Propellerheads


Propellerheads

Infobox musical artist
Name = Propellerheads


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Background = group_or_band
Origin = Bath, England, UK
Genre = Big Beat Breakbeat Trip-hop
Years_active = 1996 – present
Label = Wall of Sound
Associated_acts =
URL =
Current_members = Will White
Alex Gifford
Past_members =

Propellerheads are a British big beat music band made up of electronic producers Will White and Alex Gifford. The term "Propellerhead" is slang for a nerd, and when Gifford and White heard a friend from California drop this into conversation, they thought it the perfect name for their band.

Their first release was an EP named "Dive!", published in 1996 through independent label Wall of Sound. They gained fame the next year by providing a remix for Bond composer David Arnold's Bond tribute album "" covering John Barry's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" the theme song to the sixth James Bond film, re-orchestrated by Arnold. They also collaborated with Arnold on the track Backseat Driver, for the Tomorrow Never Dies soundtrack. The single "History Repeating" followed, a collaboration with jazz diva Shirley Bassey, fusing big beat with jazz.

The only Propellerheads album to date is "Decksandrumsandrockandroll", released in 1998 by Wall of Sound in the UK and Europe and DreamWorks in the US and Japan. The Dreamworks versions include collaborations with hip hop veterans De La Soul and Jungle Brothers, and the Japanese version is a sought-after 2 Disc Special Edition including some of their earlier singles. A track from the album, "Spybreak!", became widely known after its use in the famous lobby scene in "The Matrix". They are also noted with providing "Crash" as the theme tune to BBC Radio 1's Official Chart Show between 1998 and 2002, when Mark Goodier was the host. This song was also used in the 1999 hit comedy film "".

After touring for their hit album, Will White fell ill. They released "Extended Play EP" in 1998, and in the song "Props' Vote Of Gratitude", Alex Gifford raps for the first time, explaining to the attentive listener that the band would "be back after this short break". Things subsequently went quiet in the Propellerheads camp. Alex moved to New York and produced the Jungle Brothers 1999 Album "V.I.P." in which he raps with The Black Eyed Peas among others. Will White provided the drums for the eponymous track. He has also produced a track for Rufus Wainwright ("Shadows") on his 2001 album "Poses". White has since released a mix compilation for the "Beatz and Bobz" series, and he has also appeared as a member of the De-Fex music project.

In October 2003 Wall of Sound commemorated its 10th birthday, and to celebrate, released a two disc album charting 10 years of its pioneering British music. The first CD featured alumni such as Röyksopp, The Wiseguys and Mekon, while Gifford provided a mix CD for the second disc. The first track on that disc was a new song by Propellerheads featuring Brooklyn based writer Livingroom Johnston, entitled "10 Years".

Gifford and White have reportedly been close to finishing "that difficult second album" for a while now, but have scrapped material they did not believe was fresh or new enough to warrant release. Their next album will apparentlyFact|date=June 2008 feature duets from Canadians Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang among othersFact|date=June 2008, but WoS has no projected release date.

Their song "Take California" was the first song ever used in an Apple iPod television ad.

Will White is now part of the live incarnation of Long Range, the latest project of Phil Hartnoll of Orbital fame.

Trivia

On the 'On her Majesty's Secret Service' track, there is a continual synthesized beat throughout much of it that spells out "---/..../--/.../..." which is morse code for 'OHMSS'.

Discography

Albums

*"Dive EP" (1996)
*"Propellerheads EP" (1997)
*"Decksandrumsandrockandroll" (1998)
*"Extended Play EP" (1998)

Singles

*"Take California" (1997)
*"Spybreak!" (1997)
*"History Repeating" (1997) - featuring Dame Shirley Bassey
*"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1997) with David Arnold
*"Bang On!" (1998)
*"Crash!" (1998)
*"Velvet Pants" (1998)
*"Take California And Party" (1999)


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