Thursday, May 25, 2006

Breaking Up Is Never Easy...

Scala - Slide (Richard Fearless Remix)

I recently stumbled upon an article on the Pitchfork website entitled, ‘So Much for the Afterglow: 20 Worst Post Break-Up Debacles’, which is a list of bands or artists that were formed as a result of the demise of another which, in their opinion, weren’t up to scratch. It makes for an interesting read, but I was surprised to find that they had included Scala on the list, a band that I have great affection for.

You will seldom hear Scala mentioned nowadays as they are overlooked in favour of Seefeel, the ambient electronic pioneers that, after disbanding in 1996, provided three-quarters of Scala’s eventual line-up - Daren Seymour, Sarah Peacock and Justin Fletcher. The trio were joined by the respected electronic producer Mark Van Hoen aka Locust. They appear at no. 17 on Pitchfork’s list, with the writer remarking that Scala “…aimed to exude the same sexy UK cool as Garbage or Curve, but lacked the confidence to pull it off…” Listen to the posted track and make your own judgement.

Whereas in Seefeel Sarah Peacock’s vocals were treated and looped until they became an element of the music, Scala put her to the forefront, with a tighter, more traditional song structure. ‘Slide’ was the first single taken from their second album ‘To You in Alpha’, released in 1998 on Too Pure. It served up a glacial mix of techno and electro pop, supporting Peacock’s tale of a woman trying to assert herself on herself. The single featured a remix from Death in Vegas’s Richard Fearless, who bruised the original with distorted drums, Peacock re-singing her vocal with extra spikes to fit the harsher mood of the Fearless rework. Bruce Gilbert from Wire also got his hands on the track, dismantling it over a typically uncompromising seven minutes.

Buy the 'Slide EP' from Norman Records
Complete Scala discography here
Fansite with information on all Seefeel side projects here
Read the Pitchfork article here


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