billie ray martin

EP Review / Video / Download: The Crackdown Project - Billie Ray Martin


Much of the music BlackPlastic appreciate stems in one form or another from the incredibly varied and creative post-punk scene in the late seventies and early eighties.  Some of the bands involved in this scene are incredibly well known (Joy Division, New Order, Human League etc.) whilst some, for example The Units, are much less known.

Unsurprisingly the majority of artists fall somewhere in between, and one such example would be Cabaret Voltaire - a Sheffield band considered hugely influential who yet these days appear to be relatively unknown amongst the younger generations outside of real muso circles.

Germany's Billie Ray Martin, who is perhaps best known for work as a member of Electribe 101 and mid-nineties house record 'Your Loving Arms' but has also recently got into the post-electroclash scene (collaborating with Hell, for example), has decided that Cabaret Voltaire deserve a revisit.  The result is The Crackdown Project, which is made up of two cover versions - 'The Crackdown' and 'Just Fascination', with additional vocals from Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire. Rather than releasing the tracks via conventional channels Billie Ray Martin has taken the somewhat unusual step of collaborating with Mininova to release some remixes and, shortly, the EP on torrent sites.

The result is surprisingly good, particular on 'The Crackdown', which mixes Billie Ray's somewhat decadent vocals with an crunchy, industrial bass line. Add in her spoken vocal sparing with Mallinder and you have a track that treads an interesting line between sleazy and beautiful.

Check out the video for 'The Crackdown' above and the ballad-esque Phil RetroSpector Mix below.  The project is to be released in two parts, with Sold Out to Disco coming out on 15 February followed by Darkness Restoredon 15 March.  Each release will feature a variety of remixes of the two tracks and in addition to Torrent sites will be available through digital outlets worldwide - remember to support the artist.

Download an MP3 Minimix of the release mixed by Celebrity Murder Party here [right click, save as].