Archive for the ‘remixes’ Category

Disco Funk Techno Beats

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Country disco, Japanese synth-pop and 90s hip-hop. I’m not going to be satisfied until I can somehow mish-mash jazz, classical, digital hardcore and calypso on this blog.

Dolly Parton
Baby I’m Burning (Disco Mix)
This song has an undeniable groove that is catchy as hell. I wish more disco crossover tracks from the 70s were this good.

The fact that none of the gay clubs I’ve been to have ever played this song really piss me off, I bet this was the shit back in the day. Makes me wish gay clubs in Tokyo had throwback nights. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good Rihanna and Lady Gaga when I’m in the club, but would it kill a place to kick it old school once in a while and play some Donna Summer, Thelma Houston or Slyvester? I have a feeling that I went up to the DJ at my local club and dropped a request for “Do You Wanna Funk,” the single-greatest Hi-NRG track of all-time, he’d give me a look like I asked him to play Bach.

Basically what I’m saying is you punk kids and your music.

Targets
I Like The City
I posted a track by these guys a few months back, here’s the other one I have. The Targets were a Japanese synth-pop act in the early 80s who released one album and then promptly vanished off the face of the Earth. The two members credited on Discogs apparently never released anything ever again, and the album has never even been reprinted on CD. The only reason I have two songs by them at all is because they were on a a compilation I got. The vocals here aren’t great, I know that, but the proto-acid sequencer backbeat is totally radical and sounds like nothing else from that era.

Ken Ishii
Echo Exit (Boom Boom Satellites remix)
In case you missed the absolutely horrible news, Boom Boom Satellites are no more, their lead singer being forced to retire due to complications resulting from surgery to remove a brain tumor.

This news completely devastated me. I wrote a brief thing about it on my other site and I don’t have much more to say about it at the moment. I do plan on putting something else together soon though, hopefully to coincide with the release date of their upcoming (final) release, which is due out on the 22nd.

Until then, I thought I’d share this track they remixed, which is by Japanese electronic artist Ken Ishii, a totally rad Japanese DJ and producer who has been laying down dope techno in Japan for over 20 years. Gamers might know him thank to his work on the soundtrack to the seminal rhythm game/acid trip Rez. If you’re a fan of hard techno with a Detroit edge, you’ll probably dig damn near everything he’s ever put out. This track is from a CD single I picked up last night at the greatest record store in Tokyo. A place I’ll tell you more about when I finish my record store guide, which should be sometime next month.

Naughty By Nature
O.P.P. (Ultamix Remix)
O.P.P. (Charming Radio Mix)
O.P.P. (DBM Remix)
O.P.P. (Out Of Mind Version)
Yeah. You know me. Actually no, fuck that. I love my boyfriend.

One thing I never noticed about this song until today is at one point the crowd refrain shouts that “everyone in this party” is down with O.P.P. That means, unless I’m mistaken as to what O.P.P. actually is, that everyone in that party is up for cheating on their significant other or fucking someone else’s significant other. Damn skippy indeed.

Brazilian IDM and Italian Disco

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Tonight I’m seeing New Order so I’m pretty damn stoked about that. Last time I saw New Order it was in NYC and the audience was filled with a bunch of shit-eating hipsters and investment bankers who were all clearly more interested in saying they were at a New Order concert than actually paying attention to the music. Concerts in Japan are so great, no one talks and everyone listens to the music.

And I’m a foot taller than everyone else so that’s great too.

Amon Tobin
Verbal (Prefuse 73 Dipped Escalade Mix)
Verbal (Kid 606 Dancehall Devastation Mix)
Verbal (Topo Gigio Remix)
Verbal (Boom Bip Remix)
A few years back I bought the ridiculous Amon Tobin box set. That box, with its crazy screw-top packaging and industrial design, was so over the top I did an “unboxing” post of sorts which you can find here.

Anyways, that box sat proudly on my record shelves for years until I decided to move to Japan. When the time came to back up all my records I started at the top of my shelves, which was where I kept my unusually shaped items. In may haste to shovel it all off into storage, I sadly bumped that box set off my shelves and tumbling to the floor, permanently damaging it with a major dent.

T’was a sad day in the Lost Turntable house, I’ll tell you that much. Will be a sadder one when I finally come to grips with the realization that it’s entirely impractical for me to mail crazy box sets like that to Japan and that I would just be better off selling them.

But until that day, I’ll live in denial and fantasize about getting all my 3,000+ records into my Tokyo apartment and listen to dope remixes like these, which I ripped off of a 12″ single.

Capricorn (aka Claudio Simonetti)
Capricorn (Vocal)
Capricorn (Instrumental)
Claudio Simonetti is best known as the former frontman of Goblin, the Italian prog-rock outfit that served as the composer for some of the greatest genre films of the 70s and 80s, including Dawn Of The Dead and Suspiria.

But in addition to the dude’s prolific contributions in the worlds of film soundtracks, prog rock, and creepy sound effects, apparently he’s also attempted several dalliances with dance music under the name Capricorn (among others). This shouldn’t be too surprising, a lot of Goblin’s best work with Simonetti was electronic in nature, featuring vocoder effects and drum synthesizers abound. It’s their more electronic work that no doubt paved the way for acts like Umberto and Zombi, bands who combine a love for electronica with a desire to make eerie and etheral music.

So when I stumbled upon this 12″ release by Capricorn, an early-80s alias for Simonetti, I was pretty stoked. I expected more of what I loved about Simonetti’s best work, an amazing combination of pipe organs and rad guitar work mixed over a steady dance beat and some arching synths.

What I got, was italo disco.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I dig italo disco. I just didn’t expect italo disco.

For those who may not be aware, italo disco is a sub-genre of disco (duh) from Italy (double-duh) which was kind of like an amalgamation of late-era disco, Hi-NRG house music, and electronic rock. If there’s any italo disco track you know, it’s probably “Boys Boys Boys (Summertime Love)” by Sabrina, which was a big hit in 1987 in every country on Earth except America.

Anyways, Simonetti’s “Capricorn” has a lot of elements of italo disco, heavy use of vocoder and electronic beats abound here, but it also embraces a lot of classic disco elements. The song’s heavy use of strings make it sound almost like a distant cousin of “The Hustle,” which I cannot say is a good thing. The vocals are also atrocious, and since the 12″ single has no performing credits I don’t know who to blame for them. The instrumental version is better by far.

Simonetti released a few singles under the Capricorn name in the early 80s, but sadly none of them have gotten properly re-released on CD save for a few on the occasionally oddball disco compilation. Too bad, if this track is any indication there could be some good stuff there. Hope to discover more in my record hunting.

Purple Pain

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Fuck this year.

As I’ve commented on this site many a time, I’m a pretty lousy Prince fan. I only have Purple Rain, the three-disc edition of Hits, and a few of his newer albums. I don’t own 1999, Sign ‘O’ The Times, Lovesexy, Parade, Come and so on. I’ve often mentioned my desire to fill this rather egregious gap in my record collection, and I think now I might finally get around to it.

That being said, I own a shitload of Prince singles, both on CD and vinyl, and many of them are among my most prized musical possessions. Sometimes I just need nearly half an hour of “My Name Is Prince” remixes, and thankfully I can indulge in such ridiculousness.

I just wish more people could.

When Bowie passed away, I shared a few of his rare tunes here, and I was happy that doing so such was a chore. The overwhelming majority of Bowie’s discography is not only in-print, but incredibly easy to get in pretty much every format available. Most of his single-only tracks have been collected in one form or another, and his rarer B-sides and remixes have made their way to digital storefronts or in box sets. You want to hear the Mandarin version of “Seven Years In Tibet?” Yo, you’re covered.

But if you want to hear the 12″ remix of “My Name Is Prince,” you’re out of luck. Ditto if you want to hear the beautiful 10 minute versions of “Mountains” or “I Would Die 4 U,” countless remixes of “Gett Off” or filthy rarities like “Lubricated Lady.”

It’s hard to say what will happen with Prince’s back catalog now that he’s passed away, we’ll have to wait and see. But I hope in the years to come that Prince’s vast army of released material will get a proper remastering and re-release campaign, all of his music, even the eight minute Purple Pump remix of “Gett Off,” for example, deserves to be heard.

Let’s hope they crack open that legendary vault too.

And someone put that album by The Family back in print for fuck’s sake.

Prince
Erotic City (Full Length Version)
Let’s Go Crazy (Extended Remix)
In the massive pantheon of out-of-print Prince classics, these to spectacular remixes are probably some of the best. I can’t believe you can’t buy them today.

I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised by that fact though, as they seemed to have barely been in print in the first place. Both the extended remix of “Let’s Go Crazy” and the full uncut version of “Erotic City” first appeared on a 12″ single in 1984 at the height of Purple Rain mania. In the years that followed, that single was only reprinted on CD once, in 1990, but that hard-to-find European release excised the uncut version of “Erotic City” and instead only included the album version of “Take Me With You” as a B-side.

“Erotic City” has made its way to a few other releases over the years, but always in some sort of abbreviated form. The full version that first appeared on that 1984 12″ single is over seven minutes in length. The version that is included on the Hits compilation is only a little over half that, clocking in at an all-too-brief four minutes. That’s three minutes of funk stripped away from people who need to hear it.

It’s a damn shame because, and yes I know that my Prince knowledge is criminally lacking, I think that the full uncut version “Erotic City’ is one of Prince’s best tunes. A sparse, ferociously sexy electronic funk jam that sounds just as sexy now as it did over 30 damn years ago.

Like I said, I have a ton of Prince singles, and I may share more in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t in the best shape, so I need to do some sorting first. Until then, enjoy this small offering and remember Prince in all his purple majesty.

And then buy HitnRun Phase One and Two, and Plectrumelectrum. Critics destroyed that album when it came out, but they were crazy. Even after I absorb the rest of Prince’s discography I imagine that one would still make my top 10 list. It’s raw as fuck and completely in your face. It has a song that compares a threesome to a pretzel. And it works.

Because Prince could even make pretzels sexy.

Note: The “Let’s Go Crazy” mix was removed as you can buy that on the Prince compilation Ultimate.

My Spirit Animal is Synth Bass

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

How is everyone? I’m okay. Had a pretty busy work week, found some good records from some out-of-the way record stores that I can’t wait to write about (both the stores and the records), got a good workout in yesterday.

Oh, and I totally shook Ryuichi Sakamoto’s hand last weekend.

Y’know. The usual stuff.

Osamu Shoji
Airport In South Islands
THIS IS MY NEW JAM.

Okay, you probably don’t know who Osamu Shoji is, and I understand that. I put up an album of his a few months back, an all-synthesizer covers album of music from Lupin the 3rd. You probably didn’t download that one (and I understand that too), but I behest you, please download this song. This is the funkiest, craziest and silliest Japanese synth-funk jam you’re going to hear this year. And while I’m sure you’re saying to yourself “I doubt I’m going to hear many Japanese synth-funk jams this year” well, you don’t know what other crap I have planned for this blog in the coming months.

Cosmo Wave and the Space Cadets
Star Trekking
Hall Of The Mountain King
Everyone knows about Meco’s amazing discofied rendition of the Star Wars theme, but a hell of a lot less people know about this disco cover of the Star Trek theme.

That’s probably because it’s not nearly as good, but hey, space disco! And a disco version of “Hall Of The Mountain King,” because why the fuck not. I have metal, prog and techno covers, what’s another genre?

In case you’re wondering, I have zero idea as to who the fuck Cosmo Wave and the Space Cadets are. The single I got only credits the original songwriters and not the new arrangers. The credited producer is one Elaine Lane, and that sounds like a fake name if I ever heard one. So if anyone out there has any information as to who this actually is, let me know!

Madonna
Love Profusion (Passengerz Club Mix)
Nobody Knows Me (Above & Beyond 12″ Mix)
Between obscure Japanese synth-funk and unknown disco covers of TV theme songs I thought I should throw in something tonight by someone people have actually heard of. My Madonna backlog is getting intimidating, I really have to get around to posting them.

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t, it’s because most are remixes to “Love Profusion.” I mean, I like that song, but I don’t think the world needed eight remixes of it damn.

Remixes from Needless Purchases

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Thanks for all the kind messages celebrating my 10th anniversary, means a lot to me.

Now, onto new and (hopefully) bigger things. It’s been a busy year for me so far. I got a big update to my guide to Tokyo record stores in the works, and I should have another piece of YMO up sometime relatively soon, hopefully by the end of the month. In the meantime, I recently wrote a piece over on my other blog about the insanity of Robot Restaurant which I hope you’ll find fun and entertaining. I also wrote a piece on the current state of gaming, which I hope you’ll find soul-crushingly depressing.

Sorry. Here’s some pop music to cheer you up.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Haruomi Hosono Special Message
Rydeen (Live 2-6-80 Yoru No Hit Studio)
I have what I would consider to be a rather expansive YMO collection. I have every proper album on CD, as well as more than a fair share of compilations, remix albums, singles and other miscellany. I also own several of their albums on vinyl, some multiple times over. For example, in America I have the regular black LP edition of Service, but here in Japan I have a copy on translucent yellow vinyl. I also have every re-issue that Music On Vinyl have put out to date.

However, that didn’t stop me from buying this.

20160415_225125

That massive box is the YMO LP Box set, a huge 13 LP box set that includes every YMO album proper that was released on vinyl, including both the Japanese and American versions of their self-titled debut and ×∞Multiplies.

I got it for a pretty good deal, less than $100, which is how I justified buying it despite owning nearly everything on it on CD and LP already. It was nice to buy and fill in the remaining holes in my YMO vinyl collection.

To my surprise, when I got home I discovered that it had a bonus record, a bonus record that is literally titled “Bonus.” See?

20160415_225148

Bonus.

What’s the bonus? Well, sadly it’s not much. Most of the record is an interview with Haroumi Hosono. I’d love to offer you a complete transcript of what he’s saying, but my Japanese is garbage, and my boyfriend has better things to do than feed my unhealthy obsession with YMO and translate it for me.

The real treat, however, is this exclusive version of “Rydeen.” From what I read online, it’s apparently a live version that was performed on a Japanese TV show, although to me it sounds more like a remix. Regardless, it’s a pretty radical version, deviating from the original in some subtle, but great ways, such as a slightly more analog-sounding synth and a more pronounced sequencer rhythm. The guitar work is a bit more noticeable too. All in all, it’s a stellar version, and while I wouldn’t go as far to say it was worth the money I paid for the box set, it sure as hell was a pretty nice bonus, so I guess that 13th LP was named properly.

Filter & The Crystal Method
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do (Danny Saber Remix)
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do [Instrumental]
This is the second-best Filter song. The first is obviously “Hey Man Nice Shot.”

There is no third-best Filter song as Filter is not a very good band.

I got this off of a strange EP called Spawn The Album 2nd. Obviously a sequel to the fantastic Spawn soundtrack, it also included a remix of Marilyn Manson’s “Long Hard Road Out Of Hell” and a track by Apollo 440 and Morphine that was probably cut off of the original soundtrack because it’s not very good. I’ll probably share these soon though, so all your Apollo 400 and Morphine completists (I assume those groups don’t overlap all that much) take note!

10 Years Of Being Lost: Ill Trax

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

This past month or so I’ve written about songs that meant a lot to me personally, songs whose stories I found interesting, and songs I feel that have been unjustly lost to time, just to name a few.

But tonight, I’m going to close out this 10th anniversary celebration by sharing and writing about some of the illest tracks I’ve ever shared on Lost Turntable (that are still out-of-print).

I want everyone reading this to know that I appreciate all of you. I don’t have a ton of readers, but I’m always happy when I get a nice comment about something I’ve shared, or when someone tells me they’ve found my writing entertaining, illuminating or funny. These days I keep this blog going mostly to keep me sane when I’m feeling a bit down, and knowing that even a few people out there still enjoy it really means a lot to me. Thanks, and mark my words, I’ll keep this thing going for as long as I can listen to music and type.

Edgar Winter
Frankenstein 1984 (Monster Version)
Frankenstein 1984 (Human Version)
Frankenstein 1984 (Monster Rap)
AN ELECTRO VERSION OF FRANKENSTEIN. This shouldn’t exist. No wait, scratch that, I meant the opposite. Out of everything that has ever existed on Earth, in the solar system and throughout our vast cosmos, this needs to exist the most.

I don’t know what that means either, but I’m right.

Edgar Winter should’ve remade “Frankenstein” every 10 years. In my ideal world there’s a version of “Frankenstein 1994” that features hella hard acid house samples. And “Frankenstein 2004” would include one of the best examples of auto-tune in the history of pop music. “Frankenstein 2014” would be dubstep, obviously.

Someone get on this already.

The B-52s
Good Stuff (12″ Remix)
Good Stuff (Remix Edit)
I’ve honestly tried not to do too much overlap with these “best of” anniversary posts and the best of posts I did a few years back when I moved to Japan. But if I’m going to put up a post dedicated to the grooviest, illest and raddest shit ever put on Lost Turntable, then I’d be a fucking monster if I didn’t share these mixes again. Best. Remix. Ever. There, I said it. I wanna go where the good stuff flows, and I don’t care how gross and/or how much of a drug reference that sounds. Fred, please take my hand and lead me to the love honey. Down right.

I wanna wear go-go boots and dance to this until my heels bleed.

Eddy Grant
Electric Avenue (12″ version)
In Pittsburgh there is an actual Electric Avenue and if I ever steal anything in my life it will be that street sign I swear to God.

Foxy Shazam
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
In the distant future, when a new civilization digs through the disastrous ruins of our failed society, eventually they’ll find a Foxy Shazam record and play it. And the sheer power of that recording might destroy their civilization and start the cycle anew once more.

Foxy Shazam is the greatest band of all time. Yes, I know they’re on indefinite hiatus, but as I said in a write-up I did about them some time ago, I refuse to talk about them in the past tense. Foxy Shazam are now and forever, they have always been and always will be. Their power unequaled in all of popular music. In the list of travesties of the 21st century, Foxy Shazam failing to capture a hit single is right up there with Donald Trump’s presidential run, climate change denialism, and the Patriots’ win over the Raiders in the 2002 AFC Championship game.

Buy a Foxy Shazam album today, do God’s work. And then listen to this dope B-side.

Syntech
Byt&e
Reaction
This stuff is timeless. If you told me it was a light-years ahead of its time late-70s/early-80s electro track I’d be likely to believe you. If you said it came back last week and it was a retro throwback to 80s synthpop and dance ala Kavinsky I’d probably buy that too. It’s acid house meets electro meets ambient meets oh my god.

As it is, these two tracks actually came out in the late-80s, by a dude whose real name is Edwin Van Der Laag. Unfortunately the album in which is came from is woefully out of print and goes for a mint online. You can buy some of his newer stuff on iTunes and Amazon though, so maybe check it out.

Stefano Pulga
Love Taker
Italo Disco is the best disco.

Thanks again for sticking around for 10 years!

10 Years Of Being Lost: Gone But Forgotten

Monday, March 7th, 2016

When I started Lost Turntable my goal was to shed light on lost music, but I was primarily concerned about lost songs by well-established bands.  But over the years some of the most fun I’ve had writing has been when I’ve covered acts that have fallen through the cracks completely. Sometimes they were acts that were big for a minute in their native countries and then vanished. Other times they were cult acts with a few minor hits before calling it quits. But every once in a while I’d find an act that seemed completely lost in time, having never scored a hit when they first formed and never found any sort of following since.

I’ve always been most interested in these acts. We all know what life for mega-huge rock stars is like, that’s been covered to death in film, TV and even in songs by mega-famous rock stars (thanks Joe Walsh). We also have some idea as to what life is like for the has-beens and one-hit wonders of the pop world. If it wasn’t for them, the entirety of the British reality TV landscape would dry up overnight.

But we never hear about the never-wases. Makes sense I guess, no one wanted to hear about them when they were attempting to be around, why on earth would anyone care about what they had to say now?

Well, I care! I want to know. I wonder how many people from failed bands manage to parlay their broken dreams into something at least tangentally related to the music biz. A lot of one-hit wonders and cult acts end up working as song-writers. The dude from Semisonic helped write Adele’s 21, y’know. But what about the guys in Radioactive Goldfish or anyone who was in a group like Spizz or Fischer-Z? Maybe they have hella interesting stories too. I bet the saga of nearly making it, while not as personally fulfilling for those involved, is probably more interesting than a lot of the rags-to-riches stories we usually here.

Here are songs by people and bands who never made it, or made it for about five minutes. May they one day be well-known enough to be forgotten.

Apollo Smile
Let’s Rock
When I first posted this track back in 2009, I wondered aloud, “What ever happened to Apollo Smile?” The “real life anime girl” was a mainstay of my teenage years, I frequently would see her name on the guest lists of comic-cons, and she would occasionally pop up on Sci-Fi Channel to host some random anime show. In the late-90s she even made her way to video games, lending her voice to Ulala, the groovy protagonist of Sega’s Space Channel 5 games.

And then she seemingly vanished without a trace. No more anime specials, no more comic cons and no more video games. The scene that she helped to cultivate had seemingly outgrown its need for her. But I wanted to know what the hell actually happened to her. So much so that I even tried to track her down for an interview a few years back.

Thanks to her Wikipedia page, that was actually shockingly easy, as it listed her last-known place of employment as a dance teacher for a small private school. Emboldened with a sense of journalistic desire to share the world the story of what happened to Apollo Smile (I mean, c’mon, this could totally get on A.V. Club today) I sent out a few emails inquiring about the chance of an interview.

Never before had I been shot down as hard for an interview as I was for that one. I’m not going to go into details. But for anyone out there wondering, Apollo Smile does not want to be found.

If she had agreed to that interview, I definitely would’ve asked her if she got clearance to use the Led Zeppelin sample that’s in this song. I bet the answer would’ve been no.

Lisa Dal Bello
Bad Timing
I’m kind of cheating here, because Lisa Dal Bello was moderately famous in her native Canada, but for the rest of the world she’s probably a complete unknown. Fucking shame.

When I wrote about Dal Bello back in 2011, I focused on her 1984 powerhouse whomanfoursays, which was produced and co-written/performed by Mick Ronson of Ziggy Stardust fame. I still stand by that record. It’s great, and now that you can get it digitally on Amazon and iTunes, I suggest you do. It’s an amazingly unique record. And while parts of it sound dated, some of it still sounds remarkably ahead of its time. Her voice is really off the charts, and the songwriting is top-notch.

Whomanfoursays was a bit of a re-invention for Dal Bello. In the late-70s Dal Bello was a pop star with a disco/dance bent, kind of like a Canadian proto-Madonna. She had some success with that formula, got a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for her first record, but didn’t have much success in terms of sales. And by the early-80s I suspect that she was getting fed up with the pop world, letting her dissatisfaction manifest itself in this blistering track that takes aim on the facets of the music industry that screwed her over hardest. I hope someone sends this track to Kesha.

As I said before, Dalbello managed to salvage her career with whomanfoursays. It wasn’t a massive smash, but songs from it got covered by Queensryche and Heart, and she went onto record two more very well-regarded albums before moving on to what is no doubt the much more lucrative commercial jingle market. Utterly fascinating, and anything of hers you can find is totally worth checking out.

Havana 3 A.M.
Blue Gene Vincent (Live)
The big Clash side-project/off-shoot is of course Big Audio Dynamite, and I’ll be writing about them sometime this month. But there was also Havana 3 A.M., the oddly-named project featuring Paul Simonon, bassist for The Clash. Havanna 3 A.M. only released one album, and I’m going to level with you right here, it’s not particularly good. It’s not bad, but it sure as hell ain’t memorable.

Except for this track, a tribute to the late-great Gene Vincent, which is about as perfect an amalgamation of rock, country and rock-a-billy you’re likely to hear.  The album version is good, but this live rendition is even better, and injects an intensity and energy that the studio version is lacking. I found this on an I.R.S. Records promo cassette tape, a find so incredible that it single-handedly made buying that cassette deck worth it.

And it’s sure as fuck better than The Good The Bad and The Queen.

Slow Bongo Floyd
More Than Jesus (SBF Mix)
More Than Jesus (Irresistible Force Mix)
Open Up Your Heart (11 O’Clock Mix)
Open Up Your Heart (Piano Mix)
So far the acts I’ve featured tonight have some sort of following. Apollo Smile may be nearly forgotten today, but there’s a “nearly” there. Someone out there still cares about her. Lisa Dal Bello had a live album come out last year, so however small, there’s still a market for her work somewhere. And sure, Havana 3 A.M. might be the lesser of Clash off-shoots, but they’re still a Clash off-shoot, a fact that will forever grant them at least the curious Google search from time to time.

But Slow Bongo Floyd? No one gives a shit about Slow Bongo Floyd. They have a poorly-managed Facebook page, and it has a single, solitary “like” that was no doubt given by the person who created it. Slow Bongo Floyd is about as forgotten as a band can get.

And that’s a real bummer. While their album isn’t great, their singles sure as hell should’ve been more popular than they were. “More Than Jesus” is an especially awesome tune, and how it didn’t manage to at least be a minor hit during the time of The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays is anyone’s guess. It’s a great psychedelic dance/rock tune, madchester all the way. It’s groovy as fuck, and “I Love you more than I love Jesus” is a hell of a line to build a track off of.

From what I can gather, Slow Bongo Floyd was really just one guy by the name of Michael Patrick Jones. As that’s about one step away from “John Smith” in terms of name popularity, I can’t find a single thing on the Internet about his post Slow Bongo Floyd work, so if anyone would like to enlighten me I’d be forever grateful.

10 Years Of Being Lost: The 12″ Single Remix

Friday, March 4th, 2016

I thought long and hard about what I would do for the 10th anniversary of this blog. While I’ve never been a big fan of self-congratulatory retrospectives, I am unabashedly proud that I’ve managed to keep this site going for 10 damn years. As I mentioned a few weeks back, nearly every single MP3 blog that inspired me to create this site no longer exist. A few of them, like Lost Bands Of the New Wave Era are still up in some sort of archival form so you can at least read about the bands in question, but most have been scrubbed entirely from the Internet. I can’t even remember the names of most of them.

But it’s not just the Internet that’s changed in 10 years, my life has been crazy. When I started this site I was working for a crummy online DVD retailer and living in a junk apartment in Pittsburgh. Since then I went back to college to get a second degree, went through about a billion other jobs (freelance and permanent), saw myself printed in a major international music magazine, bought a house, sold a house, MOVED TO FUCKING JAPAN, begin a new career as a teacher (which I love) and meet a wonderful man who I am so happy to call my boyfriend. Life’s been crazy.

Makes me wonder what the hell I’ll be doing ten years from now! But no matter what that is, I suspect I’ll still keep this blog going. I like writing it too much to quit.

Maybe one day I’ll even update the layout.

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Anyways, tonight I thought I’d kick off the celebratory flashbacks by looking at what I’ve probably dedicated more time to on this site than anything else, the obscure 12″ remix. It’s safe to say that Lost Turntable would not exist if it was not for the 12″ single. Actually, a more accurate statement would be that it’s fair to say that Lost Turntable would not exist if it wasn’t for the continued neglect of songs that were exclusive to 12″ singles. In the late 70s and up to the 90s, many great acts saved their best B-sides and remixes for the 12 incher. But in the 2000s, when many artists had their catalogs re-issued for inclusion on iTunes and other digital music storefronts, a lot of those remixes, B-sides and other tracks got lost in the shuffle.

I first started this blog, you could barely find any vintage New Order, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys or Erasure remixes on CD, let alone digitally. Those oversights gave me plenty of content in the early years of Lost Turntable, which nearly became a purely 80s-focused blog because of it. Things are better now, and you can at least find most of the best remixes and such by these artists on CD and digitally, thanks to box sets and deluxe re-issue campaigns.

But not every band can be New Order or Depeche Mode, and aren’t even lucky enough to get their entire album discography remastered and put up for sale online, let alone their non-album cuts. And others just don’t seem to care. So here are some of my favorite 12″ remixes that have yet to be re-released.

XC-NN
Lifted (Industrial Mix)
Lifted (Industrial Mix Instrumental)
Lifted (Alternalift Mix)
Lifted (Alternalift Mix Instrumental)
Lifted (Funk Mix)
Early in my collecting days, I basically bought any 12″ single I could find that had any name on it that I found the lest bit recognizable. That name in question was rarely the artist, more often than not it was the remixer or producer associated with the track. That was certainly the case with this single, which I bought only because it featured remixes by The Dust Brothers.

The Dust Brothers aren’t very prolific as performers, but they’re studio gods, working behind the scenes as remixers, producers and engineers with some of the greatest acts of the 80s, 90s and 2000s. They produced Paul’s Boutique, Odelay and the soundtrack to Spawn (underrated). They also produced Hanson’s breaktrhough record which, say what you will about, certainly sounds quite good from a technical and production standpoint.

They’ve toned down their output as of late, I don’t see many new credits by them on Discogs, but I’m still a fan and will buy any remix I see them credited on. They really have a knack for layering effects and instruments, almost like a modern-day Wall Of Sound. I’ve always been impressed with how they can stack so many samples, effects, vocals and instruments together without making it all sound like indecipherable garbage. I think more modern-day producers could learn from their work.

Their remixes of “Lifted” serve as a good example of their remix work that I’ve discovered, mixing together the big beats and crisp production of mid-90s electronic music (think Fatboy Slim) with the dirty, scuzzy guitars of the then dying alt-rock scene. They know how to mix a sequencer and a distrotion pedal better than anyone.

But who are XC-NN?

Yeah. that’s a good question. I guess.

I knew nothing about them when I bought this record nearly a decade ago, and still don’t know much about them now. I know they formed in the mid-90s as CNN but had to change their name when the network CNN was like “yo dudes that’s not going to fly.” They released an album no one cared about, followed that up with a sophomore effort even less people cared about, and then broke up. After that, Tim Bricheno, formerly of Sisters of Mercy, then formed Tin Star with fellow XC-NN member David Tomlinson. They apparently had one hit single in the states by the name of “Head.” I’ve never heard of it, let me check YouTube. I’m usually good with my forgotten 90s acts. I’m sure I’ve probably heard this tune.

Nope. I got nothing.

Anyway, they couldn’t follow up that track’s limited success I guess, they broke up again and that was it for that. No idea what they’re up to now, although Tim got together with another old group of his, All About Eve, for a reunion stint in the mid-2000s.

I tried to get into other XC-NN tracks after listening to “Lifted,” but I couldn’t do it. Sadly, they’re entirely deserving of their (lack of) reputation. Their blend of industrial electronica and rock music sounded fresh for about 10 minutes in the mid-90s, but that sound has not aged well, and became saturated not soon after. The people may had developed a taste of industrial rock in the wake of Ministry’s and Nine Inch Nail’s success, but that taste didn’t last long. And if there wasn’t enough of an appetite for angry electro-rock to keep acts like Filter and Stabbing Westward (underrated!) on the charts, there sure as hell wasn’t enough to sustain XC-NN. That being said, I’m going to stand by “Lifted.” Dust Brothers remix or not, this should’ve at least been a minor hit single. If the pop charts had room for Gravity Kill’s “Guilty” then I don’t see why they couldn’t have fit “Lifted” in there as well, at least for a short time.

If I would’ve heard “Lifted” when it first came out in 1995 I would’ve certainly loved it, and not just for it’s of-the-moment electronic/rock style. its vague angry lyrics would’ve fit my particular brand of teen angst perfectly.

You didn’t raise him
He just grew
You should have known him back then
Before he knew you

Those four lines are the best lines of the song, even better than the chorus, which works more on attitude than anything else. As a whole, the song is pretty obtuse, but I think these lines in particular read them as an attack on an absentee dad. My own father was certainly not absentee, and I think he’s usually tried his best. But in the mid-90s I sure as fuck had plenty to be angry about with him, so when I hear songs touching on that topic I sometimes find myself transplanted back to my pseduo-negelected teenage self and really identify with the track more than I actually have any right too.

“Lifted” isn’t a lost classic. But it’s certainly a lost also-ran, and a prime example of why I started Lost Turntable.

Now for some lost 12″ single remixes from bands you’ve actually heard of. Sorry if the audio is a little hit and miss, I recorded some of these years ago on old equipment.

Dan Hartman
I Can Dream About You (Extended Remix)
Dan Hartman’s lone hit came from the soundtrack to an absolute bomb of a flick, Walter Hill’s epic rock ‘n’ roll fable Streets Of Fire. I fucking love that movie. I love it’s insane alternate reality that combines a post-apocalyptic cityscape with the greatest stylistic hits of the 50s and 80s. I love its over-the-top performances by everyone from Michael Pare to Rick Moranis. I love the fact that it ends with a fucking steel sledgehammer fight. But most of all I love its epic soundtrack.

Strangely, Dan Hartman’s version isn’t in the movie proper. Instead it features a version by a made-up Motwon-style vocals group (which features Robert Townshend and the dude who played Bubba in Forrest Gump). This extended version isn’t as good as that one (damn I wish they’d release that somewhere) but it’s a pretty great version of a pretty great piece of 80s pop.

Don Henley
All She Wants To Do Is Dance (Extended Dance Remix)
I hate The Eagles but I love a lot of solo work by Eagles members, from Joe Walsh’s lovely “Life’s Been Good” to Glenn Fry’s “Smuggler’s Blues” to a hell of a lot of Don Henley’s solo work. You say you don’t like “Boys Of Summer?” I say you’re better at denying utterly catchy pop tunes than I ever hope to be. This track is no “Boys Of Summer,” an honest-to-goodness classic, but it’s great in its own right. Again, I’m shocked this remix hasn’t been re-issued anywhere recently.

Madness
Yesterday’s Men (Demo)
I usually hate it when demos are included as B-sides, it always feels like filler to me, and I’m rarely curious as to how an unfinished version of a song sounded. A rare exception to this rule would be this beautiful version of one of Madness’ best tunes, which strips what was already a pretty sparse song until it sounds less like a demo and more like a purposely lo-fi home recording that was recorded in someone’s closet with a cheap microphone and a store bought Casio. It’s like if Lou Barlow went ska. It’s almost intimate, and it really makes the lyrics hit even harder. Just beautiful.

Ready For The World
Oh Shelia (Extended Remix)
You can go to iTunes right now, do a search for the 12″ remix of this song and something comes up. But don’t believe the lies. That version is not the real 12″ remix. It’s a re-recorded version.

Re-recorded versions are blights on digital storefronts, and need to be wiped from this planet. They usually exist as a means for the artist to get royalties without having to pay the original record companies. And I get that, but they really do the fans a disservice, as they never ever sound as good as the originals. And even if they are technically better in some way or another, it doesn’t really matter, because people don’t want a technically better version of the song they know and love, they want the version they know and love! At least the original album version is on there.

Elect me for president and I will make it my first executive action to strip all re-recorded versions off digital storefronts and replace them with the originals. First on the plate, Def Leppard.

Yeah, it’s a stupid political platform, but it is any stupider than Trump?

Sade
Smooth Operator (12″ Version)
There’s this weird mall in Tokyo called Nakano Broadway that mostly focuses on geek culture stuff like figures, manga and old video games. Tucked away in a far off corner on the third or fourth floor of the mall is a really tiny movie store that focuses on weird cult flicks and art-house films. If you want to score Criterion blu-rays in Japan, that store is your best bet.

Whenever I go in there that dude is rocking out to a Sade blu-ray. So he knows what’s up.

Expect a few more posts like this for the rest of the month, with some regular posts with new rips interspersed. Thanks again to everyone who’s kept up with me over the years.

Pop Floyd and Garage Rock Disco Covers

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

The 10th anniversary of Lost Turntable is about a week away, and I do have something special planned. Not only that, but in a rare example of me planning out this blog in advance, most of it is already written and ready to go. I’m trying to go for something that focuses a lot on what I feel makes this blog great (in my humble opinion) and will really run the gamut in terms of content and tone. I think there will be something for everyone. I hope you all enjoy it, because I’ve really put a lot of time into it.

David Gilmour
Blue Light (Vocal Remix)
Blue Light (Instrumental Remix)
Is there a name for the genre of music that most 70s rock stars saw themselves falling into during the early 80s? You know what I’m talking about. Steve Winwood, Phil Collins, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, just to name a few, at the dawn of the Reagan-era they all stripped away damn near everything that made each of them unique and all drifted towards the same incredibly generic, synthesizer-based dance/pop/rock sound. Nebulous-yet-catchy, and utterly dated not five years after the fact. Does anyone still listen to Robert Plant’s “Tall Cool One” in 2016?

That song is better than this track, however, a failed single off of Gilmour’s 1984 album About Face, which was not a good record in 1984; not a good record when I discovered it in the late-90s, and remains not a good record to this day. This is probably one of the better songs off of it, and I can say that it at least works moderately well as an upbeat rock track. Gilmour’s vocals are decent, and he manages to work in his trademark echoey guitar effects into what would be a rather bland pop track otherwise. It’s still strange to hear Gilmour perform music like this though. His more recent solo efforts, while also far from perfect, are much improved, and I think play more to his strengths, those being spacey guitar solos and much looser song structures.

While I’m not a fan of Gilmour’s solo work, I would still say that his solo output is better than his bandmate Roger Waters’, which has served to prove that Waters is a lyricist first, bass player second, and a musician eighth (positions three through seven are “professional asshole” if anyone was wondering). Gilmour’s solo records are boring, but at least the guitar solos are good. Waters couldn’t catch a melody if his life depended on it. He is tone deaf after all.

If you’re interested in checking out good 80s Gilmour that doesn’t involve Pink Floyd, I strongly recommend you give a listen to Berlin’s “Pink And Velvet,” a lost masterpiece that probably features Gilmour’s second-best guitar solo behind the one for “Comfortably Numb.” A jaw-droppingly stunning lost classic.

Thelma Houston
96 Tears (12″ Remix)
File under “Covers I Never Thought I’d Hear,” right next to KMFDM’s take on “These Boots Are Made For Walking” and Eagles Of Death Metal’s “Save A Prayer.”

The album version of this cover can be found on Thelma’s 1981 album Never Gonna Be Another One, however, this epic seven and a half minute version is 12″ exclusive and out-of-print entirely. It’s not as epic as I hoped it would be, but I’m still enjoying it.

I’m Still An Alligator

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Turns out I have a lot of David Bowie on my hard drive(s) and digging it all out/organizing it is proving to be a task better suited for some sort of digital archaeologist. Just counting songs that are properly tagged as David Bowie/Tine Machine I have about 1,300 tracks in my iTunes library. I know I have more buried somewhere though. And I’m fairly certain that I have some singles back in the states that I never got around the properly recording. That’s a real shame because there are a few gems there, including a weird 10+ minute remix of “Fame ’90.”

I continue to be amazed at how much David Bowie is in print now. If you want the 12″ remix of “Magic Dance” then you can go on Amazon and fucking buy it right now. AND YOU SHOULD BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME. You can even go online and get remixes to “Loving The Alien” if you so desired.

So basically I’m repeating what I said in my previous all Bowie post, if you like David Bowie’s music then you should really be buying his music.

Of course, this blog exists because that’s not always possible. So here’s some shit that’s worthwhile yet unavailable.

David Bowie
Fun (Dillinja Mix)
Dead Man Walking (This One’s Not Dead Yet Mix)
Under Pressure (Live)
Moonage Daydream (Live)
Some real oddities tonight.

First up is a remix of “Fun,” which is doubly weird because the non-remixed version of “Fun” was never commercially released as far as I can tell. I have no idea when it was recorded, the story behind it, or if any other remixes were ever made available in any way shape or form. I got this remix off of the Davidbowie.com exclusive Live And Well 2CD compilation. Most of the remixes from that set were made available when Bowie’s mid/90s output was re-released in 2CD sets, but it didn’t make the cut.

After that we have a unique remix of “Dead Man Walking” which I found off of a CD single to the song. Another mix that didn’t make the cut when Bowie’s 90s records were re-released. A real shame too because it’s one of the better ones. While most of the song’s remixes play the dance angle and crank it up to be a club banger, this one puts Bowie on the forefront and tones it down a bit, all while keeping its beat. It’s a cool take on a great track.

Finally, there are two live tracks, both taken from the CD-single to “Hallo Spaceboy.” The live version of “Under Pressure” is relatively faithful to the original save for the fact that the vocals are shared by Bowie’s amazing bass player Gail Ann Dorsey.  However, the live rendition of “Moonage Daydream” is an interesting departure from the original, stripping away a lot of what made it a glam rock tune and replacing it with some industrial/90s’-rock overtones. Bowie would do this a lot when he toured in the 90s, sometimes to more drastic degrees than others. The changes he made to this track are tame compared to how he totally re-worked “Andy Warhol” into batshit crazy drum and bass track during his “Outside” tour.

By the way, does anyone have high-quality MP3s of this 90s tours that they’d feel like sharing?