Thursday, 26 March 2009

Soiree this Saturday

Only 2 days to go until the next L'Amour Electronique.

Join us as we dazzle and excite with a fizzy cocktail of French bubblegum pop, Synthesized sounds and Electronic delights. 
We will be joined by guest DJ Stuart Lamour from 20jazzfunkgreats

Full details of where and when below...

L'AMOUR ELECTRONIQUE - Saturday 28th March
at The West Hill (formerly The Belle Vue), 
67 Buckingham Place, Brighton {-MAP-}
9pm - 3am

here's a bonus YouTube for your listening pleasure
Throbbing Gristle - Hot On The Heels Of Love

Monday, 23 March 2009


When I was little, after being stung by one-too-many wasps, I attempted to justify their existence to myself:

"Wasps are like bees," I thought, "they're yellow and black and they fly around, and if you anger them they will both sting you. But bees make honey, and honey is nice and sweet. What is the purpose of wasps? If bees make honey, then maybe wasps make... Jam!"

That's some pretty deep thinking for a five year old. Yes, I convinced myself that God invented wasps to make jam. I'm not sure if different wasp nests made different flavours. And maybe hornets were responsible for marmalade production.

Look, photographic proof!

One of the best things I got for Christmas was this tres cool present that Verity made for me. It is a cushion replica of an EDP Wasp synthesizer (a "soft-synth", if you will)

Copyright Verity Clarkson 2008
[EDP Wasp Soft Synth cushion © Verity Clarkson 2008]
Copyright Verity Clarkson 2008

It's a curious synth, the Wasp, with that distinctive (cheap plastic) black and yellow shell. It has one of those touch-sensitive keyboards where your finger completes the circuit and the DCOs spring to life. If you're a bit of a pyromaniac, you could squirt lighter fluid along the keyboard and set fire to it for a rapid upwards arpeggio action (Ann Shenton told us that).

Uh Oh, that high-pitched sonic whine is filling me with dread. Look there, at the bottom of the garden, a black and yellow swarm gathering from the trees. BUZZ BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Millions of evil black eyes, and every pair is fixed on us. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. And that's one mighty looking King Wasp heading the deadly swarm, he's got evil intentions and he's spreading them to his army via collective consciousness. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Eeek! Run for cover...

Add N To (X) - King Wasp
[buy Add N To (X): iTunes | Mute | Amazon]

And now, a tangent.
Recently, on British TV, they've been showing an Oral B advert, and the music is bizarrely reminiscent of King Wasp. Watch and listen.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Time for a Sugar Buzz

When I was about 15, Chupa Chups tried to launch their lollipops on an unsuspecting British public with a ropily dubbed European advert. It opened with an inherently un-cool teenage girl yelping “CHUPA CHUPS!” Then let rip with this ultra cheesy Europop tune which informed us all that: “Chupa Chups is the lollipop that’s fun… Seven delicious flavours for everyone…” Or something like that.

The result: rather than becoming a well-regarded boiled-sweet treat, the Chupa Chup lolly hit it small-time as the ironic sweet du jour.

Which brings us to this charming little ode to sweets on sticks:
MadetMoiselle have crafted a sugary piece of pop confectionary with more than a knowing wink to Mlles Gall and Birkin. It has this cutesy vocal that sounds like a Japanese schoolgirl singing in broken French, and is buttoned down with some tight-stepping bubblegum bass. Throw in a generous slug of kitsch Hammond organ, spike it with a line of bittersweet Electric Prunes-style guitar, then add a perfectly wayward bit of synth noise – Et Voila! Belgian Candy Pop that leaves your tastebuds tingling and craving for more.

MadetMoiselle – Chupa Chups
[I can't find any MadetMoiselle goodies at all - maybe you could go and ask them nicely at their MySpace]

Look out! It’s delinquent girl/girl duo Electrocute and they’ve been raiding the tuck-shop again.

Let’s all stuff our faces with marshmallows and Berliners and get sticky to the electro-rumble of their trashy beats ’n’ guitar twang. The fruit salad lightshow and sherbet fountain mist has got me shakin' all over. WHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! And we all fall down and giggle ‘til we’re sick.

Electrocute - Sugar Buzz
[buy Electrocute: iTunes | Amazon]

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Computer L.O.V.E. pt.4


Well, that’s what Kraftwerk would have us believe. Mind you, that was 1981, and back then people didn’t waste hour-upon-hour staring slack-jawed at a VDU until their eyes popped out on stalks and their fingers cramped up into RSI-locked claws.

Kraftwerk - It’s More Fun To Compute
[buy Kraftwerk: iTunes | Amazon]

No, back then in the brave new world of the early-80’s you’d have to hang around waiting for 2 hours for yr cassette to hit the payload. Imagine all that pent-up youthful anticipation finally unleashed as you got your hands on the controls to help Horace Go Skiing

Yes! Computing was indeed much more fun than sitting round twiddling your thumbs waiting for your game to load. Though some of those epilepsy-inducing visuals you used to get on the telly were often worth the entry money alone.

Here’s another 8-bit hit of ZX Spectrum madness (with thanks to Feline1). This one has some sweet shuffling Casio-tone beats, and an eerie underwater vibrato melody which helps set the scene for the gameplay:
“Pirates have raided the storage depots of the Federation and stolen valuable minerals, jewels, ammunition and the latest battle weaponry. The Cybernoid ship has been depatched with instructions to retrieve the stolen booty and to return it to storage within a specified time limit. The pirates have activated planetary defence systems and the Cybernoid will have to battle with these as well as the pirates themselves in order to retrieve the stolen booty."

Dave Rogers - Theme from Cybernoid (ZX Spectrum 128K)

*********GAME OVER*********

Now put your computer to sleep before you get an unhealthy vector addiction.

Q: Do computers dream of pixelated sheep?
A: It depends what sort of mood you put them in when you send them to sleep…

Every night Polnareff sings a sinister lullaby to his computer and sends it off into a wailing 70’s cowbell wonderland.

Michel Polnareff – Computer’s Dream
[buy Polnareff: iTunes | Amazon]

When silence descends Polnareff’s computer opens his camera eye to check the coast is clear.

It is not.

Polnareff’s computer regresses to his happy place, where he sings a simple song to himself:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Something borrowed?

This has been bugging me for the past week or so:
Every time the new Röyksopp single 'Happy Up Here' comes on the radio (which is a lot at the moment - it seems to have been A-listed by 6Music), I think it's going to be Stereo Total's 'Beauty Case'.

And even though I know it's not going to be, a little part of me gets my hopes up, and I'm repeatedly disappointed.

Compare and contrast, if you will:
Stereo Total - Beauty Case (1999)

Röyksopp - Happy Up Here (2009)