Song Of The Day 6/22/2013: Primal Scream - "Stuka"

The Junkers Ju-87 was a dive-bombing plane invented by the Germans to carry out the Nazis' blasphemous little errands in the 1930's and World War II. It was nicknamed "Stuka," a contraction of Sturzkampfflugzeug, the German word for "dive-bomber." Only three exist in some form today and they're all in museums or some state of disassembly.

The most prominent trait of the Stuka was its siren, nicknamed "the Jericho Trumpet." The pilot would play the siren as the Stuka dove towards its target  for sheer psychological torture, then would release the bombs at the lowest point in the Stuka's flight path and dart away as villages blew up below. Hitler loved the hell out of the Stuka and its siren. It was a conspicuous part of the propaganda films he commissioned, particularly 1941's Stukas. The atrocities people commit just because they suck at painting.

Primal Scream (whose new album, by the by, is really good) electronically repurposed the damnation-calling siren for their 1997 song "Stuka," although they cockily threw in the sound of a doorbell as well. Ding-dong, Eastern front. This song also features my favorite processed vocal ever, although I can't tell what device Bobby Gillespie's using. It's not Autotune, and I'm not sure it's a talkbox. Technologically it seems to have the same principle as the Vocoder, but with a high-pass filter and almost no variation on the tone. It's not completely robotic either. It manages some inflection.

Lyrically it sounds like Gillespie's bugged about Jesus and Satan fighting in his head, the ongoing collective acquiescence of "original sin," the casual death of his generation, etc.


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