Voodoo Time

We got back from three days of very un-Lake District camping weather last night- the sun has shone and there hasn’t been a drop of rain. There’s a pile of washing to do that smells of bonfire and some sunburnt skin here and there. But all is good and I have the rest of the week off.

Here’s a slice of late May lushness from John Grant and Gwenno. I don’t think I’ve heard much by John Grant and I’m well aware he’s highly rated by many people but I’ve just not got around to trying him out. His song Voodoo Doll has been remixed by Welsh psyche/cosmische Queen Gwenno and Peski Kid and it is a delight with a lovely ascending and descending vocal line over some light bubbling psychedelia.

I Just Want To Be A Woman

I went to pick one of the kids up the other night and was flicking through radio stations in the car, trying to find something- anything- half decent to listen to. Just as I was about to give up I tuned in to the second half of Glory Box by Portishead. Sometimes you have to hear a song unexpectedly, out of context, to really hear it again. It sounded really, really good. There was a period in 1994 when it seemed like the only thing anyone was listening to was Portishead. I always really liked this alternate version from the 12″ single.

Toy Box

It’s half term and we are in the Lake District for the next couple of days, near Ulverston (which I can’t think of without singing it to the tune of Glen Campbell’s Galveston). See you in a few days.

I Can’t Find My Way

Warpaint haven’t released much recently. Last year saw No Way Out come out digitally, the redux version, a full on seven minute excusion and an extra song I’ll Start Believing. No Way Out combines their signature sounds in one glorious package- the slightly stoned Californian multi-tracked vocals, the PiL bassline, the sparse, fluid guitars and the thumping drums. You’ll want to buy the full length version if you haven’t got it. As an added bonus they look alright too.

No Way Out (Redux)

Metal Dub

Death In Vegas have a new album called Transmission out very soon. DiV mainman Richard Fearless has moved back towards the backroom techno/acid area in the last couple of years. 2014’s Gamma Ray single was an intense delight, 808s aloft. At the end of last year Fearless put out a song called Metal Dub which I think is going to be the opener on Transmission. It sounds like metal dub.

This remix by DJ Richard is a stripped back version with a kind of low key euphoria finishing with some lovely drones. Stunning.

A Tale Of Two Cities

Strummerville, an annual mini-festival set up to commemorate Joe Strummer and his influence and enable a load of likeminded souls and bands to get together isn’t happening this year. Instead there is A Tale Of Two Cities, a twin city event with a full line up at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester and another at Off the Cuff in Herne Hill, South London, all filled with the spirit of the man himself. Tickets are £15 and some are still available. Ray Gange (from the film Rude Boy) and Clash and Strummer collaborator Tymon Dogg both appear in London and I can personally vouch that the between act DJ in Manchester, El Gadge, will be spinning some great records because I’ve heard him before. So if you’re free, and in either vicinity, get down there.

This song from Sandinista! was Paul Simonon’s tribute to blues parties ‘across the river in South London with a rocking bass and drum’ and has a very cool walking dub bassline.

The Crooked Beat

Why

Adrian Sherwood did a superb remix of Why Why Why by The Woodentops, dancefloor and dub friendly. It was on The Woodentops Imaginary Compilation Album series over at The Vinyl Villain at the start of April. Rolo McGinty’s group usually get referred to as indie-dance pioneers and that seems to be true enough, although their indie-dance sound doesn’t really sound anything like what the phrase ‘indie dance’ summons up. They crossed over to the Balearic scene in the mid-to-late 80s, the fast acoustic guitars and experimental nature of Why Why Why moving feet and minds. This Tony Johns and Dave Boreham version sounds really fresh.

Why Why Why (Balearic re-edit)

Acid Tabla

I reckon you could post daily about Adrian Sherwood for a year and not run out of interesting songs. This mix of Acid Tabla by Suns Of Arqa came out in February this year, a dubbed out Sherwood version and will cost you £1 from Bandcamp. Suns Of Arqa have been the vehicle for the pioneering musical adventures of Michael Wadada since 1979, since when he’s played with a couple of hundred musicians in the studio and live.

There’s also this hour long mix done for Carharrt Radio this month for your delectation, full of music from the back catalogues and unreleased goodies from the likes of Roots Manuva, Dub Syndicate, Congo Natty, Coldcut and Junior Delgado.

Ghetto Priest – Slave State (feat. Junior Delgado) [from forthcoming album “Slave State”]
Mark Stewart – Awidk [unreleased]
Nisennenmondai – 3 [from the newly released album “#N/A”]
Ital Horns with Dub Syndicate – Metropolis [from unreleased album “Blow The Man Down”]
Cha Cha – Dub No Frontiers (Excerpt) [unreleased]
Roots Manuva – Hit It (Alternative Version) [from current album “Bleeds”]
Dub Syndicate – Wadada (feat. Prince Far I) [from the 1991 album “Stoned Immaculate”]
Congo Natty – UK Allstars In Dub (Adrian Sherwood Remix) [from current album “Jungle Revolution In Dub”]
Coldcut/Adrian Sherwood feat. Junior Reid, Elan & Lee Perry [forthcoming project] – Divide And Rule
L.S.K. – Way Of The World [unreleased]
Denise Sherwood – Ghost Heart [unreleased]
Junior Delgado – None Shall Escape [unreleased classic version on “Masters of Deception” rhythm]
Missing Brazilians – Quicksand Beach Party [1981 original from the album “Warzone” reissue and also available on the Trevor Jackson compiled “Science Fiction Dancehall Classics”
Adrian Sherwood – Starship Bahia [from the album “Survival and Resistance”]

Tinder Surprise

The sparse, mechanical sounds of Steve Cobby and the spoken words of Russ Litten. Honest, a little raw, more than a little bit real. Russ is the writer in residence at a prison in the north of England and it sounds like his work may contribute to his words.

If I don’t do something with the second part of my life… Tinder surprise, just slide left.

Trouble Understanding

Norman Cook remixes? On the whole in the past I could take ’em or leave ’em. Too often it was a case of stick a whacking great big beat underneath, drop it out two thirds of the way through and use that ‘make it sound like you’ve thrown the drums in a tumble drier’ effect, build up it up, climax. There are exceptions but not so many.

The Charlatans survived the Madchester boom, outlived Britpop, never split up and then cashed in by reforming. They had a few years where they gave their albums away for free on the net and no one seemed interested but quietly kept going to produce Modern Nature, one of last year’s highlights and one of their best.

Norman remixed Trouble Understanding from Modern Nature and thankfully avoided the big beat tricks, turning it into a gorgeous Balearic come down tune with a hint of Massive Attack’s Teardrop. It came out on RSD and only 1500 were available. Luckily you can hear it here…

Orbient

Two items from The Orb for Friday, masters of long dub-ambient workouts. First is this far out re-working of Towers Of Dub from the U.F.Orb album back in 1992. This version originally appeared on the Orb In Dub 12″ and after that the fifteenth anniversary re-issue, then the U.F. Off compilation (plus the Ultra Rare Tracks bootleg which is where I’ve taken it from). It contains a sample of Hudson and Landry’s comedy routine The Hippy and the Redneck.

Towers Of Dub (Ambient Mix)

Once you’ve digested that you can go here and grab The Orb Presents: Full Orbient, a nine track podcast mix from 2008, introduced by Alex Paterson and then full of treats, remixes and versions from The Dream. Well worth downloading, sitting back and letting it slide over you at the end of the working week.