Monday, 31 October 2016
Winter Hill sits north of Manchester on Rivington Moor, near Chorley and Bolton with Blackburn and Darwen further north. On top of it is an enormousTV mast which can be seen for miles around. I pass it on the way to work. Next Saturday a few of us are going to Blackburn to see A Certain Ratio play at St George's Hall. Given its part in the story of the north west's musical history- Blackburn's warehouse parties in the late 80s, the Sett End in Shadsworth etc- you'd imagine that ACR might pull a decent sized crowd. When we got our tickets a few days ago they came in the post number 47, 48. 49 and 50. At least we should be able to get a good view and place down at the front.
In 1981 ACR released Winter Hill on their To Each... album. Produced by Martin Hannett, Winter Hill is a twelve minute long journey in sound, with some urgent drumming and whistles and an alternating two note drone. Stick with it as the tension builds and then fades away.
Sunday, 30 October 2016
Here is some wonderfully relaxed ambience from Steve Cobby, digital balm for the ears and the mood receptors (I was going to say soul but I'm not sure we're dealing with Judeo-Christian concepts such as the soul). A clicking and whirring rhythm track. Washes of sound. The pop of a drum. A voice comes in and then there's a change of pace. All three Cobby and Porky e.p.s are set to be released as a mini-album in December, titled Cities Below Future Seas.
I don't know if Steve is finding it difficult to sleep at the moment or something, but the amount of music he's putting out is almost superhuman. If you want something gritty, northern and real have a look at the spoken word project he's been doing with Russ Litten.
You can buy Porkbag from Bandcamp, three tracks from Hull for only £2. Get it here. Keep him happy and in business.
Cobby & Porky - Porkbag from Steve Cobby on Vimeo.
Saturday, 29 October 2016
PJ Harvey turned up at The Vinyl Villain yesterday and I'd been meaning to post this since before my computer went down. I haven't got anything like all of Polly's albums but I'm content to drop in and out and recently played her 2000 album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, an album inspired by New York that famously won the always slightly pointless Mercury Prize. This Is Love is my favourite song off it, direct, upfront and confident from the off with a driving Stooges, Heartbreakers guitar riff and that attention grabbing opening couplet. There isn't any doubt evident here, Polly knows exactly what she's feeling and exactly what she wants.
Friday, 28 October 2016
Another post cobbled together under difficult technological circumstances (a new definition of blogging modernism after Kit Lambert's description of mod as clean living under difficult circumstances for you there). This is Mike D, Beastie Boy, remixing Warpaint. The new Warpaint album is pretty good but I don't feel like it's got under my skin yet in the way the previous ones did. For his remix Mike D slows it right down, strips away the instruments, lets the vocals carry the melody and adds a Kangol hatful of 80s hip hop influences. Whatchuwaitinfor? Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.
I finish work today for a week off and it cannot come soon enough.
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
You'll have noticed that nothing's happened here for the last seven days and if you've read the comments on the last post you'll know why (thanks for the best wishes by the way). The computer developed a fault. I took it to be repaired. They phoned today to tell me that the computer is exactly where I left it with them because the van that comes to pick up faulty goods to take them for repair has had the 'wrong size containers'. This caused me to feel quite angry. They say it will be up to another week before I get it back. This caused me further feelings of anger and annoyance. It's no big deal in the grand scheme of things I know but it is personally irritating and it's amazing how much we've grown to rely on computers for all sorts of things. Take it away and there's many things I cannot do (even with a smartphone as backup). Anyway, to cut a long story short I've managed to get logged in tonight (and that's a whole other story of password hell I won't bore you with) and have some functionality using my daughter's laptop.
My daughter's laptop which contains exactly no music to post. I don't know how often I can post using this machine and some of its limitations but we'll see. I've gone off to Youtube and am sharing this with you as a stopgap. Andrew Weatherall has done two remixes of The Liminanas single Garden Of Love (the one with Hooky on bass and backing vox). This version takes the drums off and takes it almost into Smokebelch Beatless Mix territory.
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
To follow on yesterday's post, at least from Pixies got two albums and the opening mini-album out of me. I bailed out of Franz Ferdinand after the first. The follow up single Do You Want To was met by a resounding no from me. Their debut was a blast, good fun with some cracking songs but I didn't need any more. Since then they have been remixed well more than once. In this version of Ulysses Richard Norris and Erol Alkan reanimate the song into a lengthy, tripped out dance-floor belter.
Ulysses (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
The new Pixies album Head Carrier doesn't do too much for me, it's alright but that's about it. Plus, Pixies without Kim Deal is a bit of a deal breaker for me. Mind you I wasn't too fussed about the new album they put out in 1990. After the brain melting shock of Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, Bossanova seemed a little humdrum, a bit ordinary. In the years since I've learned to love some of the songs off it, Velouria and Digging For Fire and some others, but nothing meets the standards they set in 1988 and 1989. And while some bands have persuaded me to keep buying their records I've never felt the same urge with Pixies. The compiled Peel Sessions and B-sides albums are well worth your time and money as companions to those two late 80s masterpieces..
Velouria (Peel Session)
Monday, 17 October 2016
This song was left off St Etienne's debut Foxbase Alpha and is one of the bonus tracks on an upcoming twenty five year anniversary edition (triple vinyl, double cd, booklet, cigarette cards etc). It's a wonder it didn't make the cut first time around with its lazy house drums, reverb and echo, and Sarah's sunny day vox.
Sunday, 16 October 2016
This is a lovely way to start a Sunday, a blissful, luscious new remix of Hannah Peel by Richard Norris (Hannah sings on the Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve album so this a favour returned). All the requisite elements are present and correct- a chunky drumbeat, piano, wobbly bass, sweeping strings and a swoonsome vocal. Richard has located the sweet spot, that point just before ecstasy tips into melancholy.
Saturday, 15 October 2016
I know I post an awful lot of Andrew Weatherall related material here but I think it's worth it. On a trip to the USA he popped in to do a mix for Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space radio show and it's a bit special. If you go here there's a download button. Weatherall did a show for BIS previously in 2009, one that got played a lot in the Bagging Area bunker.
Barry Woolnaugh - Great Spirit Father In The Sky - Moine Dubh
John Grant - Disappointing (Richard Sen Remix)
Craig Bratley - Play The Game (Andrew Weatherall Remix) - Magic Feet
Alan Rankine - Can You Believe Everything I See - Les Disques Du Crépuscule
The Blow Monkeys - Save Me (Unreleased Dub)
Jagwar Ma - Give Me A Reason (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Mario Viera - Cosmic Matter - Santa Esperanza Records
Herb Alpert - Rise (Tuff City Kids Remix)
Visti & Meyland - Tabah (DJ Disse Remix)
The Antirealists - Absence (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix)
Headman - Dechainee
Capablanca & T.Keeler - Trepanado
Friday, 14 October 2016
It's Friday, so as Drew puts it, let's dance! One of the fine blogs in my list to the right is Madchester Rave On, a cornucopia of 1988-1992 delights. Last week this song was posted...
A 1990 release from If? that is a joy from start to finish, the sort of record that sent clubs into a frenzy, especially those clubs in the faraway towns- Warrington, Blackburn, Burnley- those kinds of places which had rabid club scenes with loyal punters. In fact there are many out on the net who will testify that it was Legends nightclub in Warrington that made this tune. Saturday's Angels was very nearly a proper hit too after the group appeared on The Word but they missed out. If? included Sean McClusky (ex of Subway Sect and JoBoxers) and were faces on the London club scene of the late 80s and early 90s. Here's The Word performance in shaky VHS upload format from the Youtube account of the man himself, Terry Christian...
It demands to be followed by this from Paradiso, also from 1990, released on Boys Own...
Here We Go Again (Stairway To Heaven Mix)
Thursday, 13 October 2016
Experts have recently calculated that the number of re-edits in the world will outnumber the planet's population by the middle of 2017. But if there's one thing that 2016 has taught us it's that, as Michael Gove told us during the referendum campaign, 'the British people have had enough of experts'. Given the way he ran education during his time in office and how he then handled his own campaign for the Tory leadership he's clearly no expert at anything. Nigel Farage joined in with the general rubbishing of experts and I think we can agree that he's no expert either- the change in leadership at UKIP is a marvellous farrago. I'm sure that if any of us needed something serious and technical doing- fixing an engine say or heart surgery- the last person we'd want is an expert. What do experts know?
But back to re-edits. This new edit/remix of A Tribe Called Quest's Bonita Applebum dropped into my inbox yesterday. Rhythm Scholar is the expert in question, a scholar too, and has done a fine job, making Bonita all smooth and slinky with the little riff reappearing now and then. As a bonus you can download it for free with two extra versions, The All Nite Excursion and Dubb. I am down with this.
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Those of you with good memories may recall that last year I wrote about Le Volume Courbe, an experimental London based group centred around French singer Charlotte Marionneau. There was an album called I Wish Dee Dee Ramone Were Here With Me which had two songs on it that I loved. This one...
...and this one...
I have recently come into possession of a remix of The House. Sonic Boom has gotten his mitts all over it and given it his noisy, droney treatment. However since drafting this post word has come through and I've been asked not to share that remix right now, so sorry, it's not here. Having written most of the post I thought it was well worth sharing these two songs again. Enjoy.
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Back in the middle of the last decade Two Lone Swordsmen mutated into a live garage rock 'n' roll band with Andrew Weatherall on vocals, Keith Tenniswood on guitar and a bunch of friends helping out including Chris Mackin (Chris Rotter) on guitar and Nick Burton on drums. I saw them play at Sankey's but have no photographs. Who took pictures at gigs in 2007? Not me. These two live songs from when they played Brighton have come my way recently and thought some of you might be interested. First up is their speedy cover of the Gun Club's Sex Beat, which in studio version was on The Double Gone Chapel album.
Sex Beat (Live in Brighton)
Feast was on the Big Silver Shining Motor Of Sin ep, a four track vinyl release in 2004, a scuzzy, amped up tale of handing over cash to the doctor, over a building wall of sheet metal guitar noise. 'Ein, zwei, drei, vier...'
Feast (Live in Brighton)
Monday, 10 October 2016
Start the week with something new shall we? How about this, a noisy, motorik, squally slice of focused noise from London's The Early Years, from their album II, which came out a couple of weeks ago. Hints of Bowie in Berlin about David Malkinson's vocals while Roger Mackin's blistering guitars kick up a real storm. I posted a track by them back in 2012, Complicity from an ep which I played to death at the time. And I'll be off to check the new album out as soon as I get the chance.
Sunday, 9 October 2016
This is my 3000th post. I noticed the other day I was bearing down on this number. I should probably get out more and do things away from the computer but this blogging lark is a bit compulsive I have found.
We're in Sheffield today, there last night as well actually, for a friend's birthday- food, drinking and dancing was the promise. I like Sheffield and always feel like if I had to live somewhere else Sheffield would be near the top of the list- its got a good feel, defiantly northern, lots going on, some nice parts centrally and in the suburbs and the Peaks on the doorstep. A bucketful of musical history too, which Cabaret Voltaire are a fundamental part of. Formed in 1973 (1973!), pioneers of industrial, experimental and post-punk they shifted into synth based and dance influenced stuff in the 80s. Some of it hasn't dated that well, especially compared to some of their contemporaries, but they were always innovative and interesting. Cabaret man Stephen Mallinder has recently done a cover of Trans Europe Express with Steve Cobby which was posted at Acid Ted. This song, Kino from 1985, is a favourite and could still rock a dancefloor.
Kino (12" Mix)
Saturday, 8 October 2016
I'm A Cliche is the brainchild of French dj and producer Cosmo Vitelli. It's Edit Service offers up fortnightly remixes, edits and reworkings of all sorts of stuff by various remix types, often under pseudonyms, putting unofficial goodies into the public domain. Well worth a trawl if you've got a few hours on your hands this weekend. This one, Edit 61 from Front De Cadeaux, seems to be a slow mo version of Max Berlin's Elle Et Moi. The thunking piano chords and snaking horn make nine minutes fifty seconds go by in a very pleasant haze. Free download too.
Friday, 7 October 2016
While doing my Mick Jones post the other day I remembered another lesser known recording. The last song Joe Strummer wrote was Long Walk To Freedom 46664, a tribute to Nelson Mandela (46664 was Mandela's prison number). Never recorded by Joe it was performed at one of Mandela's 46664 concerts which aimed to raise awareness about and funds for HIV/Aids in Africa. Joe wrote the words. The music was written by *clears throat* Bono and Dave Stewart and it was debuted live by *clears throat again* Bono. I'll try not to mention him again. Joe's widow Luce and daughter Eliza were guests of honour at the 46664 concert when it was performed. According to the best of my knowledge/internet chatrooms Luce asked Mick Jones to record the song too after Joe's death and Mick agreed, re-writing the tune and playing all the instruments himself. In the months before Joe died legend has it Joe and Mick had been writing together after Joe asked Mick to come down to the Streetcore sessions. Mick felt uneasy but some writing may have taken place and one interviewer claims Joe had told him they weren't for a new Joe Strummer/Mescaleros album but for 'the new Clash record'. Whatever the truth, this would appear to be the last Strummer/Jones song, never officially released. Even the bootlegs are rare.
Thursday, 6 October 2016
In the aftermath of the Convenanza festival at Carcasonne last weekend in Southern France, put on by Monsieur Bernie Fabre, a musical celebration of Mr Weatherall and his friends, various bits of footage and songs are circulating in dusty corners of the internet. Woodleigh Research Facility played live along with Silver Apples and both sets were recorded, hopefully to make their way onto the net soon. One of the songs Weatherall played in one of his dj sets was this...
Good innit? Dating from 2014 but sounding like a lost 80s underground electronic record (maybe due its Kissing The Pink sample). Love that double bass too.
I didn't go to Convenanza by the way, I'm just living it vicariously through other people's posts.
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Something pretty much brand new today from Red Axes, a Tel-Aviv based duo (dj and producer style combo). Club inspired rhythms with repetitive melodies and a video exploring what goes wrong when the accounts department cut loose with virtual reality headsets and too much of those revolting energy drinks. You can buy the three track ep here if you wish.
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
This is a completely new to me Mick Jones song, from the soundtrack to a 1993 film Amongst Friends, (not previously heard of that either), set in New York, three friends growing up, gangland troubles, upward mobility and so on. BAD II are on the soundtrack along with The Pharcyde, Lemonheads, Tone Loc, Bettie Serveert, MC Lyte and Mott the Hoople. Mick has two solo songs, this one and No Ennio. I can't find No Ennio anywhere at the moment but Long Island is a laid back, lilting thing with a softly sung vocal and some recurring electronic atmospherics.
Monday, 3 October 2016
Amazing- I've posted songs throughout the month of October every year since 2010 and until now never done this one by Chris and Cosey. October (Love Song) was first released on 7" in 1983, followed by a 1986 version and there was an updated one in 2014 too. For two people who were in Throbbing Gristle, unless I'm missing some subtext or other, this is a beautiful little love song with a sweet electronic topline and spoken vocals over drum machine beats.
October (Love Song) '86 Version
There's also a very lo-fi, homemade video which I had never seen before until this weekend.
Sunday, 2 October 2016
I've posted nothing but 90s dance music for the last week and I was going to get out of that groove but then I watched some of Hip Hop At The BBC on Friday night and Monie Love came on. I'd forgotten about Monie. I had part shares in a copy of her debut album that went elsewhere at some point. Down To Earth is a totally infectious and funky piece of UK rap, with Monie's irrepressible South London vocal and in this clip the song is being performed at BBC 2's Dance Energy show. And the crowd love it.
Saturday, 1 October 2016
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.