Friday 25 September 2020

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

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

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

Have a good weekend and stay safe people.

Soul Capsule - Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)

Thursday 24 September 2020

Big Bird

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

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

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

Eddie Floyd - Big Bird (Smoove edit)

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Side 1, Track 1 Pt4

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

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

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

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

The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds (album version)

Monday 21 September 2020

Monday's Long Song

 Today's track could also be included in what would be a rather long series entitled something like 'The Tunes That The Guv'nor Introduced Us To". I,  like many acolytes who worshipped at the Temple of Gnostic Sonics have seen our knowledge of music increase hugely and our record collections take up more room much to the consternation of our better halves and the detriment of our bank balances from listening to Andrew Weatherall's monthly 'Music's Not For Everyone' radio show. 

Jagged Mountain Melts At Dawn by Prana Crafter is one side of a split album Symbiose, the other side being an equally long track by Tarotplane. I had never heard of Prana Crafter prior to hearing this track on Andrew's penultimate show on NTS radio and therefore know nothing about him apart from this blurb from his Bandcamp page "Prana Crafter is William Sol, a musical mystic who blends the raw energies of nature with guitars, synthesisers, singing bowls, and a dose of flow-consciousness. The resulting sonic nectar flows out from the amplifier, cascading in the mind of the listener, splashing mantras against the listener's third ear" Don't let that bollocks put you off, this is possibly one of the best things to listen to to start the week or equally end the week as I did last night.

Prana Crafter - Jagged Mountain Melts at Dawn 

Friday 18 September 2020

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


Back once again to nobody's great joy for the series that returns more often than a cold sore.

I have no idea who Marcu Rarers is but on his Bandcamp page it says Romania, so I take it that is where he hails from. This long meandering slab of deep house may break no boundaries but it really appeals to me.

Have a good weekend people and stay safe.

Does anybody know how to embed a Bandcamp track on New Blogger? Because I'm fucked if I can work it out so you just have to click on the link below, sorry. It is worth it though

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Side 1, Track 1 Pt 3


Back to the late 70s and the music that looms large in my early years. If there is one band that for me is synonymous with the Wilson household for me it is the Skids. Whenever I hear the best band from Dunfermline, I am transported up the extremely pot-holed Whitehill Terrace past Donald the pyscho Alsatian, Kyle's dog to 'Johnshaven' and the room that Stiff and Bat shared.

Into The Valley, side 1, track 1, on Scared to Dance was released as a single a week before the album on 16th February 1979 and included all of the elements that would make the Skids brilliant, incomprehensible lyrics that you knew were bound to be slightly pompous, a chorus that you could sing along to with Jobbers and above all that unmistakable guitar sound that will always be associated with the brilliance that was Stuart Adamson. It wasn't the Skids first single, there had been three the previous year but this was the one where people started to take notice of the band and as an opening track on a debut album it certainly grabbed  you by the collar and gave you a shake.

I still have no idea what the full lyrics actually are and after forty two years I have no notion to find out. I did read once in an interview with Jobson somewhere that the subject matter was the recruitment of young, naive Scottish youths into the ranks of the British Army and sending them off to the north of Ireland to police the streets there including a friend of the singer's who sadly didn't return from his tour there.

Scared to Dance was also the first in a series of evocative sleeve art on releases from the band

The Skids - Into The Valley 

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Gonna Take A Miracle


I wasn't aware of the wonders of  Gonna Take A Miracle, the 5th album from Laura Nyro until relatively recently. The album is a collection of covers of soul and R&B standards that Nyro had loved when growing up in the Bronx in the 50s and 60s. The record is a wonderful mix of classic soul interepreted in an easy, laid back way with excellent backing from LaBelle and classy production by Gamble and Huff. My absolute favourite is album opener, a doo-wop interpretation of the Shirelles 'I Met Him on a Monday'. 

The Shirelles - I Met Him On A Sunday 

Monday 14 September 2020

Monday's Long Song

 During the lockdown, I started pulling out random records that I hadn't played for years including stuff that I don't know why I have kept, things like the Market Square Heroes 12" by Marillion and various Genesis albums, Gabriel area I must stress. One Saturday I pulled out the double best of Doors cd put it o and thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I pulled out the vinyl albums which hadn't seen the turntable since my mid teens. 

As an early teen I had quite liked the Doors, Jim and Brett had introduced them to me along with loads of other late 60s bands. I was kind of put off them when in my mid teens people that had never had any interest in the band started name dropping them and professing the genius of Jim Morrison, who I had always thought of as a bit of a cock and to be honest the guys doing saying that they had always "dug the Doors" were the kind of wanks who were of the misapprehension that they were as cool as fuck and god's gift.

Anyway, I was confused as I was sure that I had not bought anything by the Doors since then but there was the double Best Of cd in my collection, a compilation that I had previously had on vinyl but I don't want to dwell on my foolish decision to sell that to John, Stiff's eldest brother for a ludicrously small amount of money.Not sure where it came from but as I said above I had really enjoyed most of it and it has been played a few times since.

To say that I hadn't bought anything by the Doors for all that time is technically not true as a couple of years ago I came across an edit of Riders of The Storm by some unknown artist. It's not the most original of things but I do like the fact that this probably induced apoplexy in quite a few people who heard it.

Unknown Artist - Ijzeren Rots

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Side One, Track 1 pt2

I was surprised to learn the "You're Gonna Miss Me", track one side one from the debut album, The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor  by Austin band The 13th Floor Elevators had reached # 55 in the Billboard charts when it had been released as a single prior to the album. The song a Garage  staple these days hinted at what could be found on the first acid rock album. Indeed on the sleeve notes the band proudly proclaimed the up sides of taking hallucinogenics which only made them a target in the eyes of the authorities and from then on being frequently searched by the police in their native Texas.

The debut album which is rightly considered a classic and the follow-up Easter Everywhere would become influential in the alternative rock scene with the likes of REM, Spacemen 3 and Echo and The Bunnymen covering their work. By 1969 the band had disbanded after releasing their third album and lead singer Rocky Erikson being voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital rather than go to prison on possession of marijuana. The treatment that he received may have contributed to the mental health issues that dogged him until his death last year.

The 13th Floor Elevators - Your Gonna Miss Me

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Need Your Love

Curtis Harding's first single featured on here five years ago. I didn't think it was that long ago but one of the things I have noticed with this aging lark is that time moves on, quicker than you think.  Anyway Need Your Love comes from the soul singer's second album Face Your Fear from 2017 and is the the kind of dance floor friendly, retro northern thing beloved by myself and just the sort of thing to brighten up a dull, dank Tuesday in September. There was a clip doing the rounds on Twitter the other week of a couple of young ladies throwing some shapes which made me smile and think "I must post some more Curtis Harding"

Curtis Harding - Need Your Love 

Monday 7 September 2020

Monday's Long Song

A bit of early 70s  underground Australian rock this morning. For the full low down on Coloured Balls head here.  G.O.D. comes from the album Summer Jams, a record of the band's set  at the 1973 Sunbury Festival where they took to the stage at 03:30 and is a pile driver of a track all wanky soloing, feedback and a driving beat which goes on for 16 minutes and which never outstays it's welcome. Great stuff, I just hope the audience were conscious enough to appreciate it, no way that they could have slept through it but as it was the early 70s and a festival, heads may have been mashed or brains somewhere else completely.

Coloured Balls - G.O.D

Thursday 3 September 2020

Side One, Track One pt1

During my period of inactivity on the blog I was trying to come up with some new ideas to try and put some life back into the blog and freshen up the content something that on the evidence so far I have been unable to achieve. I have however decided to revive something I did think about doing years ago, I can't actually remember when it was but I think it was when I posted a song that just happened to be the first track on side one of a debut album and I pondered whether this could be a feature. It probably wasn't even my idea originally and I stole it from someone else's blog, if so I apologise.

So I am going to start with a song that for me is the ultimate statement of intent and distilled into 2:36 the essence of the band, well until the release of the third album released two years later.

It is probably not in the best possible taste to describe a track that deals with what is known as "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland as incendiary but I can't think of another word or after checked an online thesaurus a more apt word for it. I can still remember the first time I heard this track in Kevin Corkhill's house not long after the single came out, almost certainly the re-release and the rawness of it made me sit up and take notice but as a 9/10 year old I really wasn't aware what the guy I would later find out to be Jake Burns was singing about but I knew he meant it (man) and was angry about it. This single made me sit up and take notice of  Stiff Little Fingers and about 6 months later I would get a second hand copy of Alternative Ulster, the single that has been with me the longest. But it wasn't until I moved to Lanark, started P7 and met Stiff that I heard Inflammable Material in full, an absolutely incredible album from start to finish which can hold it's own against the best debut albums but is very rarely cited in discussions or polls on such important matters. I mean it contains today's track, Wasted Life the afore mentioned Alternative Ulster and the best cover of a Bob Marley song ever and that's only four of the tthirteen  tracks.

Although the album version isn't quite as raw as the single one, as I said above there can't be many other opening tracks on debut albums that grab you roughly and forcefully tell you what you are going to experience over the forthcoming  two sides of vinyl.

Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device

Tuesday 1 September 2020

An Alright Remix Amongst A Pile of Shite

I am not a big fan of remixing classic soul records, I am of the opinion if it sounds brilliant and people love it, leave it the fuck alone. So when in 2005 a remix album of quintessential Motown tracks I was less than enthused at the prospect and decided to give it an extra wide birth as I wasn't sure that my blood pressure could take hearing some stone cold classics fucked about with by the likes of DJ Jazzy Jeff or DJ Smash. A few years ago I came across a copy of the cd in a Charity shop for the sum of 50p, even at this price I hesitated but my curiosity got the better of me and yes mostly it is as bad as I thought it would be but one remix is not without worth and that is the Randy Watson Experience reworking of Gladys Knight and the Pips version of I Heard it Through The Grapevine, although they should get a slap for the title "Sympathy For The Grapes mix".

The cover is also rank, so you have a picture of Bannatyne Street as the sun goes down from last weekend

Gladys Knight & The Pips - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Sympathy For The Grapes mix)