This is a perennial favourite around these parts. I have nary a bad word to say about Softcell, the pervy duo were high priests of the sleazy synth and that is no bad thing. They produced weird hit after weird hit in the 80s, pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable for the charts. As well as their fine back catalogue of smutty pop they also turned out a blinding slice of proto techno in the slinky form of Memorabilia. A dark club anthem fuelled by poppers and ecstasy for the most murky crowds.
This 12″ came out in 2010 and outrageously snuck under the radar a little because this is a blinder. Luke Solomon provides two versions for dancefloor demolition, one dark and growling, the other pitch black and terrifying. Like moving from the most perverse Berlin club basement to their secret back room only the regulars know exists; the kind of place where the Tapeworm hangs out in Irreversible. I tend to go with the slightly more vanilla ‘Disco Vocal Mix’ than the full on S&M of the Ecstasy dub and this one grabs you from the get go and never lets up at any point. Propelled by skittering synths and all sorts of eerie percussion we get a sleazy sex doll whisper in the ear and then some trumpet with a world of echo swirling around your head. This track is intoxicating, imagine your own smoke machines and lasers…
derrick carter and luke solomon have had a great idea. To re-release all the Classic Music Company catalogue. it is good because it was a record label that defined the sound of house music with a strong Chicago influence in the late 1990s and 2000s. Gemini’s ‘Swimmin’ wit’ Sharks’, Isolee’s ‘Beau Mot Plage’, Dj Sneak ‘You Can’t Hide From Your Bud’ or any Rob Mello No Ears dub excursion, were all repeatedly spinned worldwide by many dj’s and became content of many house compilations and dj mixes. Proper ‘boompty boomp’.
That was last decade. There is a whole new generation that is alien to the Classic sound and now in the all-digital era, it was well missed. Apparently all vinyl releases have been remastered and there will be some new new additions to the catalogue that for first time will be available as digital download.
Expect a revival in deep house!
Here you have a bit of taster, courtesy of youtube, since I do not have time to digitize this all-time favorite of mine. Gemini has always been on the edge. House music with a bit of a twist and craziness. Be that in the vocals, melody or in the synths and effects. The result is total genius and uncompromising driving 4/4. And this is perhaps (together with ‘we are the future’ in the same e.p.) his best legacy.
a good informative mini article on Spencer Kincy a.k.a. Gemini can be read on this excelent French blog.
The last I have read about this guy is that he lives rough in the streets and suffers some mental illness. Very very sad. Hope to be wrong and somebody correct me please.