Summer 77, it was hot, not as hot as 76 though. At 11 years old I had hardly developed a music taste yet (although I can now admit that my synth addiction had already been started in 72 with Hot Butter’s Popcorn).
My mother and the rest of the country were still in shock from the Grundy/Pistols scenario 6 months previous. I was non-plussed and at that age, didn’t really know what direction I was going in.
I was sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio and I heard this phased synth pad building up (of course I didn’t know what a phased synth pad, or any other synth orientated phrases which I’m going to use!!)….something was grabbing my attention, then wow…..what the hell is this, 16 step sequencing adrenaline rush…no it’s 8 step with delay isn’t it?…..almost like the feeling you get when your in love (yeah, I know thats really corny, but if you like music, you’ll know what I mean). The warmth you get when it comes across loud on a dance floor loud and throbbing.
I don’t think my mother could work out my enthusiasm and perceived the track to be one of these “new punk records”. (my mum had a great taste in music and always supported and liked what I did, I soon educated her on this one!!). I had to have this record….only having a cheap record player at the time, I didn’t know anything else. On Saturday, I went straight into town (Crawley) and bought the 7” from Boots (this was the original Boots that was on the North side of Queens Square and had Dalek Head CCTV cameras all over the shop - it was quite dark)….I digress, but the memories are still vivid.
The UK release was on GTO records, with a blue label. Back in the days of experimentation, who knew that Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte and Robbie Wedel would be shaping the future (apart from Brian Eno who was recording the Berlin Trilogy with Bowie at the time). The trio just came across sync by accident, even Bob Moog wasn’t aware of Sync.
The past and memory is a fantasy for the future and Moroder suffers from this by citing Star Wars Cantina scene as a push for creating I Feel Love as a futuristic piece of music. Clearly I Feel Love was written/recorded in 76 and released in 77 two months after Star Wars was first aired. Nevertheless, let’s not distract from the genius of this track. Nothing else sounds like a Moog Modular does it. Apparently, there are only two real instruments used, Donna’s vocals and the Kick Drum. However, listen carefully, every fourth bar loop involves a what sound like two Fender Rhodes notes, ofcourse, they could well be Moog.
This track has always guided me knowingly and unknowingly into my taste of electronic music. I wonder if in the present anyone ever hears anything so new, unique and unlike anything else ever heard before……. has everything been done or do we have to destroy what we have created to pretend that we can create something new again?
Ofcourse, post I Feel Love, I have found lots of new music, unique and refreshing, although it has been a long time that I have found anything that unique and unusual that I couldn’t pinpoint it’s influence.
Do we have to have another Dark Age to create uniquely and individually without influence from the past as all digital data may well have been destroyed, or will this be taken care for us as Eno and Hyde created in their Science Fiction Dystopian live piece for Brighton festival in 2010, where a Great Pulse Bomb has wiped all Digital Data in 2042 and Cultural Reconstruction in 2062 is limited to piecing together vinyl and the music genres available left on the grooves…….
Food for thought in so many media formats……….meanwhile, just when you thought you were in heaven, lay down and reflect with this.........44 minutes of time stretched phased synth....forever...
THANKS TO GIORGIO, PETE, ROBBIE AND DONNA, BRIAN ENO AND STEPHEN MALLINDER