Friday, 20 April 2018
Celebrate the arrival of Friday and the weekend with this- a free download of an Aron Ya reworking of Moon Duo's Sleepwalk (if trancey, psychedelic, repetitive, acid drenched drone rock is your bag. And if it isn't, why isn't it?)
Thursday, 19 April 2018
More from Manchester's musical back pages (and not Morrissey who makes it worse every time he opens his mouth right now- just when you think he can't sink any further he does. Pretty soon it will be impossible to listen to The Smiths without visions of racist, far right fuckwittery). I overheard the opening to Why Can't I Touch It? coming through from the TV and stopped in my tracks to let it go on. Whatever programme it was didn't let it go on very long but it sounded superb, the reggae feel to the drums, the opening riff, all angular and jerky, followed by Pete Shelley's high pitched frustration and confusion (I've always assumed this song is about sexual frustration). The twin guitars stalk around each other while the bass and drums play a kind of Mancunian dub version of Can. Why Can't I Touch It? was released in 1979 and while it doesn't necessarily sound very modern or 2018 it also doesn't sound like it is nearly 40 years old.
Why Can't I Touch It
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
I found myself humming this song to myself while at work earlier this week- not sure what that tells you. This Too Shall Pass Away was on World Of Twist's 1991 album Quality Street, the 3rd track in after the magnificent opening one-two punch of Lose My Way and Sons Of The Stage. Fading in on some studio chatter and tons of echo and a bubbling bassline, it is a gently sung, swirly piece of psychedelic pop, FX and atmospherics courtesy of producers The Grid. This Too Shall Pass Away is a cover, one of two covers on the album along with their terrific cover of The Stones' She's A Rainbow (and also Sly Stone's Life And Death on the cd version). It was originally by 60s pop combo The Honeycombs, who had a million selling number one with the Joe Meek produced Have I The Right?
This Too Shall Pass Away
Quality Street is often seen as a 'lost' album, a record that slightly missed the boat. The band lost momentum and broke up. Part of this was down to the failure of the album (and not having a massive hit single) which led to the band being dropped. The Manchester wave crested and broke. But it was partly down to the album itself (not that there is anything wrong with the songs or the production). It's the mastering of the volume. It's too quiet. Tony Ogden, who died in 2006, was interviewed about the record and said 'We wanted to make the greatest psychedelic dance rock album ever and there was a lot of coke and E in the studio. But the album came out at half normal volume. We'd spent £250,000 making an album with the smallest bollocks in pop history! The band just fell apart. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast and that led to communication problems. I didn't wanna sing, the guitarist didn't wanna play. When the company didn't get a hit they threw us in the bin. I was devastated - I spent four years on smack watching Third Reich movies because the good guys always win. I'm really sorry for letting our fans down. But I'd ask anyone to play that World of Twist album 20 times with every dial on full. If it doesn't rock, come and smash it over my head.'
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
There's a lot of new music out now or imminently. Hardway Bros will put out a new ep at the end of May, 4 new tracks led off by this one- Friedman Feedback Loop Revision- where Sean Johnston loops some magic over a hi-hat and some drums and then lays waste to your speakers.
Sean's ep releases over the last few years for New York label Throne Of Blood have been uniformly excellent, especially the Pleasure Cry 12" from 2016 (with Argonaut being among the best tracks of the year to Bagging Area ears). If you want to catch up with the back catalogue you can get it all digitally at Bandcamp.
Monday, 16 April 2018
I recently acquired a copy of a 1993 12" single by Ege Bam Yasi- thanks Ctel by the way- and have been coming back to it fairly frequently. Ege Bam Yasi was from Inverness, born James MacDonald, an early adopter of acid house and has been making records since 1986. He took his stage name from the famous Can album and in 1993 put out a cover of Can's only hit single I Want More, recorded with Edinburgh's Finiflex. There are 3 mixes on the 12", each one based to a greater or lesser extent around the Michael Karoli guitar riff, and clearly intended as much for the floor as for home listening. This one has a vocal sample, the instruction 'everybody listen', that choppy riff, some flute and a crunchy Finitribe/Finiflex rhythm. After one minute thirty-ish it becomes increasingly acid house.
I Want More (Malcolm Eggs Mixegg)
Sunday, 15 April 2018
A new two track release (digital and 12") from Toby Tobias, Second Stimulus and Syncro Surfer using up all the S alliteration. Second Stimulation is an eight minute journey through staccato synths and a machine pulse with intermittent bass. Syncro Surfer is a Detroit-esque rush of sirens and hi-hats, clattering percussion and bleepy pulses. This sort of thing is really pushing my buttons right now.
Saturday, 14 April 2018
Fireflies are Nina Walsh and Frank Alba and have recorded some weird, spooky folk music in the recent past. This song is something else though, a post punk bassline and some electronic atmospherics over which author Gareth E. Rees gives a compelling spoken word performance, a vision of Duncan Sharp, becoming increasingly intense over its seven minutes. The track was recorded live at Weird Shit in Hastings last year and is as good a way to disturb your Saturday morning as any.