Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Clock Factory

Following Drew's post on Friday- it doesn't take much for me to return to Weatherall- here's some early Sabres Of Paradise, illustrated with a photo from Boy's Own fanzine (captioned in Lord Sabre's own hand I believe). Clock Factory took up an entire side of the vinyl release of Sabresonic (1993), a tad under fifteen minutes long. Across its seven tracks (or eight if you count Smokebelch the Beatless Mix, an extra 7" in initial copies and added to the cd release) Sabresonic has cuts aimed fairly and squarely at the dancefloor (Still Fighting), some very smart dub-house (RSD) and some more abstract, broken beat ones (Ano Electro). Clock Factory is the more ambient one of the set- whirrings and tickings and time moving slowly but purposefully.

Clock Factory

Saturday, 30 January 2016


I was listening to Big Audio Dynamite's third album, Megatop Phoenix, released in 1989. In 1988 Mick Jones contracted chicken pox which then spread to his lungs causing double pneumonia. He was close to death, in intensive care and in a coma for several days. Hence the phoenix of the title. It was also the last album made by the line-up of Mick, Don Letts, Leo Williams, Dan Donovan and Greg Roberts last album. BAD had already pioneered sample based songs, using drum machines, films and hip hop and reggae influences. By 1989 they were soaking up house sounds too. The album shows the quality of the group's songwriting, the wide range of Mick's lyrics (James Brown, love and romance, the UK, football, the emerging house scene, Victor Tretchikoff's famous Green Lady painting, Tower Bridge and World War II all make appearances) and the scope and wit of the sampling- Charlie Watts' drumming, Bernard Cribbins, The Great Escape, Noel Coward, George Formby, Alfred Hitchcock, The Who and The Pretty Things and James Brown (again) are among the credited ones. House music is all over the lead single Contact, essentially a verse-chorus house song sung by Mick and the song House Arrest is pretty convincing too- pianos, jackhammer bass, whistles. There are songs which are cut and paste experiments and songs which are more crafted. It's an album that intends to be modern. It's not easy to get hold of currently and doesn't seem to be in print- but if you go second hand you'll find an overlooked but fine lp. Rewind is sung by Don Letts, digital reggae inspired, diverting off into Tenor Saw's Ring The Alarm at one point and including part of the later song Stalag 123 played backwards. Ideas busting out all over the place.


The band shots on the inner sleeve are superbly late 80s. Mick went to the photoshoot dressed like this...

Friday, 29 January 2016

Chase The Bush

Oooh, this is a dancefloor stomper with the chug in full effect from Sean Johnston's Hardway Bros. Some of squiggles are messing my central nervous system up a little. Turn the lights off, get someone to flick the lamp on and off really fast.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party

I kept seeing Courtney Barnett's name in the end of 2015 lists and have eventually got around to listening to her album Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit. The music is satisfyingly catchy, ramshackle three chord indie with thumping drums propelling the songs along. There's something early 90s about it, but with a bit less slacking. Her biggest strength is her writing- Courtney's lyrics are a total joy, she has real fun with words, throwing out lines that are clever and witty, grounded in everyday life, occasionally slipping some genuinely profound moments. Unfortunately part of me can't help feeling that I'm maybe twenty years too old for this record.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Dub You Can Feel

From cosmische yesterday to dub today. There are a bewildering number of King Tubby albums and tracks, some on what look like iffy labels in poorly printed sleeves/cd cases. You can't go wrong with the two definitive dub albums Tubby made in the mid 70s, The Roots Of Dub and Dub From The Roots, both made with Bunny Lee. The titles are often brilliantly self explanatory as well- Dub You Can Feel, A First Class Dub, Rocking Dub, The Immortal Dub. The sounds and experimentation in those records never fail to move and inspire and (like Neu!'s music), it never sounds old or dated either.

What colour is dub? Dub is green.

Dub You Can Feel

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

New Musik

If we're doing cosmiche we shouldn't go any further without acknowledging the masters. I never get tired of Neu!, that combination of straight ahead rhythms and guitars being fed through some lovely FX pedals for up to ten minutes. It's funny - all those bands active in West Germany from the late 60s onwards, produced by the same combination of geography, socio-political events, youth culture and US and British rock 'n' roll, get lumped together and don't really sound anything like each other. Neu!, Can and Faust sound very different from each other, which can make first delvings into the genre very confusing.


Monday, 25 January 2016

European Orange

Weatherall played this on his radio show last week and it complements the kosmische theme currently circulating this corner of the interwebs- The Swede and Walter have both been on this tip with Fat White Family and Cavern Of Anti-Matter. The Wrestler are from rural Sussex, and according to legend record in a bunker studio that was built for a abandoned European trade fair. They put this out as the flipside of a split 10" single alongside The Cult Of Free Love. The rhythms are motorik, the synths pulse and throb and the guitars are beamed in from West Germany circa 1972. Beautiful repetition. Sehr gut.

Split singles are a good thing I think. My main issue with them is where to file them? Which band's name takes priority?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

You Might Still See Them In The Desert

The Orb's Little Fluffy Clouds is one of the most enduring singles from the early 90s, never sounding old or tired, always full of promise and possibility. This demo version came out on a three cd compilation  called The Orb and Youth Present Impossible Oddities which you can pick up for just three quid in Fopp at the moment. The demo isn't quite there in terms of the final single but it's well on the way.

Little Fluffy Clouds (Demo Version)

Saturday, 23 January 2016

And The Drums, The Drums, The Drums...

Back in 2008 two piece, girl-boy duos were all the rage and while also putting bass guitarists out of work. The Ting Tings briefly flared into the public consciousness with a chart topping single called That's Not My Name. The other side of the single was this song which I always thought was a belting piece of pop music, from the clanging opening D chord to the frenetic rhythm and the chorus chant of 'imagine all the girls (ah ah ah ah ah ah aaah) and the boys (ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah) and the strings (eee eee eee eee ee ee ee ee) and the drums, the drums, the drums...'

Great DJ

Friday, 22 January 2016

Radio Witherspoon

Andrew Weatherall came back with the first edition of 2016 of his Music's Not For Everyone radio show the other night. If you've enjoyed these shows in the past you'll know what to expect- two hours of wide ranging, genre spanning, head expanding sounds. Don't touch that dial.

Dream Slumber

Dream Slumber is a remix of Annette by T-Coy. In other words Mike Pickering and Simon Topping remixing themselves. It's a fantastic piece of 1988 Mancunian acid house that could fit in with both Drew's Friday series and by Pickering's association with Factory my 2015 Factory Friday series. The sequenced bassline is a dream and the record glides towards it's stuttering sample conclusion... 'that's a baaaaaad record'.

Dream Slumber (T Coy Mix)

Thursday, 21 January 2016


I'm enjoying the new Andrew Weatherall project. No surprise there you might say. The Woodleigh Research Facility's The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories) is eight songs spread over four sides of vinyl (download to follow in February from Rotters Golf Club). Weatherall and Nina Walsh's sound is rhythm and bass led, guitars added by Franck Alba and on the final track by Youth. Entirely instrumental every song is long, up to nine or ten minutes, allowed to unwind fully, taking its time and in no rush to get anywhere. Not that they drift aimlessly either- there's some of the Sabres Of Paradise dubbiness plus some of Two Lone Swordsmen's abstractness. Going further and deeper.

There's probably a few vinyl copies left if you hurry. As Drew and I discussed over Twitter the other night the only disappointment is the lack of a proper sleeve- two discs and a single card insert inside a plastic bag.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Daniel Avery's acidic mixture of noise and rhythm has been floating my musical boat since the turn of the year. It's intense and precise stuff but aimed at the feet just as much as the head. In November he put out a single called Sensation.

Resident Advisor recently archived a lot of their dj mixes including this one Avery did for them which builds and drops and peaks and troughs in all the right places.This would be suitable for a long drive in the dark through the middle of nowhere.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Run For The Shadows

I've been doing what everyone else has been doing- a solid diet of Bowie, digging in and around his extensive back catalogue. These two extras came up and I thought you'd like them. The first is an edit of Golden Years. You might think that as possibly Bowie's greatest moment from a life of great moments that it didn't need mucking about with but this is a funky mid-set dance edit; loop that riff, add those beats, a smidgeon of vocals and lot of spirit. Strictly unofficial but very, very sweet.

Golden Years (Mano Le Tough Edit)

The Secret Life Of Arabia (off ''Heroes'' in 1977) always had more than a touch of disco about it. So why wouldn't someone beef it up, disco-not-disco style, and send it under flashing neon lights to dance? Little Leaf did so, very nicely.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Eno Returning

Brrrr- it's chilly out. How about some Brian Eno to start the week? In fact, how about an hour long mix of Brian Eno, originally put together by the Test Pressing website back in 2010, no longer available at their website as far as I can tell.

The Producers Series 2 Brian Eno

Many of the tracks selected here have that late 70s and early 80s sound rather than the ambient soundscapes he's as well known for. Strange syncopated rhythms, treated guitars, African influences, multitracked vocals, funk bass, oblique strategies.

Brian Eno: Sky Saw
Brian Eno: No One Receiving
Brian Eno: Strong Flashes Of Light
Brian Eno: More Volts
Talking Heads: Double Groove (Demo)
Brian Eno: The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch
David Bowie/Brian Eno: Abdulmajid
Brian Eno & David Byrne: Into The Spirit Womb
Brian Eno: St Elmo's Fire
Brian Eno & Harold Budd: The Plateaux Of Mirror
Eno Mobius Roedelius: Foreign Affairs
Brian Eno: In Dark Trees
Brian Eno: Mist/Rhythm
Brian Eno: By This River
Brian Eno: Just Another Day
Brian Eno: Bone Bomb
Brian Eno: The True Wheel

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Lotus Breath

There are some nicely psychedelic sounds, carried along by insistent drums and handclaps on this release from Portland, Oregon based producer AC Gruns. First track Lotus Breath is like faint sun reflected on frost, caught somewhere between ambient and the dancefloor. Time And Space Shuffle opens with burbling synths, voices and static and then moves up into the cosmos and keeps going but the jarring drums keep it from being too close to chillout.

Saturday, 16 January 2016


Mogwai are going to release their soundtrack to Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise, a BBC4 documentary from last summer. The documentary was a montage of the atomic age- mushroom clouds, fallout shelters, the Cold War, protests, X-rays and so on. The album will be have ten tracks and this one, U-235, is out on Soundcloud. It actually manages to sound like growing up in the 1980s with the ever present threat of nuclear war.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Them And David Bowie

The crazy, beautiful stream of all things David Bowie related this week has been both wonderful and very sad. The sheer amount of music is one thing, the words and memories another and then there's the pictures. This one of two South London boys enjoying a beer backstage at Shea Stadium popped up. As did this one below...

Big Audio Dynamite in New York in 1987, with Bowie, Peter Frampton, Jimmy Cliff, Dave Stewart (ugh) and Paul Simonon again (Havana 3am supporting B.A.D.) One of the later B.A.D. line ups did a cover of Suffragette City which I thought I had a digital file of but don't. I can't find it anywhere on the internet and can't rip my vinyl right currently either. You'll have to imagine it. The influence of Bowie on the punks is well documented. This picture of a pre-Sid Vicious Simon Ritchie on his way to see Bowie at Earl's Court has been widely shared too...

Bowie was enormous in 1970s Liverpool. Pete Wylie tweeted this week that Liverpool's 70s youth had to reject their city's homegrown music and find something new- and that was Bowie. Wylie's old mucker Ian McCulloch released an album of acoustic songs called Pro Patria Mori in 2013, coupled with Bunnymen songs done live at the Union Chapel. This was Mac's tribute to the Thin White Duke.

Me And David Bowie

And just because a Bowie post isn't complete without some music from the man himself, this is an absolute highlight, his best moment from the 1980s, a soaring, romantic song from a widely panned 1980s film, plucked out of nowhere with a hastily scrambled together bunch of musicians sometime in London in 1986. A favourite of mine (and Simon and Drew's too).

Bowie with Absolute Beginner Patsy Kensit. I had a bit of a thing for her in 1987.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Death Is A Star

The first song on the first album by The Clash is Janie Jones, a rollicking, snarling, high octane dash through London circa 1977. The final song on their final album Combat Rock, 1983 is Death Is A Star. It is so un-Clash like, so far removed from the world and sound of the band from six years earlier it could be the work of a different band. Combat Rock was mixed to be a radio hit in the USA and the singes delivered that. They played in stadiums. Death Is A Star has a Strummer monologue, Mick Jones' jazz piano tinklings, Topper playing with brushes, crickets chirping and a downbeat, solemn atmosphere. Joe said the song was examining why people queued up to see people get killed in films, what that meant and why people did it. It takes in motels, studio backlots, Spanish mountains, drugs, jungle warfare, flags going down and 'smoking in the dark cinema as the guns go off again'. As a signing off, from the last album and from the band itself (although they weren't to know this at the time), it's hard to beat.

Death Is A Star (Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg Version)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Like Acid Ted I am eagerly awaiting the second album from Hull's MonoLife (titled Sandalphon). Last year's album, Phrenology, was one of my favourites of 2015, full of ideas and inventive electronic tunes. He's put a few tasters for the new one on his Soundcloud page. This one is moody with washes of synths and some bleeps riding the drums.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Certainly Not Your Average Girl

I've had this song going round and round in my head recently- I think it's Pete Astor's fault. She's My Best Friend was recorded by The Velvet Underground in May 1969 and wasn't good enough (!!!) to make any of their proper albums. Eventually it came out on VU in the 1980s as you surely know but it's pretty much as good as anything else the post-Cale group recorded. It demonstrates the brilliant simplicity of Lou Reed's song writing perfectly- and what's more it was sung by Doug Yule.

She's My Best Friend

Monday, 11 January 2016

Freak Out In A Moonage Daydream

We were in Paris at the end of October. At dusk we crossed the road from the Seine, by the bridge with the padlocks (now being removed), towards The Louvre. It had been stupidly warm for late October. The Eiffel Tower was lit up in the distance. We walked up to an arch leading into the courtyard of the Louvre as a busker was hitting some chords. As we walked towards him and the archway we got a fade in effect and as we passed him he hit the chorus of this song...

'Keep your electric eye on me babe
Put your raygun to my head'

I nodded and dropped a coin as we walked past and then as we moved away he faded out...

'Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah'.

You could put together a list of ten David Bowie albums and one hundred songs and still be arguing about what to leave out. I'd take his work over that of both The Beatles and The Stones. He inspired many of the people who came after him and who have been featured on this blog. I'd wager most of the people who blog in the blogroll to the right have his albums in their collections. His songs, his look, his art, his influence is almost incomparable in popular music. RIP David Bowie.


Speedwell was the b-side to St Etienne's Nothing Can Stop Us 12". A second 12" single was released with this remix by Dean Thatcher and Jagz Kooner of The Aloof, one of those deep, dub-house remixes from 1991 that are rather popular round here. For that moment just after the sun has gone down (probably best in a summer context that, given that it goes dark at around 4pm currently).

Speedwell (The Flying Mix)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Cool Breeze

I've finally got a new computer to replace the gas powered desktop I've been running with for the past seven years. Bought last weekend, picked up Thursday night, set up Friday night and tinkered with for much of Saturday. The speed at which it does basic tasks compared to the old one is astonishing. No more staring at the screen waiting for pages to load, no more crashes while composing posts and copying text and codes, no more banging my head against the desk and considering writing things out on paper and hand delivering them to you all... it's something else. On the other hand copying over thousands of songs and pictures is bewildering. Sorting the music into an order that I recognise could take some time. Getting into accounts may also prove interesting. For a while yesterday I was locked out of this blog and couldn't access my emails (cue long phonecall to my internet provider which resolved the email issue). I'm sure there are passwords for websites I won't remember either. But it's fast at doing stuff. This is Big Youth from 1979 with some smart roots reggae for your Sunday morning.

Cool Breeze

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The Universe Makes Me Cry

Steve Mason is back with a new album and this achingly good new song- Planet Sizes. He knows his way round a tune and those signature multi-tracked, melancholic vocals are in full effect. What's it all about? I don't know... love and loss and redemption, the search for meaning in a random world.... It's very good.

Steve has made music under several names since the Beta Band split up. His last solo album (Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time, 2013) had two songs that were absolute brilliance- Fight Them Back and Come To Me- that I still play regularly. A few years before, 2008 I think, he made an album inspired by 80s electro using the name Black Affair. This was the standout track for me.


Friday, 8 January 2016

How You Say

I was in the pub on Boxing Day with my friend H. We were talking about music (having done work, football etc) and were agreeing on how we love drones. Drones, repetition, tension and release. This Daniel Avery remix of Factory Floor is perfect and ticks all those boxes. The original is jerky and noisy. The remix is more subtle, still with noise but a more peaceful noise. The electronic drones are at times calming and at times intense. The build up of tension is superb. The whole thing is driven by a bassline and a kickdrum that pulse. It shifts in places, slightly but dramatically. Remix perfection.

How You Say (Daniel Avery Remix)

Thursday, 7 January 2016

My Right Hand

Pete Astor is back (new album Spilt Milk out tomorrow). This song channels the later period Velvet Underground and is fucking ace. Lovely little guitar riff, drawled vocals.

From The Loft to The Weather Prophets to Ellis Island Sound to the Dead Trumpets solo album a few years ago, there's loads of good stuff in Pete's back pages- maybe nothing has ever quite topped this classic 80s indie single from The Weather Prophets.

Almost Prayed

There are two versions of Almost Prayed. This is the slightly longer one. And here it is done live on the Whistle Test in 1987, complete with leather trousers.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

She Never Understood

As well as running Creation Records Alan McGee had a band called Biff Bang Pow! who sounded about as indie and Creation as it was possible to- jangly 12 or acoustic string guitars, half sung and half whispered vocals, little touches of organ, tinny production, smothered in melancholy and regret. The compilation pictured above has eighteen examples plus that eye catching cover shot and it isn't half bad. Most of the songs are about girls- happy girls, sad girls, girls who never understood, girls who paint or haunt, girls who run the Beat Hotel. A snapshot of a little part of the mid 1980s. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My Etherealrealness

Back to work today after a lovely two week break. Harrumph. But it's also Timothy Tuesday, as promised weeks ago. Here we have three tracks from a new e.p. from Mr Timothy J. Fairplay, out pretty soon and limited to 300 copies in silkscreened sleeves. The first song, My Etherealrealness is magnificently unhinged, all kinds of tones and melodies playing off against each other and the rave rhythm. Track two, Phantom Trap, I posted at the start of December. The third is Flying Saucer Review, percussive and echo-laden. This is shaping up to be one of his best records yet and given the high quality of his work last year that's saying something. As for the owl costume, I have no idea... but I like it.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Standing On My Own

I posted some Richard Norris remixes last week and since then have been getting drawn back to this one, over and over.

The Ball And The Wall is a project by Danish producer Noah Rosane joined on this song by singer Ida Wenoe. Sumptuous and well Balearic. Some winter sunshine for the first Monday of January and the new year.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Trainspotting From Brighton

There's an hour and a bit of lovely house music, all from 2015, in this podcast/mixtape here put together by a friend of mine (Meany), based in Brighton. It features Fatima Yamaha, Bicep, Steve Cobby, Roman Flugel, Psychemagik, Theo Parrish and plenty of others too- minimal in the right places, classy, pretty laid back and funky and showing that house music continues to provide us with those moments.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

All I Want

Drew and CC recommended Kid Wave and their album Wonderlust (out on Heavenly, who don't often get it wrong). Drew and CC didn't get it wrong either- I got the album last week and love it. The group are half Swedish, half English and the album was recorded in Stockport. They've got harmonies and melodies, clanging and jangling guitars, FX pedals and upfront drumming. Mainly, inside the glow of the fuzz, they've got songs. Like shoegaze but more in focus. And I especially love the way singer/writer Lea Emmery sings  'baby I am kicking off now' in this song.

Friday, 1 January 2016


                                                                 Jackson Pollock, number 6

Good morning, happy new year to you all. On January 1st 2010 I published my first post here so today is Bagging Area's sixth birthday. Suddenly that seems like a long time to have been writing this stuff- sometimes I can't see where the next few posts are coming from and sometimes they stack up like a warehouse. I'll suppose I'll just keep going as long as there is something left to witter on about. See you tomorrow for more of the same.

Here are some Sneaker Pimps.

6 Underground (Two Lone Swordsmen Vocal Mix)