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 2010)

Thanks to *littlemewhatever for allowing me to use and modify Frozen Cleopatra, and to ~TheCyanide for allowing me to use and modify Black Ice Queen for the image on the right.

I head to Ukraine, Romania, and other places "to be determined" on the 13th of January, so this is the last compendium I will post before I begin the next several months of travels. I hope to continue updating the website while on the road, hopefully with reviews of lots of hard-to-find musical goodies from the places that I visit. I also hope to meet some of you Eurotrashers, so feel free to contact me at the email address below. I am especially interested in interviewing those of you out there making music in your neck of the woods (in other words: I am offering you some English-language promotion), and I would love to DJ a bit of trash as well! :-)

Click on the music notes to hear song samples.

Fred Worx - Softly (Rudy Rudy Dog Remix)

This terrifying trancer features a woman chanting in a creepy voice, "I whisper words...SSSSOFT-ly!" I want my mommy!

The Orb - Vuja De

Stick around in electronic music long enough and most of your old friends will leave you while new ones fail to materialize. Eventually, all you will have left are your saddest fans, the ones who even you would wish would move on. The once-mighty Orb saw its fanbase whittled down in such a way, the cruelest cuts coming in the mid-1990s when some back-to-back middling releases turned off a large chunk of the project's following. So it's a pleasure to report that things seem to be cheery again on Planet Orb, with the sublime "Vuja De" rocking things heavily (in a 90s way, but heavily nonetheless). Burbling sounds and chunky beats remind you of the Orb days of yore, but then there is that explosive female vocal crying, "It's the way that you hold me!" The Orb is in love!

Sneaky Sound System - I Love It

Tiësto recently collaborated with this Australian group on "I Will Be Here." Here is the tune that probably caught his ear in the first place. "I Love It" peaked modestly at #24 on the Australian charts, but then it remained in the top 100 for a record 70 weeks. A barely-promoted UK-release for the track tanked afterward, which is a shame. "I Love It" is super-sexy. Indeed, it's the best thing that came out of Australia in 2006—after "H2O: Just Add Water," of course.

Vitalic - Poison Lips

What happened to Vitalic, whose "My Friend Dario" rocked the foundations of Fortress King Pigeon years ago? Well, he seems to have reached a sort of apex with "Poison Lips." Unlike his earlier, harsher fare, there is a sense of beauty to this, though the abrasive Vitalic sound palette continues to sputter away underneath the lazy-hazy female vocals. The lyrics have been subversively tweaked into incomprehensibility, and there's a wailing synth bridge that, despite Vitalic's association with hard electro, even old Gatecrasher trance fans will find appealing.

Ke$ha - TiK ToK

Why does Ameritrasher Ke$ha wake up feeling like P. Diddy? Because "Diddy" almost rhymes with "city." And why does she reject all suitors except those who look like Mick Jagger? Because "Jagger" rhymes with "swagger." Dumber lyrics have been championed on these pages, but Ke$ha's performance, reminiscent of the nearly-forgotten L'Trimm (a duo who once rapped, "We like them big and we like them small/We like them one and we like them all"), is truly irritating. My friend Amy accurately compares her to the woeful British flash-in-the-pan Jentina. The worst smash hit of 2009.

MSTRSS feat. Deborah Lee - In Danger (Extended Mix)

A smooth dance choon with lots of attitude and screwy synth sounds, the sort of thing Sugababes ought to be doing these days.

Minilogue - Leloo

A chick chatters away on top of swooping, swirling sounds in a 2003 number that has recently found new life on the DJ Download charts.

Krum i Miro - V edno ogledalo

Bulgarian chalga song featuring two male vocalists that is elevated by a burst of mysterious-sounding female vocals in its choruses.

Shemian - 1927 (Original Mix)

At a holiday party last month a ton of people commented on this particular song from my latest online DJ set, so it seems to be the favorite. Samples a 1920s song (replete with a 1920s level of sensitivity towards outside cultures) and marries it to modern boom-boom beats, all to humorous/creepy effect.

Eric Chase - If You Tolerate This (Club Edit)

If you want to know how long dance music has plucked from non-dancefloor pop songs, consider Meco's 1977 disco version of the "Star Wars Theme" or Donna Summer's 1978 updating of "MacArthur Park" for starters. Eric Chase is part of that not-so-grand tradition, and here offers us the bridge from the Manic Street Preachers' "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next," the original version of which has the distinction of boasting the longest parentheses-free song title ever to top the UK charts. Mr. Chase shortens the title so that it now makes no sense at all, but that's OK since there are no lyrics left in his version to suggest any meaning anyway—just a bunch of breathy "ahhhs." It's as pretty as the model featured in the music video.

Electrotheque - Every 1's a Winner (Electrochocolate Mix)

Friend Luc recommended this one to me from his home base in the Netherlands. Hot Chocolate is another one of those 1970s disco/funk groups that enjoyed huge success in Europe but is virtually unheard of in the U.S. market. The distinctive electric guitar riff from their "Every 1's A Winner" has been sampled a few times (surfacing, for example, in Nalin Inc.'s "Scream" back in 2002). This reinterpretation is my favorite. It includes a sparkling vocoder section featuring helpful instructions for how to make yourself "electrochocolate." Thanks, Luc!

Marc de Simon feat. Antonia B - Rainbow Sky (2009 Remix)

It has a sproingy Basshunter quality to it, but this updating of "Rainbow Sky" possesses more emotional yearning than one would encounter in a "Boten Anna." Antonia B. sounds suspiciously like a guy, but maybe that's just the end result of all the processing done to her voice. Actually, one could write a thesis on male dance producers who tweak their voices to sound like women, presumably because their girlfriends are not talented enough to carry a tune themselves. I apologize; that's quite a digression. But perhaps they have no girlfriends.

Scooter - The Sound Above My Hair (Extended)

Scooter busted out the bagpipes years ago for "I'm Raving," so they may as well roll them out again for a song wherein they sing "Here I go out to rave again."

Chicane - Poppiholla (Radio Edit)

While Eric Chase noodled with a sample of UK rock band Manic Street Preachers, Chicane chipped away at an old Sigur Ros song called "Hoppipolla" in order to produce this bittersweet dancefloor version.

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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