Im-Mac Logic: Bolero UK 12″ 
- Logics of Emotion
- Two Takes [French Version]
This record should have been a much sought after artifact for at least the last 27 years, but I’m almost ashamed to admit that I ran across it in the fifty cent basement of Harvest Records on the occasion of their 7th anniversary sale! First of all, the cover assaulted me in a sea of MOR records we’ve all seen before in 30+ years of crate digging. If there were many 12″ singles in the basement, they tended to sport generic, black card 12″ single sleeves; certainly not the peach and yellow horror shown above. Intrigued by its novelty, I plucked it from the crates and perused the credits, trying to divine meaning from the sleeve.
The label issuing the record was Assorted Images! As a graphic designer, I was instantly attuned to the design firm of Malcolm Garrett, designer par excellence of Magazine, Duran Duran, and, Simple Minds – among others in my core collection. I looked at the label, and sure enough, it used the real Ai logo I’d seen countless times. This record implied that Malcolm Garrett ran a label! That alone was enough to sway my hand for the four bits asking price. Intrigued, I looked further. Production credits for Femi Jiya [Stephen Duffy, Shriekback, Blancmange]. Check! Another production credit for Mulligan. Could it be the Mulligan of fave rave Birmingham synth-funk masters Fashion? Well the label called the A-side “face 1” and the B-side “face 2;” a known Fashion gambit! It must have been him. Finally, the rear sleeve credited Nick Beggs and thanked EMI. Sign me up! Beggs is a very talented player who made Kajagoogoo and I definitely want to hear anything he plays on! Especially if Limahl is nowhere to be seen!
The record dated from 1984 but I had definitely never heard of this weird one-off project, much less heard it. By gum, I well and truly should have known about his disc. I was a big fan of Fashion back from the day and a friend of mine religiously read UK music mags back in the day that would have mentioned this record. Somehow, it slipped off of my radar completely until the day I bought this record! Of all the swag I picked up that day, this was definitely the most intriguing disc that I was immediately looking forward to hearing. Scant days passed before I recorded this to hard drive. So what’s it like, you may be asking?
Well, for starters, it is an electrodance cover of Maurice Ravel’s famous “Bolero!” It sounds like it was completely realized on a Fairlight by Mulligan, with the melody carried by an unnamed female vocalist who breathily articulates the song’s melody as Beggs adds Chapman Stick flavoring to the mix! There are a few of what sound like Beggs bass slaps but I suspect they’re samples of said events. The rhythm is heavy and punctuated throughout by tattoos of drumming at irregular intervals. Think of Steve Jansen’s drumming on the “Tin Drum” album. Though the cut can be considered a “dance mix” at a little over six minutes, that’s a pretty brusque edit of “Bolero” if you’re familiar with it.
The 1st B-side, “Logics of Emotion,” is an original track sounding bereft of Beggs as well as the unnamed female vocalist. It’s a pure Fairlight confection sounding not a million miles away from an early Art of Noise classic like “Moments In Love.” The 2nd B-side is, in spite of the title, [possibly named for royalty purposes!] another version of “Bolero.” This time given a more respectable running time of nine and a half minutes. For this reason the B-side of the disc spins at 33 r.p.m. unlike the A-side. This alternate version begins as a ghostly shadow of the song with faint melody wafting in on the breeze, but as the track develops, ultimately gargantuan beats in dubspace rise to the foreground, making this track the first ambient/classical/dub track you’re likely to ever hear! Again, it sounds like pure Mulligan + Fairlight only.
This record is deucedly fascinating. As it plays out, it is the sort of record that is exactly in the center of a line that’s drawn between “Into Battle” by Art of Noise, and “Madame Butterfly” by Malcolm McLaren. The AON record was issued in 1983, and thus probably influenced this release. Malcolm McLaren’s “Madame Butterfly” was released the same year as this record, and both of them reveal dance music looking to The Classics for inspiration. Both are weird fusions of the classic and moderne. Since I don’t have release date data beyond year at my disposal, I can only charitably conclude that there was something in the air in 1984. Digital sampling + dancefloors + classical music = these records.
– 30 –