The Fantastix

Michael James – Lightning Strikes Twice

As found on the youtube account of Michael James, the story of how Derrick May’s Strings of Life was started with a piano piece by Michael James

The original Strings of Life, credited to Derrick May, came from a song I wrote called, Lightning Strikes Twice. Derrick sequenced it, added his drum track and strings and it became the song Frankie Knuckles named Strings of Life.

Through the years, many people have told me how this song changed their lives. I can only take credit for providing the piano that Derrick laid all the rest upon. Unfortunately, at times Derrick has taken more credit for the song than he should, but I always tell people to remember that this could not have been done without him. Techno was his world. I was just a guy who played a little piano and wrote songs.

This story can be found on Discogs as well. It’s great to read the story about the piano piece that started the composition called The Strings Of Life. I love what Derrick May did with it, the drum programming on the 909, 707 and 727, the added strings. I’m listening to Derrick May’s Innovator album a lot lately and really appreciate his drum programming in general, using multiple drummachines in a pure way with not that much processing. You can really distinct the sounds of these different machines.

Ghost In The Shell (PlayStation Soundtrack)

Wow! I discovered that the soundtrack for the Ghost In The Shell Playstation game has a different version with a second cd! This was and is one of my favorite techno compilations. I bought a single cd version of this album from a friend back in the day. It was a gateway for me that lead me to discover new artist and dig deeper into artist I was allready familiar with. This compilations included a lot of well known and established artist back in that time, but they all seemed to take a different direction for these tracks. I like to believe that the majority of the tracks were made especially for this release. It would be hard to choose a favorite track, but if I had to I would choose The Vertical by Joey Beltram or, Derrick May – To Be Or Not To Be. I once witnessed Claude Young juggling this last track, I loved it so much I was loosing my mind.

Rich Lee – Rock So Hard

Listening to this EP on Direct Beat. Strange that I can’t find any other releases by Rich Lee, or by any other alias for that matter. Does anyone know what happened to him? Both tracks on this EP are recommended especially the B-side, Guerilla Warfare. He’s credited for writing the track Mindmelt with Jay Denham on this EP, but other than that’s he’s a ghost…

Jeff Mills at Wire03 Japan

Great footage of Jeff Mills at Wire03 in Japan. Especially the parts around 43.00 and at the end around 1.53 where he is playing a 909. He really plays the 909 like an instrument, constantly altering patterns, tune and decay and programming parts that are muted, so he can drop them in later.

Anthony Rother – Sex With The Machines

Discogs user sonorex on Anthony Rother’s excellent Sex With The Machines album

Machines will keep this locked in their silicon hearts as the testament of their creators. You can meditate over the lyrics while the music slowly infects you with the awareness that you belong to a dying race. Essential!

“The Chemical Brothers Studio Will Make You Drool”

In the context of their new album they are sharing a picture of their studio. It totally looks like spaceship. I heard a couple of tracks from the new album, it’s ok, but I feel their best and most exciting work may be in the past.

The difference between Björk and Madonna

The difference between Björk and Madonna according to Aphex Twin in 2001

Björk is like a little girl in a sweets shop. She’s like: „Oh I love this, I love this! I want this, I want this!“ Madonna is more like brutal. Like: „These are trendy, I can keep myself young and modern if I use them!“ You know? Björk got that as well obviously but her motivation is that she just loves the musicians and would love to work with them. She picks people that aren’t really that famous.

Jeff Mills Exhibitionist 2 Trailer

Genuinely excited about this. Look at him go on that 909… I could watch him play for hours…

I just couldn’t believe that Kanye had never heard Daft Punk.

A-trak on Kanye West sampling Daft Punk’s stronger:

It sort of happened because Swizz Beats sampled “Technologic” for that Busta Rhymes record, “Touch It.” We were on tour in Europe in 2006, spending a lot of hours on the bus listening to the radio. Kanye heard “Touch It” and thought that beat was cool. I said, “He just swooped up Daft Punk.” And Ye said, “Who?” I just couldn’t believe that Kanye had never heard Daft Punk.

On Daft Punk’s Da Funk

Thomas Bangalter in an interview for some Swedish Pop magazine:

It was at the same time as Warren G’s “Regulate” came out, says Thomas. We wanted to make some kind of gangsta rap too and made the sounds as dirty as possible. Strangely, no one ever compared it to hip hop. We have been told that the drums sound like Queen and The Clash, that the melody is reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder, that the synths sounds like electro and a thousand other things. No one agrees that it’s hip hop.

After reading this story and listening to Da Funk again I can totally hear their reference to the funk infused gangsta rap from that time. But I would have never made that connection myself.