Monday, 31 January 2022

This Could Be Your Day...In The Sunshine

Intastella landed at the start of the 1990s, one of a number of bands that embraced the influence of dance music on indie guitar pop. The Discogs biog sums it up well:
"Their sonic aesthetic revolved around groove-based, densely layered psychedelic jams, which featured slightly ethereal vocals, acid house-influenced bleeps, shuffling danceable beats, deep basslines, and rhythmic funk guitar."
The band name is a play on words, you can read it as either 'interstellar' or 'into Stella', after lead Stella Grundy. The original line-up consisted of Grundy, Martin Mittler, Ian Bendelow, Martin Wright and Spencer Birtwistle, plus dancer Anthony Green. Sadly, Bendelow, Wright and Green have all passed in the last few years. Spencer Birtwistle joined the ranks of The Fall (twice) in the Noughties, whilst I could find little trace of Martin Mittler's musical exploits, post-Intastella. 

Stella Grundy began to release solo music in the early 21st century, subsequently forming a new incarnation of Intastella and - in a nice link with yesterday's post - recording with Jah Wobble. You can find all this plus some Intastella rarities on Bandcamp.
Today's selection dips into the three albums Intastella released between 1991 and 1997. As ever, not a 'best of', but a fairly random selection of singles and album tracks. I've left the closing track of third album Nuphonia more or less as is. On the CD version, the cover version of Gregory Isaacs' Mr. Cop was an untitled hidden track, appended after a minute or so's silence to the end of I Love The Smell Of New Grass. For this selection, I've segued the two for your instant gratification.

1) Century (12" Version) (1991)
2) Skyscraper (7" Mix) (1997)
3) Drifter (Album Version) (1995)
4) People (Album Version) (1991)
5) Nuphonia (1997)
6) Mr. Everything (1991)
7) Soon We'll Fly (12" Remix) (1997)
8) I Love The Smell Of New Grass (Album Version) (1997)
9) Mr. Cop (Cover of Gregory Isaacs) (1997)

1991: Century (12"): 1
1991: Intastella And The Family Of People: 4, 6
1995: What You Gonna Do: 3 
1997: Nuphonia: 5, 8, 9
1997: Skyscraper (CD single): 2
1997: Soon We'll Fly (CD single): 7

Sunday, 30 January 2022

In Wob We Trust

Jah Wobble today, or at least songs that he has either remixed or been a guest on. He's been on my mind (and playlists) a lot recently, in part due to the excellent In Dub compilation that I purchased just after Christmas. 

I've a couple of mix CDs that I did for my friend Dave in 2004 as a companion piece to the (also excellent) I Could Have Been A Contender anthology, so I've avoided using any tracks that appeared there. Even so, you get an eclectic, unusual and one or two downright bizarre selections, all featuring that unmistakable Wobble bass.

In 1997, record label Mute decided to invite a number of artists to remix Can's back catalogue, including Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, A Guy Called Gerald, Pete Shelley, U.N.K.L.E. and Bruce Gilbert, as well as usual suspects The Orb and System 7. The Secret Knowledge Mix closes the Sacrilege remix album, Kris Needs drafting in Jah Wobble to add his loping bass magic, to great effect.

I was reminded of En-Tact, without a doubt my favourite album by The Shamen, in a post by The Vinyl Villain last week. I'm talking here about the original UK CD issue, rather than the good-but-not-as-good En-Tact USA that superseded the original a year later. In part, this because the former includes the full length version of Evil Is Even, a 13+ rumbling monster of a track, featuring a sonic duel between Darren Millhouse on didgeridoo and Jah Wobble on bass. The winner? The listener.
If Love City Groove sound vaguely familiar, but you can't quite place them (or too embarrassed to admit it), they represented the UK in the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest. With the hindsight of a quarter of a century, finishing tenth was a relative success. The single also did well in the UK, reaching #7 and shifting over 200,000 copies, although this proved to be their one and only hit. There were 7 mixes in all, mostly by the band, and there's no obvious reason why Jah Wobble was approached. However, he transforms the rather cheesy original into an 11-minute beauty. Another bit of trivia: rapper Q-Tee aka Tatiana Mais (who featured with Saint Etienne in Friday's post) has a songwriting credit. She was originally approached to provide a rap for the song, but on the record this was subsequently picked up by incoming band member Yinka Charles aka MC Reason. Yinka also performed as The Voice Of Reason, collaborating with Paul Haig on his 1991 single Flight X (as featured by The Vinyl Villain in 2019).

Holly Valance will of course be forever remembered by many as Felicity 'Flick' Scully in legendary Aussie soap Neighbours from 1999 to 2002. Like Kylie Minogue before her, Holly left to pursue the pop star dream. Unlike Kylie, she had released her second and final album by 2003. Kiss Kiss was her debut single, reaching #1 in it's first week and spending 8 weeks in the Top 20. Again, Jah Wobble is an unusual choice of remixer alongside the more obvious Stargate and Agent Sumo, and it's unlikely that the rush of Wobble completists contributed in any way to the chart position. However, it's a good remix and - on this promo only version, you get relatively little Valance and plenty of Wobble, so again it's a win-win.

I know very little about Evil Eye, other than than it appears on a USA compilation, Ambient Extractions, Vol. 2, that I picked up secondhand in a record shop (probably Replay in Bristol) in the late 1990s. It's worth tracking down, including No Man, His Name Is Alive, Steve Jansen & Richard Barbieri and Boymerang. Divination is another collaborative project/alias for Bill Laswell. The compilation includes an edit of a 1993 track, featuring Jeff Bova (Material) and Mick Harris (Napalm Death, Scorn) as well as The Wob.

I know next to nothing about Madredeus, having discovered them via the 1997 Worlds Collide: Global Remixes compilation. They are one of Portugual's most successful bands apparently and are still a going concern.

Closing the compilation, Jah Wobble has collaborated with The Orb on many, many songs over the years, and Blue Room remains a highwater mark. Rather than go for the 40-minute original, I've opted for the rarer Blue Lamp Mix by The Orb, taken from the various artists album Taking Liberties, released as a protest against The Criminal Justice And Public Order Act 1994. No prizes which political party was in government when this was introduced. 
More Wob to follow in the not-too-distant future...

1) Oh Yeah (Secret Knowledge Mix By Kris Needs & Henry Cullen): Can ft. Jah Wobble (1997) 
2) Evil Is Even (Album Version): The Shamen ft. Jah Wobble (1990)
3) Love City Groove (Seek Understanding Beyond Immediate Perception Mix Long Version By Jah Wobble): Love City Groove (1995)
4) Kiss Kiss (Jah Wobble Remix) (Promo Full Length Version): Holly Valance (2002)
5) Evil Eye (Edit By Bill Laswell): Divination ft. Jah Wobble, Jeff Bova & Mick Harris (1993)
6) Pregão (Moçárabe Mix By Jah Wobble): Madredeus (1997)
7) Blue Room (Blue Lamp Mix): The Orb ft. Jah Wobble & Steve Hillage (1994)

1990: En-Tact: 2 
1994: Taking Liberties: 7
1995: Love City Groove EP: 3
1996: Ambient Extractions, Vol. 2: 5
1997: Sacrilege: 1
1997: Worlds Collide Global Remixes: 6
2002: Kiss Kiss EP (promo CD): 4

Saturday, 29 January 2022

A Promise Of Heaven Or Hell In Your Song

Hot on the heels of the triumphant Soft Cell tour late last year and their imminent new album *Happiness Not Included, Marc Almond has announced 5 solo concerts for March and April.

I've only seen Marc Almond live on stage once, in October 1988 promoting The Stars We Are. The album had only been released a few days prior to the concert and ultimately matched it's predecessor, Mother Fist And Her Five Daughters, peaking at #41 in the UK. The previous month, Marc had enjoyed his highest UK singles chart placing in three years when Tears Run Rings made it to #26. Follow up Bitter Sweet didn't fare so well but the next single, re-recorded as a duet with Gene Pitney, would see Marc back at #1.

The Bristol Studio Ballroom sounds grand, doesn't it? It evokes images of faded glamour and a building steeped in history, a perfect setting for Marc's evocative tales of grit and glitter. The reality was a bit different. The Studio was at the top of a multi-storey building, above a cinema and adjoining an ice rink. The Studio itself generally had a main space for the lager louts and pop dance toons, with occasionally some great DJs passing through. There was also a very small side room, with sweat-dripping walls and minimal lighting, for anything deemed "alternative" (for me, this was invariably goth). The main space was where gigs would happen. I don't remember The Studio with any real affection as a building/space, but I had some great times there with some great people, and the collision of queues to get into the various destinations was always interesting, to say the least.

The other significant memories of the Marc Almond gig are:
(1) I ended up going alone and I didn't see anyone else at the gig that I knew; and 
(2) I ended up having to leave early to get the last bus home. 
I do recall that it was Tuesday night, I had the work the next day, I was flat broke and I couldn't afford a solo taxi fare as I lived in some godforsaken suburb, miles away. I'd passed my driving test by then but hadn't yet been able to afford a car and no way were my parents going to lend me theirs to drive into the big bad city.

So, my euphoria at what was a brilliant concert was tempered by being really pissed off as I sat on the bus, rattling my bones with every pothole on its interminable, roundabout journey back home. 

Marc Almond was fantastic. Oddly enough, although I was familiar with his songs, particularly the singles, at that point I don't think I actually owned any Soft Cell, Marc & The Mambas or solo albums, so a fair chunk of the songs were new to me. As the ticket proudly states, there was no "supporting artiste", so it did mean that I managed at least two thirds of the set before having to dash to the bus stop; I definitely made it to Anarcoma, but it's a bit hazy after that. Marc was supported, as on the studio recordings, by La Magia aka Annie Hogan, Billy McGee and Steven Humphreys. The three plus Martin McCarrick had been The Willing Sinners and Hogan, McGee and McCarrick had also been members of Marc & The Mambas, and brought a cinematic lush quality to underpin Marc's singing and storytelling.

There isn't a setlist available for the Bristol Studio gig, so I've referenced the show at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London a few nights later. I've not replicated the full set for the simple reason that I still (still!) don't have all of Marc's earlier albums, including The Stars We Are (and I've long lost the C90 copies of those I did). Instead, today's selection is singles-heavy, plundering 1995's Treasure Box collection, 12" remixes and rarities. 
From the latter, I've included the version of Melancholy Rose from the Videos 1984-1987 (on VHS!) as I love the introduction. Not a spoiler, but I keep mishearing "Circus of Sighs" as "Circus of Size", which always makes me smile. I've also included the Pitney-free original album version of Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart, which was how I first heard the song, on a friend's copy of The Stars We Are, although I missed it being performed live. 
The set was liberally sprinkled with Jacques Brel covers, preceding Marc's 1989 album Jacques, and closed with If You Go Away. I don't have that particular version, so I've gone for the earlier take from 1982 by Marc & The Mamba, in truth just Marc singing and Annie on piano, to stunning effect. Brel's original 1959 song Ne Me Quitte Pas was translated by Rod McKuen in 1966 and the version included here is spine chilling. 

Marc's upcoming concerts will finally provide an opportunity to perform songs from Chaos And A Dancing Star, released in January 2020 just before the pandemic hit. It was one of my highlights of the year but, let's face it, it's going to be a fantastic show whatever he chooses to sing.

1) The Stars We Are (Full Length Mix): Marc Almond with La Magia (1988)
2) Melancholy Rose (Video Version): Marc Almond & The Willing Sinners (1987)
3) Bitter Sweet (The Big Beat Mix By The Extra Beat Boys): Marc Almond with La Magia (1988)
4) Anarcoma: Marc Almond & The Willing Sinners (1986)
5) Tenderness Is A Weakness (With Instrumental Overture) (10" Version By Mike Hedges): Marc Almond & The Willing Sinners (1984) 
6) Ruby Red (Special Re-Recorded Extended Dance Mix By Mike Hedges & Marc Almond): Marc Almond & The Willing Sinners (1986)
7) The Sensualist (Ultimate Ecstacy Mix): Marc Almond with La Magia (1988)
8) Tears Run Rings (The Just Rite Edit By Justin Strauss): Marc Almond with La Magia (1988)
9) Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart (Album Version By Bob Kraushaar): Marc Almond with La Magia (1988)
10) If You Go Away (Cover of Jacques Brel): Marc & The Mambas (1982)

Friday, 28 January 2022

Heavenly Weatherall

I returned late from work to find this pair of beauties dropped through my letter box: the Heavenly Remixes collection, volumes 1-4 on CD, 41 tracks in all for a bargain price. 
Volumes 1&2 provide a brief history of Heavenly remixes 1990-2020, from Moonflowers' Get Higher/Get Dubber to Graham Massey's remix of Working Men's Club.

Volumes 3&4 follows pretty much the same timeline, subtitled Andrew Weatherall Volume 1&2, featuring 16 of The Guv'nor's finest, from Heavenly's very first release The World According To Sly & Lovechild  through to 2019's remix of Devils Angels by Unloved (aka David Holmes and friends.
Each volume is also available as double vinyl set; great value but at nearly £100 for the lot, a little out of my reach. Several of the tracks are available for the first time in each respective format, so a tempting offer whichever format you prefer.

I've not had a chance to fully absorb each set or upload the fresh digital versions, so today's selection is a sampler from both, using (in some cases inferior quality) versions that I already own. Needless to say, the parent collections will be dominating this weekend's playlist.
1) Finally (Time & Space Machine Re-Edit By Richard Norris) (Cover of Ce Ce Peniston): Cherry Ghost (2010)
2) Gandhi (Andy Weatherall Remix II): Le Corps Mince De Françoise (2010)
3) Los Americanos (Mother Mix): Espiritu (1993)
4) Out The Window (Andrew Weatherall Remix): Confidence Man (2018)
5) Filthy (Monkey Mafia Vocal Mix By Jon Carter): Saint Etienne ft. Q-Tee (1996)
6) Compulsion (Andrew Weatherall Remix): Doves (2008)

Buy Heavenly Remixes volumes 1-4 on Bandcamp

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lay Lady Lay (Ten Times)

In a second nod to Bob Dylan this week, following Desolation Row's inclusion in Sunday's selection, recently the shuffle option on my iPhone has been relentless in offering up Lay Lady Lady, in various incarnations. 
To be honest, I had no idea I had so many versions of the song but why be selfish? Here's ten of them, stitched together in one 40-odd minute sequence for your aural pleasure or sonic torture, depending on your opinion of the song to begin with.

The selection starts off with Magnet (aka Norwegian singer-songwriter Even Johansen and not to be confused with this Magnet) joined by Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes on a lush, orchestral version. Along the way, you get Byrdsian gospel, Ministry's grubby come hither, a soulful take from The Isley Brothers, Melanie's rousing folk and headphone indie from David Kitt, The Flaming Lips and The Dandy Warhols. Oh, and Duran Duran's offering from their frequently teeth-grinding mid-90s tribute album.

The only way to finish of course is with Bob Dylan's original from 1969's Nashville Skyline, a #5 hit in the UK and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.

1) Lay Lady Lay (Album Version): Magnet ft. Gemma Hayes (2004)
2) Lay Lady Lay: The Byrds (1969)
3) Lay Lady Lay: David Kitt (2007)
4) Lay Lady Lay (Album Version): Ministry (1996)
5) Lay Lady Lay: Duran Duran (1995)
6) Lay Lady Lay (Album Edit): The Isley Brothers (1971)
7) Lay Lady Lay: The Flaming Lips (2021)
8) Lay Lady Lay: Melanie (1972)
9) Lay Lady Lay: The Dandy Warhols (2008)
10) Lay Lady Lay: Bob Dylan (1969)

1969: Lay Lady Lay (7"): 2 
1969: Nashville Skyline: 10
1972: Garden In The City: 8
1976: The Best... Isley Brothers: 6
1995: Thank You: 5
1996: Filth Pig: 4
2004: On Your Side: 1
2007: Misfits Vol. 1: 3
2008: ...Earth To The Dandy Warhols... (Japan bonus tracks edition): 9
2021: Dylan Revisited (Uncut magazine promo CD): 7

...and if you're a glutton for punishment, I did the same thing with Dylan's Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands last summer.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Are You Still Ready For The 70's Explosion?

Side 2 of a mixtape, originally compiled 16th September 1990. 
This selection comes with a health warning: whilst again raiding my parents' K-Tel & Ronco vinyl collection, as I did for Side 1, this side has D.I.S.C.O. (as opposed to D.I.S.C.O.) writ large. There are high doses of Saturday Night Fever and listeners may get a bad case of the Hee Bee Gee Bees. Again, some classics, some cheese and still no apologies.
Whilst I'm throwing in some completely unrelated YouTube links, it's probably worth looking up all of these songs for a visual, but I'm going to single out Jean-Michel Jarre's Equinox, as he seems quite keen to show off his luscious, flowing locks.
1) Stayin' Alive (Full Length Album Version): Bee Gees (1977)
2) You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Single Version): Sylvester (1978)
3) I'm A Man (Khayem's So Macho Outrovert Re-Edit): Macho (1978)
4) If I Can't Have You: Yvonne Elliman (1977)
5) Boogie Shoes (Album Version): KC & The Sunshine Band (1975)
6) The Crunch (Part 1) (Album Version): RAH Band (1977)
7) Jive Talkin' (Album Version): Bee Gees (1975)
8) Rock The Boat: Hues Corporation (1973)
9) Never Can Say Goodbye (Single Version) (Cover of The Jackson 5): Gloria Gaynor (1974)
10) Boogie Oogie Oogie (Full Length Version): A Taste Of Honey (1978)
11) Rasputin (Album Version): Boney M. (1978)
12) Equinoxe Part 5 (Album Version): Jean-Michel Jarre (1978)
13) Dancing In The City (Album Version): Marshall Hain (1978)
14) Summer In The City (Special Disco Version) (Cover of The Lovin' Spoonful): Evolution (1978)

Side One here

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Positively Apricating

The extremely dedicated Lol-Z has uploaded every episode of legendary UK music show The Tube to YouTube, over 100 of them, originally broadcast on Channel 4 from 1982 to 1987. It seems to have taken the best part of half a year to do it and there's no telling how long they'll remain before "The Man" takes them down, but make the most of this treat/rabbit hole in the meantime.
I've selected one of the last episodes from the final series in 1987. The series wasn't essential viewing for me at this point and I'd dip in and out occasionally, but I remember this one particularly for the fleeting appearance of It's Immaterial, which I wrote about last October. There are couple of great live performances from Maxi Priest and The Comsat Angels, too.

However, if you only watch one bit for a flavour of the show's eclecticism and brilliance, then skip to Jools Holland's less then seamless segue from Prince's video for Sign "☮" The Times to a typically atypical performance from Edward Barton. This is worth the price of admission alone and supplies today's post title. I had to look up 'apricating', it means "basking in the sun"...which I'm not, currently writing this in January when it's cold and dark.

Monday, 24 January 2022

My Heart Is Crammed In My Cranium And It Still Knows How To Pound

My head's been pounding all weekend and I feel more tired at the end than I did at the start. No selection today, just a couple of songs with 'headache' in the title. 
Starting with Frank Black, I'd completely forgotten that this was the sole UK single from Teenager Of The Year, a 22-track double album. I was doubly surprised to find that (1) it actually reached #53 and (2) it wasn't his highest charting single (that was Men In Black, #37 in 1996). Frank Black and 4AD parted ways not long afterwards. Odd choice of single, but a great video.
I first heard of Au Pairs via the 1981 compilation Urgh! A Music War which featured Come Again, their "song about faking orgasm". A remix of Headache (For Michelle) appeared on the B-side of the Inconvenience 12" single, released the same year. The song references Malcolm Owen, the lead singer with The Ruts who died from a heroin overdose in 1980, aged 26. The broader theme is the availability of cheap drugs and the role of the state in enabling this ("'Cause you're not a threat when you're out of your head"). 
This mimed performance on Belgian TV in 1982 may not have the budget of Frank Black's video, but it's even more compelling.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Junk Garage

Side 2 of a mixtape recorded by my friend Stuart, circa August 1991.

There was an excellent post from JC (could it be anything else?) at The Vinyl Villain on Thursday, titled State Of The Blogging Nation, which provoked a great response from readers and fellow bloggers alike. Whether we read and comment, or write and post, it's the passion for music and the tangible sense of community that keeps bringing us back. I regularly read dozens of music blogs, some of which are updated daily, others weekly, others considerably less so. I try to comment as much as possible, but it's increasingly hard to keep up, especially since committing last year to posting on Dubhed every day for as long as I can keep being inspired.

A guaranteed daily visit is Charity Chic Music as I read with awe about Stevie's latest find for mere pennies in his never' ending search for charity shop gems. Friday's post featured Pere Ubu's 1990 album Worlds In Collision and one of the two songs he showcased was I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue. This was almost certainly the second Pere Ubu song I ever heard (after Waiting For Mary) and came courtesy of another trusty tape from my friend Stuart. We'd been apart for a year whilst I was working and travelling Australia, so this was a kind of "welcome home" mixtape, summing up what he had been listening to recently.
Renegade Soundwave are hugely underappreciated, in my opinion. Actually, I've just realised that this is their first appearance on this blog, so clearly by me too! Soundclash and RSW In Dub were incredible sonic slabs that demanded repeat listening and whilst it was a few years before their respective follow ups, they maintained a singular sound before their premature end. Murder Music is a great example and a perfect opener to Side 2.
Tracks 2 & 3 were lifted directly as the opening two songs on The Island Tape, a Select magazine freebie cassette, but Julian Cope's magnum opus Peggy Suicide was an immediate purchase on my return whilst - bizarrely, in retropect - it was a couple of years later with Bone Machine that I finally bought a Tom Waits album. I borrowed and taped Stuart's copy of Out Of Time but, of course, R.E.M. achieved global domination with this, so I was already familiar with most of the songs from constant radio and MTV rotation.
I was largely ignorant of Bob Dylan at this time (dismissive even, given his association with The Travelling Wilburys), so it was a bold move to an 11-minute epic on, but it paid off. Desolation Row remains one of my favourite Dylan songs. Despite being 3 decades older than most of the other songs, fits perfectly , sandwiched between one of This Mortal Coil's (& Kim Deal's) and R.E.M.'s finest moments.
We saw The Fat Lady Sings supporting The Psychedelic Furs in 1990 and in Stuart's opinion, they were the highlight of the night. He's followed them and subsequently singer/songwriter Nick Kelly's solo exploits ever since.
I've tweaked the playlist slightly, for practical reasons: I don't have the original album version of Aeroplane Blues, only the "LA Mix" from the Volume CD/magazine series. It sounds like a rougher, earlier mix to these untrained ears, but my box of Volume is buried in the attic somewhere so I can't check the detail.
I've also swapped the album version of Hang On St. Christopher from The Island Tape for the USA-only 12" version as (a) you may be less familiar with this one and (b) it bolsters the running time, which was running a bit short on the original tape.

Junk Garage (American pronunciation of the latter) is a phrase taken from R.E.M.'s Country Feedback
Junk Collage (do you see what I did there?) by me, ripped from various magazines and adverts. I can easily spot Buddy Holly and Christian Slater in there. I think the main picture was a toilet wall backdrop to a photo of a music artist, but I've forgotten who.

Some of the typeface has worn away, but you get a sneak preview of what will eventually pop up when I post Side 1. The reason I didn't go with that one today is that the tape opens with an expletive-ridden intro, but one which segues perfectly into a Neil Young & Crazy Horse track. I'm debating whether it stays, goes or is edited in some way before posting. Watch this might be a while.
1) Murder Music (Album Version): Renegade Soundwave (1989)
2) Hang On St. Christopher (Extended Remixed Version By Tchad Blake): Tom Waits (1987)
3) Double Vegetation (Album Version): Julian Cope (1991)
4) You And Your Sister (Cover of Chris Bell): This Mortal Coil ft. Kim Deal & Tanya Donelly (1991)
5) Desolation Row: Bob Dylan (1965)
6) Country Feedback (Album Version): R.E.M. (1991)
7) Aeroplane Blues (LA Mix): The Blue Aeroplanes (1991)
8) Sexy Eiffel Towers: Bow Wow Wow (1980)
9) I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue: Pere Ubu (1990)
10) Twist (Album Version): The Fat Lady Sings (1991)
11) Safesurfer (Reprise): Julian Cope (1991)
1965: Highway 61 Revisited: 5 
1980: Your Cassette Pet: 8
1987: Hang On St. Christopher (USA 12"): 2
1989: Soundclash: 1
1990: Worlds In Collision: 9
1991: Blood: 4 
1991: Out Of Time: 6
1991: Peggy Suicide: 3, 11
1991: Twist: 10
1991: Volume Two: 7
Side Two (45:59) (Box) (Mega)

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Time For Another Party!

I don't often post about an artist in quick succession, but I had unfinished business with Heaven 17. Wednesday's post of Heaven 17 12" mixes was originally intended as a single, 15-track, 90 minute behemoth. I just had one problem: much as I love and wanted to include This Is Mine, I've never been satisfied with any of the 12" versions. 

This Is Mine was originally released on 7", 12" (with fold out poster) and limited remix 12". Across the formats you'll find the Single Version, Extended Version, Mine (an instrumental version), Filmix and Cinemix. The version of the latter on the European 12" is nearly 3 minutes longer than it's UK counterpart, but none of them really do it for me. 
One of my early music blog discoveries in the early 2000s was Dreamtime, picking up the baton of Razormaid, Art Of Mix and their ilk and producing new, ultra-extended re-edits of 1980s classics. I liked the idea, even if the execution was often only as good as the variable source material. The blog was retired in 2012, the victim of numerous DMCA notices, but a few edits subsequently resurfaced on Dreamtime's Soundcloud page and various YouTube places, including this one.

The Dreamtime Mix of This Is Mine is nearly 10 minutes long and starts off brilliantly, switching between different mixes. Ultimately, it's let down by a couple of jarring changes in vinyl source and playing speed and it was far too long for this selection. I ended up creating a very simple edit of my own, essentially taking the Album Version and, inspired by the Dreamtime Mix, overlaying a couple of elements from the end of the Filmix to create a longer intro. In reverse, I also created a reprise to close this selection by taking the Album Version intro and splicing that with an offcut of the Filmix outro. I'm not going to pretend it's any better than the others, but I do at least get a version of This Is Mine that I like and a selection that more or less matches the C90-friendly run time of Wednesday's part 1.

Sandwiched between the coffee-fueled re-edits, you'll find another bunch of Heaven 17 favourites, including a few album tracks that received the remix treatment and appeared as 12" B-sides, as well as 1986's Endless compilation. 
Today's selection is dedicated to Mike and Echorich...East Side, West Side, the world moves on!

1) This Is Mine (Dream Within A Dreamtime Streamix Re-Edit By Khayem) (2022)
2) We Live So Fast (Special Dance Mix) (1983)
3) Play To Win (B.E.F. Disco Mix) (1981)
4) Who'll Stop The Rain (Special Dance Mix) (1983)
5) Penthouse And Pavement (12" Mix) (1981)
6) Trouble (U.S. Club Mix By Bruce Forest) (1987)
7) Let's All Make A Bomb (New Version) (1983)
8) This Is Mine (Filmix Reprise Re-Edit By Khayem) (2022)
1981: Penthouse And Pavement (12"): 5
1981: Play To Win (12"): 3 
1983: Come Live With Me (12"): 7
1983: Temptation (12"): 2, 4 
1987: Double Trouble (limited edition double pack 12"): 6
2022: This Is Mine (Khayem Re-Edits) (MP3): 1, 8

Friday, 21 January 2022

Always Be At Peace With Your Soul, You Were Never Alone

To ease you into the weekend, a selection of dancehall grooves from the 1990s, featuring three UK Top 5 hits (Dawn Penn, Bob Marley & The Wailers and Aswad), one Top 15 single (Sly & Robbie) and, surprisingly, one Top 40 (Mishka).  
I say surprisingly for the latter, as I remember rolling my eyes when I first saw the video for Give You All The Love on The Chart Show. Adding grist to the mill, it was released in 1999 by a then-sinking Creation Records (they sunk that same year). A few years later, I spotted the CD single in a record shop and it was the remixes by Mad Professor and Bristol legends Smith & Mighty - and the 50p price tag - that convinced me to give it another go. I'm glad I did; I generally skip the album version, but the remixes are great. For all you trivia fans out there, Miska is the brother of Heather Nova.

In just under an hour, you get the brilliance of Adrian Sherwood, Bim Sherman and Jah Wobble, a 'lost' Marley song rediscovered a decade after his passing, and a version of Aswad's 2nd biggest hit that may appease those who thought they'd sold out by getting Beatmasters to remix the main 7" and 12" singles. Danny Red may be familiar to any of you with a copy of Leftfield's incredible Leftism album, as he contributed vocals to Inspection (Check One).
I don't usually comment on the accompanying photo but, in keeping with the relaxed rhythms of today's selection, I was working in Coleford the other day, a town in the heart of the Forest Of Dean. In a similarly relaxed style, I was tickled to see that they've been in no hurry to take down their Christmas neons. Either that, or it's taking this sentiment far too literally...
1) Solid As A Rock (Hexadecimal Remix Full Length By Steve Osborne): Bim Sherman (1996)
2) Night Nurse (Jah Wobble 12" Mix) (Cover of Gregory Isaacs): Sly & Robbie ft. Simply Red (1997)
3) Mammoth Galactica (Album Version By Audio Active & Adrian Sherwood): Audio Active ft. David Harrow (1995)
4) You Don't Love Me (No, No, No) (Extended Mix By Steely & Clevie): Dawn Penn (1994)
5) Iron Lion Zion (12" Mix By): Bob Marley & The Wailers (1992)
6) Riddimwize (Part II - Re-Assess Your Style) (Remix By Nick Manasseh, Martin Madhatter & Peps): Danny Red (1994)
7) Shine (Majorwad Mix By Aswad & Carlton 'Bubblers' Ogilvie): Aswad (1994)
8) Give You All The Love (Smith And Mighty Club Mix): Mishka (1999)

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Amazing Dave

Celebrating my friend Dave Scantlebury, 11th December 1957 to 20th January 2009. 

We first met in 1998, both working for the regional careers service, based in Bristol. Dave was in ICT, although I quickly learned that in his case it was most probably an acronym for irreverent, cool and tireless. We worked together for nearly 10 years and in that time must have shared thousands of hours of music, either swapping our latest finds and purchases, CD rips of DIY mixtapes or DJ mixes or experiencing it firsthand at various venues around Bristol and Bath. 

Dave changed jobs in the mid-2000s and we kept in touch. One of the last gigs we saw was Green Gartside at the Arnolfini in June 2007 as part of the Venn Festival. In truth, it was the full Scritti Politti band, 9 songs in roughly 45 minutes. One of the best gigs we'd ever heard. 

I attended Dave's service at South Bristol Crematorium on 29th January 2009. There was much to celebrate about his life and, of course, he curated his final playlist and it was impeccable.

In 2010, Anita Blay aka CocknBullKid released her variation on Amazing Grace. This may be the only song in my collection that includes the name Dave in the title, but it's a good one.

and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still

the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.


Amazing Dave: cocknbullkid (2010)

Cheers, Dave