More Than A Woman

Kelly Lee Owens has released one of this year’s best albums- her self-titled debut is the Piccadilly Records album of the year and they don’t usually get it wrong. The album has been near my stereo since it came out, a woozy, spectral head-trip with little melodies emerging from the analogue synths and drum machine, sing-song vocals and extended waves of ambient noise. To finish the year off she has put out a single, a cover of Aaliyah’s More Than A Woman, heavy bass and sampled strings, out digitally now and on vinyl soon. The B-side is her own remix  of the A-side, a tougher house version with squiggles.

Haptic Didactic

This was one of the stand out tracks on Weatherall’s most recent Music’s Not For Everyone, a strange electronic track from Konzel. You can find it as one of five tracks from five different artists on Glasgow’s Invisible Family  2 ep. Haptic Didactic has a hypnotic bass, synths, guitar slashes, a disjointed voice, some great percussion sounds and a lot more besides. Absorbing stuff and available digitally at Bandcamp.

November’s Not For Everyone

Mr Weatherall is currently on tour in Australia but he sent in November’s edition of Music’s Not For Everyone so we wouldn’t miss out.
More of the usual weird, psychedelic, dub, house mish-mash. from Agnes Obel, Okay Temiz and Johnny Diyani, Stunning Couple, Poets Of The Machine, Natural Sugars, Konzel, The Spellbinder Project, Mumbo Jumbo, Au Pairs, Sven Libaek, Anthony King, Jock Scott and Gareth Sagar, Klaus Joynson and The Type 40, Eddie Miller, Buck Jones, Max Wall, Kaleidoscope, Gerardo Iacoucci, O.C.S., Justine, Jennifer Touch, Anne Clark and AMOR.

Erotica Nervosa

This came out in September and was widely missed and it’s a shame because it is an excellent piece of disco-tinged house. Duncan Gray provides the music, the clipped riff and the beats, the whooshing noises and the grimey bassline. Sarah Rebecca provides the vocals, about drive and ambition and sexual obsession, ending up chanting ‘I will be reborn in the fire’ over a dirty, descending guitar part.
It’s a Monday at the end of November. Christmas is too far away to look like any fun. Black Friday is a dispiriting now annual occurrence. We all could all do with some uplifitng, slinky, funky dance music in our lives couldn’t we?

Name Check

Every so often I get an email from Mark, the founder of the Quiet Storm family, asking for a suggestion. He’ll provide a theme or a photo and ask for a song. A while back he asked for songs that name-check other artists and the Quiet Storm family responded in spades. Mark has compiled and mixed the songs together into a 70 minute mix that is a hit from start to finish, as the tracklist below shows.
The songs I suggest for these mixes often end up being the last song, the play out tune. I don’t know what that tells you about me. That I like to have the last word? That the songs I choose are all end of night records? That I go for encores? This time it’s Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros’ Yalla Yalla, a favourite of mine since it came out in the late 90s. Joe spins out lines about Kool Moe Dee, The Treacherous Three and Brownie McGee.

1. Consolation Prize – Orange Juice
2. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken – Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
3. You Get What You Give – New Radicals
4. Just Like Eddie – Heinz
5. You’re Right Ray Charles – Joe Tex
6. Aretha Sing One For Me – George Jackson
7. When Smokey Sings – ABC
8. Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan le Sac VS Scroobius Pip
9. Daft Punk Is Playing At My House – LCD Soundsystem
10. Lighten Up Morrissey – Sparks
11. All Men Are Liars – Nick Lowe
12. Sweet Gene Vincent – Ian Dury
13. Faron Young – Prefab Sprout
14. Tinseltown To The Boogie Down – Scritti Politti
15. Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds – The Mountain Goats
16. Elvis Presley Blues – Gillian Welch
17. On My Way To Harlem – Gregory Porter
18. Yalla Yalla – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros

Here’s Joe back in 1999

Numerical Discord Swap

A friend posted this picture on social media recently, a magazine photoshoot from 1995. Richard Whiteley at the controls. My best effort on the letters was ‘scores’, 6 letters, not too bad I thought. But, according to the Countdown episode guide (yes, it exists) you could get an 8 letter word- ‘scowlers’.
This is a new one from Justin Robertson (in his Deadstock 33s guise), about to come out on 7″, a chugging, funky piece of acid goodness, equal parts Detroit and Manchester with bleeps straight out of Yorkshire. It really hits the spot for Saturday.

River’s Edge

I found this picture I took a few years ago, the River Irwell again but somehow I managed to get it and everything around it entirely in blue. No filters. So one more river post to complete the week- I was thinking of songs that mention rivers (Nick Cave and Kylie, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Sugar’s The Act We Act) but you can flog these blog things to death if you’re not careful.

This song is from A Certain Ratio’s 1989 album Good Together, released following their move to a major label (A&M) in search of funds and a hit. Hits evaded them. But Good Together is a good album, a song based record but a little over polished possibly, and they went several steps beyond it with the following year’s ACR:MCR, an album which was soaked in what was happening in the clubs.

ACR are playing The Ritz in December and then a UK tour in March. I’ve seen them twice in recent years and will do again next month- they are well worth seeing if they’re playing anywhere near you.

River’s Edge

River Stone

This muddy stream is in the woods in Sale, a dirty tributary that I’m guessing ends up in the Mersey. Musically, today I offer you a delightfully strange song and its dub, both from the magic hands of Lee Perry and Zap Pow, recorded at Perry’s Black Ark at some point in the 1970s (1977 I think). The original track is slowly wonky, vocal harmonies and horns and a lilting rhythm. The dub, River Stone, is dubbier and less strange, strangely. A river that smells of sweet herbs and drifts towards the sea.

River Theme

That’s the Mersey, wending its way from Stockport, through Sale (where the picture was taken) and out through Cheshire to Liverpool. Mersey Paradise as four mop-tops once said.

There’s an excellent 7″ release- sold out/repressed/sold out/repressed and currently available again here– by the Dubwood Allstars called Under Dubwood, a Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas in dub King Tubby excursion.

The B-side is River Theme, a grizzly, funky garage-psyche groove from The Time And Space Machine.

River Theme

Flow Like A River Of Bass Vibration

The Irwell again, above, photographed from the same bridge as yesterday but facing south rather than north.

River Of Bass is the opener to Side D of dubnobasswithmyheadman (or track 8 on cd), possibly the best album of the 1990s. River Of Bass glides into being, all fluid and loose with Karl’s vocals half whispered/half sung over the top, their most ambient track. Sub bass that entrances and mesmerises. Calming and reflective.

River Of Bass