Monday’s Long Song

At 14.44 Sabres Of Paradise’s Clock Factory is a very long song, a whole side of vinyl on 1993’s Sabresonic album. Long songs like this can drift is you’re not careful, the mind starts to wander, thoughts of the day ahead or what went wrong yesterday take over. But Clock Factory is more focused than that, too disquieting to be truly ambient, too engaging to lose focus. Weatherall, Kooner and Burns taking a trip into the murk before surfacing into the light at the far end.

Clock Factory

Soon

My Bloody Valentine made the four piece indie guitar band sound like something else entirely with their 1988 album Isn’t Anything. There were other bands in a similar area- Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth for two- but they don’t really sound like what Kevin Shields, Colm O’ Ciosoig, Belinda Butcher and Debbie Googe were doing.  MBV’s 1990 single (and a year later Loveless album closer) Soon is another thing again.

Soon

Shields found a new way of playing and most people assumed it involved tons of pedals but apparently not. Shields mainly just used open strings and tunings and the tremelo bar. In the studio (or multiple studios in the case of Loveless) Shields sent his guitar through one amp, his and Belinda’s vocals split through different amps and mics and made a huge sound. The drums on Soon sound sampled, played by Colm but in pieces and then sampled to make drum tracks. Shields got into sampling while recording Loveless but says he was mainly sampling the guitars, feedback and distortion mostly, while the vocals were often done early in the morning after being up all night recording. In 2007 Shields said that what you can hear on much of Loveless is ‘the sound of the guitar bending. What you hear is the sound between sound.’

Soon is a stunning song. The video, a little dated now perhaps, manages to do it some kind of justice, a low budget hazy and washed out approximation of what Soon sounds like.

Jackson Johnson

When David Holmes gets it right he really gets it right. This long instrumental is a good way to start Saturday, riding in on a busy drum part and some twiddly guitars before the organ and keys take over (vibraphone and Wurlitzer according to the sleevenotes).

Jackson Johnson was recorded in New York in 1999, appeared on his 2010 compilation The Dogs Are Parading and has been added to the re-issue of his 2000 album Bow Down To The Exit Sign but wasn’t on the original release. Which is a bit mystifying as it’s top drawer stuff.

Jackson Johnson

Coffee

I’m a tea drinker. I drink multiple cups of tea a day- since giving up the cigs I think it’s only the tea that keeps me going sometimes. But there aren’t any songs about tea on my hard drive. Coffee on the other hand is well represented. Coffee is cooler than tea, more sophisticated- to us Brits coffee is the continent, pavement cafes, and frothy milk. Now the high street is littered with coffee shops selling a bewildering array of coffees all served by your expert barista who’s happy to stamp your loyalty card. Our first cup is served by Lalo Shifrin, an unsettling instrumental from the film Bullitt (hence the picture of Steve McQueen at the top).

Just Coffee

The caffeine is kicking in now. The Bullitt soundtrack can be a bit jittery even without a shot of the black stuff. In 1994 James Lavelle put out a double vinyl ep called The Time Has Come, a bunch of remixes from Howie B, Portishead and Plaid. Plaid did this, breakbeat- jazz- trip hop that isn’t a million miles from Lalo Shifrin..

Coffeehouse Conversation (Plaid Remix)

In 1989 Edwyn Collins released his Hope And Despair album, a lovely collection of songs. This one, drum machine led and with a lovely circular guitar riff, builds for nearly five minutes as Edwyn croons. Gorgeous.

Coffee Table Song

Blur’s 1999 album 13 was a reaction to the Britpop thing. Graham Coxon sings and wrote it, describing his battle with alcohol over a chirpy indie-pop tune with a sqwarky, string-bending guitar solo. A bit of an ear worm.

Coffee And TV

To finish before the barista chucks us out for nursing one cup for an hour, here’s Wild Billy Childish And The Musicians Of The British Empire, from the magnificent Thatcher’s Children album, and a three chord rush tirade sung by Nurse Julie…

Coffee Date

Low Frequency Dub

Rich Lane has done this cover of LFO’s mighty 1990 bleep ‘n’ bass track LFO, the 12″ that showed British techno was something special and able to stand on its own two feet, with its own character and feel that stood apart from Detroit. Rather than just re-edit it or use samples Rich has rebuilt it from scratch, keeping the original’s power and mystery but giving it a nudge into late 2018. The bassline alone is enough to improve my mood.

Come Alive

This makes three Across The Kitchen Table inspired posts on the bounce. Back in October Drew posted Orchestra JB’s single Free Spirit, a loved up 12″ from Billy Brown in 1990. The follow up a year later was this one, equally loved up, opening and closing with the sound of waves breaking on the shore, that chunky drum beat, a lengthy harmonica part, and a grin-inducing house piano riff. Come Alive is peppered with vocal samples including the ‘tonight let’s all make love in London like it’s 2001’. 2001 now seems like a very long time ago.

Come Alive (Love In London)

Kosmos

Back in November as part of the Monday Long Song thing he kicked off earlier this year Drew posted the nine minute version of Morning Wonder by The Earlies, a wonderful piece of music, sort of psychedelic folk with krauty rhythms. You can find it here with the download link still intact. In places it reminds me of this still amazing sounding Brendan Lynch remix of Paul Weller from 1993, Weller sent twisting around the kosmos by producer Brendan Lynch, on a dub- jazz- electronic mayhem trip.

Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats)

Only a few years earlier The Style Council had their last hit single and Top Of The Pops appearance with their cover of Joe Smooth’s house classic Promised Land. Everything about this clip is great- Weller and Mick Talbot on twin pianos, Dee’s performance at the front, Mick’s beard, the fun they all seem to be having.