Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Side 1 Track 1

 




Taking a bit of a different turn today with this as it isn't the first track by a particular artist/band from their first album but I could not allow the passing of Jose Padilla to go unnoticed on this blog.

To say that the Cafe del Mar album was a seminal point in modern club culture would be a bit of an understatement as this album not only launched a series of excellent compilations with that title but it also spawned at least a thousand pale imitations all of which seemed to contain either At The River by Groove Armada or Sneaker Pimps 6 Underground. It is easy to smirk and be disdainful about it now but back in 1994 there was nothing like the Cafe del Mar compilation and for me then and still to this day an album that is reached for in the early hours although in recent years not post clubbing but more likely during occasional bouts of insomnia. As you can see from the battered state of my cover above it has been pulled from the shelves pretty often. Everybody these days has released an after hours all back to mine post club chill out selection it seems and most of them owe their track listings back to Jose, they may not contain actual tracks that he had played but they will all contain tracks that prior to the Cafe Del Mar series people would have baulked at seeing on the same sleeve, some current dance act next to some jazz funk guitarist or 60s blue eyed soul singer.  

We all know the legend of Jose Padilla and the Cafe del Mar, the only place to be in Ibiza when the sun was setting into the ocean to an impeccable soundtrack purposefully picked by the DJ originally from Barcelona who turned up on the white isle and never left. 

That first compilation is a belter from the off with a Padilla composed track which sets the tone for the 11 tunes that follows, slow bpms, a laid back groove and that late night/early morning vibe of decompressing from the events just past. The album ebbs and flows like the waves of a good stone. From the  incredible beatless mix of Smokebelch II, through the very strange (on first listen) Music For A Found Harmonium, the gorgeousness of Estelle to the final Sunset At The Cafe del Mar you will not find a better curated "chill out" album , as my friend from Oban who loves this series would say. 

I only purchased the first two volumes of the Cafe del Mar series, as now that Jose had supplied the blue print, I would compile my own "early hours" sessions with my decks and mixer and my own impeccable taste, the "Maestro", never included Small Hours, Memories of Green or Finale from Once Upon A Time In America on his albums after all. 

Rest Easy Jose and thank you for all the great tunes and introducing the greatness of John Martyn to the raving generation. 

Jose Padilla - Agua




Jose Padilla 

04/12/1955 - 18/10/2020

Emily Capell



 I had never even heard of Emily Cappell until a few weeks ago when on Twitter somebody posted possibly the worst cover version this side of Michael Bolton's travesty of a cover of the Otis Redding posthumous classic (Sittin' On) The Dock of The Bay. It was Miley Cyrus attempting Heart of Glass and somebody posted the Youtube clip below to show how a Blondie cover should be done. Which had me searching the internet for more music by this obviously extremely talented young woman. It turns out that she has been making music for 10 years, I really am getting later to the party as I get older and has released one album, Combat Frock, with a title like that it must be good, right? Yes it is very good with witty, sharp lyrics, the music a mixture of poppy punk, ska and some good old fashioned Rock n Roll. Lots to like. With influences from Dolly Parton to Joe Strummer that can be found on this cd that is also a lot of fun. The final track Ode To Uncle Moz is so on the nose. 

Worth checking out.



Monday, 19 October 2020

Monday's Long Song


 

One thing that I have discovered about a lot of these "new" well new to me anyway,  European psych bands is how prolific they are. They make a mockery of Mark E Smith's legendary work rate. Which makes it quite difficult for the newcomer when trying to get into the bands. Take Zone Six for example, I found this German band a few months ago after hearing a track from their 2015 Love Monster album which really gripped me and so I thought I would check them out on the oracle that is Discogs and to my despair it appears that they have released 27 albums in 21 years! Granted most of these are live but still it is quite an output.

Today's track comes from the previously mentioned Love Monster album consists of 4 lengthy instrumental, fuzzed up improvisations (I think) which really hit the spot. I could have picked any of the tracks as they are all excellent examples of this genre that I just can't get enough of at the moment. The Insight is one of the two shorter tracks on the album clocking in at just over 8 minutes and is a guitar and synth lead wall of sound that just builds and builds and meanders through one's head without ever getting boring.

I recently added last year's Kozmik Koon studio album to to complement Love Monster and it is of equal quality with three long tunes and two that clock in at under 4 minutes.

Zone Six - The Insight

Friday, 16 October 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance (In A Socially Distant Way)



 I was a bit late to the party (eight bloody years) with regards to Paranoid London and wouldn't have gotten there at all if it hadn't been for my nephew Lewis dropping off some cds for me to have a listen to at the start of lockdown which included the recent 2nd album by the unknown to me anyway London production duo. So I put the cd in the tray pressed play and sat back expecting to be underwhelmed. But from the off I had to sit up and pay attention, the squidgy sounds coming out of the speakers reacting to something deep within my brain and giving me shivers.  The sound was very much a nod back to the heady, intoxicating days of early house and especially the 303 driven, sparse sounds of Chicago but with a fresh take, there is nothing stale about the sounds here. So it was straight onto Discogs to find out what other delights were to be found from the Paranoid London stable. 12" singles going back to 2012 in collaboration with Paris Brightledge, no less and another self titled album released in 2014 which was duly ordered and when it arrived sounded even better than the album released last year , magic stuff.  Lovin You (Ah Shit) is one of the many treasures with the album. 

The Scottish First Division campaign kicks off tomorrow, with Airdrie playing host to Peterhead to an even more empty stadium than usual. As a season ticket holder I will be sitting in the comfort of either the living room or my cupboard/office hoping that the Diamonds can get three points from the first game and for the duration wishing that we were able to be there in person to talk rubbish with Stiff, Wullie, John and the guys that sit round about us but I can't see that returning anytime soon and I suppose that we have to be grateful to be able to watch the game in some form. 

Have a good weekend and stay safe people.

Paranoid London featuring DJ Genesis - Lovin You (Ahh Shit)

* forgot to mention above that Quinn Whalley, one half of Paranoid London was also one half of Slacker who's debut single, Painkiller was released on Sabres of Paradise way back when. 

Thursday, 15 October 2020

The Spell



 Following on from yesterday's post, Burial has recently remixed a track by Charles Webster, it is full of his signature atmospherics, clicks & pops and dislocated vocals samples and is very good, however for me it is not as good as the tech house original vocal mix featuring the the spoken word vocals of Ingrid Chavez, one time muse of Prince and the person responsible for the spoken word section of Madonna's Justify My Love.  The digital and physical product can be purchased here



Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Side 1 Track 1 Part 6



 At the start of the millennium I had somehow gotten it into my head that I was too old for dance music, that was a game for the under thirties and that I should return to listening to the more traditional guitar, bass and drum combo, the soul was fine but the Techno, D&B and House well that was for the youngsters. Not quite sure how this came about but I do remember feeling increasingly self conscious about the dance music, so much so that I sold a not inconsiderable number of records of this type in 2003, a story that I have related on these pages previously and find myself revisiting in the small hours now and then. 

Today's track was the first track on the album that returned my focus to dance music when on a whim I purchased the album after reading the reviews and also if the truth be told on account of the cover which appealed to me for some reason. 

Now,  those of a more pedantic nature who are au fait with the works of William Emmanuel Bevan will point out that Distant Lights does not fit the criterion no matter what way you look at this, as if you side one track one means what it says then the track picked should be Wounder as this is the first track on the double vinyl release of Burial's debut album. 

However, I would counter with I didn't buy the vinyl first, I bought the cd. 

Then our know it all friend would probably retort with, then it wouldn't be side one track one but, track one of 13 on the cd and it wouldn't even be that, it would be track 2 as track one is called intro

To which there is only one reply, fuck off, it's my feature and I pick the tracks.

To say that Distant Lights stopped me in my tracks would not be an exaggeration as when I brought it back from Fopp in Cockburn Street and put it in the cd player I was transfixed by what I was hearing, those skittery beats, hard to decipher vocal samples and those atmospheric keyboards were like nothing I had ever heard before. There was something really menacing about these sounds a feeling of real dread but also a beauty about the sound. I had missed the South London Boroughs 12" that had been released the previous year and so had no idea about what I was going to hear on this album. But from the very first snippet of dialogue and sampled atmospherics I was hooked. I found that the best time to listen to the album was at night when it is dark and through headphones and I imagined walking round the dimly light streets of some city where all sorts of things were happening. 

Frustratingly since his debut Burial has only released one further album, the following year's Untrue where the producer further honed his skills and produced an even better album. Since then there have been a string of eagerly awaited, more epic 12" singles which were all gathered together in last year's Tunes 2011 - 2019 double cd compilation  , some wonderful collaborations with Four Tet and Thom Yorke and also a string of remixes includes two breath taking reworkings for Massive Attack but it is definitely time for another album.

I sometimes wonder if I had not taken a punt on this that lunchtime back in 2006 would I ever have gotten back into dance music or would I have become entrenched in "real" music and god forbid sold all the records that I stupidly considered myself too old for?  Not sure I would have parted with any of the stuff with A Weatherall on the credits anywhere or The Orb  but the rest who can tell.

Burial - Distant Lights 

Here I Am Baby



 This is a magic bit of mid tempo Motown by the Marvelettes from the pen of Smokey Robinson. It was released in 1968. The song was originally recorded by Barbara McNair and released as a single three years prior to the Marvelettes version. Not sure quite which is my favourite what is not up for debate is that it is a very classy piece of soul. That's all I've got to say really.

The Marvelettes - Here I Am Baby 

Monday, 12 October 2020

Monday's Long Song



 "The colours are absolutely beautiful" Lynn remarked yesterday when we were driving through the Lea woods on the way to do the messages.

"Yeah?" I responded as being colour blind I don't really appreciate the changes in colours as much as people not similarly afflicted do but I do notice an idea for a blog posting when I here one. 

It took me quite a while to get a copy of the definitive mix of Coldcut's interpretation of Joseph Cosma's Jazz standard Autumn Leaves after hearing it on The Future Sound of London's ground breaking first Essential Mix back in December 1993. The whole thing blew me away but two tracks in particular got to me and had me replaying the tape over and over. When I eventually got a track listing of the show I discovered that one was the Lynchmob mix of Paul Weller's Kosmos and the other was The Irresistible Force's mix of the a fore mentioned Autumn Leaves. The hunt was then on. A few weeks later I found a copy of the Arista 12" single which had a shortened version of the mix in amongst others by Paul Gotel, Nellie Hooper and Well Hung Parliament that weren't very good at all. And so the search went on until the start of the new millennium and my early dalliances with eBay where I managed to find a copy of this, one of the most chilled, sorry but there is no other word that fits, ambient records every. 

Coldcut - Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Full Chill mix)  

Friday, 9 October 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance (In A Socially Distant Way)



It is kind of difficult to imagine that any of us will be jigging in an actual club anytime soon, sadly but that doesn't mean that we can't have a wee dance within the government guidelines in our own houses, ie on our own, for the foreseeable anyway. In it's original form Cheaters by Teengirl Fantasy (not a phrase I would advise typing into a search engine) is an ok piece House/Technolite but as with so many tracks, my favourite Catalonian producer John Talabot turns it into a piece of blissed out Balearic beauty, capable of transporting the least imaginative amongst us to their favourite sunny place, in their minds anyway. Lovely stuff.

Airdrie played their first competitive match  since March. Sadly the result was not the same as in that game as on Wednesday night the Diamonds were scudded two nil by Alloa Athletic, a side with 5 ex Airdrie players in the starting line-up and one, ex Airdrie number 1 Neil Parry responsible in a large part to the home side not getting a draw at least! Onwards and hopefully upwards, hopefully,  when the first league game kicks off at the Excelsior a week tomorrow when Airdrie host Peterhead.

Have a good weekend and stay safe people.

Teengirl Fantasy - Cheaters (John Talabot's Classic Vocal Refix)

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Hard Times


 It feels like the Tory party are making it part of there mission to kill the performing arts. The cnut that is the Chancellor had the audacity to suggest that those whose careers were no longer "viable" should retrain, he wasn't helpful enough to suggest what somebody who had been a sound engineer for twenty years or theatre stage hands for years or any of the other s who have made careers in the Arts should turn their hands to. Not everybody has the old boys network or an incredibly rich father-in-law to fall back on or chums handing out government contracts but then again, to get one of those it helps to have seriously fucked up at least twice, be a dame, a relation of Winston Churchill's or somebody the not very good superforecaster met in Russia or was at school with. 

I intended to go on a long rant about all the iniquities that are present in the UK but really, what is the fucking point, it's not going to achieve fuck all, it's just pissing in the wind, it doesn't even make me feel any better anymore.

Here is a song that came up on shuffle the other day and made me do one of those ironic little "huh" sounds that I increasingly make when listening to any news on the current situation reported on what is becoming the Government propaganda broadcasting company.

Kingmaker - Hard Times

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Side One, Track One pt 5



The sound of somebody turning the dial on the radio, interference, snippets of music and talk, followed by the statement "For God's sake burn it down" if that didn't get your attention then surely  the brass stabs that followed would definitely have you gripped for the next thirty nine minutes of Kevin Rowland's Dexy's Midnight Runners. Burn It Down, for that is the title of this opening track is a reworking of the band's first single Dance Stance which Rowland was not happy with. The song like many that would follow from the band dealt with loftier issues than just falling in love or dancing all night, although those subjects do appear on the album, on Burn It Down you Rowland rallies against ignorance of Irish culture and namechecks a list of Irish playwrights.

Dexys albeit in different forms would go on to produce another 4 albums during the subsequent 26 years, each one individual and brilliant, although not always thought so at the time, Don't Stand Me Down, anyone. Rowland I believe was not the easiest person to record with and had a singular vision for each of these records even down to the look of the band at each stage. Searching For The Young Soul Rebels certainly pointed the way and those opening words definitely appear to have been a manifesto of sorts.

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Burn It Down 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

You're Gonna Miss Your Candyman

 


When I reach for Terry Callier, it is usually on 7", one of the two singles adopted by the Northern Soul scene, Ordinary Joe or Take A Look At Me Now, or the material after he was "rediscovered in the mid to late 80s", Love Theme from Spartacus or his collaboration with Massive Attack, Live With Me but recently I have found myself playing the Chicagoan singer song writer's second album,  What Colour Is Love and in particular the stretched out a-side of Take A Look At Me Now. You're Gonna Miss Your Candyman is a bass driven song of longing that ebbs and flows and grooves so as within no time you find that seven most satisfying minutes have passed. The difference between this track and the more traditional Take A Look at Me Now is stark and unfortunately the record buying public was not ready for this heavy brew of soul, folk and jazz in 1972/73, although both the track and the album garnered praise from the critics. Plus ca change.

Terry Callier - You're Gonna Miss You're Candyman 

Monday, 5 October 2020

Monday's Long Song




I have featured the Nick Waterhouse cover of today's track previously but it is nothing like this sprawling, noisy, malevolent fuzzed up version. Ty Segall has released a considerable amount of music since he began his recording career in 2008, including 28 albums and 38 singles. This track has been released in various forms, first as a limited Ep pressing of 300 which will set you back over 200 quid if you are lucky enough to find a copy, however as far as I am aware this version remains unreleased, officially anyway. 

This should blow any cobwebs away this Monday morning.

Ty Segall - It #3

Friday, 25 September 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance In A Socially Distant Manner




 I pulled this record out of the shelves when looking for something else the other week and thought " haven't heard this in ages" so put it on and got such a lovely shiver. This is deep minimal house at it's best. I am surprised that I have never posted this before. Kind of hard to believe that it is twenty one years old but that seems to be the way of things with me these days,  things happened further back than I thought.

How are the Diamonds doing I hear you ask, well not too bad they have played two friendlies, drawn one, won one. There is a load of new boys on the books that I pray Leo and I will get to see on the park but at the moment it does look like quite a far off prospect but ever the optimists, we have purchased our season tickets, well I have purchased mine and Leo's like every other kid who follows the club has had the cost of theirs covered by Albert Bartlett so you can guess where I will be getting my tatties from in future.

Have a good weekend and stay safe people.

Soul Capsule - Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Big Bird



Eddie Floyd is probably best known for his 1966 #1 single in the US Knock on Wood, however my favourite by the Stax artist has to be a single that came out two years later, Big Bird. The backing band on the track includes the regular Stax/Volt Rhythm section of  Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper & Donald Duck Dunn and also the Memphis Horns.

The song was written as a result of a delay at Heathrow airport when Floyd was waiting for a flight back to the States so that Floyd could attend the funeral of his friend and label mate Otis Redding. Making the pleading tone in the singer's voice pretty poignant. 

This edit by Smoove can be found on the producer's Funk n Beats Vol 6 which can be purchased

Eddie Floyd - Big Bird (Smoove edit)

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Side 1, Track 1 Pt4



 It may be hard for younger people to believe just how out there Little Fluffy Clouds was when it was released in 1990 as a 12" as the mix of vocal samples, dance beats loops of modern classical music is common place these days but back then it was definitely a "what the fuck" moment when you first heard it.  

The choice of samples was absolute genius, especially the use of a part of an interview with Ricki Lee Jones reminiscing about her childhood and especially the sky and "little fluffy clouds". Jones sounds, if we are being honest, stoned out of her napper and is the reason that Alex Paterson and Thrash used it in the first place. The artist wasn't best pleased from what we have learned and Big Life had to fork out cash to head off  threat of litigation. But this is not the only expertly placed sample, the John Waite from BBC Radio 4's You And Yours which blends into the harmonica from Once Upon A Time In America which introduces the track certainly grabs your attention from the off. The Pat Metheny recording of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint which weaves its way through the track also  resulted in a lawyer's letter from the composer a few years later which resulted in him receiving 20% of the royalties and the Orb remixing one of his tracks.

When the single was released in 1990, although a big tune in the clubs failed to set the heather on fire and only reached #88 in the UK charts, so probably the first time those not initiated into dance culture at the time probably heard it as the opening track of the band's debut album, The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld which was unleashed on an unsuspecting world the following April and through word of mouth and continued acclaim climbed the charts to #29 and became a firm "after hours" favourite with clubbers and pubbers alike. 

Although the album version is a whole 4 minutes shorter than the Dance mk 2 which graced the A side of the 12" single, it is a perfect introduction to the travels that one will take through the 4 sides of the debut album, a long player that has remained a regular guest on my turntable ever since. Sometimes I get a jolt when I haven't played the album for a while when I hear Little Fluffy Clouds as due to it being a fan favourite it is always either the second last or last track aired when played live. 

The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds (album version)