Friday 29 April 2011
On paper it was a match made in heaven, get one of the best djs and remixers of the day to remix an already great throbbing piece of progressive house by arguably the greatest dj and remixer of the time, what could go wrong?
Absolutely nothing, David Holmes passed back an amazing piece of music that no matter where you played it it sounded wonderful. It was equally as powerful when listened to at volume at home as when dropped in the middle of a sweaty, smoke filled club. For me Smokebelch II is the pinnacle of the prrogressive dance sound, other tracks come close but none better David Holmes' mix of the tune in my opinion.
Right, I'm off to a wedding, seriously I am.
Have a good weekend people.
Sabres Of Paradise - Smokebelch II (David Holmes mix)
Thursday 28 April 2011
Wednesday 27 April 2011
I've spoken here before about how I believe that when Maria McKee was at her best she had one of the most emotional voices around and in Lone Justice's first album one of the best of 1985 if not the 80s.
Here is a belter of a track from her second solo album which I also think was her last consistently good album.
Maria McKee - Why Wasn't I More Grateful?(When Life Was Sweet)
Tuesday 26 April 2011
The sun still seems to be affecting my choice of tunes at the moment. Today while driving back from Dundee, a city best viewed through the rear view mirror, I had an urge to hear some quality Swedish indie pop but as I had no playlist made up for this occassion, I decided on More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide and an excellent choice it was too.
Hello Saferide - Lund.
I have visited Lund on a few occassions and a very nice town it is too, however due to the R&D policy of our company I don't suppose I will be going for work again.
It may be something to do with the sun but I had a hankering to hear this track last night. It sort of popped into my head and would not dislodge itself. So I thought that I would do the right thing and inflict it's annoyingly catchy, up beatness on others.
Charlotte Sometimes - How I Could Just Kill A Man
Monday 25 April 2011
I bought this ages ago on a whim as I liked the cover and have just got round to listening to it. Just the thing for this positively tropical Easter Monday.
Still don't know that much about her. The album was recorded between Berlin and Mexico and was released on the Fantomette label in Germany in 2009, so I'm right upfrount as usual.. I wonder if you can guess who the guest percussionist is?
Right we're off round the Loch
Jessie Evans - Blood and Silver
Sunday 24 April 2011
My birthday present to myself was a ltd edition vinyl box set of all three Airborne Toxic Event which unfortunately will not be shipped until the 2nd May, however on Friday a surprise popped through the letter box in the form of the cd of the new album All At Once which will be released tomorrow.
Tell us what it's like? I hear you say. All I can say is it is wonderful. There is no way for me to be objective about this band, I just love them. Every time I see them they get better and better and this release certainly builds on the sound from the first album. I can hear a very strong Stuart Adamson influence in some of the sounds emanating from Steven Chen's guitar at times which is no bad thing. The song writing has also moved on from mainly songs about broken relationships on their debut to covering topics of war, the loss of loved ones along as well as the obligatory songs about the opposite sex.
It is possibly the most consistently good album that I have heard this year, personal favourites include All For A Woman, The Kids Are Ready To Die and the the title track. The only track I'm not sure about is Welcome To Our Wedding Day, I'm not sure what it is, it just doesn't seem to fit it may be the near glam rock intro but apart from that I think that this may be the album that brings the band the sales and attention they deserve.
One thing, I still don't get the Arcade Fire comparisons.
all at once by The Airborne Toxic Event
Saturday 23 April 2011
Friday 22 April 2011
"Hoi, where's the dance tunes?" I hear at least one of you mutter.
Well seeing as it's Easter, I thought me might have something different this Friday from the usual, well, past it's sell by date Friday feature. Another reason would be that I couldn't decide which dance track to pick on account of having given it absolutely no thought whatsoever this week.
Instead I thought that I would regale you with a story that explains no matter how many times Mr H over at The Ghost Of Electricity posts the Jones Girls or something similar I will always stick up for him and "gie him hauners" if the need ever arises.
When I was seventeen I went on my final caravan holiday with the family to Polperro, not a prospect I was overjoyed about at the time, being cooped up in the back of the car with my brother for the best part of 2 days and then spending a fortnight in a tin can on wheels with three other human beings in close proximity.
When we got there I kind of mumped and moaned my way through the first week, doing as little as possible, spending a small fortune on batteries for my red Sony Walkman and generally being an arse. However at the end of week one I met a girl from Ashington in Northumberland and things started to pick up. We had a liking for the same kind of music, Northern Soul and Indie and both had an interest in scooters. We got on really well and were nearly inseparable for the next week, my last but L's first.
At the end of the week as we said goodbye L gave me a tape, "something to remember me by" she said. On the way home I put the tape in the Walkman and listened to it with a heavy heart. It was all northern soul, the stuff that the purists sneer at, Frankie Valli's The Night, The Snake, Out On The Floor and the like. At the end of the tape however, there was a track that didn't fit in with the rest, an acoustic guitar strummed ballad sung by someone who to me at the time sounded a lot like Pete Wylie. I played the tape over and over again and made myself miserable thinking of my holiday romance. The tape however lasted only slightly longer than the relationship and snapped before I ever found out who it was by or even what the song was called.
I would be lying if I told you that ever since the song has haunted me. But it has popped into my head every so often and I have wondered what the hell the song was but had given up all hope of ever solving the mystery and over the years I had even forgotten the melody and could only remember the two words Easter Parade.
A couple of years ago while perusing the Ghost Of Electricity one day, Davy had posted a song by the Faith Brothers, a group who up until this point I had been criminally oblivious of. Davy waxed lyrical about Billy Franks so much so that I decided that he and the Faith Brothers warranted further investigation. So I visited Franks' website where there was loads of stuff to download and so I duly did. When I listened to the tracks I couldn't believe it; in amongst a lot of really good songs was the song that I had first heard from that Panda cassette over twenty years earlier and duh! it was called Easter Parade.
A few weeks later after finding a copy of a double pack Faith Brothers single containing the tune and being successful in the bidding I finally got to play the track without hiss or being ever so slightly wonky due to the tape being stretched and it was every bit as wonderful if not more and when I further found out what the single was about (wounded soldiers returning from the Falklands conflict and not being allowed to take part in the homecoming parade, at Thatcher's behest) it became even more moving.
So that is the convoluted story of why Davy H is a legend in my book.
Have a good Easter weekend people.
Faith Brothers - Easter Parade
Tuesday 19 April 2011
When I was compiling my tracks of the year in early December, there was a track that I wanted to include by the duo Big Deal but decided not to on the grounds that I had only had the single for a couple of weeks and that I really couldn't base how good the track was in comparison ton other stuff that had been hanging around for a lot longer and the other reason was that I wasn't that impressed with their cover of Big Star's Thirteen. There was nothing wrong with it, I just felt that it was a bit of an obvious song for them to cover based on the sound of the a side.
I have no such concerns about the b-side of their second single, Talk released on Moshi Moshi last week. Locked Up reminds me of the Velvet Underground, with the fuzzy guitar and the lazy vocals. Talk is equally as good and both are well worth purchasing.
This and the Cults single are the soundtrack to these rather surprisingly sun drenched days we have been having of late for me.
Big Deal - Locked Up
Monday 18 April 2011
Bloody hell, that was a quick week!
Back to the daily grind for me and I can't think of a better way to start than with this track, a recent discovery. I'm not sure whether this should be classed as soul, R & B or whatever other catagory it may fall into. It is a brilliant track which should brighten up your Monday morning.
I know absolutely nothing about the Vonns. This track was on a split 7", released recently on Fryers, with another belter of a track, Sad But True by Elaine Armstrong on the A side. Worth seeking out.
The Vonns - So Many Days
Saturday 16 April 2011
Well, that was quite an enjoyable morning.
Max was none to pleased when I got him up at the back of seven this morning for our trip into Glasgow but once he was up he was his usual self, a sullen teenager six years too early, on the way in I had to promise that if there was anything by AC/DC I would have to buy him it.
We got to Glasgow and parked in the Kings Street car park across from MONO at 08:15 and could see that quite an orderly queue had already formed and there were about thirty people in front of us when we joined. Then the mental calculations started if there were 500 copies of such and such and there were 150 stores taking part then how many copies of the Cults single did MONO get and how many of the people in front of me look like they are here to buy that single? I have to admit that Max did his best to distract me from such thoughts by asking "how long now?" every couple of minutes and to inform me that "Gran (my mother) thinks that you need to grow up and stop going to all these concerts and buying records" I would like to say that on hearing this I was shocked but on the contrary as he said it I could hear my mother saying it.
At 9:00 am on the dot the doors opened and the agonising ten minutes of watching people coming out smiling and trying to peer through their bags and find out what they had bought, before it was my turn at the counter, began. My wants list was actually quite restrained this year with only two must gets on my list the afore mentioned Cults single and the ARP Pastoral Symphony remix 12". That was until I saw the list on the wall in Monorail, there near the end was a single that caught my eye, The Velvet Underground Foggy Notion/I Can't Stand It, where did this come from? It was not on any of the lists I had seen. In the second or two that it took me to absorb this information my priorities had changed and this was the essential purchase of the day as these are two of my favourite VU tracks and last night I had included I Can't Stand It on my compilation cd.
After what seemed an eternity but in fact would have been less than ten minutes from the doors opening I got to the counter.
In as nonchalant a voice as I could muster I said " Have you got any copies of the Velvet Underground single left?"
" Yes" was the reply.
I nearly screamed like I would have if Andy Smith had scored the winning goal in the 1995 Scottish Cup Final but instead retorted "I'll have that then and also the Cults seven inch?"
I then went on to get a few other things, The Warpaint and Red Crayola sevens, The Hangover Lounge 10" which was a rash heat of the moment tihng which I am regretting now as it is a bit, well twee for me, the ARP 12" and of course Shoot To Thrill by AC/DC because as Max rightly pointed out " a deal's a deal, dad".
I have to say that I think that some of the stuff was a bit over priced, eighteen quid for a 10" of The Queen Is Dead, the same for The Vaccines bootleg but maybe that's just me.
So then it was over the road to RubaDub to purchase a new stylus and the buy of the day as it turned out, not a Record Store Day exclusive but the latest installment of Jeff Mills Something In The Sky series, pt 7 an absolute belter of a record.
All in all not a bad day out but I am well and truly skint now.
The Velvet Underground - I Can't Stand It
Friday 15 April 2011
Tomorrow is Record Store Day 2011 and I'm looking forward to going into Glasgow with Max and trying to get my hands on the records that are on my wants list. If it's anything like last year it will be a really good day. There was a definite buzz going on at Mono. I am not the most patient person in the world and hate queueing, I think that I may have some German blood in my veins but even I didn't mind the wait, although I was a bit anxious about not getting a copy of the Fall single but I needn't have worried.
Anyway to get in the mood this afternoon I decided to make up a couple of compilation cds up for the car and decided to go back to basics and complete the task without the aid of the laptop or itunes, no dragging and dropping today, all of the tracks would be from vinyl or cd and would be recorded in real time.
It's ages since I made a compilation this way, it's ages since I made myself a compilation full stop, these days I either just pick a play list on the mp3 player or rely on the machine's impeccable taste on random.
I had a basic outline. I wanted to do a recent dance cd and also an indie/northern whatever one where I would just open one of the singles boxes pick out the first random single that my hand got to and see where it went from there. The dance one was quite easy as I knew the tracks that I wanted and kind of knew the order in which I thought it should go but was kind of hampered by not being able to use two decks for a couple of reasons, firstly that my old mixer is knackered and the other decks are packed away behind a pile of other stuff in the cupboard half way up the stairs. It would have been better to have the tracks mix into each other and then it could officially be called a mixtape but after playing it back it sort of flows alright and the gaps between tunes are kept to a minimum.
The second cd has not been so easy. Due to the time taken to record the first and listen back through it I haven't even started it yet!
I have randomly selected the first single, posted below and I will let you know how the compilation turns out.
Please go and support your local independent record store tomorrow as we would all be in a sorry state without them, check the website here for participating stores.
Have a good weekend people.
Random single out of the box is . .
The Clash - Bank Robber
As you may have realised by now as I have mentioned it a few times that what got me back into dance music during the latter part of the last decade was dubstep. From the first time I heard Burial and the sounds being released on the Skull Disco label I was hooked.
The music has evolved over the past few years with some really original material being produced by the likes of Skream, Joy Orbison, Benga and a host of others.
One of the most consistent producers on the housier side of this genre of dance music over the past year is Pearson Sound, aka Ramadanman, alias Maurice Donovan or to his family and friends David Kennedy. He hasn't just released some of the best tunes that I've heard recently but also the best mix cd of the past ten years in his Fabriclive 56 compilation.
Here is side two of his recent release on the Night Slugs label under his Pearson Sound guise. The track is a refix of Deep Inside by Hardrive originally released on Strictly Rhythm in 1993 with vocals from Barbara Tucker.
Pearson Sound - Untitled ( Deep Inside refix)
Tuesday 12 April 2011
I think that my love affair with the Raveonettes is over.
I think that my enthusiasm for the band started to wain after the last album was released, it was a good enough lp with a couple of really strong tracks but it also had the truly awful Boys Who Rape (should all be destroyed). So when they toured a couple of months later it was more out of duty than expectation that I bought my tickets and I duly went along expecting to be underwhelmed. But once again the pulled off an absolutely blinding performance with the tracks from In And Out Of Control that were played being every bit as good as the best of the tracks from the previous four albums and the debut ep and both myself and Stiff came home happy with a set of Raveonettes mugs in hand.
I have the feeling that if and when they tour this album in Scotland it will be a different story. I think that the older stuff will be made to fit around the new album and the, although not that dramatic a shift in sound, it is a noticeable one and sees them going in a more shoegazey direction. There was always a gothic element to the racket they made but the early rock and roll and Velvets influence always came to the fore and that is probably why I loved them so much but the sound and feeling to this album is much more moody and a whole lot less fun.
Don't get me wrong it is by no means a bad album, it's just not a Raveonettes one. With the exception of the first and second last tracks the rest of the album washed over me, it wasn't a struggle to listen to but then again it was no great pleasure.
So I think on reflection and repeated listens that the time has come to move on. Sune and Sharin it's not you it's me but then again we will always have King Tut's.
The Raveonettes - My Time's Up.
Monday 11 April 2011
I was looking for something a bit different to listen to the other day and decided to listen to Metamatic by John Fox. I haven't listened to the album as a whole for quite a few years, I have put on things like Underpass and No One Driving but only as individual songs.
What really struck me was that the music hasn't really dated all that much. Foxx's vocal style on the album I think is the main reason that you could date it to the beginning of the 80's but unlike, Foxx's contemporary, Gary Numan whose album Telecon released the same year as Metamatic is definitely of it's time and has not dated well at all. Whereas the track posted, Mr No I think could have been produced anytime in the last thirty years and if I didn't know better and somebody told me that it was recorded a couple of years ago I would probably have believed them. The track was originally a b-side on the No-One Driving single but was included in the 2007 re- release of the album.
John Foxx - Mr No
Well the summer feeling didn't last long. Back to the default of pissing rain up here. But on the positive I'm still off for the week.
Here's a lovely bit of indie pop to brighten up a Monday, I think that this will be right up Colin's street. Le Chanson de Prevert was written by Serge Gainsbourg and is concerned with the life of Jacques Prevert the French poet and screenwriter but of course you all knew that anyway,
Sambassadeur - La Chanson De Prevert.
Sunday 10 April 2011
It has been a glorious day up here, not that I've seen much of it as I've spent the day gutting the cowp that Max calls his room. Later on we are going out to celebrate a mate's birthday the best Bangladeshi restaurants in the west of Scotland.
And what's more I've got a week aff to look forward to.
Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling
Saturday 9 April 2011
Mark Smith's love of mid to late 60's American garage bands is well documented and it comes as no surprise that he choose to cover a few classic tracks from this period including Strychnine by The Sonics.
The Sonics were formed in Tacoma, Washington in late 1960. Their first single The Witch was released in November 1964 on the Etiquette label, which was owned by another local garage band the Wailers. Between 1964 and 1966 when they left the label eight singles and two albums. Strychnine was included on the first album but was never released as a single while the band was in existence.
The band left the Etiquette label in 1966 and moved to Hollywood to record for the Jerden label but the band were not happy with the new more civilised sound that was produced and the band slowly disintegrated over the next couple of years, only to reform in 1972 to perform a live show. The band like so many others reformed again in the late noughties and as far as I am aware are still touring but don't know about recording.
The Sonics - Strychnine
The Fall covered the track for their sixteenth Peel Session broadcast on 13/03/1993 and has been known to be included in their live sets over the years.
The Fall - Strychnine
Friday 8 April 2011
New music by two sister from Dalston, who are apparently named after their favourite moment in a Melvins song which I find hard to believe, is it possible for two siblings to agree on anything apart from how much their parents annoy them? Anyway this is rather good but it does remind me of two dysfunctional siblings from East Kilbride, well if they had been female obviously.
2:54 - On A Wire
Today's track is for those of you who remember XL as the edgier off shoot of City Beat Records releasing rave tracks by the likes of SL2 and The Prodigy and not the home of soul lite Brit school alumni and American Indie Rock.
At the time I was not really into the Rave scene, preferring, throbbing epic tracks with huge baselines which frequently lasted over ten minutes over the in yer face 100mph, sped up vocal sample stuff with the rudimentary keyboard riffs, but now and again one of these tracks would agree with me and every so often I would go nuts for a track. The tune posted falls into the latter category.
I don't know how many times I have played this 12" over the years but it has to be in high treble figures which will become apparent when you hear the crackles on the rip. But I have never tired of this tune and it always produces a huge grin on my coupon as soon as those breakbeats start and when the dum dum dum dum dum da dum drops 36 seconds in I'm in heaven and pretty much stay there for the duration and once it's over I usually have to play it again.
I'm not sure if it's because of the use of the riff and vocal sample purloined from Ce Ce Rogers Someday that makes me love the track as much as I do. I remember the first time I heard it, I tried my damnedest to hate it, thinking that it was totally out of order lifting bits from that Marshall Jefferson produced classic but could do nothing but dance and grin like a demented Cheshire Cat and knew that I had to have it.
For me the breakbeats, that unmistakable piano riff and the vocal sample encapsulate the madness and the sheer joy of the dance scene during 1992 in 4:22 seconds better than any other record of that year.
Have a good weekend people.
Liquid - Sweet Harmony
Wednesday 6 April 2011
I'm off to see the Aiborne ToxicEvent tonight, if I get back down from Aberdeen in time, bad planning again on my part. I am really looking forward to this, as I've said before they are excellent live on the previous 6 occassions I have seen them each gig has been better than the last, Tonight however will hopefully be filled with stuff from the new album, All At Once which is released in the UK on the 25th April. The few tracks they played from this at the Pleasance in October last year were all belters and the tracks that have been posted on Youtube are of a similar standard.
Here is one of the tracks from the new album which will hopefully be played tonight.
Airborne Toxic Event - Numb
Monday 4 April 2011
It looks as though DJ L may be looking forward to a future full of brushes with the law, if his first selection for the blog is anything to go by. The Man has pulled the Cults posting already, if you didn't get a chance to listen to the song seek it out elsewhere as it is worth listening to.
In the meantime here is a wee ditty by Gomez.
Gomez - Get Myself Arrested
After a week listening to a lot of dubstep and techno I think that it is about time for some thing a bit different and with a bit of a dunt from Cults I think that some brilliance from the Shadow Morton stable is in order.
I could spout a lot of pish about how good the Shangri-Las are but I think that DVD summed them up with this comment the last time I posted something by them:-
"I would argue - preferably over a beer or 2 - that the finest 'Girl Group' of all time wasn't the all-conquering Supremes, the timeless Ronettes, nor even the life-affirming Spice Girls! No sir, the most shining, yet anguish-laden, heart-wrenching and interesting pop music femmes were those "Tough girls with broken hearts" - The Shangri-Las.
Overarching both the rock n roll and the R&B circuit, four young, yet street-wise white girls from Queens, New York, hit the peak of their popularity 40 odd years ago in the whirlwind that was 1965.
At a time when the music industry was unrecognisable from what it is today, the cat-suited Betty, MaryAnn, Margie and Mary captured the world - whilst handing it a piece of gum .
For an imperious read please see the tremendous "Out In The Streets - The Inside Story Of The Shangri Las" by John J Grecco.
Past, Present & Future was very much in the girls' narrative storytelling, style and arrangement. Far too strong for most radio stations at the time, the undertone and implication is heartfelt and deep. Young girls were just not singing about such things in the hit parade or on the jukebox. Is it autobiographical?
The song "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" has a similar feel and emotional pull ... not to mention 'Leader Of The Pack'.
The music of The Shangri-Las has been widely covered - by artists as diverse as Aerosmith, Blondie, Louise Goffin, Agnetha Faltskog and Twisted Sister!
Perhaps it is the overwhelming passion which is the reason for such disparate interest?
Seek out the music of the Shangri-Las and share the smiles, (Knickerbocker) glory and bittersweet tears."
Nuff said me thinks
The Shangri-Las - The Train From Kansas City
Sunday 3 April 2011
There are certain cds that I ask myself, why did I buy this on cd rather than vinyl, today's track comes from a case in point.
The White Room was released in 1991 and most of the other stuff from that year I bought on vinyl. I was living in Woodlands Road in Glasgow at the time, not far from Byres Road and my favourite shop in the world then, Fopp so I have no idea why I opted to buy it on an inferior format.
About ten years ago my copy of the White Room finally gave up the ghost and refused to play on any player, so the hunt began to replace it, the problem being that the cd was by then out of print and second hand copies were costing a fortune. Eventually I had to bite the bullet and buy an American import which is slightly different from the UK copy in that some of the samples have been omitted as the US label was obviously scared of being sued by Bonzo and the audience for sampling the crowd noise from Rattle & Hum.
All the above is a preamble to the apology that the version of No More Tears posted is the shortened 6 minute version available on the US release oppossed to the nine and a half minute version found on the UK release.
KLF - No More Tears
Saturday 2 April 2011
This is absolutely wonderful, just the right amount of 60s Girl Group/Spector influence. The only thing I would have added is some feedback in the background.
Cults - You Know What I Mean
Link taken down due to DMCA complaint. Look elsewhere for this track as it really is worth a listen.
Friday 1 April 2011
We have had a couple of things kind of dub steppy this week and I thought that I would include one of the best examples of this, for me fresh and exciting genre which is increasingly making up the majority of my purchases.
Shackleton was the co-founder of the Skull Disco label which released consistently high quality and ground breaking twelves and a couple of excellent compilation albums which if you don't own anything on the label are really worth having. The label was rolled up in 2008 and since then Shackleton has released a few singles an album and a mix cd and for me has more than filled the void of the lack of output from Burial over the last few years.
Last month Shackleton released a couple of singles on Honest Jon's Records one of which was a double which are both excellent and it is hard to pick out one track over the rest of them. But after a few listens I have chosen the original mix of Fireworks a rather eerie track that smolders for just over seven minutes.
And before any smart arse puts in a comment, no I wouldn't know how to dance to it either.
Have a good weekend people.
Shackleton - Fireworks