Described as a “cocktail of contemporary disco and futuristic boogie,” Norwegian/Icelandic duo Ultraflex have a joyful sound that can be appreciated while strutting around on the tiles of a dancefloor, or during a sweaty aerobics class at the gym. The pair – formed of Farao and Special-K – recently released their debut album, Visions of Ultraflex, which showcases their ability to craft carefree but polished electronic tunes.
We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Ultraflex to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired their song-writing techniques. Check out the band’s Soviet-themed favourite songs below, and scroll down to listen to their latest single ‘Full Of Lust’ at the end of this post.
1. Dimenzió – ‘Bamba’
This Hungarian jazz project released masterpiece ‘Bamba’ on their self titled debut album from 1981. The double bass melts perfectly into the rushed beat creating a constant feeling of progress and movement forwards into the synthesizer solo and playful vocoder vocals. Kari found this track on youtube years ago when she was digging for Soviet treasures and it’s been one of our favourites ever since. The track creates such a mysterious mood, as if it could have been the theme tune for a crime show.
2. Wojciech Karolak – ‘Discopus Nr 1’
Although Poland was never part of the Soviet Union, they were one of the Warsaw Pact countries and I normally include Polish stuff in our Soviet themed DJ sets as it’s clearly very similar in style. Wojciech Karolak is a Polish jazz pianist who made this fusion banger in 1980, and considering the cover he clearly had great style as well. The track opens with a minute long ultra smooth intro to set the mood before the disco beat kicks in and we are good to go. Fusion like only Eastern Europeans do it.
3. Юрий Бучма – ‘Дождик’
Юрий Бучма (Yuri Buchma) used so many amazing synthesizers on his album Автопортрет (Self Portrait) from 1990, like the Roland D-50, Yamaha PSR-90, RX-5 and, an Ultraflex favourite, the DX-7. The track ‘Дождик’ (Rain) is irresistibly groovy and comes with a nice fan video showing some wild animals in the Russian countryside. The rest of the album is also worth checking out, for example the brilliantly titled ‘Чернобыль, год спустя’ (Chernobyl, one year later).
4. Adrian Enescu – ‘Cuvinte incrucisate’
Romanian composer Adrian Enescu released this record as a continuation of Funky Synthesizer 1, a very confusing and challenging release. Funky Synthesizer 2, however, is where Adrian finally found his formula, especially on ‘Cuvinte Incrucisate’ – the banger of the album.
5. Miha Kralj – ‘Computor’
Miha Kralj is a pioneer of Yugoslavian instrumental synthesiser music and he released three albums in the early ‘80s. Kind of a Giorgio Moroder of what is now Slovenia. His stuff is pretty out there. We also recommend his first album, Andromeda.
Thanks to Ultraflex for sharing their Soviet-themed five favourites with us.