Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Sigue Sigue Sputnik—
Liebesfeil F1-11 (Bangkok Remix)


Released 1986 on EMI
The Seth Man, August 2000ce
In which our cyber glam heroes Sigue Sigue Sputnik transform themselves into “Sigue Sigue Raumshift” for the duration of this 12 inch EP, one of a series of at least TWELVE singles of this track they released, all differently mixed and packaged, with a printed (in some cases, real) Japanese “obi” on the cover in a variety of languages: Spanish, English, Russian, Japanese, and French, depending on the country of origin. Never was a corporate identity program so well controlled and thought out as Sigue Sigue Sputnik. At times they the whole manipulative, multi-national corporation angle is played out too well, but as that character in “Brideshead Revisited” once raspy lisped, that is part of their charm. After all, they want you to collect ‘em all! And is rock’n’roll, so why not? Especially if they all sport completely different mixes in a techno-dub fusion totally before its time.

This version of “Love Missile F1-11” differs wildly from the “Flaunt It” album’s comparatively brief original track. Oppressive synthetic drum crashes into the A-side, along with samples from “The Thieving Magpie” (as featured in -- natch -- “A Clockwork Orange”) and super echoed vocal samples from Yana Ya-Ya, their cyber goddess deluxe. Neal X’s guitar is rebounded all over the place, but chopped and re-distributed throughout the four corners of the mix, and the harsh percussives continue. A sexy Japanese woman’s voice coos over a synth glide in the first breakdown, but far longer than the album track, for this is the “Bangkok Remix” and not some typical remixed just enough to make it a remix, no sir. There are explosions resounding throughout, interspersed with metallic glam guitar, synthesized drum barrages and syntho-classical samples that all get compressed into byte-sized atomic particles that were as pre -house, -techno, pre-etc. as much as they wanted it to be. Because it was 1986, it was looked upon with much disdain, but musically, it was out there, even for attention deficit disorder outpatients. The flip side features a further “Dance Mix” of “Love Missile F1-11,” this time opening with samples from Wendy Carlos’ “A Clockwork Orange” main theme with that ever present pre-programmed beat that is underneath every version of this song available, acting almost as a gesso wash for Sigue Sigue Sputnik to base their high-tech constructs upon. More explosions ensue, and the last track, “Hack Attack (Dub Version)” is Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” programme, here resigned to weave in and out with further Neal X samples of glam guitar and Degville’s super-chopped vocals. And everything gets sped up, down and sideways, as all samples are twittered-out for the fuck of it. It never calms down, even at the end, simmering into oblivion stuck on a final guitar stutter. Righty-right?