In 1990, I was in Chicago buying records and CD’s. I was looking for industrial music. With the help of one of the store’s staff who was exposing me to a lot of industrial music artists, he placed this particular CD single in my hand (the very same one pictured above). He was kind enough to unwrap and put it inside a CD player. And then he handed me the heaphones and made me listen to Provision. I was immediately blown away from the very first beat/note. After few measures, the pulsating & punchy basslines kicked in. Knocked me off my feet. I just had to have it. So I bought it.
Front Line Assembly – “Provision”…
Artist: Front Line Assembly Title: Provision Year: 1990 Label: Wax Trax! Records
Happy New Year!
I bless 2011 to be a great year for music and music-bloggers everywhere.
I bought this CDi single from Chicago back in 1989, when I was a freshman in college. The disc itself had a gold surface. The tracks on this CDi were exactly the same as the standard release but with the video of Headhunter included in it.
I still love all three tracks on this Front 242 CDi-single release because of their industrial-sounding stabbing basslines. All the basslines are programmed tightly with a midi sequencer. The sounds of the rolling bassline in Headhunter (at least to my ears) are processed heavily through a reverb effect. Headhunter became the band’s first club hit. Welcome To Paradise also has industrial rolling/stabbing basslines but without vocals. Instead, the band uses make heavy-use of many voice clips and sound-bytes sampled from various American evangelists (possibly sampled from television and/or video recordings).
According to Wikipedia…
Front 242 was created in 1981 in Aarschot, near Brussels, Belgium, by Daniel Bressanutti and Dirk Bergen, who wanted to create music and graphic design using emerging electronic tools. [Perhaps Daft Punk were influenced by such approach of Front 242's.]
Front 242 – “Headhunter” (V2.0)…
Artist: Front 242 Title: Headhunter (V2.0) Year: 1988 Label: Wax Trax! Records
Over The Shoulder is one incredible track (by Ministry) that was way ahead of its time. Rolling, pounding synth bassline — sequenced with 16TH-notes across the 4/4 bar/measure timescale. Industrial clinging & clanging sounds. It was this track which first exposed me to industrial music after watching the music video. I was like What the ‘F’ …and… What kind of music is that?
To me, I loved those industrial hard-edged sounds over a dance groove. I was glad to be introduced to the industrial genre not only because it was new and harder core with metal/guitar elements but also because it had electronic drum machines, synthesizers, stuttering voice/word samples, machine grinds, and overly-precessed vocals.
Therefore… Over The Shoulder gets my Stabbing Basslines stamp of approval.
Ministry – “Over The Shoulder” (12″ Version)…
Artist: Ministry Title: Over The Shoulder (12″ Version) Year: 1985 Label: Sire Records Company
I must be one of the few lucky ones to own this amazing track on a 12-inch record. I believe only few thousand copies were pressed back in 1984.
Where was I when I’d bought the record? Ah yes! It was sometime in late October 1985, after school, at Starsounds record store on Young Street in Toronto. Starsounds was a great record store that sold only 12-inch records of every genre, especially to DJ’s. At that time, I was looking for synth/techno/pop tracks when Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer was hot. Flipping through Starsounds’ bin of old/unsold records, my fingers came to a stop at this one particular vinyl with gloriously colored luminous-orange sleeve: Section 25.
I held the record up in a tilted-angle closer to my eyes just to read its center label. It was hard to read, because the words and fonts were ultra moderno that were printed with light, shiny luminous colors. Yeah… a record looking great in graphic-design but lacking in function (such as reading its textual content).
Even though I had no idea who Section 25 was, my gut said: This the record you’re looking for, buddy! Just the words 45 A Factory Record and Restructure From Fact 90 on the center label were enough to convince me the record was INDEED an electronic one that was meant for me. Still in my formal shirt/tie/jacket school uniform, I bought the record with my only $20-Canadian. Going home in the subway (the TTC), I was staring at the record and second-guessing what it might sound like. Once I got home, I ran to my room and dropped the needle to the record. The usual at the start of any record: few seconds of crackles, scratches and pops…
…And then there was music!
The track on Side-B starts with reverse tom-tom drums followed by reversed-&-gated 808 claps in 1/16th-note progression. Then –BAM– the beat drops like a cyber-atomic bomb: → Heavy industrial baseline → Synth bleeps/zaps all over the stereo-field → Lush synthesizer and Mellotron pads → Cyberpunk female lead vocals → Whispery male backup vocals. Electronic techno industrial pop bliss → → Hands down, an absolute electronic industrial masterpiece!
Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (Megamix)…
Artist: Section 25 Title: Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix) Year: 1984 Label: A Factory Record Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.
While the norm for most tracks go anywhere between 3:30 to 6:00 minutes in length, I prefer 15:00 minutes or longer, like the four seasons. Give me 4 long tracks to fill the hour, and I’ll be one very happy Iraqi. I love tracks that take me on long journeys through various movements. One of my all-time favorite synth-pop groups is PROPAGANDA from germany … who sound like twisted ABBA + Industrial + TechnoPop + Darkness. My favorite Proganda track is P:Machinery. I’ve taken two 12-inch vinyl versions of that track and conjoined them together as one … the way I want to listen to P:Machinery by:
Digitizing them into Protools; Spending two long months cleaning them up; Getting rid of every single scratch/pop/click; Restoring deteriorated sounds through various RE-SYNTHESIS processes and techniques; Splicing the tracks to separate clips; Re-arranging and layering clips to my taste; Throwing in my own synth-stabs, chops and other minor subtleties; Adding & automating series of chained top-notch effects throughout the mix, utilizing parameters some of you could not even pronounce ... thus resulting with more dynamic and reverberated DEPTH to the mix; Fattening the bottom-end; Widening overall stereo perception; and Mixing, engineering and mastering my version of P:Machinery the way I think it's supposed to be heard.
To my taste, P:Machinery sounds better than 'sick' ... more like master piece of shit which blasts sonically across the stereo-field ... not one element standing still but constantly moving all over the place.
Although he produced only a handful of tracks of renown and disappeared into obscurity almost as quickly as he had emerged from it, Manny ( Man ) Parrish is nonetheless one of the most important and influential figures in American electronic dance music. Helping to lay the foundation of electro, hip-hop, freestyle, and techno, as well as the dozens of subgenres to splinter off from those, Parrish introduced the aesthetic of European electronic pop to the American club scene by combining the plugged-in disco-funk of Giorgio Moroder and the man-machine music of Kraftwerk with the beefed-up rhythms and cut’n'mix approach of nascent hip-hop. As a result, tracks like “Hip-Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)” and “Boogie Down Bronx” were period-defining works that provided the basic genetic material for everyone from Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys to Autechre and Andrea Parker — and they remain undisputed classics of early hip-hop and electro to this day.
Man Parrish Boogie Down Bronx (dub version) PLAY TRACK
What made Trevor Horn’s productions stand out was his unique and genius production techniques and the heavy use of state-of-the-art pro-audio gear, which made him become the torch-bearer for the kind of technology-led pop music which was hip and incredibly disciplined. Trevor Horn’s 12-inch remixes were uniquely long (anywhere from 8 to 13 minutes in duration) and told stories which took the listeners through long instrumental journeys at the begenning of tracks until the climax is reached (around the 5/6 or 7 minute mark). After the climax, the original or alternate full vocal version of the track takes over from that point on to the end, lasting additional 3.5 to 5 minutes in length.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood Relax (12 inch Sex Mix) PLAY TRACK
Trevor Horn is the guy who produced and performed “Video Killed The Radio Star” world-wide smash-hit track. I did some major digging and discovered some fascinating, forgotten facts and hidden gem tracks from The Buggles. In 1980, the Buggles’ duo Geoffrey Downes (keyboards) and Trevor Horn (vocals) — who were coming off an international success with their new-wave album The Age of Plastic – to help out on a new YES album. Downes suddenly left Buggles when Trevor learned that YES’ keyboardist Rick Wakeman was leaving the band, and therefore snatched him as well as lead-vocalist Jon Anderson to work on the next Buggles album Adventures In Modern Recording. The Buggle’s second album was completed in 1981 but was never released or charted. The album was a gem masterpiece.
The Buggles I Am A Camera (12 inch version) PLAY TRACK
We’re back with five more days of blogger-curated showcases, celebrating 10 years of Hype Machine! (Though it’s only our seventh SXSW.) Each year, Hype Hotel, presented by Feed The Beat, brings the Hype Machine experience to life with lineups of the best new artists being discussed on music blogs. 2015’s excellent day and night shows […]
2015 opened on a vibrant note at Austin-based creative space, The Museum of Human Achievement. The 3rd installment of Living Spaces, Portals’ traveling showcase series, featured sets from JUBILEE, Ellie Herring, Holly Waxwing, and Wez, with an installation by artist Beth Link. We’re thrilled, as always, to have supported it. Piece together (or relive) the [… […]
Our 7th annual Zeitgeist! In our roundup of the best music of 2014, we have: An Album for Every Moment: We asked musicians, music bloggers, and friends to recommend a perfect album for every moment of the year. Use this guide to find albums you may have missed or make a new connection with something […]
Living Spaces is a traveling showcase series organized by our friends at Portals. Their next destination is Austin, on New Year’s Eve. We’re once again happy to be supporting the event, as the first two, in Brooklyn (pictured above) and Baltimore, were exceptional. In their words, what it’s all about: “Reaching out to old and […]
We’ve restocked our Merch shop with new tees. They feature a soft print of our logo bubble, and feel very nice. Get one! All of our t-shirts are silkscreened by Paul and Mookie at City Dog Screen Printing in NYC. Most of the screens have been reclaimed, but 1 or 2 of the old designs […]
Our Android app is finally out and you can get it here. It is very nice to use, has all the major features of the site, and does not have ads or monthly fees. Thank you to all the Android users for your patience; this is the fastest we could build something well-made given our […]
It’s almost CMJ week in NYC. There’s a lot to navigate, officially and unofficially, on both sides of the bridge. And like anything with music, it’s generally a good idea to see what the blogs are up to. So we built a thing that highlights shows in the music blog community. Have a listen/look at […]
Last Friday Living Spaces #2 took place in Baltimore, and it was special. We’re thrilled to have helped the Portals crew bring such a good mix of music, art, and people together under one roof. Much thanks goes out to all the artists involved (that’s Soft Cat pictured above) and to the nice folks at […]
Recently we teamed up with BBC Radio 6 Music to once again present a special half-year Music Blog Zeitgeist, looking at the most-blogged artists of 2014 thus far. Listen to BBC’s Tom Robinson countdown the top 20 here. In addition to the overall list, we refreshed our Ones To Watch feature for the second half […]
We’ve always been fans of the Portals community—what they do both on and offline. This led to supporting a rather adventurous balloon-filled night last October (that’s Emily Reo pictured above). And now we’re happy to help them continue their traveling showcase series called Living Spaces. The first event happened earlier this month in Brooklyn, […]
We've covered a lot of post-disco electro funk material here at Beat Electric, here's a little throwback with a more traditional straight ahead disco sound. This beautiful Canadian cut was included in a Trocadero Transfer mix we posted a while back. A friend of mine gave me this 12" around December and its haunting infectious sound has found […]
Happy New Year Beat Electricians! This is one of those highly unknown, un-googleable tracks that blows minds on the dance floor. I really did try locating some info on this boogie beast but it is mysterious! All I can say is that it was made in 1986 somewhere in the U.K. Anyway, I really like the lyrics to this track plus I have listened to the song a millio […]
Nothing to cure the Funkmosphere hangover blues like a new post. Firstly, just want to give one more shout out to Dam Funk and all of the Funkmosphere residents (Billy Goods,Laroj,Matt Respect, Ron aka Randy Watson, and Eddy Funkster) for keeping the funk strong in Los Angeles. I really says something to the quality of the night when they can stay strong for […]
This "torrential" downpour in Southern California has provided a great setting for trying to dig up some deets on Nathan McKinney and Desert Bone Records. Apparently, the info for this artist is pretty scarce, most of my search results are Youtube videos with "hynas" on cars and comments full of homies proclaiming how this is a "fir […]
Just wanted to second a couple of other comments on your site and say that yours is by far one of the best music resources I've found. A similar but now sadly defunct site called Retro Wonderland came a close second! Keep up the good work. All the best."
And all the best to you too, Elliot, for your lovely feedback you've emailed me :)
From: Yaron Sarel
"...just discovered your site, and I wanted to tell you that you make me one happy Israeli guy. I work as a sound engineer, living in Tel Aviv, and I love the 80's. In fact, two good friends of mine and myself formed an oriented-80's synth band. After years of playing rock, for some reason I have never imagined I would be playing this kind of music. I used to listen to as a kid (before I discovered the electric guitar). Your work brings back to life this music i miss and love so much. Thank you sir!"
And thank you, Yaron, for your lovely feedback.
Mp3's on this site are for sampling and promotional purposes only and will only. Most of the mp3 tracks on this blog/site are remixes, extended and limited versions which are deleted, no longer available for purchase and would not be heard otherwise. However, please support these artists. If you are one of these artists and would like your music removed from this site, please notify me, and I will endeavor to remove them as soon as possible.