Sunday, February 17, 2008
Let's attend to another forgotten synth pop pearl from the eighties today! ...did I hear a sigh?:) Ok, the picture above deserves nothing else than the grade "trash", i agree on that. But this British band made some über-cool stuff in the olden days.
Savage Progress was founded in 1982 by Rik Kenton (who had been a temporary member of Roxy Music) and Glynnis Thomas. A friend of them worked at a studio and used some free time to record a bunch of songs with them. The result convinced the head of the studio, so that he offered the band a contract. Kenton and Thomas recruited Andrew Edge as a drummer, Carol Isaacs as singer and also Ned Morant as percussionist though he actually never really learned to play percussions. But he helped the band to get a more rhythmically based style which seperated them from many new wave bands of their time. Anyway, now they were a proper band and released some singles and an LP called Celebration on "Ten Records". They toured with the Thompson Twins before they unfortunately called it a day in 1985 after Glynnis had left the band. Ok, that would be the story of Savage Progress, shortly reproduced. Let's talk about the music.
The first track is "Heart Begin To Beat" which was also released as a single. This song is one reason that the band is still remembered these days as it is such a great "unclassic" and was used by the DJs of the arising house scene in the middle of the eighties such as Larry Heard/Mr. Fingers and Frankie Knuckles. The song has got such an incredibly cracking beat that it is no wonder that it was dropped oftenly in house clubs like the "Power Plant" or the "Muzic Box". I really love those mixes from that era. It was a time were the DJs created a unique style by searching the past for useful tunes they could play out next to the latest modern house tracks. It was a great mixture of old italo-disco songs, some decent disco classics, industrial and new wave-ish songs like "Heart Begin To Beat". The track is very unique in its concetration on rhythmical elements and the cold and "fey" voice of Carol Isaacs combined with a funky bass riff. You won't get the lines "begin to beat let my heart begin to beat, begin to beat let my heart begin to beat..." out of your head, trust me! This tune is still a killer on every dancefloor today. i found a copy of the 12" for 1€ on a flea market over here in düsseldorf. Quite a good find i guess.
The second track "Hip Parade" is taken from their LP Celebration. It's the standout track of the record for me. The song is unbeatable in its supercooled new-wave-extravaganza! Carol Isaacs sings like an original Snow Queen on valium over a straight beat with some nice synthesizer action going on. You can even here some nice ice wind echoes in the background if you listen intensively enough! I guess it's really Isaacs' distinctive voice which makes the music so cool. Also in the actual sense of freezing you, hehe.
Savage Progress - Heart Begin To Beat
Savage Progress - Hip Parade