Sunday, August 10, 2014

ELECTRIBE 101-Electribal Memories (1998)


Anybody remember this electrifying album? The British house music project ELECTRIBE 101 didn't ring a bell when a friend presented their name to me, but I sure remembered the sultry, soulful voice of Billie Ray Martin as soon as I listened to "Talking With Myself", the opening track to 1998's "Electribal Memories". Not just that soulful voice, but how she breaks down and sings the lyrics in the main chorus. Then the way she often speaks the lyrics every so often while the music plays on in the background before her voice soars off—a signature tactic from the disco diva handbook. The song is just terrific altogether—that deep early 90's groove with a slightly jazzy undertone breathing beneath the beats throughout. And with this version of "Electribal Memores", you get a trio of remixes that'll extend the electrifying even more! Extended is right, thinking now about how "Talking With Myself" runs for 6+ minutes. The whole album pretty much plays like one of those old EP vinyls with just about every songs averaging around the 6-minute mark, including the follow-up, "Lipstick On My Lover" (I love it when Billie's voice soars into the stratosphere at the singing of the line 'I'll be begging you pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease'!), "You're Walking" (a favorite of mine because of the haunting ambiance), "Diamond Dove" (I like this one because it has a touch of that 80's dance/pop thing going on with the synthesizing, especially the vamping that makes me think about any number of those classic 80's Freestyle tunes) and the album's title track itself, which runs for a whopping 10+ minutes by itself! Clearly, the producers wanted to make sure their listeners got filled up on as much music as possible. A couple of other cuts on this album I must highlight: "Inside Out" and "Tell Me When The Fever Ended". The former sounds like it's just gonna be an ordinary song with a low-key dance groove until Billie's voice rises above the rafters—powerful and piercing; you'll get to know her here inside and out alright! The latter has a great mid-90's dance beat to it—electrifying? Absolutely!—and coupled with Billie's wailing voice, it's another fantastic jam! My favorite lines come directly from the main chorus: 'tell me when the fever ended, I'll make it rise again'. You know who she sounds like here? Jennifer Rush. Anybody else think so? Don't be shocked if this "Electribal Memories" is a shock to your system. You may have heard some great voices in your lifetime, but you haven't heard anything yet unitl you've heard the fabulous voice of Billie Ray Martin:

1. Talking With Myself
2. Lipstick On My Lover
3. You're Walking [Peeping Tom Mix]
4. Inside Out
5. Diamond Dove
6. Heading For The Night
7. Tell Me When The Fever Ended
8. Talking 2
9. Electribal Memories
10. Talking With Myself [Frankie Knuckles Mix]
11. Talking With Myself '98 [Canny 12" Vocal]
12. Talking With Myself '98 [Beloved Radio Edit]

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