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Electric Independence

From the ruthless world of Paris Fashion to the ruthlessly disinterested.
December 1, 2003, 12:00am

From the fashion hub where a slap in the face is as common as a kiss on both cheeks, gay Paris producer Fred Bigot has been dropping albums, singles, and remixes on more shit-hot labels than any electro one-hit wonders have a right to. Now his latest album, 21st Century Toy, is out on Disko B, and it’s good. You know that one pair of jeans you’ve got? The ones you’ve had since forever, that are worked in just right so that they’re comfortable but not to the point where you look like a homeless guy? That’s what this album is. It’s at once familiar and comfy, but still edgy enough to keep you moving. Hanging dark and velvety like the Little Red Riding Hood capes of last fall’s Alexander McQueen collection, Chicago noise-god Kevin Drumm’s latest opus, Land of Lurches, is now out. Released on Aaron Dilloway’s Hanson imprint, these waves of electronic death metal will wash over you like the most luxurious of silken gowns, but just as quickly those same gowns will be ripped away, leaving your body exposed to a most exquisite sonic lashing. Decked out in his favorite wooden slippers and the same sweater he’s had on for the last four years, Bogdan Raczynski is still the leader of Polish style. His new one, Renegade Platinum Mega Dance Attack Party: Don The PlatesI, combines the sad, pitiful lyricism of last year’s My Love I Love with deft programming. But while the lo-fi 8-bit melodies and drum ’n’ bass breaks will certainly please most hardcore fans, those of us looking for an even more adventurous extension of My Love I Love might see this as a step backwards.
After dropping his first release for Rephlex over a decade ago, Luke Vibert returns as Amen Andrews with some sick-ass drum ’n’ bass. Just as American designer Halston defined the 70s with his pioneering use of fabrics like Ultrasuede and introduction of now-standard cashmere sweater sets, knitted caped stoles, and halter dresses, Vibert defined the complex and melodic d’n’b of the mid-90s using swathes of innovative sound sources stitched together with the skill of a premier d’atelier of the highest order. Now he returns with the second in a series of five vinyl EPs, and the results are devastating. If you like yer beats ’ardcore, then look no further. This’ll rinse you out proper. This month’s Most Stylish Compilation Award goes to City Rockers’ Futurism 2. With its leafy-green casing and clear plastic sleeve, it is the essence of modular modern minimalism. The allure and warm earthiness of the green is juxtaposed with the traditional classic serif typography printed in stark white on the clear plastic slipcover. Separately, the CD case and cover make striking statements about the powerful oneness of nature and the information overload of modern media, respectively. But together, they form the perfect ensemble for a frivolous night on the town, complete with champagne and cajolery. It’s no secret that the new sound taking over the urban catwalk is Jamaican dancehall. And for good reason—the riddims are tight, the melodies are catchy, and the music is dripping with sex. On the Pressure LP, UK producer The Bug has taken the bashment sound and put his own distorted white-boy twist on it (kinda like he did with hip-hop as Techno Animal). The result is a truly banging album with guest spots by Daddy Freddy, Wayne Lonesome, and Tikiman. Perfect if you’re looking for tough guy lick-a-shot gunman tunes combined with doomsday DHR-type beats. One of the best indie-pop albums I’ve heard in a long time has to be from the Montreal (via British Columbia) band the Unicorns. Since the duo have already perfected intimate synth-y lo-fi pop on their album Unicorns Are People Too, all that’s left to do is put the final touches on their new album, due out on Alien8 in September. They also need to finish their matching outfits. Reveals frontman Nick “Neil” Diamonds: “We’re going for suits in matching shades of pink: pink ties, pink suspenders, white shirt, pink pants, white shoes, and gray newsie caps!” RAF + VINCE
Send promos to Electric Independence, c/o Raf + Vince, 264 Ste Catherine O, Montreal, Canada, H2X 2A1

Electric Indie’s Top Ten Vinyl (in no particular order):

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1. Amen Andrews “Volume 2” 12” (Rephlex) 2. Kill Memory Crash “When Blood Turns Black” 12” (Ghostly)

3. Ghost Arcade “Mr Bossa Suicide” 7” (Ghost Arcade) 4. DJ Deeon “Ghetto Fabulous” 12” (Pro-Jex)

5. Testarosa “Pescara Mare” 12” (Saboteur) 6. Via Tania “Under A Different Sky” 12” (Chocolate Ind.)

7. Osborne “Daylight” 12” (Spectral) 8. Dino Felipe “Spreadder/Sprig” 7” (Schematic) 9. Burka Band

“Burka Blue” 7” (Monika/Ata Tak) 10. Transformer Di Roboter “Cut The Mullet” cover 12” (white label)