Gavin Friday

More so than any other performer associated even tangentially with the lineage of goth, Dublin’s Gavin Friday (born Fion n Hanvey in 1959), the driving force behind the infamous Virgin Prunes, has evolved aesthetically to a level far beyond the white-face-and-candles shtick of his contemporaries. Like Leiber/Stoller or Bacharach/David, Friday and his keyboard-playing partner Maurice…

Jimmy Somerville

Blessed with an extraordinary falsetto, diminutive Glaswegian Jimmy Somerville has wrapped his powerful pipes around an impressive array of original tunes and well-chosen covers since striking out on his own in 1989. His solo career neatly dovetails with the most distinctive aspects of his two previous ensembles, the strident gay politicism of Bronski Beat (a…

Spacetime Continuum

Even before his 1993 emergence with Fluresence, DJ, recording artist and independent label head Jonah Sharp was already well on his way to becoming a luminary in the world of electronic music. Sharp left Scotland in his teens and became immersed in London’s acid jazz/rare groove scene as a drummer before being drawn to the…

Ocean Blue

Formed in Hershey, Pennsylvania by high school friends who shared a fondness for new wave and post-punk, the Ocean Blue fused their influences — the Smiths, the Teardrop Explodes, R.E.M. — into a likable debut. The college radio hit “Between Something and Nothing” (which smacks of “Lips Like Sugar”-era Echo and the Bunnymen) sets the…

Orbital

With one foot hopping on the dance floor and the other spiraling through the stratosphere, bedroom boffins Phil and Paul Hartnoll burst into the public consciousness during the heyday of the UK rave scene; amidst a stream of brilliant electronic singles from the duo, the shimmering polyrhythms of “Chime” hit the British Top 20 in…

Underworld

Underworld’s roots are in the mid-’80s electro-pop new wave quintet Freur (which, in a prescient pre-Prince move, was initially identified only by an unpronounceable glyph), best known for the dreamy pop single “Doot Doot.” The English band’s 1983 album made less impact here than the song did, and a 1985 follow-up, Get Us Out of…

Marc Almond

Listeners who acknowledge Marc Almond only as the voice behind Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” do the English singer a great disservice. Since that electro-pop landmark in 1981, Almond has steadfastly devoted his career to exploring the art of the song. As an interpreter, he has successfully taken on Jacques Brel (on Jacques), ’60s obscurities (on…

Utah Saints

Poised stylistically and chronologically between the cut-and-paste acid house of Bomb the Bass and M/A/R/R/S and the towering trip-hop of the Chemical Brothers, Leeds’ Utah Saints — DJs/artists Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt — took samples of other people’s records and fashioned them into great singles. The first, “What Can You Do for Me,” incorporates…

Professor and Maryann

Transplant the prairie skirt rock of the Innocence Mission to the cruel urban metropolis and there stands this acoustic duo from Staten Island, New York. The degree of Professor and Maryann’s appeal hinges not on one’s penchant for Gilligan’s Island reruns but for hearts-and-flowers romance; the unbroken sincerity of Ken Rockwood’s songwriting on Fairy Tale…

Sarah McLachlan

Discovered in her teens fronting a new wave band in Halifax, Sarah McLachlan (who subsequently relocated to Vancouver, on Canada’s other coast) quickly evolved into one of the most captivating voices in pop music, yet another vital figure in Canada’s rich legacy of innovative singer/songwriters. Equally adept on piano and guitar (credit years of classical…

Autechre

Screw dancing about architecture — translating the music of Autechre into evocative prose is no less challenging than baking a soufflé that captures the grandeur of scaling Mt. Everest. Perhaps a legion of intelligent yet charismatic robots, instructed in an original language that fuses Esperanto and Czech and taught poetry by Gertrude Stein, might begin…

Yello

Hailing originally from the worlds of performance and fine art, the Swiss trio Yello (Boris Blank on electronics, Dieter Meier on vocals and Carlos Peron on effects and tapes) is second only to Kraftwerk in the annals of primary European synthpop. Sometimes dark in tone, at other times just plain silly (“Pinball Cha Cha,” “Bananas…

Waterlillies

On first listen, the music of New York City’s Waterlillies — singer Sandra Jill Alikas-St. Thomas and instrumentalist Ray Carroll — could easily be shelved alongside Book of Love and A Flock of Seagulls: thin, catchy synthpop with a recently expired sell-by date. But Envoluptuousity is redeemed by several factors, including Alikas’ flexible, disciplined soprano…

Jane Siberry

A product of the Ontario coffeehouse scene, Canada’s Jane Siberry was initially compared to such diverse female colleagues as Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson. Ultimately, though, she stands as an original (and quickly proved herself as such), seamlessly melding aspects of high and low art into her music as effectively as any of…

Contributors

These folks either wrote reviews that appear on the site or wrote for Trouser Press magazine. If anyone listed below cares to E-mail us with a link you’d like added, just let us know. And ditto if anyone is AWOL from this list. Grant AldenDavid AntrobusJem AswadTroy J. AugustoMichael AzerradCary BakerMichael BakerEmily BeckerJohn BergstromArt BlackJohn…