Editor says: In this first exploration of the music that the lustralboy might find most appealing, DJ Michael shares some insights and viewpoints that you may well find controversial. But boring they aren’t!
Music for a lustralboy?
I hate Barbra Streisand. Always have. Always will. Plus Celine Dion, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, Shirley Bassey and all the other over frocked iconic divas. Why do I hate them? Because they so obviously mimic the overwrought image of the tortured Gay Queen. And their songs are so obviously the overblown, hysterical ballads that once symbolised the hopeless yearnings of an always heartbroken young male teenager.
Aside from the fact that, in many cultures, gayness is no longer grounds for gloom and tears, it’s the “obviousness” that is the real killer. Music that really excites does so through its originality, its capacity to surprise and to move. For me, there is no greater thrill than that of a real heavy, funky band of guys turning down the volume and delivering a restrained performance that hints at all the power but delivers all the emotion.
So Led Zeppelin could blow your brains out with “Stairway to Heaven” but capture your hearts forever with the haunting Tolkien-referenced “Ramble on”. Jimi Hendrix could rock the Woodstock Festival with “Hey Jo” or his freewheeling Stars and Stripes Anthem, but there’s a whole new reach to your heartstrings when he cools down for “All Along the Watchtower”. Or goes deeper still on the Axis Bold As Love album with “Castles Made of Sand.” Yes, as he says wistfully, “they slip into the sea......................eventually”.
The Beatles could rock as hard as any band. “Why Don’t You Do It in the Road?” poses a reasonable question very loudly. “Blackbird”, however, for all its melodic sweetness, is the song that somehow delivers the emotional kick of a mule. And fans of Future Sounds of London, reeling from the assault of “Herd Killing” or “ We Have Explosive” on their Dead Cities album, soon get transported somewhere entirely different by the outrageous sensuality of “Max.” I guess you get my drift.
One last example: legendary trip hop band, Faithless, had the biggest dancehall hit of all time with “Insomnia”. The same album also featured one of the coolest songs of hope and love ever written, “Flowerstand Man”.
Now, because I believe the lustral boy is smart and original, I’m guessing that he too might find the obvious just a bit underwhelming. No doubt, you will tell me. But holding true to that assumption, here and now comes my very specific, surprising, not obvious recommendation for lustralboy listening: Underworld.
This lowish profile UK band have, for more that fifteen years, mined a seam of seamless trippy electronica that has kept the dance floors of urban hotspots around the world awash with happy air-punching , hip-thrusting clubbers. With albums like Dubnobasswithmyheadman, Beaucoup Fish, Second Toughest in the Infants, A Hundred Days Off and Oblivion With Bells, they have carved their own memorable niche of danceable funk. That’s what they are known for. That’s their obvious skill set.
Now here comes the surprise. Every album has a few tracks of shimmering, mesmeric almost shocking beauty. Whether it’s the hymn-like “Heal” from Oblivion, the haunting chords of “Tongue” from Dubnobasswithmyheadman or the gentle cadences of “Ballet Lane” from 100 Days, this is music to share curled up in the arms of the one you are with. Surprise him. Surprise yourself. Lustraltunes from Underworld, never obvious, always seductive. Go listen.
Oh, and just in case you missed him, Mika’s recent hit, “We Are Golden” is so obviously lustral, you should be surprised that I am mentioning it. But, just once in a while, a little obvious lustralness does no harm at all, does it?
Michael’s “Underworld Haunting and Lovely Playlist.”
Oblivion with Bells: To Heal, Best Mamgu Ever.
Second Toughest In the Infants: Twist, Sola Sistim
Beaucoup Fish: Cups, Jumbo, Winjer.
Dubnobasswithmyheadman: Dark and Long, Tongue, River of Base, M.E.
One Hundred Days Off: Ballet Lane
So here's Heal to make the point.
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