The Sordid 12s - 05/02/03 .
For a long time, the ability of dark dancefloor material to make a dent in mainstream clubland has been hamstrung by the general lack of vinyl releases of the material. Recently, though, this has changed, with German labels releasing vinyl copies of the main futurepop acts. In the latter part of 2002, this got even better with the first few of what will hopefully be a flood of vinyl releases that will be as much at home in a regular DJ's bag as in alternative clubs. So, in the first of a potentially regular feature, Girl the Bourgeois Individualist looks at these 12" releases.
Apoptygma Berzerk - Kathy's Song (Above the Sky)
The first 12" futurepop release in the UK is a rerelease of the Ferry Corsten remix of 'Kathy's song', originally released on one of the German 12" releases of the single, with a new mix by mat silver vs tony burt. Both mixes are firmly in the trance style that has been so overdone at this stage that it's become irritating, but the silver/burt mix thankfully holds back quite a bit, adding electro elements, a driving bassline and a thumping beat, more than enough to keep the track's appeal to fans of Apop's techno/trance/EBM crossover sound. Unfortunately, the Ferry Corsten mix, which was originally groundbreaking, contains all the elements of chart trance that have become stale and tired in the year or so since it was done. I wouldn't be surprised if Ferry Corsten himself would like to redo it now.
Cabaret Voltaire - nagnagnag (remixes) (Novamute)
Mute Records started a process of rereleasing and revitalising the classic parts of their backcatalogue in 2001 and they released the seminal 1979 track, 'nagnagnag' on CD and two different 12" versions late last year. This is the second 12" version, the first featured the original version and a remix by Richard H Kirk himself. This features radical remakes of the song. First we have a pair usually associated with the electroclash scene, Tiga & Zyntherius, who have remade the track in what's almost an EBM style, with punky vocals from Tiga and a hard-hitting beat-driven dirty electro backing. On the flip is without doubt the strangest remix I've heard in a long time. The press release describes it as a combination of "2-step, techno, house, electro and bossa-nova" and they're not lying. It's an eclectic cut-up that only relates to the original in parts. It's a testament to the creativity of CV and this hugely influential track that two remixes can sound so completely different from each other and the original.
Nitzer Ebb - Let your body learn/control I'm here (Novamute)
The classic UK EBM act Nitzer Ebb have also been targeted in the Mute rerelease schedule, this is the second remix 12" they've released. This sticks much closer to the EBM sound of the original tracks than the first 12". EBM revivalist Terence Fixmer reworks 'Let your body learn' from the band's debut "That total age", taking what was originally a fast dancefloor track with intense beats and making it faster and the beats more intense, while dropping most of the vocals and distorting the rest. It's no wonder Doug McCarthy himself wants to work with him. On the flip, electroclash producer The Hacker takes a break from Miss Kittin to remix 'control I'm here', a funky track from "Belief". His remix isn't as drastic as Mr Fixmer's, he really just puts a bit of spit and polish on the track, retaining funky electro sound, but tarting up the beats somewhat. Proof, if proof was needed, of the vitality and seminal influence (particularly on the electroclash scene) of Nitzer Ebb's early material.