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Saturday 6 April 2024

V.A. Saturday And AW61 Double Header

Today's main action is AW61, the celebration of what would have been Andrew Weatherall's 61st birthday at The Golden Lion in Todmorden, one of Andrew's spiritual homes. Last night's line up had David Holmes on downstairs with former Two Lone Swordsmen Keith Tenniswood playing a set as Radioactive Man, both ably supported by Matt Hum and the Rusty and Rotter DJ team. 

Today sees us, The Flightpath Estate DJs, return to The Golden Lion with a marathon set starting early afternoon and playing through until Sean Johnston and Duncan Grey take over to carry us all through til the early hours. Sons Of Slough play the upstairs room, Ian Weatherall and Duncan Grey picking up from their set at The Lion last August and at Carcassonne in September, promising a set packed with new material. Each of us in The Flightpath have an hour this afternoon and then we're going back to back, playing three tunes each before handing over the next man, which really keeps you on your toes and can lead to some interesting changes in musical direction. We have the tracks from our album, Sounds From the Flightpath Estate Volume 1, to slip in at various points. Last year I was very nervous about DJing in the Lion for AW60. This year I've been more relaxed about it, pulling a folder of tracks and songs together over the last few months and then pruning it and giving some thought to selection and sequencing this week. AW60 was a superb day and night- hopefully this one will equal it. The honour of being asked to play is a huge one. I said to someone a while ago in conversation, without meaning it to sound like a massive name drop, 'when we DJed at Andrew Weatherall's birthday party...', and caught myself mid- sentence thinking, 'how the fuck did that happen?!'. The saddest thing about it all is that the man himself is absent, physically. His spirit though is very much in the room. Today, 6th April, was Andrew's birthday. Many happy returns Andrew. 

Andrew was an inveterate record collector, tape and CD compilation maker. He made scores of tapes and CDs for friends and for his club nights, often given away to the lucky first punters through the door. He was often asked to put together Various Artist albums, his song selection and eye for detail legendary. Andrew's Masterpiece album, three CDs/ triple vinyl from 2012 is a career high in some ways, the ALFOS sound with several of his own remixes. His Sci- Fi- Lo- Fi compilation for Soma in 2012 pulled together lost rockabilly nuggets, T- Rex, The Fall, The Cramps, The Flaming Stars and Killing Joke among others for a flawless selection, a peak inside the Weatherall record box. 

At the start of the 21st century he complied a pair of CD compilations that show the breadth and depth of his talent as a selector. In July 2000 the Nine O'Clock Drop compilation on Nuphonic was one of the kickstarters to the rebirth of the post punk/ punk funk sound, a thirteen song album that put early electro, Mancunian post- punk dread, reggae, proto house and reggae alongside each other- A Certain Ratio, 23 Skidoo, Quando Quango, Gina X Performance and Colourbox rubbing up next to Aswad, Chris and Cosey and William Orbit's Torch Song. Not a dull moment and an album that showed how pioneering the early/ mid 80s were. Members of A Certain Ratio have said it was a crucial spur in them getting back together in the early 2000s and releasing their own early 80s compilation, titled Early (naturally) on Soul Jazz. They've gone from strength to strength since. 

I could pick any of the thirteen tracks and have gone for this one by Colourbox. Looks Like We're Shy One Horse/ Shoot Out is riotous sampledelic dub, parts of Once Upon A Time In The West scattered throughout, squealing guitars, deep bass and kicking drum machine rhythms, with  a superb slowed down and dubbed out end section.

Looks Like We're Shy One Horse/ Shoot Out

A year later in 2001 Andrew's name and selections were on a CD from Force Tracks, a German label specialising in early 21st century minimal techno and house, a pared back and very Teutonic sound. The fifteen tracks are all from the label, largely without vocals, and seamlessly mixed in the Weatherall bunker. It works as a whole piece, an hour of futuristic dance music that concludes with Tessio by Luomo, the only track with a vocal. 

Tessio (Matthias Schaffhauser Decomposed Subsonic Remix)

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