Friday, 26 August 2016
It's over a year since I lasted posted anything by the Reid brothers. Over a year! Slap my wrists and confiscate my scuffed suede Chelsea boots immediately. The video for Sidewalking came my way on social media the other day and what a truly great record it is, maybe their greatest. Released in March 1988, a stand alone single which marries industrial noise with hip hop drumbeats (sampled from Roxanne Shante) and lyrics about missing the last bus home. The extended version from the 12" is double the length and double the fun.
And here's the video.
Thursday, 25 August 2016
Primal Scream's Chaosmosis album from earlier this year didn't really do too much for me- it was alright but nothing special. This however is the best thing they've put their name to for a long time. Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre has remixed 100% Or Nothing into a nine and a half minutes long psychedelic dub odyssey, spaced out with dubby bass, disjointed backing vocals, a melodica wending its way through and lots of echo... echo... echo. It's coming out on limited edition clear vinyl on Friday. Really good.
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Factory Floor- messy decorators, don't ask them to do your front room. You could ask them to provide you with some good music though. They've slimmed down to a two piece and on their new album 25 25 they've moved away from the industrial noise of their earlier records to an acid house sound- stripped back with bouncing basslines, analogue synths, acid squiggles and squelches, the tsk tsk tsk of high hats, an 808 snare, a thumping kick drum and some very minimal vocals ('Ya', 'work work work'). Much of this album sounds like it could have been made and played in any dance club anywhere between 1988 and 2003 but it more than gets away with it- retro but forward thinking. I suspect I shall be playing this for some time.
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Ahead of a new album (Heads Up) in Setember warpaint have released a new song called New Song. On first listen I was a little disappointed- it seemed a bit lightweight, their languid, rolling grooves replaced by something much poppier (not that I'm against poppier). However it's really grown on me, especially since picking it up on 7" where on a proper stereo rather than computer speakers the bass has room and the rhythm hits the spot.
Monday, 22 August 2016
Yesterday was Joe Strummer's birthday. He would have been sixty four. His passing in 2002 seems a long time ago now. I've no doubt he would have had a lot to to say about the world as it has unfolded over the last fourteen years, more songs to write and records to release, more places to tour, constant offers to reform The Clash. So it goes. This song does a typical Strummer trick, taking the commonplace (a nitcomb), building some versus and a chorus around it with some typically Joe street-poetry touches, and turning it into something affecting and real, a song of devotion.
Sunday, 21 August 2016
I've been having some fun watching these clips on Youtube recently. Dance Energy was BBC 2's attempt to capture early 90s youth culture. To be far to the Beeb Snub TV was an excellent half hour weekly look at the indie scene with some essential live clips and interviews. For Dance Energy they got Normski in as presenter. Normski may be best described as an acquired taste (although many internet commenters seem to prefer the word bellend). Dance Energy ran on a Monday evening, straight after The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and had 'live' performances in the studio from dance and hip hop acts. Unlike the majority of 1960s TV music programmes, where there's no doubt that the groups are better dressed and better coiffured than the audience, on Dance Energy the crowd are the real stars. here's a few I've picked out...
Steve Cobby's band from this time was Ashley and Jackson (they played Cities In The Park which is why I think I came across this on Youtube while looking for clips of that event for my post a couple of weeks ago). Solid Gold was going to be Ashley and Jackson's breakthrough single but it never really happened for them in terms of having a hit. This clip from 1991 starts with the titles and theme music which will push all kinds of buttons for some of you of a certain age...
Bassomatic's Fascinating Rhythm was a top ten hit in 1990 and still sounds pretty good today although that style of rapping has dated. This song aside Bassomatic are also known for having a pre-Madonna/All Saints William Orbit on board.
Yo! Here comes Normski again! This is Bizarre Inc, hugely popular up here in the north, with Playing With Knives. I love this record, it's crunching keyboard riffs, repetitive, cyclical vocals and breakbeat- and the on stage dancers.
And this is a beauty, The Beloved's It's Alright Now, a properly blissful, house tune, all positivity and optimism. Again this should have been a massive hit and wasn't.
Lastly for the moment The Shamen. Like The Beloved they started as an indie guitar band and then moved into dance music when it hit them. This performance of Hyperreal is pretty smart, the best version of this song, and has Will Sin in the group, before his untimely death in Tenerife in May 1991.
There's loads more of this on Youtube if you want more. And why wouldn't you?
Saturday, 20 August 2016
Following yesterday's ambience and Davy H's contribution here's the new one from Frank Ocean (which I picked up on on Twitter via Davy H). Word on the net is that this forty five minute visual album stream is Frank's artistic statement prior to the new 'pop' album dropping. It may have already dropped by the time this post publishes. Endless is built on Frank's r 'n' b voice and beats, emerging from sound, ambient washes and loads of texture. An acoustic guitar drops in at the half hour point and at the end it turns techno. Very dreamy and slightly out of kilter. In the film Frank is wearing a Jesus And Mary Chain t-shirt while building stuff. What does it all mean? I don't know...but I like it.
Hmm... I don't have permission to share it. Watch it here.
Edit: you can't watch it there either. Apparently you can only watch it at Apple in exchange for cash. Sorry about that.
Frank Ocean - Endless from Audio Premieres on Vimeo.