06 December 2009

Fortran 5 - Bike (Sid Sings Syd) mp3


Fortran 5 - Groove EP

Fortran 5 were an early 90s sampletastic ambient dance outfit, sort of like a cross between the Justified Ancients of MuMu and The Orb. Producing a broad mix of tracks and ideas, and remixing for bands as diverse as Erasure and Laibach, it is nonetheless the genius one-joke novelty of Sid Sings Syd that calls me back more than anything else they did.

You know that bit in the end credits of Spinal Tap where David St Hubbins is explaining the tapes he's listening to?

I've been listening to the classics, I belong to a great series. It's called The Namesake Series cassettes, and they send you the works of famous authors done by actors with the same last name.

So I've got Denholm Eliot reading TS Eliot, I've got Danny Thomas doing A Child's Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas. Next month it's McLean Stevenson reads Robert Louis Stevenson. Treasure Island, I believe.

Fortran 5 painstakingly sampled Sid James to make him say the words of Bike by Pink Floyd. This was 1991. None of this was done by googling any samples, this must all have been from sitting there watching hour upon grinding hour of Sid James movies on VHS, occasionally exclaiming, "There! He said 'cloak'! Rewind it while I press record!".

There's an extra twist in the fact that the session was helmed by producer Stephen James, son of Sid. It was released on the B-side of the Groove EP, and later on the album Blues.

For their next project they moved a step closer to David St Hubbins territory, actually getting Derek Nimmo into a studio to sing Layla by Derek and The Dominoes. Genius.

download Bike (Sid Sings Syd) (7.8MB MP3)



Eureka for your work
Eureka por tu trabajo
aggnès pe


ian said...

they actually got Derek Nimmo in to sing Layla? That is disappointing.

merrick said...


i'm pretty sure they did. I've seen sites saying so and also saying it was sampled, but if my addled brain recalls correctly from a mate's home tape I heard nearly 20 years ago it was a proper spoken performance.

I'd like to have head Woody Sings Woody, getting Woody Allen to do This Land Is Your Land.

ian said...

Comparing the two tracks, it is pretty obvious that the Derek Nimmo was not done from sample of his voice.

there are some other great ones Fortran 5 could do -

Stephen Sings Steven (Stephen Hawking doing This Charming Man)
Frankie Sings Frankie (Frankie Howerd doing Relax - I'm amazed this does not exist).
Kenneth Sings Kenny (Kenneth Williams doing Coward of the County).

and so on.

merrick said...

How about Neil Morrissey Sings Neil & Morrissey?

The Bob The Builder vocalist does medleys of Neil Young and Morrissey tunes.

This Charming Southern Man
The Girl Least Like A Hurricane

'I've seen the needle and the damage Dundee, Humberside, I wonder to myself...'

Jenna Appleseed said...

Ian - "Frankie Sings Frankie (Frankie Howerd doing Relax"

^ this needs to exist.

Dust On The Stylus - thanks loads. I spent ages trying & failing to find this on early p2p sites after discovering both Syd and downloading/mp3s.

Zimboom said...

I have come across this bootleg vinyl that i believe is from Fortran 5 ,
It has a track called 'J R Hartley'that sampled a Yellow Pages advert

I believe they could not clear it which is why they had to do a bootleg...

I ve upload the track here :

Have a listen!

Ps: Has any one come across this track before??