30 years since their creation, the never before released Frankie Knuckles remixes of Electribe 101's deep cut 'Heading for The Night' are finally unvaulted, available on 12" vinyl and Digital EP on 9th of July (CD, digital) and End August (Vinyl).
UK based electronic group Electribe 101 and their one album, Electribal Memories hold a legendary place in the annals of house and dance music. The band met after vocalist and writer Billie Ray Martin had placed an ad in Melody Maker in 1988: "Soul rebel seeks musicians – genius only". Billie headed to meet the four responding musicians (Brian Nordhoff, Joe Stevens, Les Fleming, and Roberto Cimarosti) at their studio in Birmingham.
"I took three songs with me, one of were the lyrics and melodies to (Electribe 101's first single) 'Talking with Myself', as well as acopy of Julian Jonah's 'Jealousy and Lies'," says Billie. "I told the guys: "I've heard the future, and this is what I want to do." I had heard Julian's track at the WAG Club and I still remember the moment I stopped my shimmying and just stood there, staring, then turning on my heels and going straight to the DJ to ask what this record was. The guys had already experimented with some more dance orientated tracks and were instantly sold on the idea."
Originally self-released on white label and championed by pirate radio, 'Talking with Myself' caught the imagination of the UK club scene and saw the band sign to Phonogram Records. With the re-issue and its follow up, 'Tell Me When the Fever Ended', becoming bona fide pop chart hits, with daytime radio play, Top Of The Pops appearances, and magazine covers from Melody Maker to MixMag, i-D, the label were keen to galvanise the band's success and for them to deliver an album quickly.
"Because we weren't yet used to writing together, we tried different approaches," explains Billie." I brought along a few songs I'd already written with others. Other songs we wrote from scratch. 'Heading for The Night' is one of those songs. The guys had developed the music and I wrote and sang the melody and lyrics straight onto the track, without making any arrangement changes."
The band had also found ardent fans in the US, with chart-topping success on the US club charts and mixes from some of the most in-demand remixers of the day, including Chicago House doyennes Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard.
"Frankie had already done such an incredible job with 'Talking with Myself' and he was smitten with 'Heading for The Night'", recalls Billie. "He enjoyed mixing it so much that he did six mixes, each one brilliant and soulful in its own way. His effortless and perfect vocal production while creating a more danceable version makes this another Knuckles masterpiece."
While 'Heading for The Night' had been considered for single release, these legendary remixes never saw the light of day. Finally,
Frankie's work on this song finds its rightful place in both his and Electribe 101's legacy.
This EP of remixes precedes the release of Electribe 101's fabled second, never before released album Electribal Soul, later this year.
Well who hasn't cried on the bathroom floor?! I certainly have. The moment I heard this incredible song by MUNA I immediately knew what I wanted to do with the arrangement. Richard X and I worked to give the track more of a pop sensibility while keeping the emotional resonance of the brilliant original. The lyric is just so unique and I found the line 'Crying on the bathroom floor, tearing off the dress I wore' so interesting for a man to sing. What's nice now is that times are different and no one even questions it, but it still makes it interesting for me as a man who does wear dresses sometimes and has cried on the bathroom floor. Never have the two met before - but who knows what's to come!