Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Second Language” by Disco Inferno from the 2011 compilation The 5 EPs on One Little Indian.
In the late 1980s, Disco Inferno was an English experimental rock band formed in Essex by Ian Crause (guitar and vocals), Paul Wilmott (bass), Rob Whatley (drums) and Daniel Gish (keyboards). With a solid base of early influences ranging from Joy Division, New Order, Wire, The Young Gods, and Public Enemy, they were one of the most ambitious bands of the ’90s, combining ground-breaking sampling with solid pop hooks. Disco Inferno’s influence is also acknowledged by the likes of Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Black Dice, The Avalanches, Battles, No Age, and MGMT, whose Ben Goldwasser said of Disco Inferno: “Sounds like the future. I’m still figuring out just how cool they are” and who featured two of their tracks on a Late Night Tales compilation.
In September 2011, One Little Indian Records released a compilation called The 5 EPs, featuring tracks from all five now out-of-print 12″ EPs released originally on Cheree and Rough Trade 12” between 1992 and 1995. The compilation had previously been available, but only as a bootleg. The “Second Language” sessions in particular were songs written together with band’s express intention of releasing them as an EP. Our featured song, “Second Language,” was actually producer John Coxon’s attempt to rock the band up a bit, using some Pixies/Nirvana distortion tricks for a loud guitar rock solo on the song. Ian Crause himself admits that without this song and that particular guitar solo, Disco Inferno could have been just another melodic guitar band. Paul Willmot even agrees that “Second Language is probably the most realized moment in the catalogue, the coming together of ideas in a coherent pop structure.” Come hear what the fuss has been about all these years and why their music is still as relevant today as it ever was.
Check out DI’s Facebook page to keep up with the band. For now, here’s another track from the newly collected EP’s called “The Last Dance”: