Saturday, 24 September 2022

Hell For Leather On A Helter Skelter

Sometimes, only a poptastic playlist will do. Over 500 posts in and I'm surprised that this is the first appearance on this blog for a-ha, The Lover Speaks, Kool & The Gang, The Kane Gang, Split Enz and ABC (unless you count the latter's appearance in a mash-up mix by Go Home Productions last year).
I have a large sub-folder of music, which was my go-to when Lady K was very young. Very loosely labelled "Pop", it is better described as upbeat, uptempo songs without any sweary bits, although I came a cropper when this one popped up in the car. Fortunately, Mrs. K wasn't present and the F-word wasn't firmly embedded in Lady K's vocabulary from there on.
I'm a little bit more relaxed about the playlist these days, although you still won't find me playing either "Part 4" of this song by Alexei Sayle from the 12" vinyl or the current single by Julian Cope when Clan K are within earshot.
No parental advisory for this selection, 11 tunes for a (hopefully) sunny September Saturday, wherever you are.
1) Take On Me (Extended Version By Alan Tarney): a-ha (1985)
2) Every Lover's Sign (7" Remix By Andy Wallace & Bruce Forest): The Lover Speaks (1986)
3) Think Twice (Edit): Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band ft. Christine Sandtorv (2003)
4) Take It To The Top (Album Version By Eumir Deodato): Kool & The Gang (1980)
5) Funky Kingston: Toots & The Maytals (1973)
6) Beat The Clock (Short Version By Giorgio Moroder): Sparks (1979)
7) Six Months In A Leaky Boat (Album Version): Split Enz (1982)
8) Respect Yourself (R & B Mix) (Cover of The Staple Singers): The Kane Gang (1984)
9) Mystify (Album Version): INXS (1987)
10) I Want You To Know (Album Version): Charlotte Hatherley (2007)
11) Viva Love (Album Version): ABC (2016)

Friday, 23 September 2022

Party Like It's 2009

Back to the tail end of the Noughties with a bunch of beats to bring in the weekend. Some of the artists and DJs/remixers seem to have been dormant or relatively quiet in the past decade: US punk/indie/dance act Gossip, Japanese trio Lalory, Norwegian DJ and producer diskJokke. Others such as Burns, CFCF, The Field, Richard Sen and Daniel Avery have been prolific, the latter two transcending their early work. And Little Boots has been busy in the past year as a member of ABBA's live band on the Voyage tour.
A sign of the times that many of the featured artists's profiles on Discogs include links to MySpace, a reminder of how quickly the world moved on and away to other platforms. Says the man who resolutely clings to Blogger and mostly avoids other social media...!
1) Heavy Cross (Burns Remix): Gossip
2) Little Secrets (Lalory Remix By Tom Iwami, Kazunari Kadowaki & Kazuya Tamura): Passion Pit
3) The More That I Do (Foals XIII Remix): The Field
4) Compulsion (Padded Cell Remix By Neil Higgins & Richard Sen): Doves
5) Earthquake (Stopmakingme Mix By Daniel Avery): Little Boots
6) Tropics (CFCF Remix): Apache Beat
7) IRM (diskJokke Remix): Charlotte Gainsbourg

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Come On Down, The Devil's In Town

I'm on the mailing list for The The and received an unexpected email regarding Matt Johnson's brother, Andy Dog, who passed in 2016. My love of The The's music as a teenager went hand in hand with a love of Andy Dog's unique and striking artwork on their singles and albums. The email promotes the Andy Dog Collection, with a few new items of merchandise bearing iconic The The images but also including a couple of beautiful tributes to Andy from brothers Matt and Gerard.

Mrs. K bought me a The The T-shirt in 2020, featuring an alternative illustration of the character from the classic album Soul Mining. The latest addition is Andy's illustration for the Sweet Bird Of Truth single and will be another must-have. 

The The's videos have always been striking accompaniments to the music, lyrics and record artwork and I've previously featured a Dubhed video selection as well as standalone posts on Slow Train To Dawn and The Mercy Beat, from the ground breaking and jaw-droppingly wonderful video realisation of 1986's Infected album
Receiving the email immediately made me think of another video from Infected, the closing song of Side 1, Angels Of Deception. It's directed by animation legend Alastair McIlwain, whose career kicked off with kids' TV classic Roobarb in 1974 and has gone on to include films such as Heavy Metal (1981) and Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1982).
A perfect choice then for Angels Of Deception, which brings Andy Dog's illustrations to the fore via animation, model sets and Matt Johnson's make up. It's quite different from every other song on the video album, which makes it all the more amazing. I need little excuse to listen to The The, but it was joy to be reminded of this song, video and artist.
Thank you Matt, Alastair and, of course, Andy Dog, whose work continues to inspire and delight. 

Well, it's high noon at the U.K. corral, 
And it's high time I got myself back on the rails,I'm the lonesome cowboy, ridin' across the range,With just a hand held radio to keep me sane,Ridin' through the F.M. stations, the tumbleweed, the petrol stations,Will all on board this Yankee stationPrepare themselves for battle stations
 Jesus wept, Jesus Christ,I can't see for the tear gas and the dollar signs in my eyes.Well, what's a man got left to fight forWhen he's bought his freedomBy the look of this human jungleIt ain't just the poor who'll be bleeding!
 Most everyone round here thinks they're something special, That destiny will be kind, While they're digging for gold, diving for pearls, 
And aiming for heaven from this man made world.Come on down. the devil's in townHe's brought you sticks and stonesTo bust your neighbour's bones,He's stuck his missiles in your gardens,And his theories down your throat
And god knows what you're gonna do with him'cos I certainly don't 
Jesus wept, Jesus Christ,I can't see for the tear gas and the dollar signs in my eyes.Well, what's a man got left to fight forWhen he's bought his freedomBy the look of this human jungleIt ain't just the poor who'll be bleeding!
 Down by the river, I've been washing out my mouth,'cos deep in the heart of meThere's a frightened man breaking out.Oh, I was just looking for paradiseAnywhere in this worldWhile they're gunning for heavenFrom this man made hell!
(ad lib)
Well, oh 
God knows, 'cos they don't.
Come on down, the Devil's in town Oh, the Angels, 
Angels of destruction.The Angels, Angels of deception

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Dead Flowers On The Razor Wire

Side 2 of a cassette compilation, recorded 16th September 1991, featuring The Sisters Of Mercy, possessed body and soul (excuse the pun) by Andrew Eldritch
I posted Side 1 of this tape back in March and it's proved to be one of the most popular posts on Dubhed, remaining firmly in my Top 10, although visits have dropped off since June. Time then to dust off Side 2 and bring it back into the light.

Things start as they mean to go on with Body Electric, originally the Sisters' second single in 1982, then re-recorded for 1984's Body And Soul EP. The latter is featured here, simply because I didn't have the original version until the Some Girls Wander By Mistake compilation came out the year after I recorded this cassette. You can probably guess how much I like the Body And Soul EP, given that three of the four songs feature across the two sides of this selection.

Next up is This Corrosion, the definitive 12" version by Jim Steinman. It's the second time it's appeared here as track 2 of a selection in a little over 2 weeks, but I make no apologies. I briefly considered swapping it out for the 11-minute album version or even the slightly longer again version on the CD single. However, in the interest of maintaining some integrity with the running times of both sides, I've stuck with this, which is always my go-to version.

Ribbons is one of my favourite Sisters songs, though opinion (mine included) varies on the merits of the Vision Thing as a whole. The songs lent the compilation it's title and contains a classic Eldritch lyric
Her lovers queued up in the hallwayI heard them scratching at the doorI tried to tell herAbout Marx and Engels, God and angelsI don't really know what for
By contrast, the title track of Vision Thing is a kick-ass song, from the introductory cocaine sniff and crashing guitars to the opening lines
Twenty-five whores in the room next doorTwenty-five floors and I need more
The Reptile House EP from 1983 gets a bit of short shrift here compared to the Body And Soul EP, only one it's five songs on the 12" - Valentine - making an appearance here. Not at all a reflection on the quality of the EP but an example of the challenge when pulling together any compilation. On the original cassette, a 90-second excerpt of Burn was tacked on at the end to use up some dead tape time. It didn't really belong, so I've left it off of this recreation.

Colours featured in an earlier version on The Sisterhood's 1986 album, Gift. Whiffypedia contains the background to what can arguably be described as Andrew Eldritch's act of war/revenge on former band members Craig Adams and Wayne Hussey, who were touring as The Sisterhood at the time. The original version isn't greatly different to the subsequent B-side of This Corrosion, other than featuring vocals from Motörhead's original drummer, Lucas Fox, as Eldritch was unable to sing on any of The Sisterhood's releases. 

Alice was always a floorfiller at the indie/alternative/goth clubs I went to in the 1980s. Eldritch re-recorded the song as a B-side to standalone single Under The Gun in 1993, but the 1983 original with Doktor Avalanche is unbeatable.

The selection closes with the Sisters' cover of Hot Chocolate's 1974 single, Emma. I was very familiar with the song as it featured on one of my parents' K-Tel compilations that I played to death as a kid. Whilst the song was a staple of the Sisters Of Mercy's live sets, the first time I heard it was on buying the Dominion 12" single and hearing the crashing drums announcing the closing track on Side 2. Much as I love the original version, there's a primal, raw pain in Eldritch's performance that gets me every time. And so it ends.
Since recording the cassette, I expanded my Sisters Of Mercy collection with the aforementioned Some Girls Wander By Mistake compilation and it's bootleg companion, Some Boys Wander By Mistake, as well as the mighty re-recording of Temple Of Love with Ofra Haza and Under The Gun, featuring Terri Nunn from Berlin. A Slight Case Of Overbombing? Perhaps, but plenty more for a new Dubhed selection in future.
1) Body Electric (Special 12" EP Version) (1984)
2) This Corrosion (12" Version By Jim Steinman) (1987)
3) Ribbons (Album Version By Andrew Eldritch) (1990)
4) Vision Thing (Album Version By Andrew Eldritch) (1990)
5) Valentine (1983)
6) Colours (Full Length Version By Andrew Eldritch & Larry Alexander) (1987)
7) Alice (Single Version By John Ashton) (1983)
8) Emma (Cover of Hot Chocolate) (1988) 
1983: Alice EP: 7
1983: The Reptile House EP: 5
1984: Body And Soul EP: 1
1987: This Corrosion EP: 2, 6
1988: Dominion EP: 8
1990: Vision Thing: 3, 4
Side One here

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

The Days Of Rage, Yeah, Nothing's Changed

I stumbled across the video for Live With Me by Massive Attack featuring Terry Callier for the first time in years. It was released as a single in 2006 with another new song, False Flags, to promote Massive Attack's 'best of' compilation Collected. Whilst Collected is not sequenced chronologically, Live With Me is tucked away as the final track and, generally speaking, it's ended up being a song that I've unfairly neglected over the years.

The video is directed by Jonathan Glazer, who previously directed their Karmacoma video in 1995 and was responsible for similarly striking visuals for The Universal by Blur and Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead around the same time. His debut feature film was the brilliant Sexy Beast in 2000. starring Ray Winstone and with a star turn from Ben Kingsley.
Live With Me is a snapshot of a lonely life, centred on a woman (Kirsty Shepherd), who stops at her local off licence to stack up on alcohol, downing a bottle of vodka at home, ending up back walking the streets before collapsing on a bench. The closing sequence cuts back and forth with scenes of the woman falling down a seemingly endless spiraling staircase. 
It's a heartbreaking, compelling narrative, though one which slightly puts the music - Terry Callier's vocals, especially - somewhat at the back. If nothing else, the video convinced me to put Live With Me back on my playlist and retrospectively give it some of the attention that it deserves.

In the interests of balance, I also watched the video for False Flags. Ironically, although I bought the limited edition of Collection which included a second 'DualDisc' hybrid CD/DVD, I didn't have a DVD player at the time. I was also unable to play the DVD on my home PC, which a work colleague had built for me at a fraction of the cost in the early 2000s. So, I have no recollection of watching this video before, although I'm sure I have. 
False Flags is directed by Paul Gore, whose work I'm far less familiar with but has included videos for Snow Patrol (Run), Amy Winehouse (In My Bed), New Order (Here To Stay) and Paloma Faith (Trouble With My Baby). The song itself was inspired by the civil unrest and rioting in Paris in late 2005 and comments on the state of the European Union. The video itself is, to quote 3D, "a still life portrait of someone were they’re forced to be in a riot situation – throwing a petrol bomb. And it’s done in ultra slow motion." The target of the Molotov cocktail is initially seen to be a car, but the latter moments of the video cut to a burning EU flag. Those final moments also include what initially sounds like some form of prayer, but is slowly revealed to be the phrase, "Where do we go from here?". It's actually a sample of Thom Yorke from the title track of Radiohead's 1995 album, The Bends.

False Flags featured as the opening track of Collected's bonus 'DualDisc' and was released as a standalone digital EP, with the similarly politically charged song, United Snakes. Both are incredible songs that, without having to look too far, sadly remain relevant a decade and a half later.

Monday, 19 September 2022

Mo' Monday Blues

Today is a public holiday in the UK, the second additional day in 2022. The first, in June, marked Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, the first British Monarch to reign for 70 years. The second, today, observes the funeral of the Queen, a day-long event starting at Westminster Hall, moving to Westminster Abbey then Windsor Castle and culminating in her burial within St. George's Chapel. As has been the case since the Queen's death on 8th September, there will be live coverage throughout the day, should you wish to follow it. Judging by the shelves at a local supermarket, I'm guessing many will be doing so whilst getting blotto on whisky.
I've hesitated to post anything about the event to date; this blog is primarily about the music I love, with little bits of my life story popping up here and there. I've been interested by how several fellow music bloggers have acknowledged their own feelings, whilst being aware that it's a potential minefield of trolling and negative comments. 
I'm at home at Casa K today. I won't be watching the TV but I will make the most of this opportunity to be with my family and be productive.
I've started as I mean to go on with a freshly curated selection of tunes. The theme is very simple and completely unrelated to the Queen's funeral: being Monday, the name of every artist featured begins with 'Mo' (or 'The Mo'). The shortlist was still pretty long - 50 songs - and I reluctantly left off a few that I thought would be a sure thing: Mogwai, The Modern Lovers, Mojave 3, Momus, The Moonlandingz, The Monochrome Set; even The Monkees failed to make the final 11.

However, I do like how the selection has worked out. Moaning and Movement 98 (featuring Carroll Thompson) were dead certs for the opening and closing songs. Mohamed Karzo is another delightful discovery from my Sahel Sounds compilation purchases, whilst Mount Sims first came to my notice in a collaboration with The Knife and planningtorock. Mono were late to the trip hop party but perhaps would have soundtracked Killing Eve in an alternate reality. The two cover versions by Moodswings and Monkey Mafia are sublime. The rest of the selection is made up with Moby, Moloko, The Mock Turtles and Mojave Lords.
Any connection that can be made between the song titles and today's events is, I promise you, entirely coincidental.
1) Don't Go: Moaning (2018)
2) There's Nothing Wrong With The World There's Something Wrong With Me: Moby & The Void Pacific Choir (2017)
3) C'est La Vie: Mohamed Karzo (2017)
4) Spiritual High (Original Edit) (Cover of 'State Of Independence' by Jon & Vangelis): Moodswings ft. Martin Luther King (1991)
5) Being Is Bewildering: Moloko (2000)
6) Long As I Can See The Light (Adrian Sherwood's Dub Lighting) (Cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival): Monkey Mafia ft. Shirzelle (1998)
7) Strings And Flowers (Single Version): The Mock Turtles (1991)
8) Sweet Little Down & Out: Mojave Lords (2014)
9) Hollywood Bride: Mount Sims (2002)
10) Silicone (Mr. Scruff Remix): Mono (1997)
11) Joy And Heartbreak (Future Mix (Airplay Edit) By Paul Oakenfold & Steve Osborne): Movement 98 ft. Carroll Thompson (1990)
1990: Joy And Heartbreak EP: 11
1991: Spiritual High EP: 4
1991: Strings And Flowers EP: 7 
1997: Silicone EP: 10
1998: Long As I Can See The Light EP: 6
2000: Things To Make And Do: 5 
2002: UltraSex: 9
2014: Unfuckwithable: 8
2017: Agrim Agadez: 3
2017: More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse: 2
2018: Moaning: 1

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Senza Voce

...or 'without voice' (thank you, Google translate), which sums up today's selection of instrumental songs, stripped of their usually familiar vocals bar the odd sample, whoop and ad lib here and there.

When trawling for ideas for a cover image, I was reminded of the rather bizarre primary school ritual of 'fingers on lips'. Teachers obviously considered us such a wild, unruly, feral lot that simply telling us to be quiet wasn't enough, we had to seal the deal by placing a digit on our mouth and hold it there until we were deemed worthy of voice again. What a strange instruction. 
No surprise that Shane MacGowan would struggle with this into adulthood, Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 seems similarly resistant but you can rely on ol' Madge, although she's unsurprisingly adopting the role of teacher not pupil here.

For anyone feeling anxiety before casting their eyes down at the track list, I can reassure you that Hush by Kula Shaker does not appear in any shape or form. There is Simply Red, but DJ Muggs has done us all the favour of removing Mick Hucknall altogether...along with pretty much the whole band, by the sound of things.

The selection starts with the opening track of Madonna's 1998 album Ray Of Light, albeit with no trace of Ms. Ciccone's dulcet tones. From there, we go past Simply Red to Tears For Fears reading Sylvia Plath, winding our way into Hell's Ditch where we find The Pogues and Joe Strummer.

Love And Rockets lend a hand out of the ditch with an instrumental version of If There's A Heaven Above, re-titled God And Mr. Smith, before Frazier Chorus give us a lift the rest of the way there until The KLF point out that we're actually about 30 miles southwest of Glasgow 3 miles north of Manchester [note; thanks for the save, Charity Chic, I don't think anyone noticed!]
Renegade Soundwave riff on Serge Gainsbourg with their eponymous 1994 single, crashing into Yo La Tengo's motel room in the wee hours of the morning with Jah Wobble and Animal (Dave Maltby, not the Muppets drummer). 
Crawling out of the room the following morning, we find Pete Wylie slumped against a wall, with a note pinned to his chest explaining that L'Espwah! is French for Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me). I got a D in my French 'O' Level, so I don't have a clue what he means. 
No-Man promise fun Days In The Trees but we're distracted by The Wolfgang Press arguing with the vicar about Christianity outside the local church. We ditch the both of them and head back with Heaven 17. I'm hungry and fancy noodles but all we get is a noodly Fairlight and System 100 Simulated Classical Guitar instrumental of The Skin I'm In, which does little for my appetite.

Depeche Mode try to convince us that It Doesn't Matter but having had enough of them all, we head off with It's Immaterial to find some Space. Peace at last, and it only took an hour.
1) Drowned World / Substitute For Love (Instrumental Version By Madonna & William Orbit): Madonna (1998)
2) Never Never Love (DJ Muggs Instrumental Mix): Simply Red (1996)
3) Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams (Instrumental): Tears For Fears (1990)
4) Hell's Ditch (Instrumental Version By Joe Strummer & Paul Cobbold): The Pogues (1990)
5) God And Mr. Smith (Instrumental Version): Love And Rockets (1985)
6) Heaven (God Like Instrumental) (Remixed By Youth): Frazier Chorus (1990)
7) Prestwich Prophet's Grin (Instrumental Remix) (120 BPM): The KLF (1988) 
8) Renegade Soundwave (7" Instrumental): Renegade Soundwave (1994) 
9) From A Motel 6 #2 (Instrumental Version): Yo La Tengo (1993)
10) A Long, Long Way (Instrumental): Jah Wobble with Animal (1982) 
11) L'Espwah! (Instrumental Version By Mike Hedges & Pete Wylie): Wah! (1983)
12) Days In The Trees (Bach) (Instrumental Version By Steven Wilson): No-Man (1991)
13) Christianity (Instrumental Remix By Drostan Madden & Howard Gray): The Wolfgang Press (1995)
14) Skin (Instrumental Mix By Greg Walsh & Martyn Ware): Heaven 17 (1984)
15) It Doesn't Matter Two (Instrumental): Depeche Mode (1986)
16) Space (Instrumental Remix By Bert Bevans): It's Immaterial (1986)
1982: A Long, Long Way EP: 10
1983: Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me) EP: 11 
1984: This Is Mine EP: 14
1985: If There's A Heaven Above EP: 5 
1986: A Question Of Lust EP: 15
1986: Space EP: 16
1988: Burn The Beat (USA 12") / Shag Times: 7
1990: Advice For The Young At Heart EP: 3
1990: Ray / The Baby Album (ltd 2x CD): 6
1990: Summer In Siam EP: 4
1994: Renegade Soundwave EP: 8
1995: Christianity EP (USA promo CDS): 13
1996: Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo: 9
1996: Never Never Love EP: 2
1998: Ray Of Light (Instrumentals) (bootleg): 1
2001: Lost Songs: Volume One: 12

Saturday, 17 September 2022

There's No Town Like Motown

I'll confess that I've cheated a little: whilst all of these artists have been on the Motown roster, not all of the tracks in today's selection were released on the label. But when the songs are this amazing, I'm not going to complain.

Some stone cold classics here, along with a few cover versions and perhaps relatively lesser known songs. No surprise that a third of the selection was written by the mighty Holland-Dozier-Holland but just look at the rest of the songwriters:

Norman Whitfield, William 'Mickey' Stevenson, Barrett Strong, Marvin Gaye, Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol, Vernon Bullock, Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Berry Gordy, Jr., Anna Gordy Gaye, Iris Gordy, Janie Bradford, Elgie Stover, Anette Minor, Jack Goga, Johnny Bristol, Peter Green and Ed Cobb, not forgetting Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
My parents didn't own any Motown albums, but I was exposed to many of these songs via Radio 1 during my childhood in the 1970s and 1980s, regularly played even though most of them were several years old by this point. A few I've discovered as an adult, thanks for various music magazine CDs, compilations by the likes of Saint Etienne or my fellow travellers in the blogosphere. I never get tired of listening to these songs, no matter how familiar they've since become.
Play loud.

Side One
1) I Got A Feeling: Barbara Randolph (1967)
2) Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart: Diana Ross & The Supremes (1966)
3) Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While): Kim Weston (1965)
4) Money (That's What I Want): Barrett Strong (1959)
5) Light My Fire (Cover of The Doors): Stevie Wonder (1969)
6) He Was Really Sayin' Somethin': The Velvelettes (1964)
7) What Does It Take (To Win Your Love): Jr. Walker & The All Stars (1969)
8) You're All I Need To Get By: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1968)

Side Two
1) Cloud Nine (Album Version By Norman Whitfield): The Temptations (1968)
2) The Bells: The Originals (1970)
3) Reach Out I'll Be There: Four Tops (1966)
4) Didn't You Know (You'd Have To Cry Sometime): Gladys Knight & The Pips (1969)
5) Got To Get You Into My Life (Cover of The Beatles): Chris Clark (1967)
6) Come To Me: Marv Johnson (1959)
7) No One There: Martha Reeves (1971)
8) Every Little Bit Hurts: Brenda Holloway (1964)

Friday, 16 September 2022

Dirty Starlight

GLOK is the electronic alter ego of Andy Bell and is currently matching pace with Andy’s prodigious output under his own name, with two albums, a clutch of singles and multiple remixes to immerse yourself in.
I thought I'd posted a fair bit of GLOK here already; it turns out, not so much. So, to make amends, I've cherry picked 8 tracks either by or remixed by Andy Bell to create a clumsily stitched together GLOK selection, coming in at just under an hour. 

Transformative music for travelling, even if you have no particular place to go.

Today's photo was a delve back into my archives, prompted by recollections the other day of a trip to Japan. This photo was taken one evening in May 2005, coming out of the Tokyo Metro into the madness of Shibuya, the foreground actually a criss-crossed zebra crossing, completely obscured by the surge of crossing, passing people. The riot of neon lights and signage seemed even crazier than my memory of Times Square in New York. It was an almost overwhelming experience for Mrs. K and I, all senses going into least for us. Everyone else seemed completely unfazed and indifferent to it all. 

I've played around with filters and exposure a bit, but the photo seemed to perfectly complement the title of today's selection.
1) Dirty Hugs (Leaf Edit): GLOK (2021)
2) Gone Gold (GLOK Remix): Herrmann Kristoffersen (2021)
3) Taboo Groves (GLOK Remix): Flamingods (2017)
4) Dissident (Richard Sen Remix): GLOK (2020)
5) Kid Corner (GLOK Remix): Archive ft. Holly Martin (2020)
6) Cloud Cover (Andrew Weatherall Remix): GLOK (2020)
7) Eternity (GLOK Remix): Seagoth (2021)
8) Star (GLOK Starlight Dub): A Mountain Of One (2022)
2017: Majesty Remixed: 2
2020: Dissident Remixed: 4, 6
2020: Versions: Remixed: 5 
2021: Eternity EP: 7
2021: Gone Gold EP: 2 
2021: Pattern Recognition: 1
2022: Star EP: 8

Thursday, 15 September 2022


Blackfield by Blackfield from Blackfield produced by Blackfield written by Blackfield.

January 2018 was when I properly discovered Steven Wilson and went down a bit of a rabbit hole. Prior to this, I'd been a fan of No-Man and had a few of their singles: Days In The Trees, Only Baby, Painting Paradise and Housewives Hooked On Heroin. However, I'd not really paid much attention to their albums or the members' extra-curricular activity.

I can't remember the exact prompt but it may have been seeing Steven Wilson's name pop up everywhere on the back of rave reviews for his solo album, To The Bone, and being producer of choice for remixed and remastered reissues by the likes of Yes, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and XTC. It was also around this time that I finally picked up No-Man's second album from 1993, Loveblows & Lovecries: A Confession, featuring the aforementioned singles, Only Baby and Painting Paradise.
Whatever the reason, my eBay spree at the start of 2018 including a couple more No-Man albums, Flowermouth (1994) and Wild Opera (1996), Fear Of A Blank Planet (2007) by Porcupine Tree, Grace For Drowning by Steven Wilson (2011) and the first four albums by Blackfield.
Blackfield was formed by Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson in 2004, becoming more of a vehicle for Geffen from Blackfield IV (2013). There have been a couple more albums since, V (2017) and For The Music (2020). 
Steven Wilson reconvened with Richard Barbieri and Gavin Harrison for an 11th - and apparently final - Porcupine Tree album, Closure / Continuation, in June of this year. The previous month, Wilson also released a memoir, Limited Edition Of One, with a heftily priced special edition featuring additional book and CD in a nice slipcase. However, that's a drop in the ocean compared to the "Ultra Deluxe Music Product On Obsolete Media" version of his album The Future Bites, a literal limited edition of one, which sold for $10,000 in November 2020. Proceeds of the sale went to the Music Venue Trust.  

B(l)ack to Blackfield by Blackfield, the album features a cover of Aviv Geffen & The Mistakes' 1993 song Cloudy Now, which was banned in his native Israel for it's use of the F-word and went on to top the charts. The eponymous title track, like the rest of the album is slickly produced and (excuse the pun) strikes all the right notes, with piano intro, crashing acoustic guitar and drums and powerful vocals. Personally, the album skates a little too close to MOR/AOR territory to demand regular repeat listening at Casa K but it gets dusted off when I'm in a particular mood for big, bold and 'worthy' music. The video is stylish and suits the song, but if I didn't know otherwise I'd have guessed the visuals and music dated from the mid-1990s, not a decade later.