Tag Archives: John Napier

Free Jugend Klub ‘Camp Dance’ Mix

The below ‘Camp Dance’ tracks listed have been selected by John Napier, musician and resident DJ at Jugend Klub – a monthly night of post punk, synth pop, new wave, italo disco, E.B.M. and other guilty pleasures held at the Victoria, Birmingham.

Jugend Klub @TheVictoria - Friday 22nd Jan

John explains his choices: “This is not exactly a top 10 people will be that familiar with. I imagine if Heart FM did a similar sort of list we’d get Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor and such-like but we’ve heard those songs so much over the course of our lives I thought it might be nice to give some of the unsung heroes of camp dance music a look-in. So here are ten of the most joyously camp party tunes ever, and not a Weathergirl in sight (sorry ladies!).”

Ten Camp Classics (Part 1) by Jugend Klub

1. Telefon Boys – Get Up Get Up

Almost every other Italo Disco group of the 80s had the word ‘boys’ in their name, needless to say gay clubs were integral to this scene of which Telefon Boys are a perfect example. All pulsing synth bass and minimal Kraftwerk style production, this music is very physical. It has no desire to make you reflect on the greater issues of life, its function is to make you dance.

Maxi - Boytronic

2. Boytronic – Brylliant

You can hear the Pet Shop Boys all over this song. Indeed, the “Sweats” (as they’re known to their fans) were big fans of this sort of electronic European dance music (German in this instance). Speaking in an interview with Record Mirror in December 1985 Neil Tennant explains:

“A lot of the records we like are Italian. The other thing about Euro Disco records is that they always sound like they’re cheap to make. I think that’s their appeal. They’re a bit like punk records – they go in and get very excited by the most banal sounds…”

3. Gary Low – You Are A Danger (Romeo Erotic Remix)

More Euro Disco now, this time from Italy. Gary Low’s 1982 hit ‘You Are A Danger’ has been given a reworking here by L.A. duo, Romeo Erotic. The melodies and synth lines are really banal and there’s a ludicrous whistle sound that may be hard for some ‘serious’ music fans to swallow. It has, however, got one of the best drops in history, never fails to shatter the dancefloor (in a good way!) whenever played.

4. Bang! Bang! – Shoot The Model (teen remix)

Is that David Bowie singing?! Unfortunately, no. I think if it had been it would have rather confused his fans. Cock Rock Guitar? Euro Disco beat? I don’t know how, but this track just works. A gloriously happy sound juxtaposed with some very ambiguous lyrics.

Ten City

5. Ten City – That’s The Way Love Is

House music has always been rooted in gay culture. In fact, most early house DJs in Britain (before the genre really exploded into the mainstream) used to DJ in gay clubs as these were the only venues open-minded enough to accept this new and refreshingly un-macho music.

6. Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk – Love Can’t Turn Around

This was the song credited with bringing House music into the mainstream. Before this was a hit House music was mostly just an underground scene. This track (actually an Isaac Hayes cover) made the UK top 10 in 1986 and their performance on Top Of The Pops is one of the most exuberant and ridiculous things I’ve ever seen!

New Order - Fine Time

7. New Order – Fine Time

This track was heavily inspired by the band’s visit to the party island of Ibiza and the new Acid House music filtering into the Hacienda, the Manchester club in which New Order were financially involved. Bernard Sumner’s boyish vocals give it an endearing naivety and the synth lines are straight-up Euro Disco.

Pet Shop Boys - Heart

8. Pet Shop Boys – Heart (Dance Mix)

It wouldn’t be right to have a list like this and not include these guys. Apparently, the boys originally wrote this song for Madonna but having finished it decided it was frankly too good to just give it to someone else, even the biggest pop-star in the world. In the end I think they were proved right. Its hard to imagine how Madge could have improved on this version. Glossy, catchy and slightly bizarre – classic Sweats.

9. Clio & Kay – Keep On Dancin’

This is one of the most perfect pop songs I’ve ever heard, its like the track Neneh Cherry never got round to making with Madonna. The lyrics aren’t particularly sophisticated but the female rapping and bouncing beat make it a joy to listen to.

10. Pineapples – Come On Over

I love the voice on this song. Its the most unashamed pop croon I’ve ever heard. It has none of the angst of Rock ‘n’ Roll or cool of Hip-Hop, its just some fun-loving Europeans singing about sex. It also contains the immortal lines “Come on closer you’re really turning me on / Come on closer you won’t be wrong” – hardly Morrissey but who cares?

Part 2 is available to download (along with other FREE mixes) at the Jugend Klub blog.

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#top10BrumBands by Matt Beck of This Is Tomorrow

Matt Beck, the brains behind This Is Tomorrow has put together his list of the top ten bands from Birmingham from the past ten years. Email andrew-roberts@hotmail.co.uk with your top ten and we’ll add up the scores (1o points for first place, 9 for 2nd etc.) and reveal the definitive list on this blog in the new year.

10. John Napier

John Napier

The only singer / songwriter in the list and one I love because of his sheer diversity. Not only are Johns solo songs bloody amazing, his side projects show equal promise and bags of ideas. John seems to be a songwriting machine and once gave out a 17 song CD with not one bad song on it out free at shows. John is also part of punk funk 2 piece Waler and ran / runs New York Noise and Jugend Klub.

9. Tantrums

Although the newest band on the list, Tantrums have been around in various guises for a while now and have now grown into a shining light for the city. The tour with Bombay Bicycle Club seems to of done them the world of good and now we have a band to take us into the next decade with a lot more faith.

8. Gravity Crisis

The Gravity Crisis

No nonsense Indie music that wasn’t cheap or throw away. Although shadowed by the wave of publicity and marketing behind bands like the Twang and The Enemy, I would choose TGC’s edgy Indie any day of the week. Rumours circulate of a new project surfacing in the new year…Fingers crossed.

7. 35 Seconds

35 Seconds

35 Seconds could of probably been higher up on this list but we only saw them live a few times and then they disappeared. Such a shame as 35 seconds had the songs. Rock electronica to rival some of the best.

6. Sunset Cinema Club

Sunset Cinema Club

SCC were / are hugely influential to some of the newer Brum bands and their club night Tropical Hotdog bought a lot of great bands to Birmingham who would of probably avoided it like the plague otherwise. I’ll never understand why Sunset were never bigger. We can’t wait to see them live again on Dec 23rd at Island Bar –  “Shameless Plug”.
5. Johnny Foreigner

Johnny Foreigner

JoFo may have fell out of favour with some Brummies, but you cant deny that Alexei and co. have a knack for writing melodic lofi indie pop songs and the fact that first album ‘Waited Up ’til It Was Light‘ was pretty much a musical painting of the people / places of Brum.

4. Untitled Musical Project

Untitled Musical Project

Trying not to be biased when talking about Brum bands can be tough, but I feel with all the bands on this list I would go and buy their music regardless of where they were from. I first bought an UMP 7″ (in Brighton not knowing they were based in Brum) and loved them since. Shouty, screamy, often raucous and ramshackle with songs that were over in the blink of an eye. These were Brums best punk band and are sadly missed.

3. Broadcast

Braodcast

Broadcast seem to merge everything from Krautrock to Riot Grrl through to shoegaze and quite often all in one song. ‘Tender Buttons’ is one of my favourite albums of all time and ‘I Found the F’ sounds like Serge Gainsbourg (Melody era) crossed with Ladytron…Friggin sweet.

2. Copter

Copter

Copter and the Coldrice movement are hugely important to Birmingham. They bring soul, charisma and some serious grooves to Brum. Copter are also the best live band in Birmingham and they’ve played all over the world and had James Chance guest on their first album!
1. Calories / Distophia

Calories

As a lover of Distophia, it was no surprise that I loved the refined rawer sound of Calories…In fact the exact moment I think I realised that I preferred Calories to Distophia was at Sunset Cinema Club’s night Tropical Hotdog when I heard ‘Drugged’ for the first time. The huge tunes on ‘Adventuring’ have since become some of my favourite songs ever by anyone.


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