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My side project The General Electorate channels Pet Shop Boys and Daft Punk for this remix


Mutation, artwork by Christine Owens

I’ve been training myself not to binge-watch my favourite shows, to allow myself to savour that which is worth savouring. For instance, I’m sure those of you who are fans of Orange is the New Black have long finished the series. But I have exercised my self-control and managed to make the series last months past the binge expiration date. I am just reaching the finale this morning, and I’m almost loathe to allow myself to see how the story “ends,” in part because I know that no story truly ends; it just reaches a convenient jumping-off point. That philosophy is also helping me cope with the idea of releasing my songs one at a time rather than as albums. I may love a good song, but I love a good album better. I’ve always been the type of music listener who wants to experience a new album in its entirety like an undiscovered continent. The industry shift towards singles, the idea that a small-time artist cannot release an album of new material, is hard for me to embrace, but I am allowing myself the latitude to think of this new model as an opportunity to savour each song individually as I release them all one at a time to the public. To that end, I’ll have another new release out next week, a mere month after the last new single (“Cue the Curtains,” which I hope you have all already given a listen to on whatever platform you favour!). Next week you’ll get the opportunity to hear my band cover Joni Mitchell’s sublime “Hejira.” This week, however, I’m sending you a remix of “Love and the Lack of It.” The song first appeared on The Random Hubiak Band’s THE BLEACHED BONES OF TITANS album in 2015. It was always my favourite song from the album overall because it was both musically and lyrically complex. It had elements of prog rock and jazz in its chord structures. It is also incredibly difficult to play out, so we’ve always kind of left it off our set lists in favour of easier and catchier numbers. In 2017, I re-explored the song as a synth-pop number à la Pet Shop Boys as part of my side project The General Electorate’s album SYNTHETIC BONES. And then last week, the remixed version of the synth pop arrangement finally dropped, but I had too much going on to let everybody know about it. This remix comes from my friend Carlos Castaneda Jr., one of the first lifelong friends I made at Penn State. Carlos is an amazing musician who plays an array of instruments and has a depth of compositional and music theory knowledge that I couldn’t even dream of aspiring to. The last decade, he has turned his musical endeavours toward scoring instrumental music. Remixing the synth pop songs of The General Electorate (that amazing remake of our “Sleep” was his handiwork) has allowed him to turn his talents toward elevating pop music from background noise to art form, which is part of my aspirations as well whenever I’m crafting something that one might consider pop music. It was originally labeled Calokid’s Deftly Punked Mix, but because “Calokid” (Carlos’s alias) doesn’t exist on iTunes and Spotify, distributors wouldn’t allow me to use his moniker in the title. So it’s simply the Deftly Punked Mix. But I hope you’ll give it a listen and a handful of shares to anyone else who might enjoy it. It has a real Daft Punk feel to it (as well as the Pet Shop Boys vibe that it originally had in its first synth pop incarnation), so it’ll make for great Friday night party music. Oh, and check out that amazing artwork! It’s “Mutation” by Christine Owens, wife of my often-collaborator Adam Silverstein.

Listen on:

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Also, I've made a kick-ass playlist that you can listen to in order to enjoy not just the original and the remix of ‘Love and the Lack of It,’ but also a lot of great 80s and early 90s synth pop that inspired these versions of the song, plus some contemporary songs that clearly share the same lineup. You can listen to the playlists on Spotify or YouTube.

Playlist Contents The General Electorate: Love and the Lack Of It (Daftly Punked Mix) Daft Punk: One More Time Jimmy Somerville: You Make Me Feel Mighty Real Pet Shop Boys: One in a Million Depeche Mode: Just Can’t Get Enough Erasure: Oh L’Amour OMD: If You Leave New Order: Bizarre Love Triangle Missing Persons: Right Now The Human League: Don’t You Want Me Grandadbob: Hide Me Patrick Wolf: Accident & Emergencey Airborne Toxic Event: Wrong Sunscreem: Love U More Bronski Beat: Smalltown Boy Gary Numan: Radio Heart Flock of Seagulls: Space Age Love Song Missing Persons: Destination Unknown OMD: So In Love Erasure: A Little Respect Human League: Heart Like A Wheel (William Orbit Remix) Pet Shop Boys: Was It Worth It Daft Punk: Digital Love The General Electorate: Love and the Lack of It