Unauthorised item in the bagging area
Thursday, 31 March 2016
Ok, last one in this particular run of posts- the extended, tranced and pounding Weatherall remix of Papua New Guinea. Future Sound Of London's original was more than enough in some ways but Weatherall redefined epic with this one in 1992. Are those seagulls I can hear?
Papua New Guinea (Andrew Weatherall Mix)
And just to bring us bang up to date this is Weatherall's remix of David Holmes's Unloved group and their When A Woman Is Around song, a highlight from the recent album- bass heavy and keeping parts of the spoken word section of the song. Out on 12" for Record Shop Day next month.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
As this is turning into a Sabres remix themed week some of you may cheer and some may quietly close the page and go browsing elsewhere but my compilation cd also threw up this track, a remix of Brothers Love Dubs, who were Alan Bremner, Dave Seaman and Steve Anderson. I can't tell you anything else about them except the Dave Seaman isn't the former ponytailed England and Arsenal goalkeeper but a relatively well known dj and editor of Mixmag. This remix is excellent.
The Mighty Ming (Sabres Of Paradise Remix)
And this one is too.
The Mighty Ming (Sabres Of Paradise Slow Mix)
Would kids today sit and watch the 1930s version of Flash Gordon on their Saturday mornings? We did, constantly. Ming the Merciless was played by Charles Middleton, accompanied in the picture by Princess Aura (Shirley Deane).
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
A third Weatherall/Sabres remix from the compilation cd found recently and another one I've never posted before. Yello are an electronic outfit from Switzerland. Sabres Of Paradise provided at least two remixes of Jungle Bill in 1992, both of which were long and groovy, a bit tribal and trancey, but I sometimes think Weatherall was playing within himself with these.
Jungle Bill (Sabres Of Paradise Mix 1)
Monday, 28 March 2016
Another remix from the homemade cd I found, this one of Deep Joy by Andrew Weatherall in 1990. A chunky beat, nice piano riff, some choppy guitar and a sax that dominates. I don't know exactly who Deep Joy were (the track is credited to Chad Page and Deep Joy and produced by David Harrow). Well Balearic.
Fall (Let There be Drums) Andrew Weatherall Remix
Sunday, 27 March 2016
One of the home made cd compilations I found in a box recently had a bunch of Sabres Of Paradise remixes on it, which have been happily soundtracking some of my recent journeys. This one stands out- a particularly dark and thumpy remix of Renegade Soundwave from 1995. 'I'm checking out her rhythms' the buried vocal intones.
Brixton (Sabres Of Paradise Remix)
The dub mix from the 12" is also pretty essential. Renegade Soundwave have a back catalogue full of rhythms that are worth checking out.
Saturday, 26 March 2016
Last week the excellent One Song A Day series at the When You Can't Remember Anything At All blog presented a song from Spacemen 3's Recurring album. Big City (Everybody I Know Can Be Found Here) is a ten minute pulse, drifting beautifully with Pete Kember's hazy drawl. The album was released after the group broke up with Pete (Sonic Boom) getting his songs on side 1 and Jason Pierce taking side 2, with a bunch of songs that point his way to Spiritualized. It's not a competition but right now Sonic Boom's songs are the ones that are doing it for me more.
Actually it probably is/was a competition.
I Love You
Friday, 25 March 2016
A full on, all the bells and whistles, Marshall Jefferson sampling 1988 hip-house hit (with the emphasis on house as much as the hip hop) from Jungle Brothers and Todd Terry on production. Still sounds massive and still likely to cause spontaneous dancing and throwing of shapes.
I'll House You
Thursday, 24 March 2016
Sad news yesterday with the news that Phife Dawg has died aged just 45. Phife (Malik Taylor) was a founder member of A Tribe Called Quest along with Q-Tip. The freshness of their debut album, along with De La Soul and The Jungle Brothers at the same time, cannot be overstated. So many great tunes contained within. I always loved I Left My Wallet In El Segudo especially the 'I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em' line for some reason.
The group's second album The Low End Theory was less Daisy Age, a more stripped back hip hop record. They always knew where they stood politically and socially and the wordplay, rhymes, vocal interplay and rhythms on this track are stunning.
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Ooh, I needed to hear something like this tonight. Bagging Area's promotion of the output of Steve Cobby continues unabated. This track, done in collaboration with Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire, as I'm sure you know), is rippling pleasure, transporting you away from it all for five and a half minutes. And with all the stuff that's going on around us at the moment, maybe that's as much as we can hope for.
It's being released on the excellent Throne Of Blood label with remixes by Max Pasc, Mark E and the always good Man Power.
March brings us yet another Andrew Weatherall show for NTS, his latest Music's Not For Everyone instalment. Strong stuff from the start as they say on the telly. Last song No Sway is an unreleased one from the man himself, a big stompy thing with keyboards running amok and a bassline that could dredge rivers. Before that there's Sexton Ming, Tindersticks, Colin Newman, Scientist, African Roots, Stinky Jim and a whole load more besides. No chatter on this one though, just the tunes.
And then as if that wasn't enough this one popped up too, Parabox 003, a two hour mix with Weatherall in the second hour, including Brian Eno, Jah Wobble and Section 25. Enough good stuff to keep your ears happy in the run up to Easter.
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
'Is that the only thing you care about?
Splitting up the money and share it out'
Written about Thatcher in 1983 and sadly just as pertinent today in 2016. The 12" makes use of those extra inches with those great strings and heads for the dancefloor. As Mac said, 'Lay down thy raincoat and groove'.
Never Stop (Discoteque)
Do you want to see the live version from the Royal Albert Hall? Thought you might...
Monday, 21 March 2016
The Sound Of The Atom Spitting was the B-side to the 1988 single Left To My Own Devices, a stone cold Pet Shop Boys killer single. For the B-side, a song much loved by both Julian Cope's head Heritage website and Jon Savage to name but two, Neil and Chris plus producer Trevor Horn wanted to take acid house, as inspired by the sounds they were hearing and their own line about 'Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat', and make actually psychedelic acid house. This involved the drum beat from Left To My Own Devices, some 303 bassline madness, Neil playing Debussy inspired chords on the keyboard, stereo panning and the full range of studio tricks. Neil's lyric imagines a conversation between a fascist and a liberal and the end of the world. Just another day in the studio for the Pet Shop Boys.
The Sound Of The Atom Splitting
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Massive Attack's new songs are sounding good. The Swede posted one over at his place recently, a collaboration with Young Fathers and an eye-catching video to boot. And now there's Ritual Spirit. Deep and unsettling music as per usual but the vocals from Azekel (pictured above) take this elsewhere, somewhere otherworldly. The video has Kate Moss, dancing in the dark with a lightbulb.
Saturday, 19 March 2016
Another day, another Andrew Weatherall mix- and this one is a little bit special. Titled RGC Archive Hour Vol. 9 and done for Tokyo Scene using only 7" singles- Sabres Of Paradise's marvellous Ysaebud among them. A low key, smoky, crackly and hissy delight that gathers pace over the sixty minutes it's here for.
There was a one day festival held in the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester last weekend- Cosmosis, a celebration of psychedelia with a line up that had me dithering for a while and then missing out- The Jesus And Mary Chain, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sleaford Mods, Wire and The Raveonettes were the biggest names. Looking back at that I can't imagine why I dithered. What a fool.
I didn't go but I was contacted by a man I know virtually, Paul Husband, music fan, Mancunian and photographer. He has supplied me with the photos he took and I'm sharing them with you plus some music for each group. There's plenty here to dig around in. Have fun. Hassle with passes and bouncers meant Paul missed The Mary Chain. If you're after a photographer for an event or just want to look at some of his work, it's here. The selection of pictures below will give you an idea of his talents and a flavour of Cosmosis. I didn't go. Did I mention that?
Bones Shake- a dirty, scuzzy blues three piece from Manchester. 'Here to save your soul' they claim. Quite possibly true too. The song below kicks hard.
Paul's favourite band of the day were Cabbage, another up and coming Manc band. Satirical neo-post punk according to their Bandcamp page. There's something going on here. The single Kevin is ever-so-slightly demented but controlled and directed too.
You know about Brian Jonestown Massacre I'm sure, Anton Newcombe's merry band of psyche travellers, formed in 1988 and tripping out ever since.
What You Isn't is a feedback driven thump reviving the spirit of '69. Not Bryan Adams' '69, a murkier, more acid version of the end of the hippy dream.
Sleaford Mods- you don't need me to tell you about Sleaford Mods. The voice of Cameron's Britain. An authentic response to austerity. Modern laptop punk. Etc. I like 'em. I'm just glad they're there. I first heard them on one of Andrew Weatherall's Double Gone Radio shows a few years back, a song with a chorus that included the line 'rinsing Screamadelica' which I know I've got somewhere digitally but can't find right now. I'll have a root around the hard drives.
I'd never heard of Freakout Honey. Manchester based again and they're certainly photogenic.
The only song I can find is this one, The Witch Surf, which is lovely stuff. Psychgaze surf is their own label and I can't improve on that. This song sounds better each time I play it. More please.
Last up are The Watchmakers.
Yet another Manchester group- who knew Manchester had so many psychedelic groups? Not me. I seem to be missing out. The Watchmakers Bandcamp page has a song called Kiss The Sun. Epic in a small way (that's a good thing). Reverb. More reverb. More reverb please.
Why didn't I go to Cosmosis?
Friday, 18 March 2016
Something to shake your bones and rattle your head on this Friday morning. Press play.
The Presets are an Australian duo who have been making varieties of dance/house music since 2003. An Oz Daft Punk if you like (but a bit tougher), in the Underworld ballpark too. Youth In Trouble came out in 2012 with their third album Pacifica. This remix by Green Velvet pushes everything up into the red. Julian Hamilton's vocals provide a sense of desperation while the drums and synths keep building without ever quite reaching the peak you think is going to come.
Thursday, 17 March 2016
I sat down last night sometime after nine and flicked the telly on. We have a handful of music channels with our freeview package. Most of them play the current top twenty selling downloads, one plays a non-stop diet of The 100 Greatest Power Ballads! or 50 Great Love Songs From Films With Hugh Grant In. The last one plays a random mixture of stuff from the past with the occasional themed hour. Last night's theme hour was called Cassette Culture or something similar. When I turned it Pearl Jam were grunting their way through something horrible and two songs later Chicane were doing rave-pop with surfing in the video. In between- you'd have to ask the programmer why, I can't fathom it- was Alison by Slowdive.
It stopped me right in my tracks. Three minutes forty seven seconds of youthful, dreamlike beauty. Properly pulls at yer heartstrings.
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
In 1981 Aztec Camera released two 7" singles on Postcard Records- Just Like Gold and Mattress Of Wire. Roddy Frame has said since that they will never be re-released in any other format, no re-issues, no cd compilations, no boxed sets. I respect the purity of that, the sense of these are two time capsules locked into the when they were made and that the way to experience them is in the form they were put out. The downside of this is that they are somewhat expensive to buy second hand. The four songs across the four sides of vinyl are magical and even more so when you consider they were written by a teenager. To post an mp3 of them is defeating the purity of Roddy's vision but also a little inevitable.
Just Like Gold
And this is a live recording from 1983 Aztec Camera gig in Hamburg, Germany, a cover of The Clash's Garageland. Free download too. Loads more Aztec Camera rarities here.
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
E.S.G.'s skeletal post punk-funk came from three sisters- Renee, Valerie and Marie Scroggins plus friend Tito Libran- whose mother bought them musical instruments to keep them off the streets of the South Bronx. Moody came out in 1982 and along with other of their songs (especially U.F.O.) has been sampled umpteen times. It still sounds as fresh as you like.
Monday, 14 March 2016
Sargasso Sea by Salt Tank, a 1994 ambient adventure. Bird calls and seagulls over waves of synth and a Tori Amos sample. The Sargasso Sea is a sea within the Atlantic Ocean, the only sea in the world with no coastline. Seaweed, marine plants and rubbish collect in it, circling forever due to the Gulf Stream and other currents.
Sunday, 13 March 2016
Steve Cobby seems to be having a vinyl offensive on multiple fronts, songs seeping out of Humberside. Clamour (with vocals from Isobel Helen) is a beaut and comes with a mass of remixes including this one by Pikes.
This remix by Balearic Gabba Sound System is even more laid back, unwinding slowly and easily. There's definitely something Balearic in the air at the moment, blissed out chickens coming home to roost two and a half decades on.
Saturday, 12 March 2016
A shift of gear after all the '77 and Iggy Pop stuff. In 1996 Andrew Weatherall's Emissions label put out a 12" by Deanne Day, two tracks both over ten minutes long, from where techno met deep house (which was where Weatherall's head was at back then), precise and intense music. Both sides are great, smelling of dry ice and dark corners where the bass reverberates. It might sound like these tracks are for the completists only but you should give these a go.
The Long First Friday
Hardly Breathe samples Mancunian legend Edward Barton and some looped vocal parts from singer Smita Pandya, taken from the song Thousand Lives. Deanne Day was actually a pseudonym for Weatherall and fellow producer David Harrow (Deanne Day, D and A). Deanne had put out a 12" the year before called The Day After and there was a very limited remix 12" too but to my mind this was the one- in some ways this sound is what I think of when I think of '96-'97.
Friday, 11 March 2016
I can't leave 1977 without doing punk and The Clash and a quick squizz round the internet brought me several celebrity Clash t-shirt wearers. From the top- supermodel Agyness Deyn, ex-footballer David Beckham and actor Kristen Stewart. I don't have any issue with Agyness wearing a Clash t-shirt. She's from just north of Manchester and lived in Rossendale, the place I had my first teaching job. She worked in a chip shop. She seems pretty real. I can believe she could be Clash fan. Plus, I like girls with short hair. David Beckham- member of the 90s United side, treble winner, generally seems like a nice chap. Not convinced he's a Clash fan though. Kristen Stewart- I have no idea, maybe, maybe not. But if she wants to pop round to discuss her love of the band, I'm in tonight.
The Clash's debut came out in 1977. In Sniffin' Glue Mark Perry said that punk died the day The Clash signed to CBS. But he also said that the first Clash album was 'LIKE A MIRROR. IT REFLECTS ALL THE SHIT. IT SHOWS US THE TRUTH. TO ME, IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ALBUM EVER RELEASED' (use of capital letters is Mark's). Listening to it right now, it must be the rawest, most unproduced album a major record label put out in 1977 or most other years. It was famously so raw that CBS in the U.S. wouldn't release it, saying the ears of American listeners couldn't cope. In What's My Name Mick's guitars could skin a cat. Joe Strummer is so alienated that even table tennis clubs won't let him in.
'I tried to join the ping pong club
Sign on the door 'all full up'
I got nicked for fighting in the road
The judge didn't even know
What's my naaaaaaame
Even by 1977 punk standards this is short- one minute forty seconds. Co-written by Keith Levene this is the punkest, most Pistols like song on the album. And it's got very little to do with celebrities wearing band t-shirts.
What's My Name
Thursday, 10 March 2016
Meanwhile, in Jamaica in 1977...
Two Sevens Clash
Culture formed in 1976 and recorded several singles with Joe Gibbs which had a huge impact, none more so than Two Sevens Clash. Released in 1977 it was picked up by John Peel and played at The Roxy by Don Letts ensuring its popularity with the London punk crowd. Two Sevens Clash predicted the apocalypse on July 7th 1977. Righteous roots reggae- the whole album is well worth your time.
I try really hard not to pour scorn celebrities wearing band t-shirts. I understand the knee jerk reaction when a celeb is pictured in a band t-shirt. 'I bet they couldn't name two songs by xxxx' we think, 'I bet they don't even know the name of the drummer' we mutter.It's a bit unfair- they might genuinely be a fan, they might love the artist's work as much as we do. And who's to say someone might not look at us in a band t-shirt and think the same?
Yes, that's Paris Hilton.
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
I'm not sure if this is a 1977 themed week or an Iggy Pop themed week. Or if it's a theme week at all. In 1981 Grace Jones covered Nightclubbing, from Iggy's The Idiot- it was the name of the album as well as a cover of the song. Rhythm kings Sly and Robbie on bass and drums root the whole thing in dub coupled with a New Wave sheen and some hiss. In Iggy's version he's in the nightclub but dazed and distanced, an outsider looking in, numbed by party drugs. In this version Grace is imperious, glacial, in the middle of the dancefloor.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Monday, 7 March 2016
Iggy Pop's The Idiot is a remarkable album. Released in March 1977 (and followed in the same year by Lust For Life) it is the first of the Bowie Berlin albums. All the songs on The Idiot are co-written by David Bowie and his fingerprints- words, tone, chords, structures- are all over it. The Idiot was Iggy's first solo album and doesn't really sound too like the rest of his work. No cartoon stagediving here, no songs chasing the sound of two chord Stooges. The Idiot sounds thought out, a piece of work. It is also sounds dislocated- Iggy and Bowie loose and lost in West Berlin. On most of the songs- just listen to Nightcubbing- the beat is always a bit behind where you expect it to be, a fraction deliberately late.
Opening track Sister Midnight is a blast. Played live by Bowie throughout his Station To Station tour, it's a powerful opener, a punch. Bowie's guitarist Carlos Alomar plays on it. Many of Bowie's songs from Chateau d'Herouville and Hansa Studio have a certain funkiness and a lightness. Sister Midnight has Alomar's wonderful guitar sound and playing but is murkier, with the synths and rhythm keeping it more earthbound. Three note bassline. Iggy in a hole looking out- 'what can I do about my dreams?' he sings at one point after a verse re-working Oedipus.
His voice is the human touch on an album inspired by the men-machines Kraftwerk, an album with a European heart moving away the blues base of the music of the 1960s and early 70s, written and played by men trying to kick different drugs. Sister Midnight re-appeared with new words as Red Money on Bowie's Lodger album in 1979, the album generally considered to be the final part of the Berlin series, completing the circle nicely.
Sunday, 6 March 2016
One for the Weatherall spotters this morning- one of his label signings rather than his own music. Conemelt were three anarcho-hippie/techno heads from, I think, Tunbridge Wells (of all places) who put out records on Weatherall's Sabres Of Paradise and Emissions labels (and others besides). In the mid 90s the trio plus Weatherall went on a trip to Iceland (the country not the supermarket). Film maker Camille Brooks pointed her Super 8 at them and the otherworldliness of Iceland's landscape and geysers. The footage then sat under a pile of stuff for ten years before she finished it off. A couple of years after that it was offered to Moggieboy, then running the most excellent and much lamented Ripped In Glasgow blog. For some reason the track and film popped up in my mind the other day and a tweet or two to Moggieboy later and the footage was rediscovered. The joys of the internet.
From the original posting at RiG, in Camille's words...
We did have a hoot, the 'Melt was mighty then. I wish everyone could have seen it. That bloke from the Sugarcubes took us to a bar and showed us the internet, I'd never seen it before. A couple of years ago they uprooted the entire bar from Reykjavik and installed it in the Frieze arts fair in London, I drank a gin and tonic in there. One of the most surreal moments in my life..."
Splinter Group from Camille Brooks on Vimeo.
Splinter Group is a handsome techno track, more melodic than some of Conemelt's more banging stuff, good though that stuff is. Crash Bang Wallop, a 12" on Sabres Of Paradise, was a proper head rattler but I don't seem to have that on the hard drive right now. I do have this one...
Message To All Eels
Saturday, 5 March 2016
I'm on an acid house tip right now. These two pictures go some way towards proving the maxim that it was a scene where the crowd were the stars. The one above of party goers at The Hacienda, indie kids losing it, is a favourite.
I had navy blue James Come t-shirt back in the day. It was really good quality, kept its shape and colour really well. It also provided opportunities for wags to point out that I had come all over my chest etc.
This picture (below) from the legendary Shoom is a cracker too- shame about the watermark, I couldn't find a version without it. The clothes, bandannas, the look on the faces, the wide eyes...
Shoom was held in a leisure centre in Southwark, a wonky version of what Danny Rampling and others had experienced in Ibiza the previous summer. Danny Rampling has recently uploaded this two hour acid house mix. Not entirely nostalgia either, being a mix of acid house old and new. It will rock your house. It has been rocking mine.
Friday, 4 March 2016
They keep coming thick and fast, new songs that lift the spirits- this is Tim Gane's (Cavern Of Anti-Matter) remix of Gwenno marrying the 60s psyche-pop of her to the motorik beat and West German synths of him. Gwenno said the song is 'a song to dance to at the end of the world'. I never thought the apocalypse would sound so pretty.
Thursday, 3 March 2016
This is shaping up to be a good few weeks for new music- here's a dreamy new song from Beyond The Wizards's Sleeve (Misters Richard Norris and Erol Alkan) with an album to follow. A slow and stoned vocal over washes of synths and skittering drums. Woozy, like Spacemen 3 but without the paranoia. Very nice indeed.
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Quite a few bloggers have written about the new Lush song. It's part of a forthcoming four track e.p. out in April called Blind Spot. Out Of Control sounds pretty wonderful, shimmering guitars and breathless vocals.
In 1990 they put out a four track e.p. called Mad Love which featured a band highpoint in the song De-Luxe, recently described by Miki as being about 'having sex, outdoors. At 7 in the morning. On ecstacy.' The final song on that e.p. was this one, which has shimmering guitars and breathless vocals.
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
March! Springtime! Lambs frolicking in the fields, driving home from work in the daylight, the promise of some sunshine. And to celebrate here's former Frankie Goes To Hollywood man Paul Rutherford's 1988 acid house track Get Real. Banned by the Beeb. Co-written by ABC's Martin Fry. Are you happy?