Zyklodrom

I’ve had an eventful forty eight hours. On Saturday we took the kids into town to watch the Manchester Pride parade followed by going to see my brother who was taking part in a live graffiti event in a beer garden in The Angel pub. The two djs were spinning old school hip-hop, dub and electro and a good dollop of Kraftwerk, all of which sounded great in the faint Mancunian sunshine. Early evening came and we raced home so I could get out to one of the local Sale pubs to watch a punk covers band called Cheapskates who played a set which was 75% Clash songs. All good fun.

Yesterday we went out into Cheshire to visit my parents. I cycled there, about thirty miles through good roads and sunshine. Just arriving near their house I snapped a spoke. The car was full so I had to try to get home a few hours later with the broken spoke. All was going well. Ten miles from home near Tatton Park a second spoke went. Total pisser. I had to await rescue in a pub made more bearable by a very nice pint of Manchester Pale Ale. Today I will be going to the bike shop.

I pulled out Neu! man Michael Rother’s 1977 solo album Flammende Herzen the other day. It doesn’t sound like it was made that long ago. Completely instrumental and really very good indeed. Jaki Leibezeit plays drums. Rother plays everything else.

Zyklodrom

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Calexican

A total change of pace and style today, a beautiful instrumental from Calexico’s debut album proper The Black Light from back in 1998- catgut guitar strings, rim shots, trumpets. They went on to make several really good albums after this but I played The Black Light the other night and it sounded like their best and most effortless record.

Minas de Cobre

Midnight

I found this twenty four minute time capsule while looking for this morning’s Yargo clip- a special edition of Tony Wilson’s The Other Side Of Midnight TV show from the summer of 1989. Mike Pickering’s T-Coy, A Guy Called Gerald and Happy Mondays playing live down at Granada Studios. A party, as Wilson says, with the emphasis on part-E. As ever, the crowd (their clothes, hairstyles and dancing) are the real stars.

Bodybeat

Italian reader Luca has a guest spot over at Acid Ted where he regularly writes about the joys of Italian disco. Recently he bemoaned the lack of the 12″ version of Bodybeat Blues by Yargo anywhere on the internet. I left a comment saying I might have it. I don’t unfortunately, neither in physical format nor digitally. I do have the album Bodybeat though and the album version of the song. Sorry Luca.

Bodybeat Blues

To summarise, and I’m sure I’ve typed a paragraph very similar to this before, Yargo were the classic example of an 80s Manchester band who could pull a thousand people to a gig with an M postcode but were virtually unheard of elsewhere. Singer Basil Clarke (the owner of a golden voice that drew comparisons with Marvin Gaye), Phil Kirby and Paddy Steer (drums and bass) had all been in Biting Tongues (the former home of Graham Massey of 808 State and also a man called Eddie, who I know). Yargo played a Mancunian take on jazz, soul, reggae, ska and dub with a bit of rock too. Andy Diagram (trumpet, later in James) also passed through the ranks. Bodybeat, from 1987, is a lost gem, well worth checking out. They also did the theme tune to Anthony H Wilson’s late night music show The Other Side Of Midnight, Granada region only, and the source of legendary live appearances by Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses. Yargo split in 1991. Basil Clarke has made solo records and sung with Future Sound Of London. Listen to this below (or that above) and you’ll see that they should have been much bigger than they were.

Silent

This is a ninety minute mix by David Holmes, a promo for a silent disco night he’s doing at Belfast City Hall tonight- an eclectic mix of songs, with samples of 1960s radio djs providing links, but always with one eye on the rhythm. Somewhere within it is a Weatherall dub mix of Guilty Of Love from Holmes’ new project Unloved.

Silbury

Another day, another mix, another Weatherall post… this is an hour long mix from Lord Sabre inspired by a new book ‘Psychedelia and Other Colours’ by Rob Chapman, out in September. Weatherall has also written the foreword for the book.

The mix in Weatherall’s own words: “Deadlines were passing and and I needed a kick up the arse, but with an army of psychic skeletons waiting to surge across synapses should they be lysergically fired, going “gonzo” was not an option when I found myself lacking Caliope’s influence. I needed to get back on the bus but knew that the cost of a ticket was one I was unwilling to pay.My sanity is priceless. I needed a “madeleine moment” but tea and cake wasn’t going to cut it. Casting my mind back to my first trip I remembered a good part of it was spent on a large Victorian brass bed listening to the static between stations on a transistor radio.I heard my own internal soundtrack, music made of ether and electricity. It was then it struck me. A sonic key was required. After some hours spent in the bunker’s research library I compiled a collection of music that crackled and fizzed within a nebulous fog. Static charges mirroring synaptic fireworks. On mixing and playing the result was immediate. The foreword was written.”

Tracklisting…
1: She Possessed The Secret of Listening To The Stars – The Humble Bee
2: Lapis Lazuli – Fisherofgold
3:Caisteal Grugail – Invocation
4: Often Destroyed – Helm
5: Unchained – TCB
6: No Drums – Tim Hecker
7: After Tomorrow – Arovane and Hior Chronik
8: Walk Into The Light – White Noise Sound

Shoes

No Big Audio Dynamite posts since June- heaven’s above, let’s rectify that straight away. The albums the original line up made are all worthy of time and attention. The first has the breakout tunes- E=MC2, Medicine Show, The Bottom Line. The second, Number 10 Upping Street, refines things, has Joe Strummer co-writing and producing, and includes possibly their best song V Thirteen. The third album, Tighten Up Vol. 88, comes inside a Paul Simonon painting of the Westway and Trellick Tower sleeve and has some top drawer songs- Other 99 and The Battle Of All Saints Road among them. Megatop Phoenix was the last they made before most of the band split leaving Mick to form BAD II. Megatop is a house influenced record, but with the usual high quality song writing and the sense of playfulness. The singles from each of the albums came with a variety of remixes, versions and b-sides. This song is from a promo 12″ called Lovesensi ( a joke on Prince’s Lovesexy from the same year). It had the BAD Overture on the a-side and a remix of 2000 Shoes on the flip. 2000 Shoes was on 1988’s Tighten Up but the remix would sound equally at home on Megatop Phoenix and is a tribute of sorts to disgraced Philippine shoe owner Imelda Marcus. Zippy, upbeat and club-bound.

2000 Shoes (Top Buzz)