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Electric Independence

One of the coolest things about Francisco's new Music Business album on Nature-well, the coolest thing by miles, actually-is that the CD and vinyl editions turn into a board game, called Music Business, which is loosely based on Monopoly. The object of...
Κείμενο Piers Martin

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas

Franciscos Music Business Brettspiel

I-F im The Social, August 2005

One of the coolest things about Francisco’s new Music Business album on Nature—well, the coolest thing by miles, actually—is that the CD and vinyl editions turn into a board game, called Music Business, which is loosely based on Monopoly. The object of the game is that you enter the seamy music biz world, scoring first place in the sales chart after producing a load of records. But in order to make a record you first have to roll the dice to land on spaces called Record Store, Club, Instruments Store, Record Deal and Festival, without landing on ones called Drugs, Sample Clearance and Airport (where you lose your gear). Likewise, you get bonuses for landing on Publishing, Flea Market and Bar. It’s a cute idea that will probably increase album sales by, ooh, 2 per cent. It’s also the reason the LP took so long to come out: Francisco finished the music over a year ago but the game took ages to devise, test and manufacture, delaying the release until it was perfected. I mean, have you ever tried to invent a new board game yourself? It must take months. The CD booklet unfolds into a kind of mini travel version of the game, while the deluxe vinyl edition folds out into a standard board game size and makes for an ideal Christmas gift, the only time of the year when anyone plays these things (except Scrabble, of course, which everyone should play more often). Now Francisco wants to find a board game manufacturer to license Music Business. He’s stubbornly romantic like that. If he’d devised a successful computer game for the DVD version of his album he’d be minted. Francisco’s music is heavily inspired by that whole Italian horror film movement from the 70s. A lot of the guys in Europe making, DJing and promoting this style of psychedelic electronic disco music today reference this aesthetic, too. Dutch DJ I-F, founder of the online Cybernetic Broadcasting Network (, as we mention pretty much every issue) and one of the few DJs in the world who weaves a story with the records he spins, streams cult Italian films through the night on his occasional site (or .com or similar affix). Speaking to Vice a while back, I-F said: “I have a huge movie collection of violent movies. Especially from the 70s and 80s, a huge collection of Italian gangster movies. I hardly speak any Italian, but you don’t need to understand what they’re saying, you can imagine. They’re called Napoli Violenta, Roma Violenta, Firenze Violenta, Milano Violenta—violent cities—from the 70s and I really like the atmosphere in these movies. It’s so hard, it’s women and children first, in a nasty kind of way. It’s very macho and stylish and everyone’s beautifully dressed. And these small streets, they have some kind of magic for me. It’s more or less the art of violence. I am a huge Charles Bronson fan. In the 70s he really rocks.” More often than not, there’s a feeling of unease and suspense in I-F’s solo work and his music with The Parallax Corporation and The Conservatives, whose “Lonelyness” single has just come out again on Viewlexx. “I was always obsessed by music, movies a little less,” he continued. “But the combination of the two, like a Carpenter with Halloween or Assault On Precinct 13, or Goblin with Tenebre—wow, you should watch that! ’Cos I know the record of Tenebre longer than the movie and when the music kicks in I am like totally melting away, you get this goose bumps, it’s really cool. That movie is beautiful. The acting is not all that but somehow it all really fits. Claudio Simonetti inspires me.” It’d be insane not to mention the new Box Jams compilation on Clone at this point, which comes as two double-12” packs and one CD, and is a must for anyone who’s ever set foot on a dancefloor. Compiled by label boss Serge, Box Jams is really the first record in a while that successfully links the new wave of electronic disco with pounding Chicago house and late-70s man-machine pop. The album features a few new energetic tracks by Alden Tyrell, Putsch 79, Orgue Electronique, Lindstrøm and Unit 4 alongside older rare gems by Harold Faltermeyer (the Moroderish fantasy “So High”, tweaked by Tyrell) and Shirley Lites, whose classic “Heat You Up” receives a 2005 sprucing from 4Lux’s Gerd. Salamandos, which could be another of Legowelt’s aliases (I’m not sure), contributes the steamy “Jack That Dick”. The same guy is also responsible for C10’s wild “Expand” narco-odyssey on Crème Organization. If there’s one album from this scene that could convincingly crossover to the mainstream, it’ll be the eponymous debut by Norway’s Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, the finest record The Glimmers’ have released on their Eskimo label and one of the year’s best. There’s nothing here as aggressive Lindstrøm’s recent “I Feel Space” hit. Rather, the pair craft 13 exquisite analogue disco numbers with the care and finesse of master carpenters. The record has a lovely live feel and a graceful cosmic sensibility; it’s a totally hippiefied, pastoral trip that sounds like it was a joy to write and record and, remarkably for an 80-minute album, it seems way too short. PIERS MARTIN