Words: Rodney Cromwell
This list is a sort of sonic mood board of tracks that inspired Rodney’s English Disco. It is a mix of recent stuff by the likes of Black Marble and Computer Magic along with older stuff by New Order, Kraftwerk and Add N to X; the sort of songs that feel like part of my DNA.
Rodney Cromwell – Comrades
This was the second track I wrote for the EP. It was written almost by accident by thumping on a Microkorg which became the sonic template for the rest of the release – cold war reverbs, moody drones and a general sense that the whole world is going to the dogs – with a slab of analogue disco thrown in for good measure.
Divine – Shake It Up
Divine’s musical career was essentially based about continually ripping-off Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ over and over again. This is why I love Divine because ‘I Feel Love’ is the greatest record ever made. Full stop. But everyone knows that. Next.
New Order – Truth
I don’t think there is a single record I’ve made since 2001 that hasn’t been inspired by New Order’s ‘Movement’. It’s perhaps more noticeable on this new EP because of my slavishly devoted use of the Boss DR-55 drum machine on every track. It’s the same drum machine New Order use on this gorgeously bleak, slab of melodica-driven proto-indietronica.
Black Marble – UK
Love these guys. They made me fall back in love with the bass guitar again. Last Christmas I received two Black Marble albums and five bottles of gin. They work well together.
Rémi Parson – Montauban
I have loved Rémi’s work since I missed seeing him live at Indietracks in 2015. His inclusion on this list is somewhat meta, in that ‘Barbed Wire’ on the EP was kind of inspired by what he’s doing, but he has also remixed the track for the EP. Deep stuff.
Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator
The title of the track ‘Technocrats’ on the new EP was inspired by a quote from Nigel Farage, but there was no way I was going to honour that lying frog-faced hypocritical nazi-sympathising prick on my record with a sample. Instead the song is driven by a nice synth line that sounds a bit like the stylophone on Pocket Calculator.
Computer Magic – The Technology
An LP of Computer Magic rarities dropped just as I was about to start writing the last track and it was such a lovely pick-me-up it stopped me writing another doom laden breakup anthem about global meltdown. Which has to be a good thing, right?
Add N to X – Plug Me In
Still one of the best bands ever. The only band I have ever seen trash a WASP synthesizer live on stage. Their music is essentially porn soundtracks for robots – which is by co-incidence my favorite musical genre.
The Golden Filter – Rivers
From probably my favorite LP of last year. ‘Dreamland’ on the EP starts with a minimal drum beat as a deliberate nod to this track, which I couldn’t stop listening to. I wish I could get my vocals to sound as good as this – as a 40 year old guy with chronic sinusitis, it’s probably not likely to happen though.
The Cure – The Same Deep Water As You
I’ve heard a couple of records on the UK synth ‘scene’ lately that sound like they’re ripping-off me, ripping-off Peter Hook. Which is great obviously; imitation is the greatest form of flattery right? On this EP I’ve actually tried to move away from ripping the Hooky sound to something more akin to Simon Gallup who has a little more subtlety to his playing. I’m sure everyone notices the distinction.
Pye Corner Audio – At the Heart of Stasis
No one writes soundtracks to the post-truth world better than Pye Corner Audio. This one sounds like the theme to TV show Monkey filtered through the cold black dead heart of Steve Bannon as directed by Blade Runner period Ridley Scott.
2016 Mix – featuring Train to Spain, Let’s Eat Grandma, The Leaf Library, Cavern of Anti-Matter and more
Introducing: Rodney Cromwell (AnalogueTrash)
Spill Album Premiere: Rodney Cromwell – Rodney’s English Disco (Spill Magazine)
Rodney Cromwell To Release Rodney’s English Disco EP, Previews Comrades Single (Broadway World)
Artist of the Week: Rodney Cromwell (NoiseJournal)
Exclusive: Rodney Cromwell ‘Dreamland’ Video Premiere (God is in the TV Zine)
Rodney Cromwell / Rodney’s English Disco + Interview (Echosynthetic)
Moving Beyond New Order with Rodney Cromwell (Stereo Embers)