Monday, 22 May 2017
Jane Weaver's recorded music is so otherwordly, it seems to exist in its own perfectly formed universe. Seeing her perform live at Band On The Wall on Friday night, a packed out venue with some difficult sight lines and a band of four blokes dressed in black, makes her music a bit more earthbound and of this place. This is not a criticism at all. The songs still take flight and Jane's vocals soar over the motorik drumming and shades of Hawkwind guitars. Single Slow Motion is a perfect slice of electropop, and the Silver Globe songs get the full 60s folk plus 70s sci-fi via loopy psychedelia treatment. There's a real warmth to the tunes and the playing, the songs coloured by dappled sunshine and shadows, with a sense of wonder in them, but for every drone or keyboard squelch there's also killer verses and choruses, psych with songwriting. This gig is a brave move in some ways- the album Modern Kosmology was released on the day of the show so most of the people in the audience, me included, are hearing many of the songs for the first time. I'd like to see her play them again in a month or two when I've got to know them. As a result of having lived with this one since early April, when I woke up the following morning, this was the tune going round my slightly fuzzy head.
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Bass-O-Matic were William Orbit's 90s house outfit who hit the top ten with Fascinating Rhythm, a single I have a lot of time for- early 90s positivity, pianos, a rap from MC Inna Onestep and the lovely vocals of Sharon Musgrave.
For a sultry and less poppy take on Fascinating Rhythm Renegade Soundwave offered up this version, also a tribute to Claudio Caniggia, Argentina's long haired forward at Italia 90, a man fouled three times as he danced and dribbled his way through Cameroon's defence before being scythed down. This being Renegade Soundwave the focus is very much on the bass.
Fascinating Rhythm (Claudio Caniggia Mix)
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Fresh up on the net after the limited vinyl release for RSD, The The with a one off reunion of Johnny Marr, James Eller and Zeke Manyika (1989 line up with Johnson, Marr and Eller pictured above. Johnny Marr's hair and clobber was pretty much what I was trying to achieve at that time). A tribute to Matt's brother, Andy Dog, as I'm sure you all know. This is a very special piece of music.
Friday, 19 May 2017
I'm bookending this working week with The Replacements. After posting the outtakes on Monday I was listening to a couple of their albums and I Will Dare came on with that little guitar riff at the start and then Paul Westerberg sings...
'How young are you?
How old am I?'
And today, as it happens, I turn 47.
The number 47 doesn't seem to have very much going for it. As Wiki points out it is the fifteenth prime number, the thirteenth supersingular prime and the sixth Lucas prime (nope, me either). It is strictly non-palindromic and in binary is represented as 00101111. A U.S. Maths professor used it to prove something funny to his students about numbers and this led to a long running visual gag in Star Trek. It is the atomic number of silver (my hair may be going that way). Mars has a forty seven year cycle around the sun. The Brooklyn hip hop collective Pro Era used 47 repeatedly because they felt that it represented perfect balance in the world and tension between the heart and brain. They also had a 47 logo that looked a tad swastika-like. It is the international dialling code for Norway. The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are forty seven degrees apart. There are forty seven Ronin in the Japanese story of the same name. More up this blog's alley, FAC 47 was the Factory anvil badge.
Frankly, there are more interesting numbers than 47. I'm spending the evening of my 47th birthday watching Jane Weaver play her psychedelic/electropop/folk music at Band On The Wall. I'll let you know how it was.
I Will Dare is a cracking little song off 1984's Let It Be album. The guitar solo was played by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck who was astonished by the amount of alcohol The Replacements could put away. And as he pointed out, R.E.M. were hardly the soberest band in the mid 80s.
I Will Dare
Thursday, 18 May 2017
The timer keeps edging upwards this week- after yesterday's thirteen minutes plus existential dub disco from AMOR today I give you twenty minutes of dub techno heaven from Berlin. Released on Basic Channel's own label in 1994 Quadrant Dub I and II together are a/the definitive piece of mid 90s Berlin machine music, split over two sides of a 12" single, one mix fifteen minutes long and the other twenty. This record has the ability to suspend time. And space. It is twenty three years old and still sounds like it is the future.
Quadrant Dub II
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Something even longer than yesterday's eleven minutes plus extravaganza from The Early Years is this from Glasgow's AMOR (and played by Weatherall on his Music's Not For Everyone show last week). Paradise is a hypnotic and joyful musical exploration, this side of disco and that side of experimental. It came out at the end of February this year, has an irresistible groove and is beautiful in every way.
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
This is a b-side from an obscure London band released as the third track on a cd single called All Ones And Zeros back in January 2006, recorded at Death In Vegas' Contino Rooms by DiV's Tim Holmes. The Early Years put out several records around this time, then disappeared for a few years and came back in 2011 with a single called Complicity and then back again last year with an album called II. That's the facts out of the way.
This song, I Heard Voices, is a long and expansive trip. It starts out with some noises and a lone repetitive guitar part. A krauty groove comes in. A voice starts muttering. There's an organ adding some drones and textures. The guitars are spindly and psychey, painting their way through the first part before really coming to the fore in the fifth minute. By the ninth minute things are way up and beyond, the drums thumping and the guitars taking it on and on, in a loop but doing something different too. At ten minutes thirty seconds there's a shift and the whole thing is driving itself home, guitars grinding their way through and to the end at eleven forty. This could easily be overdoing it in terms of length and focus but the band avoid that, keeping the interest and the drive, with the rhythm totally locked in, the playing compulsive, building something new.
I Heard Voices