SOFT CELL NEWS
Memorabilia : 2023 Remixes by Daniel Miller, The Hacker and Wally Funk
Soft Cell – Memorabilia 2023
2023 Remixes from Daniel Miller, The Hacker & Wally Funk
The birth point of ecstasy in British music is usually credited to acid house and the second summer of love: a cemented vision of kids sweating and vibrating in clubs, fields and warehouses in 1988, united by universal empathy and mind-popping sounds. However, in 1981, a couple of young men from Leeds went to New York, discovered the drug in its infancy, fused its’ gritty synth pop to acid house’s squelchy 303 groove and recorded an album: Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The rest, as they say, is history.
Shortly before that Soft Cell’s debut single Memorabilia was born. Originally recorded a decade before the explosion of acid house and rooted in predominantly black NYC, Chicago and Detroit gay clubs, Memorabilia is a seminal early prelude to rave culture. Merging a strutting disco bass line with a futuristic proto acid-techno beat, Marc Almond has past described Memorabilia as “the first acid house techno record ever”.
Dave Ball remembers: “Memorabilia got to about number 99 in the charts, but the clubs picked up on it. In NME or Sounds they had a chart for the Danceteria in New York, and we were in it. Our label Phonogram saw this and thought: ‘why is this weird little duo from Leeds that no one’s heard of suddenly getting played in one of the hippest clubs in New York?’ So I think they thought: ‘we’ll give them another chance’.”
However, it was what the duo did next that completed their transition to making music on ecstasy, about ecstasy, and for taking ecstasy to. The remix of Memorabilia that came out in 1982 from the aptly titled Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing is unquestionably E music. Stretched out to seven glistening minutes on the single release, the track even features a sultry rap from Cindy Ecstasy: “let’s take a pill and shut our eyes and watch our love materialise.”
“New York was a whirlwind,” Marc Almond now summarises, as he recalls being mesmerised by the sounds of Patrick Cowley and Grace Jones surging through world-beating sound systems. “If life is measured in our collection of experiences, then that trip had so many.”
Fast forward to 2023 and Soft Cell’s first producer, Mute Records’ supremo Daniel Miller, has reworked his original 1981 version of Memorabilia into a throbbing techno workout. Currently ripping up a storm in Berlin’s techno clubs on promo by the DJ cognoscenti, the remix package is fast picking up support clubs across Europe, the US and beyond.
France’s electroclash/techno legend and in-demand remixer The Hacker also delivers an updated 808 spectacular worthy of inclusion in any self-respecting late night dancing DJ set, while losing none of the frantic energy of the original.
Berlin’s very own upcomers Wally Funk round off the remix package, upping the original tempo slightly, while combining elements the of original production with the later Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing version to create a new hybrid, best played extremely loud!
Just 500 copies of these remixes have been pressed on clear green vinyl, but we have managed to secure the import of some limited stock from Germany, which is available to pre-order now exclusively via the Soft Cell website, while stocks last.
A couple of these mixes also appear on the upcoming Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret 6CD box set, released on 20th October, however, this vinyl exclusive features other mixes not including in that package.
We are expecting stock to arrive in the UK by 27th October 2023 at the latest, when these orders will be shipped.
Thanks to Daniel Dylan Wray of Vice for some of these words.