German-born Billie Ray Martin made a sensational professional debut as the lead singer for groundbreaking techno-house group Electribe 101 in 1989. It could be said that Electribe 101 were the first group to successfully give warmth and complex emotion to the otherwise mundane and cold genre. Martin's vocalizations rely heavily on an admiration for vintage American soul, and she expertly delivers some trademark Aretha licks on Electribe's only album "Electribal Memories". She scored a worldwide club hit in 1995 with "Your Loving Arms" and it's follow up single "Imitation of Life" is one the most intensely emotional techno tracks you will ever hear. Her 1995 album "Deadline For My Memories" scored okay in Europe but failed to rally the Yanks, and her career has been Euro-based since. She has taken to working with underground producers and composers, though she did journy to Memphis to record some down-home tracks (and work with the great Ann Peebles, HI records diva of the early 70's who brought us the first version of "I Can't Stand the Rain"). These days Billie is launching a tongue-in-cheek DJ career that has actually garnered some critical nods and continues to pursue her many interests in all of the arts: she frequently writes columns for nightlife publications and is an excellent "blogger". Her soulful and earthy vocalizations are matched by a razor-sharp wit and an unabashed (some would say quite German) avante-garde sensibility.
Legal name: Birgit Dieckmann
Also performs as: Hot Skates 3000