Disco Sunday #7: Robots in Disguise

7 10 2007

Robots in Disguise

“At the height of our disembodied digital era, two disguised femme-bots descend to deliver their funkpunk message to undiscerning humanoids inclined to the sounds of artful proto punk, exuberant electro-pop and new wave expressionism…”

London based electro-punk duo Robots in Disguise are one of my fave fave fave bands, so much so that I can’t believe I’ve never posted about them yet. So I intend to right that wrong today, because their new record “The Sex Has Made Me Stupid” comes out this week on President Records in the UK, and a 6 week European tour kicks off as well. And I’m such a huge fan I just wrapped up not one but *two* official remixes for the new record!

I can’t post any of the new material just yet, but look out for Baron von Luxxury remixes of “The Sex Has Made Me Stupid” and “We’re In The Music Business” coming soon. And in the mean time, here’s an introduction to the band for y’all who haven’t heard them yet.

RID began when Sue Denim and Dee Plume (get it?) met in Liverpool, hooked up with Berlin based producer Chris Corner (Sneaker Pimps, IAMX) and developed the sonic credo “ESG, Elastica and Serge Gainsbourg in a pop clusterfuck.” A self titled debut was released French label Recall in 2002, and by 2005’s followup “Get RID” they’d perfected their sophisticated, smart and sexy blend of dance-pop and art-punk.

Their signature sound comes from their use of dueling female vocals that twist and turn melodically, almost competitively, but always come together deliciously in the end. That sounds dry and pedantic so enough of my yakkin’ and check out three of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands.

“Turn it Up” is an adoring ode to Indie pop music. It references nearly a dozen albums in the lyrics, from The Smiths to Peaches. How many can you identify?

MP3: “Turn it Up” – Robots in Disguise

“La Nuit” est une adventure a Paris – en français!

MP3: “La Nuit” – Robots in Disguise

“The DJ’s Got A Gun” is one of my favorite songs to spin:

MP3: “The DJ’s Got a Gun (IAMX Remix)” – Robots in Disguise

In addition to their fantastic songwriting and relentless touring, another reason RID is so big in Europe (70,000 Myspace friends!) is because they’ve made several guest appearances on the cult comedy show “The Mighty Boosh.” Here’s their hilarious battle of the sexes video for the song “Girl” featuring Noel Fielding from that show (who is also a Robot boyfriend.)

YouTube Video: “Girl” – Robots in Disguise

Did I mention how much I love this band? Go be a Robot friend on their Myspace, or just cut to the chase and buy the tracks on Itunes or Amazon.

Message to Dee and Sue: when do I get one of those radddd new shirts you’re wearing below?

Baron von Luxxury

Robots in Disguise


Disco Sunday #5: Summer. Night. City.

12 08 2007

ABBA Summer Night City

Sorry I’ve been absent for a little while but some stuff went down, and it wasn’t exactly the cherry I’d hoped for on top of my 10 weeks in NYC. But you know what my mom says, which is incredibly genius advice? “Life is for the living.” And for me, the pulse of life is in the throbbing heartbeat of disco. From the timeless 16th note whirl and phase of Moroder to the robot rock of Daft Punk; from the sugary yet hedonistic Swedish pop of Abba to the jangly hi-hat imperfection and post-punk revisionism of LCD Soundsystem; from the retro-Chic of Escort to the slow space of all things Troubleman. From 106 to 131 and all the BPMs in between, it’s The Shit That Keeps Me Fiddling While Rome is Burning.

And so, for my transition back to the real world (insofar as “the real world” is blogdom and San Francisco), here is my first ever DJ mix. It’s called Baron von Luxxury’s So Fucking Disco: Summer Night New York City ’07 Mixx, and it’s by me: Baron von Luxxury, which is my fake name.

It was interesting putting this together since making a “DJ mix” is, it turns out, not quite the same as doing a live DJ set. For one thing, you’re not reacting to a crowd in real time, which is half the fun of performing, since I’m never quite sure what I’ll play next. The other major difference is that it’s meant to be listened to in a different context than a dark room filled with sweaty people – presumably with headphones on the subway or in the background on a laptop. Which, I suppose, could both still be dark and sweaty environments.

Anyway, for this first mix I decided to have it be a snapshot of my most recent live set opening for Scissors for Lefty at Union Hall, Brooklyn on July 21. I also added a few original edits and what I am calling “blends” (sorry, I can’t bear to call them mashups). And because it’s my first mix, it’s got a few tracks from my best of 2007 so far, just so I can catch up. To make up for the not-so-newness of those bloghouse faves, I have also included a special treat for you: the worldwide exclusive debut of “Tom Cruise is a Gay Scientologist”, an awesome new and heretofore unblogged track by my latest discovery, NYC’s Black Russians. You heard it at Disco Workout first!

Enjoy, and feel free to pass this little disco valentine along to the people you love.

– Baron von Luxxury

Baron von Luxxury’s So Fucking Disco: Summer Night New York City ’07 Mixx
1. “Love Theme from Baron von Luxxury” – Baron von Luxxury
2. “So Fucking Disco (BvL Blend)” – Pase Rock
3. “All Through The Night (BvL Blend)” – Escort
4. “Disco Dynamite” – Mr Flash
5. “Intro” – Alan Braxe and Fred Falke
6. “Into the Groove” – Madonna (snippet)
7. “Transexual (BvL Blend)” – Mr. Oizo
8. “Shadows” – Midnight Juggernauts
9. “Ghetto Ways (Baron von Luxxury’s Super Thanks for Asking Remix)” – Scissors for Lefty
10. “We Are Rockstars (BvL Frida Edit)” – Does it Offend You, Yeah?
11. “Theme From S’Express” – S’Express
12. “UFO (Van She Tech Remix)” – Sneaky Sound System
13. “Acceleration (BvL Blend)” – Franz and Shape
14. “Rock and Roll is Evil (Devin Dirt’s Fat Elvis Remix [BvL Blend])” – Luxxury
15. “I Get Around (Midnight Juggernauts Remix)” – Dragonette
16. “All Systems Down” – Knightlife
17. “Black Arabs” – Black Arabs
18. “Rolling Down The Hills” – Glass Candy
19. “Summer Night City” – ABBA
20. “Tom Cruise is a Gay Scientologist” – Black Russians
21. “Love Theme from Baron von Luxxury (reprise)” – Baron von Luxxury

Download Baron von Luxxury’s So Fucking Disco: Summer Night New York City ’07 Mixx here.

(San Francisco) Disco Sunday #4

16 07 2007

Sugar and Gold

I’ve been meaning to post this one for ages from our homies in Sugar and Gold but I was holding out til now as they’ve just put out their debut record “Creme” on Antenna Farm records, are kicking off a tour with Gravy Train!!!! S+G make 100% disco-pop in the vein of Escort and Chic. We played a house party with them in the lower Haight last year and people were rubbing up against each other violently, in a sex way. So without further ado here is the new theme song to The Workout blog courtesy of Sugar and Gold and entitled “Workout”!

MP3: “Workout” – Sugar and Gold
Sugar and Gold’s Space
Buy the album or download 2 more free songs at the Antenna Farm records site

Sugar and Gold Summer Tour w/ Gravy Train!!!!
7-25 – Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone
7-27 – Houston, TX – Walter‘s On Washington
7-28 – Austin, TX – Emo‘s
7-29 – Denton, TX – Rubber Gloves
7-30 – Albuquerque, NM – The Launch Pad
7-31 – Phoenix, AZ – The Rhythm Room
8-1 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
8-2 – Pomona, CA – The Glasshouse

S+G are also playing a handful of pre-tour shows, including this one on Friday in Brooklyn. I’ll be there, come join the bicoastal disco love fest. And sorry for using the word “disco”, like, 80 times.

Sugar and Gold

BPM Gallery
237 Kent Ave (btwn 1st & Grand), Brooklyn, NY
$8 donation/ 10pm


Speaking of homies, here’s some awesome new spaced out magic from another San FranDisco operator called Sorcerer. I’m loving the slow BPMs these days so this is right up my alley.

MP3: “Surfing at Midnight” – Sorcerer
Sorcerer’s Space
Tirk Records

There’s also a hot Prins Thomas remix of this track at the fantastic American Athlete. Collect ’em all.

NYC area peeps: I’ll be performing live with Scissors for Lefty this Saturday at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union St in Park Slope – R to Union St. or F to 4th Ave) for the Village Voice Siren Festival afterparty. No flyer yet but add me on Myspace and check yr bulletins for details. And back on the left coast: don’t forget to come by our monthly “Workout” night this Thursday at San Francisco’s House of Shields (details in yesterday’s post)!

Baron von Luxxury

(Simian Mobile) Disco Sunday #3

9 07 2007

Simian Mobile Disco

This past Saturday night was 7/7/07, and while hundreds of millions of people around the world tuned in to watch Spinal Tap’s army of bass players, we chose to catch Simian Mobile Disco’s first ever live show on American soil at Studio B, Brooklyn. Call us crazy but as SMD are in the vanguard of the bands/DJs/remixproducer crossover thing that we love so much, it was a foregone conclusion that we’d need to go and do a little gear trainspottin’ from the front row. And now, DiscoWorkout.com is pleased to bring you some of the first shaky homemade videos of SMD’s insane tweakology-in-the-round live show:

Video: “Hustler” – Simian Mobile Disco live @ Studio B, 7/7/07

Video: Simian Mobile Disco’s crazy-ass synthtastic set conclusion:

SMD’s Myspace seems to show them touring Europe nonstop til December but a little birdie told us they’ll be in the SanFranDisco on September 21 with Boyznoise – crazy hott! Go!

MP3: “3 Pin Din” – Simian Mobile Disco
MP3: “Are You The One (Simian Mobile Disco Rmix)” – The Presets
SMD Space

For more supergeekin’ live electro gear trainspotting stuff, check out these amazing pictures from Erol Alkan’s site from inside Daft Punk’s pyramid, courtesy of Create Digital Music. Also, Music Thing recently pointed out some balcony snaps of Nancy from LCD Soundsytem’s maxi-minimalist setup a while back. For extra credit, join the ensuing discussion on how many Microkorgs are too many (she uses four!).


Speaking of 2-person bands that are also talented remix producers, Shakes are a couple of brothers from England who have a new EP out on LA’s I Am Sound records. It’s very 80s, which we love, and very Rapture-y (indeed I’m wondering if there isn’t some allusional/referential connection as “Sister Self Doubt” sounds a *lot* like “Sister Savior”, and not just in name…but in a good way, to be sure):

MP3: “Sister Self Doubt (Alternative Version)” – Shakes
MP3: “Fa Fa Fa (Shakes Rmix)” – Datarock
Shakes’ Space
Shakes remixes’ Space

If you live in London you can see them live several times this month, including a gig at Together Club on July 28 along with Para One, David Guetta, The Teenagers, and a Klaxons DJ set. Everyone else can see ’em on the interweb right here and now:

Video: “Disneyland” – Shakes

Baron von Luxxury

P.S. Vote for me in the URB Magazine Next 1000!

BTW you can download the Hilary Duff remix referenced in the above article at Big Stereo or Palmsout.

(Incredibly Belated) Disco Sunday #2

27 06 2007

After Dark

I actually wrote a draft of this particular post in May but I’m only just now getting to publish it, because there’s just too damn much awesome shit to do in NYC. The Glass played the other night, Kavinsky and Mr. Oizo a few weeks ago, Boyznoise are tomorrow night…and of course let’s not forget the amazing Baron von Luxxury’s solo turn at APT last week – *damn*, I was good!

My man Johnny Jewel has produced a new compilation on fellow multi-tasker Mike Simonetti’s new Troubleman Unlimited imprint, Italians Do It Better Records. It’s called “After Dark” and I’ve been listening to it obsessively since I got it at the Glass Candy show in SF last month. It’s got twelve sultry slow-BPM space disco jams and it’s fucking gorgeous. Here are a few of my favorites:

MP3: “In The City” – Chromatics
Chromatics Space

MP3: “Lady Operator” – Mirage
Mirage Space

MP3: “La Grotta” – Professor Genius
Genius Space

MP3: “Miss Broadway (Demo)” – Glass Candy
Glass Space

All four songs are from the compilation on Italians Do It Better called “After Dark”, available at the Troubleman Unlimited web site.

Speaking of belated blog posting…the In The City conference ended TWO WEEKS ago for Chrissakes, so at long last, by means of a conference wrapup, here are a few final quotes and info tidbits from the panelists. In addition to all the music biz wisdom you will glean, if you read all the way through there are two extra bonus MP3s awaiting your clicky clicky:

* Hitmaker extrordinare Rodney Jerkins on trendy sounds and how he replies when people tell him “we need a song just like X”: “I don’t copy the radio – I MAKE the radio.”
* Matty Safer from the Rapture on how music blogs in the UK aren’t yet as influential there as a certain 3-letter monopolist rag still is: “If your band sounds like what’s in the NME, that means you’ve got 3 months to get hurry up and tour the UK” and capitalize on having the officially approved “sound du jour.”
* Patrick Moxley from Ultra Records on how what artists want is changing with the rise of digital music: “I had a hip-hop artist call me the other day and say ‘I want to do a deal’ – not a record deal, but a *ring tone* deal!”
* The uber-intelligent Marc Geiger on the malleability of taste: “People don’t know what they like, they like what they know.”
* Tony Wilson revealed that he received $150K for New Order’s contribution to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack (“Shell Shock”), but that it cost him $170K to record the track…someone buy this man a calculator and a time machine!
* Apparently Robbie Williams was overheard saying to Felix from Bassment Jaxx, regarding their multi million dollar sponsorship deals: “But are *your* sales improving? Neither are mine.”
* A few bons mots from lifelong Metallica manager (and recent Courtney Love ex-manager) Peter Mensch: “If you want to kill Jimmy Page, throw 2 pence in front of a London bus.” “Artist development still means getting radio, which in turn sells tickets.” “Don’t ever manage Germans!”
* From the Future of Music panel regarding GM’s $60 million budget on music clearances alone: “”Advertising is the new radio – and an ad *is* now the video.” Or, as Usher Winslet from the Whitecap Group put it: “Brand association is the future of economics in the music business.”

On the last night of the event I spoke briefly to Matty from The Rapture before his DJ set at Hiro about how much I love their new Escort remix. The original track is pretty bangin’ too, you can find it on the most disco-est blog out there, the always amazing and erudite 20JazzFunkGreats. Speaking of which, I was sitting outside at Cafe Pick Me Up yesterday and who do you think walked by wearing pink pumps and black eyeshadow? Mr. (well, perhaps Ms.) Throbbing Gristle his/herself, Genesis P-Orridge! I am an ol’ school starfucker, and I digress rather massively, so here’s the damn track:

MP3 “All Through The Night (The Rapture Hush Hush)” – Escort

I also went to see a band called Enter Shikari that was playing as part of the conference as Tony Wilson’s new “discovery.” Though I wish them well and admire their efforts to do an Emo-Nu-rave thing, I have to admit I wasn’t too crazy about them. But I’ll give Mr. Joy Division/New Order/Happy Mondays the benefit of the doubt and see if my ears don’t acclimate better over time. Mr. ’24 Hour Party People’ has been right many times before:

MP3: “These Days (Demo)” – Joy Division

UPDATE: I just found out I may be doing a solo Luxxury show at the Boyznoise gig this Thursday night in NYC…stay tuned for details…

Bangers du Jour #3: Midnight Juggernauts

21 05 2007

Midnight Juggernauts

I. Cannot. STOP. Listening. To. This. Remix.

MP3: “I Get Around (Midnight Juggernaut remix)” – Dragonette

Banger du Jour nothin’ – this is definitely Le Banger de la Month, and maybe even de la Year So Far. It’s on the upcoming Kitsune 4 and if you haven’t heard it yet you will be unable to avoid it as soon as it drops. I first heard this Australian band/production team (and yes, it’s yet another damn amazing group of electro-awesome Aussies with close ties to the Modular mafia) when I heard this Daft Punk meets synthpop ditty on the fantastic Fabric29 (Cut Copy) last summer:

MP3: “Shadows” – Midnight Juggernauts
From Motel de Moka

Here’s the video for “Shadows”:

That song is from the “Secrets of the Universe” EP, which is available here and features a Presets remix of the Juggs’ “Devil Within.” Pick it up now.

Speaking of The Presets, here’s a remix MJ did last year for them:

MP3: “Down Down Down (Midnight Juggernauts remix)” – The Presets
Originally posted by La New Shit

One more for good measure: the track “45 and Rising” is available on vinyl here and features a Cut Copy remix. Listen here and then go buy the real deal.

MP3: “45 and Rising” – Midnight Juggernauts
Courtesy of the kind folks at The Supersonic Cumberbun

Their myspace sez’ “Road 2 Recovery 12″ w Sebastian remix-out late may”, can’t wait!

Mid Juggs ‘Space
Mid Juggs dot commmm

(BTW I posted the original version of the Dragonette song last week. I think it’s pretty fantastic as well, but definitely more pop/radio than danceypants. Here it is again in case you blinked.)


The week ahead:

If you’re in the San Francisco Yay area, we hope to see you for THE WORKOUT on Thursday night, May 24, *and* at Sleazemore’s Lights Down Low at 222 Minna on Friday night for the debut of LUXXURY LIVE (ELECTRO VERSION)!!!!

The Workout RULES

The Workout RULES

Email us at theworkout at sablestarr dot com or send us a myspace message for free guest list spots!

…and then save a spot on your dancecard Friday, May 25, for the debut of Baron von Luxxury with Johnatron at Sleazemore’s Lights Down Low at 222! We’ll be debuting our new band, performing electro versions of the Luxxury remixes live! Two men, two synths, one bass guitar, one vocoder and one talkbox…come smell the magic!

Luxxury Loves U

Luxxury Remixes

(Posted by: Baron von Luxxury)

Disco Sunday #1

16 04 2007

Last night, Johnatron and I DJ’d at a party for our friend Esteban in Oakland. I downloaded a bunch of Italo Disco tracks I’d never heard before , intending to just play them straight through as my set, never having heard them in advance. It’s just something I’ve wanted to do for a while. But when I got there I wasn’t feeling 116 BPM, I was feeling more like 131 BPM. So instead, John and I tried the 2-Many-DJs tag team thing, where we switched off playing one or two tracks at a time before the other person took over. It actually worked pretty well, considering we tried it for the first time on the spot. Next time we’ll practice, and you will be amazed by our dazzling skillz, with a “z.”

Single Girl by Knight Action

“Single Girl” was a single produced by Duane Thamm Jr. with vocalist Sedenia, and released in 1984 under the artist name “Knight Action.” Technically it’s a Chicago House track but the Moroder influences are pretty heavy too – Nick Sylvester at Stylus considers it a crossover between Disco and House. It has some goofy Shangri-La’s style storytelling in it, and it’s crazy catchy.

MP3: “Single Girl” – Knight Action

Glass Candy

Again on the disco tip, in a future retro way, there’s a new Glass Candy track available for free on their Myspace called “Rolling Down the Hills.” GC continue to re-invent the already invented wheel on this one, but with a warmer, more lush sound. This song also incorporates what I think might be their first use of sampling (and horns, at that!). All in all, it’s just another brick in Glass Candy’s sugar-coated walls.

MP3: “Rolling Down the Hills” – Glass Candy (Myspace)