Back in January 2010 we wrote about Billie Ray Martin’s Cabaret Voltaire cover versions, which was pretty exciting for us as we’re big Billie Ray fans, and The Cabs are one of our favourite acts of all time, and have been for as long as we can remember. Now the whole collection of reMixes of Billie’s versions of Crackdown and Just Fascination, two of our very favourite Cabs songs, are being released under the title The Crackdown Project. Out next month on digital and deluxe double CD digipack, The Crackdown Project: Volumes 1 & 2 ropes in a whole heap of top electronic talent for an amazing tribute.
Crackdown itself sees Billie Ray teaming up with Berlin Tech-House duo Märtini Brös and none other than the voice of Cabaret Voltaire, Stephen Mallinder. Deep synth Disco with powerful vocals is the result. Billie’s smokey vocals pierce through deep, robotic, soundtrack as if curling out from the corner of a dimly lit Berlin nightclub. Pairing Ms. Martin’s soulful voice with Mallinder’s instantly recognisable hushed drawl is a genius move. The two styles are amazingly complimentary and seem to weave in and out of the pulsating electronic backing. Just Fascination turns up the groove a little. Nang recording artist Lusty Zanzibar contributes to their track resulting in a little 80s Boogie working it’s way into the tune. The more dancefloor oriented of the two, Just Fascination is a stomping synth march that allows Bille Ray to really let loose with her massive vocal. reMixes in the package are supplied by, amongst others, Oicho, Celebrity Murder Party, Copycat, Divide and Create, Dunproofin, Flying White Dots, Phil RetroSpector and Year Zero. That’s quite a line up, and an awesome release.
♫ Billie Ray Martin (Feat. Stephen Mallinder And Märtini Brös) – Crackdown (Cabaret Voltaire Cover) (Original Version)
♫ Billie Ray Martin (Feat. Lusty Zanzibar) – Just Fascination (Cabaret Voltaire Cover) (Original Version)
Billie Ray Martin’s The Crackdown Project: Volumes 1 & 2 is released 25th March in Europe and 26th March in the US.
Here’s a new gem from one of the best voices in the business, the legendary Billie Ray Martin. She’s teamed up once again with Italian Pop-House producers Hard Ton to drop a track that is as rich as it is funky. Deep house grooves and massive vocals, that’s what you should be expecting.
Marilyn uses a Deep House vibe to deliver some atmospheric, dramatic synth work set to a classic late 80s House bassline and Roland rim-shots. Always enveloping, never too overstated, the track provides a hypnotic and subtle backing for some huge, theatrical vocal performances. Loaded with classy, and intricate, synth elements and a nostalgic Chicago undercurrent, Marilyn is timeless House.
♫ Hard Ton (Feat. Billie Ray Martin) – Marilyn
Marilyn is taken from the Time To Jack EP, out now.
The double team of Miss Billie Ray Martin and Robert Solheim, The Opiates’ ‘Hollywood Under The Knife’ album was a pretty regular fixture on electronic rumors last year. Well, that momentum doesn’t need to stop. Next month The Opiates release ‘Hollywood Cuts (The reMixes)’, an album chock full of some big names reMixing some big tracks from ‘Hollywood Under The Knife’.
the list of reMixers is pretty impressive, Kim Ann Foxman, Doorly, Chris & Cosey, Drop Out Orchestra, Dan Beaumont and this track from Dalston’s Disco Bloodbath. Taking the lead track from the album, ‘Candy Coated Crime’, Disco Bloodbath lay down some deep electronic sounds. Their pulsating synthesizer Disco conjures a mood of late nights on dingy dancefloors, dark clubs and strange places. A perfect match for Billie’s sultry vocal. With a slight dark Italo feel this reMix is one for a dark future.
♫ The Opiates – Candy Coated Crime (Disco Bloodbath reMix)
The Opiates’ ‘Hollywood Cuts (The reMixes)’ is released 26th February on Disco Activisto.
Billie Ray Martin’s ‘Twisted Lover’ originally appeared on the ‘BRM New Demo’s 2003’ album in it’s ‘Old Version’ form. Now the lovely Ms. Martin has seen fit to give away this brand new version of the track.
What was once a Deep-House flavoured SynthPop track has now upped the tempo and upped the analog Disco. Racing Moroder-esque arpeggios drive the track along and seem to morph Billie’s vocals from the soulful lament of the original to a huge diva performance. Add to that some infectious synth melodies and you have a huge ol’ track!
The are gearing up for the release of the ‘Rainy Days And reMixes’ EP in September ahead of their first full length album ‘Hollywood Under The Knife’ later in the year. The lead track from the EP, ‘Rainy Days And Saturdays’ is a beautiful lament over nostalgia that never existed. With hints of electronic Trip-Hop and a moody synthetic atmosphere tempered by a strain of hope in Miss Martins vocals. The EP comes chock with reMixes, including Kim Ann Foxman’s take on ‘Jalousies And Jealousies’ that got support from Vito Aeroplane in his last mixtape and Industrial legends Chris & Cosey’s deep Acid SynthPop version of ‘Anatomy Of A Plastic Girl ‘/
♫ The Opiates – Rainy Days and Saturdays (Radio Edit)
♫ The Opiates – Jalousies And Jealousies (Kim Ann Foxman reMix)
♫ The Opiates – Anatomy Of A Plastic Girl (Chris & Cosey reMix)
‘Rainy Days And reMixes’ is released 19th September.
As you probably know by now Miss Billie Ray Martin has dropped another powerful House EP on the world in the form of the ‘Sold Life’/’Fantasy Girl’ double A-side.
The EP has a classic early 90’s House sound with a contemporary twist. Produced by Hard Ton the EP sees Billie going back to her classic house roots with a bit of Chicago and a bit of Acid in the mix. The B-side is a cover of Phuture Phantasy Club’s ‘Fantasy Girl’ and gets a low-down piano led remix from Snuff Crew, who’s hard, hypnotic groove brilliantly plays against Billie’s impassioned vocals.
♫ Billie Ray Martin – Fantasy Girl (Snuff Crew reMix)
And while we’re here, check the absolutely awesome reMix of Billie’s current single, ‘Sweet Suburban Disco’, (a track we already love!) by synth legend Vince Clarke, it’s really, REALLY, good! Classic SynthPop sounds with an added deep vibe and loads of electro toms!
♫ Billie Ray Martin – Sweet Suburban Disco (Vince Clarke reMix)
‘Sold Life’/’Phantasy Girl’ is out now, as is ‘Sweet Suburban Disco’
You gotta’ love Billie Ray Martin really, haven’t you? She’s practically a legend in the realm of dance music and she has this massive powerful soul voice, yet she’s always tried to do something interesting. Where she could just be content to warble over the latest fashionable House track she always does something with an edge that wears it’s slightly more eclectic influences on it’s sleeve. That she’s did an EP of Cabaret Voltaire covers last year is a prime example.
So, with “reinventing Italo Disco” as a goal Ms. Martin is back with a new single, ‘Sweet Suburban Disco’, and reinvent Italo she has. This is Italo that was conceived in the rain soaked backstreets of Soho. Deep grooves are overlaid with layer of sparse, cold, synths which are expertly counterpointed by Billie’s huge warm vocals and the best lyrical content we’ve heard in dance music for a while (I’m a huge fan of narratives in music!). Mashing up Italo, ElectroPop and a little Balearic, BRM manages to create a slick package that is as forward-thinking sounding as it is retro.
The reMix duties are provided by Severino, Luke Solomon, Ray Grant and SynthPop godfather Vince Clarke, who turns in a surprisingly deep and edge dancefloor mix.
OK, so Billie Ray Martin has a couple of new EPs/mini-albums coming out in the next couple of months. There are a couple of interesting angles to this story but one in particular that got my interest.
Billie Ray first came to my attention back in ‘80ish with her work with Electribe 101, since then she has amassed a large body of work including both Dance hits and more experimental electronic tracks For her latest EPs she is taking the pioneering step of releasing tracks officially through the Torrent site Mininova in the lead up to the official release.
What got me though, was the tracks themselves. Ms. Martin is dropping her reworkings of Cabaret Voltaire’s double A side ‘Just Fascination’/’Crackdown’, two of my favourite tracks by one of my favourite bands. So it was with some trepidation that I checked the tunes, and they are good! Not only are they reworking but ‘Crackdown’ features none other than Cab’s vocalist himself Stephen Mallinder.
Here we can present, for you, two reMixes of the tracks. ‘Just Fascination’ by Celebrity Murder Party who take a more semi-experimental approach turning the track into a danceable noisescape while ‘Crackdown’ is reMixed by David Harrow who’s Oicho mix is a deep, analog synth laden, dubby take on the track.