Heal Yourself and Move: Portrait of a Dead Girl

January 22, 2010

This week’s Heal Yourself And Move—a biweekly column about dance and electronic music, written by Maryland’s finest, Andrew Field Pickering—gives us a rundown on Dutch master, I-F. Not to blow up spots, but Andrew dropped his reasoning for this week's column on email: "I did this joint on I-F cuz copies of "Portrait of a Dead Girl" started showing up on clone again. UUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHH." We're believers. Check the column after the jump.

The sickest electro 12-inch of all time has been re-released. Or, at least, new copies are available for a scoop online. Released in 1995 (14 years ago? Really??) “Portrait of a Dead Girl Part 1: The Cause” by the almighty I-F snarled its way into my consciousness via the absolutely perfect “I Do Because I Couldn't Care Less." Originally released on I-F's own Viewlexx Records (and via Disko B a year later, sans two songs), the track is pure nastiness. When that snare hits, its like getting slapped by a building. As I was just checking up on some facts via discogs.com I came upon this description of the record: “The real Hague brainfucking sound.” O yea.

I-F murdered this one completely, and “...Couldn't Care Less” is not even the biggest brain-fuck on the 12. “Superman” is way more punk than most punk—its the finest bit of vitriol that electro has ever produced, sneaking up in the mid-’90s to make a sarcastic, condescending hellhole out of the category in which most people put Shannon, Connie and Vanity 6. The freaks know, though. This is that ill Dutch electro. I can't make out all of the lyrics, but the vibe comes across diamond cut in the ones I can:
You're sooo intelligent, yeeeeaa you're such a superman, and nothing is what you get/ Yea you know quite a bit, but you're annoying me with all that shit/ So cuz you're quite the same, make me happy and blow out your brain.

A live version of “Superman” featuring Alden Tyrell on keyboards and DJ Overdose (both of the excellent Hasbeens) on scratching duties.

In a (compuuuuuter) world that sometimes floods stores and DJ crates with anonymous tracks, white labels and records (at times blissfully) free of politics or opinions, I-F comes across in interviews and track titles alike as a man who is thuggishly idealist in the best way. He might be Robin Hood for techno/electro's vibe. His track “Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass” was on MTV when it came out, but he used to count down 100 records by himself in a studio every year for the legendary (at least to me and a dedicated fanbase) CBS Top 100. The CBS (Cybernetic Broadcasting System) was an especially awesome place online to discover music, it is now equally represented in the amazing Intergalactic FM, with four different streams of killer tunes running all day. The site's playlists are a thing to behold, as is the scope and depth of I-F's other releases and edits. A deep love for italo, house, bass, disco and other out-there electronic musics is reflected in some of his lower-profile releases, like this edit of Walter Jones' “Deuteronomy Brown," which smashes the party every time Ari G from Swimmers brings his copy out.

or this track, as Beverly Hills 808303:

There's a quote in the YouTube info for “Superman” that puts it best: “When I-F gets into some gangster shit, know that he's doing it for you, the curious listeners of the world.”

Posted: January 22, 2010
Heal Yourself and Move: Portrait of a Dead Girl