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


Late of The Pier

12 09 2007

Late of the Pier

Gary Numan, faster, happier, on better drugs, with an MPC, wearing todays colors, possessing a sardonic grin = Donnington’s Late of the Pier.

MP3: “Space and the Woods” – Late of the Pier
MP3: “Space and the Woods (South Central Remix)” – Late of the Pier
(Bonus remix by fellow Donnington-ites Neon Plastix is here. The MP3 I was sent was mislabeled and I got it backwards. Ha ha ha ha ha on me.)

Late of the PierLate of the Pier

New single.
“Bathroom Gurgle.”
Produced by Erol Alkan.
Out today on Moshi Moshi.

MP3: “Bathroom Gurgle” – Late of the Pier

I’m sort of obsessed with them right now.


Late of the Pier M’space

Late of the Pier


MP3: “M.E.” – Gary Numan

Also, since I’m already straying from the pure disco, Led Zeppelin are evidently reforming for one night only, and they’re including Jonesy this time. Perhaps Sable will be there?

Baron von Luxxury

Disco Sunday #6: Sparks’ Moroder Phase

29 08 2007


My man Disaster from Missingtoof knows *everything* about our disco planet, so I was shocked, SHOCKED to learn that he hadn’t heard of Ron and Russel Mael, aka Sparks. So this post is for him!

The bros. Mael formed their first band, Halfnelson, in 1968, and were discovered by Todd Rundgren. Their first record, produced by Rundgren, did poorly, but after renaming themselves Sparks (as a nod to the Marx brothers), tweaking their sound and touring the UK they began to blow up in the burgeoning glam scene. After placing an ad in Melody Maker which read: “Wanted bass player for Sparks. Must be beard free and exciting”, the band released the album “Kimono My House.” The album spawned their first big UK single, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”, and has been covered by bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees as well as The Darkness. It’s not terribly disco but it’s definitely bizarro, and worth a listen to help get yer musical edumacation straight:

MP3: Sparks – “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”

America continued to ignore Sparks, while their popularity in the UK continued to grow. This was in no small part based on their appearance on shows like “Old Grey Whistle Test”, in which viewers learned that the band’s bizarro pop melodies were being made by this guy:


Ron plays it totally stone faced, cold and creepy, in sharp contrast to the bouncy hooks and Freddy-esque falsettos of vocalist Russell. And then there’s the Chaplin…ok, fine: Hitler mustache (I’m pretty sure they’re Jewish, so it’s, you know, OK). The overall effect is fantastically off-putting, in that “are they kidding? Of course they are! I think!” kinda way. And it makes for pretty compelling TV, as you can see in this clip from Top of The Pops for their song “The Number One Song in Heaven” from their 1979 album of that name produced by Giorgio Moroder:

MP3: Sparks – “The Number One Song in Heaven”

Here’s a second song from that same Moroder-produced album, which is my favorite and certainly the most relevant to Disco Sunday. The track is called “Beat the Clock”, and is probably their most enduring dancefloor track. I even saw it on a Sasha comp around ’99 (so sue me, I have a Sasha comp!)

MP3: Sparks – “Beat The Clock (Remix)”


Sparks finally made a splash in the U.S. in 1983 with a new, uber-synthpoppy sound. Their album “Sparks in Outer Space” featured a hit single, “Cool Places”, that featuring the Go-Gos’ Jane Wiedlin on vocals. The whole album is infectious, in a simplistic, minimal kinda way, with the as-always-characteristic sardonic lyrics. I love this track for many things, not the least of which is the line “Think of all the places/we’ve had our little fun/In the church at Christmas/Busted by that nun.”

MP3: Sparks – “All You Ever Think About is Sex”

Baron von Luxxury

MP3: Sparks – “The Number One Song in Heaven”
MP3: Sparks – “Beat The Clock (Remix)”
MP3: Sparks – “All You Ever Think About is Sex”
MP3: Sparks – “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”

Buy Sparks on Amazon
Sparks Webby Web
Sparks Fan Site


P.S. Rumor has it that Disaster is taking his DJ gear outta the closet and back from R. Kelly for a big gig in SF on Friday…check Missingtoof dot commmm for deets!

(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.

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)

Riton: Right On

8 04 2007


Henry “Riton” (pronounced “reeee-ton”, apparently) Smithson is an East London DJ/remixer/musician kid who’s got some a wicked sense of synthy humor. Like this line from the apparently-not-mislabeled “Swuare Eyes” which I very much wish I’d written:

“Square eyes
It’s no surprise
The love of my life
Is not so bright”

MP3: “Swuare Eyes” – Riton
Buy it on Beatport

I found this minimallesque melodic gem on the Tiefschwarz’ Fabric a few months back, it’s a nice break in between the bangers and the full on pop:

MP3: “Hammer of Thor” – Riton
Buy it on Beatport

He also puts out tracks with Ben Fat Trucker as Gucci Soundsystem:

MP3: “Windy” – Gucci Soundsystem
Gucci Soundsystem’s ‘Space

Take a trip to FluoKids and grab Riton’s latest work, a re-rub of Datarock’s “Fafafa.” There’s also a cool new remix of Simian Mobile Disco’s “It’s The Beat” on his Myspace.

Riton’s Space
Riton’s Webbby

P.S Now there’s an easy way to remember our URL:

4/7/07 logo

None of the dot wordpress dot blah anymore! http://www.discoworkout.com will get you here now with neither muss nor fuss. Hooray!