Urban Theory/Fusion 3
hen the scene now known as “electroclash” first received its name, it was obvious to many that, like “grunge” and “triphop”, the term would be abused by listeners and critics and hated by the artists included in the genre. Electroklash is a two-disc compilation that both succeeds and fails in doing its job, which is to introduce the most important artists and songs in the scene.
The track selection is interesting to say the least. There are four tracks involving the Canadian-cum-German, potty-mouthed sensation, Peaches. Though she may be one of the leaders of this electronic scene, it seems like quite a waste to devote that much space on the album. Her naughty re-working of Basement Jaxx’s “Get Me Off” (which sounds nothing at all like the original) is stripped down to the bare minimum. The vocals are rude and perfect, as pornographic as her usual stuff, and definitely effective in turning the song into her own. “AA XXX”, from her album The Teaches of Peaches is a disappointment, since it is lifted straight, without any work done to it. As well, the single with Gonzales, “Red Leather”, is a definite high-point for the record, but it doesn’t end there. “Grab My Shaft” by Louie Austen, featuring Peaches, is on here as well, making it more like “The Peaches Show”, instead of a “Intro to Electroclash”.
Not to dwell on the problems with this album too much, but essential and far more exciting artists such as Fischerspooner, Soviet, The Faint and A.R.E. Weapons are mysteriously absent. When dispensable filler like “Do The Radioactive” by Radioactive Man is included, instead of one of the aforementioned artists, or even an original track by Felix Da Housecat (who does contribute a remix), something seems very wrong.
There are many great moments on the record here, however, that make this compilation worth hearing. Dot Allison’s impressive new electro sound is nicely showcased on “We’re Only Science”, a dark and erotic slab of electronic sex, that is nicely kept at a snail’s pace. Chicks On Speed’s always entertaining rendition of “Euro Trash Girl” and Crossover’s “Lucida Obscura” are both staples to show how to do it right. The best remix award goes to Felix, for his job on Ladytron’s “Playgirl”, transforming it into something more suitable for the dancefloor. Anthony Rother’s Kraftwerkian “Don’t Stop The Beat” sounds like the most inhuman song made since the German legends last worked together, while Creme De Menthe explores fashionable ways of working with “Plastique”.
Aside from the overindulgence in Peaches and some poor song selections, Electroklash is a satisfactory compilation that succeeds in spreading the word about the most exciting type of dance music around right now.
Reviewed by: Cam Lindsay
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01