Sunday, February 04, 2007

Randomiser #31 - 4 February 2007

Hmm. We're slipping badly here, aren't we?

Today's song: Chicks on Speed, "Kaltes Klares Wasser"

Chicks on Speed are one of those oddball arthouse-electropop acts based in Germany, a curious little movement that acts like a less glamorous and more semi-intellectual cousin to electroclash. (And whatever happened to electroclash, anyway?)

Off at the far end of the "really belongs in a gallery, if we're being honest" spectrum, Chicks on Speed are a trio of artists who, as I recall, basically hire other producers to do the tricky and tiresome business of actually making the records, with them contributing the lyrics and vocals. Surprisingly, the album Chicks on Speed Will Save Us All is really very good, and "Kaltes Klares Wasser" (which I think means "cool, clear water") is a lovely track, icily reciting a monologue over a minimal but oddly compelling beat.

To my astonishment, YouTube reveals that there's a video for it...

By the way, the rest of the album shows enough sense of humour to give this track the benefit of the doubt, since on its own, you COULD interpret it as terribly self-important and teetering on absurdity. I like to think that Chicks on Speed get the joke just fine. Here's "We Don't Play Guitars", which is actually more typical of their records - a great little electroglam stomper, if you can live with the staggering display of off-key shouting.

Also today:

- Continuing my "Luke Haines stuff from Youtube" theme, it turns out there's a video for "The Rubettes", which always sounded to me like one of the more commercial Auteurs singles. How do you take a big glam number, complete with a hit chorus, and guarantee no airplay? You make this video, a decade early for Life on Mars:-

I mean, it's fantastic, but I don't think I've ever seen it on TV anywhere, and it came out years before the Internet took off, so what was the point? Mind you, you can see why Luke Haines insisted on going in a more, er, idiosyncratic direction after some of their earlier videos. "Lenny Valentino" - great song, awful video. "Light Aircraft on Fire" is apparently a Chris Cunningham video, but it's still absolutely terrible. (Even Cunningham is reportedly embarrassed by it, understandably when you consider that he went on to make classics like this video for the Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy", or even this one for Bjork's "All is Full of Love".) So the 1970s stock footage starts to sound like a sensible choice.

- While I'm in the mood to post links to obscure videos, I might as well chuck this in - Cylob's "Rewind", which is basically a rapping speak'n'spell machine, but inexplicably ended up with this as its official promo video: