Saturday, 27 May 2017
We're away this weekend, camping up in the Lake District. If we weren't I'd be going along to Strummercamp, the annual Joe Strummer bank holiday festival held at Manchester Rugby Club in Cheadle. This year's line up features Spear Of Destiny, The Membranes, TV Smith and Department X, and good vibes with good people. If you're nearby and at a loose end, day tickets and weekend tickets are still available. Say hi to DJ Gadge if you see him.
Clash time. This is a ten minute unofficial mix of Bankrobber plus it's versions Robber Dub and Rockers Galore (with Mikey Dread on the mic), flowing into one another. Turn up the bass.
Bankrobber/Robber Dub/Rockers Galore
I'm not back until Monday so no posts til Tuesday I expect. Enjoy your weekend.
Friday, 26 May 2017
Now that the sun has appeared, suddenly and in a blaze of heat and light, this four track ep that Peaking lights put out back in February makes perfect sense. The lead song, Little Flower, has a spoken/chanted vocal by Chloe Sevigny and the music is pure psychedelic-dub- tropical- disco with the emphasis on upbeat repetition. The second track Conga Blue has a similar vibe with a heavily vocodered backing vocal. There's loads going on to lift the spirits.
Thursday, 25 May 2017
The Charlatans have a new album out tomorrow, Different Days. The single came out at the end of April, a chiming and clanging guitar led tune with some of the six string magic down to Johnny Marr.
The new album has all kind of special guests on it-Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert from New Order, Paul Weller, Anton Newcombe, Ian Rankin, ACR's Donald Johnson and Kurt Wagner among them. I hope it doesn't get weighed down by this multitude of guest stars. The previous album, Modern Nature, was a stunning record, full of songs shot through with sunshine and loss, a band writing their out of tragedy (the death of drummer Jon Brookes). The single above sounds like a Charlatans song to be played on sunny days from your car stereo or heard through open shop doors and windows. That's good enough for now.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
What happened here on Monday night and what we woke up to yesterday morning defies belief in so many ways and it's difficult to know what to say, especially in a music blog. Equally, it's hard not to take something like this personally when it happens so close to home. My family and my workplace knew several people at the Ariana Grande show at the MEN on Monday night.
Manchester is one of the most culturally diverse, multi-cultural and inclusive cities in the country. As Dave Haslam said on Twitter yesterday 'You've got the wrong city if you think that hate will tear us apart'. We don't do small mindedness, racism and intolerance. One deluded, indoctrinated, murderous little fucker does not prove anything about the people we know as our neighbours. Anger and hatred and rage are understandable reactions to the deaths of twenty two people, including children, on a night out to see a gig, but the minute we give in to hate we have lost. We stand together, we feel anger but we love life, we love love and we hate hate.
This song by Doves came to mind and the opening line which gives this post its title. And also this part...
'We don't mind
If this don't last forever
See the light
But it won't last forever
Seize the time
Cause it's now or never baby'
At times like this football seems like a very small thing in terms of importance but it's also a massive part of this city's history and traditions. With any luck tonight United will bring home a European trophy, with a multiracial, multicultural team of young black British Mancunians, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Equadorians, Dutchmen, Italians, Belgians, Armenians and more besides. United we stand.
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
On Saturday night we had a party at a friend's house. The hostess and myself share a birthday and this year we decided to have a joint celebration. Rather than dj at my own party (which could have been a little anti-social) I set up the mobile disco gear and burnt a load of cds, sequenced in the order that seemed right at the time. The first disc was all northern soul, ska and party reggae. This song sounded immense- that horn fanfare and the swell of the vocals. From 1969, it is an amazing tune, sung by The Flirtations, three girls from South Carolina (Ernestine Pearce, Shirley Pearce and Lestine Johnson) but written by the British songwriting team of Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington (who later came up with The Rubettes). But all that is history- the song is all that matters now and if it doesn't make your heart beat a little bit faster, there's no hope for you.
Nothing But A Heartache
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
Monday, 15 May 2017
I'm not sure The Replacements made a perfect album but they came pretty close with 1984's Let It Be (and in typical fashion the soul bearing and emotion of Answering Machine, Androgynous and Unsatisfied were undercut by thrashy instrumentals like Gary's Got A Boner and Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out and a Kiss cover). The strength of the album is also shown by the songs that didn't make it. Perfectly Lethal is driven by Bob Stinson's ragged guitar playing and the sense that they might be about to fall apart but are enjoying the ride.
They didn't always get it right on their albums with production and song choice. The version of Can't Hardly Wait they recorded for Tim but didn't include is vastly better than the one that came out with horns on it on Pleased To Meet Me. What rational band would record this song and then decide to leave it off an album. It's all part of what makes them one of my favourite bands.
Can't Hardly Wait (Tim Version)
Sunday, 14 May 2017
It's that man again. Andrew Weatherall has a slew of material coming out, remixes galore. Alongside those David Holmes, Mark Lanegan and Heart People ones this one just came out on vinyl and download, two remixes of Frank Butters Presents; Cult Of Glamour, a vocal and a dub. Synth arpeggios, tom toms, cymbals and a snare drum to rattle your brain.
New remixes of Yello, The Early Years, Piano Magic and Nancy Noise have all been trailed on his Music's Not For Everyone show over the last few months.
And then May's MNFE comes along for your Sunday morning musical adventures.
Saturday, 13 May 2017
Drew was waxing lyrical about the pleasures of Daniel Avery's Drone Logic album yesterday and then I found this, a very recent two hour shift he put in at NTS Radio. Two hours of what I hear you ask? Techno. Mainly wonderful, glorious techno.
Last month I wrote about the new single from The Hurt, a Manchester four piece with Rikki Turner at the wheel. Sleeping was co-written with Stephen Evans from Cabbage. When I wrote about them in April I said 'Sleeping growls and grinds, Rikki's baritone vocals recalling a northern Nick Cave, hiding his face from the light. Darker Sun is a brooding, bass led thing with overloaded guitars and female vocals, a soundtrack to a night out under the streetlamps in the rain'. And I'm sticking with that for now. Out now on Blindside Records.
Friday, 12 May 2017
This is a free download of Glass Candy's Digital Versicolor by New York's Black Light Smoke. I'm a big fan of Ida No and Johnny Jewel's uptempo house/Italo disco, especially 2011's massive, giddy, grin inducing Warm In The Winter. This one here is Moroder-esque and has a throbbing sequencer line aimed squarely at your dancefloor.
Thursday, 11 May 2017
Through the magic of social media I spent twelve minutes last night listening to this unexpectedly. It popped up in my timeline and now I'm passing it on again.
Conquistador (Sabres Of Paradise Mix 3)
This is a big file and the file host will probably say there was a problem playing it as a result but it should be fine to download.
The bit at seven minutes with the wire stretching noises followed by the increased tempo sounded particularly good. As was often the way in 1993 Weatherall, Burns and Kooner turned in three remixes of Conquistador for the 12". I've posted Mix 1 before back in 2012 so here's the other one.
Conquistador (Sabres Of Paradise Mix 2)
Shorter, chunky progressive house and with squiggly bits but liable to get you going if you like this kind of thing.
Espiritu were Vanessa Quinones and Taplin from Frazier Chorus, signed to Heavenly (a label that continues to put out top quality music to this day). Espiritu combined house with Latin beats and put out two albums and multiple singles. It became a one woman show after a while and more recently Vanessa has formed a band called Vanessa And The Os with James Iha (x-Smashing Pumpkins) and more recently still has been making French pop as Allez Pop.
At roughly the same time this popped up in my timeline too.
This is a picture of Jagz Kooner's Roland TR 808 which he is/was selling. In the accompanying blurb Jagz wrote that this is the actual machine that many Sabres Of Paradise songs and recordings were done using as well as some of Primal Scream's recordings (Swastika Eyes, some of XTRMNTR, some of Evil Heat). That's an actual piece of musical history. I considered having a whip round and getting part shares in it but couldn't raise the funds in time (offers above £3750).
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Standing at the counter at Monorail in Glasgow on Saturday waiting to buy my records I scanned the rack of 7" singles on display behind the counter. The first one my eyes landed on was by a group called Breakfast Muff. Which made me smile through my hangover- I'm just glad there is a band called Breakfast Muff. I asked the man behind the counter when he came back with my vinyl what they sound like. He pointed at the sleeve...
'They sound like that' he said. And they do too.
Raucous, scratchy, unruly and opinionated DIY guitar rock from a trio of youngsters, one male and two female, from Glasgow.
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Not one but two new Andrew Weatherall remixes for your enjoyment today. The first, a brooding remix of Mark Lanegan's Beehive from his new record, brooding but shot through with electricity. Lanegan's voice gets fed through an echo unit and there's a nice guitar part half way through before the beat comes back in. Very good indeed.
From the press release- Weatherall says of the remix, “I’ll be honest, when executing a remix usually the first thing to go is the vocal track. There are however exceptions. Mr Lanegan singing ‘lightning coming out of the speakers’ (or let’s face it Mr Lanegan singing full stop) is one of those exceptions.”
The second is a remix of Sydney duo Heart People, fired up breakbeats, whooshing synths, fast paced with a cool vocal. Free download.
Monday, 8 May 2017
Well, that was a lot of fun. Myself, Drew (Across The Kitchen Table), JC (The Vinyl Villain), Stevie (Charity Chic Music), Dirk (Sexy Loser), Brian (Linear Tracking Lives), Walter (A Few Good Times) plus various friends of JC's (Aldo, Colin, Carlo) and Drew's (Stiff, William) managed to pull the bloggers weekend off, a bunch of middle aged men loose in Glasgow city centre. I think we all had moments leading up the weekend when we thought 'will this work?' and 'what if we don't get on?', and had people say to us 'you're going away to meet men you only know from the internet- are you mad?'. Dirk and Walter flew in from Germany. Brian came from Seattle. Seattle! I drove up from Manchester. The Glaswegian contingent were generous and genial hosts. We stopped in various pubs and bars. We shopped for records. We did football and culture. We saw Glasgow in glorious sunshine. All was good. It just goes to show that friends you make on the internet can become friends in the real world too. It will definitely happen again sometime.
There's a post over at The Vinyl Villain today featuring a band who won't have cropped up too often on our music blogs, an Imaginary Compilation Album for Coldplay, that is partly ribbing us music bloggers and our obsessions (and quite right too, we take music far too seriously sometimes). While sitting outside a pub on Saturday lunchtime it was suggested that we could all follow suit and post songs by Coldplay today. It may even have been me that suggested it. But I don't think I can do it. Sorry. Actually, I'm not sorry. I'm not posting anything by Coldplay. Is this any use? Cold (cut)...
Kick Out The JamEs (Speng)
... and (Kid 'n') Play
Sunday, 7 May 2017
Standing in a bar on Sauchiehall Street on Saturday night I got distracted by this song. I didn't know what it was but its hazy, motorik groove got its hooks into me. The vocals sounded like Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab (but if it was Stereolab it was a song I didn't know and neither did Drew). Curiosity got the better of me so I went and asked the dj and it turns out it was Laetitia, singing on an Atlas Sound song. I'd not heard Atlas Sound before- an offshoot for Bradford Cox from Deerhunter (who I don't think I've heard anything by either but I know the name).
Just give this a spin for the next nine minutes. It will improve your day a little.
Friday, 5 May 2017
After work tonight I'm heading up the M6 for the first international bloggers summit in Glasgow where a weekend of middle aged men talking nonsense and drinking awaits. Tomorrow afternoon some of us are going to the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie to watch the mighty Diamonds play Queen's Park and hopefully secure their position in the play offs. Before that, record shopping at Monorail (and maybe a pint or two).
I have been to a Scottish football match before I now recall, on a 6th form weekend away in Edinburgh in 1987. A bunch of us went to Easter Road to watch Hibs play Aberdeen. We wandered down to pay on the gate, avoiding various scuffles on the way between supporters of Hibs and the Dons. At half time almost every single person on the home end pissed through the fence onto the steps that led up to the turnstiles. An elderly man standing next to me shouted abuse at Aberdeen keeper Jim Leighton all the way through the second half. Truly, these were the days. I don't know what Jim had done to earn this abuse other than be in goal. The old man made repeated reference to Leighton's bandy legs in conjunction with a part of female anatomy. Within weeks Jim Leighton signed for my club Manchester United where he kept goal until being dropped for the 1990 FA Cup Final after one howler too many.
Bert Jansch was born in Glasgow in 1943 and is widely regarded as the king of British folk guitar. This track has just surfaced online ahead of some re-issues, a song recorded with Johnny Marr, the king of indie guitar, in the early 2000s. Lovely stuff.
Thursday, 4 May 2017
World Of Twist were the outliers of the Manchester scene and made some cracking records between 1990 and 1992. Sweets was a stab at a hit on the proper charts with a lyric written by Tony Ogden in a deliberate attempt to write an awful lyric- 'sweets are sweet but you are sweeter baby'. Actually it isn't that bad. I've heard worse. It wasn't a hit reaching number 58 in 1991. This version is from the 12" single, produced by The Grid, and is really rather sweet.
Sweets (Barrett 200 Mix)
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
I heard this a few days ago for the first time and it's buzzing around my head quite a bit. The Moonlandingz started as a fictional band (created for an album by The Eccentronic Research Council who I do have an album by and members of Fat White family who I don't but probably should). They have now turned into a real band with a real album out. This song has a buzzing, nagging guitar riff, some spacey effects and a vocal by a singer repeatedly stating that he doesn't feel alright.
Sweet Saturn Mine
The wonderful Maxine Peake is in the video.
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
This is from the same year as yesterday's bank holiday Jam special and from another of punk's angry and intense young men, Kevin Rowland. There, There, My Dear explodes out of the end of Searching For The Young Soul Rebels, an album that has more than its fair share of musical and lyrical explosions.
The Stax v punk horns burst the song open and Kevin begins addressing 'Robin' and then takes him apart in a variety of ways, the most audible being 'if you're so anti-fashion, why not wear flares?'. Kevin follows up with a list of writers Robin likes to quote and disparages his claims of liking Frank Sinatra. On it goes, Kevin twisting his knife further and cramming more words into the lines than should really fit (and scan) until the spoken word section where he accuses Robin of hiding the young soul rebels, finishing with 'Maybe you should welcome the new soul vision'. I don't know who Robin is, whether he is a real person, an imaginary enemy, someone at the NME, an amalgam of people from other bands- he could be any of these. And whether Robin deserves Kevin's criticism or not, its a undeniably exciting and exhilarating way to close the album.
There, There, My Dear
Monday, 1 May 2017
That's Entertainment always strikes me as a bank holiday song, easily singable in a beer garden on a rare early May Day of sunshine, pub jukebox cutting through the TV sport and noise. Paul Weller admits to writing it drunk, home from the pub, in half an hour and it's easy to picture- once a couple of lines of the lyric came to him and the rhythm was there in his head, it must have just poured out. He even manages to make the 'two lovers missing the tranquillity of solitude' line work in among the urban and suburban poetry. Each line could describe a British bank holiday too from the screaming siren of the police car to feeding the ducks while wishing you were far away, from a kick in the balls to cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume. Weller and The Jam at their best, although the demo version off Snap! always sounds better than the re-recorded one on Sound Affects.
That's Entertainment (Demo Version)
Sunday, 30 April 2017
Talking Heads yesterday, Severed Heads today. Severed Heads are/were an Australian electronic/post punk outfit formed in 1979 and operating on and off with a revolving door of personnel from then until now. In 1989 their Greater Reward single was remixed in a variety of versions and mixes and the following year The Grid turned in this rather nice and very 1990 version, house piano to the fore at first, then beats and bass and handclaps before the pianos return.
Greater Reward (The Grid Remix)
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Jonathan Demme died a couple of days ago. When I was seventeen I watched Stop Making Sense for the first time, the Talking Heads concert film he made. It is fair to say that it made quite an impression on me. I wore my VHS copy out. This performance of Life During Wartime is something else with so many memorable moments- the keyboards are out there, David Byrne is full on and the bit where the front line all jog on the spot at the front of the stage is visually stunning.
Not only that, but this as well. New Order's best video for one of their many 80s peaks.
Friday, 28 April 2017
In 1987 Ce Ce Rogers and Marshall Jefferson made Someday, one of the definitive early house music records and the first house record released on a major label. From the warm, bouncing bassline to Ce Ce's vocal and the optimism of the lyrics, it is a record that leaves better than when it found you.
Thursday, 27 April 2017
In The Trees by Faze Action was a 1996 funky house single with disco undertones, sweeping strings headed for summer (made by brothers Simon and Robin Lee in Buckinghamshire). They went on to make plenty of other singles and albums but In The Trees is the one that they are known for.
In 2007 Carl Craig fed it through his Detroit techno/science fiction remix machine, starting out with a rhythmic buzzing sound and then adding layers and layers on top. The kick drum arrives after a couple of minutes. The synths rush in from stage left. By the time the strings hit you, the ride is all consuming and you're completely sucked in, heading for the black hole.
In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 Remix 4)
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
I watched the Warpaint gig from 6 Music's Glasgow festival on the iPlayer last week and then went back to last year's Heads Up album which underwhelmed me at the time. I'm a big fan of the group, the dance-rock grooves, the post-punk bass, Californian harmonies and fluid guitars, but Heads Up just seemed to wash over me without making much of an impact. I've got a bit more out of it now. This song, So Good, has a funky disco drumbeat, locked in bass from Jenny Lee and the vaguest of choruses. The instrumental part towards the end where the keys play off against the rest is a joy.
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
I've posted This Is The Day by The The before, twice in fact, but until last week I had never seen the video.
None of you need me to tell you what a great song this is, from the accordian to the softly sung vocals and the affecting autobiographical lyrics. I always assumed Matt was singing about a woman he knew but it occurred to me watching the video that he might be singing to himself. Either way, the observations are spot on. It is also one of those songs which seems to be about you. I'm also a big fan of the 1993 version complete with Casio organ preset rhythm (also known as That Was The Day)
This Is The Day (Disinfected Version)
The early 90s full band version of The The, including Johnny Marr and James Eller plus Zeke Manyika, reunited for a RSD only 7" playing tribute to Matt's artist brother Andy, who designed the eye catching The The sleeves, who sadly died last year. Just 2000 copies, no re-release, no downloads. I know at least one person reading this has one.
Saturday, 22 April 2017
We are driving to London today to watch a friend run the London marathon on Sunday. He lost his wife Sarah to cancer four years ago aged just forty-two, leaving his three daughters without a Mum. He couldn't run to the bottom of the road a few months ago so doing twenty-six miles is a big deal. If you've got any spare change down the back of the sofa or in that jar on the side and fancy making a donation his Just Giving page is here.
We won't be driving back until Sunday evening so I doubt there will be any new posts here until Tuesday. See you then. This is an early track from Battersea's finest, The Orb.
Tripping On Sunshine (Live Mix)
Friday, 21 April 2017
DJ Harvey looks a bit like that bloke in your local pub who got on one in 1989 and never really got off. Five years ago he put out an album as Locussolus which came with a bunch of remixes- Weatherall, Prins Thomas, Lindstrom, Emperor Machine and this one from Richard Norris' Time And Space Machine, a summer in the Balearic Isles house thumper with a gruff vocal.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
Henry McCullough is the subject of one of 2016's best songs, recorded by BP Fallon and David Holmes, a long, euphoric, spoken word tribute to the Northern Irish guitarist and songwriter. BP Fallon's vocal was recorded when he stayed at Holmes' house, the night after Henry's funeral. It's a stunning piece of work.
On Saturday Record Shop Day will be upon us again, the annual cash cow for record companies and Ebay scalpers, with the odd sideline benefit for independent record shops and fans. In terms of its intentions starting out, it was meant to get people back into record shops. Job done I think. But it's crossed over into something else now, something more crass and brazenly commercial. On the other hand, irritatingly, there are always one or two things that I want. Andrew Weatherall's stellar remixes of this track is this year's must-have record here in the Bagging Area bunker.
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Another long song but one that seems to shoot by far quicker than yesterday's expansive Screamadelica is Bang Bang Machine's Geek Love (also a favourite of Drew's but I don't think he's posted it this year). Bang Bang Machine, from Evesham near Worcester, never really found much success outside the indie ghetto and self financed this 12" which was also a favourite of John Peel and his listeners, who made it their Festive Fifty number one in 1992. The song starts out as indie rock but at a couple of minutes in becomes something dancier and stays there in, a dance-shoegaze groove with a totally hypnotic drum pattern and entrancing vocals, building further until finishing just after nine minutes. Lovely.
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Can you feel the rhythm?
Some songs that are ten minutes long fly by and some feel like they are ten minutes long, a journey to wherever the artist intends to take you. Screamadelica, the title track that wasn't on the album of the same name, was recorded in Memphis with Weatherall and Nicholson at the controls and released on the Dixie Narco ep in 1992. It is ten minutes of blissful Balearic house accompanied by Denise Johnson's vocals- 'spaced out, star child, screamadelica'- and an array of found sounds and other voices. Slip inside.
Monday, 17 April 2017
I think this is the first time I've posted anything by a band from South Korea- and if Trump continues the way he's set out recently it may be the last time too. The Korean peninsula is in danger of being wiped out in by a nuclear exchange ordered by a former reality TV show host who has ended up in charge of the world's most powerful military versus the clearly barking mad son of a tyrant/traditional dictator.
Say Sue Me come from Busan and are about to tour the UK with Otoboke Beaver. They have their first release outside of South Korea out on indie label Damnably. This song, I Know I'm Kind Of Boring, is fuzzy, melodic indie rock not a million miles away from Kid Wave and I could listen to it all day. You can buy their album at Bandcamp.
Sunday, 16 April 2017
April 14th saw a load of Aphex Twin articles published across the net, in honour of his 2001 track Avril 14th. I had a vague plan to post Avril 14th but forgot about it so here I am, two days late.
Avril 14th has been used in Hollywood films, sampled by Kanye West and streamed 38 million times. It is a beautiful, minimal piano piece, two and a bit minutes long, Erik Satie-like, that sounds like a robot has been left with a piano in the small hours.
This is Avril 14th slowed down by 1000% by Evan Chapman, twenty minutes of ambient noise.
Saturday, 15 April 2017
Peter Perrett of The Only Ones is the writer of a song that all bloggers are legally obliged to have posted at least once (Another Girl Another Planet). He has a long awaited solo album about to come out and this song has just appeared.
Peter's got a voice that is instantly recognisable and totally distinctive. This song lopes along like the Velvet Underground but a VU that celebrates Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. That's his sons are on lead guitar and bass.
While we're here, here's The Only Ones live at the Electric Ballroom in Camden in 1980. The gig was released as a live album in 1989 which I bought following reading a review in either the NME or Melody Maker. The final song Me And My Shadow blew me away then and still does now- Peter's vocals are wracked and drawled like no one else's, the guitars are vicious and the drums thumping.
Me And My Shadow (Live in 1980)
Friday, 14 April 2017
There is an absurd amount of music to explore at Psychemagik's Soundcloud page and their Bandcamp page (where they've just archived eight years of tracks for a fiver). Like Steve Cobby's recent six disc re-issue of How About Some More Ether? it's a question of getting stuck in and seeing which ones make the ears prick up the most and then getting to know the rest better over time. This song, Chimera, is very good, a laid back blend of drums and strings...
And I'm also quite taken with this remix the duo did for Roisin Murphy two years ago, a throbbing synth led dancefloor thing...