The Morning Slap

(Almost) every morning a musical slap in your face.

Stephen Mallinder - Cool Down

"Sensoooriiiia! Sensoooriiiia! Sensoooriiiia!" Oh yeah, Cabaret Voltaire, 1984, Richard H. Kirk, Chris Watson and this voice… Yes, this was Stephen Mallinder, the one we talk about today. Beside being one of the pioneers of cold wave with his friends from Sheffield, he produced one solo EP (Temperature Drop in 1981) and one solo album (Pow Wow) one year later. And that’s where you actually hear all the talent of the 26 years old guy: this track from 1981, with its melancholic synth pad, electronic drums and manipulated snares is pure Warp electronica 10 years before Aphex Twin. Since this time, Mallinder wrote for several australian magazines, obtained a Ph. D in music and popular culture in Perth and still produce music, especially with Ben Edwards and Phil Winter as Wrangler. Now, time to cool down for the weekend.

Jan Hammer - Crockett’s Theme

You have here one of the most famous songs ever made for TV screen. Czech composer and keyboardist Jan Hammer, previously keyboard of the Mahavishnu Orchestra was asked to make the soundtrack for the 1984 NBC series Miami Vice. Crockett’s Theme is the song dedicated to the hero, James “Sonny” Crockett, played by Don Johnson. Massive 1980’s hit in Europa, its big synth soundscapes and typical sequenced bassline has inspired the development of electronic music in the 1990’s through movements like trance or progressive. A classic among the slaps.

L’Skadrille - On Doit L’Être

It was the first french hip-hop “mix tape” I bought by myself: it was in 1998 and I was 13. Among other big names of the french rap scene, the great Cut Killer mixed a selection of what I miss a little bit in the contemporary bands: beautiful samples, hard beats and subtle lyrics with intelligent meaning. L’Skadrille (duo composed of 13 Or and 16AR) never was that prolific, but every song was produced in such a high quality that I consider every of them as collectables. On Doit L’Être was released in 1998 and produced by Shean and Tony Fresh. “Remixed, scratched and improved” by Dj Cut Killer. Bam! 

Public Passion - Flash In The Night

There are a lot of awesome italo-disco tracks on internet and in the record shops. But only a few are worth being on The Morning Slap. With only one EP on Chapulin (home of Glen White and Den Harrow, among others), Public Passion is probably not the most unknown but for sure one of the most representative of this mid-1980’s era where dancefloor hits came out every day. Heavy analog bass, massive snares, great melody, these are all the classic ingredients that have used Margherita Artioli, Mirko Limoni, Valerio Semplici and the Villa d’Este crew to produce this 28 years old slap!

American new-wave-ambient musician Brian Pyle (Ensemble Economique) and french multidisciplinary artist Felicia Atkinson (Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier) joined their forces for an exclusive 2 tracks release on the excellent Peak Oil. Taking some distance with their respective musical backgrounds, they explore deep space, fat synths pads and minimal kicks that remain us of the golden age of trance and ambient techno in the mid 1990’s (The Age Of Love, FSOL, Astral Projection, etc.) to completely transcend you and your brain. At least for 17 minutes. 300 copies only.

Plaid - Wallet

Famous londonians Andy Turner and Ed Handley are back on Warp with their long awaited 10th album. Reachy Prints was released in may and belongs already to one of my favourite of the band, beside Not For Threes and Double Figure. The track Wallet with the wonderful video by the talented Sabrina Ratté mixes all the ingredients of Plaid receipes: subtle melodies, IDM bass, arythmic drums, but with an incredibly hypnotic touch that make you feel like you’re in a fall into infinity. Active since the end of the 1980’s, Plaid is with this album still more than just a legendary IDM band. It’s a creator, an avant-gardist and a wonderful vision of what mainstream music could be in 50 years.

Lewis - Love Showered Me

1983, Los Angeles. Randall Wulff, a supposed stockbrocker (more probably a con artist or a man from another planet, like the legends say), comes from nowhere with a white Mercedes Convertible, an incredible voice and a deep melancholy. He produces the album L’Amour with Bob Kinsey as engineer and Philip Lees at the synth : 10 delicate love songs you won’t hear anywhere else. Then he took some pictures (for the cover) with the famous Ed Colver, for portraits or with his girlfriend who looked like a model. The photographer said Randall was staying at the Beverly Hills Hilton, but nobody will ever know as he never paid the shooting and disappeared since then. Seattle-based label Light In The Attic reissued the album 30 years later, and even if the story makes it already exciting to discover, the music of Lewis is such a pure jewel that you shouldn’t need the legend to play it all day long.

Rrose - Pentagons

After several highly praised releases on Sandwell District and Eaux (label dedicated to his productions), Rrose puts out some new dark experimental techno beats. Excepting his name inspired by the fictional character created by Duchamp, Rrose Sélavy, we know almost nothing about this solo project. Not even sure if he is romanian or american or both or none of them. But what it’s sure, it’s that since his first release in 2011, he has been around the best places in the world to play his deeply sensual and mystical music. In october 2013, he released the incredible Monad XVI, and we had to wait until now to get this Eating The Other EP, but it was fucking worth it!

Devo - Going Under

A classic from american punk and art-rock band Devo, released in 1981 on the album New Traditionalists. A track that you can hear in the second episode of Miami Vice. It’s a bit Krafwerk-ish, a bit crazy as usual for Devo and it’s a massive slap.

Vangelis - The Bounty (Main Titles)

Yesterday, I watched a movie that I have seen once, like 15 years ago. And from the start, I had this awesome f***cking track in my ears! In 1984, 2 years after Blade Runner and 3 years after Chariots Of Fire, that have made of Vangelis Papathanassiou one of the greatest music composers of all-time, british director Roger Donaldson asks him to make the soundtrack of another great movie: The Bounty. The occasion for the greek composer and synth master to create this not very well-known masterpiece, used as opening theme, which is for me even better than the Blade Runner theme. How can Vangelis makes match so well a full-synth track on a movie telling the story of 18th century sailors?! He makes here a perfect use of his Yamaha CS-80 and its spacey sounds like on no other track. It’s pure genius. I don’t think that movie’s soundtracks have been that creative since then.

Piero Umiliani - Eva Svedese

It might be a bit late for a morning slap, but it’s because this song composed by Piero Umiliani for the 1968 erotic film Svezia, Inferno E Paradisio is more a pre-sex evening song. Umiliani is one of these hundreds of italian composers who have made film soundtracks during the 1960’s and the 1970’s, but he was one of the most prolific ones: compositions for around 200 films, which is close to the filmography of a pornstar. So no, you probably don’t know the song of today and you probably don’t know the name “Piero Umiliani”. But whar if I tell you that in this soundtrack made for this cheap italian soft-porn movie hide a track called Mah Nà Mah Nà?…

Ben Macklin feat. Emma Brammer - It’s Over (Tommy ‘86 Remix)

I don’t really care about Ben Macklin: this track is actually here because of the remix of Tommy who recently changed his name for Tommy ‘86. We already talked about him and if this frenchy (Frédéric Féret is his real name) from Beauvais keep producing retrowave songs and remixes like this, you’ll see him for further morning slaps. Now Fréd, we’d like to know something at TMS: when will you play some live gigs?

OWN BOO - Edie

Well I missed this one. One month ago, these two girls and three dudes from Italy released their first EP Edie on Mirror Universe Tapes. There is something from Gary War in their bubbling synth organ and a bit of Messer Chups in their 1950’s horror movie ambience. But what you hear on this awesome video is definitely OWN BOO and nobody else. I guess they’ll please to my friends of Foggy Girls Club.

Charlotte OC - Hangover (Moodyman Mix)

Wow guys, I’m sure that I will get some new kinds of readers by posting Charlotte OC today: girls. Especially girls who dress like hippies and dream to spend one year in Berlin. But calm down, right now. Charlotte OC might be talented, I’d never have listened to her if Detroit genius Kenny Dixon Jr. didn’t make a remix of her song Hangover. This is a slap that teaches you how to turn a horrible hipster song like million of others into a dancefloor masterpiece.

Raleigh’s producer Constrobuz has released a series of remixes of such a level, that I won’t make any more comments. On the program, remixes for Freddie Gibbs, Nas, Ghostface (Killah), Madlib, Danny Brown, etc. Do you need any other reason to take these slaps right in your face? Buy it and all the rest of his work too!