We have something very special for you. Electronic music legend Fake Blood blew up in the late 2000s and early 2010s with a blend of house, electro, fidget and breakbeat that made him a very in demand remixer and led to his artist album Cells in 2012. He went somewhat quiet for the later half of the decade, but he is releasing a new EP today on DJ Zinc’s Bingo Bass titled The Fear / Garms. In honor of the new EP, which blends a bit of electro with house and breakbeat beats, especially on “The Fear,” we had Fake Blood give us a playlist of his 12 favorite electro tracks of all time. They aren’t all specifically “electro” as he puts it, but they span artists like Vitalic, Whitey, Cajmere and more. This isn’t some basic overview of the Beatport top 100, but digging deep as you would expect from him.
It is good to have Fake Blood back in the fold and making music under this moniker.
He had this to say about his selections.
“Not all these tracks are specifically ‘electro,’ but they all have that DNA within them, and represent a time in the early 2000’s when something new and exciting was happening in dance music. A new energy, ethos, and sound palette were pushing their way through; and it was a breath of fresh air after the reign of dismal prog and “chunky” house that had held sway for so long before that. New things were happening, and for me these tracks epitomize that time of change; that thrill of the new."
1) Spektrum - “Kinda New” (Tiefschwarz Mix)
Every few years a remixer / production team come around who can do no wrong. People grab anything they put their name to, and the quality seems supernaturally high. Tiefschwarz were those guys at this point in time. Everyone has their favorite remix by them - Phonique, Kelis, Freeform 5, Air Liquide etc - all excellent. This one is probably their “biggest,” but I picked it to represent all their other remixes as well.
2) Vitalic - “Wooo”
Not really a track to play out, but more something to lose yourself in. Pure euphoria. This is distorted organs playing a swing track. And then a minute and a half in, it switches into a melodic section that is pure joy - almost like The Four Seasons as imagined by a broken supercomputer and guitar pedal. It’s also worth mentioning its sonic cousin, his brilliant remix of “Who Is It” by Bjork, which was stupidly rejected by the commissioning label at the time, but thankfully saw the light of day on a bootleg 12” a while later.
3) Fat Phaze - “It’s Magic” (Lottie & Serge Santiago Mix)
The way this builds is perfect. The stuttering bass creeps in, shadowed by a delayed percussive click that feeds back and creates these shimmering staccato 16th notes. And then it kicks in properly and you close your eyes and just dance. Simultaneously dark and uplifting, which is always the best combination.
4) Ferenc - “Yes Sir I Can Hardcore”
The low key intro gives no clues to what follows. First, the disjointed breakdown, where the malfunctioning robot emerges from the smoke. And then OH MY DAYS.
Apparently the Black Sea is made up of all the drinks that have been spilled to this record.
5) Chicken Lips - “He Not In”
This record was the one. These guys were incredible. The way they combined disco, Italo, proto-house, techno, electronics, the past, present, and future; it was pure alchemy. No tune I’ve ever played has had so many amazing reactions across such a wide variety of floors. Irresistible. It’s what we all do and love, boiled down to one record. Will still work today, pretty much anywhere.
6) Einmusik - “Jittery Heritage”
What starts off almost trancey, gradually reveals itself to be something else. A tiger emerging from the belly of a sheep. Nasty but beautiful.
7) Munk feat. James Murphy - “Kicks Out The Chairs” (Tomboy Mix)
The titles says it all. This one will fuck up your carpet. Tomboy was an excellent producer and drummer, and I was a fan of his band Who Made Who as well. And this remix was a high point - the marriage of his music and James Murphy’s vocals is wild.
Both sides of this 7” were amazing. And he went on to do loads more great tunes. But for me this was the one. A perfect mesh of bubbling synth arpeggios, fuzz, and rock-out drums. Playing tunes like this in clubs and festivals felt properly exciting and liberating.
9) The Juan MacLean - “Give Me Every Little Thing” (Cajmere Mix)
Cajmere (aka Green Velvet) can take just one riff, one little synth lick or vocal hook, and get the job done expertly while others would still be flapping around in the mist. One reason is his tracks always jack - they still have the holy ghost of proper house music in their blood, even if they sound like they were made on an out -of-control spaceship full of feather boas.
10) Tiefschwarz - “Wait And See” (Alter Ego Mix)
This one isn’t for Tiefschwarz themselves, but the insanely good Alter Ego. This remix astounded me at the time. The drums - that metallic snare rhythm, and the loose brushes shuffling on top. The low bass, playing a single note for what seems like ages - proper tension and slow release; and then BANG! What the hell was that?!?! This tune absolutely means business. And of course shout-out to their track “Rocker” and Roman Flugel’s solo tune “Geht’s Noch” - both huge records at the time.
11) Radioactive Man - “It Is And It Isn’t”
Where straight out techno and “electro” collide. This track is quite demented, but manages to keep a lid on it so that you can properly get your head down and dance. Driven by a strange spasmodic synth riff that elbows and knees its way around the room, and punctuated by drumless breakdowns where he seems to scroll his way through a load of different patches on the keyboard as the riff plays. Odd and great.
12) Black Strobe - “Italian Fireflies”
That synth line is anthemic. But it’s really the way the track is structured following that which makes this tune so effective. The peaks, the lows, the drops – it’s all so well thought out. It’s tight and industrial and musical and aggressive and sleek all at the same time. And it still sounds great today.