Wednesday, June 29, 2016
After leaving Front 242, singer Jean-Luc De Meyer started a few other musical ventures. Personally, I think C-Tec was the best. Teaming up with Marc Heal of Cubanate, it's pretty noisy stuff. The clattering drum 'n bass rhythms definitely sound of its time (1997) but it's still worth a listen.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Front 242... you couldn't go to a club in the late '80s without hearing that classic refrain "one, you lock the target..." This was always my favorite album, kind of like they'd spent the early 1980s refining their sound just to create this. In a way, Depeche Mode paved a similar sound and formula, but added in the pop songwriting that ended up making them superstars. Front 242 went on to make some great music in the early-90s, too, before splintering.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
James Ray and the Performance, James Rays Gangwar, MK Ultra, The Sisterhood... James Ray has taken on many incarnations for his musical output. Some people wrote him off as a sub-Sisters of Mercy copy, but I think he had more in common with 80s "industrial" bands like Front 242, Mussolini Headkick, etc. Anyway, this outfit, dubbed 25Men, is my favorite. Released in 2008, it reminds me of unstructured early '90s industrial music.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
The Sisters of Mercy produced some of the '80s most seminal music. And even into the early '90s. Floodland is my favorite, mostly because it didn't sound like anything else at the time and thus, it has aged pretty well, despite being essentially a synth album. So many '80s band, especially ones using electronics, seemed to be using presets of keyboard and drum sounds and now are embarrassing relics of New Wave. But Floodland still has a grand guignol bombast and mystery to it. Like the sea...
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Seattle band Sky Cries Mary started out as the moniker of Roderick Romero, who released 2 albums of rather uninteresting experimental soundscapes in the late-80s. He then formed a proper band, turning out some of the most original music of the 1990s. This Timeless Turning sounds like nothing else I own. With the soaring vocals of Anisa Romero, they are at times delicate, spiritual and overwhelming. Interesting postscript: Roderick and Anisa now focus on building treehouses and furniture...
no, really: http://www.interiorprovisions.com/
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
One more project I forgot was this one between Jaz Coleman and Maori singer Hinewehi Mohi. They produced two albums of chillout "world music." And Youth is even listed in the liner notes for some added production work.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Wrapping up the Killing Joke posts with the most prolific member - Martin Glover, aka Youth. To list all of the artists he's produced, remixed, or collaborated with would be en entire blog unto itself. He's been behind the boards for hit albums by the likes of The Verve, Crowded House, The Cult, Pink Floyd, Peter Murphy, Echo & The Bunnymen, and his own band, Killing Joke. He's collaborated with Paul McCartney on 3 albums. He ran his own trance label, Dragonfly Records, and Liquid Sound Design, which focuses on psychedelic dub and electronic music. Two of my favorite albums are "East of the Ganges" under the name Kumba Mela Experiment, and Dub Trees' 2000 album.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
While on the subject of Killing Joke, it's worth mentioning lead singer Jaz Coleman has been a classical composer, as well. His symphonic interpretations of Pink Floyd, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin have topped the classical charts. But it's his works with the New Zealand String Quartet I find most pleasing.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Killing Joke's output in the 1990s was erratic and didn't really do much to cement a singular new sound, but it did push them into new creative realms. Much of this was fueled by Youth's divergence into trance and dub music. Both Pandemonium and Democracy spawned several albums worth of remixes. But Pandemonium, in particular, melded the social polemics and spiritual element of their music like never before, and even garnered them some Alt radio and MTV airplay.
Friday, June 17, 2016
My introduction to Killing Joke came with the singles from 1985's Night Time album being played on the radio - Eighties, Love Like Blood and Kings & Queens. Since their catalogue is far too vast for a single post, this is where I'm starting. This album is a great mix of their earlier post-punk sound mixed with the new wave of the day. It manages to be relatively commercial without any conscious effort to be pop stars.