Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Wave for the New Week #53

YelloYello via

This week's NW4NW entry is chosen in honor of Valentine's Day, and what better choice than Yello's "I Love You"?

From their 1983 album You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess, "I Love You" was a huge underground and club hit in its day, and remains a classic New Wave favorite.

Yello formed in Switzerland in the late '70s. The trio of Boris Blank, Carlos Perón and Deiter Meier began making music using very few actual instruments. Instead, they relied on tape manipulations and electronic sampling, although not sampling in the sense that became the music industry standard. Rather than sample existing recordings, Blank built a library of original samples: sounds of instruments, sounds collected from various environments, car horns, sheets of metal being rattled, what have you. Perón would take these samples and run them through various iterations of tape processing, with the final result often being unidentifiable as the original sound. Meier would then add vocals over the top of this bed of bleeps and blips to complete the recording.

One thing that set Yello apart from other studio-noodlers and electronic experimenters of the time was their sense of humor. There was absolutely no arty pretension to what they were doing; they were just having fun making music and wanted people to have fun dancing to it. That their music was quite unlike anything else at the time was more an aside than the point of the exercise.

Perón left the band shortly after "I Love You," but Blank and Meier continued on as a duo. They achieved worldwide success when their single "Oh Yeah" was featured in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off; it has since gone on to be used in about a gazillion other movies and commercials. The two continue to make their odd music, most recently releasing Touch Yello last year.

"I Love You"
is one of the high points of their extensive recorded output, and I'm happy to offer the clip as this week's entry. Happy Valentine's Day!

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