11 August 2011

Patrick D Martin - I Like Lectric Motors

Label: Deram
Year of Release: 1979

I've blogged at some length before about how much revisionism has occurred on the topic of eighties (or in this case, cusp seventies/ eighties) electronic music. This isn't necessarily surprising in itself - history is generally written by the winners, and why would the Great Book of Rock and Pop waste its time devoting entry space to Karel Fialka, The Techno Twins, Tik and Tok and other such robo-jerking comrades when the battle was conclusively won by people who attempted to give machines a soul, who realised that focussing all their artistic and lyrical efforts on the novelty of modern electronic devices would eventually be regarded as nothing more than a novelty itself?

Indisputable though this may be, "Left and to the Back" has never been about analysing victories in pop, and "I Like Lectric Motors" by Patrick D Martin is yet another electronic obscurity which, instead of utilising electronics gracefully a la Soft Cell, New Order and The Human League, judders all over the show like a giant angry mutant wasp zig-zagging its way towards the party food. Focussing its lyrical efforts on the benefits of non-combustion engines, and being a damn sight better at predicting the future than most music of this era in the process, "I Like Lectric Motors" manages to avoid sounding hackneyed by actually being damn good. A simple idea based upon stomping, jerky repetition, it's brief, to the point, and a welcome splash of cold water to the face. A popular DJ spin choice at the "Blitz Club" at the turn of the eighties, it's been surprisingly overlooked by revivalists since, turning up for mere buttons in record stores and on internet auction sites.

As for who Patrick D Martin was and what else he did, good question. Another strangely prophetic song entitled "Computer Dating" came forth from his pen (whoever he was, he was certainly good at this malarky, perhaps he should have become a Science Fiction writer) and he appeared to get minor press reviews in, amongst other places, "Billboard" magazine, but beyond that there's very little to go on. Please do comment if you know more.

And remember - Electric motors have no fears.


Mondo said...

I think I heard this on Annie Nightingale, and bagged it a few days later from Golden Disc in Southend. It's a great piece of 'lectro pop.. Like Ian Dury does Giorgio Moroder.

For another 80s lost nugget (not Electro) check out Magic Michael's Millionaire..

It's him backed by The Damned line up minus Vanian. I believe MM was part of the London freak scene - along with 'Jesus'. but have no clue on how he ended up making this one off single

23 Daves said...

That's a good description of it, Mondo - perhaps that's why I like it so much, given my taste for all things Moroder.

I'll have to check out MM when I get home.

fairydust said...

for early giorgio moroder complete :

once there, look also after vls 1 - 8!!

Anonymous said...

Here more info on Patrick:


Sparky said...

I heard this song once in 1979 on the radio and have been searching for it ever since. This is the first time I have heard it in 34 years. Thanks to whoever made it available, it is a brilliant wacky track. Why was it never a big hit? Awesome. So happy!!

23 Daves said...

No problem, Sparky, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Reinhard Steinbrecher said...

Patrick D. Martin from London lived in Erlangen near Nuremberg Franconia
Bavaria Germany since the Seventies.
He sold London Avantgarde Jeans and
Jacketts in his Boutique in Erlangen
near Disco Marco Polo.His songs were recorded in Moehrendorfstudios near Erlangen with A.Buehler (from Erlangens CULT_BAND WIND , legendary Stefan Fischer and on bass:
John Davis - Fuerth later famous
as the real voice of Milli Vanilli
Patrick performed live with this guys (The Band was called Belsen Boys.. which caused many protest because of using the name of a NAZI_KZ...)Long time I did not hear
about him and I really hope, that rumours about his dead are not true.Who knows mor ????

Superenigmatix said...

I love this record, I have the 7" from when it was released.

Much later on my kids and I (when they were 3 & 5) used to go nuts jumpin' around the rumpus room to this record and other similar frenetic stuff! Ca plane pour Moi!!!!!!!