Great Moments In Electro: Drop The Pressure M@thaf@cka…

Fast forward more than 20 years from the last Great Moments, and we find ourselves in Bonnie Scotland. One Myles Macinnes has just been called the savior of dance music.

Typical understated British journalism.

While Destroy Rock And Roll was certainly chock full of retro electronic goodness, one track embodied everything we’ve covered in the series so far, and will stand the test of time.

M@thaf@cka’s gonna turn up the presshaaa…

I must have listened to this non-stop for at least a day and a half when it first came out. It was pure Electro, no question about it.

Taking a bit of Vince Clarke (that killer bassline was no doubt inspired by the Yazoo classic Situation), a twist of Daft Punk vocoded madness, and a whole lot of catchy (love me those synth stabs), he crafted not only one of the biggest anthems of 2004 (that breakdown is one of the greatest in dance music history), but also created- a Great Moment in Electro.

Brought to you by Ovaltine: for growing boys!

Absolutely spellbinding music video.

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Great Moments In Electro- I Program My Home Computer!

In my first article in the series, I argued that ‘Electro House’ did not originate in the early noughties (like some Internet reference sites seem to suggest, wink), but has been around for just a little bit longer than that. Sure, the kicks are now thicker than Oprah’s thighs, and there is a lot of sucking going on (sidechain compression you pervs, what were you thinkin’ of?), but the elements are the same.

Now Kraftwerk is widely considered one of the most influential acts in electronic music, so there were a couple of great tunes to choose from. I was initially going to pick ‘The Robots’ (brilliant!), but this mechanical monster (taken off the 1982 ‘Computer World’ record) is a particular favorite of mine, and one of the group’s lesser known classics. Every element screams pure Electro and should be considered a masterclass, not just for the electronic apprentice, but for every self respecting devotee of dance!

This is where it comes from children…

Spellbinding stuff.

Great moments in Electro-Daft Punk’s Papa

Pop Quiz (or should that be Electro Pop quiz?)

French guys in robot suits bangin’ out some intense synthesized electronic funk?

Sold millions of records?

Way ahead of their time?

Did I mention they were French?

What you say? Who you say? ‘Daft Punk’? Well, I am sure they had ‘Da Funk’ at age 3, even if it was just in their diapers, but this tune actually comes to us courtesy of a different group of pioneering Parisians.

Around the world, around the world, around the world, around the world....

20 years before Da Daft boys went ‘Around the World’, Didier Marouani took us to Space and back with one of the finest, purely instrumental electronic dance music tracks of all time: Magic Fly. A monster hit, this peaked at #2 on the UK chart, and went gold everywhere. It’s easy to get distracted by that video, but the production is arguably more complex than almost anything DP has ever done (and I worship at the altar of Bangalter). Just listen to that progression! The bassline, the lead, the pads, those juicy stabs (tasty!)- it’s got more hooks than a pirate convention. Arr…

Take a bow Didier Marouani, Roland Romanelli, and Jannick Top. You sirs, are legends…


Ooh, what a cutie…(the girl that is)

Read last week’s entry featuring Giorgio Moroder’s ‘From Here To Eternity’

Great moments in Electro! Electro House invented by Satoshie Tomiie? Oh dear…

According to whoever edited the Electro House entry on Wikipedia, ‘this style is said to have originated in 2005’. There is also a nice little citation needed reminder right next to it. It’s been there for a while.

Now I am really concerned that little kids are going to go researching Electro House for school, find this entry on Wikipedia, and forever believe that ‘the most obvious precursor to the modern electro house scene is the electroclash movement of the early 2000s.’

We must protect our children from spurious dance music categorizations.

Our Wiki friend above probably thinks that a dance genre is created the day Ultra Records releases a ‘David Waxman Presents Deadmeat Presents Ultra Electro Maximum House’ CD.

Not exactly.

Let Uncle Brown take you back, way back, to the heady late 70s. That, children, is when the true seeds of Electro were scattered. That’s where we’re going to start!

And now, presenting ‘Great Moments in Electro’:

Giorgio Moroder: From Here to Eternity

Legend has it that Moroder’s mustache actually released several underground records of its own during the 80s. These are said to be extremely hard to find and worth millions of Lira. The style is apparently called ‘Hairy House’ or ‘Hirsute House’. Whichever you prefer.

“Italian-born producer Giorgio Moroder built Musicland Studio in Munich in 1969 and, with partner Pete Bellotte, proceeded to invent electronic dance music. Not only did he revolutionize the budding disco movement with his digitally powered “four-on-the-floor” bass drum pulse, but also more than any other 70s artist, he was responsible for contributing to the birth of house and techno. His productions for Donna Summer are perhaps his greatest achievements in the decade, but the apex of his solo work is 1977’s From Here to Eternity . This brilliant record glides by with the ebb and flow of a modern DJ mix, sparkling with audiophile-precise sound and arguably the finest vocoder vocals in history. The entire first side of the original LP contains five songs morphed together into one mega-mixed suite of hedonistic minimalism; when he croons, “Baby gives sweet loving, leaves me meaning nothing,” he intones the gospel for disco nymphs and club culture forever more. –Dominique Leone-Pitchfork’s Top 100 Albums of the 70s”

Couldn’t have said better meself, Dominique. You have superb taste in music.

Let’s see here:
Funky Vocoders: Check
Kicking drum machine groove: Check
Percolating synth arpeggio: Check
Swirling bassline: Er, check.

Sounds like Electro House to me…
And, that bassline is clearly the inspiration for the legendary Donna Summer sex piece I Feel Love. Which makes Eternity the father of Love. Ah, how deep…

I gotta hand it to my good friends at Trackitdown.net! They stuck with just ‘Electro’ pure and simple from 2006-2008, but then had no choice but to cave in to the genrification (ooh madam, I think I just invented a word) fad and add the House.

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