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Music / Alex Johnson
aka: Alix Plain

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Alex Johnson (aliases: Alix Plain, (St.) Ché) is an English musician. He provided guitar and vocals to the punk band Modern Eon from 1978 to 1981 (the group's dissolution), then resurged as a solo artist under the moniker Ché (sometimes prefixed "St."). As Ché, he released three singles spaced apart by three years: "What You've Been Through Is Love" (1983), "Be My (Powerstation)" (1986), and a Bobby Womack cover "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much" (1989). He released his only studio album, Narcotic, in 1989. It contained 5 new tracks, remixes of "What You've Been Through Is Love (Scream Like A Swift)" and "Be My (Powerstation)", and the 12" mix of "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much" and its B-side "Fireflies in Summer" ad-verbum. Where his career went since then is unknown.

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Of note was his connection to the band Fats Comet:

  • "Be My (Powerstation)" was produced by Fats Comet. An extended version of the "Swarthy" mix's outro appeared as "Heaven on Earth" on their drummer Keith Le Blanc's first solo album, Major Malfunction, which was released in the same year. The first track on Major Malfunction, "Get This", also reuses its distinct distorted percussion sound, as well as the "I want you to get this, beloved!" sample.
  • "Imperfections" on Narcotic reuses the drum pattern of another track on Major Malfunction, "Object-Subject", and also has Fats Comet listed as a producer.

And some uncredited occurrences unlikely to be coincidental:

  • The beat and bassline of "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much" is very similar to "Taxcider", a track on another LeBlanc solo album from 1989, Stranger than Fiction. However, Fats Comet was not credited for the single or its appearance on Narcotic.
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  • The Fats Comet album Tackhead - The Lost Tapes contains dub versions of "Be My (Powerstation)" and "Imperfections", titled "Fatso" and "Feel the Beat", respectively.
  • The Lost Tapes also includes a stripped down version of "Fireflies in Summer", from Narcotic and the "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much" B-side, called "All Night Long". Fats Comet was, again, not credited for "Fireflies in Summer", though band member Adrian Sherwood was listed as producer.

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This artist provides examples of:

  • Darker and Edgier: The Narcotic mix of "Be My (Powerstation)" does away with the upbeat synth very early in the song, compared to other mixes.
  • Epic Rocking: The "Be My (Powerstation)" A-side, all one track, runs nine minutes! 5 of the 9 songs in Narcotic qualify as well.
  • Refrain from Assuming: That song where the chorus goes "that's alright, we can just DANCE. ALL. NIGHT" is named... "Fireflies in Summer".
  • Surprise Creepy: For a peppy Silly Love Song, "Be My (Powerstation)" sure gets creepy at the end. The "radio mix" covers this up by cutting off shortly before the 4-minute mark, and the Razormaid! edit cuts around the 12" mix so the middle 4 minutes are all the cute stuff (though uses the late part of Swarthy as an intro).

Alternative Title(s): Che, St Che, Alix Plain

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