Thursday, December 20, 2007


Human League's '(Keep feeling) fascination' is the sound of summer at the pool. His family had a membership at an unpretentious private pool/tennis/picnic club, and many summer days from childhood through middle school were spent there. Boom boxes were enjoying their suburban heyday, and it was de rigeur to bring music to the pool, though the club's rules mandated that they be kept at minimal volume. He listened to all sorts of things poolside on the blanket there over the years, but the song he associates with that place is 'Fascination'.

Even back then the standout tracks in the style that would come to be known as electroclash consisted essentially of people trying to play dance punk on synthesizers. Sequenced keyboards sounded exotic when they mimicked real bass. Warmth became coolness, but the funk made it through somehow, and the sexiness even more so. Strong vocal talent was still not a priority. A song might be reduced almost completely to its hook. He didn't think about any of that; 'Fascination' was, and is, a sun-shiny song that transcends the limitations of its technology. He never figured out how one could be fascinated without ever identifying an object of one's fascination, but it was too much fun to matter.