Painful reel rat
llronl contemplating Suicide
The second release by the enigmatic studio-bound Revolutionary Corps Of Teenage Jesus is much the same as the ﬁrst. ‘Protection Rat’ is at the dark, claustrophobic, scary end of the dance spectrum. coming on like a hybrid of the hypnotic minimalism of trip-hop and the infectious pull of prime upfront techno. Like its predecessor ‘Frankie Teardrop‘. it is crowned with the mumbled mantras and blood-curdling shrieks and whoops of Suicide’s Alan Vega. Only this time round, it’s not been sampled. ‘Protection Rat’ is a new Vega vocal.
‘Nobody screams quite like him,’ says Lironi, possibly the ﬁrst man to form a revolutionary corps of one. ‘Suicide had really good tunes. Vega’s voice is brilliant and his lyrics are fantastic — poetic in a fucked-up way.‘
it was these factors which ﬁrst inspired Lironi — currently better known for his production work with Black Grape and Space - to rework Suicide’s ‘Frankie Teardrop’, a track which will probably sound contemporary for years to come. Lironi sent the single to Vega who felt it captured the delinquent spirit of his band so well that he’d like to reprise the exercrse, but—With his direct involvement. A year ago Lironi went to New York and emerged with two tracks.
‘To me he’s a bit of a legendary ﬁgure,’ says Lironi. ‘l thought “is he going to be some fucked-up drug addict?” which when you listen to Suicide there’s every possibility that he’s going to be, but he’s a lovely geezer.’
Vega came up with the vocal line on the collaboration while Lironi stepped in ‘to make it noisy and unsingalongable.’ Additional tracks use samples to send up what Lironi sees as the more sinister aspects of religion and commercialism, and the whole package comes in a lurid Spanish lnquisition- style sleeve for that extra macabre touch.
‘Put it on and play it loud,’ advises Lironi. ‘lt’s not for talking over. it’s for pe0ple to say “turn that off Turn on, tune in, freak out. (Fiona Shepherd) 'Protection Rat' is out now on Creeping Bent.
‘Life’s too short to be into one type of music,’ says Justin Robertson of Lionrock. And he should know: along with a handful of peers, he has seen dance music muscle its way into the live music arena. Jim Byers listens to the lion roar.
‘Live dance music’ is a force to be reckoned with. Nowhere was this more in evidence than on this summer’s festival circuit. Reading, Tribal Gathering and T in the Park all rocked to the dance-based sounds of The Prodigy, Leftﬁeld and the mighty Underworld.
‘Live dance music has just started really,’ says 27-year-old Robertson, ‘and it’s going to get even more exciting over the next year. People are ﬁnally realising that dance music can be just as interesting as going to see a guitar band. i saw Underworld at Reading and they were the highlight of the whole weekend. While the Stone Roses were dreadful on the main stage, Underworld were totally rocking the NME stage. Now everybody knows that dance music can headline and be just as good — if not better — than the boring bands you always get. It’s good to see a dance band rock an indie audience and kids in Oasis T-shirts dancing away to our music or Underworld fans jumping about to Oasis — that’s what it’s all about.’
Robertson ﬁrst made a name for himself as a pioneering Balearic DJ, dropping a proto-Chemical
Brothers/Heavenly Social ‘eclectro’ mish-mash at Most Excellent in Manchester, a club where The Clash dropped next to house music. hip hop and Curtis Mayﬁeld. inevitably, he turned to remixing, notably reworking Bjork, New Order, The Shamen, Erasure and even the lnspiral Carpets. Then came ‘Packet Of Peace’ the ﬁrst Lionrock single in 1993 featuring MC Buzz B’s trademark rapping. The darker ‘Carnival’ followed a year later. Then gradually what started out as ‘an occasional studio project’ began to take shape.
Lionrock have come a long way in a short time, especially when you remember that they played live for the ﬁrst time in March. ‘Those shows were a bit ropey to be honest,’ laughs Robertson, ‘but we’ve got a lot better since then. it’s like anything really, when you go out and try something for the ﬁrst time you don’t expect to hit the nail on the head straight away. We just decided to go out and see what happened and some things worked and
Robertson first made a name for himself as a pioneering Balearic DJ, dropping a proto-Chemical Brothers/ Heavenly Social ‘eclectro’ mlsh-mash at Most Excellent in Manchester, a club where The Clash dropped next to house music, hip hop and Curtis Mayfield.
Their debut album, the genre-bending An Instinct For Detection , captures the diversity of musical styles that run through the concept of the dance/rock crossover. Listen and you’ll ﬁnd the record downtempo but wonderfully energetic, noisy but meaningful. rollicking beats sitting perfectly alongside MC Buzz B’s deadpan Manc delivery. There’s a lot going on in there from dub to house, reggae and techno.
Robertson explains: ‘lt’s very hard to describe our music or the way we
llonrock: well up for klckin’ ass as well as a spot of dancing
sound because there’s so much stuff going on in there. I can’t say that we’re like Underworld or whoever because our music is a little bit more ‘difﬁcult' than theirs — it’s not quite as instantly accessible as theirs.’
Robertson now ﬁnds himself in the same situation as Darren Emerson (also a successful DJ and member of Underworld) — being a DJ and pan of a successful live act. Still, it could be worse. Having played most ofthis summer’s festivals and spun records in the nation’s top clubs, he’s about to take Lionrock back on the road, this time round Europe with the Cocteau Twins. ‘lt has been difﬁcult trying to balance the Diing and the band but I enjoy it. [just want to see how far i can push it — i love being in the studio with Lionrock and making music but i still love DJing as well.‘
Last words to Robertson: ‘lt’s early days yet, but this live dance music thing is the cutting edge. it’s deﬁnitely the future.’ You can’t argue with that. Lionrock support The Chemical Brothers at The Barrow/and. Glasgow Fri 25 Oct.
Kenickie fried kitten
A common mistdte made by aspirant pop stars is an utter failure to provide for the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune so prevalent in the fickle circus we call rock ’n’ roll. ‘I’hls is not a ntistdte Kenlckle’s vocalist Lauren laverne plans to make. inspired by the example of Craig logan l-‘rotn Out Of Bros, the non- Cosstwinwhohasnowhadtheiast laugh - “and the last expensive cocktalll’ says laverne - via his executive position at Elli Records, she has secured a deferred place at liurham iinlverslty to do Medieval Studies.
‘if i fall at this, at least I can go and live in a castle and felt about Chaucer for a couple of years. Or i might lust think “Oh you fools! Shallow and impetuous! l’m tired of your
kenlck-ie: young, fun and prettybliﬂy bright, actually shenanigans! I’m going to a place where learning is held in high esteem!” I am laverne The Obscure.’ But not laverne the indie Anorak Obscure. ‘Vlhen we were on little punk labels all our songs were about “We’re going to be pop stars!" and everyone went “oh yes, i love your
irony. i can do irony. Look I’m wearing a bri-nylon pullover - that’s ironic, isn’t it? Just like you” and we were like “no I don’t think so”.’
So lienickie had no qualms about leaving behind their early tiny- northern-punk-labei credibility for a life of conspicuous consumption and flagrant glamour crusading afforded by their association with Emililsc, the corporate recording venture headed up by those high-living music biz moguls Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, otherwise known as Saint Etienne.
Stanley reckons llenlckie will be millionaires by the time they’re twenty (two years to gel). Laverne agrees. But what will she do with her fortune?
‘Spend it! (in expensive make-up, perfumes, leopard-skin hats with stiff brlms, very many very posh shoes, hair dye, manlcures, tattoos, cosmetic ' surgery - body enhancement basically.’
It’s a lifestyle thong. ‘At Home With llenlckle’ features in Hello! beckon. (Fiona Shepherd)
Kenlckle play King M’s, Glasgow on Frl25
uni; List 13-31 Oct 1996