Jonze Cooks Up Walken Dance For Fatboy Slim Video
Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) releases his next single, “Star 69” backed with “Weapon of Choice,” on April 23 through Skint Records in the U.K. and May 8 through Astralwerks in North America. The video for “Weapon of Choice” was made by director Spike Jonze, who also created the video for Cook’s 1999 single, “Praise You.” The clip, which features eccentric actor Christopher Walken dancing around an empty hotel, is already riding high on the U.S. MTV video chart. Walken, who trained as a dancer, allegedly agreed to virtually waive his fee for a chance to work with Jonze.
“Star 69” — which is taken from last year’s “Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars” album — has been circulating dancefloors for months and will be released with additional remixes from German producer Timo Maas, U.K. producers X-Press 2, and DJ Godfather.
LFO Give Depeche Mode The Midas Touch
U.K. electronic pioneers Depeche Mode return to U.K. record shops with a brand new album, “Exciter” (Mute), on May 14. For the first single, “Dream On,” released in the U.K. on April 23, a video was shot on America’s infamous Route 66, directed by French fashion photographer/video director Stephan Sednaoui (Madonna, U2).
Depeche Mode has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide to date. “Exciter” is the group’s first studio set since 1997’s “Ultra,” which sold 4 million copies around the globe. The new album was produced by U.K. techno innovator Mark Bell, whose past credits include Bjork’s “Homogenic” and last year’s acclaimed “Deltron 3030” album. Bell, who has also recorded for Mute offshoot Novamute and Belgian techno label R&S under various aliases, first emerged with partner Jez Varley as seminal acid house/techno outfit LFO — not to be confused with the like-named U.S. teen pop act — in the late ’80s.
Originally from Sheffield in the north of England, Bell and Varley took their name from the low frequency oscillator on a synthesizer, and produced a blistering collection of classic early rave tracks which dominated dancefloors across the U.K. Subsequently the duo released two albums — “Frequencies” and “Advance” — on Warp Records in the U.K. and Tommy Boy in the U.S.
Serge Gainsbourg Lives On
More than 40 years before Daft Punk, St. Germain and Mirwais, one of the biggest stars in contemporary French music was ’60s lyricist turned composer/recording artist Serge Gainsbourg (real name: Lucien Ginsburg), who topped charts around the globe in 1969 with his raunchy classic “Je T’aime… Moi, Non Plus.”
This month (April 23), Universal will commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death with the release of “Electronicagainsbourg – I Love Serge,” an album featuring 14 new mixes of Gainsbourg’s most famous songs. Among those contributing interpretations are Scottish DJ/producer Howie B, who delivers “Ballade de Melody Nelson”, flamboyant French disco-house star Bob Sinclar, who rehashes “Marabout,” and U.K. ambient masters the Orb, who handle “Requiem Pour un Con.”
Gainsbourg’s biggest hit, “Je t’aime… Moi, Non Plus,” which was originally banned by the Vatican, is covered on the set by trendy Austrian producers Vlado Dzihan & Mario Kamien.
U.K. Elections Stall Coldcut Single
A contender for most unlikely U.K. election casualty is Coldcut, the alias of London-based producers Matt Black and Jonathon More. The duo — who enjoyed mainstream chart success in the ’80s with their remixes of Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid in Full,” and hits with Lisa Stansfield and Yazz — turned their attention to their groundbreaking record label Ninja Tune in the ’90s.
“Re:Volution,” Coldcut’s forthcoming release on the label, is a riposte to the impending U.K. general elections originally scheduled for May 28 release. The single has now been postponed in line with Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to re-schedule the elections for June as a result of the foot and mouth crisis.
Coldcut has utilized its public position to convey various political messages in recent years, including their 1998 single “Timber,” which made reference to the destruction of rainforests.
Following worldwide success with the nu-jazz of St. Germain, Laurent Garnier’s F-Communications label is about to release “Newcomer,” the debut album from Llorca — aka bossa/jazz funk innovator Ludovic Llorca, a French producer F-Comm hopes will mirror the success of Ludovic Navarre (aka St. Germain).
Llorca, who also formed cool French label Brique Rouge with partner David Duriez in 1995, made his earliest music demos on a Commodore 64 computer and drew many of his initial influences from arcade video game soundtracks. To date he has released three EPs on the label and counts among his high profile fans Richard Dorfmeister of esoteric Vienna based production duo Kruder & Dorfmeister.