Pet Shop Boys – Axis


Not many industry watchdogs in 1984 would have predicted that Pet Shop Boys would still be releasing albums selling out tours in 2014. And yet, 12 albums in, the alternative dance music pioneers are still going strong. Their most recent release, 2013’s “Electric” scored 84/100 on leading ratings site Metacritic, a score that represents “universal acclaim.”

Many American EMPT readers may be scratching their heads. Pet Shop who? Maybe it’s because the band’s biggest hit, “West End Girls,” came out in the mid-80s, or that the duo has purposefully eschewed the spotlight (or at least attempted to…they remain a major commercial force worldwide), but they’ve been largely overlooked by a new generation of stateside dance music fans.

This isn’t your brother’s dance music. It’s your crazy uncle’s. You know, the guy your mom tells you to steer clear of because he still raves it up, and who your grandmother shuns because he’s gay.  But you know he isn’t crazy. He’s the one with the right idea. He gave you your first Suicidal Tendencies record and condoms for your 16th birthday.

Just ask the brits, who are apparently always ahead of the game when it comes to music. Pet Shop Boys are a major force across the pond, with over 20 top 10 singles during the span of their career. The guys started out producing Hi-NRG (a subgenre of disco quickly succeeded by house and new wave) tracks, before shifting into a recognizable tech-ed out new-wave sound. First known for their stoic stage demeanor and legendary status in the LGBT community, the band has continued developing into new sounds and styles, and are now a true standard bearer of their era.

“Axis” is the lead single off “Electric.” It is a perfect summation of Pet Shop Boys in 2014. You can still hear the new wave bass line and synth stabs, but now the soft crooning is replaced a Kraftwerkian bark. This is new wave for the festival era

Pet Shop Boys – Axis

Music Remixes

EMPT Presents — S U M M E R: a n t i – w i n t e r 1 e by Ryan Radler


Whether we like it or not, a new month approaches like a long lost relative, familiar out of necessity but still foreign with the possibilities that it brings. August is one of my favorite months of the year, and in the summer, because it’s absent of annoying holidays and tedious celebrations that all really commemorate the same things. Not to be cynical or anything, I’m really not, it’s just that my brother is born in August, and Ramadan for the past couple of years has ended in August, which makes it a really spiritually happy month. It also makes the start of September feel like a new year, which puts me in a clear head space, prepared for the remaining months in 2013.

For this month, my musical selection and soundtrack to my everyday routine has been picky. More picky than usual, actually. I want something that speaks to the end of a beautiful nostalgic time, while simultaneously fueling my energetic brain for the ambitious future that lies ahead. Which is why I was pleased to hear this edition of Ryan Radler’s beloved mixtape series. I think something that we like to talk about, and something that I am always aware of, is the power of a well crafted, finely curated mix-tape. While we tend to love mix-tapes that tell a story, I have a vast appreciation for those that successfully transition in and out of songs in a way that matches the flux and wavelike movement of my moods. I think I listen to mix-tapes because I want the feeling of letting go and allowing something else to take hold of my emotions, while not consciously doing so.

What I love about this edition of S U M M E R is the nostalgia and innocence that strings each song together. The vocal samples are what inspire my feelings of nostalgia. Innocent, because the emotion that each selection of song brings is raw and unabashed. It’s telling me to forget about my troubles for an hour and do good by me.

I’m doing just that. Today, just do you. Every day, really. But especially today while you embark on this journey of a mix.

S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 1E

1. TEEEL & SUMUO – Cosmic Collision (Melancholia Mix)

2. EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Country and Without You (VinnieBeats Remix)


4. SHINY TOY GUNS vs. FLEETWOOD MAC – Fading Listening (Ryan Radler Edit)

5. JOSE GONZALEZ – Remain (Fear of Theydon Dub)

6. MILES DAVIS – Cocoa Cigarettes vs. Blue in Green (Lobotomy Remix / Ryan Radler Edit)

7. HIGH HIGHS – Open Season (Dan Spence Remix)

8. MT. OSSA – Love Jam

9. KOOL & THE GANG – Summer Madness (Cicada Edit)

10. XXYYXX – About You (Verby Edit)

11. KISSES – Air Conditioning

12. PET SHOP BOYS – Leaving

13. HAERTS – Wings (Wildcat! Wildcat! Remix)

14. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB – Shuffle (Leo Zero Remix)


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