Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium|
Another round-up of the best, the worst, and the most intriguing trash of the past and present.
Oli P feat. Jan Van Der Toorn - Girl You Know It's True
Milli Vanilli's classic 1980's tune gets revamped with added German-language rap. Smooth, baby.
Kai Tracid - Too Many Times (Energy Mix)
Kai Tracid was weary about having gone to the DMV "Too Many Times (Energy Mix)." Every time he got there he was forced to stand in a long line for hours and hours, only to discover when he reached the counter that he had forgotten some vital piece of information, like a bill with his name on it from home, say, or a lease. It was awful. Soon, a tension headache swelled up, not unlike the notes that intrude about two minutes into the full-length club mix of this trance tune, and then BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! He went postal. All the evidence is here, officer.
Eiffel 65 - Back in Time
Eiffel 65 enjoyed success in the hard-to-break United States with their "Blue (Da Ba Dee)." But their follow-up full-length record, Contact, failed to find a distributor stateside, and by their third record they decided to ditch the states altogether and return to Italian-language lyrics. Despite the U.S. snub, the singles from Contact enjoyed strong success in Europe in 2001, and included the catchy "Lucky (In My Life)" and "Back in Time," the latter which I'm plugging here. "Back in Time" has a wonderful synth hook that made me an instant fan of the group when I heard it on Romanian radio in early 2001. Their trademark vocodered vocals, however, are insufferably annoying--it makes you wish there had been an instrumental version of the song released as well. Still, if you can find Contact in a bargain bin, it's a worthy buy, though their debut, Europop, remains the Eiffel 65 album that mattered most.
Blank & Jones (Blank and Jones) - DJ's Fans and Freaks (Radio Mix)
The radio mix is all you really need, since the cool bits in it are inexplicably left out of the "full-length" version.
Antique - Opa Opa
Antique hailed from Sweden, sang in Greek, and rocked all of Europe. "Opa Opa" was their brightest moment, a techno-fied retooling of a Greek folk classic. Witness the cultural rebirth of Athens!
Ferris MC - Flash for Ferris MC
Ferris MC might be Germany's ugliest rapper, but that's OK because the man don't give a fuck. "Flash for Ferris MC" draws inspiration from Billy Idol's "Flesh for Fantasy," includes industrial sounds in the noise palette and adds handguns. It helps that Ferris is blessed with the voice of Satan. Mighty.
Bomfunk MC's - B Boys and Fly Girls
Holland's Bomfunk MC's slayed charts all over Europe with their bouncy "Freestyler." But I'm a big fan of the incredibly catchy "B Boys and Fly Girls," which has the added charm of slightly awkward English lyrics: "Funky fresh with the most finest!" Sure!
ATC (A Touch of Class) - Why Oh Why
This, to many a 12 year-old, is the mysterious ATC song, vested with mood, a whispered section, and spooky synths. In short, an abstract masterpiece. But to those of us who know better, this is just another dumb ATC song.
DJ Cyglas - Read My Heart (The Watergate Hymn)
One of those pretty little instrumental trance ditties that makes you turn your head and look out the window and sort of smile at the cow that's looking back at you.
Erika - Save My Heart
Nu Italo oomph propels this into the dance stratosphere. It features Kim Wilde-ish vocals, vocodered backing voices, and that classic mega-boom production-style that typifies nu-Italo dance.
Roberto Molinaro - Euro 2000 (Euro Cut)
Roberto Molinaro's frantic and lyrically incomprehensible "Euro 2000 (Euro Cut)" is a rap funk techno fusion fest. The same keyboard melody was also featured in Gabry Ponte's "Time to Rock," which suggests that the tune must have especial significance to Italians. Gabry and Roberto were on Bliss Co. records together, and Roberto remixed Gabry's "Time to Rock", so some good natured cross-pollination of ideas, there.
Schiller - Das Glockenspiel (Humate Mix)
Schiller's eerie trance instrumental "Das Glockenspiel" remains the only thing from the Schiller kids that I really dig. As one might imagine, the song contains the sounds of a glockenspiel. A lot of people praised the Tiesto mix, but I prefer the Humate one, which packs a walloping synth explosion towards the end that invites favorable comparisons to Underworld.
Ransom/Funk Einsatz - My Dance (Ferry Corsten Remix)
Ransom put out the original track in 1993, but this is a very different and much improved take dating to 2001. Corsten closed his Live at Dance Valley 2001 mix CD with this, and it proved a good finale. The song itself is an instrumental psychedelic stunner, chatty and engaging, not quite trance, not quite electro, essentially non pigeon-hole-able, much like a lot Corsten's other stuff.
Keith 'n' Shane - Girl You Know It's True (K+S)
We opened with Oli P's interpretation of "Girl You Know It's True," and we end with Keith 'N' Shane's heavily modified version of the same. Britishers know Keith and Shane as the least-talented two out of the boy group Boyzone. So what have we here? An understandably (under the circumstances) jokey cover of a tune originally made notorious by a lip-synching scandal, with some relatively clever additional lyrics about boy bands tossed in for added fun. For those keeping score, opening notes are sampled from Belouis Some's "Imagination."
Poor Prince Charles was hit in the face by a flower clutched by a Latvian teenager. The moment is captured forever on the cover of Volume 5. Months later, Latvia won the Eurovision contest. Is there a connection? Maybe?
Blaze featuring Palmer Brown - My Beat (Jan Driver Remix)
Jan Driver puts the original Blaze tune into turbo with his thundering remix. Sounds like hipster coffee house poetry performed in the middle of a herd of stampeding elephants.
Shakira - Ojos Asi
1998 (with several rereleases afterward)
Before Shakira was a superstar, I caught her video for "Ojos Asi" on Germany's "Viva!" video channel. I thought at the time that Shakira was a Euro citizen. She wasn't. But as of this writing Shakira is the world's, and so I include her here as honorary Eurotrash.
DJ Visage - Rock That Sound
"Here we go again," the narrator sighs wearily. Why? Because "DJ Visage is back again." Who's DJ Visage? He's some techno bloke who strikes silly poses in photo shoots and knows that any song featuring a sample of Guns N' Roses's "Sweet Child O' Mine" will rock the fucking house.
Gigi D'Agostino - I'll Fly With You (Bla Bla Bla Mix)
Typical Gigi, meaning thumping electro-inspired production underneath sugary, catchy vocals, and the necessary cascade of strings. In this example, a showgirl exchanges vows with a tenor and their soaring voices convince even the most hardened cynics that their love will last forever, through the good times, the bad, the bills, changing the diapers, etc. This particular, non-official mix combines "I'll Fly With You" with the opening a cappella cut-up vocals from "Bla Bla Bla," which are both on Gigi's L'amour toujours CD. If you're up for the task and have the software to do it, it's really just about the easiest mash-up you can make. Incidentally, in 2006 "Bla bla bla" was pointlessly redone by the oddly-named Boy Rackers.
Georgina Verbaan - Yo Quiero Bailar
Europeans love Latin music, and so even fair-haired Dutch girls like Georgina Verbaan belt out tunes in Spanish. Witness the tropical-flavored "Yo Quiero Bailar," a tie-in to the Dutch television series "Costa!" Writes Speed Muffin: "[Georgina] has another nearly identical song called 'Ritmo', but as I actually heard a middle-aged man at the train station singing 'Yo Quiero Bailar', I think that's the number that has caught the Dutch imagination." Incidentally, the "Costa!" TV show, which features the adventures of kids running around on the beach in Spain, is a real Eurotreasure.
Mystique - Don't Stop Me Now
Resurrects the ghost of Freddie Mercury, who for some reason sounds perfectly comfortable ensconced between two pounding slabs of trance.
No Angels - There Must Be An Angel
On 13 August 2001 German girl group No Angels released their cover of the Eurythmics' "There Must Be an Angel", the video for which was a red, white, and blue homage to Top Gun that also featured shots of the girls in 1940's style dresses performing on stage in front of a giant U.S. flag. Less than four weeks later 9/11 happened, and the video seemed to be the most perfect "Get Well Card" the U.S. could ever have received. Because of the odd coincidence of its timing, and the consequently heavy 9/11 association, this maudlin pigeon has been known to shed a tear or two watching the No Angels video to this song. For the record, several months earlier Dutch duo Me & My also paid homage to Top Gun on the cover of their Fly High album.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Take Me Home (A Girl Like Me)
Sophie planned to spend another Saturday night at home. "You've got to get out more, love!" a friend told her. Said friend handed Sophie some platform shoes and dragged her through the doors of Club 54. "It's wonderful!" young Sophie cooed as the sounds of Cher filled the air. But then Sophie got scared and cried, "Take Me Home!" Poor Sophie!
Oral Beat - Turn Around
Another fine nu-Italo effort. English can't be the singer's first language, as there are likely few lovestruck girls who would describe their hearts as going "pitter-pat." But of course this only adds to the song's charm. Song was long "lost" to me because the only web site mentioning it had an enormous typo in the name; good to set this right a decade later (July 2011)
Iio - Rapture (Riva Mix)
Starts out like a seal in wraparound shades racing down a ten mile ice slide on a snowboard. Then the slide turns up and becomes a ski jump. The seal launches itself into the air; it sails higher and higher, and it is unafraid, that seal.
Doctor V feat. Axina - The Pill
This homage to Viagra is tremendously, brazenly, stupid--a complete success, in other words.
Mandy Moore - Candy (Hex Hector Mix)
Mandy Moore's "Candy" gets the Euro treatment courtesy of Hex Hector, who transforms the slow-groovin' original into a proper house/trance hybrid. I went in and edited the tune in order to turn it into a trance monster from start to finish. "I'm cravin' for you . . . I'm missin' you like candy." Naughty Mandy!
Kabouter Plop - Kabuterdans (The Groovy Dance Mix)
Kabouter Plop are some sort of a Dutch children's performing arts group. I don't understand it. In fact, "Kabouterdans" can probably only be understood by Dutch people. But the rest of us can stare in slack-jawed amazement, and that makes it entertaining enough. Note to all fife fans: this song features a fife.
2002 12/2003 01