so here’s a fun thing i wrote for mixmag in may. many thanks to my twitter chums for some of the suggestions…
underworld / freur
although their seminal techno work in the 90s means they can now count appleblim and high contrast as happy collaborators, it’s hard to image said stars would have been so quick to work with freur – the proto-electroclash/new romantic band karl hyde and rick smith were in during the early 80s.
d.ramirez / lisa marie experience
if you think his remix of bodyshox’s ‘yeah, yeah’ in 2007 was commercial, you’ll baulk when we tell you dean marriott’s previous incarnation was as part of chart bothering ‘house’ act lisa marie experience. still, he won’t care given they had five top 20 hits and even appeared on top of the pops.
erick morillo / reel 2 reel
back in the 90s, subliminal boss erick morillo played a key role in chart topping, ragga influenced house duo, reel 2 reel. yup, the same reel 2 reel whose biggest hit, ‘i like to move it’ is still aired on tv, in films like shrek and on the back of inner city buses through tinny phone speakers. thanks, erick…
boy george / culture club
before the drugs (maybe), community service, embarrassing police charges, ministry of sound compilations and ibiza dj sets, boy george was at the heart of the 80s new romantics revolution with culture club: if anyone else has done as much for androgyny before or since, we’re yet to find them.
mr c / the shamen
surely the end co-owner, dj, rapper, and house producer mr c must still count topping the charts for four weeks with a track whose chorus rang out ‘es are good’ (a homophone of the actual words ‘ebeneezer goode’) as his proudest achievement. certainly beats anything he’s achieved since moving to la to become a ‘movie star,’ anyway.
ben watt / everything but the girl
at the time, few people actually knew buzzin’ fly boss ben watt was dating the woman for whom he provided keys and guitars, tracey thorn, during their years together in sophisti-pop act ebtg. although the band is now inactive, watt still provides instrumentals for thorn’s continued solo work.
laidback luke & don diablo / ultimate dj boy band
you know you’re always debating how good a dj super group would be? no, exactly, so why on earth a dutch tv channel thought it would be a good idea to put one together and profile them – awkwardly live on the sofa – nobody knows: even louis walsh would cringe at this one.
chicken lips / bizarre inc
andy meecham and dean meredith are now best known as dj kicks mix series entrants and leftfield house duo chicken lips, but it was as bizzare inc that they initially made their name. being an early 90s act, of course, meant their sound was decidedly acidic, but that didn’t stop it garnering international acclaim and lofty heights in the us’s billboard top 100.
fatboy slim / house martins
‘marxist politics’ and ‘christianity’ might not be the first subjects you associate with big beat specialist fatboy slim, but they loomed large in the air during his involvement with indie outfit the housemartins from ’85 – ’88. after that came another band, beats international, before his latest group the brighton port authority debuted to a lukewarm response in 2008.
bookashade / planet claire
it’s no coincidence bookashade have turned into a stadium filling live act given their former careers as planet claire – an 80s synth pop duo. they released a number of singles and albums, even entering the charts with a remix of culture beat’s 1993 hit ‘mr. vain’ before finally finding the underground allure too strong in 2002.
sven vath / off