Week three of my spotlight on some of Andrew Weatherall's lesser known or more outlying remixes. The definition of that may be quibbled with- for some Weatherall heads, none of these will be overlooked or less well known.
In the rush of his early remixes, the period from 1989 to 1992, Andrew redefined what a remix could do and be- this wasn't just tinkering, extending the intro or adding disco drums, this was new music made from the source material and Andrew's record collection, spun into new shapes and pushed way beyond where the original song started in many cases. Along with Hugo Nicolson, the list of remixes from this era contains wall to wall brilliance, genre smashing, dancefloor filling mayhem, a new psychedelia splicing acid house and dub with indie/ leftfield guitar bands and the music from the margins of the previous twenty years. Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, The Grid, James, Saint Etienne, My Bloody Valentine, Jah Wobble, That Petrol Emotion, The Orb, S'Express and A Man Called Adam were among the music paper friendly names that gained the words Andy, Weatherall and Remix in brackets after their song titles. Lesser known acts- Meat Beat Manifesto, The Impossibles, Airstream, Finitribe, Love Corporation, The Moody Boys, West India Company and Word Of Mouth- all saw their music remixed to glorious effect too.
As 1992 ticked on things changed a little, with Andrew's remix of Yello and Future Sound Of London pushed things more techno and less Balearic/ indie dance. Caught somewhere on the cusp of the technicoloured first flush of remixes were three remixes of Galliano's Skunk Funk. Galliano's spoken word/ beat poetry/ acid jazz was good fun if not to everyone's taste. Their albums In Pursuit Of The 13th Note and A Joyful Noise Unto The Creator (1991 and '92 respectively) had Blue Note typography and sleeve design, Rob Gallagher's semi- stoned rhymes and insights, Mick Talbot on keys, a Beatnik Bez with a staff called Snaith and reggae, skull caps and ponchos, soul, funk and rap stirred into a smoky pot. I saw them play at the Hacienda, the venue nowhere near full and loved them. Skunk Funk was one of A Joyful Noise's standout moments and Andrew's remixes were released as a standalone 12" single. The lead remix was the Cabin Fever mix, a nine minute and forty second lesson in how to remix. Opened with Valerie Etienne's backing vocals, 'a woah woah woah woah woah woah woaaaah' rising and falling and some scratchy FX. A rhythm begins to start up a minute in, the whole thing smothered in a fug of smoke. Bells ring, bubbles pop, timpani tumble and percussion rattles. A didgeridoo smatters about. The entry at two minutes of the drums and bass lifts us suddenly onto the floor, the groove now everything. The drums pause now and then leaving the bassline at the fore, a massive, isolated, woody bass loop. There's a clipped guitar riff , more clattering drums, more didgeridoo, then a guitar solo, the bass in and out, instruments being thrown in and out of the mix and in the final minute some vocals finally break through. Massive fun and a sense of controlled mayhem.
The Cabin Fever Dub kicks off with Jean Binta Breeze, the dub poetess whose album Tracks from 1991 also provided Andrew with the vocal samples for his remix of Saint Etienne's Only Love Can Break Your Heart. 'And when the music plays, we hollah!' Jeans says and the bass kicks in. The Dub mix is shorter, only five minutes long, a distilled version of the Cabin Fever mix, with the vocals and elements re- arranged again, the rubber bassline right at the front and snatches of voices and vocals.
There is a third remix, the Soldier's Mix, which was the version I played at Blossom Street Social when we DJed there back in April but I don't have an mp3 of it (or if I do, can't find it) and it doesn't seem to be on Youtube either.