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Wednesday, 26 July 2017


I'm off on my summer holiday today, hitting the road to Portsmouth, an overnight ferry to St. Malo and then one night in Bordeaux. From there we are heading to a campsite north of Bayonne, on the Atlantic coast of south west France. A bit over a week later we are heading north and having four nights in the Vendee near Saint-Jean-de-Monts. So it will be two weeks before there's any action here.

I bought Peter Hook's latest book Substance, which focuses on his time in New Order, for one of my holiday reads. Over the last few days curiosity has got the better of me and I'm already a hundred pages in. Which led me to looking for this clip, a fledgling New Order playing a short set (half an hour, six songs) at Granada Studios in 1981 for a programme called Celebration. According to Hooky there had been a disagreement with the TV crew. Union regulations meant that only a union member could touch the sound desk- words and opinions had been exchanged. The tension is clearly present. However this is also a fascinating document of a band crawling out of tragedy and feeling their way towards a new sound. Dreams Never End (the best song off Movement), sung by Hooky, is driving and aggressive. ICB, Chosen Time, Denial and Truth show the band still playing Joy Division riffs but with the synths and electronic drums finding their way in. Just listen to the opening of Truth, Steven's synth pads hissing, then Hooky's bass and Barney's melodica. Ceremony is played four songs in, guitars rawer and brighter than the studio version. The twenty seven minutes captured here are a treat all these years later but no one there at the time, audience included, seems to be having very much fun.

No doubt once I get back, having got through all 700 plus pages in Substance, there will be further New Order posts to come. See you all in a fortnight.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Something new for Tuesday, from the new Eclectics record label. The Triumph Of Dr. No is a slow motion, dusty track, filmic and intense, from K-Effect. The John Barry horns come in dramatically at the end as Ursula Andress emerges from the sea.

Across the ep there is a remix from Uj Pa Gaz, a resident of Tirana, Albania and then a second track, Metaloxide, which is remixed by El Fulminador of Argentina. Metaloxide has strings and a stuttering drum machine, then synths buzzing. This is a snippet. You can buy The Triumph Of Dr. No from Bandcamp now with the rest of the ep available in August. All four are sounds for long days and hot nights, shuffling slowly in the heat.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Steppas Delight

Let's start the week- I was going to say working week but it's not a working week for me, I've finished for the summer- with an hour's worth of Mr Weatherall playing dub , all salvaged from the Rotters Golf Club. This is volume 7 in the R.G.C. Archive Hour and is wall to wall Jamaican goodness.

The picture is a page from ID magazine, a dj five way split with Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Darren Emerson, Fabi Paras and Andrew Weatherall. Weatherall (bottom right, face obscured by a 7" single) describes his occupation as 'trainspotter' and claims to be working on 'a pop long player'.

Steppas Delight
Open Troppen – Mad Professor
No Love (Version) – Team Works
River Jordan – Dub Dynasty
Macky Lane Rock – Mr Dynamic All Stars
No Idiot Dub – King Tubby
Chalice Man Dub – Sly & Robbie And The Revolutionaries
Grounation Rock – Adashanti I
Mystic Electro Harakiri – Pecker
The Grunwick Affair – Dennis Bovell
Cool Stepping – The Simeons
Mack At Control – The Simeons
Dub Signs – Alpha & Omega
Dubbing In Angola – Pablo Moses
International Treaty – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals
Majestic Dub – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals
African Boat Man – Mix Man

Sunday, 23 July 2017


If indie guitar bands in 1987 wanted to sound like the band in yesterday's post (The Motorcycle Boy) by 1991 things had moved on. A post- Madchester world had ambitions for a bigger, looser, different sound. In 1991 Shack recorded their second album Waterpistol. Mick Head was inspired by The Stone Roses, The Charlatans and Flowered Up and he was chasing that 60s psychedelic sound, acoustic and electric guitars, crossed with that early 90s groove. In an ideal world Mick's song writing would set him apart. Unfortunately things went wrong- producer Chris Allison had difficulties getting Mick to finish songs and in late '91 the recording studio burned down taking the master tapes with it. Shack's record company went bust soon after. Chris Allison left the DAT tapes in a hire car while on holiday in the US. Bassist John Power joined The La's. Mick got into heroin.

Waterpistol eventually surfaced in 1995 after Allison tracked down the hire car company and the lost DAT tapes, and a German label Marina put it out. By this point Britpop was at its height and Mick's songs should have found an audience but despite rave reviews Mick and Shack remained mired in substance problems. In 1999 a reformed Shack released HMS Fable and began to reap a bit of what they had sewn but Waterpistol remains a lost gem. It's been re-released a couple of times since, by different labels, with different sleeves and different numbers of tracks (mine has twelve songs, the Marina release with the smoking schoolboy on the cover). If you haven't got it, it's well worth tracking down- never has cosmic Scouser psychedelia been so well realised as on this album's songs.


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Big Rock Candy Mountain

There was a time (1986-1987) when indie guitar records wanted to sound something like this one (or a version of it). Sounding like The Smiths was tricky- Johnny Marr could do things the majority of guitarists couldn't and Morrissey's way with words was pretty unique too. But three chords, a fuzz pedal, bass and drums and some 60s style songwriting was achievable. The Motorcycle Boy were from Edinburgh and made up of Alex from The Shop Assistants and three former members of Meat Whiplash (Paul, Michael and Eddy) plus David Scott on guitar. This song was their debut, out on Rough Trade, and very good it is too. Sadly they then followed a trajectory familiar to a lot of independent groups from those years- NME front cover, indie chart hit, sign to a major, game over.

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Friday, 21 July 2017

Arabian Filter

Something hot and sultry for your Friday morning in the shape of a Mojo Filter edit of Siouxsie And The Banshees' Arabian Knights. The original version was a single from the album Juju, released in 1981. This is a dance floor reworking, with groove and space and Siouxsie's vocals a little distanced. It should function equally well in your kitchen when you open the gin/wine tonight. Free download too.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Something's Got A Hold On Me

This song was released thirty years ago today. Let's not get hung up on its age or the passing of time but celebrate a band in their absolute pomp releasing records that changed the world you lived in. New Order come in after the titles and thirty seconds of Gary Davies...

And because the video was pretty significant too...

The Names Have Been Changed To Protect The Innocent

In 1987 and 1988 the art of making records from samples of other people's records went overground. Following M/A/R/R/S's chart topper Pump Up The Volume in 1987 Tim Simenon's one man band Bomb The Bass went to number 2 in the UK (using some of the same samples). Beat Dis borrowed from a multitude of sources, some 80s hip hop- Public Enemy, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, EPMD, Schoolly D- and also from other sources- James Brown, Bar-Kays, Indeep, Prince, Hashim, Aretha Franklin, Jayne Mansfield and various TV programmes, notably Thunderbirds and Dragnet. It was inventive, exciting and new, making something fresh and new from familiar (and unfamiliar) sounds. A year later S'Express pulled off a similar trick. Unbelievably I haven't posted anything by Bomb The Bass in the seven and a half years before this post.

Beat Dis (Extended Dis)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Various Artists

Twenty five years old recently Warp's Artificial Intelligence compilation was a deliberate attempt to make a dance music compilation that wasn't for dancing to but for listening to at home. It also led to the creation of IDM, a term I still find a bit mystifying and pointless. This is machine music, techno and ambient combining, with groove and melody. The list of artists is second to none, a double vinyl example of Warp's finger being firmly on the robotic pulse in 1992- Autechre, Speedy J, B12, Richie Hawtin (as UP!), Black Dog (as I.A.O.) and Aphex Twin stand out.

The opening track came from the magic hands and brain of Richard D. James- calling himself The Dice Man with a track called Polygon Window (he'd soon go on to release as Polygon Window just to check people were keeping up ). Even among the high quality of the various artists work on A.I. and his own back catalogue at this point Polygon Window stands out, fizzing and buzzing with ideas and invention. What's more, you could dance to this if the mood took you.

Polygon Window

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


I first heard this last week at Echorich's place and have been coming back to it daily since then- a new song from Mick Head, formerly of Shack, The Pale Fountains and The Strands. Michael's new group is The Red Elastic Band and they've got an album ready to release in the autumn, his first for a decade. Mick knows his way around a tune and this one is a lilting, folk-influenced thing, with harmonies and hooks to spare. The video is made up to archive footage of Liverpool in the early-to-mid 1960s and is a treat too.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Journey To Cassiopeia

This is an interesting and dramatic way to start the week. Hannah Peel has an album out soon based around an exploration of space travel and 'one person's journey to outer space, recounting the story of an unknown, elderly, pioneering, electronic musical stargazer and her lifelong dream to leave her terraced home in the mining town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, to see Cassiopeia for herself'

Musically it combines analogue synths, found sounds, the sound of brass players breathing and spitting, Hannah's voice and a colliery band. If the track below, Sunrise Through the Dusty Nebula, is anything to go by it promises to be very good indeed. This is moving and inventive music, a colliery band with one foot deep underground and one in deep space.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Both Ends Fixed

This long instrumental piece from Pan American should be just right for your Sunday morning. It is for mine. It is contemplative and has a tendency to make time disappear. Tea and toast and tunes.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Touched By The Hand Of...

...Cicciolina, Cicciolina.

In May 1990 Pop Will Eat Itself released a single just ahead of the Italia 90 World Cup. PWEI intended it as an alternative World Cup theme and let's face it, given how corrupt FIFA is/was, no one would really have batted an eyelid at a dance single by a West Midlands grebo band fronted by an Italian porn star turned politician. Plus, as a song, it's massively good fun. House pianos. Dub bassline. Horns. Fans chanting. Commentary.

Touched By The Hand Of Cicciolina (Extra Time Mix)

Rich Lane has recently done a Cotton Dub re-edit of it, updating it for 2017 in fine style. No download unfortunately but again, massively good fun.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Some Bread And Cheese And Fine White Wine

Same city as yesterday's post but two decades later, Sharevari is widely credited with being the first Detroit techno record. Named after the Charevari parties and made by A Number Of Names (a three piece plus any number of friends) Sharevari was played on a local radio show and gathered momentum from thereon. In 1981. Yep, 1981. This footage came my way yesterday on Twitter, the crowd dancing to Sharevari at The Scene in Detroit in 1982.

Relentless, robotic rhythm, chanted vocals and a throbbing non-stop synthline. I don't know if Sharevari is the first techno record- there are always people who'll claim there was another from a year earlier- but it is without doubt a very forward thinking and pioneering record.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Various Artists

There's a good chance that if you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, at some point, having heard a Motown song via your parent's record collection, the telly, a youth club disco or through a film, you bought one of these Motown compilations. You've probably got some of them and their companions in your house. Our parents generation bought the singles. We bought these bumper albums, stacked with up to twenty songs, as many as the grooves could take and still be audible. The cd boom of the 1990s saw the Chartbusters series released on shiny digital disc, often knocked down to a quid or two in HMV. Pound for pound some of the best purchases you could make.

We all like to find the songs hidden away in the corners- the B-sides, the remixes, the album tracks, the ones that only we know about. With Motown it's all about the hits. And a bumper Motown Various Artist compilations post means a bumper song selection today; The Supremes, The Four Tops and The Temptations.

Automatically Sunshine

I Can't Help Myself 

Cloud Nine

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Hall Of Mirrors

Oh look! More new Andrew Weatherall remixes. Two of them, this time reworking London band The Early Years, makers of experimental, drone, motorik music using guitars and synths. I've posted them before. Weatherall turns in a pair of remixes, each one long and expansive, with melodies and noises and machine rhythms. The first one is lighter, hypnotic and more playful, the second darker and foreboding but with a nice piano break to let some daylight in.

Elsewhere on the ep Andy Bell of Ride and XAM get stuck in. It's out now, four track vinyl at your usual vinyl emporium or download at Sonic Cathedral. All four remixes are on the player below.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


Every six months or so I feel the need for some Jimi Hendrix. People are making a lot out of various records from 1967 being fifty years old this year and some of them sound fifty years old in a way, but Jimi's stuff doesn't. In 1967 The Jimi Hendrix experience released two albums, the debut Are You Experienced and then a follow up Axis: Bold As Love. Axis is a step on from the burning hot debut, an exploration of sound and the studio, of Jimi's development as a writer and of psychedelia. Many of the songs on Axis have a confidence to unfold more slowly, to unwind a little. Castles Made Of Sand has long been a favourite of mine- a backwards guitar part, a lazy guitar riff, a laid back groove and Jimi's vocals about impermanence and all things being temporary.

'And so castles made of sand
Fall to the sea

Castles Made Of Sand

Monday, 10 July 2017

No Tune

Andrew Weatherall uses The 'No' Tune by Cowboys International, a stylish guitar-led instrumental from 1979, to open his Music's Not For Everyone radio shows. That guitar line can get stuck in your head for some time. It's been going round mine since the end of last week.

Cowboys International were a post punk band, synths and guitars, who released one influential album (The Original Sin, 1979) and some singles and split up in 1980. Cowboys International are notable not just for the album but for the members who passed through the ranks. Founder member Ken Lockie started the band with Keith Levene. Former Clash man Terry Chimes/Tory Crimes played the drums. They were joined at different times by former members of Ultravox, Adam And The Ants, The Banned and Boney M. Yes, that Boney M.

The 'No' Tune

Sunday, 9 July 2017


This is a New Order rarity which a friend posted on social media recently which I had forgotten about- I don't have a decent quality rip so there's just the video...

In 1982 Tony Wilson asked New Order for twenty minutes of 'pap' to be played at the opening night of the Hacienda (May 21st 1982). Bernard and Stephen went away and got stuck into the drum machine and synths and came up with this which became known as Prime 5 8 6 (or Video 5 8 6). It is twenty minutes of pulsing rhythm and synthesizers, significant mainly because parts of it later became the version of 5 8 6 on Power, Corruption And Lies, Ultraviolence (off the same album) and Blue Monday (you don't need me to tell you anything about Blue Monday). The band gave it to Touch Magazine who put it out in two parts on cassette in 1982 and then on cd in 1997.

In the picture, a stunning shot of Gillian Gilbert on stage in Brussels, April 1982.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

July's Not For Everyone

No sooner have I listened to the monthly Music's Not For Everyone, re-listened to it, sought out various songs and then spent some money than Weatherall's back with another edition and the whole cycle begins again.

Contains the following- King Tubby, Jon Hopkins, John Foxx, The Flaming Stars, new Woodleigh Research Facility, Maximum Joy, Odeon and Benni. And much more besides.

Friday, 7 July 2017

I Think You're Moving Too Fast

A bit of a change of pace and style for Friday but this is one of the best songs of 1990s and if you disagree you're residing somewhere in the land of wrong. TLC's 1994 song Waterfalls was released as a single in the UK on the day I got married (August 5th 1995) and was a smash around the world. Lyrically it is a cautionary tale of AIDs/HIV, promiscuity, contraception and the drugs trade. Sonically it is like being covered in treacle, golden harmonies from honeyed voices, a crisp kick drum and some bass.


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Various Artists

I'll try to delve a little further than early 90s dance music compilations at some point but it is the various artists groove I am currently in for this series. Cafe del Mar, a series of albums named after the famous bar in San Antonio, Ibiza, gave birth to that most derided of genres, chill out. The compilation album series runs all the way up to Volume Twenty (released in 2014) but chill had eaten itself long before then.

The first album is a genuinely great compilation, on double vinyl, a round up of songs to listen to as the sun sinks into the Med and as the drugs begin to kick in, compiled by the legendary Jose Padilla himself. The tracklist for Volumen Uno has several tunes I'd take anywhere, among them Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Music For A Found Harmonium, William Orbit's The Story Of Light, Underworld's long builder Second Hand, A Man Called Adam's wonderfully up Estelle and the skyscraping Beatless Mix of Smokebelch II by Sabres Of Paradise. Plus these two, first up a dubby version of Song Of Life...

Fanfare Of Life

And this one, the closer by Tabula Rasa. Not so much a song, more a feeling.

Sunset At The Cafe Del Mar

I have never watched the sunset at the Cafe del Mar. One day it'll happen...

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Mirror's Edge

Moon Duo have released a pair of albums this year that are still very close to my record player- Occult Architecture Volume's 1 and 2. The idea is that they represent light and shade. Put together they make up a pretty stunning double. In among the motorik rhythms, two chord fuzz and woozy psyche there is this gorgeous instrumental where over a shuffly drumbeat and a shaker Ripley Johnson plays some dripping, fluid, molten guitar, some wah wah here and there, like a controlled Hendrix on E. Both records are worth your time and money.

Mirror's Edge

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


It is a truth universally acknowledged, as Jane Austen never said, that Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume 2 isn't a patch on Volume 1. It's difficult admittedly to gauge what Jane Austen might have made of Aphex Twin- he is entirely outside her cultural frames of reference and doesn't wear breeches. However it is also a truth that every Aphex Twin album contains at least one moment of genius (and I don't chuck the word genius around very often). The moment of beauty genius on Selected Ambient Works 2 is this...

Untitled 20 (Lichen)

As an album Selected Ambient Works 2 seems to take delight in being even more obtuse than usual. The songs, twenty four of them on the cd edition and one more on the vinyl, are all called Untitled except for track thirteen, Blue Calx. Each track had a corresponding image. Track 20's corresponding image is Lichen. The gently ascending synth chords, slightly wobbling at the edge of distortion, the ever so slighty downbeat turn at just after two minutes, the return of the ascending chords with some crackle, to the fade out are all fucking magical.

Monday, 3 July 2017

BAD Birthday

Mick Jones turned 62 years old last week so this is a belated happy birthday from me. The photo was taken for a music press interview (either NME or Melody Maker) c.1989, after Mick had recovered from a life threatening bout of pneumonia. Those Stussy bucket hats were highly sought after around this time (and still are today).

Mick was on a roll around this time, despite slipping out of fashion, with Megatop Phoenix coming out in 1990, a hit single with Roddy Frame and The Clash hitting number 1 on the back of the Levi's advert. BAD II's Rush was on the B-side, a good Mick song and one of the best the second line up recorded. It was a decision which go down very well with Joe and Paul apparently.

This song was the B-side to the E=mc2 single from a few years earlier..

This Is Big Audio Dynamite

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Into The Woods

This is a treat, an hour long mix Nancy Noise has done for an upcoming festival put on by Boy's Own. Nancy will be playing along with Terry Farley, Omar S and a bunch of other Balearic names. This is a summery, up, good vibes mix with some latin, some Frenchness, some afro and plenty of bounce. As a bonus you can download it for free too.


1.  Jeff Kite - Timelapse
2.  Dele Sosimi - E go Betta (O'Flynn Edit)
3.  Alkalino - Vivo
4.  Riccio - Marcela
5.  Ric Piccolo - Sube
6.  L’Oiseau Dore - Moar
7.  Katunga - Palo Bonito (Nick the Record re-edit) 
8.  Barrabas - Woman 
9.  The Apostles - Banko Woman 
10.  Puzzle People - French Fried Boogie
11.  Loco Moto 
12.  Negrocan  - Cada Vez 
13.  Leonidas & Hobbes - Web of Intrigue 
14.  Nit - Imparfaite 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Nothing Is Quick In The Desert

Yesterday mistakes were made here at Bagging Area. The Various Artists post on the Junior Boys Own Collection should have appeared today but due to an administrative error was published yesterday alongside the Orbital post. An inquiry has been carried out which has gone all the way to the very top of this organisation. Rest assured, action has been taken and heads have rolled.

As a result of the erroneous publishing of two posts simultaneously (and being out last night) this is a brief post. Public Enemy are celebrating thirty years in the rap game and have made their new album Nothing Is Quick In The Desert available as a free download. Off you go.