So I was thinking the other day about how I used to consider myself an enthusiast of electronic music, but then, I was asked to cover a colleague’s radio show. His show description is something like, “the best in new independent electronic music.” Seems simple enough. I’ll play summadat “electroclash” stuff the kids (wait, that was me) used to like in the early 00’s.
Two problems: 1. I don’t really like most of that music anymore. I mean, Peaches, Chicks on Speed, the Knife… you will all have a special place in my teenage heart, but… I’ve sort e(de)volved from those sounds.
2. Even if I WAS trying to find decent electro music like those artists, there isn’t a ton I could find that’s super recent, like from the last year. So that sucks.
And you know, I wasn’t gonna sit there and alienate this guy’s audience by spinning Wendy Carlos, Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Nope. Well, actually, I probably would have, except that my laptop broke and I didn’t have any vinyl with me, so I was just pulling random cds and playing songs off my phone, resulting in a very odd play list…
ANYWAY, the point is, I SHOULD have had this album with me:
Lady From Shanghai is Ubu’s 15th studio album and it’s fabulous. An exquisite amalgation of the old and the new: rock and electronic, noise and camp, bizarro and accessible. Plus all the art-rockers’ CLASSIC elements like experimental tangents and Thomas’ jarring, off-kilter vocal stylings. I’m pretty obsessed with the opening track, a semi-cover of Anita Ward’s anthem, brilliantly replacing “You can ring my bell” with “You can go to hellll-elll-elll… go to hell!”
Even though I guess I’d call it an electronic/rock album, several tracks have that Ubu “avant-garage” thing goin’ on. You still get sprawling, noisy improv attacks; they’re just a little more digital-y than rockin’. Which is cool, because then they’re interesting songs and not all self-important classic rock jams jizzin’ on themselves. RAB-approved, this album. Check out: Thanks, Musicians are Scum, Lampshade Man, 414 Seconds.
Buy it here with the fucking awesome-looking Chinese Whispers, or do that Spotify thing you kids do these days.