Let's all hope for health and happiness in 2021. All the best to you and yours
Jimi Hendrix - Auld Lang Syne
This is absolutely fucking inspired and has hardly been off the turntable since I got it about 10 days ago. It really shouldn't work but it does, so, so well. This would have made top ten in The Tracks of My Year if I had had it a couple more weeks. If you didn't know better you would swear that that vocal was supposed to be in there. It is the product of Japanese dj/producer Mister Mushi.
Mister Mushi - Hard Lifetime
Last week I was listening to Into The Mystic and thought to myself "what a pity he's such a prick, the majority of his music is so wonderful. I always knew he had been a moody fucker but when I read Laura Barton's account of trying to interview him, I lost all respect for the man. You can read it here And this was before his utterances on the COVID19 situation and joining the ranks of the Fox fool, Hartley-Brewer et all. But by god can he make some sweet music. This is an outtake from a recording session back in 1972 at Pacific High Studios in San Francisco.
Van Morrison - Caledonia Soul Music (Full version)
Ok, so here we are, it's time for the most self indulgent post of the year, the tracks that I believe are the best of the year, you may think differently but of course you are all wrong.
It would have been easy to have filled this list with at least a dozen tracks that would be peppered with the Guv'nor's magic, to coin a phrase, as this is probably the last year that Andrew Weatherall's music will feature here which is too heart breaking to contemplate, not eagerly awaiting the next change in direction and ordering on spec, /cause it's Weatherall isn't it. Not sure if this is any kind of honour but he is the only artist that has featured in all 11 of these yearly posts.
When I completed the list I was quite surprised that there was nothing By Kungens Man or the 4 albums that I had purchased from those released on the El Paraiso label but when I thought a bit more there were no single tracks that jumped out at me, all were fine albums and worked as that an album, I would put them on and just listen to them. Another thing that struck me is, that for the first time, horror of horrors, downloads have been included and not just a few but 8 in total. I just hope that this is not the shape of things to come but I suspect it will be.
Even a quick scan and you will realise that there are quite a lot of mixes/edits, yes in this year of all years when it has been impossible to go anywhere to dance I have been buying and listening to loads of dance music. That along with a lot of ambient and psych is what has kept me relatively sane over the past 12 months.
I hope you find something here that piques your interest here.
1. Whyte Horses - Mr Natural
2. Sault - Wildfires
3. Daniel Avery - Lone Swordsman
4. Little Barrie & Malcolm Catto - After After
5. The Orb - The Weekend It Rained For Ever (The Ravens Have Left The Tower)
6. Night Noise - Guiding Light (On The Horizon Mix)
7. Richard Norris - Music For Healing 6
8. Glok - Cloud Cover (Andrew Weatherall mix)
9. A.M.O.R - No More (Original mix)
10. Closed Paradise - Tripping On Sunshine
11. Greg Float - Pointe Venus
12. Pye Corner Audio - Resist (John Talabot remix)
13. Four Tet - Something In The Sadness
14. Mister Mushi - Hard Lifetime
15.The Grid - Floatation (Paul Woolford Full Length mix)
16. Charles Webster - The Spell (Vocal mix)
17. Prince Fatty - Black Rabbit
18. Jorge Smith - Rose Rouge
19. Cult of Free Love - Transcendence
20. Fever - Honesty
21. Woodleigh Research Facility - Calm Before The Storm
22. Kit Sebastian - Durma (Baris K dub)
23. Klaus - Mammatus Clouds Over Saskatchewan
24. Marcu Rares - Contratimp
25. Andres Y Xavi - Is It Balearic?
26. The Airborne Toxic Event - Common Touch
27. The Bongolian - Harlem Hipshake
28. King Creosote - Cath
29. The Long Champs - Men Of Letters
30. Unloved -Why Not (Richard Sen dub)
31. The Night Beats - That All You Got.
32. Tomorrow Syndicate - Living In Simulation
33. The Emanations - Spread A Little Love (Soul Clap Mix/Greg Wilson edit)
34. Fjord Funk - It's All Black (Hardway Bros Meet Monktown Uptown version)
35. X.Y.R. - Black Monk On The Dunes
36. The Kevin Fingier Collective feat Gerri Granger - Don't Wanna Cry No More
37. Bruce Springsteen - Burnin' Train
38. Night Noise - Dancing In Space - (Hardway Bros Amorphous mix)
39. Valium Aggelein - Here Comes The Black Moon
40. Birds - Transcendental Phase
It's the final Friday prior to Christmas and normally I would be going on about the amateur drinkers and the sheer hell it is working in pubs and clubs on this night but things are a wee bit different this year. I am sure that all hospitality staff would rather be dealing with the worst of the Christmas office night out twat than sitting in the house doing nothing. I really feel for people working in hospitality but have less sympathy for club owners and top chefs moaning about public policy when they have been fleecing punters for years for miniscule portions and wine with a mark up of at least 300%, the money being made certainly wasn't going to the KPs, commis chefs, waiting or bar staff. Anyway, I digress, this post is usually soundtracked with a big, house tune, I'm not sure that Throw by Tee Mango was a big tune as by the time it was released, 2015 my clubbing days were mostly behind me but the tune that it liberally samples was HUGE.
"Drew, what is going on with the Diamonds?" you may ask and my answer is, I have no idea, the only word that comes to mind is inconsistent. They have lost more than they have won and are in the bottom half off the table after two games that they really should have won or in last week's case at least turned up. This week they are away to league leaders Falkirk and I fully expect a scudding.
Have a good weekend people and stay safe.
Tee Mango - Throw
I haven't stopped playing this since I got it, five times on the bounce last night. Not sure what it is but the whole feel of it just lifts the spirit, it may be that organ, you don't hear enough of that instrument these days. You could imagine Otis Redding or Sam Cooke belting this out. In fact it may have been ever so slightly influenced by That's How Strong My Love Is which has featured here previously.
One good thing that has come out of 2020 is the quality of the music that has been released, well the music that I have bought anyway. It has been a bumper year in the number of releases too making it hard to keep up and I have had to make more hard choices on what to buy and what to try and forget about. It has also been a year when I have chosen to buy the cd copy of some new releases over the vinyl, mostly forced on me by major labels ripping the absolute pish in relation to price, thirty quid for A Letter To You by Bruce Springsteen or Taylor Swift's latest anyone? And don't get me started about the lack of download codes in an ever increasing number of vinyl releases.
Some record labels are offering a different approach, producing beautifully packaged, well produced records complete with download codes and download links from the Bandcamp pages at a reasonable price, Colin Morrison's Castles In Space is the leader in this field and is now offering a brilliant subscription service. On the topic of labels a couple of new ones that have come to my attention over the past 12 months are Werra Foxma and Cue Dot Records both of which offer some excellent fresh electronic sounds and are well worth checking out.
It has been difficult get my list down to ten albums but here they are.
10. Autotelia - I
The album consists of 5 fairly lengthy pieces of psychedelic, kosmiche that envegle themselves into your consciousness and foster a strange feeling of calm at a time of high stress. Well worth a listen
9. OCH - II
I know very little about OCH other than they are a trio from Sweden and this is their second release, the first being an ep which came out back in 2014. More synth based modern Prog Rock, no, honestly give it a listen. This album was bought on a whim and I am glad that I did. There was a time between April and July/August when, apart from one album which will feature later I had very little time for anything with any vocals at all and this fitted right in with that mood.
OCH - Akssa
8. The Long Champs - Straight To Audio
Another one bought on the strength of hearing one track. Debut album by "the Welsh Idiot", not my description but what's on the Twitter bio for the Long Champs. I really don't know how to describe this other than none of the eight tracks would have been out of place on Weatherall's Music's Not For Everyone and quite a few of them could be included in an A Love From Outer Space set and no one would bat an eye. Yes, it is that good. Only downside is that it only came out on cd or download.
7. Sault - (Untitled) Black Is
It's September and out of the blue, unheralded as with the previous two albums by the mysterious Sault, Black Is is released. An album that has obviously been produced in the wake of the hellish racist murder of George Floyd, the justified BLM protests and the totally disgusting actions of police forces all over the US. An album of protest, brooding, sorrowful in parts, defiant in others but absolutely gorgeous and the album that every right minded person needed at that time.
Some deep and dubby House for the last working week Monday of the year, for me at least and I must admit that I am looking forward to a couple of weeks of doing as little as possible and not thinking about work for two whole weeks. I realise that I really am one of the lucky ones as I have been working all the way through and have not been furloughed or worse but it has been hard going. Even though there were lots of things in regard to my job that I haven't been able to do due to travel restrictions and not being able to get into where I spend my time if I am not in my cupboard at home, my workload has increased what seemed like two fold and it was the same throughout our department. So some time with the pile of unread books that I have and some of the music I have bought but haven't really got round to listening to will be relished.
Beautiful World is the lead track on a three track 12" released on Paper Recordings twenty one years ago, however the tune does not sound dated or stale to me and I think wouldn't sound out of place in a club now, if such a thing were possible.
Paul Hester - Beautiful World
It's the same old story, England's glory
Claiming back the Union Jack, my arse.
They've sold us all down the river for fucking fish that they're not going to be able to process or sell and blue bastarding passports that never were fucking blue in the first place. Still in fifty years it may come good. Cry God for Harry, England and St George, eh. Fucking criminals each and every one of them.
And by the way if you voted leave fucking own the shitshow that follows, it's not us that voted to remain in the EU to blame, neither is it the EU, the French or any other fucking scapegoat your, evil propaganda sheets might single out in the coming weeks, it's all down to you fuckers. As you kept telling us you knew what you were voting for.
Edwyn Collins - Keep On Burning
I have been on a bit of an Ashley Beedle trip this weekend, immersing myself in both Ballistic Brothers albums, some 12" single and some of my favourite remixes including the immense Long Night and The Samba remix of One Night Stand by the Aloof which could have featured in this spot if I hadn't already posted it at least three times previously. Instead here is a beautiful deep mix of Simone Olayemi Adefikayo Ogunnbunmi excellent Unmask Me. This is just the sort of summery vibes that we need in early December. Just focus on the fact that in 14 days the days nights will start to draw out.
The photie, is the vision that greeted me last Friday when I got up to get Max up for his work!
Mama - Unmask Me (Ashley Beedle Vocal Mix)
The Trip isn't a cover of my favourite Kim Fowley track which has been featured here in the past but the flip side of the only single, "I Know", the only release by Park Avenue Playground, a bunch of kids at the time hailing from Lansing, Illinois The track was recorded in an old theatre and is a furiously paced fuzz guitar, mad sound effects and lyrics suggesting that this bunch had taken a trip or two. The band had 500 copies of the single pressed in 1969 for distribution and the single came to the attention of the Chicago label USA Records who unsuccessfully tried to sign the band who disappeared without trace after that.
Park Avenue Playground - The Trip
Over the past few months I have found that during the day I just need to take some time out and just sit there, select something comforting, stare off into the middle distance and try to soothe my increasingly troubled soul. Kathryn Williams cover of Thirteen, one of the most heartachingly beautiful songs about first love ever usually does the trick either that or it makes me even more maudlin and then the day is shot to pieces and I go down the rabbit hole of That Summer Feeling, IMy Favourite Girl, Go Now, The Day Before You Came etc.
You pays your money and you takes your chances
Kathryn Williams - Thirteen
I'm not sure if something can be both ambient and techno but if it can then this is a prime example of that sub genre. Time Square came out in 1994 and is something of a lost classic in my opinion. It's not a record that I have heard many people talk about in the intervening twenty six years, maybe because nobody could categorise it, it didn't find an audience or maybe it was a huge record just not in the circles I frequented. At times I think it is quite similar to the kind of stuff that Basic Channel were producing but it doesn't have that hard edge that you will find on that imprint. The original release comprised of three parts and over 50 minutes of music on one 12" piece of vinyl, the repress from 2018 which I own only has parts 1 & 2 and lasts for 38 minutes. The record came out of Cologne and was apparently made using second hand drum machines and broken keyboards by Igmar Koch and Can Oral. No matter how it was made it is a masterpiece.
G.E.N. - Time Square (part 1)
This was supposed to be posted on the 25th October on Keeping It Peel Day but to my shame I forgot all about it. Feel So Sad was first released as a track on Jason Pierce's side of the final Spaceman 3 album Recurring but came into it's own when it was rerecorded and release as the second Spiritualized single and especially on the extremely extended extremely chilled Rhapsodies version on the a-side of the 12" single which I have posted on here more than once. This version as you may have suspected due to when I was going to post it was one of the tracks in the first of the two sessions that Spiritualized recorded for the John Peel Show which was recorded 21/01/95 and was broadcast on 14/03/92 This version is a bit more upbeat that the 12" single version and is just the thing for a Monday morning.
As I am in a good mood I have also included the outtake version from the Peel Session which was available on the Friendly Fire cd which could be purchased from Will Carruthers in 2006 This was not included as it was exactly the same as the Peel session version when I listened to them both together
Spiritualized - Feel So Sad (Peel Session)
A few weeks ago I featured the new collaboration from Charles Webster and Burial, The Spell. This sent me back to revisit some of Webster's past work and since then the All System's Gone album under his Presence guise has taken up squatters rights. The album includes contributions from Matthew Herbert and vocalists Shara Nelson, Sara Jay and Steve Edwards. When it came out the album received good reviews, an 11/10 from Dj Magazine and was dubbed "probably the first classic record of the 21st Century" by Allmusic, a lost classic I think as I have never heard that many people rave about it sadly. I did read somewhere that this album was one of the influences when Burial was making his debut album. The Strength Within, is one of my favourite tracks on the album, but not really typical of it =, my only issue is that it is too short.
Presence - The Strength (Within)
I do like a good cover version and this is a belter, a dub version of a psychedelic masterpiece. Prince Fatty's interpretation of Jefferson Airplane's arguably most famous song came out a month or so ago and if you 're quick you may be able to bag a copy of the 7" single here. For me a great cover version is one which doesn't sound forced or contrived and Black Rabbit with a sublime vocal from Shniece McMenamin, if you didn't know better would think has always been a Dub Reggae track. Has Prince Fatty invented a new sub genre Psychedelic Dub? This has got me wondering what other late 60s counte culture sounds would sound great dubbed up. I think that some of the tracks I have featured in the Monday slot from this era would be ripe for this kind of treatment.
Prince Tubby & Shniece - Black Rabbit
Here's a belter of a Garage track from twenty six years ago, although it does not sound that old to me. I Miss You is the first track on Joey Musaphia first volume of his Cover Up series. The vocal sample is nicked from I Miss You by Juliet Roberts.
In football news, Leo and I watched one of the finest Airdrie performances for quite some time on Saturday when the Diamonds gubbed Clyde five nothing, from the comfort of the living room. It was quite infuriating really as I missed the first three, distracted by other things and of course as like being at the game Diamonds TV does not do action replays and so I had to wait until the highlights were available to see them. The team were on fire on Saturday, however it was back to default in the cup against Edinburgh City on Wednesday night going down one nil to the visitors. Tomorrow they take on Livingston away in the same cup and I'm hoping that they can get something out of it.
Have a good weekend and stay safe people.
Joey Musaphia - I Miss You
No, not that one.
This song is from a different era entirely. I don't know anything about Kenny Shepard apart from the fact that he recorded this lovely Van McCoy penned song which was released on the New York label, Maxx Records in 1964. This is the kind of slow tempo end of the night track in the same vein as Ray Pollard's Drifter or Bobby Paris' I Walked Away. Pure class
Kenny Shepard - What Difference Does It Make
I wonder what this week has install for us all. It will take a lot to be more momentous than last week which turned out all right in the end except for the fact that I got a phone call late on Friday from my voice and it looks like I am going to have quite a hectic run up to Christmas and beyond!
Here is an absolutely lovely, lengthy piece of Tech House from the Cologne duo the Pachanga Boys. If you are lucky enough to own the 12" Girlcatcher ep from 2011, take good care of it as the cheapest copy on Discogs is £655.95. Not quite sure it is worth that kind of money but this is a pretty good way to ease your way into a Monday morning.
Pachanga Boys - Time (Extended Mix)
I was unaware of the existence of Dua Lipa prior to the middle of this year, my finger is certainly not on the pulse these days. What changed my ignorance was being sent a copy of his remix of Don't Start Now by Fear-E, Scot Mackay to his maw, he is a House dj and producer from Glasgow responsible for one of my favourite releases of the year. I did a wee bit of research on Dua Lipa and found out that prior to venturing into music she was a model (of course she was) and it turns out she has been quite successful at the singing thing, her 2018 song One Kiss becoming the longest running number one single for a female artist, which is quite impressive until you here it, it's horrible. Be The One which I actually quite like but will leave it there. It's not really music for me after all. I do however really like Fear E's remix of Don't Start Now.
Football is back folks but not as we know it. Instead of sitting in my seat I an now on my third streamed game watched on Leo's big telly in his cowp of a bedroom. It's not easy seeing your seat empty, it is quite frustrating as is watching Airdrie at the moment. Last week's 2-0 defeat to Dumbarton was a game in point, there wasn't really two goals of a difference in the teams but the visitors took their chances and were fortunate with the deflection that resulted in the second goal, the Diamonds were not able to do anything in the final third of the park sadly. Let us hope that tomorrow's game, also at home against Clyde will be better, we shall see but it doesn't look like that optimistic bet at the start of the season to win the league was at all realistic.
Have a good weekend and stay safe people.
Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now (Fear E's Dancing With Someone Remix)
Got up this morning and it has become apparent that there are a hell of a lot of really fucking thick people in the world. I have no further words
Here is a recent Orb remix of Polish experimental musicians Sarmacja. You can buy the record for a very reasonable £10 here
Sarmacja - Olimpijczyk (The Orb's Oak Island Remix)
A lot of the tracks that become well known on the Northern Soul scene come from artists who little if anything is know of. It is a testament to the obsession of the collectors on the scene that they can't just leave it like that. A case in point is todays track, I Wanted To Tell You by Little Nicky Soul which I first heard as part of the For Millionaires Only Vol 4 and then on a repro 7". On the sleevenotes of the cd it states that the record comes out of the Bronx in NYC, possibly never received a full release and is described as "obscure and then some".
I decided to dig a little deeper and see if any further details could be found. there is a great thread on the Soul Source website, which can be found here, where more details about the record come to light, including the owners of the label, the arranger and even a post from a step-daughter of Nicholas Faircloth, for that turns out to be singer's name, where she tell of her father's stories of when he was in the music business which his kids all believed to be just that, stories. However, the now departed "Little Nicky Soul" brief sojourn into the music business has left us with one cracker of a single. It is just sad that he never knew how much his record is appreciated on the rare soul scene with a copy commanding at least a grand and a half.
Little Nicky Soul - I Wanted To Tell You
I really don't have much to say at the moment, my head is all over the place and am finding it incredible difficult to focus on anything. I think that a lot of it has to do with the shit show that is going on but I'm not going to get into that on a Monday morning. The start of the week is hard enough as it is.
I don't know anything about Fjordfunk, I bought this limited edition as it was on the same label as The Long Champs and I am so glad that I did. All I need to say is, you could imagine this being dropped by Weatherall in an ALFOS set and the cd includes a remix by Weatherall's partner in that particular venture Sean Johnston. It is still available for download from the usual outlets, Juno, Boomkat etc and therefore the download function is not available but the two tracks are worth a couple of quid of anybody's money.
FjordFunk - It's All Black
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
04/12/1955 - 18/10/2020
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
"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)
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)
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
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