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.