Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Sunday 31 March 2019

Songs For Mothers

Today is Mother's Day. Mothering Sunday, to give it its full Anglophone title, is traditionally observe don the fourth Sunday in Lent, three weeks before Easter Day. Originally on this day people would visit their 'mother' church but it has become an occasion for honouring and celebrating the roles of mothers- and celebrating Mums is something that I think we can all agree on. I'd like to think that next Sunday, in Julian Cope's world or Samuel L. Jackson's, is Motherfucker Sunday but I can't find any evidence for that as yet.

Two songs with mother in the title by way of celebration. First up Pop Will Eat Itself and a 1992 song that opens with some acid house bleeps, then a furious barrage of guitars and the line ''I gave you grief, you gave me milk'. Clint goes on to apologise to his Mum by saying 'I never planned to disappoint you or annoy you to desert you or destroy you'. A familiar tale.


Can released Mothersky in 1970, a song on their Soundtracks album, with a full cream groove from Liebezeit and Czukay. This re-edit by Pilooski tweaks it for the modern age. Damo Suzuki sings of mothers and madness.

Mothersky (Pilooski Re-edit)

Saturday 30 March 2019

Last Goodbye

David Harrow is a one man creativity machine, producing a torrent of music from his L.A. home. In his Oicho guise he put this album out back in December, a nine track trip through dub techno, electonica, digital rhythms, bleeps, glitches and an air of menace. Opener Becoming A Raven sounds like a slow drive through the suburbs at night, all night garages and sodium street lights. There's something about Last Goodbye seems more urban Britain than sunny Los Angeles. But then I've never been to L.A.

Spring Forward

[Insert text here: andrewweatherall nts musicsnotforeveryone march2019 usualelecticmix templeofgnosticsonics endtimessoundsystem ceremonialrobesandheadgear letevocationcommence]


Friday 29 March 2019

Strike The Balance

Some On U Sound heaviness for Friday, from 1989's Dub Syndicate album Strike The Balance, a masterpiece of late 80s Sherwood dub production. This song is proper rootsy dub, all bass and echo and delay with Bim Sherman singing and a freaked out metallic Dalek vocal running through it. Towards the end some woodwind floats over the top. The rest of the album rocks too, the chanting of Hey Ho, a cover of Je T'Aime with Shara Nelson and closer I'm The Man For You Baby. Like most of Adrian Sherwood's back catalogue, it is worth shelling out for.


Thursday 28 March 2019


Just over four years ago The Beat led by Ranking Roger played Sale Waterside, a venue just ten minutes walk away from home. Roger led a well drilled band through a top set list of songs by The Beat, plus some new ones and a cover of Rock The Casbah. His son Ranking Junior was with him, toasting and rapping, and Roger encored with his shirt off, looking like a man in the rudest of health and with boundless energy.  How sad then to hear the news first thing yesterday morning that Roger had died aged just 56, following multiple health issues- a stroke last summer, two brain tumours and lung cancer.

The Beat were one of the bands of the post-punk and ska days and in Mirror In The Bathroom had a genuine classic single that still moves dancefloors today.  They weren't a one song band though and also had Hands Off... She's Mine, Stand Down Margaret, Too Nice To Talk To, their debut single cover of Tears Of A Clown and the wonderful Save It For Later plus three albums. As frontman/co- vocalist Roger was arguably the face of the group, a very young man suddenly thrust into Two Tone tours and Top Of The Pops, always with a grin on his face and an infectious manner. The world is a sadder place and poorer place without him.

Save It For Later (Extended Version)

After The Beat split he joined General Public with various refugees from other groups- some of The Beat, a Dexys outcast, Horace Panter from The Specials, a post- Clash Mick Jones - and although they did little in terms of sales they had some moments. This one is shimmying mid- 80s dance pop.

Tenderness (Special Dance Mix)

In recent years Roger played with Mick Jones in late period line up of Big Audio Dynamite, made solo records and fronted one version of The Beat while co-singer/guitarist Dave Wakeling fronted another. They had an agreement to tour in different parts of the world, Roger's Beat in the UK and Europe and Dave's in the US. How sad to end at such a young age. RIP Roger.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

She Walks

This sort of thing really hits the spot at the moment. She Walks by Apiento originally came out in 2010, a track built around a wonky rhythm, a beach/poolside as the sun goes down vibe and some lovely piano, building nicely as it gathers momentum.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Scott Walker

It seems like it's becoming a weekly occurrence, losing a major star of experimental and groundbreaking pop music. Scott Walker died yesterday aged 76, a man whose career took in more than most, from orchestral 60s tearjerkers to the songs of Jacques Brel, from 70s electronica to recording the sound of a piece of meat being hit repeatedly, and in there, central to the story, four numbered solo albums that redefined what a solo artist could do. RIP Scott Walker- one of those people who we shall not see the like of again.

Here are three Scott songs I've loved, all posted before but not for many years. Firstly, from The Walker Brothers 1975 re-union, a tremendous cabaret song, all self-pity and swelling string sections and that voice. There was a period twenty-odd years ago when I used to got to a pub quiz with a friend and two older blokes, both the age then that I am now. We joined forces to win the quiz one week and then stuck together. One of the older pair was a builder. He'd pick us up in his van and we'd drive to the quiz all singing along to No Regrets, a Best Of The Walker Brothers being the only tape in the van, No Regrets always getting the rewind.

No Regrets

This one, a B-side from 1966, is a small hours classic, a bassline, strings and a ton of reverb on the vocals. A man haunted in the verses and then tormented but alive when the chord change into the chorus hits home. 'Someone called for you, but I hung up the phone, what could I say?'

After The Lights Go Out

This one, from 1978's album of the same name, is a total curveball, funky and disco influenced with a bit of Bowie's Low in there too- a complete commercial failure.

Nite Flights

Monday 25 March 2019

Monday's Long Song

Sometimes things just come together really nicely. I had something else planned for today's long song but then Twitter throws this photo up and one thing leads to another and we have Neu! instead. Krautrock against Brexit!

Fuer Immer

I originally wrote a long post here about the ongoing Brexit disaster but then deleted it- does anyone need any more opinions right now? Then I remembered Daniel Avery's ambient/techno track from last year, a track named after the label our Prime Minster (at the time of writing) gave to nearly half the population a couple of years ago back. On Wednesday night Theresa May claimed on live TV that she's on 'our side' and that actually parliament is to blame. Nice bit of anti-democratic demagoguery there. Thankfully, in a world increasingly full of right wing demagogues and populists, our own version is a shit populist, completely lacking the common touch and with little actual popular support.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Without Charge

Last Sunday's post was an hour long mix by Dr Rob, an eclectic selection of songs that were the sources of samples for remixes and productions by Andrew Weatherall. Dr Rob has done a companion mix, a just shy of two hours mix of the less well known remixes that Lord Sabre has turned his hand to over the last three decades. It features mainly his earlier works, some of the remixes from the glory days of the early 90s bookended by a pair of Two Lone Swordsmen remixes that bring a very different vibe.

Tucked away in here you will find the spooked freak out of Spiritualized's Come Together, opening with the question 'How big are your eyes?', followed by some wonderful extended reworks of Word Of Mouth, S'Express, the Gaelic dub of Peace Together, The Impossibles, a TLS remix of later period Stereo MCs, Galliano's Skunk Funk, Deep Joy, the everything plus bells ten minute Love Corporation monster, a well Balearic West India Company, One Dove, Yello and finally the Swordsmen's long, jazzy take on David Holmes' Gone.

Of these remixes the only one I've never posted in its own right here is the last one. Gone was a track on Holmes' 1995 album This Film's Crap, Let's Slash The Seats, double bass, brushed drums and Sarah Cracknell on vocals. Weatherall and co-Swordsman Keith Tenniswood did a pair of versions. The first is sparse and made for the small hours, double bassline and breakbeat and some knob twiddling noises. The second is clubbier, a techno kickdrum and hi-hat, some very wobbly bass, some distance further from the original and much more cut from Two Lone Swordsmen's machine funk cloth.

Gone (First Night Without Charge)

Gone (Second Night Without Charge)

Saturday 23 March 2019

No 303

Something brand new for Saturday, three tracks ideally suited for a Saturday night. Field Of Dreams are a Birmingham based duo who have just released this- the No 303 ep (so called because they forced themselves not to make the tracks without using their trusty 303). Opener Losing My Soul is straight ahead, dark house music, coupled with some mild existential dread, possibly that moment on the floor when you suddenly snap out, have a brief flutter of panic and then tell yourself that everything's fine, just close your eyes and reconnect. Track 2 starts long synth chords and some bleeps, a bit slower with a bassline that brings everything together. Track 3 is lighter, arpeggios, mechanical drums and some smile inducing piano. Just four of your British pounds- buy it here.

Friday 22 March 2019

Sometimes I See You In The Water

Back to Bob Mould to end the week. In 1992 Bob formed Sugar with Dave Barbe and Malcolm Travis. His first two solo albums- Workbook and Black Sheets Of Rain- hadn't sold well and Virgin let him go. Back in a trio and released from his record contract Bob found a rich vein of form, working out of R.E.M.'s rehearsal room in Athens, Georgia and within the year Sugar played live, recorded two albums and signed to Creation in the UK (then on the crest of a post-Screamadelica, Bandwagonesque and Loveless wave). The first album, Copper Blue, came out and was an immediate hit, album of the year in the NME and spawned several singles.

Copper Blue doesn't have a weak moment, showcasing ten first rate Bob Mould songs. The production is fuller than it was with Husker Du, the drums and bass bigger and chuggier. The guitars fill up more space, crunchy and melodic. In the wake of Nirvana's success there was a crowd ready for more punk with choruses and suddenly Sugar found an audience. A year earlier Bob couldn't get arrested. The second song- A Good Idea- is a tale of two lovers down by the river, on a warm summer night where 'the air is thick with the smell of temptation'. They go in to the water at his suggestion- 'why don't we lay in the water? Let the water run over me...' he says and she replies 'that's a good idea'.  Inevitable tragedy ensues, she submerged beneath the surface, temptation turning to death by drowning.

A Good Idea

Thursday 21 March 2019

Untitled And More

Stop me if you think I'm going too far with all of this but my investigations into the backwards songs The Stone Roses released as B-sides in the late 1980s has taken me further into new territory. Two weeks ago I started with the official releases- Full Fathom Five, Guernica and Simone- which paved the way for the giddy, trippy backwards version of Waterfall that is Don't Stop. Last week I got sucked into a backwards wormhole with the vinyl version of Full Fathom Five which when reversed gave us the Peter Hook version of Elephant Stone. I also found the intro music, the backwards version of She Bangs The Drums that is I Am Without Shoes.

Delving further I was reminded of a Silvertone re-release of the debut album, an anniversary rip off edition, where they stuck some 'new' backwards tracks out as to entice fans in (along with the album on a USB stick that was shaped like a lemon). There were five of these untitled songs, all versions of songs off the album, played backwards. Presumably Silvertone went through the tapes and found the bits Squire and the rest abandoned once recording was finished. This one is Untitled 4, some of the guitars and bass from I Wanna Be Adored, with a lot of extra noise and feedback.

Simone was an extra track on an import 12" single, the U.S. release of Adored- I posted it two weeks ago- but this fan made video for Simone is worth a watch, capturing something of the spirit of the backwards songs and the times (Belinda Butcher from My Bloody Valentine and the Soon video is present too, drifting through the washed out visuals ).

Going deeper now. A Youtube user named Zouch has reversed Don't Stop.

Don't Stop backwards is Waterfall forwards but there's a lot more than just that going on here, with forwards and backwards vocals and John's guitars playing in both directions.

Incidentally, there seems to be a difference between analogue and digital backwards. Analogue backwards songs are true backwards, playing the notes from back to start. I'm guessing there's a difference between playing tapes backwards and vinyl backwards too. Digital backwards reverses the bytes but plays them forwards. I think- if you can confirm or contradict this or know more, feel free to let me know. This would help account for the difference between the vinyl and CD single release of Full Fathom Five possibly (of which more below).

Lastly, for the moment, a Youtube user called Bryan has put together twenty three minutes of Stone Roses backwards songs played forwards (these are backwards versions of digital releases- this is made clear by the first song, the CD single version of Full Fathom Five played backwards, to give us a disjointed version of Elephant Stone, as opposed to the backwards 12" vinyl version which if you recall gave us Hooky's Elephant Stone). This first track makes it clear that the backwards songs were worked on, not merely the tapes reversed, and had parts added and taken away. It is followed by reversed versions of Guernica and Simone (Made Of Stone and Where Angels Play, both floating around in swirly rushes with the song surfacing ever now and then and then fading into the whirlpool). Bryan has then stacked up Untitled songs 1 to 5, the 'new' backwards tracks now played forwards to give us an alternative version of Where Angels Play, two scrambled versions of She Bangs The Drums, the version of Adored posted above and then the return of She Bangs The Drums). Are we done yet?

Wednesday 20 March 2019


It's the vernal equinox today, the first day of spring. From this point the days get longer and the nights shorter, winter's slushy greys being replaced with colour and warmth. Hallelujah.

Bicep celebrated spring on their 2017 debut album, an upbeat tune with a snappy breakbeat, piano and a haunting vocal sample.


In 1990 St Etienne's debut album also had a spring song, a sublime marriage of 60s lounge, jazzy vibes and a late 80s house rhythm. In 2009 Richard X reworked all of Foxbase Alpha, adding slightly here and there to bring it up to date. I've got to say, I don't prefer it to Foxbase Alpha, an album that stands on its own two feet just fine, but on its own terms Foxbase Beta works well enough.

Spring (Foxbase Beta Version)

Interestingly, or just coincidentally, both band's springs are track six on their respective albums.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

You're Gonna Make It After All

Bob Mould at Manchester Academy 2 on Sunday night, twenty years after I last saw him play there. Back in 1998 he played almost entirely solo stuff, promoting his then new record The Last Dog And Pony Show, with just a Sugar song held back for the encore. This time around, promoting his current new album Sunshine Rock, he plays songs from the last forty years of playing and making records, from their earliest recordings to his latest. Backed by a high kicking bassist and a drummer engaged in a one man war of attrition with his snare drum Bob hits the stage loud and fast and doesn't really let up. His guitar/pedals/twin amp set up makes Bob sound like two or three guitarists and it's loud, really loud, with those crystalline melodies fired off within the sheets of distorted riffs. There are few gaps between the songs, no light show to speak of, no projections or backdrop- just songs from the Bob Mould back catalogue. He opens with 2014 song The War and then blasts straight into Sugar's A Good Idea, the bass riff on its own for a few seconds before being submerged in Bob's wall of guitars. Three songs in and we're into I Apologise off Husker Du's 1985 New Day Rising. There is then a liberal smattering of songs from Sunshine Rock, Bob's self-willed optimistic, happy album, an album written in the aftermath of the death of both parents and Husker drummer Grant Hart, songs like Thirty Dozen Roses and Sin King, and highlights from Sugar's 1992 album Copper Blue (Hoover Dam sounds enormous, bigger than the guitars and keyboards of the album version). People around me are adjusting their earplugs. Husker Du's 1982 hardcore single In A Free Land has been dusted down and in Trump's wake sounds no less relevant and no less alive. Bob has been unwell in recent days and on antibiotics for a chest infection, not that you'd guess- Sugar's If I Can't Change Your Mind roaring out of the amps, noise plus melodies, punk plus chorsues. He pauses three quarters of the way through to thank us for coming and introduce Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster on bass and drums and then its back to business. Something I Learned Today, one of Husker Du's most vital songs, is a ferocious blast, spitting fire and piss and from this point, for the final fifteen minutes or so Bob and band go off setlist, launching into one Husker Du song after another, almost a medley- Chartered Trips, their cover of The Mary Tyler Moore theme Love Is All Around Us, a beautiful and raging Celebrated Summer with Bob stretching out the pause into the guitar picking section at the end, finishing with Makes No Sense At All, the single that paved the way for Pixies and Nirvana to name but two. No encore. Lights on. Ears ringing. Home.

Chartered Trips

Monday 18 March 2019

Monday's Long Song

This Monday's long song comes from a long out of press compilation CD on Weatherall's mid-90s Emissions label by Being. Frust is fourteen abstract, experimental, downtempo minutes, released in November 1995. A breakbeat, some whirring noises, some waves of sound crossing from one speaker to the other, a distorted synth bassline. It stops and starts a few times, building slightly in intensity as it becomes less ambient and more present. It changes tack at around eleven and a half minutes, bringing in some lovely synth strings for the closing few minutes.


I didn't know anything about Being other than this track and the one that follows it on the album, the comparatively short Try which clocks in at a mere eight and a half minutes. But the internet provides answers- Being was/is Dave Paton, Scottish and in the mid 90s based in Edinburgh. He released three records through Emissions and has been self releasing the music he made in the 90s ever since, most recently in 2018. There's an article/interview at Discogs. If you've made it this far you can read it here.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Back To The Source

This is really good and tailor made for a Sunday morning. Balearic DJ Dr Rob has put together a mix of the source material that inspired some of Andrew Weatherall's productions and remixes (and provided the samples). It opens with the famous Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski dialogue from Paris, Texas (the source of the 'yep, I know that feeling' line at the end of I'm Coming Down on Screamdelica) and then winds its way from there through some of Weatherall's record collection- Miles Davis, Bill Laswell, Lee and Nancy, Claire Hammil, American Spring (produced by Brian Wilson), the acid trip and tape loop drone of Tomorrow Never Knows, Billy Stewart, The Emotions, Gang Of Four, Fearless Four, Brilliant, the headspinning and heavy Hey Ho by Dub Syndicate, some even heavier Big Youth and Depth Charge- a mix that works both for trainspotters and general chilled out enjoyment.

Tracklist in full-

Harry Dean Stanton – I Knew These People
Bill Laswell – Lost Roads
Miles Davis – Saeta
American Spring – Sweet Mountain
Lee Hazlewood – Some Velvet Morning
Claire Hammil – Tides
The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
Billy Stewart – Summertime
The Emotions – Don`t Want To Lose Your Love
Gang Of Four – What We All Want
Fearless Four – Rockin' It
Brilliant – Colours
Dub Syndicate – Hey Ho
Big Youth – Yabby Youth
Depth Charge – Depth Charge

Bonus selection- here's the Paris, Texas clip from the start of the mix and the end of the film, a scene and film that is always worth spending ten minutes with.

Saturday 16 March 2019

Too Loud

Mogwai's The Sun Smells Too Loud (off their 2008 album Hawk Is Howling) is one of my favourite pieces of music of the 21st century, centred around rolling, pulsing bass and pounding drums and soaring guitars making an ecstatic noise. It is very lysergic with a groove you can dance to. A Youtube user called Simon has put Mogwai's music to clips of the Tommy Seebach Band and their dancers (filmed sometime in the late 60s doing Apache) to good effect.

There- doesn't improve your day?

The Sun Smells Too Loud

The James Holden remix, only available I think as part of his DJ Kicks CD, turns the noises up all over the place, dismantles the original and put its back together in a completely different order to fairly disorienting effect. All sorts of effects and FX going on including the main rippling guitar part played backwards (I think).

Friday 15 March 2019

Impulse Begin

Some forward thinking electronica from 1982 from the combined talents of Chris And Cosey, then fresh out of Throbbing Gristle and enjoying the freedom of their independence. Chris Carter pioneered the use of all kinds of equipment, not least the Roland 303 bassline synth and Roland 808 drum machine, back before most people had even heard of either.


They've never really stopped and in recent years have made some wonderful remixes. This one is a case in point, a sweetly euphoric version of a Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon collaboration from 2016.

Begin (Carter Tutti Remix)

I'm part way through Cosey Fanni Tutti's autobiography, titled art sex music, and without giving too much away she has lived an eye-opening life, a life lived as art, and in the 1970s put up with some very shitty behaviour from Genesis P. Orridge.

Thursday 14 March 2019

Things You Do For Love

This song is the sound of summer come early, a brand new tune from Balearic overlord Apiento. Things You Do For Love is built around a very Italo- sounding ascending bassline, a 100 bpm shuffle and a pair of vocals, one soulful and one French. This is very easy indeed, and very European.

As I mentioned Europe, the ongoing shitstorm taking place in the UK parliament hit new heights this week. There's a part of me that really wants Article 50 extended for the sole reason of seeing the right wing nutjob Brexiters frothing at the mouth about it, that dickhead MP with the French surname making up some bollocks about his Dad not fighting the Germans for this, Tim Martin spitting cheap beer all over a branch of one of his pubs and Rees-Mogg tweeting something about his nanny in Latin while spluttering about parliamentary procedure. Little wins are sometimes the most satisfying.

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Hal Blaine

I'm sure other people's blogs will mark the death of drummer Hal Blaine at the age of 90 as well as this one. Hal Blaine was one of the most recorded drummers in history, a man who played on over 6000 singles and 40 number one singles including those by The Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, The Carpenters, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, The Mamas And The Papas and The Supremes. He covered for Dennis Wilson on Pet Sounds. But the bottom line is he's the man who did the intro on this...

Be My Baby

The result of a dropped drumstick apparently, a mistake that became one of rock 'n' roll's most instantly identifiable sounds, amplified by Phil Spector's production. The boom-ba-boom-crash sound was borrowed by, to name but two, The Jesus And Mary Chain...

Just Like Honey

And Johnny Boy...

You Are The Generation Who Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve

Coincidentally some of us were discussing the Johnny boy song on Twitter on Sunday night and I discovered that there's a Don Letts directed video for the song I'd never seen before. It's here.

Hal Blaine R.I.P.

Tuesday 12 March 2019

I Am Without Shoes

This is a follow up to my post last week about the various backwards B-sides released by The Stone Roses in 1988-89. The version of Full Fathom Five I posted- Elephant Stone backwards if you recall- is the CD single version, with extra guitars added to the ghostly swirl. The original version, found on the 12" single, is different (fewer if any additional guitar parts). But what can also be discovered from the Elephant Stone 12" single is that if you reverse the version of Full Fathom Five you get the Peter Hook produced cut of Elephant Stone single i.e. before John Leckie mixed it. Hook's version is sparser and less produced, a truer version possibly, opening with a blare of Squire's wah-wah pedal. So what I'm getting from all of this is that the 12" version of Full Fathom Five is the Hook version of Elephant Stone played backwards and the CD single (and what Silvertone have served up in re-issues and re-releases ever since) is the Leckie version of Elephant Stone played backwards with extras.


There is also this which I had forgotten about until reminded by reader Michael- I Am Without Shoes...

I Am Without Shoes is She Bangs The Drums backwards with additional forwards words and is the equal of any of the other backwards B-sides. The fade in of backwards guitars and vocals at the start is a sort of slow-rush and the whole thing shimmers and burns.

The Youtube poster above has gone a step further, reversing the backwards version at 1.26 and adding it to the original backwards one, resulting in Ian's forwards vocals from She Bangs The Drums returning at the end. According to Google the additional forwards lyrics are...

'I'm serious
I want her
I have to be sure
I admit that I'd hate to die
Please help me
I am without shoes
I wouldn't be selfish
I cursed myself and they laughed
I am Without Shoes
I don't think I need to stare
Please help me
I am without shoes
I wouldn't be selfish
I cursed myself and they laughed
I am Without Shoes
I don't think I need to stare

These new forwards lyrics are fairly untypical Roses fare, possibly the result of Squire's backwards lyric writing method of writing down what the backwards vocals suggested once the tapes were switched around. The title went on to inspire a Charlatans song too, from 1997's Tellin' Stories.
I Am Without Shoes was sometimes used as their intro music when they took the stage during the long tour they did to promote the release of their album through the spring of 1989, the tour that broke them nationally, with increasingly positive and breathless press reporting building through to a gig at the ICA where Bob Stanley said he'd seen the light and finished his review with 'Sweet Jesus, The Stone Roses have arrived!'. On other occasions they entered to the trippy, rolling drums and bass and screeching sounds of this piece of music, built around a drum break from Small Time Hustler by Dismasters...
Next job is to put all these together- the intro tape, the two versions of Full Fathom Five, I Am Without Shoes, Guernica, Simone and Don't Stop. 

Monday 11 March 2019

Monday's Long Song

The best Julian Cope album of this decade is 2013's Revolutionary Suicide, a double disc tome taking in acoustic guitars, mellotrons, Julian's falsetto, one of his career best songs (They Were All On Hard Drugs, an alternative look at human history), several pops at organised religion and at least five songs that could qualify for a Monday long song. This one is the longest, over fifteen minutes, a protest song on acoustic guitar with a military drum. The Armenian Genocide is about the forced march and subsequent murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, under the cover of the First World War. Cope aims the song at modern day Turkish governments and their refusal  to recognise the deaths as genocide.

The Armenian Genocide

Sunday 10 March 2019

Obeying The Time

After watching the footage of the Durutti Column playing in Finland in 1981 that I posted last week I went back to a couple of their albums. I'd read an interview with Stephen Street somewhere where he mentioned producing Durutti's 1989 album (titled Vini Reilly) and I'd read a review of the triple CD re-issue of 1990's Obey the Time album so there was a lot of Vini/Durutti in the ether. Plus I had another recently taken shot of the River Irwell taken from the same bridge but looking north to go with the one I'd used with the Finland post.

Stephen Street producing Vini Reilly was a consequence of him producing and co-writing much of Morrissey's Viva Hate and then getting Vini to play guitar over much of it. Vini had a strop part way through the recording and claimed to have written all/most of Viva Hate which he apologised to Street for (but Morrissey uncharacteristically got the hump- if I remember correctly he removed Vini's name completely from the re-issued versions of Viva Hate). But anyway, I'm not here to discuss Morrissey. Vini Reilly (the album) has one of Durutti Column's most beautiful moments, one of Factory's greatest releases, the song Otis, where Vini's guitar and and his friend Pol's voice combine with an Otis Redding sample to create an absolute masterpiece. Nothing else quite reaches those heights and the album takes in an array of styles from opera to Spanish guitar.

The following year's release Obey The Time is a much more complete album, Vini recording with the Hacienda/acid house/Madchester explosion going on all around him and inspired by house music and inspired to use samplers and keyboards. In experimenting with the new technologies and sounds Vini was obeying the time. Usual drummer and Durutti partner Bruce Mitchell only appears on song on Obey The Time. The single that came with the album, where Together (of Hardcore Uproar fame) remixed Contra-Indications as the Together Mix is another DC peak but the one that caught my ears listneing to Obey The Time this time was the second song in, this one...

Hotel Of The Lake 1990

Opening with a Hacienda inspired bassline, some washes of synth and a little guitar flourish Vini takes us on a five minute after hours trip. Two songs later Home provides another for the DC top ten and Spanish Reggae is up there too (despite its admittedly unpromising title). With several highlights the album works well from start to finish, sounding more complete and followed through than '89's predecessor. Hotel Of The Lake 1990 was given its title by co-manager, friend and record label boss Tony Wilson who was on holiday in a cottage by Lake Como that summer and Vini came to him short of song titles. All of which, let's be honest, is perfect Sunday morning stuff.

Saturday 9 March 2019

A/B Music

Back in 2013 Hardway Bros put out this monumental piece of dance music, A/B Music, a dramatic collision of  cavernous acidic squiggles, metallic guitar and a driving, lurching rhythm track. A dark, propulsive dancefloor gem.

A/B Music is also Sean Johnston's tribute to the sounds of Belgium in the mid-to-late 1980s and the Antwerp club that the track is named after (AB, Ancienne Belgique). Belgian New Beat was centred around slow, downtempo club music, DJs spinning dark European industrial music, Eurobeat pitched down from 45 rpm to 33, early house from Chicago, a minimalist precursor to house, acid and techno, played to full houses as the youth of Ghent packed into the Boccaccio club. A record label in Ghent have recently put out two compilations, each one a four CD box set, packed full of new beat. Volume One is here and Volume Two is here.

Friday 8 March 2019


Last month Warpaint played a gig in Los Angeles to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary, news that I was pleased to hear. The interviews that surrounded their 2016 album Heads Up made it look like the group's future was a bit iffy, that tensions in the band plus various members making solo records might lead them to call it a day. In 2015 they'd released a double A-sided single No Way Out/I'll Start Believing, two songs that are among their best, and there was talk about releasing a slew of singles as they recorded them instead of a full album. When they regrouped the four members spent quite a bit of time contributing to sessions individually, which never seems to bode well for a band. The sessions resulted eventually in Heads Up, an album with synths to go with the guitars, faster bpms and a much poppier lead single in New Song. They supported Depeche Mode in the USA during 2017 and then Harry Styles on some dates in Asia in May 2018 but other than that they've been fairly quiet.

I'm pleased they're still together. The three albums they've made since 2010 (plus the 2007 mini album Exquisite Corpse) are Bagging Area favourites. Their sound- post-punk/dub influenced bass, psyche-rock guitars and gently stoned California harmonies- is great, modern dream pop with dancey rhythms. Their best album is 2014's self titled one, a record packed full of good songs and hooks- Biggy, Keep It Healthy, Disco//Very and Love Is To Die. Instead of that though here are two songs form the records that came before and after it, which I've been rediscovering this week.

Undertow was the lead single from 2011's The Fool, a slinky, low slung groove, gliding along the West Coast.


Whiteout opened Heads Up, a slightly busier affair, with a killer bassline and staccato guitars.


Thursday 7 March 2019

Simple Lives Yeah

Back in 1988/89 The Stone Roses were a blast of fringes, flares and winter coats coupled with psychedelic, insurrectionist guitar pop and abstract expressionism. They also had a tendency to take the tapes they'd recorded their songs onto and play them backwards. These backwards experiments created four songs, all four of which are headspinning adventures in sound. I remember reading an interview with the band where Ian and John spoke about for fun they used to drive out to the airport, park up near the runway and lie on the bonnet of the car while jumbo jets took off overhead (hallucinogens may have been involved). I seem to recall them saying that the backwards songs were partly an attempt to get that kind of sound on disc.

The first released fruit of these studio experiments was the Elephant Stone 12" single, out in 1988 (Elephant Stone sounds more and more to these ears like one of the shiniest gems in their back catalogue, especially the 12" mix). Full Fathom Five (named after a Jackson Pollock painting) is Elephant Stone backwards, vocals and music, Squire's guitar lines recognisable, the trippy shoom-shoom sound of backwards cymbals a constant with Ian's menacing backwards vocals.

Full Fathom Five

Released the following year (round about now in 1989) the Made Of Stone 12" had two B-sides, the acoustic ode to oral sex that is Going Down and Guernica. Guernica is the music from Made Of Stone backwards (minus the drums) but with new vocals, sung forwards, smothered in reverb to sink them into the track. 'You wanna hurt me stop the row' Ian sings, and 'we're whores, sit down, we're whores, that's us' (and the line at the top of this post). The driving guitars and bass of Made Of Stone sound immense backwards and it sounds like there may be some extra guitars or feedback added by Squire to double up that ghostly, rushing sound. It's not unlike hearing them in a wind tunnel (or underneath the engines of a jet plane taking off). Guernica was produced by The Garage Flowers, an alias they used when producing themselves, and it's no surprise they took the backwards experimentation further. Like Full Fathom Five, Guernica is named after a key 20th century painting.


The third backwards B-side was Simone, only available in 1989 on a U.S. import 12" (I Wanna Be Adored). It was this point, standing in HMV in '89 that I realised I was in deep, about to cough up £8.49 for a 12" single with only one song on it I didn't already own. Simone is Where Angels Play reversed, a backwards version of a song that wouldn't be put out by the group until Silvertone released as a B-side in 1991 in an attempt to milk the cow while it tried to sue them. Simone is a trip, shimmering and moody with guitar lines coming out of the inky blackness, no drums, the faintest, echo-laden whispers of vocals and then throbbing rushes of rhythm guitar. A swirling psychedelic stew. Play all three backwards songs back-to-back for full on backwards fun.


The ultimate backwards song was Don't Stop, a song that graced the debut album, Waterfall backwards with cowbell, new drums and words, perfectly pitched (and perfectly placed, following on from it's forwards version). I wrote about it last year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the events of May 1968. It's here. I said then that to write the lyrics for Don't Stop John listened to Waterfall backwards through headphones and wrote down what Ian's backwards vocals seemed to suggest, creating with one of the best set of lyrics on any Stone Roses song. You better stick Don't Stop on after the first three for full effect.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Sketch For Vini

I came across this recently, twenty-two minutes of footage of Durutti Column playing live in Helsinki, Finland in July 1981. Tony Wilson claimed that Vini Reilly was a genius, his guitar playing specifically. There isn't much in this clip to contradict that point of view. Also noteworthy is Bruce Mitchell's drumming and his sheer joy at playing.

Tracklist- Sketch For Dawn; Conduct; Party; Sketch For Summer; Stains; The Missing Boy.

The gig in Kaivopuisto Park was a Factory themed day out in the Finnish capital. Also on the bill were Kevin Hewick and ACR. In August 1982 a VHS compilation titled A Factory Video was put out in a rather beautiful fliptop box including Durutti Column's performance of The Missing Boy (Vini's tribute to Ian Curtis).

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Keith Flint

I'm sure everyone who reads this will know by now that The Prodigy's Keith Flint was found dead by police at his home yesterday. Keith was as much the face of the British music boom of the mid 90s as Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker or either of the Gallaghers and the music the group made provided a big selling counterpoint to the retro sounds of the guitar groups. The Prodigy came from the Essex rave scene, all long hair, jogging bottoms and very fast bpms and worked their inwards, eventually making some of the singles that defined the times. Firestarter was one. Not that it matters but I always preferred Breathe, a perfect distillation of punk x rave.

It was announced later on yesterday by Liam Howlett that Keith's death was suicide- which is unbelievably sad. People who knew him all said what a sweet and lovely man he was. Someone else commented that suicide is 'a permanent solution to a temporary problem'. Everyone, but men especially, have got to learn to talk to each other more and ask for help when we need it.

Campaign Against Living Miserably

The Samaritans

Monday 4 March 2019

Monday's Long Song

This long song- if song is the right word (and I don't think it is)- comes from the supernaturally talented Richard D. James. In 1994 Aphex Twin released Selected Ambient Works II, a long album of lengthy compositions of largely beatless, textured, meditative ambience. The various tunes, almost all analogue recordings rather than digital, shimmer and echo, invoking melancholy and reflection, waves and loops of sound. Much of it is gorgeous. RDJ said the tracks were about a 'weird presence... electricity... totally dreamlike'. Most of them were numbered (#1, #2 etc) but have since then been named by fans after the thumbnail photos that accompanied each one. This one, on the vinyl edition Side 5 Track 2 or #19, has become known as Stone In Focus. One Youtube commenter opines that this is not so much music, more the notes that the universe makes- 'Listening to this, I always think that if the universe could make a noise - this would be it.... A slow, creaking, cosmic wave of audio bliss - never ending, whilst every celestial object moves on it's path through eternity'. I know what he means.

Stone In Focus was only released digitally for the first time fairly recently (last year I think) having been left off the CD releases. If you want to buy it- and you should- you can do so at Warp.

Sunday 3 March 2019

Guess I'm Falling In Love

Today's Velvets on Sunday song comes from the vaults of Verve Records, who dropped The Velvet Underground in 1969. The recordings for what could have been their next album were shelved until the mid 80s when the first bunch were released as VU and then a follow album Another VU. In among them were five John Cale-era songs, including this rough and ready, fuzzed up, garage band song with Cale on bass. There is a point in all guitar band's lives when they should sound like this.

Guess I'm Falling In Love (Instrumental)

Saturday 2 March 2019

Motorik Oscillation

Weatherall was back at NTS a couple of days ago, a further two hours of gnostic sonics, musical adventures in the end times, songs to sing as the ship goes down.

Webbie's 'Andy who?' comment is expected some time this afternoon.

The tracklist is here. The closing track is a bit of a monster, seven minutes of driving bass, Motorik drumming and heavenly synth sounds from A Mountain Of Rimowa, well worth a posting in its own right.

The original version is less frenetic, moves at a more stately pace with peaks and troughs and some lovely drum pads but is no less intense and very good too- the section around seven minutes through to the end is very celestial. 'Functional dance music for emotional humans' he/she/they claim modestly.

Friday 1 March 2019


A couple of weeks ago Nina Walsh announced the release of a second album by the late Erick Legrand (following 2017's Second Machine From The Sun). The new release, a fifteen track album titled 11:11 is available at Bandcamp and well worth the £8 being asked for it.

The songs, largely instrumentals, take in a variety of styles from the dramatic rat-a-tat drumming, woodwind and horns of opener Last Tango to the twangy guitars stomp and theremin sounds of Nina Is Camping, from the jazzy, 60s thriller vines of Killing Moi, the Hawaiian guitars of Doing It to the dub techno of Mekanik to the filmic, Motorik chug of album closer Mad. It all hangs together really well, sounding like one piece of work, the soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist (to use the classic interview quote of the mid-90s electronic artist). Highly recommended.

I don't know much about Erick- the Bandcamp page for this album describes him as 'a turbulent creative force' and gives a selective timeline of his solo work, starting as head barman at the Camden Falcon between 1989 and 1991 to recording with Headcleaner and running the recording studio Bedlam in the 90s. In 2007 he produced an album for Nina Walsh (from the dates I think this must be her folky Bright Lights And Filthy Nights album) before recording solo compositions between 2009 and 2011. He claimed to be 'one of the most sacked drummers in London'. Martin Willis from Headcleaner wrote a tribute to Erick to accompany the first set of solo recordings which you can find here. Other than that I don't have much to go off but give over part of your day or this evening to 11:11 and you'll find that the music speaks for itself.