Friday 16 November 2007

Intaferon "Getoutoflondon" (Intacontinentalballisticmix) (Chrysalis Records 12", 1983)

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Intaferon are a band that are absolutely perfect for the Blogosphere. Unloved in their own time, yet responsible for a short run of highly memorable, quirky, melodic singles. The subject matter was always clever and moving enough to tug at the heartstrings, meaning people tend to hear them once, then spend the rest of their lives going: "there was this record I heard about 25 years ago, and I can't remember who it was by, but it goes like this....." They're a band who've feature on some of the blogs I read frequently: over at Dust On the Stylus, and at Lost Bands Of The New Wave Era (updates! PLEASE!) And of course, the records remain unavailable on CD, to this day. Well, almost unavailable- the single version of "Getoutoflondon" was, IIRC, on the soundtrack to an Olsen twins film "Winning London", alongside Plastic Bertrand, of all people. It's also turned up on some of those US compliation CD's of forgotten 80's songs. So, if we stick to the rules of this blog, the single version can't be posted, but I'm pretty sure the 12" has never officially been re-released, so we'll have some of that.

Intaferon were a duo, featuring two Simons, a Fellowes (later to go solo as Simon F, and even later than that to release Techno records as F Machine) and a Gillham, who seems to have dropped off the radar completely, apparently to go and teach Philosophy. Their trick was to work with some of the best producers of the day- with David Motion on their epic third single "Baby Pain" and with Martin Rushent on this, their debut single. I've always been in awe of Martin Rushent, his productions are one of the things that completely define the 1980's for me- his work on "Dare", with Altered Images, and his REMIXES...... It's his remixes that blow my mind. Have a listen to the stretched version of "Radio" by the Members, or "Homosapien" by Pete Shelley to see what I mean. But the one remix that towers over all of them IMHO, is this one. It's 8 minutes of frenetic, amphetamine-drenched, febrile madness. It actually starts straight away by piling into the third verse, which breaks all of the rules of remixing, then proceeds to thumb its nose at any of the remaining conventions of the remixers trade. Linn drums twitter, on the edge of seizure, vocals echo into an unintelligible soup of delay and FX....

And then there's the edits! Like the Latin Rascals a few years later, Rushent was a master of the lightning fast edit. The song seems to jerk to a sudden stop, then re-start....sometimes with no regard for the beat. It's simultaneously exciting and confusing, and that's what makes it work.. At the end of the day, it's an absolute blast to hear a record where so many ideas are struggling to be heard, and yet the song still manages to survive. It's an iconic production, and one which still stands up to examination, even after nearly 25 years.

All this genius didn't help the single, unfortunately- it only reached number 93 in the charts. Rumour has it that the single's progress was initially stymied by some rather thoughtless promotion... someone in the Chrysalis press office had some flyers printed up before the single's release saying "Get Out Of London- In Two Weeks!", in an attempt to drum up press interest. Bad move. Some of the journalists, fearing they'd been targeted by terrorists, or disgruntled musicians, called Scotland Yard. The band's relationship with the press was never the same after that.

As I said, there are no legal compilations of Intaferon's output, though bootleg CD's do turn up on eBay from time to time. As ever, caveat emptor. Gratifyingly, martin Rushent is back producing again, after a few years where he seemed to have stepped back from the business. He has a myspace page, check him out here. maybe I'll leave him a message and ask if there are any unreleased Miro Miroe remixes in the vaults.....

no sites exist for Intaferon themselves, but if anyone knows any know where I am.

Intaferon "Getoutoflondon" (Intacontinentalballisticmix) (mp3)


Terry said...

Really fantastic site you've got here. Great song-I missed it the first time around. Keep up the work.
I've linked you up at Fits and Starts (

Iain Baker said...

cheers terence, i'll link to your blog as well!

Mick said...

Downloaded this the day you posted it but only listened to it a couple of days ago (I needed the house to myself so I could turn up the volume). The 7" version isn't obvious 12" remix material but this is great. I think I will always listen to this rather than the single which is the mark of a good remix..

So It Goes said...

Yet another great song, certainly moved my booty I can tell you. As with all the songs you post, should have been massive.
Hope we can chat again soon, I've missed you :-((

Iain Baker said...

...And i'm back!
Sorry guys, work got a little hectic, so I had a bit of a holiday from blogging-there's now a logjam of posts ready to go!

POWPOW said...

Thank you so much for posting I've been looking for weeks. Very much appreciated.

Best wishes