Monday, February 12, 2007
A Split Second - Flesh
First released on 12" in 1986 on Antler records (prior to that label's merger with Subway to form the imaginatively named Antler-Subway) 'Flesh' was the debut release from belgian duo A Split-Second. The track itself is a tasty slice of old school EBM, it's ultra-recognizable hook, pounding 4/4 drum beat and spoken vocals creating a sound comparable to more well-known contemporaries like the Klinik and Front 242 and paving the way for later acts like Bigod 20. However the most notable influence it would have would be in allegedly accidentally creating the mostly forgotten but highly influential genre of New Beat. According to legend (and Wikipedia), DJ Marc Grouls played the 45 rpm 12 inch at 33 rpms. Apparently the sound created by the slower heavier beats was like catnip to Belgian club goers and before long various acts (frequent;y the same people using different names) were churning out an endless string of sluggish electronic jams. Most notably, the musical trend would give birth to the Lords of Acid when producers Praga Khan, Jade 4 U and Oliver Adams teamed up to create their now trademark sex and acid jams. 'Flesh' itself was remixed and rereleased at a slower BPM, presumably so the record buying public could get ahold of the song in the form it was most well known in. This New Beat mix would become the most recognizable version of the song. The New Beat movement itself thrived briefly before its adherents and artists, perhaps intrigued by the sounds coming out of detroit and the UK moved on to other genres like techno, acid house and NRG, relegating the short-lived genre to footnote status in the history of electronic music. 'Flesh' itself however would show up again in the form of numerous remixes that would port it over to other contemporary forms of electronic dance music. A raved up remix by Koen Tillie would appear on A Split-Second's 1991 remix album Flesh & Fire and Paul 'Perfecto' Oakenfold would release a Trance version in 2001*. Concurrently, A Split Second founding member Chrismar Chayell released another remix album called Transmix which featured a track labeled 'Flesh (Jungle)'**.
A Split Second - Flesh
A Split Second - Flesh (New Beat Remix)
A Split Second - Flesh (Koen Tillie Mix)
*If anyone knows where I can hear even a sample of this version hit me up with a link.
**I don't know whether this refers to the genre of music or is just the name of the mix.