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)