Lino Squares

Shall we do something really obscure from the back catalogue of Andrew Weatherall? In 1997 Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood moonlighted from their day job as Two Lone Swordsmen to put out a double vinyl, six track e.p. as Lino Squares. The record came out on Humboldt County Records and had various spelling/punning titles- the e.p.’s title was The Role Of Linoleum and included tracks called Neuphrique, Phrique Out and Blue Pole Dancer. Musically we get deep house, minimal electro and minimal deep house electro. This one, Tidy Unit, has a smart breakbeat, crashing percussion and some whooshey noises. Rather fine I think.

Tidy Unit

Blue Pole Dancer has pots and pans style drums, a nice one fingered keyboard part and a disembodied female vocal. A bit moody.

Blue Pole Dancer

Advertisements

Release The Horns

Rummaging through a box of records at the second hand record shop the other, a box labelled House/Dance/Ambient I found a pristine copy of Leftfield’s Song Of Life (Remixes) ep for only £2. So I bought it. Two of the three tracks are the Underworld remixes of Song Of Life which are excellent. The third is Leftfield’s own remix of Release the Pressure, premium grade skanking dub techno.

Release The Horns

Come Around

I wrote a piece for The Vinyl Villain’s Imaginary Compilation album series, ten Husker Du songs to brighten up your life. It’s here. I also found this, a remastered version of Zen Arcade’s opening song. The Youtube poster who put it up had done the new version himself, brought the bass up and balanced out Spot’s trebly mix. A very good job done.

Something I Learned Today

At around the same time a friend reminded me of Bob’s 90s band Sugar and their 1993 ep Beaster. Having signed to Creation and got some genuine success with Copper Blue they put out Beaster as a follow up The six songs on Beaster were recorded at the same time as Copper Blue but stand out as distinctively different- the guitars are heavier and denser. Very dense. Like other Bob Mould records (like Zen Arcade) Beaster was a kind of concept record and had a lot of religious imagery. Opener Come Around comes around slowly with bright acoustic guitar but then the Les Paul and Marshall stack kicks in, along with Bob’s deliberately difficult to make out vocals.

Come Around

The Hustle

This is new from Lambchop and is pretty remarkable- an eighteen minute long meditation utilising a stuttering drum machine, some pretty little melodies on piano and woodwind and Kurt Wagner’s rueful voice. It’s a tribute to the dance of the same name, witnessed by Kurt at a wedding, it’s not country soul they are known for and sounds like autumn is just around the corner.

It’s Wonderful

A few weeks ago Strictly Rockers did a guest posting as part of The Vinyl Villain’s Imaginary Compilation Album series, a ten track compilation of the Durutti Column. Strictly Rockers focused on the Factory years and did a great job. I had been planning my own Durutti Column ICA and didn’t get around to completing it but it wouldn’t have been too different from SR’s. Mine would have included-

Sketch for Summer
Otis
For Belgian Friends
The Missing Boy
Home
Contra Indications (The Together Mix)
Silence
Sketch For Dawn

Which gets me to eight songs and two to mull over. SR stuck to the Factory releases and I had intended to include some post-Factory material. Since Factory went bust Vini Reilly has put out at least fifteen albums for other record labels including the short lived Factory Too. I wouldn’t pretend to have an expert knowledge of them all but have kept my hand in, dipping in and out over the years. 2008’s Sunlight To Blue… Blue To Blackness had a beautiful little tune called So Many Crumbs And Monkeys which was on my ICA shortlist. A principal contender for my ICA would be this one from 2006’s Keep Breathing album which a friend posted on social media a few days ago, reminding me of it. Before I go any further, just give it a spin…

See?
I don’t know where to begin with this song- it defies description. Heavy bursts of rhythm guitar. Soaring melodies. A voice floating in and out. Tremelo. Vini’s own voice whispering in the background. All building upwards towards the light. Stunning. And proof that Vini’s well continued to contain deep water long into his third decade of making ‘silly little tunes’. The rest of Keep Breathing has plenty of other brilliant moments too.

I have no idea if anyone makes any pennies off their Factory recordings anymore- who owns them? New Order got a record deal elsewhere and their back catalogue gets re-issued all the time. Happy Mondays got their stuff licensed or bought up by a major. Does the rest of the Factory roster see any cash for their music? I have no idea. However this album and this song are commercially available at various legal download sites, which I should imagine Vini benefits from. Vini has been hit by poor health and financial trouble in recent years and is currently unable to play the guitar which is incredibly sad for such a unique, talented and expressive artist. So I’m not giving you a free download of this- if you like it, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t, go and give Vini some of your cash in exchange for It’s Wonderful. Cos it is.

Chilled To The Bone

It’s over a year since I lasted posted anything by the Reid brothers. Over a year! Slap my wrists and confiscate my scuffed suede Chelsea boots immediately. The video for Sidewalking came my way on social media the other day and what a truly great record it is, maybe their greatest. Released in March 1988, a stand alone single which marries industrial noise with hip hop drumbeats (sampled from Roxanne Shante) and lyrics about missing the last bus home. The extended version from the 12″ is double the length and double the fun.

Sidewalking (Extended)

And here’s the video.

Bobby Selassie And Primal Jah

Primal Scream’s Chaosmosis album from earlier this year didn’t really do too much for me- it was alright but nothing special. This however is the best thing they’ve put their name to for a long time. Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre has remixed 100% Or Nothing into a nine and a half minutes long psychedelic dub odyssey, spaced out with dubby bass, disjointed backing vocals, a melodica wending its way through and lots of echo…echo…echo. It’s coming out on limited edition clear vinyl on Friday. Really good.