Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Retro Electro

This week, I have mostly been listening to some classic old school electro and electro-funk. I've still got a load of this stuff on vinyl from c1982 to 1984, and great stuff it is too.

Emerging from the hip-hop scene, it was a great time for electronic dance music with the first fully programmable drum machines like the awesome Linn LM-1 (which was years ahead of it's time in using digital drum samples) and the awesome Roland TR-808 in widespread use, the Roland VP-330 Vocoder in use as the main vocal tool rather than a special effect, and superb analogue synthesis driving along behind the beats.

Here's the paradox though - back then when I used to play it too loud in my bedroom as a spotty 14 year old my parents used to remark on what a noisy load of old rubbish it was. Now as I am playing it even louder my kids are looking at me like I'm a mentalist with a 'what's this load of old shit?' look on their bemused faces.

No You Tube videos - just the aural pleasure ......

First up, how can something be so minimalistic and politically motivated and yet still make you want to body pop? This is Ray-Gun-Omics by Project Future, a piece of vinyl I fully intend to hang on to. Play it loud and to the end before passing judgement.

More bounce to the ounce.
This is sheer magic - Loopzilla by the funkiest nutter on the planet, George Clinton.

Clear - Cybotron
A perfect example of vocoder and analogue synth magic.

In The Bottle by C.O.D.
This just wouldn't sound the same without a TR-808.

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