Friday 28 February 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

There seems to be some suggestion that today's track isn't from the golden age of House music but a tune that has been made more recently and made to sound like it's from that period, the 12" single that it is the flip of was released in 2006 but that doesn't mean that it hadn't been doing the rounds previously. Whether or not it's from the mid to late 80s or early this century it sounds bloody marvellous to these ears. I am no expert on Marcus Mixx's music or what came out of Chicago in the mid to late 80s and does it really matter a great House tune is a great House tune. I do know that I hadn't heard it prior to 2013 when I purchased Terry Farley's excellent Acid Rain 5 disc boxset. Simple but very effective, repetition being the key.  I have noticed that the price of a lot of classic house and acid 12" singles have rocketed recently. Is House music becoming the rare soul for younger music collectors I ask myself.

Andy fucking Ryan did it again on Saturday netting one of the two goals away against Peterhead and another clean sheet into the bargain. The Diamonds are still three points behind Falkirk and four worse off than Raith Rovers both of whom have a game in hand over Airdrie but in this bonkers league you still never know. Let's hope that another away win is on the cards tomorrow at Montrose.

Have a good weekend people

Marcus Mixx - The Spell (Original Ron Hardy 12" Club mix)

Thursday 27 February 2020

Vertical Take-Off

This should blow away the cobwebs this morning. I do like a bit of Eat Lights Become Lights, even if the name is ever so slightly wanky. Neil Rudd certainly knows how what to do with a drone and a good rhythm track. Not sure if this means that there is a new album in the offing but it has been three years since the excellent Nature Reserve even if it did come without a fucking download code.

A free download into the bargain.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Nothing But A Heartache

This is such a good song with a bit of a strange provenance. The  Flirtations were a trio from South Carolina and recorded Nothing But A Heartache in 1968, so far so nothern soulie but it was released on the Decca subsidiary Deram and produced by Wayne Bickerton who co-wrote the song with Tony Waddington who as a production writing duo would go on to have great success with the Rubettes during the early 70s. Unfortunately this track failed to make the top 50 in the UK but did make the Billboard Top 40 Stateside where it spent 14 weeks in the Top 100.

The Flirtations - Nothing But A Heartache

Tuesday 25 February 2020

The Project Part Two

Right where were we.

I was waiting for the dado panel paper which I had sourced from the internet to come and was feeling pretty good about finishing this small job in a couple of shifts. So on the Tuesday the paper arrives and something doesn't look right, I take the paper out and without taking it out the cellophane, put it up against the wall, the pattern is the same but, bugger not in the right dimensions. So it's back to the internet this time putting in the dimensions of the dado panels, it hadn't occurred to me that they would make them in different sizes and it turns out they don't as having no success with my search I decide to go to the source, Anaglypta and enquire about the design, Oriental, if you were interested only to be told that that that style in the dimensions provided hadn't been in production for over twenty years!

Fuck, fuckity fuck were my first thoughts!  As I surveyed the room, my internal dialogue continued "You know what this means don't you my?" "Oh yes" I replied, what it meant was that the panels all the way round would have to be replaced! So Lynn and I had the discussion that night and decided that there was nothing else for it but to replace the whole lot but with a different design as we would have to cut off the bottom of that one and it would look stupid. We also decided that we would get some samples first this time because we were going to be out of pocket by about £13 quid when we sent back the other roll, due to postage and the fact that we wouldn't be receiving a full refund due to it being my fuck-up!

The next thing I did was to consult Stiff as to how easy it was to hing this kind of paper, he should know having served his time as a painter and decorator before diversifying. So he came up had a look at it agreed the the walls were in not that bad  shape but that I would be best to hire a steamer as "that stuff is a bastard to get off and by the way you will need to strip the lining paper off of that back wall above the dado rail and replace it too as you will never be able to patch that corner in so as you won't see the join!"

Fuck and fuck again.

So the next thing was to source the dado rail. I was confident that this would not be a problem as there were a few timber merchants in Lanarkshire. A couple of days later when I should have been doing something else  I went first to the local timber merchants, "we don't stock dado rail anymore" was the reply. Off I traipsed to Wishaw, showed the guy the off cut, "aye, a've goat that moulding but I'm no sure it's as broad as that" and sure as shit it wasn't! "Have you tried such and such in Motherwell, they might have it but if they huvnae am no confident you will be able to get it" Thanks I mumbled and off to Motherwell I went only to be met with "we've goat sumhin' similar but no exactly the same" and he was right it was the right size and nearly the same but just different enough that you would notice if it was patched in.

So I got back in the car phoned Lynn and gave her the good news that not only would we have to renew the dado panels but we would also have to replace the rail all the way round for under two fucking bastarding metres of timber that some clown decided to saw off. Silence on the other end of the phone and then "how much do you think it would cost to skim coat the walls?"

"I'm not sure but I thought that you wanted to keep the room as it is"

"Not really fussed and if it 's just as easy to strip it out and not going to cost us a lot more why don't we just do it"

If she had been there I would have kissed heras this meant a lot less work for me.

"Right, I will contact Kenny and get him to come and give us a price to skim the walls"

Of course the price was right and we were on for a total transformation of the room. All I needed to do was to take half term off and spend my time stripping the walls and patching in the skirting getting ready for the plasterer.

What a revelation that wallpaper steamer was, Jesus,  that took all of the hard work out of stripping wallpaper and it had me asking myself why the fuck I had never hired one previously, instead of spending hours, scoring, soaking, rubbing and scraping.

So now, I am eagerly awaiting the walls being plastered this weekend coming and then painting it and then the fun part, assembling the Kallax 5 x 5 and then the even more fun part putting all the records back in hoping that I can get them all in that unit and one of the existing 4 x 2 ones with hopefully a cube or two left over for expansion.

I am already into my second week without being able to play any physical form of music and I am beginning to get twitchy but I really feel sorry for Lynn who can't get in her living room for all of the records etc filling the room and who is relegated to watching the TV on the wee portable in our bedroom.

JARV IS - Must I Evolve?

Monday 24 February 2020

Monday's Long Song

This is not the mellowest way to start the working week but I can't think of many better ways than a dose of the Matrix Tapes to get you going, if I keep this blog going long enough I will probably get round to posting all 42 tracks but for now here is an even more frenetic version of White Light /White Heat, un-fucking-believable! If I had a time machine my first stop would be Thursday 13th November 1969 and the destination San Francisco and stay until the 19th so I could watch the whole residency. I wonder if the people present at the time realised that they were seeing a band at the peak of their powers who would go on to hold such a legendary place in the pantheon of 20th Century music or did they just come away thinking "that was alright, a bit noisy in bits but not bad at all".

The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat (Version1)

Friday 21 February 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I was going to post something by Andrew Weatherall but jus couldn't pick one too many tunes going round my head so I thought I would go back to what I intended to post today . Last week Richie of gave me a sneak preview of one of his latest collaborations with Fear-E which reminded me of a some excellent eps that came out on Glasgow label Dixon Avenue Basement Jams you can check out the Bandcamp page here . Today's track comes from DABJ Allstars Vol 2. It's a sparse tech house track with a wicked bass line and a vocal that gets right inside your skull. I'm not going to make it available for download, if you like you can buy all 4 excellent tracks for about the price of 3/4 of a pint in a reasonable boozer or if your in the toon, the price of a half pint. You know it makes sense.

Football is a funny old game, one minute your wondering if you are ever going to see another goal at home and then you get a strange one before you have time to get comfy in your seat, not only that but it's Andy Fucking Ryan that scores it. Last week's performance against Clyde was a joy to watch, the two-nil scoreline didn't reflect the chances that Airdrie missed it could easily have been four or five but we'll take two goals and a clean sheet. Tomorrow is the first of two away games, Peterhead and then Montrose which gives me some time to get stuck into trying to get the dining/music room completed. Now that wee chuckie has broke his duck lets hope he can add to his tally and put us back in contention for winning the league outright but being in the most favourable position for the the play-off.

Have a good weekend people.

Fear-E - Candi's Quadra

Wednesday 19 February 2020

The Project Part 1

A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, I was sitting in the record/dining room on my new chair listening to music as is my want when Lynn came in to ask me something,  I can't remember what but at the end she said "you really need to do something about all those records all over the floor" I looked around and she was right, there were records all over the place, in neat piles but encroaching on the rest of the room too much. This was highlighted due to the fact that during the festive period a lot of the records were moved out as the room really needed to be a dining room and it was a hell of a lot easier to navigate your way around the room and if I'm being totally honest a lot more pleasing to the eye.

So I agreed but added "what?"

"Well, we could get rid of that for a start" she said pointing to the horrendous 1950s kitchen cabinet that the previous owners had fitted into the corner of the room and up until this point I had managed to ignore Lynn's hints at getting rid of. Not because I found it aesthetically pleasing or thought that it fitted in with the rest of the room as it clearly didn't but because the extra storage was helpful and more to the point I thought that getting rid of it wouldn't be as easy as my better half thought and I just couldn't be arsed with the hassle.

That was until she dropped the suggestion, "we could get rid of that and get a bigger one of those units (Kallax) that could hold all of the records".

Two minutes later I was back in the room with my hammer and a chisel that I had quickly located from my tool box in the cupboard half way up the stairs and was trying to spring the facings from the cabinet to have a look at how it was secured to the wall.

It turned out that the answer to that was not very well, however when I looked behind it I realised as I suspected that this was not going to be as easy as just emptying the cupboard and trying to get it out of the room. oh did I forget to mention that the unit was 18 inches taller than the door frame and just about as wide! It turned out that the guy who had put the unit in may have been a Clerk of Works but he wisnae  nae jyner. Instead of scribing round the skirtings and dado rail he had cut both off!

So here was my first problem, as the house is pre 20th Century and the skirtings looked pretty original it would probably be difficult to source the two bits that I would need, I know that skirting board certainly doesn't come 250 mm deep these days. I was less concerned by the dado rail as it looked as if it had been added later and the mould looked familiar not too ornate.

When we managed to pull the cupboard further out to inspect behind it more closely problem number two became apparent, we would also need to try and match up the dado panels below where the non existent dado rail should have been. After consulting the internet this problem appeared to be easily overcome as there were various web-sites offering up the same pattern but at a price.  Fuck it, I thought, it needs to be done and duly ordered the dado panel anagylpta.

I decided to call it a night at this point as there wasn't much else that could be done until the paper arrived and I had sourced the timber.

Not sure where I'm going with this music wise but here is a track from the great, new Whyte Horses covers album, Hard Times  which had taken up residence the week prior to all these fun and games started. It is quite strange that my favourite track from this album should be a Bee Gees cover as during the Christmas holidays I had bought a best off the Bee Gees (pre 70s) cd as I had an urge to hear To Love Somebody and I Started a Joke and had become quite obsessed with the album much to Lynn's amusement. Mister Natural, however is not from that period of the group but from the immaculately coiffured, shiny teethed on the cusp of disco dominance period.  The other thing about this cover is the singer, La Roux, who I only knew previously as the shrill sounding singer of In For The Kill but she sounds nothing like that on this track.

If you haven't already purchased this album you really need to do so, with covers of Lou Reed, Plastic Bertrand and Curtis Mayfield tracks in amongst the more obscure it is a great listen with some very good guest singers including John Grant, Tracyanne Campbell and Gruff Rhys amoungst them.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Rest Easy Andrew

06/04/1963 to 17/02/2020

God I wish that I wasn't writing this post but there is no way that I couldn't mark the passing of the genius that was Andrew Weatherall. I know that that word is bandied about with abandon these days and therefore the meaning is diminished somewhat but what else can you call someone who goes into the studio with absolutely no experience in remixing music and turns a bluesy ballad into something that helped to define a genre of music and also turned many an indie kid onto the joys of E and dancing in fields to repetitive beats. Then for the next three decades shifts, changes directions, runs clubs, sets up labels, writes, collaborates with some of the most talented musicians around,  becomes artist in residence for a publisher and never once has his name on anything that is stale, tired or just going through the motions.

I still remember vividly the day that I brought Loaded home played it, got straight on the scooter down to El-Arish barged in to where Stiff was sitting in the living room watching some pish on the telly and excitedly breathlessly, stated  "you've got to listen to this!" to which his question was

"who is it?"

"Primal Scream" I informed him

"Fuck off" and a snigger was the reply

"No really you need to hear this"

"Aw, alright" he replied humouring me.

So I cranked up Mrs G's ancient stereo, put the 12" single on and watched his face change from slight annoyance that his concentration on whatever he was watching was interrupted, to bemusement and then sheer joy as he began to comprehend the absolute brilliance of what he was hearing.

"No way is that Primal Scream"

"It fucking is", and after consulting the back cover,  "produced by Andrew Weatherall"

The record took up squatters rights on Mrs G's stereo for god knows how long after that. The following Friday I went back into Fopp and picked up another copy and that was it for the next thirty years if it had Andrew Weatherall's name as artist, producer, remixer or co-conspirator on it and I could get my hands on a physical format I bought it, even if it was Texas or the xx Teens. I am not going to lie to you I didn't fall in love with it all, some of it took a while to grow on me, a few thing I never got at all, the remix of Nowhere by Therapy?  but 99% of it is essential. As far as remixes go I still maintain that there is only one track he has never improved upon the original and that was Fallen by One Dove but then again it is impossible to surpass perfection. He did however do a wonderful job when he produced Morning Dove White, I think more of an exemplar of his talents than Screamadelica but I know I am in the minority on that one.

I was ever so slightly disappointed by the second Woodleigh Research Facility album, 127 To Facility 4 when I managed to get one of the limited copies just before Christmas, it had the feel of a work in progress to me, sketches of tunes when I first heard it and I still don't think it is him at his best but then again the Unknown Plunderer 12" which is supposed to be released this Friday sounds absolutely fantastic and the recent remixes of the thirty eight year old Venetians track, Son Sur Sun, is space disco at it's best.

When I think about it, the Guv'nor over the years has had as much of an influence over my music collection as Stiff's older brothers and my cousin Stuart. He set me off searching for things either through samples used, music discussed in interviews or tracks played in his dj sets or his radio shows, the later being responsible for me being financially embarrassed long before payday most months! As |I was typing this I could see the post-it notes containing records to buy from the last few Music's Not For Everyone shows stuck to the wall at my side.

I still really can't get my head round the fact that this overly hairy, uniquely attired, musical tastemaker will no longer be dictating a large part of my music listening and purchasing or that my dream of attending the Convenanza festival in Carcassonne will remain that,  just a dream.

My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. As John Niven said on Twitter earlier "how much poorer this world is without Andy Weatherall in it".

Primal Scream - Loaded 

Two Lone Swordsmen - Get Out Of My Kingdom

Monday 17 February 2020

Monday's Long Song

By 1993  Shoegaze was a much derided genre, in fact a part from a very few bands from the late 80s, I body-swerved anything tagged or reviewed as such as most of it was just pish reliant on effects pedals and distorted meaningless lyrics made by white pimply studenty types who were unable or unwilling to get grooving and dismissed music made by machines as in some way as not being real music. So Chapterhouse were a band that I took absolutely fuck all notice of , even though they seemed to be in every music mag all the time. That was until I heard that that they had been remixed by Global Communication, a.k.a The Jedi Knights or alternately known as Reload, this piqued my interest and I subsequently bought the 12" single that contained two of the phases of their reworking of the shoegazers album Blood Music. I can't tell you how radically different these tracks are from the source material as I have no interest in hearing the originals but I suspect that Chapterthouse fans or anybody else would have difficulty pairing these two ambient masterpieces with anything from the original album. I am at a loss as to why I didn't buy the cd, Pentamerous Metamorphoses,  containing  all 5 phases of the remix project, possibly because I considered the title pretentious wank or more probably because I was even less inclined to buy cds back in 1993 than I am now as back then the pricing was reversed with cds being ridiculously expensive and vinyl being better for your budget.

Pretentious wank, the title of the cd may be but the two "phases", even though they have been named after Greek letters of the alphabet, have stood up to the test of time pretty well. Here is the Alpha phase.

Chapterhouse - Alpha Phase 

Monday 10 February 2020

Monday's Long Song

A collaboration with the Orb and one member of Pink Floyd or another was something that had been rumoured about more than once before it did happen, in fact there is a bootleg out there of remixes of Dark Side of The Moon that purported to be by The Orb but was in fact bollocks. So when David Gilmour collaborated with Alex Paterson and Youth on the Metallic Spheres album, 10 years ago now(!)  it was kind of a big deal and people had great expectations which were partially fulfilled, there is little doubt over who the is playing the guitar that wafts in and out of the two tracks that make up the album but I find that it doesn't hold my attention the way that the previous album Baghdad Batteries did. However, if you had pre-ordered the album you got a download code (hoi, record labels remember download codes?) for a bonus ambient mix which I must admit I have played a lot more over the subsequent years than the full album.

The Orb Featuring David Gilmour - Metallic Spheres (Ambient Mix)

Friday 7 February 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I was in the cupboard where the cds from R to Z are last weekend looking for something specific that I couldn't remember by the time I opened the cupboard. So while scanning the shelves hoping that what I was looking for would come back to me (it didn't by the way) I noticed a cd on one of the Various shelves called "The Art of Acid" which I vaguely remembered buying some time ago. The first cd of this 2 disc set is a Justin Robertson mix of of a lot of acid house classics which is a good mix but more interesting is the second disc where the likes of 808 State and Greg Wilson remix some Trax classics with varying degrees of success. One of the best is the remix of Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle classic, Your Love where Italian DJ/Producer Dusty Kid, strips it back, removes the vocals and stretches the track out and produces something although not a patch on the original is different enough to make it more than worthwhile.

Airdrieonians were pretty much woeful last Saturday against Raith Rovers, now I am no football tactical genius but if I can see that playing without a midfield and punts up from the back and hoping that it reaches one of the guys up front isn't really working then why can't the manager. One thing is for sure if they still want to challenge for promotion they need to start winning games pretty soon starting tomorrow away to Dumbarton, I will not be holding my breath.

Have a good weekend

Frankie Knuckles - Your Love (Dusty Kid Makes Love Tender edit)

Thursday 6 February 2020

Silence Of The Morning

Silence Of The Morning is one of the best bits of fuzz drenched heavy psych that came out in 1971 just as psych was morphing into heavy rock/metal.  The Glass Sun were formed in 1964 in the Detroit suburb of Westland but did not record any material until after they had returned from tours in Vietnam. They released two singles, Silence of The Morning in 1971 and Stick Over Me the following year. Both of which were largely ignored but have found an audience over the past ten years prompting the band to remaster all of tracks they recorded and release an album Cyclonic Review in 2014.

The Glass Sun - Silence of The Morning 

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Streets of Kenny

I went to see Mick Head last Thursday at Summerhall in Edinburgh and he did not disappoint, although I did feel that he was rather nervous for the first couple of tracks. A great mixture of old and new tracks and when I heard Reach I was a bit gobsmacked as I was not expecting that and it sounded absolutely wonderful. The new material sounded really good too, so I now have even higher expectations for the next album.Streets of Kenny was another highlight of the night, in fact they were all highlights and of course Comedy to set us on our way as the final track of the night,  with JC and I racing out of the venue just as the song finished in order for me to get him to Haymarket to catch his train back to Glasgow.

Shack - Streets of Kenny

Monday 3 February 2020

Monday's Long Song

I featured the Bjorn Torske remix  of Obedience from the same ep that today's remix of Carmen Villain comes from a few years ago. The Peaking Lights mix of Dreamo was the main track on the ep and the American psych husband and wife team produce a poppy, bouncy remix which is bound to put a spring in your step today.

Carmen Villain -  Dreamo (Peaking Lights remix)