Friday, October 03, 2008

FDF Volume 2 Issue 111: EMF - Schubert Dip

By: March

Album - Schubert Dip
Artist - EMF
Key Players - Mark Decloedt - drums. Ian Dench - keyboards and guitars. James Atkin - vocals. Zac Foley - bass. Derry Brownson - Samples
Produced By - Pascal Gabriel and Ralph Jezzard

Release Date - May 1991

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I was putting away last weeks selection and this just sort of jumped out at me.

Overview - The debut album from UK dance and "Madchester" band EMF was named as a pun on the classical composer (Franz Schubert) as well as candy called "Sherbert Dip". Keyboardist Ian Dench also said that when he was stuck for ideas he'd steal chord sequences from Schubert. The debut would contain the track "Unbelievable" and it would bring the band world wide success. Subsequent releases would not fair as well and the band, at least to this point, will be known mostly for the big single. The single has been used in advertisements for Kraft Foods (for cheese) as well as Hallmark Cards. The band name actually stands for "Epsom Mad Funker" contrary to other (cooler sounding) rumored names like "Every Mothers Favorites" and "English Mother Fuckers" Check out their wiki page of even more names.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - There is a long fade up on "Children" with a single droning keyboard until about 1:10 into the song when it gets rolling with police sirens and a punchy piano line. The keyboard and piano remain high in the mix for the whole record, and the vocals have a certain snarl to them as well. Crossing right over is "Long Summer Days" which has a quick intro before the keyboard line. There is more of a crunch on the guitar as the track progresses and it wraps up with what sounds like a drum circle that fades directly on to "When You're Mine". The feel on this track is very light, and the flow to this point has been good for the genre. A spoken word intro brings up "Travelling Not Running" and this has a really strong deeper groove to it. its a little slower than the prior tracks and is the first track to "end" in that it fades out and does not go directly in to the next track. "I Believe" was released a single from the record and is a quick track both musically and vocally. The band is more urgent with the the harder drum beats, and for the first time there is a noticeable guitar solo. The big single "Unbelievable" is next. Opening with the lines from American Comedian Andrew Dice Clay there is little one needs to tell you about this track. It is the second song to really have more guitar up in the mix and its mostly known for the "OHs!" that were sampled from Clay. "Girl of an Age" comes up with a sample of Ernie and Bert from the American children's television show "Sesame Street". This was not released as a radio single despite its groove. This has a similar lyrical feel to the prior song and once again keyboards are the most prominent in the mix. A female vocal sample comes up with electronic sounding drums on "Admit It". The song is strong throughout with a pressing keyboard and piano mix and the female vocal sample is used just the right amount. "Lies" has a strong drum intro before it falls in to a more simple drum tempo. There is a stronger piano lead once more and continues the trend of the keyboards being the focal point with "Lies" being repeated over and over. The album wraps up with "Longtime" that has sampled spoken word before being taken over by a strong bass line and tight keyboard parts. Some versions of the cd contain a hidden track called "EMF". The cd reviewed here does not have this hidden track.

Where are they now? - Doing something I had never heard of before, the band actually has gone on hiatus two times. The band was active from 1989 thru 1997, then 2001 to 2002 with some one off reunion shows and according to web reports the band has reformed once more and they are working on new material. The only omission to the original line up is with Zac Foley. The bassist died of a drug overdose in 2002.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I did actually see the band perform live. It was at what is now UMass Dartmouth. It was a college show but a friends sister went there and was able to get us tickets. The show was November 22, 1991 and it was in the gym. Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine was the support act. I don't recall a lot about this show barring the sort of echo'y sound.

FDF Overall Take - It hasn't aged the best. Much of it sounds very canned for some reason. There are a few fun moments and worthy of a cheap used price if the urge so hits you, but if you are that pressed for some EMF there is a best of collection.

The official site as well as myspace

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

*** the mp3's have been removed***
They were:
Girl of an Age
Search and Destroy (Stooges cover)

This is a cover of the Iggy and the Stooges song. It can be found on the Unexplained EP which you can buy used here

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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