Lovers Dressed In Black

These are the show notes that go with The Infected’s Podcast episode s03E08: “Lovers Dressed In Black”

Welcome to the Episode of Love. Yes, The Infected are dedicating an entire episode to the Greatest Infection of All: The Infection we call love. Love can catch you completely unaware, love can change your life, love can turn into music and love can even change the world, as our first love story will show. In this episode we share the stories of lovers that turned their love into art.

Malcolm McLaren – Madam Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo)

In 1962, a teacher married, became a mother, and led a completely unremarkable life. Until she met another man. He wasn’t quite her type. He was nice to her, but didn’t take good care of himself, so she started to cook for him every now and then. Slowly her life turned upside down. Coming under his influence, she broke with conformism. She left her job as a teacher, she left her husband and her home, and followed her lover to lead a bohemian life in London. The year was 1971.

She made her first fashion statement by getting a white spiky haircut. He had the idea of opening a shop in rock ‘n’ roll clothing. Because the original fifties clothing was hard to find, she took place behind the sewing machine herself. She began putting her own stamp on the shop more and more. The 50’s fashion was replaced by her own contemporary, sparkling and provocative clothing.

Her T-shirts with slogans against authority and consumerism proved a success among London’s rebellious youth. He took the concept even further by renaming the shop ‘SEX’ a year later. She designed her clothes using torn clothing, safety pins and bicycle chains. He suggested her to add bondage and SM elements to the style. Around their store, a unique subculture formed. 45 years later, her torn-up jeans are still in fashion.

Their friends and models were The Sex Pistols, Siouxsie Sioux, Adam Ant and Chrissie Hynde. She became one of the world’s most famous fashion designers, and he became a music producer and artist. Together, they would unchain a revolution in culture and music. This is the story of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.

Innergaze & Aurora Halal – In Your Gaze (Mutual Dreaming 2012)

We’re constantly discovering new music. A good example is the band Innergaze. A musical collaboration between Steve Summers, and his girlfriend Aurora Halal. The couple have released 2 albums, the latest one in 2012 called “Mutual Dreaming”. They started off with making sexy disco tracks, but on the album Mutual Dreaming they mix modern electronic sounds and beats, with an 80’s feel.

The entire album has a classic Chicago house vibe to it. That’s also because of the dominance of the  Roland TR-707 drummachine (also called: The poor man’s 909). It’s a drummachine that has samples of 8-bit, the crash and ride samples are even 6 bit. The 909 was mostly analog (apart from also 6 bit samples for the hihats and cymbals). And it had much more settings. The 909 quickly went up in price during the 90’s, so most house producers moved to the much cheaper 707.

Back to the album: There’s not one specific genre that it fits into, and that’s also what makes the music interesting and fresh. The tracks are evolving and that must be the outcome of some intense jam sessions between the two. Each track offers something unique I think. The vocal effects on tracks like “In Your Gaze” (that we’re about to play) bring a nice and spacey vibe.

They don’t waste too time on intro’s, and within 30 seconds the tracks are on their way.  It’s music for a quick joyride along the Dutch coasts in the middle of the night or while gazing at the stars on some deserted beach.  The album is only around 30 minutes long, with 8 tracks. This is “In your Gaze” from the lovers duo Innergaze.

THE CREATURES – Disconnected (Anima Animus, 1999)

This story is about a drummer, who had some recording success with two separate bands in the 70’s. And about a lady, a singer, a performer, part of the intimate entourage of Malcolm and Vivienne’s SEX fashion store. Her band had just released their second album on major label Polydor, when, at the beginning of the albums’ tour, her guitar player and drummer walked out. In September 1979, he joined her band, with the intention to be a temporary replacement for the drummer on the tour. But he would never leave. They would remain together for almost 25 years, 15 of them as a married couple.

When their band wasn’t recording or touring, they went into the studio together, breaking free of their commercial constraints. They were so deeply in love that they were eager to spend as much time together as possible, out of and inside the studio, where they let the more minimalistic and experimental muses take over.

This is the love story of Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie who, when recording together, called themselves The Creatures. On a two week Hawaii holiday in 1983 they recorded their first album, featuring acoustic sounds from the local populace as well as a inventive percussion and vocal overdubs. Their next album was recorded in Spain and Southern France in 1989, and has a heavily Catalan vibe with multi-ethnic percussion, flamenco guitars, Dixieland jazz, electronics, and other eclectic sounds.

Ten years later in 1999, they recorded a third album, a journey into darker electronica and dance. The album was called Anima Animus. This is the opening song from that album. This is Disconnected.

After 25 years, in 2006, Siouxsie and Budgie went their separate ways.

Nine Circles – Mercy (Alice album 2014)

Nine Circles is a Dutch-German minimal electronic band. The name originates from the “Nine Circles of Hell” from Dante’s “Divine Comedy. This immediately reminds me of the great movie “The Ninth Gate” with Johnny Depp.

Nine Circles were founded in 1980 in Amsterdam by Lidia Fiala and Peter van Garderen. Peter already played in a band, and Lidia wrote poems and lyrics since she was 15 years old.

Back in the 80’s, in the Netherlands we had a radio show that allowed new wave bands to become more well known. Bands could send in their demo tapes and some of them got the possibility to play live in the radio and to release their songs on the compilation LP that they would also make. Nine Circles got the live radio deal and the possibility to be on the LP. In the meantime Peter and Lidia became a couple and within 2 years they composed about 60 songs. In 1982 the relationship broke up and with it also the band. Later Lidia lived in another relationship and took care of her new partner and kids. She put away the music, but still wrote poems and lyrics.

That might have been it for Nine Circles if Lidia’s son Patrick hadn’t searched for her name on the Internet and discovered the band’s history and also still a big fanbase and interest in Nine Circles. He told his mother and Lidia began the project again in 2010 – minus Peter that is.

He didn’t want to be a part of it anymore but did send her all their old  recordings. Lidia found a new collaborator in Pers Anders Kurenbach and some years later a new album called Alice was released in 2014.

Jeff & Jane Hudson – Help Me (album “Flesh” 1982)

Jeff & Jane Hudson are a husband/wife duo from Boston who got their start in the art punk band The Rentals in 1977. Boston has always had a strong music scene; from folk, rock to jazz with lot’s of clubs and great people. The first American show from The Clash was in Boston. And Jeff & Jane Hudson even opened for them at the time they were still in active in The Rentals.

At the time the London to Boston flights were cheap so they got a first look at a lot of European Bands like; Gary Newman, U2, Front 242, and many others.

After the end of the Rentals, Jeff and Jane went onto the electronic, synthesized route. They were looking for a new sound and new textures. Jeff did most of the drum programming and Jane did most of the melody lines and we they both sang and played guitar. Their first single together was released in late 1980.

Their vocals were quite distinct; Jeff sounds a bit shaky and troubled, while Jane’s vocals sound more detached and cold.

The duo reached their pinnacle with 1982′s album Flesh. It is one of the United States biggest achievements in the entire “synth” movement of the 80s. They recorded it over a couple of months using a 4 track recorder, an 808 drummachine, 2 synths, a guitar and a microphone. They had no pressure and complete control over everything.

The original copies of this album are heavily coveted by collectors, and very pricey. In 1985 the band stopped performing and recording. Jeff started to direct music videos and Jane produced video art. They both started teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

They are still together and very happy after 30 years I read in an interview. These days Jeff is painting and doing a little laptop techno, Jane is making video art.

Here is the Mix Jeroen prepared of the previous two tracks:

MIX: Nine Circles & Jeff & Jane, The Flesh of Alice


DIETERS MIXTAPE!

A mix of all songs that would get Dieter to the dance floor on a wave/goth club night. So he did his own thing, and blended them all into a mix, with quite a number of real The Infected favorites thrown in there.

Dieter reflects that it was a strange experience actually, because he really misses these parties, but putting together a mix like this is always nice to take your mind off things. It’s great tot kick back and listen to and we warmly recommend it.

On the setlist, which absolutely fits our tastes:

01 The Cure – Primary (UK, 1981)

02 Skeletal Family – Promised Land (UK, 1985)

03 XMal Deutschland – Polarlicht (Germany, 1987)

04 Gene Loves Jezebel – Desire (12” white label remix) (UK, 1985) 

05 Jah Wobble – How Much Are They? (UK, 1981)

06 Poésie Noire – The Gioconda Smile (Belgium, 1985)

07 Malaria! – Kaltes Klares Wasser (Germany, 1981)

08 The Human League – The Lebanon (UK, 1984)

09 Anne Clark – Wallies (UK, 1985)

10 Trisomie 21 – The Last Song (France, 1987)

11 Todd Terje & Det Gylne Triangel – Maskindans (Norway, 2017)

12 Led Er Est – Port Isabel (USA, 2009)

13 A Slice Of Life – Older (Revival mix) (Belgium, 2020)

14 Actors – Face Meets Glass (Canada, 2018)

15 Molchat Doma – Discoteque (Belarus, 2020)

16 She Past Away – Kasvetli Kutlama (Turkey, 2010)

17 Agent Side Grinder – Stripdown (Sweden, 2019)

18 Ladytron – Destroy Everything You Touch (UK, 2007)

19 Tobias Bernstrup – 27 (Laser mix) (Sweden, 2002)

20 Kavinsky – Nightfall (Dustin N’Guyen remix) (France, 2010)

21 Black Light Smoke – Take Me Out (Cabaret Nocturne remix) (USA, 2017)

22 Der Klinke – The Doll (Belgium, 2013)

23 The Neon Judgement – Awful Day (Belgium, 1986)


NNHMN – Deception Island (Deception Island, 2020)

Singer Lee and producer Micha are the duo behind the dark electronic music formation NNHMN from Berlin. I’ll pronounce as ‘Nonhuman’. They describe themselves as “self-transforming creatures, speaking in a colored language.”

The track that first caught my attention was Deception Island, the title track of a set of two separately released EP’s that now, finally, form a single album CD. Previously, “life circumstances” forced NNHMN to release Deception Island split into two Eps in July and November of 2020. 

We were lucky enough to be able to do an interview with the couple behind it all, which you can find on our website in its entirety.

Now that NNHMN has finally housed the 10 songs in a proper album format together, it is exactly the right time to spotlight this beautiful selection of dark tracks. The album is a night-infused, synth-driven production, tapping into a wide range of moods, but certainly, Deception Island has no shortage of hard-hitting tracks, quite a few of which have dancefloor potential.

Let’s listen to  the title track; Deception Island.

I just love the atmosphere, the echo’s, the dreamy production of Lee’s voice, the whole soundscape. I love it.

The song Deception Island was conceived while singer Lee was running outside, without headphones. “So while I was running, words came to me in the rhythm of my breathing, of the body. I kept running and repeating those words till I got home and quickly wrote all the verses and repetitions down. Later on, during three sessions with Michal, we fitted it to the music. We modified the repetitions of the phrases to follow the bassline.“

What’s kind of weird is that this song is at 125 BPM, which is way low for a track to run to

I really recommend all tracks on Deception Island, but apart from the title track, you should definitely also check out “I see you”, which had an Official Video released on YouTube just a couple of weeks ago:

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