Tricky Disco

Album: History of Techno (1990)
Charted: 14


  • Tricky Disco was the invention of Michael Wells and Lee Newman, a husband and wife team whose main musical vehicle was GTO (Greater Than One). Wells told Mojo magazine July 2011 the name was "solely to make techno-based tracks which were more upbeat yet minimal. We pressed 1,000 copies and mailed them out. The white labels had a sheet of paper with a cartoon I drew about a space creature called Tricky Disco who landed in a nightclub. Straight away the shops were going crazy trying to get more."

    Sheffield's Warp label made Tricky Disco available and the charts beckoned despite little mainstream support, "Radio 1 wouldn't play this type of music," noted Wells. "There were no real specialist dance shows to speak of, and even those played a sanitized form of vocal house."
  • Follow-up "House Fly" came a year later but failed to repeat the success. Wells and Newman were recording in different styles as GTO, John + Julie, Salami Brothers and Technohead. It was under the latter alias that the couple achieved their biggest hit when 1995's "I Wanna Be A Hippy" reached #1 in 12 different countries including Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, and #6 in the UK.
  • Since Newman's death from cancer later in 1995, Wells has continued to release music under some of these names, and also as The Man and S.O.L.O.


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