Monday, 20 November 2017
Some more rivers coming your way over the next few days I think. Yesterday's river was the Afon Llugwy in Betws-Y-Coed, North Wales, photographed when I was there a few weeks ago. Today's river picture shows the Irwell, historic boundary between Manchester (right) and Salford (left). The pub down by the river on the Salford side, the Mark Addy, was ruined by floods in 2015.
In 2002 Doves found themselves caught by the river. I think it's the same river that R.E.M. were looking for yesterday, a mystical river rather than a geographically specific river. Rivers often symbolise time, power, nature obviously, loss of control, and futility (the futility of trying to hold a river back). Also the river, in song and in life, always joins the sea and then disappears into it. The narrator in this song seems to be talking to his son, who's made a mistake, been caught and now has to learn the lesson.
Caught By The River
Doves were a good band. Currently on hiatus, Andy and Jez re-appeared as Black Rivers in 2015. I've posted it before but this Richard Norris remix of their song The Forest is well worth hearing again, a kind of autumnal Balearica.
Sunday, 19 November 2017
I haven't deliberately listened to any R.E.M. for ages. I hear them in passing but don't often make the effort to play their records. Recently I had an overwhelming urge to hear Find The River. The album it finished off, Automatic For The People, came out a quarter of a century ago and for an album that is right up there in their back catalogue, Find The River is quite the ending, heartstrings tugged at for sure, but also optimistic and wide eyed (at the end of a record that was surrounded by rumours of death and illness). Lovely beyond belief.
Stipe's lyrics were much clearer by this point-
'The river to the ocean flows
A fortune for the undertow
None of this is going my way'
But he could still chuck in words for their own sake, for the sound of them-
'Of ginger, lemon, indigo
Coriander stem and rose of hay'
And finish with couplets that seem to mean something-
'Strength and courage overides
The privileged and weary eyes
Of river poet search naivete
Pick up her and chase the ride
The river empties to the tide
All of this is going your way'
Saturday, 18 November 2017
You know you're gonna be mine...
I'm going to bounce you out of your bed on this Saturday morning with a perfect piece of rave- pop from Bizarre Inc, a trio from Stafford. They had two hit singles in 1991, both ravier and more hardcore- Playing With Knives and Such A Feeling. I'm Gonna Get You is unashamedly pop, with vocals from Angie Brown (reworking lyrics from Jocelyn Brown's Love's Gonna Get You, a 1985 song which also contained germs of two other rave hits, a sample in Moby's Go and the line 'I've got the power!' in Snap's The Power). I'm Gonna Get You went to number 2 in the chart, based around a drumbeat, synth stabs and some vocal hooks. Once in your head they will stay there all day.
Yo DJ pump this party.
I'm Gonna Get You
Friday, 17 November 2017
Sometimes with a blog post the music comes first and the picture second and sometimes the picture comes first and the music follows.When I found this picture, about to appear in a new book about women in punk from Sam Knee called Untypical Girls; Styles And Sounds Of The Transatlantic Indie Revolution, I had to post it.
New Day Rising
New Day Rising from 1984, the same year the picture was taken, is the first song on the album of the same name and is a righteous blast of fast, melodic punk rock from three men playing as if their lives depended on it.
Thursday, 16 November 2017
There's been some discussion over the last couple of days at The Flightpath Estate (A Facebook group for Weatherall enthusiasts) about this 12" single from 1994, a one off under the pseudonym Meek. It came out on Conemelt's New Ground Dance Division and was limited to 500 copies- I only got a copy a few years back, via Discogs, but remember hearing it at a friend's flat in Liverpool, late one night after clubbing. I've posted both sides before but that was back in 2012, decades ago in blogging terms.
Glowing Trees is a long, abstract piece of experimental ambient-techno- whirring clocklike noises, some echo, a little melody box type refrain, a soft padding bassline- all quite dreamy and drifting.
Glowing Trees Part 1
Part 2 adds a kick drum and some extra rhythmic intent, propelling it forward. Very Sabres Of Paradise-esque (not surprisingly).
Glowing Trees Part 2
On the label at the centre of the record there is an inscription, reading 'with a head like a burnt candle'.
Dig in Webbie.
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Charlotte Gainsbourg has a new album, Rest, out on Friday. A few weeks ago this song came out, a brilliant piece of dreamy electro-pop, with all the right parts in all the right places.
Soulwax's remix of the same song came out a few days ago,with Belgian beats and cowbell and stretched out over eight minutes. Not quite as instant and emphatic as the original but worth a spin.
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Another long one today, a tad over an hour's worth of folky freakery for you. Back in September Andrew Weatherall guested on 6 Music's Freak Zone and played a load of unreleased songs from his Moine Dubh label. The first bunch of songs were released as part of a 7" vinyl subscription a year ago, five singles for fifty quid. The follow up, which is what I'm assuming this will become, is in this big mp3 file.
A Journey Into Moine Dubh (Freak Zone September 2017)
There's a mixture of Moine Dubh artists here, old and new. Frank Alba and Barry Woolnough both appeared in the first singles club or at the live night at Crystal Palace, Woolnough with the spooky song of loss Great Spirit Father In The Sky. Fireflies, Echowood and Lowroad did too. Nina Walsh, who is in this mix a few times including twice solo with some sparkling acoustic guitar songs, is half of the Woodleigh Research Facility and a long time musical partner. Rootmasters, Jessica Cahill, Eva Eden and Kave are all new ones to me. Over the course of an hour there's some strange modern British folk, some weird psych and some killer tunes.
Monday, 13 November 2017
If you fancy an hour's worth of highest quality machine music seamlessly mixed together by the hands of Richard Fearless then this Boiler Room upload should be right up your alley. Recorded back in 2013, it is a great set, some spacey dub techno, house and acid. Musically it's hypnotic, sexy, and forward thinking stuff and all done on vinyl. Some of the dancing by the punters behind Richard is a little irksome at times but then I wouldn't particularly want to watch back footage of myself cutting some rug either. Scott Fraser and Timothy J. Fairplay can be seen at various points- this was part of a Crimes Of The Future night. There's a Soundcloud upload of the set here. No dancers to distract from your enjoyment of the tunes.
There is further good news for those of us who love Richard's techno/house. He has a new single out in early December called Night Blind. If it's as good as the Sweet Venus/Rex 12" that came out earlier this year, it will be very good indeed.
Sunday, 12 November 2017
An online friend (Spencer) recommended an album to me recently and it's haunted and inspired me for much of the last week. 11, 000 Dreams is a compilation of works from Belgium's Jan Van Den Broeke, a series of minimal, low key synth pieces, drum machines and samples with spoken vocals. On one track Martin Luther King combined with some eastern guitar. Quite a bit of Eno and Byrne in places. Never less than interesting and frequently with some real depth and emotion. Here are two as examples (but you should really buy a copy and get the full effect of the 12 ambient and minimal wave tracks washing over you).
Who Is Still Dreaming?
Saturday, 11 November 2017
This is a new one from The Liminanas, a French duo whose stuff I've posted before- they did an excellent single last year with Hooky on bass (Garden Of Love). This one, Shadow People, has Emmanuelle Seigner on vocals, and has exactly the right amount of Gallic psychedelic buzz.
An e.p. called Istanbul Is Sleepy, recorded between their home in the South of France and Anton Newcombe's studio in Berlin is out in a couple of weeks with an album in 2018. The title track from the e.p. has been out since the end of September. It is a Velvets inspired blast and a total earworm. Le velours souterrain.
Friday, 10 November 2017
A last 1987 song for this week and I'm not even sure it's a very good one. Pop Will Eat Itself's Box Frenzy album was awash with drum machine and samples and on songs like There Is No Love Between Us Anymore they came up with something relatively original, a Midlands take on hip-hop/sampling with indie guitars. The song the album was equally well known for was Beaver Patrol, which opened with a sample 'Attention young ladies!', some crunchy guitar, crashing drum machine beat and then the line 'My favourite way of getting kicks, I go down town and I hustle chicks- beaver patrol'. From there on in it's a question of trying to work out if this is tongue in cheek, humorous, serious, a wind up or what.
It seems like most people were totally unaware this was a cover- I know I was for many years (until a friend bought me the Pebbles garage compilation in the early 90s). The Wilde Knights wrote the original, a 60s organ and guitar garage song. Somehow I'm pretty sure The Wilde Knights were totally serious.
Thursday, 9 November 2017
In August 1987 The Sugarcubes released Birthday, an instant indie hit thanks to John Peel and the music press, a record so different and otherworldly that almost on its own it took the band round the world. I've posted it before, twice. The following year they put out Life's Too Good, an album with Birthday plus nine slices of high octane Icelandic guitar-pop. I've included many of them, Delicious Demon and Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow especially, on compilation tapes and mix cds ever since. Motorcrash was the last single from the lp, released to promote their US tour at the end of '88, a tour which saw them wined and dined and play at The Ritz in New York with Bowie and Iggy in attendance.
During the American tour they played Saturday Night Live, which you can watch here. The performance by co-vocalist Einar Orn which illustrates exactly why Bjork would eventually go solo. In this clip they play Auburn, Alabama with similar results- blistering band, brilliant lead vocalist, irritating co-vocalist.
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Let's stay in 1987, a year that has a bad reputation as being at the height of 80s excesses, but there is plenty of gold to be found. Darklands for example...
A very simple song- a couple of chords, some fuzz, some do-do-do-do-do-doo backing vocals and William's tale of teenage alienation.
Ten years later Primal Scream covered Darklands and did quite a job on it- murky, numb, disturbed and distorted. The Scream had bene in a hole for some time at this point and began to climb out with Vanishing Point. This cover was the B-side to the If They Move, Kill 'Em single.
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Released the same year as yesterday's Shark Vegas song New Order put out two non-album singles in 1987, True Faith and Touched By The Hand Of God. True Faith was the chart smash, the crossover hit with the award winning video but Touched... has long been its equal to these ears. The juddering synth bass intro was written by Hooky, waiting around for the others to arrive at their rehearsal studio, their timekeeping being a long standing gripe of Hooky's. Tellingly in Substance Hooky notes that 'Barney was happy with it'. From there on in the full band contributed to fleshing it out. Originally Touched... was recorded for the soundtrack of the film Salvation!, a parody of televangelism (a straight to VHS release). New Order recorded several other songs for the soundtrack and then had Arthur Baker remix Touched... for its release in December 1987 as a single. There's an effortlessness about it, synth-pop disco brilliance, which makes it favourite of mine, Hooky's bass well represented and Bernard's lyrics seeming to carry the weight of personal experience.
Touched By The Hand Of God
Kathryn Bigelow's video, shot at their Cheetham Hill studio and intercut with MTV video pisstake snippets, is a hoot- all the group dressed as a hair metal band (and Hooky in his normal clothes).
I'm sure if, like me, you were there at the time, you really don't need me to tell you that this single is 30 years old and that, as people like to point out, in 1987 a single that was 30 years old then would have been released in 1957 and etc etc. Where did the last 3 decades go? When did we all get so old?
Monday, 6 November 2017
That was a tough week just gone and probably one to come (for various reasons but y'know, onwards and upwards- we still have music to keep us going). Shark Vegas were a Berlin based band, containing Mark Reeder, who was the Factory Records man in Germany. He put together Shark Vegas, and went through some line up changes including a drummer, Tommy Wiedler, who went on to The Bad Seeds. They supported New Order in 1984 and had a song (You Hurt Me) that was produced by Bernard Sumner and Donald Johnson (as B Music). Bernard wanted to release as a single and played guitar over the end section. In 1987 a compilation called Young, Popular And Sexy (FAC US 17) was released in the US and Australia. On it was this long forgotten song, a bit of a lost electro-pop classic- yes, there are bits of it where it sounds massively like New Order.
I don't have a MP3 of You Hurt Me but here's the 12" version from Youtube (FAC 111 and recorded at Conny Plank's studio in 1984).
Sunday, 5 November 2017
Saturday, 4 November 2017
The return of Ride and their position close to my stereo is something I definitely wasn't expecting this year. I wasn't too bothered about them back in the early 90s, a couple of songs aside, and their Britpop incarnation was of no interest to me at all. But the 2017 Ride and their Weather Diaries album (a couple of songs too long maybe but a good record and Cali is one of my favourite songs this year) and now a new single- all of these things are pleasing me. This new song, Pulsar, has a lovely throbbing distorted bassline, highlighted by a drop out twice, and some beautifully FX laden guitars. Erol Alkan's production gives everything a hard shine. Good stuff.
Friday, 3 November 2017
I like this, yet another new thing for autumn. Steve Mason and Martin Duffy (Primal Scream's keyboard man) have joined together as Alien Stadium and have a four track e.p. out in December called Livin' In Elizabethan Times (including a song remixed by Brendan Lynch, who always hands in interesting work). Steve Mason has one of the most recognisable voices in modern music, married here to a memorable riff and a general sense of expansion and wonder.
Thursday, 2 November 2017
The Orb's 1997 single Toxygene is a blast of uptempo brilliance, almost a pop song, and their biggest hit (number 4). It began life as a remix of a Jean Michel Jarre track, Oxygene-8. Jarre didn't like it and dumped it. Further pissing Jarre off, The Orb released it themselves as a single, adding insult to injury by claiming that 'the French are always 5 years behind anyway'.
This version starts with ambient noise, voices and found sounds before passing traffic and the sample 'now wait a minute' bring it to life.
Across 2 cd singles and a 12" there were a myriad of remixes, including ones from Thomas Fehlmann, Steve Hillage, Fila Brazillia, Way Out West and Kris Needs. This is the longer of the two Kris Needs versions. Unapologetic, pumping techno- it may not get replayed too many times.
Toxygene (Kris Needs Up For A Fortnight Remix)
The Top Of The Pops appearance is a another occasion where, like the famous Blue Room 3D chess game, The Orb took a different approach, this time spinning around on the waltzers in silver spacesuits while fiddling with keyboards and computers...
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
It might be early November with the darkness consuming us at teatime but we can still, with the power of music, conjure up the heady days of summer, the warmth and the sunsets. In July Nancy Noise's Azizi's Dance was remixed twice by Andrew Weatherall. Tucked away on the 12" single was this masterful piece of Balearica, remixed by downtempo duo Leo Mas and Fabrice. Joyful, slinky and all about the groove. It sounds like the smell of sunkissed skin.
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Steve Cobby's new album, Hemidemisemiquaver, came out last Friday. I've been living with it for a few days (while also waiting for pay day so I can order the double vinyl) and can report that it is excellent. From the liquid funkiness of opener Jenkem to the inventive electro of The Canyons Of Lower Manhattan, the dub stylings of Babylon On The Hudson to the downtempo Balearic drift of Fixing The Shadows, it never disappoints and frequently delights, showcasing Steve's love of sound and attention to detail, the little twists and turns he puts in, the joy and the adventure. Double vinyl, cd or digital, you can/should buy it here.
Monday, 30 October 2017
Two new Richard Norris remixes for your enjoyment at the start of the week. There's a lot of new stuff out at the moment, from all over the place and a multitude of sources. It's difficult to keep up.
This one is a new version of Morning Velvet Sky by Gulp, one that has gone down a storm recently with punters at A Love From Outer Space. Pulsing synth bass, echo on the drums, and then joined by a spaced out, slightly folky vocal. Blissful. Gulp contain one Super Furry Animal (Guto Pryce).
And this one is Richard's remix of Drive by Halina Rice, a London based producer. It picks up where the previous one started/left off- whooshing synths, electronic arpeggios, Halina's choral vocals and some space age flamboyance. Magical stuff.
Sunday, 29 October 2017
Once a month Sunday becomes our Music's Not For Everyone day, our guide Mr. Weatherall presenting us with two hours of tunes old and new. This month's edition is full of the usual sonic delights and discoveries, taking in Faten Kanaan, Syrinx, Sibusile Xaba, Hologram Teen, Yamasuki, T Rex (I've heard of them, tick), Carlton Melton, The Gimicks, Dennis And The Menaces, Belbury Poly, Hove, Groupe Dago, The Vendetta Suite, 4416, Paradise Box, Abdou Al Omari, Mugwisa International Xylophone Group, Barry Adamson (yup, that's two) and Spider And The Flies (Horrors offshoot, three). As you were, as Our Kid keeps saying.
Saturday, 28 October 2017
I've written before about Swedish producer Paresse and his slow motion, glacial tracks, landing somewhere between Balearic house and Italian disco via Stockholm. He has a new ep, Sloth Machine, out soon on Belgium's Eskimo records- truly criss-crossing Europe here aren't we? The four track ep has been led off by this one, Temples, a throbbing bass, some cosmic synths, plenty of atmosphere and a general sense of forward momentum.
The artwork, from 1896, is titled La Paresse. In French, a propensity to do nothing, a reluctance to work or make an effort. Lounging around on the bed with no clothes on tickling a cat would qualify. I guess it also explains the title Sloth Machine.
Friday, 27 October 2017
Let's end the week with some dub, a previously unreleased track from On-U Sound about to be part of a Dub Syndicate vinyl re-issue set (first four albums) and a cd anthology box (Ambience Dub 1982-1985). This is a heavy duty, wandering slice of Sherwood dub with Bim Sherman's vocals floating above the rhythms. Echo, reverb, hisses, wobbles, sounds dropping in and out. Friday has come and it's not a second too soon.
Thursday, 26 October 2017
In June Richard Fearless put out a 12" single with an A-side that I've been returning to ever since, a high quality piece of modern techno called Sweet Venus. The other side of the single was this, a thumping piece of acid techno, hypnotic and repetitive. The sort of track where attention to detail is utmost- lovely oscillating synths, crisp drums and the cymbals are a total joy in themselves. It just glides by.
Out recently on Fearless' own imprint Drone is this from Von Haze (produced by Fearless). Solar Plexus is a ten minute exploration of drone and frequencies. It's too insistent to be ambient. You'll either love it or it'll do your head in.
Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Back at the start of the year Kelly Lee Owens released an album of woozy, slightly off kilter dance music songs. It was stuck to my turntable for a while and will be dug out again before the end of the year. Kelly has reworked a new song by Mount Kimbie, a dance music duo who started in dubstep and moved elsewhere- ambient electronica, future garage. The result is right up my street, a repetitive echoey sound to open and a single kick drum, and then several minutes of build, layers of sound on top of each. When the bass hits at two minutes everything gets spaced out a bit. The echoey, keening sound comes back with some pow-pows. By the time the vocal comes in at four minutes you're well away, transported elsewhere. Blissful stuff.
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
There's a dreamlike quality to The Cure's Just Like Heaven, a 1987 single recorded in the south of France. The instruments come in one by one, the quicktime drums and melodic bass then rhythm guitar, followed by keys and lead guitar, and finally Robert Smith's lyrics and thin vocals, inspired by a trip to Beachy Head with Mary. Smith says it is about 'kissing and fainting to the floor' and that sense of giddy weightlessness crosses over into the music.
Just Like Heaven
Dinosaur Jr's 1989 cover is faster, louder and messier. It still carries the sense of weightlessness but is rooted in small venues, spilt beer and feedback.
Just Like Heaven
Monday, 23 October 2017
Godspeed You! Black Emperor have a new album out, Luciferian Towers, another state of the world address and an attempt to topple global capitalism with noisy instrumental music. Song titles like Bosses Hang Pt I to III and Anthem For No State give you an idea of where their heads are at. If you are familiar with their back catalogue there's nothing here that will especially surprise you but the power, drama and intensity in the playing are as impressive as they've always been.
Saturday, 21 October 2017
'...since I know why you have come! But your quest is in vain! You cannot save your world from being ravished by Galactus!' The colour, vibrancy, movement and energy in these frames is something else.
The opening track from 808 State's 1989 album 90 is the first track on the memory stick in the family car at the moment. I can't get past it, hitting replay time after time while running around- the melodic intro, then the breakbeat and busy bass, synths in technicolour and Vanessa's spoken/sung vocal.... 'come with me and have no fear, just close your eyes and disappear'. Dead stop.
I'm away overnight and haven't had the time to write anything for tomorrow so it's a rare Sunday off at Bagging Area. Enjoy your weekend.
Friday, 20 October 2017
Silver Surfer again, exploding out of deep space and bringing with him Galactus, devourer of worlds. But the Surfer makes his choice, the surfer stands with earth!
More good news for the people of planet earth, there is a new release from Finiflex (some of Finitribe) . This four track release on Bandcamp (digital and yellow vinyl) has four versions of Ta Ta Oo Ha. Origination, the nine minute, full length one is the one I'm going back to most, but the low slung, hypnotic throb of TX20 Agent Of Intelligence is a treat too. I really like this e.p., a blast of modernity with a foot in the early 90s.
And as a bonus, just in case you needed reminding, here is one of 1991's best releases.
'Bass, can you hear me? Loud and clear. Crunching through these speakers to you...'
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Doctor Doom, perennial enemy of the Fantastic Four, has frazzled the Surfer and is now 'invincibly superior... and has attained powers without limit-- power enough to challenge Galactus himself!' We all know how this ends- overconfidence is always the downfall of a supervillain. Even Victor von Doom.
Jack Kirby's artwork doesn't make me think of reggae too often- Lee Perry's Super Ape sleeve art and a few others aside- but in a week of new music today I offer you the honeyed voice of Hollie Cook and some wonderfully poppy reggae vibes on this single Freefalling which comes out tomorrow. An album, Vessel Of Love, produced by Youth is following in January.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Back to Marvel's Strange Tales today, with Jeremy Corbyn, prior to his leading the Labour Party I imagine, ending up with an injured hand and doing Mordo's bidding. Jeremy has clearly failed in his quest to strike back at the ancient one.
Earlier this year Siren (a chuggy electronic house duo) released a four track record. The lead song, Lulu, has been remixed by Italian cosmic-disco experts to absolute perfection. Daniele Baldelli and Marco Dionigi send the track to a lush and expansive other-world, with Devi Mamboka's wonderful vocals floating on top. Viva Italia.
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
One of this year's treats has been a remix by Chris and Cosey of Different Days, the title track of The Charlatans latest album. Rude Audio, a London based collective, have done a completely unofficial re-edit of Chris and Cosey's already rather gorgeous, Balearic remix. Rude Audio have pared the vocals back, dubbed it up and let the lovely, bubbling synths take centre stage.
In the picture the Fantastic Four's own powers have been combined by this set of magic gloves and this will enable them to be totally defeated--now-- and forever!! By hurling their own powers-- magnified many times-- against them!!
Monday, 16 October 2017
I was going to give the Marvel thing a rest but I've got several great frames still to use and it's given the writing of posts a new lease of life for me and I don't ignore those kind of things when it comes to trying to find something to say every day.
Barry Adamson, a man who has played bass with both Magazine and The Bad Seeds, had several first rate solo albums and a bunch of soundtracks (including The Beach, Lost Highway and Natural Born Killers), has a new e.p. out next month- remixes of his Love Sick Dick 6 track e.p. Love Sick Dick was a kind of modern, urban blues for 2017. One of the remixes out next month is by A Certain Ratio.
Martin Moscrop, ACR's guitarist and trumpeter, describes the remix as more of a collaboration. ACR built up a new track, with drums, 303, guitar, keyboards and trumpet, dropping in Barry's vocals, chopped up, and the backing vox. The remix is tagged ACR:MCR Rework and the reference to their 1990 masterpiece is spot on. This sounds like a continuation of the sound of that record, lovely uptempo grooves with Barry's vocals on top and an extended funky end section. Very good indeed.
ACR have recently signed a deal with Mute and a series of reissues has started, with Good Together and ACR:MCR due next year.
Sunday, 15 October 2017
The Inhumans look like a band- an L.A. punk band, Black Flag maybe, or a second generation UK punk group like The Rezillos. There's something of Pixies about them too. The Inhumans first appeared in Fantastic Four in 1965, evolutionary advanced superbeings, led by their king Black Bolt. In this frame they have kidnapped Sue Storm (The Invisible Girl) and are facing down her brother Johnny Storm (The Human Torch). Coincidentally I've just seen an advert for a new Inhumans TV series, about to be shown on the Murdoch channel (which I don't subscribe to).
The Rotters Golf Club Archive Hour Vol 10 has recently been posted online, an hour inside Andrew Weatherall's record collection. This one is very much a band based affair and perfect for Sunday morning.
'No! They've brainwashed you! You don't know what you're saying!'
Radiogram – Waiting For The Merry Go Round
The Fall – Bill Is Dead
The Faces – Debris
Cowboys International – Here Comes A Saturday
Del Shannon - That’s The Way Love Is
The Czars – Killjoy
Lali Puna – Move On
Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell – The Breaking Hands
P. F. Sloan – Upon A Painted Ocean
The Duke & The King – The Morning I Get To Hell
The Felice Bros. – All When We Were Young
Alex Chilton – Every Day As We Grow Closer
Brett Smiley – Queen Of Hearts
Sir John Betjeman – A Russel Flint
Ian McCulloch – Nothing Lasts Forever (Live)
Scott Walker - Lines
Saturday, 14 October 2017
'Beautiful Dreamer versus Darkseid! Both hold the key to victory in the strangest war ever fought in comicdom history!'
More early 70s Jack Kirby-Third Eye- Black Light psychedelic madness. The more of this Marvel art I look for, the more I find, the more I want to post. I was planning to finish yesterday but there's more to come.
Two days ago reader KevM asked for The Box by Jack Of Swords, released on Weatherall's Sabres Of Paradise label back in 1994. The Box is a cover of The Velvet Underground tune (from White Light/White Heat), a tale of sexual obsession and accidental death, voiced by John Cale (and it's the original Cale vocal used on this cover too, a benefit of the being able to lift the whole isolated vocal off the Velvet's record by switching the speakers balance to the left hand channel). The Jack Of Swords version has a heavy, electronic backing that is pretty transfixing. On the B-side of the 12" single was a remixed version by Technova (David Harrow), a brilliant remix which adds a jackhammer beat, some speaker rattling bass and a load of acid-techno (the sort of record that makes me think I can smell dry ice) and see strobes flashing in the corner of my eye.
The Box (The Black Angel's Death Mix)
Friday, 13 October 2017
A 1971 psychedelic/Norse crossover, this one drawn by John Buscema, from the Third Eye series. Odin resurrects Hela. So shall it be.
This can only go in one direction can't it? From 2008's Black Sheep album, some prime recent Julian Cope.
More from the Marvel Third Eye series, these ones are all by Jack Kirby I think, but its the colourist who's getting most of the fun- The Infinity Man, an acid trip in spandex; the Silver Surfer, freed and unbound; magnificent Medusa.
And because Cope has more than one Marvel link, Spiderman and Daredevil threatened by Submariner- The Teardrop Explodes!
This is their 1979 single (that inspired its own tribute song by Chris Sievey and the Freshies, otherwise known as Timperley's own Frank Sidebottom).
Thursday, 12 October 2017
'Doubt and fear hang heavy in the passing light years---- until the passing form of the ranger centre appears!
ARE YOU CAST IN MY IMAGE?
We grow in your image!!--please translate us into penal section'
I'd love to explain what's going on here but I can't (so if anyone knows please put something in the comment box). Jack Kirby in full on, all the way up to 11, everything louder than everything else, Marvel psychedelic mode. Magical.
Lucy And The Mango Man is a fairly stoned psychedelic excursion that came out on Weatherall's Emissions Audio Output label in the mid 90s. It's by Is. The voice at the start is Lux Interior from The Cramps. It's a little less frenetic than what's going on in the picture but could easily soundtrack us sonic and sci fi adventurers as we cruise past by the giant hand with a brain in it, an eye on the wrist and yellow beams shooting from the fingertips.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Silver Surfer was Norrin Radd, the young man from the planet Zenn-La who saved his home world from Galactus, the planet devourer, by agreeing to act as his herald. This resulted in Norrin flying through the cosmos announcing to various planets that they were about to be destroyed. He later turned on his master, defending the earth. Exiled to the blue planet he spent much of his time shaking his head, ruminating on existence and despairing at the inhumanity of mankind.
Silver Surfer first appeared in a Fantastic Four comic in 1966. When drawn by Jack Kirby a completely silver humanoid with no genitals on a surfboard sweeping through the cosmos, his speech coming from Stan Lee's scripts with him speaking in a kind of Shakespearean English, makes perfect sense.
Here's some beautiful minimal ambient-techno from Aphex Twin.
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
No grandiose caption or speech with this Steve Ditko spread for Dr. Strange, who is on a very odd voyage into another dimension. And while that nearly led me to Intergalatic by the Beastie Boys it also put me in mind of Cavern Of Anti Matter and this piece of experimental retro-futurism from their 2016 album Void Beats/Invocation Hex.
It's nice to have something calming and melodic to bring you safely home from excursions such as the one Dr Strange is taking. From the same record, this fits the bill perfectly...
Melody In High Feedback Tones
Monday, 9 October 2017
'It is as I have feared' says Dr Strange, 'the cataclysmic impact of their clash threatens to destroy them both!' This frame comes form the Strange Tales comic. Eternity, created by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, is a sentient force, a cosmic and abstract entity, immortal and unaffected by the passage of time and can warp space and time. Steve Ditko's art goes even further than that.
Michael Rother's 1977 album Flammende Herzen was his solo debut, recorded after his time in Neu! and Cluster. It is only 5 tracks long but every second and note is perfect. Rother plays guitar, synths, keys, bass and percussion. Jaki Liebezeit drums and Conny Plank produces. Harmonic, cosmic, unaffected by the passage of time.
Sunday, 8 October 2017
I've been posting some artwork on Twitter recently, frames from the golden age of Marvel Comics, (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko era) with a distinctly psychedelic edge to them. The riot of colours, light and shade, the melodramatic language, the composition, especially from Dr. Strange and Fantastic Four, are all from way out in the outer reaches of the imagination. What I thought I would do here for the next few days is post some of the pictures with a song that the picture suggested to me.
The frame is from the Fantastic Four- 'I've done it!! I'm drifting in a world of limitless dimensions!!' says our hero, 'It's the crossroads of infinity-- the junction to everywhere!'.
The tune is from 2000, Marshall Jefferson vs Noosa Heads, remixed by Salt City Orchestra, and the long, trippy, deep house magnificence of Mushrooms.