Thursday 31 March 2022

Stranger Than The Strange Things You Believe

Another year, another new Momus album. Smudger is released, appropriately enough, on 1st April 2022. By my count at least, this is his 28th solo album (not counting collaborations, live albums or compilations) since 1986. 
In October 2021, I reviewed Momus' previous album and a couple of new songs, only one of which (Orchestras) has subsequently made it to Smudger.

Lifting the promo blurb from Momus' own website, "The title refers to the act of deliberately making something blurred or dirty, and (this being Momus) also to David Bowie's album Lodger. Other cultural figures referenced range from Harry Champion to Benjamin Britten, and topics swing from insects to influencers to isolation."
It's a 17 track, 55 minute "double album" (were it available on vinyl, which sadly it's not) and from a couple of preview listens, Momus is reassuringly inspired as ever. The opening couple of songs are reminiscent of 1992's Voyager, which together with the following year's Timelord was about as close as Momus ever got to dance music. Musically, it's more familiar territory from there on in, but none the worse for it.

Lyrically, in addition to the wide ranging references and topics above, Momus retains a focus on sex, bodily functions and human failings with his usual flair for language and wit.

If you're not moved by Momus' previous work, this is very unlikely to be the album to change your mind. If you're completely new to Momus, then this is as good a starting point as some of his earlier albums on Creation Records. Don't be daunted by the vast back catalogue, I only have a relatively small number of Momus songs and no realistic prospect of owning the lot, but it's always rewarding when I dive into this sea of songs.
Over the last few months, Momus has been uploading videos for each of Smudger's songs to his YouTube page, so you can listen to the entire album here or individual tracks via the links below. The lyrics are also available on the iMomus website, to accompany your listening and viewing experience.
Returning to the press releases, "What exactly is Smudger smudging, then? With a joyful, playful smear the album blurs past and present, self and other, tradition and innovation, mockery and respect. On the smudging finger, though, always the distinctive Momus print."

Smudger is available on CD or MP3 via the Darla Records website.

Wednesday 30 March 2022

I'm Gonna Love You 'Til The Stars Fall From The Sky

The Soft Parade, The Doors' fourth album from 1969, was not particularly beloved on release and failed to make the UK album charts. It was departure from what had gone before: a much pop-oriented sound, tons of brass and strings piled onto the songs, half of which were written by guitar player Robbie Krieger.

I have a lot of love for the album, in particular some of the out-and-out pop songs like Tell All The People and Wishful Sinful. A particular favourite is Touch Me, which remains one of my favourite Doors songs, full stop. The song is guaranteed to lift my spirits from the opening seconds of Ray Manzarek's insistent bass-and-piano keyboard stabs.

I bought the Dance On Fire VHS compilation in the late 1980s, which was the first time I got to see The Doors' performance of Touch Me on US TV, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on 6th December 1968. It's a wonderful display, opening with a close-up hands shot of Manzarek's keyboard playing, before the reveal of the band with brass ensemble, with (I assume) saxophonist Curtis Amy on a plinth above them all, braced for the climatic solo. Morrison seems at turns focused and out of it and may well have been both at various points during the performance, but is a compelling watch, which makes the frequent cutaways to less engaging musical stances a little strange. 
The bit that everyone seems to notice and remember though is that Robby Krieger is sporting a black eye. There have been many myths over the years about how he got it, the most popular (but incorrect) story being that he was on the receiving end of Jim Morrison's fist. Krieger understandably waited until the publication of his memoir before finally putting those myths to bed, but it fed into the mystique of the band and Morrison's reputation as a wild man, on the edge.
Touch Me is a reminder that The Doors were also capable of incredibly beautiful moments, too. And yes, pop songs. And why not? 
Today's song title was completely at random but resonates in a different, less positive way with The Oscars earlier this week. I didn't watch it, I haven't for many years, but of course I've seen the clip since. What a strange world we live in.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Nightclubbing At Home

Back to June 2001 and the last of Andrew Weatherall's Bloodsugar mixes, which had kicked off with a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix in October 1996.
A 14-track, CD-length mix, it seems to represent a recent trip to Germany, as Weatherall's DJ bag is chock full of up-to-the minute German 12" singles and albums, with the occasional US import from the likes of Carl Craig aka Paperclip People and Gerard Hanson aka Convextion. 
Just the tonic for those long days, weeks and months spent at home for the past couple of years. I think it's fair to say that my clubbing days are now continually receding into the past but, every now and then, the urge for a solo at-home disco is irresistible.

1) I'd Like To Hear This: Readymade FC (Bold) (2001)
2) Together (Album Version): Kid606 (PS I Love You) (2000)
3) Got Anythin': SCSI-9 (Cozmoport 12") (2001)
4) Spaceload: Rafael Gomez (Alienbar 12") (2001)
5) From Dub Til Dawn: Terry Lee Brown Jr. (From Dub Til Dawn) (2000)
6) Nightclubbing At Home: MRI (Nightclubbing At Home 12") (2001)
7) Wildpitch: Benjamin Wild (Wellness EP 12") (1999)
8) Lo Soleil: Gez Varley (Bayou Paradis) (2001)
9) Soul Gate: Gez Varley (Bayou Paradis) (2001)
10) Umschwung (Dub Taylor Remix By Alexander Krüger): Dorian Paic (Umschwung 12") (2001)
11) The Climax (Basic Reshape) (Remix By Basic Channel aka Moritz Von Oswald & Mark Ernestus): Paperclip People (The Climax 12" by Carl Craig) (2001)
12) unidentified
13) Venus In Spurs: Convextion (Venus In Spurs 12") (2000)
14) Breathe Part 1 & 2: Readymade FC (Bold) (2001)
Note: I've trawled the internet and I'm still unable to identify track 12, which kicks in at 57:30. If anyone can oblige, I'd be very grateful!

Monday 28 March 2022

Though I've Heard It Before, Still I Need You More And More

Last week, Arte France posted The Jesus & Mary Chain performing live on Wednesday 8th December 2021. 

I saw them live in concert once at the Studio in Bristol on Tuesday 14th November 1989. I think by then they had almost doubled their setlist and performance time from the early days to a now almost-respectable one hour.

This is a similarly brisk set, nine songs in just under half an hour, with only a couple that I remember from the 1989 set, Nine Million Rainy Days and Taste Of Cindy. Visually, I've not really seen pictures of Jim and William Reid for nearly two decades, so it's a shock to see that they've aged at the same rate as me.

For all that, the odd setting, the muted and masked audience... it sounds fantastic and immediately got me sorting out a J&MC playlist.

Sunday 27 March 2022

Mother's Day

So, if I was a little more organised and planned these blog posts way in advance, I might well have held over last Sunday's Cleo Sol selection for today. After all, Cleo is a mother, her most recent album is called Mother and her sounds are perfectly suited to a loved up Sunday.

But I'm not and I didn't. So, instead I've taken things quite literally and gone back to the 1990s for the pumped up club sounds of Mother aka Jools Brettle and Lee Fisher.

In my defence, the clocks went forward in the UK, signalling the start of British Summertime but in reality meaning that we've all lost an hour's sleep. Ergo, I think some phat beats and uptempo tunes are exactly what's needed to get everybody in the mood. Oh, hang on a mo, I can hear someone calling me...

"What's that?"
"You're trying to sleep?"
"Can I turn that racket down?"

Sigh, back to the drawing board...
1) Funk Bomb (Zero Tolerance Club Mix): Mother (1998)
2) Get Back (E-Lustrious Mix By Daniel Bennett & Michael Kirwin): Mother (1994)
3) I Like it (Mother Vocal Mix): D:Ream (1993)
4) All Funked Up (Mothers Favourite Mix By Jools Brettle, Lee Fisher & Joe Stevens): Mother ft. Denise Johnson (1993)
5) Vehicle (Mother's Vor Sprung Durch Tech Mix): Secret Life (1996)
6) Los Americanos (Mother Mix): Espiritu (1993)
7) Generations Of Love (Mother's Vocal Mix): Jesus Loves You (1998)
8) Stars (Mother Dub Mix) ('Disgraceful' Extended Album Version): Dubstar (1996)
9) Near The Black Forest (Mother's Quality Time Mix): Vanessa Daou (1995)

Saturday 26 March 2022

Soul Tight

Side 1 of a mixtape, compiled sometime in February 2000. Time for some sweet Saturday sounds.
This is essentially an edited and re-sequenced selection from the 1998 budget price CD Soul Brother, which I would have picked up on CD for a few quid from Woolworths, along with a Northern Soul compilation which I filleted for Side 2.

It's chock full of classics, many of which I grew listening to courtesy of my parents' Ronco and K-Tel chart hits albums. The songs also crept into my collection over the years, having been covered by the likes of Bryan Ferry, Massive Attack, Talking Heads, Sade, The Jam and, er, Wag Ya Tail and New Kids On The Block. Alright, alright, I didn't have the latter, but my friend's sister did and it was bloody annoying hearing that when all we wanted was R.E.M., The Smiths or Julian Cope.

The cheap and cheerful CD section in Woolies was a great way of sampling genres, before investing further in an artist's albums and Soul Brother was one of the better examples, even if it did have a rather crap cover.
1) Expansions (Album Version): Lonnie Liston Smith ft. The Cosmic Echoes (1975)
2) Feel The Need In Me: Detroit Emeralds (1971)
3) Move On Up (Single Version): Curtis Mayfield (1971)
4) Have You Seen Her (Album Version): The Chi-Lites (1971)
5) I Need It: Johnny Guitar Watson (1976)
6) Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time): The Delfonics (1970)
7) Be Thankful For What You've Got (Part 1): William DeVaughn (1973)
8) Love T.K.O.: Teddy Pendergrass (1980)
9) Walking In Rhythm: The Blackbyrds (1974)
10) Take Me To The River: Al Green (1974)
11) Why Can't We Live Together (Album Version): Timmy Thomas (1972)

1970: The Delfonics: 6
1971: (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People: 4
1971: Move On Up EP: 3
1971: You Want It, You Got It: 2 
1972: Why Can't We Live Together: 11
1973: Be Thankful For What You've Got: 7
1974: Explores Your Mind: 10
1974: Flying Start: 9
1975: Expansions: 1
1976: Ain't That A Bitch: 5 
1980: TP: 8

Friday 25 March 2022

Every Brother Is A Star, Every Sister Is A Star

Into the weekend with some off-kilter sounds inspired by the teachings of dub. 
Some will be the usual suspects - Primal Scream vs. Adrian Sherwood, The Orb - some will be less obvious. Alisha's Attic and Bangles are not names that immediately spring to mind, yet Talvin Singh and Todd Terje respectively work their magic, transforming lightweight pop into heavyweight dub collossi.

The feedback-drenched, disturbing dub of Retribution Gospel Choir, formed by Low's Alan Sparhawk, is offset by the less dubby, more reggae sunsplash sounds of Au Revoir Simone.
The closing track by The Orb is a highlight of the excellent Live 93 album. The promo 12" version included here extends the album version by a further four minutes, to blissful effect.

1) Revolutionary aka Star (Dub) (Remix By Adrian Sherwood): Primal Scream (1997)
2) Air We Breathe (Talvin Singh Dub Mix): Alisha's Attic (1997)
3) Dub Like An Egyptian (Todd Terje Edit): Bangles (2010)
4) Shine Eye Dub #3: Retribution Gospel Choir (2006)
5) The Last One (Mack Winston Dub Remix): Au Revoir Simone (2010)
6) Towers Of Dub (Live Orbient 3 September 1993 - Long Version): The Orb (1993)

1993: Towers Of Dub / Blue Room (promo 12"): 6
1997: Air We Breathe EP: 2
1997: Echo Dek: 1
2006: Tour EP #2: 4
2010: Night Light: 5
2010: TTJ Edits #208 (bootleg 12"): 3

Thursday 24 March 2022

...But When You Want Me, It Might Be A Different Story

Following my sideways reference to him in last month's post about cover versions of Nelly's Hot In Herre, today's selection is firmly focused on Canadian DJ & producer Tiga Sontag.
Another artist that I've lost touch with in recent years, although a quick scan of t'internet indicates that although his third album was in 2016, Tiga has released a steady stream of singles in the years since, in addition to DJing, production and running the Turbo Recordings label.
I only have one Tiga album, the 2CD deluxe edition of debut Sexor, so today's selection draws heavily on this. You also get a few collaborations with Soulwax (or one of the Dewaele brothers, at least), a Chromeo rework and a nice update of The DFA remix by Mojo Filter aka Ben Zaven Crane. In between, two answerphone messages, some nice chunky beats and basslines, wrapping up with the song that supplies today's post title, featuring The Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears.
Strap in and enjoy the ride.
1) Good As Gold (Album Version By Tiga & Soulwax) (2006)
2) Pleasure From The Bass (2006)
3) Burning Down (No! No! No!) (2003)*
4) What You Need (Chromeo Remix) (2010)
5) Jamaican Boa (ft. David M.) (2006)
6) (Far From) Home (Mojo Filter Returneth Re-Love) (2018)
7) Move My Body (Only4Erol Mix By David Dewaele) (2006)
8) "Tiga's answerphone" (2006)
9) Time 2 Kill (2007)
10) You Gonna Want Me (12 Inch Dance Mix By Tiga, Soulwax & Jesper Dahlbäck) (ft. Jake Shears) (2007)
* also known as Burning Down (London's Burning) or Burning Down (TGV Remix)
2003: Burning Down EP: 3
2006: Move My Body EP: 7
2006: Sexor: 1, 2, 5, 8
2007: Sexor (2CD Deluxe Edition): 9
2007: You Gonna Want Me EP: 10
2010: What You Need EP: 4
2018: Modern Re-Loves Volume 4: 6

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Big In Japan

Songs mixed, remixed or featuring artists from Japan, including a Yellow Magic Orchestra reunion of sorts (a tenuous link as they all feature on separate tracks). 

Six songs, just over half an hour and nearly four decades. Enjoy!

1) A Song For Yukiko: TrIcky ft. Yukiko Takahashi & John Suzuki (2001)
2) Voce Seconda (Haruomi Hosono Remix): Ennio Morricone (2003)
3) Out Here (Mix By Susumu Yokota): HiM (2002)
4) Flying Tiger (Zongamin Remix By Susumu Mukai): Dreems (2021)
5) Insect Collector (Remix By Ryuichi Sakamoto): Shonen Knife (1997)
6) 又会う日まで / God Be With You Till We Meet Again (Mixed By Yasuhiko Terada & Yukihiro Takahashi): Yen Artists (1985)
1985: Yen Memorial Album: 6
1997: Super Mix: 5
2001: Blowback: 1
2002: HiM Remix Series #1: Japan EP: 3
2003: Ennio Morricone Remixes Volume 2: 2
2021: Flying Tiger EP: 4

Big In Japan (32:36) (Box) (Mega)

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Do You Remember How We Used To Live?

A live version of How We Used To Live by Saint Etienne from the Trumpton Comes Alive EP popped up on my playlist shuffle, the first time I've heard this version since 2013. Even more surprising is that both the performance and the original version are from 2000. It really doesn't feel - or sound - that long ago.

When it was released as a teaser single for fifth album, Sound Of Water, How We Used To Live was seen as something of a departure from Saint Etienne's pop template. To anyone who'd followed their albums as well as their singles, it was perhaps less of a shock.
The single was available as a 5-track CD, with the full length 9-minute version, a couple of new tracks, and a pair of remixes, including a very rare outing in this capacity for Dot Allison.
The live version from the Trumpton Comes Alive EP doesn't appear to be available online, so here's another performance from 7 weeks later, when Saint Etienne touched down in the USA. This is Saint Etienne touring as a full band and, as with the album, How We Used To Live is presented as the set's penultimate song, stretched out to nearly 11 minutes. I can ignore the off-key moments as it's an otherwise wonderful performance.
I've never seen Saint Etienne live in concert, but I made my one and only trip to the legendary BBC Radio 1 Roadshow on 2nd May 1994, when it pitched up on Castle Green in Bristol, to see them do a PA. It was a gloriously hot and sunny day, as early May bank holidays always seem to be and... I have absolutely no recollection of their performance. I'm guessing they performed Pale Movie and/or Like A Motorway from Tiger Bay, but I was most likely very, very drunk by that time. 

The only other artist on the line-up of any interest to me and my friends would have been Credit To The Nation, though apparently we were also treated to Ant & Dec, now TV institutions, then in their PJ & Duncan days and about to go massive with Let's Get Ready To Rhumble. If we didn't heckle them, we almost certainly would have given DJ Mark Goodier some stick. How We Used To Live, indeed.

To try and pull this back to Saint Etienne, 2021's excellent I've Been Trying To Tell You was their highest charting album in the UK since Tiger Bay.

Monday 21 March 2022

Looking For That Thrill In The Nothing

I love Fever, the latest single by Aldous Harding, itself a striking vocal departure from previous single, Lawn. 

The familiar chord sequences provide an immediate earworm and instinct to break into a jerky dance wherever you might happen to be (actually, the latter bit might just be me).

Fourth album, Warm Chris, is out on Friday and it promises to be a doozy.

Fever, when we met at hotel reception
Never have I been so tired
You said, "You bet"
Guess we did what the other expected
Eleven, eleven days in the heat of the city
Together, I had stars coming all around me
And you let, let me in where a mother invested
I still stare at you in the dark
Looking for that thrill in the nothing
All my favorite places are bars
Lover, don't you run at the easy part now
The weather opened up like a birthday card
And we forget one will fight if the other's connected
I still stare at you in the dark
Looking for that thrill in the nothing
All my favorite places are bars
Fever, when we met at hotel reception
Never have I been so tired
You said, "You bet"
Guess we did what the other expected
Eleven, eleven days in the heat of the city
Together, I had stars coming all around me
And you let, let me in where a mother invested
I still stare at you in the dark
Looking for that thrill in the nothing
You know my favorite place is the start

Sunday 20 March 2022


I can't think of a better way to celebrate Sunday than with the sweet sounds of Cleo Sol
This started off as a potential Imaginary Compilation Album for The Vinyl Villain, so you'll find the 10-song selection at the end of this post has been split into two sides, as per the ICA format. However, this seemed like absolutely the right post for today. In truth, there's an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Cleo Sol's music, so I could easily come up with another ICA without repeating a single track from today's selection.
Late as ever to the party, I discovered her voice last year via another belated introduction to the incredible albums by SAULT. Well, allegedly, as the mysterious collective headed by producer Inflo aka Dean Josiah Cover don't actually credit Cleo (or any other collaborators, for that matter) on their five albums to date. 

However, Cleo does make credited appearances on tracks by Little Simz (also produced by Inflo), including Woman, one of many standouts from last year's Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. 

Both Little Simz and SAULT featured in my favourite albums of 2021 posts. Had I got my act together and bought them sooner, Cleo's two solo albums - Rose In The Dark (2020) and Mother (2021) - would surely have been in the respective year's lists. As it is, I only purchased both of them earlier this month and they've been on regular circulation ever since. Better late than never, I guess. 

I've since discovered that there are two phases to Cleo Sol's music career. The current phase started in 2018 with the Winter Songs EP. Cleo performed the song Why Don't You for COLORS just over three years ago and it's a thing of understated beauty, both in voice and performance.
Cleo followed up with a couple of singles in 2019, One and Sweet Blue. Unlike Why Don't You, neither made it onto her debut album, more a comment on the sheer quality of the songs that she had amassed for selection by 2020.
Cleo Sol previously released music between 2008 and 2012, initially guesting on singles by Tinie Tempah and DaVinche, this 'first phase' much more poppy in nature. Great summery sounds if a little by-the-numbers, to be honest, as evidenced by debut solo single High.

High (Remix): Cleo Sol ft. Gappy Ranks (2011) 

For the follow up single in 2012, Never The Right Time (Who Do You Love), Cleo went full-on Beyoncé. Again, a really catchy, slickly-produced song that should've been a hit but with a sense that there wasn't a real understanding of Cleo's full potential.

During a 5-year break from releasing music, Cleo connected with Inflo, and the sheer volume of music that's come from this collaboration, whether with SAULT, guesting with Little Simz or on her two solo albums is astonishing in it's breadth and quality. There's a depth and maturity in Cleo's voice and songwriting, enhanced by a sympathetic producer at the top of his game. No surprise that Adele turned to Inflo for a few songs on her latest album. I have little to no interest in Adele, to be honest, and in a fair world, Cleo Sol would similarly be shifting record-breaking numbers of her albums too.
So, make a drink, sit back, enjoy the sunshine and immerse yourself in the sounds of Cleo Sol. Just don't forget to buy her music afterwards, you won't regret it.   

By coincidence, after completing this post, I discovered that it's Cleo's birthday on 24th March. Many happy returns!
Side One
1) Sunshine: Cleo Sol (2021)
2) Free: SAULT (2020)
3) Wildfires: SAULT (2020)
4) Don't Let It Go To Your Head: Cleo Sol (2021)
5) Light's In Your Hands: SAULT (2021)

Side Two
1) When I'm In Your Arms: Cleo Sol (2020)
2) No Bullshit: SAULT (2019)
3) Protect My Energy: Little Simz (2021)
4) Rewind: Cleo Sol (2020)
5) We Need You: Cleo Sol (2021)
Side One (22:17) (KF) (Mega)
Side Two (22:08) (KF) (Mega)
Parental advisory: some cussing and blinding, particularly on Side Two. 

Cleo Sol on Soundcloud
Buy Cleo Sol and SAULT on Bandcamp

Saturday 19 March 2022

Still Praying To The Skies...!

Side 2 of a mixtape, originally recorded 20th July 1992.
When I previously posted Side 1 in July last year, it was with no commentary or fanfare. It was a couple of months into challenging myself to post every day, maybe I was tired, maybe I was late for work and didn't have the time to wax lyrical. Either way, I did a disservice as I really, really love this mixtape.

It's a snapshot in time: after a year travelling, I was a year into my second attempt at A-Levels and college, having dropped out six months into my previous attempt; I was also back home living with my parents "out in the sticks" (boo! hiss!) but I was in love with a beautiful woman (back off, Dr. Hook!). More importantly, I had my own set of wheels. Whilst I could barely afford to keep the car on the road, any money left over from my part-time job went on music and recreation.

I'd hear very little of the "club music" selected here when I was out and about, but it was the sound track to my excursions to and from college and occasional nights out in Bristol and Bath, when taxi fares were prohibitive and city centre bedsit flops were limited. I think I had less success in converting my girlfriend and other college compadres - The Levellers, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Ozric Tentacles, Nirvana were more popular choices - but there was little denying the get-up-and-dance joy of, say, Opus III.

This isn't the first appearance of the 12" Mix of It's A Fine Day, written by Edward Barton and originally performed as a straight a cappella by Jane Lancaster in 1983. Opus III gave the song a trance overhaul, but it's Kirsty Hawkshaw's vocals that define this song. 
Side 1 contained several heavy hitters, starting off with In Yer Face by 808 State and taking in the mighty Hypnotone Mix of Cascades by Sheer Taft and Andrew Weatherall's unbeatable mix of Don't Fight It, Feel It by Primal Scream. The rest of the side saw several 1970s and 1980s artists rejuvenated by the exploding electronica and dance scene - Cabaret Voltaire, The Cure and Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy as System 7. Even the fey indie popsters were declaring there had always been a dance element to their music, in this case, Frazier Chorus to surprisingly good effect.

Side 2 similarly starts with 808 State, this time with indie darling Björk, and the start of what was the end of one partnership (with The Sugarcubes) and the beginning of another (with Graham Massey and other like-minded dance producers). There's less of Björk on this mix, but it's brilliant all the same.
Rainbow was the first Sly & Lovechild I heard, courtesy of a great remix by Mark Moore. It was a few years before I was able to track down the debut 12" and Andrew Weatherall remix, but Rainbow was an equally great single. A shame that chart success eluded the duo.
The Deee-Lite remix was taken from my girlfriend's copy of the Groove Is In The Heart 12" single, which was already popping and crackling like a breakfast cereal a year on. Likewise, my brother had the original Deconstruction 12" of Temple Head, which introduced me to an enduring love of Transglobal Underground and consequently, Nation Records.
I'd heard of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, but I don't think I was particularly aware of Faith Healer at the time I bought this. My motivation was probably that Recoil was the solo project of Alan Wilder, formerly of Depeche Mode. Here, he's joined by Nitzer Ebb's Douglas McCarthy on vocals, with a ton of remixes on the 12" and CD singles. This one by Moby in his Barracuda guise, is the standout.
The selection closes with Treaty by Australian collective Yothu Yindi. I was in Australia when this song exploded. Aside from the fact that it was the first song by a predominantly Aboriginal band to chart in Australia and features significant portions sung in Gumatj, it was a perfectly timed song, protesting the lack of progress on the treaty between Aboriginal peoples and the Australian federal government, promised to be in place by 1990. Treaty initially didn't make the desired impact, but the subsequent remix by Filthy Lucre took it to the clubs and the singles chart. The song also had a global impact and the UK release sported remixes by William Orbit and K-Klass. The Filthy Lucre remixes remain the essential purchases. 
The inclusion of The Jesus & Mary Chain's Jim Reid as the mixtape cover star is slightly harder to explain. I can only assume that this was the only available clipping from my copies of NME or Melody Maker of someone looking up to, and thereby potentially praying to the skies. Sometimes, I was just that literal.

1) Ooops (Mellow Birds Remix): 808 State ft. Björk (1991)
2) Rainbow (Green Mix By Phil Nicholas & Doug Martin): Sly & Lovechild (1991)
3) What Is Love? (Holographic Goatee Mix By Satoshi Tomiie): Deee-Lite (1990)
4) Faith Healer (Barracuda Mix By Moby) (Cover of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band): Recoil ft. Douglas McCarthy (1992)
5) Temple Head (Zenana Mix By Aki Nawaz & Paul Tipler): Transglobal Underground (1991)
6) It's A Fine Day (12" Mix) (Cover of Jane): Opus III (1991)
7) Open Up Your Head (Vocalfield Mix By Leftfield): If? (1991)
8) Treaty (Filthy Lucre Remix By Gavin Campbell, Paul Main & Robert Goodge): Yothu Yindi (1991)

Side One here

Friday 18 March 2022

When Copey Met Wiggy

I loathed the BBC 1 prime time evening chat shows, including Terry 'Wiggy' Wogan, though I will confess that his increasingly drunken commentary frequently lightened up an otherwise heavy going Eurovision Song Contest.

However, it was a family viewing staple in the 1980s, mainly with the dinner-on-a-tray, sat on the sofa set up, which at least promised the hope of finishing and escaping to my room before the soaps kicked in.

There was an occasional glimmer of hope with some of the guests, although the banal banter would often be excruciating to sit through. Better was the even more occasional music performance that was an artist or song that I actually liked. 

Whoever was responsible for booking Julian Cope to perform Charlotte Anne in 1988 may not have got a promotion on the back of it (more likely the sack) but it was a rare gem in the muck.

It's an unusually restrained performance from the Arch Drude and his image at this point was about as 'mainstream' as it ever got, but it's a joy to see him, Donald Ross Skinner, James Eller, KR Frost, Rooster Cosby (RIP) and Mike Joyce on a BBC stage. 

No surprise, though, that guest Auberon Waugh thought it was utter rubbish. Wogan's comments have been lost in the mists of time.

Thursday 17 March 2022

Like A Grain Of Sand Lost In Your Storm

I've been listening to GusGus' 2007 album Forever this week, which has prompted today's random half-dozen. 

The selection opens with one of the many remixes of 2011 single Over. This one's a collaboration between Carmine Conte & Matteo Milleri (aka Tale Of Us) and Douglas Benford & Ben 'Benge' Edwards (aka Tennis). 1999 single Ladyshave also gets an external overhaul, this time courtesy of Tim 'Love' Lee
Closing proceedings is an excellent live version of Arabian Horse, performed in Reykjavik for KEXP. You can find the full four-song set on YouTube and it's well worth a visit.

We were fortunate enough to have a short visit to Iceland in October 2016, taking in the usual tourist sights in a few days. It seems like forever since we were there, but at the same time certain moments seem like yesterday. A beautiful landscape like nothing I'd ever seen before and totally captivating. Something about the environment also seems to inspire and motivate music to move you or make you move. GusGus is a prime example of this.

1) Over (Life And Death Remix By Tale Of Us & Tennis) (2011)
2) MallFlowers (2007)
3) Purple (Album Version) (1997)
4) Ladyshave (Fully Bearded Mix By Tim 'Love' Lee) (1999)
5) Dominique (Album Version) (1999)
6) Arabian Horse (Live @ KEX Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland, 10 December 2011)