Free Christmas

Christmas Eve- where did that come from? Crept up slowly and suddenly it’s the main event. A few years ago Johnny Marr gave this away from his website for free- Free Christmas. It doesn’t seem to be there anymore so I’ll share it here, a largely instrumental present for yuletide with a nice baritone guitar line running through it. See you in a few days. Have a wonderful Christmas- wherever you are, whoever you’re with and whatever you’re doing.

Free Christmas

We Felt So Young

I’ve posted this song almost every Christmas since the blog began and its definitely worth another go. Low’s Just Like Christmas with sleigh bells on and everything. It’s pretty much perfect, especially because of the pay off in the lyric…

‘But you were wrong
It wasn’t like Christmas at all’

Just Like Christmas

For One Touch

Just before Christmas, bringing glad tidings to all, a new Weatherall remix. This time it’s Justin Robertson’s Deadstock 33s project getting the reworking, ahead of an album of remixes of tracks from his 2015 Everything Is Turbulence lp. This has a vintage drum machine rhythm, is pretty industrial and has Sofia (Mrs Robertson) on vocals.

A little while back JC at The Vinyl Villain posted my Andrew Weatherall Imaginary Compilation Album, a twenty track rummage through Weatherall’s back catalogue. Inspired by my post (!) Andy Hickford has put together an hour long mix in tribute to the early years, remixes of Saint Etienne through to My Bloody Valentine with Primal Scream, One Dove, New Order, Happy Mondays and The Grid in between.

Without People You’re Nothing

Joe Strummer died on 22nd December 2002 and I’ve got into the habit of marking it here. God only knows what he’d have made of the events of 2016 but his famous quote that gives this post its title is as relevant as ever.

I finish work today for the Christmas holiday and I cannot remember ever feeling so tired. I’ll be raising a glass to Joe’s memory tonight. This song from Global A Go Go typifies Joe’s multicultural look at the world and his joy in other cultures.

Bhindi Bhagee

His bandmate and friend Paul Simonon turned 61 on the 15th of December so happy belated birthday to him too.

The Meek Ran Wanton

Ok, I give in. Here’s a Christmas post. What was your office party like?

I haven’t posted any Billy Childish for ages and his take on Christmas in the late 70s is wonderfully jaundiced. Green vinyl, 7″. Of course.

Christmas 1979

Fly Tipping And Remixing

We went for a walk on Sunday, up the canal and round the water-park, across Chorlton Ees, stopping for a pint on Chorlton Green and then back through the floodplain towards Ashton village. These places might not mean anything to you but they are green land around the Bridgewater Canal and River Mersey in south Manchester, rural feeling but with motorway, Metrolink and roads audible, and fairly full of strollers, dog walkers, cyclists and so on. On the walk, back towards Stretford cemetery there had been an enormous amount of fly tipping going on. And while I can’t condone this kind of large scale littering it provides some interesting subject matter for photographs. Other people on the walk took pictures of their kids in Christmas jumpers. When we compared the photos on our phones at the end of the walk my view of the afternoon was a little bit gloomier. This shot in the tunnel under Washway Road that looks like it’s from A Clockwork Orange.

Back in 2012 Four Tet and Jamie Xx remixed each other. This is an unsettling, disjointed and uneasy piece of work although the synths bring a certain kind of warmth..

Lion (Jame Xx Remix)

Mind Of A Machine

Monday morning techno- the last Monday before Christmas techno too. Very festive.

Carl Craig’s 1995 album Landcruising is a Detroit masterpiece, a sleek glide around the city at night with machine beats and glacial synths. In 2005 Carl revisited it and tinkered, updating it and then re-releasing it as The Album Formerly Known As… As you can imagine some of the techno purists were aghast. Carl said that ‘some parts were dated so I wanted to make it again removing the dated parts and enlarging the good parts.’ Technology and software goes through changes and when out djing he found some tracks jarred when played next to more modern sounds. Largely it comes down to taste but ten years on from the remake both versions sound great to these ears.

This one is absurdly good, the bass thumping from the start. Even if you think you don’t like techno, you should let this one work its magic and hypnotise you.

Mind Of A Machine (2006 version)