Electronic Blanket: Week 9

Have yourself an electronic Christmas with Sophie Ahmed

14th December 2015

New Christmas themed electronica is few and far between this year. So, sadly you wont be able to avoid ‘Fairytale of New York’ and Mariah Carey’s voice blaring out for the next couple of weeks, but I can ease the pain of your bleeding ears slightly with the 3 electronic winter warmers that I have sought out.

One for all the Scrooges out there is Depeche Mode’s instrumental B-Side ‘Christmas Island’, which is more malicious than merry, and envisions an Island, which the Grinch probably fled to to avoid the festivities rather than one full of elves and Christmas cheer. To be fair, the track was inspired by the real Australian island of that name and not the birth of Jesus Christ, but the fact that the island was discovered on 25th December 1643 means that you have my permission to play Depeche Mode throughout the holiday season. Next, I’m paying homage to Swedish Electronic duo The Knife who split up last year. Their Christmas-themed track ‘Reindeer’ was released way back in 2001 and also has sinister undertones as Karin Dreijer Andersson spookily sings, ‘we follow mister Santa to the end’. I will end on a more upbeat note, with Orbital’s ‘Christmas Chime’, which is essentially just a reworking of their classic ‘Chime’ with the addition of some jolly bells. All I want for Christmas this year is to end a night in Cosmic raving to this.

You Need To Hear: SOPHIE

This year, my present to you all is myself. Only kidding, it is in fact the unconventional gurgles and screeches produced by Samuel Long. This year, he’s enjoyed commercial success with ‘LEMONADE’ sound-tracking a McDonald’s ad and he co-produced ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ which does bear his strange signature sound despite its place in the mainstream market. 2015 has been peppered with SOPHIE singles throughout, all accompanied by a bizarre computerised plastic object as the cover art. The music is just as weird, with the unsettling, childish vocals of ‘BIPP’ reminiscent of UK Garage tracks like T2’s ‘Heartbroken’, meets Haim. The difference is that the backbone of this track is far less beat-orientated than Garage and instead mimics a sprawling series of chemical reactions going off. In ‘JUST LIKE WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE’ there isn’t even a beat as such, and a wave of synthetic sound surges like the tide over a contagious chorus. But do not fear, you can still boogie to SOPHIE around the Christmas tree this year, as Long’s message on dance track ‘VYZEE’ is ‘you’ve gotta twist your body’, which just so happens to be my New Year’s Resolution too.


Preview: Gold Teeth Christmas Cracker with Artful Dodger, 17th December, World Headquarters

The absolute angel in this year’s sackful of end-of-term parties is undeniably the one that Gold Teeth is putting on. Garage legends, Artful Dodger are this year’s pick to follow the seasonal star of fun to World HQ and get everyone twirling with their tidings of comfort and joy. If like me you missed Artful Dodger’s appearance in Newcastle last year, it would be a festive fail to pass on seeing these guys in the 16th year of their career ‘for the cost of a medium quality Primark Christmas t-shirt’. This Christmas Cracker is set to be full of surprises, and whether or not the pair re-remixes ‘Re-rewind’ with jingle bells, it will conjure up ecstatic feelings of ‘Movin’ Too Fast’ in a one horse open sleigh. You’d better ask Santa for your tickets now as this is destined to be a sell out and you don’t want to be turned away from the door, Mary and Joseph-style.


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