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 57
(June 2007)         


It's been about a decade since the novelty faded for most, but once again I am completely hooked on webcams. Images above from Munich.

Akcent - Dragoste de inchiriat
2005
A huge hit for Romanian boyband Akcent, it sounds sorta like a cross between nu-Italo and 1980's synth pop. Thanks to Dana for making me aware of this.

Leila K - Electric (Short Version)
1995

"Electric" was Swedish rapper/Eurodance singer Leila K's last gasp before her career disintegrated into junkie hell. The song itself sounds like a near-disaster, reaching its lowest point when Leila issues a cringe-worthy shriek of, "LEILA K IN DA HAAAUUUUUSSSSS!!!" the instant before a fantastic tru trash chorus swoops in and snatches it from the jaws of death.

Ginger Woz Red - Disco Bombing (Extended Radio Play)
2006
More cooler-than-you minimal electro-ish dance stuff, but with a bit more flavor than some of the two-note variants floating around out there.

Whydee - I Do Believe (Main Radio)
2005
Another insane nu-Italo number, with nutty cut up female vocals serving as the verses before spilling into more conventional choruses. From the trash-masters over at Bliss Co., who have recently licensed a ton of good stuff to American iTunes.

Anticappella - 2√231
1991
Back when hardcore techno became big, there was some confusion over what was considered tasteful techno vs. schlock techno vs. ur-Eurodance. Of course, that's a revisionist telling—there really wasn't any "confusion" at all; the music back then was defining itself, evolving and morphing. Anticappella's 2√231 is a splendid example of this. Perfectly at home in a hardcore techno set, but also comfortable in a Eurodance one, this diva-sampling tune can still rip a room apart anywhere. Alternate title is "~30.39737."

Livin' Joy - Dreamer
1994/1995
Continuing our bask in ye goode olde days of dance, Livin' Joy's "Dreamer" is a slice of classic house with the requisite soulful diva and super cool-o organs. From Italy, no less. Topped the UK singles charts in May of 1995.

MIKA - Love Today
2007
Falsetto vocals, jolly pianos, electric guitar power chords...this foppish piece of Europopindiedisco is the best damn thing I've heard all year.

Stefy - Hey School Boy
2006
Ameritrashers Stefy seem to be channeling Blondie, what with their Orange Album cover (which echoes the look of Blondie's), strong female vocals, and a rock/techno sound. That's fine, because "Hey School Boy" is a perfect slab of power pop. It's doing business in Europe, hence its inclusion here.

Bob Sinclar feat. Steve Edwards - World Hold On (Extended Club Mix)
2006
With "World Hold On," Bob Sinclar has been accused of ripping off his own material, as both this and "Love Generation" feature whistling (for those who like to keep track, Carolina Marquez also released back-to-back whistling tunes). But nobody else writing on the web seems to have pointed out another similarity, and I'm proud to be, quite possibly, the first to do so: "World Hold On" sounds like a reggae-fied rip-off of the 1992 Frankie Knuckles house classic "The Whistle Song." But "World Hold On" has enough ideas of its own (even if the reggae-esque vocals are a little hammy) to ultimately be a welcome addition to this year's house music scene. Plus, it's better than "Love Generation."

Brooklyn Bounce - Contact (Vengaboys Remix)
2006
Brooklyn Bounce have always been a frustrating Eurodance act, what with their predilection for tuneless songs. Thankfully, the Vengaboys, who were resurrected during a seance conducted on the outskirts of Amsterdam, have swooped in to offer a spectacular, orchestra-laden take on the far duller original version of "Contact." Thanks to Sven for making me aware of this.

Scooch - Flying the Flag (for You) (Eurovision 2007 UK Entry)
2007
This year's Eurovision competition was, from this outsider's relatively objective perspective, marred by the fact that countries seemed to vote for their neighbors rather than for the quality of the songs themselves. Belarus backed Russia, Finland gave most of its points to Sweden, the Balkan countries showed more unity than they had even under communism, and so on and so forth. So, which countries would be most adversely impacted by such an approach to the voting? Why, those with the fewest neighbors, or course! And those would be Great Britain and Ireland, who came in 23rd and 24th out of 24 finalist slots respectively. What's worse, a syrupy ballad won the whole thing, and now some folks are saying that that song's melody was a rip-off of an Albanian song. Enough!!! "Flying the Flag," the UK's entry, was a perfect piece of dum-dum pop, sprinkled with naughty double-entendres the non-English speakers probably could not appreciate, all served up in a spectacularly choreographed performance. I'm not even really recommending it—it's sugar overload. But at Eurovision, where sugar-overload is the norm, this tune deserved more.

DJ Bobo - Vampires Are Alive (Radio Version) (Eurovision 2007 Swiss Entry)
2007
Another Eurovision loser was DJ Bobo, but he should feel like a winner considering how far he got with this silly homage to vampires (did he think that Lordi's win last year meant Eurovision was a free-for-all for any random act of lunacy?). This is a jaw-dropping production from one of the real kings of Eurotrash, and therefore is well worth a look and a listen. How sweet that he took his daughter's teddy bear to Eurovision as a good-luck charm! At least he made it to the semis.

Nicola - Honey
2004
I stumbled across this while searching for Romanian TV on YouTube; then-Romanian gymnastics coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang did some hoofing to this tune on the stage of some talk show; Nicola belted out her lip-synch commendably. I don't mean to make fun; this song is super-catchy (plus, it includes crowd noise and hand claps; I'm always a sucker for crowd noise and hand claps).

Akcent - Kylie (Original Radio Edit)
2006
Akcent enjoyed so much success with the aforementioned "Dragoste de inchiriat" that they released an English language version, called "Kylie," for more general Euro-consumption (*crunch crunch crunch*). Mega dance label Ultra Records distributed it. These English lyrics seem a bit silly, swerving dangerously into unintentional hilarity territory, but the singing is great, and the music still gets its hooks in you. Thanks again to Dana.

Paola - Interstellar Love
2002
This weird, mellow electro pop number from Sweden sails close to the rocky shores of Goofydom, but somehow manages to avoid the hazards. Pretty, bleepy, wistful—and very Swedish.

 
VOLUME 58
(July 2007)         


Public service announcement: trains are dangerous! Especially very cute ones!

Myleene Klass - Toccata
2004
In the UK, Myleene Klass is best known as the über hot chick with a healthy fondness for showers on UK Big Brother. She is second best known as the hottest of the hot chicks in Hear'Say, a band created on the Idol-ish TV show "Popstars: The Rivals", wherein a pop group is assembled from a pool of competitors (this show gave us Girls Aloud). Well, it turns out Myleene is also a talented pianist. After Hear'Say broke up she released the appropriately named Moving On, a collection of classical-lite tracks which sound sorta like "Hooked on Classics" meets Enigma. Her take on Bach's familiar "Toccata" will not trouble Mitsuko Uchida, but it's great fun to listen to. The song even has a dramatic music video featuring sexy Myleene striking pouty poses amongst blowing leaves (it's a very drafty house she lives in), plus some boytoy in a tight black shirt playing the violin for the ladies. Eurotrash perfection.

Terra Mystica - Cesta samotnih
2002

Terra Mystica is a Slovenian prog rock group that enlisted flute-playing/singer/hottie Tinkara Kovac (who has jammed with Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson) to lay down a vocal for their moody, breaks-fueled "Cesta samotnih." Sounds like a mellower, darker companion piece to Kosheen's immortal "Catch." Thanks to StinkyLudvic for ID'ing this song for me after I heard it on Slovenian radio.

Nolwenn Leroy - Nolwenn Ohwo!
2005
Nolwenn Leroy won France's Star Academy (their "American Idol") in 2002. One of her gold star performances on that show was her take on Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill." So it was natural that her handlers would eventually come up with the idea of having her sing a Kate Bush-esque tune. The result, "Nolwenn Ohwo!" was the first single from her second album. Imagine a Kate Bush rip-off sung in French. Imagine if that rip-off was actually really fucking good. Imagine if that rip-off was, somehow, even better than anything released by the post Hounds of Love Kate Bush. This seemingly impossible situation has been realized here.

Klee - Erinner dich
2006
Klee is another sunny, analog synth-driven German pop group whose dreamy debut, "Erinner dich" ought to find fans in any language.

Technique - Sun is Shining (Radio Mix)
1999
Technique is one of my favorite music obscurities, a group officially comprised of two chicks, one of whom was married to legendary Creation Records label manager Alan McGee (Creation released a slew of records from critically acclaimed indie pop groups, including My Bloody Valentine and Oasis). "Sun is Shining" was the only Technique single of which I'm aware, released on Creation during the final days of that legendary label's life. It sounds nothing like My Bloody Valentine. Think lush Euro-dancefloor gloss (a remix even landed on a Gatecrasher comp) with a smidgen of indie-attitude. The video, which last I checked was on YouTube, is a fabulous fetishizing of the European good life, set on a private jet piloted by an apparently intoxicated pilot. For those of us into more subtle forms of sexiness, this is the equivalent of bubbly splashed all over a thong-wearing bimbo.

Robbie Williams - Kiss Me With Your Mouth
2006
Stephen Duffy of the Lilac Time and a founding member of pre-success Duran Duran penned a minor hit in the mid 80's called "Kiss Me With Your Mouth," which Robbie Williams has Robbie-fied. As with other singles from Robbie's Rudebox, this is a thumping, electro-infused pop number. It's incredibly catchy and bolstered by clever lyrics one can credit both to Stephen Duffy and to somebody in a tunic who wrote the original "Song of Soloman" (from which the first two lines of the chorus are culled).

David Vendetta - Love to Love You Baby (Louis Botella Mix)
2007
David Vendetta is the umpteenth person to tackle the Donna Summer standard "Love to Love You Baby," but he manages to startlingly reinvent the tune by introducing a darker, harder edge to the original moan-filled classic. Louis Botella cranks up the beats a bit more. Few people could pull this off as these two have. Never has sex sounded so scary. It's on DJDownloads.com.

Alex Gaudino feat. Crystal Waters - Destination Calabria (Radio Edit)
2007
Much of "Destination Calabria's" popularity is likely derived from the music video, which features a chick in a skimpy green band majorette outfit who flashes her crotch from behind a lot. We will call her Green Panty Cunt Woman, because that is effectively her function in the video. Green Panty Cunt Woman should be paid 75% of the record's sales. Green Panty Cunt Woman lip-synchs the song presumably because vocalist Crystal Waters is too old to star in a video. There's also a song to go with Green Panty Cunt Woman's video.

Kaskade - Sorry (Dirty South Mix)
2007
Kaskade's "Sorry (Dirty South Mix)" is a glossy electro-house number given a nice injection of pretty.

Happy Nation - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Salt 'n Sugar Mix/Radio Mix)
1996
A strange one. Song starts off with purported girls from the USA reassuring American rap acts of waning consequence (any 1996 2 Live Crew fans?) that they are "right behind them," presumably because American rap artists stick together. Then it turns into a sort of Salt-N-Pepa thing, and then goes into a sort of off-key echo of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Conclusion: the USA may be mentioned a lot, here, but this song could only have been made in Europe!

Mary Kiani - Come Into My World
2006
Mary Kiani served up a number of club classics back in the 1990's. After a nearly decade-long hiatus she's back with a new album which includes some re-interpretations of her old songs and (I think) a bunch of new material. "Come Into My World" is not a Kylie cover; it's a soaring Eurodance pop tune of the old school variety and in all the best possible ways. Anyone missing the anthemic Europop tunes of the late 90's and early 2000's should be made very happy by this piece of pop perfection.

Scatman John - Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop) (Extended Mix)
1995
Scatman John occupies a sentimental part of many a Eurodancer's heart. His "Scatman" is a piece of Eurodance gold; and here's a rare case where the "extended" mix never wears out its welcome with the non-DJ. Scatman John was a "scat" artist who riffed on top of jazz tracks, but some German producers suggested he try performing on top of Eurodance beats. He made his own stuttering problem the basis for the lyrics to "Scatman," which quickly ripped up dancefloors while making stutterers around the world euphoric. He died of lung cancer in 1999, and is sorely missed. Video is part of the "all inclusive" form of marketing, wherein instead of seeing sexy babes we see "everyday people" busting moves to the Scatman's wordplay. The good ol' days.

Double Vision - Knockin'
1994-1996
Double Vision's "Knockin'" is a rollicking piece of Europop with one hell of an awesome vocal track.

Hydragen - Creature of Habit (Original Mix)
2006
Hydragen's "Creature of Habit" has that Goa trance thing going on; a busy tune with multiple melodic elements, including a pretty, analog synth-dominated "chorus" that makes its intrusion at the usual 2 minute+ mark, and a little acid workout a few minutes from the end. It's on DJDownloads.com.

Meck - Feels Like Home (Redanka Mix)
2007
A new generation gets to discover the pleasures of Felix's "Don't You Want Me? (Hooj Mix)", a song which peeled paint off the walls of clubs throughout the UK and Europe back in the fall of 1992. Meck featuring Dino snagged the Fucking Awesome Hook from the Felix tune and transplanted it into a solid song of their own called "Feels Like Home." The Redanka mix takes the listener on a mesmerizing journey to That Fucking Awesome Hook; only in its final minutes does the hook make its appearance. It's a perfect example of control and restraint, which ultimately maximizes the orgasmic properties of Fucking Awesome Hook.

Le Star Bebe - Le Chant des Enfants (Original Mix)
2007
Le Star Bebe's "Le Chant des Enfants (Original Mix)" is precisely the sort of dumbass crap that only the Italians (here offering a French lesson, paradoxically) could pull off--and pull it off they do! Chanting children repeat French phrases after their instructor, who seems to be quite impatient with their progress or lack thereof. Another "download I-dare-you."

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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