Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Friday 8 March 2024

Pamela One To Four

Pamela Records is a London based label with to date only four release to its name (three already out and one to come shortly), run by Dave Jarvis and Darren House. Pamela is a sister label to Moton Records (and hence the joke of the name, which I think is Tamla Motown pun). Pamela 001 was one of the last releases by Andrew Weatherall before his untimely death in February 2020- in fact if memory serves Pamela 001 arrived on my door mat just a few days after Andrew's death. The EP has four Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh tracks, led by the track The Moton 5 (another Motown. Jackson 5 pun I'm guessing). The Moton 5 is a slinky number built around a deeply chuggy groove and some machine based noises, occasional bursts of timpani and synth chord key changes, and a huge descending, slightly Eastern sounding synth string part. 

The other three tracks on Pamela 001 show how high Andrew's quality control was- all three are the equal of the lead track and all stand alongside anything else Andrew recorded under his own name. Slap And Slide has the inclusion of a burst of slap bass, something fairly rare in Weatherall world. March Violets sees the return of Andrew's steam powered drum machine and some very WRF bleeps and FX (and is named after one of the novels in Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy,highly recommended if you fancy some detective fiction set in Germany in the 1930s). The Moton 5.2 finishes the EP off, a further deconstruction of the lead track, uberchug, chug as a way of life. 

Pamela 002 didn't appear until three years later, in the summer of 2023, a four track EP by Jo Sims titled Bass- The Final Frontier. It came with a David Holmes remix that was one of my favourite pieces of music from last year, seven minutes and twelve seconds of wobbly, slo mo, supercharged sci fi acid house. 

The flipside of the 12" had two further tracks, Demons Of Dance and Mumbo Jumbo. The former is a bass led beast, a fuzzed up electro crawl. The latter is a wiggy and spaced out treat pushed onwards by a rattling drum track. 

Pamela 003 followed a few months later, an EP from Anthony Teasdale called Tango de la Boca. Once again, four tracks across two sides of a 12" single, with the title track a chunky, sundown moment with a rippling piano line.

The EP also featured A Pavement In Palma and Deep In The Forest Something Stared and was completed by the Balearic sounds of It's 5am Somewhere

Pamela 004 is next, four tracks from Justin Robertson. I pulled together a fifty minute mix of Justin's recordings as Deadstock 33s a few Sundays ago (it's here) and by happy coincidence his Pamela EP comes out at the start of April. Justin's EP keeps the standards high, not just of the Pamela back catalogue but of his own releases and recordings from recent years. There's plenty of wired dub basslines, chuggy drums and spacey FX, a wonderful four track, twenty five minute release. Opener In Minus Shadows is a dubby delight with a front foot bassline and some guitar that could come from an early New Order record. The distorted effect on the voice makes the vocal sounds like its been beamed in from some other world, and is a close cousin of the track Justin gave us for The Sounds From The Flightpath Estate Volume 1. The snares rattle and echo while the kick drum thuds away. It's followed by Endless Motorcade, propelled by a faster, pumping drumbeat, with revving engines and a foreground synth bassline. Sci fi bleeps and FX swirl around. Cup Of Silence follows, basement chug, thumping kick drum, melodica, shakers, flutters of flute and more disembodied vocals. The dub bass returns, a Sabres Of Paradise style speaker shaker. Of Ghosts rounds things off in fine style, drum machine gainfully employed and plenty of squelch and filters bouncing around. Washes of synth chords come in, again recalling early 80s New Order, the promise of an imaginary Factory electronic dub offshoot from 1983, and then bleeps riding over it all. 

No comments: