on 14 June 2001
In EGIB @440 manage to truly find the perfect balance between their techno, electronic side and their rock elements. This is perhaps best embodied by their hit Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub. This track combines a great guitar riff with a really upbeat pacey techno beat. I have frequently been seen to wander along a street listening to my minidisc becoming more and more tense waiting for the beat to kick in then suddenly jumping up in the air and generally going crazy.
Yet again though @440 hit us with some really chillin' tracks like Electro Glide in Blue which has some great haunting synth and harks back to the slow layering of Millennium Fever. We are graced with more tracks from the Stealth Sonic Orchestra with the intro, Stealth Overture, not an overture in the true classical but merely a short spooky intro. Their later full length offering, Stealth Mass in F#minor, is in my opinion a representation of what is great about @440; their ability to create tracks like Stealth Mass in F#minor and Ain' Talkin' 'bout Dub and put them on the same LP.
on 12 June 2005
1997 was meant to be The Prodigy's year. Their album 'Fat of the Land' was the most anticipated album since probably Guns'n'Roses' 'Use Your Illusion' six years earlier. But as always, it's the one you're not expecting that steals the show.
Radiohead's 'OK Computer' was released on the same week as 'Fat of the Land' and very quickly became the most important and talked album of that year, very much in the same way Nirvana's 'Nevermind' did out of the blue in the incredibly fertile last four months of 1991. However, my favourite album of 1997 is Apollo 440's 'Electro Glide In Blue'.
It managed in my opinion to combine the deadly distortion laden big beat tracks of The Prodigy with the emotional, human and tender beauty of 'OK Computer'. Tracks like 'Raw Power' and 'Ain't Talking 'Bout Dub' were as amazing and immediate as 'Firestarter' and 'Breathe' (but richer in ideas and sounds). Tracks like 'Stealth Mass in F#minor' and the aching opus 'Pain In Any Language' were as choke provoking as 'Exit to a Film', 'Paranoid Android' and 'Karma Police'. And the theme song 'Electro Glide In Blue' was a funky chilled riff based song with some excellent lyrics and singing in a way that reminded me of The Verve's 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' which was released later that year.
I read Trainspotting in one weekend with ELGB on repeat. There isn't any better or more appropriate soundtrack for that book. Iggy, Lou and Underworld in one LP by one band with a mood that truly captures the atmosphere of mid 90's United Kingdom. A classic!
on 13 January 2006
With some of the biggest of techno's big beats and samples recognizable to any self-respecting '70s AOR junkie, Apollo 440 is an electronic act which combines rock culture, futuristic and technological imagery with a sound-system attitude into a high-gloss sampledelic package. As a reference point, think of Crystal Method on a Zeppelin trip. ELECTRO GLIDE IN BLUE, their full-length debut, is the kind of techno album any rock fan could love. Start with "Ain't Talking About Dub," which marries a classic Eddie Van Halen riff with some jungle beats to spawn a triple-time, heavy metal romp in a bass-heavy vacuum; move onto "Altamont Super-Highway Revisited" where a dirty electric slide guitar plays on top of a seething techno throb; or feel the "Tears Of The Gods," a boogie shuffle reminiscent of John Lee Hooker fronting a Santana-on-hip-hop rhythm, before exploding into dubbed out Spinal Tap-ish fireworks. When fusing the rock and electro worlds, the Apollo crew can be shameless--big, bigger, biggest sounds dominate, whereas understatement has no place in their world-- but such shamelessness is also the reason ELECTRO GLIDE is among the most successful of the next-school nuptials. Call them the Run DMC of electronica.
Apollo Four Forty: Howard Gray, Trevor Gray, Noko. Additional personnel: Harry K. (vocals, programming, scratches); Ewan MacFarlane, Dr. Garfield Hoxley, Mary Mary (vocals); Keith Holden (harmonica); Cliff Hewitt (drums); Stealth Sonic Orchestra, Elizabeth Gray, Billy MacKenzie. Recorded at Apollo Control, Camden, London, England.