Posts Tagged ‘new order’

The French Riviera

french-riviera-fritz-von-runteto-catch-a-thief-hitchcock-fritz-von-runteNot many people know about this, but one of my favourite places in the world is the French Riviera. I’m not really a beach person — I never was — but the calm and eternal day-off atmosphere that I experience when I’m there always make me go back. The initial attraction came from growing up with movies set in the Cote d’Azur— specially To Catch a Thief and An Affair To Remember. I never saw it through the luxurious eyes, I always thought it would be a simple, down to earth place – apart from the majestic hotels on the shores of Cannes, Nice and Monte-Carlo. The very first time I went to France, I couldn’t wait to leave Paris and go south. I wasn’t too interested in the city of lights for some reason. I went to straight to Toulon, then to Marseille and to Nice. A couple of years later and I was there again. Then, more than a decade after my first visit, I proposed to my girlfriend rght between the French and Italian Riviera, returning from a day in Monaco.

Funky Alternatives


Funky Alternatives was one of my first CDs and my first international mail order. It came from Germany and for the following 10 years I received an illegible catalogue twice a year with hundreds and hundreds of random releases from different small labels sharing 24 pages. Since I already had all albums, my attention to New Order was then re-focused to singles and other releases and this record was purchased mainly because of Evil Dust, so far its only CD release  – an instrumental version of Angel Dust.  But there were also Cabaret Voltaire and Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft tracks on it, so it wasn’t a total gamble. When I finally got it, it made me discover the joys of England’s post-punk electro, with sensational bands like 23 Skidoo, 400 Blows, Quando Quango and Chris & Cosey, the latter being the first band whose music I downloaded on the internet years later. Legally by the way. Like the KLF tapes, this great record had very little information – and that sort of thing has always captured my interest. A sentence from James Brown and another from Arnold Shoenberg and a few thank-yous. Until this day a heavy influence and the cemented path to, one year later, discover and appreciate the great Renegade Soundwave.

This record also holds another story.

The aforementioned Evil Dust has an Islamic sample that always intrigued me. In 1992 if memory serves me right I heard the same sample on another track, Boneyween by the magnificent 808 State, just a small part, speed-up and equalised but I’ve always been good at spotting samples. Then I heard it on an Orb record. Years go by, and I hear it again on an Byrne and Eno track. For years it’s bugged me, not only the origin of this sample, but also the reason all these people decided to use it. Then in 1998 I’ve met Yusuf Islam – also known as Cat Stevens. I told him that I was a producer and that I would be interested in working with his music. I had his attention for a moment, and then I suggested we could sample some Islamic chants  – primarily influenced by this sample, but also because of my ignorance and the stupidity inherent of youth. He was really offended. He said that it shouldn’t be used for that, saying it was a prayer and not to be made fun of – which in my defence I never did. Anyways, until 2010 I never knew which sample that was – and now I know. I still have to ask around to know hy everybody sampled it, maybe there was an excess of stock in Manchester and London – or maybe everybody was listening to Brian Eno. Do you want to know about the sample? Send an email to asking me and I’ll tell you.

Substance | New Order

New Order's Substance

New Order’s Substance was definitely a major inspiration. Graphically & musically. The 12″ mixes compilation opened my eyes to several things, including… well, 12″ mixes. Their importance, their characteristics and their energy. The dub versions, and their uniqueness. Also, the liner notes with the original release dates, the appreciation for cataloguing, trainspotting and collecting. Why was Sub-Culture so different from my Low Life record… oh it’s a new version! The typography, the black and white cover, and the art inside it was also very very influential. The blue and dark red images made us kids think it was a ‘N’ and an ‘O’ respectively. I was eleven and this was my 1987 xmas gift.