by Gregg Shapiro
This article shared 2600 times since Wed Jan 22, 2003
On their second album, Wallpaper For The Soul (Minty Fresh), Tahiti 80 sends listeners an exotic musical postcard that rings with luxurious chill-out tunes, affectionate reinventions of '60s Europop, and funky free-flowing beats that will have you repeatedly saying 'Let's go to the discotheque,' with a fake French accent. The soothing title track suggests waves rolling to the shore at the beach and may have you checking your arms and legs to see if you've gotten a tan. '1,000 Times' requires vintage disco moves and line-dance choreography and courtesy, while the mock-Motown 'Soul Deep' is pure go-go boots, pale lipstick and false eyelashes peeking out from under long bangs. Both 'Get Yourself Together' and 'Fun Fair' suggest young Julie Christie and Catherine Deneuve running through the cobblestone streets of the movie in your mind, 'The Train' recalls Prefab Sprout at their club mix best, while 'Don't Look Below' is a couples dance in true steppin' style.
French accents, real or cultivated, dominate the handsomely packaged Hotel Costes (Pschent), a compilation disc by Stephane Pompougnac. A laid-back vibe, beginning with the '60s-inspired mellow groove on 'Galaxy' by Hippiehaus and the '60s-powered energy of 'L'Amour' (featuring a sample a Marcel Mouloudji's 1963 'L'Amour, L'Amour, 'L'Amour') temporarily sets the tone, while subtly increasing the value of the beats. By the time you get to Streamer's 'Zwing Ting' (with its 'dumdum dum do dum be dum' from 'He's So Fine') and 'Summer In Paris' by Cam (featuring the exotic Anggun), you'll be ready to kick off your shoes and kick up your heels. A deep underground haze surrounds a trio of tracks - 'Cocaine Is A Sin' by The Strike Boys, 'Ponger Star' by Vision, and 'Doo Uap, Doo Uap, Doo Uap' (which generously samples 'It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing')—at the compilation's center. The remaining tracks are exotic (Dublex's 'Tocame'), if not downright bizarre ('One Night In Rio' by Louie Austen, a Bossa Nova-influenced cover of Joe Jackson's 'Steppin' Out').
Eternal Youth, the acclaimed 2002 album by Future Bible Heroes contained enough synthesized beats to qualify it as one of the best electro-clash outings of the year. It also had openly gay songwriters Stephin Merritt's flawless way with words and Chris Ewen's infectious and holy melodies. In much the same way that the 1982 (!) EP Love And Dancing by The League Unlimited Orchestra expanded on the daring work done by The Human League on their 1981 full-length album Dare!, the seven-song EP The Lonely Robot (Instinct) gives listeners another way to approach some of the songs from Eternal Youth, all of which are sung by Claudia Gonson. Speaking of The Human League, the Client On Demand mix of 'Losing Your Affection' sounds like an homage to the groundbreaking synth-masters, while the 12-inch mix of the song by fellow trendsetters Soft Cell is custom made for the clubs. The extended mix of 'I'm A Vampire' is one of the liveliest songs about the undead that I've ever heard and Rob Rives shines a new light on 'The World Is A Disco Ball.' Both of the new songs, 'The DJ From Outer Space' and 'The Lonely Robot,' fit effortlessly into FBH's amazing canon.
This article shared 2600 times since Wed Jan 22, 2003
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