Sunday, December 31, 2006

Blue Zoo

Blue Zoo was a short lived British New Wave music group whose original band name was Modern Jazz, and who released a single "I Shoot Sheep" in 1980. Band members were: Mike Ansell on bass, Matthew Flowers on keyboards, Pete Lancaster on trumpet, Andy O on vocals, Tim Parry on guitar and Mickey Sparrow on drums. Tim Parry later went on to become a producer.

Blue Zoo had one hit single. In October 1982 "Cry Boy Cry" charted and reached number 13. It stayed on the UK Singles Chart Top 40 for eight weeks. They released an album 'Two By Two' - sometimes written-as 2x2 or 2By2 - in 1983.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Instant Hit: Dalek I Love You- Horrorscope

"Horrorscope" was the last single release for the British group Dalek I Love You which disbanded soon after it in 1983. The single was released on Korova and as 7" version it was backed  by "These Walls We Build" while the 12" version included the instrumental version. The song was performed Keith Hartley, while the artwork was provied by Ian Wright. The song appeared on their self titled album which was reissued in 2007.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Instant Hit: Rah Band- Messages From the Stars

The fictitious studio group masterminded by Richard Hewson released "Messages from The Stars" in 1983 for Catfish records. Just another love electro funk trip by Rah Band with lovely female vocals and and spacey dub. Update: The song was reissued by Sonoptix in 8 different remixes in 2011. 

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Instant Hit: Soft Cell- Torch (Extended)

"Torch" is one of my favorite Soft Cell songs. It was released back in 1982. The backing Vocals were provided by the female singer Cindy Ecstasy who also provided vocals on the extended version of this song which appeared on 'Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing'. The song was produced by Mike Thorne and it was originally issued on Some Bizarre in the UK. The remix version of this single was released in 2007 by Planet Clique.

Friday, December 1, 2006

I Start Counting

Pop experimentalists I Start Counting favored English artiness with a sense of fun. Unlike many other electronic groups from the '80s, I Start Counting never settled into a single formula; the band continued to tinker with its sound, shifting effortlessly from light to dark, accessible to avant-garde.

I Start Counting was formed in the early '80s by David Baker and Simon Leonard. In 1984, the duo was signed by Mute and released its debut single, the quirky "Letters to a Friend". "Letters to a Friend" easily distinguished itself from the glut of synthesizer-laden records from the mid-'80s with Baker's distinctly British talk-sing style and the psychedelic feel of the keyboards. The follow-up, 1985's "Still Smiling", was hailed as another instant classic from the band. This single release emerged in April 1985. "Slight but sweet, delicate intelligent electro-pop with melody and depth," They managed to produce the mini-LP Translucent Hands by the end of 1986. The final single to be taken from "Translucent Hands" was a rigorous rework of 'Lose Him', which appeared a year later, in January 1988, and featured samples from the legendary rubber movie Bound In Latex, as well as sampled cameos from Cary Grant and Tony Hancock.

Typically contrary, "Million Headed Monster" was the next single, in May 1989. Backed with "Listen" the former's pop thrills contrasted with the more experimental sounds of the latter. A final, full length LP 'Fused' appeared in June 1989, and provided an innovative blast of avant gard House contrasted with ambient soundtracks and a perfect pop palette blended in-between.

From an interview with Baker
"What we try to achieve is changing all the time because what we enjoy is listening to changes. Usually, if we've just done a pop song we want something different for the next one. It would be more commercially sensible to stick to one thing and decide we were going to be completely electropop or a dance band or completely weird, but I think we'd just get bored if we did that."
In fact, the duo were about to undergo a rigorous change of identity. The name I Start Counting was laid to rest, and Barker and Leonard chose another, Fortran 5, with which to continue their musical explorations.