First Edition Medicine/Kid 606 / Electric Company / Origins:
Since the first edition of Medicine broke up in 1995, my work as Electric Company became a frontal concern. Eventually, I ended up in very inspiring surroundings on Kid 606s Tigerbeat Label, for whom I made a large number of full length releases, compilation tracks and remixes. Despite my desire to utterly ignore my "glorious" past, Miguel (Kid606) was always challenging me to make a new Medicine record that didn't necessarily need to sound anything like the old band. At some point in early 2001, I decided to give it a shot. I spent most of that year writing a bunch of songs that would become the basis for the new Medicine and felt very encouraged by the people I played them for.
Shannon Lee and Medicine 2.0:
Later in 2001, Shannon Lee got back in touch with me. I had met her a few years earlier via my friend Ken Andrews (producer and leader of the band Failure) when he had asked me to help write and produce songs for a possible album project with the two of them. For a variety of reasons, that project never happened. However, Shannon and I really hit it off. Her vocal prowess blew me away, and I learned that she had a masters degree in vocal performance.
Shannon and I also conversed about the coincidence that the first version of Medicine worked with her late brother, Brandon, on The Crow movie, and as such, it seemed inevitable that we would work on something more substantial at some point. When she called, it clicked that Shannon should come aboard for Medicine 2.0, and thus, we started a very happy collaboration writing a slew of new songs and adding her vocals to the songs I already started.
Wall of Sound and The Mechanical Forces of Love:
At the same time, with all of this coming together, it came to my attention that a London dance music duo was starting to release records and do gigs under the name Medicine. I got in touch with their manager who admitted that I had the rights to the name and proceeded to offer me 5 thousand dollars for it, an offer I rejected.
He, apparently, then decided to carry on as if we had never spoken, and I found out that they had planned to release their next record on the respected Wall Of Sound label. With this information in hand, I wrote an email Mark Jones, the head of WOS, and explained my predicament. Mark promptly replied, saying something to the effect of "Those guys screwed me over and are signing with a major. Why dont you put out your new Medicine album with us?"These results culminated into The Mechanical Forces of Love.
Mark also offered to help us fight the false Medicine duo legally in the UK. My hero! Ultimately together, we forced them to change their name to something considerably less cool, and they promptly vanished from the face of the earth after a couple of releases with that designation.
Working with Wall of Sound was quite fun as they were very much a party-oriented organization. Suddenly, I found myself DJing at Fabric in London alongside Photek and Soulwax and hanging out with Banksy (Mark Jones was his earliest supporter) in Miami in between his covert graffiti missions during the 2003 Winter Music Conference. Memorable times indeed.
Upon initial release of The Mechanical Forces of Love on Wall of Sound, critics responded to the album with either bemused acceptance, outright hostility, or surprisingly, in the case of the Pitchfork, an 8.0 review. Although we never expected the LP to necessarily light the work on fire. I am continually amazed that those faster times still could not firmly grasp the idea of an almost veteran rock group making mostly electronic music with a clear influence of from the new dance culture. Now, everybody does it, but it was seemingly taboo back then.
Once the project had run its course, Shannon and I amicably parted ways and both had kids at roughly the same time with our spouses, spending the next few years dealing more in diapers and baby-proofing than in art music. I eventually started releasing solo records in 2007 and Shannon now runs the Bruce Lee Foundation.
This LP gathers most of the non-LP songs used on UK singles released in 2003 of Wall of Sound along with a few unreleased items. Although initially released as B-sides, "The Table and the Bed", "Machine Inna Garden", "A Flying Fuck", and the Devo song "The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprize", all represent the earliest tracks created for Medicine 2.0.
"Talk to A Rock" came into fruition after completion of The Mechanical Forces of Love, and it has never found a home until now. "Best Future (acoustic)", meant to be part of a proposed EP of acoustic versions of songs from the LP, is also new to this collection. The Medicine Re-Make/Re-Model version Themroc's "Into the Light" saw light of day on a 2003 single of theirs.
Lastly, created over a long weekend during the making of the LP and deemed by allI involved to be too unwieldy and confusing to go on the album,"Close-up of Family's Dream", sees fresh breath here. I adore it and am thrilled to have the chance to finally release it in its entirety.
- Brad Laner, 2017