The Hustle

This is new from Lambchop and is pretty remarkable- an eighteen minute long meditation utilising a stuttering drum machine, some pretty little melodies on piano and woodwind and Kurt Wagner’s rueful voice. It’s a tribute to the dance of the same name, witnessed by Kurt at a wedding, it’s not country soul they are known for and sounds like autumn is just around the corner.

It’s Wonderful

A few weeks ago Strictly Rockers did a guest posting as part of The Vinyl Villain’s Imaginary Compilation Album series, a ten track compilation of the Durutti Column. Strictly Rockers focused on the Factory years and did a great job. I had been planning my own Durutti Column ICA and didn’t get around to completing it but it wouldn’t have been too different from SR’s. Mine would have included-

Sketch for Summer
Otis
For Belgian Friends
The Missing Boy
Home
Contra Indications (The Together Mix)
Silence
Sketch For Dawn

Which gets me to eight songs and two to mull over. SR stuck to the Factory releases and I had intended to include some post-Factory material. Since Factory went bust Vini Reilly has put out at least fifteen albums for other record labels including the short lived Factory Too. I wouldn’t pretend to have an expert knowledge of them all but have kept my hand in, dipping in and out over the years. 2008’s Sunlight To Blue… Blue To Blackness had a beautiful little tune called So Many Crumbs And Monkeys which was on my ICA shortlist. A principal contender for my ICA would be this one from 2006’s Keep Breathing album which a friend posted on social media a few days ago, reminding me of it. Before I go any further, just give it a spin…

See?
I don’t know where to begin with this song- it defies description. Heavy bursts of rhythm guitar. Soaring melodies. A voice floating in and out. Tremelo. Vini’s own voice whispering in the background. All building upwards towards the light. Stunning. And proof that Vini’s well continued to contain deep water long into his third decade of making ‘silly little tunes’. The rest of Keep Breathing has plenty of other brilliant moments too.

I have no idea if anyone makes any pennies off their Factory recordings anymore- who owns them? New Order got a record deal elsewhere and their back catalogue gets re-issued all the time. Happy Mondays got their stuff licensed or bought up by a major. Does the rest of the Factory roster see any cash for their music? I have no idea. However this album and this song are commercially available at various legal download sites, which I should imagine Vini benefits from. Vini has been hit by poor health and financial trouble in recent years and is currently unable to play the guitar which is incredibly sad for such a unique, talented and expressive artist. So I’m not giving you a free download of this- if you like it, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t, go and give Vini some of your cash in exchange for It’s Wonderful. Cos it is.

Chilled To The Bone

It’s over a year since I lasted posted anything by the Reid brothers. Over a year! Slap my wrists and confiscate my scuffed suede Chelsea boots immediately. The video for Sidewalking came my way on social media the other day and what a truly great record it is, maybe their greatest. Released in March 1988, a stand alone single which marries industrial noise with hip hop drumbeats (sampled from Roxanne Shante) and lyrics about missing the last bus home. The extended version from the 12″ is double the length and double the fun.

Sidewalking (Extended)

And here’s the video.

Bobby Selassie And Primal Jah

Primal Scream’s Chaosmosis album from earlier this year didn’t really do too much for me- it was alright but nothing special. This however is the best thing they’ve put their name to for a long time. Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre has remixed 100% Or Nothing into a nine and a half minutes long psychedelic dub odyssey, spaced out with dubby bass, disjointed backing vocals, a melodica wending its way through and lots of echo…echo…echo. It’s coming out on limited edition clear vinyl on Friday. Really good.

Ya

Factory Floor- messy decorators, don’t ask them to do your front room. You could ask them to provide you with some good music though. They’ve slimmed down to a two piece and on their new album 25 25 they’ve moved away from the industrial noise of their earlier records to an acid house sound- stripped back with bouncing basslines, analogue synths, acid squiggles and squelches, the tsk tsk tsk of high hats, an 808 snare, a thumping kick drum and some very minimal vocals (‘Ya’, ‘work work work’). Much of this album sounds like it could have been made and played in any dance club anywhere between 1988 and 2003 but it more than gets away with it- retro but forward thinking. I suspect I shall be playing this for some time.

New Song

Ahead of a new album (Heads Up) in Setember warpaint have released a new song called New Song. On first listen I was a little disappointed- it seemed a bit lightweight, their languid, rolling grooves replaced by something much poppier (not that I’m against poppier). However it’s really grown on me, especially since picking it up on 7″ where on a proper stereo rather than computer speakers the bass has room and the rhythm hits the spot.

And They’re Ringing The Bells All Over The City

Yesterday was Joe Strummer’s birthday. He would have been sixty four. His passing in 2002 seems a long time ago now. I’ve no doubt he would have had a lot to to say about the world as it has unfolded over the last fourteen years, more songs to write and records to release, more places to tour, constant offers to reform The Clash. So it goes. This song does a typical Strummer trick, taking the commonplace (a nitcomb), building some versus and a chorus around it with some typically Joe street-poetry touches, and turning it into something affecting and real, a song of devotion.

Nitcomb

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