Depending on your age and where you live, the word "electroclash" either conjures up vivid memories of the early 2000s or sounds like something you vaguely read about once on some electronic music blog.
While the Strokes, Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs were reshaping rock music in New York, a group of similar-minded dance music lovers were creating electroclash, a fusion of techno, New Wave, electro, rap and rock. We gave the genre a proper obituary, but here are the artists that made the brief movement indelible.
Arguably the single biggest song to, sorry, "emerge" from electroclash came from the minds of NYC musicians/performance artists Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner. When they weren't staging elaborate art installations-cum-concerts in New York, the group was unwittingly soundtracking countless downtown and Brooklyn bars and clubs.
Sex-obsessed provocateur Peaches took simple electronic backdrop and infused them with amazingly filthy, disgusting lyrics and raucous live shows. More than anyone else, she drew the ire of conservatives (she called her third album Fatherf-cker) and applause of growing audiences.
Despite being predominantly a singles-oriented genre, electroclash did produce a few (relatively) classic albums. DJ/producer Felix Da Housecat's Kittenz and Thee Glitz was one,featuring assists by Tommie Sunshine, Junior Sanchez and French singer Miss Kittin. Kittin, the most ubiquitous of the genre's vocalists, seemingly appeared on 90% of all electroclash tracks.
Ladytron did everything in their power to distance themselves from the scene, and the fact that we're still talking about them over other, now-faded acts, is a testament to their ability to transcend genre.
At the height of the genre, member Daniel Hunt said, "We were existing in complete isolation, then suddenly we’re being written up as part of this thing that we don’t feel we’re part of."
Yes, they changed and matured their sound well past their electroclash roots, folding in pop, glam, cabaret, funk and disco in future recordings. But the NYC group's earliest records were rooted firmly in the genre.
"Comfortably Numb," the group's breakthrough cover of the Pink Floyd classic, was the b-side to "Electrobix" above, but the latter shows where the group's roots lay.
Miss Kittin's deadpan style, sincere love of Ol Blue Eyes and The Hacker's thumping, futuristic production made this one a club staple. While we can't imagine Sinatra crooning, "Suck my d-ck. Lick my ass. In limousines, we have sex every night with my famous friends," it works for this song.
Detroit duo ADULT. was always one of the more rock-oriented dance acts of the scene and one of the few to successfully transcend electroclash into a long-lasting career. "Hand to Phone" was one of their earlier singles, released later on their debut album/compilation Resuscitation.