The Modfather ‘Andromeda’ (Richard Hawley Remix)

The naysayers (and I’m pointing this finger partly at my friend Mr A.N. of Ealing) have always had Weller down as an arch-conservative, songs carved from traditional oak, a meat-and-two-veg man, and granted his mid 90s renaissance contained some duff albums, as did his dadrocking, Later with Jools Holland presence, and Gallagher brother association tendencies, but from The Jam onwards he’s never really stood still and at least once changed so much he shed thousands of fans.

The jump from In The City to Sound Affects to The Gift contains more stylistic leaps than most bands will ever make (certainly the ones you see tramping round today), and the quantum shift into The Style Council was too mind-bending for many. One of the things that was most disappointing about the Modfather’s return in the 90s was his seeming dismissal of the Style Council. Bagging Area thinks the early Style Council singles and some of the album tracks are the equal of The Jam’s. Similarly the move from Mod-pop to soul to modern jazz to house The Style Council made is unlikely to repeated by, say, The Editors or (insert current band’s name here). His first two solo albums (Paul Weller and Wild Wood) contain ideas aplenty, before the rot began to set in with Stanley Road. Even then, he was churning out top singles like Hung Up, and being remixed by Portishead and Brendan Lynch (his Kosmos remix is fantastic).

Last week his latest album Wake Up The Nation was released, following 2008’s 22 Dreams, which had a crack at every leftfield musical style you can think of. Wake Up The Nation is a blast, 16 songs in under 40 minutes, fizzing and crackling, jagged riffs, loud funky drums, noise, energy and abandon. I’m sure some people are only just getting over January’s single with very non-mod Kevin Shields 7 & 3 Is The Strikers Name. The double cd edition of the new album contains this- Richard Hawley’s remix of Andromeda, sounding like neither Weller nor Hawley, but like a lost underground psyche classic, The Walker Brothers freaking out while My Bloody Valentine fall down the stairs behind them. Something even the non-believers can enjoy. All of which makes it more of a shame he never properly released the Weatherall remix of Heliocentric- but that’s another story.

Acknowledgements and thanks to Phil Spector at the wonderful Plain Or Pan blog, whose review last week convinced me to get the double cd, which this remix is taken from.

2-05 Andromeda (Richard Hawley Remix.mp3

Vini Reilly ‘The Together Mix’

On and off Factory Records Vini Reilly and his Durutti Column have created many wonderful records. This one, from 1990’s Obey the Time, sees Vini taking inspiration from the advances in club culture and technology going on around him, and obeying the time he created this, The Together Mix. It was worked on and remixed by Together, who went on to have a hit with Hardcore Uproar, one of whom died in a car crash in Ibiza. This is a lovely summery song, with Vini’s trademark use of melody coupled with summer of late 80s/early 90s dance record production. It’s a warm evening here and this fits perfectly.

The Together Mix.mp3