80s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ I Start Counting

I start countingIf you’re lucky, you’ll remember this short-lived electronic band from North London. If you’re like me, you haven’t a clue who they were, but after listening to them, you’ll know you missed out on something really good. Fortunately, a dear rare 80s blogging buddy featured them on his blog Mine for Life a few years ago, otherwise I may never have had the pleasure of experiencing them

Electronic, poppy, somewhat dark, somewhat trippy….all the major ingredients for 80s music success, right? Once again and in this case, something was definitely missing in the equation; like so many other talented artists, this band went totally under the radar.

I Start Counting was actually a duo made up of college friends David Baker and Simon Leonard, who, according to Wikipedia, shared a love of pop music. The Wikipedia article goes on to report:

Baker and Leonard had met at Middlesex University; both had affection for pop music. In 1982 they began to DJ together which led to them to form the I Start Counting project. Leonard specialised in the technology side and Baker was biased toward the musical side of the project. They approached Daniel Miller with some demos of their recorded material. These demos led to Mute Records signing the duo in 1984.

In 1986, I Start Counting recorded and released their debut album, My Translucent Hands. This accomplishment led to them becoming a I-Start-Counting-My-Translucent-Handssupport act for Erasure the following year. They released a second album in 1989, Fused, which included a new version of “Lose Him” comprised entirely of sampled voices.

The duo would morph into two more groups, Fortran 5 and Komputer, migrating to a different sound and experimenting with the dance/techno genre. Needless to stay, the enduring success they deserved eluded them, and they faded into 80s rarity oblivion.

Purchase I Start Counting music here.

Discography

As “I Start Counting”

1986 – My Translucent Hands (Mute Records)
1989 – Fused (Mute Records)

As “Fortran 5”

1991 – Blues (Mute Records)
1993 – Bad Head Park (Mute Records)
1995 – Avocado Suite (Mute Records)

As “Komputer”

1998 – The World of Tomorrow (Mute Records)
2002 – Market Led (Mute Records)
2007 – Synthetik (Mute Records)
2007 – Intercom (Self-released)

I Start Counting ~ Letters to a Friend ~ via YouTube user GeneLovesBowdie:

I Start Counting ~ My Translucent Hands ~ via YouTube user The Jesbel:

I Start Counting ~ Modern Sunbathing ~ via YouTube user MilesFiles2008:

80s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Hoodoo Gurus

hoodoosOnce again, I am at a loss to explain what could have possibly happened that this gifted band from Australia was not a huge hit in the states. From what I understand, Hoodoo Gurus got massive airplay on college radio stateside, but that’s about it. Thank goodness college/alternative radio had some good sense back then, otherwise so many of these criminally underrated bands would have suffered from complete US airway indifference.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I am so glad to have the chance to go back and revisit what I’ve missed thanks to the annoyingly misguided and downright stupid decisions made by clueless suits in boardrooms as to what got airplay and what didn’t during the most vital musical decade ever. (Huge intake of breath.) But I digress….hoodoos2

Hoodoo Gurus formed in Sydney Australia circa 1981, and was initially comprised of Dave Faulkner, (songwriter, lead singer and guitarist), Kimble Rendall (bass, guitar, backing vocals), Roddy Radalj (guitar, backing vocals), James Baker (drums), and Clyde Bramley (bass guitar, backing vocals). Shortly after, the band reformed into its more well-known lineup of Faulkner (original), Richard Grossman (bass), Mark Kingsmill (drums), and Brad Shepherd (guitar, vocals, harmonica).

They had a string of hits throughout the decade in their homeland of Oz and a strong, enduring popularity on US college radio. Refusing to ascribe to a single sound, the Gurus’ music spanned many genres including power pop, psychedelic rock, and punk. They recorded 7 albums from 1984 until 1996, then came back with two more albums in 2004 and 2010.

hoodoos3

But, you say, you’ve never heard of them? Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, now you have.

Check out their music (some of which is posted below via YouTube), then expand the horizons of your 80s collection (and your mind) by making your purchase here. Be forewarned: if you’re looking for heavy, industrial music, you won’t find it with the Gurus. But, if you’re looking for a musical lift, you’ve definitely come to the right place.

Discography

1984: Stoneage Romeos
1985: Mars Needs Guitars!
1987: Blow Your Cool!
1989: Magnum Cum Louder
1991: Kinky
1994: Crank
1996: Blue Cave
2004: Mach Schau
2010: Purity of Essence

Hoodoo Gurus website.

Hoodoo Gurus ~ Bittersweet ~ via Youtube user nzoz1985:

Hoodoo Gurus ~ What’s My Scene ~ via YouTube user jazztronic:

Hoodoo Gurus ~ Come Anytime ~ via YouTube user amlimabr:

Hoodoo Gurus ~ A Place In The Sun ~ via YouTube user miketheblueeagle:

80s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Abecedarians are Back!

AbecedariansI can hardly contain my excitement. There have been rumblings over the past couple of years of a re-release of Abecedarians music. The moment has finally come!

Bassist John Blake contacted me a couple of months ago to let me know this long-awaited treat was on the verge of becoming a reality. It was hard to keep quiet about this news, but I didn’t want to spoil the delicious anticipation that fans all over the world have been experiencing.

Ashirt

I received my copies of both Eureka on vinyl and CD and the Eureka “Bonus” CD this past week. Also available from the Pylon Records site are Eureka color vinyl, an Abecedarians leather iPad cover, and T-shirts in both tan and dark blue.

Track listings are as follows:

Eureka double vinyl or single CD

GhostsAE
Soil
Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians
I Glide
Mice & Coconut Tree
Misery of Cities
Smiling Monarchs
Benways Carnival
Switch
Other Side of the Fence
They Said Tomorrow
Wildflower
John’s Pop
Spaghetti Western

Bonus CD (included in select packages only)

AEsleeve

Ghosts
Soil
Come Out
Where’s Karen
Classic
Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians

Get yourselves over to Pylon Records and order your Abecedarians merchandise and music now. Or, if someone you know is struggling with what to get you for a gift this holiday season (or for any occasion whatsoever), drop a big hint that they should indulge your Abecedarians music cravings.

Abecedarians ~ I Glide ~ via YouTube user missparker0106

Not included in the re-release, but one of my favorites.

Abecedarians ~ Dinner ~ via YouTube user missparker0106

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Frozen Ghost/ Sheriff

Short-lived, yet talented–that’s what we’re all about here at Rave and Roll.  Frozen Ghost, a Canadian 80s new wave band founded by Arnold Lanni (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and Wolf Hassel (bass, vocals), is no exception, with one slight twist.  Lanni and Hassel were also previously members of another short-lived and talented band called Sheriff. The 80s was a decade of band-hopping and “six degrees of separation,” and Frozen Ghost fits right in with that scenario.

To make matters more interesting, Frozen Ghost and Sheriff became rock chart competitors. Lanni, who owned the rights to Sheriff’s name, benefited from both bands’ royalties, so it turned out to be a successful business venture for him. Unfortunately, this somehow watered down the drive to make Frozen Ghost a musical force, and they ended up disbanding in 1993 after a long-awaited and mediocre album release.

Check out the band’s first two album releases: Frozen Ghost (1987) and Nice Place to Visit (1988) to experience the essence of what Lanni and Hassel had to offer before the musical waters were muddied. This is Canadian 80s at its finest, and another example of how regional music was criminally underrated and under-promoted here in the states.

Frozen Ghost ~ Round and Round ~ via YouTube user frozenghostsongs:

Frozen Ghost ~ Should I See ~ via YouTube user kurdtss:

Frozen Ghost ~ End of the Line ~ via YouTube user frozenghostsongs:

80’s (and sometimes 00’s) Music Rules ~ Introducing Martin Eve

I have had the great pleasure of meeting Martin Eve through our mutual love of 8os electronica. I was searching for Fiat Lux’s “Photography” on YouTube, somehow Martin found out, and he ended up uploading a copy for my enjoyment. In getting to know Martin, I have found him to be charming, engaging, and an extremely talented electronic musician. Martin has graciously agreed to be interviewed for Rave and Roll, while waiting for the imminent release of his latest collection of music. Be sure to check his music out on SoundCloud, under the user name 4th Eden. I believe you’ll be very impressed.

***************************************************************

How long have you been a musician?

Well, I guess since my teens, as I studied music at school which was in the late 70’s. I really started writing in the early 80’s, the time of the electronic music explosion. So, I wrote music with my friends on our synthesizers.

What/who inspired you to become a musician?

I have to say my first music teacher inspired me to begin with when he played me Tomita’s – The Planet Suite. Ok, written by Holst, but all done with synthesizers…awesome. He also played in class a guy called Mike Oldfield. So, Tomita and Mike Oldfield are an unlikely inspiration together, but that’s how it began.

Tell us in what way that inspiration influences your music.

I try not to be influenced by music I listen to but it’s always going to be there in your subconscious. Inspiration however, is all around me, particularly where I live in Mid Wales. One moment I will write about the Welsh Hills and the next about a burial chamber. Real life and people inspire me, as well. I was recently inspired to write a piece about George Mallory (the man who almost made it to the top of Everest).

How would you describe the genre of music that you create?

I don’t stick to one genre, so I guess I genre-hop. With my influences from the 80’s with bands like Ultravox, there will be the electronic pop feel; but then I really like the folk/new age side. However, I do enjoy writing in a Cinematic dramatic way, where possible.

What current artist/group do you listen to most often?

At the moment it’s Ultravox – “Brilliant” the new album after 28 years away! But I also am listening to School of Seven Bells – “Ghostery” and Polica – “Give You the Ghost.”

Which decade of music do you feel is the most influential on current up-and-coming artists, and why?

The artists I listen too are influenced by many different decades of music. They then make it their own to make it sound bang up-to-date production techniques.

If you could spend your time doing anything at all, what and where would that be?

Hmmmm…. walk, live by the sea, and write music…as I say on my forums, “Composing Until I’m Decomposing.”

Do you prefer the studio or performing live? Why?

I’m a studio musician…the thought of performing scares the hell out of me.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve ever received?

I rarely get compliments!

What type of equipment do you use?

I use a variety of software based instruments and samplers with my Digital Audio Workstation, Sonar. These are all connected to my Korg MIDI keyboard. Favourite instruments are probably Omnisphere and Kontakt. Once a track is finished then my preferred location for publication is Soundcloud where fellow Soundcloud members can comment on my tracks.

Do you work alone, or do you collaborate with anyone? If you collaborate, what is their role?

I mainly work alone but recently I have been collaborating with a singer in Los Angeles, a musician in France and another musician in Sweden. It’s great collaborating; it pushes you further out of your comfort zone, but can be more time-consuming.

I generally find that my role will be mainly to write the songs and then produce them, but this depends on the other artist. If they want more involvement, then I’m happy for a role-reversal.

Where can we go to listen to/purchase your music?

You can listen to my music on my SoundCloud page at http://soundcloud.com/quietman. A new CD is imminent, but I cannot mention where it can be purchased from yet until it’s finally released by the record company. However, it will be available in our cafe’ (that’s the day job) at the ‘Wye Knot Stop’ Cafe/B&B in Llyswen in Wales.

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ The End of an Era ~ 5-15-12

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this last entry for Retrospect. Ed-FM is moving far from the CFRC broadcast booth for a work-related position. It’s a wonderful event for him, and a sad one for his listeners. We wish Ed-FM all the very best after giving more than 12 years to CFRC as Retrospect’s DJ, spinning countless 80’s gems that would otherwise never be heard over the airwaves.

I have known Ed for the past 4 years and he has added immeasurable light to my life through his friendship and his music. I predict we’ll be hearing him in some other iteration one of these days. Spinning fabulously obscure music is in his blood, and he won’t be able to resist the call of the turntable for very long. Godspeed, Ed.

CFRC-FM Playlist May 15, 2012

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck

To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

Men Without Hats – On Tuesday
Alexi Sayle – Didn’t You Kill My Brother?
They Never Sleep – Bite The Bullet
Yello – Metropolitan Meltdown (Part II)
Manufacture – As The End Draws Near (extended mix)
Flash & The Pan – Midnight Man (extended mix)
Vis-A-Vis – I am The Night (Colour Me Black)
David Bowie – Heroes/Helden
Slow Children – Spring In Fialta (extended)
Comsat Angels – You Move Me (One Good Reason)
Stranglers – No Mercy (extended)
Simple Minds – Glittering Prize (live)
Yello – Metropolitan Meltdown (Part I)
English Beat – Pato And Roger A Go Talk
Single Gun Theory – Open The Skies
New Order – Blue Monday

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 5-8-12

Tonight was a nice mix of old friends and new – music we’ve been made aware of along with some lesser-known tunes. It was all good and made for two hours of absolute bliss. Thank you Ed-FM for all that you do to make the world disappear for 120 minutes. It’s greatly appreciated.

Tune in to Ed and his “more synthesizers!” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist May 8, 2012

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here. Or, join us on Facebook.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

Box – L’Affaire Du Moutier (tightrope mix)
Nails – Home Of The Brave
Gary Numan – My Jesus (John Peel Sessions)
Icicle Works – Shit Creek
Cassandra Complex – One Millionth Happy Customer
Rational Youth – Cite Phosphore
Tones On Tail – War
Simple Minds – Here Comes The Fool
Nash The Slash – Swing Shift (soixante-neuf)
Martha & The Muffins – Swimming
Cars – Moving In Stereo
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (anihilation mix)
The The – December Sunlight (All Cried Out)
New Order – Ceremony
Maurice & The Cliches – Soft Core
Gowan – A Criminal Mind
Men Without Hats – Security (10-inch single)
Rockaderos – I Wanna Dance Like Fred
English Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom (dub mix)
Blancmange – Blind Vision (12 inch)
Department S – Is Vic There?

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 5-1-12

Another exceptional night with Ed-FM and Retrospect.No matter what the world throws at you, there is a song that will help heal your soul. Ed-FM has a way of finding just the right tunes to make all your troubles and worries fade away.

Tune in to Ed and his “there’s a song for that” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist May 1, 2012

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here. Or, join us on Facebook.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

Vis-A-Vis – Shadowplay
Squeeze – Slap & Tickle
Toby Swann – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Ryan Paris – La Dolce Vita
Gary Numan – This Wreckage
Yeah Yeah Noh – Blood Soup
Wang Chung – Wait
Rational Youth – Cite Phosphore
Chameleons – Up The Down Escalator
English Beat – Pato & Roger A Go Talk
Clash – Charlie Don’t Surf
Malcolm Burn – Crashing
Richard Strange & The Engine Room – Damascus
Norman Iceberg – Be My Human Tonight
Chills – Pink Frost
Hush – Now Reality
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Genetic Engineering (extended)
Henry Badowski – My Face
Japan – Life In Tokyo (Disco mix)

80’s (and sometimes 00’s) Music Rules – Independent Music Productions

One thing I’ve learned from David Marsden and Ed (Ed-FM) Cooke: some of the best music in the industry has been overlooked because the stuffed suits in the record company/radio station boardrooms have given themselves the power to determine what us members of the poor, unwashed masses should listen to.  I have been a rebel my entire existence, listening to what moves me, not whatever is the flavor of the moment. If I didn’t feel that way, I would have missed out on some outstanding music without which my life would have been just a little more wretched. Can I imagine a world without Gary Numan, Slave To The SQUAREwave, Autocondo, Electronic Dream Factory, Vladymir Rogoff, Benjamin Russell, and so many others? No. Had I relied on what commercial radio force-feeds us, would I have enjoyed the moving and life-enriching creations of these fabulous musicians? Not likely.

The champions of bringing superior music (besides DJs like David and Ed) to the masses are generally folks in the marketing side of the independent music industry. I’d like to call attention to one such company, Independent Music Productions. The title of this music marketing outfit pretty much says it all.

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to some of the artists that Independent Music Productions promotes and feel they are worth the time to listen to. Here are a few to discover:

Rooftop Runners

From Independent Music Productions:

Forging a mix of menacing mood and moving melody out of their adopted city of Berlin, Germany, RTR are Canadian singer-songwriter brother duo Benedikt and Tobias MacIsaac. An internationally accomplished choreographer and dancer respectively, the brothers are no strangers to performing-arts success, having toured and performed extensively with world class troupes in Europe.

From: Berlin, Germany
Album: We Are Here EP (rel date April 3, 2012)

“Bang Bang” by Rooftop Runner via YouTube user rooftoprunnersmusic:

Style: Alternative / Indie / Trip pop
Members:Benedikt & Tobias MacIsaac
Production: Angela Seserman
Tracklisting: Streets, Energize, Bang Bang, She Devil
Official Website
Highlights: 2012 European tour successfully completed, performed at Club NME
“Streets” electronic remix“Streets” Music VideoStreaming Link

From Independent Music Productions:

Sounds Like: Jeff Buckley, James Blake, Radiohead, Massive Attack

Bio: “Crippled in my youth, crippled in my youth, crippled in my youth and I’m trying to breathe”

Francis Bowie

From Independent Music Productions:

Francis Bowie is a metrosexual whirlwind of creativity within the Danish music and art scene; aside from his singing and songwriting,  he’s a painter, sculptor, designer, writer and gallery owner. Indie  Music Musings calls him “a positive rush of inspiration and  celebration inspired by new wave and electronic music. Picture Duran Duran and Unkle with dreadlocks.”

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
CD: Francis Bowie EP
Release date: Oct 17, 2011
Label: Interscope Digital
Production: Michelle Djarling & Kasper Larsen (Kay & Ndustry)
Websites:
http://francisbowie.bandcamp.com/, http://francisbowie.com, http://soundcloud.com/francis-bowie, http://www.facebook.com/FrancisBowie

Style: Intelligent Pop Music
Streaming linkMusic video links

“Sunny Day” by Francis Bowie via YouTube use FrancisBowieOfficial:

Press contact: James Moore (james@independentmusicpromotions.com)
Artist contact: music@francisbowie.com

Monks of Mellonwah

From Independent Music Productions:

A four-piece alternative rock and indie band based in Sydney, the Monks draw on a variety of influences driving each member to create a fresh and unique sound, blending elements of classic blues & rock with modern indie and alternative rock. Their first E.P., Stars Are Out, is testament to such a unique blend, and has been highly praised since
its release in 2010.

Location: Sydney, NSW
CD: “Neurogenesis” EP (Advance rel May 24, 2012)
Streaming Music

“Swamp Groove” by Monks of Mellonwah via YouTube user MonksOfMellonwah:


Members: Will Maher (vocals), Joe de la Hoyde (backing vocals/guitar), John de la Hoyde (bass), Josh Baissari (drums)
Production: Jeff Bova (Michael Jackson), Ryan Miller (John Frusciante), Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, RHCP)
Websites:
http://www.monksofmellonwah.com
http://www.facebook.com/monksofmellonwah,
http://www.twitter.com/monksofmellonwah
Style: indie rock, alternative rock
Similar to: The Black Keys, Muse, Incubus
Press contact: James Moore (james@independentmusicpromotions.com)
Band management contact: Chris de la Hoyde (cdelahoyde@yahoo.com)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 4-24-12

Ed promised to make up last week’s absence to us, and he never goes back on a promise! Tonight’s show was extra-hot, showcasing special tracks he purchased at The Record Vault while in Toronto last week. As always, his treasures are our pleasures! Lucky we are that Ed-FM was taught at an early age to share.

Tune in to Ed and his “it’s much more fun to share” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist April 24, 2012

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here. Or, join us on Facebook.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

Breeding Ground – Reunion
Abecedarians – Smiling Monarchs
Mission UK – Island In A Stream
Strange Advance – Love Becomes Electric (skin to skin mix)
Arkitex – Mystery Man
Devine – Walk Like A Man
Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party (party ’til you’re dead mix)
Wall Of Voodoo – Far Side Of Crazy (promo copy)
Extras – Hip Hop Hip Hip
Hawaiian Pups – Baby Judy
Creatures – Standing There (andalusian mix)
Art Of Noise – Moments In Love
Martha & The Muffins – Swimming
Boys Brigade – Melody
Savage Progress – My Soul Unwraps Tonight (12 inch)
Hush – Dancing In East Berlin
Yello – The Race (extended)