Friday, 27 February 2009

Soiree this Saturday

Time for another L'Amour Electronique party

this Saturday 28 February
9pm - 3am
at The West Hill, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton

We have French bubblegum POP, electronic sounds, and filthy dirty synthcore a-plenty for you.
We will be joined in DJing duties by recent French Pop convert, vinyl obsessive, and Coin-Op operator Nick Hills.
It is also my birthday.
So you should come and buy me a drink.
s'il vous plaît.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Computer L.O.V.E. pt.3: I Need a Data Date

Alone again on Valentine's day? Don't fret, it's just a nasty commercialised invention dreamed up by card manufacturers and florists to make a quick buck. True love will find you in the end...

Back in the 60's before they found the internet, it was much harder to set up a liaison with a potential beau - you had to actually go up and talk to them. Imagine that?

However, changes were afoot with the advent of computer dating.

Now, there aren't many songs that cover the subject of feeding your vital statistics into a computer, which will then correlate the information, and eventually spit out a number of suitable matches...

Here's one though: It's French teeny-bop superstar France Gall, banging out a saccharine Motown-style number. In German. But there are strange things happening in this little ditty:
- first there's a mass of bizarre vocal and synth sounds flying around to evoke the inner workings of the computer.
- then in comes an authoritarian-sounding German voice to bridge the chorus and verses.
- and then the middle-eight veers off into The Beatles' 'Eight Days A Week'.

France Gall - Der Computer Nr.3
[buy France Gall: iTunes | Amazon]

I call this number, for a data date...

Another lonely night, stare at the TV screen...

I don’t know what to do, I need a rendez-vous...

Kraftwerk – Computer Love
[buy Kraftwerk: iTunes | Amazon]

Is computer love wrong if you have no-one else to share your love with? Just so long as you don't try and interface with yours.

Mister Fat Trucker loves computers. But they don't love him. Tragic.

Fat Truckers – I Love Computers
[buy Fat Truckers: iTunes | Amazon]

And finally.
A cautionary tale of what might happen if you give your computer a little bit too much love. The result: A boy-girl-computer love triangle, as evoked in 80's cinematic cheese-fest Electric Dreams

Phil Oakey & Giorgio Moroder - Together in Electric Dreams

You have been warned.

images scanned from Ladybird book How it Works: The Computer

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Charles Darwin: Is He Not Man?

Charles Darwin is 200 years old today! Congratulations Charles, you've earned yourself another telegram from the queen (except these days it's done by email, and being a bit of a luddite, Charlie's will just languish in his in-box)

He's got the electric blanket on, but there's just time for a quick lesson in De-Evolution before bed.

DEVO - Jocko Homo

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Exposition Gainsbourg + Don't Try This At Home

Much excitement at L'Amour Electronique HQ. In a few days we head to Paris to see l'Exposition Gainsbourg at the Cité de la Musique.

They've made a fun interactive typewriter mini-site with tons of Serge related info and trivia (you can reach it by clicking the Gainsbourg link here.

Our trip has also, rather luckily, coincided with a performance by off-the-wall electronic troupe The Chap, alongside the C86/Mary Chain sounds of Crystal Stilts, and a Strasbourgian duo called Electric Electric, who play epileptic dancing noise! It promises to be a good trip.

In other news: Last Thursday I spent a few happy hours taking apart an old radio and then conjuring free-jazz electronic noise out of its innards with my bare hands.


Computer L.O.V.E. pt.2

Oh My! Has it really been 6 months since the first Computer L.O.V.E. post?

Last time we geeked out to Devo’s –link- remix of Datarock’s ‘Computer Camp Love’, there’s more Datarock fun to be had by downloading their computer game.

Let’s make up for lost time with some more ZX Spectrum madness. Again, this was on a CD gifted to me by our good friend Feline1. He set his old Sinclair Spectrum up and ran it into his soundcard and recorded the in-game soundtrack as he played. This one is locked in on a gritty Moroder-style arpeggiator, and you can almost hear the 8-bit chips melting!

When we were driving across Germany it made for very effective Autobahn music, though we also had to suffer a terrible remix that was completely over-egged with 80’s hair-metal guitar licks every second bar. Nicht Gut!

David Whittaker - Theme from The Tube (ZX Spectrum 128K)

I once excitedly sent a link to Feline1 for the ‘C64: Back In Time’ series – it had tracks by Rob Hubbard (another Spectrum soundtracker) on it, so I thought he might be interested. A reply came back:
Dom, that's a COMMODORE 64 album!!”

Oops, I s’pose I was always more of a Commodore kid myself, the Spectrum merely evoked memories of sitting for hours in I.T. lessons, typing up line after line of script, only to be rewarded by a tiny pixel-y spider descending the screen on a dotted-line web. Heady days...

The year is 1989, I had my first ‘proper’ computer (not counting the Atari 2600 gathering dust in the loft) – The Amiga 500 - and I was into Bomb The Bass big time. It didn’t take long for me to get addicted to the Bitmap Brothers' subterranean shoot ‘em up Xenon 2: Megablast. It had it all: You captained a heavily augmentable submarine-craft and shot giant crustaceans and sea-beasties, then collected the bubbles they left in their wake. Bubbles = money credits, which you spent at the end of each level in a shop run by an ugly crab-faced bloke called Crispin. Did I sell it to you? Here’s the intro sequence:

Xenon 2: Megablast – intro (Commodore Amiga 500)

And someone has gone to the trouble of filming themselves completing level 1 (albeit, not in a spectacularly accomplished way!)
Xenon 2: Megablast – level 1 (Commodore Amiga 500)

Bomb The Bass – Megablast
[buy Bomb The Bass: Amazon]

And finally, Ladytron’s ode to the Commodore PET

…latterday analogue synthcore at its finest, with a Bulgarian spoken-word vocal which apparently evokes images of the topography of Bulgaria.

Ladytron – Commodore Rock
[buy Ladytron: iTunes | Amazon]

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Lux Interior R.I.P. [21.10.46 - 04.02.09]

Cramps frontman Lux Interior died this week – he’s gone to that great goth graveyard in the sky / bowels of the earth [delete as appropriate].

It’s no secret that we are BIG fans of The Cramps (the sound of Miss Pain has oft been described as a kind of “electro-Cramps rumble”, and we’ve covered their ‘Call of The Wighat’, and done our own Cramp-ed up version of ‘Fever’ in our live sets). Here’s our little tribute to him…

First, a raunchy, blues-y stab at 1978 their buzzzzzzzzzzzz-erk tremelo-drone ‘Human Fly’ by slinky French bossa-nova merchants / arch-ironists Nouvelle Vague.

Nouvelle Vague – Human Fly
[buy Nouvelle Vague: iTunes | Amazon]

And here's a filthy, squelchy synthed-up Sonovac version of the same song

Sonovac - Human Fly
[buy Sonovac: iTunes / Amazon]

The Cramps made a bleak and tear-jerking rendition of Ricky Nelson’s ‘Lonesome Town’ on their Gravest Hits ep. Françoise Hardy’s 1968 version is lusher and grander, but no less fragile. There won’t be a dry eye in the house…

Françoise Hardy – La Rue Des Coeurs Perdus
[buy Françoise Hardy: iTunes | Amazon]

Lux Interior, We salute you!