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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Swordplay


I'm just going to return to Sabres Of Paradise if that's alright. The live set I posted on Monday was pretty well received and has been flying around other sites too. I pulled out some Sabres cds to play in the car this week and that included two cd singles, Theme and Wilmot, both released in 1994. I didn't buy cds then, being an uptight vinyl purist. Cds were clearly an attempt by The Man to destroy vinyl, resell everyone their record collections, make vast profits at our expense and stomp all over our culture, our entire way of life. Something like that. Some years later I softened my approach after cds began to infiltrate my household via the front covers of music magazines- a gateway drug to a shiny, silver state of mind. I succumbed. Years after that ebay began to offer opportunities to fill in gaps caused by my vinyl purism and at rock bottom prices. Hence, at some point I bought the cd singles of Theme and Wilmot for a couple of quid. If you don't know Theme or Wilmot (and I'm sure most of you do) then please go  and listen to them.Theme is a massive, crunchy, swirling thing with hip hop drums, a horn fanfare and spiralling guitars and can make you feel like you're in a film. Wilmot is a delicious, delirious skank. Coming hard on the heels of 1993's Smokebelch they make up a brilliant threesome demonstrating the outer limits of Weatherall, Koons, and Burns' imaginations. The vinyl releases had B-sides- Theme came with dubby Return Of Carter and Edge 6, both later compiled on Sabresonic II and both much loved round here. Wilmot was backed by Rumble Summons, eight minutes of a man kicking a bin. But, to get to the point, the cd singles had extra B-sides, filling in a little more of the Sabres Of Paradise story. Theme's fourth track was Theme III, a deconstruction or version that sounded a little like a Metal Box track played really slowly. Wilmot had a Scruff remix and also Siege Refrain, an instrument or something totally distorted playing a little riff with some drums so laden with echo they sound like they're coming from the bottom of a swimming pool.

Theme III

Siege Refrain

Friday, 30 September 2016

Clean Up Your Messes


Since the invention of the camera phone (how quaint that sounds) everyone is now a photographer and that's obviously good news which results in some great pictures and the sharing of them. But being a photographer, a professional one, is a special skill that comes down to a bit more than just pointing your iPhone at something funny/beautiful/brilliant and clicking the shutter. Paul Husband is a Mancunian photographer I'm in touch with via social media and very good he is too. On Saturday night he went to a big gig at Victoria Warehouse headlined by Primal Scream with support from Black Grape, Badly Drawn Boy and a whole host of smaller, local bands. I was at my brother's wedding on Saturday night but Paul went and asked me if I wanted to share some of his photos. I'm more than happy to oblige- this one above of Kermit caught my eye. And so did these...




Reviews of the performance have been good, Black Grape reportedly upstaging Bobby Gillespie's group. Here, have a song from their debut album with characteristically great Shaun Ryder lyrics.

In The Name Of The Father

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Lift Going Up


A couple of weeks ago I posted 808 State and Bjork's Ooops off 1991's Ex:el album. Ctel then posted a recent remix of In Yer Face from the same album so I went back and listened to the whole thing for the first time in ages. 1991 has been all over the internet in the last few days, mainly because September 1991 saw the release of Screamadelica, Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque, Nirvana's Nevermind and A Tribe Called Qwest's Low End Theory amongst others. Not a bad month all things considered. In November My Bloody Valentine put out Loveless. Ex:el came out in May so pre-empted the autumn rush but what a good album it is. Both Bjork songs are superb, In Yer Face is techno heaven, then there's the Bernard Sumner sung Spanish Heart, Cubik, Olympic and the spooky Nefertiti. It also uses the Willy Wonka Gene Wilder sample- 'we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams'. Tucked away inside Ex:el is this, Lift, a wonderful, uplifting, updating of Kraftwerk with rave drums.

Lift

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Capricorn Constellation


In the comment box on my Sabres Of Paradise live post on Monday reader and occasional commenter Niv mentioned going to the Herbal Tea Party night's in Manchester, saying that they were the first time he heard David Holmes' remix of Smokebelch and Capricorn's 20Hz, 'Seminal moments in my life!' said Niv and who are we to disagree.

20Hz came out in 1993, the work of Dutch artist Hans Weekhout. It is a massive tribal techno record, melodic too, perfect for strobe lit, dry ice filled dancefloors. Hands in the air.

20Hz

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Low Blood Sugar


Yesterday's Sabres live set led to a reader called KevM asking if any of Weatherall's Blood Sugar sets were online. I think I've got some as mp3s on another hard drive but haven't been able to check but instead I had a look on the net and found this...



If you go here there are several more, all from between 1998 and 2000. Deep and dark, subterranean minimal dub techno. Lots of hiss, echo and flutter. Slow and low. Rhythm and Sound. Head nodding, feet shuffling.

Blood Sugar was also an alias for Weatherall and producer Dave Harrow. They put out a double pack on red and white vinyl called Levels which I have downstairs but don't have a rip of currently. In 1995 a 12" came out where Blood Sugar remixed Soma's Percy X. Breakbeat driven techno.

-3 (Emissions 1)

-3 (Emissions 2)



Monday, 26 September 2016

Crossed Swords


In 1994 Andrew Weatherall put together a live band version of Sabres Of Paradise who played several sets around the country, Weatherall standing at the back twiddling knobs and smoking while Gary Burns, Jagz Kooner and Phil Mossman dealt with the live bass, keys, guitars and percussion. Until now no recordings of these live sets have existed on the interwebs.  Herbal Tea Party have found and uploaded a recording of Sabres Of Paradise playing live in 1994 at one of their nights in Manchester. The motherlode. The first half hour is Andrew Weatherall playing a down tempo, laid back set. Then Sabres join in and work their way through Bubble And Slide II, Tow Truck, Theme and a pounding, bent out of shape Smokebelch. Those of you who are Weatherall/Sabres fans will understand the excitement this recording causes.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Backside Of The Moon


The Aubrey Mixes: The Ultraworld Excursions was a remix album of The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, released in December 1991 and deleted on the same day, offering alternate mixes of seven of the tracks. All work just as well as the original ones, this one in particular being an expansive Sunday morning treat.

Backside Of The Moon (Under Water Deep Space)