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Soft Cell

Memorabillia - 2023 Reissue

    The birth point of ecstasy in British music is usually credited to acid house and the second summer of love: a cemented vision of kids sweating and vibrating in clubs, fields and warehouses in 1988, united by universal empathy and mind-popping sounds. However, in 1981, a couple of young men from Leeds went to New York, discovered the drug in its infancy, fused its’ gritty synth pop to acid house’s squelchy 303 groove and recorded an album: Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Shortly before that Soft Cell’s debut single Memorabilia was born. Originally recorded a decade before the explosion of acid house and rooted in predominantly black NYC, Chicago and Detroit gay clubs, Memorabilia is a seminal early prelude to rave culture. Merging a

    strutting disco bass line with a futuristic proto acid-techno beat, Marc Almond has past described Memorabilia as “the first acid house techno record ever”.

    Dave Ball remembers: “Memorabilia got to about number 99 in the charts, but the clubs picked up on it. In NME or Sounds they had a chart for the Danceteria in New York, and we were in it. Our label Phonogram saw this and thought: ‘why is this weird little duo from Leeds that no one’s heard of suddenly getting played in one of the hippest clubs in New York?’ So I think they thought: ‘we’ll give them another chance’.”

    Berlin’s very own upcomers Wally Funk round off the remix package, upping the original tempo slightly, while combining elements the of original production with the later Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing version to create a new hybrid, best played extremely loud!


    A1. Daniel Miller 2023 Remix
    A2. Daniel Miller 2023 Remix Instrumental
    B1. The Hacker 2023 Remix
    B2. Wally Funk 2023 Remix

    The Envy Corps

    Wires & Wool

      New single from this indie-rock quartet from Ames, Iowa. This is a really good single which hints at lots of bands but doesn't really sound like any of them. It's got the pounding rhythm of Doves, vocally it reminds me a bit of Cold War Kids (and someone else who I can't quite think of!) and there's maybe a hint of Radiohead in there too.



        Whatever you think of Johnny Borrell, there's no use in denying that he was born to do this. He's a natural, and though his New York / blighty street poetry is often cliched, the phrasing is perfect, the choruses brilliant, the playing super-tight and rocking. This is a bolder, better version of the debut album (hence the eponymous title) and whilst some of its references are mainstream (but good!) there's a drive and joie de vivre here that's hard to contain. A hit?!

        Boy Kill Boy


          Originally released on Fierce Panda, almost exactly 12 months before, this sharp, hooky, energetic (if a little melancholic) pop song now gets a re-release with new B-sides. Hints of both Futureheads and Idlewild.

          The Black Velvets


            "3345" is a rousing, pounding, foot stomping anthem written in honour of the bar on Liverpool's Parr Street that the band have developed a love / hate relationship with.

            Thirteen Senses

            Thru The Glass

              Re-issue of their classic debut single.

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