Autumn Leaves

While digging around the hard drive looking for yesterday’s Coldcut meets The Orb collaboration I found this.

Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Mix)

Coldcut released Autumn Leaves in 1993. Mixmaster Morris remixed it into Balearic ambient bliss- waves lapping on the beach, strings and slow motion bleeps and then a vocal floating in on the breeze, ‘but I miss you most of all my darling/when autumn leaves start to fall’. Autumn Leaves was written in 1945 by Yves Montand and Irene Joachim, a jazz and pop standard recorded by a host of artists from Nat King Cole to The Everley Brothers, Doris Day to Bing Crosby.

Then I remembered the photo I took and used for a blogpost last year and thought it would be perfect for this song. Round here the leaves have started to fall this last week, covering the pavement with faded greens and browns, rusty yellows and golds before the rain and feet turn them all to mush.

Monday’s Long Song

October half term. A week off for me (or wee calf in the punchline to Drew’s joke on Twitter last week). Monday’s long song this week is less a song, more a mini- mix courtesy of Coldcut and The Orb, who spend fourteen minutes and twenty six seconds with each other’s record collections, tracks and samples live on the air at Kiss FM, New Year’s Eve 1991. Coldcut were just getting their Ninja Tune off the ground, The Orb were about to take off.

There’s all sorts going on in here, opera, cockerels crowing, thumping rhythm tracks, voices dropping in and out of the mix, Denise singing ‘rama lama lama fa fa fi, I’m gonna get high til the day I die’, Neil Armstrong’s famous line as he steps down the ladder on to the moon, the vocal line from Roach Motel’s Movin’ On. Sampledelic fun for your Monday morning.

Coldcut Meets The Orb 

I Guess I’ll Crawl

In 1987 Dinosaur Jr released their second album, a definitive set of songs called You’re Living All Over Me. Over at a website called Classic Album Sundays my friend Ian says ‘If ever you encounter someone telling you that Dinosaur Jr’s best album is something other than 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, be assured that they don’t know what they’re talking about. There was a blinding light and a parting of the clouds when this one arrived. It is one of the high watermarks of post-hardcore underground American indie rock.’

You’re Living All over Me is a definite step on from the punk of the early and mid 80s, taking rock’s past (the 60s and 70s) and speeding it up, making it looser and messier and adding the assault of hardcore. The singing was something else too, a different approach, none of the certainty and bark of the punk singers- J Mascis drawled over the top of his group’s perfect blend of noise and melody. Album opener Little Fury Things hits hard as soon as the needle finds the groove, a salvo of drums and then wah wah guitar riding over the sludgy noise, some screaming, and then suddenly everything snapping into clarity at thirty seconds.

Little Fury Things

At the end of the decade Dinosaur Jr signed to a major and released The Wagon (they’d already put it out with Sub Pop in 1990). The Wagon was the opener on Green Mind, their first without bassist Lou Barlow. The Wagon is a blast, a shockwave sent straight up your spine, pummelling guitar and drums and J sounding like he just got out of bad and stumbled to the mic.

The Wagon


Chateau Comtal

New from Sean Johnston’s Hardway Bros and the perfect way to pick yourself up on Saturday, Chateau Comtal is nine minutes of kickdrum, fuzzy bass, tom toms, feelgood chords, wiggy synths and driving electrical impulses. Impossible not to enjoy. Takes you away. Uplifting. New favourite track. And so on.

Here Come The Warm Dreads

Coming out hot on the heels of his latest album Rainford, recorded with dub supremo Adrian Sherwood, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has now put out a dub version of that album, with some new Scratch- Sherwood tracks, titled Heavy Rain. If all that weren’t enough the new album has a collaboration with Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Dreads, a dubbed out Eno version of the track Makumba Rock. And that is your Friday soundtrack and earworm ordered and booked.

New Warm Skin

The early 80s back catalogue of Simple minds continues to reveal new wonders to me. I’ve said before that my prejudices about Jim Kerr’s band were formed in the mid to late 80s when their wind swept stadium rock did nothing for me. But in recent years I’ve had my head turned, first by Theme For Great Cities and then it’s parent albums Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. Over the  last eighteen months I’ve picked up various Simple Minds records second hand, albums and singles. Then JC at the Vinyl Villain undertook a weekly trawl through the singles and B-sides of the group released between 1980 and 1984, a series of blogposts and comments that educated and entertained me while filling in umpteen gaps. This one has really struck a chord with me in recent days…

New Warm Skin

Riding in a fantastic backbeat and then covered in New Wave synths, the playing on this, the synth lines and jagged guitar fills, all sound weirdly contemporary to me. Jim Kerr’s vocal stylings date it a little and it does sound in debt to 1977- not the ’77 of the Sex Pistols but the ’77 of Kraftwerk, Berlin, Iggy, Bowie, The Idiot and Low, Mittel Europa- but John Leckie’s production keeps it really fresh, remarkably so for a record made in 1980. New Warm Skin was a B-side, the flip to single I, Travel. There was no room for it on the album Empires And Dance, a record I found in a stack in a second hand shop last week.

You Make It All So Fine

In a record shop at the weekend they were playing Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. The long fade in, the electric organ chords and then the horns and strings sound-tracking the streaming tears of Broken Heart stopped me in my tracks.

Broken Heart

Cool Waves followed and sounded immense. When I came home I played this, which is cut from similar cloth and is almost weightless and achingly beautiful.

Don’t Go/Stay With Me