EBM v1.0 was Edward O's blog about music, as written by a demented pop fan who should know better but is glad he doesn't.
It hosted the odd MP3 here and there, too. It has since been superseded by EBM v2.0.
EBM v1.0 has been superseded. EBM v2.0 can be found here.
Friday, March 19, 2004
THE CROSS-EUROPE CHART CHALLENGE... of Death! BELGIUM
I was really looking forward to this, you know. Even though Belgium isn't winning, and all. Jamelia (10) is the sole repeat.
1. XANDEE - 1 Life. Highlighting a key difference between the UK and the rest of Europe. The UK sends drivel to Eurovision, Europe actually send records that can chart and people want to hear on the radio. This is a massively enjoyable piece of cheese with a great shout-along chorus. 9
2. NATALIA - Higher Than The Sun. And this, while not as world-beatingly fabulous as I've Only Begun To Fight is still a tacky, overblown bit of dated-sounding disco wondrousness with some nice brass. And it reminds me a touch of a discofied version of Debbie Gibson's We Could Be Together but I'm probably alone in that. 8
3. MILK INC. feat SILVY - I Don't Care. Perfectly acceptable trance-dance thing marred slightly by embarassing sub-No Scrubs lyrics, delivered with absolutely no conviction by Silvy, whoever she is. 5
4. MARCO BORSATO & DO - Voorbij. Rather slow, uninteresting ballad, made slightly more palatable by nicely arranged middle bit with strings. 3
5. KANE - Rain Down On Me. Apparently it's the Tiesto mix of this that's owning Belgium at the moment. It's decent - the chorus is blown wide open in the remix, although you wouldn't say there's anything really interesting going on, except in the outro, where it gets busier and louder and more frantic, which seems appropriate. 7
6. MARCO BORSATO - Afscheid Nemen Bestaat Niet. I don't think I minded this last time, but every time an artist has two hits on a chart, they are always shit. Um, this one has more punch anyway, and a nice frantic emoting bit near the end with crashing drums, so while not "crap", it's certainly far from genius. 6
8. DANZEL - Pump It Up. Thumping dance with ace breakdown. Daft mantras are great. Long breakdowns are great. This is great. 9
9. AVENTURA - Obsession. Still very much boring, can tell this is going to be on every chart ever. 3
10. SPRING - Jan Zonder Vrees. Utterly devoid of anything interesting or worth mentioning. Um, the backing vocals in the last chorus are nice, as is the "hey-yo!" bit, but otherwise, I'm bored. Sorry. 3
63. Thankfully, that makes for a nice round 60 average, as the total is 180. Ah, the simplicity of whole numbers. Watch 1 Life go top 5 in Istanbul.
# 11:00 PM 
Thursday, March 18, 2004
The new Janet Jackson record is not very good. Sorry about that.
# 9:11 PM 
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
THE CROSS-EUROPE CHART CHALLENGE... of Death! CROATIA
When I first posted this, I forgot to write a preamble. Can't think of anything, though.
1. Saša, Tin i Kedžo - 365. Now this I can really get into. A funky bit of guitar, some crowd shouts, a beat, some bass and yes, it's Croatian hip-hop. Of course, this would mean nothing if it weren't catchy, and this has got the groove, not to mention some nice vocal interplay toward the end of the verses. Yes, I highly recommend this one. If you can't dance to this, you are not trying hard enough. 9
2. Rafael Dropulic Rafo - Ja sam Rafo. On the strength of the intro, this could have gone either way, into screaming electro or tedious shouty rock. It chooses the later, sadly. There's a nice 20 seconds at the end when the loudness and shouting goes away which is quite bearable. Shouty does not equal good. If it did, I'd have to endorse Sum 41, and a line has to be drawn somewhere. This isn't quite as bad as that, though, but it's the closest comparison I can think of for non-Europeans. 4
3. Edo Maajka - No sikiriki. Croatian rap gets in touch with its gospel roots. Who knew? Who cares? Slinky bassline, inventive use of organ, backing vocals and a chorus to die for, it sounds absolutely magnificent, the whole package. 9
4. Bolesna Braca - Telefon Faki. Broken-sounding, squelchy R&B madness! This is what Brandy was aiming for on What About Us and what George Michael was aiming for with Freeek!, but this gets it right by being busier, messier and sounding a bit rude with it. Vocals are strewn wildly over the track to such an extent that their hitting the mark seems accidental. It also appears as if the beat is by a bunch of robots clicking incessantly. If you only speak English, the end of the chorus should raise a smile with what it sounds like. (i.e. note what swear word "Faki" looks like). 7
5. Hladno pivo - Teško je ful biti kul. Fast-paced punky single, opening with a bass and a drum in a rock song is often a bad song. I'm too old for stuff like this. 2
6. Colonia - Plamen od ljubavi. Here, exhibiting longevity that Black Eyed Peas would be proud of, except not completely shit. As vibrant and catchy as it was in December, and that's very much so. Every listen brings out something else - it's the bass that's doing my head in right now, along with the little noises in the background at the end of each line in the verses. 9
7. Vanna - Kao da me nema. I gather this one is fairly old now too. Anyway, I like the late 90s R&B touches, the rest of the world has moved on from that sound, but Dallas Austin would probably approve immensely. I know I do. Big stabbing noises in the chorus are a plus, saying nothing of Vanna's big diva delivery. Good stuff. 8
8. Maksim Mrvica - Exodus. Well, certainly it's exquisite, chopping up the classical piano with some beats and nice production pieces, including some lovely strings, but really, it's not very exciting. Serial Europop devourers look elsewhere, but it is very pretty. 6
9. Prljavo Kazalište - Previše suza u mom pivu. Um, right, this is a bit ska-influenced, but it also sounds an awful lot like My Boy Lollipop, so it's not all bad. A fairly light-hearted, inoffensive stomp of a thing. 6
10. Leteci Odred - Kažu. The hassle I went through to hear this! I eventually managed to get about 40 seconds of it off Emule, and the ever-reliable Mind Taker found me a 30-second clip, and I'm unscientifically denouncing this as being crap. Sorry. 2
Still, 62 is not to be sneezed at. Really interesting stuff, do yourself a favour and get 365 - it's a corker, apparently written by one of Colonia, so clearly that lot are the best dance group you've never heard of. Total = 108, average = 54.
# 4:55 PM 
Monday, March 15, 2004
THE CROSS-EUROPE CHART CHALLENGE... of Death! SPAIN
I have little to say. I have work I should be doing, but I'm doing this, so will be abrupt. Repeats then. The Rasmus (9) and Black Eyed Peas (0). So that's good.
2. DAVID BISBAL - Buleria. If you didn't read my Stylus bit last month, you missed me frothing at the mouth about this song, in which case you should go read it now. I will summarise here, though. This is a hugely entertaining, rapid-fire bit of Latin cum Eurodance, performed brilliantly by a performer with bucketloads of charisma. Well, I assume he has charisma, no idea what he looks like. 10
3. FRAN PEREA - La chica de la habitación de al lado. Spanish pop/rock influenced by country. Some people probably think this is a good idea, but his last single (Mi Corazon) was better. This one has some pleasant piano and I can't really remember it. Not offensive, certainly, and I'm in no way averse to countrified pop. 4
4. MERCHE - Abre Tu Mente. Ah, now this is a bit more like it. Sounds like an early 80s Madonna single, with that oooh-oooh noise from ABBA's Dancing Queen, a quick beat, a catchy chorus and just a hint of cheese. Very nicely done. I will be dancing to this when I'm absolutely sure nobody's around. 8
5. TIZIANO FERRO - Tardes Negras. It's a ballad. I'm sorry, though there is a weird bit where the music cuts out with a crack and Tiziano sounds like an alien that adds interest. Otherwise, last single much better, this one is still a ballad no matter how many times you listen to it wishing it were not so. 4
6. ESTOPA - Fuente De Energia. An interesting one this, sort of like a fusion of thrash, folk, a bit of rappish talking at the beginning which is far more menacing than the "singing" over the fast bits, so a bit of a mismatch. I like the guitar in the pre-chorus, rather less keen on the effect of the wild rhythmic changes. Good guitar bit in the break, mind. 5
7. IGUANA TANGO - Olvídate De Mi. Big riffs + organ = good! I was trying to think of a group that had this sort of dynamic but damned if I can pluck one name out. Harmonies and backing vocals in the chorus are good, fairly catchy too. Gets its hooks in and gets out in under three minutes. That's pretty key. Actually have worked out what the riff reminds me of, but since it happens to be one of the worst songs ever I won't sully this song's fairly good name with the association. I may be misremembering, see. 7
8. BEYONCE - Me, Myself And I. I have said it before, as have other people. Beyonce, you only have one decent song. Now quit milking your shitty album, make another one where you actually start SOUNDING like the global megastar you keep acting like. 0
10. PAULINA RUBIO - Te Quise Tanto. A pretty good song, but infinitely better in the so-called "DJ Javier Dee Latin Mix", which has a big drum/heavy bass thump underpinning the whole thing, which while it has the effect of making the melody seem slight and distant, has a great speed-up bit and is rather discotastic. Original not so great, though, so a point deducted. 7
54. Add that to 89 and you get... 143. I did that in my head and it was right for once. You should have seen me trying to add up the other ones, I got them wrong every time. Getting better. That applies to me and Spain, you know. Average... 47.66 recurring etc etc etc.
# 11:59 AM 
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Firstly, as much as I could rave about TM Revolution's Albiero, and I've posted it so you can love it too - it's been completely and totally trumped by Modern Times by J-Five. Number 15 with a bullet in France, it's a catchy hip-hop track bigging up, er, Charlie Chaplin. The beginning sounds a little bit like Trick Me by Kelis, but this is even more devastatingly catchy. I may write more about it later. Also, since I've decided it's now OK to like the 2004-model Anastacia, I will reveal that her new album is definitely her Jagged Little Pill, but don't assume that it's unlistenable - beneath the big pop guitars of I Do is a very catchy song. Lastly, Mind Taker thinks you should learn to love Got Me Like Oh by Sertab. He is, as usual, completely correct. Arabic bouncy R&B-like goodness of the highest order.
# 2:06 PM