Thursday, January 1, 2009

electronic signals from videoland

the deal with a limitless resource like youtube is that there are long spells where it is a infinite wasteland of boredom, but then there are moments when you strike a deep well of links and related videos and you're down the media-archive rabbithole. My report on some latest findings of the synth-pop variety:

1. Jo Lemaire - Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M'en Vais

Awesome haunting cover of a Serge Gainsbourg tune. You'll notice that the track is entirely synthesizers but the backing band is...some dudes on bass and drums. The tune has a wispy electronic sheen similar to "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin, which is the best song ever made. It's also surprising that you've never heard this before, considering how much you like 80's music. I hadn't either, and I thank the angels for letting rare gems like this come to light.

Here's the track so you can listen along at home.

Jo Lemaire - Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M'en Vais

2. The Passions - I'm in love with a German film star

Icy melancholy fantasy of a 'glamorous world.' You know, I would argue that if Severin, the protagonist of Sacher von Masoch's Venus in Furs and the literary source for the psychoanalytic concept of masochism, were alive today, he would be an 80's synth-pop fan, and he would ride for this song. You can just see Dietrich in furs, and Severin espousing her aloof, icy allure.

and guess what? Sam Taylor-Wood, one of the Young British Artists of the Sensation era, recently recorded a cover version. It's produced by the Pet Shop Boys and released on the German label Kompakt - in a sort of heavenly alignment of conceptual art, British pop and Teutonic electronics.

3. The Droids - The Force

Inexplicably, I didn't post this video when I posted the Droids record. This tv clip for their song The Force is a minor theatrical triumph. As a friend remarked, it could be described as "Space Egyptians in the Chamber of Cabinets." Everything in this clip is perfect, including extremely hammy keyboard 'playing,' weird aluminum costumes, and a ballet dancer. A mesmerizing artefact that represents one of those weird off-roads on the highway of culture that no one ever really followed up on.

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