Haus Music

There’s definitely something in the air at the moment, something 1990. I just found this track from CamelPhat, from last month, and it sounds like an explosion in an acid house factory- so spot on it’s almost pastiche. Very good and liable to make you want to move a little. ‘Haus-haus haus haus music all night long. I’ll haus you. Say what?’ Free download too.


Jenny Lee Lindberg, Warpaint’s cool as fuck bassist, has a solo album coming out (under the name jennylee, all lower case). This song is the attention grabber to get you interested. Dominated by one of her trademark slinky basslines it’s got guitars that point towards The Cure, skittering drums and an overall feel of the early 80s- what the record companies called New Wave. More labels for you- dark underbelly of LA, post-punk, early goth. I’ve got to say, I like it.

Factory Time

Minny Pops were one of Factory’s oddest signings, a Dutch post-punk, electronic, arthouse band led by Wally van Middendorp. After opening for Joy Division in Eindhoven in 1980 Rob Gretton recommended them to Factory and they put out several releases on both Factory and sister label Factory Benelux. Inevitably they were produced by Martin Hannett, often at Stockport’s legendary Strawberry Studios (although not this single, recorded in The Netherlands). Heaven only knows what a group of serious Dutchmen made of Stockport in the 1980s. This is dour but danceable.


Private Plane

Husker Du have reunited- well, sort of. The three members have launched a new website that sells t-shirts and have been in agreement to do so. So there are whispers. I don’t know if this would be a good thing or not. Drew always takes the line that he doesn’t go to reformations and the purist in me admires that. On the other hand, I’ve seen several favourite bands play after reforming and don’t regret it. It’s probably irrelevant anyway- going from they have spoken about selling merchandise and set up a website to Husker Du playing Manchester is several pretty big jumps. Judging by what other US bands do, they’d play three nights in London and then fly out again.

Flip Your Wig was my first Husker Du album, their last for SST before leaving for Warners. It is wall to wall intense US punk spliced with 60s psychedelia (apart from The Baby Song which I always skip). Both Grant Hart and Bob Mould were at the very top of their game and the production is full on as well. It may not be their best album (Zen Arcade probably, or New Day Rising) but it was my first and you never forget the first.

Private Plane


Luca said in a comment on yesterday’s post that to him house music is Brutalist architecture, a connection I totally get. Some music- Underworld’s for example and a lot of techno- isn’t abstract expressionism in the Jackson Pollock vein, it’s linear, straight lines, horizontal lines, parallel lines, railway lines, street lights on motorways shooting off in the distance in the dark, it goes from here to there. Those unchanging beats, sequenced basslines (they’re called lines for a reason), pulsing synths with minimal changes off the always heading forward route- forward momentum rather than the splashes of colour and drizzles of Pollock. Underworld’s Dark And Long (this version is off the e.p. and is nine minutes plus long) is just what I mean.

Dark And Long

Box Energy

Untitled 1951, Jackson Pollock

Box Energy by DJ Pierre is one of the foundation stone records of acid house- an 808 drumbeat and Roland TB 303 bassline synthesiser set to mindfuck squiggle mode. Strange to think this sound was invented back in 1987, so long ago now. How much sense this track makes on a Tuesday morning in October I don’t know. I like to think that acid house, Chicago style, has something in common with Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionism of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Colours and shapes. Movement. Action. Energy. Certainly those lines of colour were the sort of thing I’d see when I closed my eyes when dancing to this kind of record back in the day. But that could have been the strobes.

Box Energy

The Cat Prowls Again

Timothy J. Fairplay can do no wrong in my eyes- he consistently and frequently records and releases instrumental gems, science fiction dancefloor gems dredged up from analogue synths and drum machines. I could do with it all being compiled onto one double cd for convenience’s sake. This one went up on his Soundcloud page back in July with the hashtags #rare gloom and #stasi disco, both of which make perfect sense as types of music. This track was also accompanied by the following piece of text…

British exchange student Jennifer Bannister takes a summer job at an archaeological dig just outside Rome. In charge of the dig is the eccentric Bella Raubkatze who is the world expert in the ancient female only feline worshipping cult who’s temple the archaeologists are exhuming. When Jennifer arrives at the dig the camp is in chaos, two of the girls working there have gone missing in the night, and things are made even worse for her as all the other girls are increasingly unfriendly towards her. Is there something sinister about Bella’s interest in the this ancient religion? Why does she get angry about Jennifer’s affection for Tommy the only guy working on the dig? And why does the camp become totally deserted at the same time every night? Is Jennifer about to make a terrible discovery?

I’ve been waiting for the next installment ever since.

Timothy put out a seven track mini-album called False Visions for Cassette Store Day (two days ago, Saturday), limited to one hundred copies only. I don’t have one unfortunately. This is a seven minute preview of the songs from it. More goodies from his magic fingers and golden ears.

Avery Live

This Daniel Avery dj set live in Japan is pretty special- the first eight minutes alone are gripping and intense, some drones and noise, minute adjustments and fiddles of the controls…  and then the beat comes in. Tension and release. Watching a man fiddle with a pair of cds and a mixer might not seem to exciting but there’s something quite compelling about it- if the visuals don’t sustain your interest, the music is well worth sticking around for.

They Joined Together And Decided Not To Fight

More music from Merseyside. The Farm were Liverpool’s own indie-dance band, on the go since the mid-80s, into football, trainers, cagoules and responsible for a pisstaking fanzine called The End. The single Stepping Stone and apperance in A Short Film About Chilling put them into the music papers and the clubs and in 1990 Groovy Train sent them into the charts. A head of steam built up towards the release of the album Spartacus in 1991- one of the most disappointing albums I’ve ever heard. Luckily they found something from somewhere to write All Together Now. The lyrics were based on the Christmas truce of 1914, written by singer Peter Hooton years earlier. Hooton wrote a song that could have been corny but he’d managed to sidestep it to write something that was poignant and inspiring- a call for peace and unity, brotherhood and not following orders. The video’s touching as well, filmed in the local pub with older regulars mouthing the words.

Art On 45

Thank Fac it’s Friday. Delving deeper into the recesses of Factory’s back catalogue we stumble across names like The Royal Family And The Poor. Formed in Liverpool in 1978 by Mike Keane and at one point containing future Happy Mondays manager Nathan McGough, the band were largely an on-off project for multi-instrumentalist Keane, who had constructed his own instruments- dismantling a radio receiver, wiring it up to a synth and connecting both to an old stereogram. In their early days Keane played synth and Arthur McDonald read Situationist lyrics over the top. Their 1982 debut single for Factory is pretty uncompromising and pretty uncommercial.

Art On 45