Technohead are Michael Wells and the late Lee newman... The quirky club anthem 'I Wanna Be A Hippy' has been No1 in Germany and Holland and has now finally made it to No6 in the UK (as of 25th February 1996)Another one-off appearance, although Wells and Newman have a larger discography than you might think under their various pseudonyms; Wells has continued to record in various guises since Newman died in August 1995. Confusingly, the hit version is a reworking by Dutch producers Party Animals (hence the T-shirts in the video), who then spun off into a career of their own: who could forget their techno version of Olivia Newton John's 'Have You [N]Ever Been Mellow'?
In line with the duo's art-terrorist origins, the song was apparently intended as some sort of psychedelic treatise about drug laws or something, but the version we all know and love is just a sped up voice shouting "I wanna be a hippy and I wanna get stoned" over frantic gabba beats. Or possibly they're happy hardcore, I could never quite work out what the difference was supposed to be. Either it must be said that the mood of this track isn't quite that conventionally associated with a heavy intake of "maro-marijuana", a reference which perhaps surprisingly remains uncensored even here on Now 33. It could perhaps be argued that in some ways it's more subversive to hide such a drug reference in plain sight on a kid-friendly pop record; I do vaguely recall a tabloid controversy about some kids singing it in their school assembly or something. But to be honest, that's quite a stretch for what is ultimately a fun novelty record. In the field of cannabis-related comedy tracks that end Now albums, it's massively better than 'Because I Got High' by Afroman.
Yet again, I feel faintly disappointed that 'Street Spirit' wasn't the last track on the first disc, because it would have been a nice symmetry to put Radiohead at the end of one disc and Technohead at the end of the other. But such is life. At least they're both there.
Available on: Floorfillers Old Skool [+Digital Booklet]