Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium

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

VOLUME 44
(September 2005)         


The lines between space junk and our own technology have become increasingly blurred. However, as ancient as the space shuttle is, it's still kinda cute in a Snoopy-ish sort of way, no?

Jentina - Mysterious
2005
Jentina has had a rough time of it, what with UK grimester Lady Sovereign dissing her and her UK label refusing to release her latest single. The single to which I refer is the slinky-smooth electro-infused "Mysterious," which has seen the light of day in Italy. There are some problems (for example, it's ironic that she pronounces "sick MC" "thick M thee"). Still, the tune is quite catchy (certainly an improvement over her "Bad Ass Strippa") and well worth tracking down. In 2009 a sample from the song appeared in the Prodigy's "Warrior's Dance."

Gorillaz - Dare
2005
I like to bend the rules regarding what is acceptable Eurotrash. But do Gorillaz qualify? Their electro-infused "Dare" is the first song I actually like from the group, helped out in part by the unexpected appearance of an eerie female backing vocal that, at first, doesn't register as being human at all. Pretty cool. Of course, my endorsement is probably the song's kiss of death.

Mylo - Muscle Cars
2003/2004
Mylo, who gave us the wildly and somewhat inexplicably popular "Drop the Pressure" some time back, contributed the song "Muscle Cars," an ode to the sexual energy associated with automobiles, to the soundtrack of an HBO documentary series on porn. Mylo continues to exhibit the musical qualities of Royksopp's trashier little brother.

Rachel Stevens - So Good (Aurora Radio Edit)
2005
Former S-Clubber Rachel Stevens's "So Good (Aurora Radio Edit)" is a catchy little tune with some pleasurable, anthemic elements.

Potatoheadz feat. Da Rook MC - Turn It Up
2004
A year after I encountered it on one of those Dream Dance compilations, I took Potatoheadz feat. Da Rook MC's "Turn It Up" to the chopping block and lopped off several meandering sections that seemed to suck the power out of the tune. The remaining 2 minutes 57 seconds are awesome, and evoke the much-missed spirit of Paffendorf.

Peran - We Want to Be Free
2003/2004
Peran van Dijk, trading this time under just his first name, reworked his masterpiece "Good Time" (reviewed in Volume 14) into the incredibly jaunty "We Want to Be Free." The melody is different, but it's just as catchy as that original giant. Like its predecessor, it never loses listener interest during the whole of its eight or so minutes. It's just nice to hear a song that's eager to please.

Flutlicht - Icarus (The Flight)
2001
Speaking of song pairs, before "The Fall" (reviewed in Volume 20), Flutlicht delivered "The Flight." Like it's sequel, this track boasts an impressive synth run and gorgeous epic qualities.

Da Buzz - Dangerous (Extended)
2004
Da Buzz are a Swedish pop group in that A*Teens/Ace of Base/ATC vein. "Dangerous (Extended)" is arguably their grooviest tune, with requisite anthemic soaring choruses and the scientifically proportioned balance of techno and pop musical elements.

DHT - Listen to Your Heart (Furious F EZ Extended)
2005
DHT are a Belgian outfit whose cover of Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart" has enjoyed much success on iTunes. I prefer the Furious F EZ Extended mix myself; it's something to put by your Scooter.

Dancing DJs vs. Roxette - Fading Like a Flower
2005
How about another Roxette cover? Dancing DJ's enjoyed Top of the Pops success in the UK with "Fading Like a Flower," a superbly unrelenting piece of UK Tru Trash. But why always the "versus" in dance music remixes? Can't we all just get along?

Wildman - Hear This
1995
It turns out there were a ton of Rednex-influenced country/techno hybrid songs. One of the lesser entries in this genre was Wildman's "Hear This," which features a ragga man shouting on top of a banjo. It begs an interesting Eurotrash DJ question: The tune works, but why would you ever reach for it before Rednex?

Shaft - Kiki Riri Boom
2001
Shaft had their biggest success with "Mucho Mambo (Sway)" back in the late 1990s. But they mined the formula pretty well afterward, giving us the spirited "Kiki Riri Boom" on, goodness, my research is so good I can tell you it was 2 July 2001. It will have any dancefloor shaking with its quasi-Latin/all Eurotrash sound.

The Rasmus - Ghostbusters
1996
The Rasmus are a Finnish rock group, and they do a darn good guitarified version of "Ghostbusters"!

Flutlicht - The Flight (SHOKK Remix)
2001
I like the SHOKK remix of Flutlicht's "The Flight," also. But as with Potatoheadz I could not resist the temptation to cleave a few minutes off of it, turning a ten minute meandering beast into a trimmer six minute tune.

 
VOLUME 45
(September 2005)         

That's Lilja and Volodya taking a spin on the roof of the "Pentagon." Not only is Lilja 4-Ever the greatest Eurotrash tear-jerker of all time—it has a great soundtrack to boot. I included some of those tunes here.

Tatu - All About Us
2005
Tatu are back, and one listen to their fabulous new single "All About Us" will convince you that they had never left. It has all the bombastic, epic qualities of "All the Things She Said" with some new ideas tossed in as well. Trash opera! And here's an interesting fact: the video, which features Vodka shots, prostitute abuse, and gunplay, was directed by a sledgehammer clobbering an anvil.

Antiloop - Only U
2000
Antiloop's Y2K classic "Only U" was prominently featured in Lilja 4-Ever. Video features a mysterious old guy, some cool looking dogs, and lots of slow motion head turns. Ah, back in the days when techno was fun!

Daddy Yankee - Gasolina
2005
This summer's Eurocrowd can't get enough of Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina," which has steadily conquered dancefloors around Europe over the past year. It's sort of like reggae hip-hop (they call the genre "reggaeton"), and is reminiscent of last fall's "Dale Don Dale," largely because all reggaeton sounds alike. I don't like it much, but as a Eurotrash DJ who cares for his clients, I will play it at the next twenty or so Eurotrash events—or suffer the consequences!

Boney M - Daddy Cool
1976
Boney M may as well call themselves Europe's official 1970's disco act. "Daddy Cool" is one of their greatest accomplishments. This song is played everywhere in Europe all the freakin' time—like here, for example.

Strike - U Sure Do
1994
From a 70's classic to a 90's one, Strike's "U Sure Do" did big business in the UK (it landed on at least one of those Now That's What I Call Music compilations). This 1994 house tune features happy pianos, a cheery female vocalist, a fat bassline, and requisite license plate spelling of "you" in its title.

Roger Sanchez - Another Chance
2001
Roger Sanchez may be a New Yorker, but his 2001 Toto-sampling hit "Another Chance" has an inescapable French quality to it (Je dis..."Galleonesque"). Touching video features a woman wandering around New York with a waning heart.

Antiloop - Let Your Body Free
2000
"Let Your Body Free" is my favorite Antiloop song of all time, and provides an excellent soundtrack for running around on a Russian rooftop whilst high on glue.

Dave Armstrong and Steve Angel - Groove in You (DLG Mix)
2005
Some months back the hep DJs were dropping Dave Armstrong's and Steve Angel's "Groove In You" as a white label. The official version is now out, and the DLG mix is tops—blessed with some surreal electro burble underneath the dark chords. Whatever that means!

Alphaville - Forever Young (F.A.F. Remix)
2001
To track down the F.A.F. remix of Alphaville's "Forever Young" I ordered a compilation of Alphaville remixes called Forever Pop from a used CD retailer in Germany. I listened to every single minute of the disc while playing Spider Solitaire. Most of the album is pretty bad on account of the songs having been written by Alphaville. (For those of you not familiar with Alphaville, they were an 80s band that sounded like a cross between The Cure and a Duran Duran tribute band comprised of monkeys.) The remixers (the most famous being Paul Van Dyk and Eiffel 65, who turn in nothing memorable here) must have been instructed not to mess too much with the original material. So, no surprises here. Indeed, the album sounds more like a standard greatest hits package than a remix album (except that most "greatest hits" albums contain some catchy songs). Concludes with what would presumably be called a "bonus track," a meandering mish-mash that is a total embarrassment to "bonus tracks" everywhere. But I should also highlight some positives. "Romeos" is pretty catchy (can't go wrong with a box chord), and (despite possibly being the stupidest remix on this very bad album) "Sounds Like a Melody" has some good hooks in it (two, to be exact, which constituted the entirety of Lichtenfels's superior 2003 interpretation). But the F.A.F. remix of "Forever Young" is the top tune here, which is no coincidence as the original was also Alphaville's finest moment. So why did I track this down at all? Because this F.A.F. version was featured in the scene wherein a happy Lilja plays bumper cars after her life had sucked and before her life began to suck again.

M.A.S.H. feat. Stacie D - I Touch Myself (Love to Infinity Club Mix)
2005
M.A.S.H. uphold the Eurotrash tradition of transforming yesterday's pop songs into pumping dancefloor standards. This time it's the Divinyls' wink-wink pop hit "I Touch Myself" that gets the make-over.

Lasgo - Only You
2005
At long last, Lasgo's Peter Luts has returned to his senses and crafted a cheerful Eurodance tune (remember Astroline's "Close My Eyes"?). "Only You" (not to be confused with "Only U" [see above]), opens with a ridiculously catchy keyboard melody, followed by a pumping chorus wherein the music swoops and sails around the female vocals. Easily my favorite Lasgo song of all time. Welcome back to tru trashdom, Mr. Luts!

Da Buzz - Wanna Be With Me?
2002
Another Lilja tune, Swedish pop tarts Da Buzz's "Wanna Be With Me?" is a chipper piece of upbeat Europop that magically transmogrifies into a heart-breaking piece of misery after you associate the tune with that movie.

Rammstein - Mein Herz Brennt
2001
Rammstein's "Mein Herz Brennt," the song that opens and closes Lilja 4-Ever, is lumbering, thunderous metal with the typically dark Rammstein vocal delivery. But the symphonic strings and accompanying guitar parts actually have an eerie beauty to them. Pretty much inextricable from the film (listening to this song will always conjure up the image of a seagull circling by a smokestack, and it follows that that will always make me cry).

Keane - On a Day Like Today
2004
As Brits, Keane aren't exactly Euro, and as critically-acclaimed indie rockers they certainly aren't trash. But "On a Day Like Today" is stunningly beautiful, and poor Lilja deserves nothing less.


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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