When 1000 heterosexual DJs won’t cut it, consider 1000 homosexual ones to finish the job. 1990’s Supernaut, a two-track 12” featuring an uncredited Trent Reznor on an early 70’s Black Sabbath cover, is both 25 years old, and essential Chicago industrial music material. Happy hump day.
I was elated when I finally found my copy of Lead into Gold’s only full length, 1990’s Age of Reason. Like a child on Christmas unwrapping musical bliss, or something like that. I scored a sealed copy for super cheap online some, wow, 10+ years back. There is a bridge… there is water… and there has been a lot of that water… anyway, one needs to be in a very specific, sharp-minded and angry mood to fully enjoy this industrial masterwork. Today, I was that one. Enjoy with caution.
In 1990, Jane’s Addiction released their 2nd studio album, Ritual De Lo Habitual. Three Days, Been Caught Stealing, and Classic Girl all debuted with this legendary album which was, for over a decade, their last. She, and her older sister, 1988’s Nothing Shocking each got heavy play throughout my high school years, and with everything ingested during those impressionable years, received its proper graduation to “ownership on vinyl.”
So, I’m still trying to figure out The 45 King. Mix Dan the Automator, J-Swift, Jam Master Jay, and DJ Muggs into a violent apparatus that spins (turntable, blender, woodchipper), yet, predate all of these by at least a year, and you’ve got yourselves one heavy weighted, out-mutha-fuggin-standing collection of offhanded, subtly pleasing breakbeats. I’m dumbfounded! I honestly never know, but now, I’m on the hunt for the King’s entire Lost Breakbeat discography.
(Personal note: I’m digitizing this album as I type this. PG = fan of 45 King)
Imagine my surprise upon discovering 45 King’s The Yellow Album, at a thrift store, sealed, and for only $3 bucks! $3 for a thrift store album is asinine, but this one was well worth the 300 pennies. Bronx DJ and remix producer (among other things well produced), Mark James, aka The 45 King, released six colored albums throughout 1990 in The Lost Breakbeats series; White, Grey, Green, Red, Orange, and this, Yellow. Having not heard of Mr. 45 King’s work prior to forking over my $3, I was both excited with this album’s overall quality, and dumbfounded that I’d never heard of this guy, or this album before. If you’re into quality hip-hop beats from back in the day (circa: late 80s, early 90s), then The Yellow Album is pure listening satisfaction.
There is absolutely no shame in erupting into a volcanic burst of pure, adolescent excitement every once in a while. My most recent enthusiastic explosion was upon discovering this single by the illustrious (yet short lived) electro-pop outfit, C&C Music Factory. Their unforgettable, 1990 effort, Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) was a personal turning point for me, as this was one of the first two compact discs I’d ever owned.
Graduating to the new, crisp sound would come back to haunt me, however, as my instinctive decisions were something I’ve never been able to shake off. Had I known my compulsive hobby would have turned out the way it has, I may have reconsidered my first “official” music choices. I’ve since, over the years, learned to own these erroneous decisions, and am slowly approaching the level of embracement. Now, if I can only find Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, recapturing my tweens would be all but complete.
This is a picture of a recent (as of a few years) reissue of Bad Religion’s 1990 staple, Against the Grain. I’m certainly a fan of BR, even though I wouldn’t be the first to admit that once you hear one BR song, you’ve heard every BR song, but I’ve always tended to pass up BR releases every time I ran across one. Not entirely sure why, considering their history amongst my favorite genre, but perhaps BR’s role in my chronological music timeline has yet to come to true fruition. Time will only tell, but in the meantime I’ll simply forgo the spin, and admire Against the Grain for its aesthetic beauty.
Victorious, self-promoted back-patting often follows a discovery of unrelated mediums. My fandom of all things Wax Trax!, (X-Ministry member) Paul Barker, and kickass covers first drove me, at nauseating high speeds, to the Lead into Gold (aka Paul Parker) three-track EP, Chicks & Speed: Futurism. Thinking little-to-nothing of the embossed “chick with speed” cover upon its immediate acquisition, set up a cloud parting, heaven’s light-shining, all-aware, and never forgotten moment of connection and instant recognizable correlation some several (possibly three) years later.
I’d heard Georges Bizet’s legendary opera, Carmen, several times prior, although I couldn’t necessarily pinpoint when and where, but this ear-ingesting fact is unimportant. What’s profoundly relevant is the striking similarity, i.e. blatant ripping off (homage?) of the 1955 Columbia Records (CL 735) discharge by André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra to the 1990 Wax Trax! Records release. Nowhere during the opera’s IV acts does the swelling drama invoke even a hint of the Chicago based American industrial offered by Lead into Gold, and nowhere throughout the 19 minutes of Chick & Speed: Futurism is a hint of Carmen revealed.
The struggles to continue the lifelong search of the ever-illusive relation between these two albums marches on, and perhaps always will, but the journey’s soundtrack, as well as its alluring cover art, certainly is provocative.
Nitzer Ebb’s Lightning Man was one of three singles to emerge from their third album, 1990’s Showtime. Originating in Essex, Nitzer Ebb is pure, unadulterated EBM (electronic body music) also known as industrial dance. My sincere apology if you already knew that.
Released on merciless Mute Records (definitely a label with which to go back and explore if quality electro is your thing), this 2-track 12” is a good example of the band’s refined maturity that spanned the three short years since their debut album, That Total Age. Lightning Man, and especially the b-side, Who We Are harbor deep, imposing, and often deliberately sluggish layers of sexy EBM that, sans vocals, would work perfect as film score. As is, it makes for a fantastic, yet unfortunately short listen.
Okay, either I’m extremely daft, or my short-term memory is completely shot! I’ve had this (ahem) “Limited Edition 4 Track 12” Featuring Daddy-O Remix + Colour ‘Flood’ Poster” (phew) of the gonna-break-your-head-it’s-so-damned-catchy single, Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by a personal favorite, They Might Be Giants for more years than I’m willing to admit. Fact.
Okay? So what, you ask. Well, upon perusing my collecting looking for something to catch my ear, I noticed this nice little sticker indicating how this 12” originally came with a poster. Remember when posters were a thing? Shamefully, I do too. Anywho, not thinking much about it, I nabbed it and offered a whimsical yet vaguely hopeful gander to confirm what I already knew… there would be no poster. Imagine my jaw-dropping surprise when, there was, in fact, a “Colour ‘Flood’ Poster!” It was almost like rediscovering a thumb! Okay, maybe not that monumental, but now all I have to do is convince my GF that our apartment needs, no, DESERVES a Colour ‘Flood’ Poster. My money says the poster will stay right where it is.
Great! Now I’m on a They Might Be Giants fix!
On a side note, if you play the beginning of Flood at 45rpm, the intro sounds like something straight out of Munchkin Land. Just sayin’.
The term “Vanilla Ice” implies that at one point, there existed “Chocolate Ice,” because otherwise, it would just be called “Ice.” My parents taught me that an individual’s ice flavor was nothing to be judged, and that personality weighed more than any ice flavor imaginable. So instinctively, I was immediately drawn to the Chocolate-inspired Ice of the Vanilla persuasion. Yes, I was a fan of Vanilla Ice, and yes, I own and listen to this record.
Remember Snow? A licky Boom Boom yeah, I don’t either. Do you know why the Snow and his half-hit wonder, Informer, fell hard (snow… falling…)? It’s because the Ice man here left such a monumental impact upon the release of this album, that the debris had yet to settle by the time Snow’s “single” hit the streets in the fall of 1993. Ice had this covered, man! The Vanilla doesn’t melt so easily it seems.
I remember sitting in Mrs. Bleach’s 6th grade class frantically transcribing Ice Ice Baby, in pencil, as if it were a newly discovered missing chapter of the Bible. I believe I spent an entire recess start-stopping this track (on cassette) to assure a precise transcript. What the hell I did with those lyrics upon completion, I’ll never remember, but I did, inadvertently, burn a Vanilla Ice-sized hole in my cranium that, to this day, has yet to fully heal.
Listening to Vanilla Ice now, with his assertive, borderline belligerent delivery, is nothing short of absolutely hysterical. Yo, VIP! I’ve just decided to work that into my daily vocabulary. I’m thinking something like, “Yo, VIP! Pass the milk!” Or, “Yo, VIP! Do you want in on this conference call?!” Something to that effect. I encourage all of you to experiment with this timeless phrase at least once today, if only to gauge the reaction of the ill-prepared VIP.
It’s painful to acknowledge that 1990 is now 23 year ago, but thankfully, the immortal gift that is Vanilla Ice will forever be present to remind us of how groundbreaking this music wasn’t. “Yo! VIP! Post is done!”