Badwan, YACHT, Cocknbullkid and more.
Black Devil Disco Club was one of the first European acts to record disco using mainly synthesisers in the late 70s, finding a unique sound that was both darker and druggier than the popular electronic symphonies of Giorgio Moroder. Though never finding a great amount of success or acknowledgement at the time, the act has had a major revival over the last few years due to their influence on the techno, nu-disco and Italo scenes. The original 1978 Disco Club LP release was re-issued in 2004 by Rephlex, and Fevre has returned to recording new music for the electronic label Lo Recordings.
The new album Circus maintains the core insistent dancefloor groove married to a spine-tingling creepiness that made the act stand out. The sound has not progressed very much but really doesn’t need to - it was singular at the time and remains that way to this day. And rather than being the usual roster of big names with little to offer, the guest vocalists are well chosen and work within the context. Worth special mention are the contributions of with the rock singers Jon Spencer and Faris Badwan of the Horrors and Cat’s Eyes, who lend the music a gothic timbre, while Afrika Bambaataa forgoes the rapping to deliver a menacing cackle worthy of an urban witch doctor. Nobody else does Black Forest disco quite as good as this. The first single from the album is the track “To Ardent” which features the legendary Nancy Sinatra, which may seem like an odd choice on paper but works beautifully:
Black Devil Disco Club ft Nancy Sinatra - “To Ardent”
Black Devil Disco Club ft Faris Badwan - “Distrust”
Black Devil Disco Club ft Jon Spencer - “Fuzzy Dream”
Previously on DM:
Black Devil: Pioneering electronica from the 1970s
Are there any readers of Dangerous Minds in France? If you do live there, then I would recommend getting your hands on the next edition of the well known rock magazine Les Inrockuptibles, which comes with a free cover mount CD featuring the best of the renowned post-punk and mutant disco label ZE Records.
ZE has been a longtime favourite label of mine, since I first started getting deeper into collecting disco and realised not all of the genre was dripping cheese with a boner for a chart placing. The releases were smart, weird, original, sleazy, camp, funny and funky as hell. The records came in a distinctive sleeve featuring the label’s iconic logo and a graphic featuring a New York City taxi cab. You didn’t even have to listen to tell that they were dripping in the atmosphere of that place and that time - hell, it may not even have been real, it may just have been the disco/punk New York of my imagination, but it sure did sound great.
Founded in New York in 1979 by British entrepreneur Michael Zilkha and the French publisher Michel Esteban (hence the name), ZE specialised in releasing both “Mutant Disco” for the uptown set, and more downtown experimental sound of “No Wave”, both co-existing side by side in a way that kinda made perfect sense. What united them was an attitude born of not giving a fuck. ZE acts spanned the gamut, from the noise-fests of Mars to the ground-breaking Lydia Lunch, from the proto electro of Suicide to the more rock output of Alan Vega, from the twisted dance punk of James White & Blacks to the sassy boy-baiting of The Waitresses, from the new wave Euro pop of Lio and Garcons to the veteran Velvet drone-meister John Cale, from the geeky freak funk of Was (Not Was) to the dancefloor experiments of Bill Laswell and Material.
My favourite ZE associated act is one August Darnell, better known by his stage name of Kid Creole. He worked with many different acts and under a variety of different names, including Cristina, Coati Mundi, Gichy Dan, Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band and Aural Exciters, not to mention being the driving force behind two other seminal disco acts, Machine and Dr Buzzard’s Original Savanah Band. He brought to the music a heavy influence of golden era jazz and Cab Calloway. And it wasn’t just a a sly wink to the past - beneath his sometimes quite strange arrangements lurked classic Broadway songwriting chops and killer one liners (check “Darrio” below). I feel August Darnell has been overlooked in the history of popular music, and I hope to cover him more in depth in the future.
We have already covered a couple of ZE Records acts in the past few months here on Dangerous Minds, namely Cristina and Lizzy Mercier Descloux. it seems only right now to introduce the label to people who may not have heard of it, and/or to remind others who have of just how good it is. As I have mentioned before, it is worth signing up to the label’s mailing list to keep abreast of what they are up to (the next release is a remastered re-issue of John Cale’s Sabotage/Live LP recorded at CBGB’s in 1979 and featuring the Animal Justice EP). To sign up, visit the label’s official website. The entire ZE catalog (with info on how to obtain what is available) is on Discogs. This is the Les Inrockuptibles cover mount CD streamed from the ZE Records Soundcloud page - a pretty good summation of the label’s vast and influential output:
In Flagranti are a dance production duo consisting of Alex Gloor and Sasha Crnobrnja. who have been releasing records on labels like RVNG and Gomma for the best part of a decade. Their use of naggingly familiar disco samples combined with some old school analog electro synths has brought them a very loyal following all over the world, and seen them gain support from disparate scenes such as disco, Cosmic and electro-house.
But it’s not just about the music with these guys - Alex Gloor is also a very talented visual artist, and In Flagranti are as well known for their sleeves and videos as they are for their sounds. Making heavy use of vintage soft core porn imagery, the band have made accompanying videos for many of their tracks, and their upcoming album Worse For Wear (Codek Records) is no different. For these new tunes Gloor has hit a rich stream of found footage documenting the seedier side of New York in the late Seventies and early Eighties, featuring a lot of street kids, porno shop fronts and pissed off looking taxi drivers. Also featured in various videos are the Jonestown massacre, the infamous Ugly George cable TV show, and security footage of a bank robbery.
While definitely coming from the “club” side of visual montage, this isn’t full of annoying strobe editing and cheap computer graphics. Editing is in fact kept to a minimum and the visuals (in tandem with the music) are allowed to do all the talking themselves. My favorite clip is the appropriately titled “On The Fringe”, which features some battered and bruised looking street kids. I wonder where they are now?
“On The Fringe” and the rest of the album are all after the jump, but in the meantime to whet your appetite here’s “Latter Day Methods” (ft Ugly George) and the Worse For Wear album promo clip. You can buy Worse For Wear here (so far it’s only available in the States on import) and there is more info on In Flagranti here.
In Flagranti - Worse For Wear album teaser 3
In Flagranti - “Latter-Day Methods”
After the jump the complete Worse For Wear videos.
Fans of modern indie rock might recognise the name Seb Thompson. Apart from being an incredible drummer and a production powerhouse, he is a founder member of Trans Am and also drums for Ian Svenonious’ excellent Weird War. He now has a new solo project called Publicist that does away with rock stylings and goes straight for the disco jugular.
Publicist is essentially a one man band, that features electronics programmed by Thompson, vocodered vocals, and live drumming. Though still a pretty new concern with only a couple of singles under the belt (including “Momma” featuring vocals from Svenonious, and last year’s Keep It Off The Record 12”) even at this early stage it looks and sounds great. This shouldn’t be a surprise to Trans Am or Weird War fans, as it’s obvious from those groups how talented Thompson is. For me it’s great to see him directly expressing the electronic dance elements audible in Trans Am.
There’s not much info floating about on Publicist so far, but you can see and hear more at his MySpace (*spit*). Publicist is making a live appearance tonight at Brooklyn’s Zebulon, and for an idea of how fun that will be watch this live clip:
Publicist - “Make It Right” (live)
Publicist - “Hand To Mouth”