Sunday, November 30, 2008


A few things you may or may not know about Yello........

Yello is a Swiss electronica band consisting of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank. Yello was originally formed by Boris Blank (keyboards, sampling, percussion, backing vocals) and Carlos Perón (tapes) in the late 1970s. Dieter Meier (vocals, lyrics), a millionaire industrialist and gambler, was brought in when the two founders realised that they needed a singer.

Yello's music has been popular in the TV, advertisement and movie industries. The single "Oh Yeah", released in 1985, off the album "Stella", became famous after being featured in the American movies Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Secret of My Success, Teen Wolf, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, She's Out of Control, K-9 and more recently Soul Plane. The song is also used on The Simpsons as the theme for the Duffman character. "Oh Yeah" is used as the soundtrack for American Football on US TV, in the game Gran Turismo 4, where it is played after a failed license test, and in the television advertisements for Irn-Bru featuring "Raoul". It also featured prominently in commercials for Twix candy bars, and was used extensively in commercials for the now defunct New Zealand department store, DEKA.

Boris Blank (born 15 January 1952 as Boris Leibovich Blank, is a Swiss artist and musician. Blank is said to possess "perfect pitch" (the ability to identify and reproduce a musical note with perfect accuracy).

Boris is the musical part of Yello. He composes the songs and is responsible for the characteristic sound, having reputation of perfectionist. Boris considers himself as a constructor of music, starting composing with manipulation of self-recorded samples and finishing the tracks with participation of invited professional musicians.

Boris as a child was very interested in music, but never had formal training. He never learned to read notes but always was interested in producing new sounds and samples. Blank began experimenting with tape loops and echo effects as a teenager. He recorded watersounds from a bucket of water and played sounds on a homemade bamboo flute. It was in this period he met Carlos Perón. Later the duo Yello was formed with Dieter Meier as a conceptualist, vocalist and author of lyrics.

Blank was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident while playing with gunpowder and empty bullet shells.

Boris lives in Zürich, with his wife and daughter, Olivia.

Dieter Meier (born 4 March 1945 in Zürich) is a Swiss musician and conceptual artist, he is the vocalist and lyricist, as well as manager and producer of the group.

Meier is also a filmmaker, having written and directed the films Jetzt und Alles and Lightmaker as well as most of Yello's music videos. Additionally, Meier produces his own wine on his ranch.

Meier directed the German music group Alphaville's "Big in Japan" video.

Former member Carlos Perón is a Swiss musician. Born in Zürich as the son of a businessman and a landlady who ran the legendary Ristorante Pizzeria Napoli - the first pizzeria in Switzerland. At the age of four Carlos Perón was able to bake his first own pizza.

Carlos Perón started as a keyboard player in the new wave band URLAND in Zürich. He played with drummer Sternini, bass player Ron Styler and guitarist Boris Blank.

After the split of the band Carlos Perón founded the TRANCEONIC studio in Zürich together with Boris Blank. In this experimental studio the two developed what would later on become the famous Yello sound. In 1979, the studio moved to Dieter Meier's atelier at the Rote Fabrik, and later on the trio Yello was founded.

In 1983, Carlos Perón released the soundtrack to the film, "Die Schwarze Spinne", by director Mark M. Rissi on the label Milan Disques. At the same time, Yello issued their third LP, You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess.

Carlos Perón also produced the first two albums by Wolfsheim, 1992's "No Happy View" and "Popkiller" (1993).

Although vocals are primarily provided by Meier, Boris Blank has taken a couple of vocal turns; on "Swing" (from "You've Gotta' Say Yes to Another Excess") and "Blazing Saddles" (from "Flag").

They have worked with a variety of guest vocalists and have included Rush Winters (the first female diva to be featured on a Yello recording), Billy MacKenzie, and Shirley Bassey. The group has shared writing credit with MacKenzie and Winters.

Yello were commissioned to produce music for the launch of the Audi A5 at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2007 and for the Audi A5 commercial to be broadcast in May 2007.

In 1980, Yello rejected a record contract offered by Klaus Schulze; they preferred a contract with Ralph Records in San Francisco, owned by the Residents. The first Yello album, Solid Pleasure, came out and it was a boom. In 1981, Carlos Perón released his first solo album, Impersonator I, on the label Konkurrenz/Phonogram, and Yello got a long term major deal on Phonogram through the managing director Louis Spillmann.

In the same year, the Yello album, Claro Que Si (which is spanish for "Of course", which was also the soundtrack to Dieter Meier's film, "Jetzt und Alles", came out, and also Yello’s first video (to the track "The Evening’s Young").

Yello's single "The Race" that reached No 7 in the UK singles chart in 1988, is well-known in Germany as the theme music to the Eighties pop show "Formel Eins" and was also used in the movie Nuns on the Run. It also features in The Cutting Edge as the music for the main skaters' short program. The Race also featured in the Pink Panther movie of 2006. Moreover, it has been heavily used by Eurosport and numerous car related programmes, as well as the theme music for a British Television commercial advertising Scalextric.

Yello composed the soundtrack in 1995 for Manga Video's Version of anime movie 'Space Adventure Cobra' released in 1982 in Japan.

From 1991 former band member Carlos Perón worked with label owner Lothar Gärtner of Strange Ways Records. He produced solo works and also bands like Wolfsheim, Sielwolf, The Cain Principle, Stalin, Cyrus, Recall and many others. In this phase he created the so called fetish soundtracks like Terminatrix and La salle blanche.

In 1998 Carlos Perón brought the forgotten singer/songwriter Joachim Witt to Lothar Gärtner. The idea to produce a single with the singer Peter Heppner of Wolfsheim called Die Flut came to Carlos Perón and Lothar Gärtner during a typical fishmeal with loads of white wine at the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken in Hamburg. Jochachim Witt was euphoric and begun to work. Unfortunately Lothar Gärtner died a premature death in December of 2005.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Below are two nice chilled out videos and you may recognise the featured singer in the first one, it is none other than Wolfsheims' Peter Heppner. Peter has collaborated with many artists making him well known to a wider audience.

I Feel You.....Leben


Saturday, November 15, 2008


A few things you may or may not know about Siouxsie & the Banshees........

In 1976 Siouxsie formed Siouxsie and the Banshees with fellow Bromley Contingent member Steven Severin on bass guitar (the two of them being the bands only constant members. The band was originally formed to fill an empty space on a bill at the first UK based "international punk rock festival". This show was organised by Malcolm McLaren at the 100 Club on London's Oxford Street on September 20, 1976. Other bands on the bill for the night's performances included Subway Sect, The Clash and the Sex Pistols.

The initial line up consisted of "Bromley Contingent" members Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, Marco Pirroni and John Simon Ritchie, later famous as Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, on drums. On this occasion their set consisted of a lengthy and chaotic improvisation based around "The Lord's Prayer", which also included lines from songs such as "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles", "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", "Smoke on the Water" and "Twist and Shout". Vicious and Pirroni left the band after that performance. Pirroni would then go on to join The Models (who recorded the single, Freeze, in 1977) and then Rema Rema, whose "Wheel in The Roses" EP appeared on the 4AD record label the following year. He then teamed up with a then little-known punk outfit - Adam & the Ants – in 1979 and within a year the band was on the brink of worldwide acclaim.

Siouxsie & the Banshees were also known as Janet and the Icebergs. Siouxsie Soux was born Susan Janet Ballion on 27 May 1957 in Bromley, London, the youngest of three children.

Steven Severin was born Steven John Bailey, on 25 September 1955, in London), his name is sometimes written as Steve Severin.

The very first appearance by the band was the semi legendary 100 Club gig where he and Siouxsie Sioux (billed as Suzi Sue), together with Marco Pirroni and a pre Sid Vicious John Ritchie on drums, assaulted a medley of songs around the framework of The Lords Prayer.

Siouxsie Soux work outside of Siouxsie & The Banshees has included recording a duet with Morrissey in 1994, they both sang on the single "Interlude", a track that was initially performed by a female torch singer of the sixties. In 1995, she released the song "The Lighthouse" on the French producer Hector Zazou's album Chansons des mers froides (Songs from the Cold Seas). Sioux and Zazou adapted an excerpt of the poem "Flannan Isle" by English poet Wilfred Wilson Gibson into lyrics. The song included the incantations of a female Nanai shaman recorded in Siberia, and musical performers included Budgie and Mark Isham and later in 2003, Siouxsie was asked to compose and sing the title track to Basement Jaxx's album Kish Kash. One year later, she toured for the first time as a solo act combining Banshees and Creatures songs : a live DVD called Dreamshow captured the last London concert of September 2004 performed with the Millennia Ensemble. Released in August 2005, this DVD reached the number one position in the UK music DVD charts. Due to that success, Universal signed her on the W14 label.

Steven Severin is married to Arban Ornelas, a musician and actress, the ceremony took place on 2nd October 2002. Their son Cage is named after the avant-garde composer.

The most well known side project of Severin's outside of Siouxsie & The Banshees is probably The Glove, his side project with The Cure's (and then current Banshee guitarist) Robert Smith. This led to the release of the album Blue Sunshine and two attendant singles. The album reached number 35 in the UK charts in 1983 and the single "Like an Animal" peaked just outside the UK top 50. The next single from the album, "Punish Me with Kisses", only just made it into the top 100. Though Smith did sing on a few tracks, the featured vocalist is Jeanette Landray - a friend of Banshee drummer Budgie; who was at the time involved in progressing a musical relationship with Sioux under The Creatures banner. The album is noted for its low level musical interludes between tracks.

As a producer Severin produced The Altered Images' first two singles "Dead Pop Stars" and "A Days Wait". He also produced the majority of the album Happy Birthday (all 1981). The only track not produced by him was the title track (which also formed the intro and outro), which became the band's breakthrough hit. The Altered Images had toured as a support act for the Banshees. In 1982 he produced, and played bass on, the Lydia Lunch EP The Agony Is the Ecstasy and in 1983 co-wrote the song "Torment" with Marc Almond on the latter's LP Torment and Toreros (by Marc and the Mambas).

The act probably must people know of being associated with Siouxsie & The Banshees is The Creatures. The Creatures were formed in 1981 as a side-project for Siouxsie & the Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie their first EP was "Wild Things" in 1981, introducing a much more primitive and drum-driven Banshees sound. With the dissolution of Siouxsie & the Banshees in 1996, The Creatures (who had released only 2 albums in 15 years) graduated from an occasional side project to a full-time concern. Early in 1999, The Creatures released their first studio album in just under a decade Anima Animus. Its cold and hard electronica sound was a slight departure from Boomerang 's very organic atmosphere and pleased as many as it upset. It reached a very modest #79 on the UK album chart.

Late 1999 saw the remix album Hybrids, which featured remixes of tracks from Anima Animus and the Eraser Cut EP reworked by Howie B, Paul Thomas, John Roome, Doug Hart & Paul Freegood, Ollie Brown & Sam Britton, The Black Dog, Tony Justice & Danny Endemic, The Beloved, Jonn Jo Key, Tom Stephan and A1 People. It did not chart. Neither did the two-track single "Take Mine" or the live single "Murdering Mouth" released in June and September 2000. A compilation of unreleased Anima Animus-era tracks was released as U.S Retrace 2000 to happy fans. Rocket Ship and Red Wrapping Paper were released to fan club members in 2001.

Siouxsie and Budgie returned with a full-length album Hai! in 2003, reaching #153 on the UK album chart. Recording began less than 24 hours after the Banshees had completed their reunion tour Seven Year Itch, when Budgie got to fulfil a lifelong ambition to work with Leonard Eto, the basis of the album being a spontaneous drum duet between the two. The cover photo is called "The Shinto Bride" by Kimiko Yoshida. It was recorded in Japan, yet, other than through titles such as "Godzilla!" and "Imagoro" (Japanese for "About This Time"), the music does not really reflect this. Critics' reviews have been generally favourable. It was re-released over the following years in special forms. An album of the instrumentals was also made available.

The Banshee's Drummer Budgie born Peter Edward Clarke on 21 August 1957, in St Helens, Lancashire began his career with the the Spitfire Boys and Big in Japan before briefly playing with The Slits, recording the album Cut. Budgie joined Siouxsie & the Banshees in 1979. Initially he was intended to be a temporary replacement for Kenny Morris, who had left the band two days into a tour, but he remained with the group, from the album Kaleidoscope, until they split up. He also formed the band The Creatures, together with Siouxsie Sioux, whilst with the Banshees. Budgie married Siouxsie Sioux in 1991 but they divorced in 2007.

Siouxsie & The Banshees' first single "Hong Kong Garden" takes its name from Hong Kong Garden Chinese takeaway in Chislehurst High Street and is in reference to the racist activities of skinheads visiting the takeaway. The song was released as a stand-alone single and hit number seven in the UK singles chart. When the Banshees' debut album The Scream was released later in the year, "Hong Kong Garden" was not included. It later surfaced on the singles compilation album Once Upon a Time: The Singles. When The Scream was re-mastered and re-issued in 2005 with bonus material, "Hong Kong Garden" was included in the package.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A new album from The Prodigy, their 5th, is slated for 2nd March 2009 and it features Liam, Keith and Maxim (the first time since 1997's The Fat Of The Land).

Monday, November 10, 2008


With the news that they are touring the UK in 2009, I had to share with you a favourite of mine and a track that I think was overlooked when it was released (I think largely due to the video being banned for obvious reasons), I think the highest chart position in the UK was 16.


A FREE download of IAMX's new single "THINK OF ENGLAND" is available by clicking the banner below.

IAMX Myspace

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Any excuse to listen to this (if one was ever needed), one of my favourite Pink Floyd tracks, I recently watched the Live in Gdansk concert from 2006 that David Gilmour and the late Richard Wright played, they were outstanding.

NEWS: Ultravox to Tour

After much speculation, it has been announced that Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie and Midge Ure will be reunited for the first time since their Live Aid appearance 23 years ago, for a UK tour titled "Return To Eden" in 2009.

More details here

Saturday, November 1, 2008


A big favourite of mine, and a group that I always thought was very underrated, as is the case quite often with great artists who aren't truly appreciated until years later.

The first album of theirs I bought was FROM LANGLEY PARK TO MEMPHIS on vinyl, and shortly I managed to get hold of LIONS IN MY OWN GARDEN (EXIT SOMEONE) 12", I would probably say FROM LANGLEY PARK TO MEMPHIS is my favourite album by the Sprout, although I would have to say STEVE MCQUEEN would be a very close second.

I think the music world would be a much better place if it had more songwriters of the calibre of Paddy McAloon.

Life unfortunately has not been kind to him and he suffers from Meniere's disease and has led to his sight and hearing being impaired amonsgt other problems, I think it is especially cruel for such a talented lyricist and musician to suffer from this disease.

Please find below videos of two of my favourite Sprout tracks, and I would like to wish Mr McAloon all the best on any future endeavours, his songs have given me and continue to give me great listening pleasure.

Oh and Paddy and his brother Martin have been back in the studio to record the long awaited follow-up to their 2001 album "The Gunman and Other Stories", called "Let's Change The World With Music - The Blueprint, the band are aiming at a February 2009 release. :)