Sunday 31 January 2010

Let's Have A Little Hush

Today I'm not planning on doing much, as I'm off to Belfast tomorrow, which means a 04:30 am rise in order to get the flight.

I think that a bit of ambient is the order of the day. It may also help me keep calm while reading all about that self-righteous, money grabbing, liar Blair's evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry in the Sundays. I will try to resist reading but as someone once said resistance is futile.

Aphex Twin - Rhubarb

Friday 29 January 2010

JD Salinger 01/01/1919 - 27/01/2010

For phonies everywhere. Now where's my hat?

Dove - Fallen (Darkest Hour)

Jumping On The Night Bus

I was a bit late in getting into The XX.

At the tail end of last year you couldn't pick up a music mag or surf the net without the South West London band being mentioned. I had decided, in a rather reactionary way without even the merest evidence that they were just another bunch of teenagers from London hyped up to be the next big thing and duly made the decision not to even listen to them. All the talk of "music to listen to on night buses in London" didn't help. Could someone please tell me what is so fucking special about buses after dark there opposed to anywhere else? Or is it just something that music journalists, too middle class or too frightened to actually get on a bus after dark,  think is the epitome of cool.

Anyway, when I did actually get round to listening to the band, I realised what people were going on about and after buying the cd and flogging it to death have come to the conclusion that most of the hype is justified.  It sounds as good to these provincial ears in either the car, aeroplane or else where as I presume it does on the night bus, having never, ever been on one I must admit that the joy that you get while listening to this album on one is mere speculation on my behalf.

I have been listening to the cd heavily for the past month or so and today became the proud owner of the album on 200gram vinyl, which comes with a bonus single sided. 12" remix of current single VCR. As this vinyl is strictly limited and the mix allegedly, exclusive,  I have no qualms about posting it here.I should point out that the remix is not a patch on the original, I think that they should get a certain Mr Weatherall in next time, not that they need him,  as all of the tracks on the album are excellent as they are.

If you don't own the album already you should  go out and buy a copy immediately, as it is the best thing that I have heard since the last best thing that I heard, which was probably the Withered Hand album, although there are absolutely no similarities other than they are both brilliant.

The XX - VCR (Mathew Dear mix)

Here is the video for the album mix

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Like yesterday's track, today's post sees me looking back to Aberdeen through rose tinted spectacles or vague memories half remembered through an MDMA fog.

The Pelican Club was a very different beast from the Mudd club, not much in the way of indie played in the basement of the hotel Metro, the emphasis was strictly on the ability of the music to make young, mainly white and in those early days, studenty types move in a what was mostly, very self conscious, for want of a better word dancing. As mentioned before the music policy was a mixture of funk, soul, hip-hop, early house and on occassion Go-Go. I definitely remember dancing to today's tune there.

I have posted on Go-Go and Trouble Funk before and won't bore you with the details. The only thing I will add is that the guy who first introduced me to Trouble Funk had just came back from spending the summer in the States and when I thought about it the other day was actually a bit of an arse. He had returned with this mid-Atlantic accent and all these American mannerisms which when I look back were a bit much for a boy from that well known 'hood just up the Moray Firth from Inverness. Suffice to say "if he were chocolate he would have ate himself". I do however owe him a debt of gratitude for lending me Say What (Live In London) and also Eric B & Rakim's first album.

Trouble Funk - Drop The Bomb (Live In London)

Thursday 28 January 2010

Not Strictly PC

Beaver Patrol is not one of the most enlightened records in my collection. However compared to some of the stuff my mates in Aberdeen were listening to at the time such as 2 Live Crew and Schoolly D it could have been a feminist anthem.

This track takes me back to the Mudd Club on  Monday nights in Aberdeen during 87/88 where this kind of thing was heard all the time.

I quite liked Pop Will Eat Itself or the Poppies as they were known. The name comes from an article by David Quantick in the NME about the band that would become Carter USM.

PWEI started off as an indie band but soon became influenced by hip hop and traveled the same road as Age of Chance using drum machines and samplers as well as the conventional instruments. I have to admit that I prefer Age Of Chance, however the Poppies did release a few classic singles,  Beaver Patrol, a cover of Sique Sique Sputnik's Love Missile F 1-11, Def Con 1 and Touched By The Hand of Cicciolina,  a tune which tries to lobby for an Italian porn star turned politician to be the person who presents the World Cup to the winning team at Italia 90.

For nearly twenty years I thought that the poppies had written Beaver Patrol. I found out a couple of years ago that the track is in fact just another of their cover versions. It was originally recorded by The Wide Knights in 1965, an American garage band from the Pacific North West.

Pop Will Eat Itself - Beaver Patrol

The Wilde Knights - Beaver Patrol

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Holocaust Memorial Day

I'm not sure whether it is the right thing to do, to post music for today's memorial but this just feels appropriate.

I'm going to Amsterdam next month with work and know that I will make the time to go round Anne Frank's house again and will come out of there with the same feelings of anger, sadness and disgust I've left with on my previous visits there.

Take 5 minutes out and have a look here

Ryan Adams - Dear Anne

Saturday 23 January 2010

Touched By The Hand Of God VIII

Haven't had anything by Mr Weatherall for a while, although he has been popping up all over the shop recently.

Here is a track that I first learnt of from Nolan over at Castles In Space just before Christmas. It is part of a Manic Street Preachers remix project, Cooking, Cleaning and Flower Arranging and on the strength of the Weatherall mix, I had to order a copy of the very limited (300) run of vinyl. Due to the Christmas holidays and the fact that Rough Trade don't send confirmation emails, I had to sweat for nearly 2 weeks before knowing that I had a copy when the postie delivered it.

There are some great tracks on the album by the likes of The Fuck Buttons, The Horrors and Underworld. Can't tell you how different they are from the originals as I got bored of the Manics years ago and haven't heard the recent album but not many of the tracks on the double vinyl sound that much like the earnest Welsh rockers.

On the evidence of Weatherall's recent mixes, 6 mix appearances and last couple of albums he is on top form again and long may it continue. Not sure about that 'tache tho'!

Andrew Weatherall - Peeled Apples

Friday 22 January 2010

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

By 1987, apart from the odd exception I had pretty much turned my back on music made by spotty boys in anoraks with guitars from Manchester, Glasgow and such places (for a year at least). I was searching out records with a 4/4 beat and big bass lines, the bigger the better.

Along with the change in style also came a change in format, instead of the 7" single and album, most of the music I was buying had to be purchased on 12" single or you would end up with an extremely unsatisfying edit of the track. The change in format meant that record buying became more costly as 12" singles were inevitably more expensive than singles and got more expensive as most of the house sounds around at the time could only be purchased on import.

At this time I never noticed any elitism in the scene as was rife within the Northern Soul circuit. This was probably due to the fact that at this time in Glasgow and Aberdeen we just appreciated any good record with a beat, at the Pelican Club for example you heard everything from Philly and Northern Soul, through Hip Hop and Go-Go to the ever improving House sounds of the time. If there were any scensters I certainly wasn't aware of them.

I can't remember if Jingo was approved of by the House cognoscenti, however I for one loved the track. It was written and produced by John "Jellybean" Benitez.

Benitez started off as a DJ with stints at Electric Circus and Studio 54, before picking up the  residency at Funhouse.

Soon after he became an in demand remixer with credits like African Bambaataa's Planet Rock and Walking On Sunshine by Rockers Revenge. Around this time he became romantically involved with Madonna and ended up remixing most of the good tracks on her first album. This in turn led to more work remixing middle of the road soul such as Hall & Oats, George Benson and Whitney Houston.

He released his first album in 1987 which apart from Jingo is actually a rather dull affair and I didn't follow his career any further.

Jellybean - Jingo

Thursday 21 January 2010

Everyone Loves A Cover, Right?

In it's original form Indian Summer, Beat Happening's indie anthem is an alright track which has lots of potential. It's a kind of sub Velvets tune, quite simple but it has something which makes it stand out. The vocals get on my wick, I really don't like Calvin Johnson's voice, it irritates me.

Luna's cover on the other hand realises the full potential of the track turning the track into a really gorgeous piece of indiepop. The track can be found on an album of covers entitled Lunafied which can be bought as a 2 cd package with the Best Of Luna. On this disc they re-interperate a diverse range of songs from Serge Gainsbourg's Bonnie and Clyde to Sweet Child Of Mine and coming up trumphs on more tracks than they fall flat. It is worth checking out.

Luna - Indian Summer

Wednesday 20 January 2010

No One Said It Was Gonna Be Easy

It's been a while since we heard the dulcet tones of Mark Edward Smith on this blog. Time to rectify that state of affairs, I think.

Here he is on blistering form in collaboration with Inspiral Carpets. This was released as a single in 1994 and led to Smith's only appearance on Top Of The Pops, that I can remember seeing anyway. Smith has collaborated with quite a few people over the years, Edwyn Collins, Coldcut and most recently Mouse On Mars to name but three.

Inspiral Carpets - I Want You

Sheer brilliance.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Just Because

This is an absolute stormer of a track which came on the iPod in the car on the trip to Manchester yesterday. Although I'm not quite sure about the key change just over half way through.

Mel Wynn - I Don't Want To Lose You.

Sunday 17 January 2010

The Reality Is . . .

I'm too old to to party all night!

Last night I rediscovered the delights of Red Stripe and this morning I remembered why I stopped drinking that particular beverage.

Isobel Campbell - Why Does My Head Hurt So?

Saturday 16 January 2010

The Bottle

So much for being "aff it" for the whole of January. Tonight I'm off to a party to celebrate my brother in law's 40th. I have dug the old decks and mixer out of the cupboard and will be spinning some banging tunes as they say while giving people withering looks and choice words when they ask me to play something that they know!

Happy Birthday and welcome to the club G

Here is a cautionary tale of the consequences of the demon drink.

Gil Scott-Heron - The Bottle

Friday 15 January 2010

Blood On My Hands

This, I suspect will not be everyone's cup of tea, but I really love it, it also scares the shit out of me. Don't play late at night, in a darkend room using headphones.

In it's original form Blood On My Hands is a classic quite minimal track but Ricardo Villalobos, strips it down even further while making it more dance floor friendly and extremely hypnotic. I am at a loss trying to describe the track further except that it is not the most comfortable of listens, full of foreboding and at 18:34 not the shortest of tracks either. I think that it one of those tracks that you will instantly make your mind up about and will either love or hate.

The version posted is from the excellent Soundboy Punishments compilation as the 12" version is split over both sides of the vinyl and I can't seem to edit it without at least a slight bit of fresh air. If you like what you hear the compilation is definitely worth investing in and can be bought here for a very reasonable price.

Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (Ricardo Villalobos' Apocalypso Now mix)

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

When I heard the track posted today for the first time, I think that it was the moment when I finally realized that there was more to music than punk, indie and northern soul. I certainly remember taking notice and buying the 12" at the first opportunity and flogging it to death for ages afterwards and the record has never been far away from the turntable ever since.

The release of Kiss coincided with a feeling in me that there had to be more to dance music than obscure 7 inch singles from Detroit, most of which were as old if not older than myself. At this stage I was still brainwashed into thinking that modern soul was all awful and to be avoided at all costs. When I heard Kiss, I knew that this was the kind of thing that I was looking for and from there it wasn't a big jump to Go-Go and the early Chicago House sounds that were beginning to be heard this side of the Atlantic.

Kiss started out as no more the a minute long demo that Prince gave to the band Mazarati, who were signed to his Paisley Park label. However when the purple one heard what the band had transformed the acoustic demo into, he decided that it was his baw and he was taking it back. The song became Prince's third US number 1and earned him another Grammy. It did okay this side of the pond reaching number 6.

Prince did turn into a bit of a cock later on with all that slave, symbol shit and not allowing his music to be played with the videos on youtube is really annoying but I can forgive him most things after listening to the minimalist funkiness that is Kiss.

The song has been covered a few times, abysmally by The Art Of Noise and Tom Jones and brilliantly tongue in cheek  by Age of Chance.

Prince & The Revolution - Kiss (12" mix)

Thursday 14 January 2010

Lazy Post

In the comments for the post on Brilliant Mind, Mr H of the always excellent Ghost Of Electricity stated that he always grouped the song with Driving Away From Home by It's Immaterial.

So I decided to dig out the single but couldn't find it, don't know where it is.

Yesterday I had reason to be in the West End of Glasgow and decided to check out Oxfam music on Byres Road as I usually do when I'm in that neck of the woods.What did I find in the 12" singles bin, yes a pristine copy of Driving Away From Home, quelle coincidence, and for only £1.99. It had to be purchased. I also managed to pick up a copy of The Crown by Gary Bird And The GB Experience and a mint copy of Stutter by James for a criminally under priced 99p. Not a bad lunch time haul.

As usual,  Davy was spot on with his comments, as when playing the tune, it did kind of remind me of Brilliant Mind but that may be because the idea had already been planted in my head.

Driving Away From Home was released in 1986 and got to #18 in the UK singles chart. I seem to remember that it became quite a favourite with the balaeric crowd a year or two later.

It's Immaterial - Driving Away From Home (Wicked weather For Walking)

Wednesday 13 January 2010

How to beat those midweek January blues.

If like me, you are beginning to get a little sick of these short days and long cold dark nights, then you will be needing something to perk you up a bit. Since it is only mid week and if you haven't made the decision to forsake the bevvy for the month of January, you have probably resolved not to partake of any alcohol on a school night at least, in a vain attempt to offset the over indulgence during the Christmas and New Year festivities. So a little libation to lift the spirits is out of the question.

I have the solution right here, how about a little hardcore?

You know it makes no sense what so ever.

Acen - The Life And Crimes Of A Ruffneck

Now,  isn't that better?

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Happy Birthday

It's L's first birthday today. I can't believe that it's been a year already. I also can't believe that he sleeps 12 hours at a time (probably put a hex on that now).

This is the first track that came on the iPod when I left the hospital to come back home after he was born.

Audrey Hepburn - Moon River.

Monday 11 January 2010

Brilliant Mind

Gareth over at How Does That One Go Again?  had a post yesterday regarding the band Furniture but didn't post the single for which the band will always be remembered, technically he did but you can't download it.
So I thought that I would post the track as it is a something that I have thought of posting a couple of times .

Apart from being one of the best singles released in 1986,  it also featured in my favourite John Hughes film, Some Kind Of Wonderful, which starred Mary Stuart Masterson and included the first time The Jesus And Mary Chain had been heard in a Hollywood movie a good 16 years before Lost In Translation.

For more info on Furniture go over to Gareth's site as there is absolutely no point in me repeating what he has already posted.

Furniture - Brilliant Mind

Sunday 10 January 2010

Crawl Babies

The first time I remember being aware of the Pastels was the first of June 1985 when they played at a Scottish Youth CND rally in the Kelvinhall in Glasgow, Strawberry Switchblade were also on the bill that day. I have to admit I wasn't that impressed with them, they were a shambles live, a view which hasn't changed over the years on the few occasions I have seen them. On vinyl, however I love their stuff, especially the output from 1986 to 1994.

Pastels have been around since 1982 and were built around the core members of Steven McRobbie, Aggi Wright and Katrina Mitchell, however quite a few members of the Scottish  indie mafia have lent a helping hand over the years for example Norman Blake, Francis McDonald and David Keegan.

The band released an album last year in collaboration with Japanese duo Tenniscoats called Two Sunsets on which there is a rather fine cover of About You, originally by the Jesus and Mary Chain amongst the original compositions.

Crawl babies was released as a single on Glass Records in 1987.

Pastels - Crawl Babies

Pastels/Tenniscoats - About You

Saturday 9 January 2010

Suburban Smog

Here is a track from the recent album from everybody's favourite ambient collective.

I sort of lost track of The Orb after the Orblivion album, I think that I just got bored of that sort of music at the time and also I was compairing every release to Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and nothing after wards quite made the grade in my opinion to that seminal album.

A couple of months ago I took a punt on the Orb's latest offering Baghdad Batteries, the third in a series of Orbsessions albums. although this is all new material not rare session tracks. The music is quite different from the early stuff but at the moment I'm really loving it. There is one problem with this, it now means that I will have to go back and fill in the gaps in my Orb collection now, which won't be cheap.

See what you think?

The Orb - Suburban Smog

Friday 8 January 2010

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I thought that instead of just random dance tracks that come into my mind,  that for the next few weeks or until I get bored I would post some of the tunes that turned me from a Northern Soul and indie loving scooter boy  into,  well a Northern Soul and indie loving scooter boy with a penchant for electronic and sample based tunes.

By 1987 I was getting increasingly interested in sample based music and Beat Dis fit the bill nicely.

When first released it was thought to be an American import on the Mister-Ron label. this piece of disinformation was released  to add kudos to the release as it was thought that it would get more attention if it was thought to be by an underground NYC producer rather than a homegrown DJ.

The bass line and drum programming were original, composed by Tim Simenon, however the rest of the track was made from a collage of an alleged 72 samples, ranging from hip-hop and soul  to old film and TV dialogue. The record was reputedly recorded for 500 quid, not bad considering that it went on to end up #2 in the UK charts.

On the back of the success of the single Simenon ended up on the front cover of the NME, no mean feat for an emerging DJ, the first to be featured in a magazine which was very much a spotty indie kids mag which had been rather disparaging about house music and dance music in general in the past.

Twenty two years on it still sounds magic to me.

Bomb The Bass - Beat Dis (Extended Dis)


The Pale Fountains - . . . from across the kitchen table (12" mix)

Thursday 7 January 2010


Liquid Liquid were a New York band who were around from 1980 to 1983. There sound combined elements of funk, dub and punk to produce what I think is the most danceable tunes of the post punk era.

Although the band were never commercial due to the fact that the eps were released in very limited numbers there tunes have been heard in the more discerning dance floors ever since. The Glasgow DJ duo Optimo are named after one of there tracks and the track featured here was played by the Sugarhill band as the backing track to a far more famous single.

In 1997 Mo Wax re released all of the eps as an album and during the subsequent couple of years released remix twelves of Bellhead and Cavern. The track posted is the Cut Chemist remix of Cavern.

Predictably, like so many other bands from the early 80's they reformed in 2008.

Liquid Liquid - Cavern (Cut Chemist Rocks A Rave In A Missile Silo)

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Call Me

No, not that one.

Call Me was the second single from Tweet's debut album, Southern Hummingbird. The first single Oops (Oh My) was a huge single in America due in part to the guest vocals by Missy Elliot, whose producer Timbaland produced 4 tracks on the album including the first 2 singles.

I was not really a big fan of what the Americans call R&B then,  but bought Tweet's album on the strength of the 2 singles. I think that she has a great sultry voice and the album is better than I expected with only 2 or three of the 17 being filler.

She has released a further 2 albums with another planned for 2010, however can't tell you if they are any good or not as I didn't buy anything else after the first album, sort of forgot about her.

Tweet  - Call Me

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Bloody Work!

First day back today and I'm not looking forward to sifting through the emails to find the ones that are actually important or completing the tasks that should have been finished last year but somehow got forgotten about.

I need something with a bit of oomph to get me going.

The Go!Team - Ladyflash

That'll do nicely.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Bloody Snow

The weather up here is getting on my nerves now. I thought that by the time I would be going back to work all this white stuff would have disappeared. But it doesn't look as if it's going to thaw out any time this decade. I may be forced to dig the bloody car out of the drive tomorrow in time for Tuesday, however the fact that it hasn't even been turned over for a fortnight in these sub zero temperatures may provide other problems.

Still, I'm not going to think about it again until tomorrow. I think that a mug of hot Ribena is called for and just sit here for a while enjoying the silence. No more shaking of hands, wishing people I hardly know a happy New Year or making of idle chit chat to do. Absolute bliss.

After the silence, something a bit special. I've posted this before but for anybody who missed it and just because it has been running through my head for the last couple of days.

Orchestra JB - Come Alive

Saturday 2 January 2010

Just Chillin' . . . I Wish.

It's bloody snowing here again!

It's the 2nd of January and as we're in Scotland, there is another party to go to today, when all I want to do is sit at home and chill. I don't know about chilling but it may be possible to freeze, as the boiler is acting up again but because it is still "technically" working we are not a priority and so British Gas will not come out until tomorrow, we contacted them on the 29th Dec, five star cover, my arse.

The Libertines - Don't Look Back Into The Sun