Disco Inferno

 
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 28 May 2009, 22:32

    Disco Inferno

    One of the greatest bands ever.

    For those not in the know:
    DI Go Pop
    Technicolour
    In Debt

    For those in the know:

    What are your top five DI songs and why?

    Mine:

    1] The Last (Long) Dance
    2] Next Year
    3] A Whole Wide World Ahead
    4] Scattered Showers
    5] Summer's Last Sound

    this list was quite hard to make.

  • This is a tough one but here goes. In chronological order:

    "Hope to God"
    My favourite song of DI's early, pre-sampler period. A short, sharp acoustic ballad damning the square community in a way that has incredible resonance in the context of our current economic quagmire.

    "Summer's Last Sound"
    Their real breakthrough moment. Absolute sampledelic rapture. Sadly, my CD single has succumbed to metal fatigue.

    "New Clothes for the New World"
    DI at their most extreme but still catchy and concise. More than any other one of their songs, this sounds like a blueprint for a futuristic rock music that still hasn't come to pass.

    "Lost in Fog"
    Mixes the bleakness of early DI with MIDI madness of "DI Go Pop". Harrowing, righteous and totally unique.

    "Keep it Together"
    This was erroneously labelled as "Drowned Out" on the version of "The Technicolour Outtakes" I downloaded. Still, the chorus (which encapsulates all that is positive about the Ian Crause world-view) cleared things up: "Keep it together/By any means possible/I want to live long enough/To witness a miracle".

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 29 May 2009, 02:26

    DAMN I RORGOT THE REASONS WHY

    ^ Are you sure it was labelled as "Drowned Out"? Because on Outtakes, I have one called "Drowned Out" and another called "Keep it Together". Which track number is the one you're talking about?

    And as for the reasons why I love these songs (I'm not that great at descriptions, so here it goes):

    1] The Last Dance:
    The ticking of clocks, those guitars, and the lyrics make it, possibly, the best song DI ever came out with. "In the end it's not the future/But the past, that'll get us." Those lyrics have forever been ingrained into my head. There was this great article on how the song perfectly summed up the past, the present, and the future, but I can't seem to find it. (I had it bookmarked). There's another great article on this song though, for anyone interested, since I'm not that great at descriptions: here

    2] "Next Year":
    I just love the bass in this song. That little sample used at the end (a bell? strumming of a guitar? what is it?) always gets me. It's just a great song.

    3] "A Whole Wide World Ahead":
    Like a thunderstorm at sea, but it sounds so peaceful. Beautiful. And while I can't make out all the lyrics (that goes for much of DI GO POP), there's this part that's clear, and it's always stuck to me: "The dream from my childhood has troubled my mind, now troubles my days time after time"

    4] "Scattered Showers":
    Reminds me of a dream I once had of a shower of meteors falling on earth, against a dark blue sky. Love the way it starts, and that motorcycle engine (?) sample used. Starts out soft, but slowly descends into a kind of chaos. Beautiful.

    5] "Summer's Last Sound":
    I didn't find much beauty in this song at first, until reading the work Ian Crause put into sampling that bird call. And then this sample comes in that sounds like it came from a Super Nintendo game. And the dark lyrics are just great:

    "Until we find a place to settle
    We'll just keep moving on
    We stay in flocks like birds, no one dares to move along
    Across a sea of bleached skulls
    Chased by death in all its forms
    Over mountains, under suns
    We shoot to kill, let's shoot for fun
    Across a desert's burning skies, we never stop to sleep or eat
    Death always finds us in the end"

  • Great stuff.

    The copy of "The Technicolour Outtakes" I got clearly had some the title tags mixed up. The song I mentioned has the phrase "keep it together" in the chorus (as I quoted above) but it wasn't the one tagged as "Keep it Together". It was tagged as "Drowned Out". Another song had a prominent sample of a woman saying the word "Swing" in place of a chorus, yet one of the other songs was tagged as "Swing". And so forth. If you want, I can try to figure out what all the songs were originally tagged as and what I think they should actually have been tagged as.

  • Okay, so this is how I see it...

    The song labelled "Drowned Out" is actually "Keep it Together"

    The song labelled "Keep it Together" is actually "Swing"

    The song labelled "Swing" is actually "Drowned Out"

    "Where Did I Go Wrong" and "Untitled" are correctly labelled

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 29 May 2009, 03:48
    All right. I didn't even know they were labelled incorrectly.
    Are you going by how the lyrics are in the songs? Because honestly,
    I can't make out 90% of them.

  • I'm mainly going on a few phrases that jump out of a coupla the songs, as described above. Listen for those cues and you'll know what's what.

    It's always possible that the version of the bootleg you downloaded has the correct tags. I know there's another version floating around, with an extra version of "Where Did I Go Wrong?"

    BTW, I think this is the other blog post you were talking about, complete with comments from yours truly and Ian Crause himself!

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 29 May 2009, 05:31
    ^ Yes, that's the one. I especially liked the girlish screams. Imagine that, comments from Ian Crause himself. I've bumped into some of his comments on DI from time to time. Very few sites/blogs/forums with DI on it, to the point I think I've stumbled upon them all.

    I actually have the one with the extra version of "Where Did I Go Wrong", put up as Mix 2 and the first as Mix 1.

    Here are the tracks, just to compare with yours (before your changed the titles):

    1] Where Did I Go Wrong (Mix 1)
    2] Drowned Out
    3] Untitled
    4] Keep It Together
    5] Swing
    6] Where Did I Go Wrong (Mix 2)

    This thread would do much better if more than two people were involved.

  • Yeah, that's the track-listing I got but with an extra mix of "Where Did I Go Wrong?" tacked on. Whether this means your MP3s are incorrectly tagged, I do not know.

    If you want to get some more top fives out of people, you could try leaving shouts on DI's artist page and the DI group page too.

  • So I really need to get a copy of the Technicolour Outtakes, it seems. That's the only thing I'm missing.

    Aside from that, I'm going to slap together an ad hoc list, which may or may not end up revised by tomorrow. Here goes. Btw this isn't in order, just 5 interchangeably brilliant tracks.

    1. It's A Kid's World.

    I don't care if it's not the deepest thing they've done or any other apect of DI which has deeply ingrained them in my musical life. This is a pop masterpiece par excellence. I defy anyone to shrink away from the glorious burst of color and energy this song is. It's made headway into several mixtapes I've created, and is always the first track I play to get anyone into the band. The Iggy Pop drum fill grabs your throat and leads the way through the carnival ride of pop perfection..

    2. The Last (Long) Dance

    I have really nothing to add from what you fellows have stated - it makes me swoon, pure and simple. "In the end it's not the future/But the past, that'll get us." Pure and simple, that line is what first struck me to my core when getting into DI.

    3. Second Language

    From the opening clatter of camera shutters to the glorious refrain of "and we just smiled..." riding an epic wave of distorted and bent guitar love this song just blows my brains against the wall. It's maybe not the most substantial track, lyrically, but it's nearly the definition of what I love about DI. These textures don't run.

    4. The Athiest's Burden

    One of the few songs with discernible (great) lyrics, it nonetheless grabs me the same way all other DI favorites do: with warped, intricate, forward-and-upward-aiming sonics I'm forced to surrender to. That plucked and echoed guitar in the middle is menacingly lovely, the warped one forming a backing track is deliciously addictive, a holy groove by the spirit of Vini Reilly in heavenly paradise, and the beat is relentlessly propulsive. I can't deny it's pleasures.



    5. Footprints in Snow

    Quick soundbites: Majestic. Star gazing. Swooning. Mysterious. Endearingly twisted. Romantic. Twinkling. Delicate. Powerful. Expansive. Anthemic. Perfect album closer. (with perfect album-closer 4th-wall-decimating ending sample)

    So that's my list.

  • In no particular order:

    Lost In Fog
    From The Devil to the Deep Blue Sky (the long instrumental; title is often confused with that of the flipside, A Rock To Cling To)
    Don't You Know
    A Whole Wide World Ahead
    It's A Kids World

    Why? Because I think these are the most fully-realised works of DI's output. It's a shame they split up when they did - I think they had a lot more to give, and were still perfecting their sound and writing skills. Personally I would have liked to hear a lot more like From The Devil to the Deep Blue Sky and fewer Indie-Pop-songs-with-sound-effects.

  • Yeah, I was going to point out how the incorrect indexing of the outtakes bootleg is mirrored in the "A Rock to Cling to" single.

    Not sure I agree with preferring the more abstract, instrumental side of DI but if you like "From the Devil..." you should get with the untitled track from that bootleg and "The Mixing It Session" too, if you haven't already.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 30 May 2009, 19:22
    I've found "The Mixing It Session" ok. The only one I've really come to love in there is "Bird". The songs though, really do fit in with the titles, especially "Elephant".

    On the instrumental thing, it'd be 50/50 for me. While I love their pop songs, their instrumental songs are genius. They definitely could've continued to go in that direction if they wished to, though I'd miss Crause's vocals.

  • To me, it's funny how Disco Inferno-influenced acts like Hood, Epic45 and Piano Magic mainly show their love of DI by aping Crause's vocal delivery - surely the least immediately appealing thing about the band. Having said that, I do love his "singing" and feel that it's a vital part of the DI aesthetic - that very English mixture of magical and mundane.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 4 Jun 2009, 18:57
    I agree 100%.

  • My Disco Inferno Top 5:
    - Footprints In Snow
    - In Sharky Water
    - Summer's Last Sound
    - Entertainment
    - Lost In Fog

  • Is there any official word on these 5 EPs, as someone who is interested in - but has nothing by - Disco Inferno, I'd certainly be happy to get them.

  • Giving DI my first go!

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 9 Jun 2009, 18:55
    1 — Waking up
    2 — Summer's Last Sound
    3 — From The Devil To The Deep Blue Sky
    4 — At The End Of The Line
    5 — When The Story Breaks

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 9 Jun 2009, 21:31
    Maybe giving us the reasons why would help guys?

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 10 Jun 2009, 05:49
    (Sorry, I am sadly bad in putting words on aesthetic/ artistic emotions.)

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 10 Jun 2009, 22:24
    So am I. I'm actually the worst at it, but I still tried my best.

  • Highlights

    D.I. Go Pop

    In Sharky Water (such a great opener)
    Even the Sea sides Against Us

    In Debt

    Entertainment
    Falling Down the Wire ( the abrupt ending always gets me)


    Technicolor

    Technicolor
    It's a Kid's World


    The EPs

    From the Devil to the Deep Blue Sea
    The Last /Long Dance
    D.I. Go Pop
    A Little Something
    At the End of the Line ( very Durutti)


    I have yet to hear the Mixing it Sessions.


    There are certainly other good songs, but those stand out to me.

  • Not sure I could narrow it down to 5 favourites (like MBV before them, DI were a band that to me in the 90s made most other music seem pretty irrelevant and there's hardly any tracks I don't love) so I thought I’d limit it to one track from any album or EP.


    Starbound: All Burnt Out And Nowhere To Go

    I could probably fill up my top 5 with tracks from DI Go Pop (unlike many, I actually even prefer it to the 5 EPs) but if I had to pick one it would be this. The repetitive samples and how they turned the barely controlled chaos into music was a total revelation to me back in 94. Then of course there’s the lyrics: “The world’s spun its shit down on me far too long. I’m gonna spit down hard on it back.” We all know that feeling!!


    Summer's Last sound

    The Open Doors, Closed Windows LP was fine but it was here that they got the whole midi/sampling thing going on and became the band we know and love. The fact that Crause made sure that the birdsong at the start was authentic British hedgerow birdsong showed his attention to detail. There’s just not enough Ornithology in rock & roll (or should I say ‘post’-rock & roll) if you ask me. Then the beautiful electronics kick in and Crause gives his unique brand of social commentary: “The price of bread went up 5p today. An immigrant got kicked to death again”. That’s the real England, not the rose-tinted caricature painted by Blur and other Britpopsters.


    The Atheist’s burden.

    Quite accessible for DI and a track you could almost play to people with mainstream music tastes without them saying “what’s this shit?” It’s quite an upbeat song for Crause but I when I first heard it I assumed throughout that his optimistic lyrics were a little sarcastic and he’s going to come out with something really twisted and bitter at some point. Of course he doesn’t and ends with the lovely line “If you get up real early, say 4.30 and look around. You’ll see the world before the cynics get out of bed”. Makes you want to do just that.


    DI Go Pop

    Not their easiest listening track (and definitely as inappropriately named as the band themselves). It sticks out like a sore thumb on if you listen to the 5 EPs in one sitting but I love the little story about going on holiday to some awful country where shit things happen and nobody cares. Then at the end they find out from a waitress that they never left England. Absolute genius.


    Lost In Fog

    Unlike DI Go Pop, this one’s very appropriately named. Hazy, and ‘vague’ (as Eno would put it) but also very bleak. It definitely fitted in with the “dark ambient” concept of Virgin’s 1994 ‘Isolationism’ compilation that it was included on.

    • Namey said...
    • User
    • 19 Jun 2009, 23:14
    chrisrazor said:

    From The Devil to the Deep Blue Sky (the long instrumental; title is often confused with that of the flipside, A Rock To Cling To)

    No, "A Rock to Cling to" is the long instrumental, as brain-shatteringly odd and incredible as that may seem. When will you dummies finally accept this?
    Although I'm not actually sure myself haha.

    Anyway each of my fave five from dear DI would probably be off In Debt; except for "Summer's Last Sound" naturally - let's say "Interference", "Set Sail", "Freethought" and "Next in Line". Tho "From the Devil to the Deep Blue Sky" should definitely be there as well...and "Sleight of Hand" too. That song by the way...talk about hits that weren't! Mister Crause should've released that as a single and maybe he'd be a famous millionaire popstar now like he always secretly wanted, or not so secretly, I dunno...But that song just hits me with a crisp, bright euphoria like few others - But then again I must also state "It's a Kid's World" really is an astounding pop-sonic achievement as well.

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