Billie Ray Martin

Real Name:
Birgit Dieckmann
Profile:
Born Hamburg, Germany 1970. Billie Ray Martin first found fame in Electribe 101, with the dark electronic soul singles 'Tell Me When The Fever Ended' and 'Talking With Myself'. Electribe 101 held much promise but the group split after just one album.

Billie's first solo release was a dark electro-chanson reworking of Throbbing Gristle's 'Persuasion', with the techno duo Spooky in 1993. It was followed by the '4 Ambient Tales' EP with The Grid, a trip into gentle ambient blues. Next year, the techno/soul/pop stomper 'Your Loving Arms', written with David Harrow (aka James Hardway), produced (again) by The Grid and remixed by Junior Vasquez, crossed over from the clubs to the radio and gave Billie her biggest hit.

Billie's first solo album 'Deadline For My Memories', produced mainly by BT, comprised of catchy technopop and big torch ballads. The album and the singles taken from it didn't match the chart success of 'Your Loving Arms', resulting in the collapse of artist/label relationships and Magnet/EastWest dropping Billie. All official BRM and Electribe videos were compiled on 'The Videos 89-98' DVD in 2008.

Billie then moved to New York, to work on her drum'n'bass Sonnenstahl project, writing and recording with Vinny Vero and Fred Jorio, and recording a country/soul album with Jon Tiven (released 2016). The Sonnenstahl recordings were released in 1998, against Billie's wishes. More successful was the Jorio co-written 'Honey', which topped dance charts in 1999, supported by big name remixes and a new contract with React. The second single 'Don't Believe A Word' remained unreleased, however.

During the stay in the US Billie laid foundations to the 2001 album '18 Carat Garbage', which was the culmination of her dream to record in Memphis. Production was by Lunatek and Felix Huber of Plexiq. Remix and demo albums were also released.

Billie's search for suitable collaborators has resulted in various featured appearances. Already in 1989/90 she appeared on releases by S'Express and Julian Jonah. A few years later, she could be heard (uncredited) on tracks by the Italian dance acts Datura and Individual. As a songwriter and backing vocalist she's made contributions to Candi Staton, Jon Tiven Group, Wilson Pickett and Shemekia Copeland. Billie's 'Your Loving Arms' has received many cover versions, the most successful being that by Karen Overton.

Further one-off releases with various collaborators include 'I'm Not Keen' (with Mikael Delta), 'Dead Again' (Reiner Schirner), 'Je Regrette Everything' (Hell), 'Bright Lights Fading' (Slam), the moderate club hit 'Undisco Me' (Lil'Wolf), The Crackdown Project (Stephen Mallinder), 'Sold Life' (Hard TON), 'Off The Rails' (Aerea Negrot) and 'Heavy Game' (Hifi Sean) – to name a few. In 2011 Billie released an entire album with Robert Solheim, as The Opiates.

Via Bandcamp Billie has also made available many exclusive recordings such as an early 80s live set by Billie And The Deep, unreleased demos and first tracks to be included on the forthcoming album 'Gezeitenraum'.

Unreleased material by Electribe 101 was released 2021-22.

(partially adapted from texts by Fredrik Strage, Richard Smith and Jussi Pukkila)
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Artist

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Albums

0630 12180 2 Deadline For My Memories — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Deadline For My Memories (Album) Magnet (2) 0630 12180 2 Europe 1995 Sell This Version
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554 185 2 The Best Of — Billie Ray Martin Electribe 101 Featuring Billie Ray Martin Electribe 101 Featuring Billie Ray Martin - The Best Of (Album) Spectrum Music (2) 554 185 2 UK & Europe 1997 Sell This Version
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SREC104 18 Carat Garbage — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin 18 Carat Garbage (Album) Sonnenstahl Records SREC104 Germany 2001 Sell This Version
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STAHL2 CD003 18 Carat Garbage Demos — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin 18 Carat Garbage Demos Stahl2 STAHL2 CD003 Germany 2002 Sell This Version
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DARECCD002 New Demos — Billie Ray Martin BRM* New Demos Disco Activisto DARECCD002 Germany 2003 Sell This Version
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DAREC 1001 The Crackdown Project Volume 1 - Sold Out To Disco — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Feat. Stephen Mallinder, Maertini Broes* & Lusty Zanzibar Billie Ray Martin Feat. Stephen Mallinder, Maertini Broes* & Lusty Zanzibar - The Crackdown Project Volume 1 - Sold Out To Disco Disco Activisto DAREC 1001 Germany 2010
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DAREC 1002 The Crackdown Project - Volume 2 - Darkness Restored — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Feat. Stephen Mallinder, Maertini Broes* & Lusty Zanzibar Billie Ray Martin Feat. Stephen Mallinder, Maertini Broes* & Lusty Zanzibar - The Crackdown Project - Volume 2 - Darkness Restored Disco Activisto DAREC 1002 Germany 2010
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DAREC1302 The Crackdown Project, Vol. 1 & 2 (Sold Out To Disco / Darkness Restored) — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Feat. Stephen Mallinder, Maertini Broes* & Lusty Zanzibar Billie Ray Martin Feat. Stephen Mallinder, Maertini Broes* & Lusty Zanzibar - The Crackdown Project, Vol. 1 & 2 (Sold Out To Disco / Darkness Restored) (Album) Disco Activisto, Disco Activisto DAREC1302 Germany 2013
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none The Berlin Years - 1 (Billie And The Deep Live At KOB 1986) — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin, Billie And The Deep Billie Ray Martin, Billie And The Deep - The Berlin Years - 1 (Billie And The Deep Live At KOB 1986)(17xFile, FLAC, Mono) Not On Label (Billie Ray Martin Self-released) none 2014
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none Black Breakers (Vocal Stems) — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Black Breakers (Vocal Stems)(9xFile, FLAC, Mono, Ltd) Not On Label (Billie Ray Martin Self-released) none 2015
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SREC108 The Soul Tapes — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin The Soul Tapes (Album) Sonnenstahl Records SREC108 Germany 2016 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

APOLLO 10 4 Ambient Tales — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin 4 Ambient Tales (EP) Apollo APOLLO 10 Belgium 1993 Sell This Version
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GRRR 58 Persuasion — Billie Ray Martin Spooky & Billie Ray Martin Spooky & Billie Ray Martin - Persuasion (Maxi) Guerilla, Guerilla GRRR 58 UK 1993 Sell This Version
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MAG1028C, 4509-98105-4 Your Loving Arms — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Your Loving Arms (Maxi, Single, EP) Magnet (2), Magnet (2) MAG1028C, 4509-98105-4 UK 1994 Sell This Version
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334232 Global Dance Wave — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin / Rhizomo* Billie Ray Martin / Rhizomo* - Global Dance Wave(12", Promo) WEA 334232 1994 Sell This Version
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MAG1040CD, 0630-13229-2 Imitation Of Life — Billie Ray Martin BillieRayMartin* Imitation Of Life (Maxi, Single) Magnet (2), Magnet (2) MAG1040CD, 0630-13229-2 UK 1995 Sell This Version
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4-64365 Running Around Town — Billie Ray Martin BillieRayMartin* Running Around Town (Single, Maxi) Magnet (2), Magnet (2), Magnet (2) 4-64365 US 1995 Sell This Version
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060000801-7 Fairground / Running Around Town — Billie Ray Martin Simply Red / Billie Ray Martin Simply Red / Billie Ray Martin - Fairground / Running Around Town(7", Jukebox) EastWest 060000801-7 Italy 1995 Sell This Version
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060000799-7 Your Loving Arms / I Can Love You Like That — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin / All 4 One* Billie Ray Martin / All 4 One* - Your Loving Arms / I Can Love You Like That(7", Jukebox) EastWest, Atlantic 060000799-7 Italy 1995 Sell This Version
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BOY - 357 Mystic Motion — Billie Ray Martin Datura With Billie Ray Martin Datura With Billie Ray Martin - Mystic Motion Boy Records (4) BOY - 357 Spain 1996 Sell This Version
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PR1 3049 Running Around Town / A Good Heart — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin / Brother 2 Brother Billie Ray Martin / Brother 2 Brother - Running Around Town / A Good Heart (Comp) Popular Records PR1 3049 Canada 1996 Sell This Version
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MAG1042CD, 0630-14113-2 Space Oasis — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Space Oasis (Single, Maxi) Magnet (2), Magnet (2) MAG1042CD, 0630-14113-2 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
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MAG1044T, 0630-15537-0 You And I (Keep Holding On) — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin You And I (Keep Holding On) (Single) Magnet (2), Magnet (2) MAG1044T, 0630-15537-0 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
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FINE 008-1, FINE008 Pacemaker — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin presents Sonnenstahl Billie Ray Martin presents Sonnenstahl - Pacemaker (Single) Finetune Recordings FINE 008-1, FINE008 US 1998 Sell This Version
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none Honey — Billie Ray Martin Billie Ray Martin Honey (Single, Maxi) React, ARS Club none UK 1999 Sell This Version