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Tuesday 28 November 2023

Geordie Walker

The news of Geordie Walker's death in Prague following a stroke was announced at the weekend, drawing the curtain on one of the most innovative and distinctive guitarists of the post- punk period (and beyond). Alongside Jaz Coleman Kevin/ Geordie was the only constant member of the group, forming Killing joke with the singer in 1979 after replying to an advert, his guitar playing was enormous, his Gibson hollow bodied guitar tuned down a whole tone lower than standard tuning. His set up and style, melody lines as opposed to solos, crunching metallic rhythm parts, ringing feedback, a seemingly effortless approach that created the sound of several guitars playing at once. 

Some music from the Killing Joke back catalogue in tribute to Geordie Walker.

Turn To Red was from Killing Joke's debut release, a 7" EP from October 1979. They were always into the idea of remixing their music, and the multitude of dub versions and remixes are all worth investigating. This dub of Turn To Red is fast, heavy dub, rimshots, echo, noise and thump.

Turn To Red Dub

Eighties came out in the middle of the 80s, a single and also on the album Night Time. Kurt Cobain famously purloined the guitar riff for Nirvana's Come As You Are. The Serious Dance Mix is as hard as anything from 1984, a stomp with Geordie's guitars up front. In fact, it's a song with everything up front. 

Eighties (Serious Dance Mix)

In 1992 Thrash of The Orb took Requiem and gave it the full 1992 Orb remix treatment, with sound effects, space and echo, bass, coiled guitar parts, stuttering synth parts, rain and wind and whatever else he fancied, the song stretched out for eleven minutes, trance dub, a long strange trip down the river. 

Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Dub Mix)

In 1993 Andrew Weatherall played his first Essential Mix. Those tuning in back in November 1993 or listening later on tape, copies passed around and re- copied time after time, would have heard Killing Joke's Millenium opening the show, not the first time Weatherall confounded expectations and played something unexpected and made it work, Killing Joke sounding perfectly at home among the early 90s techno of Sabres Of Paradise, Plastikman, LFO and Black Dog. 

RIP Geordie Walker. 


The Disco Spider said...

The Andrew Weatherall Essential Mix from 1993, despite being on the third ever EM is in my mind still one of the best ever EM broadcast.

In part it is because of the opening track, a massive remix beginning a classic mix

Swiss Adam said...

Andrew's 1996 return wasn't bad either- but the 93 one is very special.