"Soul rebel searching for a genius" - that was the pickup line used in a Melody Maker ad placed by German born Billie Ray Martin in hopes of attracting like-minded musical souls to her side. What she got were four technocrats from Birmingham (Joe Stevens, Les Fleming, Rob Cimarosti and Brian Nordhoff). Named for a Soviet refrigerator (irony intended), Electribe 101 was born. Their debut single "Talking with Myself" became one of the all-time turning points in House Music.

"Talking..." and it's follow-up "Tell Me When the Fever Ended" appeared from left-field as the eighties were coming to a close. This was as the techno-dawn was emerging in the Acid haze of England's evolving obsession with the Chicago-born genre. Though house music can easily be reduced to a hipper-sounding catch-all label for under-produced Disco, the English critics were quick, as always, to splinter the emerging genre. This labeling helped it survive and flourish amidst record-company bandwagon-jumping and the not-so-few attendant ludicracies that were marketed as "House Music" to naive white urbanites with more money than sense ("House Arrest" by Krush comes to mind...). Electribe's brand of House was an odd melding of four eager studio-geeks with an Uber-White Hamburg diva who had fallen in love with vintage Stax and Motown without leaving her cutting-edge tastes behind (Throbbing Gristle was/is one of her most-cited influences). The resulting tracks immediately created yet another subgenre on the British scene - "Techno-Soul". A full seven years before Madonna set out to prove that "Techno music could be emotional", Electribe had already crystallized the molecular structure that Madonna would re-invent starting with "Ray of Light". Electribe themselves owed a tremendous creative debt to Yazoo, though Billie's vocalizations were more of a studied homage to American Divas versus Alison Moyet's wholly original, seemingly accidental, and entirely unmistakable pipes. To say Billie's approach was studied is not to say it was uneffective or lacking, quite the contrary. Due to her often-vulnerable deliveries and the above -average intellect evident in her material, it's easy to overlook the fact that she posseses one the most powerful and moving soul voices to emerge in World music - ever!

Electribe's debut album (1990's "Electribal Memories") would prove to be their only long-playing release. Due to an all-around confusion about the band's direction and fallings-out with their management, they broke during sessions for the never-released follow-up album. Billie immediately steered into a solo career that began hotly with 1995's "Your Loving Arms". A worldwide club smash sensation by even the most discerning of standards, the track was heard everywhere that buildings exceed three stories. Electribe's work often pops up in DJ sets ranging from Ben Watt's notable "Essential Mix" for Radio One in 2005 ("Inside Out') to the Cafe Del Mar series and it's many clones (Usually it's a variation of "Talking with Myself" that gets used). In fact "Talking With Myself" is close behind Yazoo's "Situation" as one of the most hard-to-kill club classics, with well-over a dozen legitimate and "white label" mixes having emerged. I guess there's something classic about a good soul rebel mixed with a generous helping of genius.

Annotation last modified on 2006-03-10 23:51 .


Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 Now That’s What I Call Music! 17 (UK) Various Artists 3.5 3
1990 Select 12 Various Artists 1
1990 Now Dance 903: The 12″ Mixes Various Artists 3
1990 Razormaid! r-5 Various Artists 1
1996 Clubbed Out Various Artists 1
1996 Classic Balearic: Definitive Balearic Beats Mastercuts, Volume 1 Various Artists 5 1
1998 Café del Mar, volumen cinco José Padilla 2
1998 Essential Club Anthems 98 Various Artists 1
1999 The Chillout Album, Volume 1: The Essential Late Night Mix Various Artists 1
1999 Club Hits of the 80s Various Artists 1
1999 Free to Be..., Volume Five Various Artists 1
2000 Chill Out in Ibiza Various Artists 1
2000 Sonic Earth 2 Various Artists 1
2001 The Classic Chillout Album 2: Another Collection of Classics for a Modern World Various Artists 1
2001 Chill Out! Chapter 1 Various Artists 1
2001 Ibiza Chillout, Volume 4 Various Artists 1
2002 Kontor: Sunset Chill, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
2002 CreamCollect: Balearic Various Artists 1
2002 Samsung Chillout Sessions Various Artists 1
2002 Ambient Lounge 4 Various Artists 1
2002 Eighties Various Artists 1
2002 Open Space: The Classic Chillout Album 2 Various Artists 1
2002 MTV Weekender Various Artists 1
2002 SATURN Exklusiv Edition: Chill Out Edition Various Artists 1
2002 The Only Way Is Up Various Artists 1
2003 Azuli Presents Derrick L. Carter: Choice: A Collection of Classics Various Artists 1
2003 Café del Mar: The Best Of José Padilla 6
2003 Luciano Huck - Jóia 2 Various Artists 1
2005 Renaissance: The Classics Various Artists 1
2005 Ambient Lounge: The Best Of Various Artists 1
2005 Hed Kandi: The Mix 2006 Various Artists 3 1
2005 Lazy Days Various Artists 1
2008 Sunset to Sunrise Various Artists 1
2009 Classic Chilled Ibiza Various Artists 1
2009 Cool: Chillout Various Artists 1
2010 Café del Mar, volumen cinco y seis Various Artists 1
2011 Pacha Ibiza Chillout Classics Various Artists 1
2013 Acid House Anthems Various Artists 1
2015 Electrospective: Stepping to the Dance 1988-97 Various Artists 1
2015 Classic House Various Artists 1
2015 Clubbed to Death Various Artists 1
2017 101 Electronic 80s Various Artists 1
2017 Top of the Pops Dance Various Artists 1

Album + Compilation + DJ-mix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1999 Ministry Presents: Ibiza Chillout Various Artists 1
2000 Chilled Euphoria Red Jerry 1
2000 The Late Night Mix Various Artists 2
2001 Sunset Ibiza Various Artists 1
2004 Drizzly Chillin’ 02 Esteban Narvaez Garcia 1
2005 The Weekend Various Artists 1
2011 Cream: Chilled Electronic Various Artists 1
2011 Sunlounge Session, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
2012 XX, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
2013 Kontor: Sunset Chill: All Time Classics Various Artists 1

Album + DJ-mix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1998 Dave Pearce Presents: Dance Anthems, Volume 2 Dave Pearce 1

Album + Remix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1993 Razormaid! Records Anniversary Nine-Point-Zero Razormaid 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2002 Café del Mar Ultimate Collection Various Artists 1

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