Some wonderful dark electro singing and some ambient blues from Billie Ray Martin.


Techno diva Billie Ray Martin (real name, Birgit Dieckmann) was born and raised in Hamburg, spending her teen years in London and Berlin; initially influenced by ’60s soul and early ’80s industrial, during the mid-’80s she led a Motown-inspired soul band dubbed Billie and the Deep, gaining her first exposure on the Berlin club circuit. After moving back to England in 1987, she formed the techno-pop group Electribe 101, scoring a series of club hits including “Talking with Myself.” Eventually going solo, Martin debuted in 1995 with Deadline for My Memories; the first single, “Your Loving Arms,” not only reached the UK Top Ten but also topped the American club charts, while its follow-up “Running Around Town” fell just shy of the US Top Ten. Martin resurfaced in 1999 with the Crimes & Punishment EP, which was followed two years later by 18 Carat Garbage, her first album released on her own Sonnenstahl imprint. She has a bit of a reputation as a diva, which a friend dealing with her at a recent in-store said was not wide of the mark.
I’ve got “Your Loving Arms” somewhere, but since I can’t find it I’m going to focus on her 1993 collaborations, firstly with progressive house originals Spooky and secondly with The Grid. After Billie left Electribe 101, she and Spooky collaborated on a cover of Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Persuasion’ transforming it into a dark electro-chanson. After that she contacted the Grid and recorded the E.P. ‘Four Ambient Tales’, a wonderful trip into gentle ambient blues. These were released on R&S offshoot Apollo. The lyrics were written by her and the music by her husband (or brother – I can’t remember) Francis, with production and music by The Grid (plus steel guitar by B J Cole). These are essential tracks.


Spooky with Billie Ray Martin – Persuasion
Billie Ray Martin – (I Spent Hours Again) Wishing You Well
Billie Ray Martin – House Of Love (Instr)
Billie Ray Martin – Planet Of The Blue (Instr)
Billie Ray Martin Website

~ by acidted on July 29, 2008.


  1. […] Ray Martin has featured here a few times. She first found fame in Electribe 101. Electribe split in 1992, and Billie released […]

  2. […] Billie Ray Martin’s back with a new venture – The Opitates. This is a collaboration with Robert Solheim. They have a new release – Rainy Days and Remixes EP – out next month. This is a return to her former glories with Electribe 101 (here) and evokes memories of her classic collaboration with Spooky (here). More on Billie here. […]

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