Archive for 1990’s

Cocteau Twins “Dials”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , on July 11, 2009 by cromagnonwoman
Cocteau Twins "Dials"
Cocteau Twins | Singles Promo Sampler | Capitol | 1991

One day very recently, I found myself in a Mid-Western Golden Corral when, slouched over my leg of beast and mashed root vegetables, I heard something familiar in the Muzak above me. Truth be told, a number of familiar songs all firmly rooted in the 80s had been playing but I’d paid no attention until that moment. Her sweet voice and the swirling strings floated high above the din of cud-chewing patrons (I couldn’t resist! You actually have to walk through a CORRAL to get to the register! How can I not liken us all to cows?!) and I realized in a fit of ecstasy and torment that they were playing Cocteau Twins. As soon as I was able, I dug out all of my Cocteau Twins records, determined to post something from them to honor that most surreal and rapturous moment.

CT had a glorious nearly two decade run (there is some discrepancy among sources online as to exactly how long), from c. 1980 to 1998, where they confounded, defied and enhanced an already rich musical decade. Each of the members, Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, and Simon Raymonde, have gone on to solo projects but I think I was not alone in mourning the end of Cocteau Twins. Notable aspects to their sound were Liz’s indecipherable vocals which truly treated the voice as an instrument instead of just the vehicle for a message, Robin’s peerless guitar work, and Simon’s delicate, intricate piano playing (there were other members in there, too, who were all quite genius like Will Heggie). All of their work is among my favorite (with the possible exception of Four-Calendar Cafe) but, since I can only post one song here, I’m going to give you one of their tracks from their Singles Sampler. The Sampler is a promotional item in support of the 10 CD singles collection released in 1991 (an exhaustive compilation, if you can get yours hands on it). Here it is, Dials, which was released only on the singles sampler and on a promo single for Heaven Or Las Vegas:

LISTEN: Mediafire

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Machines of Loving Grace “All I Really Need”

Posted in music with tags , , , on May 9, 2009 by motorslug
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Machines of Loving Grace | Rite of Shiva 12″ | Mammoth Records | 1993

This b-side, exclusive to this single, shows Machines of Loving Grace at perhaps their most TKK-sounding– the guitars are funky, the beats are thumping, the funeral organs are droning, the background chants are spooky.

The highlight of the song, however, is the heavy amount of sampling going on, mainly of a woman hurling insult after obscene insult at an unknown target. It gets to the point where she almost seems to be doing a duet with Scott Benzel during the chorus– while he sings “all I really need is your love,” she’s constantly screaming “asshole,” “scumbag,” “bastard,” etc. in the background. It’s a great track, and shows the band’s sense of humor. In fact, it was included on their original demo in place of “Lipstick 66.”

LISTEN: Mediafire

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult “Cuz It’s Hot (sex until mix)”

Posted in music with tags , , , , on May 2, 2009 by motorslug
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Various Artists | Precision One 12″ | Art of Mix Records | 1991

Ahh, Thrill Kill Kult. Their long and fabulous story has been told many times over, and I’m not going to rehash it here, but needless to say they’ve been carving out their particular niche of leather-clad sex-beat for decades. For industrial DJs, they also provided some of THE best “bathroom songs” of the 1990’s– tracks so long you could cue them up, take a restroom break, get a fresh drink, and still get back with time to spare. The KMFDM vs TKK CDS and “Cuz It’s Hot” CDS were the best of these, with the latter’s title track clocking in at over ten minutes long. Ten minutes!

The song’s epic length was not always a good thing, though, so imagine my excitement when I found this promo 12″ from Art of Mix Records. Exclusive remixes of 808 State, Boxcar, Spectrum, AND TKK?? The best thing about S. Michael Meacham’s “sex until mix” of ‘Cuz It’s Hot is that it’s a little over half as long as the original, about five and a half minutes. There are some dj tricks thrown in, and a sliver of that ubiquitous (for the period) “no! sex! until! marriage!” sample, but the beat pretty much just pummels you the entire time. I understand that TKK re-released this cut via their Kult Konnection fan service, too.

LISTEN: Mediafire