Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium

Another round-up of the best, the worst, and the most intriguing trash of the past and present.

(January 2002)         

Scooter - Aiii Shot the DJ (Unknown Mix)
Scooter encourages all clubbers to kill anybody who plays this song--now why do that? In addition to the multiple versions on iTunes, there seems to be another more happy hardcorish variant somewhere out there (sample above) which, in reflection, seems increasingly to be a mysterious anomaly from those lawless days of Napster (perhaps this was a demo cut?). But the official original edition is excellent, too.

Jennifer Brown - Alive (Bleachin' Club Mix)
For proof that Paul Van Dyk is a good producer and super DJ, but not much of a composer, take a listen to Jennifer Brown's "Alive (Bleachin' Club Mix)," which became the basis for his own "We Are Alive." Not all that different, huh?

Barcode Brothers - It's a Fine Day
Like Paul, Barcode Brothers also found themselves a little short on ideas one day, so they decided to revise everybody's favorite Opus 3 song, "It's a Fine Day." Most covers of this tune give a little less than the fantastic original; the Bros. give a little more with a nice original bridge. Listen to those seagulls cry!

DJ Tiesto (DJ Tiësto) - Flight 643
DJ Tiesto's "Flight 643" would make great action music for some airline hijacking movie. But we're still bummed out by 9/11, so we'll relegate this to the dancefloor instead. As is typical of Tiesto, this tune features just two notes. It was instantly hailed a masterpiece by his (take your pick between) devoted/deaf followers.

Estrella - La Playa del Sol
Estrella's "La Playa del Sol" is a bouncy trouncy flouncy pouncy fun-fun-fun-fun-fun piece of Spanglish Eurotropical Dumdum Pop.

Fragma - You Are Alive
Fragma concurs with Jennifer Brown that "You Are Alive." This one has a nice, soaring chorus that lifts it higher than their usual fare.

Valeria Rossi - Tre Parole (Dance Remix)
Valerie Rossi's album Ricordatevi dei fiori is a fine piece of Italo pop—if you see it in your local music store buy it. Interestingly, the album comes in a Spanish language version, too. "Tre Parole," a huge single from that album, gets the requisite Italo dance remix treatment here.

Wackside - What's On Your Mind
Would be a good song if only it didn't have that terrible f-word in it. "It's all in your mother f*ing mind" the guy says. For shame!

Magic Box - 4 Your Love
Magic Box's "4 Your Love" is yet another one of those vocoder-driven pledges of enduring love, the sort of song sung by knights in shining armor, guys with floppy hats strumming mandolins, and yowling cats perched on fences.

Volta - To the Beat
Volta's especially frantic "To the Beat" is smashing classic Eurodance, which is to say: here is your basic male rapper, female diva, and big synth riffs.

2 Eivissa - I Wanna Be Your Toy
2 Eivissa's sexually assertive "I Wanna Be Your Toy (Extended Radio Edit)" sets the women's lib movement so far back it winds up eight miles ahead. Printed on the cover of my copy: "Boom, Boom! Der Super-Sommer-Hit '99 aus Spanien." It seems to owe a lot to the classic 1891 can-can number "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!" As much as I love this song, I must ask a technical question: What's the point of having an "extended" radio mix that only tacks on a mere forty seconds—and in such a fashion as to make it no easier to mix with?

DJ Centaury and Wavetraxx - Dark Angel
DJ Centaury and Wavetraxx are the masterminds behind the somewhat silly yet oddly powerful "Dark Angel." The second half, where the melody comes sweeping in, is so breathtaking that it compelled me to interview Wavetraxx in order to confirm that he was, in fact, not a God. As it turns out, he isn't. In fact, he's a Swiss kid working at a local gymnasium. Go figure!

Balloon - Monstersound
If you've ever wondered what a Eurodance tune with a "Smells Like Teen Spirit" sample in it married to a horrible spoken word bit (sampled from ska legends Madness) would sound like, here's your chance. It's scary to criticize this, as Mr. Balloon wields a huge gun on the cover of the CD single, but if Romania can stand up to the tactics of intimidation that typify corruption, so can I.

S.O.A.P. (SOAP) - S.O.A.P. is in the Air (Club Mix)
The Barcode Brothers show a playful side as they take S.O.A.P.'s "S.O.A.P. is in the Air,"--will you forgive me for this?--"to the cleaners." They load it with comedy sound effects and animaniac energy that smokes the original. This is billed as the "club mix" on the CD single (the Barcode Bros. name only appears in the fine print). S.O.A.P. were effectively the training-wheels pop project for Simon Fuller (name-checked in the lyrics) before he created S-Club 7 and the smash reality TV series "Idol" and all its various country-by-country offshoots; at least on S.O.A.P. song was later reinvented by S-Club 7.

(January 2002)

The running of the bulls! It looks like standing in the streets and getting doused by water is about as much fun as being gored—and might be safer.

Trance Allstars - The First Rebirth (Talla 2XLC Club Mix)
Trance Allstars' "The First Rebirth" was the debut single from the best DJ supergroup since . . . OK, so I don't know of any other DJ supergroups. ATB, DJ Mellow-D, Schiller, Sunbeam, Talla 2XLC, and Taucher all have a hand in the pie. The song? It's a cover of a 1994 track by Jones &l Stephenson, and eeez reeeelly, reeeelly boo-tee-ful! No vocals; just shimmering, pulsating electronic sounds. Talla's is my favorite remix.

Missyna - Das Leben
Missyna, out of the German hip-hop group Basis (which offered the super-sexy "Ich liebe mich") rocks hard here. In the video, she raps in great leather clothes on top of a fevered backdrop of drum and bass jackhammer rhythms and sweeping cinematic strings. Why all the hub-bub? It was used as theme music for the second season of the "Popstars" reality/music TV series in Germany (thanks, fellow Wikipedian).

French Affair - My Heart Goes Boom (La Di Da Da)
French Affair's "My Heart Goes Boom (La Di Da Da)," sung by sexy Barbera Alcindor, is a classic known to any European who was between the ages of 9 and 39 when it came out. Continues the ATC "Around the World" trend of "la-la" nonsense vocals (see also Millane Fernandez, below). It also contains some spoken French. After five years of being off the radar, French Affair re-emerged in 2006 with a drastically retooled sound.

AB Logic - AB Logic
When I was in a club in sleepy Williamsburg, Virginia back in 1993, a DJ who spun lots of 2 Unlimited assured me that the other great Eurodance band (that is to say, a band featuring male rapping, diva wailing, and big synth hooks) of the then-present era was AB Logic. Check out the power of their eponymously titled song, which is called, well, that would be "AB Logic," wouldn't it?

Ace of Base - Life is a Flower
Embarrassing confession: shortly after 9/11 I heard Ace of Base's "Life is a Flower" on a Romanian Internet radio station, and I cried. Their pledge that "We live in the free world..." couldn't have hit me at a more vulnerable time.

Dito - Shadows
A good dream dance-like tune. Little tickly notes here, big keyboard blasts there. It works.

E-Type - Life
This one's pretty impossible not to sing along to. Contains Eiffel 65-ish vocodered male vocals and a soaring, clean female voice to carry its anthemic chorus. The Swedish Eurodance auteur has also arranged death-metal interpretations of his tunes. Seriously.

Barthezz - Infected
Barthezz's "Infected," trash of the techno-ish variety, moves like an evasive rock wallaby.

Millane Fernandez - Dam Dubi Dam (I Miss You)
Millane Fernandez's "Dam Dubi Dam (I Miss You)" is a sugary pop song sung by a German teenager, and is another ATC-ish/Eiffel 65-ish "dam-de-dam" type song, as the title reveals. Dieter Bohlen out of Modern Talking crafted it, and it sounds uncomfortably like what a middle-aged man might think a teenager girl would want to sing. Millane went in an R&B direction sometime afterward. Frivolous but amusing technical issue: the CD single contains an "Extended Radio Edit." So if the "Radio Edit" was "Extended," then what was the "Radio Edit" an "Edit" of?

Gabry Ponte - Got to Get (Don Don) Tekno Mix
Gabry out of Eiffel 65 delivers something madder and harder than he did in that group, with entertaining loops of a female vocalist on top of pulverizing beats.

Mellow Trax vs. Shaft - Sway (Mucho Mambo)
Mellow Trax vs. Shaft's "(Mucho Mambo) Sway" updates the original Shaft classic by giving that song a pounding trance flourish. Dean Martin would have busted moves all over to this. And that would have been scary.

Bad Boys Blue - Megamix
If you're interested in sampling the wares of boy/man synth-pop group Bad Boys Blue, just track down one of their many "Megamixes." It's all the BBB you'll ever need.

Hermes House Band - Country Roads
The John Denver country classic is turned into a Eurodance one, with boisterous sing-a-long qualities.

Charly Lownoise and Mental Theo - Wonderfull Days [Wonderful Days]
This may be the most famous happy hardcore song after anything by Blümchen. As for which version is best, I'm partial to a hybrid of the Radio Edit and the Rotterdam Mix myself. I want to have it all.

The compendiums:

2001 06/07
2001 08
2002 01
2002 01
2002 01/02
2002 04
2002 06
2002 09
2002 10/11
2002 12/2003 01
2003 02
2003 03/04
2003 05/06
2003 06
2003 08
2003 09
2003 10/12
2004 02/07
2004 07/09
2004 11
2004 12
2005 01/03
2005 05/09
2005 09
2005 12
2006 03
2006 06/09
2006 11/12
2007 01/03
2007 04/05
2007 06/07
2007 09/10
2008 01
2008 04/06
2008 06/07
2008 09/12
2009 02
2009 04/06
2009 08/09
2009 10/11
2010 01
2010 02/03
2010 04/07
2010 08/10
2010 11
2011 01/03
2011 04/05
2011 06
2011 09

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